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men, — claiming to be descended from the heroes of Marathon and Salamis. Since the vindication of their nationality, and the establishment of their independence, their achievements in education and literature, and the genius they have shown for legislation and political eloquence, connect them legitimately
with the line of Solon, Pericles, and Demosthenes. · The Literature of Greece coines down, like the
language, in unbroken descent from Homer, a thousand years before Christ, to the present day, an example unique in the history of the world. Both have undergone changes, since mutability is the order of Nature in all human affairs. But we hear in the streets of Athens, and on the heights of Parnassus, the same intonations that were heard, though differently modulated, two thousand years ago. We see in the schools of Athens, and among the vineyards on the slopes of Delphi, forms and features like those which three and twenty centuries ago Phidias immortalized in the marble friezes of the Parthenon. The ancient literature is connected with the modern, by the long line of Byzantine writers, — the works of the Fathers, — the Chrysostoms and Basils, whose eloquence adorned the pulpits of Constantinople and Antioch, — and the writings of scholars who spent their days in the studious cloisters of the monasteries in copying or commenting upon the ancient writers, and who have continued, in a continuous series, down to the present age. If we turn to the popular poetry, which grew up among the mountains and in the valleys and on the islands, and expressed the native feelings of a simple people, we find in the demotic
songs, the evidences that, like their ancestors, the Greeks of modern times possess a vein of natural inspiration touched by every occurrence of life, and breaking into strains of artless but enchanting beauty. The passion of love and bridal rejoicings, myriologues and funeral wails, the fierce delights of victory and revenge, the courage that braves death rather than submit to an ignoble servitude, and the fortitude that bears without a groan the tortures inflicted by a barbarous captor, intermingled with an exqusite sensibility to the beauties of nature as seen in rocky heights, and wooded wilds, and silent solitudes, and clear streams, and singing birds, — all these find unpremeditated expression in the myriad songs that live on the people's lips, and tell the story of the unquenched fires of genius still burning in the heart of the race. And more directly still, the echoes of old Hellenic imagination still reverberate among the picturesque highlands of Central Greece, and on the heaven-scaling summits of Pelion, Ossa, and Olympus. The old ferryman of the Styx reappears with his ancient name of Charon, but as the mysterious and inexorable minister of Death, hanging invisibly over the doomed, or lying in wait for them in some wild sequestered spot, behind a weird old tree, or mossy rock, or on horseback, sweeping like a storm over the mountains, with the ghosts of the dead at his saddie bow, or marching unwillingly at his side. The ominous birds of the ancients take part in the modern ballad, as well as in the choral song of Aristophanes, endowed with speech and with such supernatural powers of vision that they see a ghost even when invisible to mortal eyes. I know of nothing in modern literature superior in all the attributes of popular poetry to these simple but vivid outpourings of the yet unexhausted spring of Grecian genius; but the charm they possess when heard in the open air on the mountains of Greece, or in the Pass of Thermopylæ, so peopled with the memories of old heroic days, in the midst of the simple life whose spirit they embody, and the scenery that suggested their coloring, can hardly be imagined where these inspiring accessories are wanting.
We must admit that the Greeks are Greeks still, that they are the descendants of their own ancestors, though that has been denied by Fallmereyer, and that the body of the people inherit the intellectual and moral characteristics which marked the old Hellenic race. No doubt these have all been modified by the introduction of Christianity, and the influence of the Oriental Church through many centuries; by the successive inroads of other races, Goths, Slaves, Franks, and Turks; but the core of ethnic character remained, through the lapse of ages, through the change of faith, through the mutations of fortune, through the tyranny of foreign masters, essentially unchanged. Greek genius is still blooming on the soil of Greece; the perfection of form which we admire in the works of the ancient sculptors, is still found in breathing loveliness, among the youthful generation of the Greeks; the Greek language, restored to almost Attic purity, is heard in the society of Athens, in the pulpit, in the professor's chair.
The preservation of the Greek Language is a remarkable phenomenon in the History of Civilization, and the preservation of the Greek race is almost equally so. During all the changes, political and religious, through which they passed, their character remained essentially the same. The explanation probably is this: during the Roman domination they never blended completely with the Roman people ; they never adopted, to any great extent, the Roman language; they never became Roman in public or private life. Greek Literature, Greek Manners, Greek Art, maintained themselves from age to age in the Hellenic race. The Christian religion made great progress among them at an early period, and the organization of religious bodies, and the discussion of religious subjects, supplied the want of political Assemblies. The most eminent of the early Masters of Christian eloquence were Greek Orators, like Chrysostomos, who, with a power equal almost to Demosthenes, spoke to crowded and enthusiastic andiences from the pulpits of Constantinople, Antioch, and Alexandria ; and the discourse delivered by St. Paul to the philosophers of Athens had become, according to Longinus, one of the great traditions of Attic eloquence. The hierarchy of the Oriental church was established by Greek Christians, and the liturgy, as it exists at the present day, was gradually formed by the leaders in Ecclesiastical affairs among the Greeks. The Hebrew Scriptures had long since been translated into the Greek; and the Christian Scriptures, with perhaps one or two exceptions, were originally written in the common Greek dialect of the first century of our era. These Scriptures have been publicly read in the Greek churches from the
beginning down to the present day; and the liturgy continues to be performed every morning in the original Greek, by a trained priesthood, in every church of Greece and Turkey, just as it was performed ten centuries ago under the Christian Emperors of Byzantium. The Church, then, has always been a powerful bond of union for the Hellenic race, keeping alive the sentiment of a common nationality, and the knowledge of the ancient forms of their language ; not only during the long existence of the Byzantine Empire, but through the dreadful period of Turkish domination. It is not surprising, therefore, that the Greeks are as a body devotedly attached to their Church, and that this attachment sometimes becomes fanatical.
It should be remembered, also, that the successive invasions of Greece, down to the time of the capture of Constantinople, did not lead to the permanent occupation of any considerable part of the country ; and when the Turks became masters of the soil, though their dominion lasted for nearly four centuries, they never united with the inhabitants so as to form one people. Their domestic institutions founded upon polygamy, and their religion that of Islam, added to the natural fierceness and haughtiness of the race, made any blending of such contrasted elements into one homogeneous society impossible. The Turk was the master, the Greek the slave. The Harem and the Christian household - the Koran and the Bible the Tatar and the Greek could never unite in friendly relations. At the close of the late war of Independence, so little blended were the races, that