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ART. XI.-Time's Telescope for 1831: or, a Complete Guide to the Almanack, &c. &c. London: Sherwood and Co. 1831.
THIS old and valuable periodical comes forth this year with entirely new pretensions. In every department, mental and mechanical, there is a decided improvement.
As the Parent of the Annuals,' observes the Editor, it has been thought advisable to assume a somewhat gayer appearance than heretofore, in accordance with the prevailing modes of the younger branches of the family; and though certainly far from rivalling in splendour the Messrs. Keepsake, Souvenir, Forget-me-not, and Co., yet, like many other elderly persons, adhering sufficiently to the fashion of the day to render ourselves agreeable: and whatever we may be deficient in the splendour of art, we hope will be found fully compensated in utility and amuse
After a careful perusal of the work we are inclined to give our opinion in favour of the Editor's hopes, and to say that, if not quite so remarkable as the Annuals for its shining qualifications, this work exceeds many of them in the substantial merits that wear well. Those, therefore, who are accustomed to select their yearly book as the Vicar of Wakefield chose his wife, will have no hesitation in giving the preference to the more durable charms of Time's Telescope.
The work, besides a very improved register of Astronomical Occurrences, contains a new-at least as new as it is possible under the circumstances to contrive-description of each remarkable day in the year, with the various phenomena of the seasons. Some of the most agreeable of our younger poets have adorned the pages of this work with their contributions. One poem in particular has struck us as evincing the most undoubted characteristics of the true Promethean spark. We do not think that any thing so beautiful has appeared in the best even of our Annuals. It seems to be the production of a gentleman whose name, as far as we can ascertain, comes before the world for the first time.
'THE VIRGIN MARY'S BANK.'
BY JOSEPH C. CALLANAN.
The evening star rose beauteous above the fading day, As to the lone and solemn beach the Virgin came to pray, And hill and wave shone brightly in the moonlight's mellow fall, But the bank of green where Mary knelt was the brightest of them all.
These very beautiful verses are founded on an existing popular tradition in the county of Cork. There is not a fisherman, we believe, who visits the bay of Cloghnakilty but can show the green hillock, known as the Virgin Mary's Bank.
"In the bay of Cloghnakilty, which divides Ibawne from Barryroe, is the pleasant island of Inchydonny. The island, by an inquisition at Cork, Nov. 4th, 1584, was found to be escheated, for want of heirs, to
Slow moving o'er the waters a gallant bark appeared,
And her joyous crew look'd from the deck as to the land she near'd;
And her wings of snow, o'er the waves below, in pride and beauty shone. 'The master saw our lady' as he stood upon the prow,
And mark'd the whiteness of her robe and the radiance of her brow;
And her eyes look'd up amongst the stars to HIM her soul lov'd best.
'He show'd her to his sailors, and he hail'd her with a cheer,
And on the kneeling Virgin they gaz'd with laugh and jeer,
And they curs'd the faint lagging breeze that kept them from the shore.
The ocean from its bosom shook off the moonlight sheen,
And up his wrathful billows rose to vindicate their Queen;
Then loud from all that guilty crew one shriek rose wild and high,
When the calm and purple morning shone out on high Dunmore,
The engravings are numerous, and some of them executed in a very admirable style. This annual, in short, displays all the results of minute care and costly preparation, and is highly deserving of general patronage.
ART. XII.-The History of Modern Greece, from its Conquest by the Romans, B. C. 146, to the Present Time. By James Emerson, Esq., Trinity College, Dublin. In two volumes. 8vo. London: Colburn
and Co. 1830.
WHILST we happily possess the most abundant materials for illustrating the history and condition of ancient Greece, and whilst its modern state forms the subject of numerous and accumulating works, it is a singular fact that but little pains had been hitherto taken to trace the intermediate links of the chain by which these two brilliant but distant eras are connected together. And yet it was but natural to expect that the fortunes of a people once so
Queen Elizabeth, and the Bishop of Ross had but seven marks, half-faced money, out of the same."-Smith's History of Cork.
gloriously exalted in the scale of civilisation, should attract, in their various and lamentable vicissitudes, the interest of mankind.
But it would appear as if the annals of the Greek nation were deemed important by historians only in proportion as that people exercised an influence over the general state of society. When, therefore, under the emasculated rule of the Roman emperors, Greece sank to the most degraded state of moral and political imbecility, it is scarcely necessary to add that she became an object of universal neglect. From the period when Justinian, by a wise determination, abolished the remaining institutions of Paganism in Greece to make room for Christianity, down almost to the twelfth century, her history is a complete blank, no other mention being made of her except in a few passages of vague and insignificant allusion in the works of the Byzantine historians. The first welldefined view that we next gain of the Greek nation is in connection with the results of the crusades, since their territory was given up to the French barons, who took so distinguished a part in the Holy war, as their share of the spoils of conquest. It is just before this era that Mr. Emerson commences the more elaborate and prolonged details of the history of Greece. Out of the complicated and confused materials which are placed before him, the industrious author contrives to preserve a consistent and intelligible narrative, scarcely ever venturing to diverge from a plain and simple statement, lest he should involve himself in the dangerous intricacies that every where surround him. In a bold and rapid manner he carries us through the succession of miseries which Greece underwent, during a long and bloody competition, of which she was the object. It would seem, however, from the whole tenor of the history, that neither the French barons, who practised in Greece the feudal policy to which they were accustomed at home, nor yet the Ottoman conquerors, acted towards the inhabitants of the Morea in a manner more inconsistent with the true principles of freedom and humanity, than did the Venetians themselves, who boasted that they were in possession of all the privileges and all the virtues that the blessing of liberty is supposed to confer. The history of the struggle which Venice maintained for the sovereignty with Turkey, from the first war, which happened in 1463, to the peace of Passarowitz, in 1718, by which the former state was virtually deprived of all power in Greece, is full of stirring and interesting events, and is told by Mr. Emerson with an energy and an effect highly worthy of the animating theme. At this stage of his narrative our author pauses, for the purpose of casting a retrospective glance on the condition of Greece, as it was affected in its various relations by the dominion of the Ottomans and the Venetians. The picture of moral Greece, during the ascendancy of the latter power, is melancholy enough.
'Continual oppression and acts of petty despotism in their rulers, operating on the mercurial and elastic spirits of the Greeks, naturally led to scenes of perpetual disunion and never ending litigation, and laid the foun
dation for that trait of disaffection and turbulence, which still marks the character of the islanders. Education was at a total stand, and a mistaken political theory induced the Venetians to prohibit the existence of any establishment for national instruction in her Septinsular possessions, It was, in consequence, to Venice or Padua alone, that the young Greeks were forced to resort for instruction. Even under these circumstances, the youth of the islands might have been enabled to return with stores of information, such as could not fail to exalt the character of their countrymen; but the same vigilant despotism which forbade a home education, enforced the exclusion of every national feeling from a foreign one. The result was, that the Greek, as he advanced to manhood, had by custom and necessity become a Venetian alike in feeling and in habits; his native language was carefully excluded not only from his studies, but from the national acts; and the force of example and the influence of slavery were such, that towards the close of the Venetian dynasty, Greek was spoken only by the peasantry, and by the higher classes was solely used to command their domestics, whilst the young patrician would have blushed to address his compeer in the language of his fathers. The immediate relations of society, too, suffered in the same proportion, and the advances of vice kept pace with the dominion of ignorance.* Cunning and chicanery naturally sprang from the grindings of tyranny and the trickery of commerce, and murders and assassinations became in some of the islands matters of daily occurrence.'—vol. i. pp. 254-257.
This state of society may naturally be looked upon as the result of that line of worse than Machiavelian policy recommended to the Senate by their Consultor Sarpi, better known by the title of Father Paolo. In his directions and maxims for the government of Venice and her dependencies, he uses the following terms in adverting to her insular colonies.
"For your Greek subjects of the island of Candia, and the other islands of the Levant, there is no doubt but there is some greater regard to be had of them, first, because that the Greek faith is never to be trusted; and, perhaps, they would not much stick at submitting to the Turk, having the example of all the rest of the nation before their eyes. These, therefore, must be watched with more attention, lest, like wild beasts, as they are, they should find an occasion to use their teeth and claws. The surest way is, to keep good garrisons to awe them, and not use them to arms or musters, in hopes of being assisted by them in an extremity; for they will always show ill inclinations proportionably to the strength they shall be masters of, they being of the nature of the galley slaves, who, if they were well used, would return the kindness by seizing the galley, and carry it and its commander to Algiers: wine and bastinadoes ought to be their share, and keep good-nature for a better occasion.
"As for the gentlemen of those colonies, you must be very watchful of them; for besides the natural ferocity of the climate, they have the character of noblemen, which raises their spirits, as the frequent rebellions of Candia do sufficiently evidence. If the gentlemen of these colonies do tyrannize over the villages of their dominion, the best way is not to seem to see it, that there may be no kindness between them and their subjects; but if they offend in any thing else, 'twill be well to chastise them severely, that they may not brag of any privileges more than others. It will not be amiss, likewise, to dispute all their pretensions to any particular jurisdic
One can scarcely avoid the suspicion that the conduct of Venice towards its serfs in Greece furnished the precedent for the policy of England towards Ireland, during a considerable period of the connection of those two kingdoms. In the short-sighted attempt to withhold from her subjects the means of education at home, England was only more active and determined than Venice, but in both instances alike the unhallowed project produced the very contrary of its intended effect. A corresponding result to that which was produced in Greece, took place in Ireland; and the youth of the latter kingdom, obliged to obtain that cultivation abroad of which they were deprived in their own country, brought back from the places of their sojourn a feeling of resentment and alienation to the institutions of their native land, which the government, in its more prudent mood, afterwards thought it convenient not to perpetuate. Happily, however, these errors are now as much mere matters of history in the case of this country as in that of Venice. We therefore allude to them only for the purpose of showing the curious identity of means which the spirit of tyranny suggests to men who are willing to be guided by it, no matter in what clime those means are to be employed. Without meaning to press this point farther, we may be allowed just to observe, that the "maxims" of Fra Paolo for the government of Greece may be met with over and over, nearly in the same language, in the history of Ireland.
Let us, however, do justice even to those who were unwilling to render it themselves. If our recollection of Venetian history be correct, the republic took pains to encourage the judicious practice of agriculture in Greece. It introduced, if we mistake not, the cultivation of olives, which once formed a source of active employment and profitable commerce to the inhabitants of the Morea, though now the palpable evidences of the existence of olives is confined to the stray and neglected root of that species of tree which may be met with in the wild woods of Greece. The Venetians, at all events, derived a considerable revenue from the Morea, and that, it must fairly be admitted, is an advantage utterly irreconcileable with an uniform and consistent course of oppression.
The sway of the Ottomans over Greece was an undisguised system of tyranny. The Divan acted on a policy the most severe and uncompromising, and it employed agents in the execution of its fiscal measures, who improved so far upon the spirit of their masters, as that when they were empowered to raise one million of taxes for the Porte, they took care, on the same occasion, to
tion; and if at any time their nobility or title be disputed, it will do well to sell them the confirmation of it at as dear a rate as possible; and, in a word, remember that all the good that can come from them, is already obtained, which was to fix the Venetian dominion; and for the future, there is nothing but mischief to be expected from them."'