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NOTES TO CANTO II.,
1. Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.
2. We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld; the reflection suggested by such objects are too trite 16 require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is! This theatre of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. “ The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,” were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks bave the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty · fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plun. dering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman ! Sylla could but pu. nish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Atliens; but it re. mained for the paltry Antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits.
3. It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax in particular was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease, and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c. and at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.
4. The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns entirely of marble yet survive: orginally there were 150. These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon.
5. The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago.
6. At this moment (January 3, 1809,) besides what has been already deposited in London, an Hydriot vessel is in the Piræus to receive every portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek observe in common with many of his countrymen--for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this occasion-thus may Lord Elgin boast of having ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first eminence named Lusieri, is the agent of devastation, and like the Greek finder of Verres in Sicily, who followed the same profession, he has proved the able instrument of plunderBetween this artist and the French Consul Fauvel, who wishes to rescue the remains for his own government, there is now a violent dispute concerning a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel of which-I wish they were both broken upon it-has been locked up by the Consul, and Lusieri has laid his complaint before the Waywode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in his choice of Signor Lusieri.
7.“ When the last of the Metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen, whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a suppli. cating tone of voice, said to Lusiori, I was present !"
Dr. Clark's Travels.
8. According to Zozimus, Minerva and Achilles frightened Alaric from the Acropolis ; but others relate that the Gothic King was nearly as mischievous as the Scottish peer.-See CHANDLER.
9. The netting to prevent blocks or splinders from falling on deck during action.
10. Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso.
11. Albania comprises part of Macedonia, Illyria Cha. onia, and Epirus. Iskander is the Turkish work for Alex. ander; and ihe celebrated Scanderbeg (Lord Alexander) is alluded to in the third and fourth lines of the thirty-eighth stanza. I do not know whether I am correct in making Scanderbeg the countryman of Alexander, who was born at Pella in Macedon, but Mr. Gibbon terms him so, and adds Pyrrhus to the list, in speaking of his exploita.
13. Actium and Trafalgar need no further mention. The battle of Lepanto, equally bloody and considerable, but less known, was fought in the gulph of Patras; here the author of Don Quixote lost his left hand.
14 Leucadia, now Santa Maura. From the promontors (the Lover's Leap) Sappho is said to have thrown herseli.
15. It is said, that on the day previous to the battle of Actium, Anthony had hirteen kings at his levee.
16. Nicopolis, whose ruins are most extensive, is at some distance from Actium, where the wall of the Hippodrome survives in a few fragments.
17. According to Pouqueville the Lake of Yanina ; but Pouqueville is always out,
18. The celebrated Ali Pacha. Or this extraordinary man there is an incorrect account in Pouqueville's Travels.
19. Five thousand Suliotes, among the rocks and in the castle of Suli, withstood 30,000 Albanians for eighteen years; the castle was at last taken by bribery. In this contest, there were several acts performed not unworthy of the better days of Greece.
20. The convent and village of Zitza are four hours journey from Joannina, or Yanina, the capital of the Pachalick. In the valley the river Kalamas (once the Acheron) flows, and not far from Zitza forms a fine cataract.
21. The Greek monks are so called.
22. The Chimariot mountains appear to have been vol. canic
- 23. Now called Kalamas.
24. Albanese cloke.
25. Anciently Mount Tomarus.
26. The river Laos was full at the time the author pas. sed it; and, immediately above Tepaleen, was to the eye as wide as the Thames at Westminster; at least in the opi. nion of the author and his fellow-traveller, Mr. Hobhouse. In the summer it must be much narrower.
27. Alluding to the wreckers of cornwall.
28. The Albanian Mussulmans do not abstain from wine and indeed very few of the others.
29. Palikar, shortened when addressed to a single person, a general name for a soldier amongst the Greeks, an Albanese who speaks Romaic-It means properly “a lad.”
30. Their most popular choral songs, are generally chaunted in dancing by men or women indiscriminately. The first words are merely a kind of chorus without mean. ing, like some in our own and all other languages.
31. These stanzas are partly taken from different Albi nese songs, as far as I was able to make them out by the ex position of the Albinese in Romaic and Italian,
32. It was taken by storm from the French.
33. Some thoughts on this subject I have published elsewhere.
34. Phyle, which commands a beautiful view of Athens, has still considerable remains ; it was seized by Thras. byulus previous to the expulsion of the Thirty,
35. When taken by the Latins, and retained for seve. ral years See GIBBON.
36. Mecca and Medina were taken some time ago by the Wahabees, a sect yearly increasing.
37. On many of the mouutains, particuiarly Liakura, the snow never is entirely melted, uotwithstanding the intense keat of the Summer; bat I never saw it lie on the plains even in winter.
38. Of Mount Pentelicus, from whence the marble was dug that cousiructed the public edifices of Athens. The modern name is Mount Mendeli. An immense cave formed by the quarries still remains, and will to the end of time,