Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors]

The language spoken is Romaic, a corruption which is requisite in their present situation; and of the ancient Greek, and the uneducated classes this feeling is fostered by the habit that obtains are not able to understand even the New Testa- among them of calling each other by the name of ment in the original. The prayers of the church the place from whence they derive their origin.are equally unintelligible to the great body of the They show a pardonable complacency in converspeople. The interests of literature have been ing of the former days of their country. I heard almost forgotten during the war; the colleges a female speak of “our ships at Salamis.” were destroyed, and the students scattered; but It is perhaps to be regretted, for the interests the return of peace has brought with it a thirst of Greece, that prince Leopold did not accept the for instruction, and the means of acquirement will offer of the crown. There would then have been soon be placed within reach.

an influx of Englishmen into the country, who The whole of Greece, with few exceptions, was would have expended money and promoted trade. laid waste during the struggle for independence, The Protestant faith would also have been the and few efforts have yet been made to repair the religion of the court, and much good might have devastation: the houses are in ruin, and the fields resulted to the Greek church from the juxta-posi. comparatively without cultivation. Napoli di Ro- tion of so much purer a system.

The present mania, the present capital, is the only town I saw king, Otho, was born June 1st, 1815, and is the that is free from masses of ruin, and Patrass also second son of the king of Bavaria. I saw him is fast rising from its fall, as it is a place of much land at Syra, from a British frigate, amidst the commercial importance. The calamities of the loud acclamations of his people. He visited the people have known no bounds. The Turks have school in that island under the superintendency been utterly exterminated. In the victories of of the Church Mission, and after the children had the Greeks there was a general massacre: in the sung a hymn, and repeated many of their lessons, victories of the Turks there was a massacre of the he expressed himself as being much pleased with men, and the women were carried away to endure what he saw and heard. He appears to be of an in many instances cruelties more severe than amiable disposition, and report spoke favorably of death. I sailed from Rhodes with an interesting his attention to study. I had an interview with his Greek female, who had been for several years a confessor at Athens, who is friendly to the inteslave in Egypt; she was then returning to her rests of the Bible Society, and was on good terms own village, as her freedom had been purchased with all the missionaries. A number of Capufrom her Mahomedan master by a relative. chins arrived at Napoli by sea, and offered them

The Greeks have been the subject of great mis- selves to the king as the instructors of youth; the representation, both from those who have depre- king informed them that he had no funds he could ciated them and those who have praised. They devote to such a purpose; they then promised to have been galled by the iron chain of oppression, be of no expense whatever to the government, and though their fetters have been snapped by the but they were told their services were not requirsword, the cicatrice of the wound they left is yet ed, and were ordered to return without delay. It apparent. The crimes that they copied from the was politic not to rouse the jealousy of the Greek example of their masters may be expected to pass priests, by the introduction of so powerful a body away, whilst their own inherent virtues will shine of opponents. forth with greater lustre and purity. We must

The king was accompanied to Grecce by 7,500 wait some time before we can pronounce with Bavarian soldiers, and it was in contemplation to certainty upon their national character, as they establish a native force, but the Greeks manifested are at present under circumstances that are cal- great reluctance to enter into the regular service. culated to make them suspicious and discontent. The principal chiefs are disaffected, as they have ed; and it is to be expected that many of the necessarily been deprived of much of their power, existing generation will regard the present go- and the prospects before the king are not without vernment in the light of a foreign usurpation, and dark shades, that must at times make him regret as affording but a poor return for the blood they that he has accepted the dangerous distinction. have shed to rescue their country from the tyrants The merchants are a numerous and respectable under whom they were born. Men who have for class, but the rest of the people are poor in the some time been accustomed to live on plunder extreme. The Bavarian soldiers complained bitseldom become contented citizens. These disad- terly of the hardships to which they were exposed vantages will every day diminish; the people will at the out-stations, as in some places they were become more accustomed to the presence of the unable to procure even the common necessaries Bavarians, and the Bavarians will be able to assi- of life. I heard much of banditti, but there was milate themselves more fully to the manners of the probably more fear on this subject than real danGreeks; the houses now in ruins will arise from ger, as I was never molested, though I often tratheir ashes: and it is to be hoped that judicious velled without a single companion. enactments will promote commerce, and enable The Greek church is awfully fallen from the the people by honest means to gain a comfortable high position it once maintained, when it could maintenance. There was a charm about some enrol among the names of its professors some of of the Greeks that interested me greatly in their the most eminent of the fathers. There is little favor, whilst there were others, in comparison public preaching in the churches, and both priests few, who exhibited tokens of the grossest brutality. and people are ignorant of the essentials of ChrisThere is a spirit of jealousy subsisting between tianity. The churches are filled with pictures, to the inhabitants of different states and islands that which the people appear to pay the most profound partakes of the character of feud, and prevents adoration, though they abhör images with a perthem from working together with that heartiness fect hatred, and flowers are thrown before these

pictures in the same manner that I have seen Aug. 7, and at the same time the Rev. W.O. them thrown before the idols of the heathen.-- Croggon, of the Wesleyan mission, then stationed They pay great regard to the Virgin and to the at Zante, was passing through the same village, saints. Every house, and every vessel upon the but we knew not of each other, and did not meet. sea, contains the picture of some saint, before I have regretted this the more, as my excellent which a light is kept burning continually. The brother would have had presented to him a sight cities and islands have each their patron saint, of some interest; I was seated under a spreading about whom they have invented a thousand ab- plantanus, which is said to be upwards of 2,000 surdities. I was at Corfu during the festival of years old, and the trunk is nearly forty feet in cirSt. Spiridion, the patron saint of the island; and cumference; at a little distance were numerous there was a grand procession in his honor, attend fountains, from which the females of the village ed by a great number of priests, and by some of were taking water to their homes ; upon the gulf the British soldiers from the garrison. The body were many little barks and a few vessels of larger of the saint is preserved with great care, and on dimensions; and on the opposite shore were Par. one occasion it is said to have suddenly stayed a nassus and Delphos, and the place of meeting for fatal pestilence. Upon one particular morning of the council of the Amphyctions. I took out the year the shoes on its feet are found to be co- from my bag a parcel of tracts that had been vered over with mud, and the people most firmly furnished me by my kind friends at Athens, believe that during the night the saint has been and presented one to a fellow traveller who was taking a walk through the world. The fasts are resting under the same tree, but he regarded religiously kept, and even the common sailors will the gift with suspicion, until he had opened it, and not violate them, though I sometines unconscious- seen something of its contents. I had soon a numly tempted them, by asking them to partake with ber of applicants, and the plane-tree was surroundme of the food I had provided for my little voyages. ed as it perhaps never had been before, venerable The crew of a Maltese vessel were murdered by as it is for years, by Greeks who were sitting in a company of Greek pirates during the late war. deep silence, and reading with much apparent inThe Greeks upon entering the principal cabin, terest the way of salvation by Jesus Christ. It found that refreshments had been prepared, and was gratifying to find that nearly all could read, they began to partake of them, but the captain, on and that none refused to receive the tracts after witnessing their conduct, called out that it was a they had learnt the nature of the subject upon fast day, and they instantly threw down the food which they treated. in the utmost consternation, as if by this simple In the Ionian islands, which are principally inact they had committed the unpardonable sin, habited by Greeks, the Greek church and the though their hands were yet reeking with the church of England form the establishment, but blood of the murdered Maltese.

the Roman Catholic is specially protected, and There have been as yet but few splendid tri- all others are tolerated. The absence of Mr. umphs produced by the labors of the missionaries, Croggon from Zante, on account of ill health, prebut a leavening influence has begun to operate vented me from visiting the mission schools duamong the priesthood, by the distribution of the ring my short visit to the island. There is a flouNew Testament in Romaic. The Greeks have rishing school at Cephalonia, conducted by Mr. at least one advantage over the Roman Catho- and Mrs. Dixon, under the auspices of the British lics—that they are allowed to read the Scriptures and Foreign School Society. "I am greatly inwithout note or comment. The Old Testament debted to the kindness of the Rev. D. Lowndes, has never been printed in Romaic, but it is now of the London Missionary Society, stationed at in the course of translation. I was introduced to Corfu, one of the learned translators of the Old the principal native translator, professor Bambas, Testament into Romaic. He has established and it was never my privilege to converse with several female schools in the capital and the suran individual of more genuine Christian simplicity: rounding villages, which are patronized by the It was intended to separate the churches of principal inhabitants, and are well attended. The Greece from the patriarchate of Constantinople, girls are taught needle-work, in which they have for which purpose a synod had been assembled. made great proficiency, and the New Testament

The Greeks are enthusiasts in the cause of is used among them as the common lesson-book. education, and mission schools might be establish- Female education has hitherto been much neglected with effect in any place where the population ed among the Greeks, and I met with many reis sufficiently numerous. The school under the spectable females who were unable to read. Mrcare of the Rev. J. Hildner, at Syra, contains 450 Lowndes, in addition to the regular services conchildren. I heard about a dozen girls read Au- ducted within the city, makes occasional tours in ently in the New Testament, and many were ab- the interior of the island, and is sometimes allowsent, as it was a festival. They sang a doxology ed to preach in the village churches. The Jews at the conclusion, and I thought at the time that are numerous, and before the English took posI had heard nothing so affecting since I left my session of the islands, they were greatly persenative land. In the same place, which is the most cuted by the Greeks, who believe that the Passflourishing town in Greece, though of recent ori- over cannot be celebrated without Christian blood, gin, and which contains a population of 30,000 and that on this account a child is annually stolen people, there is another school, under the superin- from their families, and afterwards murdered. tendence of the government, in which 300 children From all that I have seen, notwithstanding the are educated. The schools at Athens are well character of the present times, I entertain bright attended, and have already produced much good. hopes of the future prosperity of Greece. The I was at Vostitza, upon the gulf of Lepanto, time may never come in which it will maintain a

position among the great nations of Europe ; but The cloaca maxima, constructed by the Tar-, the period I trust is not far distant when its claims quins, has resisted the shocks of 2,500 years, and to relationship and brotherhood will be so power- is still used to carry away the refuse of the city. ful as to gain ready acknowledgment from the Some of the aqueducts of the emperors are in so princes of Christendom. The people are athirst perfect a state as to be in use at the present time. for knowledge; they manifest a laudable desire to The forum has been covered with ruins, but they emulate the attainments of their fathers; they are now in part cleared away, and columns are have men among them who are able to teach, and seen, some of them of great magnificence, with they are willing to be taught; the rising genera- their pedestals many feet lower than the present tion has already acquired the first principles of the elevation of the ground. There are fragments in truth; and a work has begun that will give them it of baths and temples, and triumphal arches, possession of the true soPHIA, or wisdom, a word but the mounds of earth, the shops and houses that is every moment upon their lips, and bring of the present Romans, and the construction of them into that noble communion, where there is the churches that present themselves on every neither Greek nor Jew, circumcision nor uncir. side, half heathen, half Christian, take much away cumcision, Barbarian nor Scythian, bond nor free, from the interest of the place; and amidst such a but Christ is all and in all.”

scene it is difficult to imagine the presence of the magistrates, or the voice of the orator, or the as

semblies of the people. The Tarpeian rock would ITALY.

still be a formidable precipice, if the houses be

neath it were taken away. The triumphal arches The word Italy occurs only thrice in the New of Septimus Servius and Constantine proclaim the Testament. Rhegium, Puteoli

, the Apii Forum, prowess of the men in whose honor they were and Rome are in Italy, but there is no other place York, and the other was the first emperor who

reared: the one fought in Britain, and died at in it of which mention is made in sacred writ. We have no evidence in the record of inspiration professed the religion of Christ ; but we pass that it was visited by any of the apostles besides away from these to another erection, which tells, St. Paul and St. Luke. The states of Italy are in the centre of the Roman forum, of the truth

of at present divided among the kingdoms of Naples Titus was raised after his death, to commemorate

prophecy and the anger of God. The arch of and Sardinia, the empire of Austria, the States of the victories he had obtained in the east. The the Church, the grand duchy of Tuscany, and some other smaller powers. The population

bas-reliefs represent the pageantry of his triumph,

which was the most splendid that had been witamounts to about 20 millions.

nessed at Rome, and in one of them are figures of the golden candlestick with seven branches, the

table of show-bread, the golden trumpets, and ROME.

other treasures taken from the temple at Jerusa

lem. The remains of the baths present proofs of I ENTERED Rome by the Flaminian way, Sept. 13, the great extent of Roman extravagance, as they in the Diligence from Anconia, where I had per- have for centuries afforded materials for buildig formed a quarantine of 15 days, after landing from to the princes and ecclesiastics, and there is yet the Ionian steamer. The States of the Church sufficient in some of them wherewith to erect exare thinly peopled, agriculture is without encou- tensive palaces. The house of Nero retains much ragement, and the neighborhood of Rome has be- of its ancient form—the colors in some of the pas come an extensive desert, from the prevalence of sages are almost as fresh as if the work of the premalaria.

sent year; and the number of rooms, the admirable It would be in vain to attempt a particular des contrivances, and the general arrangement of the cription of the city, as there are single edifices in whole interior economy, afford an insight into the it that would require more ample space than the luxury of the times in which it was built, that can whole of this volume. It is as true now, as in the scarcely be equalled by the inventions of our own days of its ancient splendor, that it is

age. The Pantheon has been consecrated as a

church, and has a portico in front of sixteen co"Terrarum dea, gentiumque Roma,

lumns. The style combines simplicity with maCui par est nihil, et nihil secundum." jesty : I could not obtain an entrance into the

Mart. 1. 12. ep. 8. interior, though I made several attempts, as I was

told that the members of the Academy were The space enclosed by the walls is said to be searching for the skull of Raphael, who was here about 13 miles in circumference, but a great part interred. of the city is waste, or occupied by gardens and The wonder of ancient Rome is the Coliseum, vineyards. There are many remains that pro- which it has been said can only fall with the claim the majesty of Rome under the different world. It is 1,612 feet in circumference, and masters by which she has been held in subjection, would seat 90,000 spectators. It was erected unwhether kings, consuls, or emperors; but there der Vespasian, soon after the conquest of the Holy are few ancient edifices that can be seen in their Land, and we are told that it was buýt in the inoriginal form, as the more perfect have been con- credible short space of one year, by the compulverted into churches, and the more ruinous have sory labor of 12,000 Jews. In the silence of the been deprived of their principal ornaments, that evening hour, the Christian can steal away to this they might be used in the decoration of palaces place from the mockery of the churches and the and other buildings of modern times.

revelry of the palaces, and when the moon shines

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

brightly through “the loops of time," there is a possible for the loftiest intellect to put forth, was Foice comes from the deserted ruin that tells of brought into activity. We have evidence of the the cessation of the sports of the gladiators, and results in the writings of contemporary poets, hispeaks mare powerfully, by one single utterance, torians, and moralists; and they unfold to us a of the true triumphs of the church, than the tiara series of facts so offensive in their nature, that we of the three worlds, or a pope kneeling upon the could not have believed their existence, had we Deck of an emperor. The area was sometimes not been furnished with other testimony that none Silled with water, and mimic sea-fights were ex can deny. ne years after the destruction of bibited ; and the whole could be covered with Jerusalem, whilst one of the apostles of our Lord curtuins to keep off the sun and rain. In the in- was yet alive, there was an eruption of mount terior circle are crucifixes and pictures, and ser- Vesuvius, by which the cities of Herculaneum rice is performed before them in honor of the and Pompeii were covered with ashes, and the martyrs who here perished in the early persecu- inhabitants perished. The same cities were tions. The late popes have been at great expense discovered in the 18th century, and the houses, the in the erection of buttresses to preserve the ruin furniture, the utensils, and the ornaments of the from further dilapidation. When the emperor inhabitants, were found in perfect preservation. and his court were present, with the senators, the They are now deposited in the museums of Italy, soldiers, and the populace, and there was heard but many of them are of such a description the expiring cries of innocent men, and the roar that they cannot be exhibited to general view; of infuriated wild beasts, and the shouts the there are figures of the vilest abominations, the multitude mingled with the sound, the amphithea- most monstrous corruptions, that were objects of tre must have presented a spectacle of brutality daily sight and constant usage. It might have and blood in comparison with which even war, been wished that the ashes that covered these with all its cruelties, seems like a rational conten- cities had never been disturbed, did we not learn tion between man and man.

from their removal, in characters more clear than In Rome, the mind experiences a difficulty in can be produced from any other earthly source, the grappling with the past, that is not felt to the deep depravity of our nature, and the necessity of same degree in any other city of the world; and a divine revelation. It appears like the act of a this arises not so much from the indistinctness of gracious Providence, that at the commencement the impression as from its extent, and the diver- of these times of departure from the volume of the sty of its character. We can watch the rise of word of God, we were furnished with a warning the city from a single cottage; we can accompany so powerful against trusting to the imaginations it in the march of conquest, north, and south, and of men. We now learn to appreciate character east, until all Italy bent, crouching at its feet; it | by an unerring standard, and must thus confess rested not here, but still grew, and extended its that the greatest of Roman citizens was one who empire as it numbered its years; the snows of was unknown to the senate, or if known despised, Germany could not arrest its progress, nor the and that the most important of all events consuns of Africa, nor the patriotism of Britain, nor nected with the history of the empire was an act the wisdom of Greece; it passed onward without of one of its procurators, in a small and distant ceasing, and wherever it passed it claimed the province. The apostle Paul could claim the pripossession as its own: no limits appeared to satisfy vileges of a Roman, and it was a Roman governor the cravings of its ambition, and in the full vigor who condemned Jesus Christ to the death of the of its existence it was deemed co-equal with cross. earthly space, and to name the empire was to The city retains much of its magnificence, part Dame's the world.” We have been taught to of which is drawn from the present, but more from look at the individuals by whom this dominion was the past: gained as more than men; and it is true that many were brave, and some were eloquent, and a

And they who come, admire, few were virtuous; in power they were supreme, As we admire the beautiful in death." as they could frown in anger, and distant kings confessed their fears; and they could issue an The population is stated at about 150,000. The edict, and crowns were distributed or countries streets are regular, and the houses are for the most confiscated; but we must not deceive ourselves part respectable in their appearance. The squares by thinking that all this influence brought peace are ornamented with obelisks, many of which were to its possessors, or raised them above the weak- brought from Egypt, but the columns of Trajan Dess and wickedness of our common nature. We and Antonine are the most worthy of attention. may confine ourselves to one definite period, and The Tyber, with its yellow waters, runs through it shall be that which occupies the broadest page the city, and some of the bridges by which it is in the empire's records, when the greatest of its crossed are of ancient construction. The founsons were yet in active existence, and the lesson tains are numerous, and some of them most beauwe shall learn will be instructive. The philosophy tiful, and they are as useful to the people as they of the Greeks was at this time studied by the are ornamental to the city. There are almost Ronans and it was by this that they professed to innumerable palaces, villas, hospitals, convents, be guided in their thoughts and acts; it had been and colleges. I visited with most interest the cuiled by Cicero, and the best of its precepts college of the Propaganda, from whence many were made known to the world in some of the great and good men have been sent as missionaries most eloquent periods ever "penned by man; it to heathen lands. The modern Capitol is aphad the most extended of all theatres on which to proached by a noble flight of steps, near which are exercise its might; and all the moral power it is statues of Castor and Pollux, and some ancient

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

trophies. The buildings occupy the three sides exiled Stuarts, and of many other distinguished of a square, in the centre of which is an equestrian individuals. The space appropriated to divine statue of Marcus Aurelian, in bronze. In front worship is a recess in one of the transepts, and at is the hall of the Senators, with a fountain before one of my visits I saw a great number of dignitaries it, and three colossal statues that represent Rome, and other ecclesiastics, who officiated in their apthe Tyber and the Nile. On the right is the hall propriate robes. The dome is ascended without of the Magistracy; and on the left is the Museum, any difficulty, by a spiral staircase. From one of tilled with ancient inscriptions, busts, vases, altars, the galleries that open into the interior, there is the and statues. I was most interested with the apart. most striking view of the vast proportions of the ment appropriated to the philosophers. The dying edifice. The people walking below scarcely apgladiator is the most celebrated of the statues. pear like men, and the colossal statues of the mo.

The churches amount to upwards of 300, nearly numents sink into far less than the natural size. all of which would be regarded as objects of wonder It was only by actual admeasurement that I could in any other place. The Church of St. John La realise the fact, that this structure so far surpasteran, the facade of which is most elaborate, is the ses all others in magnitude ; the eye deceives the cathedral of the popes. The Scala Santa is said mind, and it is not until it has been comprehended to contain the very steps by which our Saviour in parts, and well studied, that a just idea can be ascended to the judgment-hall of Pilate, brought formed of its claim to our special admiration. I hither from Jerusalem. They are nearly worn retained the same impression I had felt at Baalbec, away by the devotion of their numerous visiters, increased by having seen the temples at Athens, who ascend them on their knees. Under the church that the simple grandeur of the Grecian style of of St. Sebastian are the famous catacombs, in which architecture is in some degree lost when applied the early Christians sometimes found refuge; to large erections. The prejudices of early years they are said to extend several miles. The Church must account for the fact, that I can feel more in of St. Paul, in which the apostle is said to have the cathedral of York than in the church of St. been buried, was burnt down in 1823, but is now Peter at Rome. It is the most pleasing thought in the course of re-erection, and if continued on connected with the history of this pile, that it was the same scale, will be one of the most imposing in part the cause of the Reformation. Indulgences erections of the present age.

were granted to collect money for its erection, and The church of St. Peter is the most magnificent the sale of these indulgences first attracted the shrine ever erected by man for the worship of attention of Martin Luther towards the unwarrantChrist. It was commenced in 1506, gradually ed pretension of the Romish priesthood, which rose during eighteen pontificates, and was com- ended in a complete separation from its hierarchy, pleted in 111 years. Its cost, if such a building and in a revival of religion that will not cease to exhad now to be erected in England, has been esti- tend until the universe be filled with the glory of mated at 36 millions sterling. The admeasurement, God. inside the walls, is 615 feet in length, and 448 feet The palace of the Vatican stands by the side of in breadth: and the dome is 464 feet high, nearly the church of St. Peter, and is 1300 feet long. It one-third higher than the dome of St. Paul's in is not now inhabited, but is used as a receptacle London. The first sight almost always creates for works of art. Its two chapels, the Sixtine and disappointment, which is gradually succeeded by Pauline, contain some fine frescos, particularly the admiration at subsequent visits. The colonnade Last Judgment, by Michael Angelo. The library in front, and the Vatican at the side, take much extends the whole length of the building, and conaway from its apparent size, by their own gigantic tains 160,000 volumes and 40,000 MSS. The proportions. The grand façade is without an equal, books are shut up in cases. I saw many old MSS. but it seems to make the church all entrancc, with and early editions of printed works, but could not no structure to support the character of its im- obtain a sight of the celebrated Codex Vaticanus, mensity. The effect of the interior is not com as I was told that an express order was required mensurate with is actual size. The walls are lined from the chancellor for the purpose. The museum with marble; and there are rich altars at nearly contains a countless collection of antiquities, and every window, over which are mosaics copied from may be called a wilderness of wonders. The the most celebrated masters. The whole is by Apollo Belvidere and the Laocoon are named far too gaudy for a house of prayer. The aisles among the finest productions of sculpture ever are filled with monuments, few of which are in good given to the world, and they are well worthy of all taste; but two lions, by Canova, must be except the praise they have received. ed; and the monument, by the same hand, erected The pope resides in the palace of Monte Cavalo, at the expense of the British nation to the unfor- on the Quirinal hill. In the square before it are tunate Stuarts, is neat and simple. There is the two horses, one of which is said to be the work of figure of a female in the monument of Alexander Praxiteles, and the other of Phidias. I heard a VII., so beautiful that it has been partly covered favorable character of the present pope, Gregory with a robe of bronze. Under the centre of the XVI., as he is accounted a man of liberal sentidome is the reputed sepulchre of St. Peter, sur- ments; but this avails not towards any public admounted by a magnificent canopy, with pillars of vantage, as all the powers of the papacy are inbronze, 122 feet high, taken from the Pantheon. vested in the college of cardinals. I did not make Near the sepulchre is the grand altar, at which any attempt to gain a sight of his holiness, so called, only the pope and cardinals are allowed to officiate. as I was told that he was confined to his palace Beneath the floor of the present building are vault- from ill health, but I afterwards found that he had ed passages, which retain the pavement of the celebrated divine service in public during my stay original church, and in these are the tombs of the in the city.

« AnteriorContinuar »