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will not, in future, want protectors or imitators. There is a possibility of even greater advantages. When we witness, as in the present tour, the reverence with which a Mussulman has learnt to regard the founder of our religion; and when we consider that internal divisions are, at this moment, weakening his at
tachment to his own peculiar tenets; there is a chance, which (if not spoiled by indiscreet zeal on the one hand, or selfish indifference on the other) will grow stronger every day, that the cause of religion, as well as that of civilisation, may profit by our connexions with Asia.
FROM THE MONTHLY REVIEW.
Voyage en Grèce fait dams les Années 1803, 1804, &c. i. e. Travels in Greece, performed in the Years 1803 and 1804, by J. L. S. BART Ho LDY; containing Details on the Mode of Travelling in Greece and the Archipelago; a Description of the Valley of Tempe; a Delineation of the most remarkable Situations in Greece and the Levant; a View of the Condition of Turkey, and of the State of Civilisation among the modern Greeks; a Journey from Negropont into several Parts of Thessaly, in 1803; and an Account of the War of the Inhabitants of the District of Souly against Ali Vizir. . -Translated from the German by A. du C. 2 vols. 8vo. pp. 565. Paris. Price 11.4s.
SINCE Switzerland, Italy, and Sicily, the countries which formerly engaged the attention of tourists, have been so frequently visited, and so fully described, the traveller who is ambitious of novelty must direct his steps elsewhere. Greece has accordingly become of late years an object of great attraction. Although it is devoid of that interest arising from modern works of art, which rendered Italy so inviting, and is inferiour to Switzerland in the stupendous objects of nature, it has, notwithstanding, a powerful claim on the attention of the traveller, from the variety of its natural beauties; from the vestiges, still apparent, of its ancient grandeur; and, above all, from the classick recollections which even a distant prospect of its shores cannot fail to revive. Great Britain has long been noted for sending forth travellers, and her sons of the present age have taken the lead in visiting Greece, in the same manner as their countrymen, above half a century ago, were among the first to climb the glaciers of Savoy.
Of German travellers, the present,
we believe, is the first work on Greece which has fallen into our hands; and we must acknowledge that its author has discovered no small share of the national phlegm, in his manner of passing sentence . on the present inhabitants of that celebrated country. We find here none of those ardent effusions which might be expected to be poured forth on treading the soil of Socrates and Epaminondas;—none of those flattering resemblances between the modern Greeks and their ancestors, which kindled the imagination, and drew forth the eloquent encomiums of Mons. Guys. Every thing from the pen of M. BART Holby bears the stamp of unadorned reality, of deliberate observation, and of a cold prudence which nothing can shake from its fixed purpose. He has not given his narrative in the form of a journal, but has preferred the plan of a series of essays. He begins with a number of general observations on the manner of travelling, and on the nature of the accommodations in Greece, both in diet and lodging. We are next presented with a long
description of the valley, or rather defile, of Tempe; which, although enclosed by lofty mountains, did not appear to our traveller so rich in picturesque scenery as the magnificent representations of the poets would lead him to imagine. From Tempe, he proceeds to Asia Minor; and in enumerating its principal cities, he makes a few brief allusions to the events of its ancient history. After having passed the Archipelago, and given a detail of the scenery and climate of the chief islands, he arrives at Athens; in his account of which, he introduces a description of the remains of the place of publick assembly for the citizens; and the volume is concluded by a view of the scanty vestiges of Mycenae, with an essay on the private habits of the Turks. This people, he thinks, we judge too harshly; and he takes no small pains to relieve them from a portion of the odium which is attached to their character. We extract the passages relative to travelling, and give them as a favourable specimen of the book:
“We no longer find any carriage-roads in Greece. Those which are mentioned by the ancients are generally in such a state, in the present day, that it is difficult to imagine how a carriage can ever have rolled over them. We often meet also with such awkward passes, that a prudent traveller will get off his horse, which is particularly the case near Delphos, between Scyon, Nemea, and Argos; and on the sacred road from Athens to Eleusis. At the same time, all these quarters exhibit occasional traces of the old roads. To travel on foot is not advisable, because the inhabitants, and particularly the Turks, would take such a traveller either for a beggar or for a person wholly out of his senses; so that the only alternative is to go on horseback. It is common for inexperienced travellers to take as a guard the janissaries of their respective consuls or ministers: but these janissaries are much despised by the Turks at large, on account of their frequent intercourse with Christians; and they have seldom much courage, but a great portion of selfishness. It is a far better way to be accompanied
by a Tartar. These people are full of activity, perfectly acquainted with the country, and have a certain degree of authority, from frequently appearing in the capacity of state-messengers. It is well known that they are not born in Tartary, and that their designation of Tartar is merely nominal. The posts in Greece are very long, generally from twenty to thirty miles: but, if a traveller understands the way of stimulating his guide’s pace, he gets on rapidly. The accommodations for travelling in Greece are very bad. Provisions are by no means abundant. Mutton and poultry are the most frequent articles of diet; oil is served up instead of butter; rice also is common. In the season are likewise to be found eggs, honey, dried figs, and the various fruits belonging to warm climates, such as raisins, pomegranates, oranges, and apples. Seldom cherries, plums, or pears; and never gooseberries or strawberries. The Greek and Turkish cookery has great varieties, but is too much loaded with spices and fat. We seldom see a solid joint of meat on their tables: but every thing is hashed in small pieces, and boiled to rags, which suits very well with their mode of eating without either knife or fork. If the natives happen to use these instruments at any time for the sake of pleasing Europeans, they are observed to forget themselves every moment, and to substitute their fingers. As to tables, none are to be found in the Levant, unless it should accidentally happen that one had been imported. People even write on their knees. Neither have they any chairs, but they sit on couches placed all round the room. When the dinner hour arrives, a servant brings in a stool, which he places with the feet upwards; and a round tin plate, put on the top of the stool, makes the table. It stands about a foot from the ground; and in the way in which they sit, the guests are just within reach of the dishes. Cushions are placed around, and every one sits down, and crosses his legs. The servant then brings in a long, narrow table-cloth, which he lays round the table, and of which each guest appropriates the part that is opposite to him. Next comes bread cut in small pieces, somewhat in the way in which we cut it for children; each person takes twenty or thirty slices, and places them before him. The dishes are next brought in, one by one, generally without a spoon, even when there is sauce, in which the custom is to dip the bread; and every person puts his hand in the dish, and takes out whatever piece he likes. The most amusing sight is in the case of poultry; which, although always over-boiled, it is no easy matter to disjoint with the fingers. A Turk thinks nothing of dipping his fingers into a plate of honey, so that this is not the country for a delicate eater, or an epicure to visit; and the wines in particular would not suit him, since they have an unpleasant taste like rosin. However, at Smyrna and Constantinople, much good living is to be seen. “In regard to lodging, the accommodation throughout the Levant is as poor as in diet. Between Smyrna and Ephesus, we were forced to pass the night in an inn so badly sheltered from the weather, that we had much difficulty in avoiding the rain. The adjoining apartment was a stable without a door, and the camels put their heads very familiarly into our room. At Mauromati, the ancient Messene, which is now a wretched village, we were lodged in an old, deserted tower, where the posts were so rotten as to be likely to tumble over our heads. Insects also cause a great annoyance to travellers: the sofas swarm with them; and the bugs also are exceedingly troublesome. At Athens, my fellowtraveller swung up his bed like a hammock; and I had recourse to the expedient
of changing every night the situation of
quently become generally applied to all gentlemen who do not happen to be physicians or merchants. I often heard of Dutch and Swedish lords, and I passed for a Prussian lord. At Patros, I saw one Achmet, who had a smattering of several European languages, and was accordingly styled a Turkish lord. Next to the English, the Russians are the chief visiters of Greece: united to the Greeks in religious belief, and feared by the Turks for their victories, they traverse the Turkish possessions like landholders visiting tenants, whose lease is drawing to a close. “One of the most unpleasant circumstances, in travelling in the Levant, is the obligation of lodging in the houses of the Greek primates. A traveller may comment on this custom without committing the sin of ingratitude, since these hosts have generally their interestin view, and show their
dissatisfaction very significantly, when the farewell present falls short of their expectations. It must at the same time be admitted, that many travellers seem to take a pleasure in forcing them to such con- . duct, and in extinguishing even the semblance of disinterested hospitality, by treating the reception given to them as a duty, and by behaving to the master of the house as if he were a servant. The English, in particular, are guilty in this respect, of an intolerable degree of rudeness; and only the servility which is consequent on long subjection, could create in the Greeks a disposition to put up with it. I met in my travels with one of these gentlemen, who was in the habit of addressing his Greek hosts in the most disagreeable and humiliating manner. If they complained of the Turkish yoke, he would say, ‘the present state of things is advantageous to England, and she does well in exerting herself to keep it up, since the Turks are her faithful allies.”
It will scarcely be expected that a writer of so negative a character as Mr. BARTHoldy should join in ascribing to the modern Greeks that beauty of person, which several of his predecessors in travelling have ranked among their inheritances from their ancestors. He admits that the traveller seldom meets with bad shapes in that country, but he maintains that the Grecian profile, or in
deed extraordinary beauty of any
kind, falls as rarely to the lot of the natives of these as of other regions. The Greeks, however, are not likely to suffer in this respect from the recent admixture of the Albanians; a robust and comely race, who form the best soldiers in the Turkish ser. vice, and very naturally desire to turn their superiority, to account by appropriating to themselves a portion of the fair provinces in which they happen to be stationed. Under w such a government as the Turkish, where every thing is decided by: dint of force, it is no wonder that these hardy mountaineers should
have made considerable progress in
assuming possession of the plains of Egypt, or the fertile valleys of Greece,
The few remains of Grecian architecture, which have survived the waste of time and the ravages of barbarians, are, after Athens, to be found at Nemea, Mycenae, Corinth, Messene, and Phigalea. These have either escaped the notice of M. Bartholdy, or have been described by him with an unsatisfactory brevity: but, in treating of Athens, he rises to a degree of animation which we do not often discover in the course of his work. We transcribe this passage, together with some others, in which he communicates his observations on the general aspect of the country throughout Greece:
“The traveller who visits Greece must not expect to find there, as in modern Italy, the enjoyments of life; he will see only Greece herself. “There remains for us,” says Winckelman, “a shadow only of the object of our wishes: but we are not the less desirous of recovering what we have lost. We turn over every stone, and our researches lead to probabilities approaching to certainty, and which are more instructive than the accounts that have been left by the ancients; accounts which, except a few descriptions, are confined to historical narratives.” Every traveller should bear in mind this passage, that he may keep himself out of bad humour at the sight of the apparently insignificant ruins of Delphos, inelos, Olympia, and Sparta. Athens alone is an exception; a particular Providence seems to have watched over her. She has preserved a art of her monuments of art; she displays them still with splendour; and would to God that lord Elgin had not, by stripping the Parthenon, given a sanction to future violations. Throughout Boeotia, Phocis, Locris, Thessaly, Eubaca, Acarnania, Etolia, and Epirus, I cannot record a single architectural work in a state of preservation, nor even a single column which stands erect. “The climate of Athens is the healthiest mildest, and purest in all Greece. The clearness of the atmosphere, which is exempt from all moisture, permits the view to extend to the utmost range of the eye; and so favourable is it to the preservation of works in sculpture and architecture, that the ruins have still the gloss and polish of newly finished works. No corrosion nor traces of the influence of the sea-air are visible, nor is any part crum
bling into dust. On the other hand, they want the dark and venerable tinge of the Roman ruins, and the tufted grass which binds itself round the latter; a circumstance which may probably be owing to the less porous nature of the marble. It would exceed mo powers to describe the delightful prospects from Mount Hymettus, from the Acropolis, and from the ruins of the castle of Phyle, whence the Athenians saw that liberty re-enter which the Spartans had banished from their city. The description of these prospects would be attended with the greater difficulty, because they consist in lines and contours, which baffle delineation; for the mountains are bare and yellow-coloured, as in Provence, to which, indeed, Attica has been, not inaptly, compared.
“In consequence of the hard and stony quality of the soil, most of the remains of antiquity at Athens are still entirely above ground. At the temple of Theseus, for example, the building does not seem to have sunken above an inch; while at Rome, on the contrary, it is a work of considerable labour to disengage the base of the Colosseum, and of the triumphal arch of Constantine, from the surrounding earth. In some parts of Athens, however, there must have been a considerable sinking; and discoveries of sculpture may be expected to reward those who will undergo the labour of clearing away the earth.
“The olive, we are told by the ancients, was the finest present which Minerva could make to her favourite people, and it still forms the riches and ornament of Attica. A forest of a league in length, all consisting of olives, extends along the plain, covering the tract which was formerly occupied by the Ceramicus, the academy, and the gardens of the philosophers. Its direction is from northeast to southwest. The sacred road of Eleusis filled with the relicks of tombs and ancient monuments, leads to this delightful walk, in which also several other paths terminate. Nowhere are finer olive trees to be seen than here; scarcely can those of Palermo, or of the river of Genoa, be compared to them; their strength appears inexhaustible and their youth perpetual; and they incessantly produce new branches and new suckers. It should also be mentioned that nowhere are greater pains bestowed on the culture of the olive. The modern Athenians have a kind of conntry houses in this forest: but they are nothing more then small, square towers, containing a single room, in which a whole family crowds itself. This small apartment is at
the top, and is entered by a steep ladder; the landing-place being shut with a trapdoor, for the sake of safety against any unforeseen attack. * The Ilissus at Athens is in summer a small stream, and is reduced almost to nothing by being turned off to water the gardens of the citizens. Even the most celebrated rivers of Greece are deficient in beauty; their banks being often bare; their waters troubled; and their size equal only to our rivers of the third or fourth rate. Such are the Asopus near Thebes, the Sperchius near Thermopylae, and the Alpheus of Elis. The Peneus, which traverses the celebrated vale of Tempe, is far from being a clear, transparent stream. The Achelouis, the king of Acarnania, is the only Grecian river which presents a striking spectacle by its width and impetuosity. The most limpid of them are the Eurotas of Laconia and the Pamisos of Messenia, which is a beautiful river through its whole course. It is remarkable that, while the Greek towns have in general preserved the ancient names with very little alteration, the names of their rivers have frequently undergone a complete change. The Sperchius is now the Ellada; the Eurotas is the Iris; the Achelotis, the Aspropotamos; the Alpheus, the Rofeo. The ancient names of their celebrated wells and springs are likewise lost in oblivion, with the sole exception of the Athenian Callirhoë. Of the Grecian lakes, only a few afford picturesque scenery. The lake of Acherusia has a wild and uncultivated appearance, except towards the town of Janina. It is singular that, in so hilly a country, we can hardly find a cataract that deserves the name. In Arcadia, the water-falls are inconsiderable, and the celebrated Castalian fountain forms a cascade only in winter. The abundance of water in Greece has progressively led, in the neglected state of cultivation, to the formation of marshes and stagnant pools; so that Larissa, Sparta, Argos, Corinth, and the banks of the Alpheus, but above all, Patras, are affected with epidemicks. “Of the Grecian prospects, the most striking are those of Attica; and next, those of Thessaly, particularly the neighbourhood of Mount CEta. The country around Sparta unites abundance with beauty, and possesses, likewise, the advantage of a fresh colouring, as well as the foggy Boeotia, and Arcadia so fertile in springs, which next to Acarnania is the most abundant in wood of any part of Greece. Parnassus is a fine mountain: but the groves of Helicon exist no longer. Messenia is a romantick region; particuVol. Y, o
larly if viewed from the height of Ithomé towards the plain of Steniclerlos, or the banks of the Pamisos and the Neda. From a convent near Messene, situated on a height opposite to Mount Evan, is an exquisite sea prospect; and in Phocis we have a very striking view, in that part where the road from Delphi to Libadia forms a kind of fork, and where tradition says that (Edipus embrued his hands in his father’s blood. The ruins still visible there are probably those of the tomb of Laius; and large masses of stones are scattered around.—He who travels in Greece should pay particular attention to the rivers, springs, and wells. It often happens, as at Athens, that the situation of ancient villages may be traced by the wells, or by the mason's work around them. The stream of Persea runs, at the present day, on one of the eminences of Mycenae, with the same freshness and clearness as in former ages, when Perseus is said to have made it spring from the mushroom which he had plucked, and which seems to have given a name to this celebrated city.”
Volume II. is divided into three parts; the first treating of the state of civilisation among the modern Greeks; the second, describing a voyage from Negropont to Thessaly, with an account of the city of Larissa; and the third relating the sanguinary war between Ali Pacha of Janina and the inhabitants of the mountainous district of Souly. In our late account of Mr. Leckie’s Historical Survey (vol. lix. p. 283) we mentioned that a Greek of th name of Koraes was retained at Paris by Buonaparte, as a fit instrument, to be brought forth in due season, for the purpose of exciting his countrymen against the Turkish yoke. This gentleman, whose name the French with their usual promptitude in new-modelling foreign appellations, have metamorphosed into Coray, discovers a vehement desire to exalt his countrymen in the opinion of foreigners, and wishes the world to believe that they are regenerated, and ripe for the enjoyment of liberty. These assertions are stoutly resisted by M. BARTHoLDY, who enters into a variety of details