The other day as it rained A. & I turned from the main street into the shelter of the Church. We looked for little more, but we found ourselves in a quaint but really beautiful old building, shaped something like a ship, it seemed, with a dark ceiling of oak, & strange old carvings wrought in the black pews & rafters. The sound of the sea might be heard by the congregation & there was something touching in the thought that generations of fisher folk had knelt here within the hearing of its voice & prayed for safety on its waters, & prosperity in their fishing. There is more of quaintness, perhaps, than of beauty; as though the worshippers were poor people who could not afford much more ornament than a slab of graven slate when they died.

As we passed out, we were stopped by some piece of information volunteered by the caretaker; an elderly woman in black who sat near the door. Suddenly she dropped her professional voice, & asked us if we had ever had friends who lived here? We answered naturally, that we had lived here ourselves for some 13 summers; "Ah" she cried & there was what is rare, the thrill of real emotion in her voice, "You are Mr. Stephen. Let me shake you by your hand my dear. Sit down a moment & talk to me."

We sat & for some half hour or so, she poured forth her memories, her constant remembrance & gratitude, & her joy to see some of the old family at least, once more. 'It sets the heart beating in my body' she cried, & wiped away a tear which wept for many sorrows. She had heard of our coming, & had asked every visitor to the church for news of us; even as we came in she was speaking our name to a couple of strange sight seers. She was not, I should guess, a woman of any special refinement but it would be hypercritical not to see that in this instance she was genuinely & deeply touched. To have left so deep an impression on a mind not naturally sensitive to receive it, so that after eleven years tears will start at the thought of all the beauty & charity that are recalled by a name [Julia Stephen] seems to me perhaps the purest tribute which can be paid to the nobility of a life which did not seek for any other fame.[ ]

And as I heard those humble words of the love that one woman felt for another I thought that no acclamation of praise throughout the whole world could sound so sweet, or could mean so much.It has become the habit for me to spend my afternoons in solitary tramping. A great distance of the surrounding country have I now traversed thus, & the map of the land becomes solid in my brain. Twice these walks were taken in the teeth of heavy rain storms. I walked, it seemed, toward the very front of the torrent, up among grey hills. Both times it swept like driving smoke across the sea, & all the cheerful shapes & colours evaporated. One could just see the hazy outlines of the hills which lifted themselves out of the mist, but the sweep of the bay filled almost instantly with dense vapours.At Knills monument I had to take my bearings, & repeated "A blinding mist came down & hid the land!" & reflected how easily I might share Lucy's fate. The delight of the country is that all moods of the air & the earth are natural, & therefore fit & beautiful. There is nothing incongruous about a wet day among the hills, as there is when decent streets & brick houses are exposed to the shock of an uncivilised storm. One may fancy even, a storm rejoicing among these granite hills when the wind & rain beat upon them as though they loved the conflict. But the sunny days give one, after all, a more spontaneous pleasure, the scents of the earth & the budding gorse are sucked out of them by the heat, & all the land glows with a mellow August radiance. The air becomes of a richly luminous quality; you see all things through an amber coloured medium.

Up on the hill today the only sound we heard was the tap tap of the stone breakers as they chipped the granite blocks, & we noticed the curious creamy richness of the stone pit in which they stood; the sun every now & then, making it gleam silver.