Tuesday, 28 April 1863

Slept well. Rose at 5, & out by 5.45. Drew on the Quay till 7. & above the town on the east side till 8.30. Certainly, little Ithaca is extremely pretty. At 9, walked up the hill above Σκίνος,[1] from which point no doubt remains that Neritos is visible whether Minerva shewed it to Ὀδυσσεὺς[2] or not. Drew again to & fro, & looked about for the best place to draw the port, till 11. when  I came back & found Stirke at breakfast. It is now 11.30. ((Mem. Geography & Antiquities of Ithaca. Gell. ― Longman. 1807.)) ((Mem. Ἰεραχέρι ― casa del Sigr. Στροῦσο ― or from the church or mill.))* ― At 12, went out & called on Count Candiano Roma at the Residency. He was sitting with a Secretary at the end of the gallery in a little room. ― He was very polite & amiable ― saying among other compliments ― “avendo conoscenza con me, avreste potuto venire ad alloggiare meco.”[3] ― “sono solo ― solo ― e dopo esser stato Presidente delle 7 Isole, questi luoghi non si può dire essere ――― ma via! ― Sono Sto tranquillo e paziente.”[4] It does seem rather sad indeed to see the old Gentleman so lonely ― & growing blind too ― & all the more that the family live in such riches at Zante. ― He asked me to dine &c.: ― but on my alluding to going to Athens, & when I said that when the king came & there was a fixed government there doubtless the place would increase & thrive ― he became restless & offered coffee ― fearing all talk of politics. Shewed Gell on Ithaca, & ordered 3 letters to be written for me ― one to a Μεταξὰ ― at Σταυρὸ:[5] one to the Priest of Καθαρὰ:[6] & a 3rd to the Deputato of Σάμος.[7] I did not ask after Lady B. At 1.30 am going out again to draw. ― Drew ― G. with me ― above the town: lots of children came about me, whom, G., always cheerful, drew off. But they seem a semi=savage set compared with the other islanders, as G. says ― naturally from being so little able to communicate with strangers. A plain & darkly dressed lot ― they seem to me even less interesting than the Paxiotes ― perhaps from their being so removed from the world ― or from other causes. Drew afterwards, by the Residency: the harbour gulf, & Neritos are beautiful. Here, Braidy joined me, an amiable youth, but sadly in train to be spoiled by the Ithaca lazy life ― & we walked to the high ground on the road near Αἐτὸς,[8] where I drew from 4.30 to 5. Hence, the Νέριτος at sunset is very lovely ― & reminds me tho’ on a larger scale, of Nemi, by its velvet gray tone & tint. By 6.30 ― we were back at “Quarters” ― only I first ran round to the End of the harbour, to see the last evening effect on Νέριτος ― but it was not good. Dinner. Both hosts are singularly amiable kind men. We sate talking ― I go on against my will, because I think I ought to talk ―― till 10.30. After which I arrange drawings & luggage from a 3 days’ journey to the North of the Island.

* (I don’t know what this alludes to. July. 11.)

 


[1] Schinos.

[2] Ulysses.

[3] Since you know me, you could have come to stay with me.

[4] I am lonely ― lonely ― and after being President of the 7 Islands, one cannot say these places are ――― oh well! I am quiet and patient.

[5] Stavros.

[6] Kathara.

[7] Samos.

[8] Aetos.


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

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