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kind may be honourable and praiseworthy, never, however, if it be not inoffensive, In vain the poet pleads that he cared not, and understood not, the merits of political parties or personages-rif he had no prejudices of the kind, his friends bad, and they supplied him abundantly with political love and hatreds, that his judgment, of itself, would never have formed. Such are his attacks on Queen Caroline, against whom he could not have been prepossessed, but through Gay and Swift. With the latter cynic he has compared the amiable queen :
" When flattery glares, all hate it in a queen,
While one there is who charms us with his spleen." In time, he had lauded and vituperated both whigs and tories. He has been impartial, nay, too much so, for he has praised and abused the same persons in different parts of his writings; and so capriciously, that one might conclude he meant himself, when he agreed that actions are not to be referred to their obyious causes, but to be attributed to whim ;
“ Alas! in truth the man but changed his mind,
Perhaps was sick, in love, or had not dined.” In religion, Pope seems to have been an enlightened Roman Catholic, and in his early works he had called forth anathemas from his Jesuit critics. In his creed he seems to have been honourably firm; persecution could not make him a bigot, nor Bolingbroke a Deist. And in this side also the malevolence of his foes has faiļed utterly to wound his character.
Such are our opinions of Pope; we hope they are a just medium between the severity of Johnson and Bowles, and the blind panegyric of Mr. Roscoe. With respect to this edition—the life and other original parts of it seem much below the character of the historian of the Medicis ; notes there are none-the defence of Pope's poetical genius is wretched—and the life, although agreeably narrated, certainly containing little novelty. An answer to Mr. Bowles might have been produced in a cheaper and smaller form, and by a more powerful band. The letters of Lady M. W. Montague are given here with those of Pope, and those of Pope given more fully and correctly than in Mr. Bowles' edition ; but, on the other hand, there is much which Mr. Bowles has given, curtailed in this, for which sufficient reason has not been shown,
We here end our notice; but having been rather severe upon Mr. Pope's political connexions and trimming, that must form so secondary a part of a poet's character, we conclude by his own beautiful justification :
“ But does the court a worthy man remove ?
That instant, I declare, he has my love:
I shun his zenith, court his mild decline ;
Yet think not, friendship only prompts my lays ;
THE IONIAN ISLANDS*.
WHEN so much has been written on the subject of the Ionian Islands, it may be almost presumed that the public curiosity is gratified even to satiety. The cession of Parga, and the acts of an individual governor, have been the fruitful sources of abuse and recrimination; and attempts have been made to embody in description whatever might excite or exasperate national feeling, and to give to calumny all the force of dramatic effect. But this work is now done; and far be it from us to labour in the resuscitations of strife, or waste our strength in discussions at once tedious and useless. Without pretending, therefore, to examine how far party-spirit has clouded the purity of truth, we purpose to employ ourselves in a task far easier, and, we trust, far more agreeable to our readers, when we offer to them a very succinct acount of these interesting appendages of ancient Greece.
*.« The Ionian Islands, by T. Kendrick, Esq.," London.
When the friends of human freedom, or the lovers of classical associations, are discouraged at the storms which, in the present struggle, occasionally lower or burst over the mother continent, it is pleasing to turn and view the brighter side of the picture,--to see Grecian liberty, in its second infancy, cradled and fostered by the powerful arm of Britain ; to see the nation most of all indebted to the first civilizers of mankind, thus effectually commencing the work of a retribution, by imparting the blessings of her laws and institutions to the country whence originally they sprung
The islands which now constitute the Ionian republic, are the last remains of the Venetian conquests in the east. While the banner of Mahomet waved over the rest of the fallen empire of Greece, the powerful queen of the Adriatic held possession of the Morea", Crete, Cyprus, the islands which skirt the eastern side of the gulf, with a narrow strip of land on the adjacent coast. The arms of the republic, however, gradually declined; and after many a gallant achievement, “ many a feat of broil and battle,” all her splendid acquisitions were reduced to Dalmatia, the Ionian islands, and the adjoining ports of Parga t, Prevesa, Vonitza and Butrinto in Albania, which remained in faithful obedience, till the extinction of her independence in 1797. The despotic Venetian aristocracy left even to its Italian subjects little to boast of but the shadow of liberty; and their possessions in Greece were still farther from the enjoyment of freedom. Unwise restrictions on the cultivation of their soil, dictated, as it was thought, for the benefit of the mother country, according to the absurd creed of the political economists of that age, with the usual arbitrary exactions of arbitrary governors, were the principal proofs of the maternal protection of Venice. But with all these drawbacks, the islanders enjoyed advantages inestimably greater than those of their countrymen under the Turkish yoke. Their situation was as good as that of most of the subjects of the absolute governments of Europe-perhaps better than their own, during the later reigns of the imbecile successors of Constantine. They
* The Morea and Crete were ceded to Venice, in compensation for her services, when the Latins took Constantinople in 1204 ; and Cyprus was seized in 1486, on the death of its last king.
of The history of these four towns, when divested of all unfair allegation, is simply this: they were captured by the Venetians from Thomas Commeni, the despot of Albania, soon after they had obtained possession of Corfu, and afterwards formally guaranteed to them by the Turks in 1456. After passing with the islands through the hands of the French into the power of Russia, they were ceded by the latter to Turkey, in 1800, at the same time that the independence of the septinsular republic was recognised. This treaty was not carried into effect, when the French again seized both them and the islands in 1807. In 1814 the English surrendered them to Turkey, according to the supposed spirit of that stipulation.
were not ground down by the reflection that their religion was held in contempt and abhorrence by their sovereigns ; a circumstance which entailed every species of infamy on the continental Greeks; nor, like the latter, were they separated from the rest of Europe by a barrier of barbarism. They were intimately connected with the most refined people of the politest country of Christendom, and who, after having ceased to monopolize, still possessed a respectable share of the commerce of Europe. Even the laws which prohibited the cultivation of corn, in order to force the growth of that commodity in the home-territory of Venice, were rendered harmless by the nature of the climate; for olives, wine, and currants, were the most beneficial products of their soil. But though the condition of the Ionian islanders gains much when contrasted with the state of the Greeks, who were subject to the Ottoman dominion,-it did not accord with the jealous spirit of the Venetian administration to cherish among them a patriotic and national feeling. Every government which shuns the light must tend indirectly to debase the minds of its subjects ; and from a nervous dread of every semblance of combination, can hope only to perpetuate its rule by scattering discord and dissension—such was that of Venice. The Ionian youth were taught to forget those periods of Grecian history, in which every page teems with deeds of heroism ; and were permitted only to receive instruction in literature and the sciences, at Venice or Padua. The active and subtle character of the Greeks seems to have rendered them peculiarly liable to the suspicious distrust of the republic; and it was supposed that the prohibition of every national establishment for education in the islands, would naturally lead to the inculcation of dutiful sentiments of dependence on the mother city. Even their own immortal tongue, which though fallen from its original dignity, still possessed both energy and beauty, was excluded from all public acts, and almost banished from the intercourse of good society; so completely had corruption and the force of example Italianized the people.
This state of things continued till 1797, when Venice ceased to exist as a republic, and this part of her territory became subject to France. After a short occupation the islands were evacuated by the French troops, and recognised, at the peace of Amiens, as an independent state under the protection of Russia. A secret agreement with the northern emperor again consigned them to the power of Napoleon ; and a large military force, which landed in 1807, kept possession of Corfu till the termination of hostilities in 1814. At the very time that the English, who had occupied Zante, Cephalonia, Ithaca, and Cerigo, since 1809, and captured Santa Maura in 1810, had seized Paxo, for the purpose of preparing an expedition against Corfu, a convention placed the whole of the seven islands in the hands of Great Britain. The treaty of Vienna continued them under the protection of this country : a national flag was allowed them, and a constitution, under which they were denominated the “United States of the Ionian Islands," was conceded to them. The government, at present, consists of a senate of ten members, with a prince, president, and a legislative body of forty deputies, who meet regularly at Corfu, and enact laws subject to the revisal and control of a lord-high-commissioner, appointed by the British crown. The aggregate extent of the Ionian republic is about equal to that of Somersetshire, and the amount of its population may be computed at about 210,000. Scattered along a line of coast, which stretches from lat. 36° to 40°, they are subject to great vicissitudes of heat and cold ; though in some of the islands, particularly Zante, the air is pure and salubrious. The climate, however, of each, as well as the soil, is intimately affected by their locality with respect to the adjacent continent ; and their most characteristic peculiarities in scenery and appearance will be afterwards noticed. The established religion is that of the Greek church; which, under British protection, has acquired a considerable accession of dignity. In the room of the proto-papas or chief priests of each island, the principal ecclesiastical authority in Corfu has been conferred on an archbishop; and bishops severally preside over the religious establishments in Cephalonia, Cerigo, Santa Maura, and Zante. Under the Venetians, the Latin or Roman-catholic church shared equally with the Greek in the revenue, ---but the present government only allows the catholics toleration ; and after the death of the clergy, who have suffered from the new arrangements, and to whom pensions are allowed, their successors will be left to derive their subsistence from the devotion of their followers. The endowments of the Greek church are far from affluent, though some of the highest offices are worth 800l. or 9001. a year; and the poverty of the inferior priests is an abundant source of profligacy and corruption among an ignorant populace. Such will ever be the case, where the ministers of religion are degraded below their just rank in society Among the Ionians various expedients are invented to cheat the peasantry out of the irmoney; false miracles are often attempted; and the force of gold will, at any time, enable private pique or revenge to draw down excommunication on the head of an unfriendly neighbour. This last, after bribing the priesthood to remove the censures of the church, retaliates on his enemy the