« AnteriorContinuar »
tained 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 countrymen equal to some who lived in the two last centuries; more particularly Dorotheus of Mitylene, whose Hellenic writings are so much esteemed by the Greeks that Miletius terms him, “ Μέτα τον Θοκυδιδης xal Zevopurta aglolos 'Enaniwn." (P. 224. Ecclesiastical History, vol. iv.) .
Panagiotes Kodrikas, the translator of Fontenelle, and Kamarases, who translated Ocellus Lucanus on the
Universe into French, Christodoulus, and more par, ticularly Psalida, whom I have conversed with in Joan
nina, are also in high repute among their literati. The last-mentioned has published in Romaic and Latin a work on “ True Happiness,” dedicated to Catherine II. But 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 Aristænetus.
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 “ A£47€ taides twv 'Earývwv," 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. im
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, Hạivali ; a town on the continent where that institution for a hundred students and three professors still exists. It is true that thiş, 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 languages; besides a smattering of the sciences. I
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 connection 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. 31. of the Edinburgh Review, where these words occur :-“We are told that when the capital of the East yielded to Solyman” -It may be presumed that this last 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, 'but' am sorry to say the ladies in general, and the Athenians in particular, are much altered; being far from choice either in their
* 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 Mahomet II. any more than criticism means infallibility?-_but thus it is,
«Cædimus 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 abovementioned parallel passage in my own case irresisti. bly 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.
such der edinburgh Reviler as in the te