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Journey through Greece; and it is in this ftrain, that we have already fpoken of him in the Appendix to the forty-fourth volume of our Review.

But all those works, it may be remarked, which are vehicles of hiftorical details, have their ufe: though executed with little ability, they ferwe the purpofes of information. They attract the notice, affift the reafonings, and aid the invention of thote rare and fingular men, who are destined to ascertain and extend the limits of knowledge.

In what our Author, for example, has faid concerning the national character of the Greeks, we can difcover nothing that bears a resemblance to the penetration, and the vigorous talents of Montefquieu; but it contains obfervations, which that writer could have employed with fignal utility.

In order to vary the fubject, fays he, of my letters, and to avoid tiring you with repetition of thofe articles which relate to drefs and ornament, I fhall anticipate your complaints, and come at once to the national character of the modern Greeks. As this character is more eminently difplayed in converfation, than on any other occafion whatfoever, I think it neceffary to give you the fulleft information on that head; by which you will eafily perceive that the native fire of this people is not yet extinguifhed; that fire which fhone with fuch diftinguished brightness in the works of the ancients. You will find the fame ardency of imagination which creates, which vivifies the object, and gives force to every expreffion; which has multiplied the gods, of that tiffue of brilliant fables the pagan mythology; the fame force of conception which fo wonderfully abounded amongst the ancient Greeks, and as many of their errors. Vivacity, sprightly fallies, copioufnefs, energy, warmth, fluency of fpeech, obftinacy in difpute, factious reftlefs fpirits, eafily inflamed, and as easily appeafed; are qualities equally common to the modern Greeks. You who are fo well acquainted with the national spirit of us Marseillians will doubtless fay : In that respect ye too are Athenians *. It is a truth too evident to be denied, but we have at leaft the merit of acknowledging our defects. In general we refemble our forefathers rather inconfiderate than abandoned. Fickle, lively, romantic, inattentive, and credulous. Thus we pafs with rapidity from admiration to cenfure, from enjoyment to indifference. We engage with warmth, for or against a propofition, without any motive, reflexion, or intereft in the event of it. Envy the difeafe of this country is no less general to ours. Enemies to thinking and deliberation, we perform a virtuous action indifcriminately with the fame gaiety of temper, that we commit a vicious one. Senfible afterwards of an error we are humbled

though perhaps not justly, as used with a view to mislead the Public, as pirates and privateers hang out falfe colours to deceive and entrap the unwary voyager. It is likewife obfervable, that in the title page of the original work, M. de Guys mentions himself under the defignation of Merchant ; but this the tranflator has wholly omitted. He fancied, probably, that it might imprefs the Reader with a lefs favourable opinion of the performance.

Fontaine's Fables.

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by the recollection of it, afflicted, but rarely corrected by repentance. Equally ready to obey an paffion whether it excites to virtue or vice, we become dupes to the firft impulfe which obtrudes upon the fenfes, and as it were instantly enflaves them. But on the other hand it muft be confefied there are among us warm and fincere friends, and many qualities that do honor to fociety; generofity, franknefs, bravery, the talents of the mind, uncommon activity, patriotifm, to a degree capable of producing the nobleft effects, if properly put in action, and laftly that love towards our prince, which characterises the nation in general, to a degree of enthufiafm; it may be called our reigning paffion. Excufe, Sir, this fhort digreffion. In publishing the defects of the Greeks and Marfeillians, I could not reconcile it to my confcience to fupprefs the lift of their good qualities.

I return to the Greeks. Obferve them in difcourfe; by their geftuies, and tone of voice, you would imagine they were engaged in a warm difpute. Not at all-it is the natural vivacity of this people, which animates them in relating the moft fimple events, renders them quick, to interrupt the fpeaker, and brings the objects of their story prent to the view. The girls are particularly remarkable for exaggerating every thing they reprefent. Tropes, images, comparifóns, figures are as familiar to their difcourfes, as are the oaths with which they corroborate and atteft their relations, (of which I fhall fpeak to you in the fequel.) Perhaps you might not be difpleafed with a specimen of their oratorical powers. A girl runs into her mother's apartment, out of breath, "Mother, mother, look this way, fee what a form. Oh heaven, fuccour us! They fay Zaphiri's great boat has perished, I thought I faw it, as from our kiosk. Yes that fine boat, with its great fail, I fwear by my eyes, is gone to the bottom; poor paramana* too, with the fweet babes fhe was bringing from Calki, all are loft. When the gaping fea opened to devour her, how affectin ly would the embrace her children? my dear little ones, we mult perish, it is I, wretched mother, who have rushed with you into ruin, I who ventured you on fuch a boisterous element, not forefeeing this horrible tempeft. Unhappy woman! rash Zaphiri, who neither knows nor fears any danger! It is thou, wicked man, art the caule of our misfortune, and defervedly fhareft in it."

"What fays my child? what do I hear?-fhe is coming-Oh madam, madam! the paramana-run, run to meet the paramana. Look fhe has efcaped the danger. The briny water ftreaming down her cloaths, it gufhes from her mouth. She gave herself over for loft. How great the joy feel at once more embracing her! I am distracted with joy. The prayers I offered to heaven were uttered with fuch a fervent and fincere heart, that I have faved her."

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Another coming to the village where, in the fine weather, they are affembled:

"What Lucia, afleep, and all the world dancing in the meadow? We have mulic too: Stamati plays on the lyre. Zoe leads the jocund band; and all the mothers delighted with the performance have taken them feats under the great poplar tree. Come then my dear, and do not let the haughty Zoé arrogantly boaft; I was queen of the dance; 1 led the fet; I alone engroffed the applaufe of the spectators;

* Nurfe.

there

there I fhone with fuperior luftre at the head of all the village. I fwear by your eyes fhe will not only fay all this, but will fay it without adding: because Lucia was not there. Quickly then, let me help you on with that rofe-colored robe, which becomes you fo well, this cluster of lillies you fhall wear on your head. Make hafte my dear, I hear the lyre. Run, run Lucia. The moment Zoé fees you, the rofes of her cheeks, and that show of beauty, which dancing and her own consciousness of fuperiority have given her will vanifh, at your arrival fpite and envy will feize her, and instead of color and beauty, which now light up her features, palenefs and deformity will appear.'

I repeat, and faithfully tranflate what I have heard and well re

member.

• Demofthenes used to declaim on the fea fhore, during the roaring of the fea, in order to render his voice more fonorous. To acquire a natural ftrain of eloquence, he ftudied the energetic language of the paffions among the people, the genuine and lively method of expreffing the emotions of the foul. To fpeak to men with perfuafive powers, it is neceffary to mix with them, to ftudy, to practice, and borrow their tones, manner and inflexions. Thus, according to a French poet, who fometimes paints nature juftly,

L'amiable Deité qu on adore à Cythere
Du berger Adonis fe faifoit la bergere.

Perhaps you may think me half a Greek before my return. It is certain a man catches infenfibly the manners of any people by reading a length of time in their country, and as it were becomes one of them. I already fpeak their language, and the language of any nation you know is a true thermometer of its rife or declenfion. It advances towards perfection, and is enriched in proportion as the people who fpeak it become enlightened, polished and inftructed; on the other hand it is weakened, altered and corrupted, while by a decay however gradual in its approach, the people fall into a flate of mifery and ignorance. It is with difficulty a few favoured men, preferve the language of their ancestors, that precious depofit, in its priftine purity. The language of the modern Greeks is a forrowful inftance of the foregoing obfervation, notwithstanding it has borrowed fewer words from the Romans and Italians than the latter have borrowed from the Greeks. A language disfigured in appearance, and that often too by the adoption of Turkish expreffions, which cannot be avoided, yet preferving all the depth, richnefs and harmony of the ancient Greek. The verbs of the modern Greek, are more eafily conjugated than thofe of the ancients, being curtailed of the aorists; the ufe of the dual number is alfo difcontinued. There is a very excellent grammar by the reverend father Paris, a capuchin friar, and you will find at the conclufion of Spon's Travels, a vocabulary, containg the words in mott general ufe. The first part of a Greek education is to learn to read, and understand the language literally, and fpeak it with facility; there is much more fofthefs in their pronunciation than in

ours.

It is imposible to attain to any degree of perfection in the vulgar Greek tongue, without being well acquainted with fables and proverbs. The Greeks are very fententious. They are alto rauch poetical addicted to the ule of tales, and common fayings. Proverbial ex

Premions

preffions are the appendage of every language, and never leave it while any traces of the original remain. Notwithstanding all polished nations have the fame principles fixed by proverbs which are occa fionally repeated, yet they have univerfally a different method of expreffing them.

It has been remarked of the ancient Greeks that they never used a proverb without adding, As the fage has faid. Thus in Theocritus, You have feen the wolf, jays the jage.

A commentator of this poet tells us that they place all their proverbs to the account of philofophy. The obfervation is jutt. The philofophers were men who made the study of practical morality the chief employment of their lives; and very wifely inculcated their doctrines by certain maxims, which being more easily impreffed on the memory, might the better ferve mankind in the regulation of their conduct. The works of Epictetus are a particular initance of it. Liften to the moderns, you would imagine you heard the language of the ancient Greeks.

"My fon, fays a father to his child, in my prefence, Be not difcouraged, nor impatient, becaufe fuccefs does not follow immediately according to your expectations. It is true you have been unfortu nate, but perfeverance furmounts all obftacles. Remember, what the fage has faid, He planted a vine in its proper feafen, and in process of time the four juice of the grapes became mild as boney."

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Thefe fentences are alfo in rhime, which is a fpecies of poetry the Greeks have borrowed from the Italians. Their love-fongs are alfo in rhime.

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But how fhall I defcribe the language of love, fuch as it is, to be found amongst our Greeks? That fury, that delirium, with which the devotees of love are here transported, exceeds any thing I have ever met with. No language that I know of, is capable of furnithing the fame variety of fignificant terms lavished by them upon their mitreffes. It is very common to see them commit the most extravagant actions to demonftrate their paffion for the fair. A lover will pafs whole nights under the window of his mistress, ftring his lyre to founds the most foft and melting, and accompany them with words the most tender and perfuafive, at intervals the furious agitations of his mind will lead him to the most defperate acts; perhaps to inflict very dangerous wounds upon himself, in the arms or other parts of the body, in order afterwards to exhibit the fcars to his miftrefs; as fo many glorious marks of his pawon for her. By these marks you will trace thofe lovers who formerly undertook the dangerous journey to Leucate, to end their forrows in a watry grave. You will recognise that race of men, whofe manners prefent a much jufter refemblance of nature than our own (the more a people become civilifed the further they recede from it) that race of men whole actions during their days of glory have furnished artists with more beautiful fubjects for the pencil and the pen. than all the world befide, in all ages of time. The orgies of the Bacchanalian rout are now discontinued. We no longer fee the followers of the jolly god, ludicrously attired, with tankards in their hands, furiously roaring about the streets, with a noife horrible enough to frighten the beats of the foreft. Nor do we now behold the Pythia on the tripod,

tranf

transported by the deity which infpired them; but we see widows bathed in tears, ftriking their breafts, tearing their dishevelled hair, until the whole country re-echoes with the cries of woe, and exhibits a scene of forrow and lamentation. You will frequently be a fpectator of filial piety; children embracing the knees of their parents, refpectfully kifling their hands, and imploring their paternal benediction; fcenes not to be met with any where but among the Patriarchs. We who call ourselves a civilifed and refined nation! How cold and fuperficial our behaviour in comparison with this people's! We are indeed fashioned and new formed by the force of art, bat nature has deferted us. We confider the pathetic fimplicity of the ancient customs as carrying an air of foolish good-nature, and inupidity, and it difguits us accordingly, notwithstanding which the love of truth, and innocence ftill attracts our regard, when it appears in agreeable colors before us; it then forces our attention in spite of ourselves.'

A comparison of the manners of the ancient and modern Greeks is an easier task, than to account for the origin, and explain the hiftory and nature of their ufages. Our Author, accordingly, in his attempts of this kind has not expofed himfelf to the hazard of a fevere cenfure.

We had prepared fome extracts in fupport of this obfervation, but the article is already of fufficient length: perhaps more than fufficient, if we confider it merely as a fupplement to our former article, already referred to; and as chiefly intended to exhibit a fpecimen of the prefent tranflation.

We must not, however, close the book, without remarking, that the obfervations which our Author has made on the plague, fo frequently fatal to the Greeks and the Turks, form an interefting letter, highly worthy of attention.

The tranflator of this work does not appear to have been altogether unequal to his undertaking; though his version, it must be acknowledged, bears evident marks of inattention, and we think he ought to have aimed at a greater purity of expreffion.

ART. X. Directions for impregnating Water with Fixed Air; in order to communicate to it the peculiar Spirit and Virtues of Pyrmont Water, and other mineral Waters of a fimilar Nature. By Jofeph Prieftley, LL. D. F. R. S. 8vo. 1 s. Johnfon. 1772.

TH

HE prefent race of experimental philosophers cannot but view with fome degree of complacency the rapid progrefs which has been made within thefe few years, in detecting the prefence, and discovering the extenfive influence of two grand principles in the conftitution or economy of natural bodies; the nature and properties, nay the very existence of which were hardly known even to their immediate predeceffors. We fcarce need to add that we allude to the electric matter, and that 8

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