« السابقةمتابعة »
ENTERTAINING AND INSTRUCTIVE VARIETIES
History. Literature, the Fine Arts, &c.
THE CITY OF ATHENS. The recent and lamentable death of side of the plain, and seemed to be sup“the age's wonder,” Lord Byron, hav- ported by Mount Hymettus, which ing rendered every thing counected with formed the back ground of the picture. the classic land of Greece the object of It exhibited, in a confused assemblage, peculiar attention, we present our Read- the capitals of the Propylæa, the columns ers with a view of Athens, not from the of the Parthenon, and of the temple of feeling that they need any excitation to Crectheus, the embrasures of a wall be reminded of the country of heroes planted with cannon, the Gothic ruins of and sages, “the greatest this world e'er the Christians, and the edifices of the saw,” but in pursuance of our plan, to Mussulmans. give at intervals accurate engravings of I proceeded towards Athens with a . all the splendid monuments of ancient kind of pleasure which deprived me of greatness, and to illustrate our subject, the power of reflection; not thắt I exwe will quote a modern traveller. perienced any thing like what I had felt,
At length, says M. de Chateaubriand at the sight of Lacedæmon. Sparta and arrived the great day of our entraroe into Athens have, even in their ruins, reAthens. At three in the morning we tai red their different characteristics ; were all on horseback, and proceeded in those of the former, are gloomy, grave, silence along the Sacred Way; and and solitary; those of the latter, pleasnever did the most devout of the initia- ing, light, and social. At the sight of ted experience transports equal to mine. the land of Lycurgus, every idea be
The first thing that struck me was the comes serious, manly, and profound; citadel illumined by the rising su. It the soul, fraught with new energios, was exactly opposite to me, on the other seems to be elevated and expanded : beVol. III.
fore the city of Solon, you are enchanted, You can scarcely conceive how it was as it were by the magic of genius; you possible to erect a structure of any magare filled with the idea of the perfection nitude on the rock, where its rujns are of man, considered as an intelligent and to be seen. A little railey, called in immortal being.
ancient Athens, Cæle, the hollow, sepaWe entered the olive wood; and
rates the hill of the Areopagus from before we reached the Cephisus we met
the hill of the Pnys, and that of with two tombs and an altar to Jupiter the tombs of the two Cynor of Thucy
the citadel. In thc Cale were shown the indulgent. We soon distirguished the bed of the Cephisus, between the dides, and of Herodotus. trunks of the olive-trees which bordered
The Poyx, where the Athenians first it - like agerl willows. I alighted to
held their popular assemblies, is a kind salute the river and to drink of its water;
of esplanade, formed on a steep rock, I found just as much as I wanted in a
at the back of the Lycabettus. A wall hollow, close to the bank; the rest had
composed of enormous stones supports been turned off higher up, to irrigate the
this esplanade on the north side ; on the plantations of olives. I have always
south stands a rostrum, hewn out of the
solid rock, with an ascent of four steps, taken a pleasure in drinking at the celebrated rivers which I have passer? in my
likewise cut out of the rock. life: thus I have drunk of the water of 'Pericles, Alcibiades, and Demosthenes,
In this rostrum then, it was that the Mississippi, the Thames, the Rhine, the Po, the Tiber, the Eurotas, the
delivered their orations; that Socrates Cephisus, the Hermis, the Gradicus, the
and Phocion harangued the people in the
most mellifluous and the most expresJordan, the Nile, the Tagus, and the Ebro !
sive language in the world. It was here
that so many unjust acts were committed ; We proceeded for about half an hour, through wheat stubbles, before we
that so many iniquitous and cruel decrees
were pronounced. This was, perhaps, reached Athens. A modern wall, re
the spot where Aristides was exiled, cently repaired, and resembling a garden
where Melitus triumphed, where the wall, encompasses the city. We passed
entire population of a city was sentenced through the gate, and entered little rural
to die, where a whole nation was doomed streets, cool, and very clean; each house
to slavery. has its garden, planted with orange and The top of the hills is surrounded with fig-frees.
walls, partly of ancient and partly of My guide pointed out the relics of an
'modern construction ; other walls for. antique temple, almost at his own door;
merly encompassed its base. In the then, turning to the right, we proceeded
space comprised within these walls are, along small but very populous streets.
in the first place, the relics of the ProWe passed through the bazaar, abun
pylæa, and the rụins of the temple of dantly supplied with butcher's meat,
Victory. Behind the Propylæa, on the game, vegetables, and fruit.
left, towards the city, you next find the On passing the middle of modern Pandroseum, and the double temple of Athens, and proceeding directly west, Neptune Erectheus and Minerva Polias; the houses begin to be more detached, lastly, on the most elevated point of the and then appear large vacant spaces, Acropolis stands the temple of Minerva, some enclosed within the walls of the The rest of the space is covered with city, and others lying without the walls. the rubbish of ancient and modern buildIn these forsaken spaces we find the tem ings, and with the tents, arms, and barple of Theseus, 'the Pnyx, and the Areo. racks, of the Turks. pagus. I shall- not describe the first, The first thing that strikes you in the of which there are already so many edifices of Athens is the beautiful colour. descriptions, and which bears a great of those monuments. In our climate, in resemblance to the Parthenon; but shall an atmosphere overcharged with smoke comprehend it in the general reflections and rain, stone of the purest white soon which I shall presently make on the sub turns black, or of a greenish hue. The ject of the architecture of the Greeks. serene sky and the brilliant sun of This temple is in better preservation Greece merely communicate to the marthan any other edifice in Athens : after ble of Paros and Pentelicus, a golden having long been a church dedicated to tint resembling that of ripe corn or the St. George, it is now used for a store autumnal foliage. house.
Next to their general harmony, their The Arvopagus was situated on an accordance with places and sites, their puinonch is the west of tho citadel. adaptation to the purposes for which they
115 were designed, and the high finish of Lyceum, the course of the Illissus, the all the parts, is what must be admired in Stadium, and a temple of Diana or the edifices of Greece. In them, the ob Ceres. In the west and north-west ject which is not intended to be seen, is quarter, towards the large wood of olive wrought with as much care as the ex trees, was the site of the outer Ceraterior compositions. The junctures of micus, the Academy, and its road borthe blocks which form the columns of dered with tombs. Lastly, in the valley the temple of Minerva are so perfect as formed by the Anchesmus and the citadel, to require the greatest attention to dis was seen the modern town cover them, and to leave a mark no You must now figure to yourself all thicker than the finest thread.
this space, partly waste and covered The roses, the plinths, the mould- with a yellow heath; partly interspersed. ings, the astragals, all the details of the with olive-groves, fields of barley, and edifice, exhibit the same perfection. vineyards. Your imagination must reThe lines of the capital, and the fluting present shafts of columns and heaps of of the columns of the Parthenon, are so ancient and modern ruins, scattered sharp, that you would be tempted to among these cultivated lands'; and whitsuppose that the entire column had ened walls, and the enclosures of garpassed through a lathe. No turner's dens intersecting them. You must scat, work in ivory can be more delicate than ter over this space Albanian women the Ionic, ornaments of the temple of fetching water, or washing the garments Erectheus; and the cariatides of the
of the Turks at the wells; peasants goPandroseum are perfect models. If, ing and coming, driving asses, or carryafter viewing the edifices of Rome, those ing provisions on their backs, to the of France appeared coarse to me, the city. You must conceive all these structures of Rome now seem barbarous mountains which have such fine wames, in their turn, since I have seen the mo all these celebrated ruins, all these numents of Greece; not even excepting islands, all these seas not less famous, the Parthenon, with its disproportionate illumined by a brilliant light. From pediment. The comparison may be the summit of the Acropolis, I beheld easily made at Athens, where the Gre the sun rise between the two peaks of cian architecture is often placed quite Mount Hymettus; the crows which close to architecture of Roine.
build their nests around the citadel, but We ascended by the half-destroyed never soar to its summit, hovered below staircase of the minaret; we seated our us; their black and polished wings selves on a broken part of the frieze of were tinged with roseat hues by the first the trmple, and looked around us.
radi nt beams of Aurora ; columns of had Mount Hymettuš on the east; the light blue smoke ascended in the shade, Pentelycus on the north; the Parnes on along the sides of the Hymettus, and the north-west; the Mounts Icarus, Cor marked the gardens where the bees are dyalus, or Ægalæa, on the west, and be kept: Athens, the Acropolis, and the yond the former was perceived the sum ruins of the Parthenon, were coloured mit of the Cithæron; and to the south with the most beautiful tints of peachwest and south appeared to the sea, the blossom; the sculptures of Phidias, Piræus, the coast of Salamis, Ægina, struck horizontally by a ray of gold, Epidarus, and the citadel of Corinth. started into life and seemed to move
Below us, in the hollow, whose cir upon the marble from the mobility of cumference I have just described, were the shadows of the relief; in the disseen the hills and most of the monuments tance, the sea and the Piræus were perof Athens; to the south-west, the hill fectly white with the light; and the ciof the Museum, with the tomb of Phi- tadel of Corinth, reflecting the brilliancy lopappus ; to the west, the rocks of the of the rising day, glowed on the southern Areopagus, the Pnyx, and the Lyca- horizon like a jock of purple and fire. bettus ; to the north, the little mount of From this spot where we were placed Achesmus, , and t) the east the hills we might, in the prosperous times of which overlook the Stadium. Ai the Atheus, have seen her fleets standing very foot of the citadel lay the ruins of out of the Piræus to engage the enemy, the theatre of Bacchus ard of Herodes or to repair to the feasts of Delos: we Atticus. To the left of these ruins might have heard the griefs of Edipe, stood the huge detached columns of the Philoctetus, and Hecuba, burst from the temple of Jupiter Olympius ; and still theatre of Bacchus; we might haye farther off, Jooking towards the north listened to the applauses of the citizens west, we perceived the sitê of the and the orations of Demosthenes. But
alas ! no sound met our ears, save a few but the means proposed were insuffi-
tained the weight, &c. of inflammable
than common air. Soon after it, ocARTS AND SCIENCES.
curred to Dr. Black that a bag filled
with inflammable air might be buoyed XEROSTATION.
up by the atinosphere; but his avocaSince, owing to a late melancholy tions prevented him from pursuing the event, and a combination of other causes, experiment. The same thought occurred the public is taking niore than ordinary some years after to Mr. Cavallo, and he interest in subjects of this nature, we was the tirst to make experiments on the Jay before them the following facts, subject. He tried' bladders, but the trusting, that if they effect no advance thinnest was found too heavy: he then ment in this department of science, they tried Chinese paper, but that proved so will, at least, help to explain its princi permeable, that the vapour easily passed ples, and so far prove acceptable to the through it. His experiments, therefore, Tess scientific portion of our readers. made in 1782, went no further than
In the year 1672, Bishop Wilkins blowing up soap bubbles with infiampublished a treatise, entitled, " The mable air, which ascended rapidly to discovery of the New World ;' in which, the ceiling an:I broke against it. quoting from Albertus de Saxonia and Two brothers, Stephen and John Francis Mendoa, he says, " that the Montgolfier, paper manufacturers, turned air is, in some parts of it, nagivable; their thoughts towards this project in and upon this static principle, any brass 1792. The idea was suggested by the or iron vessel (supposing a kettle), ascent of smoke, and their design was to whose substance is much heavier than enclose sinoke in a bag and make it water, yet being filled with lighter air, carry up the covering. In November will swim upon it, and not sink--so sup that year the experiment was tried with pose a cup or wooden vessel upon the a fine silk bag, of a parallelopiped outward borders of this elementary air, shape. Burning paper was applied to the capacity of it being filled with fire, the lower aperture, and the bag ascended or rather etherial air, it must necessa and struck the ceiling. Tried in the rily, upon the same ground, reinain open air, it rose seventy feet. swinning there, and of itself can no An experiment on a larger scale was more fall than an empty ship can sink." now proposed, and a machine, containThis idea, however, was not pursued, ing 650 cubit feet, was made, which and his hopes of accomplishment rested broke the cordz coiifining it, and rose upon the strength of meil, or springs, &c. 600 feet. Another 35 feet diameter,
The jesuit Francis Lana supposed rose 1,000 feet, and fell three quarters that a metalline vessel miglit be made of a mile from where it ascended. A so large, that when emptied of its air, public exhibition was made on the 5th it would be able to raise itself in the June, 1783, at Annonay. A bag of air, and w take up passengers along with linen lined with paper, containing 23,00) it. The theory, was unexceptionable, cubit feet, had power to lift 500 pounds
tit weight. The operation was began by ascended, and alighted twenty-seven burning chopped straw and wood under miles from Paris. On M. Robert get the balloon, which inimediately began ting out of the boat, it ascended with M. to swell. This mounted in teu mi Charles 9000 feet, entirely out of the putes 6,000 feet, and fell 7,668 feet fiom sight of terrestrial objects. He opened where it rose.
the valve to prevent its buisting, on One of these brothers tried another which the inflammable air diffused i'experiment at the expence of the Aca self all round, and felt like a warm atdemy of Sciences. This machine listed mosphere. It suddenly became cold; from the ground eight persons who held his fingers were benumbed, and he feit it, and would have carried them off if violent pain in his right car and jaw; more had not assisted. A wicker cage which he ascribed to ihe dilation of was attached, containing a sheep, a these organs. The beauty of the proscock, and a duck, which were the first pect, however, compensated for these animals, ever seat through the atmos inconveniences. The sun was set on phere. 'It rose 1410 feet, and tell 10,200 the vallies ; he saw for a few seconds feet off.
vapours rising from the vallies and rivers. M. Montgolfier proposed to make a The clouds seemed to ascend from the new ærostatic machine of firmer con earth, and collect olie upon the othoi, struction than the former, and M. Pelatre still preserving their usual form; their de Rozier offered himself to be the first colour, grey and nionotonous for wat aerial adventurer. This machine was of sufficient light in the atmosphere. By constructed in a garden in the. Faux the moon's light he perceived the mabourgh de St. Antoine. It was of an chine was turning round with him in the oval shape, 45 feet in diameter, and 7+ air, and he observed there were cons in height. A gallery, grate, &c. were trary currents which brought him back appended, so chat the person who as again. He observed, also, the effects cended could supply the fire with fuel, of the wind, and that his streamers and keep up the machine as long as he pointed upwards ; which, he says, could pleased. The weight of the apparatus
not be the effect of ascent or descent, as was 1600 pounds. The experiment was he was moving horizontally. He gently persormed on the 15th of October, 1782, alighted in a field three miles distant M. Pilatre ro se 81 feet, where he kept from whence he set out. He rose this it afloat four minutes and a half; after time 10,500 feet; a height greater than which it descended gently; but such was that of Mount Etna. its tendency to rise, that it rebounded Several unsuccessful attempts have some distance after touching the ground,
been made to affix vars or sails to bal. On repeating the experiment in calm loons, for the purpose of controling weather, he ascended 210 feat. Some them; but M. Jean Pierre was the first time after he descended in company of these experimentalists. In his third with M. Girond de Villette to the heiglit aerial voyage he seemed to produce of 330 feet ; hovering over Paris at least some effect by the agitation of his wir.gs, nine minutes in sight of all of the inha both in ascending, descending, moving bitants, and the machine keeping all the sideways, and even, in some measure, while perfectly steady.
against the wind; in all his succeeding It was now obvious these machines voyages, the effects of his machinery might be raised or lowered at the will could not be perceived. of the person who ascended. On the A scheme was put in execution by M. 21st of November, therefore, M. Pilatre Pilatre de Rozier, and M. Romaine, to determined to take a flight in the bal raise or lower the machine by means of loon with full liberty. M. Pilatre as a small balloon with rarified air fixed cended with the Marquis d'Arlandes, under an inflammable air balloon. They and in twenty-five minutes passed over ascended without appearance of danger; five miles.
but had not been long in the atmosphere, M. Montgolfer designed to keep the when the inflammable air balloon was secret from the world, but it could not seen to swell very considerably, at the be concealed. Inflammable air was afn same time that the æronauts were obterwards tried in the place of rarified served very anxious to get down, and air ; but frequently from ignorance of hurried in pulling the valve, and openthe proper apparatus with which to filling the appendages to the balloon, in the balloon, whole days were lost in the order to facilitate the escape of as much attempt.
inflammable air as possible. A short In 1783 Mesars, Robert and Charles time after this the whole machine was