Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/347

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making it pay, or waiting for the Bill. Of course I said by all means; and now, if they can but purchase, I think that it will give new life to their future there, to see some tangible and radical reform actually achieved.

14 Nottingham Place,
April 19th, 1875.

To Miss Harris

On Tuesday a batch of orders was issued by Dr. —— which (or rather all that grow out of that fact) gives me a good deal of trouble,—more I believe, a great deal, than it ought. I believe that, if I could make up my mind that I see the right thing pretty distinctly, and can do it and leave the result, it would be far better; but I am apt to go over and over the subject, hoping to think out better measures, brooding over it. I know that the way to succeed is to think perpetually of things, till one suddenly sees the straight way through the difficulties; but it becomes, sometimes, very wearing; and it is useless, whenever the only straight way is that of waiting till the right has time to win the day by its own innate force. I fancy that is the case here; our action has to be next to nothing; time, extreme silence, and great patience will secure the final accomplishment of whatever may be best with regard to the poor houses. I need not mind if little plans of mine fail wholly; still less need I tremble if dangers threaten them. There may be fifty reasons why it may be best for them all to sink to nothing. But it is not they and their outward forms that I have lived for, but all they are meant to help to achieve; and this, well thou knows, must succeed if I and they are annihilated.