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our consternation, was from Crete, manned with Turks, waiting to load with corn. The wind being contrary, we passed the night on the rocks near our boat.
CHAP. XLIX. Sail from Ægina—The island and town of Poro—The monas
tery-Way to Calaurea—Of the city—The remains— A goatherd.
In the morning we set sail from Ægina for Poro, a small island near the coast of the Morea, distant about sixteen miles. The fair gale soon failed, and the land-breeze was heard coming from the peninsula of Methana, making the water foam before it. The sea-breeze was next seen at a distance, and for some minutes we were between both, becalmed. Each then prevailed by turns, and, as it were to decide the conflict, eddies and whirls of wind interposed from the mountains on the coast of the Morea. One moment our sails were to be furled ; then to be loosed : now we obeyed this, and presently another gust; turning to and fro as in a labyrinth. The address of the crew, in shifting and adjusting the rigging and sails, could be exceeded only by the sagacity of our caraboucheri, or captain, who foresaw and foretold the changes, though seemingly instantaneous. At length perplexed and apprehensive of some unlucky accident, as the felucca had been lately overset and was now deep laden, he ordered the men to lower the yards and to row. A fair gale succeeded, and about noon we arrived at Poro.
The island Poro was anciently named Calaurea, and reckoned thirty stadia, or three miles and three quarters in circumference. It stretches along before the coast of the Morea in a lower ridge, and is separated from it by a canal only four stadia, or half a mile wide. This, which is called Poro, or the ferry, in still weather may be passed on foot, as the water is not deep. It has given its name to the island, and to the town, which consists of about two hundred houses, mean and low, with flat roofs; rising on the slope of a bare disagreeable rock. The inhabitants are supplied with wood for fuel chiefly from the continent. In a church is a Latin inscription, with two in the Italian language, recording a young Venetian, who died of the plague, in 1688, and was buried there; and also a surgeon named Altomirus, who was inconsolable for the loss of his friend. In another church is a small round stone in the middle of the floor, the margin inscribed in Latin “ Here Altomirus mourned.”
After a short stay at Poro, we rowed with a turbulent sea through the strait round a point of land, and, opening the mouth of the gulf, hoisted sail for the monastery of the Panagia, or Virgin Mary. The wind was rough, and soon blew off two of our hats. One was recovered by a boy who swam; the other, with a handkerchief in it to defend the head from the power of the sun, was carried away on the waves. We landed and went to the monastery, which is at some distance from the sea, the situation high and romantic, near a deep torrent bed. It was surrounded by green vineyards ; thickets of myrtle, orange and lemon trees, in blossom ; the arbutus with fruit, large but unripe ; the oleander or picro-daphne, and the olive, laden with flowers; sweet-smelling pines and evergreens. Opposite is a fountain much celebrated. The water is cold, and of a quality very beneficial to persons indisposed from drinking a harder and less wholesome fluid. We found there a papas or priest, with some monks, and were supplied with good wine and provisions, and with plenty of almonds gathered fresh from the trees. !
We set out from the monastery for Palatia, the Palaces, as the site of the city Calaurea is now called, at day-break, mounted on mules and asses, respectable as well as useful animals in these mountainous regions. We were attended by two or three men on foot, to chide our beasts in a language which they understood, and to goad them on, when lazy. We had no bridle or halter, but were instructed to guide them; holding a stick, if we wanted them to turn, on the opposite side of the head; and between the ears, if to stand still. We passed by a large reservoir, or cistern, made at a considerable expense, into which the water of several rills is collected to be used in agriculture. The tract leading to Palatia, distant about an hour from the sea, is rough and rugged. Beyond that place is a fountain erected by a Turk, the water not inferior to that of the inonastery; and by it a grove of lemon-trees. The fruit was contracted for at seventy peraus, or about three shillings a thousand.
Neptune was said to have accepted the island of Calaurea from Apollo in exchange for Delos. The city stood on a high ridge nearly in the middle of the island, commanding an extensive view, of the gulf and its coasts. There was his holy temple. The priestess was a virgin, who was dismissed when marriageable. Seven of the cities near the island held a congress at it, and sacrificed jointly to the deity. Athens, Ægina, and Epidaurus were of this number, with Nauplia, for which place Argos contributed. The Macedonians, when they had reduced Greece, were afraid to violate the sanctuary, by forcing from it the fugitives, his suppliants. An
tipater commanded his general to bring away the orators, who had offended him, alive ; but Demosthenes could not be prevailed on to surrender. His monument remained in the second century, within the inclosure of the temple.
The city of Calaurea has been long abandoned. Traces of buildings and of ancient walls appear, nearly level with the ground; and some stones, in their places, each with a seat and back, forming a little circle, once perhaps a bath. The temple, which was of the Doric order, and not large, as may be inferred from the fragments, is reduced to an inconsiderable heap of ruins. The stone is of a dark colour. We found three pedestals of blue veined marble. One, which is inscribed, has supported a statue of king Eumenes, erected by the city as an acknowledgment of his virtues and of his services to the god, to the Calaureans, and other Greeks. Many pieces lay ready, cut to the size which is a load for a mule, to be carried down to the shore and embarked for the island of Hydre, where a monastery was then building. Our guide was a mason, who had been long employed in destroying these remnants of antiquity.
Among the islanders, who repaired to us at the monastery, was a young goatlerd, with a sheep from the fold. It happened that one of us pulled out a watch, when he stared with a face of wonder not to be described. Being asked, if he knew what it was, he replied, he could not tell, unless it were a snuff-box. Perceiving his answer occasioned a smile, he added with some warmth, “ How should I know? I walk the mountains.” We endeavoured in vain to make him comprehend the use and nature of that curious, and with us common, machine,
CHAP. L. Sail up the harbour of Træzen—Land on the peninsula of Metha
na—The bay or lake- Of Træzen-The ruins—The acropolis—The water-Of Damala—A proverbial saying..
After waiting some time for a favourable wind, we left the monastery in the morning, and crossed to the opposite shore of the Morea. We landed on a spot called Palæocho. rio or Old Town, and found there part of an ordinary Mosaic pavement, a piece or two of marble, some mean ruins, and a solitary church. About noon the wind, as was expected, became fair, setting into the canal. We passed by the town of Poro, and opened the strait between the island and the peninsula of Methana, through which we had entered. We now sailed on, with the main land on our left, upa bay, once named Pogon, or the Beard. It is sheltered by Calaurea on the east, and was the harbour of Troezen, in which a squadron of the Grecian fleet assembled before the battle of Salamis.
Troezen was fifteen stadia, or almost two miles from the sea. A town named Damalá or Thamalá is now near the site. We purposed going to this place, but found the water so shallow at the top of the bay, that we could not approach the shore. We moored at some distance to a rock by a point of the peninsula. On this spot a small fortress had been erected. We could trace the two side walls running up from the sea, with two round towers at the angles, inland. These remnants are thick, and of the masonry styled Incertum. From an eminence, not far off, a column, as it were, of smoke ascended, which we were told was dust from winnowed corn; the pea