Imatges de pÓgina

Springing from rivalry in trade,

A sort of village warfare made,
Which sadly spoilt the people's morals,
Splitting them into furious factions,

Some warmly advocating Hobbs,
While others, both by words and actious,

Supported Dobbs.
And yet these foolish fellows ought

In their two leaders to have found
Men of strong understanding, taught

With friendly stitches,
To patch up, not occasion breaches,

And mend the soles of all the rusticks round;
For they were both shoemakers, and their labours
Should have been circumscribed to putting
Their friends, their customers, and neighbours

On a good footing.
They lived, unfortunately, vis-à vis,

And soon began the work of emulation,
By flaming shop-boards, where in gilt
And lacker'd lustre, you might see

The symbols of their occupation,
Much paint in blue and crimson being spilt,
That each might be more splendid than the other,
And win all custom from his baffled brother.

Hobbs, who had somehow given handle
For undeserved reproach and scandal,

When he new-dizen'd out his board,
Wrote at its foot this Latin scrap-

Mens conscia recti,” which he took

From some heraldic motto-book,
Meaning thereby to have a slap

At his maligners, and afford
Proof that his path he still pursued,
Strong in a conscious rectitude.
This was a source of envious dolour

To Dobbs, who, in his first confusion,
Knowing his rival was po scholar,

Deduced the natural conclusion
That “ conscia rectidoubtless meant

Some article of trade-perchance,

Some fashion just arrived from France,
And being resolutely bent
His hated rival to eclipse,
He sent forthwith for Mr. Cripps,

Painter and Glazier,
When thus ejaculated Dobbs-
“ Paint me a still more flaming board,

Of green and gold, and azure;-
What do you think I can't afford

To pay for it as well as Hobbs ?-
Be these French kickshaws what they will,
I am resolved to beat him still,

To which effect, I
Desire you 'll print in gold at bottom,
(That folks may fancy I have got 'em,)

Men's and women's conscia recti.



Tue identity in personal appearance and moral character of the Greeks of today with the Greeks of antiquity, is a subject on which, in common with most other travellers who have been brought in contact with that wonderful people, I have insisted ; and though somewhat their apologist, and certainly their warm advocate as regarded their relations with the Turks, I have not hesitated, nor shall I now hesitate, to trace this identity in their evil qualities as well as in their good in the feelings and passions that disgrace or disturb humanity, as well as in those that tranquillize and ornament it. Indeed, in a susceptibility ever alive, and to every impression, in a cast of character which Lord Byron well describes by the word “ mobility," lie the secrets of the morale of the Greek people, ancient and modern ; and in such temperaments the seeds of evil passions must be involved with virtues, and spring up from the same soil of the heart.

The following relation of what occurred at Smyrna in the month of May of the present year, assimilates itself with Greek adventures of five-and-twenty centuries back; and the struggle for a Greek servant girl may recall the fortunes of a Greek princess, and Helen and Cassandra.

Madame S, a Catholic lady of Constantinople, but married to an English merchant of Smyrna, had taken into her service a Greek girl, a native of the island of Cerigo. The girl was young and pretty, and possessed of that natural grace so common to her country-people, even of the lowest conditions ; she was, besides, intelligent, obedient, and respectful, and during a service of some months acquired the affections of her mistress, thau whom, from personal acquaintance, I should say there exist few more amiable women.*

In the course of business, this lady's husband, finding it expedient to return to Constantinople, had already begun to make preparations for the departure of himself and family, when one day the fair Cerigote, who had already informed her mistress of the persecution she endured from her family on account of a lover whom she could not love, fell on her knees, and with sighs and tears most passionately prayed that she would take her to Constantinople, and so save her from being forced into a marriage she detested. When her mistress hesitated, the passionate young Greek abandoned herself to the extravagances of desperation ; she beat her pretty face, tore her hair, and vowed that if the lady would not take her, she would throw herself into the sea when she was gone, as the only way of avoiding the harsh constraint of her family, her fellow-islanders in Smyrna, and the Greeks generally-bishop, priests, and all, who were bent on the match.

Madame S—at length did what most women of feeling, to whom coercion on so delicate a point--the pivot of female happiness or misery-must be most odious, would have done in her place, and with her husband's consent, she agreed that Katinko should go with them to the Turkish capital. The joy and the gratitude of the young Greek were now as intense as her woe had been; she kissed her dear mistress's hands and feet, and pronounced a more amiable vow that for the salvation she had accorded her, she would be her slave-would love and obey her every command until the last moment of her life!

A calm English girl, or the maiden of any other and more sedate country, might have been just as grateful at being removed from the certainty of a forced marriage-might have used the same words, and almost the same actions, but would not have approached the vivacity and grace in passion (if I may use such an expression) of the mobile, susceptible Greek. Whilst in the Levant; it was my fortune to be an eye-witness, on more occasions than one, to the passionate workings of the female mind in the Greeks. I have seen the violence of their grief; the intenseness of their despair ; their rapid returns to the ecstasies of joy ;

Madame S is sister to Madame W late of Constantinople, whose melan.' choly death by the plague I described in the last Number of the New Monthly Magazine.

the vividness of their hope; their energetic gratitude; and in each and all of these modifications of human feeling their vivacity surprised me, though I had been long familiar with the people of Southern Italy and Sicily, whom nobody will accuse of phlegmı" But in the outer developement of either of these passions, the attitude, the action, never ceased to be picturesque and what, for want of a better word, we call classical. One of the commonest actions of their grief, for example, was to raise their closed hands above their heads, and to hold them there, just as we see represented in antique bassi-relievi and vases, when the subject is a funeral procession, or something of that nature. I have seen in the Greek quarter of Smyrna a group of women bewailing the death of a child, with gestures and words which, though they were of the poorest and commonest class, most forcibly reminded me of Homer and the Greek tragedians ; and a funeral I once witnessed at the little island of Milo, not only possessed all the ceremonies and circumstances attending an ancient burial, but the mourning figures in the procession looked like embodied classical antiquity. No time will efface the impression made on my mind, particularly by the Præficiæ, or hired mourners, who preceded the garlanded corpse, beating their breasts, tearing their hair, and calling on the name of the departed; or “the last scene of all," when previously to covering the body with earth, the relatives lifted it in their arms and wept, indulging, like Andromache, in the luxury of their grief;* and the usepos HITACHOS, or last embrace. But even when unagitated by the violence of passion, the deportment and speech of the Greek females are animated and eloquent; or, it may be said of them, as Gibbon defined the character of the susceptible Petrarca-in their bosoms every feeling becomes a passion ; and I can answer for the truth of the following passage, written by one of the most classically-attuned British minds that ever visited“ the land of the cypress and myrtle:"_“The expression of vivacity is never absent from the girls of Greece. In them the fire of genius and' of nature supplies the place of education. The traces of that colloquial eloquence for which the ancients were so famed are principally observable amongst the women, and the endearing words that are always on their lips give life and interest to their most trivial discourse. My eyes,' My heart, My soul,' are nothing more with them than the habitual expression of a warm and feeling heart." I

But to return to the fair Cerigote, from whom my fancying as to what would be her deportment, and my recollections of Greek women in general, have led me into something like digression. She carefully concealed her purpose from the family, who apprehended nothing of the sort, until they learned from the gossip of other servants that Madame S was going to Constantinople, and would take Katinko with her. On hearing all this, the mother of the poor girl ran to the residence of Madame S-, and with words of threat and fury demanded her disobedient child. The kind-hearted lady would have given her up, had Katinko been at all willing to go, on the solemn promise of the mother that she should no longer be persecuted on account of the marriage; but the old woman not only insisted on having her child, but swore she should marry the man fixed upon by her family for her husband. This naturally confirmed Madame Sin the determination she had made from the kindest of motives; she would not abandon the again weeping and despairing maiden, and the mother was ordered to quit the house. She went; but as she retreated through the cor

* Ιμερος γοοίο.

# The Hon, Fred. Sylv. North Douglas. See his “Essay on certain Points of Re-, semblance between the Ancient and Modern Greeks,”

Mr. North Douglas adds, in a note to this passage—“ The violent effects of love have not been confined to the men. I was told of a beautiful girl at Athens, who cut off the hair which had long raised the envy and admiration of the city, and sent it to her lover at the moment when his ship was bearing him from the Piræus. The reproof was too poignant, and he returned. In attempting to recommence his voyage at a later season of the year, the vessel in which he sailed sunk among the rocks of San Giorgio, almost within sight of his beloved."

ridor with her pale, haggard face turned towards the mistress and the maid, and her clasped hands in the same direction, Cassandra-like, she pronounced the direst predictions on both, and poured out such a stream of curses on her own child, that the rest of the Greek domestics in the house wetted their bosoms with their spittle, lest a portion of those curses should alight upon them.

From this moment Katinko durst not leave the house, where from the respect, the almost sanctity, the residences of wealthy Pranks are held in throughout the Levant, by Turks and all, she might consider herself in safety, as in an asylum. At length the day of departure arrived; every thing was already embark ed; Madame

Sand ber children were at a neighbour's; her husband and three Frank gentlemen (one of whom, the person who has described to me the curious scenes,) were in the stripped house engaged in conversation, and Katinko and the other domestics who were to be of the voyage, were awaiting the summons to go on board the English ship anchored close at hand in the bay. Of a sudden, the conversation of the gentlemen was interrupted by a long, shrill shriek, and they saw Katinko rush past them in the corridor, crying, “My brother! my kindred ! they beset the house !" and run to the inner-door at the foot of the staircase, which she secured ere she returned, weeping and wringing her hands, to implore their protection.

The Frank houses in Smyrna are all built pretty much alike: a folding gate, always open by day, gives admission from the street into a court-yard, along one side of which the residence runs; an inner door, also open in day-time--for strangely as the population of the place is composed, burglaries are very rarely known-admits to a staircase wbich leads to a corridor, where the apartments are ranged room after room, the doors opening on the corridor like those of the cells in a monastery, On looking from the lattices of the corridor, Mr.

S. and his friends saw the court-yard filled with Cerigote Greeks, all armed, and clamouring for admission or the restitution of Katinko. Without parley, the infuriated islanders proceeded to force the door; but as it opened outwards, and was stronger than Smyrna doors in general, this seemed no easy task, when lo! a young Greek girl, the daughter of Madame Sm's nurse, knowing nothing of the matter, entered the court-yard with an infant sister in her arms. In an instant, one of the Cerigotes pounced upon her like a tiger on his prey, and holding the infanţ up in one hand, and brandishing a long dagger in the other, threatened instantly to immolate the child unless the door was opened. This was not a sight for maternity to bear, and the mother of both the children, who saw it from within the house, flew to the door and opened it.

About thirty wild-looking fellows, each armed with a poniard or a yataghan, with their arms bared, their heads uncovered by calpac or fess, their black hair bristled with rage, and their mouths foaming, rushed up-stairs to the corridor where the English gentlemen, who had not a chair or a table, so thoroughly was the house demeublé-who had not even a stick to defend themselves, awaited their arrival with no pleasurable feelings. In the next minute they were all in the gripe of these desperate islanders, who with daggers to their breasts, vowed they would kill them on the spot if they did not give up Katinko. This was not a moment for reasoning or resisting-besides, the apartments were now open to the invaders--so Mr. S bade them go and take her, but to dread the consequences that would attend this unheard-of outrage. Without heeding his last. words, they relaxed their gripe on the Franks and distributed themselves over the house in search of Katinko, who had run away and concealed herself, brandishing their bright weapons in the air aud uttering the most tremendous imprecations. As thus they were raging and running like conspirators after their victim, my informant, Mr. B-, and another of my friends, Mr., whose generous feeling for the Greeks, which I have formerly had occasion to mention, ought to have saved bim from such an assault, not thinking that the picturesqueness of the scene compensated for its danger or inconvenience, ran down-stairs, in hopes of calling in assistance from the street; but on approaching the outer gate, daggers and yataghans, as bright and as long as those they had left above,

were at their breasts, and a party of Cerigotes that guarded the passage sent them back with volleys of threats and oaths, in which the copious and sufficientlyexpressive vocabulary of the Romaic was enriched by the “ Kiopecs," “ Pezavinks," and “Caratas" of their kind friends the Turks, who, if any thing, beat the Greeks in obscene swearing.

Meanwhile the energetic explorers of the denuded mansion had found the despairing Katinko in one of its most remote rooms: the first impulse of her furious brother was to stab her; but he was prevented from doing this, and they were carrying her down-stairs in their arms as my friends were returning whence they had so unprofitably come. The scene here was horrid and heart-rending: the wild Cerigotes grasped her delicate form as if it had been senseless iron; they brandished their daggers before her eyes, and insulted her ears with every odious epithet their eloquent wrath could command; and she, the pretty girl, struggled in their grasp and writhed with more than the strength of convulsion; whilst her long, loose black hair was spread over her face and their savage arms, her shrill voice uttered the most piercing shrieks and lamentations, and her eyes shot glances through her tears like Aashes of lightning through sheeted torrents of rain. As my friends met her on the stairs, she begged most piteously they would rescue her from these rude men from her barbarous kindred; and by a tremendous exertion of force, she burst from those who held her, and throwing herself between Mr. Band Mr. L., and convulsively grasping an arm of each, anew implored, with the tones of despair or madness, that for mercy's sake, for the Panagia, and all the saints in heaven, they would not let her be carried away to her odious lover. But chivalrous as might have been the feelings of these gentlemen, they ought to have had the armour of steel, and the miraculous strength of the kvights of old, to be able to oppose some thirty armed and hardy fellows of Greeks and to rescue“

la damoiselle éplorée.” My friends baving neither were obliged to let her go. The marks of her clenching hands remained with them; for so tenacious was her hold, from which she was dragged hy main force, that an arm of each of them was signed “ black and blue;" and my good friend B, in telling the story, says he can almost feel that convulsive grasp still, though more than three months are passed since.

The daring Cerigotes, like a party of ancient Greeks ere Theseus and Pirithous cleared old Hellas of monsters, carried off the dishevelled maiden unopposed but they carried her to the Greek Archbishop of Smyrna and enlisted religious fanaticism on their side. The family and the lover declared that Madame s's intention was not only to remove Katinko from her natural and orthodox guardians, but to marry her to a man of her own reprobated faith—to a Roman Catholie! In few places does religious hatred obtain more than at Smyrna between the Catholic and Greek communions ;-the false report of Madame S's intentions had armed many of the Cerigotes, and now it caused numerous other Greeks to rally round them and Katinko's relations.

The Cerigotes may seem scarcely to deserve the epithet of daring which I have applied to them, by the exploit of carrying away a girl, terrifying a nurse, and browbeating four unarmed Franks; but it must be noticed that all this was done at noon-day in the Frank street of Smyrna, where they might have found numbers to oppose them; that Mr. S—'s house was close to the Bazaar and Turkish quarter, whence two or three hundred Musulmans armed to the teeth, and ever but too happy at an opportunity of fleshing their yataghans on Greeks, might have sallied out and surprised them; and lastly, that though well furnished with daggers and white arms, they had no pistols or muskets as the Turks would of a certainty have had.

As soon as the gentlemen in the house were rid of their unwelcome visitors, they repaired to Mr. B-, the British Consul's, to seek redress for such a grievance as had not been sustained by any of their respected class in Smyrna for many years. Before doing any thing else that might seriously commit the Greek clergy with the Turks, Mr. B-despatched an under Drogoman of the Cousulate, to request the Archbishop would give up the girl; but this messenger,

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