Sunday, 19 April 1863

View of Katochori, on the island of Santa Maura, looking over Vlikho Bay and the Island of Scorpios, with the Greek mainland beyond, at dawn, inscribed and dated '5.30. AM. Katachori [sic]./19. April. 1863.' (lower left), and numbered '52' (lower right).

View of Katochori, on the island of Santa Maura, looking over Vlikho Bay and the Island of Scorpios, with the Greek mainland beyond, at dawn, inscribed and dated ‘5.30. AM. Katachori [sic]./19. April. 1863.’ (lower left), and numbered ’52’ (lower right).

Up by 5 ― & started at 5.40. taking leave of this pleasant good lot of folk. A very steep pull up the mountain above the town, (which lies half-way, in a hollow, between the summit, & the level of Βλιχῶ,) ― towards the top drawing a line of the village, & the harbor of Βλιχῶ &c. &c., but the Islands, tho’ somewhat better looking at such early morn, are inconceivably intractable. Passing on ˆ[over an elevate hill top level] leaving Φτερνό[1] & Πόῥῥος[2] ― the path lay through cultivate ploughed ground ˆ[or over a long tract of Σχινος[3] covered plain] where were goats & flox. Then came a considerable descent to the flat low ground below Μρανδαχώρι:[4] (a second policeman who had accompanied us from Καταχωρι leaving us here for Σιϐρό:[5] ― [(]this man, like many of these moutaneers ― who are all fine fellows ― was one of the finest specimens of humanity supposable.) This valley we crossed ― & an ascent to Κονδάρινα[6] followed ― no part is anywhere very interesting. 9 A.M. thence, by particularly vile paths & a steep descent to the shore of Βασιλικῆ. The morning was hot ― & I not very well ― headache & tired. I wish I could reckon on getting back to Sta. Maura on Thursday! However, the plain of Βασιλικῆ & the mountain of Σταυροτὰ are more respectable than anything I have yet seen.

All the rest of the morning’s walk was nil, ― save some commonplace olive & cypress views below Κονδάρινα. At this place, Βασιλικῆ, so reputed to be called along of Ἀρτημίσια[7] having died there ― (& the Baron mysteriously hints at knowing where her tomb is!) ― I come to the house of the Οίκονόμος or Deputy, & rest ― arriving at 10 ― till noon. Μεταξὰ is the name. There are heaps of children & alrready I have seen 4 [B] flats. At 12.30. I join the family party of Mr. Λεόνιδα Μεταξὰ & “partake” of some Caddy broth & salt cheese: they seem a kindly good filthy lot as poor Lady Carmichael used to say. At 1. went out with G. & the Argus like Ανδρέα Χωρογύλακος[8] ― & drew in 2 places ― not well ― till 4.15. I shall try my utmost to sleep at S. Nicolo tomorrow, ― get to Sappho’s leap on Tuesday ― & return to Athani that night to sleep ― if possible to reach Sta. Maura on Wednesday evening. ― I cannot remember ever to have made so empty a journey as this Sta. Maura interior=giro ― except perhaps the first of my Thessalian tours. But thanks to God for better “aspirations” I am assuredly far less tired that I should have been some years back. ||

|| Late ― drawing & dawdling till 5.30: the shadows ― few as they necessarily are owing to the flat nature of Stαυροτὰ are better towards sunset, & I hardly think I made the best of the view, ― there was not place ― (as usual ―) to sit where I could see best, & after G. went (to get some supper for me,) the people about me hammered stones & fidgeted. (Two were from Ithaca, their boat being below in the deadly quiet port: & they want me to sail with them ― but that can’t be, tho’ it was some time my intention to cross from here.)

Mr. Μεταξὰ came later & walked with me on the beach ― & to see some “Hellenic” ruins, which turn out to be Roman baths or somewhat later. M. says he has “served” Govt. 20 years or more: he was Sanita agent at Sta. Maura ― but was moved here to the Deputato-ship ― a rather better post: now, however he says ― they have united to that the Sanita post here ― much more work & no more pay & 7 children! He evidently groans at the idea of the change coming ― not knowing what may take place. But says little ― except praise of the Baron ― which is to be supposed. The plain & mountain are very fine from the end of the beach, but it was too late to draw: ― altogether there is a dreamy lofty sort of melancholy about Βασιλικῆ. Came back at 6, & washed, & wait for the Suliot’s dinner till 6.30. Which was as good as if G. had not been walking all day with my heavy folio ― Irish stew & rice soup.

A melancholy oriol cries ever. Sate talking with the Μεταξὰς till 8.30. ― Bed by 9.

((July 5) I found ˇ[some days later] by oversight left in the Barons W.C. at the Residency, the reports of my progress from Metaξὰ ―― very concise & doubtless ordered strictly.)

 


[1] Fterno.

[2] Poros.

[3] Terebinth (NB)

[4] Possibly Μαραντοχώρι, Marandochori (NB).

[5] Σύβρος, Sivros (NB).

[6] Possibly Κοντάραινα, Kondarena (NB).

[7] Artemisia of Caria (NB).

[8] Andrea the policeman (NB).


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

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