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and read by the priest near the spot. The dishes were then brought round, and each person in his place took a portion, and was afterwards helped in turn to a small glass of white brandy, called rakí, or of wine. The wax-taper with the handkerchief, was suspended from the ceiling, as a memorial of the girl represented on it ; and some peraus or silver pennies were distributed to the poor who attended.
The Turks are a people never yet illuminated by science. They are more ignorant than can easily be conceived. Athens now claims no pre-eminence in learning. The leisure of the Greeks is chiefly employed in reading legendary stories of their saints, translated into the vulgar tongue. This and their nation they style the Roman. It has a close affinity with the ancient language, which they call the Hellenic; but the grammar and syntax are much corrupted. They speak rapidly, and curtail many of their words, which are farther depraved by incorrect spelling. Their pronunciation differs widely from the English. They have no knowledge of the old quantity of syllables, but adhere to the accents, and compose verses in rhyme with great facility. I inquired for manuscripts, and was told of some belonging to the monastery of St. Cyriani on Mount Hymettus. These were shewn me, with several books printed by Aldus, negligently scattered on the floor in a loft at Athens, where the hegumenos or abbot resided. I wished to purchase the manuscripts, but the consent of the archbishop and of some of his brethren was necessary; and unfortunately the former, who had been forced to fly, was not re-instated in his see before we left the place.
Credulity and superstition prevail at Athens and all over the east. The traveller may still hear of Medeas, women possessed of magic powers, and expert in various modes of
incantation. Amulets or charms are commonly, worn to repel any malignant influence. Children are seen with crosses, or thin flat bits of gold, called phylacteries, hanging about their necks or on their foreheads. The Turks inscribe words from the Koran. The Greeks confide in holy water, which is sprinkled on their houses yearly by a priest, to purify them, and to drive away any dæmon, who may have obtained entrance. The insides of several of their churches are covered with representations of the exploits of their saints, painted on the walls ; extravagant, ridiculous, and absurd beyond imagination. The old Athenian had a multitude of deities, but relied chiefly on Minerva ; the modern has a similar troop headed by his favourite Panagia. He listens with devout humility to fanciful tales of nightly visions, and of miracles vouchsafed on the most trivial occasions. The report is propagated, and if, on examination, the forgery be detected on the spot, the remoter devotee continues in his conviction, and exults in the contemplation of the solid basis, on which he conceives his faith to be founded. In the first year of our residence in the Levant, a rumour was current, that a cross of shining light had been seen at Constantinople, pendant in the air over the grand mosque, once a church dedicated to St. Sophia ; and that the Turks were in consternation at the prodigy, and had endeavoured in vain to dissipate the vapour. The sign was interpreted to portend the exaltation of the Christians above the Mahometans; and this many surmised was speedily to be effected; disgust and jealousy then subsisting between the Russians and the Porte, and the Georgians contending with success against the Turkish armies. By such arts as these are the wretched Greeks preserved from despondency, roused to expectation, and consoled beneath the
yoke of bondage. The traveller, who is versed in antiquity, may be agreeably and usefully employed in studying the people of Athens.
We continue at Athens Account of Lombardi--The archbishop
forced to fly-Distress from want of corn--Intrigues of Lom'bardi.
Our stay at Athens was prolonged by unforeseen obstacles, which were to be surmounted, as they arose, before our business could be completed. Some buildings required ladders so long and strong, it was difficult to procure fit materials, or even a workman capable of making them. Several figures could be drawn only from a particular terrace, or the window of a house, and a churlish or rapacious owner was to be satisfied. The Ramazan or Lent of the Turks, and the bairam or holidays, interfered. We encountered many a vexatious delay, and our residence became irksome as well from the continual apprehension of some untoward accident, or ensnaring treachery, as from our detestation of Lombardi, who haunted our house, and, by his hateful presence, and by discourse, which was impure, indelicate, and impious, in the highest degree, polluted and poisoned every enjoyment.
Lombardi was said to have been a priest, and to have robbed the altars of the church. He had fled from his country, it was certain, to avoid the punishment of some crime of a most atrocious nature. He was acquainted with the Latin language, had some knowledge of medicine, and had lived with
several bashas and great Turkish officers as their physician. He had signalized his courage and conduct in dangerous expeditions against banditti and insurgents; which services had been rewarded with money, horses, and garments lined with skins. He possessed uncommon address, eloquence, profligacy, hypocrisy. He had been a pretended proselyte to the Greek communion, and had written a book in Italian, entitled “ Truth the Judge. By Father Bentzoni, a Jesuit and convert to the true Oriental church ;" of which a translation into the vulgar Greek, with ludicrous cuts, was printed at Johannina, a city of Epirus, and dispersed over Turkey. The malignancy of this lampoon on Christianity was so concealed, that for some time the author was reputed a champion for the pure faith of the Greeks. He had also composed a long and bitter invective against an archbishop of Larissa in Thessaly. He had been imprisoned at Athens, and had obtained his release with difficulty, by tears, intreaties, and the interposition of the Turks. This usage, however deserved, had made him outrageous, and revenge was his highest gratification. He had employed the most unjustifiable means to compass the downfall, and even the deaths of his principal enemies. He was recently returned from Constantinople, and boasted, that by his intrigues there, he had levelled some proud archons at Athens, who had lately hoisted flags as consuls to European powers; a privilege from which the subjects of the Porte were excluded by an edict, which had been enforced during our residence at Smyrna. He talked unconcernedly of the death of his elder and favourite son, whom he had taken with him, and sent home in a vessel, in which the plague afterwards appeared. The young man sickened in the Piræus, and was removed to a monastery; and another passenger dying of it suddenly was thrown into a well by the shore, with a large stone to cover the body. Before our departure, he formally repudiated his wife, who was an Athenian ; and renounced her children, a son and two daughters, who refused to relinquish Christianity. The Turks were offended at his want of natural affection, and pleaded in their behalf. He had espoused a young Albanian in the presence of the cadi or Turkish judge, and now co-habited with her ; but a plurality of wives ranked among the least criminal of his various enormities.
A general disquiet of the people likewise contributed to render our situation not agreeable. Some exactions of the archbishop, who was eager to pay the money borrowed for the purchase of his see, made him unpopular. He had incurred also the displeasure of the vaiwode, and an open quarrel ensued on his applying for leave to rebuild or repair a church, and remonstrating that the sum demanded was unreasonable. The vaiwode lifted his pipe to strike him, and, in their altercation, averred he was neither deacon, priest, nor bishop. An explanation was asked, when he replied with a proverb, (Talbaşa ası yaibaz@) The ass is always an ass. The difference was compromised, but soon broke out again. The Greek clergy joined the vaivode, and the archbishop was expelled Athens.
The scarcity of corn increased as winter advanced, until the distress of the people was so great, that an insurrection was apprehended daily, and Achmet Aga, to appease the clamour, opened his granaries. Yet the vaiwode, to raise money for the purchase of his post for the ensuing year, sold a large portion of the future grain by contract, to "Mr. Keyrac, a French merchant, who resided at Nauplia or Napoli, in