[Lynton—Sunday, 11 July 1869]
Sunday July 11th We see a nurseryman named Cut Bush and a man from Bleak house advertising in the Times.
Jamie made us laugh a great deal at Low wood where the perfect stillness made every voice echo over the water by talking of an escapade of his one day. He was standing on the edge of the lake in a curve of the road when an old gentleman and his two nieces approached. They could see him with perfect distinctness (he had a portfolio of photographs which he was bringing to show us under his arm) but they had not the least idea they could be heard, “I lay ye half a crown, said the old gentleman that he’s not an artist.” I’ll take you up uncle said the prettiest of the girls. What makes you think so rejoined the uncle; Because of the stoop in his shoulders she replied and when I come up with him I’ll ask him. I’ll lay ye ninepence ye won’t do that said he, but I will said she if you say I may. Sure enough when the party approached the blushing young girl stepped up to him and said, Excuse me Sir, my uncle & I have made a little bet as to your profession if you don’t mind telling us. I shall be glad if you can decide in my favor. Are you an artist “I shall be most happy to decide in your favor” he replied and with a low bow in perfect sobriety departed leaving the shrewd old man who evidently hated to part with his sixpence counting them out in the road to the satisfaction of his niece.
Jamie heard the bell tolling in the little gothic tower of the church just beside us yesterday. Seeing two old men sitting on grave stones in the church-yard he said to one of them What is this bell tolling for. “Please Sir ’tis one of our old friends, Sir, who be just gone to his long ’ome Sir and we was just awaitin’ here Sir till his body do be brought along.”
This form of speech is common here. The old gardener at Dunster, a most interesting old man of his class, speaking of Minehead church which we could barely see on the distant hills said speaking of the Luttrell possessions “They do nown Sir about as far as you can see Sir, from Minehead church Sir as far as we.” and again speaking of the ivy—“He’s a fine plant Sir, he’s a very old plant Sir.”