Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/180

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160
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

and He helps us to carry them out. If this is not what He means me to do, may He, for He alone can, help me to give it up ; but if, as now I think, He has been preparing me by multitudes of things, childhood in the country, girlhood in town, hard work, most precious and direct teaching of drawing, sympathy with people round, affection for and gratitude to Ruskin, and an ever deepening admiration for him, and knowledge of his plans, if, I say, God has been preparing me by this, and much more, first to love Nature and Art, second, to care that all should love Nature and Art, and third to see how to help them to do so ; will He not too give me humility to take the place He ordains for me in this great work, tho' it be the lowest of all, faith to believe I can help, and oh such energy and earnestness ? I am very happy indeed now. . . . Ruskin was particularly pleased with the bull's head. ... I believe one of the things that made me so unhappy on Saturday was that I had been reading the "Political Economy of Art" ; and I could not help thinking of the passage about the great man, beginning, "He can be kind to you, but you can never more be kind to him." And then too I had wanted to take home a very good account to dearest Mama and Minnie ; and he did not criticise it altogether ; and in spite of all the praise he gave it, I felt how miserably incomplete it was. But I am sure I have progressed ; and perhaps the dissatisfaction is also a gain. But this they could not feel, and all the way home, and even now, I can't help crying at the thought of it ; and the less they show they're disappointed, the more I feel it ; and sometimes Mama seems to think Ruskin capricious ; and I am certain he is not. Well it is all over now.