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behind some bushes, fired at the Pacha, and rushed forth desperately to strangle him with his hands, his musquet having flashed in the
pan, but the Pacha killed him with a pistol-shot. Omer Bey, of Caristo, remained only a fortnight at Athens, and Omer Pacha left it on the 10th of October. On the borders of Attica he was rejoined by Mehmet Pacha; the Albanese who had defended the citadel during the first siege, went off with him, so that the Turks of Athens were compelled to shift for themselves. The Pacha had even extorted from them the sum of twenty thousand piastres, for having forced the Greeks to raise the first siege. But during the time the Pacha was at Athens, they had collected provisions in abundance from all the villages in Attica ; and had they cleaned the cisterns in the Acropolis, and filled them with water, (they being of considerable depth, and of ancient construction, they would have avoided the dreadful fate which befell them afterwards. But, as they never imagined that the Greeks would drive them from the exterior forts of the castle, whence they had been supplied with water during the first siege, they had scarcely filled half the cisterns of the citadel. The Greeks remained till the 1st (13th, O.S.) of November, at Salamis and Ægina, or came over in small numbers to plunder sheep. Some were taken by the Turks, and impaled.
In the Morea, Tripolizza had fallen into the hands of the Greeks on the 5th of October. That event raised again the spirit of the Athenians. They knew that Omer Pacha had gone back to Albania, that Captain Odysseus had retaken Thebes, and surprised, one dark night, the Turkish garrison of Livadia, and destroyed the castle there. Being safe from that quarter, they thought of driving the Turks once more into the castle, and after a brisk action at Calandri, where the Turks were completely routed, the town of Athens was again taken possession of by the Greeks. The citadel itself was very near being taken by a stratagem. The Greeks had entered Athens during the night, in the greatest silence, and expected the Turks in the morning to come down into the town according to custom. At that moment a body of Greeks was to have rushed through the open gates of the citadel, and taken possession of the fort, before the Turks could return from the town; but some dogs which the Greeks lad brought with them into the town, betrayed this plan by their barking, and in the morning the Turks were seen, instead of opening the gates, to run to the battlements and cover them with stones, as if they expected an assault. Then the Greeks, disappointed, appeared in the streets, and made, forthwith, preparations for attack. In the night of the 25th of December, one hundred and fifty men got up the wall of the first battery, between the theatre of Herodes Atticus and the Iron Gate, killed a dozen Turks on the first battery, and forced the others to save themselves within the citadel. Some Turks had not even time for that, but concealed themselves behind some rocks at the foot of the southern wall, where the Greeks could not follow them, on account of the musquetry of those from the battlements. The besieged got them safely up by ropes, and a kind of hammock, in which they wrapt themselves up with cushions. The greatest loss which the Turks sustained, was the cistern outside the walls, by which they were reduced to the water in the citadel. A short time after, the Grecks hoped to find their way into the castle by means of a subterraneous passage, the entrance of which is seen on the north side of the Acropolis ; but on having entered it in the night, they found the passage obstructed by parts of the vault which had given way; all, however, succeeded in escaping out of it again before daybreak, one excepted, who was killed in the attempt to run over the open space between the rocks of the fortress and the walls of the town. Great events had taken place in the mean time in the Morea. Deputies from all parts of Greece had met at Argos, to establish a provisional government, and to put an end to the anarchy which had hitherto greatly paralysed the efforts of the Greeks. A draught of a constitution, chiefly the work of Mavrocordato, was laid before the assembly, and adopted at length, after a long play of intrigues. The party which Ipsilanti had formed since his arrival in the Morea, was entirely defeated by the superior skill of Mavrocordato and his friends, and Mavrocordato himself was elected President of the Executive. Shortly after, the Turkish garrison of Corinth was, for want of provisions, obliged to surrender, and were nearly all slain, contrary to the capitulation. One of the Turks taken at Corinth, was brought to Athens, to confirm the news of the fall of Corinth to the Turks there; he spoke to them from below the walls, but they declared that they believed him to be a deserter, and left him with dreadful imprecations.
The Greeks of Athens soon after brought some mortars and shells from Corinth, and a French colonel came over to bombard the citadel. About the same time Ipsilanti had left Corinth, where the government had taken its residence, and arrived at Athens by the way of Megara and Eleusis. He entered Athens accompanied by a few followers, and was received with all the attention he deserved for his disinterested patriotism, and the undaunted valour he had shown on all occasions. He summoned the Turks to capitulate, but they would not listen to any proposals, and he soon after left Athens to join the Greek troops near the Thermopylæ, that were collected there for the purpose of attacking Zeitouni, a Turkish town at the entrance of Thessaly.
I arrived at Athens in the month of March, a few days before the bombardment began. The preceding part of the narration is therefore drawn from information carefully collected at Athens, while the following part of it is entirely taken from my own Journal.
I had arrived in the night in the Piræus, and rose with daybreak to go up to Athens. The sun was just rising behind the mountain Pentelicus, and threw a glowing light on the highest edifices of the Acropolis. The rays that were glancing on the Parthenon were seen dying away on the summits of the dark and frowning hills of the Morea. Now I felt treading upon holy ground; and as if the gigantic spirit of antiquity were hovering over me, I paid, with idolatrous joy, dutiful homage to the immortal goddess, whose temple I saw re-emerging from darkness, and I hailed the omen that was thus presented to me. Walking up along the road where remainders of the high walls are seen, built after the battle of Salamis, and partly destroyed by Lysander, in rapturous recollection of past ages, past magnificence, and past glory, I entered, after having left behind me a little olive-wood, the plain close by Athens. The whole amphitheatrc encompassed by the Parnes, the Pentelicus,
and the Hymettus, had by this time from darkness come forth in the charming beauty of the day, and after a few moments the town of Athens itself was expanded before my eyes.
But is this the gate of Dipylum ? this the holy road, where the procession went along to Eleusis? Where are, Athens, thy temples, thy gods? Where are the heroes to go forth with Miltiades to Marathon, to fight with Themistocles at Salamis ? where the statesmen to sit with Pericles in council ? where the philosophers to walk with Plato in the Academy?
Full of these ideas I proceeded to the bazaar, through dirty, narrow streets, jammed in by small, miserable houses, built mostly of clay or of wood; and passing along, I saw the people sitting in the shops or along the benches before the numerous coffee-houses, smoking their pipes, with pistols in their belts, and glancing from time to time up to the Acropolis, where the Turkish flag was waving on the walls. Heaps of ruins were seen in every part of the town ; whole streets forsaken and abandoned, especially all those adjoining the Acropolis. From time to time a musket-shot was heard either from the citadel or in the town. Some captains with silver inlaid pistols, a shaggy capote, breast and neck open and sunburnt, paraded through the streets, followed by a dozen soldiers.
I hastened to recover from the gloomy impressions which the sight of so much desolation on the loveliest spot in the world had left in my mind, by a pilgrimage to the magnificent remnants of antiquity with which this city abounds. Here rises the chaste, but still sublime architecture of the temple of Theseus ; there the lofty and luxurious pillars of the temple of the Olympic Jupiter; and no paltry houses are standing near to displease the eye and to diminish the effect. These remains are now seen on the opposite sides of Athens, quite lonely and deserted, in solitary magnificence, as if the modern town of Athens had felt its degeneracy, and had kept at a distance from these holy buildings in duc reverence. And yet every quarter of the town has its sacred inheritance from the ancient time; every street contains something to awaken great recollections; the walls of the houses enclose fragments of columns, stones with inscriptions; and ascending the staircase in some of the more respectable houses, you tread upon Pentelic marble, that once decorated a temple or some other monument. But it not being the object of this narration to enter upon any subject that might satisfy the antiquarian, we proceed therefore with the account of the siete.
The bombardment began on the 22d of March. The mortars had been placed on the Pnyx, where anciently the assemblies of the people of Athens had been held; how singular, that there the thunder should roll forth again against the foes of Greece! The Turks, who had seen the preparation, put their women and children in the casemates; but the men were seen sitting on the walls, smoking their pipes, or walking about the Propylæum, easy, seemingly, and unconcerned. The second shell having exploded in the citadel, the Greeks raised a great cry, and at that very moment a Turk appeared between the pillars of the Propylæum, stretching out in a solemn attitude, the five fingers of cach hand; it scened to me I heard him cry—llevte kakovs xpóvovç và Exvs.
The bombardment lasted for several weeks, did no harm, either to
the Turks or to the citadel, where it might have done considerable injury to the beautiful remains of antiquity which the Acropolis contains.
I shall only notice one singular circumstance. The Turks met every evening at a certain hour for their prayers in the Mosque, which they had erected in the middle of the ruins of the Parthenon: the whole people was heard at times answering the Imam; it is impossible to describe the sublime effect which the deep echoing sound made on those who heard it below in the town. Now just this moment was chosen, to throw shells into the citadel, in order to multiply death and destruction.. A less pious multitude would have changed the hour of devotion, or made their prayers silently; but they met in spite of shells, just as before, to say their prayers to their God.
Seeing no probability of a speedy surrender of the citadel, as the bombardment had passed without effect, I left Athens to make some excursions in Attica; my first was to Marathon. There is still a poor village extant with that name; I visited the barrow of the Athenians, where they buried their slain in battle. It struck me forcibly that there can be no better monument on a field of battle than such a one. Every structure of iron or marble may be destroyed by time or avarice, but a lofty hill, in a wide plain, thrown up for a tomb of the dead, sets oblivion at defiance. And who does not prefer the sublime simplicity of such a monument to the laborious but perishable works of man? I met with great hospitality from the monks at Diana; (where once Diana Brauronia was worshipped ;) they were surprised at my speaking Greek so fluently. Few remains of the villa of Herodes Atticus are seen there. Shortly afterwards I went to Thebes by the road of Cassia, near which I saw the ruins of Phylæ. Ascending the hill, upon which Phylæ is built, I enjoyed the most surprising and magnificent view I ever met with in all my travels. I suppose that you have left the plain of Athens, and have entered the wild but romantic vallies that lead to Cassia, twelve miles from Athens. Thence you ascend Mount Parnes, on the road to Bæotia. After two or three miles' walk you turn round, and as if by enchantment you see again the Acropolis of Athens with the Parthenon on the loftiest point of it; and to your left the Pentelicus and the Hymettus, which enclose your view on that sidethe Hymettus streaming to the South of Athens towards Cape Sunium; to your right you behold the Saronic Gulf, and the range of hills along the coast of the Morea. The effect of this view is most truly sublime. I found Thebes in ruins, gloomy like a desert, as if the anger of the gods were still pursuing the house of Labdacus. There are scarcely any vestiges of antiquity, except a few columns, some inscriptions, and an ancient tower, (at least, the lower part of it,) supposed to be one of the Seven Towers so famous in early history. At Thebes I took leave of a Danish gentleman, the companion of my excursions, a young man of a noble mind, full of zeal for the cause of the Greeks, whom he went to join before Zeitouni, where he was killed in the first engagement :
Κουφά οι χθων
επάνω πέσειε, , From Thebes I went to Platæa, now Kokla, where still surprising walls are seen, astonishing specimens of the fortifications of those
times; thence to Erinno Castro, (anciently Thespiæ ;) and after a short visit to Thisbe, I crossed the Gulf of Corinth; and having passed a few days at Corinth, I returned to Athens by the way of Megara, and thence by water between Salamis and Eleusis, through the very straits where the fleet of Xerxes was defeated.
At my return, I was informed that the Greeks intended to make an assault; the signal for which was to be the explosion of a mine. Ladders were prepared, and people flocked from the country to take a part in the assault. The evening before, the Bishop of Athens offered up a prayer in presence of all the people ; promised to the faithful absolution for their sins; and pointed to Heaven, where, as in the time of Constantine, the clouds were shaped in the form of a cross, which, by the aid of a pious imagination, was taken as a good omen. Tbe mine was sprung on the 29th of April, an hour before daybreak: it did considerable damage, and several Turks were killed by it; but in a moment the whole garrison was on the alert; basketsfull of stones were thrown down on the assailants, and a murderous fire kept up for some minutes, when, it being found out that the ladders were too short, the Greeks gave up the attempt, and returned with a loss of from forty to fifty men into the town. The few Germans and Swiss that happened to be at Athens at the time, were all present at the assault; one of whom was killed, and two others wounded. After this unsuccessful attack, the Greeks began immediately to dig a new mine, by which it was intended to blow up the Venetian tower to the right of the Propylæum, flanking the last gate of the citadel. It was of paramount importance to force the Turks to surrender before the threatened invasion of Choursit Pacha (who was collecting a considerable body of troops in Thessaly) might force the Thermopylæ. A Turkish lad, who had succeeded in making his escape from the Acropolis, brought information to the Greeks that the Turks suffered greatly by disease and want of water, the season being extremely dry, and their cisterns being nearly exhausted, or containing unwholesome water. This statement was corroborated by two Turkish women, who shortly afterwards, in open day, by means of ropes fastened to the walls, ventured to slide down along the rocks, and, protected by projecting stones, waited until the twilight of the evening allowed them to pass the open ground between the fortress and the town. They even affirmed, that water had become so scarce, that within a few weeks the Turks would be obliged to surrender; they further said, that, during the most oppressive heat of the day, scarcely a man remained behind the loopholes; that they all retired to sleep, and that the women alone were on the look-out, but that the men were at their posts during the night.
It was considered by the Greeks as a very providential circumstance, that the dry weather continued throughout the whole season, without a single rainy day. The clouds were seen sometimes gathering over the Acropolis, but of their blessing a few drops only fell occasionally on the Acropolis, and then the Turks were observed scrambling up the walls of the Parthenon, to catch, with sponges, the little humidity that was to be found on the marbles. One day, a Turkish woman was seen with a jug in her hand near the temple of Erectheus, so as to be recognized by one of her friends in the town, and turning it thrice upside