Sunday, 27 November 1864

Rose at 7. Very bright & lovely ― & chilly: ἔτζι all day.

Wrote to T. Fairbairn, & S.F. Widdruyton.

Letter from Foffy Curcumely !!!!!

Again no newspaper ― 3 lost out of 12 days! ― Very angry. Resolved not to go to church ― but to set off with G. to Villa Franca, ― & so did at 10.30. Went over the Col, & to the Fort of Montalban: certain bits are pretty ― of a lower class of Landscape than we have been used to. Down to Villefranche, & passing above it ― on towards Beaulieu ― (very nice thin olives & Carubes, & spots reminding of Corfu ―) & to S. Jean. Passing that little port, we went to S. Hospice, whence  one sees Monaco, Ventimiglia, & Bordighera. Returned at 2.45 to S. Jean, &, with difficulty got some food at the Inn. (Giannetta’s, spoken of in Murray don’t [exist].)[1] A scanty meal & ἔτζι κ’ ἔτζι wine ― but they charged 7. Francs, & it was no use to make a row: so I paid it, & we call the place “Villa 7. Franchi.” ―

Back ― slowly, enjoying the beauty sbout Villafranca, which is lovely. A Russian sailor, passing, turned, & grinned, & showed us the 2 Russian Frigates there ― saying “Yes ― yes ―.” “Tzarovitch ―” very jollily.

At the little town, all was noise & drink & sailoring, & I saw it would not do to stay there. It was 5.30 when we reached “Smith’s folly,”[2] & we got home by 6.35.

A very pleasant day. A glass of wine, & some bread & butter are now ― 7.30 ― not unwelcome.

Speaking of some women who drank ― G. said ― “καταλάβεις ὅτι τὰ μυαλά γυναικῶν εἴναι πάντοτε μικρά, ἀλλὰ, ἐὰν ἔπιε ― Χάσει ὅλα τά μυαλά.”[3] After all the day’s work, walking & carrying cloaks & books, I thought George would be tired, but I found him “reading” as of old in Corfû times.

The Russian National Hymn played in the Frigate at sunset was beautiful.


[1] John Murray’s A Handbook for Travellers in France (London: John Murray, 1864, 512), says: “There is a good Inn at Villefranche ; but we would advise travellers to lunch or dine at old Gianetta’s homely Locanda, at the pretty little cove of St. Jean. On the S. side of the peninsula of St. Hospice, where they will find a comfortable meal and a good bed, should they decide to prolong their stay.”

[2] “A castellated edifice, on a bare arid rock.” Ibid.

[3] You realise that women’s minds are always simple, but, when they drink they lose them completely.


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

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