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However defective these may be, they are preferable to the paradoxes of men who have read superficially of the ancients, and seen nothing of the moderns, such as De Pauw: who, when he asserts that the British breed of horses is ruined by Newmarket, and that the Spartans were cowards in the field, betrays an equal knowledge of English horses and Spartan men. His “philosophical observations have a much better claim to the title of “poetical." It could not be expected that he who so liberally condemns some of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient, should have mercy on the modern Greeks; and it fortunately happens, that the absurdity of bis hypothesis on their forefathers, refutes his sentence on themselves.
Let us trust, then, that in spite of the prophecies of De Pauw, and the doubts of Mr. Thornton, there is a reasonable hope of the redemption of a race of men, who, whatever may be the errors of their religion and policy, bave been amply punished by three centuries and a half of captivity.
Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 17, 1811. “ I must have some talk with this learned Theban." Some time after my return from Constantinople to this city I received the thirty-first number of the Edinburgh Review as a great favour, and certainly at this distance an acceptable one, from the
« Sucuman the eater," and quite cashiers the supplementary “sublimate." Now both are right, and both are wrong. If Mr. Thornton, when he next resides“ fourteen years in the factory,” will consult his Turkish dictionary, or ask any of his Stamboline acquaintance, he will discover that “Suleyma'n yeyen," put together discreetly, mear the “Swallower of sublimate," without any “Suleyman" in the case: “Suleyma" signifying "corrosive sublimate," and not being a proper name on this occasion, although it be an orthodox name enough with the addition of n. After Mr. Thornton's frequent bints of profound Orientalism, he might have found this out before he sang such pæans over Dr. Pouqueville.
After tbis, I think “ Travellers versus Factors” shall be our motto, though the above Mr. Thornton has condemned “ hoc genus omne," for mistake and misrepresentation. “Ne Sutor ultra crepidarn," "No merchant beyond his bales." N. B. For the benefit of Mr. Thornton, “ Sutor," is not a proper name.
captain of an English frigate off Salamis. In that number, Art. 3. containing the review of a French translation of Strabo, there are introduced some remarks on the modern Greeks and their literature, with a short account of Coray, a co-translator in the French version. On those remarks I mean to ground a few observations, and the spot where I now write will I hope be sufficient excuse for introducing them in a work in some degree connected with the subject. Coray, the most celebrated of living Greeks, at least among the Franks, was born at Scio (in the Review Smyrna is stated, I have reason to think, incorrectly), and, besides the translation of Beccaria and other works mentioned by the reviewer, has published a lexicon in Romaic and French, if I may trust the assurance of some Danish travellers lately arrived from Paris; but the latest we have seen here in French and Greek is that of Gregory Zolikogloou*. Coray has recently been involved in an unpleasant controversy with M. Gailt, a Parisian commentator and editor of some translations from the Greek poets, in consequence of the Institute having awarded him the prize for his version of Hippocrates “. [lepi údátwy," &c. to the disparagement, and consequently displeasure, of the said Gail. To his exertions, literary and patriotic, great praise is undoubtedly due, but a part of that praise ought not to be withheld from the two brothers Zosimado (merchants settled in Leghorn) who sent him to Paris, and maintained him, for the express purpose of elucidating the ancient, and adding to the modern, researches of his countrymen. Coray, however, is not considered by his countrymen equal to some who lived in the two last centuries; more particularly Dorotheus of Mitylene, whose Hellenic writings are so much esteemed by the Greeks that Miletius terms bim, “ Méto rov Osnúdid ny kseid Envocarea piolos 'Exame@y." (P. 224. Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv.)
Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Fontenelle, and Kamarases, who translated Ocellus Lucanus on the Universe into French,
# I have in my possession an excellent Lexicon “ Tplawroov," which I received in exchange from S. G---, Esq. for a small gem: my antiquarian friends have never forgotten it, or forgiven me.
+ In Gail's pamphlet against Coray he talks of “throwing the insolent Helleniste out of the windows." On this a French critic exclaims, " Ah, my God! throw an Helleniste out of the window ! what sacrilege !" It certainly would be a serious business for tbose authors who dwell in the attics : but I have quoted the passage merely to prove the similarity of style among the controversialists of all polished countries; London or Edinburgh could hardly parallel this Parisiap ebullition.
Christodoulus, and more particularly Psalida, whom I have conversed with in Joannina, are also in high repute among their literati. The last-mentioned has published in Romaic and Latin a work on " True Happiness,” dedicated to Catherine II. But Polyzois, who is stated by the reviewer to be the only modern except Coray who has distinguisbed himself by a knowledge of Hellenic, if he be the Polyzois Lampanitziotes of Yanina, who has published a number of editions in Romaic, was neither more nor less than an itinerant vender of books; with the contents of which he had no concern beyond his name on the title-page, placed there to secure his property in the publication; and he was, moreover, a man utterly destitute of scholastic acquirements. As the name, however, is not uncommon, some other Polyzois may have edited the Epistles of Aristænetus.
It is to be regretted that the system of continental blockade has closed the few channels through which the Greeks received their publications, particularly Venice and Trieste. Even the common grammars for children are become too dear for the lower orders. Amongst their original works the Geography of Meletius, Archbishop of Athens, and a multitude of theological quartos and poetical pamphlets are to be met with : their grammars and lexicons of two, three, and four languages are numerous and excellent. Their poetry is in rhyme. The most singular piece I have lately seen is a satire in dialogue between a Russian, English, and French traveller, and the Waywode of Wallachia (or Blackbey, as they term him.) an archbishop, a merchant, and Cogia Bachi (or primate,) in succession; to all of whom under the Turks the writer attributes their present degeneracy. Their songs are sometimes pretty and pathetic, but their tunes generally unpleasing to the ear of a Frank : the best is the famous “ Achte Tarifes Täv 'Eannya," by the unfortunate Riga But from a catalogue of more than sixty authors, now before me, only fifteen can be found who have touched on any theme except theology.
I am entrusted with a commission by a Greek of Athens named Marmarotouri to make arrangements, if possible, for printing in London a translation of Barthelemi's Anacharsis in Romaic, as he has no other opportunity, unless he dispatches the MS. to Vienna by the Black Sea and Danube.
The reviewer mentions a school established at Hecatonesi, and uppressed at the instigation of Sebastiani : he means Cidonies, or, in Turkish, Haivali; a town on the continent where that institution for a hundred students and three professors still exists. It is true that this establishment was disturbed by the Porte, under the
ridiculous pretext that the Greeks were constructing a fortress instead of a college ; but on investigation, and the payment of some purses to the Divan, it has been permitted to continue. The principal professor, named Vediamen, (i. e. Benjamin,) is stated to be a man of talent, but a free-thinker. He was born in Lesbos, studied in Italy, and is master of Hellenic, Latin, and some Frank languages; besides a smattering of the sciences.
Though it is not my intention to enter farther on this topic than may allude to the article in question, I cannot but observe that the reviewer 's lamentation over the fall of the Greeks appears singular, wben he closes it with these words : " the change is to be attributed to their misfortunes rather than to any physical degradation.'” It may be true that the Greeks are not physically degenerated, and that Constantinople contained on the day when it changed masters as many men of six feet and upwards as in the hour of prosperity ; but ancient history and modern politics instruct us that sometbing more than physical perfection is necessary to preserve a state in
vigour and independence; and the Greeks, in particular, are a melancholy example of the near connexion between moral degradation and national decay.
The reviewer mentions a plan “ we believe" by Potemkin for the purification of the Romaic, and I have endeavoured in vain to procure any tidings or traces of its existence. There was an academy in St. Petersburg for the Greeks; but it was suppressed by Paul, and has not been revived by his successor.
There is a slip of the pen, and it can only be a slip of the pen, in p. 58, No.31, of the Edinburgh Review, where these words occur : --- We are told that when the capital of tbe East yielded to Solyman"--. It may be presumed that this last word will, in a future edition, be altered to Mahomet II*. The ladies of Constantinople,"
* In a former number of the Edinburgh Review, 1808, it is observed : “ Lord Byrn passed some of his early years in Scotland, wbere he might have learned that pibroch does not mean a bagpipe, any more than duet means a fiddle." Query, - Was it in Scotland that the young gentleman of the Edinburgh Review learned that Solyman means Mahomet II. any more than criticism means infallibility ?---but thus it is,
“ Cædimus inque vicem præbemus crura sagittis." The mistake seemed so completely a lapse of the pen (from the great similarity of the two words, and the total absence of error from the former pages of the literary leviathan) that I should have passed it over as in the text, had I not perceived in the Edinburgh Re. view much facetious exultation on all such detections, particularly
it seems, at that period spoke a dialect, “ which would not have disgraced the lips of an Athenian.” I do not know how that might be, but am sorry to say the ladies in general, and the Athenians in par ticular, are much altered; being far from choice either in their dialect or expressions, as the wbole Attic race are barbarous to a proverb:
- A Guve upola xoops
Τιγαιδαρας τρεφεισ τωρα." In Gibbon, vol. x. p. 161, is the following sentence :---" The vulgar dialect of the city was gross and barbarous, though the compositions of the church and palace sometimes affected to copy the purity of the Attic models." Whatever may be asserted on the subject, it is difficult to conceive that the ladies of Constantinople," in the reign of the last Cæsar, spoke a purer dialect than Anna Comnena wrote three centuries before; and those royal pages are not esteemed the best models of composition, although the princess gawrlav 8X8V AKPIB.22 Alixu xray. In the Fanal, and in Yanina, the best Greek is spoken; in the latter there is a flourishing school under the direction of Psalida.
There is now in Athens a pupil of Psalida's, who is making a tour of observation through Greece ; he is intelligent, and better educated than a fellow commoner of most colleges. I mention this as a proof that the spirit of inquiry is not dormant amongst the Greeks.
The Reviewer mentions Mr. Wright, the author of the beautiful poem “ Hora lonicæ," as qualified to give details of these nominal Romans and degenerate Greeks, and also of their language; but Mr. Wright, though a good poet and an able man, has made a mistake where he states the Albanian dialect of the Romaic to approximate Dearest to the Hellenic; for the Albanians speak a Romaic as notoriously corrupt as the Scotch of Aberdeenshire, or the Italian of Na. ples. Yanina, (where, next to the Fanal, the Greek is purest) although the capital of Ali Pacha's dominions is not in Albania, but Epirus; and beyond Delvinachi in Albania Proper up to Argyrocastro and Tepaleen (beyond which I did not advance) they speak worse Greek than even the Athenians. I was attended for a year
a recent one, where words and syllables are subjects of disquisition and transposition; and the abovementioned parallel passage in my own case irresistibly propelled me to hint how much easier it is to be critical tban correct. The gentleman, having enjoyed many a triumph on such victories, will hardly begrudge me a slight ovation for the present.