Cloudy morning. Rose ― 4.30. Packed & off by 6. Giuseppe, the loquacious Maltese cook, who has been cook to successive commandants for ages, ― is a good man in his way. ― Along the road to Ἀετὸς, with G. ― & a boy & mule. At the end of the gulf, the Castle hill is fine. Valley cheery & pretty: large fig trees ― almonds, olives, corn, & a few ― 2 or 3 houses.
Begin ascent to Νέριτος. ― Νέριτος in clouds ― & I debate if I shall go there first or to Σταυρὸ. Leave G. & the baggage, & at 8 go up to a point on the Λεύκη & Σταυρὸ road, & draw Ἀετὸς & the gulf of Κεφαλλενία. Then I came down, & went back & down a long way to sketch Ἀετὸς ― returning to the “Depot” at 9.30. ― Sky clearer. Multitudes of bees on the road ― mason bees. Flowers in astonishing loveliness & abungiance. At 9.45 ― we decide on the Monastery, & go on. A great pull up. Flowers! Flowers! ― View of the long & dreary wall-like east side of Cephalonia. At 11. reached the Monastery of Καθερὰ. It is a plain little building no wise remarkable in itself ― nor commanding any view. Priest came out to meet me ― a fine bearded man ― talking Greek well: his name, Γεράσιμος. Has been at Ἄγιος Παύλος in Athos, & knows all the Μοναστήρια. Of Μελκίσιδεκ, on my saying he had been very kind ― “Εἶχε δίκαιον, διότι εἰς 1855 ― τὸν ἐγλύτωσε ὁ Ἂγγλος Πρόξενος Μπλοῦντ, ποῦ εἶναι τώρα ‘ς τὴν Σμύρνην.” ― The old Quince Marmalade, ραχὶ, & coffee, & now, 11.30, ― a “τράπεζα” is preparing. Monastery exceeding clean; the Ἠγουμενος commands loudly & energetically, & peery timid women obey. Lunch amazing ― eggs ― Kοκορέτζοι ― being a sort of Kabobs made of Lamb’s liver, &c. ― wonderfully good wine ― & stupendous ricotta: the priest only ate Caviare & Lemon ― Wednesday to wit. He was born at Ἀνöὶ ― (where his father still lives  a peasant ―) & was here at 8 years old. ― But, thro’ the animosity of the Bishop ― chi sa from what cause? ― he went abroad & “περιέτρεχε πολὺ” ― Moldavia, Russia, &c. &c. & has evidently been mixed up in various matters. Certainly, Greek Monastery life has a charm for me. ― wondrous. ―
Later, he brought me certificates from various people ― Culverts ― alas! ――Bulwer, & heaps of others ― as to gifts of money to the monastery. || It is now 1. I go out to the Courtyard: Cats drink at the trough. I am reminded of Ἄ Ὄρος, only there are women servants, 3 of whom have just now rushed to give me a chair, lest, sitting on a stone seat, I catch cold in my behind. 1.45. go out with G. to the Campanile, from which the view is τρομερὰ ― & most curious, tho’ the distance of Greece is not seen for cloud. The Hill north of the top of Νέριτος is called, “τὸ Στρῶμα;” southern ― “Παραοτήρεις κλίσμα.” We got to the very top at 3.15. The priest going very fast. Like all isolate mountain-top views it is more remarkable than lovely, yet the pale delicacy of the colour ― & the definite appearance of the South part of Ithaca are very enchanting. All the while the priest rushed on, spouting Greek, & declaring that Ulysses was born on Νέριτος. Drew the point of Guiscardos, but in separating some stiff sheets of paper with my finger, cut it vey badly, & came to grief accordingly. Came down, the Παπᾶς leaving me about 4.30. ― being ὑδρομένος: I drew on, & finally am writing this on the steeple seat at 5.30. Truly ― a very queer magical sight is this view! ― dreamlike in its wan delicate pallor ― all the gray sea so far below motionless as a surface of polished marble. By 6.30 ― or 7 (it is damp & chilly,) dinner is ready: ― 2 Greeks are added to the party ― the Gent. of Μεσολόγγος, ― the lady of Χιόνι. Soup, kid, ricotta, currants & almonds: good ― but not wholly without evil. Bed at 10.
When it is very clear they say they can distinguish the streets of Mesolonghi & the houses of Patras from the Steeple.
 Monasteries (NB).
 He was right, because in 1855 ― the English Consul Blunt, who is now in Smyrna (NB).
 Raki (NB).
 Meal in the refectory (NB).
 Κοκορέτσι, kokoretsi (NB).
 One or two words cancelled.
 Who knows.
 Wandered a lot (NB).
 Agion Oros, i.e. Mount Athos (NB).
 Tremendous (NB).
 You see Klaisma (? NB).
 Sweaty (NB).
[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Image.]