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dialect or expressions, as the whole Attic race are barbarous to a proverb:
«Ω Αθηνα προ7η χωρα
Τι γαιδαρας τρεφεις τωρα.”
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 may 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 yawrlay 'EIXEY AKPIBNE AT]ıxıbray.” In the Fanal, and in Yanina, the best Greek is spoken: in the latter there is a flourisha ing 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 enquiry 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 nominal Romans and degenerate Greeks, and also of their language: but Mr. Wright, though a good poet and an able man, 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 the Fanal, the Greek is purest) although the capital of Ali Pacha'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 Vely Pacha) praised for their Greek, but often laughed at for their provincial barbarisms.
I have in my possession about twenty-five letters, amongst which some 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 Vely Pacha'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 reader will find a fac siinile of the handwriting of a good scribe, with specimens of the Romaic, in an appendix at the end of the volume. 1 4
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 “a powerful auxiliary," not only to the traveller and foreign merchant, but also to the 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 “ Auchinlech 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 Smollet's 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 wave 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,
6.; ADDITIONAL NOTE, ON THE TURKS.
The difficulties of travelling in Turkey have been much exaggerated, or rather have considerably diminished of late years. The Mussulmans have been beaten into a kind of sullen civility, very comfortable to voyagers. . .
w It is hazardous to say much on the subject of Turks and Turkey; since it is possible to live amongst them twenty ears without acquiring information, at least from themselves. As far as my own slight experience carried me I have no complaint to make; but 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