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FOUR YEARS

In

THE IONIAN ISL AND S.

CHAPTER I.

auty of Corfu-Nuisances—Difficulty of Sleeping–Almost desirable Coffins -The Social Lever—Peculiar Habits—Seclusion of Women—Poverty re“ricts sociability—Charity carried too far—Counts, genuine and false— Imposture encouraged—A self-manufactured Count—A matchless Rascal— A new Way of raising the Wind—Virtues of the Ionian Ladies—Divorce i to easy—Bad Examples in High Places—The Wrath of Genius.

IN June, 1859, I first arrived at Corfu, and put o, with my family, at the Hôtel de l'Europe, till we could find suitable apartments. M. Grima, the . andlord, kept a very good cook, and did his best o, make us comfortable. But the noises at night were intolerable, from the much frequented café *low, where the customers, in summer, sometimes *mained till daylight. Soon after our arrival, howofer, we obtained excellent rooms in the second tory of the house of Sir Spiridion Valaoriti, WOL. II. B

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which was situated on the Esplanade close to the palace. On the beauty of Corfu I shall not dwell. From Homer and Xenophon down to the Frenchman About, the American Taylor, and the English Earl. of Carlisle, countless pens in verse and prose have celebrated its varied and lovely scenery. Many ranges of mountains form the background in the great distance. Nearer to the north is the famous Istone of antiquity, the modern San Salvator. The frowning citadel, the olive-woods, the wild roses and beautiful oleanders, the planes, and graceful pepper-trees, with the rich vineyards, complete the picture. The snow on the distant mountains (which often remains as late as May) forms a delightful contrast to the verdure and richness of the landscape. The roads have ever attracted the praise of the traveller.” " San Salvator, the highest summit of which is 2591 o feet above the level of the sea, is not only a fine object to the view, but it also stands a perpetual monument of the terrible internecine quarrels of the ancient Corcyraeans, related by Thucydides; conveying admonition for the past, and warning for o the future. It was about half way up that moun- ; tain, that the oligarchical party entrenched itself.

* Ce qu'on devine encore, et au premier coup d'oeil, c'est que Corfou et les s six autres iles sont mieux cultivées, et plus florissantes qu'aucune province du royaume de Grèce: les communications sont faciles par terre et par mer, leo pays est traverse entous sens par des routes admirables.—About's Grèce Contemporaine. S. *,

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DIFFICULTY OF SLEEPING. 3

These, occasionally assisted by Sparta, they, for two years, bade defiance to the democrats of the town, who were in alliance with Athens. Having finally Surrendered, their treacherous massacre by their Corcyraean brethren, added another link to that dain of horrors which excited the anger and indignation of the Greek historian. Perhaps to the in| idence of this perpetual monitor, the fact that the Corfiots of the present day are the most peaceable | and civilized of all the Ionians, and consequently of all the Greeks, may be partly attributed. But the charms of external nature are not suffident for the complete happiness of civilized man. He requires other things. The living in Corfu was of course inferior to that of countries in the West of Europe. But such things can be borne by most Persons with patience, and by some, perhaps, even with indifference. The worst evil to me was the difficulty of sleeping. This was very great, indeed, it all times, except in extreme winter, for then *ple at night remained in-doors. But usually and especially in the hot weather) the town was tive with noisy pedestrians from about eight in the *ening till three or four in the morning. As the * necessitated, of course, open windows, the exonal sounds had free entry into the houses. The ol conversations, the sharp disputes, and the oating laughter, teazed and tormented the ear obtain struggling vainly for sleep. But worse

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