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ceived the thirty-first number of the Edinburgh Review as a great favour, and certainly at this distance an acceptable one, from the captain of an English frigate off Salamis. It 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, and 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. Gail**, a Parisian commentator and editor of some translations from the Greek poets, in consequence of the Institule having awarded him the prize for his version of Hippocrates « lepi id átw, » elc. to the disparagement, and consequently displeasure, of the said Gail. To his exertions litterary and patri
* I have in my possession an excellent Lexicon « trpenyaacoor » which I received in exchange froin 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 window. » 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 those authors who dwell in the attics, but I have quoted the passage merely to prove the similarity of style among the cortroversialists of all polished countries ; London or Edinburgh could hardly pafallel this Parisian ebullition,
olic great praise is undoubtedly due, but a part of that praise ought not to be withheld from the two brothers Zosimado ( mesa chanis seitled 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 countrymeu 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 hềm, « Méru tóm orxudodan rad Eero QYTŲ wielolos 'Earnews.» (P. 224. Ecclesiastical History, vol.iv.)
Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Pontenelle, 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 Catherine II. But Polyzois, who is stated by the reviewer to be the only modern 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 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 Aristænelus,
It is to be regretted that the system of continental blockade las 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 Melelius , Archbishop of Athens, and a multitude of theological quartos and poetical pamplilets 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 seeu 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 nnder 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 « Acúle tard es tãu 'Endugu, » 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 Anarcharsïs 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 suppressed at the instigation of Sebastiani : he means Cidonies, or, in Turkish , Haivali ; a town on the continent where that institution for a hunderd students and three professors still exists. It is truc 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. Tbe principal professor , named Veniamin , (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 , when 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 polities instruct
us that something more than physical perfection is necessary to preserye a state in vigour and independence; and the Greeks , in particular, are a melancholy example of the near connection between moral degradation and national decay.
The reviewer mentions a plan « we believe » by Polemkin 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; bul 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 the 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 Con
* In a former number of the Edinburgh Review, 1808, it is observed; « Lord Byron passed some of his early years in Scotland , where 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 gentlemen of the Edinburgh Review learned that Soliman 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 noť perceived in the Edinburgh Review much facetious exultation on all such detections, particularly 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 mnch easier it is to be critical than correct. The gentlemen , having enjoyed many a triumph on such victories, will hardly begrudge me a slight ovation for the present.
stantinople , , 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 particular, are much altered; being far from choice either in their dialect or expressions, as the whole Attié race are barbarous to a proverb :
in Gibbon, vol. x. p. 161. is the following sentence :- The vnlgar dialect of the city was gross and barbarous, though the compositions of the church and palace sometimes aftected 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 gratia EIZEV AKPIBE Atlıx: (8ær. 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 to ur 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 enquiry is not dormant amongst the Greeks:
The Reviewer mentions Mr. Wright, the author of he beautiful poem « Horæ Ionicæ, » as qualified to give details of these nomi
nal 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 nearest to the Hellenic : for the Albanians speak a Romaic as notoriously corrupt as the Scotch of Aberdeenshire, or the Ilalian of Naples. Yanina ( where , next to the Fanal, the Greek is purest ) allhough the capital of Ali Pacha’s dominions, is not in Albania