Monthly Archives: May 2013

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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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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Thursday, 21 May 1863

Slept very tolerably: thanx to Flea=powder. Rose at 4. Off with G. & an extinct Πλοίαρχος[1] before 5. Morning quite clear, Candia visible ― but faint. We went north to the highest ground ― by long uncultivated tracks with rocky paths ― up to the hills overlooking the channel. Drew from 5.45 to 7.15. very calm & lovely ― though the mountains are not nearly so fine as those of Epirus. Peasant’s dress: babies in Carpet=bags. 7.15 ― we go on ascending gradually always ― passing a few Damascus-like houses ― the whole of the high table land of this mountain island becoming visible; near the top I was half inclined to draw that side, the S. West, but did not do so, not [not][2] knowing how much I should have to do farther on.

A few cottages stood alone, & several people ― of whom 2 came hastily & followed us, & when they reached us asked lots of questions. At the high level, the shore slopes to the North & the view of Taÿgetus[3] is fine ― as is that of Κυθαίρα[4] ― foreground a wild waste of green herbs ― σχίνος, πρινάρι,[5] Cistus in gt. abundance, ― the small thorn=cushion Εὐφόρϐια,[6] a bright ˆ[small] plentiful St. Johns wort, Thyme, Squills, Salvia, Arbutus, heath & wild Cypress. But these, the flowers at least, were in greater plenty as we came down Eastward to Καραϐὰ[7] ― wh. is in a valley. Certainly these Greek mountain tops & sides are wondrous lovely, & the air is so here also. I drew, arriving at 8.30. till 9. At 9.15 ― I am sitting to write. Our guide is talkative about the “Cession,” & says “would to God that the minds of men had not been given over to forgetfulness of what is  good, that they should they should [sic] prefer the rule of Ellenes who are thieves & hate laws & roads ― to English who do as far as they can rightly & well. Would to God the English were ever to stay here.[”] (“Ἢθελα, μὰ τὸν Θεὸν, νὰ μὴ ἐδώθησαν τα πνεύματα τῶν ἀνθρώπων νὰ λησμονήσωσι τὸ καλὸν, — ὃτι προτίμωσι τοῦς Ἒλλενες, οἲτινες εἲναι κλέφτοι, καὶ μισοῦν νόμους και δρόμους, παρὰ τῶν Ἃγγλων, οἱ ὁποίοι κάμουν ἐώς τὸ δυνατόν τῶν το δίκαιον καὶ το καλόν!”)[8] Drew Καραϐὰ till 9.45 ― & then began a κατιφερότατυς ἀτακτάτικος δρόμος[9] down slaty stairs, to one of the villages of Καραϐὰ: ― hotter & hotter & closer & closer, till the Oleanders were reached ― some of them in full blow. After passing the queer brown flat-roofed houses low down in the narrow gorge ― water was grateful from a fountain freely flowing forth. Planes also were there; ― I was reminded of Calabrian days. We went to see the wonderful Orange-tree bearing 15,000 oranges ― but found it no-wise remarkable. Rested & wrote till 10.30, below the Planes in this deep-ravine garden. Half way up the other side, we met the Πρωεστὸς, with a lot of others, (bunches of southernwood & pinks they proffered,) & so we wound up to near the town ― but turned into a or the ― priest=διδάσκαλος’s house, where I feared to find fleas, but was agreably surprised to see a nice clean room. Not but that it was soon filled with observers ― coming others, a sub Deputato from Α. Πελαγιὰ,[10] who spoke English, asked continual questions, & was a bore wholly. Limonata ― & now it is 11.15. ―Then Lunch, ἔτζι κ’ ἔτζι, ― wing & leg of cold fowl ― old lettuce ― & 2 “biled eggs:” but the wine was ἀνυπόφερος[11] & detestable. There was also some Ricotta, but I ate little, as ˇ[cold] water doth not digest food. It is now 12. The violent sea wind has set in & the Παπάς Δανιέλος has gone away. A clean little room ― full of pictures: one of the Emperor of Russia; one of heaven & hell, with a beautiful Devil whose tail ends in a Bell. ― (continued ― page B.)

Continued from May 21.

1 P.M. ― The heat of the room & the bore of flies cause me to open the door. Wind again! 1.5 ― We go― taking leave of the Παπὰς Δανιέλος & his [][12] clean little house. (The Sotto Deputato’s sister is my guide’s wife ― Ανδρέα Δελακουϐία.) Also the Πρωεστὸς accompanied me some way, & gave me 2 oranges at parting. The Sotto Deputy shouted ― “good-bye!” “safe home!” “good return” ― &c. &c. A long pull up, & at 2 we rest, not yet nearly at top. Below ― far below ― some 50 or 60 ships are about Capo Malea, & all the landscape is yellow from ripening corn ― pale dove=tawny. At 3, ― we are going on still over these endless Hebron Dead-Sea hills: fogs ahead ― rolling up from the N. West. A more stony lot of undulations[13]

May 21st. continued.

cannot be seen. Larx however, enliven it by singing. Got to the Πρωεστὸς’s house by 4 ― & in spite of a high wind drew on the terrace till 5. What tall women these Potamites are!

It is now 5.30 ― & I am cleaned & washed as far as possible, & am to have the 2 carpets & a bag ― brought for inspection last night, ― for16 ― & a bag for one ― 17 in all. Dawdled up & down till [][14] the sun went down. (σοῦ χρέα τοῦτο;[15] ― said my host, asking me for a glass.) ― The high misty Maiella Mountains come back to me in memory. At 6.30. or 7. came George with soup, (rice & chicken,) & afterwards a Nover-boiled-fowl, a portion of wh. with cheese & bread & Marsala ― thanx to Bulwer, made my dinner, & sufficiently good. ― (Bulwer has sent 2 bottles of Smyrna wine, fresh bread, & cheese, today: very kindly & pleasant.) At 7.45 ― I read journals of the past: ― the rest of the family supping or preparing to sup ― for only now they are beginning to feed properly speaking.


[1] Captain (NB).

[2] The word is blotted.

[3] Mount Taygetus.

[4] Presumably Cythera.

[5] Schinus, kermes oaks (NB).

[6] Sun spurges (NB).

[7] Karavas, a small village in Cythera (NB).

[8] I wish to God that the minds of men wouldn’t have forgotten what is good, for they prefer the Greeks who are thieves, and hate laws and roads, over the English, who do as far as they can the right thing and the good thing (NB).

[9] Nina, guessing a bit, translates: “very steep and rough road.”

[10] Agia Pelagia.

[11] Insufferable (NB).

[12] One word has been blotted.

[13] The entry continues in the page opposite, marked “C.”

[14] One blotted word.

[15] Do you need this? (NB).

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

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Wednesday, 20 May 1863

Rose at 4. Still neuralgic toothache at times. Windier weather. Off by 5. Policeman, boy & ass for roba. ― After the height of the town ― a gorge, & little valley very pretty. Στραπόδι[.][1] Immensely picturesque peasantry ― carpets & rainbow=bags: red caps ― brown capotes ― scarlet belts ― green or red bordered jackets &c. Women mostly in red ― w handkerchiefs & petticoats. ― Buildings remind me of Beÿrout or Sicily. ― Campaniles ― very white & pretty. At 6.15. we open on to the plain of Λιϐαδὸ[2] ― green corn ― smiling, Sicilian=wise, Hill of Ἀυλείμονα[3] visible to the East. Beautiful groups of peasantry, & all salute. Lots of little villages  flat=topped. Beautiful little plain! Large bridge of Κατὸνι[4] ― 7. Still on high ground ― good broad road ― & Maltese=looking villages, but more ˇ[scattered], & with high white Campanili. Corn. Olives. Ever a pleasant breeze, not to say ― wind. ― At 7.30 ― ἁφίσαμεν[5] the road to Potáme, ― & strike into a narrow road to the left. The way collapses, resolving itself into ˇ[a] narrow lanes, stony & between walls ― moreover ― there were cows, ― to G.’s horror, ― & as they would do only one of 2 things, run back, or run at us, we had to sit on the walls, till the milky mothers passed. The day is warm & misty as it wears on: clouds hang on the hills, so one sees nil. (All reminds me of Sicily ― the high cloudy land of Noto.) More milky mothers in the narrow lanes, ― φοϐούνται[6] ― but their fears are a bore. Φαίνεται Μυλοποταμος[7] ― a pleasant white village compact; ― sparkling among fields of thin corn, & meager olives. “Ἐντρέπομαι νὰ τὰς λέγω ― Ἐλαιές ―”[8] says George. At 8.30 we get to the village, & I draw a bit of a scrap. ― A civil man comes & asks me to go into his house, close by, so I go, ― not knowing where else to go to. Civil man shews me carpets, & I prepare to leave luggage here, & am going out ― when lo! ―― Bulwer. Potius aper ― but he means well, & besides, it can’t be helped. At 9.15, I go out with him, & find the village is close to a sort of Tivoli=like Rocky Gorge, full of fine vegetation ― walnut, fig, ϐελανίδι[9] &c., & here I drew ― uncommodiously on a wall, ― till 10.15. I walked about, discoursing with some of the people. It seems, I have gone to a wrong, or anti=governo house. ― Nevertheless I return there, & lunch on cold fowl, bread & cheese, & Smyrna wine. Fogs & clouds have swallowed up all distance, & only once the Coast of Greece came out dimly. ― So, I imagine I shall get very little out of Cerigo. Please only I get away from it! ― B. tells me, “that is a Caruba tree” ―― &c. &c. ―& points out (“I wish to point out to you”) things I have seen long long before he thinks of pointing them out to me. Ὁμως, ὁ κόσμος εἶναι ἒτζι.[10] ― Lovely carpets ὑπάρχουν ἐδῶ.[11] ― Left the house of the Anti governals at 11.30: ― a most picturesque place is this, ― so full of pretty incidents of white houses & vegetation. Conversed with the people, good enough folk. ― In going towards the house of the Πρωεστός,[12] met B., & turned back with him: but soon another man came, & asked him to go in to his house, to see some “frutti di mare” wh. he had brought from Alexandria. So thereon followed another visit, inspection of Corals, Echini &c., ― sweets & water, time lost ―― only that the thick sea fog made all time useless. ― Finally we left Μυλοπόταμος at noon. ― Long sweeping ― Maltese like lines. fog continually. Sicily, & especially Noto, ever before me always.

12.30 ― up a long ― low ― hill. B. a long way off, on horseback: a double arrangement not possible ― compatible. Long, long lines of horizon hill, ― stony, but somehow not disagreable, & ever a breeze. Drew: about 1.30. ― looking over a plain dotted with villages ― flat & long. The hills of S. Nicólo beyond. Lower down ― the length of the scenery is most marked; the Saracenic houses here & there most Maltese or Sicilian.

Dress ― women. Choc=red skirt, scarlet jacket: white handkf. & petticoat. [semicoloured] = hadkerchf = red. At 2 the wind was more disgustical than ever, & I crosser. We go along the high road now: & at times I stop to write notes. At 2.15. Bulwer got on his horse & turned back. I am really vexed at my inability to adapt myself to times, persons, & things; for, however I may be bored, he has been particularly kind in arranging matters for me; getting food, &c. &c., &c. ―

(continued at page ― A.)

Continued from 20th May.[13]

2.30. I sit on a wall & snort. 2.45. going on slowly, & nearer to Ποταμο ― a large boxy village standing high on high ground ― not to say a hill, overlooking a wall ― “all so full of [][14] bread,” ― as George says “the muchness of corn astonishes the eye.” But ― o! ― o! ― o! ― the wind!!! ― this dreadful wind! ― all bedusting & bedimming all distance. At 3. reach the Προεστός’ house ― large cold room ― apparently clean. Προεστός out. ― Daughter very tall. Mother vastly taller ― a giantess. ― like Lady Eastlake on a ladder. (“Vi piacerebbe,” said I the next day to G. ― “se Τατιανὲ era così alta?” ― “La taglierei subito gli piedi.”[15] [“]Ἣθελα κόψει εὐθὺς τὰ ποδαῥιά.”)[16]

This North wind bores me horribly, & now comes the neuralgic toothache. (Τράïστον[17] ― they call the strange long sack ― carpet-made ― the women use to carry their children in here.) Looking down towards the hills of [][18] plain of S. Nicolo ― ancient Cythæra, ― there is a sort of Greek sentiment in the long lines & clear drawing, & had the weather allowed, many beautiful bits might have been gathered by the way. The people hereabouts are immensely civil & courteous, all the women bowing & speaking, ― an unusual matter. They bring me 2 sorts of wine, Κρήτικον & Τζεριγγιότικον,[19] the last white & undrinkable, the former decently good. At 4, I go out again, with G., & a man who is to take me tomorrow to Καραϐὰ:[20] ― and I reach a point whence the Cythærean Hills & also Capo Maléa are well seen, the sky being now clarer. But it is awful cold.

Going back, I find the Πρωëστὸς returned, a very big hearty man, talking ἀτμοπλεοντικὰ.[21] Growing weary, I get a basin, & wash in the room I am to sleep in, which is awfully full of wind, there being an unglazed window-hole ˇ[& a door] ― “all open to the sky.” It is now 6.10. & I must get them to bring a Nutensil. This scenery is like parts of Apulia  ― seen as it is from so high a point: ― long rolling undulating ― long-drawn-out lines ― gray with rock, or freckled with patches of Πρινάρι. Alack! for the house of the Πρωëστὸς of Ποταμο εἰς Τζεριγο![22]! ― How shall I sleep in this room for 2 nights? The big man has hung up 2 sheets over the windy door, & possibly an ounce of flea powder may procure a little sleep, ― ὅμως, ὅχι διὰ ἓξ ὥρας.[23] ― Meanwhile I dine ― so to speak, ― some eggs τεγαμισμένα & the rest of the fowl began today: but alas! the wine I never touch. Of Marsala, howbeit, there is a bottle, some of which comforts me not a little. The wind is howling, though not in turret or tree. At 7.20. G. & the Polissman are called to eat. George has walked all day, & ought[24] certainly to dine now or never. Alas! for the Πρωεστοι of Ἀθάκι! ― or of Ἀνöὶ ― or of Ράκλι! ― or  Ἄσσος! Days of luxury are gone! ― ἐπαύθησαν,[25] just now. Good-natured Murray & Dickenson, the Baron D’Everton, Stirke & Braidly, Lane & his dog Captain, & also Bulwer, ―― who does all he can for me. Indeed I do not know how I could see Cerigo better than I do unless I staid here 4 months, (which God forbid!) & moved about accordingly. No two islands can be more different than this & Kefalonia (O fleas! ―) Subdivided as is the latter by nature, there are no universal features; but here, a great plateau of cultivated land (more or less) is the centre, sinking to wilder ground & suddenly to cliffs & shores. They speak good Greek here μοῖ φαίνεται. (No aloes, no cactus yet seen in these parts.)

For a whole hour I have had no faceache!!!! for which be thankful.

Bulwer wanted to send out a leg of mutton, ― alas! that I said No! ― for I fear me we shall be bad off tomorrow. The worst of all however is the ἄσχημος ἄνεμος.[26] The room I am in is some 20 or 25 feet long ― or perhaps 30, & high in proportion: but what an anomaly, when compared with the other chambers! ― (Did I write down the love & use of flowers in Kefalónia?) O Lord! 3 stately fat bugs have just walked half over the tablecloth ― tho’ I killed them with a fork: ― but if these things are done in the green tree what will they do in a day ― δηλαδὴ, παραδείγματος χὰριν,[27] ― if 3 bugs walk across your tablecloth how many will exercise on your sheets? I fear frightfully. Flea powder is becoming useless, for I feel “Ζῶα”[28] all over me. B’s bottle of Marsala has I think saved my foolish life for a time. G. comes: it is 8. ― & preparations are made to stop up the bad window. Ὁ Πρωεστός come & talks, but conversation is weary ― chiefly confined to the number of children brought forth at once by women. Before 9 ― I go to bed. ― O! Bed? ― ! ― I am in it! & have alreadyknocked off heaps of fleas. These people seem to me far more wild or semisavage than the Corfiots or any other of the Islanders. Queer enough it is to be at the North end of Cerigo, thus.

[1] Strapodi. As the name of the place was not clearly written, Lear wrote it again in full below.

[2] Livado. It is not always clear whether Lear uses the word to refer to a specific area, Leivatho, or to λιβάδι, “plain” (Thanks to Nina).

[3] Avlemona.

[4] Katoni.

[5] Left (NB).

[6] They are afraid (NB).

[7] Milopotamos is visible (NB).

[8] I am embarrassed to call them Olives (NB).

[9] Kermes oaks (NB).

[10] But this is how people are (NB).

[11] Exist here (NB).

[12] Village chief (NB).

[13] On a blank page at the beginning of the diary.

[14] A word is blotted.

[15] “Would you like Τατιανὲ to be so tall?” “I’d immediately cut off her feet.”

[16] I’d immediately cut off her feet (NB).

[17] Traiston.

[18] Blotted.

[19] From Crete & from Cerigo (NB).

[20] Karavas.

[21] Like a steamship (NB).

[22] The house of the village chief of Potamos at Cerigo.

[23] But not for six hours (NB).

[24] The entry continues ina sheet marked “B.” in a section intitled “May 20th. Continued.

[25] The are over.

[26] Bad wind (NB).

[27] For example (NB).

[28] Critters (NB).

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

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Tuesday, 19 May 1863

Rose at 4: & out with G. at 4.30. The Colour of Cerigo Castle Rock,  & all around is extremely red ― oker ― chocolate ― rich. The white houses on the shore & the dark still water are fine contrasts, like Παλαιοκατρίτζα. Drew till 6.30: then again on the Rocks near the Lighthouse, getting thereby a Nollidge of the nature of the castle rox &c. At 8, ― 8.30, came upwards to the fround where I was yesterday, only more inland ― & drew till nearly 10. Then G. & I. went to the few meager olives nearer the town, & had lunch, which Bulwer had kindly ordered his servant to put up ―good cold mutton, 6 eggs, cheese, bread, & a bottle of most capital wine ― Smyrna Grapes ― but made here. A pleasant lunch! The Suliot as usual very quiet. It is now 11: si riposa: ― for it is a deal too hot to go upwards, albeit there is a cool nice breeze at times. This same Cerigò is far more agreable than I anticipated. ― 11 o’clock here, by my watch is nearly 12. ― 12.45. Πρέπει νὰ ὑπάγωμεν:[1] ― slowly ― slowly ― along the hill side. Slowly we go ― & now I am resting below a pine tree ― listening to the waves, break ― break ――― breaking on the Sand, someday-like Hastings days. After all, some quiet & beauty are left me!  It is 1.30. ― Up the long hill as far as the school, where I drew from 2.30 to 4: when Bulwer & Massey joined me. I walked some way with them, but had toothache & was tired, so at 5.30. I returned, & arranged paper &c. for tomorrow’s start into the interior of the Island, ― besides a tub & dressing. By 7. Dinner ― Massey being the 3rd. ― Slow: but I was “very weary” ― & after dinne slept.



[1] We have to go (NB).

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

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Monday, 18 May 1863

Slept well ― come-parrot-tifly. ― Woke at 4.30 by hearing that we are off Cerigo, & to my great surprise we are landed by 5.50. ― Massey is there to meet us ― & we go up to the castle by 6.15 or 6.20. Bulwer has a most comfortable room ready for me ― my own bed being quickly put out by G. ― & by 8 I was all arranged, dressed & washed. Breakfast with Massey, very pleasantly with Bulwer, & afterwards made a map until 12.30. ― I fear, three ˇ[3] days in the country must be all I can contrive here. At 2. lunch. Massey & Bulwer. O ― bother lunch! & at 2.30. these kind people would “συντροφεύσει”[1] me to wherever I could draw, though I had indeed rather they had not.* They took me to a mill, but the view is not just what I wanted, yet I drew hard till 5 or 6 ― when Bulwer ― (they had happily left me in the interval, ) came back, & walked up to the Castle with me, arriving at 7. Dressed, ― & dined with B. at Massey’s at 7.30. They are both extremely kind & amiable. Bed by 10.

― Note. Augst. 2. 1863. After all I could not have hit on that spot without their aid.


[1] Accompany.

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

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Filed under 1863, Diary Entry