Cephalonia and Zante

Sunday 11th

On deck about 9 am and are fast approaching Cephalonia. It has the same bold coastline as the land we have passed. The highest mountain is over 5000 ft, and springs right out of the water. It is grand and imposing: but the atmosphere is so clear that distances and heights are most deceptive. It certainly does not appear anything like a mile high. On all sides nature is beautiful, and its influence elevating and refining: and yet the inhabitants of these countries are not susceptible to such forces - judging by what is said of them!

The people on board comprise Greek priests, two or three Gk women and men and a few Turks. All are quiet, and, I should hope, enjoying the peaceful scene around. Sailing in such sunshine and air surrounding is certainly very delightful. It is Sunday; but no outward devotion visible. God needs not temples and large assemblies to worship him; but the homage of a solitary heart is acceptable. And yet, how necessary the assembling of ourselves together, and the restrictions and influences of formal times to meet and think of our God, is to us, to keep alive right thoughts and aspirations.

Have left Cephalonia where we remained 3 hrs, and are now nearing Zante, which presents the same bold appearance as the other isles we have passed. The town is at the end of a double bay, and is therefore well sheltered. It looks very pretty, nestling under the side of a somewhat precipitous mountain; and the houses being all whitewashed gives it a cheerful aspect. After dinner I wished to go ashore, and, as my friends did not care to go, I went alone. By the time I landed it was quite dark, and my time was limited: so I picked my way cautiously, and soon found myself in the midst of some busy little streets of shops, well lighted with oil lamps. Fruit had the largest display; but business did not appear very brisk.

Going up the hill, I met ladies and gentlemen coming down in carriages and, from smiles, evidently returning from a pleasure trip. (It being so dark, I could not distinguish faces; but the women were generally well-dressed, and would compare very favourably with our poor women.) Being somewhat afraid of losing my way, I soon returned to my boat, and got aboard again all right. On getting in to my bath I put my head out of the window, and, for the first time, saw the real phosphorescent lights on the water. They are like small balls of red fire, size of a nut, and keep breaking up near the side of the ship, sometimes in great abundance. The spots show up from 2 to 30 seconds and die quite dim.

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