Imágenes de páginas

bination of powerful, rich, mellow, and of music, in all keys, and by every metallic voices of the Chantres de la measure of time required; each perCour, places this extraordinary corps former never sounding more than one of sacred performers above all the and the same note as set down for rest; they are particularly affecting him,-just as each key of an organ when executing some of Bortniansky's always produces the same note. As scores in minor keys :—that rich field in that instrument, the most eloquent of harmony which affords so great a music is generally the result of such a variety of modulations, admirably cal- disposition in its keys; and thus also culated to express every shade of re the horn music of St. Petersburgh ligious sentiment, and each successive produces a most enchanting effect. state of our mind, when absorbed in This band occasionally performs in deep and sacred meditation. But the public, particularly during the sumRussians, or rather the imperial faini- mer, at the parties de chasse of the ly, have another extraordinary and court, and at the time of the public striking species of music which de- promenades, which take place on the serves to be mentioned in this place. smaller islands at that season. This They call it the hunting, or horn mu- species of music, which is peculiar to sic; but it might with more propriety Russia, was invented by a Bohebe styled an organ on a new construc- mian named Maresch, a performer tion. A band of from twenty to forty at the court of the Empress Eliperformers, equally skilled in blowing zabeth; and a treatise was publisha short straight horn, are brought to ed about thirty years ago by Henexecute what the keys of an organ are richs of St. Petersburgh, with specimade to perform under the hands of mens of the manner in which the an able master, namely, the simplest notes are set down for each peras well as the most complicated pieces former.


may be

CONSTANTINOPLE has been frequent- the overthrow of the royal palace at ly devastated by the bursting of the Bagdad, into the same night in which sea over its bulwark. In 1322, its their prophet came into the world ; violence threw down a considerable regardless of the anachronism which portion of the city walls ; and twelve would unhinge Chronology, by no less years afterwards, the adjacent country a term than ten years; for, on the dapresented one wide sheet of water for tum, Mohammed, whose epocha begins a distance of ten stadia. Under Jus- from the period of his flight when tinian the Great, it had been previously fifty-three years of age, (A.D. 622,) inundated for a space of fifteen miles. must have been born in 569. These excesses of nature,

if I

None of the earthquakes by wbich permitted the expression, were gene- this metropolis has been afflicted, were rally the effect of earthquakes, of so pregnant with calamity as that of which the history of Constantinople 875, when the whole of Asia, from affords so many lamentable instances. the Nile to the Bosphorus, was shaken One of them, which occasioned the to its centre ; the promontory of Laofall of the dome of the great church dicea being engulphed in the ocean, of St. Sophia, bas been the object of and four hundred thousand souls being a notable piece of religious quackery buried beneath the ruins of cities, among the Arabians. In order to towns, and villages. So frequent, inimpart a miraculous character to Mo- deed, was the occurrence of these hammed's birth, they have congregat- frightful visitations in former times, ed the demolition of this dome, and that fires and earthquakes constitute

40 ATHENEUM, Vol. 1, 3d series.

leading articles with the Ottoman this city, it has been my fate to expewriters ; and I cannot resist the temp- rience the tangible effects of two slight tation of translating the following ex- shocks. On the first occasion, I was tract from Seadeddin, the historiogra- engaged in preparing my despatches, pher, for the edification of those to when my desk, inkstand, and the other whom these outrageous throes of our paraphernalia of my cabinet, were Mother Earth are less familiar. Our shaken to and fro; on the second, I author is describing the tremendous was strolling one evening through Buconvulsion, which laid Constantinople jukdere, with a female companion, in ruins during the reign of Bajazet, when our heads were suddenly driven (A.D. 1511.)

into forcible contact; and each of us “On the first day of the moon was accusing the other of this flagrant Dscheonasiul ewwel of the aforemen- breach of gentle observances, as we tioned year, in a night of horror, when crossed our own threshold; when the lord of the fourth sphere,* the lu- both were absolved from the oft-reminary of heaven, irradiated the inha- butted charge, by the clamor prevailbitants of our globe with his splendors, ing, in consequence of the tribulation and the apple of man's eye sunk to which Mother Earth had just experepose within the mortal lid; and rienced. when the moon was descending from There is no spot on which the three the highest region of heaven towards kingdoms have shed their largesses his ethereal bed, the Creator, who has with so prodigal a hand as on Conplanted the mountains' lofty peaks as stantinople. Land and water appear the pillars of the earth, made manifest to emulate each other in promoting his power and greatness by sending a the enjoyments of its “in-dwellers." mighty earthquake, at whose thunders With all due deference to the Areopathe world trembled, and the elements gus of the “ Almanac des Gourmands," were confounded. The night, preg- I must be permitted, in as far as the nant with this pestilence, brought forth animal kingdom is concerned, to speak in her agonies strange and wonderful of the Byzantian kitchen, as claiming effects from the lap of non-entity; preëminence over the Parisian, for its time and space, hours and circum- hares and wild boars; and still more stances, shook together; the furthest cause have I to deprecate their wrath, parts of earth quivered with horror, when I hazard the dictum that the acand the human fabrics of Constantino- mé of epicurism centres in the richly ple kissed the dust. Many a dome, delicious quails, which cover both which rivalled the cupola of heaven in sides of the Bosphorus by thousands strength and lofti ss, was levelled to in the month of September; and, when the ground; the walls crumbled in al- sowed up in the sauce produced by most every direction; towns and ram- their own fat, mixed with the pilac or parts were laid low ; even the venera- kneaded rice, constitute a dish of so ble female, Earth, was convulsed with unequalled a relish, that he that has dismay at this frightful calamity; man tasted it will no longer be at sea for turned away his foot from his home, the motive which may have inspired and took up his abode in the open the Israelite of old with his notorious field, with a heart rent in twain at the longing “ for the quails and flesh-pols remembrance of his Prophet's warn- of Egypt.” ing, full of horror as it is, ' A little Yet, I must confess, that even these earthquake is a mighty matter.' dainty purveyances sink into the shade,

Such is the picture drawn by the when placed by the side of the marine estimable author of “ The diadem of products, which render the Billingsgate Ottoman History.”

of Constantinople the empress of fishDuring a residence of four years in markets. The Bosphorus swarms with

* The moon.

myriads of the finny tribe ; and could defences to Phidalia, the daughter of old Homer “ live o'er his song again,” Barbyses, from whose consort, Bysas, he would re-immortalize it as “ pro- it took its elder name of Byzantium. lific of fish.” The most ordinary of Its first assailant was Philip of Macethese are the scombri, a species of don, who had no sooner effected a mackarel, which are dried, without breach in its walls than Lev, his opsalt, by the Greeks ; pulamedes and ponent, filled them up with tombstones. stavridia, two species of dolphins; and Pausanius of Sparta is reported to anchovies and nilufer, which latter are have been its second founder; and it caught by torch-light on their migra- was a third time regenerated by the tion from the Black into the White Emperor Severus, after it had been Sea, during the autumn, when the laid in the dust by a three years' conGreek women, each provided with tinued succession of earthquakes. But boat and torch, pass the whole night Constantine was the great patron and upon the water, fascinating the nilufer extender of the Byzantian metropolis, into their nets by means of its impetu- particularly during the twenty-fifth ous dash at the treacherous blaze. year of his reign, when he completed To the turbot, roatch, and lamprey, the magnificent baths of Neptune, you have yet to add that monarch of transformed the temples of Diana, the table, the sword-fish, which is Hecate, and Venus, into shrines for caught along the shore in wooden cells, Christian worship, and placed the on which the fishermen will sit for pearly diadem of the East on his rewhole hours in motionless abiding of forming brow. The walls of Constana solitary victim. Shell-fish also are tinople were repeatedly renewed, eifound in plenty and perfection. The ther wholly or partially, by that moBosphorus is at times enlivened by the narch's successors; and their shattered gambols of shoals of dolphins, whose remains were razed to the ground, and effigies are extant on the ancient By- a complete circuit of fresh defences zantine coins.

erected by Mohammed the Second, The plantain and cypress lend an who effected the conquest of this caOriental aspect to the environs of Con- pital on the 29th of May, 1453. Havstantinople. The branches of the ing suffered extensive damage by an latter growing invariably upwards, and earthquake in 1635, Amurath the

aspiring to the skies,” the nations Fourth employed about 18,000 of his of the East regard it as their tree of soldiery in repairing them, and carried liberty ; in which character it is found his renovations to an extent of no less on tombs, as a symbol of the soul, than 19,280 ells. After this restorawhich deposits its mortal trammels in tion had been accomplished, he fixed the grave, and thence aspires to a the future amount of the garrison at heavenly mansion. The inulberry, 12,000 men, and assigned them an the mimora of the Nile, the accacia, annual pay of 200,000 piastres. Since diospyros lotos or trebizond palm, pine, the year 1721, when Achmet III. gave and fig-tree, beautifully intermingle, them a thorough restoration, little or and diversify the enchanting scenery no pains have been bestowed in repairaround this metropolis. Nor does it ing the inroads made upon them by yield to any of the hundred cities I the hand of time, or the convulsions have visited, in the delicate and abun- of nature. There they stand, with dant produce of its orchards and gar- the inserted shaft, pedestal, frieze, dens.

altar, and tombstone, attesting both In fact, Constantinople offers the their antiquity, as well as the despoilbest of “entertainment for man and ing handywork of their barbarous arbeast;" yet the “ march of intellect” chitects. bids me halt, and pleasure myself There is no city in the world which awhile in the region of inquiry. enjoys the unenviable distinction of

This capital owed its first mural having been so often besieged as Con

stantinople. From the time of Alci of its eight-and-twenty gates, the biades to that of Mohammed II., it most celebrated is the Aurea, or goldhas undergone four-and-twenty sieges; en gate, through which the emperors the first and the last, with those of were accustomed to make their triSeverus, Constantine, Dandolo, and umphal entry ; it was constructed for Michael Palæologus, were, however, this especial purpose by Theodosius the only occasions on which the as the younger, upon his return from desailants were not repulsed.

feating Maximius the tyrant.


FAREWELL to thee, land of my father, fare The lines in my early life traced ! well!

Nor bear in my exile the panys of regret I quit thee, loved land of my birth! For pleasures and ties I may never forget. Not vainly the records of hist'ry shall tell Thou stoodst, midst the realms of the But desolate now are our hearths, and the earth,

foe Unrivall’d in beauty, unrivall’d in fame, Hath ravaged the land like a flood; Till now—when unrivallid, alas! is 'thy Our corn-fields and vineyards lie trampled shame.

and low,

The olive is stained with our blood; No more of thy freedom thy children shall And, fainting and feeble, in sorrow we vaunt ;

roam, No more make thy glories their pride ; The land of our birth-place no longer our In slavery sunk, thou shalt serve as a taunt home.

To those whom thou once didst deride. Misled by thy priests, by thy nobles betray'd, We wander afar o'er the dark-rolling ware, The foe doth but rivet the chains they have

The land of the stranger to gain; made.

More happy midst freemen to sink to the

grave, I linger a moment to gaze on the spot

Than live, bound by slavery's chain. Where the scenes of my childbood were The exile's brief struggles with life shall placed:

be o'er, Oh, would that from memory's page I could And the hand of the tyrant oppress him no




Those wonders in creation-subjects telling us, not merely of the existence of a higher astronomy-systems of of other suns like our own, with each suns, performing their revolutions a splendid retinue of planets, of solar about their common centre of gravity, stars connected together by mutual in vastly extended periods of time- gravitation, but of systems of these, lost stars, those bodies which, after vastly separated in space, yet almost shining for ages, gradually disappear, infinite in the individual suns that and are no longer seen as glittering form the group, and these groups pergems in the diadem of night-new baps infinite in number, and scattered stars, or such as suddenly appear with boundless profusion over the vast where no stars were before observed, concavity of the heavens, while the justifying the suspicion, that these lat- whole of each starry system is probably, ter are new creations which have com- revolving about some distant, stupenmenced their measured circling way, dous, and unspeakably resplendent, till the appointed period arrives for glorious centre ;—these carry the mind them to be commanded back to the beyond the movements of this lower realms of obscurity-the subject of sphere, this remote province of the uni Nebulæ, a still higher step in this verse, to expatiate on the loftier pinwondrous scale of progression, dimly nacles of the higher heavens. Nebulæ

may be generally divided into two kinds; ty. One most striking peculiarity is one, a combination of innumerable observed relative to these stars, that stars, which, from their distance, have the nebulous matter seems to recede the appearance of a faint cloud, ,-a dis- from them, so as to leave a dark space tance so remote, as to leave the most between it and their brilliant points, powerful mind faltering in endeavoring as though the stars were either repelto acquire an adequate conception of ling the nebulous matter or absorbing it: the other, probably not so remote, it. This is particularly the case with though inconceivably beyond our sys- those that form the trapezium: a simitem of fixed stars, composed of a lumi- lar appearance may be observed in nous matter, of the nature and destiny Sagittarius,-a nebula is broken into of which but a very faint idea is fur- three parts, forming dark roads through nished for conjecture. The most re- the luminous matter, leading to a cenmarkable of this kind is that in the tre in which is situated a beautiful sword-handle of Orion; its irregularity double star. On one of the sides of of form suggests a resemblance to the the dark openings before referred to, head of a monstrous animal, with two in the nebula of Orion, are filaments horns of unequal lengths, making a or fibres of light, which appear as if considerable angle with each other, extending themselves to the opposite the lower one having an easterly di- side; and on the sides of the head, in rection; an unequal brilliancy occurs the direction of the northern horn, are throughout, as though one part was faint streams of light, not unlike the formed of accumulated luminous mat tails of comets : closely adjoining to ter, assuming in some places the ap this nebula are several smaller. The pearance of solidity. Those parts which whole sky for several degrees around mark the outline of the mouth and eye this constellation is not free from these of the fancied animal may be better appearances ; two, close together, one described by comparing them to deep of a spindle, the other of a circular indented bays, nearly of a quadrangu form; in the centre of the latter is a lar figure, well defined, and by its small star: a small nebula, at the enbrightness giving an intensity to the trance of one of the dark openings, darkness of the sky that it surrounds, appears as if drawing together into a which, in these openings (probably by star. contrast), appears of an unusual black This is but an imperfect description pess. The brightest part has by no of the present appearance of this magmeans a uniform aspect, but exhibits nificent phenomenon, as recently seen an unevenness not unlike fleecy clouds by Herschel's 20 feet reflecting telesof a scirrhous or mottled appearance, cope. There is every reason to beas if undergoing some change of sepa lieve that it has undergone consideraration. This bright region in some able changes since it was first observdirections is abruptly terminated, and ed by Huygens, in 1656. A careful beyond it is seen a fainter region of comparison of the descriptions and nebulosity, while other parts gradual- drawings of various astronomers seems ly fade into that which is more dilut- to indicate that the bright part of the ed, till it subsides in the gloom of the nebula once extended over a larger neighboring sky.

space, and that it is gradually receding In these regions are several minute towards the stars that form the trapestars, one cluster of four, on the bright zium : similar changes are suspected in part, of different colors, arranged in other nebulæ : in some instances smallthe form of a trapezium; five others er ones are formed by the decompoin the fainter part of the nebula, in sition of larger. These mysterious the direction of the southern horn; luminous masses of matter may be other stars are scattered in and near termed the laboratories of the universe, the nebula, some of which are sur- in which are contained the principles rounded with the same milky luminosi- of future systems of suns, planets, sa

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