Monday, 13 April 1863

View from the Fort. Santa Maura. Plate no. 9 from Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

View from the Fort. Santa Maura. Plate no. 9 from Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

Did not sleep very well, yet G. calling me at 5, I riz. & after coffee, 5.40 set off. Road up to Φαιναρωμὲν, & drew more than once, but the sheep & goats left their places, & the sun was blazing & I could not get on well. Διότι, ἀποφάσισα[1] to go up, & so we went to the top of the hill, whence the views are very grand & wide ― & so thence by a flat plain of upland, to cultivated olive & wheat grounds, & flax: & the village Γζουκολάτες[2] ― extending aloof. Began to descend ― hard limestone road ― rolly stones ― great expanse of sea, Παξοῦς & Κέρκυρα.

Descend: road narrow, worse, & more unpleasant ― a new half-formed road running along the coast ― very high above the sea. Pines Maritima, & beautiful bits of fierce coast cliff ― hardly stayed torrents of stone ― overhanging pines like the Scyronian rock road, & an immense horizon of sea. Bye & bye, a promontory, & the village of Α. Νικήτας, ― but, all things duly considered, I think it is better to give up going down there ― vû the long hot beach, ― the long pull up again, & the apparently uninteresting character of the village,. So I toiled back again painfully, drawing the road scene once, & then by 10 reached the upper plateau of Γζικουλάτες. Good-looking priest passed ― with mule & carpets: told him to send some specimens of carpetry to the Residency. G. & I lunched below a young olive tree gratefully shading: ― lamb ― pigeon ― & Marsala. Afterwards drew the Pindus mountain outline ― & at 12.20 prepare to go. Πηγαίνωμεν.[3] ― But after a while, a boy whom we had asked for water ― comes running with a bottle of wine ― for wh. I give him 3 pence, & 3d for himself ― whereon he says, “Κόπος πολύ, δώσετε ἂλλα δυώ η τέσσαρα ὃβολι εἰς τοῦτο τὸ παιδί.”[4] ― at which I kick, & leave him disgusted. I sit now ― on a height ˆ[above] the plain & Salini ― (which spoils the view,) & all the dark blue waters by Actium, with the clear snowy range of mountains beyond, & the blue vault above. Impossible is it to see more loveliness at once. ― 1. P.M. ― We went to the Convent, as they had begged me ― & I had promised to do yesterday. The Ἡγούμενος[5] of this Φαιναρωμέν ― is a gentlemanly & agreable man, ― as far as I could see ― sole tenant of the place ― except a fat Καλόγερος.[6] They gave me & G. a limonata each, & at 3 or thereabout ― 3.30 perhaps ― we went down the hill, where I drew by degrees ― & finished drawing already began. But the wonderful flat cushion plain of olives lose half or more of its beauty toward sunset.

G. is always quiet & attentive: ― & ἔτζι[7] we reached the Residency at 6.30. ――― || Bother Residencies; I am writing now at 10. P.M. No [help] can I get from the Baron ― who promised me that & a note to the Fort, but neither appear. At times I half think he does not wish me to see the Island, as when on my asking if Misses Ioby & MacKenzie were about to write of St. Maura, ― “I would not let them” said he. “I would not allow them. It is not fair to go poking into every corner of a place for the sake of publishing.” I wait to see his further ways ―― but I will see the whole Island ― yea, even if I have to write to C.F. to get me a district order from the D. of N. ― Bother. ― Perhaps however it is his manner & queer-slow-way only.

Much ˇ[of] pleasant today in beauty of scenery. Much pain also of mind.


[1] For I decided (NB).

[2] Τσουκαλάδες, Tsoukalades, a village in Lefkada.

[3] We go (NB).

[4] It was too tiring, give this child another two or four drachmas (NB).

[5] Abbot (NB).

[6] Monk (NB).

[7] So.


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

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