Monthly Archives: May 2012

Saturday, 31 May 1862

Jourdain Steamer ―.

By 10 ― I got on board the French M.I. Steamer. A vast many passengers.

Major Webber Smith, cousin of G. Simeon.
Captn. Bolton
Captn. Ellis.
[Mrs.] Rhind.
Lieut. Jones ― R.E.
Lieut. Thompson R.A.
Ali Bey ― with heaps of suite.
Hekikyàn Bey & wife & sister.
Heaps of Levantines
Ditto French.
The 2 Polish princes Sangonski
their Doctor.
Mrs. Ives Wryght & daughter.
Babies ad infinitum.

The day was quite calm & fine & warm. Sicily in sight at sunset.

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

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Friday, 30 May 1862


Ὁ ἵδιος ὁ καιρὸς.[1] ―― After breakfast at 9 ― paid little bills ― & got some new φοτογραφίας. ― Also took my place in the Jourdain ― Mess.geries Imp.les for Marseilles 10£. It may come tonight ― or tomorrow. ― Crossed to “Isola” ― i.e. Senglea, but could not get boat models ready made, tho’ I found their makers. ― Returned, καὶ ἐκοιμήθην.[2]

At 2. or 3 ― dined well, ― for this Hotel is really a blessing. ― 3.30 ― had my hair cut, by a benevolent barber: talked with him on Malta generally. He says there is gt. povertà at times in the country ― winter days &c. which prevent the gain of that one day’s “paniotto.”[3] He allows ― in my moderately stating that “where there are such abundance of gt. churches I had not expected there was much poverty” ― that many are de trop ― specially Mousta ―tho’ he said “a gt. many were made by the Cavallieri in other times & states of things, & thus remain.” When I spoke of the good conduct of Maltese abroad ― (Ionian Isles &c. ―) gently ― he was delighted ― & said ― yes ―  “it is truly a good people ― so numerous & so quiet ― & they could be governed by a lifted finger.” ― But said I, a population never so good, would not remain so (poor & complaining as you say it is at times,) if its govt. were bad?” ――― ‘Indeed no ― said he ― & only cattivi sono  chi si lamentono del governare Inglese ― il che, con qualunque sua mancanza ―  e veramente giusta, e amante tal che puol ― di giustizia”[4] ― wh. words ― I thought worth remembering “[in ink].”[5] Could one or two specialities of race ― vulgarities ― be modified: ― & one or two ditto of [priestcraft] on either side ― “twére well.” ―


Gave 1/ to this “Donna” ― for having spoken crossly to her as to not doing the room properly ― wh. 1/. affected her mind amiably. Walked in a beautiful terrace above ―. ― At 6.30 ― to the Barracca ― at 7 to Legh’s; ― drew pictures for little Herbert, dined with them. Long pro= & anti=catholic discussions: they have an unhappy life. Home 2. ― Back by 10 ― & sate up till 10. No steamer.


[1] Same weather (NB).

[2] And slept (NB).

[3] Lear probably means “pagnotta,” i.e. “loaf of bread.”

[4] The only bad ones are those who complain of the English government ― which, whatever its deficiencies ― is truly just, and loves, as far as possible ― justice.

[5] Or rather “inink”, but the first part of the word is blotted.

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

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Thursday, 29 May 1862

Wonderful clear & hot weather now-a-days.

Madras girl on the Barracca. ―[1]

Rose at 6 or 7: drew a little. Breakfasted a little. Slept a little. Heard the Church bells a little. It is noon a little.

Eh! σήμερον ᾽ς τὴν Ἀνάλειψιν![2]

Later, called on the Burke’s ―: of Miss B. my opinion is the same as before, only better: of Majr. B. better also ― a crust of sorrow the bother of eternally moving to & fro, once seen beyond, & he would come out a pleasant & good “Irish Gentleman.”

Walked & drew on the beautiful Baracca: & walked into the Φλωριὰν gardens & thereabouts. At 7 ― crossed to Port Manuel, & found “Gentle” Curzon, who was as active ― in order to shew me “points of view” ― as he could be were I a Duke. ― A truly fine lad is Curzon: well-balanced in mind & physical. But o Lord! the Mess dinner! ― there were Arbuckle & Legh ― ――― (I fear Legh is “sad & strange,”) & a Col. Montagu ― & the Colonel (Elrington,) of the Rifles, who, quâ Regt. ― seem to mourn in dress.

Παραπολὺ[3] food & drink ― tho’ all good: particklar ― Moselle [Beveredge] cup ― wh. brings back Knowsley days.

― O! how all this writing seems trash since Ann’s death who read & commented so much on all I ever wrote! ―

After dinner, ― galleria, & music below: one Capt. Vandeleur, a nice fellow ― & εκφουσιασtically[4] musical.

(The difficulty of smoking: ― I wonder if any one saw me pocket the cigarette a subaltern so amiably made me, but for which all my ingenuity failed to get light? ―)

At 11.30 ― Legh still at Cards ― I came away with Curzon & Col. Montagu ― who is the “Reids’ Montagu.[”] They were both wonderfully amiable & kind.

home by 12.20.


[1] Clearly added later between the two lines, perhaps it should be read after the “drew a little” in the next line.

[2] Today at Ascension (NB).

[3] Very much (NB).

[4] Enthusiastically (NB).

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

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Wednesday, 28 May 1862

O dear how nice & hot! ― would one could live in such a hatmosphere always!  Rose at 6 ― & drew at the Barracca till 9.30[.] Sprawly rambly calls all about ― no English nor French boat yet telegraphed. ―

Bought φώτογραφς &c. ― “Good Lord” ― as Mr. Parker used to say ― the noise of these bells!

The sense of life ― “out of the day & night” ― comes leadenly over me at times. No Ann. ― Yet for 40 years she was the only light I had. ― If there were no other world, or if we could not meet again, such continuance of effort would be the most rubbishing “coincidence.” No: ― I am sure there is another life ― tho’ I may not enjoy it overmuch. I lunched at 2: & the Armenian dined.

After witch ― as I was a reedin & a enjoyin of the heat ― came Legh ― & the Leicester Curzon: ― both them kindly folk ― but the latter always appearing to me as an A. No. 1 gentleman, like an old Norman or what not. ― I must needs dine with him tomorrow.

From 4.30, to 7.40 drew in the Barracca ― the dreamy quiet haze of the scene after the sun is gone is a wonderful beauty.

The bells of the city make a vast fuss.

Supped ― & afterwards sate with Alishân the Armenian. ― Bed at 10.30.

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

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Tuesday, 27 May 1862

Scirocco ― gray. Rose at 7. ― Breakfast. dawdle. ― No telegram yet from the Vectis. ― Drew a little on the Baracca, but the sun came out & it was too hot. Wandered round the clear-walled-city, & came in at 12. At 1. Lunched, & talk & afterwards a Cigar with an [][1] Armenian, one Vincent M. Aleshân, interpreter &c. to the Court of Judicature at Constantinople, a pleasant fellow. ― Slept till 4.

Went to the Baracca, & drew, piuttosto[2] unmolestedly ― till 7. A vastly beautiful scene is that Senglea.

Came back: dressed ― as far as I can: & at 8 went to Majr. Burke’s. Lo ― the 4th (Miss Burke being the 3rd) was Captn. Arbuckle! ― but he is grown small & withered, & has been in all the China War. Majr. B. seems what the world calls  ― a ‘disappointed’ man ― & said little but Caustic, sarcastic, yet semi-witty Irishisms. Miss B. is [cordially] a gentle nice woman, but suffering from illness ― & ― alquanto, I fancy, ― from her brother’s talk. Quanto a noi[3] ― I could only “talk,” or be “silent.” so, as I thought the latter the least well-bred, I “talked” ― although, generally, bosh.

No music: good dinner. ―

Came away at 10.30 ― or 10.45. ―

Ἐτελειώθησαν ταύτας τᾶς ημέρας.
καἰ ακόμη δὲν παύσομαι τίποτες ― διὰ νὰ ἢμαι ‘ς τό σπίτι μοῦ καὶ ἣσυχος.[4]



[1] Lear has blotted a word, probably a wrong spelling of “Armenian.”

[2] Rather.

[3] As for us.

[4] These days are gone. and still I haven’t stopped at all ― to be at my home, and peaceful (NB).

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

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Monday, 26 May 1862

Rose at 7. Scirocco. Dull & overcast. Breakfast ― not very nice. Muir’s ― & P. & O. office: the Vectis may come on Friday or Saturday: place 10£. As the Sicilian boats are slow & bad ― & could save no time ― better wait.

Cloudier, & rain boding. Walked out at 9: walls & 40fications: Florian gardens & bastion. Ξεσχυριον ― boles being bad ― on a “curtain.” ― New road ― new harbor being made. ―― rain: progress slow: ― walked round to Senglea ― interesting streets & town: then to S. Angelo, & so took a boat below the N. Hospital & crossed to Valletta. Pleasant semi Arab boatman. Sponges & Malta stone.

At the Inn by 3.30. At 4 ― dined. One Downes ― of the Commissariat next me ― pleasant enough. Afterwards slept. At 7. To Barracca & drew ― a scene of ultra perfect calm marine city [clarity]! “a clear walled city by the sea.” ―――

Went to Major Burke ― who had called while I was at dinner. Then to Leghs, & sate till 9. Certainly ― so far ― Malta is not ennuyeux. The Marathon is gone.

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

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Sunday, 25 May 1862

Some rolling to & fro in the night, & at 4 it rained & was cloudy. At 5.20 rose ― sea a little rough. We are nearing Malta, & at 6 close to it: I have not been there since Harry L. died: since in 1854 I came away with Fletcher. In harbor by 7. By 8 I had got all my things together, & received back £14.10 of my passage=money. (10/ I had eaten & drunk;) & had taken leave of good & agreable Capt. McArthur. Came to Hotel Imperial had a bath, & an ἔτζι κ’ ἔτζι[1] breakfast, & am now in abeyance as to when I go hence ― by Italian Steamer tomorrow ― viâ Messina & Palermo: by Messageries Imperiales, or by the P. & B. boat on Saturday or Sunday next.

At 11. English church ― thin attendance & abominable performance. Old Clews ½ hour sermon ˇ[(32 minutes)] worse than bad Archdn. Le Mesurier, old one he is ― far the best of the staff.

Afterwards, a good-natured Officer of the 3rd ― shewed me where Legh lived, whom I found at home ― nice & friendly enough, & talked of Harry, Louisa, & F.L. nicely: asking me to dine at 7.30. ―

Back to Inn, lunch: & then to the Club, where I read papers: ― interesting ― but disagreeable dispute between Palgrave & others, on account of P.’s criticisms published by the Internatl. Exh. Higgins, Woolner, Millais, & H. Hunt write ― Daddy’s the best letter of all ― in spirit & sense. The elder Mr. Leake is gone at 90. Home & slept. 6 ― P.M. to the upper Barracca ― wonderfully lovely. 7.20 to Leghs. Little nice boy. Dinner. Mrs. L. her mother  & sister ― (semi Maltese ―) pleasant. Afterwards ― singing. Came away at 11.

Great excitement here about the Papa Rè ― & the Bp. of Malta who has gone to Rome. All the Bp.s are meeting there to choose a new P. says L.

[1] So so (NB)

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

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Saturday, 24 May 1862

Mirror-like & bright sea. Rose at 7. Not well.

Breakfast ― 8.30 as usual. Did nothing all day, (boles very unwell.) ― but sit in the “ξεσχώριον τὸ ἂσχημον,”[1] & read Bulwer’s ― Alice or the Mysteries[2] ― bosh. ―

Lady V. at lunch: also the little Pharisee McNeile girl. Sunset cloudy. Wrote a note to the Captn. who says I can have back my money ― if I choose to stop at Malta ― if I state my wish on paper: ― for they not only it seems linger at Malta, but go to Messina & Palermo ― & I hear it whispered, are not likely to be at Lpool before the 11th or 12th ― owing to some Dock arrangements. The Liverpool young men play cards & are not pleasant in their lives ― tho’ undivided.

The Capt.’s story about Major Veseys baby ― Majr. V. came & asked if Capt. McA. Would take charge of “his daughter to England ― going without a servt.?[”] ― to which the Capt. assented. At the moment of going a baby 15 months old was brought & left: wholly alone. Baby Vesey was nursed by the Capt. & the Stewards all thro’ the voyage!! ― (Had a Greek done this!!!!!![)]

Also, passage was taken last voyage for an invalide lady ―― it was Miss Henderson ― whom they got on board bound & gagged ― but she turned into a raging lunatic ― &, as we know, was so long before she left Corfu! ― Of course no passengers would come in at Malta. (Had a Greek done this!!!!!![)]

I asked the immense fat stewardess if she were ever ill? ― “Sir I am highly feevered by the Almeety ―” said she ― [“]few is so highly feevered!” ―― [”]But Sir, is your Leddy ― the daughter of Bp. Heber[3] a his widdy? & is it true that a Christian leddy could marry a heathen Greek! And such a backsliding & lowering after being joined to one as  had written such hymns as he did ― which Sir, I know by heart & find it my preeviledge to do so.” ―

O religion of Glasgow!


[1] Nina writes: “Ξεχώρι is a village in Messiniaki Mani, up on the mountains, its name meaning “Outer Village”, but I am guessing that he means to say he is sitting on the deck or something.”

[2] Edward Bulwer-Lytton’s Alice, or The Mysteries. A Sequel to Ernest Maltravers (1838).

[3] Reginald Heber (21 April 1783 – 3 April 1826) was the Church of England’s Bishop of Calcutta, who is now remembered chiefly as a hymn-writer (Wikipedia).

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

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Friday, 23 May 1862

Rose at 7. Clear & lovely weather. Loading Currants al solito.[1] Breakfast. At 9.30. went ashore with Messrs. Duckworth ― Buckley ― (or Morrison?) Jeffrey & Watson ―― & hiring a carriage ― drove for 3 hours in a giro[2] on the the [sic] Island ― most exquisite little place it is! We stopped at Count Lanzi’s house & garden & went over the latter ― where the Pomegranates were delicious. Arrived at Zante city, I left my [][3] companions, & went to see Lindsay ― whom, with a nice ladylike wife & little boy it was a pleasure to see. He was always a most hospitable fellow. Came aboard at 2 P.M. Dawdled till 4. ―

Dinner, alquanto hurried. At 5 ― we are about to go. Wonderful “pouring forth” of beauty & evening light! sunshine in these lands!! ― If one could but put away that early deeply=graven idea frivolous idea of “settling”! ―― Or rather ― could one but have the power to decide whether bight color or atmosphere & search after knowledge are to be weighed against the chances (or certainties,) of later colder years of age & want & bad climate? ――

― if, ― following those ―― these should straightway be forsworn? ― The elder Woodley ― agent-fat-friendly ― now permeates the ship & says “Ta-ta!” ― to all ― obsequious kindly.

Somehow however, I fancy I shall try to leave this ship at Malta, as their goings seem so very uncertain as to time. 5.15. we are off: to go by the S. East side of Zante, ― wh. was very pretty, Κεφαλόνια being seen over the flat parts of the plain. Later, a bank of cloud gave fear of a windy night ― but ˇ[but] no wind came. Supper at 9. Bed at 10. Slept tolerably but boles are all wrong.


[1] As usual.

[2] Tour.

[3] One word I cannot read.

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

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Thursday, 22 May 1862

Rose at 6 ― 6.30. No use in going upstairs among the slop & moppyness of cleaning. Cargo being taken in, in vast crowds of currant-barrels. The beauty of Zante! & the morning is clear & bright beyond words! ― Chiarenza too, & the unvisited Elis & Arcadia opposite! ―― If I had “money” now & were quiet of all care, methinx I could go ahead with the greatest delight, ― increasing age having nothing to do with one’s discomforts. Breakfast, & afterwards walked up & down. Found 11 ― Lady V. on deck: & then the Captain, who ― woe is me! ― says “we can’t go to day ―” as they bring the Cargo so slowly. So another day goes, & I murmur & am irritated, ― but less than might be. Lunch. Ἔπειτα, walking again, & converse, at 4 dinner. Capt. McArthur dining with us, & conversation pleasant ― for tho’ the main lot of the party are vile, the Capt. is an extremely gentlemanly  pleasant man. After “the Ladies” ― i.e. Lady Βαλσαμάκι & Miss McNeile left ― various Zante merchants came, a Count Φλαμπουριάρι among others. From these I learned that “Lindsay” is here still ― but Edward Simpson is dead. I will go to see L. tomorrow. 7.30. They are all gone off in a boat: ― I, more peaceable & quiet than I had expected to be. Supper & converse, & bed at 10.30. ―


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

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