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Some bitter o'er the flowers its bubbling venom flings.
“Medio de fonte leporum
A traitor only fell beneath the feud : Alluding to the conduct and death of Solano, the governor of Cadiz, in May, 1809.
" War even to the knife!" 6. War to the knife." Palafox's answer to the French general at the siege of Saragoza.
And thou, my friend! &c. The Honourable John Wingfield, of the Guards, who died of a fever at Coimbra (May 11, 1811). I had known him ten years, the better half of his life, and the happiest part of mine.
In the short space of one month, I have lost her who gave me being, and most of those who had made that being tolerable. To me the lines of Young are no fiction :
“Insatiate archer! could not one suffice ?
Thy shaft flew thrice, and thrice my peace was slain,
I should have ventured a verse to-the memory of the late Charles Skinner Matthews, Fellow of Downing College, Cambridge, were he not too much above all praise of mine. His powers of mind, shown in the attainment of greater honours, against the ablest candidates, than those of any graduate on record at Cambridge, have sufficiently established his fame on the spot where it was acquired; while his softer qualities live in the recollection of iriends who loved him too well to envy his superiority.
CANTO THE SECOND.
STANZA 1. -despite of war and wasting, fire, Part of the Acropolis was destroyed by the explosion of a magazine during the Venetian siege.
of men who never felt the sacred glow
That thoughts of thee and thine on polish'd breasts bestow. We can all feel, or imagine, the regret with which the ruins of cities, once the capitals of empires, are beheld: the reflections suggested by such objects are too trite to require recapitulation. But never did the littleness of man, and the vanity of his very best virtues, of patriotism to exalt, and of valour to defend his country, appear more conspicuous than in the record of what Athens was, and the certainty of what she now is. This theatre, of contention between mighty factions, of the struggles of orators, the exaltation and deposition of tyrants, the triumph and punishment of generals, is now become a scene of petty intrigue and perpetual disturbance, between the bickering agents of certain British nobility and gentry. “The wild foxes, the owls and serpents in the ruins of Babylon,” were surely less degrading than such inhabitants. The Turks have the plea of conquest for their tyranny, and the Greeks have only suffered the fortune of war, incidental to the bravest; but how are the mighty fallen, when two painters contest the privilege of plundering the Parthenon, and triumph in turn, according to the tenor of each succeeding firman! Sylla could but punish, Philip subdue, and Xerxes burn Athens; but it remained for the paltry antiquarian, and his despicable agents, to render her contemptible as himself and his pursuits.
The Parthenon, before its destruction in part, by fire during the Venetian siege, had been a temple, a church, and a mosque. In each point of view it is an object of regard : it changed its worshippers: but still it was a place of worship thrice sacred to devotion; its violation is a triple sacrifice. But
“Man, proud man,
Far on the solitary shore he sleeps : It was not always the custom of the Greeks to burn their dead; the greater Ajax, in particular, was interred entire. Almost all the chiefs became gods after their decease; and he was indeed neglected, who had not annual games near his tomb, or festivals in honour of his memory by his countrymen, as Achilles, Brasidas, &c. And at last even Antinous, whose death was as heroic as his life was infamous.
Here, son of Saturn! was thy fav’rite throne : The temple of Jupiter Olympius, of which sixteen columns, entirely of marble, yet survive: originally there were one hundred and fifty. These columns, however, are by many supposed to have belonged to the Pantheon.
And bear these altars o'er the long-reluctant brine. The ship was wrecked in the Archipelago.
To rire what Goth, and Turk, and Time hath spared. At this moment (January 3, 1810), besides what has been already deposited in London, an Hydriot vessel is in the Pyræus to receive every portable relic. Thus, as I heard a young Greek observe, in common with many of his countrymen – for, lost as they are, they yet feel on this occasion thus may Lord Elgin boast of having ruined Athens. An Italian painter of the first eminence, named Lusieri, is the agent of devastation ; like the Greek finder of Verres in Sicily, who followed the same profession, he has proved the able instrument of plunder. Between this artist and the French Consul Fauvel, who wishes to rescue the remains for his own government, there is now a violent dispute concerning a car employed in their conveyance, the wheel of which — I wish they were both broken upon it!— has been locked up by the Consul, and Lusieri has laid his complaint before the Waywode. Lord Elgin has been extremely happy in his choice of Signor Lusieri. During a residence of ten years in Athens, he never had the curiosity to proceed as far as Sunium,* till he accom
# Now Cape Lonna. In all Attica, if we except Athens itself and Marathon, there is no scene more interesting than Cape Colonna. To the antiquary and artist, sixteen columns are an inexhaust. ible source of observation and design; to the philosopher, the supposed scene of some of Plato's conversations will not be unwelcome; and the traveller will be struck with the beauty of the prospect over “ Isles that crown the Ægean deep :” but, for an Englishman, Colonna has yet an additional
panied us in our second excursion. However, his works, as far as they go, are most beautiful; but they are almost all unfinished. While he and his patrons confine themselves to tasting medals, appreciating cameos, sketching columns, and cheapening gems, their little absurdities are as harmless as insect or fox-hunting, maiden speechifying, barouche-driving, or any such pastime: but when they carry away three or four shiploads of the most valuable and massy relics that time and barbarism have left to the most injured and most celebrated of cities; when they destroy, in a vain attempt to tear down, those works which have been the admiration of ages, I know no motive which can excuse, no name which can designate, the perpetrators of this dastardly devastation. It was not the least of the crimes laid to the charge of Verres, that he had plundered Sicily, in the manner since imitated at Athens. The most unblushing impudence could hardly go farther than to affix the name of its plunderer to the walls of the Acropolis; while the wanton and useless defacement of the whole range of the basso-relievos, in one compartment of the temple, will never permit that name to be pronounced by an observer without execration.
On this occasion I speak impartially : I am not a collector or admirer of collections, consequently no rival; but I have some early prepossession in favour of Greece, and do not think the honour of England advanced by plunder, whether of India or Attica.
Another noble Lord has done better, because he has done less : but some others, more or less noble, yet “all honourable men,” have done best, because, after a deal of excavation and execration, bribery to the Waywode, mining and countermining, they have done nothing at all. We had such mk-shed, and wine-shed, which almost ended in bloodshed ! Lord E.'s “prig” — see Jonathan Wild for the definition of “priggism” – quarrelled
interrst, as the actual spot of Falconer's Shipwreck. Pallas and Plato are forgotten, in the recollection of Falconer and Campbell :
“Here in the dead of night by Lonna's steep,
The seaman's cry was heard along the deep."
This temple of Minerva may be seen at sea from a great distance. In two jourreys which I made, and one voyage to Cape Colonna, the view from either side, by land, was less striking than the approach from the isles. In our second land excursion, we had a narrow escape from a party of Mainotes, concealed in the caverns beneath. We were told afterwards, by one of their prisoners, subsequently ransomed, that they were deterred from attacking us by the appearance of my two Albanians : conjecturing very sagaciously, but falsely, that we had a complete guard of these Arnaouts at hand, 'hey remained stationary, and thus saved our party, which was too small to have opposed any effectual resistance.
Colonna is no less a resort of painters than of pirates; there
“The hireling artist plants his paltry desk,
(See Hodgson's Lady Jane Grey, &c.)
But there Nature, with aid of Art,
that for herself. I was fortunate enough to engage a very superior German artist; and hope to renew my acquaintance with this and many oth ar Le. vanline scenes, by the arrival of his performances.
with another, Gropius* by name (a very good name too for his business), and
Yet felt some portion of their mother's pains,
“When the last of the Metopes was taken from the Parthenon, and, in moving of it, great part of the superstructure with one of the triglyphs was thrown down by the workmen whom Lord Elgin employed, the Disdar, who beheld the mischief done to the building, took his pipe from his mouth, dropped a tear, and, in a supplicating tone of voice, said to Lusieri, Tèlos! I was present."
The Disdar alluded to was the father of the present Disdar.
Stern Alaric and Havoc on their way?
-the netted canopy, To prevent blocks or splinters from falling on deck during action.
But not in silence pass Calypso's isles, Goza is said to have been the island of Calypso.
* This Sr. Gropius was employed by a noble Lord for the sole purpose of sketching, in which he excels; but I am sorry to say, that he has, through the abused sanction of that most respectable name, been treading at humble dis ance in the steps of Sr. Lusieri.– A shipful of his trophies was detained, and I believe confiscated, at Constantinople, in 1810. - I am most happy to be now enabled to state, that this was not in his bond ;" that he was employed solely as a painter, and that his noble patron disavows all connexion with him, except as an artist. If the error in the first and second edition of this poem bas given the noble Lord a moment's pain, I am very sorry for it ; Sr. Gropius has assumed for years the name of his agent; and though I cannot much condemn myself for sharing in the mistake of so many, I am happy in being one of the first to be undeceived. Indeed, I have as much pleasure in contradicting this as I felt regret in stating it.