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when they encountered the Spartans at CHAP.
1. Thermopyla ,--the curious circumstance of a natural defile, exactly similar in either instance, should have tended so materially towards the renown acquired by the Greeks.
The day was now far spent; and, as the Return to evening drew on, we returned towards the village Village. of Marathon, having completed our survey of the Plain. The climate in Greece, during winter, is delightful; and the winter months are the most proper for travelling in the country. The morning had been cloudy; but before noon the sky became clear; and at sun-set it exhibited that mild serenity which our own Poets consider to be peculiarly characteristic of an English autumn”. It reminded us of that “even-tide” of the year which a late Writer has forcibly described as the season when “we regard, even in spite of ourselves, the still, but steady, advances of time.” And if there be a spot upon earth pre-eminently calculated to awaken the solemn sentiments which such a view of Nature is fitted to make upon all men, it may surely be
(9) “ No Spring or Summer's beauty hath such grace
“As I bave seen in one Autumnal face." DONNE. (3) Alison on Autumn, p. 327. Edinb. 1814.
found in the Plain of Marathon; where, amidst the wreck of generations, and the graves of antient heroes, we elevate our thoughts towards HIM “in whose sight a thousand years are but as yesterday;" where the stillness of Nature, harmonizing with the calm solitude of that illustrious region which was once a scene of the most agitated passions, enables us, by the past, to determine of the future. In those moments, indeed, we may be said to live for ages; -a single instant, by the multiplied impressions it conveys, seems to anticipate for us a sense of that Eternity, “when time shall be no more;" when the fitful dream of human existence, with all its turbulent illusions, shall be dispelled; and the last sun having set in the last night of the world, a brighter dawn than ever gladdened the universe shall renovate the dominions of darkness and of death.
Present Village of Marathon-Cave of Pan-Charadra
Plants—Dogs—Albanians of the Mountains-Summits
- Description of that Monument-Antient Bulwark-
thian Order in Architecture.
II. Turkish families which are not constantly resident, the present village of Marathon consists Village of
MARATHON only of a few wretched cottages, inhabited by
CHAP. Albanians. Some remains, as of a more antient II.
settlement, may be observed behind these
buildings, towards the north-west. We made Cave of
a vain inquiry after the Cave of Pan; being well Pan.
convinced that so accurate a writer as Pausanias would not have mentioned a natural curiosity of this kind, without good proof of its existence in his time; and from its nature, it is not probable that any lapse of time should have caused its disappearance. Our Albanian guides, however, either did not know that any such cave existed, or they did not choose to accompany us thither; and we have since learned, that we passed close to it, before our arrival at Marathon, in our road from Athens. Other travellers have found it; and they describe it to be a stalactite grotto, similar, in its nature, to the several caves of Parnassus, Hymettus, and Antiparos, although upon a smaller scale': and this circumstance in its history of course explains all that Pausanias has writen concerning the various phænomena with which that cavern abounds'; the eccentric shapes which the
(1) It has been recently visited by Mr. Hughes, of St. John's College, Cambridge ; who gave to the author this account of its situation.
(2) 'Ολίγον δε αποτέρου του πεδίου, Πανός έστιν όρος, και σπήλαιον, θίας άξιον" είσοδος μεν και αυτό στενή, παρελθούσι δέ εισιν οίκοι, και λουτρά, και το καλούμενων Πανός εισόλιον, σίτραι τα πολλά αίξιν είκασμέναι. Pausania. Attica, c. 32. p. 80. edit. Kuhnii.
stalactites had assumed in the second century, CHAP. being, by him, referred to animal and other forms; as Joseph Pitton de Tournefort, in the first
year of the eighteenth century, with equal gravity, refers the ramifications of alabaster, in the Grotto of Antiparos, to cauliflowers and trees, as proofs of the vegetation of stones'.
We left Marathon on the morning of the third of December, being accompanied by our friend Lusieri as far as the mill, where the road to Athens separates from that which leads to Kalingi and to Thebes; and here we saw him for the last time. At this mill there are the remains of an aqueduct, with arches, covered with ivy. From hence we began to ascend a part of the mountain Parnes, now called Nozia, with a strong accent upon the last syllable. In the same manner, the modern name of the island Ceos is not pronounced, as written, Zia, but Zia. Our ascent was along the course of
(3) “Il n'est pas possible encore un coup que cela se soit fait par la chate des gouttes d'eau, comme le prétendent ceux qui expliquent la formation des congélations dans les grottes. Il y a beaucoup plus d'apparence que les autres congélations dont vous parlons, et qui pendent du baut en bas, ou qui poussent en different sens, ont été produites par le même prineipe, C BST-A-DIRE PAR LA VEGETATION.' Voyage du Levant, tom. I. p.929. à Lyon, 1717.