Page images
PDF

ably answered, “ our church is holy, our priests are thieves;" and then he crossed himself as usual, and boxed the ears of the first “ papas" who refused to assist in any required operation, as was always found to be necessary where a priest had any influence with the Cogia Bashi of his village. Indeed a more abandoned race of miscreants cannot exist than the lower orders of the Greek clergy.

When preparations were made for my return, my Albanians were summoned to receive their pay. Basili took his with an awkward show of regret at my intended departure, and marched away to his quarters with his bag of piastres. I sent for Dervish, but for some time he was not to be found; at last he entered, just as Signor Logotheti, father to the ci-devant Anglo-consul of Athens, and some other of my Greek acquaintances, paid me a visit. Dervish took the money, but on a sudden dashed it to the ground; and clasping his hands, which he raised to his forehead, rushed out of the room weeping bitterly. From that moment to the hour of my embarkation, he continued his lamentations, and all our efforts to console him only produced this answer, “ Me DELVES," "He leaves me.” Signor Logotheti, who never wept before for any thing less than the loss of a para*, melted; the padre of the convent, my attendants, my visitersand I verily believe that even Sterne's * foolish fat scullion," would have left her " fish-kettle," to sympathize with the upaffected and unexpected sorrow of this barbarian.

For my own part, when I remembered that, a short time before my departure from England, a noble and most intimate associate had excused himself from taking leave of me because he had to attend a relation to a milliner's," I felt no less surprised than humiliated by the present occurrence and the past recollection.

• That Dervish would leave me with some regret was to be expected: when master and man have been scrambling over the mountains of a dozen provinces together, they are unwilling to separate; but his present feelings, contrasted with his native ferocity, improved my opinion of the human beart. I believe this almost feudal fidelity is frequent amongst them. One day, on our journey over Parnassus, an Englishman in my service gave him a push in some dispute about the baggage, which he unluckily mistook for a blow; he spoke not, but sat down leaning his head upon his hands. Foreseeing the consequences, we endeavoured to explain away the affront, wbich produced the following answer :-“ I have been a robber, I am

. * Para, about the fourth of a farthi g.

a soldier; no captain ever struck me; you are my master, I have eaten your bread, but by that bread! (a usual oath) had it been otherwise, I would have stabbed the dog your servant, and gone to the mountains." So the affair ended, but from that day forward he Dever thoroughly forgave the thoughtless fellow who insulted him.

Dervish excelled in the dance of his country, conjectured to be a remnant of the ancient Pyrrhic : be that as it may, it is manly, and requires wonderful agility. It is very distinct from the stupid Romaika, the dull round-about of the Greeks, of which our Athenian party had so many specimens.

The Albanians in general (I do not mean the cultivators of the earth in the provinces, who have also that appellation, but the mountaineers) have a fine cast of countenance; and the most beautiful women I ever beheld, in stature and in features, we saw levelling the road broken down by the torrents between Delvinachi and Libochabo. Their manner of walking is truly theatrical; but this strut is probably the effect of the capote, or cloak, depending from one shoulder. Their long hair reminds you of the Spartans, and their courage in desultory warfare is unquestionable. Though they have some cavalry amongst the Gegdes, I never saw a good Arnaout horseman : my own preferred the English saddles, which, however, they could never keep. But on foot they are not to be subdued by fatigue.

12.

-- and pass'd the barren spot, Where sad Penelope o'erlook'd the wave.

Stanza xxxix. lines 1 and 2.

Ithaca.

13.

Actium, Lepanto, fatal Trafalgar.

Stanza xl. line 5. Actium and Trafalgar need no further mention. The battle of Lepanto, equally bloody and considerable, but less known, was fought in the Gulf of Patras: here the author of Don Quixote lost his left hand.

And hail'd the last resort of fruitless love.

Stanza xli line 3. -ta Maura. From the promontory (the Lover's

have thrown herself.

[ocr errors]

15.

-- - many a Roman chief and Asian king.

Stanza xlv. line 4 It is said, that on the day previous to the battle of Actium Antbony had thirteen kings at his levee.

16.
Look where the second Cæsar's trophies rose!

Stanza xlv. line 6. Nicopolis, whose ruins are most extensive, is at some distance from Actium, where the wall of the Hippodrome survives in a few fragments.

17.
---Acherusia's lake.

Stanza xlvii. line 1. According to Pouqueville the Lake of Yanina; but Pouqueville is always out.

18.
To greet Albania's chief.

Stanza xlvii. line 4. The celebrated Ali Pacha. of this extraordinary man there is an incorrect account in Pouqueville's Travels.

19.

Yet here and there some daring mountain band
Disdain his power, and from their rocky hold
Hurl their defiance far, nor yield, unless to gold.

Stanza xlvii. line 7. Five thousand Suliotes, among the rocks and in the castle of Suli, withstood 30,000 Albanians for eighteen years: the castle at last was taken by bribery. In this contest there were several acts performed not unworthy of the better days of Greece.

20.

Monastic Zitza ! &c.

Stanza xlviii. line 1. The convent and village of Zitza are four hours journey from Joannina, or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) flows, and not far from Zitza forms a fine cataract. The situation is perhaps the finest in Greece, though the approach to Delvinachi and parts of Acarnania and Ætolia may contest the palm. Delphi, Parnassus, and, in Attica, even Cape Colonna and Port Raphti, are very inferior; as also every scene in Ionia, or the Troad: I am almost inclined to add the approach to Constantinople; but from the different features of the last, a comparison can hardly be made.

21.
Here dwells the caloyer.

Stanza xlix. line 6. The Greek monks are so called.

22.
Nature's volcanic amphitheatre.

Stanza li. line 2. The Chimariot mountains appear to have been volcanic.

23.

behold black Acheron!

Stanza li. line 6.

Now called Kalamas.

24.
in his white capote-

Stanza lij. line 7.

Albanese cloak.

25

The Sun had sunk behind vast Tomerit

Stanza lv line 1.

Anciently Mount Tomarus.

26.
And Laos wide and fierce came roaring by.

Stanza lv. line 2. The river Laos was full at the time the author passed it; and, immediately above Tepaleen, was to the eye as wide as the Thames

at Westminster; at least in the opinion of the author and his fellowtraveller, Mr. Hobbouse. In the summer it must be much narrower. It certainly is the finest river in the Levant; neither Achelous, Alpheus, Acheron, Scamander, nor Cayster, approached it in breadth or beauty.

And fellow-countrymen have stood alonf.

Stanza lxvi. line 6. Alluding to the wreckers of Cornwall.

28.
the red wine circling fast.

Stanza lxxi. line 2. The Albanian Mussulmans do not abstain from wine, and indeed, very few of the others.

29.
Each Palikar his sabre from him cast.

Stanza lxxi. line 7. Palikar, shortened when addressed to a single person, from lenincept, a general pame for a soldier amongst the Greeks and Albanese who speak Romaic-it means properly “ a lad."

30.
While thus in concert, &c.

Stanza lxxii. line last. As a specimen of the Albanian or Arnaout dialect of the Illyric, I here insert two of their most popular choral songs, which are generally chanted in dancing by men or women indiscriminately. The first words are merely a kind of chorus without meaning, like some in our own and all other languages.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]
« PreviousContinue »