Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/186

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166
chap.
LIFE OF OCTAVIA HILL

parting at London Bridge— a year not lost to any of us. I think we can feel something at least has been done, since then. We feel a little stronger, surer, better, fuller of hope, more able to bear patiently any shock or storm that may come. . . .

My love to little Florence, for whose dear sake I am kind to every dog and cat I see, and even love them a little. I protected a little cat from some teasing children on Tuesday, by nursing her for an hour !

November 21st, 1859.

To Miss Baumgartner.

You must not (in charity please, you must not) contrast your letters with mine. Depend on it, those whose minds are most healthily toned write, more often, true and sympathetic accounts of facts than about faiths, principles and theories. It is so invigorating to be brought in contact rather with God's facts than with men's fancies; and, though the question "What do all these things mean?" "What should they teach us?" is indeed a deeper one than "What are they?" yet one is too apt, if one asks the question too often, to lose sight of the facts in their simple existence ; to see only their relation to men, at last only to oneself.

I spent an hour last Tuesday evening at the house of one of my pupils (W.M. College pupils). Her mother had begged that I would go. They live at the very top of a house near one of the London markets, rather a wretched neighbourhood. Sarah, my pupil, a quiet girl of fourteen, walked with me. Her mother, prettily dressed, opened the door, carrying in her arms the baby, dressed in its little white frock, and coral