Category Archives: 1864

Saturday, 31 December 1864

Morning cold ― bright. Rose 6 ― & off soon after 7 ― leaving luggage for the Vetturino to take. Drew above Mentone ― & again, above Rocca Bruna,[1] very lovely road.

Draw at intervals all the way to below Turbia[2] ― (luggage passing then & there[)], & here we lunched, (as on the 1st day of the tour, off the road ― by some rox,) at 12.30. (A large capon was sent by the Mentone Host, & overcharged ― the surplus being owing to the 2.50 disbursed by his father at S. Remo ― we think. ― Clouded sky. Turbia is immensely fine & grand ―― the vast dim lilac headland beyond the huge wrinkled face of rock, ― down, down to the gulf of olives; & with the old Roman=division tower above all. Last Lunch of this series. Walnut, & other fruit trees abound about Turbia. Went up to the tower, & a most immense Roman work: & then to the high road again ― drawing Eza 3 or 4 times ― a grand object ― on the way: & the last time ― the last sketch of the Corniche ― at 4. P.M.

Taking the short cut at the four roads, we got into Nice very surprisingly soon ― & sent on G. to open & light the rooms, while I at 5.30, dined at the Hotel du Nord. A large lot of people ― a bore. ―

Came to 61. Promenade des Anglais, & found all things comfortable. Many letters ―

Νικολος Κοκαλης ― a short & well-written letter, but enough to put poor G. comfortable.

  1. T. Cooper ― with papers.
  2. Ellen ―
  3. Jane H. Hunt. ―
  4. T. Fairbairn ―
  5. W. Holman Hunt.
  6. F. Lushington ―
  7. Mrs. G. Scrivens ――
  8. Gussie Bethell
  9. Mrs. Bell
  10. P. Williams.

Put rooms into some order; ― & am now going to bed: 9.30 ― or 10. Considering the winter season in wh. I undertook this Corniche tour, it has been wonderfully prosperous.

So ends 1864. Ἐτελειώθη.[3]


[1] Now Roquebrune-Cap-Martin.

[2] La Turbie.

[3] Finished.


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

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Friday, 30 December 1864

Rose at 6 ― ([glorious] clear morning,) but, having said nothing about early rising, no one came up. So, by the time we got away it was 7.40. The Hole d’Angleterre is vastly clean & nice: Cooking good, & W.C. best in all the Riviera. Joined the 4 horse Vettura, which G. had arranged with, ―& was off at 8. Uninteresting road from S. Remo ― & next village. Railway workmen &c. Just before reaching Bordighéra, at 9.15 ― leave Vettura, & poke up queer lanes & into olive woods & palm gardens to find a “view.” Very beautiful semi oriental places, & Corfu-like groves of olives ― which bewitched me ― together with the bright sky ― & I drew till 10.30. Came down the hill, & thereabout is one of the finest of all the Riviera “panoramas” ― so drew again till 11, & did not get to the Hotel d’Angleterre till 11.30. “Neat” house. Capital breakfast ― (6.20)[.] Looked at rooms: I fancy this would have been the nicest winter place of all.

Ventimiglia. [December 1864?] Sepia ink over graphite on cream paper. 35.2 x 50.7 cm.

Ventimiglia. [December 1864?] Sepia ink over graphite on cream paper. 35.2 x 50.7 cm.

Off at 12.20 ― highly content. Hear, & pass Pifferari: & at 1 reach Ventimiglia, & leave carriage. Drew in river bed ― mighty picturesque scene! On ― & draw again ― & then, lengths of road ― olive groves ― & long ascents, till 3 brought us near the last ascent. ― Delay, owing to blasted rox. Grand view of Mentone ― 3.40. ―

Exit from Italy ―― which I am vexed at.

At 4.15 arrive at Dogana, (no passports asked for) & Roba is visited: suspicions of disgusting old cove, & smilings of superior. (Having walked, & sent on Boxes ― [alarms][1] the official dogana=mind horribly. Stopped at Bazaar, & bought 9. Photographs ― 45fr.: & wanted a “[Ciottera]” but had not enough to make up 3fr. by 20 cents ― so the beastly frightful man wouldn’t let me have it. ― At the Hotel Londres by 5: & hastily dressing, dined at 5.30 table d’hôte. Very agreeable Lady elderly, & one younger, a Lady Sandford ― & lo ― her niece, Miss Murray, is here. But in a villa up a mile off & I couldn’t go. ―

Tomorrow I am to walk to Nice, & send Luggage on.

Beautiful new moon tonight.


[1] Partially blotted.


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

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Thursday, 29 December 1864

Δὲν βρέχει[1] ― says G. at 6. So I rise, & commit the roba (at 7) to the care of one Cío of Mentone, who is to leave it at the Inghilterra Hotel at S. Remo. ^[Bill & porterage ― 31fr.] Cío, says, go with me, not there only, but to Nice, ― but he asks 40 francs, & I decline ― as now (at 8 P.M.) think, foolishly. The Vittoria at Oneglia is an honest Inn: little show, much attention, & moderate charge. At 7.30 ― I & the Suliot thread the long Oneglia St.; pass the bridge, (which G. wishes he possessed close by the Lanterna at Genoa, & that everyone had to pay a soldo,)[2] & so to P. Maurizio ― “Cío” passing us with ἀσπασμοῦς.[3] Beyond P. Maurizio, drew it, till near 9. And at 9.30, S. Lorenzo. Through that village by 10 ― all of which is ugliness, ― a continuance of hideous landslips & railway works impossible to imagine, & difficult to see without disgust. As I counted several fifties of men at work, I suppose them having been 1000 or 1500 between Oneglia & S. Remo.

At 11 ― tired of the long earth banks on one side & sea on t’other, ― St. Stefano[4] was neared: which I drew till 11.30: & then we lunched on the shore, & noon striking ― fled away. The climate’s becoming ’ot, & all things change. Pass thro’ St. Stefano, an uninteresting village ― & on, by more clay & olive & precipice ― to Riva,[5] a rather larger, but not lovelier place. The day is truly lovely, & every hour it becomes clearer & lovelier. The road strikes inward before coming to Arma,[6] & at 1 ― 1.20 ― pass over the bridge of Taggia, & draw the valley, wh. is wild & grand. And there are olives ― & some respite from the Eternal sea. At 1.30 ― Arma ― a livelier village ― but equally undrawable with its 2 predecessors Χώφια.[7] A most singularly dull road ― but that the sky becomes more beautiful, & air warmer. || 2. P.M. Below the Madonna di Capo Verde ― ever Railway works, & ugliness ― breaking of stones & raking of dirt; ― Certainly, nothing could have been lost by not seeing this piece of road, for the whole is ugly. The last of it is a long 1864-12-29 point of Cape, a dull peak ― with Arma, Riva, & St. Stefano in white dot=lines on its lower edge. At 2.30 ― G. suddenly says ― “Ἱδοῦ ι Ριφεράρι!”[8] ― & there they were: 2.40 overtake them, who from Picinisco come; make them play, & give them 4 soldi. | What memories those Abruzzi bagpipes recall ― masterfully!!! Dull road to San Remo. At 3.15 Hotel d’Angleterre ― clean & nice. Wonderful change of climate! The sunset ― (seen from an open window,) is glorious. At 5. P.M. nothing could be more beautiful. Dinner μόνος ― good: but a bottle of Marsala ― vile & undrinkable. ― Sent G. to see about progress tomorrow, & the Suliot returns, having “Combinared”[9] with a Vett: to go to Mentone for 20fr. wisely & well: for they said here, you can only take a vettura as far as Ventimiglia &c. ―


[1] Not raining.

[2] A coin.

[3] Kisses.

[4] Now Santo Stefano al Mare.

[5] Riva Ligure.

[6] Arma di Taggia.

[7] Villages (χωριά).

[8] Behold “i Pifferari,” i.e. “the fife players” in Italian

[9] From the Italian “combinare” with the English “-d” participle, “agreed.”


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

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Wednesday, 28 December 1864

The wind fell, & stars riz ― so there were hopes of fine weather. Cats jumped about in that vast church-like dining room ― & threw down lots of chairs: yet on the whole slept well.

Diano. 3 P.M. 28 December 1864. (112).

Diano. 3 P.M. 28 December 1864. (112).

A strange rambling inn & very Italian: a W.C. opening out of the huge room ― & all the other rooms ― doors & windows, banging & screeching with the fearful storm of wind. Frivolities of lace & curtains ― ἀντὶ[1] bolts & shutters. ― At 5 I woke, & it was calm & fine; so I decided to send luggage by Vetturinos, returning with empty carriages ― & walking. Rose at 5.30, ― & by 7 was impatient for bill & coffee: ― but could not get off before 8. The morning was lovely: Drew Languelia ― that most compact & picturesque little town, twice ― till 9.30. Then came up the Capo delle Mele ― & happily with little or no wind ―: & there took leave of the Genoese views ― C,. di Noli ― &c. Much warmer day. Down to the uninteresting bay of Adorna[2] ― & up on the other side, where we lunched ― (hard eggs & salami,) & I drew ― till 1. P.M. C. delle Mele has really very little beauty ― but its lighthouse is fine & grandly built. Nor has the dull valley of Adorna any claim to “arrest the traveller.” At 1. went on round the Capo of Adorna, & at Cervi[3] ― drew that perky town, & thence by the straight olive=road to Diano. That town is not interesting in itself, tho’ the whole valley is so from its multitude of villages & profusion of olive culture.

Drew twice ― 2.30 ― & 3 ― on the west side ― & then slowly came up the high cape ― & by degrees ― at 4 ― 4.15 ― down the hill to Oneglia. Found luggage all right: & it is evidently a good if not a cheap plan to send it on by Vetturini thus.

At 5.30 dined ― & at 7.30 γράφω τοῦτο.[4]

The Valley of Diano is perhaps the most beautiful & rich of all in this Riviera.


[1] Instead of.

[2] Actually Andora.

[3] Cervo, Lear is not very good with Italian place names at this point.

[4] Write this.


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

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Tuesday, 27 December 1864

Pouring rain all night!!!! XXX ― ― Rose at 8 ― 8.30. What to do? Drawing would not be possible ― & there is little to draw ahead. So I wait for the Bus, which should come at 9.30 from Savona. At 10.15 ― I was off in it ― a small 3 horse vehicle ― with G. & an old cove in front. Wind frightful, & at times rain. Gusts of sand.

(Luggage from Savona to Finale was 5.30. Bill here ― 22.50. And the Bus to Albenga is to be 6 or 7 ― & a car thence to Alassio 3 or 4.)

Snow on all hills. Loano river low. Back through all the walk of the 16th & reach Albenga at 12.15. Have left Bus, & consigned roba to boy with vehicle: every creature on this Riviera is civil & kindly ― without exception, hitherto. G. & I find a place free from wind near the E. wall, & sit & lunch on Eggs & sausage. A queer journey this. Walk on at 1: wind not unbearable. The olive grown flat ground ― (olives blown down by wind! ―) & then the rising road to the corner of the bay of Alassio: ― wind violent by fits. from 2 to 2.50 drew, but then rain came on, so we rushed down to & through the long street of Alassio by 3. La Bella Italia ― as before. Luggage all right.

At present ― 4. P.M. ― the wind & rain are egregious, & I see no chance of getting hence tomorrow ― & very little of sleep tonight ― vû the banging of doors & windows.

The little Cameriere-Segretario is ἔξω,[1] so there are only the infinite Γυναῖκες.[2] The wind ― if possible increases ― & various Vetturini stop. At 6. Dinner is brought by the very aff.te & unclean handmaiden. Peculiarly nasty soup: ― uneatable fish. Leathery Cutlet, with eatable potatoes: stringy lamb, with admirable turnips, & other things wholly uneatable. The poor women are however obliging & do all they can, & the amount of nastiness in the shape of sweets they have sent up is incredible. As for me, I have had some Marsala, & at 7.30, mi ritiro.[3] I ask G. if he can find out about the Vetturini movements, ― but he says ― ἔχουν χρυσὰ κατένα κὶ ὡρολόγια, καὶ ὀμιλοῦσι διὰ τοῦς εἁυτούς των.[4] ― I do not at all know what to do about tomorrow: ― inclining somewhat to wait for one more day’s chance. The (big) Diligence has just passed: what a fearful life in winter these drivers lead.


[1] The little Waiter-secretary is out

[2] Women.

[3] I retire.

[4] They have gold chains [Italian ‘catena’] and watches, and talk about themselves.


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

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Monday, 26 December 1864

Capo di Noli, from Capo Basteggi. RISD Museum.

Capo di Noli, from Capo Basteggi. RISD Museum.

Expenses come up ― carriage of luggage hither, porterage, a champagne included ― to 40fr. ἀκριβὸ[1] ― says G. At 5.30, I feel dismayed by observing total cloud on the celestial space: but the dying moon is seen, & apparent day. Rose by 7 ― & after coffee, left at 7.30 ― this very good Hotel. The cold winds are awful. Nevertheless Savona must be drawn, so down I go to the seaside, & spite of violent & bitter wind, & sand in clouds ― I drew ― tooth & nail ― the best I could. Then thro’ the walled long suburbs ― remarking on our incoming 8 days back in pouring rain. Nuts in strings (like Jerusalem beads,) ― painted signs: tiles: potteries. Gardens & villas ― & so to near Vado, before wh. I drew again below a boat ― with gt. difficulty. Passing Vado, I drew “a mouldered citadel,” & at 9.30 ― prepared to ascend the Capo Basteggi ― with fear ― (I own ―) as the wind was dreadful. At times I had to hold by the rocks, & once or twice thought I would go back: but G. said ― Prima di tornare, bisogna provare colli  piedi e mani Signore.[2] So I got to the point, where the wind blew not. At 11 we settled in a cavity on the overt side, & I drew C. di Noli, & the Isola. (An ugly drunken man nearby pestered me, but went on, & collapsed into a hedge, where he is till noon.) Then we lunch ― but it is a feeble lunch ― tho’ the wine is good ― yet so cold we can’t drink it. It is awful cold. At noon we go ― but I funk Capo di Noli. ― Down to shore: the “ugly man” has gone on, & singeth ― at wh. G. says ― πρέπει νὰ εἴναι μειθυσμένος,  ἐπειδὴ τραγουδεῖ.[3] ― Spatorno[4] is reached, ― & passed ― little it has of interest: &, being a festa day[5] ― few people are visible. Then the big rox of Noli, & the little city, wh. I draw again, & once more, having passed it. Next, the ascent to C. di Noli, about 2: ― & at feet quiet, but seeing the white waves, I knew what was to follow. Towards the point, the violent wind was terrible, & for some 100 yards one could not stand. Not to be beaten however, I, & also G. after a while, sat down, & clinging by the rocks, & stopping in the big blasts, ― shuffled on to the mouth of the Galleria ― after wh. one was comparatively safe. I confess however, that quarter of an hour was disgusting & [terrifying].[6] Beyond this, those giant & terrible walls of rock were almost impossible to draw, tho’ I tried 2 or 3 times: they are too vast, to be easily sketched, & there is no time for study. Nevertheless I did all I could, patient George always helping me with heavy stones or otherwise: The ugly drunk man passed singing cheerier than ever. At length ― 3.30 ― I ceased to work, & we went straight on ― in bitterest cold & wind, ― to Finale ― arriving at 4.15 ― just as the Diligence did also, bringing the Roba. So one was soon at the Hotel della China, & in the same room as before. A good dinner at 6: & talk with the intelligent Waiter for want of other company. It is now 8.30. ―

How to get luggage to Alassio αὕριον?[7]

9 P.M. The wind is awfully high ― gt. gusts. As the waiter says ― this cannot last, & either fine calm, or rain follows.[8]

9.30 It pours with rain!!!!!!!

End of December 26th.


[1] Expensive.

[2] Beofre going back, one must try with feet and hands, Sir.

[3] He must be drunk, because he sings (NB).

[4] Spotorno, actually.

[5] A holiday.

[6] The page is blotted here.

[7] Tomorrow.

[8] The rest of the entry is at the bottom of the facing diary page.


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

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Sunday, 25 December 1864

The bill here was 10fr. Ambrogio Agnesi ― Locanda d’Italia. Slept very tolerably. Rose before 6. Cafe at 6.15. ― Small Cameriere’s account of his Soldier 5 years’ life in Sicily & Naples & Lombardy & wounded at Solferino, where he says he saw V.E. cry like a boy over the dead. He has 2 medals but niente paga:[1] wh. he says he don’t care about. Hard passi[2] he went through, but the Signore[3] took care of them all. Left at 6.45, & drew Cogoletto before sunrise, & the bridge view soon after 8. ― then the ascent to Invrea, not long, but cold & windy, tho’ there was sun. The forest of P. Maritima is most lovely, & there is much Ilex. Views towards Noli &c. ― drew twice. Beautiful pines. Descent to Varazze ― 9.30 or 10. Large town, many ships a building, ― copper plated ― Long narrow street as usual. Festa ― only men about, & hardly anyone on the road. Draw Varazze from W. side till near 11 ― a fine scene of the coast ― with the snow mountains above. ― Genoa & P. Fino beyond. Up to the next headland, & thence a good view of Celle[4] & Savona. Lunch ― but too much wind, & drew till noon: day very bright, but o! how cold! Celle is interesting, not so small the town, as its accompaniments ― a chapel, an old castle, & vast rocks by the wayside. Keeping to the loose stony railway embankment, shirked the village street, & on the other side drew again, (the rocks being extremely fine ―) till the cold stopped me. At 2 ― or 2.15 on round the headland of Celle, & came in sight of Savona & Albissola, which view I drew as best I might, in a piercing cold high wind. 2.30 ― on ― down the hill of meagre olives, to the town of Albissola; larger than it seems, scattered ― yet presenting nothing to draw. Beyond, a long hill, & winding road between walls brought me at 3.30 to Savona, not a little vexed to find that no view of the place is to be had at all on the E. side. At the Hotel Riale, the roba had arrived. From 3.30 to 4 ― I went up a hill to a convent, to see if a good characteristic view were attainable ― but nil: came back therefore, wash, dress, & at 5 ― table d’hôte. Mr. Flood, & the regimental mess. Long dinner. Universal champagne, & healths &c. ― It does not seem that ― except in a boat, ― any good ^[near] view of Savona is to be procured; so, though I have once or twice thought of staying a day ― I finally decide to go on tomorrow, as there is a Bus to send the Roba to Finale. ― Bed at 9.


[1] No pay.

[2] Steps.

[3] Lord.

[4] Celle Ligure.


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

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