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place, though probably new light will be thrown upon it by the publication of the papers of K. O. Miiller, whose last days were spent amongst its remains. If we put ourselves in the place of the Cretan adventurers who, according to the legend, first brought Apollo's worship to the spot, we cannot fail to be struck by the fitness of the place to be the central scene of Greek religion, as Mycenae was to be the central scene of Greek tragedy. The sudden change of scenery, which strikes us the moment we turn from the bold hills of the Corinthian gulf into the fantastic rocks which incrust the shores of the bay of Crissa—the silent plain of Crissa, which must be traversed before we scale the rocky barrier which closes its northern end; the narrow pathway still worn by the ruts of chariot-wheels, over which hang sepulchral recesses in the rock; would raise expectations, which must have at once found their natural satisfaction in the singular scene which suddenly opens upon us in the basin of the Delphic valley. In the theatre-like slope which descends from the foot of the two venerable limestone cliffs, to the silver thread of the Plistus in the dark ravine below, presenting a character at once perfectly distinct from the open plain which we have just quitted, and from the savage desolation of the mountains which we see beyond, it would be most inviting for primitive wanderers, with their minds open to the first impressions of nature, to fix the home of their future worship. Of its subsequent appearance, when the whole basin was one mass of magnificent buildings, it is difficult to form a conception. There is no modern city or sanctuary that we have seen or heard of, that could exhibit such extreme splendour brought into so vivid a contrast with such extreme wildness and seclusion of outward scenery. And in the ancient world it must also have been unrivalled. How striking must have been the first burst of the view on those who beheld it for the first time, may be gathered from the graphic sketch of the repulse of the Persians, given by Bishop Thirlwall, in his History of Greece, (n. 293) in which we may perhaps be excused for observing, that the only expression which could by possibility jar with any impression derived from the sight of the place itself, is that of " crag above crag," which seems to imply a more elaborate character of scenery than is actually the case. Of all these splendid edifices not one column

is left standing. It is now as striking in its desolation as it must have been to those first pilgrims from its loneliness: and here also the words of Milton give an impression of it not more poetical than exact.

The oracles are dumb,

No voice or hideous hum
Rings through the arched roof with words deceiving.

Apollo from his shrine

Can no more divine
With hollow shriek the steep of Delphos leaving.

But the two cliffs of the overhanging steep, the clear stream which issues from the huge cleft that divides them, the terraces on which the ancient city stood—are marked with the most perfect clearness. From the substructions which still remain, the labours of Ulrichs and Miiller seem to have fixed—what was for a long- time a matter of doubt—the site of the great temple itself. The oracular chasm is indeed yet undiscovered; and the apparently conflicting accounts of ancient authors may, possibly, prevent us from attaining such certain results from future excavations as we should otherwise anticipate. It is worth noticing, however, as a singular coincidence, even if nothing more, that as on the margin of the Castalian spring there stands a plane-tree of great age, now only a trunk, but. seen by Dodwell in full vigour and foliage—on the very spot where stood the plane, under which, according to the legend, Latona deposited her twins,—so the roots and trunk of a bay-tree were found by Dr. Ulrichs in the very place where his discoveries led him to fix the sanctuary of the temple, and where, therefore, the sacred bay-tree must have stood. It is not, of course, meant, that these are the very trees of the oldest Grecian times; but when we consider the care with which the olive-tree of the Erechtheum, the oak-tree of Dodona, the agnuscastus at Samos, and the plane-tree at Caphyse, (Paus. Arcad. c. 23), were continued for so many centuries, it is allowable to indulge a hope that trees so venerable, first from their associations, and then from their age, as these must always have been, may have been either preserved or propagated from generation to generation, by the almost unconscious attention of the inhabitants. Nor, in speaking of future discoveries to be made in this quarter, are we to forget that so remarkable an object, and one so easily identified when once seen, as the Corycian cave was first made known by Mr. Raikes' Remarks, in 1817. In itself, indeed, it is an instructive scene, both historically and mythologically. For here, in the war of the Greek revolution, part of the population of Delphi found a shelter from the Turks, whilst part lay concealed among the crags immediately above the village; thus exactly repeating the history of their ancestors at the time of the Persian invasion. Here, also, we see the most remarkable existing specimen of the Greek worship of Pan and the nymphs. If any one doubted the influence which natural objects had exercised over Greek religion, no more convincing answer could be given than by the sight of the fantastic white rocks and grotesque fir-trees on the approach to the cave—the wild and lonely character of the hills in which it is situated—and the stalactite figures, which, when dimly seen in the gloom of its long recesses, could hardly fail to suggest to the active imagination of Greek shepherds the vision of the mountain-god with his attendant nymphs and satyrs.

And what is true of the Corycian cave, applies more or less to all the similar sanctuaries in Greece. We are so much accustomed to the notion of Grecian temples full of air and light, that it is not till after a study of the natural features of the country that we become aware of the extent of that more simple and primeval worship which peopled almost every cave with some deity, every stalactite cave with Pan and nymphs. Of the latter kind, besides the Corycian cave, may be mentioned the remarkable cave in Mount Hymettus, containing the most complete traces of rustic paganism that exists in the world (Wordsworth's Athens and Attica, p. 193)—the cave at Marathon described by Pausanias {Attica, 32), but whose site has not yet been fixed with certainty by modern travellers—the cave of Pan under the north side of the Acropolis, dedicated to him on the occasion of his warning voice being heard by the messenger who went to summon the aid of Sparta against the Persians, (see Wordsworth's Athens, p. 81)— and the cave, on the banks of the Ilissus, which serves to identify the exact spot of the scene of the Pheedrus. And of the more general kind are the remaining caves of the Acropolis, those of Apollo, Agraulos, Dionysus, and the Eleusinium, which perforate its rocks almost like a honeycomb—and the deep chasm in the craggy sides of the Areopagus, dedicated to the Furies and to CEdipus.

Whilst the intimate connexion of the Greeks with the scenery of their immediate homes, illustrates their internal history and mythology, so their imperfect knowledge of all beyond illustrates no less their notions of foreign countries, and of their own relations with them. In the great mountain-barriers which enclose the plain of Chaeronea, the traveller sees that he has reached the western boundary of civilized Greece: it is the last corner into which the real life of the Greek race penetrated—all beyond, westward and northward, was Greek indeed, but without the spirit of Greece. And in like manner it is a very just observation of Dr. Wordsworth, in the best part of his work on Greece, (p. 276) that the headland of Leucate formed from the earliest times the line of demarcation between historical Greece and the regions of mythology and barbarism. The white waves which dash against the extremity of the promontory remind us of the terror which the "nautis formidatus Apollo" of the Actian bay always inspired to the navigators of the ancient world; and we can well conceive how, before the Corinthian colonists had penetrated to the islands beyond, all the regions behind that point would be almost as vague and indistinct as that vast western ocean in which the poets of the middle ages placed their earthly paradise, before Columbus broke the spell for ever. We can fancy how they would fill them with the rich imagery of Phaeacia—with the features of a peaceful harbour, of a ship-like rock, and a vision of beautiful woods and gardens, such as would be drawn from a hasty glance, caught by adventurous Greek sailors of the general beauty and some of the more prominent points of the scenery of Corfu. Even in later times the same boundary more or less remained. Leucate was always the barrier which cut off civilized Greece from the barbarian Epirots, as it at this hour separates modern Greece from Albania; and we know how even in the times of the Roman empire the fantastic and sterile rocks of Paxos were associated with that wild and striking legend, which we must again describe in the words of


The lonely mountains o'er
And the resounding shore
A voice of weeping heard and" loud lament.

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Sicily in like manner affords a remarkable instance of the erection of a fabric of geographical mythology on imperfect glimpses of a distant and singular country, much in the same way as the facts in the early period of national existence form the basis of historical mythology. But in the former case the unchanging features of nature give us the key to decipher the legends that have been built upon them, whereas in the latter case the substratum has disappeared from our view, and left our knowledge of the early history in a state analogous to what our knowledge of the real geography of Sicily would be had the island been swallowed up by the sea, and our whole information concerning it been drawn from the Odyssey. Those who had past through the straits of Messina would bring back a report of the violent eddies which disturb the whole passage, and of the steep cliff overhanging the eastern side; and these would become fixed in the Greek imagination under the form of a raging whirlpool and of a hideous monster. The same tendency which led them to see satyrs in stalactites, and nereids in streams, would inevitably discern in the volcanic phenomena, which form the great characteristic of the eastern shore of Sicily, a land of giants—whether according to the later legends they imagined them to be pent up within the sides of jEtna—or whether, according to the Homeric version of them, they imagined them running wild over the island—and heard in the thunders of the approaching eruption the voice of Polyphemus (noKvtjiTifws), and saw in the vast masses of lava, which are for ever rolling down into the sea, the rocks which the gigantic shepherd hurled at Ulysses, or at his rival Acis—the fitting symbol of the naturally fertile and pastoral plain which lies at the roots of the mountain. It was not till a later period, that increased familiarity with the island engendered the fable of Ceres and Proserpine; that Dorian colonists landing in the harbour of Syracuse dedicated to Artemis the fertile plain which, by its abundant game and rich vegetation, «>uld awaken no other recollections than those of her Grecian sanctuary in Elis, the only similar portion of their native country, and by the same association of ideas were brought to discern in the spring of Arethusa the re-appearance of the river Alpheus, whose full volume of waters they had last seen discharged into the sea with a force so unusual in the streams of Greece, that they could

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