« السابقةمتابعة »
havock made of the Mexicans in its progress, and the persevering resistance of Quautemotzin * the new king.
The particulars of this conquest of Cortez are highly interesting, but they are extremely well known; and on this account we notice his expedition very slightly: for the same reason we shall pass kastily over the history of the conquerors of Peru. The courage and the patriotism of the unfortunate prince and his subjects, render them very dear to us, while the baseness, the ingratitude, and the cruelty of the treacherous Cortez, have stamped liis memory with indelible infamy. Our author rarely indulges any reflections; but those which he has introduced on this conquest, are just and inpressive.
* Nothing was wanting but a good cause to render this conquest one of the most illustrious achievements recorded in ancient or modern history: but while we admire the action as great, we condemn it as criminal. The sanguinary customs of the Mexicans were indeed abolished, by the introduction of European principles and manners; but at what expense? The victors in one year of merciless massacre, sacrificed more human victims to avarice and ambition, than the Indians, during the existence of their empire, devoted to their gods. The forms of justice were established; but by what means ? The Indian princes were despoiled of their territory and tributes, tortured for gold, and their posterity enslaved. The Christian religion was introduced ; but in what manner, and with what effect ? · Her mild parental voice,' to use the words of Clavigero, 'was suborned to terrify confounded savages ; and her gentle arm was in violence lifted up, to raze their temples and hospitable liabitations, to ruin every fond relic, and revered monument of their ancestry and origin, and divorce them in anguish from the bosom of their country.'
In the account of the Spanish settlements, the intelligent reader will recognise the use which has been made of Dr. Robertson's history ; but the additional matter contained in the notes, will convince him, that the best Spanish writers have been consulted. The account of the settlements made by the French, English, and Dutch, is so interesting and satisfactory, that we shall continue the article in a succeeding number. Our readers, by combining the narratives we propose to insert, with the historical view of North American settlements in our first volume, p. 321, will complete the account of European colonization in that vast continent.
* His name is commonly written Guatimozin, or Guatimotzin, but in the orthography of names, our author follows the Abbé Claa vigero, who was a native of Vera Cruz, and acquired the Mexican language.
Art. XXIII. Voyage en Moree, &c. Travels in the Morea, to Constan
tinople, in Albania, and in many other parts of the Ottoman Empire. in the Years 1798, 1799, 1800, 1801. By F C. H. L. Pouqueville, M. D. Member of the Commission of Sciences and Arts of Egypt,
&c. in 3 vols. 8vo. about 1180 pp. Paris, 1805. EVERY circumstance that can render any region interesting to us, at
taches to the scene of this important work. We have travelled it over and over in our youb with the illustrious great whose ashes it entombs; and the studies of early life are so dear to our remembrance from associated circumstances, that they communicate their ini'uence to every subject on which they were employed. With what varied emotions we consider the various scenes whose records we then perused, and renew the pleasure we formerly felt in contemplating the great, the warlike, the wise, and, in some sense, the virtuous! Whether we trace its political, moral, or intellectual changes, the retrospect of Greece is highly affecting. The most enlightened country of Europe is become the most barbarous; and instead of excessive admiration, excites a compassion that borders on contempt: the cradle of freedom is become its grave; the mother, or rather the adopting queen, of genius, art, and science, is the degraded slave of ignorance and cunning; and the country, which bad heard from the sacred lips of apostles, what philosophers had in vain struggled to learn, or pretended to teach, is, we fear, the prey of every vice that rages in the wilderness of brutal oppression.
Those who thus consider the state of the inhabitants, will eagerly explore, in the company of M. Pouq:eville, the eventful regions which they have travelled with Strabo and Pausanias. · The places remain, the relics of departed greatpess; the stadium, the theatre, the temple, remainempty! The scenes of the curiously balanced constitutions of democracy still exist, but the inhabitants gran beneath a foreign yoke. One picture night serve for the whole political condition of the country; a crafty Greek, holding with trembling hand the subordinate power which he possesses, beneath the frowns and extortions of an arrogant Mussulman, and venung on his more degraded fellows, who crouch beneath his feet, the clamours of insatiable avarice, and the fury of exasperated pride.
May not some hardy deliverer restore the glory of his country ? Certainly: it courage and subulty could effect it. M. Pouqueville assures us that it still produces vigorous bodies and hale constitutions, with a degree of running and address which few nations can rival. But where is the public spirit, the mutual communication and confidence, the hope of distinction? Where is the enlightened, comprehensive, energetic mind, to see, to combine, to invigorate?
Greece was originally peopled at various times, and by heterogeneous colonies from different regions. Antient distinctions, we find, still exist nearly unimpaired. The strength of the inhabitants is split into small divisions, and the ancient principles of confederation are forgotten. Liberty is no more ; Education is no more: the love of glory is departed
From these various considerations, we fear that all the relief the Greeks can expect, is only a change of masters. The events
of every hour tender this subject increasingly interesting: we shall therefore enter at some length into the volumes before us.
Few travellers have braved the difficulties of an excursion in the Morea. Fewer still have traversed from coast to coast, or have ventured to quit the high roads leading from city to city. Hence the internal parts of this peninsula have continued little known to us; and our information has rather been collected incidentally, than obtained through any direct or regular channel. Many distinct tribes of people, also, continue undescribed; and if we are not obliged to the traveller before us for introducing us to a Grecian world entirely new, yet we readily acknowledge that many of his descriptions are more complete, as to their parts, if not more interesting as to their subjects, than most which have hitherto reached us. His fattery of Bonaparte, and his virulence against Bri
tain and British ambassadors, must be considered as the order of the day in the country where he publishes. We are content he should ” speak daggers," if” he use none.” They have not excited our anger, but our smile; or rather our regret, that a man of understanding should find himself under the necessity of submitting to such a degradation.
Accident frequently accomplishes, what no talents or qualifications Jould hope to achieve, or even dare to attempt; and the misfortune of captivity that overtook our author, gave him facilities for obtaining information, which perhaps nothing else could have acquired. M. Pouqueville accompanied the army of Bonaparte to Egypt, in the character of Physician and Savant. He quitted that country in a Leghorn tartan, the 14 Brumaire An. 7. (November 1793.) on his return to France; but was taken in the neighbourhood of Calabria, by a corsair of Tripoli ; who being alarmed at the appearance of a frigate, separated from his prize, which was carried by the prize master into the port of Navarin, in the Morea. From hence, after a time, M. P. was sent, with others, to Constantinople, to which city he travelled partly by land, partly by water. He met with a considerable number of his countrymen, prisoners in the Seven Towers, whence he was at length released, and quitted Turkey Sept. 9, 1803. Being thus thrown, unintentionally, on a coast, which is seldom visited by Europeans, and crossing in his journey an extent of country, into which travellers rarely penetrate, he had opportunities of observing and reporting many subjects, comparatively new, as well as extremely interesting. His profession, also, afforded him the privileges of a more intimate intercourse with persons and families, than can be enjoyed by passing strangers, however strongly recommended.
Our readers will readily imagine, that no man acquainted with the events of their antient history, could visit Mantinea, Argos, Olympia, Corinth, Thebes, Sparta, &c. without experiencing the most lively sensations; and the literati will acknowledge their obligations to our author, not merely for descriptions of places, and objects which he saw, but for various hints capable of being rendered extremely useful, if ever this country should be subjected to the investigation of enlightened curiosity.
These volumes contain a great variety of subjects. They hardly admit of analysis, but may be considered as composed of three or more disdistinct narrations. First that of Dr. P. himself, describing his route from Navarin to Constantinople; secondly, that of the officers, his friends, from whom he had been separated, when taken prisoner, from Patras to Constantinople; thirdly, various information collected from the garisons of Zante and Corfou, sent to the general prison, and par«
ticularly from M. M. Poitevin, Charbonnel, and Bessieres, who, though prisoners, enjoyed some degree of liberty, and had opportunities of making a variety of remarks, which they communicated to the writer before us.
Instead of attempting to follow the order of this work, we shall select foi translation such passages, as contain information not readily to be found in other writers: presenting first, those which relate to Geography, rather antient than modern ; secondly, those which describe the present races of Greeks; and thirdly, those which refer to the concerns and character of the Turks.
The present state of those once flourishing Greek cities which are distinguished in antient history by their magnificence, their importance, or the splendour of their exploits, cannot but be interesting to every liberal mind.
The site of Mantinea is now a marsh. This city was of an oval form; the remains of its walls are in some places six feet high, and more than eighteen feet thick, solidly built with stone, brought from Mount Artemisius. It had four principal gates, leading to Achaia, to Argos, to Tegea, and to Megalopolis. While M. P. was on the spot, a Greek discovered, in a place probably allotted to the Stadium, a small statue, in perfect preservation.' Perhaps more might be found by digging. The plain of Mantinea is about five leagues in length, from North to South ; and three in breadth. It is strewed with fragments of columns, and ruined inscriptions. The sides of the hills around it are covered with vineyards. . About a league from Mount Menalus, towards Tegea, is the field of battle, wherein the Nelson of Bæotia fell in the arms of victory. "THIS SPOT WHERE SO MANY HEROES REPOSE, IS COVERED WITH LAURELS AND ROSEMARY, WHICH PULCHRES. Vol. I. p. 85.
Olympia appears to have been ascertained by M. Fauvel, one of our Author's companions in adversity. He observed some workmen of the Aga, who were then, fortunately for him, digging for building materials. They had not dug far, when they discovered several shafts of columns, futed, exceeding six feet in diameter. The first row of stones of the cella were five feet in height, and preserved their original situation. Our Author affirms, on his own observation, that a traveller who should en-, gage in researches in this place, could hardly fail of his reward.
" If he no longer finds the temple of Jupiter, or that of Juno, or of Vesta, he will discover other objects worthy of his curiosity. Let him take advantage of the autumn season, when the trees have shed their leaves, and the earth is washed by the rains. At every step he will meet with antient shields, fragments of bas reliefs, and bronze trophies, easily recoverable, by a little labour, from that load of adventitious soil, which now overwhelms them. I affirm, without hesitation, that the remains of early ages are here preserved. The inundations of the Alpheus, which occasionally extend to great distances, have carried sand and earth over the greater part of the Altis and Olympia. The leaves fallen from the trees, and other vegetable substances, amassed, have also contributed ta elevate the soil: but in general the accession does not exceed six or eight. 1eet in height, which is daily encreased by new layers, brought by the torrents from the mountains, as well as by the river, in the time of floods. Such is the situation of Olympia. The village of Miraca, at no great distance, in the side of a hill, is wholly inhabited by Greeks, and is governed by an Aga. These good people would, for a trifle, dig at
DECORATE THEIR UNKNOWN
any spot to which they might be directed. They collect bronzes; and among the number of medals which they find, some valuable ones might doubtless be selected. pp. 124—130.
Corinth claims our notice, as a city interesting by its antient character, the eye of Greece; where the arts and sciences, commerce, philosophy and libertinism, held divided empire. It also occupies a distinguished place in the Gospel history; and the manners of its citizens, in those early ages of the church, their mistakes, and inadvertencies, continue to be of use even to ourselves, distant as we are, both in time, and place, by the admonitions, exhortations, and reproofs, to which they gave occasion. M. P. thus describes this city.
“ Let not the traveller seek in Corinth the remains of those sumptuous edifices which formerly were its ornament, and its boast. Corinth, once the sanctuary of the fine arts, Corinth, that city where riches, luxury, and pleasures strove to outvie each othe that Corinth, in short, which filled the universe with its fame, is now but a mere huddle of houses, a decrepid city, the inhabitants of which, tormented by the double scourge of misery and disease, for the most part resemble phantoms returned from the sepulchre.
“ It would be difficult to fix the site of Corinth, were it not absolutely ascertained by the Isthmus, and did not the murmur of the two seas, which rebounds from the Geranian Mount, rouse the traveller from his melancholy meditations.
Corinth, built at the foot of Mount Geranius, but nearer to the sea of Crissa than to the gulf of Salamine, possesses at this time, several wealthy commercial houses, which nothing but profit can detain in a situ. ation so unhealthy. It is commanded by the fortress of Acrocorinthus, into which Christians are not admitted. But the cannon of this citadel cannot protect the city; indeed, by reason of its immense elevation, it seems to be constructed principally for the eagles which soar around it.
"The antiquities of Corinth offer nothing but eleven doric columns. Hot baths, perhaps those of Helen, still exist at the foot of Mount Geranius ; and the traveller may visit the situation occupied by the stadium, where the ancients celebrated games in honour of Melicerta.
"From this spot, now waste, it is about an hour's walk to Acrocorinthus. In the precipices of this rock nothing is seen but shafts of columns, half-broken bases, and entire pillars of the most highly valued marbles. It is said, that this citadel yet preserves several interesting remains of antiquity; such as the fountain of Pyrene, wholly constructed of white marble, a quantity of bas reliefs, and various unpublished inscriptions.
" From this sublime point, what magnificent view extends over the whole of Greece! Achaia, Sicyonia, Argos and its eminences, the Parthenius, the Taygetus, Naupli and its Palamides, the wide-spread gulf of Argos, and the shores of Laconia, are beheld at a single glance. At the feet of the spectator lie the sea of Lepanto, and the gulph of Enghia. Megara, Salamis, and Eleusis form part of the view. The vessels quitting the Pireus at Athens, in its days of prosperity, might be discerned from this point. Epidaurus, Egina, Caiauria, are in front, as likewise is the region of the Hermionides, which mingles its azure tints with those of the sea. The eye wanders also on Mount Cytheron, and examines the double peaks,-- but the whole soul of the spectator is insufficient for the objects which surround it. The isthmus is called by the modern