Monthly Archives: May 2013

Sunday, 31 May 1863

Woke at 4 ― but slept again till 7 ― wonderful to say. ― At 8 ― 8.30 breakfasted with Dr. Roberts who is always the same, even & amiable. Φώκιον Μπᾶρφ came in afterwards for a time. As for me, I read (or slept ―) all day: among other matters, a novel ― “Good for Nothing” by Whyte Melville.[1] The weather is very hot here ― & I mean to keep indoors all day. And “bedad” I did: ― lying on a sofa reading Kingsley & other authors.

At 7.30. Roberts & I went to dine with Mr. Wrench.

But previously, R. & Phoicon B. had come in & had gone out for a walk: ―― & they had told me the news such as it is. At 7.30 dined with Mr. Wrench. Φοϐοῦμαι, φοϐοῦμαι[2] I drink a deal of beer &c. &c. But by talking ― alas ― no virtue but a sad necessity ― evening passed by. ― & 11 o’clock by them ― 10 by me ― ever the signal of moving. Very kind good folk.


[1] George John Whyte Melville, Good for Nothing; or, All Down Hill, 2 vols. Leipzig: Bernhard Tauchnitz, 1862.

[2] I am afraid, I am afraid (NB)

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

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Saturday, 30 May 1863

8. weeks today from Corfu! ― Rose before 4, (slept well.) Off 4.45. ―

We pass Ἀναφωνῆτρα ― at 5.15. ― always long ugly rocky hills, thinly besprinkled with olives & cypresses here & there: ― corn in patches ― & gray rocks with Σκίνος. At 5.20-25 pass through Πλυμμονηριὰ ― a rather pretty largish village; fruit trees, ― cypresses; ― turkies plentiful ― no dogs ― (which in this island seem all in the city.) Before me is a long upland valley ― meager & uninteresting, ― with “the highest mountain” of no form at the end. Policeman says ― “Α. Γεώργιος being once here, they beat him with stones, & he excommunicated them, & thence forward the Πλυμμονήριans have small families & are all more or less black.[”] ― 5.30 ― to 6 ― an elevated plain, ― usual Greek herbs ― here & there a pine.

Top of Blk. Mountain (Ænos ―) just seen. 6 ― 6.10 ― still high plain ― but all cultivated. 6.15 ― open out towards sea ― long view of Maritime table-land, olive & corn covered: cheerful but not particularly picturesque. 6.30. Μαριὲς.[1] ― smiling fields all about. We stop at a cistern in the shade, & a passing woman goes for the key ― & a jug, or iron basin. After water & 5 minutes rest, we go on at 6.35. One man says ―”Καλ’ ἠμέρα”![2] ― & only one. Dogs mute. 2 other ammazzamenti[3] took place here last week. Turkies. Cypresses, olives, & corn: ― bad stony roads. 6.50. very beautiful [on]going cornfields ― with large old olives growing thereout. Now again stony. 7.10. village of Ὀξωχώρι[4] ― full of Cisterns: we get water again ― broad flat ground ― & very old olives. Pass thro’ the village, gloomy folk methinx: ― & at 7.30 begin to ascend, towards the Mountains ― & leaving the sea. Crossing the shoulders of Mt. Γέρι ― or Βραχίονα;[5] ― the usual sharp gray limestone rocks & a world of herbs; ― a flat table land below, with 2 villages visible ― Γαμπὶ ― & Ἄγιος Λεὸς: ― Beyond all is the sea.

Not quite so hot as yesterday it ain’t. 7.35. go on. walls. always toiling up the toilsome hill till 8.15, when we reach the brow & see Luca below. 8.30. pass thro’ Λοῦκα. More water: G. Cross & answers angrily. Λοῦκα is a village with Cypresses, & some tolerable houses. ― Valley ― & dry stones. Cross a pleasant plain of corn ― peasants cutting & loading grain. {Cisterns & more water[.]

Leave it ― & begin to rise. (Recollections of Abruzzo days, ― & villages.) 9.20. arrive at top of long valley side, & see a small cultivated plain, with the Mt. Sinai Monastery ― Παράγαθος[6] ― surrounded by pines & vines. ((continued at page F.))

May. 30. Continued.

They say there is no one there ― so I don’t know what to do; it is full time to rest. Perhaps better go on to the Monastery: G. is too cross to speak to, & the Policeman is “hard to understand.”

At 9.45 ― we get to the Monastery ― which has a neat & trim appearance, ― & find it shut: ― only a few female peasants, & children in outbuildings. We sit in the Church porch ―― Nothing but water to be had. All the Καλόγεροι are away, & only 3 very dirty women ― one verminous boy, & 8 filthy dogs being the Κατακοῦντες.[7] I don’t very well know what to do. Such a sell as these 2 days giro never was! ―

So I think to go on at 10. This little Monastery is pretty enough in its tufty pine wood, but has not particular interest to make it drawable. From 10 to 11 went in a violent=odious descent between the 2 sides of the ˇ[a] ravine ― & the pale green plain of Zante came out by degrees in a vivid triangle at the end. But when Skopo & Zante were seen they were not available to draw. Lower down, above Γαλάρο, I stopped, sending on G. & policeman ― & drew till 11.20. ― 11.40. I got to the village of Γαλλάρο ― (wh. stands on the side of the hill range facing Zante) ― the Policeman meeting me, & am taken to a very dirty nasty house ― highly fleaful. It is awfully hot, even for me: & the flies are [dweffle]. 12 ― to 12.7. endeavour to lunch, τεγαμισμέν’ αὐγὰ,[8] good ― & also good brown bread: ― but the filth of the table & the flies absolutely prevent any comfort. I put the extremely foul napkin aside quietly ― which the horrid amazon woman ― mistress of the house ― sees, & brings back ― cramming it onto the bread, saying ―

“Ἒτζι εἶναι; Μπᾶ! Μπᾶ! Πάρε το!”[9] ―

The wine is good but too sweet. Hens pervade the scene. Zantiotes please me not, nor Zante much. Ὅμως I am thankful I can bear more than formerly. ― And now ― how to get over these next 5 hours? ― 12.40. I have left the halls that no one swept, & have come out, sitting below a Nollive-tree for the present. 1.15. time grows on, & I am going to move higher up to draw Skopõ. (I gave the queer dry policeman a dollar as I came down the hill.)[10]

1.40. Drawing still on the hill side. 3 more hours to pass. 2. Move again. 2.20. In the vast green carpet of currants, groups of minute white spex appear by my glass. These are peasants working. Towards the Castle hill, villas ― white ― abound: ― and the tall white new Campanile of S. Dionýsios is evident. I sit still continual. ― Breezes below ― beginning at 2.30, & birds twitter. Very silvery twitterers are these in the olives. ― Cephalonia is dim & blue. ― It is now 3 ― & must be 3.20. in the city: but as yet no signs are seen of the carriage.

3.15 ― is there a carriage seen?
3.20. there is still hope ― plenty.
3.25. our hopes do not thrive.
3.45 ― nor can they longer strive.

4. I return to the village. No signs of the carriage ― so I go down ― leaving G, & the Policeman to follow, which they do. I draw till 4.30 ― but no carriage. 4.45 ― set off to walk. 5.15 ― (their 5.45 ―) met carriage, which could not have reached Γαλάρο before 6 ― whereby I was in a great rage. The long plain of currants, when new, is pleasing; but wearies after a time. There is so little “country” in Zante ― all is so artificial & villa=like. The Acanthus=thistle grows immensely in the hedges.

Got through that awful long Street, & to Roberts’ ― by 7. Dressed & washed ― & Major Hawes came to dinner. (He is a widower, ― his late wife sister of the Mrs. Yelverton.) Afterwards came Mr. Wrench. I went to bed at 10 ― or 10.30. resolving to sleep no end.

A pretty long disagreeable day!


[1] Maries.

[2] Good day (NB).

[3] Killings.

[4] Oksochori (Eksochori).

[5] Mt. Vrachionas.

[6] Paragathos (Yperagathos).

[7] Residents (NB).

[8] Fried eggs (NB).

[9] Is that so? Ooh! Ooh! Take it! (NB).

[10] Continues in the facing page.

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

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Friday, 29 May 1863

Rose before 4: out by 5. in a carriage with G. Wait for Policeman.[*] & go “all over the place” to find him. Off by 5.30. dusty roads, ordinary people ― hideous black caps ― fertile plain ― 5.45. Aloes & fine vegetation. 6. Α. Διμίτρι[1] ― Oleanders ― houses & gardens ―― villas & plain ― valley narrows. Views of Κεφαλλένια shut out. Olives & vine cultivation ― Groupes of peasants. White Dog Roses. Squills. Scent of flowers. Cheerful pianura & valley. End of it ― Καταστάρι[2] ― side of hill ― 6.40. walk, Χαρτάτα[3] ― very picturesque. Acanthus=thistles.

7.10. Decide ― to go or not to go up to Ἀ. Ἰωάννης: but to go on to Σπιλαιάτισσα.[4] ― Long plain of Zante, Σκοπῶ behind. Cephalonia fine. Ascent tough & long: meet people who knew me at Sta. Maura. Great ravine & ascent. Pause at 7.40 & drew till 8.10. ― Beautiful ˆ[pale] blue plain. At 8.30 cross plain at top ― wild ― bare. Lentisk. Find cistern. ― Thirst! ― no cup ― water deep. Luckily ― a boy is there with a lettuce leaf curled up quâ cup, & let down cum string. ― Go on. 8.30. ― After this there commenced a long & awful ascent ― over a Πρινάρι & Σκίνος clad hill, lasting till 9.15. ― Morning very hot. ― Then a gully & a hillside brought us to Σπιλειότισσα at 9.30. Goodness! the thirst! Peculiarly unecclesiastical looking Καλόγεροι, & the Ἡγούμενος more than all like a very dirty Layman, whom I would draw, but that he is inspecting me. He is 75 ― & has no teeth, so I can’t well understand him. Ὅμως he hath good wine, & eggs are coming: he looks like a distracted Gamekeeper, & also reminds me of old Don Vincenzo Mobigli.

Another Καλόγερος has a red handkerchief round a good head, & with bright blue breeches & white shirt is like a corsair or sailor. It is now 10.15.

After much expression of surprise at my spectacles, boots, watch &c., the Ἡγούμενος, who is rather a despotic & vivacious old cove of 76 became quieter, perceiving that it behoved him to behave himself, for at first they suppose that “walking” implies inferiorità of position. How curiously the Monasteries of Athos come back to my recollection! Those so A N° 1 ― these so loose & inferior in matters of dress ― picturesqueness &c. Conceive an Ἡγούμενος of Athos in a jacket & trowsers!!  or one of his Καλόγεροι in blue tights & a red handkerchief!!!!!!

“Αὐτοί οἱ Λώρδοι ταξιδεύουν πάντοτε πεζῶς,”[5] says the older of the 2 Καλόγεροι[.] The table is laid for lunch ― Caviare ― olives & other orthodox diet dishes reign in the middle, eggs for me & George, who is tired & braves the damnatory hints of the orthodox. The Ἡγούμενος says, on seeing G. put forth his hand egg ward ― “Ποίας θρεσκίας εἶσαι;”[6] G. crosses himself ― takes 2 eggs ― & says ― “Σήμερον φάγω αὐγά.[”][7] ―

All the lunch, besides beet-root, slices of sausage, & cheese was good, with undeniable wine ― really fine. Only one sees that George’s egg eating has upset his position in the eyes of the pious, & when the priests began to banter him about his beard, I came to his help. Lunch lasts till 11.30 ― & now 11.50 ― the room is left to buzzing flies & me.

The toothless old Abbott has gone, & I shan’t stir till 2. P.M. ―

(continued at Page D.)

May 29th continued. (Friday)

1.10. ― Bother the old Ἡγούμενος ― he insists on our waking up & going ― & perhaps he is right. 1.30. having seen the Church, & deposited 4/4, we go. Most vast soundless solitudes of Πρι & Σκι covered hills ― & depths of valleys!!!!! ― 2.15. we wind up a huge gorge, among coarse large ugly rounded hills ― all the remarkable being the vineyard enclosures right & left, & the silvery crystals of the rocks forming the road. 2.50. we have arrived ourselves at Βολύμες,[8] & G. requires a drink of water so we abide. A queer restraint & silence broods over the place. All the priests dress laically: ― the people don’t salute. We have been passing up a long hill side, odious in its monotony, & hot in its armosphere. ― vine abounding. The highest mountain in the island, Γέρι;[9] ― a dreary green & gray affair, ― we left behind: a more uninteresting set of hills one can’t see ― tho’ they are not so fearful hideous as those in Cephalonia viâ Ἄσσος. Ὅμως there is nothing to draw ― nohow ― no how: ― so much for the Ἐξοχῆ of Ζάκινθος.[10] I ἀποφαςίζω[11] to go to Ἄ. Γεώργιος, & to leave out Α. Ανδρέα altogether, for the day’s work would be too fatiguing to do both ˆ[& nothing promises interst or beauty]. ― We go on at 3. Road between walls. & corn on each side ― it might be Corn-wall, & really is not unlike that land near about Boscastle. 3 villages at Βολύμες ― upper, middle & lower ― all very ugly & commonplace. Windmills, (A woman was murdered today at the upper Βολύμες: she was found shot in bed: ― being they say pregnant troppo presto:[12] their jealousy is immense here.) We pass to the 2nd village ― a great headland of corn country ― somewhat like Beachy Head all round. ―

At 3.20. we descend to the 3rd village: where are one or two very pretty campanili. 4 ― On our way down to Α. Γεώργιος, ― long rolling semiplain Lentisk Covered hills ― & the “Mountain” Γέρι above afar, ― very formless. 4.20. O dear! ἐφθάσαμεν[13] at St. George ― & lo! I have seen it before & drawn it ― & it is beastly ugly. Therefore, the pretty fine hill & Monastery which I remember, ˇ[& wh. I also drew,] must be S. Andrea!!! Ἀναφωνῆτρα[14] is seen from here, but on my saying carelessly “might we not go on there?” ― G. declared flatly ― “Δὲν θέλω, Κύριε.”[15] Which I don’t wonder at, vû all I have heard about his old master. ― However, we came to S. George ― a dirty=desolate place, with 3 or 4 old Καλόγεροι like fat pot-boys ― no Priests’ dress, except the Ἡγούμενος, a small gentlemanly old man, with a long curl[16] quâ pigtail. He seems disgusted that Wodehouse has sent no letter, as indeed he promised to do. I have gained little as yet by this weary journey, which however is to end tomorrow. One of the Καλόγεροι is like an aged Charles Vacher in tights & stockings: another is a compound of poor dear Anthony Chester & J. Shakespear R.A. ― One thing I have ascertained by this 2° trip to the Zante hills, ― viz. ― that any impressions of what was good or viceversa as to Greek scenery were the same in 1848 as in 1863, for these convents are utterly without picturesqueness either in form or in position ― excepting that of S. Andrea. But, unless I had paid this 2nd visit, I could not have been sure of this. The Coincidence about Κώμης Φλαμπουρίανι is really ˇ[certainly very] curious & I am glad he has not happened to be here, as I really cannot tell how G. might have behaved. || One drawing of Zante ought assuredly to express its immense abundance & luxuriant growth of vegetation; its aloe hedges, ― the white Dog-rose covering parts of the pale green spikes ― its vines ― its corn ― its endless dotty white villas & small houses. Crowds of peasants were coming into the city today as we came out ― (among other the suspected murderers of the woman at Βαλύμες ― with guarding Policemen.) ― but all odiously unpicturesque, ― I never saw such ˇ[more] signal absence of anything like costume & color: ― perhaps the hideous high black cap of cloth is the worst of all ― but the best might come from Wapping or Pentonville as to their want of individuality. Nor, as far as I can see, are either men or women good-looking. || It is now 6. Slept till 7 ― or later. Going then into the reception room ― (bye the bye, the bedroom is perfectly clean & nice ―) another Καλόγερος was there ― Στέφανος, a very leasant & hearty man, who had been at Ἄ. Ὄρος, & wore priests robes. Dear me! how hard it is to talk long in another tongue, if one knows it imperfectly! Later came a supper, most amiably & cleanly set forth: ― a roast fowlet ― of which I ate the flesh & a cat the bones: ― ham ― eggs ― cheese, & excellent Κολοκύθια,[17] with absolutely good wine. The laughing jolly Καλόγεροι seemed to enjoy ˇ[my] being pleased, & I almost could fancy one is Shakespear in disguise. After supper the Ἠγούμενος (Δαμασχινὸς) ― sate with me awhile, & afterwards Στέφανος ― till at nearly 10. I went to bed.

I have poured out nearly the last of my beloved Flea powder. Dogs bark. Moonlight.

[1] Saint Dimitrius.

[2] Katastari.

[3] Chartata.

[4] Spiliotissa, Monastery of Holy Virgin of the Cave (NB).

[5] These Lords always travel on foot (NB).

[6] What religion do you belong to? (NB).

[7] Today I shall eat eggs (NB).

[8] Volimes.

[9] Yeri.

[10] Countryside of Zante (NB).

[11] Decide (NB).

[12] Too soon.

[13] We arrived (NB).

[14] Anafonitria.

[15] I don’t want to, Sir (NB).

[16] The entry continues on the facing page, marked “E.”

[17] Marrows (NB).

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

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Thursday, 28 May 1863

Rose at 4. Out before 5. Up to the little pergola church, but though so early, the flies were awfully disgusting, & drawing almost impossible.

Afterwards, going up high near the castle, drew twice on my way down ― & came in at 9. Breakfast alone ― 9.30.

It is now ― 10.30. Sent letter to Spiro.

Repoged till 1.30 when Mr. Wrench came, & I went with him to Ἀκροτῆρι,[1] & drew twice: one view is vastly lovely, but there is not much variety hereabouts. Mr. Barff’s house or villa ― (née Wynnes’) is pretty[.] Returned & drew from Roberts’s window till 5. R. & I dined together at 7. and later came φώκιονΜπάρφ Mr. Wrench, the unclerical but agreable. He does not ― ὅμως seem singular as to his censures of the Resident. ―

Still later came Phocion Barff, who as he took fluid was less agreable. His grins at the stabbings of the Zantiotes were unpleasant. But I fancy, from all one hears, that G. was right in his strictures on the Zante people, who seem a baddy lot.

[1] Akrotiri.

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


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Wednesday, 27 May 1863

Rose before 4: out before 5. Long street of Zante ― [beastly][1] dogs ― tiresome. Drew, ― halfway to the Monastery of Α. Ιωάννης, ― from 6 to 8 ― very beautiful. Then went to a point high enough up to see Cephalonia ― & as in 1848 ― drew it. Picturesque & fine goats. At 11 ― searched ― (in vain,) for any tree by which to sit comfortably, for they dig away a sort of hollow all round the olives, so that ἀγκαλὰ κὰι[2] the tree may be the better for this operation, the man who wants shelter & quiet is not so by any means. ― Lunched ― with G. also: bottle of Zante wine ― Eggs, ― cold mutton & bread, ― the very best things possible ― but there was no good repoging place.

Flies also bored me hideously, & ants: also crowing cox: also screaming children διὰ νὰ φεύγωσι τὰ ὀρνίθια:[3] ― also lots of matters. At last I have taken to sit on the trunk of a tree ― to be aisy.

The sight of the black mountain brings back Cecil Lane to mind ― whom I hope to see again. ― Uncomfortable, but highly cultivated olives of Skopo! ― 1 P.M. going down towards the city ― a a [sic] very lovely breeze prevails. Some fine ― or one fine ― bell ― or bells, si fa sentire,[4] & G. says it is the Campanile of Α. Διονύσιος.

Bother the flies! ― O! blue sea! O cultivated Zante! Sitting on a stone ― that being the only suitable place in these be-ornamented diggings. After we went down I thought a new & characteristic view might be made from the last heights of the Σκοπῶ spur, so I went back, & got up by 1.20 ― & drew; being now down again on the Plain at 2.20. I am surprised to see how beautiful the black mountain is from all this part ― doubly intetesting to me now I know it so well. The plain of Zante is assuredly exquisite, though the flies & small midges drive me mad.

Walked slowly on & met Dr. R. close to the city, with whom I sate & talked a while. Afterwards ― as it was very hot indeed ― I gave up going all round the Castle Hill, & came through the streets ― reaching home by 5.20: & gave up all farther work for today. Repoged & slepp ― & having washed & tubbed, read variously from 5 or 6 to 7: ― when Dr. Roberts came home. Wrench, the Military chaplain here ― dined with us ― a very pleasant dinner & converse.

Bed at 11. Read Gussie’s letter.


[1] The word is blotted.

[2] Although (NB).

[3] To scare away the birds (NB).

[4] Is heard.

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

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Tuesday, 26 May 1863

Rose at 3.30. ― waked by whistles, & the steamer stopping, & found a thick fog. Which continued, so that we couldn’t get on till 5.30, when the sun riz, & shewed the top of Monte Skopò. So we went on, & now, at 6 ― are entering Zante harbour.

It was long before the Pratica boat came & it was 7.30 before I left the Europa. Zante looked gayer & more beautiful than ever: ― brilliance & elegance are its chief characteristics. Roberts had sent a boat so I went straight there by water, after the forms of Dogana & Sanita.

Found R. very kind & friendly. Found Letters from ― (1) F.L. (2) Daddy Hunt. (3) A. Empson. (4) Gush. (5) Foord: (all the drwings are safely arrived.) (6) Fanny Coombe: 7. Gussie Bethell. (8) a Mr. Timings, a Birmingham admirer. (8) [sic] G. Posidoni. (9) Ellen. (10) Mr. Cave. (11) E.A. Drummond. (12) Lawson. 13. 14. T. Cooper. ― A long unpacking & wash ― & breakfast at 9.15. with Roberts. After this, at 10 went out with him, left name at Residency & called on Lindsay: also bought a book. Then went again to Lindsays, & from 11 to 1.30 made a map of Zante from one of his. Yet I don’t see how I can get to all I want to see here in so short a time as a week. R.’s room is very comfortable ― my bedroom ditto. At 2 ― out with G. to a hill, where I drew Zante till 4: a fatiguing sketch: ― then walked ― examining other places till 6.30 when I came back to Dr. Roberts’s. 7.30. Dinner ― Col. Wodehouse & our 2 selves, & Διονύσιος Μεσσαλὰ, whom I remember here in 1848, & who has now “spent all his money & lives on nothing at all.” Very tired & sleepy was I, & moreover ate & drank according. Colonel W. said he was very very sorry he could not come with me to Α. Γεώργιος, but I was not sorry at all. It seems I may see somewhat of all that part in 2 days.

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

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Monday, 25 May 1863

alas for the Demon! Whether these things are gor good or evil, I know not.

During the night the wind & waves were by no means calm, so I rose at 3.30. And at 4 went out with George to the church above the Lighthouse. Considering what a swell there is insided the harbour, I am surprised to see the outer sea so quiet: ― yet, nevertheless it is vexatious to have so dull & semi=threatening a sky. Speriamo.[1] ― At 4.20 I go back to the Deputato’s & have coffee. At 5 again on the rocks above. ― 6 [wasting] still ― no signal ― west nor east. 7 ― ditto ― ditto ― ditto. 8 ditto-ditto-ditto. 8.30. No signal. ― wind increases. Deputy begins to fear that both vessels have gone round by the straits. (Giovanni Κασιματι, deputy of Καψάλι.[)] 10. No signal. Weather suddenly clears ― wind changed. I have been lunching with the above named cove, & his elder brother, & the wife of the Deputy. They are very kindly & civil ― tho’ the elder is a distinct bore.

Slept till 11. No signal yet. ― Immediately afterwards the East boat is signaled, & we embark ― Deputy ― G. & I. with roba & 4 marinari.

No small suffering in a blue but rolling sea before we get on board at 11.4[0] ― on board the Europa; & gladly I saw the faces of last week ― for indeed it was becoming an idée fixe that I must be another week here. At 11.45 ― we are off ― bright sun & rolling blue sea,, too much to be pleasant. At 12.30 we are leaving the S.W. end of Cerigo.

The outward aspic of the island, it must be owned, is werry dry & long: no green, & no houses being visible. At 1 ― we roll. The “Egg” rock is nearly invisible & the long line of Cerigo is fading ― nor can Matapan be discerned ― for the seafogs over the high land at the North end of Cerigo obscure it ― though I once thought I saw Taÿgeτω. 2. P.M. Matapan not yet passed: a sufficiency of rolling. 3 P.M. [nearing] Ματαπᾶν; go down to wash for dinner. 3.15 Ματαπᾶν passed. 3.30. Capo Grosso ― fine outline & detail ― but too much movement to draw. Excitement of passing t’other Steamer ― the Celere, which left Lyra the same time as Europa, but cut across north of Cerigo. We also met the Cephalonia & Zante boat about the same time. 4. dinner ― very good & pleasant ― barring rolling. 4.30. dinner over. 5.30. rolling sea, but fine everywhere. Talk with English Gentleman come from Constantinople. 5.45. ― 6 hours [Hong Root]. The Evening is lovely to look at, & the Greek Mountains would be so if they were more visible, but the swell of the sea impedes confusing. 6.45. 7. hours out. (But really it is 7.45.) & in about 8 hours more ― or 9 ― we ought to be at Zante. At 8 ― (9) we took tay, but I am stupid with rolling & noise: so at 9 ― i.e. 10 ― bed. ―


[1] Let’s hope.

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

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Sunday, 24 May 1863

Rose at 4. Packed & arranged drawings till 6. Read Mrs. Harvey’s Cruise of the Claymore.[1]* At 9. breakfast with Bulwer whom one likes more by seeing more of. Talk of G.F.B. ― disagreable. Bulwer knows Up Park; also the Hammonds ― & various other mutual people. At 12 ― after a good deal of reading & talk ― I retire. At 1. I am ready to go & lunch with Massey ― having just given a dollar & a half to Τεοδόρος, & half a dollar to the fat Παιδὶ[2] ― both of whom bent down suddenly & kissed my hand. ((The Cerigotto people say O, yes! for ὄχι,[3] ― which comes then ὅχι ὅχιε, ὁχιές[4] ― o yes! ―)) At 1 lunched with the most amiable Massey ― than whom a simpler & nicer lad I never met. ― B. was also there. Pease & excellent bacon, he having vainly tried to get beans. A most pleasant meal, B. being very pleasant: a real kind fellow. It is now 3 ― & I believe we are to go out: Sorry the weather is cloudy, but I trust it may not play trix. (Massey very amiably gave me a little Greek book, about Cerigo, & a patent water cup.) At 9.[5] we loitered about the Fort, looking down on that strange Maltese-Saracenic Romantic town, backed by its Palermo ― Pellegrino like hill, & rooted into its black Hezekiah’s pool. At 5 we walked slowly down to the school, & round by the top of the town, returning by 6.15. At 7. came Massey to dinner, wh. was very good as usual, & certainly the kindness of Bulwer to a mere stranger & one out of his own position is remarkable & delightful. The same may be said of Massey: both of them are men such as one seldom lights on in out-of-the-way places. At 8.30 ― came Mr. Καλλονᾶ,[6] the Postmaster, who, with B. & M. Walked down with me to Καψάλι.[7] The half moon gave a beautiful somber light, but there is far more sea on than I like, & I hear them talking about the weather more or less doubtfully.

Ὅμως, they seem to think the Zante Steamer may touch.

I was housed at the Deputato’s ― in a most comfortable small room. G. is at the Dogana. And B. & M. are gone up to the lonely Citadel. Bed at 10.


* “tried, but failed” to draw the town of Cerigo from the fort, from 9 to 11.30.


[1] Annie Jane Harver, Our Cruise in the Claymore, with a visit to Damascus and the Lebanon. London: Chapman and Hall, 1861.

[2] Child (NB).

[3] No (NB).

[4] ὁχιές literally means “vipers!” Used for its similarity to όχι, usually, nowadays, as an answer to someone who says “no” all the time (NB).

[5] This is probably a misspelling of “4.”

[6] Kallonas.

[7] Kapsali.

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

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Filed under 1863, Diary Entry

Saturday, 23 May 1863

Rose at 4. “Work ― work ― work.” Off before 5. (Hezekiah’s pool ― & general Oriental look of houses.) Down by a steep path to a washing place & Cemetery, & then up towards the signal station, but finding no good views drew a “scrap” & went on to complete a drawing begun yesterday afternoon. After which, walked in search of the rox B. & M. speak of, but they are not drawable, though grand. The immense expanse of sea lies still & blue, ― clouds hiding Candia & Crigotto. ― Return. People are cutting all the σιτάρι,[1] everywhere. It is 7.30. Dawdled up to & about the footsteps, & indoors by 8. Got a Limonata, these being days of Luxury. B. ― taking medicine, cometh not to breakfast. ― Good breakfast solo, done by 9.

(Μίτατα or Μιτάτα? ― Ἄγια Ἐλέσα[2] is the name of the high saddleback mountain above the town.)

{10 Left with Δ
{11. Λιβαδι. Aloes ― & myrtle
{12. Ἀυλείμωνα visible― long road.
{12.30. Down great hill ― fountain & wasps ― gt. ascent.
{1. Top
{1.10. Descent, & stop to draw till
{2.30. set off.
{2.55. down the great ascent.
{3 ― rest at fountain ― & set off.
{3.15. At top. 3.30 meet Massey.
{4. Long bridge.
{4.25 ― wayside Inn. 4.35. corner

At 9.30 went to Massey. (W.C. [Shunaniste] Chamber on wall.) ― & later saw Bulwer, who arranged that Διονύσιος the Polisseman should go with me to a point near enough for me to see Κυθαῖρα,[3] which I have made up my mind to see. ― So at 10 ― we two set off: ― awfully hot. (Giorgio I left to clean the carpets, as I knew I should have to walk harder than he would like.) At 11. turned the “corner” to Λιϐάδι ― cheerful green spot. House of Ἠγούμενος of Μυρτίοτισσα.[4] Aloes by the roadside ― the only ones I have seen in this island, ― growing out of Σχίνος & Μυρτιὰ hedges.[5] Staid a bit & got some water [illegible] Μαγαζινάκι[6] or road side “Pothouse.” Dionysius thoughtfully took a glass with him. Then crossed the big bridge of 14 arches, & there the good road ends. That which follows is execrable, over stony hideous undulations ― & it was 12 before the hills of Κυθαίρα were visible ― hard walking ― & on seeing the immense valley & hill I had to descend to, cross, & mount before I could reach the view of Αὐλείμωνα, ― my heart failed me, & I very nearly turned back. A good view of the harbour alone could be had from a church on a higher hill, ― but that would not include Παλαιόπολις ―:[7] ― so at last ― never say die ― I decided to go on.

Down a steep hill ― the western wall of the valley ― & then at 12.30, a delightful Βρύσις[8] ― (though there were wasps,) of clear good water, & Dionýsios having so cautiously taken a glass tumbler, the effect was delicious & pleasant. After 4 glasses, I began to cross the valley ― (which is not cultivated ―) & ascend the hill ― or eastern side. (Oleanders in full bloom.) By 1. I reached the top ― but, “upon my honour, Mrs. Brady” it was awful work. 15 minutes brought me to the spot ˆ[a place] where all ancient Κυθαίρα was below me ― a most magnificent site: whether from the broad & long plain ― much of it corn & olive covered, ― or from the Harbour, or from the surrounding hills. Drew till 2.30. Something there is in these old sites which speaks of the past. The descent to the valley occupied 25 minutes quick walking, & 5 more went at the fountain: after which at 3 began the ascent, & I did the hardest bit in 20 minutes, but the longer ascent took 10 more, when I met Massey, who most kindly had come out to meet me. So we walked on, by that awful stony road, & by 4 reached the long bridge. Stopped for water & Lemonade at the “Inn,” & left it at 4.25: reaching the corner, or junction of the 2 roads by 4.35: ― & then, by sharp walking, ― home by 5.25. || continued at page C.

May 23. continued.

― no slight walk ― altogether, but seeing & drawing Κυθαίρα was somewhat.

Lemonade: tub: & dressed, & thence dinner, at which B. sate eating next to nothing: I ― ashamed of appetite ate all ― & drank more.

Later came Massey ― good simple fellow ― & some Greeks, (whom B. sent away after half an hour. Then, at 9.30 ― came to bed.


[1] Wheat (NB).

[2] Agia Eleousa.

[3] Cythera.

[4] Abbot of Myrtidiotissa [Μυρτιδιώτισσα] (NB).

[5] Lentisk & Myrtle hedges (NB).

[6] Small shop (NB).

[7] Palaiopolis.

[8] Fountain (NB).

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

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Friday, 22 May 1863

Rose before 4. Fuss about carpet=sack, & had to unpack.

Off by 4.45. ― Ugliness of Potamo: how like Sicilian villages. Innumerable chaplets & churches: green fields of corn ―; cheerful but Sicilian. Long piece of high road, leave it at Roganatica. Saracenic bit of building. Dive into dells, & ascend hills. 6.20. ((The above notes written in walking.)) ― The sack which the Πρωεστὸς said I was to have for 4/4, they announced this morning not to be for sale at all: so I had to unpack all one of my saddle-bags at starting, to my disgust. G. also was odious & cross. Endeavoured to make Andrea take a dollar, but in vain. Set off with G. ― the boy, & the ass, & a servant of the Πρωεστός ― leaving the filthy house with pleasure. The town of Ποταμῶ is awfully ugly, & undrawable from below. We kept the main road to Ρωγανάτικα, & then came by steep breakneck narrow lanes ― (many passed through the above named village,) & crooked places to Μιτάτα[1] about 7. (see dates of drawings.) The whole journey today has been very Sicilian ― ˇ[wide] expanses of stony gray green hills, ― & at Μιτάτα, great rocks & a chasm, which I drew from above the village. Arriving there, the Πρωεστος & others come & meet me, & I sit down on the edge of the plateau of rock on & from the slope of which Mitata is built ― a town of flat-topped houses one below the other down to the valley beneath. From the upper part, the view of all old Cythæra is very grand, so I drew twice ― & a 3rd time on the roof of the Πρωεστος’s house. till 9.15. when I went in doors to eat ― but the Eggs were uncooked & I had no appetite ― so I am off now ― at 9.30. This place is the grandest I have seen in Cerigo. The Mass of olive & Orange Gardens below, & the forms of the Cythærean hills beyond are superb. But, after 8 or 9 there is no light & shade, & toil is useless. Ὄ Πρωεστὸς & 2 more came out with me, to below the village.

Very lovely bits of garden, with an immensity of Myrtle growing everywhere. The Πρωεστος came on after the others left ― & we had turned away from the valley leading towards S. Nicolo or Cythæra, ― & he accompanied me thro’ small paths & roads not easy to find ― leading thro’ many little groups of very poor huts or houses ― until we reached the main road at 11. Here I tried to draw again, but failed, as there is no relief of light & shade, & one can’t make out the lines. But I can’t help wishing I had seen Cythæra nearer 11 ― 11.45 ― a weary hot road: one’s only comfort being the Larks.

Endless walls on all sides. At 12 we reach Φράτζα,[2] where are women washing at a large mountain ― & one says, “Ἀπὸ τὸ Φεγγάρι;”[3] to which I reply, “Ἀπ’ ὃπίσω τὸν Ἣλιον. ―”[4] Frazza is building a very big church, & overlooks Λιϐάδι, which its greenness is refreshing after the meager, wally nature of the last distretto passed. After a while, weariness prevails, & I call a halt, under a wild pear tree, & send the Ass=boy up to a house for water. Whereupn we all eat cold rice pudding & drink wine & water. G. says Mrs. Πρωεστος of Ποταμῶ drinks amain, & is always fuddly ― wh. accounts for the state of the house of that Giantess. What huge tall fine women there were at that place! ― I find I have left my new 3 bladed knife at the last sketching place, ― a bore. It is 1.15.

At 2.15 ― we are far on in Λιϐάδι & the 14 arched bridge is before me. The white flat houses, ― very green fields ― & the trim bridge, make a composite of England & Malta pretty to see, but of little use to draw. ((This morning I found 9 bugs & 14 fleas dead in my bed at Ποταμῶ! so much for Flea-powder.)) ― After various stoppidges, we reached the town of Τζερίγο[5] about 3.15 ― when, sending the boy on, G. & I went to the hill opposite to the Castle, but the wind blew too hard fro me to draw: || continued at page  C

May 22nd Continued.

― so I came to the Castle about 4.30. Soon saw Massey & Bulwer, most kind fellows both, ― & shewed them my drawings. It is now 5.45. & I am washed & dressed. ― B. had dined, so he had tea while I dinner had. Nothing can be kinder or more thoughtful than he is, & the time went by pleasantly ― especially with good fish, hash mutton, & Marsala. Afterwards, Massey came: ― how different are English & Irish! ―& these 2 are good Παραδείγματα[6] of each. Bed by 9. ― There are 4 if not 5 points of interest yet here ― yet I doubt my drawing them all. 1. The view from the South ― 2 that from the North ―3. cliffs ― 4 Αὐλείμωνα,[7] 5 Town from Fort. Vedremo.[8] Toothache abounds.

[1] Μητάτα, Mitata.

[2] Frazza, today Fratsia.

[3] From the Moon? (NB).

[4] From the back of the Sun (NB).

[5] Cerigo.

[6] Examples (NB).

[7] Avlemonas.

[8] We shall see.

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

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Filed under 1863, Diary Entry