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An expedition which should dare to take time, which should venture into deliberate and careful examinations, and which was sufficiently strong to overawe the lawless lords of the soil, might do much to settle the jars of opinion, and reveal to the general knowledge this terrible country, scarred and marked for ages by the chastising hand of God.
A minor difficulty in the way of reconciling one traveller's experience with another's, is the perpetual variation of proper names. Taken down as these must be from the guide of the moment, it is easy to account for the orthographical vicissitudes through which they pass; but it were surely well even to sacrifice a point and take our predecessor's spelling instead of our own, rather than throw this mist of perplexity over the whole scene. Many a learned puzzle has come out of this peculiarity in the sacred records themselves, the shifting of names, and subtracting of syllables; and we are like, as it seems, to find the same difficulty continuing with us. But it is not necessary, surely, that every new traveller should set up an orthography of his own: with submission, it appears to us that accuracy of place is of much more importance than originality of name, and that he is to be the most commended who enables you at once, and without perplexity, to recognise the spot where, in his predecessor's company, you have been before.
In taking leave of these pleasant
volumes, we cannot help regretting once more that the sketches to which such frequent reference is made are not added to the text. Lieut. Van de Velde's friend to whom his book is addressed, seems to have rather an unfair advantage over the public in this respect; and without detracting anything from the value of the penand-ink sketches, which are admirable of their kind, it is impossible not to feel a degree of injury, or to resist being provoked and tantalised by such a sentence as this "If my short description of the vale of Shechem, with its mountains of Blessing and Curse, can in any way elucidate to you the narratives of Scripture, I shall be very glad. I hope my sketch will come in aid of my pen."
And why, then, does not the sketch come in aid of the pen? The worshipful public who read his book claims to be the dearest of dear friends to an author, and suffers no such successful rivalry of its pretensions. We trust to see M. Van de Velde rectify this mistake in his second edition. A very animated book, full of life and motion, atmosphere and reality, he has added to our store-a good book, which the best of us may read "of Sundays," but which the gayest of us will not find too dry for every-day; and we will be glad to see Lieut. Van de Velde complete, by the addition of his sketches, so worthy a contribution to the little library of science, speculation, and adventure, which treats of the Holy Land.
A CLASSICAL BALLAD.
“ "Ος τᾶς ὀφίωδεος υιὸν ποτε Γόργονος
Πρίν γέ οι χρυσάμπυκα κουρα χαλινὸν
“ Αλλ ὅτε δὴ καὶ κέινος ἀπήχθετο πᾶσι θεοῖσιν
ἤτοι ὁ κὰπ πεδίον τὸ Αλήιον οἶος ἀλᾶτο
ὅν θυμὸν κατέδων πάτον ἀνθρώπων ἀλεείνων." --HowBR.
[The beautiful Corinthian legend of Bellerophon is narrated by Homer in the well-known episode of Glaucus and Diomede, in the sixth book of the Iliad. In that episode the strong-lunged son of Tydeus meets in the fight a face that was new to him, and before engaging in battle desires to know the name of his noble adversary. The courteous request is courteously complied with; and it appears that Glaucus-for such is the champion's name, though now serving in Priam's army as a Lycian auxiliary-was by descent a Grecian, the grandson of the famous Bellerophon of Corinth, between whose family and that of Diomede a sacred bond of hospitality had existed. This discovery leads to an interchange of friendly tokens between the intending combatants; the weapons of war are sheathed, and a bright gleam of human kindness is thrown across the dark tempestuous cloud of international conflict.
The story of Bellerophon, as told in this passage of the most ancient Greek poet, is a remarkable instance of how popular legend, proceeding from the germ of some famous and striking fact, is gradually worked up into a form where the actual is altogether subordinated to the miraculous. In Homer there is not a single word said of the winged horse, which is the constant companion of Bellerophon's exploits, in the current form of the legend afterwards revived, and which appears regularly on the coins of Corinth. The reason, also, of the hero's fall, from the loftiest prosperity to the saddest humiliation, is only dimly indicated by the poet, when he says that Bellerophon, towards the close of his life, "was hated by all the gods," and, "avoiding the path of men, ate his own heart" (öv Ivμòv katédwv); but whether it was that Homer, knowing the sin of Bellerophon, with a delicate sense of propriety, refused to set it forth distinctly in the mouth of his grandson, or whether the simplicity of the oldest form of the legend knew nothing more than what Homer tells, certain it is that the ever-active Greek imagination could not content itself with the obscurity of the Homeric indication, and the moral that "pride must have a fall" was distinctly brought out in the later form of the myth. For the rest, the writer has taken the topographical notices in the following verses, not from his own conceit, but from the authority of Pausanias in his Corinthian antiquities.
It needs scarcely be added that the legend of Bellerophon-in ancient times equally the property of Corinth in Europe, and Lycia in Asia-has now become in a peculiar manner the possession of Great Britain by the labours of Sir Charles Fellowes, and the Xanthian Chamber of the British Museum.]
THE sun shines bright on Ephyré's height,*
And right and left with billowy might
Poseidon rules the sea;
*The old name for Corinth. The famous rock of the Acropolis is 1800 feet high, and is a most prominent object from Athens, and all the open country to the east.
But not the sun that rules above,
There's blood upon thy hands; the hounds
Nor they within rich Corinth's bounds
Turns day to darkness round thee.
Darkly the Nemean forests frown,
But danger fear thou none;
The landscape here described is well known to travellers, being on the road between Corinth and Mycena. The Apesantian mount, with its broad, flat, tabular summit, overhangs Nemea, where three magnificent Corinthian pillars are all that remain to proclaim, amid the solitude, the once splendid worship of Nemean Jove. The defile of Tretus is described by Pausanias (ii. 15), and by Colonel Mure in his Travels. The temple of Juno, near Mycena, of which the remains have lately been disThe well-known ruins of Tiryns, at the head of the Argolic gulf, between Nau
Here Prœtus reigns; and here at length
And now from hot pursuit secure,
The princely Protus opes his gate,
Smiles gracious; him from fear,
O blessed was the calm that now
Lulled his racked brain, and smoothed his brow!
His sleepless eyes; from gracious Jove
That soothed his wounded soul.
Fair was each sight that gorgeous day,
To move the heart's desire.
Each manly sport and social game
Antéa saw him poise the dart,
In the fleet race the foremost start,
As no chaste woman sues she sued,
Nor hears her parley more.
Who slights a woman's love cuts deep,
The lustful wife of Protus now
A fiendish thing. She, with the pin
And when the crimson stream began
And with a feigned alarm
plia and Argos. The "
galleries" make a fine figure in illustrated tours; but Tiryns, situated on a low elliptical hillock, will disappoint the traveller. Mycenae, of which the remains are truly sublime, and well worthy to be associated for ever with the memory of the "king of men."
Roused all her maids, and in the ear
She poured the piteous lie,
That the false guest had sought to move
Then, more to stir his wrathful mood,
And to his high Corinthian guest
Lets not a thought be seen.
"Take here," quoth he, "thou high-souled knight,
The brother of my queen,
These tablets; he will honour thee
With all Apollo's beauty bland,
And various verdure green."
Uprose the knight with willing feet,
O'er steep Arachne's ridge, till he
Thoughtful a moment here he stood
He knew no danger, feared no foes,
Even at thy side in light arrayed,
And in her hand-O strangest sight!—
That bent the knee before the knight
And bowed its lofty head.
"Fear not, thou son of Æolus' race,
Dear to the gods art thou;
VOL. LXXVI.-NO. CCCCLXVII.