Page:Life of Octavia Hill as told in her letters.djvu/82

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Ladies' Guild,
December 2nd (1855?).

To Emily.

I am writing with my consolidated[1] table before me. I do hope you will be able to see it before it goes to Ruskin's. Mama will I daresay tell you how I intend to spend my birthday. Do think of me at half past one, if you know in time.

Mr. Maurice asks how you are continually, and is very kind. He is gone to Cambridge, and will not be at Lincoln's Inn to-morrow. Is it not a pity? All goes on very well here; the children are very dear. I wish you could be with us to-morrow. I want you to see Ruskin. I trust it will be a fine day. … I have undertaken to teach the two C.'s writing and arithmetic. It is so nice. I am very happy, everyone is so kind. I am delighting in the thought of to-morrow. I do not know whether any other day would be the same, if one thought about it; but it does seem to me as if one's birthday held the same relation to other days that Mr. Maurice says a ruler does to his people,—as if it gathered up all the meaning of those other days, embodied the meaning of all of them; and so, if things happen, as it seems probable they will, I shall feel that, as, last year, I had to learn the value of the Church service read by Mr. Maurice, so this year I have to learn how precious it is when read by anyone, now that he is away; as last year I was to feel what a blessed thing a home was, where all members of it were

  1. After the glass had been painted, a hard composition was put at the back to make it solid enough to bear a weight. Sometimes it broke in the process, and the painting had to be done over again.