Monthly Archives: April 2013

Monday, 20 April 1863

Capo Ducato or Sappho's Leap, Santa Maura. From Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

Capo Ducato or Sappho’s Leap, Santa Maura. From Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

6.30. Dressed & ready. But we shall hardly be off just yet. ― The owl still cries. ― There is a somewhat beautiful, ― now that the sun is rising on the bare Leucadean Cape, so long drawn out as a wall to the still bay ―― even here. Thank God, I feel pretty well this morning, & fleapowder preserved out sight. Yet I don’t like to look forward to the work of the day ― as it must needs be hard. We start at 7.45 ― along the shore ― passing the bridge built by the Baron ― when G. inopportunely begins to talk of the “Ponte del Diavolo” at Bagni di Lucca, ― which leads the Policeman to look anxious & interrogative, & me to explain. (Baron D’E. staid 6 months here! ― to carry out this bridge, before the building of wh. ― all communication was often interrupted by the torrents from Σλαυροτὰ.[1] ― Steep hill of the west side of the plain: & many cattle goats & sheep ― peasants ever picturesque. Some olives, here & there. I drew Ithaca, & again higher up, with the hill of Βασιλικῆ & its port. Above the village of Α. Πέτρος we turn off ― at 6.50 ― there are several good houses in this large village ― & at 6.45. ascend the very steep hill above it, ― the top of wh. we reach at 8.20.[2] The view Eastward must be fine in clear weather ―unluckily it is all dim & blotted out & only the Islands appear ― the Ἐχίναδες:[3] I am not in luck as to clear distances, ― on the west only sea is visible. The aspect of nature here, 8.30, is dry yellow & bare. 8.45. Immense clear hills, all vine planted but as yet with no green leaf out. Sharp & steep descent again, & reach Αθάνι by 9.15. (Three hours and a half from Βασιλικῆ ― they said six.) Draw the village, wh. is not very hideaous, ― & lies between the hills I have just crossed ― i.e. those forming the west side of the island: ― then two ridges enclose a narrow valley ― & their sides are all vineyards up to a gt. height. At 10, go to the house of Τιμωθεὺς Ρομπώτης,[4] ― to whom I had been strongly recommended by Baron D’E. ―: he is the wealthy Contadino of these parts & has a house also at Α. Πέτρος. Here I am received kindly ― the mother of the family a fine & nice woman. Large airy rooms ― & I am put into one small & clean where are sophas & rest. Comes a διδάσκαλος[5] & stares at me ― till at 10.10 I am left alone. At 11.30 ― the Padrone Ρομπώτης then comes ―a rough hearty peasant ― & we talk ― he only understands Greek. I tell him of Elder wine ― for there are many Elder trees; Ἀφροξυλιὰ ― or Ἀφροξελαιὲς[6] ―hard by. I promise to send him a receipt for the wine. Long talk & Lunch with the Padrone & Διδάσκαλος. Good bread & wine: some, 23 years old magnificent. Left at 1.30 ― & off by the road, being soon overtaken by the priest, Ηγούμενος of the Μοναστήριον of Α. Νικόλα ― or Νιερὰ: a very hearty prepossessing fellow ― who shook hands like an Englishman.|| We have walked fast, & I am now writing on the still hill side, on the way to Sappho’s leap. Very Greek all the scene ― Arbutus ― Σκίνος ― Πρίναρι[7] ― myrtle ― blooming Cistus & scores of other flowers: the vast tranquil moveless sea to the South & West ― the blue sky above ― nothing more. “Hateful is te dark blue sky.”[8] ― || Always walking by the hill side ― the west wall of the promontory forming one side of the bay of Βασιλικῆ ― far above the vast sea. The priest sometimes going in for abuse of the natives, & shewing me a heap of stones by pathside where 2 sons killed their father ― for which alquanto I snubbed him, but needlessly methinx. Goats begin to appear ― standing as is their wont, on points of rock ― sneezing. At 4.30 ― after passing a small cultivated level, where were ˇ[a few] horses & sheep, we arrive at the Monastery ― a lonely small poor place enough, but with a clean outer room made ˇ[all] ready. All the buildings are enclosed in a wall. Just above this wild little place, the views of Ithaca are beautiful. Men of the Monastery come & say, 5 wolves came down last night, & tho’ the dogs gave alarm, they killed 3 goats & 2 kids before the people could get out. (Ὁ Ἄγιος Νικόλαος ― Ὁ Ἡγούμενος ― Παγαράτιος.)[9] I drew Ithaca, which appears quite close, before I went to the minute chambre, where I got arranged. The Παπὰς[10] killed a kid, & supper was to take place in my room. New moon & star ― above the little church. Mass in the church. Supper, dish of liver &c. & toast kid ― beans ― cheese, & wine. ― of which I ate sparingly ―but taking one mouthful of new cheese upset me in toto, & at 8.30 ― when Παπας Πανκράτιος & G. had gone ― “sick [transit.” Odd enough ― & all the more that I have been so well all day. ―

No sleep all night ― or little: alarm of Walves, & constant row of dogs ― horses &c. &c.


*Note, July 5. ― I heard afterwards that old Ρομπώτης & the priest are on ill terms. ― How fast the Priest walked!! ―


[1] Σταυρωτά, Stavrota, mountains at Lefkada (NB).

[2] Something seems to be wrong with the times given in the first part of the entry.

[3] Echinades, a group of islands (NB).

[4] Should be Ρομποτής, Timotheus Rombotis (NB).

[5] Teacher.

[6] Elderberry ― or elderberries (NB).

[7] Terebinth ― kermes oak (NB).

[8] “Hateful is the dark-blue sky / Vaulted o’er the dark-blue sea.” (Tennyson, The Lotus –Eaters, iv).

[9] St. Nicolas, the Abbot, Pangratios (the priest’s name) (NB).

[10] Father, priest here (NB).

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

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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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Saturday, 18 April 1863

Fine, but cloudy ― hot. ― but air is better than χθὲς.[1] ― Slept pretty well, “pretty” well ― as Baron D’E. [was] to say. Rose at 5 ― & by a little before 6 we were off.

The old bewiggled Ἠγούμενος declared he would take nothing, but, τέλος πάντων,[2] took 2/6. A sorry lot of folk. ― The Προεστὸς of Ἀλεξανδρος, for the love of the Baron, would come with me ― he was an awful bore ― as far as Πασᾶ Φοντανα. Horrible ugly valley & frightful roads. Less vines even than before: how bare & ugly are these hills!! ― reminding me of C. di Penne in the Abruzzi. ˇ[Hideously] [illegible], dry ― wrinkled, spasmy chasmy valley, full of ugly gullies. About 7. we left the road & went up to Π. Εὐαγγελίστα, Κοκκινεκκλησιά, a monastery like [Afiorgion], but there was a lively Ἠγούμενος, who was angry at my proposal to depart εὐθὺς:[3] ― (for coffees & compliments spoil days.) So we left, but went sorry, & had to hark back till we got the right road again, & after that we [lifted] on the priest again, who had made a short cut. “ὣς ὂρνις διὰ μέσον τὸν ουρανὸν[4] ―” said I. He gave me a bottle of wine, & after wholesale compliments, on again. Who can know what these people mean, if one travels with a policeman? ― We came at length, at 8 below high rocks to the left ― Σκάρος,[5] to get out of this horrid upper level, & down to the plain of Ἐγγλιμενῶ, & see Πόρος,[6] & Μαδουρί[7] &c. &c. & a lot of the Isles of Greece. Heavy stony road as yet. Partridges call. ― gradually olives ˇ[thinly planted] begin, & we get to Fontana Pasha ― at 9. a very common orange garden, but wholly destitute of drawability: so I resolve to go on. And we go along the flat ground, by [some] ditches, & the torrent of Δημετζιάρη[8] ― (which the Baron extolled, but I see nothing in at all,) & then by degrees ˇ[(at 11)] came to the head of the Port of Βλιχῶ ― where there are 2 or 3 dismal houses. We pass the best, & go on to the Govt. collector or what [not here], whose house is filthy, so I return to the other with a ˇ[shaded tiled] portico, ˇ[a malevolent pig] & the master, one Χριστὸς Παπακοστόπουλος makes me a mattress on tressels outside, & I get some lunch of cold meat, & very good wine.

The pale blue sea ― twinkling & rippling, of this pretty quiet dead port, is bright & pleasant, & so is the beautiful air, but the hills have mediocre forms ― & I can’t draw.

At 1.45. after really a pleasant 2 hours ― we start, ― I am to sleep at Barba Χριστὸς’s house: & at 2.30 we arrive at it, in Καταχώρι ―― alone ― detached: clean &c.: ― a café. & we sleep.

From the window where this large 2 pillow bed is, ― nought but an olive tree can be seen: but the branches & leaves of that are enough of beauty.

After some repoge & café ― riz & worked, ― the padrone[9] having been immensely considerate of all matters. The head of Police in these parts came, & we all issued forth to see the town. Church, school, dogs, carpet-making, &c. &c. &c. ― & so after looking wise as long as I could, we all came back & sate in the padrone’s room ― where I talked bad Greek ― & “looked wise,” & examined the son ― Athanasius’s writing ― till 6.30, when, holding out no longer, I retired to write this.

I am better in health than yesterday, but have an ugly headache still. No pay is to be given here ― but I select pens & pencils. Report spoken of a kid having been killed for us. Asking about the Judas tree ― [“]δὲν φέρει καρποῦς”[10] ― said one. ― “Λοιπόν, καλὴτερα νὰ τὸ κόψης εὐθὺς”[11] said I ― whereat all the boys ran about shouting ― “Ἂς τὸ κόψαμὲν!”[12]

Duplicate notes of Saturday. 18th

Packing to go at 5.45. Cloudy. How bare & ugly are the gt. mountains of this valley! Reminding me of those near C. di Penne in the N. Abruzzi. Hideously dry, withered wrinkled, chasmy, rocky valley ― gullies. Κοκκινεκκλησία[13] ― priest ― lose way  ― priest again. Open on the channel ― at 8 descend towards the sea. “Isles of Greece.” At 9, Pasã Fontana ― ἔτζι κ’ ἔτζι ― go on. plain of Ἐγγλιμενὸ.[14] At Βλιχῶ[15] by 11 ||

Down thro’ most ugly places & up to the convent of Κοκκινεκλησιά ― out of the way, at which I was wrath. The Ἡγούμενος wished me to stay, but I would not, so we came off leaving the track, again finding it, & falling in with the priest lower down. Travelling with a policeman, no one can tell if these people are really hospitable or not.We came at last to see the plain of Ἐγγλιμενὸ, & winding round the bay, through olives truly grown, & muddy ditches, crossing the torrent of Δημετζιάρη, & so by little & little to Βλιχῶ. A house, with a shady tiled portico & a prevalent pig. 2 or 3 houses farther on, where we stopped at the Deputator: but it was hot & filthy inside, ὅμως[16] the Gent asked me to stay ― but I dare not throw away health, so came back to the first place, where a good Samaritan opened a Mattress on tressels in the Portico. The Gent came & gave me a Limonata: how dead a place! ― now, noon, I am happily eating lunch, ― so is the pig ― & the hens, & the cat: & the swallows are twittering. The pale blue sea of this closed port shimmers & popples, & the world is bright enough: but no forms other than of mediocrity are among those I see. The Mountn. of Scarus only above the plain of Ἐγγλιμενὸ ― might be drawable at early morn. Very good wine. Χριστὸς Παπακοστόπουλος[17] ― conversation between the above named & myself, “assisted by” the Policeman & G., a subaltern, the very Hebrew like Eldest son of the Deputato. The air of this place is lovely. G. supposes we are to go to the house of Barba Χριστὸς, & I don’t think we could do better. He, like all the men here, looks like a woman in the handkerchief & long cloth dress. About 1. we start. I bored by the lot of folk. Ascent. At 2, I am sitting, G., policeman & Χριστὸς ― ahead. The whole port of Βλιχῶ is beneath, & in another light possibly drawable, at present ― impossible. At 2.30. ―house of Χριστὸς, & pretty scattered large village of Καταχῶρι. Apparently well-off place. ― At 3 ― going to sleep, ― by the many=light=& shadowed olives.

|| ― Supper ― gave Anastasius the pens ― & wrote. Eggs ― τεγαμισμὲνα ― & φασόλια[18] ― excellent, & ditto κρασί.[19] Clean cloth ― napkins ― “wealth” as Mrs Wynne used to say. Industry of Sta. Maureotes: always at work. (Industry of fleas alas, also, ― but the Fleapowder remedies that.) This house is wondrous clean in many things ― tho’ they use remiss in others. ― Bed at 9.30.

The last day I was at Sta. Maura, Χριστὸς Παπακοστόπουλος came to me in the greatest distress: ― his son had been taken off by the police ― according to him ― for no reason. Sir H.S. was in the residency ― & he had come to question. I could not interfere, but was grieved: it occurred to me ― was this owing to his having received a stranger? ― O Baron! ――― Note written July 5, 1863.


[1] Yesterday (NB).

[2] Anyway (NB).

[3] At once (NB).

[4] Like a bird through the skies (NB).

[5] Skaros, a mountain in Lefkada (NB).

[6] Poros.

[7] Or Μαδουρή, Madouri, a very small island across of Nydri, Lefkada, belonging to the Valaoritis family (NB).

[8] Δημοσάρη, Dimosari, a fall (NB).

[9] Owner of the house.

[10] Bears no fruit (NB).

[11] So, it’s better to cut it down promptly (NB).

[12] “Let’s cut it down!” (NB). The rest of this entry, including the note of 5 July, was written in the page for 16 April.

[13] Literally, “red Church,” a monastery in Lefkada (NB).

[14] Κάμπος Εγκλημένου, i.e. the plain of Eglimenos in Lefkada (NB).

[15] Βλυχό, Vlicho, a village (NB), see yesterday’s picture.

[16] But.

[17] Should be Παπακωστόπουλος: Christos Papakostopoulos (NB).

[18] Beans (NB).

[19] Wine (NB).

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

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Friday, 17 April 1863

Βλικὸ [Βλυχό]. 17 April 1863.

Βλικὸ [Βλυχό]. 17 April 1863.

Fine but very hot. Mountains clouded ― all & dim.

Rose at 5 ― none the better for the air of Sta. Maura, nor for the dinner, lunch, & breakfast of yesterday. ― It was 7.30, before I got away, ― a mule & muleteer, ― G. & I, & a Policeman. ― along the road to beyond [Chicklamboo] church, after which we turned inward by a broad rising road ― winding above the gt. olive plain. The views hence are of the very best of the North of the island, but too cloudy to draw, so I wander on, ― & with weary steps too ― for I was not very well. & moreover the Policeman would go up difficult bypaths, & short cuts. At 9.30 we came to the top & the roads & scenery became atrocious. A great basin below high Mountains ― a little lake below ― & all the rest stone, worked out into vine terraces with admirable industry & ugly effect ― tho’ of course had the year been more advanced the vines would have been prettier. I & G. were both reminded of the 5 Terre country close to Spezzia. Neither the sight of the Sphakides nor of Καρυά[1] ― (the largest village in the Island,) ― gave me the least wish to visit them: ― they are in 6 or 8 Maxalades or detached lots of houses, after the fashion of Greekdom in general, ― but the whole aspect of the great valley was hideously dry & frightful. Nevertheless there were two views rather grand & desert-like, but I could not draw owing to the clouded hills ― the former of which were hidden. The fatigue of the roads was great, but on passing the Monastery of Ἄ. Ιωάννης about 11.20 ― I decided not to stop there ― so we went on & reached the village of Ἀλέξανδρος & the Monty. of Α. Γεώργιος about 11.40. A poor place. an old [owl, or,][2] hawklike Ἠγούμενος[3] ― with a wonderful head of hair ― & one blind Καλόγερος.[4]

But there was a couple of clean rooms. Wine ― ἔτζι κ’ ἔτζι. coarse  & black ― so I drank too much water ― & later ― had some cold mutton & onion, which last disagreed with me. So I went to lie down, feeling ill & feverish, ― & lo! XX4 ― after which I slept, & indeed at 4 rose better, though far from well. The policeman sticks to me as a burr ― evidently ordered so to do: but I believe there was no better mode of progress. Yet if I see nothing more beautiful than what I have seen today, I shall regret the journey. The small ˇ[level, or] comaparatively level where the villages of the 2nd district are, is somewhat less hideous than that of Καρυᾶ, yet wholly undrawable.

At 4.45 ― (the Policeman being asleep,[)] I & G. escaped, & began to go up the hill behind the monastery ― unluckily obliquely ― so we got never the nearer, ― but threaded the path among & over vast blocks of stone below the great hill of Scarni: at the top ― goats & a goatherd were there, we saw a bit of misty purple Etolia & the [gragoca] ― & returning killed a venomous snake. ― At the monastery ― the policeman wished to go up the high hill ― & I half began to do so ― but returned for it was too late.

Having worked, & written some of this, G. brought αὑγὰ τεγαμισμὲνα[5] & riso al burro[6] ― both good: he is a cheerful capital man. He says the “buco” when the priests eat is “un orrore ―”[7] & the elder stirred up the tripe in water with his hand ― so that απ’ άσπρ’ ἒγινε μαῦρον[8] ― so that G. declined the food. “Τὶ νέα ἀπ’ τό χώρι μας; [”][9] ― asked the priest of the Policeman. “Τίποτε ― βουνά xερὰ καὶ ἡσυχία.” ἀποκρίθηκε αὐτός.[”][10]

[1] Karya.

[2] Added in the previous page for 16 April.

[3] Abbot (NB).

[4] Monk (NB).

[5] Fried eggs (NB).

[6] Rice with butter.

[7] The hole where the priests eat is disgusting.

[8] It turned from white to black (NB).

[9] Any news from our village? (NB)

[10] “Nothing ― bare mountains and quiet”. he answered (NB).

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

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Thursday, 16 April 1863

(From The Fort, at Sunset, all the long line of Sta. Maura Hill is deep russet like velvetly.)

Rose at 5, but had to arrange drawings for tomorrow’s journey, so did not go out before 6.20 (George had missed me last night by going through the town, to save time, instead of along the shore by the dogana, near which I was drawing on the beach.)

We crossed the strange Lagoon puntwise, & I drew on the causeway till 9. Then, went into the Fort, & George returned to the town. Breakfast with Dr. Pepin, very merry & hearty, & afterwards drew again by the Lighthouse till 1, when all the “Detachment” officers joined me, ― a merry set. Luncheon, & a long rest, ― guitar, albums, ‘Leech’ &c. &c. till 4. A very friendly=united lot. Then a walk by on the “front spit,” to Zambelli’s property ― w[h]ere was a Contadino the guardian of those properties. ― Back by 6: & at 7. dinner, ― good rough cheer, much beer & laughter, & after that, an hour or so upstairs. (Dogs ―― Nelson, Grouse, Malaga, Tip, Ju, Nan, & Shot.) At 10, came away, Teuart seeing me into the boat good-naturedly. (Owe a shilling to their boatman.) Sate half an hour with the baron, & hear from George that he has a man & mule ready for tomorrow. Bed at 11.15. ― Day fine ― but at sunset, threatening. Storms in Albania, but it cleared. & the still Lagoon was starlit.[1]

[1] The page goes on with a section, “Duplicate notes of Saturday. 18th,” which repeats, in part summarises and concludes the entry for that date.

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

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Wednesday, 15 April 1863

Slept till 3 ― but uneasy for an hour or two. Rose at 5.15, & out by 5.55[.]

Went up to the hill below the Φαιναρωμὲν, & drew various bits of rock & foreground ―― much reminding me of my Early Olevano studies, when I first began to paint. Ai! ― giorni passati![1] Came back by the olives & asphodels at 10. ― Breakfast with the Baron at 10.30, & afterwards, went to call on ξένοφον Βολαύριτη: one Dr. Μελισσινῶ was there: ―― pleasant folk. Then to Mr. Bini ― head of police, who really explained a route for my country expedition, gave me a list of places &c. &c., & is to provide a Constable to accompany me. The Baron & Senator then came in ― & I had to look at prisons &c. &c. &c. ― & so by degrees we reached home about 2. It is now 2.30 ― & dinner is hoped for.

[I am] now 3.15. getting into a fury. Dinner was to have been at 2 originally, but there are no signs of it yet, & the Baron goes on whispering & pottering continually with the Senator ― talking ― talking ― for a whole hour. Botheration take all staying at small Govt. shops. (Roapukià ― Demouτζάνι, & Ἀνδροῦσσα are talked of as formidable passes & picturesque scenes.) ― It was nearly 4 when dinner happened ―― pleasant enough ―― but it was 5 before I got out, & then G. did not join me ― so I grew vexed & angry. ― Returned at 7.15 after walking up & down with the Baron, who is a good but “laborious” man. Later, M. Bini came in. But at 9.45 ― I came to bed. G. has not been near me, & the Baron supposes he went to a Παναγία,[2] instead of coming out to me as I told him to do after dining. But I doubt that, & believe some other reason stopped the Suliot. My spirits are bad & depressed to night, & the air of this place liketh me not.

[1] Days long past!

[2] Madonna (NB).

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

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Filed under 1863, Diary Entry

Tuesday, 14 April 1863

Amaxichi and the Fort. Santa Maura.  Plate 10 from Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

Amaxichi and the Fort. Santa Maura. Plate 10 from Views in the Seven Ionian Islands.

Did not sleep very well. Rose before 5. Found that the Baron had written a letter to the Commandant of the Fort ― Capt. Teuart. Set off with G., & crossed in a Punt to the end of the Causeway ― & there drew till 8.30. There is a fevery feeling in these lagoon neighbourhoods early. Again, ― near the Fort, till 9.20 ― which spot is the best of all for a general view of the place. The Fort ―― Mr. Graeme, very civil, & gave me some breakfast. The Fort is much larger & more important than it appears outside. Clean ―― ramparts, ― gardens &c. &c. At breakfast, Capt. Teuart came in, & afterwards they took me round the place, ― also outside to find a view ― but on the East spit none exists. After a time drew again on the causeway till 1.30, when we went in to Lunch. There were by this time all the Fort party ― Dr. Sepin ― a cheerful cove, ― Mr. Tilsit R.A., & Mr. Hall ― besides Graeme & Teuart. Accordions ― guitars, dogs ― deer, stuffed birds: many home resources. A pleasant hour or two. Afterwards, at 3, I set out again with George & Capt. Teuart, but found no place to sketch, ― so we walked all round the West Lagoon ― passing the little tuft of trees the Zambelli property, ― & beyond that to the end of the cliffs near the old breakwater ― where it is said St. Paul landed. After this we came back by 6.20. The Baron was out, but soon came in, & was very pleasant. Tea, omelettes, & wine ― & talk. Later came the Regent ― & moreover the Map ― διὰ τὸ ὅπῶιον, ἐντρέσομαι.[1] Bed at 10.

[1] For which I am ashamed (Google).

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

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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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Sunday, 12 April 1863

A view of Santa Maura, Levkas, Ionian Islands. 12-13 April 1863.

A view of Santa Maura, Levkas, Ionian Islands. 12-13 April 1863.

Slept well. G. called me at 5, & by 5.45 ― coffee taken, we were off. Road to the Monastery of Φανερωμένη Η Παναγία[1] most lovely ― glade=plain of endless olives ― green & Asphodels below, Olives ever above: sheep, goats, cows now & then: but the amount of Asphodels was wondrous. The views from the heights above ― looking North & East ― are gloriously lovely. The sea of olives spreading out really like a Claude or Turner morning view. Beyond the pale Lagune, & ˇ[the] slender sharp line of sandy spit which divides it from the sea, the blue waters stretch to the coast by Preveza ― & range beyond range of mountains ― sublimely delicate. At 8. we went up to the Monastery ― where were 2 burly friendly priests. Then came down, & I sent G. home for his church. ― Ἐγῶ[2] went on the the mills on the sandspit, but got nothing for my pains but the beautiful walk. The peasants are most picturesque here, & I wish I could see a festa. (As I sat drawing above the monastery, many passed, & several insisted on kissing G. & me ― saying Χτός ανεστη[3] ― to which one had to say ― Ἀληθῶς ἀνέστα.)[4] ― It is now 9.30 ― & I go homeward. At 10, I find the Baron at breakfast, a cheerful & light repast ― but dinner was “fixed” for 7. Afterwards, I read somewhat, wrote, & slept. The Baron did not appear.

Left a note at Βαλαορίτη: poked about: fidgetted: read &c. till 4 ― walking once as far as the ferry. The Baron came out at 4.30, & we walked to Καλιγόνι, of which I must get some drawing. We came back by 6.20. Dinner at 7 ― very good & pleasant. Baron D’E. seems a kind-hearted old man. (read Mrs. [illegible]’s Italy today ― an absurd book, not bringing back much old memory.) What to do tomorrow? I wished to go to the Fort, but ˇ[I had no letter and] Baron D’E. would not write today, so I “fixed” to go to Φαιναρωμὲν & 2 villages. Bed at 10.


[1] Panagia Faneromeni (Virgin Mary the Revealed) (NB).

[2] I.

[3] The Christ is risen (NB).

[4] Truly He is risen (NB).

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


Filed under 1863, Diary Entry

Saturday, 11 April 1863

It is half past one[1] ― & the moon ― 4th quarter, is rising above dark clouds. I also rise ― awaiting the steamer. But alack! it does not come, & I am awaiting ― all packed & dressed ― & they think there is some mistake in the day ― for it is now 2.20 ― & no signal made.

The steamer should start on Friday night instead of the usual Saturday, because of the Greek Easter, ― to admit of the crew getting back to Corfu: but in these places of ἀνομαλα πανωκατόματα[2] ― who can say? ― Anyhow, it is a bore. (X3) Ὅμως[3] the Steamer was eventually signalled at 3.45, & I was hustled into a boat ― (leaving Sebastiano 2 dols. For himself.) We had to wait a long time by the Lighthouse ― but the sea was smooth, & at 4.40 I was on board. ― and there was the Suliot to my gt. pleasure. Little Καραλάμπος has recovered, thank God ― & Nicolo quite so. We were off by 5. It is now 7.15, & we are to arrive about 9. (M. was telling me Χθὲς[4] about Baron D’Evertons history. ˇ[― He was] selected by Sir H. Verney & another, I forget whom ― (Stuart Mackenzie?) to confirm the Duke of Lucca in what was believed to be[5] a tendency to Protestantism, he became his secretary, & was made Master of the House & a Baron. (Sebright is his name. D’Everton ― from his native place in Scotland) ― near Bamff, where he was brought up for the Church.) But finding that the Duke ― or his son ― led a very unsanctified life, he left him, & his prospects of life being thus unhooked, Sir H.V. ― & ――― got one Stuart Mackenzie, at the time Lord H. Com.: to appoint him Resident of Cephalonia, where he remained 7 or 8 years, & was moved by Sir H. Ward to Sta. Maura. ―― About 9 ― anchoring close to the fort ― we got off in the Sanità boat, & were tow’d up the canal. (Another boat took off the pilot & owners of the brig wh. was wrecked on the 7th & wh. we had seen from Ρωμῆτι: G. heard the pilot & captain quarrelling in the night, & the latter said ― not now, but later, I will find you out & kill you “wherever you may be.” ― G. said Pilot was pale & trembling, & wanted to come into our boat.) ― I remembered the kind Williams family. ― About 9.30. got to the Residency, & was most kindly welcomed by Baron D’E. ― who sent for G. & the Πραγμὰτα,[6] & soon gave me a breakfast. At 11, I arranged things in my room ― a large one & comfortable ― & slept till 1. Washed, & at 2 went out to Καλιγονι[7] with G. ― went all over it & drew once. The scenery is very beautiful (& the road by the vast olive groves leading thither particularly so,) but I could not find any point uniting the North view & the walls in one. Towards Κάλαμο ― eastward ― that part wh. I drew ― the lines are bery Greek & fine; but in truth I was very sleepy & could not work well. We returned by another road, stopping at a Spring ― Μεγάλη Βρύσις[8] ― & eating water cresses. The peasants here have a complete Greek-Epirote costume ― with handkerchiefs on their heads, & large Turkish braghe[9] ― so that both sexes look much alike. Walked thro’ the principal street of the town ― notably indifferent ugly, & very smelly. Along the Quay ―― whence the Arta & Pindus hills are glorious ― but clouded. ― To the Residency & my perfectly comfortable room: half ‘dressed’ ― & read a new pamphlet of Λανκαράτος[10] till 7.30 ― when came the Baron ― & dinner.

Dinner being ― soup ― fish ― Liver & bacon ― stuffed lamb ― roast fowl ― pudding ― jelly & custards ― cheese, & 4 sorts of wine, wh. the hospitable Baron apologized for!!! ― Enjoyed all greatly. (Of the Baron ― & the “art of governing” ― reserved thoughts.) Bye the bye, he is awfully Sabbatical, & don’t quite approve my sketching tomorrow evidently ― but, as I shall return by 10, I shall be vicious. Could not sit up beyond 10.30. ―

To “do” the rest of this island? ― It will be difficult.


[1] The entry begins in the page for 10 April.

[2] Irregular ups and downs (NB).

[3] But.

[4] Yesterday.

[5] From this point the entry is on the page for 11 April.

[6] Things (NB), what Lear often calls roba, his possessions.

[7] Probably Kalligoni, a village in Lefkada (NB).

[8] Both Κάλαμο above and Μεγάλη Βρύσις are places in Lefkada (NB).

[9] Breeches.

[10] Andreas Laskaratos, a well-known satirical poet and writer of the time (says wonderfully patient Nina).

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

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Filed under 1863, Diary Entry