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

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