Monthly Archives: December 2012

Wednesday, 31 December 1862

Gray ― & damp ― & at times a few light showers ― but warm & pleasant[,] a “nice summer day” ― ‘ς τὴν Ἀγγλίαν.[1]

Drew ― uncertainly ― the smaller 30 tyrants Pisa &c. They are ˇ[an] odd sort of drawings ― inasmuch as they recall vividly other places & times ― yet [have] no “upward aspirations” as vorx of hart. Possibly they may be all unsold: nevertheless ― there 60 must be done ― even if they be unsold. ―

At 3.30. walked to One gun battery ― to make the annual=traditional sketch. Saw heaps of people ―― tht road is a bore always ― διὰ τουτο.[2] Also the ἐξοχότατος[3] who stopped & was amiable ― πρέπει νὰ ὁμολογήσῃ[4] ― his manner is always delightful. He (royally ―) asked after Lushington, & said Mrs. F.’s father “had often boxed his cars” ― & her mother was “an extraordinarily beautiful woman.” I wish he knew I had had to ask C.F. about F.L.’s paper in the Times.

Met Mr. Baillie ― the extinct Duke ― who returned with me ― a pleasant & nice gentlemanly man, & warranting our name ― “the extinct Duke.” ――― Called on Mrs Lyell ― & the Cravens: the poor little boy ― ill & sad & cross ― yet hearing me ―put out his little hand & made friends. Home by 5.35.

Στεφανίζος ―― our comedy progresses.

At 7.15. dinner.

G. has buried the little boy today: & he is calmer now ― not as awful cross.

Poor people! it is a sad close of the year for them. Penned out; the last of all the 30 drawings ― made at Παλαιοκαστριτζα in the spring ― so for once ― we have our drawings penned out in the year they were made. ―

And now ― I go to bed. (G. has been sawing the new lot of wood ― at intervals, to save a professional sawyer ― cost 8/.)

“The year is going: let him go.”

Yet, though I do think this 1862 has been better then 1861 ― I wish 1863 may be far better.


Ἀς δοκιμάσωμεν ὃτι ἦναι καλήτερον έρχόμενος.[5]


[1] In England (NB).

[2] Because of it (NB).

[3] Eminence (NB).

[4] Must admit (NB).

[5] Let’s think it’s a good thing that he [the new year] comes (NB).

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

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Tuesday, 30 December 1862

Weather changed: gray ― & warmer.

George came in at 8 ― just before breakfast ― saying ― “Spiro e venuto per a piangere con me: moriva il piccolo in sue braccia alle sei ore stamattina. Venite a vederlo.”[1] ― So I went, poor fellow.

Drew all day ― not very hard ― but from 9 to 5 nearly. ―

G. was out, & latterly at the first burial (in chiesa ―) of the little boy. ― (“Πάνος” ― the first boy was “Οττόνε”)

I did not go out at all.

Ἐγὼ δὲν ἐξῆλθον ― μάλιστα διότι ἒβρεξε. Ἒγραφε ἀπὸ τὰς ἓξ ὣρας ἓως ἐπτά καί ἒπειτα ἐγευμάτισα: ― ἐπειτ’ ἀπὸ τοῦτο ― ζωγράφισα.[2]

[1] Spiro has come to cry with me: the little one died in his arms this morning at six o’clock. Come and see him.

[2] Didn’t go out ― because it rained. Wrote from 6 till 7 and then dined: ― after that ― painted (NB).

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

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Monday, 29 December 1862

Same lovely clear weather.

Cold & unwell all day. ―

Spiro’s boy is still dying.

Worked at the smaller of the 60 Tyrants.

Letters from Dickenson, & Mrs. Clive. ―

Wrote cheques for 50£ for Dickenson ― & shall get 30£ from Courage.

Did not go out.

Greek ― 5 to 6. Stefanizzi lesson to 7.

Then, went to Carter’s, ― for G. had had to get wood in, & the kitchen was full of it ―.

At Carters was a Mr. Baring ― nephew of Lord Ashburton ― a very nice fellow. At 8.30 ― or 9 ― he came home with me ― & I penned out till 10.30. when he left.

G. says the child still lives ― but ˇ[is] nearly dead.

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

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Sunday, 28 December 1862

The same Paradise weather. Long as I have seen those mountains ― yet their beauty today was so wonderful that I could fancy it new.

Rose at 7.15. Breakfast ― & at 9. went to church. But the service was at 9.30 ― & meeting good Clark, ἐπερηπάτησα μὲ ἀυτὸν.[1]

This morning service is pleasant. C.’s sermon, ― from “set thy house in order” ――― one of the most remarkably good & beautiful I ever heard ― even from him. Yet it only lasted 14 minutes!!

Called on Col. Curzon, who is getting better. ― Home, & wrote to Jane Hunt ― &c. ― till 1.45. Then to De Veres ― to luncheon ― Major Buchanan there. They say Craven’s boy is to die also. ―

Sate with De Vere & Buchanan till 4 ― & then, meeting Mrs. D.V. ― we all walked to Ascension ― a pleasant party & beautiful walk.

Returned to dine at 7 ― (Greek first ― 6 ― to 7) on Woodcox & rice.

George says the little boy is dying ― nearly cold. They have taken him away ―& have gone home to Kastrades. Poor Spiro! ― how unwise to have gone to St. Rocco at all! ― Not that I think the poor child would have lived anyhow ― yet the removals have given more trouble. G. said ― very truly ― “Se l’uomo far male ˇ[senza rimedio] all’uomo, e male davvero: ma quando Iddio far male all’uomo ― anche senza rimedio, ― z’e ancora questo di buono ― che Iddio lo fece il male, ― Iddio e giusto, cosa z’e di bene dentro.”[2] ――

G. said also ― “Due donne z’e state qui ― Inglese ― altre no[3] ― Lady Reid & Mrs. Gisborne!![”]

G. has gone again to the poor Kokalis. I have penned out ―8.30 to 10.30.

At 11.15 G. returns: the boy still lives, & has not grown colder.

Bed at 11.30.



[1] We took a walk together (NB).

[2] If man hurts man irreparably, it is a realpain: but when God hurts man ― even irreparably, ― there is still this good ― that God caused the pain, ― God is just, there is some good in it. (More or less; Lear’s, or Giorgio’s, Italian is not easy to interpret here.)

[3] Two English women have been here ― no others.

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

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Saturday, 27 December 1862

The same wonderful Paradise weather all day long ― blue cloudlets overhead ―

“blue were the waters ― blue the sky”[1] ――

& on earth ― brightness & beauty ― if not pease [sic] & good will.

The Ancôna boat ― for once in its wretched life, came in at 8 !!!!!!!! (4 papers ― & one letter, from Jane Hunt. John Lear is dead ― at Cannes: ― I do not know how his widow is provided for, but I remember that the Lymonton property was left to Mrs. E.B. ― very unjustly.) ― Worked at various of the 30 60 tyrants ― but then came ˇ[a] Mr. Smythe ― (with whom I had walked from the Rippel Berg in 1854, with B. Hunt ―) & his niece ―― &, he being brother in low of Cave, I went ˇ[with them] to Mrs. Lyell’s to ask when the Caves were expected back: but Mrs. L. was ill. The Smythes, Mrs. S. & Mr. S. came then to me ― to see drawings ― a bore. Mrs. D.V. & darling little Mary also came. ― At 3 I went out, & left toys with Cravens, Crakes & Sargents. There I saw poor Spiro ―― the child lives still ― but 2 operations have been performed on it. Τὸ κατ’ ἐμὲ,[2] ― I walked to Ascension ― dear! how lovely calm was all ― the film-dark-gray olives ― (for the sun was hid by clouds ―) the mirror sea, & snow Nemertska,[3] ― & the lake & Salvador !!!!!! Walked back, & partly with Craven, a silly man. ―― Home by 6. Greek till 7.

Dined ― 7 to 8 & read papers. Penned out ― the last of St. Angelo drawing but one ―― till 10.45.

G. returns from Spiro ― the child lives yet. ― but I can hardly think it will do so eventually.


[1] Presumably from Byron’s The Siege of Corinth, XI, which however reads “Blue roll the waters, blue the sky / Spreads like an ocean hung on high.” Curiously, the exact words are in Thomas Lorraine McKenney’s Sketches of a Tour to the Lakes: Of the Character and Customs of the Chippeway Indians. Baltimore: Fielding Lucas, Junior, 1827. 261:

Blue were the waters―blue the sky,
Spreads like an ocean hung on high,
Bespangled with those isles of light,
So wildly spiritually bright.

Lear will use the same quotation in Journal of a Landscape Painter in Corsica. London: Bush, 1870. 208: “the mountains south of Bastia pearl clear on the horizon, and looking seaward ― ‘blue were the waters, blue the sky,’ ― to the hill of island Elba on the line between them.”

[2] As for me (NB).

[3] Nemërçka, Përmet District, Gjirokastër, Albania.

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

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Friday, 26 December 1862


A bore. Did not rise till 8.30.

Perfectly lovely day ― those bright snow mountains, as of old.

Drew off & on at the 60 Tyrants.

Spiro’s boy still lives.

Headache ― & chilled.

At 3. went to Strahans ― Taylors ― & bought toys for various children.

Then walked with Dr. Roberts ― returning at ¼ to 6.


Dinner at 7.

Penned out till 10.30.

They say that yesterday there was news of some proposals of giving the Islands to Greece ― but chi sa![1]


[1] Who knows.

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

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Thursday, 25 December 1862

A many Xmas days ――――― τῶν [illegible Greek word][1] ― this is my 50th. ――――――

Wonderful beauty of early morning. ― Salvador nearly crimson, Lykoursi all snow. ―― It was almost impossible to leave the open window ― so glorious & pure & bright was all. ―

Nevertheless ― πρέπει να δουλεύσῃ ὁ ἂνθρωπος.[2]

So, after breakfast ― & hearing G. read ― (Spiro’s boy, I fear, will die after all, poor people!) I drew till 2. ― Then ― making some letters for darling little Mary De Vere ― I walked out at 2.30. ―To Ποταμὸς ― & beyond: [(]the poor dwarf Dionysius,) & so by the Πὸταμο flats ――― how wonderfully lovely was the distance ―― homeward ― about 5. Entering ― near the Porta Reale ― a gt. crowd ― all very merry ―& “ζήτω”-ing[3] the English dappertutto.[4] ―

And, as night came on ― a general illumination. ― but why? ― as yet there is nothing sure.

At 7. to De Veres. Mary De Vere well again[.]


Later ― singing: ―

Utterly friendly ― & I think the pleasantest Xmas day I have passed for many a day.

Home by 12.


[1] Of […].

[2] A man has to work (NB).

[3] Hurrah-ing (NB).

[4] Everywhere.

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

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