Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/151

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ESTIMATE OF HER OWN CHARACTER

who is without imagination, poetry, feeling, affection. Good only to do a sum, carry a weight, go a long walk in the rain, or decide any difficult question about tangible things. You happen to know the other side of me. All that's kept in, that I may do my work; and you don't know what a life of calculation and routine and steadiness mine is. I'm told that the best developed organ that I have is that of caution.

However, thank you, I hope I haven't "come to a smash." I'm gloriously well to-day, and I've done my full work; perhaps I may manage five days at Dulwich after all. I think I wrote too seriously, and I beg your pardon. You can imagine the horror of being ill, to a person whose whole heart is in what they do, and who has never been obliged to calculate strength, but only time.

Never mind, I'm in glorious spirits now. The Salvator is going on well. I'm not the least afraid of anything. I will conscientiously take care of my health; and, if I lose it then, I can't help it. I should like to leave them all comfortable, and learn to love them, and to live to do some drawing worth doing and to see the Alps; and then I'd leave the world in God's hands who made it. In the meantime I'll order the dinners, and try to be quiet and sensible, if you will go on having patience with me. You'll see me rational and quiet some day. You mustn't expect a great deal of wisdom, in spite of my having begun with hard experiences so young. You know I'm only a little more than twenty; and it takes a long time and a great deal to teach me anything. I assure you I try to be calm and sensible about all things, and if I say foolish things, I don't often do them, as our condition here shows. I never, but for two days in my life, felt so