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now remains, is alone worth a journey to Athens ; nor will
any scholar deem the undertaking to be unprofitable who should 'visit Greece for this alone. Nevertheless, it is probable that many a scholar' will behold with very little of this rapture, the most perfect, confessedly, of these pieces now in existence, placed in order, as they will soon be, in the British Museum. But it will be justly alleged by Dr. Clarke, that they will there be seen, like princes in exile, under an inconceivable disadvantage, as detached from all the imposing associations of their original and majestic locality. At the same time, it is right to observe, that the superlative excellence attributed to their execution, may be justly required to sustain even this severe test.
The journal of the time spent in Athens, abounds with curious and interesting matters; but we must abandon the fascinating scene in haste, to trace, in a few excessively brief potiers, the long diversified train of our Author's succeeding adventures. One of the most entertainiog of them, in the neighbourhood of Athens, is the bold and dexterous exploit of carrying off from Eleusis the ponderous mutilated statue of Ceres, now deposited, in collegiate honours, at Cambridge; a situation whichi, if he is challenged in his turn, as one of the spoliators of Greece, he will probably not hesitate to affirm more befitting a goddess, than the being enthroned literally in a dunghill, even at Eleusis.
He quitted the Piraeus with the intention of sailing to Epidaurus; and after visiting Epidauria and Argolis, to return • through the northern districts of Peloponnesus, towarris Megara • and Eleusis.? Ia a grand scene of solitary ruins at Epidaurus, he had no doubt he ascertained the ground-plot of the temple of Æsculapius; and found in an uncoinmonly perfect state the theatre, whicli can be no oiler than that formed by Polycletus. At Tiryns ne contemplated with amazement the walla, od cyclopean structure and unknown antiquity; a work that which, he says, with the exception of the interior structure of the Pyra
mids, a more marvellous result of human labour has not been ' found upon earth.' The desiruction of T'iryns is of so remote antiquity, that its walls existed nearly as they do at present in the inost remote periods of Grecian history. The prodigious masses of which they consist, were put together without cement; and they are likely to brave the attacks of time through ages even more numerous than those which have elapsed since they were built. Owing to its walls, the city is celebrates in the poems of Honier ; and the satisfaction of seeing an example of the military architecture of the heroic ages, as it was beheld by him, is perhaps only granted to the moderns in this single instance. They have remained nearly in their present state above, three thousand years. It is believed that they were erected long before the Trojan war,
Another high gratification of the same kind awaited the traveller in bebolding the walls and gate of Mycenæ, and still more, the reputed tomb of Agamemnon, over the entrance of which is placed a stone twenty-seven feet in length, seven
teen feet in roidth, and four feet seven inches in thickness; perhaps the largest slab of hewn stone in the world.' At Argos, he had an opportunity of examining a great variety of terra cotta vases found in sepulchres; and he goes some length in an interesting inquiry concerning the intention with which such vessels were placed in tombs, leaving it undecided whether they were tokens of respect to the dead, or offerings to the Gods of ( the dead.'
He pursued his route to Nemæa, Sicyon, and Corinth, examining the antiquities of each, and admiring the prodigious fertility of the ground between the last two. Corinth is very poor in ancient remains, and has a pernicious air, which inflicted on our traveller a fever, but ill compensated by the magnificence of the view from its lofty and impregnable citadel. He could not leave the Isthmus without an earnest and determined effort to discover the lost site of the Istimian Town, the Temple of Neptune, the Stadium, and the Theatre. The
earth was covered with fragments of various coloured marble, grey granite, white limestone, broken po tery, disjointed shafts, 'capitals and cornices. We observed part of the fluted shaft of a Doric colunn, which was five feet in diameter. Not a single
pillar stands erect : the columns, with their entablatures, have Call fallen.'
After a short valedictory visit to Athens, our Author and his companion set off to the north west, to traverse the most memorable scenes of Hellas; which are described with an animation of style well corresponding to that ardent and indefatigable activity of investigation by which Dr. C. is so eminently distinguished. It is a region where a reflective traveller is never suffered to subside into a quietude of feeling. The spots and objects to excite enthusiasm occur at such short intervals, that before his enchanted musings on the last have given way to the fatigue and ordinary incidents of travelling, he finds himself in the presence or near prospect of still another object, which renovates bis bright but pensive visions. The face of this illustrious tract is moulded in such a manner, and the distances are so moderate from one prominent and memorable position to another, that the traveller sees before hiin the consecrated eminence Åndicating the site of another of the renowned cities, before he ceases to lose in his retrospect the one which he has but just now surveyed, and of which he is still glowing with the inspirations. The country consists of so great a number of beautiful
and sublime landscapes, as our Author is confident no other part of the world can present in contiguity. And while so picturesque in the whole coin ination, they are disposed with a marvellous felicity for giving a completeness of scene, and a comipanding effect to each of those cities, distinctly, of which the very names cannot be heard without emotion by cultivated spirits
This unrivalled natural arrangement, repeatedly awakened the Traveller's attention, and is celebrated with his accustomed vivacity of expression, combined in one of his references to it, with what is equally characteristic, a certain daring adventurousness with which he will at any time suddenly invade some speculative subject with an unqualified assertion. Indeed, we shoull long since have noticed, that the general course of his writing bars a character of unaffected independence and intrepidity, which greatly contributes to the life and interest of the work, and is perfectly in unison with the spirit practically evince in his researches and rovings.
• An observation has before been made, that every principal city of Greece occupies its peculiar plain, surrounded in a most remarkable manner by a natural wall of mountains: and too much stress cannot be laid on this fact, because it will enable the reader to take, as it were, a mental survey of the country; and the mere name of any Grecian city, by this circumstance of association, will convey with it, whenever it is mentioned, a correct, though an imaginary picture of its appearance and situation; especially to the minds of travellers ? who have once seen any similar instance. The country is naturally distributed into a series of distinct craters, each containing a spacious and level area, adınirably adapted to the purposes of maintaining and defending as many different colonies. Among the mountains that thus surround the Plain of Thebes, the snow-clad ridges of l'arnassus, and of Helicon are particularly conspicuous. It may easily be imagined, without much description, what scenes for the painter such a country must afford, “what subjects for poetry it must contain: heaven and earth seein to be brought together; the mountain tops appear shining above the clouds,, in regions of ineffable light, as thrones for immortal beings; and the clouds collected into stupendous volumes of inconceivable splendour, and of every possible forin, come rolling around the bases of the mountains, as if bringing the majesty of their celestial conductors towards the earth. Under the influen e of so mi y sublime impressions, 'the human mind beconies gifted as by inspiration, and is by nature filled with poetical ideas The uses have ever made such scenes their favourite abode; and it is upon this account that they have haunted Helicon and Parnas us, and all the heights and the depths, the vales and the rocks, and the woods and the waters of Greece :- nor can an example be adduc.d where, in any country, uniformly flat and monophanous, like Scythia or Belgium, the fire of imagination has ever kindled. It is not that Greece owed its celebrity to an Orpheus or a Pindar, VOL. VI. N. S.
and the long list of poets it produced, as it is, that those illustrious bards owed the bent of their genius to the scenes of nature wherein they were born and educated. Even Homer himself, if he had been a native of oriental Tartary, and had been cradled and brought up under the impressions made by such scenery, and under the influence of such a climate, would never have been a poet.' Vol. IV p
48. It is easy to admit the whole of this creed as to the effect of the dead flats of the earth ;-it is probable enough that Belgium or Tartary would have put an effectual negative on any atteinpt of nature to make there a Homer; but on the other hand, when she deciiled there should be but one Hoiner, it was in vain that all the charms and splendours of the Grecian scenery and climate conspired to multiply the number. The great and unquestionable power of such a noble and most enviable state of the material world, to develop and enrich vative genius, confessed its limits, and its total inability to create genius, in the innumerable beings of ordinary faculty in ancient Greece, even in the period when so many other mighty causes co-operated And what does it do now? The identical Greece remains, in that effulgence of elemental glory which so justly enraptured our Author; but what are its men!
The enthusiasm inspired at Athens, was not likely to languish on the Plain of Marathon, wbich is finely illustrated, in every sense; several beautiful plates assisting the minute and perspicuous topographical description. The Investigator could not doubt that he distinguished, in a conspicuous tumulus, the tomb of the Athenians; and he very clearly and strikingly explains, in surveying the scene of action in the vicinity of the marsh, how a prodigious multitude of the Persians would inevitably be ingulfed in it. He had narrowly missed seeing the Cave of Pan, in approaching Marathon, on the road from Athens. In crossing the territory of the ancient Tanagra, he observes that it is,
a plain of such extraordinary beauty, extent, and fertility, that the sight of it alone is sufficient to explain all the ancient authors have written concerning the contests maintained for its possession, between the inhabitants of Attica and of Bæotia.'
The site of Tanagra was first ascertained by Mr. Hawkins, and a letter from him is inserted, describing some curious exhibitions there of the ridiculous superstition of the Greek peasants, which frustrated his attempt to get on board his vessel a beautiful Ionic capital of white marble. The aspect of Thebes, when first beheld, at the distance of several miles, was very striking; its fine position giving a grand effect to the prodigious ramparts, and high mounds, of a very artificial form,
which appear upon the outside of it.' A deep fosse surrounds * it, and the traces of its old walls may yet be discerned;' but
having suffered more than any other city of Greece, it has « little within its walls worth notice.' A most industrious inves. tigation was made of its scanty remains; and our Author is confirlent that a very correct topography of the city might he
composed from traces still: discernible;' the situation of its seven gates might be ascertained. A number of inscriptions were transcribed; and in the church of St. Demetrius there may be seen,
• the rarest specimens of architecture in Greece; namely, several beautiful capitals of that chaste and ancient pattern of the Corin. thian order, which is entirely without volute for the corners, and has a single wreath of the simplest Acanthus foliage to crown its base. There is not in Europe a single instance of this most elegant variety of the Corinthian in any modern structure. In fact, it is only known to those persons who have seen the very few examples of it that exist among the ruins of the Grecian cities. There is no trace of it among the ruins of Rome; yet, in point of taste, it is so exceedingly superior to the more ornamented and crowded capital which was afterwards introduced, that both the rival connoscenti of Athens, Lusieri, and Fauvel, have designed and modelled it, and they have spoken of its discovery as forming an epocha in the history of the art.'
A still finer and more perfect specimen occurred afterwards among the ruins of Lebadéa. We wish the form that deserves such applauses had been conveyed in a drawing. Dr. C. is of opinion that, denuded as Thebes appears of the beauties of ancient art, there must be many of its antiquities lying concealed from observation, within the mosques, baths, and dwellings of its present inhabitants, and, above all, beneath the soil now occupied by the town and the suburbs:' and there he is willing to anticipate it may not be long before they will be detected. Among the few visible relics he observed beneath a ruined tower, a massive Soros of one entire block of narile, serving as a cistern beneath a fountain. Upon this Soros there appeared a very curious bas relief, representing, in rude and most ancient sculpture, the figure of a Phrenix, perched upon the pinnacle of an obelisk.' This combination recalls to mind a notice in Pausanias, answering in some points of the description, and instantly the tomb of Hector is before our Author's eyes. « The remarkable representation of a Phænix upon an d belisk of the Sun, as having risen from its (eshes, seems to be peculiarly adapted to the story of the removal of Hector 6 ushes,
in obedience to the Oracle, from his Trojan grave, to become ' an object of reverence in the city of Cadmus. His fancy, always full of living fire, comes upon us here with one of those coruscations which evince his genuine kindred to the ancient Greeks.