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arms in their hands will be welcome ; and when that day arrives, Heaven havo mercy on the Ottomans! they cannot expect it from the Giaours.

But instead of considering what they have been and speculating 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 the strongest language ; others, generally travellers, turning 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 Mainotes 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 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 hiin no more insight into the real state of Greece and its inhabitants, than as many years spent in Wapping, into that of the Western Highlands.

The Greeks of Constantinople live in Fanal; and if Mr. Thornton did not oftener cross the Golden Horn than his brother merchants are accustomed to do, I should place no great alliance 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 vessels, 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. Thornton to confer it on him.

The fact is, we are deplorably in want of information on the subject of the Greeks, and in particular their litera ture ; nor is there any probability of our being better acquainted, till our intercourse hecomes more intimate or their independence confirmed: the relations of passing travellers are as little 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 corrosive sublimate, in such quantities that he acquired the name of Suleyman Yeyen," i. e., quoth the doctor, Suleyman, the eater of corrosive sublimate.“ Aha,” thinks Mr. Thornton (angry with the doctor for the fiftieth time), “ have I caught you ?”—Then, in a note twice the thickness of the doctor's anecdote, he questions the doctor's proficiency in the Turkish tongue, and his veracity in his own. “ For," observes Mr. Thornton (after inflicting on us the tough participle of a Turkish verb), “ it means nothing more than Suleyman the eater," and qui cashiers the supplementary sublimate." Now both are right and hoth are wrong. If Mr. Thornton, when he next resides “ fourteen years in the factory," will consult his Turkish dictionary, or ask any of his Stamboline acquaintance, he will discover that “Suleyma'n yeyen," put tom

However defective these may be, they are preferable to the paradoxes of men who have read superficially of the ancients, and seen nothing of the moderns, such. as De Pauw ; who, when he asserts 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 condemns some of the most celebrated institutions of the ancient, should have mercy on the modern Greeks: and it fortunately happens, that the absurdity 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 centuries and a half of captivity.


Athens, Franciscan Convent, March 17, 1811.

“I must have some talk with this learned Theban."

Some time after my return from Constantinople to this city, I received the thirtyfirst 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. la 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, has published a lexicon in Romaic and French, if I 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 Zalikoglou.* Coray has recently been involved in an unpleasant controversy with Mr. Gail,+ a Parisian commentator and editor of some translations from the Greek poets, in consequence of the Institute having awarded him the prize for his version of Hippocrates * Tlepà usutav," etc., to the disparagement, and consequently displeasure of the said Gail. To his exertions, literary and patriotic, great praise is undoubtedly due, but a part of that praise ought not to be withheld from the two brothers Zozimas (merchants settled 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 country. men equal to some who lived in the two last centuries: more particularly Dorotheus of Mytelene, whose Hellenic writings are so much esteemed by the Greeks, that Meletius terms him, «Μετά τον Θουκυδίδην και Ξενοφώντα άριστος “Ελληνων.” (P. 224. Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv.)

may trust

gether discreetly, mean the “ Swallower of sublimate,without any Suleyman" in the case ; " Suleyma” signifying “ corrosive 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 Sutor ultra crepidam"_“No merchant beyond his bales." N.B. for the benefit of Mr. Thornton, “Sutor" is not a proper name.

* I have in my possession an excellent Lexicon "plynwcoor” which I received in exchange from 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 windows." On this a French critic exclaims, “ Ah, my God! throw a 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 styles among the controversialists of all polished countries; London or Edinburgh could hardly parallel this Parisian ebullition

Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Fontenelle, and Kamarasses, who translated Ocellas Lucanus on the Universe into French, Christodonlus, 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 Latiu a work on True Happiness,” dedicated to Catherine 11. Bat 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 Aristænetas.

It is to be regretted that the system of continental blockade has 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 Meletius, Archbishop of Athens, and a multitude of theological quartos and poetical pamphlets, 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 seen 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 under 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 “ AcŪTe Taides twv 'Emavw," 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 Anacharsis 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 hundred students and three professors, still exists. It is true 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. The 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 lang uages, 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 politics instruct us that something more than physical perfection is necessary to preserve a state in vigour and independence; and the Greeks, in particular, are a melancholy example of the near connexion between moral degradation and national decay.

The reviewer mentions a plan, we believe," by Potemkin, 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; but 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. xxxi. of the Edinburgh Review, where these words occar:-“We are told that when the capital of the East yielded to Solyman" – It may be presumed that this

word will, in a future edition, be altered to Mahomet II.* The “ ladies of Constantinople,” 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, bat 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 Attic race are barbarous to a proverb:

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able man,

In Gibbon, vol. x. p. 161, is the following sentence :-“The vulgar dialect of the city was gross and barbarous, though the compositions of the Church and palace sometimes affected to copy the. purity of the Attic models." Whatever inay be asserted on the subject, it is difficult to conceive that the “ ladies of Constanti. nople,” 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 γλωτταν είχεν ΑΚΡΙΒΩΣ ΑτTixlfourur. In the Fanal, and 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 tour 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 inquiry is not dormant amongst the Greeks. The reviewer mentions Mr. Wright, the author of the beautiful poem

Horæ Ionicæ,” as qualified to give details of these dominal Romans and degenerate Greeks, and also of their language : but Mr. Wright, though a good poet and an

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 Italian of Naples. Yanina (where, next to Fanal, the Greek is purest), although the capital of Ali Pasha's dominions, is not in Albania but Epirus: and beyond Delvinachi in Albania Proper up to Argyrocastro and Tepaleen (beyond which I did not advance), they speak worse Greek than even the Athenians. I was attended for a year and a half by two of these singular mountaineers, whose mother tongue is Illyric, and I never heard them or their countrymen (whom I have seen, not only at home, but to the amount of twenty thousand in the army of Veli Pasha) praised for their Greek, but often laughed at for their provincial barbarisms.

I have in my possession about twenty-five letters, amongst which soine from the Bey of Corinth, written to me by Notaras, the Cogia Bachi, and others by the dragoman of the Caimacam of the Morea (which last governs in Veli Pasha's absence) are said to be favourable specimens of their epistolary style. I also received some at Constantinople from private persons, written in a most hyperbolical style, but in the true antique character.

The reviewer proceeds, after some remarks on the tongue in its past and present state, to a paradox (page 59) on the great mischief the knowledge of his own language has done to Coray, who, it seems, is less likely to understand the ancient Greek, because he is perfect master of the modern! This observation follows a paragraph, recommending, in explicit terms, the study of the Romaic, as powerful auxiliary,” not only to the traveller and foreign merchant, but also to the

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* 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 Solyman means Mahomed II, any more than criticism means infallibility ?—but thus it is,

“ Cedimus 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 not 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 above-inentioned parallel passage in my own case irresistibly propelled me to hint how much 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.

classical scholar; in short, to every body except the only person who can be thoroughly acquainted with its uses : and by a parity of reasoning, our old language is conjectured to be probably more attainable by “ foreigners” than by ourselves! Now I am inclined to think, that a Dutch tyro in our tongue (albeit himself of Saxon blood) would be sadly perplexed with “ Sir Tristrem,” or any other given “ Auchinleck MS.” with or without a grammar or glossary; and to most apprehensions it seems evident, that none but a native can acquire a competent, far less complete, knowledge of our obsolete idioms. We may give the critic credit for his ingenuity, but no more believe him than we do Smolletts Lismahago, who maintains that the purest English is spoken in Edinburgh. That Coray may err is very possible ; but if he does, the fault is in the man rather than in his mother tongue, which is, as it ought to be, of the greatest aid to the native student.--Here the reviewer proceeds to business on Strabo's translators, and here I close my remarks.

Sir W. Drummond, Mr. Hamilton, Lord Aberdeen, Dr. Clarke, Captain Leake, Mr. Gell, Mr. Walpole, and many others now in England, have all the requisites to furnish details of this fallen people. The few observations I have offered I should have left where I made them, had not the article in question, and, above all, the spot where I read it, induced me to advert to those pages, which the advantage of my present situation enabled me to clear, or at least to make the attempt.

I have endeavoured to waive the personal feelings which rise in despite of me in touching upon any part of the Edinburgh Review; not from a wish to conciliate the favour of its writers, or to cancel the remembrance of a syllable I have formerly published, but simply from a sense of the impropriety of mixing up private resentments with a disquisition of the present kind, and more particularly at this distance of time and place.


The difficulties of travelling in Turkey have been much exaggerated, or rather have considerably diminished of late years. The Massulmans have been beaten into a kind of sullen civility, very comfortable to voyagers.

It is hazardous to say much on the subject of Turks and Turkey ; since it is possible to live amongst them twenty years without acquiring information, at least from themselves. As far as my own slight experience carried me I have no complaint to make; bat am indebted for many civilities (I might almost say for friendship), and much hospitality, to Ali Pacha, his son Veli Pacha of the Morea, and several others of high rank in the provinces. Suleyman Aga, late Governor of Athens, and now of Thebes, was a bon vivant, and as social a being as ever sat cross-legged at a tray or a table. During the carnival, when our English party were masquerading, both himself and his successor were more happy to " receive masks than any dowager in Grosvenor-square.

On one occasion of his supping at the convent, his friend and visitor, the Cadi of Thebes, was carried from table perfectly qualified for any club in Christendom, while the worthy Waywode himself triumphed in his fall.

In all money transactions with the Moslems, I ever found the strictest honour, the highest disinterestedness. In transacting business with them, there are none of those dirty peculations, under the name of interest, difference of exchange, commission, &c. &c., uniformly found in applying to a Greek consul to cash bills, even on the first houses in Pera.

With regard to presents, an established custom in the East, you will rarely find yourself a loser; as one worth acceptance is generally returned by another of similar value-a horse or a shawl.

In the capital and at court, the citizens and courtiers are formed in the same school with those of Christianity; but there does not exist a more honourable, friendly, and high-spirited character thau the true Turkish 'provincial aga, or Moslem country gentleman. It is not meant here to desiguate the governors of

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