Page images

the young citizens of Athens re- The supposed Tumuli of Antiope, ceived their first armour, enrolled Euripides, and others, bave also been their names, and swore to fight to opened; and from these excavations, the last for the liberties of their and various others in the environs country. Near this spot the Per- of Athens, has been procured a comsians scaled the wall of the citadel, plete and valuable collection of when Themistocles had retired with Greek vases. The colonies sent the remainder of the army, and the from Athens, Corinth, &c. into Mag. whole Athenian navy, to Salamis. na Græcia, Sicily, and Etruria, carried

The remains of the original wall with them ibis art of making vases, may still be traced in the midst of from their mother country; and, as the Turkish and Venetian additions, the earliest modern collections of and they are distinguisbable by three vases were made in those colonies, modes of construction at very re- they have improperly acquired tủe markable epochs,-the Pelasgic, the name of Etruscan. Those found by Cecropian, and that of the age of Lord Elgin at Athens, Egiaz, ArCimon and Pericles. It was at this gos, and Corinth, will prove the last brilliant period, that the Acro- indubitable claim of the Greeks to polis, in its whole extent, was con. the invention and perfection of templated with the same veneration this art. Few of those in the colas a consecrated temple ; consistent lections of the King of Naples at with which sublime conception, the Portici, or in that of Sir William Athenians crowned its lofty walls Hamilton, excel some which Lord with an entablature of grand pro- Elgin has procured, with respect to portions, surmounted by a cornice. thc elegance of the form, the fineSome of the massy triglyphs and ness of the materials, tbe delicacy of motules still remain in their original the execution, or the beauty of ihe position, and producing a most im- subjects delineated on them; and posing effect.

they are, for the most part, in very “ The ancient walls of the city of high preservation. À tumalus, Athens, as they existed in the Pelo- into which an excavation was componnesian war, have been traced by menced uuder Lord Elgin's eye dur. Lord Elgin's artists in their whole ing bis residence at Athens, has furextent, as well as the long walls that nished a most valuable treasure of led to the Munychia and the Piræus. this kind. It consists of a large The gates, mentioned in ancient marble vase, five feet in circumte. authors, have been ascertained: and rence, enc'osing one of bronze thirevery public monument, that could teen inches in diameter, of beautiful be recognised, has been inserted in sculpture, in which was a depea general map; as well as detaild sit of burnt bones, and a lachrynaplans given of each. Extensive ex- tory of alabaster, of exquisite torm; cavations were necessary for this and on the bones day a wreath of purpose, particularly at ihe Great myrtle in gold; having, besides Theatre of Bacchus; at the Pnyx, leaves, both buds and flowers. This where the assemblies of the people tumulus is situated on the road were held, where Pericles, Alcibi- which leads from Port Piræus to the ades, Demosthenes, and Æschines, Salaminian Ferry and Eleusis. May delivered their orations, and at the it not be the tomb of Aspasia? theatre built by Herodes Aiticus, 10 “ From the Theatre of Bacchus, the memory of his wife Regilla. Lord Elgin has obtained the very


ancient sun-dial, which existed there pic games. Amongst the Funeral during the time of Æschylus, So- Cippi found in different places, are phocles, and Euripides; and a large some remarkable names, particularstatue of the Indian, or bearded ly that of Socrates; and in the CeraBacchus, dedicated by Thrasyllus in micus itself Lord Elgin discovered gratitude for his having obtained the an inscription in elegiac verse, oni prize of tragedy at the Panatheniac the Athenians who fell at Potidæa, festival. A beantiful little temple and whose eulogy was delivered with near it, raised for a similar prize pathetic eloquence in the funeral gained by Lysicrates, and commonly oration of Pericles. called the Lantern of Demosthenes, ** The peasants at Athens genehas also been drawn and modelled rally put into a niche over the door with minute attention. It is one of of their cottages, any fragment they the most exquisite productions of discover in ploughing the fields. Greek architecture. The'elevation, Out of these, were selected and purground-plan, and other details of cbased many curious antique votive the octagonal temple, raised by An- tablets, with sculpture and inscripdronicus Cyrrhestes to the winds, tions. A complete series has also have also been executed with care; been formed of capitals, of the only but the sculpture on its frize is in so three orders known in Greece, the heavy a style, that it was not judged Doric, the Ionic, and the Corinworthy of being modelled in plaister. thian; from the earliest dawn of

“ Permission was obtained from art in Athens, to its zenith under the archbishop of Athens, to exa- Pericles; and, from thence, through mine the interior of all the churches all its degradations, to the dark ages and convents in Athens and its of the lower empire. neighbourhood, in search of anti At a convent called Daphne, quities; and his authority was fre about half way between Athens and quently employed, to permit Lord Eleusis, were the remains of an Elgin to carry away several cari. Ionic temple of Venus, equally reous fragments of antiquity. This markable for the brilliancy of the search furnished many valuable marble, the bold style of the ornabas-reliefs,inscriptions, ancient dials, ments, the delicacy with which they a Gymnasiarch's chair in for are finished, and their high preserble, on the back of which are figures vation. Lord Elgin procured from of Harinodius and Aristogiton, thence two of the capitals, a whole with daggers in their hands, and futed column, and a base, the death of Leæna, who bit out her ' “ Lord Elgin was indebted chiefly tongue during the torture, rather to the friendship of the Captain than confess what she korw of the Pacba, for the good fortune of proconspiracy against the Pisistratidæ. curing, while at the Dardanelles, in The fountain in the court-yard of his way to Constantinople, the celethe English consul Logotheti's house brated Boustrophedon inscription, was decorated with a bas-relief of from the promontory of Sigæum, a Bacchantes, in the style called monument which several embassaGræco Etruscan: Lord Elgio ob dors from Christian Powers to the tained ibis, as well as a guadriga in Porte, and even Louis XIV. in the bas-relief, with a Victory hovering height of his power, had ineffectually over the charioteer, probably an er endeavoured to obtain. Lord Elgin yoto, for some victory at the Olym-'found it forming a seat or couch at

the the door of a Greek chapel, and ha- of every remarkable peculiarity in bitually resorted to by persons af- the variations of the Greek alphaAicted with ague; who, deriving bet, throughout the most interestgreat relief from remaining reclined ing period of Grecian history. upon it, attributed their recovery "A few bronzes, cameos, and into the marble, and not to the ele- taglios, were also procured: in parvated situation and sea air, of which ticular, a camco of sery exquisite it procured them the advantage. beauty, in perfect preservation, and This ill-fated superstition had alof a peculiarly fine stone: it repre ready obliterated more than one balfsents a female centaur suckling a of the inscription, and in a few young one. Lord Elgin was equally years more it would have become fortunate in forming a collection of perfectly illegible.

· Greek medals, among which are « By the aid of this valuable ac- several that are very rare ; others of quisition, Lord Elgiu's collection of much historical merit; and many inscriptions comprehends specimens most admirable specimens of art.




" N O T a little has been said he presented to the monastery of

IV with respect to the Library Iona. Aeneas Sylvius (afterwards at Iona. But, besides having to re- Pope Pius II.) intended, when he gret the loss of this very ancient col- was in Scotland, to have visited the lection, we have not even the slen- library, in search of the lost books der consolation of certainly knowing of Livy, but was prevented by the what was its fate.. It is more than death of the King, James I. A probable, however, that, like other small parcel of them were, in 1525, monuments of antiquity, which have brought to Aberdeen, and great fallen a sacrifice to the depredations pains were taken to unfold them, of time, its value has been consider- but, through age, and the tenderably overrated.

ness of the parehment, little could “ The public,” says Pennant, be read; but, from what the learned " was greatly interested in the pre- were able to make out, the work servation of this place, for it was appeared by the style to have rather the repository of most of the an- been a fragment of Sallust, than of cient Scotch records. The library Livy." here must also have been invaluable, " But the account given by Boere if we can, depend upon Boethius, is clogged with difficulties. 1. I who asserts, ibat Fergus II. assist. is said that, besives the chest of ing Alaric the Goth, in the sacking books, there fell to Ibe share of Ferof Rome, brought away, as share of gus sacra quedam vasa, “ certain the plunder, a chest of books, which sacred vessels," whicb be also brought

In modern language ICOLUNKILL.

with him. Now, Boece himself has I might even be supposed, that told us, what we krow from other Maitland had not sufficient ground sources, that the Goths respected for charging Boece with self-con-, the sacred edifices. Alaric gave a tradiction, as to our annals; as some peremptory order, that all the con- of them, notwithstanding the requisecrated vessels, belonging to St. sition made by Alexander I. might Peter, should be transported, with- still have been retained at Iona, beout damage or delay, to his church. ing concealed by the monks, or afBut, alihough these only are men- terwards procured by them from tioned, in consequence of their be other quarters ; of which circuming found, by the soldiers, under the stance Boece might be informed, care of an aged virgin; it is most when he made more particular inprobable, that this prince would quiry with a view of writing his shew the same regard to all other history. But it cannot be denied, vessels consecrated to the purposes that, by referring to works unknown of religion...

to all our historians, as to those of " 2. This account involves a gross Cornelius Hibernicus, Veremund, anachronism, Fergus must have and Campbell, of whose writings, made his donation to the monastery nay, of whose existence, we can of Iona about a hundred and sixty discover no other vestiges, he has years before the foundation stone of greatly injured the credibility of his it was laid. For Boece says, that whole story with respect to the comAlaric sacked Rome A. 412 Now munications from Iona. The most Columba did not land in lona till favourable opinion which can posthe year 563, or, as some say, 565. sibly be formed of the conduct of Here, we are told, Fergus employed Boece, and it is very little to his approved scribes, for reducing the credit indeed, is, that he had demanuscripis to the form of books, stroyed the manuscripts which he several ages, as would seen), before had used, that his own history might the art of writing was known in the be in greater request. This, as we country

learn from Gordon of Stralogh, was " 3. The same writer elsewhere the tradition which, when a young says, that although Fergus had ap- man, he had heard at Aberdeen. . pointed Iona to be a repository for “ Nor can it at all be believed, ihe public records, yet Alexander I. that the classical MSS. were brought on account of the great difficulty of from Rome by Fergus. There is the access to Iona; had caused our little probability indeed, that Fergus annals to be transferred to the priory ever was at Rome ; and still less, of Restennet, in Angus. Maitland that an Irish prince, in that early bas observed, that hence it was evi- age, would encumber himself, durdeut, that in Boece's time there could ing his military labours, with a chest be no records at Iona ; and, there of books, written in a language to fore, that he could not get his Vere- 'which, we may reasonably suppose, mundus from this island.

be was an entire stranger. “ As Boece mentions our annals “ It must be admitted, however, ordly, it may be said, that he did not that from a writer, who has frerefer to the ancient classical works, quently substituted fable for history, which Alexander might not think credit is sometimes withheld, even of demanding from the monks of when he may have a just claim to lona. . it. This may have been the fate of


Boece, in the instance before us. supposed, that he would have introIt must be acknowledged, that he duced a man of his respectability as does not, as Pennant says, assert a witness to a grosz falsehood, liable that these books were brought from also to contradiction from all the Rome by Fergus. He only gives it monks at lona ? His history was as a tradition, or report; Ferunt, published, indeed, little more than &c. Besides, there is a considerable a year after the time assigned as the appearance of integrity in his ac- date of the receipt of these books. count of the transmission and ex. He had even exposed himself to reamination of these works. He claims crimination from these monks, if no merit in the discovery. All the there was any ground for it; as he honour that he claims is the partial ascribes the deplorable state of the execution of a plan previously form. manuscripts, rather to the carelessed by a person warmly attached to ness of their guardians, than to the the interests of literature, who had waste of time. A reflection of this come to this country as papal legate, kiud might well be supposed to exnot a century before the time that cite l'esprit du corps. , Boece wrote. If a foreigner, hold. “Having mentioned the lost books ing such a distinguished place, en- of Livy as the great desideratum, had tertained the design of making a the story been entirely a fabrication, visit to Iona, for the express pur- it would have been as easy for him pose of inspecting the library tbere, to have said, that the fragments it must have been well known, and which he examined indicated the highly gratifying to our countrymen. style of this autbor, as to have Nor could the memory of this de ascribed them to Sallust: and more sign have perished, in so short a natural, as giving greater import time, among those wbo had any re- apce to his pretended investigation. gard to learning ; especially as it “It also deserves observation, that was frustrated by a calamitous event Boece speaks of these manuscripts that so deeply interested every friend as inspected, while in bis custody, to his country. Even Boece, there by a variety of learned men; and fore, would not have ventured such candidly confesses, that it could not an assertion, had he not been as be determined, whether they had sured of the fact. :

been written in Scotland, or brought ** He also says, that it was in con- from abroad, being written after The sequence of the great celebrity of Roman mode, as they treated of Ro these books, preserved in Iona, that man affairs. "This only," he says, he was so anxious to examine " whats appeared to the judgment of a They were, and what they treated who saw them, that they savoured "of. He assumes nothing to him. more of the style of Sallust than of self in the account which he gives Livy." Had he never received these of their transmission. On the con- manuscripts, or had be shewed them trary, he owns that the religious of to none of his literary friends, would Iona did not comply with his re- he ever have bazarded such a de quest, till after the third applica- Claration ? tion; and this chiefly by the good “ It may be added, that, while offices of the noble and learned the learned Usher scouts the idea of Campbell, his majesty's treasurer. their being brought from Rome by Boece published his history while Fergus, he admits the narrative of Campbell was alive, and can it be Boece, as far as it regards these frage


« PreviousContinue »