Tuesday, 6 December 1864


Horrid fright of wind & sea. But it was fine at daybreak. I & the Suliot got off at 7.15 ― & were away in the Diligence at 8. We got out at 4 chemins & walked to the first sight of Eza, where, & 3 following times I drew again ― arriving at Turbia by 2. Below wh. we lunched ― & I drew again ― & so, slowly walking, we reached Mentone by 6.

Hotel de Londres.

Eza. 6 December 1864. (3) Watercolor and sepia ink over graphite on blue paper. 36.6 x 53.6 cm.

Eza. 6 December 1864. (3) Watercolor and sepia ink over graphite on blue paper. 36.6 x 53.6 cm.

The winding up the hill above Nice in the slow Dilly was a bore. However, above V. Franca, we got out, & walked, (it was clear & cold ―) to the spot I wanted to draw Eza from, before the Diligence came up, & its horses returned from Turbia ere I had done. A strandy wild & magnificent coast scene is this ― I know no finer. It was bitterly cold, & the wind very high, & I was glad to have a thick cloak. On to the second point which is equally surprising: ― & this was about 11.30 or 12. Following the road (see dates of drawings ―[)] and the view beyond the few houses by the road-side, & one at the last bend where you look Westward ― & basta.[1] Eza is assuredly an astonishing place ― & so various. By 2 exactly we got to Turbia, a punctuality, highly credited to my arrangement. Just below the Rocky Strength, we chose a place for lunch, wh. being 2 cold pigeons, sausages, bread & marsala, was undeniable & delightful. The Suliot is chuckling because the Porter Domenico, being asked who lived in the 2nd floor above us at Nice, said they were very great people ― “Albana.” ― But said G. ― are they Dukes? Princes? ― Ah! No ― sono Albana. ― Whereby Albana is a proverb. ― We left at 3 ― & drew once or twice more, but not easily in the face of sun. The rock scenery is prodigiously fine hereabout, & all the Monaco view. By 5 we were at Roccabruna,[2] & by 6 at Mentone. A poor fellow of Sardinia ― ill from fever, walked with us some last of the way.

Not knowing any particular Inn, & anxious to escape the town, I stopped at the “Londres” sending G. for the Boxes. Επειτα dinner, & bed by 9.

1st day of Corniche travel very beautifully good.

[1] Stop.

[2] Roquebrune-Cap-Martin (Lear uses the Italian names for the places, who had been ceded to France with the Treaty of Turin in 1860).

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


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Filed under 1864, Diary Entry

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