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the existence of the Incas on the future fortunes of Peru.
One very ingenious person terms them the “na. tural allies of Englishmen;„ another, no less in. genious, 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 Cathe. rine II.
As to the question of their descent, what can it import whether the Mainotes are the lineal Laconians or not? or the present Athenians as in. digenons as the bees of Hymettus, or as the grass. hoppers, to which they once likened themselves? What Englishman cares if he be of a Danish, Sa. xon, Norman, or Trojan blood? or who, except a Welshman, 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 while to publish together, and compare, the works of Messrs. Thornton and De Pauw, Eton and Sonnini; paradox 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 hiinself, with an air of triumph, that he had 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 circum. stance that Mr. Thornton, who so lavishly disprai. ses 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 appellation, 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 inde. pendence confirmed: the relations of passing tra. vellers are as little to be depended on as the invectives of angry factors; but till something more can be attained, we nust 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 ween 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 «Suleymun Peyen,» i. e, quoth the Doctor, u Suleyman, the easer of corrosive sublimate. “Aba, 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 anecdote, he questions the Doctor's proficiency in the Turkish tongue, and his veracity in his own.-«Por,» observes Mr. Thornton (after inflicting on ns the tough participle of a Turkish verb ), “it means nothing more than Suleyman 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 «Suley.
However defective these may be, they are pre ferable 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 «philo sophical observations » have a much better claim to the title of “poetical.. It could not be expeeted 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 his hy. pothesis 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, have been amply pule nished 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
ma'n yeyen , » put together discreetly, mean the a Swallower of sublimate , n without any "Suleyman » in the case : "54leyma » 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 frequents hints of profound Orientalism, he might have found this out before he sang such paeans over Dr. Pouqueville.
After this, I think “Travellers versus Factors» shall be onr motto, though the above Mr. Thornton has condemned "hoc genus omne,» for mistake and misrepresentation. “Ne Sutor ultra crepidam, “No merchant beyond his bales... N. B. For the benefit of Mr. Thornton, «Sutor » is not a proper name.
the Edinburgh Review as a great favour, and certainly at this distance an acceptable one, from the captain of an English frigate off Salamis. lo that number, Art. 3. containing the review of a French translation of Strabo, there are in. troduced 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. Co. ray, 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 Bec caria 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 Zolikogloon *). Coray has recently been involved in an unpleasant controversy with M. Gail **), a Parisiais 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 «Περί υδαTWY,» etc. to the disparagement, and consequently displeasure, of the said Gail. To his exertions
•) I have in my possession an excellent Lexicon Tecylwo
Oov,» which I received in exchange from $. 6—, Esq. for a small gem: my antiquarian friends have never forgotten
ii, 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 cxclaims, “Ah, my God! throw an Helleniste out of the window! what sacrilege! » It certainly would be a serious business for those anthors 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 Parisian ebullition.
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 eluci. dating the ancient, and adding to the modern, re. searches of his countrymen. Coray, however, is not considered by his countrymen equal to some who lived in the two last centuries; more parti. cularly Dorotheus of Mitylene, whose Hellenic writings are so much esteemed by the Greeks that Meletius terms him, «Μετα τον Θουκυδίδης και Ξενοφώντα άριστος Ελλήνων.» (P. 224. Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv.
Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Fontenelle, and Kamarases, who translated Ocellus Lucanus on the Universe into French, 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 Catharine II. But Polyzois, who is stated by the Reviewer to be the only mo. dern except Coray who has distinguished_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 por 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, mo. reover, a man utterly destitute of scholastic ac. quirements. As the name, however, is not uncommon, some other Polyzois may have edited the Epistles of Aristaenetus.
It is to be regretted that the system of conti. nental 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 theologieal quartos and poetical