"Alexandria. March 17. 1858."

Waked at 5½ ― & up ― Sunrise. Face horribly bad. By 8 or 9 we were in Alexandria & on shore ― roba and all in the Europa. No boat till the 25th or 26th!! ―― Great disgust. Walked about with G. (& was amused by his remarks ―) in the square ― to the Latin Church ― where I saw a Monk whom, I asking what the next church was ― said, “Greca schismatica,” & then to that Greek Church, which was like one in Ἄγιον Ὄρος. ― Lastly enquired about screw steamers, but found none, till, at Zinzinis they said one might go in two days hence. ― This seems more hopeful. ― Lunch, with Henry Calvert who is V. Consul here. He tells me of a newly discovered Xtian church near Pompey’s pillar.1 At 3 I, G. ― & Salim the Dragoman set out on asses ― & go by the well-known gate & roads to the Pillar. The Arab huts & queer blackies are the liveliest parts of the scene: ― the far blue lake & white snowy houses, & the sont trees2 are pretty though. On to the newly found Church, an excavation, connected with Catacombs, ― buried ages ago by a cliff-fall. The paintings on the apse & elsewhere seem to me modern. Anyhow, ugly. Thence to the old remembered canal, & thence back to P. Pillar, where I drew for a while, ― afterwards, about 5, crossing on to the opposite hill. Queer stones behind a guard-tower. ― Drew again, & then home. Passing the tombs ― “He is buried there all the Arabs” says Saleem. All the Alexandrians said I? ― “No ― the Mussulmen. Then would you be buried there: “O please God not this time!” But you would be better off than here if you went to Paradise?” “O yes ― all is true, but my mother cry too much, so better not die this time. 3 brothers, nine others, all swear at her, so she not like them: I never swear & give her money.” ― In the Hotel, washed &c. ― & to dinner at 6½. ― sitting with the Schillers ― an artless yet clever woman. The fat Frenchman says the little one was arrested to day, on a false passport ― & he himself in trouble about being with him. After dinner went up to Mr. Calvert’s room ― & sat there till 9½. Then to bed ― talking first with Giorgio.

X9 X10

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

  1. “Pompey’s Pillar has nothing to do with Pompey: it received its name from  the medieval belief that it marked Pompey’s tomb. It is a red granite pillar with an overall height of 27 metres (88 feet) that was set up in AD 292 by the Roman prefect Posidius in honour of the emperor Diocletian” (Clayton 1982, 41). []
  2. Acacia Nilotica: a tree 5-20 m high with a dense spheric crown, stems and branches usually, exuding a reddish low quality gum. []