Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/133

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III
113
INVITATIONS AND HOLIDAYS

is very happy. It would have done you good to see her delight at her new clothes, and the care with which she went to a clean crossing, tho' the roads were not very muddy. Her indifference about leaving home was, of course, very sad. But just as we were going away, one of those immense Irish women one sometimes sees, who was selling apples in the Old Bailey, called her back, and giving her a kiss said, "God bless you, child. Be a good girl."

I have wished Mary good-bye. … We spoke about my going back with her, which is a relief. I don't like a thing which both people know the other is thinking of not spoken of and explained, and so I was very glad she mentioned it. … Private. Would you ferret out for me whether A. is looking forward to her half holiday for going to see people? and if she is, say nothing; but, if she isn't, ask her not to make any engagements to go away, at first, out of charity or acquiescence, as I shall like very much to have her at home. Public again. I have some more flowers which are a great pleasure. Everyone is very kind, that is to say everyone I hear of or see; there are not many.

It seems so strange to feel the piano had not been opened for so long. This morning I sang all our sacred music,—some that I am fond of and did not know, I spelt out on the piano. It reminded me, by contrast more than by likeness, of the Sunday music we sometimes used to have. I have invitations from Margaret and Gertrude which I shall accept, if I can, after I know that Mary is gone; but next week my College opens. However, considering that I have Wednesday free, I hope to get away. I do not seem of any use to anyone, but I hope I shall do all the better when work begins … Thank you for all your long, most welcome,