« السابقةمتابعة »
cornices, are now the only remains of this once magnificent structure.
Near to it are the ruins of the temple of the winds. The Triton which stood at the top, so contrived as to point with his wand to each wind, is no more to be seen; but the figures with their proper attributes may be traced. I easily discovered the God Zephyrus represented as a beautiful young man gliding with a scarcely perceptible motion and surrounded by flowers.
Above all stands the Parthenon, the most renowned temple in Greece. Here the people of Attica, regardless of their several religious dissentions, joined in an unanimous worship. As I was passing between two of the columns I perceived some men watching me with a sort of suspicion and jealousy, which being little disposed to encounter, I avoided and quitted the city. I quitted it with the sad consciousness that the whole of this country, the plains of Marathon and the pass of Thermopylæ, are under the dominion of the Turks.
Athens is governed by a Vaivode, who buys the office of the chief of the black eunuchs, to whom the whole revenue belongs.
I am always disposed rather to discover the cause of misery than to distress or indulge myself in lamentations over its existence. The decline and fall of empires proceed from causes as certain in their operation as any other cause in nature. I saw in the horizon the island of Calaurea, where Demosthenes is buried: I was on the very spot where he opposed the misguided multitude; where he in vain exhorted a heedless people to remember that, as vice hurries individuals to destruction, it converts a living nation into a sepulchre. The city is a ruin; the country is governed by unlettered barbarians: but it is some consolation to reflect that the mighty heart is not still.
« Of all those massive temples,” says a favourite author,
author, “which for pomp or pleasure “ were builded in goodly Athens, scarcely one stone “ doth stand upon another: and yet those strains “ which were chaunted by sweet Menander, learned
Euripides, lofty Sophocles, scarce noted by the “ vulgar, and counted by the most but as thin air; “ these are familiar to our ears, our instructors at
school, our solace in old age: and the walls that “ did echo them are laid low: so will it ever be when “ the hand of man doth strive with the imperish“ able spirit, the mortal with the immortal.” With this consolation I proceeded.
left was the river Ilyssus: on my right, close under the walls of the Acropolis, the theatre of Bacchus, where the Athenians performed their dramas and where the statues of their dramatic poets were placed. I passed over the hill where the poet Musæus is buried, to the very spot where the Academy, where the schools of Pythagoras, of Plato, of Isocrates, and of Aristotle flourished.
The thoughts of an Englishman, in joy or in sorrow, turn untravelled to his own country. And did these schools produce more celebrated philosophers, orators, historians, poets, and princes, than the universities of England ? Were the youth of
Greece and of Rome more ardent in the pursuit of knowledge than the young men of England ? It has been said that the youth of former times were animated by the love of excellence, which is a permanent motive of action; and that we are stimulated by the love of excelling, which operates injuriously, or ceases soon after our entrance into life.
An author of a very valuable work, when speaking of education in England, says, “The youths that attended upon Pythagoras, Socrates, Plato, and Epictetus, were thus educated. Their every day lessons and instructions were so many lectures upon the nature of man, his true end, and the right use of his faculties ; upon the immortality of the soul, its relation to God, the beauty of virtue, and its agreeableness to the divine nature; upon the dignity of reason, the necessity of temperance, fortitude and generosity, and the shame and folly of indulging our passions. An education under Pythagoras, or Socrates, had no other end, but to teach you to think, judge, act,
and follow such rules of life, as Pythagoras and Socrates used. But alas, our modern education is not of this kind. The first temper that we try to awaken in children, is pride; as dangerous a passion as that of lust. We stir them up to vain thoughts of themselves, and do every thing we can, to puff up
their minds with a sense of their own abilities. Whatever way of life we intend them for, we apply to the fire and vanity of their minds, and exhort them to every thing from corrupt motives: We stir them up to action from principles of strife and ambition, from glory, envy, and a desire of distinction, that they may excel others, and shine in the eyes of the world. We repeat and inculcate these motives upon them, till they think it a part of their duty to be proud, envious, and vain-glorious of their own accomplishments. And when we have taught them to scorn to be outdone by any, to bear no rival, to thirst after every instance of applause, to be content with nothing but the highest distinctions; then we begin to take