Friday, 1 May 1863

Slept well. Rose ― 4.30. ― off, [][1],― 5.30. Beautiful Ithaca! ― By 7.30 have been to Ταξιάρχος, & back, having drawn a view of Μάρμακα. A most lovely situation: Monastery deserted. Tomb of Ἡγούμενος by the door. Men working at the vines & currants, σταφύλια, σταφίδα.[2]  On all sides the prospect is lovely. Drew ― homeward going ― several times ― & reached Μεταξὰς at 10. (Κ. Μανολάτο of Κάλαμος ― advocate at Missολόγγι ― his wife was brought up in Mrs. Hill’s school.)

I am writing at 12.45, on the west side of Ithaca ― having set off at 12. As soon as I came there was a πρόγευμα[3] ― omlette, toast fowl & cheese ― & almonds ― good wine. Both Μεταξὰ & Πεταλὰ are really nice people, intelligent, thoughful, kind, gentlemanly. With the latter, talking of the Williamses is quite continual. Afterwards, carpets were brought, but only one good ― 8 dollars asked ― but given for 5. ― I like to take away some recollection of these places. Could not anyhow give the servant anything ― as all opportunities are prevented. Πεταλὰ said he should like a Vice Consulate at Missolonghi; all these people seem & are greatly disturbed by the approaching annexation, one, one way, ― another another. Ithaca he would evidently like best of all.* Most kindly good people. Left at 12. A long wall road above Polis ― many Caruba trees ― opposite Κεφαλόνια. Very rich slopes of cultivation down to the sea ― fruit trees in gt. number. At 1. we pass Λεύκη, a largish village of διασπαρμένα σπῆτια,[4] in the midst of Carubas, vines, olives, great fig-trees ― corn &c. &c. ― opposite the East wall like side of Κεφαλονια. ― 1.15.  continually Λεύκη: dogs in the village ― rough folk ― never seeing any stangers, ― children hoot ― & I fear throw stones. Braying asses.

Extreme beauty & fertility of coast ― deep & steep in parts ― & covered with fruit trees to the sea below. 2.30. Draw a little ― the whole Samos passage ― very like a calm lake: very pretty. But it was a very very hot walk up the side of Νέριτος, & I was glad of rest at the top ― where the road to Καθαρὰ joins that of Σταυρὸ. Down ― down to the end of the Gulf, & round it, & so reached Capt. Stirkes by 5. Went at once to call on Mrs. Μεταξὰ but she was out ― & then on Count Roma, of whom I must say he was very kind & amiable indeed, & I should not like to have left the Island without thanking him for his letters. Returned to wash & dress, & at 6.30 dinner. One, Dr. Μαράττι, but I didn’t admire him at all. Kind people, these of the 6th.

― Halfway ― or rather nearer to Μεταξὰς than to Ταξιάρχου ― I went up to a house at                :[5] ― perhaps wishing to see the heiress of those parts.                Great stones in many walls ― evidently of ancient sites.

Mule cost a dollar a day.

*sentence not understood thoroughly ― but I suppose referring to Πεταλὰ. ― 12 July.

[1] Lear has cancelled a few words.

[2] Grapes, currants (NB).

[3] Breakfast (NB).

[4] Scattered houses (NB).

[5] Here, and below, Lear leaves a blank space.

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

1 Comment

Filed under 1863, Diary Entry

One response to “Friday, 1 May 1863

  1. Νίκος Δ. Καράμπελας

    1st of May I suppose, not March.
    Have a splendid May Day !

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