Monthly Archives: May 2013

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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Sunday, 17 May 1863

Rose at 4 ― & packed all. Gave 2 dollars to the coachman, 1½ each to Spiro & Peter, & 1. to Lorenzo: paying 10£ to Lane for Steamer tickets & carriages. Breakfast with Lane; & a letter from C. Fortescue ― very nice & pleasant. Left at 10.30 ― leaving kind Cecil Lane with no small regret ― & going on board in the Sanità boat, found Mr. Bulwer the Resident of Cerigo ― (to whom Baring had given me a letter,) as well as Hogg R.E. ― in the Steamer. Day very lovely.

The passing views of the Λιϐαδῶ ― & the black Mountain ― now all so well known, were delightful. ― Wrote letters of introduction for Hogg ― to Mr. Hill, & C. Blunt. ― Mr. Loughman is on board also ― & introduces me to various of Count Roma’s family ― who are going to Zante ― “Counts” Camillo & Pietro ― the latter’s wife Princess Ὑψιλάντης[1] ― is most fearfully ugly. Count Pietro tells me various scraps of information about the giros I shall make in Zante. ― Mr. Bulwer tells me that Lord & Lady Strangeford are in Corfù. ― By 2.45. we were at Zante, & I went on shore at once; ― but all my letters had just been sent back again to Corfû!!!!!* This I learned at the Post, ― & then went on to Roberts. (Saw Lindsay on board. The rush of Zantists to welcome the Roma’s was great: ― how gay & brilliant is the aspect of Zante from the sea!!!!!) & returned to the Steamer with R. by way of the Post, where I got 2 letters from Spiro. Καραλάμπος is quite well, thank goodness: & this relieves the anxious Suliot. Came on board again at 3.15, & we left Zante at 3.45. It ˆ[It is now] 4 by my watch ―really 4.30 ― & I have been walking with Bulwer, who seems a really pleasant fellow. Dinner at 5 ― very good & pleasant. Afterwards, sate on deck with Bulwer, repeaing AT & Shelley ― or walked on the foredeck with Giorgio ― observing Albanians playing cards &c. &c.

Sea calm always: rainy clouds. Sunset glorious at 7.30. Tea ― sleepy. bed at 9.

(Steamer, Europa ―)

* In a great rage.


[1] Υψηλάντη. Sophia Ypsilanti, daughter of Georgios Ypsilantis (NB).

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

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Saturday, 16 May 1863

Rose at 4. Dressed & packed: & out by 4.45. Lovely shady=sunny morning, though not clear: & the pine feather=foliage against the sky brings back to me the days of Oatland & its Cedars ― Hackwood ― & other times & persons. ― A man comes towards me, ― & he says he is the real Αναστα[σιος] Καλγάσι,[1] & that the thieving individual who personified him was named Ἀνδρέας Πορπορος.[2] ― Breakfast at 5. ― and at 5.30 we are pretty nearly ready to start: ― C.Lane, like F.L. prolongs breakfast while I ever would shorten it. G. & I delighted in an old white tree trunk ― just like a recumbent camel. ―― Drew on the way down ― (just outside the wood, beyond the place of poor Parker’s murder,) ― but the Gulf of Corinth never cleared up well. Reached S. Liberale ― head of zigzags ― by 7. (A bevy of dogs, ― both [now] & when we came attacked us afar off from a [illegible]― & with them one pig ― most ridiculously pointing with them & grunting as they barked,) ― & down at the plain of San Γεράσιμος by 8.20. ― sending G. on to the carriage ― (waiting for us in the Ἀργοστώλι road,) & we 2 went on to the Monastery. The gateway of S. Gerasimos is fine. Saw the 2 churches, & the tomb of the respected Saint: ― & we entered the Monstery ― & had a shady Limonata. ― The place is a seedy place ― & L. being a sort of king ― things are solemn.

After this we came on ― & got to the Residency by 10.30.

I do not know what more I could have done by way of “trying” to draw the black Mountain. ――― Lunch ― reading papers ― & so on till 2, when the carriage came again, & I went ― G. also ― to Λιϐαδῶ ― drawing 3 times at Καλογάτα, & Δωμάτα,[3] ― but it was hot & hard work, for I had mostly to stand in the Road. The vegetation of this part of the Island is wonderfully lovely & luxuriant ― aloes especially in abundance: ― & all the villages contrast singularly with the bleak & bald character of so much of Kephalonia. A horrible neuralgic toothache or browague drove me half mad on my return at 7, but it grew somewhat better with Lane’s doctoring, & afterwards with dinner. A most pleasant evening with that kind good fellow. Bed at 11.


[1] Anastasios Kalgasi.

[2] Andreas Porporos.

[3] Kalagata and Domata.

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

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Friday, 15 May 1863

Wretched night ― XXX3. Morbid & uneasy. Bad toothache ――― no sleep. ―

Rose at 5 ― George got me some coffee, & I dawdled about, trying to draw a little, but very vainly. I shall not take G. up the mountain ― for his foot is sore, & he must go down to S. Gerasimo tomorrow.

The fate of poor Captn. Parker makes me worried for Lane. At 7, breakfasted with C.L. who, like F.L. cannot start without. At 7.45 (!) off with him & a Guardiano[1] for the top of the mountain, but the distance was all misty & cloudy. The way up is not distressing, & we were at the summit by 10.15 ― going first through fine darkling pine wood, then opening on to rocky spaces ― the ridge of the Blk. Mountain top narrowing ever. Drew for half an hour on the top ― where sacrificial bones abound, & whence the smoke of sacrifice was visible to the little Island off Λιϐαδῶ, ― where they waited for the signal. Descended; there are fine bits of rock & pine at times: & now I am writing this on my way down at 12.30. But there is nothing, ― now that all the beautiful distance is not visible, ― to make this mountain forest particularly desirable. The pines are handsome in themselves, & more so just at the present time, owing to their fresh border of green shoots, & here & there they are in rich groups: but the long bare spaces of dry stone, & the ugly forms of the Cephalonian hills are objectionable, if not set off  by fine distance. Back at the Cottage by 2. P.M. ― & had some wine & a biscuit, talking with C. Lane, & at 3.15 went out again with him into the forest, where we went down low, & there were some scenes which would have been lovely had the distance been clear. We talked of Parker, & his severity: ― of the goats never being allowed to the forest now: of the robberies of wood &c. &c. Just as we reached the large trees we had set out to see ― lo! 2 men ― having cut a tree down, ― came right upon us ― carrying 2 pieces of timber. One of them let his end of the wood fall, & decamped hastily: the other had  not time to do so, & thereby was in a mortal funk: ― I had to catechize him, when he told me his name,          ,[2] (which L. said he thought was really so, as he seemed too frightened even to lie,) & said he found τὸ ξυλὸν ξηρὸ[3]. Lane carried off the smaller beam of wood, & in a great fright at finding us there, rushed back over the rox. ― Lane has taken down the Capitano of the forest ˆ[and a Guardiano] & I have remained at home. But it seems to me very wrong of Lane to come here so unattended: a revolver has no chance against 5 or 6 men with musquets in concealment. I would we were away.

The wood was all brought back, & the Capitano wishes to send Guardiani to the villages tonight to bring the delinquents here tomorrow. He however is overruled, & they are to be taken to the Police at Ἀργοστώλι. Walked to & fro with C.L. till 6. Then was  bed & dinner, at 6.30. Very pleasant. Bed at 9.

[1] Keeper.

[2] Lear leaves a blank space.

[3] The wood [ξύλον] dry (NB).

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

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Thursday, 14 May 1863

Rose. 4.30 ― & left things packed for G. to take to the mountain. At 6, came [to] the end of the harbour & drew till 8.30. ― Breakfast with C. Lane at 9.30, the Roba going off with Peter the Cook, George, & a mule car at 9.15.

(General is telegraphed.)

(At 10.30. or 10.45, Lane & I set off in a carriage, going up the hill above Argostoli, where, about 11.30 pretty high up, we overtook the Roba, mules &c. &c. ― at a standstill, ― a mule refusing to go on at all[.] After vain efforts, ― other mules coming down the mountain, we persuaded a driver ― a maddish, tipsy, or half-silly Maltese to change with us, & then went on all together ― L. & I stopping for half an hour on the top of the Ἀσσος & San Γεράσιμος road where I drew ― the amiable C.L. waiting & smoking. Continual flowers, lovely to see, which L. as much as I delight in.

Valley ― or upland plain of S. Gerasimos ― large but modern monastery, not interesting. Here, we left the carriage, & began to ascend on foot, soon overtaking the car & baggage, which don’t seem to go on very well. The Maltese is frantic & loud, ― Peter loud & talkative, if not half drunk. G. silent & cross, but his foot is bad. C.L. & I walked up slowly ― mostly following the car. At 4 ― proceeding, ― G. climbing up a steep short cut to far above. More stoppages ― mule kicks hole in basket ― & breaks bottles. I walk on & find G. ― & wait till L. comes up. Pausing here, I survey the whole road, which all the way hither is magnificent quâ road ― gradual, & never very steep in any of its many doublings: ― but the prospect is bare & unpleasant. Arriving at the top of the last zigzag, we halt & drink water ― by a little church ― San Liberale. ― Two small boys come up ― facetiously standing on their donkeys’ backs. ― Going on, at 4 ―― we begin to approach the Forest, which is really fine in its sudden blackness ―― disclosing peeps of Κάλαμος & Θεάκη[1] ― but the day is scirocco & all distance is dim. Here be flocks of sheep now ― no goats being allowed now. ― Beautiful forest! ― Spot where Captain Parker was murdered in 1848. ― We went on by thickening darkening great pines ― the scent delicious ― growing among the loveliest gray rocks & moss ― & at 5 or later ― reached the “Cottage” ― a plain small building with 2 or 3 rooms ― in a cleared spot of the forest. Went with Lane to a place whence one sees Ἀργστόλι & drew: but it was very cold. ― At 7 ― returned, & found the room all set out ― table & chairs &c. ― my own bed ― & L.’s hammock suspended. Excellent dinner ― & bed at 10. C. Lane is a delightful fellow to travel with.


[1] Kalamos & Ithaca.

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

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Wednesday, 13 May 1863

Rose al solito ― but very unwell. Went to the Mills with G. & drew there & on the Quay till 8.30. Returned, & at 9 Breakfsted with Lane, but having taken some Magnesia, & otherwise being unwell, I ate little. ― Angry at reading the abuse of A.P. Stanley in the Church & State Gazette of May 1. From 10.30 to 12.30 ― dozed ― or went to τὸ ἀναγκαῖον[1] ― being always unwell ― stomach, nerves, head & boles, all wrong. Came Giovanni Λασκαράτος, whom I was glad to see: he looks much better than in Roman days. ― At 1.30 went out in carriage with Lane, but I was so ill that I almost said I could not go, nor did I at all think of going ― as asked, ― to the mess dinner. We drove to Spartéa, & to a large tree  near the village, whence Zante & the Blk. Mountain were well seen. The vegetation & spacious (εὐρύχωρος θέσις)[2] position of this part of the Island are beautiful.

Afterwards we went by Μεταξάτα down to Λιϐαδὸ[3] ― & all about there are the loveliest foregrounds of Aloes ― the flowers exquisite, ― the villages charming, & the whole scenery delightful. Lane too, as a companion, is A.N°. 1. We came back at 5.30 ― by the long Giro. ― Somewhat better, I resolved to go to the mess ― cheaper to suffer, than to behave odiously to those who are kindly. ― so at 7.30. went with Resident C. Lane, ˆ[sate between] Buchanan, & a young Ensign ― Carroll, who had graduated at Cambridge ― W.G. Clark his tutor; ― he knew Bassæ well, & good-naturedly went out of the dinner to get a Φοτογραφ of W.G.C. for me to see. A cutting wind from an open window was horrid ― but when it was shut, I saw the disgust of some who like “air.” One or two, blind as I am, I did not recognize ― fact to them also disgustable. No General. Colonel Ellis only. Ate very little & drank ditto, (whereby, at this hour, I am thankful to say, I am in better health[)]. Could not resolve to go away ― as it seemed churlish ― early: so went into the Whist room, & read Times ― critique of R. Academy. (Daddy I see has his Dr. Lushington’s, & Teddy’s portrait: the former ― “we cannot accept as a good portrait” ―― so much for Tom Taylor, lauds Leighton ― worthily or not I know not ― to the skies. But Leighton visits the P. of W. ―― In other matters Tom Taylor seems to be leaving his Academic friends somewhat. Read also a  review of Bp. of Oxford’s sermons ―― very hide & seek satire. Grew tired of “false position” & discomfort ― all other being at cards ― & crept away. ― Indeed & Indeed ― Mess dinners are a terrible wretchedness to me. Came back & shook hands with “Captain,” & in bed by 11. Lane is the broadest & nicest fellow I have known for long ― more improved than I could describe: more to be liked he could hardly be.


[1] Do my business (NB).

[2] Spacious position (NB).

[3] Livado, probably Leivatho (NB).

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

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Tuesday, 12 May 1863

51. years old today. ― Slept well. Rose at 5. How beautiful is this house in a garden at early morning! At 5.40 left the good-natured Tambitzi family ― the mill, the old house & courtyard, the multitude of pigeons, swallows & αἐδόνες,[1] &c. &c. ― & came, with G. ― a man & an ass ― to the lower part of the vale, where, from a rising ground, the beautiful green valley below & the hoary Enos above, are assuredly vastly grand: ― a vast gray & green space ― dotted innumerably with trees ― olive & caruba ― with a few clumps of walnut & fruit trees & clusters of houses: ― & flocks of sheep pass by me, going to the hill sides: ― but it is very difficult to render on paper. Farther on, the path=road approaches the wall of hill shutting in the valley on the East side, & descending ― begins to enter the close-rocky pass ― (said to have been made by Hercules,) leading down to the sea. There were deep shadows, & oleanders, & flocks of goats ― all very picturesque but not more so than many passes one has seen.

Drew this chasm of Πρόνος[2] twice. ― Thence, coming out by the sea ― (whence Ithaca is well seen,) begins the ascent back to Ἀσπροιέρακα[3] ― but never did I see any ruins of old Πρόνος. It is now 8 ― & we are stopping high up to adjust the “roba.” ― The height looks down on a world of “currants” to the sea, ― & at 8.30 we are winding along the tops of the ridge looking down ˇ[on] & into all Rakli. ― The mountain is clear, ― but the whole scene is very destitute of point, ― an immense greeny dotted basin. ― At 9 ― we reached a spot below Ἀσπροιέρακα where we find Giovanni & the carriage all right. Meantime a polite individual insists on sending to his house for Limonata & wine, which he did, though the fact delayed me till 9.30 ― before I started. Τελος πάντων,[4] I left the Valley of Rakli at Báltes, & wish it had been more drawable: ― it is a huge featureless basin of currants & olive. Moreover a διδάσκαλος & some 50 ˇ[white-capped] boys all rushed out to look over me. So I went on, suffering from the bumpy road all the way: but at 12.15 we got to Βλαχάτα & I am now at rest below an olive tree, & going to lunch: ― the day is hot, but the mountain is clear. Ἐδῶ[5] is a lunch ˇ[really] of the old quiet times. For the amiable Tambitzi had put up ― bread, sausage, cheese, eggs, cheese-pudding, walnuts & almonds, & G. bought a bottle=double of wonderful wine ― 5d. the bottle & very dear, but 6 years old. He also succeeded in getting an onion or two for himself. So we sat under the shade of a big olive it being the Suliot privilege to eat with me on these occasions. (G. says he saw the Tambitzi sister ― “graziosa e di buon cuore”[6] ― & who said she cried always when English went from the house.) ― || It seems to me that I have to choose between 2 extremes of affection for nature ― towards outward nature ― i.e. ――― English, or Southern. ― The former, oak, ash, beech, ― downs & cliffs, ― old associations, ―friends near at hand, & many comforts not to be got elsewhere. The latter ― olive ― vine ― flowers ― the ancient life of Greece, warmth & light,  better health ― greater novelty ― & less expense in life. On the other side are, in England, cold, damp & dullness, ― constant hurry & hustle, ― cessation from all ˇ[varied] Topographical interest[,] extreme expenses: ― & at the South are ―――― (cetera desunt.)

Reposed ― black dry &c. Numerous questions from the Host “διὰ τὴν πολιτικήν μας.”[7] ― & “δια τὴν Ἑλλάδα.”[8]

{12 dollars a barillo ― 6. Sekkia
{1. Barrel = 6 sekkia.
{1 sekkia = 20 pints
{above note from the Landlord of the wayside “Inn” ― at Βλαχάτα ― wh. his wine is excellent.

Left at 2.15[.] Old trunx of large olives. At 3 stopped to try to draw the Blk. Mountain ― (Mem. ― undated sketch.) Limestone rocks: how beautiful the little flowers growing in them! “Virginian Stock” ― a small yellow Euphorbia, a sort of onion, & a kind of purple ― what? 1863-05-12 ― & others. Sate down to draw, & drew till 3.15 no long[er.] To say truth the Blk. Mountain is diabolically ugly & [uncomeatab[le]] as a picturesqueness at all. || A letter to the Rev. A.P. Stanley ― entitled “Balaam’s Ass”[9] ― might be written with advantage in these days. ||

Thenceforth, in the carriage: a shaking headachy grief, ― & I grew more & more impatient of it, till at the end of the harbour I got out, & sent it on. Drew ― & walked to the Residency by 5.30. Tub & dressed. Dinner 7.30. Kind good C. Lane the same as usual. Came the Parson Fisher & sate till 10. Bed 10.30[.]


[1] Nightingales (NB).

[2] Pronos.

[3] Asprogerakas.

[4] Anyhow (NB).

[5] Here.

[6] Quite beautiful and kind-hearted.

[7] About our politics (NB).

[8] About Greece (NB).

[9] Numbers 22:22-35.

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

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