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At present, like the Catholics of Ireland and the Jews tlıroughout 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 defence. They are so unused to kindness, that when they occasionally meet with it they look upon it with suspicion, as a dog ofter 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 felters, and to the Franks for their broken promises and lying counsels. They are to be grateful to the artist wlio 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, 1815.
· Amongst the remnants of the barbarous policy of the earlier ages, are the traces of bondage which yét exist in different countries; whose inhabitants, however divided in religion and manners, 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 brelliren : but the interposition of foreiguers alone can emana cipate 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 devole much of their time to the study of the Greek writers and liistory, which would be more usefully' spent in mastering their own. Of the moderns, we are perhaps more negleciful than they deserve; and while every man of any pretensions to learning is tiring out liis youth, and often his age, in the study of the language and of the harangues of the Athenian demagogues in favour of freedom , the real or supposed descendants of these sturdy republicans 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 ; however, 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 thc subject of their probable deliverers. Religion recommends the Russians; but they have twice been deceived and abandonned 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 ilie strong-, est language; others, generally travellers, turniug 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 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. Thorncon did not oftener cross the Golden Horn than his brother merchanls 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 had been but four times at Constantinople in as many years.
As to Mr. Thornton's voyages in the Black Sea with Greek vese sels, 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 appellation, as Mr. Thorton to confer it on him.
The fact is, we are deplorably in want of informalion 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 independance confirmed; the relations of passing travellers are as litlle 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 eorrosive sublimate in such quantities that he acquired the name of Suleyman « Yeyen . » i. e. quoth the Doctor, a Suleyman , the eater of corrosive sublimate. V « Aha, » thinks Mr. Thornton ( angry with the Doctor for the fiftieth time ) « have I caught yon? » Then, in a note twice the thickness of the Doctor's anecdote, le questions the Doctor's proficiency in the Turkish tongue, and his veracity in his own. —« For, n observes Mr. Thornlon ( after inflicting on us the tought 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. Jf Mr. Thornton when he next resïdes « fourteen years in the factory, » will consult his Turkish dictionary, or ask any of his Stam
However defective these may be, they are preferable to the paradoxes of men who have read superficially of the ancients and seen
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 comdemns some of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient, shonld have mercy on the modern Greeks; and it fortunately happens, that the absurdily of his 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 , have been amply punished by three cen, țuries and a half of captivity:
Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 17, 1811.
« I must have some talk with this learned Theban. » Some time after my relurn from Constantinople to this cily I re
boline acquaintance, he will discover that « Suleyma'n yeyen, » put together discreetly, mean the « Swallower of sublimate, » without any « Suleyman « in the case ; «Suleyma » signifying « carrosive 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 hints of profound Orientalism, he might have found this out before he sang such pæans over Dr. Pouqueville,
After this, I think « Travellers versus Factors » shall be our motto though the above Mr. Thornton has condemned « hoc genus omne , » for mistake and misrepresentation, « Ne Sulor ultra crepidam, » « No merchant beyond his bales. » N. B. For the benefit of Mr. Thornton, « Sutor » is not a proper name,