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.]

1 Comment

Filed under 1862, Diary Entry

One response to “Saturday, 27 December 1862

  1. Pingback: Sunday, 25 January 1863 | Edward Lear's Diaries

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