Very fine all day. Letter from J.B.E. to whom wrote.
Worked at the 2 Camapagnas, S. Sabbas, Ζαγώρι & Φιλάτες ― & improved all. “Mr. Jones” called ― to “take leave” ―― so I am really left alone in the Coffee room of this huge place.
At 2 I was seized with incapacity to work, ― & foolishness of high spirits. ― So off I walked ― all along to Hersham, & to Esher ― (how beautiful is the home on a hill with hanging woods close to the village!) ― & to Claremont, where I left cards on the 3 R.H.s ― Paris, Chartres & Joinville ― writing a mistake on each card ― half English ― half French. Walked all the way back, by 5 ― & dinner ― with Cockayne very loquacious.
Near Hersham I heard a running behind me ― & turned round ― it was a small boy with a little sack over his head. I went on ― but he overtook me ― (I was walking slowly, having hurt my foot.) A rather impy child ― oldish ― but looking straight to ones face. Forthwith he spoke
|“Boy” ― I say ― ain’t it been a nice day?||E.L. Yes indeed.|
|(out of breath) “O! I’ve been a running so!||E.L. Are you coming from school|
|“School! No I don’t go there now. I’ve been.||― Can you read & write then|
|Quite enough. Now I works.||What do you work at|
|At Corn ――― (incomprehensible[)]||What?|
|At frightening the birds from the corn.||But there is no corn now, ――|
|No corn! What can you be thinking of! Why its all just a coming up! ――――||O! I fancied you meant ripe corn.|
|Ripe corn! ― (loftily.) ― it gets dark at 4 now.||― No. half past 4. What is the name of that River?|
|I don’t know. I only know he’s a river, & he runs into the Thames. ―||
But you live near here don’t you?
|O yes! by them poplars ― but I never heard the name of the river: only it can’t be the Thames, for that runs by Walton ― & Moulsey2 ― & Kingston. ―||
What do you earn a day?
|6 pence. ― 3 shillings a week! & I buy all my own clothes! Look at these shoes!||Well they are very good I think. & did you buy that red handkf too?|
|No ― that was given me.||
How old are you?
|I’m 8. But tomorrow I’m 9 because you see it’s my birthday||
And what does your father do?
|Father works out, he gets 13 shilling [in the next page:] a week he does. Mother don’t go out at all.
Then there’s my brother as is 16 . & 2 little sisters: & Aunt Sophy ― & Aunt Polly ― O! My! if there ain’t Bill & Jim trying to make the old pig go to the ―――
(Exit little boy suddenly ― just as the artist was going to give him 6d.)
[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]