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in vain for the "warrior's weapon and the sophist's stole;" the Grecian phalanx no longer moves to the eye, and the Orators no longer spell-bind the people from the Bema; but it is enough that here was once
"The dome of Thought-the palace of the soul!"
After examining the singular construction of the Parthenon, in which there is not a single straight line-strange though it seem-after measuring with the eye that singular adaptation, by which part is made to lean upon and support part, thus rendering a part equal in strength to the whole, after sweeping the horizon again and again, and standing upon that "lofty mountain thought" which rises out of the City of Minerva, we felt the spirit stretch into a view, so full of life, and splendor, and joy, that its transcript seems as impossible as its reality was sublime. One should stand upon the Acropolis, before boasting of having seen aught or felt aught elsewhere on this round globe.
But I must descend. Our guide, the kind missionary, invites us to his house. While awaiting the hospitable tea, the sun sinks in gold below Salamis, and gentle airs are wafted over the Pireus. A Grecian tea it was-dainty and elegant. With the tea is taken delicate preserves made from the split leaves from the heart of the rose, and with the water, a sweet transparent paste called rahatlikum, common in the Orient. But most we delight to remember the kindly grace and the genuine goodness of Mr. Buel, who saw us safely upon our boat, and regretfully left us to our eastern path. Had we remained longer with him, he promised us the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Black, Byron's "Maid of Athens," and the daughter of Marco Bozzaris (pronounced Botezarris), who are his neighbors, and frequently spend their evenings with him. The former is now a respectable matron of a large family. The latter is no longer connected with the Queen's Court.
Athens in itself has nothing striking in its appearance. It contains 23,000 people, but seems no larger than one of our ordinary county seats. It lies in a triangular shape. I do not
see how they can pack so much humanity in it. But its streets are narrow. Men need no more house room here, however, than will serve as their couch. The shops are scanty and small. The baking is done at public ovens, on the associated Fourier principle. There are plenty of carriages at Athens, and cheap; but the roads are poor, the streets are dirty, and illypaved and crooked. The foot-walks are about two feet wide. The people are a sad mixture of respectable and miserable; the latter predominating. They are mostly idlers; busying themselves as formerly, in "hearing and telling some new thing." Education is progressing. Many fine buildings for that purpose are being erected. The palace and its gardens stand out conspicuously in the treeless, sandy plain, upon the edge of the city. Water from the wells is constantly pumped by diligent donkeys, to irrigate the thirsty soil. The people depend on the goat for their milk and butter. Beef is an unknown luxury. Hymethus still yields her honeyed wealth, according to Byron. Perhaps it is a poetic license. There are no women apparent. It was daylight when we went through. They only appear, starlike, by night. These domestic items must now close. One should not judge too hastily of such things; but to our hasty glance, Athens modern is to Athens ancient as the poorest fragment of an old statue is to the bright and symmetrical mould of a Phidias.
The next morning found us darting around Cape Sunium, upon whose rocky steep the white columns of the temple of Minerva shine, and from which they look upon the sea. This temple was erected here to remind the voyager of the Goddess of Athens, at the very gate of Attica.
I think, with Lamartine, that a tomb or temple fills the mind with holier thoughts and purer associations, when located, as is the tomb of Themistocles or the temple of Pallas, upon a lone and rocky promontory,-" afar from the city's troublous cries," drawn in the clear air against the beautifully blue horizon, and rising instinct with Nature into closer communion with heaven.
Bame of Bummer.
"Oft of one wide expanse had I been told
That deep brow'd HOMER ruled as his demesne."
E are now on board the fine French steamer Egyptus, dodging, by the cunning of steam, the isles of Greece, which rise in these blue waters on all sides. We are playing between Thermia, named from its warm springs, and Zea, with Journa, the old Roman place of banishment, ahead. It will take nice navigation to extricate us from the complexity of these islands. But it is thrilling to career amidst these homes of ancient genius. They seem to have been compensated, for the bleakness and barreness of their scenery, by the growth of men in the elder day. We shall, before long, see the isles where Homer and Sappho lived and sung, and where God appeared in rapt vision to the soul of John, the seer of Patmos, and opened to him those Revelations of Wonder, Glory, and Mystery, which form the Omega of the living word.
It is verging toward midnight. I have just been on deck. The gallant steamer is shooting past the isle of Homer-the loveliest of the Archipelego-the most fruitful and picturesque of the isles of Greece-the celebrated Scio. It is called the Paradise of the Levant; and well deserves the name for its extraordinary fertility, and beautiful foliage and scenery. This isle is under the dominion of the Ottoman, and the revenues it affords are dedicated to the support of the mother of Abd-ulMejid, the present Sultan, who lives in magnificence upon the banks of the Bosphorus. It is in strange contrast with the
other isles of Greece; which rise in rocky eminences and broken promontories from the sea. True, it suffered much in the Greek revolution. But its vineyards, its olives, its citrons and its mastic groves, then cut down, are again bespreading the island. The other isles afford but scanty homes for the goat. Man scarcely plants his foot upon the different spots we have passed to-day, but upon Scio he has revelled amidst the prodigality of Nature. The mastic is the chief object of cultivation. It is the product of the Lentisk shrub, which covers the hill slopes, and which, when cut, drops the liquid mastic. This is hardened, refined, and exported for the use of the Turkish ladies. But why speak of all this? Is not this the isle of Homer? Of all the claims to the honor of his birthplace Scio has preferred the best. Beside, she is rich in other names. Ion the tragic poet, Theocritus the sophist, and Theopompus the historian, all hailed from this isle. But why distinguish Scio amidst such a fraternity of isles, all rich in the associations of classical antiquity,
"Where grew the arts of war and peace;
Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung.
The Scian and the Teian Muse.
Have found the fame your shores refuse;
Than your sire's islands of the blest."
Never did bard sing more truly. Our boat is full of Greeks. I have just walked amidst them-sleeping upon the deck, utterly unconscious that they are passing the native spot of him, whose song has rung the name of Greece through two thousand years, and from continent to continent. The stars look down calmly and full of sparkle from their unclouded vault. The dark isle rises majestically upward, amidst their fretted fires. The Orient, with its deep and infinite splendors, fills the mind of the gazer, as he looks upward and eastward along that star-strewn
path. Yonder, not far from the early home of Homer, is the ancient Troy, around whose walls the scenes of Epic glory took place, with deities for actors and witnesses, which the Bard has reduced into numbers as enduring as his own name. Fit vantage
ground was Scio, whence the young poet might view the scene of his own future triumphs in Poesy; fit school wherein to nurture that imagination which dared no flight it did not attain. Perhaps from that round point of rock tufted with yellow verdure, iust opposite our vessel, "he beheld the Iliad and the Odyssey, rise to the swelling of the voiceful sea." There, might have been kindled the first spark of that genius which outlives the triumphs of all Conquerors.
Thanks to thee, Old Shore! Thou who wert the parent of art, and gave that Homer to time, which time has given to our modern world! These isles while they furnished rocks and hills, bays and mountains, as the haunts of his muse; yon rocky shore which we have left behind us, while it furnished the cloud-capped Olympus towering upward amid fraternal mounts, for his heroes and gods, also cherished his minstrelsy. Athens received his Epos; her philosophers criticised it, in unity and part; her orators quoted it; her Olympic games echoed its song; her drama was moulded by it; her sculptors formed its images and her architects enshrined them in Parthenons and Theseums. Rome gave to him apotheosis, before which power bowed in wonder, love and awe. Alexandria hid his works in hieroglyphs, but at last redeemed the ancient fame of Egypt by transmitting them to us in their present form. What would painting have been without the Venus and Diana; sculpture without the Apollo and Jove; or art without the Iliad? Legislation, too, while it cherished his works, found in them the spirit of its best enactments. The literature of the world owes to them its Virgil, Dante, Ariosto, Tasso, Milton, Wieland, Klopstock, its Henriade and Auraucana!
We are apt to look upon Homer, only as a singer, whose songs have no practical bearing upon the world. To the philo