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grave, continually repeating some Arab words, signifying "Be thou happy."
Although there is a sameness in the character of the Egyptian scenery, it is such as is to be seen in no other land. The Libyan and Arabian chains of mountains, perfectly naked, stretch on each side of the Nile nearly to the first cataract, generally within a few miles of the river, and sometimes close to it, or forming its bank. At the foot of these naked masses of a light colour, often appear groups of the most vivid and beautiful verdure, the palm and sycamore spreading over some lonely cottage, a herd of goats and buffaloes winding their way, or a camel silently grazing. The utter barrenness and desolation that often encompass scenes and spots of exquisite fruitfulness and beauty, the tomb of the Santon with its scanty shade, and the white minaret with its palm and cypress placed on the very verge of a boundless desert, or amidst a burning expanse of sand, are almost peculiar to Egypt. Then you often pass from the rich banks of the Nile, covered with lime and orange-trees, where groups of Orientals are seated luxuriously in the shade, into a wild and howling waste, where all, even the broken monuments of past ages, only inspire feelings of sadness and regret.
It was evening ere we arrived at Luxor, a poor yet populous village, erected partly amidst the ruins of the great temple. This edifice is near the water's edge, and its lofty yellow pillars, each thirty feet in circumference, and ranged in long colonnades, instantly arrest the attention. On landing, we found on the sand a dozen grim Egyptian statues, large as life, cut in coarse granite, after the fashion of the great Memnon, and in a sitting posture, close to the edge of the water, that rippled at their feet. The weight of each statue was enormous, and would render the removal difficult; or else a traveller might well be tempted to ship one of them, as they seemed to be no man's property. There are two most beautiful obelisks fronting the gateway, seventy feet high but in reality much loftier, as a considerable part is buried in rubbish. Their hieroglyphics are cut deeper, and with greater delicacy, than those on any other obelisks in Egypt. A Frenchman, m the employment of Drouetti the consul, resided here, who shewed us much politeness; he was an intelligent man, dressed in the Arab costume, and had resided sixteen years in various parts of this country. His companion, Moris Bonnet, had gone to Cairo for a supply of wine and other comforts, and he felt solitary and impatient for his return: he possessed a small collection of minerals and other curiosities, and had manufactured a cool delightful sort of palm-wine out of the juice of the tree, which was very grateful to us in the sultry heat of the day. Sixteen years residence in Upper Egypt is really a trial of a man's patience and enthusiasm, and for two Frenchmen above all beings. Suleiman Aga, commander of the Pacha's Mamelukes at Esneh, a town two days' sail farther, was not so resigned: this man was one of Bonaparte's colonels, and on the ruin of his master's fortunes he came to Egypt, and offered his services to the Pacha, protesting at the same time he would never consent to change his religion. Mahmoud laughed, and said, he cared nothing about his religion, if he only served him well; but he must allow himself to be called by a Turkish name, and wear the costume. Suleiman Aga now lives in style as commandant at Esneh, and: receives travellers very hospitably; but his soul pines, amidst-Egyptian beauty, for a suitable compauion, and he implored a fellow-traveller and friend of mine to send him out an English or Italian wife: he swore he would pay implicit deference to his friend's advice, and marry the lady the moment she arrived. The women around him, he said, were so insipid; and he would live there contented could he be but blessed with one whom he could converse with, and whose vivacity and intelligence would brighten his solitary hours.
It is difficult to describe the stupendous and noble ruins of Thebes. Beyond all others they give you the idea of a ruined, yet imperishable city; so vast is their extent, that you wander a long time confused and perplexed, and discover at every step some new object of interest. From the temple of Luxor to that of Karnac the distance is a mile and a half, and they were formerly connected by a long avenue of sphinxes, the mutilated remains of which, the heads being broken off the greater part, still line the whole path. Arrived at the end of this avenue, you first pass under a very elegant arched gateway, seventy feet high, and quite isolated. About fifty yards farther you enter a temple of inferior dimensions, which Drouetti has been busy in excavating; you then advance into a spacious area, strewed with broken pillars, and surrounded with vast and lofty masses of ruins,—all parts of the great temple: a little on your right is the magnificent portico of Karnac, the vivid remembrance of which will never leave him who has once gazed on it. Its numerous colonnades of pillars, of gigantic form and height, are in excellent preservation, but without ornament; the ceiling and walls of the portico are gone; the plat-stone still connects one of the rows of pillars, and is ornamented, and viewed from below, with a slender remain of the edifice still attached to it, it seems almost to hang in the sky. Passing hence, you wander amidst obelisks, porticoes, and statues, the latter without grace or beauty, but of a most colossal kind. If you ascend one of the hills of rubbish, and look around, you see a gateway standing afar, conducting only to solitude; detached and roofless pillars, while others lie broken at their feet, the busts of gigantic statues appearing above the earth, while the rest of the body is yet buried, or the head torn away, while others lie prostrate or broken into useless fragments. On the left spread the dreary deserts of the Thebais, to the edge of which the city extends. In front is a pointed and barren range of mountains: the Nile flows at the feet of the temple of Luxor; but the ruins extend far on the other side of the river, to the very feet of those formidable precipices, and into the wastes of sand: the natural scenery around Thebes is as fine as can possibly be conceived. The remainder of the statue is still here, the beautiful bust of which Belzoni sent to the British Museum; it was fallen and broken off long since. Drouetti is quite inexcusable in causing one of the two beautiful obelisks at the entrance of the temple of Karnac to be thrown down and broken, that he might carry off the upper part: such an act is absolute sacrilege. One cannot help imagining that a vast deal yet remains to be discovered beneath this world of ruins, on both sides of the river; but the pursuit requires incessant and undivided attention. A traveller must lay his account to spend six months in excavating here, with a body of Arabs, who work very cheaply, and must put up with many privations, before he could expect to be richly compensated for his pains.
The second visit we paid to Karnac was still more interesting. The moon l»ad risen, and we passed through one or two Arab villages in the way, where fires were lighted in the open air, and the men, after the labours of the day, were seated in groups round them, smoking and conversing with great cheerfulness. It is singular that in the most burning climates of the East, the inhabitants always love a good fire at night, and a traveller soon catches the habit; yet the air was still very warm. There was no fear of interruption in exploring the ruins, as the Arabs dread to come here after daylight, as they often say these places were built by Afrit, the devil; and the belief in apparitions prevails among most of the Orientals. We again entered with delight the grand portico. It was a night of uncommon beauty, without a breath of wind stirring, and the moonlight fell vividly on some parts of the colonnades, while others were shaded so as to add to, rather than diminish their grandeur. The obelisks, the statues, the lonely columns on the plain without, threw their long shadows on the mass of ruins around them, and the scene was in truth exquisitely mournful and beautiful.
As from the western firmament
The sun sank in the sky,
While evening from the minaret sent
Deeply and solemnly—
He knew that he must die!
Echoed of conquest and renown
Hush'd in death-slumber should go down.
And countless millions call in vain,
Their chief to glory's lists again.
His look was firm, his turban'd brow
Paled not though death was near him now
In many a combat's rage,
When past his noon of age,
Bui he had not been one of those
From lust of vengeance upon foes-
It was the Koran author's cause,
The Islem faith, and power, and laws,
But now the soldier'i eye of fire.
That lit the ranks of war,
Shall never sound again—
From sight of fellow men;
For life was flitting fast,
He to the mosque hath past.
The prophet on the tribune stands,
Looking the lord of countless lands,
Of limb, and face, and frame,
That spirit's ardent flame;
Is dug for me—1 am no more
You I have robbed, take of my gold—
Humble in dust an hundred fold !—
Where all is swallow'd up and dead—
The dymg Prophet bent his head: Faintly his parting orders gave,
Breath'd his farewell to all around, Then sank enshrined into his grave,—
While the world startled at the sound Of woe from kingdoms he had won, Vast as the realm of Philip's son, Soon to belong from their decay, Like their dead chief, to yesterday. J. POPULAR SONGS OF THE MODERN GREEKS.*
The publication of the Popular Songs of the Modern Greeks, is one of the roost remarkable events which have taken place in the literature of our days. We have indeed heard of these songs in the works of travellers for the last two centuries; but we have always heard of them only as barbarous and unintelligible rhapsodies: and the poetry of Modern Attica has been characterized as worthy of nothing but the contempt and ridicule which have been so liberally poured forth by writers of all parties upon its turhaned population. The lovers of freedom, in their impatience at the sight of slavery in the plains and cruelty on the mountains, and despairing of the regeneration of Greece, were glad to turn their eyes from the spectacle of unresisted tyranny and forgotten days of glory, and to fix them on the chiefs and sages and poets of her happier ages: and the partisans of despotism having nothing to dread from the genius and virtue which had long faded from the earth, while they delighted to dwell upon the contented ignorance and slumbering energies of the Modern Greeks, and to represent their cause as utterly hopeless, pretended to be equally enthusiastic about their ancestors, and the arts, the liberty, and the glory, that were buried in their tombs, and forgotten like their names and example. It has always appeared to us, however, that the sentimental lamentations of the one party, and the savage exultation of the other over fallen Greece, were equally unreasonable. A people that could preserve, through ages of slavery and degradation, a distinct national character, and a language almost unmingled with the words of their oppressors, must possess a spirit and an energy which cannot be subdued: and if there were nothing else to recommend the cause of the Greeks, this alone, we think, would be sufficient to inspire a hope of their final success, and to justify the anxiety about their fate, which their first unassisted struggles kindled in the bosom of all the lovers of liberty and genius.
But happily there are other grounds for hope, and among them may be ranked their possession of the poetry, of which we intend in this article to present some specimens to our readers. As the first published sample of the original literature of the Modem Greeks, it is sufficiently curious; but it is still more interesting as a picture of the "fierce wars and faithful loves," which diversify their existence, and of the hopes and superstitions which colour or overcast it. We knew that the Greeks had a literature borrowed from the Italian—that they had copied the Provencal ballads and the romances of chivalry—but we did not expect to find any thing among them like the energy, the beauty, the tenderness, and the wildncss that breathe and glow throughout these songs of Greece, bringing to our ears the earliest echoes of love and freedom which have come from that romantic land. The sudden unfolding of all this poetry, so singular and so characteristic, strikes us with the same delight and wonder, as if Greece itself were stretched out before us, crowned with its old poetic mountains, and all its sunny valleys laid open to our gaze.
M. Fauriel, a Frenchman of great erudition, and considerable taste,
* Chants populates de la Grece Moderne, recueillis et publics par C. FaurielTome I. Chanta Historiques. gvo. Paris. June 1824. .