[Bonchurch—Friday, 22 July 1859]

Friday 22d Received a note from Dr Mackay in which he urged us to drive to Gad’s Hill saying, “it is the prettiest village in England & if you go you will bless me for the hint.” So at once we started though it was a warm day. The Dr was right, we wandered about the old church, studying the leaning stones upon Gad’s Hill and asking after Old Mortality but the mortal hours fled so fast that bound to this beauty as we were t’was time to return the old Sun Dial sand and we walked through the thatched roofed cottages with their vine-draped porches slowly then reluctantly stepped into the carriage to drive through golden fields and flowing hedges, fanned too by sea-breezes all the way home. Strolled to the beach in the afternoon. Met a poor woman making lace. Sent some home. Nice call from Mr Peel in the evening. Told us about Maurice and gave us a letter to see the myrtles of a friend in Shanklin. Knows this island thoroughly.

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