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THE SECOND CANTO HAROLD. - VISIT TO THE
RETURN TO ATHENS.
pleasing and lady like, such as would be fascinating in any country. They possess very considerable powers of conversation, and their minds seem to be more instructed
CHAPTER X. than those of the Greek women in general. With such attractions it would, indeed, be
1810-1811. remarkable, if they did not meet with great attentions from the travellers who occa
DEPARTURE FROM ATHENS. -SMYRNA. sionally are resident in Athens. They sit in the eastern style, a little reclined, with
RUINS OF EPHESUS—AND TO THE TROAD their limbs gathered under them on the
ABYDOS. divan, and without shoes. Their employ
EXPLOIT. CONSTANTINOPLE. EXCURments are the needle, tambouring, and read
SION THROUGH THE BOSPHORUS TO THE ing. “I have said that I saw these Grecian
BLACK SEA. VISIT TO CORINTH.-TOUR
OF THE MOREA.- VISIT TO VELAY PACHA. beauties through the waving aromatic plants before their window. This, perhaps, has
THE FRANCISCAN CONVENT. raised your imagination somewhat too high, in regard to their condition. You
HINTS FROM HORACE." —"CURSE OF have may
MINERVA." RETURN TO ENGLAND. supposed their dwelling to have every attribute of eastern luxury. The golden cups, too, may have thrown a little witchery over
TEN weeks had flown rapidly away, when your excited fancy. Confess, do you not
the unexpected offer of a passage in an imagine that the doors
English sloop of war to Smyrna induced the
travellers to make immediate preparations "• Sell-open'd into halls, where, who can tell
for departure, and, on the 5th of March, What elegance and grandeur wide expand, The pride of Turkey and of Persia's land ;
they reluctantly took leave of Athens. Soft quilts on quilts, on carpets carpets spread, Passing,” says Mr. Hobhouse, “ through And couches stretch'd around in seemly band, the gate leading to the Piræus, we struck And endless pillows rise to prop the head,
into the olive-wood on the road going to So that each spacious room was one full swelling bed ?'
Salamis, galloping at a quick pace, in order “ You will shortly perceive the propriety to rid ourselves, by hurry, of the pain of of my delaying, till now, to inform you that
parting.” He adds, “We could not refrain the aromatic plants which I have mentioned from looking back, as we passed rapidly to are neither more nor less than a few ge- the shore, and we continued to direct our raniums and Grecian balms, and that the
eyes towards the spot, where we had caught room in which the ladies sit is quite unfur- the last glimpse of the Theséum and the nished, the walls neither painted nor deco- ruins of the Parthenon through the vistas rated by cunning hand.' Then, what would in the woods, for many minutes after the have become of the Graces had I told you city and the Acropolis had been totally sooner that a single room is all they have, hidden from our view.” save a little closet and a kitchen ? You
At Smyrna Lord Byron took up his resisee how careful I have been to make the dence in the house of the consul-general, and first impression good ; not that they do not remained there, with the exception of two merit every praise, but that it is in man's
or three days employed in a visit to the ruins august and elevated nature to think a little
of Ephesus, till the 11th of April. It was slightingly of merit, and even of beauty, if during this time, as appears from a memonot supported by some worldly show. Now randum of his own, that the two first cantos I shall communicate to you a secret, but in of Childe Harold, which he had begun five the lowest whisper.
months before at Ioannina, were completed. “ These ladies, since the death of the
The memorandum alluded to, which I find consul, their father, depend on strangers prefixed to his original manuscript of the living in their spare room and closet,
poem, is as follows: which we now occupy.
But, though so poor, their virtue shines as conspicuously as
“ Byron, Ioannina in Albania. their beauty.
Begun October 31st, 1809;
Concluded Canto 2d, Smyrna, “Not all the wealth of the East, or the
March 28th, 1810. complimentary lays even of the first of Eng
“ Byron." land's poets, could render them so truly worthy of love and admiration.” 1
From Smyrna the only letter, at all inter
esting, which I am enabled to present to the | Travels in Italy, Greece, &c. by the late accomplished reader, is the following: artist, H. W. Williams, Esq.
- LETTER TO HENRY DRURY.
TO MRS. BYRON.
TO MR. HENRY DRURY.
straits, the following letters to his friends
Mr. Drury and Mr. Hodgson were written.
Smyrna, March 19. 1810. “Dear Mother,
"I cannot write you a long letter ; but as I know you will not be sorry to receive
“ Salsette frigate, May 3. 1810. any intelligence of my movements, pray ac- 'My dear Drury, cept what I can give. I have traversed the • When I left England, nearly a year ago, greatest part of Greece, besides Epirus, &c. you requested me to write to you — I will &c., resided ten weeks at Athens, and ain do so. I have crossed Portugal, traversed now on the Asiatic side on my way to Con- the south of Spain, visited Sardinia, Sicily, stantinople. I have just returned from viewing Malta, and thence passed into Turkey, the ruins of Ephesus, a day's journey from where I am still wandering. I first landed Smyrna. I presume you have received a in Albania, the ancient Epirus, where we long letter I wrote from Albania, with an penetrated as far as Mount Tomarit account of my reception by the Pacha of excellently treated by the chief Ali Pacha, the province.
—and, after journeying through Illyria, * When I arrive at Constantinople, I shall Chaonia, &c., crossed the Gulf of Actium, determine whether to proceed into Persia or with a guard of fifty Albanians, and passed return, which latter I do not wish, if I can the Achelous in our route through Acarnania avoid it. But I have no intelligence from and Ætolia. We stopped a short time in Mr. Hanson, and but one letter from yourself. the Morea, crossed the Gulf of Lepanto, and I shall stand in need of remittances whether landed at the foot of Parnassus ;
- saw all I proceed or return. I have written to him that Delphi retains, and so on to Thebes repeatedly, that he may not plead ignorance and Athens, at which last we remained ten of my situation for neglect. I can give you weeks. no account of any thing, for I have not time “ His Majesty's ship, Pylades, brought us or opportunity, the frigate sailing immediately. to Smyrna; but not before we had toIndeed the further I go the more my laziness pographised Attica, including, of course, increases, and my aversion to letter-writing Marathon and the Sunian promontory. becomes more confirmed. I have written to From Smyrna to the Troad (which we no one but to yourself and Mr. Hanson, and visited when at anchor, for a fortnight, off these are communications of business and the tomb of Antilochus) was our next stage ; duty rather than of inclination.
and now we are in the Dardanelles, waiting " Fletcher is very much disgusted with his for a wind to proceed to Constantinople. fatigues, though he has undergone nothing * This morning I swam from Sestos to that I have not shared. He is a poor | Abydos. The immediate distance is not above creature ; indeed English servants are de- a mile, but the current renders it hazardous ; testable travellers. I have, besides him, two - so much so that I doubt whether Leander's Albanian soldiers and a Greek interpreter ; conjugal affection must not have been a little all excellent in their way. Greece, particularly chilled in his passage to Paradise. I atin the vicinity of Athens, is delightful ; tempted it a week ago, and failed, -owing cloudless skies and lovely landscapes. But to the north wind, and the wonderful raI must reserve all account of my adven- pidity of the tide, -though I have been from tures till we meet. I keep no journal, but my childhood a strong swimmer. But, this my friend Hobhouse scribbles incessantly morning being calmer, I succeeded, and Pray take care of Murray and Robert, and crossed the broad Hellespont' in an hour tell the boy it is the most fortunate thing and ten minutes. for him that he did not accompany me “Well
, my dear sir, I have left my home, to Turkey. Consider this as merely a notice and seen part of Africa and Asia, and a of my safety, and believe me,
tolerable portion of Europe. I have been “ Yours, &c. &c. with generals and admirals, princes and “ BYRON." pashas, governors and ungovernables, — but
I have not time or paper to expatiate. I On the 11th of April he left Smyrna in wish to let you know that I live with a the Salsette frigate, which had been ordered friendly remembrance of you, and a hope to to Constantinople, for the purpose of con- meet you again ; and if I do this as shortly veying the ambassador, Mr. Adair, to Eng- as possible, attribute it to any thing but land, and after an exploratory visit to the forgetfulness. ruins of Troas, arrived, at the beginning of Greece, ancient and modern, you
know the following month, in the Dardanelles. - too well to require description. Albania, While the frigate was at anchor in these indeed, I have seen more of than any English
man (except a Mr. Leake), for it is a danger of thieves, and once of shipwreck, country rarely visited, from the savage cha- but always escaped. racter of the natives, though abounding in “Of Spain I sent some account to our more natural beauties than the classical Hodgson, but have subsequently written to regions of Greece, — which, however, are no one, save notes to relations and law. still eminently beautiful, particularly Delphi yers, to keep them out of my premises. and Cape Colonna in Attica. Yet these are I mean to give up all connection, on my nothing to parts of Illyria and Epirus, where return, with many of my best friends — as I places without a name, and rivers not laid supposed them - and to snarl all my life. down in maps, may, one day, when more But I hope to have one good-humoured laugh known, be justly esteemed superior subjects, with you, and to embrace Dwyer, and pledge for the pencil and the pen, to the dry ditch Hodgson, before I commence cynicism. of the Ilissus and the bogs of Bæotia.
“Tell Dr. Butler I am now writing with “ The Troad is a fine field for conjecture the gold pen he gave me before I left and snipe-shooting, and a good sportsman England, which is the reason my scrawl is and an ingenious scholar may exercise their more unintelligible than usual. I have been feet and faculties to great advantage upon at Athens, and seen plenty of these reeds the spot ;- or, if they prefer riding, lose for scribbling, some of which he refused to their way (as I did) in a cursed quagmire of bestow upon me, because topographic Gell the Scamander, who wriggles about as if the had brought them from Attica. But I will Dardan virgins still offered their wonted not describe, you must be satisfied tribute. The only vestige of Troy, or her with simple detail till my return, and then destroyers, are the barrows supposed to we will unfold the flood-gates of colloquy. contain the carcasses of Achilles, Antilochus, I am in a thirty-six gun frigate, going up to Ajax, &c. ; — but Mount Ida is still in high fetch Bob Adair from Constantinople, who feather, though the shepherds are now-a-days will have the honour to carry this letter. not much like Ganymede. But why should “ And so Hobhouse's boke is out ?, with I say more of these things ? are they not some sentimental sing-song of my own to fill written in the Boke of Gelli and has not up, - and how does it take, eh? and where Hobhouse got a journal ? I keep none, as I the devil is the second edition of my Satire, have renounced scribbling.
with additions ? and my name on the title "I see not much difference between our page ? and more lines tagged to the end, with selves and the Turks, save that we have * * a new exordium and what not, hot from my and they have none that they have long anvil before I cleared the Channel ? The dresses, and we short, and that we talk much, Mediterranean and the Atlantic roll between and they little. They are sensible people. me and criticism ; and the thunders of the Ali Pacha told me he was sure I was a man Hyperborean Review are deafened by the of rank, because I had small ears and hands, roar of the Hellespont. and curling hair. By the by, I speak the “Remember me to Claridge, if not transRomaic, or modern Greek, tolerably. It lated to college, and present to Hodgson asdoes not differ from the ancient dialects so surances of my high consideration. Now, much as you would conceive ; but the pro- you will ask, what shall I do next? and I nunciation is diametrically opposite. Of answer, I do not know. I may return in a verse, except in rhyme, they have no idea. few months, but I have intents and projects
“I like the Greeks, who are plausible after visiting Constantinople. - Hobhouse, rascals, — with all the Turkish vices, without however, will probably be back in September. their courage. However, some are brave, “On the 2d of July we have left Albion and all are beautiful, very much resembling one year—'oblitus meorum obliviscendus et the busts of Alcibiades; the women not
ellis. I was sick of my own country, and not quite so handsome. I can swear in Turkish ; much prepossessed in favour of any other; but, except one horrible oath, and pimp,' but I drag on my chain' without “ lengthand bread,' and 'water, I have got no ening it at each remove.'s I am like the great vocabulary in that language. They Jolly Miller, caring for nobody, and not are extremely polite to strangers of any rank, cared for. All countries are much the same properly protected ; and as I have two in my eyes. I smoke, and stare at mounservants and two soldiers, we get on with tains, and twirl my mustachios very indegreat éclat. We have been occasionally in pendently. I miss no comforts, and the
1 [Sir William Gell's “ Topography of Troy and its Vicinity.")
2 The Miscellany, to which I have more than once referred.
[“ And drags at each
GOLDSWITA.) 1 He has adopted this name in his description of the Seraglio in Don Juan, Canto VI. It was, if I recollect right, in making love to one of these girls that he had recourse to an act of courtship often practised in that coun. try ;-namely, giving himself a wound across the breast
TO MR, HODGSON.
musquitoes that rack the morbid frame of H. dialect can I converse in enough for my purhave, luckily for me, little effect on mine, poses. With the Turks I have also some male because I live more temperately.
acquaintances — female society is out of the *I omitted Sphesus in my catalogue, question. I have been very well treated by which I visited during my sojourn at the Pachas and Governors, and have no Smyrna ; but the Temple has almost perished, complaint to make of any kind. Hobhouse and St. Paul need not trouble himself to will one day inform you of all our advenepistolise the present brood of Ephesians, tures were I to attempt the recital, neiwho have converted a large church built ther my paper nor your patience would hold entirely of marble into a mosque, and I don't out during the operation. know that the edifice looks the worse for it. “Nobody, save yourself, has written to
“My paper is full, and my ink ebbing — me since I left England ; but indeed I did good afternoon! If you address to me at not request it. I except my relations, who Malta, the letter will be forwarded wherever write quite as often as I wish. Of HobI may be. H. greets you ; he pines for his house's volume I know nothing, except that poetry, - at least, some tidings of it. I it is out ; and of my second edition I do not almost forgot to tell you that I am dying for even know that, and certainly do not, at this love of three Greek girls at Athens, sisters. distance, interest myself in the matter. I I lived in the same house. Teresa, Mariana, hope you and Bland roll down the stream and Katinka', are the names of these divi- of sale with rapidity. nities, - all of them under fifteen. Your “Of my return I cannot positively speak, ταπεινοτατος δουλος, ,
but think it probable Hobhouse will precede “ Byron.” me in that respect. We have been very
nearly one year abroad. I should wish to LETTER 43.
gaze away another, at least, in these ever“ Salsette frigate, in the Dardanelles, off Abydos, green climates ; but I fear business, law May 5. 1810.
business, the worst of employments, will “I am on my way to Constantinople, recall me previous to that period, if not very after a tour through Greece, Epirus, &c., quickly. If so, you shall have due notice. and part of Asia Minor, some particulars of "I hope you will find me an altered perwhich I have just communicated to our sonage, - I do not mean in body, but in manfriend and host, H. Drury. With these, ner, for I begin to find out that nothing but then, I shall not trouble you ; but as you virtue will do in this d-d world. I am will perhaps be pleased to hear that I am tolerably sick of vice, which I have tried in well, &c., I take the opportunity of our am- its agreeable varieties, aud mean, on my rebassador's return to forward the few lines I turn, to cnt all my dissolute acquaintance, have time to despatch. We have undergone leave off wine and carnal company, and be some inconveniences, and incurred partial take myself to politics and decorum. perils, but no events worthy of communi- very serious and cynical, and a good deal cation, unless you will deem it one that two disposed to moralise ; but fortunately for days ago I swam from Sestos to Abydos. you the coming homily is cut off by default This, with a few alarms from robbers, and of pen and defection of paper. some danger of shipwreck in a Turkish gal- * Good morrow! If you write, address liot six months ago, a visit to a Pacha, a to me at Malta, whence your letters will be passion for a married woman at Malta, a forwarded. You need not remember me challenge to an officer, an attachment to to any body, but believe me three Greek girls at Athens, with a great
Yours with all faith, deal of buffoonery and fine prospects, form
“ BYRON.” all that has distinguished my progress since my departure from Spain.
From Constantinople, where he arrived « Hobhouse rhymes and journalises; I on the 14th of May, he addressed four or stare and do nothing-unless smoking can be five letters to Mrs. Byron, in almost every deemed an active amusement. The Turks one of which his achievement in swimming take too much care of their women to per across the Hellespont is commemorated. mit them to be scrutinised ; but I have lived The exceeding pride, indeed, which he took a good deal with the Greeks, whose modern in this classic feat (the particulars of which
with his dagger. The youmg Athenian, by his own account, looked on very coolly during the operation, considering it a fit tribute to her beauty, but in no degree moved to gratitude.
LETTER 44. TO MR, HENRY DRURY.
he has himself abundantly detailed) may be cited among the instances of that boyishness of character which he carried with him so
“ Constantinople, June 17. 1810. remarkably into his maturer years, and which, Though I wrote to you so recently, I while it puzzled distant observers of his break in upon you again to congratulate conduct, was not among the least amusing you on a child being born, as a letter or attaching of his peculiarities to those who from Hodgson apprizes me of that event, knew him intimately. So late as eleven in which I rejoice. years from this period, when some sceptical “I am just come from an expedition traveller ventured to question, after all, the through the Bosphorus to the Black Sea practicability of Leander's exploit, Lord and the Cyanean Symplegades, up which Byron, with that jealousy on the subject of last I scrambled with as great risk as ever his own personal prowess which he retained the Argonauts escaped in their hoy. You from boyhood, entered again, with fresh remember the beginning of the nurse's dole zeal, into the discussion, and brought for- in the Medea, of which I beg you to take ward two or three other instances of his own the following translation, done on the feats in swimming', to corroborate the state- summit :ment originally made by him.
• Oh how I wish that an embargo In one of these letters to his mother from
Had kept in port the good ship Argo ! Constantinople, dated May 24th, after re- Who, still unlaunch'd from Grecian docks, ferring, as usual, to his notable exploit, “ in Had never passed the Azure rocks ; humble imitation of Leander, of amorous
But now I fear her trip will be a memory, though,” he adds, “I had no Hero Damn'd business for my Miss Medea, &c. &c.,? to receive me on the other side of the Hel- as it very nearly was to me; – for, had not lespont,” he continues thus :
this sublime passage been in my head, I “When our ambassador takes his leave I should never have dreamed of ascending the shall accompany him to see the sultan, and said rocks, and bruising my carcass in hoafterwards probably return to Greece. Inour of the ancients. have heard nothing of Mr. Hanson but one
e. "I have now sat on the Cyaneans, swam remittance, without any letter from that from Sestos to Abydos (as I trumpeted in legal gentleman. If you have occasion for my last), and, after passing through the any pecuniary supply, pray use my funds as Morea again, shall set sail for Santo Maura, far as they go without reserve ; and, lest and toss myself from the Leucadian promonthis should not be enough, in my next to tory; - surviving which operation, I shall Mr. Hanson I will direct him to advance probably join you in England. Hobhouse, any sum you may want, leaving it to your who will deliver this, is bound straight for discretion how much, in the present state of these parts; and, as he is bursting with his my affairs, you may think proper to require. travels, I shall not anticipate his narratives, I have already seen the most interesting but merely beg you not to believe one word parts of Turkey in Europe and Asia Minor, he says, but reserve your ear for me, if you but shall not proceed further till I hear from have any desire to be acquainted with the England : in the mean time I shall expect
truth. occasional supplies, according to circum
“I am bound for Athens once more, stances ; and shall pass my summer amongst and thence to the Morea ; but my stay demy friends, the Greeks of the Morea.” pends so much on my caprice, that I can
say nothing of its probable duration. I have He then adds, with his usual kind solici- been out a year already, and may stay tude about his favourite servants :
another ; but I am quicksilver, and say “ Pray take care of my boy Robert, and nothing positively. We are all very much the old man Murray. It is fortunate they occupied doing nothing, at present. We returned ; neither the youth of the one, nor have seen everything but the mosques, the age of the other, would have suited the which we are to view with a firman on changes of climate, and fatigue of travelling.” Tuesday next. But of these and other
1 Among others, he mentions his passage of the Tagus in 1809, which is thus described by Mr. Hobhouse: “ My companion had before made a more perilous, but less celebrated, passage ; for I recollect that, when we were in Portugal, he swam from old Lisbon to Belem Castle, and having to contend with a tide and counter current, the wind blowing freshly, was but little less than two hours in crossing the river." In swimming from
Sestos to Abydos, he was one hour and ten minutes in the water. In the year 1808, he had been nearly drowned, while swimming at Brighton with Mr. L. Stanhope. His friend Mr. Hobhouse, and other bystanders, sent in some boatmen, with ropes tied round them, who at last suc. ceeded in dragging Lord Byron and Mr. Stanhope from the surf, and thus saved their lives.
2 (Euripid. Medea, act 1. sc. I.)