On the 21st of the Eleventh Month John and Martha Yeardley left Ancona, and had a safe but suffering voyage of two days to Corfu, the capital of the island of that name.
The atmosphere in this place, writes J.Y., soon after they landed, is different from Ancona in every respect. It has to us a feeling of home, and our minds are clothed with peace and, I trust, gratitude to the Father of mercies. What we may find to do is yet a secret to us, but He who has brought us here will in his own time open the way before us.
Isaac Lowndes of the London Missionary Society received us with much affection and kindness, and his wife and daughter are very desirous to promote our comfort. They took us to see a furnished house in the town, a part of which will suit us remarkably well. We think it a providential thing to have such comfortable quarters to come to.
Some extracts from the Diary and the Journal letters will show in what kind of service they were engaged during their three months’ residence in this island.
11 mo. 24.—I went with J. L. to the First-day school in the village about a mile from the town. A delightful morning, and a delightful sight to see about sixty fine Greek children reading the New Testament in the modern language. Their countenances are lovely and interesting, and their anxiety to hear and answer questions is great; their aptitude in comprehending the subjects offered to them exceeds all I have hitherto seen in any class of children of similar standing. The little group was composed of nearly all girls, clean and neatly dressed in the costume of the country.
27_th_.—To-day we received a long visit from Lord Nugent, President of the Ionian Government, who had heard of our arrival on the island, and was anxious to see us. He is very kind and extremely open with respect to his plans for the improvement of the jail, and for cottage cultivation. He desired me to go and see some unoccupied land without the gate.
28_th_.—According to appointment we went to the palace, and were received by Lady Nugent with marked simplicity and kindness. We were introduced to Lord L. and other persons of influence, took tea, and spent a most agreeable evening, and I hope a profitable; for all our conversation was on the subject of bettering the condition of the poor and destitute children.
12 mo. 3.—This morning we received a visit from a roomful of Greeks. We are desirous to cultivate the acquaintance of the Greeks as the object of our visit of gospel love. Yesterday we were visited by several of the military officers and their wives, who will I hope co-operate with our plans of benevolence. Lord Nugent’s taking us by the hand opens the way to all others of rank and standing.
11_th_,—This morning we had a visit from Dapaldas, Greek professor of theology in the university. He is a pleasing and enlightened man, and speaks French well, which gave us the opportunity of conversing with him pretty freely. I feel to love him much. He is one of the laborers in translating the Old Testament.