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The Life, Letters and Work of Frederic Leighton
Volume II

written by "Barrington, Mrs. Russell"
...as she deserves, to the number of her friends, several of whom treat her with really maternal kindness." I can indeed very truly endorse Leighton's good opinion. Dorothy and three of her sisters were worthy of all the interest shown in them. They were entirely self-respecting, conscientious children, most affectionately devoted to one another, and striving their utmost to improve in every sense, and make themselves worthy of the help they received. Naturally they adored their chief benefactor, Leighton. Unfortunately, Dorothy, notwithstanding dramatic gifts, great perseverance and intelligence, lacked charm on the stage. Her very beautiful face and throat were not seen to advantage, as they were hardly in proportion with her figure, which was short and too stiffly set to move gracefully on the stage. Leighton in fun always called her "the little tee-to-tum," or when she wore a large hat, "the mushroom." As he felt vitality waning and mental effort a greater strain, the little family of Pullens had to Leighton somewhat the same resting charm that Italy had in early days, when he turned from the German austerity in study to the relaxation of the dolce far niente of Italian national life. "I go to see them," he used to say, "when I want to let [273]my back hair down and get off the stilts." When Leighton was dying, his sister, Mrs. Sutherland Orr, took Dorothy into his room. He was too ill to speak, but only smiled to her in answer to her saying, "If I have or ever will do anything worth doing, I owe it all to you—everything I owe to you." It is almost unnecessary, as it is distasteful, to mention that this beautiful paternal attitude Leighton displayed towards these orphans was made the subject of ugly gossip—for are there not always the misérables of the world who seek the ugly rather than the beautiful? misinterpreting the beautiful so that it should come within the range of their scandalous arrows, more especially when...

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