Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/356

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Tortworth Court, Tatfield, R.S.O.,
August 3rd, 1875.

To Mrs. Senior.

I feel as if you ought to know what we are doing and deeply thinking of; yet I have been afraid to write to you for fear you should tire yourself by helping us. Now, however, that "Macmillan" is out, I fancy you are sure to hear of our work; and also I have increasing longing for the sense of your sympathy. Do you not know how one turns with longing for such sympathy, when vistas of effortful work look interminable, and when so many people "begin to make excuse." I send you then the papers with my love; and I hope you will see "Macmillan"; but do not help, except with loving sympathy, this time, please.

I came down here last night. It is infinitely peaceful, and Lady Ducie is very sweet and loving; and all is so very quiet. But I feel leaving my fields so that I could almost cry.[1]

We have got on very well, better than anyone could have expected. We have collected £9,500 in little more than three weeks; but the vacation has come upon us with its inevitable pause; and it becomes a question whether the owners will give us time to try, after it.

How strange it seems to me (does it not to you?) that the momentary difficulty is to persuade the owners that there is a chance of anyone (any body of people in London or England), being in the least likely to be inclined to give the money for a place which must

  1. This refers to the movement for purchasing the Swiss Cottage Fields for the public.