« السابقةمتابعة »
mostrò fornito più di corraggio, che di senno. Non pago della prima dignità, entrò con sinistro piede nel pubblico Palazzo: imperciocche questo Doge de Veneti, magistrato sacro in tutti i secoli, che dagli antichi fù sempre venerato qual nume in quella città, 'altr' jeri fù decollato nel vestibolo dell' istesso Palazzo. Discorrerei fin dal principio le cause di un tale evvento, e cosi vario, ed ambiguo non ne fosse il grido. Nessuno però lo scusa, tutti affermano, che egli abbia voluto cangiar qualche cosa nell' ordine della repubblica a lui tramandato dai maggiori. Che desiderava egli di più ? Io son d' avviso, che egli abbia ottenuto ciò, che non si concedette a nessun altro: mentre adempiva gli ufficj di legato presso il Pontefice, e sulle rive del Rodano trattava la pace, che io prima di lui avevo indarno tentato di conchiudere, gli fù conferito l' onore del Ducato, che ne chiedeva, ne s' aspettava. Tornato in patria, pensò a quello, cui nessuno non pose mente giammai, e soffrt quello, che a niuno accadde mai di soffrire: giacchè in quel luogo celeberrimo, e chiarissimo, e bellissimo infra tutti quelli, che io vidi, ove i suoi antenati avevano ricevuti grandissimi onori in mezzo alle pompe trionfali, ivi egli fù trascinato in modo servile, e spogliato delle insegne ducali, perdette la testa, e macchiò col proprio sangue le soglie del tempio, l'atrio del Palazzo, e le scale marmore rendute spesse volte illustri o dalle solenni festività, o dalle ostili spoglie. Hò notato il luogo, ora noto il tempo: è l'an nodel Natale di Cristo 1355, fù il giorno 18 d' Aprile. Si alto è il grido sparso, che se alcuno esaminerà la disciplina, e le costumanze di quella città, e quanto mutamento di cose venga minacciato dalla morte di un sol uomo (quantunque molti altri, come narrano, essendo complici, o subirono l'istesso supplicio, o lo aspettano) si accorgerà, che nulla di più grande avvenne ai nostri tempi nella Italia. Tu forse qui attend il mio giudizio: assolvo il popolo, se credere alla fama, benchè abbia potuto e castigare più mitemente, e con maggior dolcezza vendicare il suo dolore: ma non cosi facilmente. si modera un' ira giusta insieme, e grande in un numeroso popolo principalmente, nel quale il precipitoso, ed instabile volgo aguzza gli stimoli dell' irracondia con rapidi, e sconsigliati clamori. Compatisco, e nell' istesso tempo mi adiro con quell' infelice uomo, il quale adorno di un' insolito onore, non so, che cosa si volesse negli estremi anni della sua vita: la calamità di lui diviene sempre più grave, perchè dalla sentenza contra di esso promulgata aperirà, che egli fù non solo misero, ma insano, e demente, e che con vane arti si usurpo per tanti anni una falsa fama di sapienza. Ammonisco i Dogi, i quali gli succederano, che questo e un' esempio posto inanzi ai loro occhj, quale specchio, nel quale veggano d' essere non Signori, ma Duci, anzi nemmeno Duci, ma onorati servi della Repubblica. Tu sta sano; e giacchè fluttuano le pubbliche cose, sforsiamosi di governar modestissimamente i privati nostri affari."-LEVATI, Viaggi di Petrarca, vol. iv. p. 323.
The above Italian translation from the Latin epistles of Petrarch proves-1stly, That Marino Faliero was a personal friend of Petrarch's; "antica dimestichezza," old intimacy, is the phrase of the poet. 2dly, That Petrarch thought that he had more courage than conduct, " più di corraggio che di senno." 3dly, That there was some jealousy on the part of Petrarch; for he says that Marino Faliero was treating of the peace which he himself had "vainly attempted to conclude." 4thly, That the honour of the dukedom was conferred upon him, which he neither sought nor expected, " che nè chiedeva nè aspettava," and which had never been granted to any other in like circumstances, "ciò che non si concedette a nessun altro," a proof of the high esteem in which he must have been held. 5thly, That he had a reputation for wisdom, only forfeited by the last enterprise of his life," si usurpò per tanti anni una falsa fama di sapienza."-"He had usurped for so many years a false fame of wisdom," rather a difficult task, I should think. People are generally found out before eighty years of age, at least in a republic. - From these, and the
1 Correspondence of M. Schlick, French chargé d'affaires. Despatch of 24th August, 1752. 2 Ibid. Despatch, 31st August.
3 Ibid. Despatch of 3d September, 1785.
other historical notes which I have collected, it may be inferred that Marino Faliero possessed many of the qualities, but not the success of a hero; and that his passions were too violent. The paltry and ignorant account of Dr. Moore falls to the ground. Petrarch says, “that there had been no greater event in his times" (our times literally), “nostri tempi," in Italy. He also differs from the historian in saying that Faliero was "on the banks of the Rhone," instead of at Rome, when elected; the other accounts say, that the deputation of the Venetian senate met him at Ravenna. How this may have been, it is not for me to decide, and is of no great importance. Had the man succeeded, he would have changed the face of Venice, and perhaps of Italy. As it is, what are they both?
"That freedom of manners, which had been long boasted of as the principal charm of Venetian society, had degenerated into scandalous licentiousness: the tie of marriage was less sacred in that Catholic country, than among those nations where the laws and religion admit of its being dissolved. Because they could not break the contract, they fcigned that it had not existed; and the ground of nullity, immodestly alleged by the married pair, was admitted with equal facility by priests and magistrates, alike corrupt. These divorces, veiled under another name, became so frequent, that the most important act of civil society was discovered to be amenable to a tribunal of exceptions; and to restrain the open scandal of such proceedings became the office of the police. In 1782, the Council of Ten decreed, that every woman who should sue for a dissolution of her marriage should be compelled to await the decision of the judges in some convent, to be named by the court. 1 Soon afterwards the same council summoned all causes of that nature before itself. 2 This infringement on ecclesiastical jurisdiction having occasioned some remonstrance from Rome, the council retained ouly the right of rejecting the petition of the married persons, and consented to refer such causes to the holy office as it should not previously have rejected. 3
"There was a moment in which, doubtless, the destruction of private fortunes, the ruin of youth, the domestic discord occasioned by these abuses, determined the government to depart from its established maxims concerning the freedom of manners allowed the subject. All the courtesans were banished from Venice; but their absence was not enough to reclaim and bring back good morals to a whole people brought up in the most scandalous licentiousness. Depravity reached the very bosoms of private families, and even into the cloister; and they found themselves obliged to recall, and oven to indemnify women who sometimes gained possession of im portant secrets, and who might be usefully employed in the ruin of men whose fortunes might have rendered them dangerous. Since that time licentiousness has gone on increasing; and we have seen mothers, not only selling the innocence of their daughters, but selling it by a contract,
4 The decree for their recall designates them as nostre benemerite meretrici; a fund and some houses, called Case rumpine, were assigned to ther; hence the approbrious appeliation of Carumjans.
authenticated by the signature of a public officer, and the performance of which was secured by the protection of the laws. !
"The parlours of the convents of noble ladies, and the houses of the courtesans, though the police carefully kept up a number of spies about them, were the only assemblies for society in Venice; and in these two places, so different from each other, there was equal freedom. Music, collations, gallantry, were not more forbidden in the parlours than at the casinos. There were a number of casinos for the purpose of public assemblies, where gaming was the principal pursuit of the company. It was a strange sight to see persons of either sex masked, or grave in their magisterial robes, round a table, invoking chance, and giving way at one instant to the agonies of despair, at the next to the illusions of hope, and that without uttering a single word.
"The rich had private casinos, but they lived incognito in them; and the wives whom they abandoned found compensation in the liberty they enjoyed. The corruption of morals had deprived them of their empire. We have just reviewed the whole history of Venice, and we have not once seen them exercise the slightest influence."-DARU: Hist. de la Répub de l'énise, vol. v. p. 95.
THE TWO FOSCARI.
Note [A]. See p. 277.
The best English account of the incidents on which this play is founded, is given in the second volume of the Reverend Mr. Smedley's "Sketches of Venetian History," and is as follows: "THE reign of Francesco Foscari had now been prolonged to the unusual period of thirty-four years, and these years were marked by almost continual warfare; during which, however, the courage, the firmness, and the sagacity of the illustrious Doge had won four rich provinces for his country, and increased her glory not less than her dominion. Ardent, enterprising, and ambitious of the glory of conquest, it was not without much opposition that Foscari had obtained the Dogeship; and he soon discovered that the throne which he had coveted with so great earnestness was far from being a seat of repose. Accordingly, at the peace of Ferrara, which in 1433 succeeded a calamitous war, foreseeing the approach of fresh and still greater troubles, and wearied by the factions which ascribed all disasters to the Prince, he tendered his abdication to the senate, and was refused. A like offer was renewed by him when nine years' further experience of sovereignty had confirmed his former estimate of its cares ; and the Council, on this second occasion, much more from adherence to existing institutions than from any attachment to the person of the Doge, accompanied their negative with the exaction of an oath that he would retain his burdensome dignity for life. Too early, alas! was he to be taught that life, on such conditions, was the heaviest of curses! Three out of his four sons were already dead: to Giacopo, the survivor, he looked for the continuation of his name and the support of his declining age; and, from that youth's intermarriage with the illustrious house of Contarini, and the popular joy with which his nuptials were celebrated, the Doge drew favourable auspices for future happiness. Four years, however, had scarcely elapsed from the conclusion of that well-omened marriage, when a series of calamities began, from which death alone was to relieve either the son or his yet more wretched father. In 1445, Giacopo Foscari was denounced to the Ten, as having received presents from foreign potentates, and especially from Filippo-Maria Visconti. The offence, according to the law, was one of the most heinous which a noble
1 Mayer, Description of Venice, vol. ii.; and M. Archenholz, Picture of Italy, vol. i. ch. 2.
could commit. Even if Giacopo were guiltless of infringing that law, it was not easy to establish innocence before a Venetian tribunal. Under the eyes of his own father, compelled to preside at the unnatural examination, a confession was extorted from the prisoner, on the rack; and, from the lips of that father, he received the sentence which banished him for life to Napoli di Romania. On his passage, severe illness delayed him at Trieste; and, at the especial prayer of the Doge, a less remote district was assigned for his punishment: he was permitted to reside at Treviso, and his wife was allowed to participate his exile.
"It was in the commencement of the winter of 1450, while Giacopo Foscari rested, in comparative tranquillity, within the bounds to which he was restricted, that an assassination occurred in the streets of Venice. Hermolao Donato, a Chief of the Ten, was murdered on his return from a sitting of that council, at his own door, by unknown hands. The magnitude of the offence and the violation of the high dignity of the Ten demanded a victim; and the coadjutors of the slain magistrate caught with eager grasp at the slightest clue which suspicion could afford. A domestic in the service of Giacopo Foscari had been seen in Venice on the evening of the murder; and on the following morning, when met in a boat off Mestre by a Chief of the Ten, and asked, What news?' he had answered by reporting the assassination, several hours before it was generally known. It might seem that such frankness of itself disproved all participation in the crime; for the author of it was not likely thus unseasonably and prematurely to disclose its committal. But the Ten thought differently, and matters which to others bore conviction of innocence, to them savoured strongly of guilt. The servant was arrested, examined, and barbarously tortured; but even the eightieth application of the strappado failed to elicit one syllable which might justify condemnation. That Giacopo Foscari had experienced the severity of the Council's judgment, and that its jealous watchfulness was daily imposing some new restraint upon his father's authority, powerfully operated to convince the Ten that they must themselves in return be objects of his deadly enmity. Who else, they said, could be more likely to arm the hand of an assassin against a Chief of the Ten. than one whom the Ten have visited with punishment? On this unjust and unsupported surmise, the young Foscari was recalled from Treviso, placed on the rack which his servant had just vacated, tortured again in his father's presence, and not absolved even after he resolutely persisted in denial unto
"The wrongs, however, which Giacopo Foscari endured had by no means chilled the passionate love with which he continued to regard his ungrateful country. He was now excluded from all communication with his family, torn from the wife of his affections, debarred from the society of his children, hopeless of again embracing those parents who had already far outstripped the natural term of human existence; and to his imagination, for ever centering itself upon the single desire of return, life presented no other object deserving pursuit; till, for the attainment of this wish, life itself at length appeared to be scarcely more than an adequate sacrifice. Preyed upon by this fever of the heart, after six years' unavailing suit for a remission of punishment, in the summer of 1456, he addressed a letter to the Duke of Milan, imploring his good offices with the senate. That letter, purposely left open in a place obvious to the spies by whom, even in his exile, he was surrounded, and afterwards intrusted to an equally treacherous hand for delivery to Sforza, was conveyed, as the writer intended, to the Council of Ten; and the result, which equally fulfilled his expectation, was a hasty summons to Venice to answer for the heavy crime of soliciting foreign intercession with his native government.
"For a third time, Francesco Foscari listened to the accusation of his son; for the first time he heard him only avow the charge of his accusers, and calmly state that his offence, such as it was, had been committed designedly and aforethought, with the sole object of detection, in order that he might be brought back, even as a malefactor, to Venice. This prompt and voluntary declaration, however, was not sufficient
to decide the nice hesitation of his judges. Guilt, they said, might be too easily admitted as well as too pertinaciously denied; and the same process therefore by which, at other times, confession was wrested from the hardened criminal might now compel a too facile self-accuser to retract his acknowledgment. The father again looked on while his son was raised on the accursed cord no less than thirty times, in order that, under his agony, he might be induced to utter lying declaration of innocence. But this cruelty was exercised in vain; and, when nature gave way, the sufferer was carried to the apartments of the Doge, torn, bleeding, senseless, and dislocated, but firm in his original purpose. Nor had his persecutors relaxed in theirs; they renewed his sentence of exile, and added that its first year should be passed in prison. Before he embarked, one interview was permitted with his family. The Doge, as Sanuto, perhaps unconscious of the pathos of his simplicity, has narrated, was an aged and decrepit man, who walked with the support of a crutch, and when he came into the chamber, he spake with great firmness, so that it might seem it was not his son whom he was addressing, but it was his son-his only son. 'Go, Giacopo,' was his reply, when prayed for the last time to solicit mercy;
Go, Giacopo, submit to the will of your country, and seek nothing farther.' This effort of self-restraint was beyond the powers, not of the old man's enduring spirit, but of his exhausted frame; and when he retired, he swooned in the arms of his attendants. Giacopo reached his Candian prison, and was shortly afterwards released by death.
"Francesco Foscari, far less happy in his survival, continued to live on, but it was in sorrow and feebleness, which prevented attention to the duties of his high office: he remained secluded in his chamber, never went abroad, and absented himself even from the sittings of the council. No practical inconvenience could result from this want of activity in the chief magistrate; for the constitution sufficiently provided against any accidental suspension of his personal functions, and his place in council, and on state occasions, was supplied by an authorised deputy. Some indulgence, moreover, might be thought due to the extreme age and domestic griefs of Foscari; since they appeared to promise that any favour which might be granted would be claimed but for a short period. But yet farther trials were in store. Giacopo Loredano, who in 1467 was appointed one of the Chiefs of the Ten, belonged to a family between which and that of Foscari an hereditary feud had long existed. His uncle Pietro, after gaining high distinction in active service, as Admiral of Venice, on his return to the capital headed the political faction which opposed the warlike projects of the Doge; divided applause with him by his eloquence in the councils; and so far extended his influence as frequently to obtain majorities in their divisions. In an evil moment of impatience, Foscari once publicly avowed in the senate, that so long as Pietro Loredano lived he should never feel himself really to be Doge. Not long afterwards, the Admiral, engaged as Provveditore with one of the armies opposed to Filippo- Maria, died suddenly at a military banquet given during a short suspension of arms; and the evil-omened words of Foscari were connected with his decease. It was remarked, also, that his brother Marco Loredano, one of the Avvogadori, died, in a somewhat similar manner, while engaged in instituting a legal process against a son-in-law of the Doge, for peculation upon the state. The foul rumours partially excited by these untoward coincidences, for they appear in truth to have been no more, met with little acceptation, and were rejected or forgotten except by a single bosom. Giacopo, the son of one, the nephew of the other deceased Loredano, gave full credit to the accusation, inscribed on his father's tomb at Sta. Elena that he died by poison, bound himself by a solemn vow to the most deadly and unrelenting pursuit of revenge, and fulfilled that vow to the uttermost.
quarrel thus heightened, Foscari might now conceive himself to be the most injured party. Not such was the impression of Giacopo Loredano: year after year he grimly awaited the season most fitted for his unbending purpose; and it arrived at length when he found himself in authority among the Ten. Relying upon the ascendency belonging to that high station, he hazarded a proposal for the deposition of the aged Doge, which was at first, however, received with coldness; for those who had twice before refused a voluntary abdication, shrank from the strange contradiction of now demanding one on compulsion. A junta was required to assist in their deliberations, and among the assessors elected by the Great Council, in complete ignorance of the purpose for which they were needed, was Marco Foscari, a Procuratore of St. Mark, and brother of the Doge himself. The Ten perceived that to reject his assistance might excite suspicion, while to procure his apparent approbation would give a show of impartiality to their process: his nomination, therefore, was accepted; but he was removed to a separate apartment, excluded from the debate, sworn to keep that exclusion secret, and yet compelled to assent to the final decree in the discussion of which he had not been allowed to participate. The Council sat during eight days, and nearly as many nights; and, at the close of their protracted meetings, a committee was deputed to request the abdication of the Doge. The old man received them with surprise, but with composure, and replied that he had sworn not to abdicate, and therefore must maintain his faith. It was not possible that he could resign; but if it appeared fit to their wisdom that he should cease to be Doge, they had it in their power to make a proposal to that effect to the Great Council. It was far, however, from the intention of the Ten to subject themselves to the chances of debate in that larger body; and, assuming to their own magistracy a prerogative not attributed to it by the constitution, they discharged Foscari from his oath, declared his office vacant, assigned to him a pension of two thousand ducats, and enjoined him to quit the palace within three days, on pain of confiscation of all his property. Loredano, to whom the right belonged, according to the weekly routine of office, enjoyed the barbarous satisfaction of presenting this decree with his own hand. 'Who are you, Signor?' inquired the Doge of another Chief of the Ten who accompanied him, and whose person he did not immediately recognise. I am a son of Marco Memmo.' Ah, your father,' replied Foscari, is my friend.' Then declaring that he yielded willing obedience to the most excellent Council of Ten, and laying aside the ducal bonnet and robes, he surrendered his ring of office, which was broken in his presence. On the morrow, when he prepared to leave the palace, it was suggested to him that he should retire by a private staircase, and thus avoid the concourse assembled in the court-yard below. With calm dignity he refused the proposition: he would descend, he said, by no other than the self-same steps by which he had mounted thirty years before. Accordingly, supported by his brother, he slowly traversed the Giant's Stairs, and, at their foot, leaning on his staff and turning round to the palace, he accompanied his last look to it with these parting words My services established me within your walls; it is the malice of my enemies which tears me from them!'
"During the lifetime of Pietro Loredano, Foscari, willing to terminate the feud by a domestic alliance, had tendered the hand of his daughter to one of his rival's sons. The youth saw his proffered bride, openly expressed dislike of her person, and rejected her with marked discourtesy; so that, in the
"It was to the oligarchy alone that Foscari was obnoxious; by the populace he had always been beloved, and strange indeed would it have been had he now failed to excite their sympathy. But even the regrets of the people of Venice were fettered by their tyrants; and whatever pity they might secretly continue to cherish for their wronged and humiliated prince, all expression of it was silenced by a peremptory decree of the Council, forbidding any mention of his name, and annexing death as a penalty to disobedience. On the fifth day after Foscari's deposition, Pascale Malipieri was elected Doge. The dethroned prince heard the announcement of his successor by the bell of the campanile, suppressed his agitation, but ruptured a blood-vessel in the exertion, and died in a few hours."
ON THE ROMAIC OR MODERN GREEK LANGUAGE, WITH SPECIMENS AND TRANSLATIONS.
These" Remarks" were written, in the spring of 1811, while Lord Byron was residing in the Capuchin Convent at Athens. See p. 546.
AMONGST an enslaved people, obliged to have recourse to foreign presses even for their books of religion, it is less to be wondered at that we find so few publications on general subjects, than that we find any at all. The whole number of the Greeks, scattered up and down the Turkish empire and elsewhere, may amount, at most, to three millions; and yet, for so scanty a number, it is impossible to discover any nation with so great a proportion of books and their authors, as the Greeks of the present century. "Ay, but," say the generous advocates of oppression, who, while they assert the ignorance of the Greeks, wish to prevent them from dispelling it, “ ay, but these are mostly, if not all, ecclesiastical tracts, and consequently good for nothing." Well, and pray what else can they write about? It is pleasant enough to hear a Frank, particularly Englishman, who may abuse the government of his own country; or a Frenchman, who may abuse every government except his own, and who may range at will over every philosophical, religious, scientific, sceptical, or moral subject; sneering at the Greek legends. A Greek must not write on politics, and cannot touch on science for want of instruction; if he doubts, he is excommunicated and damned; therefore his countrymen are not poisoned with modern philosophy; and as to morals, thanks to the Turks! there are no such things. What then is left him, if he has a turn for scribbling? Religion, and holy biography: and it is natural enough that those who have so little in this life should look to the next. It is no great wonder, then, that in a catalogue now before me of fifty-five Greek writers, many of whom were lately living, not above fifteen should have touched on any thing but religion. The catalogue alluded to is contained in the twenty-sixth chapter of the fourth volume of Meletius's Ecclesiastical History. From this I subjoin an extract of those who have written on general subjects; which will be followed by some specimens of the Romaic.
LIST OF ROMAIC AUTHORS.1
Neophitus, Diakonos (the deacon) of the Morea, has published an extensive grammar, and also some political regulations, which last were left unfinished at his death.
Prokopius, of Moscopolis (a town in Epirus), has written and published a catalogue of the learned Greeks.
Seraphin, of Periclea, is the author of many works in the Turkish language, but Greek character; for the Christians of Caramania, who do not speak Romaic, but read the character.
Eustathius Psalidas, of Bucharest, a physician, made the tour of England for the purpose of study (xágiv μatioras): but though his name is enumerated, it is not stated that he has written any thing.
Kallinikus Torgeraus, Patriarch of Constantinople: many poems of his are extant, and also prose tracts, and a catalogue of patriarchs since the last taking of Constantinople.
Anastasius Macedon, of Naxos, member of the royal academy of Warsaw. A church biographer.
Demetrius Pamperes, a Moscopolite, has written many works, particularly "A Commentary on Hesiod's Shield of Hercules," and two hundred tales (of what is not specified), and has published his correspondence with the celebrated George of Trebizond, his contemporary.
Meletius, a celebrated geographer; and author of the book from whence these notices are taken.
1 It is to he observed that the names given are not in chronological order, but consist of some selected at a venture from amongst those who flourished from the taking of Constantinople to the time of Meletius.
Dorotheus, of Mitylene, an Aristotelian philosopher: his Hellenic works are in great repute, and he is esteemed by the moderns (I quote the words of Meletius) và tù esκυδίδην καὶ Ξενοφώντα ἄριστος Ελλήνων. 1 add further, on the authority of a well-informed Greek, that he was so famous amongst his countrymen, that they were accustomed to say, if Thucydides and Xenophon were wanting, he was capable of repairing the loss.
Marinus Count Tharboures, of Cephalonia, professor of chemistry in the academy of Padua, and member of that academy, and those of Stockholm and Upsal. He has published, at Venice, an account of some marine animal, and a treatise on the properties of iron.
Marcus, brother to the former, famous in mechanics. He removed to St. Petersburg the immense rock on which the statue of Peter the Great was fixed in 1769. See the dissertation which he published in Paris, 1777.
George Constantine has published a four-tongued lexicon. George Ventote; a lexicon in French, Italian, and Romaic. There exist several other dictionaries in Latin and Romaie, French, &c.; besides grammars, in every modern language except English.
Amongst the living authors the following are most celebrated 2:
Athanasius Parios has written a treatise on rhetoric in Hellenic.
Christodoulos, an Acarnanian, has published, in Vienna, some physical treatises in Hellenic.
Panagiotes Kodrikas, an Athenian, the Romaic translator of Fontenelle's "Plurality of Worlds" (a favourite work amongst the Greeks), is stated to be a teacher of the Hellenic and Arabic languages in Paris; in both of which he is an adept.
Athanasius, the Parian, author of a treatise on rhetoric. Vicenzo Damodos, of Cephalonia, has written “is tò pasrobágbager," on logic and physics.
John Kamarases, a Byzantine, has translated into French Ocellus on the Universe. He is said to be an excellent Hellenist and Latin scholar.
Gregorio Demetrius published, in Vienna, a geographical work he has also translated several Italian authors, and printed his versions at Venice,
Of Coray and Psalida some account has been already given.
Εἰπέ μας, ὦ φιλέλληνα, πῶς φέρεις τὴν σκλαβίαν καὶ τὴν ἀπαρίγορητον τῶν Τούρκων τυραννίαν; πῶς ταῖς ξυλαῖς καὶ ἱορισμοὺς καὶ σιδηροδεσμίαν παίδων, παρθένων, γυναίκων ἀνήκουστον φθορεῖαν. Δὲν εἶσθαι ἐσεῖς απόγονοι ἐκείνων τῶν ̓Ελλήνων τῶν ἐλευθέρων καὶ σοφῶν καὶ τῶν φιλοπατρίδων· καὶ πῶς ἐκεῖνοι ἀπέθνησκον διὰ τὴν ἐλευθερίαν, καὶ τώρα ἐσεῖς ὑπούκεισθαι εἰς τέτοιαν τυραννίαν, καὶ ποῖον γένος ὡς ἐσεῖς ἐστάθη φωτισμένον εἰς τὴν σοφίαν, δύναμην, εἰς κ ̓ ὅλα ζακουσμένον. πῶς νῦν ἐκαταστήσατε τὴν φωτινην Ελλάδα βαζα! ὡς ἕνα σκέλεθρον, ὡς σκοτεινὴν λαμπάδαν. Ομίλει, φίλτατε Γραικέ, είπέ μας τὴν αἰτίαν : μὴ κρύπτης τίποτης ἡμῶν, λύε τὴν ἀπορίαν.
Ρωσσ-αγκλο-γάλλοι, ̔Ελλὰς, καὶ ὄχι ἄλλοι, ἦτον, ὡς λέτε, τόσον μεγάλη, νῦν δὲ ἀθλία, καὶ ἀναξία ἀφ' φοὺ ἀρχίσεν ἡ ἀμαθία. οστ' ἠμποροῦσαν νὰ τὴν ξυπνησή τοῦτ ̓ εἰς τὸ χεῖρον τὴν ὁδηγοῦσι αὐτὴ στενάζει τὰ τέκνα κράζει, στό νὰ προκόπτουν ὅλα προστάζει καὶ τότε ἐλπίζει ὅτι κερδίζει. εὑρεῖν, ὁποῦ ̓χει νῦν τὴν φλογίζει. Μά· ὅστις τολμήσει νὰ τὴν ξυπνήση πάγει στὸν ἅδην χωρίς τινα κρίσιν.
The above is the commencement of a long dramatic satire on the Greek priesthood, princes, and gentry; it is contemptible as a composition, but perhaps curious as a specimen of their rhyme. I have the whole in MS., but this extract will be found sufficient. The Romaic in this composition is so easy as to render a version an insult to a scholar; but those who do not understand the original will excuse the following bad translation of what is in itself indifferent.
A Russian, Englishman, and Frenchman, making the tour of Greece, and observing the miserable state of the country, interrogate, in turn, a Greek Patriot, to learn the cause ; afterwards an Archbishop, then a Vlackbey1, a Merchant, and Cogia Bachi or Primate.
Thou friend of thy country! to
Thus sprung from the blood of the noble and brave,
Not such were the fathers your annals can boast,
Oh shameful dishonour! the darkness of Greece?
The reply of the Philellenist I have not translated, as it is no better than the question of the travelling triunivirate; and the above will sufficiently show with what kind of composition the Greeks are now satisfied. I trust I have not much injured the original in the few lines given as faithfully, and as near the " Oh, Miss Bailey! unfortunate Miss Bailey!" measure of the Romaic, as I could make them. Almost all their pieces, above a song, which aspire to the name of poetry, contain exactly the quantity of feet of
"A captain bold of Halifax, who lived in country quarters," which is in fact the present heroic couplet of the Romaic.
SCENE FROM 'Ο ΚΑΦΕΝΕΣ.
TRANSLATED FROM THE ITALIAN OF GOLDONI, BY SPIRIDION VLANTI.
ΠΛΑΤΖΙΔΑ εἰς τὴν πόρταν τοῦ χανιοῦ, καὶ οἱ ἄνωθεν.
ΠΛΑ. Ω Θεέ! ἀπὸ τὸ παραθύρι μοῦ ἐφάνη νὰ ἀκούσω τὴν φωνὴν τοῦ ἀνδρός μου· ἂν αὐτὸς εἶναι ἐδὼ, ἔφθασα σὲ καιρὸν νὰ τὸν ξεντροπιάσω. [Εὐγαίνει ἕνας δουλος ἀπὸ τὸ ἐργαστήρι.] Παλικάρι, πές μου σὲ παρακαλῶ ποιὸς εἶναι ἐκεῖ εἰς ἐκείνους τοὺς ὀντάδες;
ΔΟΥΛ. Τρεῖς χρήσιμοι ἄνδρες. Ενας ὁ κὺρ Εὐγένιος, ὁ ἄλλος ὁ κὺρ Μάρτιος Νεαπολιτάνος, καὶ ο τρίτος ὁ Κύρ Κόντε Λέανδρος ̓Αρδέντης.
ΠΛΑ. ( ̓Ανάμεσα εις αὐτοὺς δὲν εἶναι ὁ Φλαμίνιος, ἂν ὅμως δὲν ἄλλαξεν όνομα.)
ΛΕΑ. Νὰ ζῇ ἡ καλὴ τύχη τοῦ κύρ Εὐγενίου. [Πίνωντας.] ΟΛΟΙ, Νὰ ζῇ, νὰ ζῇ.
ΠΛΑ. (Αὐτὸς εἶναι ὁ ἄνδρας μοῦ χωρὶς ἄλλο.) Καλὲ ἄνθρωπε, κάμε μοῦ τὴν χαρὶν νὰ μὲ συντροφεύσης ἀπάνω εἰς αὐτοὺς τοὺς ἀφεντάδες, ὁποῦ θέλω νὰ τοὺς παίξω μίαν. [Πρὸς τὸν δούλον.]
ΔΟΥ. 'Ορισμός σας" (συνηθισμένον ὀφφίκιον τῶν δουλευτῶν.) [Τὴν ἐμπάζει ἀπὸ τὸ ἐργαστήρι τοῦ παιγνιδιοῦ.] ΡΙΔ. Καρδιὰ, καρδιὰ, κάμετε καλὴν καρδιὰν, δὲν εἶναι τίποτες. [Πρὸς τὴν Βιττόριαν.]
BIT. ̓Εγὼ αἰσθάνομαι πῶς ἀπεθαίνω τὸν ἑαυτόν της.]
1 Vlackbey, Prince of \Vallachia.