Thursday, 8 December 1864

Did not sleep well. X3. ― Buτ rose at 6.30 nevertheless ― & having had coffee, was off at 7 ἀκριβῶς.[1] ― The people here are very industrious, & are at work at 6.30.

The morning is fine ― greyish ― but becoming sunnier. Pass the height looking down on the olives & pines of S. Martino, & then descend below Roccabruna ― the road following the sea line. Immense gardens of orange & lemon ― especially the latter. Drew, 15 minutes. Long road ― with no other view but sea, yet interesting from its great Caruba, & Olive, & Agrumi. Vast rocks tumbled down from upper heights, along wh. you see the Nice road ― a thread line. Abundant water, reservoirs &c. ― account for the great fertility of this bit of the Riviera ― joined to its entire exemption from north & east wind. I & G. are continually reminded of Corfu & of the road ― especially ― from Péramo to Benitza. ― Pass several mills & villas ― & next, the Casino & a great Hotel. Here, Monaco, hitherto hid becomes visible, but is horribly ugly ― like a long box, with meschin[2] houses thereon. I voted it undrawable, & was surprised to find it so unlike my idea. Going quite round it interfered with only by Doganieri & that very slightly ― I drew the west side, but it is very little better. ― & then returning ― ascended till I saw the town below me, & there drew from 11 to 12.30. Lunch, by no means good ― followed: & violent sickness ἔπειτα. The small steamer came into the port, & perhaps, seeing that move up & down so, helped sickness. At 1.20 ― came away ― (leaving papers of Salt surrounded by stones ― tho’, as G. said, no one would touch it, νὰ στοχάζονται στρεγεφία.[)][3] Alas! Monaco is a clumsy place, “& how unlike to those” ― in Greece & Albania!!! 1.30 coming down the hill.

Monaco.  8 December 1864. (15) Watercolor, sepia ink and Chinese white over graphite on gray paper.36.4 x 53.8 cm.

Monaco. 8 December 1864. (15) Watercolor, sepia ink and Chinese white over graphite on gray paper.36.4 x 53.8 cm.

The yellows & reds of the cherry & mount=ash, & the dark, & vivid green of the Carube, orange, & pine, between the Olives!!!!. 1.45. Talk of the Reids; go up to the town ― very meschino from below: gardeny walks ― walls ― 3 streets, (named religiously,) clean but narrow. Palace ― luogo morto.[4]

Down at 2.20. Priests many, walking 3 abreast, allâ trinitâ.[5] Reeds ― & figs, among olives. Mills, 3. P.M. Here & there wondrous bits of grouped Caruba & Olive & rock, but with no combined intent: fine studies, ― a [coda] tone ― except the color of rock, hill, & sky. Certain[ly] I had no idea of the richness of this part of Italy: we are perpetually reminded of Corfû: ― the profusion of lemons, & the sea far below.

Before 5 ― we were at the top, & by 5.30 ― reached the Inn.

Dinner: & bed at 8.30.

[1] Exactly.

[2] Shabby.

[3] Nina cannot understand the Greek and I cannot understand the reference to “Salt,” though this must have something to do with Lear’s being sick.

[4] A dead place.

[5] À la trinity.

[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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