Monthly Archives: December 2008

There is no entry for 31 December 1858 in Edward Lear’s diary. Posting will resume tomorrow.

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Thursday, 30 December 1858

Rose before 8 & shewed G. the Pincian, & went to one or two shops. ― Lovely, bright & cold. ― Drew hard, more or less, all day, at 2 drawings of Petra. Beresford & Bright came, & a Rev. Boileau Elliot, & Sam, & Pizzerani. ― Letters from F.L. & Sir J. & Lady Reid, all kind. Happier. At 3.50 walked by River to P. Molle, & back by road. Dined at the old Φαλκῶνε ((“Falcone,” probably a restaurant.)) ―. ― In the evening, went to S.W.C. ― but fell asleep. ―

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Wednesday, 29 December 1858

One of the many odd days in these times ― curiously queer. Fine cold, bright. After breakfast ― (always nice, now Giorgio is here, ―) came the man to hang the studio, & hammering & fussing went on all day. Also old Pizzerani, ὁ ὁποῖος ((Who.)) nearly demented me. Intanto  I drew mainly at a view of S. Sabbas. Later came Storey & Perkins ― & later still, S.W.C. But the “rapping” had given me bad headache. I walked with the Americans, & dressing, went to S.W.C. to dine. But I could not go to Pantaleone’s. ― Came home at 11. Gio. asleep, ― & cross ― anent his finger.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Tuesday, 28 December 1858

E. Lear, Monastery of Mur Sabbas, (or San Sabbas,) on the Kedron, between Jerusalem and the Dead Sea.

Rose at 7 or 8 ― apparently gloomy for wet ― but it cleared, & grew colder. Went to various near errands ―: breakfast ― then paid some bills, & to McBeans ―where they say my boxes will come shortly. Then back, & drew more or less all day at Seymour’s S. Sabbas. Clowes came, & [H ] & Stewart & Blackwell. Also the men began to hang the gray cotton on the walls. ―

At 4 called on Lady Carmichael, Miss Tullok, ― Hay, & others, & walked with S.W.C. ― with whom at 6 I dined pleasantlich. ― At 10 home to bed.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Monday, 27 December 1858

XXX10 ― o dear! how horrible! ― Festa, ((“Holiday” in Italian.)) so nothing was to be got or done. I drew at one of the Bethanys. ― But a deep black bitter melancholy destroys me. ― Paid the Hotel bill ― & at 2 or 3 P.W. came ― & afterwards Mr. Palmer. ―

Then I called at the Gaetani Palace ― Duke & Duchess Sermoneta ― she is dying slowly. ― Returned, & found S.W.C. was out riding! ― Dressed, & to Col. Northey’s ― pleasant party.

S.W.C. afterwards.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Sunday, 26 December 1858

Rose later ― cloudy ― & wetty at times. After breakfast ― (as comfortable as things can get to be ―) went to S.W.C. ― & walked with him to church. Great crowd ― & disagreeable somehow. Yet the service is well done, & particularly the singing. Walk back with S. ― & then call on P.W. & on to Marshalls’ ― with whom lunch: curious people. ― Then on Mr. Hay ― & so, at 4 ― to S. at the church door ―& walk round the Borghese Gardens. Afterwards, called at Lady Stratford’s.

So ― home: & oversaw G.’s writing & dressed, & went to the Knights. C. & Helen. C. is as of old ― suspicious, yet downright. ― H. is much changed, & not for the better; harder & bitter, ― though I like her for old memory’s sake. Isabella tonight was a fainter image of former-life=Isabella. ― So, at 11, I came away ― unsure if I had not bored all three.

And so we are in Νεακερκύρα again.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Saturday, 25 December 1858

X9 ― which is sorrow. ― Breakfast comfortable. Gio doing all in his power to make me so. Wrote to Ann: a long letter ― & to Col. Clowes. At 12 went to S.W.C. ― Day inclined to rain. Went with Giorgio to S. Pietro, which greatly pleased the Σουλιοτ, ― & then, (the weather cleared,) by Lungara, (buying Caldi rosti  ―) to S.P. in Montorio, ((San Pietro in Montorio.)) & Villa Doria Panfili. There, a dense melancholy pervaded me ― part of other day memories here, part of Corfu. The Swans, the peacocks, the pines & the gardens! ― Returned we by Trastevere & Ponte 4 Capi, & to the Colosseo ― “un miracolo” said Gio. ―& so by S.P. in Vincoli, ((San Pietro in Vincoli.)) & S.M. Maggiore, ((Santa Maria Maggiore.)) to the Scalinata. ((Scalinata della Trinità dei Monti.)) ―
Dressed & dined with S.W.C. ― Arkwright only there. Very good dinner. Arkwright not “intellectual” but a good kind of man. ― Came away at 10½ to Νεακερκύρα. ((“New Corfu,” as his home must have seemed to Lear after Giorgio’s arrival.))

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Friday, 24 December 1858

Rose earlyish. Gray & fine. Determined to work, if possible. ― So I did: ―& toughly worried away on Masada. But the people who came to hang the room with gray, bulled me, ― all the worse that they mismeasured the whole, & went away, having done nought. While I was in a great rage , the bell rang ― & lo GIORGIO KOKALI! ― “Freddo son ― signor ―” ((“I’m cold, Sir.”)) said the Σουλιοτ ―. ((Suliot.))

HOW REJOICED I WAS TO SEE THAT GOOD MAN CANNOT BE WRITTEN!

He went away to get his things, & I went on working, & I hope, thanking God. ― At 4 he returned, & I went with him to various shops ―afterwards dining at the Belle Arti with Williams. Thence I went to S.W.C. & sate with him till 9 ― jangling at times, but afterwards happier & I at last saying God bless you. ― Then I came home, & sate talking with the worthy Σουλιοτ till 10½.

Indeed, indeed, this is a great blessing.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Thursday, 23 December 1858

Bright ―: cold within, warm summer without. Rose at 7 ― but chilled, & not well: yet I hope it is “stomach” only. After sundry shoppings &c., breakfast (with J. Morris,) at “Degradation” café. S.W.C. was asleep. So I began two Bethanys. & at 1 went to S., who got out for the first time on the Pincian. ― I was not a little uneasy, & feared fever for myself. Worked from 2.30 ― to 4. ― Then walked by the river. ― At 5.30 to the Belle Arti ― & dined with P.W. pleasantly. Went to the P. Office ― no diligence.

Sat with S.W.C. till 9.30 then came “home.” The Proud Porter  officiating. Kind note from H.K. ― What a queer life is this! (Letter from Jane Husey Hunt: very kind but, sad. Both Mr. J. Hofer, & the clergyman brother are dead. ―)

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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Wednesday, 22 December 1858

Woke at 6. & rose by candlelight, resolving hard, if possible to set myself in a good groove. Lit my own fire, & managed papers & letters, & things for drawing ― & by the time I was washed & dressed it was 9. Went to Cagiati & bought fenders, & to other places. S.W.C. not up yet. Breakfast at filthy Café Greco alone. Came in & began Penrhyn’s Masada. Called on Beresford & Conyers ― who are living below me. ― Worked again. ― Delightful letters from my dear Ann! ― from Mrs. Empson, & Mrs. Clive! ― Huge joy & resurrection of spirits. ― Drew at Masada, after a visit to S.W.C. & McBean &c. ― At 3.30 ― walk by river ― very lovely afternoon ― returning by the P. Molle ((An alternative name for Ponte Milvio.)) road, met P. Williams, & walked with him. S.W.C. ― To Huskisson’s at 6.30 ― Miss Elliot, & Mr. Clarkvery pleasant dinner ― nice little woman. Afterwards Elliots & Ogles. Singing. S.W.C. again, I came to no. 9 at 11 ― & made the [Porte], light fire, & empty slop.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3.]

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