The same perfectly clear & very cold weather. Rose at 5½ & Παπαδόπουλος came at 6 ― so ― Ollendorf & Plutarch till 8. ― Then breakfast, & outrageous Sir J. Maundeville. ― Pasting together the bits of the “big” Corfu picture, ― writing exercises, & doing somewhat to another Athos drawing ― till 12. Lushington came in for a moment. ― A little later came a ‘wholesome’ & delightful letter from C. 40scue ― a vast & unexpected comfort. Then, working at Lord Clermont’s Athos, till 3½ or 4. Campbell came then, whom glad to see: he went to change dress, & at 4¼ returned, & we walked by the new Parguenote1 road, by Conde’s,2 & round to the Potamó road home. I back home, & wrote a world of Gk. exercises till 7 or so ―. Dinner. Smoke Melchisedek’s pipe3 ― & wrote to Ann.

Lear's flat in Condi Terrace, from a letter to Ann, 13 October 1856 (Lear 1988, 91).

The flat in Condi Terrace, Letter to Ann, 13 October 1856 (Lear 1988, 91).

The Henderson’s above have a party ― & now there is music ― cheerful & not too loud. It is a great bit of good fortune that they are so quiet. Bedtime ― sleepy: ― perhaps the happiest New Year’s day passed for a long time. The more every moment can be occupied the better. ― The Henderson’s above me had a dance, but I was not much annoyed by it: only a sort of earthquaky bustling movement one was sensible of till sleep came.

[Transcribed by Marco Graziosi from Houghton Library, Harvard University, MS Eng. 797.3. Previously published in Lear 1988, 116-7.]

  1. “Manduchio [one of Corfu’s suburbs] is much larger than Castrades… It is chiefly occupied by the lower classes, but among them is a colony of Parguinotes, the former Christian inhabitants of Parga, a small territory opposite the island of Paxo, given up to the Porte after the settlement of the Ionian Islands under British protection.” Ansted 1863, 28.  In The Ionian Islands in the Year 1863, Ansted thanks “Mr. Lear, an artist, whose accurate and conscientious pictures of Corfu are well known, and who, fortunately | for me, very kindly undertook to accompany me in my first drive,” 47-8. []
  2. Lear moved to the Condi Terrace flat in October 1856, after finding his old one damaged. Though he considered it quite expensive, it had the advantage of being next door to F. Lushington’s. Lear tells the whole story in a letter to Ann of 13 October 1856 (Lear 1988, 90-2). []
  3. While on Mt. Athos waiting for Giorgio to recover, Lear spent his time with bad-smelling monks, “Melchisedek & Anthemos ― smoking 5 pipes a day” (Lear to Ann, 8 October 1856; Noakes 2004, 123; Chitty 1988, 168). []