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resolving to be at once cleanly and classical bathed in it) pronounced it to be the fonntain of Dirce, any body who thinks it worth while may contradict him. At Castri we drank of half a dozen streamlets, some not of the purest, before we decided to our satisfaction which was the true Castalian, and even that had a villanous twang, probably from the snow, though it did not throw us into an epic fever, like poor Dr. Chandler.
From Fort Phyle, of which large remains still exist, the Plain of Athens, Pentelicus, Hymettus, the Ægean, and the Acropolis, burst upon the eye at once ; in my opinion, a more glorious prospect than even Cintra or Istambol. Not the view from the Troad, with Ida, the Hellespont, and the more distant Mount Athos, can equal it, though so superior in extent.
I heard much of the beauty of Arcadia, but excepting the view from the monastery of Megaspelion (which is inferior to Zitza in a command of country) and the descent from the mountains on the way from Tripolitza to Argos, Arcadia has little to recommend it beyond the name.
“Sternitur, et dulces moriens reminiscitur Argos.” Virgil could have put this into the mouth of none but an Argive ; and (with reverence be it spoken) it does not deserve the epithet. And if the Polynices of Statius, “In mediis audit duo litora campis," did actually hear both shores in crossing the isthmus of Corinth, he had better ears than have ever been worn in such a journey since.
" Athens," says a celebrated topographer, “ is still the most poJished city of Greece.” Perhaps it may of Greece, but not of the Greeks ; for Joannina in Epirus is universally allowed, amongst themselves, to be superior in the wealth, refinement, learning, and dialect of its inhabitants. The Athenians are remarkable for their cunning; and the lower orders are not improperly characterized in that proverb, which classes them with "the Jews of Salonica, and the Turks of the Negropont.”
Among the various foreigners resident in Athens, French, Italians, Germans, Ragusans, &c. there was never a difference of opinion in their estimate of the Greek character, though on all other topics they disputed with great acrimony.
Mr. Fauvel, the French consul, who has passed thirty years principally at Athens, and to whose talents as an artist and manners as a gentleman none who have known him can refuse their testimony, has frequently declared in my bearing, that the Greeks do not deserve to be emancipated ; reasoning on the grounds of their “national and individual depravity," while he forgot that such depravity is to be attributed to causes which can only be removed by the measure he reprobates
Mr. Roque, a French merchant of respectability long settled in Athens, asserted with the most amusing gravity; “Sir, they are the same canaille that existed in the days of Themistocles !" an alarming remark to the "Laudator temporis acti." The ancients banished Themistocles; the moderns cheat Monsieur Roque : thus great men have ever been treated !
In short, all the Franks who are fixtures, and most of the Englishmen, Germans, Danes, &c of passage, came over by degrees to their opinion, on much the same grounds that a Turk in England would condemn the nation by wholesale, because he was wronged by his lacquey, and overcharged by his washerwoman.
Certainly it was not a little staggering wben the Sieurs Fauvel and Lusieri, the two greatest demagogues of the day, who divide between them the power of Pericles and the popularity of Cleon, and puzzle the poor Waywode with perpetual differences, agreed in the utter condemnation, "nulla virtute redemptum," of the Greeks in general, and of the Athenians in particular.
For my own humble opinion, I am loth to hazard it, knowing, as I do, that there be now in MS. no less than five tours of the first magnitude and of the most threatening aspect, all in typographical array, by persons of wit, and honour, and regular common place books: but, if I may say this without offence, it seems to me rather hard to declare so positively and pertinaciously, as almost every body has declared, that the Greeks, because they are very bad, will never be better.
Eton and Sonnini bave led us astray by their panegyrics and projects; but, on the other hand, De Pauw and Thornton have debased the Greeks beyond their demerits
The Greeks will never be independent; they will never be sove reigns as heretofore, and God forbid they ever should! but they may be subjects without being slaves. Our colonies are not independent, but they are free and industrious, and such may Greece be hereafter
At present, like the Catholics of Ireland and the Jews throughout the world, and such other cudgelled and heterodox people, they suffer all the moral and physical ills that can afflict humanity. Their life is a struggle against truth; they are vicious in their own deSence. They are so upused to kindness, that when they occasionally
meet with it they look upon it with suspicion, as a dog often beaten snaps at your fingers if you attempt to caress him. “ They are ungrateful, notoriously, abominably ungrateful !"-this is the general cry. Now, in the name of Nemesis ! for what are they to be grateful! Where is the human being that ever conferred a benefit on Greek or Greeks? They are to be grateful to the Turks for their fetters, and to the Franks for their broken promises and lying counsels. They are to be grateful to the artist who engraves their ruins, and to the antiquary who carries them away: to the traveller whose janissary flogs them, and to the scribbler whose journal abuses them! This is the amount of their obligations to foreigners.
Franciscan Convent, Athens, January 23, 1811. Amongst the remnants of the barbarous policy of the earlier ages, are the traces of bondage which yet exist in different countries; whose inhabitants, however divided in religion and manners, almost all agree in oppression.
The English have at last compassionated their Negroes, and under a less bigoted government, may probably one day release their Catholic brethren: but the interposition of foreigners alone can emancipate the Greeks, who, otherwise, appear to have as small a chance of redemption from the Turks, as the Jews have from mankind in general.
of the ancient Greeks we know more than enough; at least the younger men of Europe devote mueh of their time to the study of the Greek writers and history, which would be more usefully spent in mastering their own. Of the moderns, we are perhaps more neglectful than they deserve; and while every map of any pretensions to learning is tiring out his youth, and oftep his age, in the study of the language and of the harangues of the Athenjan demagogues in favour of freedom, the real or supposed descendants of these sturdy republicaps, are left to the actual tyranny of their masters, although a very slight effort is required to strike off their chains.
To talk, as the Greeks themselves do, of their rising again to their pristine superiority, would be ridiculous; as the rest of the world must resume its barbarism, after re-asserting the sovereignty of Greece: but there seems to be no very great obstacle, except in the apathy of the Franks, to their becoming an useful dependency, or even a free state with a proper guarantee ;-under correction, how. ever, be it spoken, for many and well-informed men doubt the practicability even of this.
The Greeks have never lost their hope, though they are now more divided in opinion on the subject of their probable deliverers. Religion recommends the Russians; but they have twice been deceived and abandoned by that power, and the dreadful lesson they received after the Muscovite desertion in the Morea has never been forgotten. The French they dislike; although the subjugation of the rest of Europe will, probably, be attended by the deliverance of continental Greece. The islanders look to the English for succour, as they have very lately possessed themselves of the Ionian republic, Corfu excepted. But whoever appear with arms in their hands will be welcome; and when that day arrives, heaven have mercy on the Ottomans, they cannot expect it from the Giaours.
But instead of considering what they have been, and speculating on what they may be, let us look at them as they are.
And here it is impossible to reconcile the contrariety of opinions : some, particularly the merchants, decrying the Greeks in the strongest language; others, generally travellers, turning periods in their eulogy, and publishing very curious speculations grafted on their former state, which can have no more effect on their present lot, than the existence of the Incas on the future fortunes of Peru.
One very ingenious person terms them the “ natural allies" of Englishmen; another, no less ingenious, will not allow them to be the allies of any body, and denies their very descent from the ancients; a third. more ingenious than either, builds a Greek empire on a Russian foundation, and realizes (on paper) all the chimeras of Catherine II. As to the question of their descent, what can it import whether the Mainnotes are the lineal Laconians or not! or the present Athenians as indigenous as the bees of Hymettus, or as the grasshoppers, to which they once likened themselves? What Englishman cares if he be of a Danish, Saxon, Norman, or Trojan blood' or who, except a Welchman, is afflicted with a desire of being descended from Caractacus!
The poor Greeks do not so much abound in the good things of this world, as to render even their claims to antiquity an object of envy: it is very cruel, then, in Mr. Thornton, to disturb them in the possession of all that time has left them; viz. their pedigree, of which they are the more tenacious, as it is all they can call their own. It would be worth wbile to publish together, and compare, the
works of Messrs. Thornton and De Pauw, Eton and Sonnini; parados on one side, and prejudice on the other. Mr. Thornton conceives himself to have claims to public confidence from a fourteen years residence at Pera; perhaps he may on the subject of the
Turks, but this can give him no more insight into the real state of Greece and her inhabitants, than as many years spent in Wapping into that of the Western Highlands.
The Greeks of Constantinople live in Fanal; and if Mr. Thornton did not oftener cross the Golden Horn than his brother merchants are accustomed to do, I should place no great reliance on his information. I actually heard one of these gentlemen boast of their little general intercourse with the city, and assert of himself with an air of triumph, that he bad been but four times at Constantinople in as many years.
As to Mr. Thornton's voyages in the Black Sea with Greek vessels, they gave him the same idea of Greece as a cruise to Berwick in a Scotch smack would of Johnny Grot's house. Upon what grounds then does he arrogate the right of condemning by wholesale a body of men, of whom he can know little? It is rather a curious circumstance that Mr. Thornton, who so lavishly dispraises Pouqueville on every occasion of mentioning the Turks, has yet recourse to him as authority on the Greeks, and terms him an impartial observer. Now Dr. Pouqueville is as little entitled to that appella. tion, as Mr. Thornton to confer it on him.
The fact is, we are deplorably in want of information on the subject of the Greeks, and in particular their literature, nor is there any probability of our being better acquainted, till our intercourse becomes more intimate or their independence confirmed; the relations of passing travellers are as little to be depended on as the invectives of angry factors; but till something more can be attained, we must be content with the little to be acquired from similar sources*.
* A word, en passant, with Mr Thornton and Dr. Pouqueville, who have been guilty between them of sadly clipping the Sultan's Turkish.
Dr. Pouqueville tells a long story of a Moslem who swallowed corrosive sublimate in such quantities that he acquired the name of “ Suleyman Yeyen," i. e. quoth the Doctor, “Suleyman, the eater of corrosive sublimate." "Aha," thinks Mr. Thornton (angry with the Doctor for the fiftieth time) " have I caught you ?"--Then, in a note twice the thickness of the Doctor's avecdote, he questions the Doctor's proficiency in the Turkish tongue, and his veracity in his own." For," observes Mr. Thornton (after inflicting on us the tough participle of a Turkish verb) “ it means nothing more than