Monday, 27 April 1863

Rose at 4.40. Fine. Up by 5.20. Coffee with Mr. Braidy. Caradoc left at 5.45 ― as we ― I ― G. & Mr. Braidy started. Pretty Petiteness of Ithaca. Rising road, looking back on the harbour & Neritos. Few inhabitants out of the town ― a few good looking. Women all wear black like widows. Views & country prettier as we go on. Leave the broad road ― or rather it comes to an end, & very vile paths commence, narrow, sloping & slippery. Arrived at Korax by 8.15 ― perhaps 5. miles from Βαθὺ ― but obliged to go very slowly ― fearing to fall. Drew till 10, & we are now sitting at the fountain below the “great rock;” a most exquisite cool spot ― (“here are cool mosses deep,”)[1] popple popple ever, with green moss & maidenhair fern. All around are gray savage rocks, clad with Prickly Oak ― Ilex ― Phyllorea, Πρινάρι,[2] & every sort of shrub & flower. The Squill leaves are grand, ― the white & pink cistus lovely ― salvia, mullein ― what not. Blackbirds sing, pigeons flit, swallows shimmer, & as we came, a flock of goats was abundantly pretty. Κωραξ[3] is indeed a remarkable spot for beauty. The vast height & shut-in loneliness of the spot are very impressive, & as I drew from above opposite, the flight of ˇ[wild] pigeons to the little fountain, their wings shining in the morning sun, made the hollow [gloom] still grander. Yet, by noon, or after the sun has once crossed the rock with light, all the beauty of Κώραξ would fade. ― From 10 to 12 ― Lunch ― & very pleasant. ―At 12, set off, & at 1.15 arrived at the broader road, where, till 2, we rest under an olive tree. How blue & quiet is the sea! ― The wind riz, & stones are necessary to keep down my drawing. At 3 ― or 3.30 ― we walked upward towards Περιχωριὸ[4] ― very beautiful bits of distant isle scenery, though clouded; & near at hand, corn, flax, & vine terraces ad lib. Laborious black & dark blue gowned women ― & all uglyish. At Περιχωριὸ, a large village of detached houses on the East side of Mount Στεφανόϐυνο[5], we went in, respective of wine & carpets, to a house where were some vastly ugly women. Then we walked down; ― donkeys about here, & I see no mules ― & so, Mr. Braidy most amiably aiding all my poking hither & thither for “points of view” ― reach the town about 6: ― which its streets are really very nice & clean. Washed: & at 7 ― dinner ― though the ménage here is not over regulated. Capt. Stirke & Braidy have enough to think of, the post being just come: but their gentlemanly kindness is just the same. I have to thank Philipps much for his introduction. ― After dinner saw some papers.

Augustus Leopold Egg died at Algiers lately!!! ―― Egg was a dear good fellow ― & one regrets he was connected with the narrow illiberal Academy. Lord Templeton also is dead.

Capt. Stirke & Braidy have a fire alarm to raise at 11. ― At 10.30. bed.


[1] Tennyson, The Lotos-Eaters, i.

[2] Kermes oak (NB).

[3] Korax.

[4] Perichorio.

[5] Stefanovouno.

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

Leave a comment

Filed under 1863, Diary Entry

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s