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What power hath e'en his wildest scream,
hyperboles of several contemporay sonneteers. The last sonnet in the first volume, p. 152, is perhaps the best, without any novelty in the sentiments, which we hope are common to every Briton at the present crisis; the force and expression is that of a genuine poet, feeling as he writes:
"Ah! little doth the young one dream, When full of play and childish cares,
(From Monthly Literary Recreations, for August, 1807.)
THE Volumes before us are by the author of LyriThe pieces least worthy of the author are those cal Ballads, a collection which has not undeser-entitled Moods of my own Mind. We certainly vedly met with a considerable share of public ap-wish these "Moods" had been less frequent, or plause. The characteristics of Mr. W.'s muse are not permitted to occupy a place near works which simple and flowing, though occasionally inharmo-only make their deformity more obvious: when nious verse, strong and sometimes irresistible ap- Mr. W. ceases to please, it is by "abando. ing" his peals to the feelings, with unexceptionable senti- mind to the most common-place ideas, at the same ments. Though the present work may not equal time clothing them in language not simple, but his former efforts, many of the poems possess a puerile. What will any reader or auditor, out of native elegance, natural and unaffected, totally the nursery, say to such namby-pamby as Lines devoid of the tinsel embellishments and abstract written at the Foot of Brother's Bridge? .
"Another year! another deadly blow!
Another mighty empire overthrown!
The last that dares to struggle with the foe.
(1) "I have been a reviewer. In 1807, in a Magazine call Monthly Literary Recreations. I reviewed Wordsworth's trash of that time. In the Monthly Review I wrote some articles
"The cock is crowing,
The stream is flowing,
The small birds twitter,
The green field sleeps in the sun;
Are at work with the strongest;
The cattle are grazing,
Their heads never raising,
There are forty feeding like one.
Like an army defeated,
The snow hath retreated,
And now doth fare ill,
On the top of the bare hill."
"The plough-boy is whoopin anon, anon,” etc. is in the same exquisite measure. This appears to us neither more nor less than an imitation of such minstrelsy as soothed our cries in the cradle, with the shrill ditty of
"Bey de diddle,
The cat and the fiddle:
The cow jump'd over the moon,
The little dog laugh'd to see such sport,
And the dish ran away with the spoon."
On the whole, however, with the exception of the above, and other INNOCENT odes of the same cast, we think these volumes display a genius worthy of higher pursuits, and regret that Mr. W. confines
which were inserted. This was in the latter part of 1811.2. Byron.-E.
his muse to such trifling subjects. We trust his of classical students than can at present acquire it motto will be in future, “Paulo majora canamus." by his means:-but, as such expostulations are ge Many, with inferior abilities, have acquired a lof-nerally useless, we shall be thankful for what we tier seat on Parnassus, merely by attempting strains can obtain, and that in the manner in which in which Mr. Wordsworth is more qualified to Mr. Gell has chosen to present it. excel.
The former of these volumes,.we have observed, is the most attractive in the closet. It comprehends a very full survey of the far famed island which the hero of the Odyssey has immortalized; for we really are inclined to think that the author has established the identity of the modern Theaki with the Ithaca of Homer. At all events, if it be an illusion, it is a very agreeable deception, and is effected by an ingenious interpretation of the passages in Homer that are supposed to be descriptive of the scenes which our traveller has visited We shall extract some of these adaptations of the ancient picture to the modern scene, marking the points of resemblance which appear to be strained and forced, as well as those which are more easy and natural: but we must first insert some preliminary matter from the opening chapter. The following passage conveys a sort of general sketch of the book, which may give our readers a tolerably adequate notion of its contents:—
REVIEW OF GELL'S GEOGRAPHY OF ITHACA,
(Monthly Review for August, 1811.)
THAT laudable curiosity concerning the remains of classical antiquity, which has of late years increased among our countrymen, is in no traveller or author more conspicuous than in Mr. Gell. Whatever difference of opinion may yet exist with regard to the success of the several disputants in the famous Trojan controversy; (1) or, indeed, relating to the present author's merits as an inspector of the Troad, it must universally be acknowledged that any work, which more forcibly impresses on our imaginations the scenes of heroic action, and the subjects of immortal song, possesses claims on the attention of every scholar.
"The present work may adduce, by a simple and correct survey of the island, coincidences in its geography, in its natural productions, and moral state, before unnoticed. Some will be directly pointed out; the fancy or ingenuity of the reader may be employed in tracing others; the mind familiar with the imagery of the Odyssey will recognise with satisfaction the scenes themselves; and this volume is offered to the public, not entirely without hopes of vindicating the poem of Homer from the scepticism of those critics who imagine that the Odyssey is a mere poetical composition, unsupported by history, and unconnected with the localities of any particular situation.
Of the two works which now demand our report, we conceive the former to be by far the most interesting to the reader, as the latter is indisputably the most serviceable to the traveller. Excepting, indeed, the running commentary which it contains on a number of extracts from Pausanias and Strabo, it is, as the title imports, a mere itinerary of Greece, or rather of Argolis only, in its present circumstances. This being the case, surely it would have answered every purpose of utility much better by being printed as a pocket road-book of part of the Morea; for a quarto is a very unmanageable travelling companion. The maps(2) and drawings, we shall be told, would not permit such an arrangement: but as to the drawings, they are not in general to be admired as specimens of The Venetian geographers have in a great degree contrithe art; and several of them, as we have been assu-buted to raise those doubts which have existed on the identity of red by eye-witnesses of the scenes which they de- the modern with the ancient Ithaca, by giving, in their charts, That name is, howscribe, do not compensate for their mediocrity in the name of Val di Compare to the island ever, totally unknown in the country, where the isle is invapoint of execution, by any extraordinary fidelity of riably called Ithaca by the upper ranks, and Theaki by the vulrepresentation. Others, indeed, are more faithful, gar. The Venetians have equally corrupted the name of almost according to our informants. The true reason, every place in Greece; yet, as the natives of Epactos or Nauhowever, for this costly mode of publication is in pactos never heard of Lepanto, those of Zacynthos of Zante, or the Athenians of Settines, it would be as unfair to rob Ithaca course to be found in a desire of gratifying the pub-of its name, on such authority, as it would be to assert that no lic passion for large margins, and all the luxury such island existed, because no tolerable representation of its of typography; and we have before expressed our form can be found in the Venetian surveys. dissatisfaction with Mr. Gell's aristocratical mode of communicating a species of knowledge, which ought to be accessible to a much greater portion
"Some have asserted that, in the comparison of places now coincidence in minute details; yet it seems only by these that existing with the descriptions of Homer, we ought not to expect the kingdom of Ulysses, or any other, can be identified, as, if such an idea be admitted, every small and rocky island in the Ionian Sea, containing a good port, might, with equal plausibiity, assume the appellation of Ithaca.
"The rare medals of the island, of which three are represented in the title-page, might be adduced as a proof that the name of thaca was not lost during the reigns of the Roman emperors. They have the head of Ulysses, recoguised by the pileum, or
(1) We have it from the best authority that the venerable. leader of the Anti-Homeric sect, Jacob Bryant, several years before his death expressed regret for his ungrateful attempt to destroy some of the pleasing associations of our youthful studies. One of his last wishes was—“ Trojaque nunc stares,” etc.
(2) Or, rather, map; for we have only one in the volume, and that is on too small a scale to give more than a general idea of the relative position of places. The excuse about a larger map not folding well is trifling; see, for instance, the author's own map of Ithaca.
pointed cap, while the reverse of one presents the figure of a cock, the emblem of his vigilance, with the legend IOAKON. A few of these medals are preserved in the cabinets of the curious, and one also, with the cock, found in the island, is in the possession of Signor Zavo, of Bathi. The uppermost coin is in the collection of Dr. Hunter; the second is copied from Newman, and the third is the property of R. P. Knight, Esq.
"Several inscriptions, which will be hereafter produced, will tend to the confirmation of the idea that Ithaca was inhabited about the time when the Romans were masters of Greece; yel there is every reason to believe that few, if any, of the present proprietors of the soil are descended from ancestors who had
long resided successively in the island. Even those who lived, at the time of Ulysses, in Ithaca, seem to have been on the point of emigrating to Argos, and no chief remained, after the second in descent from that hero, worthy of being recorded in history It appears that the isle has been twice colonised from Cephalonia in modern times, and I was informed that a grant had been made by the Venetians, entitling each settler in Ithaca to as much land as his circumstances would enable him to cultivate." Mr. Gell then proceeds to invalidate the authority of previous writers on the subject of Ithaca. Sir George Wheeler and M. le Chevalier fall under his severe animadversion; and, indeed, according to his account, neither of these gentlemen had visited the island, and the description of the latter is “absolutely too absurd for refutation." In another place, he speaks of M. le C. "disgracing a work of such merit by the introduction of such fabrica tions;" again, of the inaccuracy of the author's maps; and, lastly, of his inserting an island at the southern entry of the Channel between Cephalonia and Ithaca, which has no existence. This observation very nearly approaches to the use of that monosyllable which Gibbon, (1) without expressing it, so adroitly applied to some assertion of his antagonist, M. Davies. In truth, our traveller's words are rather bitter towards his brother tourist but we must conclude that their justice warrants their severity.
In the second chapter, the author describes his landing in Ithaca, and arrivai at the rock Korax and the fountain Arethusa, as he designates it with sufficient positiveness. This rock, now known by the name of Korax, or Koraka Petra, he contends to be the same with that which Homer mentions as contiguous to the habitation of Eumæus, the faithful swineherd of Ulysses. We shall take the liberty of adding to our extracts from Mr. Gell some of the passages in Homer to which he refers only, conceiving this to be the fairest method of exhibiting the strength or the weakness of his argument. "Ulysses," he observes, "came to the extremity of the isle to visit Eumæus, and that extremity was the most southern; for Telemachus, coming from Pylos, touched at the first south-eastern part of Ithaca with the same intention."
Καὶ τότε δή ῥ ̓ ὀδυστῆς κακής ποθεν ἤγαγε δαίμων Αγροῦ ἐπ ̓ ἐσχατιήν, ὅθε δώματα και συβώτης
(1) See his Vindication of the 15th and 16th chapters of the Decline and Fall, etc.
Ενθ' ῆλθεν φίλος υἱός Οδυσσῆος θείοιο,
These citations, we think, appear to justify the author in his attempt to identify the situation of his rock and fountain with the place of those mentioned by Homer. But let us now follow him in After some the closer description of the scene. account of the subjects in the plate affixed, Mr.Gell remarks: "It is impossible to visit this sequestered spot without being struck with the recollection of the fount of Arethusa and the rock Korax, which the poet mentions in the same line, adding, that there the swine eat_the_sweet (2) acorns, and drank the black water.”
Δήεις τόν γε σύεσσι παρήμενον· αἱ δὲ νέμονται
"Having passed some time at the fountain, taken a drawing, and made the necessary observations on the situation of the place, we proceeded to an examination of the precipice, climbing over the terraces above the source, among shady fig-trees, which, however, did not present us from feeling the powerful | effects of the mid-day sun. After a short but fatiguing ascent, we arrived at the rock, which extends in a vast perpendicular semicircle, beautifully fringed with trees, facing to the southeast. Under the crag we found two caves of inconsiderable extent, the entrance of one of which, not difficult of access, is seen in the view of the fount. They are still the resort of sheep and goats, and in one of them are small natural receptacles for the water, covered by a stalagmitic incrustation.
"These caves, being at the extremity of the curve formed by the precipice, open toward the south, and present us with auother accompaniment of the fount of Arethusa, mentioned by the poet; who informs us that the swineherd Eumæus left his guests in the house, whilst he, putting on a thick garment, went to sleep near the herd, under the hollow of the rock, which sheltered him from the northern blast. Now we know that the herd fed near the fount; for Minerva tells Ulysses that he is to go first to Eumæus, whom he should find with the swine, near the rock Korax and the fount of Arethusa. As the swine then fed at the fountain, so it is necessary that a cavern should be found in its vicinity; and this seems to coincide, in distance and situation, with that of the poem. Near the fount also was the fold or stathmos of Eumæus; for the goddess informs Ulysses that he should find his faithful servant at or above the fount. "Now the hero meets the swineherd close to the fold, which was consequently very near that source. At the top of the rock, and just above the spot where the waterfall shoots down the precipice, is at this day a stagni or pastoral dwelling, which
the herdsmen of Ithaca still inhabit, on account of the wate necessary for their cattle. One of these people walked on the verge of the precipice at the time of our visit to the place, and seemed so anxious to know how we had been conveyed to the spot, that his inquiries reminded us of a question probably not uncommon in the days of Homer, who more than once represents the Ithacenses demanding of strangers what ship had brought them to the island, it being evident they could not come
(2) Sweet acorns." Docs Mr. Gell translate from the Latin? To avoid similar cause of mistake μevotext should not be readered suavem but gratam, as Barnes has given it.
on foot. He told us that there was, on the summit where he stood, a small cistern of water, and a kalybea, or shepherd's hut. There are also vestiges of ancient habitations, and the place is now called Amarathia.
"Convenience, as well as safety, seems to have pointed out the lofty situation of Amarathia as a fit place for the residence of the herdsmen of this part of the island, from the earliest ages.
bitants danced before their houses; and at one we saw the figure which is said to have been first used by the youths and virgins of Delos, at the happy return of Theseus from the expedition of the Cretan Labyrinth. It has now lost much of that intricacy which was supposed to allude to the windings of the habitation of the Minotaur,” This is rather too much for even the inflexible gravity of our censorial muscles. When the author talks, with all the reality (if we may use the expression) of a Lemprière, on the stories of the fabulous ages, we cannot refrain from indulging a momentary smile; nor can we seriously accom
A small source of water is a treasure in these climates; and it the inhabitants of Ithaca now select a rugged and elevated spot, to secure them from the robbers of the Echinades, it is to be recollected that the Taphian pirates were not less formidable, even in the days of Ulysses; and that a residence in a solitary part
of the island, far from the fortress, and close to a celebrated fountain, must at all times have been dangerous, without some such security as the rocks of Korax. Indeed, there can be no doubt that the house of Eumæus was on the top of the precipice; for Ulysses, in order to evince the truth of his story to the
tion does not prove correct.
"Near the bottom of the precipice is a curious natural gallery, about seven feet high, which is expressed in the plate.
may be fairly presumed, from the very remarkable coincidence between this place and the Homeric account, that this was the scene designated by the poet as the fountain of Arethusa, and the residence of Eumæus; and, perhaps, it would be impossible to find another spot which bears, at this day, so strong a resem
swineherd, desires to be thrown from the summit if his narra-pany him in the learned architectural detail by the ground-plot of the house of Ulysses,-of which which he endeavours to give us, from the Odyssey, he actually offers a plan in drawing!"showing how the description of the house of Ulysses in the Odyssey may be supposed to correspond with the foundations yet visible on the hill of Aito!"—Oh, Foote! Foote! why are you lost to such inviting subjects for your ludicrous pencil!-In his account of this celebrated mansion, Mr. Gell says, one side of the court seems to have been occupied by the thalamos, or sleeping-apartments of the men, etc. etc.; and, in confirmation of this hypothesis, he refers to the 10th Odyssey, line 340. On examining his reference, we read,
blance to a poetic description composed at a period so very remote. There is no other fountain in this part of the island, nor any rock which bears the slightest resemblance to the
Korax of Homer.
Ες θάλαμόν τ ̓ ἰέναι, καὶ σῆς ἐπιβήμεναι ἐννῆς• where Ulysses records an invitation which he received from Circe to take a part of her bed. How this illustrates the above conjecture, we are at a loss to divine: but we suppose that some nume
After this long extract, by which we have endeavoured to do justice to Mr. Gell's argument, we cannot allow room for any farther quotations of such extent; and we must offer a brief and imperfect analysis of the remainder of the work.
In the third chapter, the traveller arrives at the capital, and, in the fourth, he describes it in an agreeable manner. We select his account of the mode of celebrating a Christian festival in the Greek church:
"The stathmos of the good Eumæus appears to have been little different, either in use or construction, from the stagni and kalybea of the present day. The poet expressly mentions that other herdsmen drove their flocks into the city at sunset, -a custom which still prevails throughout Greece during the winter, and that was the season in which Ulysses visited Eumæus. Yet Homer accounts for this deviation from the prevailing custom, by observing that he had retired from the city to avoid the suitors of Penelope. These trifling occurrences afford a strong presumption that the Ithaca of Homer was something more than the creature of his own fancy, as some have supposed it; for though the grand outline of a fable may be easily imagined, yet the consistent adaptation of minute incidents to a longrical error has occurred in the reference, as we and elaborate falsehood is a task of the most arduous and com- have detected a trifling mistake or two of the same plicated nature."
"We were present at the celebration of the feast of the Ascension, when the citizens appeared in their gayest dresses, and saluted each other in the streets with demonstrations of pleasure. As we sale at breakfast in the house of Signor Zavo, we were suddenly roused by the discharge of a gun, succeeded by a tremendous crash of pottery, which fell on the tiles, steps, and pavements in every direction. The bells of the numerous churches commenced a most discordant jingle; colours were hoisted on every mast in the port, and a general shout of joy announced some great event. Our host informed us that the feast of the Ascension was annually commemorated in this manner at Bathi, the populace exclaiming άvésen ó Xpistos, άànОivòs & Oεòs, Christ is risen, the true God."
In another passage he continues this account, as follows:-"In the evening of the festival, the inha
Mr. C. labours hard to identify the cave of Dexia, near Bathi (the capital of the island) with the grotto We are disposed to grant that he has succeeded; of the Nymphs, described in the 13th Odyssey. he supports his opinion; and we can only exbut we cannot here enter into the proofs by which tract one of the concluding sentences of the chapter, which appears to us candid and judicious:
"Whatever opinion may be formed as to the identity of the
only from his inaccurate account of it, but from his citation
We must, however, observer that "demonstra
tion" is a strong term. In his description of the "Have-with-you to the House of Ulysses," as the Leucadian Promontory (of which we have a pleas-present. With Homer in his pocket, and Gell on ing representation in the plate), the author re- his sumpter-horse or mule, the Odyssean tourist marks that it is "celebrated for the leap of Sap-may now make a very classical and delightful expho, and the death of Artemisia." From this va- cursion; and we doubt not that the advantages acriety in the expression, a reader would hardly con- cruing to the Ithacenses, from the increased numceive that both the ladies perished in the same man-ber of travellers who will visit them in consequence ner: in fact, the sentence is as proper as it would of Mr. Gell's account of their country, will induce be to talk of the decapitation of Russell, and the them to confer on that gentleman any heraldic hodeath of Sidney. The view from this promontory nours which they may have to bestow, should he includes the island of Corfu; and the name sug ever look in upon them again.—Baron Bathi gests to Mr. Gell the following note, which, though would be a pretty title:rather irrelevant, is of a curious nature, and we therefore conclude our citations by transcribing it:
"Hoc Ithacus velit, et magno mercentur Atride."-VIRGIL
For ourselves, we confess that all our old Grecian feelings would be alive on approaching the fountain of Melainudros, where, as the tradition runs, or as the priests relate, Homer was restored to sight.
"It has been generally supposed that Corfu, or Corcyra, was the Phæacia of Homer; but Sir Henry Englefield thinks the position of that island inconsistent with the voyage of Ulysses, as described in the Odyssey. That gentleman has also observed a number of such remarkable coincidences between the courts of Alcinous and Solomon, that they may be thought curious and interesting. Homer was familiar with the names of
We now come to the "Grecian Patterson," or "Cary," which Mr. Gell has begun to publish; and
Tyre, Sidon, and Egypt; and, as he lived about the time of Solomon, it would not have been extraordinary if he had intro-really he has carried the epic rule of concealing duced some account of the magnificence of that prince into his the person of the author to as great a length as poem. As Solomon was famous for wisdom, so the name of either of the above-mentioned heroes of itinerary Alcinous signifies strength of knowledge; as the gardens of Solomon were celebrated, so are those of Alcinous (Od. 7. 112); as writ. We hear nothing of his "hair breadth the kingdom of Solomon was distinguished by twelve tribes'scapes" by sea or land; and we do not even know, under twelve princes (I Kings, ch. 4, so that of Alcinous (Od. 8. for the greater part of his journey through Argolis, 590) was ruled by an equal number; as the throne of Solomon whether he relates what he has seen or what he has was supported by lions of gold (1 Kings, ch. 10), so that of Alcinous was placed on dogs of silver and gold (Od. 7. 91); as the heard. From other parts of the book, we find the fleets of Solomon were famous, so were those of Alcinous. It is former to be the case: but, though there have been perhaps worthy of remark, that Neptune sate on the mountains tourists and "strangers" in other countries, who of the SOLYMI, as he returned from Æthiopia to Ege, while he have kindly permitted their readers to learn rather raised the tempest which threw Ulysses on the coast of Phæacia; and that the Solymi of Pamphylia are very considerably distant too much of their sweet selves, yet it is possible to from the route. The suspicious character, also, which Nausicaa carry delicacy, or cautious silence, or whatever it attributes to her countryinan agrees precisely with that which may be called, to the contrary extreme. We think the Greeks and Romans gave the Jews." that Mr. Gell has fallen into this error, so opposite to that of his numerous brethren. It is offensive, indeed, to be told what a man has eaten for dinbut we like to know that there is a being yet living ner, or how pathetic he was on certain occasions:
The seventh chapter contains a description of the monastery of Kathara, and several adjacent places. The eighth, among other curiosities, fixes on an imaginary site for the farm of Laertes: but this is
the agony of conjecture indeed!—and the ninth chapter mentions another monastery, and a rock still called the School of Homer. Some sepulchral inscriptions of a very simple nature are included. The tenth and last chapter brings us round to the port of Schoenus, near Bathi; after we have completed, seemingly in a very minute and accurate
who describes the scenes to which he introduces us; and that it is not a mere translation from Strabo or Pausanias which we are reading, or a commentary on those authors. This reflection leads us to the concluding remark in Mr. Gell's preface by much the most interesting part of his book) to his Itinerary of Greece, in which he thus expresses himself:
manner, the tour of the island.
We can certainly recommend a perusal of this volume to every lover of classical scene and story. If we may indulge the pleasing belief that Homer sang of a real kingdom, and that Ulysses governed it, though we discern many feeble links in Mr.Gell's chain of evidence, we are on the whole induced to fancy that this is the Ithaca of the hard and of the monarch. At all events, Mr. Gell has enabled every future traveller to form a clearer judgment on the question than he could have established without such a "Vade-mecum to Ithaca," or a
"The confusion of the modern with the ancient names of ever, mentioned in such a manuer, that the reader will soon places in this volume is absolutely unavoidable; they are, howbe accustomed to the indiscriminate use of them. The neces sity of applying the ancient appellations to the different routes will be evident, from the total ignorance of the public on the print, are only known to the few individuals who have visited subject of the modern names, which, having never appeared in the country.
"What could appear less intelligible to the reader, or less useful to the traveller, than a route from Chione and Zaracca
to Kutchukmadi, from thence to Krabata to Schonochorio, and by the mills of Peali; while every one is in some degree ac