« VorigeDoorgaan »
A thousand little scenes like this, ever varying from themselves as well as from thers, present themselves to the traveller, in most of the countries on the globe, and perhaps as often in our own as in any other land. To a refined taste, a practiced eye, and a heart at peace with all mankind, especially to one accustomed to turn for his highest enjoyment to the contemplation of God, and to read his name and his glorious attributes in the works of his hands, how inexpressibly charming may such a scene appear!
To those of our readers who participate in feelings like these, who appreciate the beauties of natural scenery, and make it subservient to its highest and proper use, we might indicate Lakes George and Champlain as objects worthy of being embraced in their fu ture tours, or recommend Winnipiseogee Lake in New Hampshire, and indeed many other parts of our mountainous districts in the northern, southern, middle and western states, where placid lakes are embosomed among the hills or rivers, checked by some rocky barrier, stop in their course, and spread out a tranquil mirror to reflect the wilder beauties of the mountains.
Many artists of the highest grade have lavished their finest tints on landscapes, and almost incredible sums have been paid for their beautiful productions: yet the sun in his daily course presents thousands of scenes which they can never equal for the observer whose eye is directed by a heart in unison with nature, and the system on which her movements are directed.
We add a few lines from our favorite French rural poem, "Les Saisons," by Saint Lambert, and call upon our readers for translations or imitations.
O vallons! ô côteaux! champs heureux and fertiles !
Quels charmes ces beaux jours vont rendre à vos asyles!
O de quels mouvemens je me sens agité,
Que le monde frivole où j'etois entraîné,
Tout me rit, tout me plaît dans ce séjour champêtre ;
C'est là qu'on est heureux sans trop penser à l'être.
"Greece in 1814: or a Greek's Return to his Native Laud."
EDITED BY THEODORE DWIGHT, JR.
Continued from Vol. 1, page 807.
Arrival at Samos.-Vathy.-My father.Old friends and familiar scenes.-Recollections of the Turkish invasion and the Greek naval victory.
The vessel in which I crossed the strait was a small sloop, and had a strong south wind to encounter, which was quite too violent for our convenience or advantage. This we found true, especially when we sailed round the northern end of the island, and turned towards the south, to coast along the eastern side. Several times we found the violence of the wind so great, that we had to lower all sail, and wait awhile for it to moderate.
The coast is generally bold and mountainous, but to a considerable extent under cultivation. When we had approached those parts of the island with which I had been acquainted in former years, I found great pleasure in observing the various spots which I once had known. Here and there was a farm house on the hills which I could recognize as the habitation of some family of my friends; and now and then a small village would open to view near the water, and every thing at first seemed unchanged through the lapse of time. I, however, commonly remarked some things which denoted change, as if the former inhabitants, or some of them had departed. In more than one instance, I observed pieces of ground neglected and overgrown, where I had been accustomed to see fields or vineyards. This I could account for, as I had seen in Athens a considerable number of the former inhabitants of Samos, and well knew there were many more scattered about Greece.
make it their principal business to find out all the arrivals, and to carry the news to such friends of new comers as they have reason to think will give them some reward. One of these urchins learned my name from the captain, and set off with such promptitude and speed for my father, that, although he was on the mountains, attending to something on the farm, it was not long ere he was on his return to the village. He met me in the street, and the meeting was most gratifying to me, though affecting on both sides.Being prepared to see me in the first stranger he should meet, he recognized me through the changes of fourteen years, and saluted me with much emotion. "Uié mou! Uié mou!" (my son, my son!) were the only words he was able to utter for some time; and I felt that that one moment was more than enough to repay me for all the labor and expense that had brought me back to my father.
During my stay in Samos, I took great pleasure in revisiting many spots connected with the interesting recollections of childhood, and calling on families of old friends and acquaintances. I found a welcome at many a house in the town and in the country, and met with a considerable number of persons, and even families, whom I had formerly known. In all, perhaps I may say, I found some changes perceptible, and in most a striking alteration of some kind or other. At the same time I missed numbers who had withdrawn from Turkish domination for some part of free Greece, being ready to relinquish home itself, rather than remain under even the slight and almost unseen supremacy of a power most detested by my countrymen.— Numbers of these, as I have before had occasion to remark, I had lately met with, chiefly at Athens: but it was pleasing to find so many as I still saw inhabiting their ancient abodes. A little observation proved to me that few of the changes going on among other Greeks had reached that secluded island. In many of the houses which I entered, I found the old customs and furniture, the low Turkish table still used at meals, and the people sitting on the floor.
I ranged among the fields, climbed the hills and mountains, and wandered along the shore. Every turn, every new scene, every object presented something to awaken my memory and affect my heart. What changes bad the
conrse of time effected in my native island, my country and myself; and what calls did I hear to be grateful to God!
I reached Vathy on Wednesday, and not only received such a welcome as a son may expect from an affectionate father, but many expressions of joy from my old acquaintances, neighbors and townsmen, who were still remaining in their old residences, and engaged in their former occupations.
The town still wore its former aspect, with few differences discoverable by the eye. It always was a Greek town; even while under Turkish despotism in my early acquaintance with it, only about fifteen Mahomedans being found among its inhabitants.
were too few to have much influence on society, even had they had any connection with it. I found things still going on much in the former manner, with the advantage of profound peace. Those engaged in trade now had their little vessels arrive and depart for different points of the neighboring coasts, without risk or interruption; and the proprietors of land in the country were engaged in the labors appropriate to the season. I spent some time in friendly intercourse with my old acquaintance, and made an excursion to the hill country with my father, to visit his little estate, which he had come to the island to oversee. It had been a favorite retreat of my early years: for I had begun when quite young to partake in the cares and labors of the vineyard and olive grounds, as far as my age would allow, and took up my abode there, with some of the other members of the family, during the finest season of the year.
In beholding again the scenes of my childhood, I was reminded of my former various, and often pleasing occupations in the fields. Not only was labor necessary during the day, but watchfulness at night: for the rich crops were exposed to depredations, and required the presence of watchmen. It was the custom, therefore, for all who had such lands in the country, to keep a few persons constantly on the ground for several months in the year. That period I always enjoyed highly; and it may be supposed that our manner of life there had attractions for one of my age, when the reader is informed of the nature of the lofty, fertile region and the mildness of the climate. My father's farm lay at a considerable elevation, and the road to it was long and laborious over a wild and rough region,
yet the spot itself had a rich soil and a level surface, being a small piece of table land, partly surrounded by some of the highest peaks of the mountains. The weather was commonly warm and dry through the summer, but heavy dews at night made amends for the scarcity of rain; and the situation was as healthful as agreeable. Strange as it may seem to persons accustomed to other climates and Circumstances, we always slept in the open air during our stay in that pleasant region, and always preferred it to the shelter of a house. Being provided only with a few clothes proper to spread over us, we stretched ourselves upon the ground, and a shower now and then, at long intervals, was the only annoyance we ever had to apprehend. Plenty of fine fruit and pure air, among green fields and cool shades, with occupation enough to give us an appetite for food and sleep, free from severe labors, and with peace and harmony, those seasons I have often looked back upon with emotions of peculiar pleasure.
From some portion of those periods, however, I must make an exception. The latter part of the time I had spent at home, far from being blessed by the quiet of peace, had been disturbed, and dreadfully disturbed by the war with the Turks. From the time of the commencement of that desperate struggle, all parts of the Greek nation were distracted with apprehensions, hopes and fears.
It would be difficult to give an idea of the dread with which the defenceless Greeks regarded the Turks, or of the dismay and con. fusion produced by a threatened invasion.— Their blood-thirsty character was well known. There was not the smallest ground of hope, in case of their having the power to destroy that they would be prevented from murder, robbery and barbarity of every kind and degree, by any feeling of compassion, any sense of shame, or any regard to either God or
I was at home when the rumors came of the first attempt to invade Samos; and the alarm at once became general. All seemed to have but one wish-to escape from the island. The vessels then in our port were tilled as fast as possible, and my father was among the foremost to provide for his family. He made all arrangements for our immediate embarkation, having engaged a passage for us to the island of Syra.
(To be continued.)
INHABITANTS OF THE SAHARA.
"The Arabs of the desert" is a term so familiar to our ears, that we are apt to imagine that they are the only race of men who make their abode in the great northern African desert, as well as that of Arabia. Our print represents some of these; but there are bands, and even whole tribes, of different appearance, manners and origin; and we copy the following accounts of some of them from the journal of the enterprizing English travellers, Denham and Clapperton, who crossed the Sahara to Mourzook, with a caravan, in 1222.
In the route, the travellers had on one side the Tibboos, on the other the Tuaricks, two native tribes, probably of great antiquity, and having no alliance with the Arab race, now so widely spread over the continent. Tibboos were on the left, and it was through their villages that the caravan passed. These people live partly on the milk of their camels, which pick up a scanty subsistence on the few verdant spots that rise amid the Desert, partly by carrying on a small trade between Mourzouk and Bornou, in which they are so busily employed that many do not spend at home more than four months in the year. They are black, though without the negro features; the men ugly, but the young females possessed of some beauty, not wholly obscured by the embellishments of coral stuck in the nose, and of oil streaming over the face. They are besides a gay, good-humored, thoughtless race, with all the African passion for the song and the dance; which last they practise gracefully, and with movemeuts somewhat analogous to the Grecian.This cheerfulness appears wonderful considering the dreadful calamity with which they are threatened every day. Once a year, or oftener, an inroad is made by their fierce neighbors, the Tuaricks, who spare neither age nor sex, and sweep away all that comes
within their reach. The cowardly Tibboos dare not even look them in the face; they can only mount to the top of certain steep rocks with flat summits and steep sides, near one of which every village is built. They carry up with them every thing that can be removed, and this rude defence avails against still ruder assailants. The savage Tuaricks, again, were observed by Clapperton and Oudney in a journey to the westward from Mourzouk, and were found in their private character to be frank, honest and hospitable. The females are neither immured nor oppressed, as is usual among rude Mahomedan tribes, but meet with notice and respect; indeed, the domestic habits of this nation have much resemblance to the European. They are a completely wandering race of shepherds and robbers, holding in contempt all who live in houses and cultivate the ground; yet they are, perhaps, the only native Africans who have letters and an alphabet, which they inscribe, not on books and parchments indeed, but on the dark rocks that checker the surface of their territory; and in places where they have long resided every stone is seen covered with their writings.
Bilma, the capital of the Tibboos, was found a mean town with walls of earth, but surrounded by numerous lakes containing the purest salt, the most valuable of all articles for the commerce of Soudan. The inhabitants, however, though deeply mortified, durst not prevent the powerful Tuaricks from lading their caravans with it, and under-selling them in the markets. About a mile beyond Bilma was a fine spring, spreading around, and forming a little circle of the richest verdure. This was the last vegetable life that the discoverers were to see during a long march of thirteen days. In these wilds, where the constant drift causes hills to rise or disappear in the course of a night, all traces of a road are soon obliterated, and the eye of the traveller is guided only by rocks which raise their heads amid the sterile waste.
This name, with the accent placed on the the last syllable, in pronouncing it, designates one of the most remarkable of the numerous tribes of Arabs who restlessly wander over, rather than inhabit, the Arabian desert and some portions of the Holy Land, and other adjacent countries. The poorest and the proudest of the human family is a term which might be applied to them with almost perfect justice.
We have no where found a more full description of the history, appearance and manners of the Bedaween, and other tribes of Arabs, at least one which gave us a feeling of greater familiarity and interest in them, than the scattered notices we find in reading Professor Robinson's Biblical Researches.
Mr. Stephens gives us the following brief sketch of the Bedaween and his country.
"Among these barren and desolate mountains, there was frequently a small space of ground, near some fountain or deposite of water, known only to the Arabs, capable of producing a scanty crop of grass to pasture a few camels and a small flock of sheep or goats. There the Bedaween pitches his tent, and remains till the scanty product is consumed; and then packs up his household goods, and seeks another pasture-ground.The Bedaweens are essentially a pastoral people; their only riches are their flocks and herds, their home is in the wide desert, and they have no local attachments; to-day they pitch their tent among the mountains, tomorrow in the plain; and wherever they plant themselves for the time, all that they have on earth, wife, children and friends, are
immediately around them. In fact, the life of the Bedaween, his appearance and habits, are precisely the same as those of the patriarchs of old. Abraham himself, the first of the patriarchs, was a Bedaween, and four thousand years have not made the slightest alteration in the habits and character of this extraordinary people. Read of the patriarchs in the Bible, and it is the best description you can have of pastoral life in the East at the present day.
The Emperor of Russia.-The Emperor arrived at Rome on the 12th, and departed for Florence on the 17th ult. He wus to leave Florence for Venice on the 21st ult., and proceed from thence to Vienna. A letter from Rome of the 18th ult., says that at his last audience with the Pope, the Pontiff said to the Emperor:-"At this moment the eyes of the entire universe are fixed upon us, and every Catholic is anxiously awaiting the result of our interview." This result will shortly be made known. The Pope will make it the subject of an address to the Sacred College in the approaching Consistory, which will take place in the month of January.
Other letters from Rome, of the same date, mention the conclusion of a sort of concordat between the Pope and the Emperor of Russia. The latter, it appears, made numerous concessions. He protested that it was without his knowledge or consent, the atrocities perpetrated against his Catholic subjects had been committed, and that if, on his return, he ascertained that the accounts published by the journals were well founded, their authors should not remain unpunished.
M. Rienzi, one of the leaders of the last revolt at Rimini, had been arrested at Flo