[London—Wednesday, 2 June 1869]
Wednesday June 2d We came to Gad’s Hill Place. Mr. Dickens met us at the end of the footpath to the house, asked us if we did not prefer to go that way, and, wearing all the time an unalloyed face of welcome, carried us by the Swiss Chãlet to the door where stood Mr. & Mrs Collins, Miss Dickens & Miss Hogarth ready to receive us. Nothing surely could have been more cordial than our welcome; it was unspeakably grateful, and as beautiful as the face of Nature. We did not go inside the house for an hour but walked about lost in admiration over the loveliness of the lawns & ivy & flowers, then we had Tea out of doors and part of the company played “Aunt Sallie” until time to dress for dinner. After dinner we talked & played games till bed time.