October 22nd, 1852.
Oh Gertrude! I am so happy, so very very happy. I wish you were with me. You would so love all my beautiful things. I will tell you about them when you come. I have a little room, all to myself. When anything is wrong or unjust down stairs, I have only to come up into my own little room, and it is so still. It is full of such happy recollections. I have my nice books; all my great soul-inspiring books are here. Then I have all my writing things. I write a great deal now. I have such a beautiful book of extracts that I have made. I have usually some flowers; for the ladies are very kind in bringing me them. I have a few poor little plants that I am fond of. Then I have eleven dear little snails. They are such darlings. And then, Gertrude, I have my drawing things. I do not let anyone see my drawings. I do not do much. It is sad to think, after I have done anything, "And, after all your visions of grandeur and beauty, is this all you can produce?" I believe I am very wrong about my drawing; I never draw things for the sake of learning. I try things above me. I have such dreams, both day and night, of what I would do, and when I try what do I see? A little miserable scrap that is not worth looking at. Once I tried a figure. Of course it was frightful. … We have returned Ruskin. I do so miss it. It was so very beautiful. This evening I have found such an extract from "Modern Painters" that I shall copy it for you.
Do you go on with your drawing? I hope you do. Oh Gertrude! is it not a glorious thing to think that a divine thought should descend for ages and ages?