ePub 版

towns, bat those agas who, by a kind of feudal tenure, possess lands and houses, of more or less extent, in Greece and Asia Minor.

The lower orders are in as tolerable discipline as the rabble in countries with greater pretensions to civilization. A Moslem, in walking the streets of our country towns, would be more incommoded in England than a Frank in a similar situation in Turkey. Regimentals are the best travelling dress.

The best accounts of the religion, and different sects of Islamism, may be found in D’Olisson's French ; of their manners, &c., perhaps in Thornton's English. The Ottomans, with all their defects, are not a people to be despised. Equal, at least, to the Spaniards, they are superior to the Portuguese. If it be difficult to pronounce what they are, we can at least say what they are not : they are not treacherous, they are not cowardly, they do not burn heretics, they are not assassins, por has an enemy advanced to their capital. They are faithful to their sultan till he becomes unfit to govern, and devout to their God without an inquisition. Were they driven from St. Sophia to-morrow, and the French or Rassians enthroned in their stead, it would become a question, whether Europe would gain by the exchange. England would certainly be the loser.

With regard to that ignorance of which they are so generally, and sometimes jnstly, accused, it may be doubted, always excepting France and England, in what useful points of knowledge they are excelled by other nations. Is it in the common arts of life? In their manufactures ? Is a Turkish sabre inferior to a Toledo? or is a Turk worse clothed or lodged, or fed and taught, than a Spaniard ? Are their pachas worse educated than a grandee? or an effendi than a knight of St. Jago? I think not.

I remember Mabmout, the grandson of Ali Pacha, asking whether my fellowtraveller and myself were in the upper or lower House of Parliament. Now this question from a boy of ten years old proved that his education had not been neglected. It may be doubted if an English boy at that age knows the difference of the Divan from a College of Dervishes; but I am very sure a Spaniard does pot. How little Mahmout, surrounded as he had been, entirely by bis Turkish tutors, had learned that there was such a thing as a parliament, it were useless to conjecture, unless we suppose that his instructors did not confine his studies to the Koran.

In all the inosques there are schools establisbed, which are very regularly attended; and the poor are taught without the Church of Turkey being put into peril. I believe the system is not yet printed (though there is such a thing as a Turkish press, and books printed, in the late military institution of the Nizam Gedidd); nor have I heard whether the Mufti and the Mollas have subscribed, or the Caimacam and the Tefterdar taken the alarm, for fear the ingenuous youth of the turban should be taught not to " pray to God their way.” The Greeks, also -a kiud of eastern Irish papists—have a college of their own at Maynooth—no, at Haivali; where the heterodox receive much the same kind of countenance from the Ottoman as the Catholic college from the English legislature. Who shall then affirm, that the Turks are iguorant bigots, when they thus evince the exact proportion of Christian charity which is tolerated in the most prosperous and orthodox of all possible kingdoms ? But, though they allow all this, they will not suffer the Greeks to participate in their privileges : no, let them fight their battles, and pay their haratch (taxes), be drubbed in this world, and damned in the next And shall we then emancipate our Irish helots? Mahomet forbid! We should then be bad Mussulmans, and worse Christians; at present we unite the best of both-jesuitical faith, and something not much inferior to Turkish toleration.

[merged small][ocr errors]


Amongst an enslaved people, obliged to have recourse to foreign presses even for their books of religion, it is less to be wondered at that we find so few publications on general subjects than that we find any at all. The whole number of the Greeks, scattered up and down the Turkish empire and elsewhere, may amount, at most, to three millions ; and yet, for so scanty a number, it is impossible to discover any nation with so great a proportion of books and their authors, as the Greeks of the present century. Ay," but say the generous advocates of oppression, who, while they assert the ignorance of the Greeks, wish to prevent them from dispelling it, “ ay, but these are mostly, if not all, ecclesiastical tracts, and consequently good for nothing.” Well! and pray wbat else can they write about? It is pleasant enough to hear a Frank, particularly an Englishman, who may abuse the government of his own country; or a Frenchman, who may abuse every government except his own, and who may range at will over every philosophical, religious, scientific, sceptical, or moral subject, sneering at the Greek legends. A Greek must not write on politics, and cannot touch on science for want of instruction ; if he doubts, he is excommunicated and damned ; therefore his countrymen are not poisoned with modern philosophy; and as to morals, thanks to the Turks! there are no such things. What then is left him, if he has a turn for scribbling? Religion and holy biography: and it is natural enough that those who have so little in this life should look to the next. It is no great wonder then that in a catalogue now before me of fifty-five Greek writers, many of whom were lately living, not above fifteen should have touched on any thing but religion. The catalogue alluded to is contained in the twenty-sixth chapter of the fourth volame of Meletias's Ecclesiastical History. From this I subjoin an extract of those who have written on general subjects; which will be followed by some specimens of the Romaic,


Neophitus, Diakonos (the deacon) of the Morea, has published an extensive grammar, and also some political regulations, which last were left unfinished at his death.

Prokopius, of Moscopolis (a town in Epirus), has written and published a catalogue of the learned Greeks.

Seraphin, of Periclea, is the author of many works in the Turkish language, but Greek character; for the Christians of Caramania who do not speak Romaic, but read the character.

Eustathius Psalidas, of Bucharest, a physician, made the tour of England for the purpose of study (xepov reabroew.): but though his name is enumerated, it is not stated that he has written any thing.

Kallinikus Torgerans, Patriarch of Constantinople ; many poems of his are extant, and also prose tracts, and a catalogue of patriarchs since the last taking of Constantinople.

Anastasius Macedon, of Naxos, member of the royal academy of Warsaw. A church biographer.

* It is to be observed that the names given are not in chronological order, but consist of some selected at a venture from amongst those who flourished from the taking of Constantinople to the time of Me. Jetius,

Demetrius Pamperes, a Moscopolite, has written many works, particularly “A Commentary on Hesiod's Shield of Hercules,” and two hundred tales (of what, is not specified), and has published his correspondence with the celebrated George of Trebisond, his contemporary.

Meletius, a celebrated geographer; and author of the book from whence these notices are taken.

Dorotheus, of Mitylene, an Aristotelian philosopher : his Hellenic works are in great repute, and he is esteemed by the moderns (I quote the words of Meletius) μετά τον Θουκυδίδης και Ξενοφώντα άρισος Ελλήνων. I add further, on the authority of a well-informed Greek, that he was so famous amongst his countrymen, that they were accustomed to say, if Thucydides and Xenophon were wanting, he was capable of repairing the loss.

Marinus Count Tharboures, of Cephalonia, professor of chemistry in the academy of Padua, and member of that academy, and those of Stockholm and Upsal. He has published, at Venice, an account of some marine animal, and a treatise on the properties of iron.

Marcus, brother to the former, famous in mechanics. He removed to St. Petersburgh the immense rock on which the statue of Peter the Great was fixed in 1769. See the dissertation which he published at Paris, in 1777.

George Constantine has published a four-tongued lexicon.
George Ventote, a lexicon in French, Italian, and Romaic.

There exist several other dictionaries in Latin and Romaic, French, &c., besides grammars in every modern language, except English.

Amongst the living authors the following are most celebrated :-
Athanasius Parios has written a treatise on rhetoric in Hellenic.

Christodoulos, an Acarnanian, has published, in Vienna, some physical treatises jn Hellenic.

Panagiotes Kodrikas, an Athepian, the Romaic translator of Fontenelle's

Plurality of Worlds” (a favourite work amongst the Greeks), is stated to be a teacher of the Hellenic and Arabic languages in Paris, in both of which he is an adept.

Athanasius, the Parian, author of a treatise on rhetoric.

Vicenzo Damodos of Cephalonia, has written, “ sis Meroßep Bapor," on logic and physics. John Kamarases, a Byzantine, has translated into French Ocellus on the Unió

He is said to be an excellent Hellemist, and Latin scholar. Gregorio Demetrius published, in Vienna, a geographical work: he has also translated several Italian authors, and printed his versions at Venice.

Of Coray and Psalida some account has been already given.


* These names are not taken from any publication.



Σπάρτα, Σπάρτα, τί κοιμάσαι

ύπνον λήθαργον, βαθύν;
ξύπνησον, κραξε Αθήνας,

σύμμαχον παντοτεινήν. Ενθυμήσου Λεωνίδου

ήρωος του ξακουσού, του ανδρός επαινεμένου, φοβερού και τρομερού.

Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν, &c.

1. ΔΕΥΤΕ, παίδες των Ελλήνων,

ο καιρός της δόξης ήλθεν. Α', φανώμεν άξιοι εκείνων

που μας δώσαν την αρχήν A", πατήσωμεν ανδρείας

τον ζυγόν της τυραννίδος: Εκδικήσωμεν πατρίδος καθε όνειδος αισχρόν. Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν·

παίδες Ελλήνων, άγωμεν. Ποταμηδδν εχθρών το αίμα ας τρέξη υπό ποδών.

2. Οθεν είσθε των Ελλήνων

κόκκαλα ανδρειωμένα και Πνεύματα εσκορπισμένα,

τώρα λάβετε πνοήν. Σ την φωνήν της σαλπιγγός μου

συναχθήτε όλα όμου. Την επτάλοφον ζητείτε, και νικάτε προ παντού.

Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν, &c.


Ο που εις τας Θερμοπύλας

πόλεμον αυτος κροτεί, και τους Πέρσας αφανίζει

και αυτών κατακρατεί. Με τριακοσίους άνδρας

εις το κέντρον προχωρεί, και, ως λέων θυμωμένος, εις το αίμα των βουτεί.

Τα όπλα ας λάβωμεν, &c.


Ρώσσος, Αγγλος, και Γαλλος κάμνοντες την περιήγησιν της Ελλάδος, και βλε.

ποντες την αθλίαν την κατάστασιν, ερώτησαν καταρχάς ένα Γραικόν φιλέλληνα δια να μάθουν την αιτίαν, μετ' αυτόν ένα μητροπολίτην, είτα ένα βλάχμπεην, έπειτα να πραγματευτών και ένα προεστώτα.

Είπί μας, ώ φιλέλληνα, πώς φέρεις την σκλαβίαν
και την απαρηγόρητον των Τούρκων τυραννίαν,
πώς ταϊς ξυλιαϊς και υβρισμούς και σιδηροδεσμίαν
παίδων, παρθένων, γυναικών ανήκουστον φθορέϊαν.
Δεν είσθ' εσείς απόγονοι εκείνων των Ελλήνων
των ελευθέρων και σοφών και των φιλοπατρίδων;
και πως εκείνοι απέθνησκον; δια την ελευθερίαν.

* A translation of this song will be found in the second volume.

[ocr errors]

και τώρα εσείς υπόκεισθε εις τέτοιαν τυραννίαν !
και ποιον γένος ως εσείς εστάθη φωτισμένον
εις την σοφίαν, δύναμιν, εις και όλα ξακουσμένον;
πώς νυν εκαταστήσατε τον φωτεινών Ελλάδα;
βαβαί! ως ένα σκέλεθρον, ως σκοτεινήν λαμπάδα.
Ομίλει, φίλτατε Γραικό, είπί μας την αιτίαν,
μη κρύπτης τίποτες, ημών λύε την απορίαν.

Ρωσσ-αγγλο-γάλοι, Ελλάς, και όχι άλλοι,
ήτον, ως λέτε, τόσον μεγάλη.
νύν δε αθλία, και αναξία
αφ' ου άρχισεν και αμαθία.
όσέμπορούσαν να την ξυπνούσι
τούτ' εις το χείρον την δδηγούσι.
αυτη στενάζει, τα τέκνα κραζει,
στο να προκύπτουν όλα προστάζει,
και τότ' ελπίζει ότι κερδίζει
ευρείν εκείνο που την φλογίζει.
Μα όστις τολμήσει να την ξυπνήση

πάγει στον άδην χωρίς τινα κρίσιν.
The above is the commencement of a long dramatic satire on the Greek priest-
hood, princes, and gentry; it is contemptible as a composition, but perhaps curious
as a specimen of their rhyme ; I have the whole in MS. but this extract will be
found sufficient. The Romaic in this composition is so easy as to render a version
an insnlt to a scholar; but those who do not understand the original will excuse
the following bad translation of what is in itself indifferent.

A Russian, Englishman, and Frenchman, making the tour of Greece, and obsery-

ing the miserable state of the country, interrogate, in turn, a Greek Patriot, to
learn the cause; afterwards an Archbishop, then a Vlackboy,* a merchant, and
Cogia Bachi or Primate.

Thou friend of thy country! to strangers record
Why bear ye the yoke of the Ottoman lord ?
Why bear ye these fetters thus tamely display'd,
The wrongs of the matron, the stripling, and maid !
The descendants of Hellas's race are not ye?
The patriot sons of the sage and the free,
Thus sprung from the blood of the noble and brave,
To vilely exist as the Mussulman's slave!
Not such were the fathers your annals can boast,
Who conquered and died for the freedom you lost :
Not such was your land in her earlier hour,
The day-star of nations in wisdom and power!
And still will you thus unresisting increase,
Oh shameful dishonour ! the darkness of Greece !
Then tell us, beloved Achaean ! reveal

The cause of the woes which you cannot conceal.
The reply of the Philhellenist I have not translated, as it is no better than the
question of the travelling triumvirate ; and the above will sufficiently show with
what kind of composition the Greeks are now satisfied. I trust I have not much
injured the original in the few lines given as faithfully, and as near the “ Oh, Miss
Bailey! unfortunate Miss Bailey !” measure of the Romaic, as I could make
them. Almost all their pieces, above a song, which aspire to the name of poetry,
contain exactly the quantity of feet of

“A captain bold of Halifax who lived in country quarters,” which is in fact the present heroic couplet of the Romaic.

* Vlackbey, Prince of Wallaclaia.

« 上一頁繼續 »