Henry Craik, ed. English Prose. 1916. Vol. II. Sixteenth Century to the Restoration
An Extract from a Ships Log
By Sir Kenelm Digby (16031665)
From Journal of a Voyage into the Mediterranean
I GAVE order for the speedy dispatch of the polacra,1 and with half of my ships went to Delphos, which is a very good port, and there I spent my time taking in some marble stones and statues till the Vice-Admiral and polacra and sattia came to me, which was the 3rd of September. Then the wind being contrary I unladed the sattia, and took the rest of her goods (which the Vice-Admiral and Hopewell had left) into my ship.
The reasons that moved me to come to Micono were these. Mr. Taverner said the polacra was so leaky and in evil plight that he would not venture to sail in her to Patras, and to stay at Milo to careen and fit her I saw was very inconvenient, for it was a place that administered means of such debauchedness that I found by experience I could have no command of my men there, and the wind came fair to carry us to Micono in a day, and it was too soon by three weeks to come into our port to make provisions, for it was so hot that all men said in a month yet meat could not take salt, and wine is extremely cheap at Micono, so that I intended to make all my provisions there of that, but was frustrated, for they had filled up all their old cask and store with new wines which were naught for beverage, and in the little channel between Tino and Micono did pass all those vessels that went for Constantinople, Scio, or Smyrna, where I heard there were six Frenchmen ready to come out, and more daily expected to come thither. But being at Micono I found that my men likewise haunted that shore, which yet was not comparably so bad as Milo, and were uneasy to be kept aboard; so that I went with most of my ships to Delphos, a desert island, where staying till the rest were ready, because idleness should not fix their minds upon any untoward fancies (as is usual among seamen), and together to avail myself of the convenience of carrying away some antiquities there, I busied them in rolling of stones to the seaside, which they did with such eagerness as though it had been the earnestest business that they came out for, and they mastered prodigious massy weights; but one stone, the greatest and fairest of all, containing four statues, they gave over after they had been, three hundred men, a whole day about it, while the dispatching some business with some Venetians come from Tino detained me aboard. But the next day I contrived a way with masts of ships and another ship to ride over against it, that brought it down with much ease and speed. In the little Delphos there are brave marble stones heaped up in the great ruins of Apollos temple, and within the circuit of it is a huge statue, but broken in two pieces about the waist, which the Greeks told me was Apollos. It weigheth at least thirty tons, and time hath worn out much of the softnesses and gentlenesses of the work, yet all the proportions remain perfect and in gross: the yieldings of the flesh and the musculous parts are visible, so that it is still a brave noble piece, and hath by divers been attempted to be carried away, but they have all failed in it.