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HIS COURT AND OFFICERS,

though I took them down with as much care as possible from the mouth of a person high in office at the seraglio.

In addition to his proper officers, the court of Ali is crowded with a multitude of dependants and others, skilled in every art of adulation and mean compliance. Some of these turn him to good account hy working upon his superstition. At this very time a Turkish dervish and a Greek artisan had conspired together to cheat bim, and had persuaded him they were able to make a panacea or essence which should render him immortal : they had been working a long time in the serai with crucibles and alembics, and will probably continue to gain money from him for their pretended preparations, until death shall cure all his complaints.

The retinue of Mouchtar Pasha is very large, though inconsiderable when compared with that of his father. He supports two hundred officers and others of his household, and a thousand troops or Albanian guards.

His annual income is estimated at about 350,000 dollars, though the vizir takes to himself the greatest part of his revenue from the pashalic of Berat.

CHAPTER IV.

State of Literature in IoanninaRomaic Language-- Turkish Society

Anecdote of a Greek Papas--Vespers at the Cathedral-Church of Sta. MarinaVizir's BathEnd of Carnival-Tyrannical Acts of Ali PashaTenure of Land in AlbaniaChiflicksComparative State of Albania with the rest of Turkey-Greek FuneralExpedition of Ali against PargaDinner with Mr. Pouqueville-- Ali's CouncilVisit to Mouchtar Pasha-Occurrence at his Serai - Festival at the Church of St. Theodore-Greek Superstitions, Clergy, fc.

IT

may perhaps be expected that I should say something respecting the literary society of Ioannina: but to confess the truth, I saw yery little to describe; and if this city is called by some writers the Athens of modern Greece, I must own the term seems to me no bad specimen of the figure of speech called amplification.

Literature throughout Greece is but beginning to awake from that lethargy in which she has lain so many centuries: at present her motion is feeble and weak, she creeps on with torpid languor instead of soaring aloft, as formerly, in eagle flight. The minds of the people have been too long debased with sordid cares, and fettered too beavily with the manacles of despotic power, for sublime aspirations at present; they no longer possess, nor can they possess, that creative fire of genius, that untrodden soul (the Yughing ăßasov) which characterized their great progenitors. In their writings we observe at present only feeble copies of the ancients, or vain attempts at originality, wherein all true taste and simplicity is violated. Elaborate truisms, superficial remarks, metaphy

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sical absurdities, inaccurate details deform the pages of their historians, politicians and philosophers, whose writings give but little colour to policy, consistency to facts, or propriety to character; whilst the fire and spirit, the igneus vigor et cælestis origo, of antiquity, is totally absent from the conceptions and expressions of their poets.

Yet is not this said for the purpose of censure so much as of commiseration. In estimating the literary character of a people, we must take into consideration the circumstances which surround them. Nothing is great but by comparison, and if we perceive the modern Greeks deficient in that powerful talent, that extent of information, that accuracy of criticism, that eloquence and discriminating judgment which distinguish the polished capitals of civilized Europe, we must reflect also upon their misfortunes and debasement, we must remember that security is necessary for speculative abstraction, that the principles of truth are essential to eloquence, that independence of character is the nurse of Science, and that Poesy extends her impetuous flight only upon the wings of Liberty. But in these unfortunate realms, where tyranny has so long been established, suspicion, like the sword of Damocles, has uniformly banished joy from the hearts of the people ; self-interest, and the acquisition of wealth, have been their ruling passions ; superstition has long lent its assistance in blunting all the energies of mind; few have been the aids which education has given to talent; few the rewards proposed to emulation.

Still it would be wrong to say that the germ of genius no longer exists among

the Greeks, whilst the substratum of their character seems to remain very similar to that of their ancestors. We may remark in the moderns the same perspicacity and pliability which distinguished the ancients, the same ingenuity in supplanting a rival, the same appetency for honours and distinctions however dangerous, the same desire of pomp and magnificence, the same liveliness and gaiety of heart when relieved from the presence of tyranny: the chief difference seems effected by external circumstances; the ancients were masters,

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but the moderns are slaves ; those moved in conscious dignity over a
land immortalized by their valour, these are obliged to bow the neck
beneath the foot of every petty tyrant. In such an atmosphere it is
impossible for genius to bloom; yet when her scions are transplanted
into a more genial climate we find them vigorous and full of sap* ; and
whilst such noble-minded men as the Zosimades continue to pour the
stream of bounty over their native land, planting the seed, though the
time of harvest may be far distant, and whilst such patriotic souls as
that of the venerable Korai exert their energies to infuse purity into the
language, good taste into the writings, and generosity into the senti-
ments of their countrymen, we need not despair. Knowledge is in-
creasing and will increase ; with knowledge not only the desire of free-
dom but the fitness for it will increase also ; true patriotism will
spread through all ranks; and when Greece shall escape from bondage
corporeal and intellectual, then its genius will revive; the Memnonian
statue, now mute, when struck by the rays of Liberty will again utter
its harmonious sounds.

Perhaps there is no part of Greece where its language has been pre-
served in greater purity than the mountainous districts of Epirus, or
where more efforts have been made to restore it than in Ioannina. It
is here much less mixed with Oriental barbarisms, or exotic Frank
and Italian terms. Though the Romaic in its idioms, terminations, and
phraseology has never departed so far from its original, as the Italian has
from its mother tongue, it may be doubted whether this be an ad.
vantage or the contrary. The latter language, after a succession of
foreign intermixtures and a variety of changes, was regenerated, as it
were, in the sudden regeneration of the people, and assumed at once a
noble consistency, copious expression, and delightful harmony: but the
former has remained, and must ever remain, a debased enervated dia-

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• The transcendant abilities of Ugo Foscolo, a Grecian born, but educated in Italy, may be cited as
an illustration of this truth.
VOL. II.

L

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lect of the most glorious language ever yet formed by the ingenuity of mankind, eclipsed for ever by the brightness of its original. Still the efforts made to repair its defects and eradicate its barbarisms are extremely praiseworthy, especially since every good composition we can expect from the modern Greeks must be written in Romaic: if they attempt the Hellenic they will surely fail : no language can well express the genuine dictates of the heart in the eloquence of genius, but that to which we have been accustomed from our infancy, that in which we have listened to the accents of maternal tenderness, the admonitions of paternal care, the sentiments of friendship, or the soft whispers of a still sweeter affection.

Yet reform in the Romaic language, like all other reforms, ought to be gradual and not violent. Above all things it must not be committed to such a set of radical reformers as appeared no long time ago in Ioannina, who formed themselves into a committee of management for this purpose, and published a number of small works in their newfangled dialect, the Popenen yaora, as they chose to call it; in which, by universal consent, they banished poor w from his alphabetic associates for no fault at all ; , for that system of iotacism to which he had given rise; punished the diphthongs as and «, by making them change places with ε and whose sound they had usurped, using B for u wherever this latter was pronounced as a consonant, with many other alterations, which may be observed in the ode which I have subjoined, composed by the physician Velara, who was at the head of this association. His principal coadjutors were Signore Psalida, and an ignorant pretender in the medical line named Sakellario, who writes sonnets upon love and ladies' eye-brows, in default of prescriptions. The species of reform introduced by these innovators would soon put a final stop to all improvement in the language.

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