Saturday, 18 February 1865

Very lovely again, ― would that I could go out & sit near the sea, or some green trees! ― But “stitch stitch stitch” is the word: all the more felt that I am grinding away at a drawing of Taormina, remembering those sunrises of 1841, & 1847. ―

Pretty well I resolved to go & spend 2 years now in Spain, either before or after the visit to Palestrina. I read Doctor Antonio ― given me by Gussie: a delightful book.[1]

Ἀλλ’ αἱ ἡμέραι παρασμέναι!
Δάκρυα – τρελλά δάκρυα; ἐὰν ἣναι δέν ἐξεύρω:
Δάκρυα μαλλον ἀπὸ θε         απελπισιάν!
Ἀναβαίνοντα ἀπὸ τὴν καρδιάν, και       εἰς τὰ μάτια
Βλέπον τὰ εὐτυχεις χωράφια τοῦ φθινοπέρου,
Καὶ ἐνθυμων διὰ τὰς ἡμέρας ――― τὰς ἡμέρας παρασμένας.[2]

Worked ― alone ― alone ― alone ― till 4.30. Then, no one coming ― I walked out: most sad & weary: up the valley of the Magnan ― as brutally ugly a hole as one might ever see.

At 6 ― took a turn on the Promenade, where the sunset over the Esterelles was beautiful.

Dined at 6.30 ― ἀλλὰ δὲν εἶναι ὀμιλία τίποτες μεταξὺ τὸν Γεώργιον ὰς ἐμὲ.[3] A bore. ―

Tomorrow Sunday ― I can’t go out ― yet how stay here? Happily ― 5 or 6 [more] weeks will send me off ― yet then, where ― & to whom?

Penned out ― & bed at 10.

[1] Doctor Antonio. A Tale. By the author of Lorenzo Benoni. Edinburgh: Thomas Constable and Co., 1855; the book was written in English by Italian patriot Giovanni Ruffini, and made the Italian Riviera famous among English tourists.

[2] This, writes Nina, “is a decent translation of a stanza of Tennyson’s The Princess:”

But the days are no more!
Tears, idle tears, I know not what they mean,
Tears from the depth of some divine despair
Rise in the heart, and gather in the eyes,
In looking on the happy autumn-fileds,
And thinking of the days that are no more.

[3] But Giorgio and I didn’t speak at all (NB).

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


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Filed under 1865, Diary Entry

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