Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/358

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We have now £8,150. The collection goes on slowly, but quite steadily, day by day; very well I think for the time of year; but we are in great fear that the owners will not wait.

I wonder owners are not a little awed by possession of so important a treasure, and do not pause a little, before they use it wholly without reference to the people.

25, Church Row, Hampstead,
August 19th, 1875.

To Mrs. N. Senior.

You will have heard from Charles of the sudden collapse of all our schemes for the purchase of the fields. The owners withdrew their offer after five days' notice. We were led to hope that this notice might be reconsidered, when the owner returned; but he confirms it, tells us we must consider the offer absolutely withdrawn, and refused even to receive a guarantee within a week for the full amount. I think the loss very great. The spirit of many of the people who helped us was so beautiful. I shall never forget that.

25, Church Row, Hampstead,
August 21st, 1875.

To Mrs. N. Senior.

We could almost have cried over your letter, dear, dear, Janey; how delightful is your joy in doing what is blessed and helpful. I will think over the generous offer; but I believe now we had better pause, for sufficient time to learn really which are now the best places available, and which those most needing space. These fields, which we knew, being gone, there is no