You are on page 1of 292

<ANNE)

^>

^jfiv

1.?^

1^,

J^^,

TOUR

IN

GREECE

ciTTaTC

Tw

/SacnXrJL ^ayuut Trccre oaiouAos

ovKCTt $or/3os

^(1

KaXvjSav, ov fidvTLSa

ov irdyav XaXiovcrav'

uTrecr/Jcro Kai

avAa*
8d<f>vyp',

XoAov

rScop.
T/ie Za.s^ Oracle.

'"

TOUE

IN

GREECE

1880

BY

KICHAED EIDLEY FARKEK

XiHitb

C\vents*sevcn JUustrations
BY

LORD WINDSOR

WILLIAM BLACKWOOD AND SONS


EDINBURGH AND LONDON
MDCCCLXXXII

All Mi'jhts reserved

Stack

Annex

j)f

lis

PKEFACE.

The Greek kino;dom


able

amount

of attention at

Within the

ticians.

has of late received no inconsider-

last

tlie

year

it

hands of European

poli-

has obtained a large and

purely gratuitous increase of territory.

But

for all that,

our actual acquaintance with the country has not kept


pace with the growth of this kindly interest in
fare.

On

the contrary,

it

c[uently visited before the

the present day.

its

seems to have been more

War

welfre-

of Independence than at

Thus M. Laurent,

in his

work published

about the year 1820 (Recollections of a Classical Tour),


observes that " the crowd of English tourists

been in Greece have, as in

many

other parts of Europe,

rendered the expenses of travelling

they were formerly"

a remark

who have

much

greater than

irresistibly suggesting

that the Turkish authority inspired strangers with a


sense

of

security

afterwards

unknown

i?3iys3

for

it

will

PREFACE.

vi

even

liarcUv be denied,

that

weak

l>y

the most ardent Pliilliellene,

bad government

or

in Greeee has given such

scope to the predatory instincts of the popuktion, that

have

travellers

their

persons

Ipng

outside

^^^tll

good reason declined to expose

the

And

provinces.

the

in

line

ordinarily

even Athens,

taken by steamers

from Alexandria to Constantinople, receives fewer


itors

than

many

other places more remote.

while the whole country


tourist,

many

of

its

histor}' has

its

the track of the ordinary

is off

whose love

taken them to

notions as to

Therefore,

most interesting parts

versed, even l)y those

its

for

capital.

are untra-

Greek

and

true condition are derived mainly from

made,

where roads

art

Hence current

a sojourn in Athens, and short expeditions in

bourhood

vis-

exist,

in fact, over just that

and give a

its

neigh-

limited area

false idea of the civilisa-

tion of the interior.

Europeans who Imvr thus seen but one side of the


picture are apt to take the Greeks at their
tion,

and

to

own

valua-

accept the accounts which from time to

time appear setting forth in eulogistic terms the


ojress

and enlisjhtenment of the

sketches are (jver-coloured,

may

race.

}>ro-

Whether these

perhaps be gathered

from the following pages, containing a simple narrative


of our exjx'riciices in Greece

experiences often strange-

PREFACE.

There are no

ly at variance with our anticipations.

exciting adventures to relate, no hair- breadth escapes

from brigands

but there are constant

little

sometimes amusing, frequently annoying,

would have been well had we

]3een prepared,

which we would fain forewarn


that these chapters

may

others.

gravings

may

and

fairer ruins, of a

"

The abode

however

of gods,

it

our hope

contribute their mite of useful

some prevailing misapprehensions

still

which

and against

It is

information to intending travellers, and

indicate,

for

surprises,

may remove

and that these en-

faintly, the fair scenery,

once glorious land

whose shrine no longer burns."

CONTENTS.

CHAP.
I.

II.

BRINDISI

AND CORFU,

CORFU TO ATHENS,

18

III.

ATHENS OF THE PAST,

28

IV.

ATHENS OF TO-DAY,

48

V.
VI.
VII.
VIII.

IX.

X.
XI.
XII.

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS,


DRIVING TOUR

THROUGH

THEBES AND CHALCIS

BCEOTIA ON PACK-SADDLES,

66
78

96

THE PHOCIAN ALPS,

112

THE ARGOLID,

131

HAPPY ARCADIA,

151

OLYMPIA,

175

PYRGOS AND ZANTE,

194

APPENDIX.
MEANS OF REACHING AND SEEING GREECE,

211

LIST OF ILLrSTRATIONS.

Temple op Xeptu>'e, P^^stum,

The Albanian Coast,


The Old Fort, Corfu,
View of Corfu, from the Garuxa Pass,
The Acropolis and Temple of Olympian Zeu s,
The Acropolis, from the Pnyx,
The Parthenon (West Front),
The Parthenon (East Front),
.

Temple op Theseus,
Eleusis, and the Bay of Salamis
Eleuther^,
Thebes, with Mount Parnassus,
.

The Battle-field of Plat^a,


Mount Helicon, from TnESPiiE,

LiVADIA,

Delphi,

Remains op the Temple at Corinth


Ruined Temple at Xemea,
The Lion's Gate at Mycenae,
Nauplia, prom Tiryns,
Plain of Mantinea, from Tsipiana
Temple op Apollo, Bass^,
Valley of the Alpheus,
.

Olympia,

Cephalonia, from Zante,

The Pitch-Springs in Zante,


Our last View of Greece from Zante,
Map of Greece,
.

Fror

To face page

TOUE

IN GKEECE.

CHAPTER

I.

AND CORFU.

BRINDISI

a starting-point for Eastern travel, Brindisi can boast

AS

many
voyage

shortening of

Firstly, the

advantages.

a sure recommendation to

Britons whose

love of

increasing intimacy;

their

ocean

secondly, the

Indian mail for reaching that port

empire dwindles upon

and

absence of inducement to linger within


possess fewer

attractions.

Around

its walls.

in the dull

departed greatness lends

town's

squalid streets

offered

thirdly,

plain no undulation relieves the wearied eye


of the

sea

that large majority of

facilities
;

tlie

by the

the

utter

Few

spots

Calabrian

no monument

an interest

to

the

the harl^our exhales a perfume peculiar even

in that tideless sea.


^

" Procul obscures colles,

In this

flat

conntry

it is

humilemque viilemus Italiam."

impossible to have

tlie

Yirg.

JRn.

iii.

522.

feeling of being really in Italy.

Brindisi.

AND

BRINDISI

The

traveller

leaves the

CORFU.

railway in the omnibus of the

Hotel des Indes Orientales, and by the time he has reached


that establishment and the quay, will probably have abandoned
all

idea of loitering

upon

seize the earliest opportunity

the steamboat
It is

company whom

an axiom abroad that

He

will do well to

of adjourning

to the office of

Italian

all

lie

soil.

honours with his patronage.

tickets

and similar documents

are to be signed, countersigned, " vise-d,"

every possible or impossible occasion

and so

and he may

therefore,

through disregard of this maxim, find himself put to


inconvenience at the last moment.

upon

forth,

much

Having performed

this

solemn function, he should proceed on board to deposit his


luggage and secure berths.

by personal application to the steward, and

this except

come,

first

There are no means of effecting

served,"

is

"first

He

the only principle regarded.

can

then return to dine in peace and comfort, and beguile his


leisure with

may

an exploration of the place

only at night he

expect to spoil his nether garments by sudden plunges

into the mud-holes that agreeably diversify the surface of its

unpaved
T^op.il

Two

streets.

or three churches and a few dilapidated palaces

tiaditions.

prisj

all

the buildmgs of any importance

quities consist of

com-

while the anti-

an isolated column, known as the " Colonna

Ercolea," supposed to have served anciently as a lighthouse.

Brindisiura was not of a kind likely to

The importance

of

leave behind

many

Made

Human

colony before the conclusion of the First Punic war,

it

became

it

durable monuments.

BRINDIBI

the

outlet

AND

CORFU.

movement

each successive Eastward

for

rapidly advancing republic.

the end of the civil wars

It
;

attained

zenith towards

its

and received a

the

of

sort

of literary

consecration from Horace's amusing satire descriptive of his

journey thither, as well as from being the scene of Virgil's

The

death.

"

Casa di Virgilio

may have been

built not

"

pointed out, and really

is

more than 1200 years

than

later

that great poet's epoch, to judge from architectural evidence.

Before the second century

began

to

wane

a.d.,

the greatness

in favour of Otranto

Byzantine, Norman, and


injurious to the harbour.

and

Neapolitan

The

Italian

pended considerable sums upon

total neglect

under

has been

highly

rule,

Government have ex-

its restoration,

a thing of beauty, and will be simply, as

The

the town

and there are

But Brindisi can never become

hopes of returning prosperity.

thoroughfare.

of

hotel porter complained

it

was

of old, a

bitterly that

no

one stayed there, and that his perquisites were of the smallest:
nevertheless there has been contrived a most ingenious geometrically progressive system of gratuities for multiplying the

expenses of a few hours' sojourn in this delightful spot, and


for effectually

number

A
The

promoting the greatest happiness

of boatmen, waiters, porters,

departure by night
traveller

awakes

to

is,

if

after daybreak,

and general

possible, to

loafers.

be recommended.

find himself steaming along beneath

the frowning Albanian coast, and

slumber

of the greatest

may

if

he waste no time in

behold the Acroceraunian moun-

tains, those " rocks of evil fame," the

terror of the mariners

Albanian

AND

BRINDISI

of antiquity

CORFU.

the " crags of thunder," as their

name

signifies,

rent and scarred by constant storms, and shrouded in mysteri-

The modern names,

ous gloom.

"

Linguetta " and

TAoio-o-a,

aptly describe this tongue-shaped promontory, runniug northwest, parallel to the general direction of the coast, together

which

with

bay

lies

forms

it

this

the considerable town of the same name, a frequent

anchorage for crusading

day by means

fleets,

and accessible

the coasting steamers.

of

the ruffcred orrandeur


recall

Within

Gulf of Avloua.

the

at the present

single glance at

Albanian mountains serves to

of the

and explain the horror with which the ancients regarded

this inhospitable shore,

on a sunny
of the

still

deep blue

even

morning.
sea, their

the Eastern sky.

No

if

it

be beheld for the

first

time

line of sheer precipices rises out

jagged snow-sprinkled tops cutting

traces are seen of habitation or of

green thing until after a minute inspection,

when

any

here and

there are revealed tiny clumps of brushwood, or a few white

huts nestling against the mountain-side.

On
and

the right soon appear two rocky islets


the

IMerlera,

northern limit of

tlie

they are Fano

Hellenic kingdom.

After passing these the boat seems to enter 'a gulf without
visible

outlet,

and

to

be

steering

upon the

straight

cliffs

but on the right we discern a luxuriant verdure, in strange


Canal of

coutrast with the savage

we round Casopo

Point,

The two

desolation

on our

but

apart in the glorious noonday light.

On

us.

Suddenly

and the Canal of Corfu opens out

seem

before

left.

shores

stone's

throw

the one are barren

AND

BEINDISI

scaurs

CORFU.

on the other, foliage of every shade, and stretches of

emerald turf running up the mountain-sides.

Over

Pantocrator (the Istome of Thucydidean story


the last stronghold of the remnant of the

Then the vast bay sweeps

oligarchy.

straight across
islet of

the

rise

it

unhappy Corcyrean

off to

the right, and

towers of Phaeacia,"

form

mainland by a deep moat

1864,

of

the

separated

citadel,

behind the

These

from

the

a stronghold which, before the

and nature had combined

art

frowns

famous as

Vido, the natural breakwater of the harbour.

twin rocks together

cession

"

^),

all

to

render

impregnable.

The
to

new

vessel anchors off the

fort, at

the north of the town,

be instantly boarded by a motley, polyglot cro-^d.

Hotel St Georges should be asked


sought out.

and

The

its

porter diligently

It is comfortable, well situated,

and inexpensive.

Let the traveller luxuriate in his

for,

last taste of

European

life,

remembering well the difference between the Ionian islands

and the

rest of Greece.

landed him in a

new

And

yet a run of thirteen hours has

Strange tongues greet his ear

world.

and Eastern costumes delight

his eye, side

by

side with English

and Italian accents and the familiar garb of the West.

The

scholar feels a strange emotion in reading Greek legends on

every shop and public building, and bethinks him of Aristoph-

anes as he deciphers words expressive of various trades and


1

Time.

iii.

Virg.

Mn.

85, iv. 46.


iii.

291

" Protinus

aerias

Phfeacnm abscondimus arces;"

al-

though Professor Conington takes the allusion to be simply to the mountains of


" Pha^acia's heights from view we hide."
the island, and translates
:

AXJ)

BEINDISI

CORFU.

callings once so painfully elaborated

but

now

by the

own everyday

introduced into his

aid of a lexicon,

The

experience.

formalities of the douane are slight, the officials professing to

pass the luggage upon the " word of an Englishman

the said British subject

word

in addition to his

recommended

is
if

to give

"

but

something

he would secure the inviolability

of his portmanteaus.
Uoutes into

The length of sojourn in Corfu

will be determined

route to be adopted on leaving the island

by the

and choice has to

be made between continuing the journey in the boat that has

brought

us,

which necessitates a voyage round the Peloponnese,

and awaiting a Greek boat to take us up the Gulf

The former

of' Corinth.

alternative involves nearly three days at sea,

a departure on the morning after arrival

and

the latter allows

a stay of three nights, and reduces the time spent at sea to

about forty hours


steamers

ment

will, if

but the dirt and discomfort of the Greek

already experienced, act as a powerful induce-

to select the longer passage.

In any case, a week hardly

suffices to reveal all the delights of this earthly paradise,

the traveller will never leave


Attractions of

To thosc desirous
" try Corfu,"

that

of a
is, if

it

warm

and

without regret.
wintering-place,

we should say

they have regard for a perfect

cli-

mate, splendid scenery, good sport, good living, and absence


of " personally-conducted tourists."

enough

dom

to enliven existence

letters

Passers-through there are

without interfering with

come from home

are on one of the direct lines of

its free-

in three or four days, while

we

communication between central

BBINDISl

and eastern Europe.

Moslem, save
every

of

for a single year, it has

and creed

race

of the isLand is

Unconquered by the

as its history.

owned

Christian lords

Franks, Normans, Neapolitans,

An

Venetians, French, and English.


it

CORFU.

The present condition

and varied

as peculiar

AND

outpost of our religion,

contrasts not less strangely in population than in aspect

Two

with the neighbouring mainland.

have bestowed upon


ened

incomparably

ment brought
still

cover

the indelible impress of their enlight-

Four centuries of Venetian domination

rule.

left it

it

great maritime empires

fertile

nay

into existence
entire surface.

its

tion bestowed every

more, by direct encourage-

the splendid

olive-groves

that

Fifty years of British occupa-

other material advantage.

untouched since our departure, are

Greek kingdom

at least

still

the Esplanade and

by

its

The

roads,

far the best in the

surroundings are only

surpassed by the Square of the Constitution at Athens.

north

side

palace

bounded by the Lord

is

the east by the citadel

The

High Commissioner's

the south by the sea

and

the west by a long row of tall houses, whose projecting storeys

form an arcade down


folk

disport

entire length.

its

themselves and

significant sight to witness, as

ent moment,^ some

town which

it

Herein the towns-

the

military parade

may

be witnessed at the pres-

3000 men

drilling in

it

the heart

is

of

has been expressly agreed by treaty not to

garrison.
Still

more peculiar was the aspect


1

April 1881.

of the

Esplanade on a The

Carnival.

BHINDISI AXlf CORFU.

carnival

was

Though only

iiiglit.

in tlie

week

first

and warm as in an J2nglish August

still

night seemed hardly colder than the day.

of ]\Iarch,
;

it

indeed the

vast and well-

dressed crowd watched the dancers upon a raised platform, or


sat at tables outside

tlie

The proceedings were

cafd doors.

orderly to the verge of dulness, but every masquerader seemed


gratified

own costume and

with his

that of his neighbours.

These were of a flimsy and tawdry kind, including caricatures

and naval uniforms

of English military

grotesquely contrast-

ing with their prototypes as displayed on the persons of some

moment

marines and blue-jackets from H.lM.'s Falcon, at that

Among

lying in the harbour.

this

motley throng walked

blue-breeched contadini and white-kilted Albanians


savages,

could

untamed and untameable.

be

detected,

and

fun

the

No

splendid

sign of intoxication

was not very

ajiparent

nevertheless, u]) to an advanced hour of the morning, sounds


of

mild revelry came floating through the open windows of

the St George hotel.

As

Opera.

the Greek carnival was

One

nightly representations.

Carnevale," was

little

wore

audience

little

banter

badinage, "

answer,

"

le

entitled " Napoli

to

fit

jcuncsse

dor6c

Half the

had licence

of these humourists, seeing

pay them a

visit

di

two

and indulge in

but having asked, after some preliminary

Che ora

Sono

of these,

and the

One

to invade the boxes.

in full fling, the theatre gave

more than a general romp.

masks,

Englishmen, thought

still

"

and having received the deliberate

venti cinque e mezzo," he lost his temper

AND

BBINDISI

presumption on the part

unlooked-for

at this

and rushed

persons,

CORFU.

of

unmasked
;

out shouting, " Siete degli imbecili

"

but

the consequence was, that the chalk sweetmeats of himself

and

his fellows took thenceforth another direction.

last

act the maskers all appeared

upon the

stage,

In the

whereon

they played the fool to the top of their bent.

The High Life

Corfu imitates western Europe in

of

amusements, just as the people imitate


society of the Ionian islands

modified by

language, but

being

now

the

and English

is still

many

other

more familiar

d.,

s.

Greek

influences.

Indeed the trading classes

and translate francs or drachmae

coinage.

word

letters of credit

change circular notes or

and

becoming very common,

is

widely spoken.

prefer to calculate in
into our

Italian in its character

is

language,

official

The

in theirs.

it

its

to the wise

not to

with the local agents

accredited to English banks, since these gentry have a pleas-

ing habit of giving Greek notes to the nominal value only

whereas most of the hotel-keepers and shopmen require pay-

ment
paper

in English
at

par,

a reasonable
travellers

money, but will take

and even change

premium

may

to

their

suffer a loss

ing the instructions

of

contained

it

into

customers

is

Greek paper, with


so that

unwary

4 or 5 per cent by followin

their

These remarks of course do not apply to

which

kinds of English

all

(Vindication.

Icttrcs
tlie

a purely English institution, and

Ionian Bank,

may

always be

trusted to pay the full rate of exchange.

But we must return

to

that cosmopolitan

society

wldch

Corfiote
^^^^ ^'

BRINDISr

10

Ball at Turk-

lias

led to

was decidedly

by

family,

his

digression.

tliis

AND

CORFU.

the Turkish consul's

ball at

on the

It took place

interesting.

and was attended by Greeks,

flat

inhabited

Corfiotes,

Turks, English, and representatives of various

nians,

Almost every language was

nationalities.

were several impediments


carpeted,

and only four

" rounds

"

the

for

but

There

were

floors

took place in more than as

hours, owing to various interludes, such as pianoforte

recitals

and periodical retirements of the orchestra

refreshments.
all

dancing,

to

other

be heard

to

French or English was almost universally understood.

many

Arme-

But the whole performance was

the more agreeable on that account

An

and many amusing.


excessive

Italian

importance attached to

to obtain,

to a stranger

every one was cordial,

tone was traceable in the


the

cotillon,

though

the

supper contrasted favourably with that provided in some even


of the grandest palaces in
Natural

But

it is

Eome.

not in the good qualities of

its

inhabitants that

the sole, or even the principal, attractions of Corfu consist.

Every yard

of its surface presents beauties of outline

colouring, of detail

and

of general effect.

The

fortifications (beneath

ably see the native

youth disporting

of

visitor should

begin with a short walk to One-gun Point.

Esplanade and the

and

Leaving the

which he will prob-

itself

at

cricket),

he

passes through the suburb of Kastrades, skirting the bay of

that name, and enters the peninsula that separates Lake Kali-

kiopuhj

of Corfu.

the Hyllaic harbour of the ancients


Tliis

inlet, thougli

now

far

from

the Canal

too sliallow for sliip-

BRINDISI

AND

CORFU.

11

ping, must, considering its once gi'eater depth

and the lighter

draught of ancient vessels, have formed a splendid basin for

Upon

the famous navy of Corcyra.

the

summer

the outer shore stands

High Commissioner, whose

palace of the Lord

English gardens, lovely in their decay, skirt the water, and


afford pictures of indescribable loveliness,
foliage

of its trees.

framed in the varied

Through one opening gleams the

city

right across the Kastrades bay, through another a tract of the

majestic Albanian coast.

Outside and beyond the " Casino," as


termed, the unenclosed country

shadowing an undulating sea

is

the villa

now

is

one vast olive-forest over-

home,

of grass, fresh as that of

and spangled with pink anemones and other

brilliant flowers.

In and out the vistas of this grove the goats browse at

will,

the tinkling of their bells breaking the drowsy stillness of the


afternoon,

and here and there a white farmhouse gleams out

behind the gnarled old stems.

Farther

down

the shore

is

the

platform of an ancient temple, believed to have been consecrated to Poseidon,

Summer

Palace.

commanding the same panorama


halt in this

by some peasant children

spot led to the

discovery

that strangers were present, and a

troop of these infants soon surrounded our artist


osity overcame

as the

till

curi-

shyness, and so close a study of his efforts

ensued, that his right

arm came

into frequent contact with

the persons of his too appreciative admirers, to the great and


lasting

improvement of

his production.

result of the English occupation

is

About the only bad

the persistency with which

BRINDISI

12

the

but this

CORFU.

does not, as in

haliit

evil

extend to their parents.

Italy,

One-gun

Corfiotes beg

little

AND

Wandering onwards, we reach the famous

"

one-gun bat-

some two and a half miles from the town, whither the

tery,"

beau mondc resorts at the fashionable hour.

among which

a tiny rock, covered with cypresses,

chapel

It is the Isle of Ulysses

jDcrched.

is

him

galley that bore

This

islet

into stone

a lonely

the Phreacian

home-

by the enraged and

baffled

and on

has a rival claiming the honour, but

the fitness of things seems fully satisfied by admitting

who understands

its

pre-

an anchorite of poetic mind

It is just the spot for

tensions.

lies

its

safely to his fatherland,

ward way was turned


Poseidon.^

Off the Point

the advantage of having within easy reach

the means to supply his wants.

Such thoughts grow more

impressive with an increasing sense of hunger, and suggest a

townward movement.

carriage-road runs

wood

tory through the middle of the

up

promon-

tlie

but a desire for variety

enjoins a return by the shore of the Hyllaic harbour, which

commands the
difierent

graceful tree-clad mountains of the island, so

from the snowy peaks


'

f>ifjL<pa

7;

5e /uaAa (J'xeS^j'

ZiuKoixiv-f]-

^Kvdt irovTOiropos

T^s 5* ax^^o"

And

of the other side.

here

mjV'i

"h^^' 'EvocrlxOaiy,

Xetpl KaTairpT)ve7 i\d(ras- 6 5i vScrcpi ^f^rjKft.

"And

lo

Came

tlie

liglitly

ship seafaring nigh to land,

funowing the bhie waves

but he

Rose in his wrath, and with down-striking hand


Made her a stone, and in the nether sea

Ch'nehcd the dead keel

witli roots,

and thence moved instantly."

Mr Worsley's translation

Od.

xiii.

ItJl.

BRIXDISI

may

it

AND

CORFU.

13

be remarked, that Athenian time being thirty-five

minutes in advance of Eoman, demands of the pilgrim a corresponding adjustment of his watch

so that the thoughtless

are liable to forfeit their enjoyment of that mighty institution,

the table d'hote, which truly waits for no man, through neglect
of this simple precaution.

Many

days are required to explore the beauties of Corfu.

These excursions were very familiar

when

years ago,
the

now

the union-jack

desolate palace

old guides

still

now

row

across the

The southern portion

feet.

equally well from "Aytoi


choice Italian "

The name

them

are, after all, the best.

called Pantocrator

entailing a ten-mile

"

The

of the Ionian islands.

a hearty wel-

a lively recollection of the good times gone by.

Salvador

in the

and

take travellers to the picturesque villages and

The stock expeditions

3000

citadel,

was graced by the constant presence

monasteries, where the inhabitants accord

come from

Englishmen twenty

waved upon the

dames and the Senate

of British

to

is

Se^a,

or

of

the

"

is

To ascend San

a creditable day's work,

bay and a steep climb


of the island

Ten

may

of

be seen

Saints," better

known

country as " Santa Decca." Santa

supposed to be a corruption of Saint Decius, who

has undergone a multiplication similar to that which, out of


the martyrdom of St Undecimilla, gave rise to the legend of
the eleven thousand virgins at Cologne.
this

" cicerone

solitary climb

up

how deeply

the instinct of the

has sunk into the Ionian nature.

A peasant work-

mountain served
"

Excursions.

to illustrate

ing in his vineyard on the hillside perceived a stranger

many

Decca.

AND

BEIXDISI

14

hundred

above him.

feet

him with indignant

He

shouts,

CORFU.

dropped his hoe, rushed after

and overtook him near the

top.

Strong language and expressive pantomime alike failed to procure his departure, and he clung on like a leech for the rest

Eventually he received a drachma as ample

of the afternoon.

compensation

for this self-imposed toil

great idea seemed to

and

His

loss of time.

be that the English telegraph station

once standing on the higliest point of the mountain must be


the object of attraction
of the

to take so

much

trouble for the sake

view was an act of lunacy beyond his comprehension.

But guide or no guide,

it is

well worth the climb to get a

look at the monastery nestling in between the two


peaks, entirely

hidden from

enjoying through
tant

the surrounding

chief

country,

one narrow opening a sight of

tlie

but
dis-

city.

Moreover, the charms of these mountains are accessible to


the least energetic, owing to the splendid English roads that

run over either range.

That of San Salvador

is

crossed at the

Pass of Pantaleone, which affords a panorama of the nortli

and centre

of

Corfu

that of Santa Decca

Garuna, opening up the south and centre.

at

the Pass

of

Looking across the

great central plain to Pelleka, the sight grows almost weary

with the endless masses of cultivation, broken only by distant glimpses of the Adriatic.
itself:

there

is

not a fence

At

last

or enclosure

the cause suggests


of

any kind; and

the Englishman, accustomed to associate fertility witli fields

BRINDISI

AND

CORFU.

15

and hedgerows, experiences a sense of strangeness that

at

length gives place to one of perfect satisfaction.


Delightful

the drive back at sunset through the dense

is

woods and vineyards, whence swarms

olive

antry are returning to the hills


the

women

riding, the

strangely the reverse

weaker walking by the

But how few

of the

to the hurried tourist

careful exploration

men very handsome,

the stronger sex invariably


side.

beauties of this paradise are revealed


Its

charms develop

artist's,

two things are desirable

good

there are snipe


of

flights

of view, or

woodcock

and wild-fowl

is

not generally

in winter,

and occasional

but these have to be shared with the

natives,

who turn

land.

Indeed a bad olive crop, by releasing

out in numbers to waylay

from their ordinary autumn labours,


whole

p)lace

of game.

to the mainland,

modation there

them when they

suffices

none

gentry

these
to

denude the

For good sport recourse must be had

where wild-fowl and boar abound.

is

from

unlimited time and a

The shooting on the island

steam yacht.

fully only after

they are not obvious to the casual sight-

Whether from the sportsman's point

seer.

the

the

of picturesque peas-

Accom-

hence the inestimable advantage of

being able to run backwards and forwards in an hour or so

between barbarism

'"and

civilisation.

A man may

live as in

the Highlands, combining the charms of Nature in her wildest

mood with

those of luxury,

or, at least,

domestic comfort.

Besides the benefits of locomotion, a yacht affords

many

others

DPJXDISI

16

commend themselves

likely to

own

possession of his

many, in

Of

Decadence

AXD

to

COEFU.

an Englishman, such as the

dogs, guns, cartridges,

and drmks,

enumerate.

fact, to

All

Corfiote politics, perhaps the less said the better.

since the

have never ceased to

in assuring us that they

join

classes

too

cession.

regret our departure


selves

demanded

it,

and when taunted with having them-

reply that they were as children, ignorant

of their

true good, wliich ought to have been forced

them by

their fathers, the English.

Mr

Gladstone

country

aware
it

if

upon

Indeed they hint that

(whom they do not recommend

to revisit their

he have any regard to his personal safety) was

of the injury that the cession

would

inflict,

and brought

on them as a punishment, owing to an unreasoning hatred

of the lonians, conceived

their islands.

However

habitants, there

is little

tifications erected

during

this

measure

doubt

by England

short administration of

liis

may have

at the cost of a million sterling,

yet, within sixteen years it

work

to

fortify

liealthy country,

one

of

the

enjoying the

would have

to

occupy

dispensed with the

and instead of setting

and open up a barbarous and not

England might

strongest
fruits

thousands

The mere retention of

invidious necessity of acquiring Cyprus


to

many

was found advisable

another island in the Mediterranean.

one of the Ionian islands

Eor-

of its injury to ourselves.

were by herself dismantled at an outlay of

and

affected the in-

of

and

still

loveliest

too

be keeping a hold upon


spots

on earth, and be

the vast capital expended

in

roads,

BEINDISI

aqueducts, drainage, and


the event

might

it

of

AND

CORFU.

17

other material improvements.

an ultimate partition

of the

Turkish

In

empire,

not be possible to induce the Greek Government to

accept Cyprus, upon which

it

in exchange for one of these

much more

useful islands

always looks with longing eyes,

much

smaller, but, to England,

CORFU TO ATHENS.

18

CHAPTER

II.

COUFU TO ATHENS.

LL

A"

tilings

have an end, and Corfu must be

dirty little

Greek steamer

Under a rapidly freshening

breeze, she slips

horizon,
Hurricane.

Santa

sea.

The

and the sun goes down

Decca.

earnest

away down

with an appalling crash

what may

of

citadel sinks

below the

in lurid brightness beliind

all

is

At about ten

passed.

some minutes human

to

beings, luggage,

and furniture are flying to and

the floor;

and

for

out of the open doors of the cabins.

Passengers

legs of the fixed table, and, like St

fellow-voyagers in the same waters,

passed

is

at last

lie

in

and

rise

and

fro,

begin to dress, probably to preserve decency in death

Santa Maura

o'clock,

the sleepers on the saloon sofas

come down on

the day."

the

Xot long afterwards a tremendous motion

announces that Cape Lefkimo

embrace the

the

ahout to weigh anchor.

is

canal whose troubled waters are an

be expected in the open

left, for

others

Paul and his

there and " wish for

rounded and the danger

but the gale continues, so that, on dropping anchor

CORFU TO ATHENS.

in Argostoli Iiarbour,

Day

as snow.

is

we

find that well-sheltered

breaking, and

and

It is the largest

Ionia.

1!)

we

bay

as white

get a good view of Cepha- Cephalonia.

least interesting of these islands,

presenting a bare treeless appearance very different from Corfu.

Monte Nero, though nearly 5000


"

like
of

San Salvador."

Argostoli

no grandeur

feet high, has

a creek to the south

lies in

the great bay, out of sight of the open sea.

There

is

story that once the Frencli fleet lying in this creek escaped

the keen observation of Lord Nelson,


the gulf in search of
so

rough that

shore

for

Yet even

it.

two

liours

who

actually sailed into

this land-locked water is

no boat dares put

'off

and then, because we are already extremely

from the
late,

the

captain insists upon landing the cargo and passengers in a

most leisurely manner,

at

no time employing more than a

single boat for that purpose,

and wasting three more hours

over the operation.

We
which
notice

now

begin to realise the agrSmcns of a Greek steamer, Greek

had

in the misery of the night


;

for,

to

some extent escaped

as Homer truly observes

"

hold no

ill is

gi'eater

than the sea

To crush a man, how brave

But henceforth we have

soe'er

he bc."^

leisure to notice the uncleanKness

above and the unsavoury perfume below, which, as no ventilation

is

permitted, becomes almost unbearable before the end

0(1. viii.

138:
oh yap %'yu>yi ri

<l>rifx\

^vSpa ye ffvyx^vai,

KaKtirepov &\\o daXaaarjs


/cat

/xd'Aa

Kaprephs

eiri.

CORFU TO ATHENS.

20

In the next phice, the food

of the journey.

dear, not

bemg

both bad and

is

included in the passage-money, but being pro-

vided on private speculation by the steward.

account

taken of numbers, so that the traveller

is

iind himself shut

as

Moreover, no

up

liable to

days with a crowd as great

for a couple of

on a Boulogne steamer in Easter week.

class of passenger has

is

Again,

every

access to all parts of the deck,

free

and imlikaris of the rudest type press curiously round the

captain scoffs

he has seen

at
liis

in each place.
to

time

Finally,

foreigner.

the

idea

friends

One

of

no

absolutely

starting

and executed

object,

moment

one

and then, when a hearty

for seven,

has been eaten, to change the time to

these abuses will give birth to their

to

five,

and absoProbably

own remedy.

The Eng-

merchants of Athens and Constantinople are already about

get

lish

before

practical joke is

lutely to decline to serve anything after that hour.

lish

the

commissions

his little

entertaining form of

announce dinner, say

luncli

being

up

a through communication, to be

principles

that

ness and punctuality

is to

Company

the

straight from Corfu to

say, with

managed on Eng-

some regard

to cleanli-

further purposes to run

Loutraki, and thus to bring Atliens

within two days of Italy.


Zaiiti'.

When

all

to Lixouri,

six hours

excuses for delay are exhausted,

on the other side of the


behind time.

gulf,

we move

and depart

roughish run brings

across

at 11.30,

us, at 3 p.m.,

to Zante, a long narrow town, picturesquely skirting the shore


of a semicircular Ijay,

backed

l)y

]\Iount

Skopos and

tlie citadel.

CORFU

If Corfu be

T(j

ATHENS.

described as an olive-grove, this island

called a garden, thoiigli its luxuriance

wafted far away across

is

the

the hesitation of

Greek family

journey and

money

to

break

its

but since two of

its

be

million

its

Some delay

water.

occurs in consequence of

may

apparent at a

less

is

summer, when the scent of

distance, except in

flowers

21

an unfortunate

forfeit

the passage-

members have burst

blood-vessels

during the storm, they yield to medical advice, and are landed.

Then away

to Patras, through a sea of foam,

under a

brilliant Tatias.

Eastern starlight, not a single cloud having appeared since the

At

gale began yesterday afternoon.

an approach to a large town


diately overrun

by

last

the boat heaves

crowd

a piratical-looking

Under such circumstances,

it is

deck, on account

rapidity

of the

many
to,

of

signal

lights

and

is

imme-

harbour-men.

well not to leave luggage on

wherewith everything

away by the marauders.

cleared

Day

breaks upon the mountains of the Corinthian gulf, and

anchor

is

cast off Loutraki, a port on the isthmus

indeed

if

a landing-stage and raki-^ho^ can be dignified, with that

Immediately upon our reaching the


of the

is

shore,

some

fresh

Greek Steamboat Company make themselves

contract

is,

facdiw

felt.

The

that all passengers shall be conveyed across in the

Company's omnibus

owned by them

ceptible doors or
natives,

title.

but in point of

the only vehicle

a sort of dilapidated hearse without per-

windows

is

and the greater part

and dry with

fact,

their effects

seized
of

upon by some knowing

the travellers are

upon the beach.

left

high

The best course

Loutraki.

CORFU TO ATHENS.

22

is

waive legal rights and hire a carriage, wliich, even

to

in that short distance of five miles, will inevitably halt in

order to water the horses

and

the driver

fortify

nor will

any remonstrances on the part of the impatient, unhreakfasted fare avail to produce the slightest acceleration.
Kalamaki.

But

became as nothing when

indignation

rigliteous

tliis

Kalamaki was found steamerless


Syra had feared to put

the corresponding boat from

off in the recent squall,

and some forty

passengers collected together, hopelessly gazing over the

unrufiied waters of the Saronic Gulf.


fish, is
Inaccessibility

the

on

to levolvc plans for proceeding

only

fifty

miles distant by land,

driving there

is

a possibility

\{/dpL,

or boiled

which the English mind begins

necessity, after

first

little

now

its

way.

Athens being

naturally occurs to us that

it

and a Jehu promptly

offers

to

accomplish that feat within ten hours, in consideration of a

sum

drachmai.

of 1

all his

A curious

brethren to retire from the

professional etiquette causes


field,

and removes

all

chance

of bringing into play the noble principle of competition.

hereupon interposes an agent


declaring the notion to

Megara there

is

of

But

the Steamboat Company,

be a perfect absurdity, since up to

no road at

all

to wliich

fact testify the

ex-

pressive countenances of the entire population, who, hearing of

the proposed expedition, crowd


" lords "

with mucli the same kind of pitying curiosity as

miglit be bestowed

Noitli

Pole.

frightful

round and stare upon the

upon

travellers about to set out for the

The contending

commotion,

interests

now

clasli

the (hivers urging departure

with

the agent.

CURFU TO ATHENS.

innkeeper, and

23

other natives clamouring

We

retaining us.

for

the honour of

remain perfectly passive until a further

complication arises from the interposition of the gendarmerie,

who

decline to permit us to start without an escort.

decides us

for a night in the open,

from brigands,
a

in

filthy

with the chance of a

six

visit

even worse than abiding with forty persons

is

Of

two-roomed khani.

course,

position, the telegraph-wire is broken,

walk

This

or seven miles

to

improve the

and a messenger has

Corinth in order to send

to

to

off a

strongly-worded dispatch to the authorities at Athens.

The day being

glorious,

and

to

be got through somehow, an

expedition to Acro-Corinthus naturally suggests itself

Company's agent absolutely refuses


ure,

to sanction

but the

any such meas-

on the ground that a vessel might come to our rescue at

any moment, so that

schemes

all

for

improving these shining

At length

hours of idleness have to be abandoned.

message
are

to the effect that the

Englishmen in

this

them

The

to bring

off.

of the isthmus,

arrives a

Government, learning that there

sorry plight, will despatch a gunboat


interval

a sandy

fiat

is

beguiled by an exploration The

covered with bushes, but pictur-

esquely intersected by deep ravines, said to be the remains of


Nero's attempt to cut a canal through

both seas are


half-way

visible,

down

snowy masses
exhibits every

it.

From

the Gulf of Corinth as far as

the centre

its

entrance

stand, like gigantic sentinels on either side, the


of Cyllene
hill,

creek,

and Parnassus.
and island

The Saronic Gulf

as plainly as in a

map,

Salamis, ^gina, and the rugged mountains of the Argolid.

It

isthmus.

CUEFU TO ATHENS.

24

was just the

how

situation

for realising

all-important consideration for explaining the intensity

and narrowness

Greek

local feeling so ineradicable

of

old

to

Kalamaki,

and new lamb, turn out on

fish

one's joining

hands in a

and making

circle,

and then a step

the

to

left,

lurch inwards towards the centre

squat

all

down upon

the

floor,

end of half an hour the

circle

first

varied by

a step to the

an occasional

is

nearly completed

or

by the

that

direction, so

which

all

this

sounds, indeed, subsequently proved to be

Greek music.

During the whole time a

all

sort of dish-cloth

was passed from one

\ve learnt afterwards that

have

left

my black

have you seen


Mavpo

round

it

availed

whence

or

'Afxirexovo,

"

"

to

they

call

"

dancer

Black

unto each other, saying,

the

alter
;

the song receives

Scarf.

another,

" to

handkerchief in your back-yard

slightest liveliness thereto

No amount

proceedings, or

to

its

of

tell

word imlihari,
practically

it

may

of

" glasses

impart the

neither could any of these gallant

be observed, meaning literally

" warrior,"

me,

name

The

palikaris be induced to favour us with a Klephtic ballad.

but

to

and sometimes take three

the foundation of

" I

the beach

to

kind of dirge, consisting of howls and grunts in various

proportions

and

having dined

iuid

sometimes the performers

same

four steps consecutively in the

to a

the

This performance consists of every

witness a Pyrrhic dance.

right

among

race.

Towards sunset we return


off

in distance, yet

niutually inaccessible, were the cities of ancient Hellas,

an
T1k> Pynliic

how near

is

applied

to

all

" boy,"

who wear

the

CORFU TO ATHENS.

national costume

England of

or in

much
"

25

we hear

as in Ireland

of the " boys,"

sportsmen," in the widest and most slangy

sense of that term.

fresh episode relieves the


1

f>

monotony
1

of the Pyrrhic dance, Arrival


rrn

the shape oi the arrival oi the Athens post.

tion, called

because

TO TaxvSpofjielov, " the

takes twenty- four

it

quick

t^^

Ihis institu-

runner," presumably

hours to accomplish the

miles, proved of liigh interest, as bringing

fifty

newspapers con-

taining a notice of the sudden dissolution of the British Par-

Loud and vehement were the hopes expressed

liament.

that the iniquitous Lord Beaconsfield had reached the term


of

his power.

At

length, at 8.30 a light appears

moving slowly up the

bay, and turns out to belong to the gunboat Syra, kindly sent
to

make up

have

left

An

enormous crowd goes on board, and instantly

up and goes

to sleep

awkward

a little

On

feet.

at first, seeing

move and growl

that at every step the deck seems to


one's

going for our rugs,

we

The captain

and puts

an

his berth

sideration of the

Deck

at our disposal

crowded
is

by

offer

state of the cabins,

far

beneatli

a countryman

find

comfortably wrapped up in each.

thanks.

who would

shortcomings of the Company,

us there indefinitely, so far as they themselves were

concerned.
curls

for the

is all civility,

which, in con-

we

decline with

the best place, whence

we watch

the glass-like, phosphorescent sea, and the outlines of capes and


islands dimly looming in
last

night

is

incredible

the starlight.

but the

The contrast with

sudden

rise

aud

fall

of

of

mail.

Revival

CORFU TO ATHENS.

26

storms

Mediterraueau

been

have

well

too

by

portrayed

ancient poets to bear description here.

The

Pii-ceus.

Pirreus at 1.30 a.m.,

and an invasion of rascality renderEverything

ing almost impossible the preservation of property.

length got into a boat, excepting one valise, which, being

is at

nearly new, had been carried

by a young

Corfiote,

who

as it afterwards turned out,

off,

an antiquated

left in its place

own, bursting at every seam, and

of his

clothing.

fruitless search of nearly

filled

with refuse

an hour did not sweeten

our feelings towards the author of this mistake,

morning put the matter

into

article

who next

the hands of the police, and

having heard through their means where the sufferers resided,


coolly sent round a request that they

would

" restore " his

property, retaining theirs meanwhile as a hostage, and adding

no single word of apology.


to

deem

In

fact,

we

learnt subsequently

ourselves fortunate to have escaped being arrested on

a charge of theft.

The

traveller,

on reaching

who meet

charge of one of the regular hotel guides

whose function

steamers, and

it

is

to

landed and deposited at their destination.

we

packed into a

are

fly

put himseK in

Pirreus, should

see

all

strangers

At

the

safely

length, at 2.30

with one of these not too fragrant

gentry, the luggage occupying the whole exterior, and so leave


Habits of

Greek

the quay.

Immense

.lelius.

j^^^^^

.^^

^^^^^^,

^^

,,

is

the indignation at an almost immediate

change horses," which,

miles,

seems somewhat unreasonable

men.

Put

tlie

for a distance of five

to famished

and weary

guide cxjtlains that after this operation

we

shall

CORFU TO ATHENS.

go " so

fast,

oh so

fast

" so

we

submit, and

We

road through the frosty night-air.

another stoppage

27

start

move

off'

along the

from meditation at

this time to " water the horses," apparently

an inevitable interlude during any

drive,

however

short.

But

British patience has been tried once too often, and the driver
is

sternly told that

way

to

he gets down,

Athens without him.

not in a

mood

box and goes


A.M.,

if

be

to

on.

his carriage will find its

Seeing that his customers are

trifled with,

he sullenly remounts the

The Hotel d'Angleterre

is

reached at 3.15

where, in spite of preparatory telegrams, there

is

only

one room ready for the accommodation of two travellers, with


one sleepy menial in attendance,
pared, nor sees his

way

announcement produces

to

neither has food pre-

getting any.

This

unexpected

so energetic a flow of language as to

induce him to think better of


sinks into oblivion.

who

it;

after

which exhausted nature

ATHENS OF THE

28

CHAPTER

PAST.

III.

ATHENS OF THE

Hotels.

nriHE
J-

peculiar character of

tlie

PAST.

Athenian hotels did not become

fully apparent until next day.

They

are in

many

re-

spects excellent, but are calculated to secure the comfort of res-

The numbers

idents rather than that of tourists.

are so small comparatively, as to reduce

The bulk

insignificance.

private houses are


those

whom

society,

to

live

few and expensive

their families,

for

so that

most

of

other business call to the

Dep-

young married people addicted

to

merchants from every country in Europe, form the

stranger's observation.

ting-rooms, and
;

en pension at the large hotels.

principal clientdc, and offer a

times

to a position of

inhabitants are Greeks

of the

politics, pleasure, or

capital, prefer

uties with

still

them

of the latter

so that,

still

when

varied subject-matter for the

Very few

of these

fewer feed except at


the crowd

became

have private
tlie

great,

sit-

stated meal-

and two per-

sons were sleeping on the billiard-table, and the ladies' saloon

had been converted into an

extra

dining-room,

it

followed

ATHENS OF THE

PAST.

29

that down-stairs accommodation was very limited

an annoy-

ance greatly aggravated on wet or snowy days, when no native

dreamt of going

of tobacco in the

became unbearable

lated apartments
ladies

and the fumes

out,

who happened

to be

un venti-

two or three English

to

staying there.

The smokers, on

being informed of this and requested to leave one apartment


untobaccoed, were polite but incredulous, declaring

minded smoke, but only thought

ladies really

thing to pretend to do

it

that no

the right

These considerations explained

so.

the strange difficulty originally experienced in obtaining any


attention during the small hours of the morning, and taught

us that Athens hotels, though passable enough to those w^ho

conform

to

ordinary times

their

arrangements singularly

Such

and

habits,

are

in

their

inelastic.

reflections are but a

in the capital of ancient art

mean inauguration

and learning

to a sojourn

yet, although they

perforce thrust themselves into prominence, nowhere else are

Athens

they so easily dispelled.

whose

first

one of the very few places

appearance produces no sense of disappointment.

Not growing gradually


upon us

is

familiar like

Eome, but bursting

in

like a long-forgotten friend, it needs but the first

glimpse to be, as

The new town

is

it

were, indelibly photographed in

and that on a
ral features.

mind.

providentially built to the north and east of

the more famous quarters of the

imagination has

tlie

little

site

to

undo

it

ancient city, so

that the

need merely reconstruct,

possessing extraordinarily prominent natu-

First impros^

ATHENS OF THE

30

Arch

PAST.

After crossing the Square of the Constitution, whicli contains

of

the best hotels, such

all

Angleterre, and leaving

the Grande

as
it

on

its

Bretagne and the

southern

a pleasant

side,

boulevard leads to the Arch of Adrian and the Temple of

Olympian Zeus.
it is

east, lies

jmi.ian

needs but few remarks

edifice

a strange, heterogeneous erection of two tiers some

feet high, bearing

Temple of

The former

inscription that "

an

Adrian's town

of Theseus."

On

on the

on one

side, the

fifty-

south-

other, the ancient town, that

the former stands the remains of the costly

temple that Adrian had the credit of completing.

The

original

numl)er of columns appears to have been twenty-two by ten,


which, counting a double row on either

on either

face, gives the

enormous

only fourteen are standing,

porting their architrave

the other

while a fifteenth
its druitis

lies

side,

total of

and a

Of

124.

thirteen all together


is

triple

and

row

these,

still

sup-

picturesquely isolated,

complete upon the ground, but with

shaken into confusion by the

fall.

The remainder

have been broken up for building material, or burnt into lime

by an appreciative population.
building

may

Eoman

as

size

of the

be inferred from Pausanias' statement that

had a circumference of four

But deeply

The stupendous

we

stadia,^

it

or nearly half a mile.

regret the loss of so striking an evidence of

magnificence,

we may

yet feel thankful that

it is

upon

this gorgeous, composite, over-decorated building that destruc-

These measurements would include the platform upon which the building

stood.

Pausanias states that the irtpi^oKos was "full of statues," so that

])crhai)s

extended

a greater distance

than usual beyond the

peristj-lc.

it

ATHENS OF THE

PAST.

31

has fallen, rather than upon such genuine models of

tion

Greek

art

alone,

were

Parthenon and Theseum.

the

as

The Coliseum

other such vestiges swept away, would

all

ample testimony

Eome

grandeur of Imperial

to the

give

but had

the Athenian temples of the

fifth

century disappeared, the

modern world could scarcely

realise

what Greek architecture

was under

most favourable conditions.

its

Hard by

dried-up channel of
waters, under the

Here,

talk.

was

at play

Olympian Zeus winds the now

the columns of

city

alike

Boreas, the

home, and

North-Wind

and

to sit

and

at

Athens

sceptical

the

of

so dearly

Salamis, and

But stream and plane

the

Platonic rationalisation

god, carried her off

for her sake loved

from slavery.

vanished

Ilissus.

legend narrates that the maiden Orithyia

too,

that he shattered the Persian ships

the

The

murmuring

whose

beside

waving plane-trees, Socrates loved

when

to share his

the lUssus,^

trees

modern concurs

myth

saved
are

in the

that a blast of

viz.,

extra violence carried the hapless virgin over a neighbour-

ing crag, an explanation which the gusts of Boreas caused

us readily to accept, and indeed very nearly to illustrate in

our

own unhappy

Here,

persons.

too, is

the poetic fountain

of Callirrlioe, a sort of cave in the river-bed,


jet

finding

up

oozes

still
it

in

but the

possession

of

feelings

Pans.

women
i.

xix.

a little

were sorely tried on

half-a-dozen old

engaged in washing their dirty linen.


marked, that Greek

whence

It

women

may

busily

be here

re-

are perpetually washing without

Plato, PhKilrus, 229, 230.

Callinhoe.

ATHENS OF THE

32

producing the smallest visible

PAST.

upon any thing or person

effect

whatever.

The Stadium.

little

the city,

two

higher up the Ilissus' bed, on the farther side from

is

the Stadium, cut out in a natural hollow between


Its

hills.

square end rests upon the river

the other or semicircular extremity

through the
that

its

the east.

hill to

scholiast sagely suggests

The whole

without facing popular derision.

of

this vast

hollow was lined with white marble by Herodes Atticus


a

work

that, as

at

to enable the beaten competitors to retire

was

object

bank

tunnel cut

a curious

is

Some

Pausanias informs

us,

almost exhausted the

quarries of Pentelicus.

The

The Acropolis.

Ilissus

and

its

banks invite no long delay.

The beauty

has departed, and the traveller gladly turns to that rock whose

In the Acropolis

sacred glories time cannot efface.

up
is,

all

that

is

most noble in Greek

but not through natural causes

is

summed

Dilapidated indeed

art.

it

and there are few more

maddening thoughts than those inspired by the knowledge


that two centuries ago the Parthenon and

Erechtheum were

almost perfect, and have been shattered not during the darkness of the
times.

Yet even

repayment

By

middle ages, but in

fi)r

in decay

liardships

passing beneath

tlie

it is

full

light

of

modern

passing wonderful, an ample

undergone in journeying to Athens.

southern

cliff,

is

reached

squalid

hovels

the entrance

through

without a preliminary transit


that skirt the rock

tlie

the

on the side of the modern town.


'

Paus.

i.

.\ix.

The

ATHENS OF THE

PAST.

33

road winds up between gigantic aloes to a wooden gate that

opens after some prolonged knocking.

open

the

into

between

space

the

path brings us out


entry and

ancient

the

Propyliea.

In front of the right flank

the latter, -poised on a pro- Temple

of

jecting rock, stands the beautiful little temple of the Wingless

This

Victory.

desiring to erect a battery on its

memory almost

its

feet

by 18) has had

The Turks, when besieged by Morosini,

a curious history.

and

27

shrine (about

hij'oic

died

away

site,

entirely demolished

it,

but the Greek Government

stumbled upon the fragments, and finding them complete, was


able to re-erect the building, so that

it

now has

the honour of

The

being the only perfect specimen of an Ionic temple.

orientation corresponds with that of no other edifice on the

Acropolis,

Greek

one

proof
to

architects

among many

of the value attached

the effect of studied

by

The

irregularity.

winglessness of the goddess was understood as a token that

she would never more

Pausanias

guide

Propylsea

is

informs

is visible

away from Athens.


us

that " on

down and

and

bore
^

perished."

i)s

i.

right

of

the

From

"Wings.

iEgeus

This was on the occasion

An

agreement had

that, in the event of his triumph, the vessel that

him home should carry white

Pans.

favThv,

Our chatty

there, as the story goes,

of Theseus, his son's return from Crete.

been made

the

of Victory without

the shrine

thence the sea


flung himself

"

fly

xxii. 5

XfyovaiP,

'Evrfi/dev

r]

daKaaaa

ereXei^TTjcrej'.

iffri

sails.

(tvi/otttos-

But the
koX rai/rj;

loss of

l>i\pas

^Aiyivs

'

of

"^^^^^

ATHEXS oF THE

34

FAST.

Ariadne had rendered her lover oblivious of other considera-

and the black

tions,

sailed forth

witli

sails,

on her dismal mission, remained unchanged.

The

had

fallen

father, taking this for a sign that his son

wretched

a prey to the voracious Minotaur,

victim

to

the rock on which the

the

to

"We now
Propylffia, a

feet in

some doubt whether

down from

temple stands, or only into the

The text rather

the derivation of the

this catastrophe points to the latter.

ourselves

find

witli liiuiself, a

flung himself

former interpretation

name ^gean Sea from


The Propylca.

man

is

point visible from that rock.

at the

inclines

little

made away

There

negligence.

filial

Pausanias means that the old

sea

the good ship had

wliich

upon the

steps leading

to

the

magnificent staircase of white marble some 75

From

width.

the ancient gateway

where we stand, the steps seem


along the entire breadth.

From

up

to

the spot

have run continuously

to

thence,

up

to the Propyla^a,

they are broken in the centre by a hollow roadway, a steep


incline

paved with roughened slabs of marble, not unlike the

" Salite "

common

so

in

Genoa.

It

appears that animals

entered from the side, like the modern visitor, and therefore

only required to mount about one-half of the staircase


it

was

for

their

Tlie Propylsea

writings.
tion

accommodation that

roadway was made.

less

it

to

grand

say, that the idea inspiring their erectlian its execution.

Tlie

whole sacred

platform of the Acropolis having become one vast temple,


vast temple

and

have been fully described in many architectural

Suffice

was no

tlie

was

to

have an entrance

like

any

tliat

single shrine.

:;

ATHENS OF THE

PAST.

35

under the Periclean administration, Mnesicles carried out a

So,

work

equal simplicity and grandeur, of which Pausanias

of

merely says that in


surpassed

all

its

beauty and in the

buildings up to his time.

other Greek monuments, until

years ago.

by

the'

many

blew up the powder-magazine

that had been estabhshed within


stoutly resisted

It stood, like so

more than two hundred

little

flash of lightning

size of its stones it

it

yet even this shock was

massive masonry, and

beyond

little

But the hand

of destruc-

tion having thus obtained a grip, has continued its

work down

moment.

the roof perished at the

Of the

to very recent times.


age,

six Doric

only two retain their capitals

columns of the front-

the six Ionic columns

lining the vestibule are entirely overthrown

a matter for the

deepest regret, since large specimens of that order

tremely

The walls

rare.

of the

vestibule are

still

are ex-

standing

there are five doorways at the back, corresponding with the


intervals

between

the

six

Doric

columns of either

front.

Those of the inner facade are nearly perfect, and two retain a
piece of architrave.

capitals,

All round

is

drums, and blocks of the entablature,

monoliths of over 20 feet in length.

we

front,

hand

find

these

it

flanked

Gomg

back

many

left side

being

to the outer

by three projecting columns on

are Doric, and

only those on the

chamber

a confused mass of ddhris

either

smaller than their neighbours

remain.

They form a

portico to a

of considerable size, once the picture-gallery of the

Acropolis, and stored with the masterpieces of the Hellenic


pencil.

It is

now choked with fragments

discovered on the

ATHENS OF THE

36

PAST.

Acropolis, heaped together in the promiscuous style charac-

Greek museums.

of

teristic

The ruins

now form

the Propyla3a

of

a sufficiently har-

monious whole since the removal of the hideous Venetian


tower on the ricjht-hand

One

side.

blot

still

remains in the

shape of a pedestal formerly supporting a colossal statue of


This pedestal, whereon his

Agrippa, son-in-law of Augustus.

name

out of all proportion to

by

figure,

tlie

some

legible, is

still

is

its

think
The

Par-

and consequently

When

surmounted

must have sadly dwarfed the Propylcea.

it

to

Augustan

of the

suggest

age,

away when mentally

it

feet high,

surroundings.

But no one would venture

monument

?>0

tlie

removal of any

we can only

so

try and

restoring that glorious

entry.

Passing within the hallowed precincts and over the ruined

basements
visitor

Tlie

Artemis Brauronia

of

moves

straight

pediment

depicting

the

at

upon the west


end

this

contest

and Athene Ergane, the


front of the Parthenon.

was covered with

sculptures

between Athene and Poseidon

Venetian cannon has destroyed

but

except two figures said to

all

represent Cecrops seated, with his daughter kneeling at his

The corresponding group

feet.

the

birtli

of the goddess

from the explosion


British

Museum,

of

it

at the

eastern end set forth

has suffered even more heavily

1687, and two

horses,

fight of the

in the

are the only extant specimens of this grand

work, wrought probably by no less a hand


Phidias himself.

now

Tlie

than that

of

metopes of either side represented the

Centaurs and Lapithu'

those that survived the

Jll

\:(

ATHENS OF THE

Museum,

explosion are in the British

frieze of the cella containing the

course,

PAST.

37

as is also the

Panathenaic procession.

Englishmen have the vandalism of Lord Elgin


and are asked

their teeth,

in the fogs of

of a rising

if

patriotic

such antiquities as she

cast in

is

the rightful property

But Greece's treatment of

people.

still

Of The

they are not ashamed of retaining

Bloomsbury that which

and

famous

possesses

scarcely so enlightened

is

as to induce civilised nations to surrender priceless treasures

her tender mercies.

to

Lord Elgin's

spoliation, pace

though rudely and unskilfully carried

Byi'on,

been the means

out, has

Lord
yet

which had escaped

of preserving that little

the ravages of gunpowder and round-shot, of Turkish engineers

and Hellenic
slightly

and

even

if

those

remnants seem

incongruous in their smoky London domicile, they

any

are at

patriots

rate accessible to lovers of art as they could never

The ruined, time-stained

have been in their original home.

temple loses nothing by their absence, and

it

is

absurd to

speak of their removal as though they had been torn freshly


coloured
horrors

from the perfect


of

the

They were spared the

shrine.

war of independence, and our only

regret

need be the ignorant and barbarous fashion in which their


displacement was
tried to

make some amends

senting

very handsome casts of

the

museum

for its alleged injustice

of the Acropolis

natives to acknowledge these

Of the building

as

it

now

English Government has

The

effected.

all

but
little

stands,

it

the
is

by

pre-

Elgin marbles to

not the

way

of the

courtesies.
it

may

suffice to

say that

frieze,

ATHENS OF THE

38

it

PAST.

has been cut in two by the blowing up of

tlie

Turkish

powder-magazine in 1687, whereby the east or principal front

The

has suffered far more severely than the other.

two chambers

of the cella into


alile

unequal length

of

and towards the back of the

discernible the base

vdo<s

trace-

proper,

The western and smaller

oma-OoSo/xo?,

is

apart-

wherein the public treasury was

Beautiful the ruin looks

established.

is still

whereon stood Phidias' splendid gold and

ivory statue of the goddess.

ment formed the

outer, or

division

from every point of

view, and for the architect would provide months of study.


Colouring of
sculpture.

This

how
ings

is

not an occasion to enter into the vexed question of

far colour
:

was employed upon ancient statues and build-

the supposed traces discovered in the Parthenon seem

due not

man

to

but to nature, which has dyed the marble

with a deep orange

but any one who has seen the palace

and other new marble buildings

M'ill

hesitate to allow that so

artistic a race

could have endured the dazzling effect of stones

fresh quarried

on Pentelicus.

The eye

marble-paved streets of to-day


the difference between

the

and

if

positively aches in the

allowance be

Attic atmosphere

made

for

and our own,

there can hardly be a doubt, even irrespectively of historical


corroboration, that colour

was

in

most cases largely employed,

alike to relieve the sight

and

to

set off tlie

of statuary

whose

lofty position precluded

elaborate details

any but a com-

paratively distant inspection.


The Ercch-

Opposite the Parthenon, on the northern brow of

thcuiii.

stands

tlie

more curious and

tlie

rock,

scarcely less interesting " Erech-

ATHENS UF THE

PAST.

39

theiim," a block of buildings comprising at least

and once containing


the sacred things

that

all

of

two temples,

was mystic and ancient among

Athens.

The

original

and prehistoric

Erechtheum was, with the older Parthenon, utterly destroyed

by the Persians
is

but the sacred olive-tree

stump two

Athene

in which, or at least
to

On

first

the

and

under the roof

of these, sacrifice

was the only share

this

original builder.

AYitliin

have gushed forth

"

of

Over

this tree

guardian of the

was

was

also

made

in

the

rites

altars,

Hephaestus.

Erechtheus

to

allotted

to

the

also a well of salt water, said

a blow from Poseidon's trident,

at

was

city,"

which, were three

the hero Butus, and to

Poseidon, to

sacred

Polias,

grew therein

that

charred and blackened

its

cubits' length in a single day.

built the shrine of

to

up from

said to have sprouted

when

the sea-god was contending with Athene for the lordship of


the country.

There, too, was the lamp of Callimachus, which,

though burning night and day, required


oil

fell

but once a-year

and there was the image

of

Athene that

from heaven, and an archaic wooden statue

the Pandroseum, sacred to the


sisters

lations

had the

nymph

gift of reticence.

Pandrose,

who

god
is

alone of

The others made

reve-

seriously compromising the reputation of the virgin

goddess, and suffered the just penalty of

The one

of the

Adjoining the temple or temples just mentioned

Hermes.

her

with

to be replenished

faithful

their indiscretion.

found received eternal honours side by side

with her grateful protectress.


1

Herod,

viii.

55.

ATHENS OF THE

40

The

PAST.

different levels of these buildings

and

their irregular

shape prove them to have been built to cover ground containing

more than one

traditionally hallowed spot.

portico consisted of six

standing

Ionic columns, five of which

the Pandroseum.

Ionic, has perished,

still

and gave access to

In the soutliern, the place of columns

known

taken by the six celebrated female figures


usually held to represent the

Medising town

of

reduced to slavery

the

of

maidens

Ijy

their

of

is

as Carya-

Caryes

inhabitants were

the Peloponnese, whose

indignant neighbours after the

defeat of the Persian invasion


typical

constitute the finest extant specimens of the order.

The northern, likewise

tides,

The eastern

but

more probably merely

sacred maidens employed in the worship of

the goddess.

Half-way between the Erechtheum and the Propylasa


platform, or rather a square flat portion of the rock

is

itself,

whereon once stood the most conspicuous object in that vast


shrine of

This was the statue of Athene Promachos, The

art.

Defender, cast in bronze by Phidias, and towering far above

every surrounding building.


spear and
choice,

aegis,

and her

There stood the goddess with

keeping watch and ward over the home of her


lance's point

and helmet's

crest

were the

first

objects that flashed back the sun's rays as they appeared above

the ridge of Hymettus.

One
all

glance round shows that even

departed

magnificence.

for nature

at least

To the north

is

now

the glory lias not

may

yet be seen in

tlie

Parnes range, blended

lier

old

ATHENS OF THE

PAST.

41

with Cithferon, over which gleam the white summits of Parnassus.

Pentelicus towers ou

seem

for ten miles or so

To the west

Athens' eyesore
ponnese.

is

nothing through the liquid Attic

as

the sea, with Salamis and ^^ina, once

and beyond

At our

feet is the

rise the

mountains

modern

the vast olive-grove that covers

with

its trees of

unknown

much

of the Pelo-

with the

city,

of Lycabettus frowning over the royal palace


is

and Hymettus

showing every shrub on their rugged sides

to the south-east,

air.

north-east,

tlie

tall

and farther on

the Attic plain,

of

The white steam

antiquity.

Piraeus railway alone breaks its repose, and

rock

of the

shows that

life

is

not quite extinct in a district once studded with the country

houses of Athenian citizens.

The outer aspect


than the

interior,

of the Acropolis

and a

hardly less instructive Walls

close study of its walls

matter for a long archaeological


still

is

tolerably well-fitted polygonal blocks.

Xerxes rendered necessary a

total

must not be confused with the

constructions of

i.e.,

Their demolition by

refortification

and they

" Pelasgic " wall, the

given to that built by Themistocles on the northern

because overlooking the region called to


of

the Pelasgi,

those

puzzling

name
face,

or Quarter

TreXao-ytKov,

apparently assigned in prehistoric times to

aborigines.

In

spite

still

fragments

entablature,

ancient

of

many subsequent

shows us drums of columns and

alterations, its surface

of

afford

Faint traces are

treatise.

discernible of the old Pelasgic walls

might

'^^

proving

which the rebuilding was conducted

out

the
of

liaste

the

with

materials

of the
^'''

ATHEXS OF THE

42

readiest

occur in

all

Prom
The

OiU'Uiii.

of Valerian, the southern that of Cimon.

the base of the last

two great theatres and


of

The western wall

parts of the circumvallation.

name

bears the

Fragments of masonry of every epoch

hand.

to

PAST.

we can scramble down

The Odeum

their connecting arcade.

Herodes Atticus, built under the Antonines,

into the

not of high

is

interest to the student of Hellenic architecture, except in sa


far as the preservation of tlie walls of the " scena "

upon the conditions


the
Portico of

Odeum and

portico of

the Theatre

The Dionysic
are

Bacchus stretches the long

of

some twenty-eight arches remaining.

of whicli there are

Dionysus.

theatre calls

up a

liost of associations, for

we

on the very spot that witnessed the birth of the ancient

drama,

at

any

rate, of that

drama

^schylus and Sophocles competed

as

we know

situations of broad burlesque or light comedy.

decorations date from the time of Adrian


traditions were then a living poNver,

Here

it.

for the tragic crown,

and Menander produced their

here Aristophanes

all

Between

generally.

Eumenes, erected by that potentate and Attalus,

Eumenes.

Theatre of

drama

of the ancient

throws light

unri^'alled

I\Iost

of tlie

but since the old

we may

rest assured that

the original arrangements were carefully reproduced.

lowest

each inscribed with

therius, the

god

tlie

name

of the official for

In the centre sat


to

In the

marble seats in almost perfect preservation,

tier are fifty

was intended.

and

tlie

priest of

whose use

Dionysus Eleu-

On

wliom the theatre was dedicated.

right sat the priest of Zeus, " guardian of the

it

town

his left the Exegetes, or interpreter of the sacred

"

his

and on

laws.

All

ATHENS OF THE

round the semicircle the

stalls

FAST.

43

extend, and even in the second

and third rows inscriptions show that the places were

served."

most interesting spot disposes of

this

of the nonsense instilled into the youthful mind,

such

that the actor, in appealing to sun, sky, and sea,

would

some
as

sight of

all " re-

actually point to each object in succession

two

first

would undoubtedly be available

for although the

an unroofed place,

in

yet the third was as certainly out of his ken, unless he could

turn his back upon the audience and see through a block of
building and two or three small

Apart from the Acropolis and

hills.
its slopes,

Athens boasts but Temple


TllGSGUS

a single ancient building

of

the celebrated but probably

importance.

first-rate

misnamed Temple

This

is

Theseus.

of

Descending from the citadel and rounding the Areopagus, we


approach this beautiful shrine, and are surprised to find
very small

it is, its

length being considerably less than one-half

that of the Parthenon.

harmony
Still

This result

of its proportions,

is

due to the exquisite

backed by an excellent situation.

untouched by the encroachments

of

occupies a position of complete isolation

the

modern town,

and, as

it

stands

out undwarfed by contrast with any neighbouring object.

example of the most graceful fifth-century Doric,

most perfectly preserved Greek temple


wanting but the sculptures and

restored in recent

portrayed some

of

times.

the

The
labours

roof,

east

of

it is

in the world.

and the
front

latter

it

seen by

first

the traveller entering Athens along the Pirteus road,

is

how

An

also the

Nothing
has been

appears to have

Hercules, and the west

of

ATHEXS OF THE

44

front

PAST.

and sides the exploits of Theseus

but whether the two

friends received joint-worship within these walls, or

as is

more probable

whether

the original edifice was erected

by

Theseus in honour of Hercules, and consequently called the

Theseum,

a matter hardly worth the research bestowed

is

The analogy

it.

of the

Erechtheum seems

upon

to point to the

second conclusion.
Tower of the

Other antiquities are the Tower of the "Winds, an octagonal

Winds.

marble building

about 100

of

It stands

a.d.

under the north

escarpment of the Acropolis, from whence apparently was

drawn the water


which are

to

clepsydra or water-clock, traces of

discernible in the

still

The

pavement.

work the

place was

foi-ni

of channels cut in the

evidently a sort

of

Greenwich

Observatory, where variations of wind and temperature were

But

duly registered, and the correct time was ascertainable.

many

the

loafers

who

assisted at our inspection proved

better qualified than the


its

Arch of
Athene
Archegetis.

principles

Close by
the Agora

of scholars

to

explain

and mode of working.

is

an isolated archway, vulgarly called the Gate of

but in the

in this quarter
liave

most pedantic

no

first

place, the ancient

Agora was not

and in the second, an inscription proves

it

to

been raised by Julius and Augustus in honour of Athene

Archegetis.
Stoa of

Not

far off is a colonnade

supported by seven Corintliian

A'lrian.

columns, the remnant of an enormous

quadrangular gymnasium with

now degraded

its

into forming part

cloister,

enclosing a

accessory buildings.
of

It is

the wall of the cavalry

ATHENS OF THE

barrack

square

PAST.

while on the other side

singularly mal-odorous oriental bazaar.

town

consists of

mud-paved

All

market, a

the

is

tliis

part of the

mean, densely packed houses, with irregular

streets

but fortunately, no other interesting part

any modern

of the ancient city underlies

some

the backyards of

of Attains,

Portico

45

of

these

form

The inhabitants

fragments of masonry.

into

hovels are remains of the

the

chiefly in

Wedged

site.

of unrecognisable Portico

of

are duly impressed

with a vague sense of their enormous antiquarian value, and,

Eoman

having jDointed out some most uninteresting

inscrip-

hopefully expect a considerable haksheesh.

tion,

Of

little

more

interest than

these last

is

the conspicuous Tomb

ruin perched upon a height near the Acropolis, and

Enough

the tomb of Philopappos, the Syrian.


tify to

the strangely composite character of

Very

ment

different

is

of Lysicrates

the unpretentious

left

to

"

as

tes-

concave fa9ade.

its

little

is

known

of

opappos.

Choregic monu-

on the opposite side of the Acropolis.

Its

Choregic mon^

Lysicrates.

date,
is

355

B.C.,

at

once commands attention; moreover, there

no other extant specimen of the kind.

sons will pardon a word of explanation.

Well-informed per-

The

x'^PVy^^>

or

fwi'-

nishing a chorus in the annual dramatic competitions, was one


of the various " public services " that the

to

Athenians delighted

impose upon their wealthier fellow-citizens.

was

practically manager,

in so

sible for the 7)iisc en schie

several

poets contendiDg

far,

that

is,

as he

The

was respon-

and appointments generally.


for

the tragic

or

chorcr/us

With

comic crown, a

healthy spirit of emulation arose also between the respective

ATIIEXS

4fi

which

choregi,

tripod to the

by

faction

(IF

THE

PAST.

was fostered by the award

spirit

manager who had given

his magnificence

marble rotonda, with

and good

the*

of a bronze

most universal

Upon

taste.

satis-

this little

Corinthian columns and highly decor-

its

ated frieze, Lysicrates, proud of his victory, elevated the prize


tripod.

The above

ings of Athens

To many

an imperfect description of the ancient buihl-

is

but, as a catalogue,

fewness

tlieir

is startling,

it is

tolerably exhaustive.

and the disappointment

not diminished on learning that this small number

equal to that of

But the worth


dard

all

of such objects admits not of a numerical stan-

and despise

it

weeks would not exhaust


art

or

stitute

proportionately,

the traveller often feels that he

famous

of

down

is

is left

is

certain tliat

a lover of

Greek

standing on another,

on holy ground, and

to

Such

cities.

Pineus,

is

satisfies

the sensation evoked

or an ascent of the

Hill, the Areopagus, or the I'nyx.

platform on the

Athens in a

by gazing on the scenes of mighty events

long-felt cravings

by a walk

it

"

of the pleasure of a visit to

In spots where no stone

sites

do

its capabilities for

more than a small part

and the

"

Neither do her ancient monuments con-

literature.

Greece.

about

others in the entire Hellenic kingdom.

and although a Cook's tourist might

single day,

is

last, witli its six

True

it

is

Museum

that the little

clean-cut steps,

may

or

not be the genuine bcma, or oratorical tribune; but none


less

it

is

certain tliat within a few yards of that spot,

actually upon

is

it,

stood

Pericles, or

if

may
tlie

not

Demosthenes, or Cleon,

ATHENS OF THE

uttering words
to

it

is

attainable in

simple

is

most

will throughout

suffices

But

interest.

is

upon which turned events

Now

the then civilised world.

tainty

warned

off,

so

if

as this

approximate

cer-

whom

hand the

sight-seer pure

and

on the other the over-minute inquirer

to join the

laudable

of vital importance

the country iind oljjects of real

ranks of the archaeologists, and

devote not a few weeks, but the


to the

47

places, it follows that those

as on the one

recommended

life,

PAST.

futile

remainder of his natural

attempt of identifying the

crepant and discovering the non-existent.

dis-

ATHENS OF

48

TO-DAY.

CHAPTER

IV

ATHENS OF TO-DAY.

ARETUEN
ciations

to

modern Athens soon

the hotels with their European

windows, the be-trousered inhabitants,


Tlic mocleru

Atlieuian.

dissipates tliese asso-

r.ii-i
find beside

to

you

know

While roundly professing


he usually

at dinner,

harmless amusement

man

to

may

though generally

" ancestors,"

mation

to metre,

proves

understand the " ancient tongue,"

when put

to the test.

Much

be obtained by getting some gentle-

or lady to read a little classical poetry,

them pronounced

gentle-

absolutely nothing about them.

ignominiously

fails

the imagination

stifle

eloquent on the subject of his glorious

upon interrogation

the shop

The amiable and conversational

witli their incongruity.

man whom you

life,

which being

Ijy

solely according to accent, loses all approxi-

and becomes a mass of

false quantities sufllci-

ently monstrous to bring any offending schoolboy into prompt

and sharp contact with the

would make tliem

birch.

No amount

of explanation

see the absurdity of this performance.

jjoint of fact, education,

though widely

In

diffused, is usually of

ATHENS OF

the strictly "

modern

"

TO-DAY.

49

or " commerical " type,

and no race

can be more absolutely averse from what they would conthe

sider

folly

acquiring

of

unprofitable

Emi-

learning.

nently shrewd and practical, the modern Greek scorns

sentiment except patriotism.

It

is

true that the desire to

when

serve his country sometimes stops short

question of risking

it

becomes a

and property in her behalf

life

all

but in

a disinterested eagerness to guide her destinies

and pocket

strange dis-

her salaries, there


like

of

manual

is

an absolute unanimity.

labour,

amounting almost

a mania, com-

to

bined witli the restless mental activity that characterises the


entire nation,

is

at the root of nearly all

that

evil in the

is

Hellenic kingdom.
Politics

much

engross

the

the

existence of

modern Athenian

as they did those of the ancient, but without

any longer

leaving him some superfluous energy to expend upon art or


literature.

The manners and customs

for provincial constituencies

may

of honourable

be studied with

members

much

profit

in the large hotels,

where they generally spend the session

with their families

and even a

that the profession of politics


class of persons.

Some men

is

own

M.

Tricoupis, who,

country, and brought

up

the best of other countries, are nevertheless willing to

devote their
relate

not adopted by a very high

there are, like

born in the best society of their

among

superficial observer discovers

life to

tiie

with astonishment

public service

how

and innocent natives

that gentleman,

when he hap-

pens to be prime minister, does not allow the free and inde-

Greek

politics

ATHENS OF

50

TO-DAY.

pendent electors to be driven out to vote

But most persons

of the bayonet.

of high culture

or

seclusion,

and

pri-

ancient nobility, prefer

vate means, like the Phanariots, or


a dignified

for liim at the point

devote their energies to the

else

acquisition of wealth, generally in

lands.

foreign

Political

morality seems ever to have been divorced from democracies,

except in countries like our own, where good traditions have

been so deeply rooted as to survive

Judging

democratic institutions.
great

and

if

little

low origin and habits, and

The following

facts

all

receiving

are

divided

to

4000

payment
into

Tricoupis and

two

for

so each

many

often decline

politics.

It consists

5000

or

deputies are of

men

best

the BovXt/ or

their

of

in the

Chamber may be

204^ members

services.

These gentlemen

M. Coumoundouros, between whose

member

is

(a

United Kingdom),

headed respectively by

parties,

naively confessed that there

is

if

the

if

as to

thought worth recording.

number equivalent

example of a

from the

life,

contaminate themselves with

The Boulc.

of

semi- barbarous country be given

over to corruption in pul)lic

to

rise

empire like the United States, we can

civilised

hardly wonder

time the

for a

no difference

policies

M.
it

of principle

attaches himself to that side from which he

has most to expect.

But there

are

always some waverers

declining unqualified allegiance to either leader, and at any

moment open
^

to conviction.

Tliese honourable

members form

These figures do not include the deputies from the newly acquired provinces

the constitutional arrangements for tliese districts are

still

under discussion.

ATHENS OF

TO-DAY.

51

a third party, under a chief of their own, and voting com-

any moment insure the overthrow

pactly, can at

of a ministry.

Consequently, during the nineteen years that have

up

since the drawing

of the present constitution, there

taken place more than

occasion for
ists

not

if
it,

have

changes of ministry!

fifty

Of course we came
interesting

elapsed

in for a crisis,

progress was

its

seemed no particular

There

edifying.

and

except a general idea that the Coumoundour-

For some days the

had been in long enough.

Chamber was the scene

of

intense excitement.

BovXrj or

From

the

seclusion of the foreign minister's box could be obtained a


characteristic

view of

this

benches round the two

rather

tall pillars

handsome apartment.

The

that support the roof were

black with deputies, except where here and there the white

some

petticoat of

the parterre.

old country

fine

The

galleries

with an unsavoury rabble,


the proceedings.

the orator

The

member added

round three sides were crammed

who took

faces of all

the deepest interest in

were

visible,

except that of

but as his excited words must have been almost

unintelligible to our unpractised ear,

Yet in

variety to

it

did not

spite of the gravity of the situation, the

much

signify.

House, which

meets after luncheon, never once adjourned later than 6.30,


the hour whereat the claims of dinner begin to
selves

make them-

felt.

The vote
dourists

of confidence

by a majority

ended in the defeat


of one,

which

]\I.

of the

Coumoun-

Tricoupis cleverly

increased by a threat of dissolution in the event of not being

Ministerial

ATHENS OF

52

TO-DAY.

substantially supported on the next occasion.


settled the scruples of

ernment retained

many

office

till

This manceuvre

waverers, and the incoming Gov-

October 2 2d

a rather unusually

long period of seven months.

Conversation ^yith Greeks would in any case have turned

on

politics

of our

own

but these events, and the simultaneous approach


general election, seemed to drive all other thoughts

The enormities

from their heads.

of

Lord Beaconsfield, and

hard-heartedness of Europe generally

tliu

the virtues of

Mr

formed

the

Gladstone, and the unspeakableness of the Turk,

main themes

Always anxious

of their eloquence.

make

to

proselytes to Philhellenic views, they are peculiarly prone to


" try it

of

on

"

Europe they,

to

secretive

and so

weaknesses when

different

from our own,

Moreover, hospitality
it

up

to

is

is

in

most cases

not one of their

takes any more expensive form than coffee

cigarettes, a refection

which

are ready at all hours to press

men

friends very readily

but an intimate acquaintance with natures so

hardly possible.

and

affairs

commercial people, are perhaps disposed

as a

Thus they make

overrate.

certain point

Hospitality,

with Englishmen, whose influence on the

as a race hardly

all

upon

Hellenes of any degree


strangers.

But English-

grow familiar over afternoon

Rabat Lakhoum, and their intercourse with natives

calls
is

and

apt to

stop short of friendship.

In consequence of this national peculiarity, social


are

almost

Nevertheless

confined
tliere

to

the

palace and foreign

are a few private liouses

festivities

ministries.

that entertain

ATHENS OF

and

freely;

their efforts,

and Court

gaieties

near approach of Lent

on the

ball

last

53

from being so sparingly imitated,

deserve the higher appreciation.


levies

TO-DAY.

By

March

the middle of

were over, in anticipation

of

the

but there was just time to see a single

night of carnival.

The hospitable lady

of Carnival

the house had given her friends leave to bring any one they

and as masks might be worn, no names were an-

chose,

There was a considerable

nounced.

crowd,

for

the most

part masked, anxious to display their wit, particularly


strangers,

which generally took the form

upon

of addressing us

in

broken English, any further point being either non-existent or

The proceedings were amusing

so fine as to baffle detection.

enough
good

floor, to

band.

the

dancing took place in a kind of inner hall on a

the strains of an enthusiastic but slightly erratic

Square dances were the really important thing, and

British

of vaguely

habit

walking through a quadrille

rather scandalised the company.

Bound dances were

inter-

minably long, but then everybody took a turn with everybody


else's

partner in the most promiscuous manner.

was a handsome drawing-room


two smaller apartments
Nicotine,
sider

on the other a dining-room and

of the ladies

by no means objectionable.

under cover

of

that various

their masks,

One

appeared to con-

little trait

amused us

people had come uninvited

who, not wishing to make the

hostess's acquaintance or to be

would be certain

one side

the latter dedicated to the goddess

whose worship some

we were informed

On

known

to

have been present,

to vanish as soon as the

moment came

for

ATHENS OF

54

TO-DAY.

Consequently, at about one o'clock

uncovei'iiig their faces.

there took place a regular stampede of these delicate-minded


persons, leaving the hostess's set in possession of the field.

^^^

^'

shade of Byron, what disappointment to gaze upon

But,

Female

the maids of Athens


sion,

in

nursed carefully for the

moment

How many

women must

poem/ and

dates from Turkish times,

analogy to resemble the men, among

dard

of

In the

first

Faun

all

the

when

the fair sex

assumed by a
a high stan-

This

discovery,

ceases, after a little reflection, to be startling.

male, and not the female ideal, was

place, the

anciently the type of Greek beauty.


the

belief in

whom

good looks undoubtedly prevails.

though painful,

illu-

be founded on his lordship's

lived in an almost oriental seclusion, and w^ere


false

a tender

two hours, was dispelled

last

The prevailing but erroneous

beauty of Greek
little

unmasked

or the

Hermes

The Apollo Belvedere,

of Olympia, are surely nearer to

perfection than any extant statues of goddesses, always perhaps

Any

excepting the Aphrodite of Melos.

Greek

literature,

one acquainted with

more especially with the writings

philosophers, will readily assent to this position.

of

the

Moreover, a

strong intermixture of Slavonic and other elements has ren-

dered this disproportion between the sexes greater

and

it is

a remarkable fact that in islands like Melos, or in inaccessible


spots on the mainland

wherever, in short, a purer strain of

Hellenic blood has been maintained

advance

in the comeliness of
'

the

Ziiri fj.ov (Ttlj

there

women.
ayairw.

is

invariably an

Finally, centuries

ATHENS OF

of hopeless degradation

TO-DAY.

must have tended

tary ugliness in the weaker sex.

the capital, which only

affects

an inappreciably small proportion

commenced

women have

boldly assert that

In

the level of beasts of burden.


the

men

years ago, and

fifty

the population,

of

scarcely risen above

the country districts

all

water, and

till

the

fields.

Thus

the general characteristics of Greek


take centuries, even

if

an average standard

But

of

womanhood

and

would

it

the country had been civilised and the

relations of the sexes readjusted

on European principles, before

female good looks could be attained.

to return to our ball,

which

in spite of these considera-

grew very merry, and was graced by a few lovely

At supper
;

the hostess's health

faces.

was drunk with three times

and then followed the Pyrrhic dance, which has rather

a depressing effect upon the spirits of a stranger.


ensued, in which
there

a stunted

a toil-worn expression, and a tanned complexion, are

figure,

three

produce heredi-

lounge away the livelong day, while their wives

hew wood, draw

tions

to

Putting aside the European

life of

we may

55

it

was perhaps somewhat rash

was thenceforth no opportunity

to

for retiring

cotillon

embark, as
indeed the

hospitable doors were locked in order to prevent the possibility of so ungallant a proceeding.

entertainment terminated
over, for then

native gentlemen.
sally

forth

in

length, at 5.30

the

but the fun was by no means

began an exciting but

whose English make had

At

excited

futile search for

the

them

our hats,

admiration of some

There was therefore nothing

the head-gear by

all

for it

discarded, of

but to

which

it

Cotillon.

ATHEXS OF

56

may

nothing short of sheer necessity could

suffice to say, that

have induced us to touch

Jehu, being, like

all

countrymen, an independent-minded

his

man, and misliking the

away

fetch us

even through the medium of a

it

The next delight was the discovery that our

very long pole.

to

TO-DAY.

there was no alternative but to

so that

had disregarded his engagement

cold,

back in our pumps over the frozen snow.

slide

mode

under the

progress

of

straight than

might

it

rising

liave been,

This cheerful

morn was

owing both

rigidly

less

to the

unsteady-

ing nature of ice as a substance to walk upon, and to the

frequent attacks of ferocious dogs, who, springing up unexpectedly

the

upon low garden- walls, make violent attempts


of

ears

passers-by.

Our involuntary

to seize

deviations

from

the direct course were no doubt erroneously, though not unnaturally, attributed to vinous excess.
Climate.

xhe mention
occasion

some

of

snow

little

in the middle of

surprise

but there

March may
it

was, three good

inches hard frozen, in the streets of Athens.


'

Childe Harold

'

but

Mr W.

for

interpreting

passage in

informs us that such a thing never happens

S. Gilbert having taught us the latitude necessary

that

we accepted

adverb,

mean

assurances of the natives to


lies there,

possibly

tliat

the

snow

oft-repeated

" liardly

and blessed our misfortune in coming in

for

ever

"

one of

the extremely rare exceptions.

In point of

fact,

the foulness of no climate can surpass the

horrors sometimes provided by that of Athens.


^

Canto

ii.

stanza 85.

Snow

does not

ATHENS OF

remain

find

day

but

and again.

will return again

it

57

day of cloudless beauty and warmth, the

still

to

for long,

TO-DAY.

white world

on the next the

the third

it

the flakes

After a

traveller

continue falling

morning

to night

all

thaw

streets are impassable in the

rains from

the fourth

and bright, but with a north wind, in contrast


English March breezes are as balmy zephyrs

to

awakes

is

that
;

on

clear

which any

wind that

drives whole dust-bins into the eyes round every corner, that
cuts into the very marrow,

and against which

possible to keep one's feet.

same story

For the next month

in all parts of Greece

an

often im-

it is

it

was the

occasional glorious day,

followed by several of rain, wind, and

hail,

proving the fatal

mistake of attempting to travel too early in that country.

Knowledge only comes with experience, and the one thing needful in

contemplating such a tour

is

abandon the

to

fiction that

the Hellenic kingdom has any pretensions to be called civilised.

Let the pilgrim wait for

warm

weather, say in

and make the same preparations

as

under canvas

or June,

though he were about to

go through Arabia or Central Africa.


sleep

May

Particularly let

him

he will be free from the extortionate

demands, the insufferable intrusions, and the insect companions


of the rural householder.

and when he

pleases.

He

will also be able to stop

Under the ordinary system he must

reach his destination or pass the night al fresco


it

is

a favourite

to understate

but since

pleasantry on the part of the inhabitants

distances and misdirect

follows that he

where

may

not arrive

till

him

as to his route,

it

hours later than he in-

Best season
^

^^^^ "^^'

ATHENS OF

58

tended
settle

and then, having no time

down

is

too well

may

known outwardly

ofTer itself.

to

need

much

Steamers of various lines touch at the Piraeus

description.

Anglo-Indians contrive a short

to

visit either

Mr Cook

home, and the ubiquitous

day or two

about him, must

to look

in the first draughty hovel tliat

Modern Athens

Life in

TO-DAY.

allows his

get througli the antiquities.

familiarity with

life

It

little flock
is

just this

capital that gives rise to the ordinary

the

In Athens, Patras, and

misconceptions concerning Greece.


Syra, there are

going out or coming

and progress

travellers see

no more than

these towns, and return impressed with the conviction that

the Hellenic kingdom

advancing with rapid

is

strides.

Let

them go a few miles up country before pronouncing an


opinion.

At any
it

rate,

Athenian

life

is

comfortable enough, even

if

Curious as are the

lack the element of wild excitement.

hours and cuisine of private houses, the most fastidious Euro-

pean can put up with the

hotels.

He

only too ready to show him anything


class

of

persons

seem

object in going so far

is

to

imagine

will find every official


:

indeed this obliging

tliat

foreigner's

to study the institutions of to-day;

and an antiquarian's hardly concealed indifference


totally unintelligible.

For a time

this

tliere is

of special

is

to

them

communicativeness

amusing rather than otherwise, and existence


then

sole

is

is

very tolerable

developed a feeling of monotony, due to a lack

occupation rather than to any want of agreeable

companionship.

Court, a

corjjs

diplomatique, a legislative

ATHENS OF

body, and naval officers of

of a

ordinary distractions of Western


to

be non-existent

bands

fined to the military

above the level of journalism


except a few open

air

entirely

upon

wanting.

native music

is

European companies

"

almost con-

native literature does not rise


native

drama there

No

likes
all

to

visit

his great

relations

his

home amusements depend

is

one permanent theatre, to

One

which he occasionally imports foreign troupes.


"

Native art

performances in the summer.

There

himself.

life are

But the

capital.

none,

when

countries,

Western

re-

is

wonder that King George


in other

59

form a society

nations,

all

sembling on a small scale that

would seem

TO-DAY.

had been advertised

for

of these

some days

previous to our arrival, and every one was looking forward


to the opera

but

when

the evening in question came, there

were no performers, and, what was more, they never arrived


at all

whether frightened by the

gales, or engulfed

in the

blue waters of the Mediterranean, or permanently incapacitated

through sea-sickness, must remain to

all

His

time a mystery.

Majesty's chief solace appears to consist in his private skatingrink,

and in shooting on the one or two islands which are

own

property.

If Eoyalty be thus threatened with boredom,

tlie life

subject can hardly be expected to be very rolKcking.

his

of the

To

sit

outside the cafSs in the Square of the Constitution and listen


to the strains of the

band, or to drive and walk along the dusty

Patissia road, are the

summer, expeditions

most ordinary forms


to Pirseus

of

amusement.

and Phalerum, with a view

In
to

"

ATHENS OF

60

a very occasional bathe, are

Some gentlemen

TO-DAY.

added

this

to

round of delights.

display the soundness of their views as to

morality and political economy by advocating the establish-

ment
out

of gaming-tables at the Pirreus, with a

Monte

and bestowing upon

Carlo,

their

hope of cutting

own

port a noble

pre-eminence as a gathering-point for universal blackguardism.

The gambling

Gambling
propensi

es.

^^^^

unfortunately ineradicable from

instinct is

Even

Greek nature.

in the smallest towns, groups are to

be seen playing the whole day long at " casino

" or

some other

of "

Un

improving pastime.

The technical meaning

sufficiently indicates

the reputation of the nation

ference to games of

skill,

to

"vvith

re-

apparently rather a tender point,

seeing that a French gentleman of

demain utterly refused

Grec

show

immense powers

off his

of leger-

card-tricks before his

Hellenic friends, for fear of being thought to allude to the

must have

national weakness, in which case a challenge

Another instructive example

evitably ensued.

is

in-

furnished by

an Englishman who, being desirous of learning the language,

made arrangements
The

native family.

penny

loto,

for entering en pension into a respectable

staple evening's

amusement

wherein parents and children

all

consisted of

took part

but

the stranger was soon requested always to read out the nunil)ers

because, as

was intrusted

to

was subsequently explained,

any member

of the family, it

if

that duty

was found by

experience that that person invariably won.

Active exercise
\\\)\)GT

classes tlian

is

favourably regarded by the

not more

by the lower

indeed opportunities for

its

ATHENS OF

TO-DAY.

61

indulgence cannot but be scanty where there

house

life,

and where the absence

means

of

of

no country-

is

communication

Some English

confines educated persons to the towns.

resi-

dents established an asphalt lawn-tennis court on a bit of

unoccupied building-ground, but the citizens never took kindly

game

to the

ministry

it

and on the accession

was shut up, on the

power of a Eussophil

to

x^lea

that

it

was required

for

military purposes.

The modern buildings require but a few words.


of the white marble

so strong as to take

is

from a close inspection

Arthur's Seat of Athens

Close under

ber), Post-Office,

vard
for

is

an

glare

pleasure

the

agreeable view can be obtained.

Street,

with the Boule (or Cham-

and British Legation.

In the next boule-

the smart-looking university, the centre of education

more than a thousand students,

curse of the country.


Palace,

all

but from the top of Lycabettus

Stadium

lies

it

away

The

with

its

At

the end

and

at once the pride


of

these

is

the

to

the

streets

handsome gardens, generally open

public, but exceptionally closed against us on a

snowy day,

on the ground that his Majesty was at that moment employed

shooting

in

woodcock

therein.

boulevard, with the English and

Beyond

is

another

Russian churches, and, in

front of the Palace, the Square of the Constitution, with the


large hotels,

away

and with Hermes Street running out of

to the railway station.

stands the funny

Byzantine

edifice,

little

it

right

Full in the middle of this street

church of Capnicaria

many-domed

and, like all the old churches of Athens,

Modem
^^"

^^^'

ATHENS OF

62

At any

extremely small.

rate,

TO-DAY.

it

is

quaint and interesting,

and contrasts pleasantly with the modern cathedral, a


pink building, wherein

large

touch of lloman architecture

is

incongruously blended with Byzantine.

There

Museums.

ing

remain to be mentioned the Museums, contain-

still

much

botli of

beauty and of

interest.

grating tendency which prevented united

ancient Hellenes,

is

It is in

successors.

strongly rooted in

museum

" so that

action

disinte-

among

the

the nature of their

consequence of this antipathy to central-

isation that every little


"

But that

deme

works of

insists

upon starting

own

its

some

art are often relegated to

windowless wooden hovel, in spots unvisited by civilised man.


Similarly, there are in

Athens several

of these institutions,

although one moderate-sized building would easily comprise


the contents of

all.

Nor

is

the visitor annoyed merely

by

having to move from place to place in studying objects of the

same

class

for

he soon

finds that each

museum

is

only open

on one or two days in the week, and that between stated

The reason was admitted

hours.

look after

lias to

all

six,

to be, that a single attendant

and consequently only one

is

acces-

sible at a time.

Three of the
simple plan.

"

museums

Anything picked up

thrown

in

found

so that fragments of the

conducted on a charmingly

" are

anyhow, without record

in
of

the neighbourhood

where or when

same piece

of

it

sculpture

is

was

may

be lying in the four corners of the room, without the slightest


prospect of ever being reunited.

To an ordinary

stranger.

ATHENS OF

necessarily

ment

making rather a hurried

to

the Temple
of

set of casts

the British

Museum

They

odds and ends.


the Acropolis,
pylsea,

and

one

frieze

in the pinacotheca

is

casts of the Elgin marbles presented

Somewhat

rors,

the original in

on the
to

left

intelligible

except the

by our Government.

Street, containing

gold bracelets, and pottery.

of the Pro-

the east of the

There

better kept are the other three.

Varvakion in Athene

Theseum.

two establishments on

are also true of the

Here, again, nothing

re-

confusion of unlabelled

and the other in a wooden shed

Parthenon.

These

which contains a cap-

taken from

a hopeless

arrange-

tliis

instruction.

of Theseus,

own

its

63

inspection,

amusement than

more

affords

marks apply
ital

TO-DAY.

It

is

the

some excellent mir-

was founded

The Var-

in accord-

ance with the will of a certain M. BapjSaKi, one of those

wealthy foreign Greeks who have done so

much

for the capital

of their race.

The National Museum


good busts and vases
either tombstones

Here

cessions).

friends.

of

some

there are National

but most interesting are the

laid

generally the same

on a

visit

for
:

upon

Macedonian "

beauty and simplicity.

the dead person

far journey,

and

is

is

The motive

depicted as about

taking leave of sorrowing

our tombstones are here unknown.

are specimens taken at

random

soldier,

The funeral monu-

his back.

The laudatory paragraphs and sesquipedalian


of

reliefs,

or representations of OUo-ol (religious pro-

ments are remarkable

to depart

worth a protracted

also is the celebrated "

now ignominiously

is

is

A woman

is

epithets

The following
seated

a figure,

ATHENS OF

64

TO-DAY.

apparently that of a younger woman,


sandal

she

voyage

is

probably preparing

the only inscription

Andromenes."

"

is,

is

stooping to touch her

her for her long, long


Ameinocleia, daughter of

Again, a comely matron

taking some-

sits

thing from a casket presented to her by a handmaiden


child at her feet
"

is

holding a bird upon her knee

supports

Here

girl

little

who has

Polyxene,

lies

upon her knees,

band, mother, and father."

on which four
the fourth
for

Dr

Schlie-

read,

In this spot earth covers Archestratie, the good and prudent,

most deeply lamented by her husband."

"

we

But by

moment

is

of

whom

it

is

said,

legacy of sorrow to hus-

more simple

Still

young woman

another slab,

is

figures are represented, three bidding farewell to

there
"

left a

Or

is

(the dead person's

of T)r

"

Damasistrate weeps

name being

most interesting

far the

that

no legend, except,

obliterated).

collection at the present

Schliemann, which contains, besides

tion.

other things, the whole of the


at Mycenae, save the

so-called corpse of

English

would not bear transportation.


stress

upon the rudeness

most

of

were agreeably surprised at

many

tlie

of the gold instruments.

great excavator's discoveries

Agamemnon, which

critics

had

tV

elaborate

Some

of the signet-rings

ayaO'flv Kal <Tw(ppova yai' (Ka\v\l/(v

TlfvOoS KOVptSicp T

Kal

ir({(T(

KOt

/J-TITpl

KiTToicra

iroTpl T(p <pvcravTi YloKv^fi/T] (vOaSf Kurai.

AafiaffiffTpdrr)

yoS

we

workmanship

Tiiv 'Apx^^'^pi^T'^V dfSpi TrodeivoTUTTiv.


"*

such

of these articles, that

'AfifivoKXfla AvSpofjifvovs 6vya.TT}p.

"EvdaSe

laid

....

of

and

ATHENS OF

TO-DAY.

65

cups can hardly belong to a prehistoric age, although

may

readily assign to

The

phernalia.

circular plates

mented.

the ox-headed idols and funeral para-

it

latter consist of masks,

sewn on

hero was buried.

to

pardoned

tracing,

for

plates

and a

even

strange foreshadowing of his

Not

the robes in which the departed

rude representation of a butterfly


the

to a better

enormous crowns, and

much

All are of gold beaten thin and

emblem upon

own

may

Christian's fancy

erroneously, in

symbol a

that

great doctrine of resurrection

remarkable than his

museum

is

Dr Schliemann

Greek lady, intends

down

building himself a fine

in Athens,

where he

is

house, called most appropriately

Troy Hall.

Italian-looking building, surmounted

but as

it

was not yet

famous discoverer in a
teous,

little

fit

by

work

it

It

house behind

was very annoying

to settle

is

new

a large

statues of gods

for habitation,

he insisted upon an interview in

sure of

be

life.

less

orna-

the ordinary

is

himself, who, having married a

heroes

we

we found

the

Always cour-

it.

extreme pres-

spite of

to learn

and

that this cause

alone was to deprive us of the really great privilege of explor-

ing Athens in his company.


labour leave

little

But ten hours a-day

time for recreation, and he was just then em-

ployed upon the proof-sheets of his great work,


Priam,'

of literary

which he had chosen

to write in

English

'

The City
but as

it

of

was

being simultaneously translated by other persons into French

and German, and proofs were constantly arriving in

all

languages, the task of correction was anything but light.

three

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

66

CHAPTER

V.

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

NY

A'

expedition necessitating a night out had better not be

attempted without a regular guide and equipment

as nearly all points of interest lie to the

should
Sunium.

if

traveller

may

propose to himself.

dear to the ancient Athenian


witli rapture

this visit, unless

but in any case,

Cape Colonna or Sunium

are,

.Sn],li.

Temple

yearned

Two

tlie

Athene, ever

of

for in absence, hailed

or three days

first

object that

must be devoted

by steamer chance

a trip

to offer itself;

time spent will not be regretted.

however, various excursions to be comfortably

accomplished in a single day,


'

west of Athens, they

on the homeward voyage as the

spoke of his native land.^

There

and

possible be brought within the set tour which the

affords one splendid exception, with its

to

Ajux, 1217

notaldy those

:
ytvolfiav
irp6fi\7]fi

'Iv'

v\a,ev iirecTTi iruvTov

aXiKKuffTov,

iiirb

TrAo/ca 'Zovviov,

TttS

Upas

UTTUIS

Trpoffeiirui/xtf 'Aflacay.

8.Kpai>

to

Marathon,

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

and the summits

Eleusis, Pliyle,

One

of the

on

latter is

67

Hymettns

of

or Penteliciis.

accounts to be recommended, as

all

giving a true idea of the configuration of Attica.

one

fine

Accordingly, Asceut

morning, a party consisting of two Englishmen and a

Greek gentleman and lady, might have been observed driving


out beneath the crags of Lycabettus, en route for PenteHcus.

In saying

"

might have been," we could with perfect truth

have added that they certainly were observed,

Greek

for the

possesses that unwearied curiosity about other people's affairs

apparently

common

to

all

freemasonry by which, just as in

hence the extraordinary


Ireland, the population
of strangers,

and

their

is

and seems

previous

astute but incurably idle races

informed beforehand of
to

know

approach

tlie

instinctively all about

But Attica was

movements.

just then

pronounced clear of brigands, so the friendly interest


natives gave no cause for alarm.

vation

and a few

moment, but
times, such as

liable

villas,

to

it

there

enough

is

at

an irruption of Klephts

of

some

culti-

present

the
in

the

troubled

1862 and 1863, when peaceable persons were

For an hour the caniage

which

first

habitable

carried off from the Acropolis

tion of

At

them

is

itself.

rolls

along the plain, the cultiva-

distinctly capable of

improvement, seeing that

very often consists in letting the

soil

alone.

The sown

patches never have any kind of fence, so that the flocks and

herds often have a grand time of

comes the village

it

amono- the wheat.

of Khalandri,-^ birthplace of Pericles,


^

Anciently Cholargos.

Then
where

of

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

68

the driver insists

upon watering

The tenderness

himself.

of

Greek drivers

The dearness and slowness

rather as a shock to those

where the

who have

tlieir

of

Greek vehicles come

just left southern Italy,

also cheap,

cattle, if inferior, are

get through

for tlieir cattle is

and they can never pass a pot-house without

largely developed,
alighting.

and inspiriting

his horses

work with reasonable

and contrive

rapidity.

to

That the

Hellenic horses really fare better than their Italian brethren


is

at least

an open question.

Soon afterwards the ascent begins

more and more


ravines and
Convent of

lovely, the road

murmuring streams

soiled " Attica.

and the scenery grows

winding along richly wooded

The road ends

very rare luxuries in

at the

" thin-

convent of Mendeli,

standing on a fresh grass-plot beneath the shade of mighty

between a huge scaur on one hand

poplars,

slopes of Pentelicus

gentle

down

and no notice

been sent

of our arrival has

to

first

The abbot and

on the other.

council have unfortunately gone

and the

Athens
;

for the day,

hence the junior

brethren and acolytes are by no means too cordial, and, after


the manner of orientals, adopt an attitude of non possumus.

However, they are induced


in,

pending the preparation

chapel

to let us
of

have a room to lunch

which we

visit

the monastery

a rude whitewashed building, covered with the most

astounding frescoes, representing unheard

of

saints

of

the

Eastern Church undergoing equally unheard-of tortures.


It is

now

a question of procuring a guide

up the mountain

but Theophanes, the stranger's servant, has a sudden access of

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

many drachmae

soreness in the feet, which only the offer of


successful in curing.
begins, at first

But
as

this relic of

we approach

where,

till

up a

69

is

After passing some pine-woods the climb


salita

paved with the whitest marble.

Athenian greatness becomes hidden by cUhris


the region of the

the eye

is

numbed with

Marble every-

quarries.

picking out a path

among

the glittering lumps.

The

first

halt

is at

the famous grotto near the old quarries,

a vast chamber beneath an overhanging

insidious

Its

cliff.

coolness invites the pilgrim to rest from his labours and slake
his thirst with the lime-water filtering through the countless

At

stalactites.

the entrance

curious than awe-inspiring.

is

a grotesque

Then away

little

more

chapel,

to the top

through

deepening snow, an utter desolation save for a few dwarf

firs

and a pair of eagles

the

Below us

circling overhead.

lies

semicircular plain of Marathon, spread out like a map.


is

the spot where the Persian forces landed

where

their

cavalry

into

confusion

There

there the marsh


there

the slopes

whence the Athenians charged headlong upon

their line.

fell

Across the narrow strip of deep-blue water shine the snowy

peaks of Eubcea, and far away the


Chalcis, while over the
rise

point

strait goes

harmony with the

to

smooth ^gean the gleaming Cyclades

beyond point and fade

The foreground on

winding up

this

side

is

into

the

wild and

hazy distance.
uninhabited, in

precipitous character of the mountain

the spectator ceases to wonder

how

and

brigands could maintain

themselves in a territory so small as Attica.

On

the other

Plain of

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

side,

rnrnnssus and the Peloponnesian mountains form a noble

background to the vast Attic pLain, now appearing a dead

flat,

save where a tiny swell, as of

sea,

marks the range

An

Monks.

a w^avelet on a

summer

of Lycabettus.

hour brings us down

to

fmd the hospitable

old abbot

returnedoand much annoyed at not having known beforehand

of our coming.

vague report also

up that the father

floats

of one of our companions has been appointed Minister of lieligion


It

and Public Instruction in the newly formed Government.

turns out subsequently to be untrue, although there was

no antecedent improbability that a


one of the few survivors of

none but

his native tongue,

dress, wlio

had

sat

for

tlie

flne old

war

of

Greek gentleman,

independence, speaking

and wearing none but

his native

Attica ever since there had been a

representative assembly, should be selected for a place in the

At any

Cabinet.
if possible,

do

all in their

most elderly
even

effect of increasing,

the kindly demonstrations of our entertainers,

power

to

of their subordinates.

is

rumour has the

rate, this

make up

We

rooster, has

now browning on

for the

former backwardness

find that the largest,

agreeable,

the spit

is

But the prospect


and we have

to

while bread, cheese, wine,

of

in the guest-

dining in Atliens

make ready

for departure

is

more
wliicli

only permitted on our consenting to take away with us

these delicacies, inchiding the bird, which,


of

and therefore

been sacrified in our absence, and

and aromatic mountain -honey are spread out


chamljer.

who

no possible use

to

the brethren.

it

being Lent,

all
is

The following day an

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

71

attempt upon his carcass was duly made, out of affection for
our simple old host, but had to be abandoned as hopeless.

And now

the time has come for leaving the city of Athens

and entering upon


are hunted for

less

beaten tracks.

"

Buy

j)roduces

There

nothing."

industry in the place.

women

Of course some souvenirs

but to those intending to

say emphatically,

rieparations

is

not an original

hand-loom institution

some coarse imitations

Athens we

visit

for destitute

of oriental fabrics,

had better only be patronised on charitable grounds.

but

There

are also genuine Turkish stuffs to be purchased in the town,

but probably no cheaper than in London.


antiquities

everybody has some

nately every one

is

to

Finally, beware of Sale

dispose

well aware of their value,

only asks the more ridiculous prices.

We

ignorant,

or, if

were much amused

tolerably well-preserved cameo, saying that

know whether we should

its

like to purchase

was asked, and 2000 francs named.


laughter,

but unfortu-

Our dragoman one day brought up a

at one little incident.

to

of,

owner wanted
it.

The

price

This produced a roar of

and the ring was sent down-stairs with

thanks.

Subsequently the dragoman informed us that the owner had


possessed this work of

time he had offered

it

art

to

for

fifteen

years, during

every Englishman

which

who had passed

through Athens, without abating a drachma of his demands.


Verily

we began

to believe the

In Hermes Street

is

legend of the Sibylline books.

a pretentious institution called "

The

Minerva," devoted to the sale of antiquities and photographs.

The former, we were informed by connoisseurs,

are

mostly

of

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

72

genuine, but 50 per cent dearer than

But

still

in

London

or Paris.

greater astonishment resulted from an inspection,

by

invitation, of the splendid private collection of the Archaeo-

After most courteously

logical Professor in the University.

displaying his treasures, he let

fall

some remark that caused

considerable surprise and led to certain questions, which elicited

the fact that every object had

We

at the Minerva.

higher than

price

its

about 20 per cent

sighed and

thought of

Athens, like Jugurtha of Piome, as " a place where


are for sale
Dragomans.

But now
and

the city

The choice

of a

dragoman

important and delicate preliminary


stances solved the difficulty.

that the

Hellenic

entire

Of

class" guides.
Corfiote, but

is

much time

about the most

but in this case circum-

So rare have travellers become,

kingdom only boasts four

these one

things

could find a purchaser."

our final arrangements, a task of

for

trouble.

itself, if it

all

is

" first-

an apparently unexceptionable

he was engaged by some

"

dons

"

who had had

the forethought to secure his services several weeks previously.

The second was the hero

Marathon tragedy

of the

he had had the misfortune to

fall

among

thieves on

previous occasions, his claims were soon dismissed.

a young

man who had

was considered a drawback.

was a Maltee

some standing,

thus committed

and as

two other

Then came

only just set up in the business, so that

his inexperience
of

to

Finally, there

whose tender mercies Fate

us.

Let no traveller imagine that he can dispense with such an

encumbrance.

Even should he be

able to converse fluently

s=^

EXGUESIONS FROM ATHENS.

73

with the natives, he would find existence unbearable had he


to

make

all his

bargains directly with them.

Indeed he would

probably emerge from the interior starved, plundered, and de-

In the

voured.
sleep

upon the

portable kitchen

first

floor
;

he must take his own bed or

place,

in the second, he requires a cook

lastly,

many

he must carry

of his

and a

own

pro-

visions along with him, for native victuals are a sorry support

under the fatigues of travel in the

Moreover, several

interior.

beasts of burden are necessary for himself and his luggage, so

that the addition of a few extra

men and

animals scarcely

adds to the unwieldiness of his cavalcade.

The dragoman contracts

amount

a fixed

for

to find food, lodging,

and transport

usually .2

per head per diem.

This

does not include such extras as baksheesh to drivers, guides, or


soldiers, carriage-hire

The

latter is

country

worthy

where there are


of mention,

that most Europeans regard

the prize
ish

roads, or bottled wine.

because the wine of the

invariably full of resin, and tastes like pitch

is

it

as

poem on Nebuchadnezzar

monarch

as

the

so

traditional writer

of

represents the Babylon-

regarding his provender

namely,

with the

feeling that
"

Any

It

may

be wholesome, but

it isn't

good."

attempt to defray current expenses in person, paying the

dragoman
in a loss.

Travelling
necessaries,

for his services only, will be invariably

The best course

is

to agree to

be demanded beforehand, and to decline

found to end

any sum that


all

may

subsequent bar-

EXCURSIOXS FROM ATHENS.

74

gaining, since
to bring

money

most persons to an early grave.

The next thing


Hrigainlagc.

transactions with the natives are enough

to

is

approximately one's

settle

route.

This must largely depend upon the condition of brigandage at


the moment.

have been com-

Its fluctuations will generally

municated to the British Minister, whose advice must in


cases be sought

upon the

and acted upon.

side of rashness, so that

journey brings with


persons

who

He

is

certain not to err

assent to a proposed

liis

Those

a comforting sense of security.

it

all

Mr

travelled before the accession of

Gladstone's

Government, and the resulting disturbances in Eastern Europe,


are to be accounted extremely fortunate, since

probably more quiet at that time than

many

years,

now

that 60,000

it

is

Greece was

likely to be for

armed men have been

or are

about to be disbanded.

In the spring of 1880 a large tract


to travellers.

that

The

frontier

Thermopyhe was out

capture of

was
of

Colonel Synge, an

darmerie, carried off from

his

of course utterly insecure, so

the question
officer

of

and the recent


Turkish

the

own house by

Niko, formed an effective commentary on


as to this point.

country was open

of

tlie

official

gen-

notorious

assurances

Moreover, in the previous November the

Hellenic Government had notified formally to Lord Salisbury


that there were brigand chiefs in Acarnania and ^tolia

might make arrangements

men and

tourists, in

for the cai)ture of

who

English sports-

which event King George's Government

declined to be answerable for any ransom that they might

EXGUESIONS FROM ATHENS.

75

However, unless shooting be the object

exact.

no serious deprivation

have to leave these

to

in view,

it is

districts

un-

vi sited.

The
will

British Minister being informed of the route selected,

procure a

eparclis,

pitality

circular

letter

addressed

to

and demarchs, commanding them


and assistance

to A. B.

and

Tlie aforesaid

to place

more reliance on

their

nomarchs,

to " offer

C. D., British

A. B. and C, D.

&c., &c.

all

due hossubjects,"

however, advised

are,

own dragoman, and on

the per-

suasive power of his drachmae, than on all the local officials of

the kingdom put together.

The Government next


place which

it

is

proposed to

authorities with the fact


ing,

and extremely useful

two should chance


gendarmerie.

insists

to

upon telegraphing

visit,

acquainting the municipal

somewhat supererogatory proceed-

to

the Klephts

if

However,

all*

these preliminaries

and that

its

of tlie

must be taken

and courtesy

Government, who, being well aware that the


of roses,

a stray gang or

have escaped the watchful eye

in good part, as proofs of the extreme care

bed

to each

of the

interior is not a

dangers are considerable, are really

anxious to avoid the indelible stio-ma of another such catastrophe as the Marathon massacre in 1870.

two quiet Englishmen are about

to set out

The

fact that

on a journey up-

country would hardly seem to be one of very great interest

but so rare comparatively

is

this event,

such publicity does

acquire from the authorities, and so insatiable


of the population, that the traveller,

much

is

it

the curiosity

to his disgust, finds

^y

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

76

a cause of general excitement.

liimself

two

Tlie fact that

other parties happened to be starting almost simultaneously,

tended in our case greatly to increase this feeling.

wherever practicable, we

It being advisable to use carriages

determined to begin our ramble with a driving excursion into


Euboea, so as to break gently the transition from the comforts

In this we were

of

Athens

to

be accompanied by our Greek friends, to

to the hardships of the interior.

show something

advisable to
as

it

may

appear,

of their

Hellenes

cultivated

mate acquaintance with France,

know nothing

own

whom

country;

it

seemed

for,

strange

possessing

an

inti-

and England, generally

Italy,

of Greece, there being little inducement,

even

if

there were greater facilities, to go beyond the suburbs of the


principal towns.

The

first

thing was to secure a good roomy carriage

no one knows anything

in Greece

establishment whence the mails


professed

refused

and

finally,

comes

in

know how

afternoon he
at

in the streets

first

at

the

declined,

complete ignorance

is

estimate as to cost

is

vows that he

week the

post starts for

The purpose

of this

manoeuvre

is

proposed extortion, for in the

hotel

with exorbitant proposals.

and various drivers are spoken to

but they liave

which they are wanted

tlie

pressed, the foreman

for arranging his


calls

All

often in the

from Chalcis.

to gain time

These are

when

but

consequently, even at

start,

time or distance.

of

does not even


or

all

discovered the purpose for

and so perfect

is

the freemasonry of

EXCURSIONS FROM ATHENS.

the fraternity, that every

sum

man demands

77

the same identical

as our first friend.

But there

is

one sacred duty to be

still

performed

moonlight farewell of the Acropolis must be taken.


late

a Acropolis by

So at a

hour a jovial international party passes up the winding

ascent,

and rouses from

the gate.

his first sleep the ancient guardian of

But the threshold once passed,

frivolity dies

before the solemn weirdness of the hour and place.

Southern moon brings out into the sharpest

relief

columns

of the entablatures, every fluting of the

away

full

every angle
;

while the

impenetrable blackness of the shadows imparts to the Parth-

enon a sense

of indefinite vastness.

stillness of the

night

it

is

Not a sound breaks

moment

to impress the

the

most

light-minded with a feeling of vague awe, to overwhelm the


thoughtful with a flood of mighty memories.

have an end, and we pass out in

silence.

again stand upon that glorious height, but

its

But

all

We may

things

never

form will remain

engraven on the soul with a vividness which no other scene

can approach.

"^"^^ ^^

'*

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

78

CHAPTER
DRH'ING TOUIt

SLEEP

banishes

these

THEBES AND

reflections,

mediate necessity for getting


excellent friends are,

about going

but a

up

fine

VI.

to

and

off in

CIIALCIS.

still

more the im-

the morning.

Our

the last moment, in some doubt

morning and the sight

with four horses determines them to make the

of a carriage
effort.

So at

about ten "we trot away, and jniU up near the Church of Holy
Street of

Trinity in order to examine the tombs.


distance beside the

These ran for some

Sacred "Way, so called because along

it

passed the Theoria or Procession to celebrate the mysteries at


Eleusis.

wirework

Some

of

the best reliefs have been covered with

very necessary precaution in Greece for anti-

quities not otherwise protected.

One

of the best

monuments

represents a horseman overthrowing a hoplite, or heavy-armed


foot-soldier

and another

is

very peculiar, depicting four per-

sons seated at the festal board taking leave of a

fifth,

wlio has

one foot on the land and another in a boat, evidently


the "grim ferryman" Charon

no

tliat of

doubt a memorial of some

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALCIS.

one cut suddenly

in the full tide of

oft'

youth and pleasure.

There are also plain stones with the names of whole families
inscribed

upon them, the same name usually

recurrino- in al-

ternate generations, except where a break indicates the decease


of

an eldest son without male

issue.

Thence away through the great olive-grove, leaving on our


right the Colonus or hillock
^

where blind old CEdipus

The

Soph. (Ed. Col., 16 and 668.

that chorus which

its

have quoted in old age as convincing proof of his sanity.

The following

is

a rough rendering of the

author

The

first

come

steeds, thou, stranger, art

To Colonus the

Where the sweet


Doth warble most

white,

bird of night

her leafy dome,

oft 'neath

She that loveth

to cower

In the god's pathless bower

'Mid the ivy dark with

Where

its

numberless

fruit.

the sun's rays scorch not and storms are mute,

Ever haunted by Bacchus, of

revellers first.

With the maidens divine who

And

Blooms

his infancy nursed.

where dews of heaven downpour,

here,

all

day long in clusters

fair

Narcissus, Avith whose flowers of yore

Great goddesses entwined their hair

Here gleams the crocus with

Nor

fails

its

golden rays.

Cephissus in the wandering maze

Of

his streams fertilising,

But

their founts ever rising

With limpid wave


This country lave,

And run

the whole day o'er

Nor the band

its

swelling plains.

of the Muses this spot disdains,

For they hither repair

To dance, with the

fair

Aphrodite, Queen of the golden reins."

is

place

strophe

" To the bravest spot in our land, the home

Of goodliest

sat

him

latter reference is to the celebrated chorus

descriptive of the beauties of the Colonus

sadly changed.

said to
is

now

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

80

down

before imploring the hospitality and protection of the

Athenian people

ou

Daplini,

to

of

cloisters

bay -trees,

of

full

sweetly

nightingales

point

and Thriasian

thirsty, so

and a

church

place

highest

tlie

together the Attic

pronounced

"

many

wherein

vines,
Daplini.

of

tlie

connecting

pass

The horses

little

are

ruined Byzantine

neighbouring monastery with

or

Then

sang."

plains.

we examine

and

olives,

the

quaintest

Then down the descent between

cliapels.

Mounts Icarus and Corydallus, past the


of the rustic love goddess

site

of the temple

Aphrodite Phile, where numerous

niches in the smooth scarped rock attest the assiduity of

little

her worship among the simple maidens of the district

and

forward to the seashore, along which our road runs as far as


Eleusis.

On
only
salt,

the right are the Eheitoi lakes, separated from the sea

by a narrow

of land

strip

but though their water

they are fed by springs of their own.

ancients, who,

knowing

the Euripus,^ sagely

of

is

This puzzled the

no other salt-water current except

suggested that they were fed from

it.

These meres were sacred to Demeter and her daughter Persephone, and the

fish

contained in them were reserved for

the exclusive use of their priests.

"We are now in the Eleusinian

territory,

and enter upon

the Thriasian plain, sheltered from the four winds of heaven,

but no longer dedicated to the corn goddess, for


late

it

under the curse of indolence and barbarism.


'

Pans.

i.

38,

1.

lies

deso-

Through

IL.Ji

hi

Hi ;,al'H''

'^li

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

the midst flows the Cephissus

which we crossed two hours

Fancy two Ouses

not the stream of that

ago, but its Eleusinian

Dees only ten miles apart

or

81

name

namesake.

These details

are interesting as marking the isolation of each plain or valley


of ancient Hellas

a consideration never to be lost sioht of in

reading and interpreting

its history.

Eoman

After passing some


munificence,
site

we

enter the squalid village

now occupying

the

Its past, like its physical

of the sacred city of Attica.

aspect,

the relics of Adrian's

ruins,

Ancient

seems capable of but a vague reconstruction.

authors usually refrain from even hinting at the nature of

mysteries

when we

mony

of

and great must have been

find

Eoman

their reputed sanctity,

emperors eagerly undergoing the cere-

and writers

initiation,

of

the

themselves forbidden in their dreams so


the interior of the sacred enclosure.

by Erechtheus, and

its

empire declaring

much

as to describe

The conquest

of Eleusis

union with Athens on terms of semi-

its

independence, belong to the epoch of legend.


processions along the Sacred

Way, with

The annual

their strange

medley

of ribaldry and reverence, extend over the whole period of


history.

Arguing from analogy and fragmentary allusions in

Greek authors, we may

infer that the doctrines taught

were

moral truths based on and extracted from the grosser legends


of the popular mythology, thus approaching the Christian con-

ception of " religion "

public

ancients.

cult

of the

a notion almost wholly wanting in the

Paus.

The powers worshipped were


i.

38, 6.

Eleusis.

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALCIS.

82

Demeter, " Mother Earth," and her daughter Persephone, Queen


of the nether world
ability to

so that

assume that the

their life here, with good

At

it

doing no violence to prob-

moral strength for

initiated gained

hope

beyond the grave.

for that

the present day a collection of wretched hovels stands

over the buried remains of

such as those of
at clearance,

The

is

tlie

all

this

Some

greatness.

sites,

two Propyloea, have undergone attempts

and can be traced with an approach

to accuracy.

greater Propyla^a were said to be an exact imitation of

those of the Parthenon, a statement to which there

nothing

is

antagonistic in the forms of the surrounding fragments.

subterranean chambers have also been discovered


position of the great temple of

with precision.

It is

Small

but the

Demeter cannot be determined

vaguely discernible from the enormous

marble masses that peer up through the

between every

soil

hut and cabin.


In a

little

khani a frugal meal

hard-boUed eggs,

salt

cheese of the

is

ordered, consisting of

consistency of a deal-

board, and the resined wine of the country


for our consolation, that as it is Lent,

selves lucky in getting even so

much

but we are

we ought

told,

to think our-

as this.

Tlie population of " Lefsina " turns out to be almost purely

Albanian, a settlement

behind during one of the Slav

left

immigrations into the Morea

consequently,

its

language

a rule wholly unintelligible to our Greek friends.


try to

make

the landlord believe

two Turkish Beys

tliat their

The

is

as

latter

companions are

but that gentleman, after expectorating, to

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

express his disgust at the mention of the


accept the

to

strangers are " Lords

Moslem, declines

and hazards an opinion that the

statement,
"

83

i. e..

Englishmen.

It

may

here be

remarked parenthetically that the Greeks divide the entire

human

race,

neither

exhaustively

nor

into

scientifically,

Hellenes, Lords, Europeans, and Turks.

From

the Acropolis, between which rock and the shore the

village stands, there

the "

rocky brow

have

sat.

"

is

a good view of " sea-girt Salamis

on the mainland where Xerxes

The exact spot pointed out by the public

low between two

tall

any degree

fitted this

huge arm-chair

and well would he have deserved

and

is

said to

is

the hol-

peaks some mile or more away.

indeed must have been the monarch's proportions

"

Gigantic
if

they in

of nature's upholstering,

his title of " Great King."

Less than half an hour brings us to the village of Mandra,


where, in spite of their long

The only

thirst.

rest,

the horses again develop a

fact of interest elicited

by our

halt

is,

that

this considerable population possesses neither stream nor well

own, but fetches

of its

point the road


curls

lies

all its

between

up and down by bold

points farewell glimpses of

water from Eleusis.

tall

and densely wooded

zigzags, affording

from

After this
hills,
its

and

higher

Hymettus and PenteKcus. Drought

again seizes our steeds at Mazi, near the ancient Q^noe

and

having stretched our legs upon a plain carpeted with anemones of the most gorgeous colour,

we proceed thence

Khani

of Kasa.

wall of Cithaeron, and this

spot

the key of the pass.

is

In front

rises the

to the

Soldiers are therefore stationed

Xerxes' seat,

eye upon

here to keep an
Eleutherte.

"

AND

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES

84

mountaineers

movements

the

of

hardy

the

former times the garrison of Eleu-

" just as in

therx held the pass equally against

tlie

Klephts and the

The modern buildings stand

organised forces of Boeotia.


tlie

CHALCIS.

whose

foot of the old acropolis,

are at

fortifications

at

tirst

hardly discernible, so well do they harmonise with the rock

out of which they were hewn.


the

reveals

entire, its

entire

Greek military

line of the wall turns

original direction,

at

presenting a surface

towers

five

as

in

state

three others,

of

architecture.

of good

admirably

In each case the

outwards at right angles, resumes

its

and then turns inwards, so that three sides

and assailants are exposed

of a square jut out,


fire

are

almost

is

had been erected yester-

it

and clear remains

preservation,
illustrating

side

this

though

as

northern wall

stones

beautifully fitted

Along

day.

The

enceinte.

smooth and clean-cut

climb to the top at once

any point which they may

select

for

to a flanking

The

attack.

excellence and practical indestructibility of Hellenic buildings

by the present

are well illustrated


fortress,

which appears scarcely

sanias visited

Athens

it.

He

to

state of this

old border

have altered since

I'au-

speaks of the alliance of Eleutherae with

as the result not of conquest, but of a desire

on the

part of the Eleutherians for the Athenian citizenship, and of


their

enmity towards the Thebans, and then describes the

remains as follows

"

Part of the city wall was

and there were some ruins


>

of houses."

Pans.

i.

.3S,

9.

still

standing,

liiiiiHiiimimi

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALGIS.

Towards sunset we depart up the

pass,

85

winding between

precipices at almost incredible gradients, with endless effort

on the part of the four steeds.

and the

stillness is

of so

many

ISTo

lies

deep in places,

complete, except for the brawling of the

down from

infant Cephissus leaping

mountain-side.

The snow

wonder that

legendary events

its

source high

this region

such

up the

became the scene

as the exposure

and bring-

ing up of OEdipus, or the abandonment of Zethus and Amphion,


the twin children of Antiope, with their equally marvellous
preservation from death.

When

the

summit

is

reached there

distinguish the wide Bceotian plain

background

mountains

of towering

is

just light enough to

below, with

a land cut off

its

distant

by nature's

strongest barriers from that just left behind, and presenting


differences in climate, population,

so strongly emphasised

by the writers

steeper spiral descent leads


light has vanished

and physical conformation,

down from

even

the summit, and twi-

with Southern abruptness, when slowly

above the highest peak of Cithseron

moon, whose

An

of antiquity.

rays, flashed

rises

the full orb of the

back from the surrounding snows,

again reveal the panorama beneath.

Cold and fatigue make the sight of Thebes very grateful as


the carriage drives

up the quaint main

rows of wooden shops, each and


the red

"

Eussia

"

all

street,

with

its

seemingly stocked with

leather slippers, the manufacture of which

constitutes almost the only native industry of Greece.

the horses have

double

fairly

pulled

up

at

Before

the door of the chief

Thebes,

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

86

apothecary of the town,

tlie

road

is

blocked by a

mob

of

aborigines crowding about the vehicle, and thrusting in their

The

heads nniiid the corner of the hood behind.

first

experi-

ences of Greek intrusiveness are very trying to the educated

mind
in

by degrees the struggle

Init

for privacy is

and the miserable traveller learns

despair,

given up

to

dispense

with solitude, except when the claims of decency are absolutely imperative.
Homeric

Qui

host, apprised beforehand of our arrival, receives us

hospitalitj-.

With the utmost cordiality, but most wisely has as yet made

no preparations for dinner, journeys in his country not admitting of

any accurate calculation

The

as to their duration.

living-rooms are above the shop, and are reached by an outer


staircase in the back-yard,

and consist

dining-room, and two or three bedrooms.

a drawing-room,

of

Our entertainment

generally was Homeric, being hearty, bountiful, and simple,

and many
guests as

details

reminded us

described in

at once apparent

the

'

of the recejitions of

Odyssey.'

difference

in the heroic ages the stranger

conducted to the bath as a preliminary


here, while tlie feast

to enter

One

to the

was preparing, no idea

any one's head, until

tlie

chance

was usually

banquet

of water

guests were

was

but

seemed

reluctantly

obliged to give a hint themselves, and the family basin was

produced.

Then followed a

chicken, and

rice,

grateful repast

of

soup, lamb,

with the best home-made wine, the natural

good qualities of which were utterly marred by a strong taint


of the inevitable resin.

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALCIS.

The host and hostess can only speak


but

who

daughter,

theii'

At

last

we

pying the

is

language,

has been to school, talks French, and

plays some familiar valses on her piano


in such a place, she

own

their

87

an

instrument which,

not unnaturally proud of possessing.

separate for the night, our married friends occu-

bedroom, the

host's

family very good-naturedly

crowding into the other, and we having a shake-down on two


ottomans in the dining-room, skilfully prepared by the hand-

maidens

of the establishment.

The washing

difficulty recurs in

an

after directing

abigail's

the morning

even Impediments

since,

wondering attention to our india-

rubber baths, we can only prevail upon her to bring up water

by about

a pint at a time.

by a cup

of

coffee

The Greek day

and a sweetmeat

depending upon the pleasure

is

always opened

the breakfast

of the guest, since it

hour

would be

uncourteous on the host's part to suggest any particular time


to

him

but ignorance of this custom may, as in the present

case, cause considerable

inconvenience

are not accustomed to pass the

first

to those at least

who

four hours of the day

fasting.
offers

no temptation

for

miserable,

modern town

of

Thebes
ugly,

represents

the

city

Alexander rased
the great poet,

its

it

of

Pindar

unnecessary delay.

some

3000

An

inhabitants

and Epaminondas.

When

to the ground, sparing only the house of

death-knell had sounded, and

under Cassander only as the ghost

of its

it

former

rose again
self.

sanias has little to say of the place, beyond alluding to

Pau-

some

^^ ^ ^^" ^^'**

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

88

of the

more famous

of

its

To-day there

traditional sites.

not absolutely modern

and pointing out

legends,

scarcely a building that

is

some foundations

Eoman aqueduct from which

their
is

of Hellenic walls, a

drips the sparkling mountain-

water, and a picturesque Venetian tower at the northern end

an older date.

of the town, comprise all that savours of

But yet there

a real interest in treading the ground once

is

myth and

covered by the great seven-gated city of

and in

realising the

conditions under which

Apart from sea or mountains,


city,

drawing

wealth from

its

was

it

rounding

forcibly

States,

the modern town.

In the hollow

said to be the

the south

is

place of

the

little

famed water of Ismene.

the

hill,

it

is

This

flows a stream

left

rising

and

is

in

ground to

the buryingforth

the

surrounded by grand

of Pines

Citha?ron,

of
;

now

on another, Heli-

the twin peaks of Parnassus

view

city.

summit springs

The plain

north, where the mainland presents


features, the

a condition seemingly

Another

its

Mount

so-called

low, covers ground

on one side the whole length

as Elateia, or the

beyond

to

Ismenian

church on

the

in

occupied by the centre of

is

supposed to be the Dircean fount.

con

sur-

every Hellenic

of

elevation, the ancient Cadmeia,

known

hegemony over the

bound together

foundation

the

essential to

mountains

soil

well

rich

broken to give an acropolis

sufficiently

essentially a lowland

But Thebes, though lying

Boeotian league.

flourished.

watered

the

around, and maintaining a constant

it

history,

while on the

somewhat milder natural

bounded by the snowy

ridges of Euboea.

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CEALOIS

A departure

is

89

effected after breakfast at about 2 p.m., past Thebes to

now

the twelve fountains of Ismene,

converted, like all the

* "^'

poetic waters of Greece, to the purposes of an ordiaary laun-

The road

dry.

now

lies

over low ground, once passing

guiltless of cultivation

From

or Hill of Wolves.

upon the

bursts

down

to

then

rises the side of

but

Lykovouni,

the top another fresh panorama

traveller.

fertile,

steep descent appears to lead

two great lakes separated by a promontory, whereon

stand the minarets

and white houses

by the whiter peaks

of

Eubcea,

Chalcis, overhunji

of

now gleaming under

the

western sun.

After a rapid descent and passage beneath the massive

gateway

the Venetian

of

width of 30

feet,

the carriage rattles over the

fort,

The

drawbridge of the Euripus.


affording

than to the ancient world.

no

Straits here contract to a

less

wonder

Through

this

modern

to the

narrow neck the

sea comes tearing at the rate of ten miles an hour.


patiently,

and you will observe a diminution in

a few minutes the water begins

but in the direction opposite to


it

is

Then the

raised to permit the passage of vessels.

is

to heave,

its

and then

previous course

rushing along as quickly as before.

Wait

its rapidity,

which slackens until there ensues a perfect calm.


drawbridge

Chalcis.

After
to flow,

and soon

About fourteen

of

these changes take place every day.

But before

lionisation,

that so fatally
nature.

comes provision

hamper the

intellectual

for those vulgar

wants An awkward

improvement of human

Here, as at Thebes, our letter of introduction has

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CEALCIS.

90

Some knowledge,

been given wholly in the dark.


a man's wealth

mode

character and
slender

may be

obtained from the tax-gatherer

of life are often

but his

wrapped in obscurity, so

fortunately directed, but equal

A letter

cood-luck did not attend us in Chalcis.

had been sent


;

the communication between capital and provinces.

is

At Thebes we had been most

means

indeed, of

so

we

to a citizen

known

and telegram

to be possessed of large

are considerably astonished at having great

way

culty in finding the

to his abode,

and

still

more

diffi-

at being

eventually guided up a squalid slum to the door of a small

cottage.

modest knock

fails to

reveal the presence of

any

who dashes

and

inmate except a large and ferocious

cur,

almost annihilates an unfortunate

little

our friends.
only course
effects, to

Still,
is

forth

terrier belonging to

having no other references in the place, our

to face this Cerberus,

and

await the owner's return.

after depositing our

Some

special messengers

succeed in drawing that gentleman away from his favourite


khani, and in due course he appears

a magnificently built,

elderly person, clad in the national costume.

knows no bounds

not send to put us

The house,
kitchen

as

we

"

he had notice of our coming, but could

off,

not knowing where to direct a telegram.

see, consists

of two

rooms and a back-

but unfortunately, his wife has locked up her cham-

ber and gone off with the key, so that there

ment

available,

which he

is

only one apart-

will gladly share with our party."

It being obviously impossible for four


to dine

His politeness

gentlemen and a lady

and sleep in a single room, and no suggestion being

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CRALCIS.

made

any kind,

of refreshments of

crying out,

we

for

which nature

and annoyance

at

almost speechless with indignation

are

the difficulty into which they have been

moment

the innocent cause of our falling, and for the

scarcely capable of suggesting a course of action.


is

whose

in Chalcis in order to

scientific tastes lead

watch the phenomena

and whose observations are likely

value to the advancement of navigation.

unfortunately absent

our next

so

Our

are
first

to call at the prettily placed house of a hos-

pitable Englishman,

current,

loudly

is

depart in search of other accommodation.

Our companions

proceeding

91

step

circular letter.

to

is

That

night at

the

for

call

him

to reside

of the Euripus'

to prove of great

This gentleman
his

country

\)\ace,

upon the nomarch with our

official is "

not at home,"

a misfortune

which frequently occurs when a stranger has occasion


appeal to the local authorities.

with the demarch

but he

except the inn, which

We

enter a

room

We

offers

are rather

to

more fortunate

no very definite suggestion,

said to possess sleeping-apartments.

is

full of

is

carousing natives,

its floors

and tables

slippery with spilt oil and wine dregs, strongly scented with
garlic

and ancient

Great as

fish.

is

our wonder that such

should be the condition of the chief hotel in a garrison town,


it

is

surpassed by that of our Greek friends, wlio, like

of the better sort

among

their compatriots,

know

little

many
of the

barbarism of their country.

While we

are in this condition of blank hopelessness, there Unlooked-for

enters excitedly a good-looking

young

officer,

whom rumour

^"'^^*'^^-

DFIVIXG TOUR: THEBES AND GHALOIS.

92

lias

informed that a lady of

her

liis

acquaintance from Athens, with

husband and two Englishmen,

we

removed from the

are at once

to a clean little pastry-cook's shop.


of the garrison,

his respects,

who

and

deliverer, that

if

The general

command

in

enters to pay

he will resign

Luckily, however, there

his quarters in the castle.


;

the hhani

with our gallant young

fitting shelter is obtainable

casion for this sacrifice

of affairs

filth of

knows our companions,

also

declares, in concert

no

wandering shelterless

Very soon the aspect

about the streets of Chalcis.

changes

is

no oc-

is

a hospitable gentleman takes us all

ample accommodation and every

into his house, furnishing

reasonable luxury.

sunny morning

raises Chalcis greatly in our

The windows look out on

good opinion.

to the chief piazza, full of

life,

To the

picturesque witli dark cypresses and white minarets.


right

is

a sort of public garden stretching

where the band plays and the

down

to the sea,

As we

citizens congregate.

warming ourselves in the balcony, cheery

and

sit

voices hail us, and

are found to proceed from our good-natured helpers of last


night,

who have

called to inquire after our health.

at all times maintains a large garrison,

some 2000

men, including a considerable force

artillery.

of

Chalcis
or

3000

This arm

corresponds to our Household Brigade in being socially more


highly esteemed than other branches of the service
the

number

of gentlemen

Greece than in England,

is

it

proportionately

much

and as

smaller in

ajjpcars to include nearly all the

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

young
trast

officers

known

in

Athenian

Great

is

the con-

between their smart uniform and appearance and the

coarse ill-fitting garb and


It

society.

93

is

arranged

mien

we

tliat

of the average infantry officer.

shall

row

to Eretria

remains of that once celebrated rival of Chalcis.

we subsequently

learnt, M'cre

made on

to

Preparations,

the most elaborate scale.

The commandant despatched by land a company


get ready a

sumptuous repast against our

when

a boat at the hour

the w"ind

the

see

arrival,

is fair.

of troops to

and chartered

There

is,

however,

engrained in the Hellenic nature a casual happy-go-lucky


habit of mind, from which even the most highly educated are

not exempt

indeed

it

would not be

for their

happiness that

they should be otherwise constituted, for in that case their


life

would be unbearable, owing

to the impossibility of inspir-

ing the middle and lower orders w^ith the faintest sense of

time or method.
telling us that

Thus, in the present case, no one thought of


in the Euripus

morning from the north


after

we

noon, then usually drops, and

about an hour blows from the south.

start at

wind.

till

the wind sets steadily every

Xot knowing

12.30 in a dead calm, which soon turns

Under such

Eretria might

conditions progress

have been reached

is

slow

eventually

to a

this,

head-

but even

so,

only, having

received no hint of the commandant's kind arrangements for

our reception, and fearing our friends' endurance might not

be proof against so long a fast and so long an expedition, we

determine to give

it

up and return on

foot,

while they run

Futile attempt
^^'^*^ ^

Eretria.

nniVIXG TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

94

The boatmen

back under a favourable breeze.


to

utterly decline

put us ashore, roundly asserting that there

for landing,

till

is

no place

a display of firmness in the shape of sticks

and revolvers quickens

their perceptive faculties,

and enables

us to set foot on terra firina.


Triumphal

single soldier, sent witli us for the sake of appearances,

insists

upon accompanying us

no arguments

in our walk,

So we go

to the contrary.

under a hot afternoon sun,

and

off at

will listen to

a round pace,

to the intense discomfiture of this

unfortunate son of Mars, whose heavy military greatcoat and


rifle,

kept religiously at the shoulder, soon make his counte-

nance wellnigh as red and shining as the day-star

some

track follows the coast for

inward through really well


agreeably

distance,

cultivated land,

with oaks and

The

itself.

and then turns

Of

olive

groves

parts

of

Greece, with the exception of the Ionian islands, Eubcea

is

diversified

probably the most enjoyable.

amply compensated

for

by

Absence of
its

mountain scenery, the glorious


districts,

and

inhabitants.

the

figs.

fertility,

all

historic interest is

the splendour - of

forests, so

uncommon

comparatively peaceful character

its

in other
of

Here alone have any considerable number

its

of

French or Englishmen successfully settled upon and worked


Hellenic soil

the presence of these proprietors being undoubt-

edly a cause as well as an effect of the prosperity of the


island.

Shortly before reaching Chalcis

we

pass the sort of niinia-

DRIVING TOUR: THEBES AND CHALOIS.

ture Aldershot where our escort's battalion

is

95

quartered, and

consequently are spared the ordeal of marching into town

with military honours, as he leaves us at this point, his comrades indulging in unseemly merriment at his exhausted and

woe-begone aspect.

THROUGH BiEOTIA ON PACK-SADDLES.

96

CHAPTER
THROUGH

IX

tlie

consists of

The pleasure
circumstances

come

ON PACK-SADDLES.

morning we receive a

from one of the other

visit

had started simultaneously with ourselves

parties that
it

BCEOTIA.

VII.

an Englishman, an Austrian, and a Belgian.


of

meeting European acquaintances under such

simply

is

to say farewell

to

But the

indescribable.

Eubcea

so,

to part

company with our

carriage back to Athens.


to

lounging

all

preparation.

workings
is

it

is

has

we

is

to

friends,

assemble, and

who

take the

After arranging with the dragoman

have the proper horses

immediately,

time

with genuine regret,

drive back to Thebes, where our suite

where we are

ready, with a view to starting

a most unpleasant surprise to find

him

alone in a pot-house, without a sign of visible


It does

indeed require time to gauge the subtle

of the oriental intellect

apparent, since

if

but in this case the motive

he can induce us not to travel

at

on that afternoon, he, being paid a fixed daily sum, will be


pocket to the extent of the liorse-hire.

He

all

in

accordingly begins

THROUGH

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

to point out the advantages of spending the night in Thebes.

We

reply that the hour being

Platsea being a

now

and the distance

1.30,

we most

short three hours' walk,

to

certainly

intend to reach that place before nightfall.

Such gentle pressure induces him,

after considerable delay,

There are

to secure the necessary beasts.

six in all,

members

of the equine species, each reminding one of that Pickwickian Greek

cab-horse whose feebleness was too great to admit of his ever

being removed from the shafts.

such a mode of locomotion, and

we

Looking round

Boeotian plain.

British pride

strated with,

we

after a while,

remark that the beasts are

choose to ride them, they

on foot to cross the

start

of the drivers quietly riding our steeds,

observe two

who, on being remontheirs,

We, however,

will.

from

revolts

and

if

we

don't

take a different

view of the rights and obligations attendant on the relation


lessor

and

stration

lessee,

and enforce that view by a bacular demon-

unhappy jades obtain a

so that the

of

The track runs over

brief respite.

level ground, cultivated

in patches,

elsewhere covered with herbage interspersed with asphodel,


"grass of Parnassus," and other products of a marshy

Indeed

it

becomes so swampy that we are obliged

Now

our steeds.

The saddle

peculiar.

two

this

feet high

style
is

riding

of

made

of

There

is

mount

both trying and

wood, and stands about

so the rider's grip is a

back of his animal.

is

to

soil.

good deal above the

no bridle; and the stirrups

being fastened on by string, are generally of irregular length,

and apt

to

come

off

unexpectedly.

The beasts

are unaccus-

horses.

THROUGH BCEOTIA ON PACK-SADDLES.

98

tomed

to go except in Indian

file,

eacli laying its

tionately against the tail of the one in front.

up

to bring one's steed

nose affec-

Should one try

level with another, the result is merely

a change in their relative positions

the hinder moving to

the front, and the other dropping to the rear.


The Asopus.

About half-way between Thebes and


crossed, probably at the spot

Plata^a the

Asopus

is

where the Greek and Persian

armies lay facing each other, until Pausanias, harassed by the

and cavalry of the enemy, was forced

missiles
Platea.

upon a stronger position under

At dusk we

Comforts of a

men

of Kokla, or " Bones,"

This

the

fell like
first

a significant

man

dwelling of the chief

We

it.

are taken to tlie

of the village, a gentleman

combines the functions of priest and publican.


consists

of

the Jchani, wherein

smoking and drinking.


external staircase,

outer one

is

name

sheep in a single day.

night of roughing

farmhouse.

floor

itself.

around which, according to Herodotus, a quarter of

a million
is

walls of the town

back

cross the Oeroe at the scene of the actual battle,

and enter the hamlet


for a place

tlie

to fall

is

The upper

divided into

hired for our use

making ready

of our dinner,

are

who

The ground-

numerous

rustics

reached

by an

storey,

The

two compartments.

the inner being devoted to the

and the accommodation

night of the landlord and his family, our

own cook and

for the

drago-

man, the policeman and tax-collector, as well as a few chance


friends of either sex.

The preparation

of the

outer room

is

conducted under the inspection of a large and interested audience, wlio also very kindly stop to " see the animals fed."

At

THROUGH

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

length a mild suggestion of retiring for the night effects with

some

difficulty

a clearance.

escape from death

we

for

His Eeverence has a narrow


are roused at about 2 a.m.

something at our bed-heads in the exact

figure groping for

spot where the watches have been deposited.

he wants an extra blanket

The clergy

instead.

simple-minded

by a

of

he was very near getting a bullet

the Greek Church are

This

class.

certainly a Greek

specimen, for instance, had no

idea that he was committing a solecism.

had caused a mixture

It appears that

In the same way he

annoyance and amusement by hover-

of

ing round the table during the whole of dinner-time, pulling

about such

little

objects of personal

pened to have about

us,

adornment

as

we hap-

asking the price of articles of apparel,

and wonderingly learning the end and purpose

of that useful

instrument the cork-screw, which, together with bottled wine,

was wholly

foreign

about 4

onwards, a continuous stream of persons passes

A.]\r.

to

the range of his experience.

from within to the outer

air,

and

sleep becomes an impossibility.

some

difficulty,

door

but this

vice versd,

The room

and our guide mounts guard


is

ablutions,

so that further
is

at the staircase

from which no persuasion short

now

requested that the premises

may

inside,

assist at

our

of the forcible

and

to

accurate projection of shooting-boots will induce


It is

cleared with

no protection against invasion from

and one old lady makes a determined attempt

From

lier to desist.

be thrown open so

soon as decency will permit, the populace having begun to

grow impatient.

First there enters an individual,

who pauses

clergy.

THROUGH

1(X)

and solemnly announces,


Despair makes

OX PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

am

" I

men cunning

so

the

schoolmaster."

village

we do but

then says, " Can you speak the ancient tongue

no more satisfactory answer.


toilet,

He

smile feebly.
?

"

but obtains

AVaiting the completion of our

he follows us to the ruins of the old town, and there

delivers

his

third

modern tongue?"

and

last

Can you speak the

After this fiual rebuff the

withdraws, to our great

much time

"

address.

to spare for

man

seeing that there

relief,

an inspection of

this

is

of letters

none too

most interesting

neighbourhood.

One look round

Battlefield of
PlatiTJa.

that noble

suffices to explain the history of Plattea,

State which alone of all the Greeks shared

little

with Athens the danger and glory of Marathon, which clung


with touching

fidelity

utter destruction,

bour Thebes.

to its old

owing

ally,

and twice underwent

to the insatiable

Immediately behind

of Cithseron, isolating the

enmity

of its neigh-

the gigantic length

lies

town from external

aid,

and render-

ing almost inevitable, as one would be disposed to imagine,


that absorption into the Boeotian league so strenuously and
successfully resisted.

The low rocky

acropolis, together with

of wall, can still be recognised

two

distinct lines

but they are not older

tlian

the rebuilding under Philip and Alexander, and consequently


of

no

crreat

interest.

But

all

around

tremendous battle which decided


of

Europe over Asia.

Oeroe, enclosing the

Close

by

is

the scene of that

for ever the

are the

so-called "island,"

predominance

two sources
where

tlie

of tlie

Hellenic

liliillliililllilli!"""''

i;

iu:iiii[iii!;i!!;iii'i'ii!iiiiiiii!;iiii!ii!i!''r!i;'ii'i!ii''iii'..v'ii;ii!"'iuiiiii:iiii'

THROUGH

army awaited

the

BOEOTIA

ON PACK-SADDLES.

attack of the

Persians

and

101

their

allies.

Farther on extends the plain, broken by those low rolling


nearly disastrous to the G^reek arms, by hiding from

hills so

each other the respective movements of the Spartans and

Then comes the stream

Athenians.

beyond

it

comfited

the site of
forces

and just

of the Asopus,

Mardonius' camp, to which his dis-

retired,

only to suffer wholesale

under the superior weapons

and

less

slaughter

cumbrous

tactics

of

their triumphant foes.

Some time

afterwards, the cavalcade gets under way.

It

soon becomes apparent that no orders will be carried out

except under personal superintendence, the drivers seeming


utterly regardless

of the

dragoman's authority

so

the traveller leaves his suite with orders to load up


diately,
still

that

if

imme-

he will probably find on his return that the horses are

in the shed, with their attendants reclining comfortably

beside them.

The track westward passes over the

battle-field of Leuctra, Leuctra.

a piece of low ground at the foot of a grassy slope, where took


place the most important land-engagement ever fought between

Greek and Greek,

less

on account

of the size

ing forces or their respective losses

demonians and 47 Thebans were

all

than of the political results which


of

the victorious

upon

general,

for

that
tlie

of

the contend-

about 1000 Lacefell

on the

field

extraordinary genius

Epaminondas, was able

to

found

it.

ride of

about three hours from

riata3a

brings us

to

THROUGH BCEOTIA ON PACK-SADDLES.

102

Eremo
Thespise.

now

Thespiai,
of

or

Kastri,

Theban

Roman

"

Deserted

of

The constant victim

a considerable village.

jealousy, this

name

modern

the

Fort,"

town survived

and

persecutor,

its

in

times shared with Tanagra the honour of being the

only important city in Boeotia.

Phryne,

was devoted

it

To-day there

is

to-

Famous

as the birthplace of

the worship of the

but small incitement to this

God

of Love.

cult, to

judge

from the specimens of modern Thespian ladies that came


beneath our observation.

The
^

village is not ungraceful, but contains

church,

pretty

standing amid

dwarf hollies

supposed to cover the

eminence,

is

temples.

Two

site of

no

on

ruins.

solitary

one of the principal

or three good bas-reliefs are built into its walls.

After luncheon, discussed in presence of an admiring crowd,


a start
Tlie Valley of

is

effected for Livadia.

The guide having arranged

take a roundabout road through the Muses' valley,


tliat

there

lias

to

be reluctantly abandoned.

appointment

of the

of this
is

Such

kind of travel.

this still lovely region.

are

the

pleasing

Nevertheless the dis-

somewhat mitigated by an
Helicon

excellent bird's-eye
is

the true mountain

Muses, Parnassus being but a comparatively modern

pretender, and deriving

Latin poetry
before us

and

declares

no possibility of accomplishing this ddtour, which

is

uncertainties

view of

now

to

is

its

sanctity, not

from Greek but from

and surely the wide smiling dale now open

a far fitter abode for the patronesses of

science, than the frowning precipices

round Delphi.

art,

song,

and narrow ravines

THROUGH

The

the

sight of

UN FAGK-SAUDLES.

BCEOTIA

famous valley touches many a chord.

Statue and altar have vanished


sacred grove

103

a few oaks

represent

unknown

the limits of the sanctuary are

the
the

fountains Hippocrene and Aganippe can only be conjecturally

But the

identified.

wanton

destruction.

No

not

are

feelings

harrowed by signs

building ever adorned the glade

whole was one great temple, dedicated

The

roof that covered their images

to the

poets, Thamyris, Arion,

was some overhanging

to

peace and rustic happiness.


great battle

home

of

or of gods

Hermes, inventor

of

the

Straight from the Boeotian plain,

ground of ancient Hellas, we pass to the

The aspect

tradition that here trees

of that

farming

life

which his

of the place appears to justify the

grew greener, flowers

brighter,

and

than elsewhere, and that no poisonous plant

fruits sweeter,

or snake was to be found herein.


then, save

This was the chosen abode of

Hesiod and the scenes

song depicts.

side with statues of the old

song,

Dionysus, and Apollo.

lyre,

rock,

Scat-

itself.

Linus, Orpheus, Hesiod

more especially devoted

tlie

by

the

Sacred Nine.

or spreading tree, or the blue canopy of heaven

tered about, they stood side

of

that

there with song

the people

and dance

of

to

In solitude

it

lies

now, as

Thespise no longer assemble

keep the feast

of

the Muses

or Love-god.

And now

begins experience of mountain travel.

grows rocky

and although smooth and easy in comparison

with subsequent routes,


itiated.

Tlie track Mountain

is

sufficiently alarming to the unin-

European requires some time

to get over the feel-

THROUGH BCEOTIA ON PACK-SADDLES.

U)4

by riding

iug of helplessness produced

across slabs of bare rock

on a beast of whose sides he has no grasp, and over wliose

mouth he has no

Add

control.

to this the nut yet

subdued

sense of ignominy inherent in the whole performance, and


will be intelligible that

we

looking support of our

prefer our

streams

remount and

But the way

so there

trust to the firmness

is

most unusual obstacle in

too large to negotiate on

down from Helicon

roaring

legs to tlie shaky-

Theban screws.

broken more than once by water


Greece,

own

it

is

come

foot, that

nothing for

and sagacity

it

but to

of the beasts

which, considering their condition and probable age, are mar-

Meanwhile both guide and cook

vellous.

pachas on a divan

however deep
throned

its

" saddle,

sit

impassive, like

no descent however precipitous, no stream

banks, will tempt them to leave the " highas

Homer would

doubtless have called

They have

riding been invented in his day.

it,

had

learnt to prefer

an occasional smash to the certainty of tiring

the risk of

themselves by walking.
this persistent assertion

But a penalty

is

sometimes paid for

of their dignity, as

we

learnt

when

our guide confided to us that he had given up carrying a

watch

after the destruction in rapid

succession of two such

instruments, caused by collapses of this nature.

The pathway

and the rate

to Livadia,

the right
Lake

Coi.;ii.s.

tibly into

great

farther

is

of locomotion slightly improves.

On

a vast stretch of level ground, sliding impercep-

tlie

swamp

on joins the highroad from Thebes

marshy borders

all

of

Lake Copais.

Into this

the waters from the surrounding mountains

THROUGH

These are very

Katavothra."

wide an

area,

evaporation.

by

is

An

an

from

sufficient to drain so

of the

work

to

enterprising nation might earn vast wealth

but in a country where the most

often left unfilled,

it

fertile

out of place to e>xpect such

is

So Lake Copais remains

undertakings.
was,

far

and consequently leave most

assisting nature

soil

105

way, but have no outlet beyond the celebrated

find their
"

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

much

as it always

expanse of water in winter and bog in summer,

producing nothing but wild

fowl

indeed in

often

such

numbers, that a friend, speaking of snipe, declared that

it

soon ceased to be worth while to shoot them.

These sporting reminiscences are further stimulated by an


appropriate but steady downpour, which continues for three

The consequent

hours.

state of the road

badness of the horses to make

it

combines with the

impossible to reach the short

cut over the hills before nightfall, and a couple of hours are

added

to

an interminable journey.

pleasures ought

to

These unexpected

be enjoyed philosophically, but time

needful to get the mind into so desirable a

while the drivers keep up their flagging


song,

fails

An

state.

spirits

whose plaintive discords add a touch

the situation.

of

by bursts

of

of melancholy to

attempt to extract some Klephtic ballads

what might be held

rovers of the hills

is

Mean-

utterly, the honest fellows repudiating with scorn

knowledge

little

so

we have

to connect

to be

any

them with the

content with spontane-

ous ebullitions, which take the form of a Tupper-like Proverbial Philosophy

as for instance, "

When

Zeus rains from

THROUGH

106

heaven,

well to have

'tis

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

an umbrella

head

for the

"
;

and

other equally incontrovertible, and, under the circumstances,

impressive truths.

At about 9.15
halts

at

the draggled procession enters Livadia, and

the foot of a precipitous alley, only practicable for

While ascending, we hear below the thud

foot-passengers.

oi"

coat and bag and rug, as the attendants cut the luggage from

the horses' backs, and suffer

of the street.

ment devoid

At any

men upon

A
Livadia.

street runs

was not

it

is

morning

up

well to check

tlie

and so

less

far

food.

an improve-

accommodation.

casts

much

of

river-side,

these disagreeables
like

into

The main

Livadia.

and not only with

its

many

a very well-understood branch of

economy throughout these regions

but

cotton mills affords an example of Production.

no

all recollec-

pending the preparation of

a passage-room,

shops illustrates Exchange


political

and

There are few places

oblivion.

mud

two hours, spent damply in a grimy apart-

last night's

fine

of furniture,

rate, it

to drop in tlie rich deep

house, dirty and squalid beyond description,

receives us for the night


tion of the next

it

also with its

Tor there are

than six wheels turned by the swift stream of the

Hercyne, employed in working up the cotton grown on the


plain

below.

On

clearing

rewards the traveller.

between sheer walls


winding

town a magnificent scene

the

The brawling

of limestone,

for nearly a mile,

and

is

torrent debouches from

through which

at

tliis

it

has been

spot spanned by the

highest of the picturesque old bridges that at intervals through

LiVADIA.

THROUGH

the length of the town unite


to the left is the old

above,

its

Frankish

life

below.

up from the shops

in the

and blends with the whizzing of the mill-wheels


sit

house doors, playing the noble game of

win

to

a towering- heio-ht

the picturesque

while gaily dressed groups of citizens

ing

107

which, like the dark gorge

castle,

of perpetual talk rises

street,

On

banks.

in strange contrast with

is

The hum
main

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

few

drachmae

with

ever at the pot-

" casino,"

all

that

and

striv-

keenness

which encounters between Greek and Greek "have been

for
lono;

proverbial.

stiff

effect of

climb up the right-hand scaur has the beneficial

choking

dog a stranger's

vulgar boys

off the little

steps,

who

pertinaciously

and of opening up a grand panorama.

Descending from the snow and pines of Helicon, two streams


join at the head of the gorge, rushing

down upon

the

town, and then meander gently through the rich alluvial


below, irrigating the productive but scanty cotton-fields.

each side of the water the town

rises

little
flats

On

picturesquely up the

steep hillsides, separated by a deep ravine from the eminence

whereon the

castle stands.

Above the gorge complete

tude reigns, broken only by the hissing sounds of reptile

which the noontide heat has awakened

The

historic

fame

founder, Lebadus,

is

of this

town

said to have

a mountain city, called Midea,


the foot of the
result

hills.

is

solilife,

after yesterday's rain.

small.

The

traditional

removed the population of

down

to this less secure site at

This confidence was justified by the

and Lebadia flourished

quietly, apparently

untouched

THROUGH

108

by

BOEOTIA

ON PACK-SADDLES.

This

troubles that desolated otlier cities of Bteotia,

tlie

immunity

probably due to the qnasi sacred character im-

is

parted to the place by the famous oracle of Trophonius.

lop

allusions of Pausanias cannot be satis-

The topographical

Oracle of

oim
.

fr^Q^orily
its

harmonised with the present details

general aspect

is

of the spot

eminently suited to a home of religious

Legend attributes the name of the

mystery.

river

glen, suffered to escape a goose

its

bird flew into a cave

just

even tradition
above

statues

and hid beneath a

almost

the town, and

whence on

stone,

Of Trophonius

him-

His sacred grove was

silent.

contained

various

and

temples

the oracle itself was, according to Pansanius, " higher

up the mountain."
sulting

is

in the

which she held in her arms.

discovery the stream gushed forth.

self

the

to

maid Hercyne, who, while playing with Persephone

The

but

it

The ceremonies

were as follows

to be

The inquirer

observed in conlived

for

fixed

time in a building sacred to Good Luck and Fortune, and

was fed on meat from

the

sacrifices

which

had

he

to

provide during that period, purifying himself daily in the

waves

Hercyne.

of the

soothsayer inspected the entrails

of each victim,

and from them pronounced upon the

tion indicated

by Trophonius towards

was offered up the night before the


favourable

symptoms on

this occasion

visit to the

ram

shrine,

and

were an absolute neces-

Apollo to have been responsible for

to have built the temple of Delphi.

his suppliant.

Trophonius was reputed son of Erginus, king of Onlionionus

sliipjicrs believed

disposi-

liis

existence.

but

liis

He

His cult survived that of his divine

is

worsaid

father.

THROUGH

was taken

ON PACK-SADDLES.

109

at last, after a final bath in the river, the inquirer

Then

sity.

BCEOTIA

Memory, and

the two founts of Oblivion and

to

drank of both, that he might forget

remember the truths about

to

his

former

and

life

He was

be revealed to him.

then permitted to gaze upon a sacred statue,^ visible only to

due prayer, was arrayed in a linen tunic,

votaries, and, after


girt

The description

he then proceeded to the shrine.


rather hard

is

of the country:

round with bands, and shod with the shoes

interpretation

of

was by an opening

access

and lying down upon the

but apparently the only

some distance from the ground,

at

requiring a ladder to reach

Provided with honied cakes,^

it.

floor,

the inquirer inserted his feet

into a hole of the narrow dimensions of

by one
reached

in breadth,

drawn through,
sight."

" as

On

body

whole

his

knees

his

till

man

a mighty rapid river whirls a

out of

their conclusion the unfortunate

the opening.

It

was

pretty

is

judging by the dimensions of the hole, that stout per-

sons could hardly

have gone through the ceremony.

inquirer, while

in a state of high

is

revelations are of course hidden from

foremost, through

shot up, feet


clear,

Then suddenly

The subsequent

vulgar knowledge.

two spans in length

and thrust them down

opening.

the

of the latter

Called an

still

"image

of Dfedalus."

The

mental excitation (and

To that mythical

artist

were ascribed

various antique statues of a prehistoric epoch, which were regarded with peculiar reverence.

which
2

five

fell

down

generally, if not always, of wood.

They were

from Jupiter," Acts xix. 35,

was probably of

"The image

this description.

These cakes are incidentally mentioned by Aristophanes writing more than

hundred years

earlier, as

used in consulting Trophonius.

Nubes,

508.

THROUGH

no

manner

certainly the

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

of his exit

was calculated

to produce a

determination of blood to the head), was placed upon the seat


of

Memory, hard by the shrine

there he was asked

had seen and heard below, the

down

writing

priests

he

all

tlie

Afterwards he was removed back to the

account he gave.

house of Fortune and Good Luck, and tended carefully until


the recovery of his senses.
Sucli

somewhat grotesque account

the

is

of

The consulting

founded upon personal experience.

oracle appears to have involved an initiation into

of mysteries, so that wholesome


visit,

Pausanias,^

some

the

of

species

teaching resulted from the

notwithstanding priestly avarice and imposture.

It is a

hopeless task to identify the cave of Trophonius or the seat


of

Memory.

small natural recess, artificially enlarged,

Good Luck

pointed out as the house of


votary's

and right

seldom

that

case the

accommodation must have been rather confined.

Memory

founts of Oblivion and

ancient

in

of the

writers'

are also

statements

with

At Livadia

satisfactory.

shown on the

Attempts

river respectively.

existing

to

is

The
left

reconcile

phenomena

are

the general conditions can

well afford to dispense with minute attention to details.

The next move


high ground.

is

to

Chteronea, reached by a climb over

In the very centre of

hailstorm comes on,

changed suddenly

to

tlie

heat of an English

bitter cold.

the whole cavalcade turns


'

this bleak table-land a

its

Tans.

summer having

Shelter there

is

none

back upon the attack, and

ix. 39, 5.

so
sits

THROUGH

ON PACK-SADDLES.

BCEOTIA

placidly through the shower, in spite of


as marbles,

make themselves

After this

little

felt

stones, which, big

its

most uncomfortably.

we descend

incident

Ill

what may be

into

described as the western estuary of the Boeotian plain.

was fought the great

battle of Chseronea, which,

by

Here

establish-

Chffironea.

ing Macedonian ascendancy in Greece, was destined to shake


Close by the track are the frag-

the whole civilised world.

ments of the great stone lion erected


Thebans who

fell

on that

to the

Intact

fatal day.

the present century, when, during the

a brigand chief, called Odysseus, blew


inside

it

up

it

of the The

remained until

of independence,

to see

what was

it.

Chseronea
olis

war

memory

is

now

in the hillside

a small hamlet at the foot of the acropis

cut the theatre, remarkable for describ-

ing an unusually small segment, probably not more than one

quarter of a

beyond the

There

circle.

village,

is

an arch or two of an aqueduct

and hard by excavations were going on

nothing had as yet been brought to light except one or two

basements and sarcophagi.

This spot

is

for a last resting-place before climbing into the

beyond

for

though

small,

it

recommended

to be

boasts a

Alpine regions

large

clean

wherein to encamp with something like comfort.


used by the Archaeological Society

boured
able

Dr Schliemann;

was

of

Greece, and long har-

it

possesses the inestim-

advantage of belonging to a bachelor, who, although

personally to be
free

moreover,

It

room

avoided,

from strong-lunged

at

least keeps

cliildren

his

establishment

and inquisitive females.

lion.

THE PHOCIAN ALPS.

112

CHAPTER

Viri.

THE rHOCIAX ALPS.

LL

A'

daybreak prove unavailing.

efforts to secure a start at

Our Thebans

" Tlievans "

by the

doing nothing

round at 7

(a

till

word most appropriately pronounced

natives) act

upon the sound principle

they are obliged

for the baggage,

they

although told to be

so,

of

appear, and are long

fail to

afterwards discovered lying in profound meditation iu an out-

Meanwhile many-tongued Eumour announces that a

house.

party of " six lords


to-night,

and twenty-five

and that the advanced-guard

of the place.

We

multiplied by fame, and

modern

"^

'*^*

"

advanced-guard

our conjecture.

to

named Leonidas

language

is far

"

all

already in occupation

whom we
set

down

last

as

saw

at Chalcis,

our compatriots.

hereupon turns out and corroborates

It consists

accompany us

is

conclude that these are our three friends,

English, Austrian, and Belgian,

The

soldiers " are expected here

of one

Arakhova.

He

man, who thinks he will


is

an

agreeable

a good specimen of the Greek soldier.

more

intelligil)le tlian that of

youth,

His

most persons in

THE PHOCIAN ALPS.

his

rank of

113

having, together with his manners, undoubt-

life,

edly acquired a polish during his military career.

Like

all

his compatriots, he takes a peculiar interest in our attire, but

more especially
revolvers

our hand his


pistol,

revolver

"

a single-barrelled muzzle-loadino;

with a bore of perhaps an inch in diameter.

accordingly

tell

him a few

own

" shooting

little

which he accepts without question.

comes

sailing over

We

away.

and

We

rather startling fictions as to the

range and accuracy of our


of

me your

Will you show

he observes, and at once puts into

here's mine,"
"

"

in our weapons.

alights on

suggest giving

him

irons," all

Presently a vulture

200 yards

a rock about

a shot with Leonidas's

rifle

but so unwarranted an expenditure of Government ammunition

would

entail serious consequences

upon that man

of war,

who, however, expresses his willingness to employ for that


noble purpose the " revolver,"

He

perty.

at

once

being his

it

own

private pro-

walk towards

proceeds to

the

bird,

which, after he has gone about twenty yards, flaps majestically

away.

unexpected

On
Daulis
of

in no

Leonidas returns

the
;

disconcerted

right

it,

as

of

the

opinions

track

this

acropolis

divided upon the

are

we determine

the huge

rises

a regular waterspout

was well worth the

separate, the soldier under-

to

and a very

ditour.

The

sheer on every side, while the

of

advisability

taking to guide one of us round by that village.


of

at

result.

and

visiting

wise

stiff

climb, the

hill is isolated,

flat

summit

In spite

is

place

and almost

large enough

Daulis.

THE PHOCIAN

114

to

ALPS.

have sheltered the entire population of

together with their flocks and herds.


in

history, but

famous in legend

punishment of Tereus
those

little

-known

its

Daulis, scarcely

the

for

king, affords

on whose

cities

ancient town,

tlie

known

crime and tragic

another instance of

sites

survive traces of

strength and greatness utterly wanting in Thebes, Argos, or


other famous localities.

On

descending,

it is

found that Leonidas has had the good

He

sense to put the horse under cover.

leads the

way

to

the priest's house, an old gentleman as genial and ignorant as

His

the rest of his class.

offers of hospitality are

and he asks news of the outer world with a


and

osity

two

years,

Drenched

and
to

is

the

childlike curi-

has not seen an Englishman for

course complimentry about our nation.

of

and separated by miles from head-

skin,

we have no

quarters,

He

simplicity.

alternative but to

At

ing a cup of hot coffee.

push

on, after swallow-

the last house in the village

Leonidas stops and magnanimously insists upon


glass of

We
The

"

standing " a

then ascend the high ground right under Parnassus.


road

is

"

to

slow

consists of bare rock,

now running with

a liquid

which pea-soup might seem transparent.

even

Pro-

the most highly trained beast being in-

capable of going up and


distance from Daulis
at

"

raJci.

compared
gress

unbounded,

down

to

stairs

at

any great

our meeting -place was

pace.

The

estimated

an hour and a half; but the expiration of that period

finds us

advanced

less

than lialf-way, so

it

seems best to

THE PHOCIAN

push on

The mist

afoot.

is

ALPS.

115

dense and cheerless

but when

the clouds roll momentarily away, there are fine glimpses of

mountain-sides, and sometimes of both seas together

tall

Corinth and the Straits of Eubcea,

the Gulf of

pretty

good indication of the height now attained by the track.

At

a certain point this branches off in two directions.

the

is

famous

where join the roads from Daulis, The

rpt'oSo?,

Ambrysos, and Delphi, and where Laius

the hand of Oedipus, his unconscious son.

was driving

at the time,

way

the

unhappy

and his chariot

his attendants thrust Qidipus


quarrel.

could pass that

way

It

It

met

his

death at

The

old gentleman

filled

up the road-

from the track, and hence

would be a strange vehicle that

to-day, or indeed get there at

all.

long convoy of mules appears at this point, and the

looks of the drivers suggest the prudence of not imitating

OEdipus in falling out with them single-handed.

demeanour

is

so

But our

unaggressive that nothing un-

singularly

pleasant occurs, and the route turns up a magnificent valley,

shut in between the towering walls of Parnassus and Xero-

Vouni, the Dry

Mount

who turn

had been sent back


greatcoat,

he

to

there

to suggest.

is little

Two men

in the

are here-

out to belong to our suite.

They

Chieronea for the unfortunate cook's

having been

having forgotten

name which

moment

circumstances of the
abouts overtaken,

early

reminded by the rain

of

But the trouble was wasted, our host

it.

of the previous night


1

denying

all

knowledge

Sophocles, (Ed. Tyr. 798.

thereof.

rrxio-ry;

THE rilOCIAX ALPS.

116

At

length

is

reached the

farmhouse where the

little Jchani

Ximeno, a

of

solitary

rest of the party are installed at luncheon,

very grateful after an

eiglit

hours'

Lounging about are

fast.

a quantity of ruffianly -looking fellows, ugly customers to meet

alone on a dark night, mostly of great strength and stature,

and armed

to the teeth with knives

and antiquated

firearms.

These gentry profess to be shepherds, but give very

away

attention to their flocks, whose bells are heard far

mountain-hollows where they wander at

Another hour and a half brings us

Aiakhova.

own

tlieir

little

in the

discretion.

Arakhova, a small

to

It stands

town, literally on this occasion in the clouds.

on

the almost perpendicular side of Parnassus, at an elevation


of about

4000

'Avefiopeia,

the " Mountain City of the Winds."

feet,

and well deserves

for the excellence of its

ancient

name

It is

wine and the beauty of

we had no opportunity

but

its

its

of judging of either, the

of

famous

damsels

one being

concealed in resin, and the other not happening to be on view


at

that particular moment.

the circular letters

visit

to

demarch with

the

soon draws forth that functionary,

who

sends to procure us lodgings, and then takes us into his

village con-

'"''^'^*

Hither come crowding

office.

who

sit

all

around and gaze and

the elders of the people,

All are habited in

listen.

the picturesque national dress except the demarch,

who draws

attention to the dignity of his functions by a frock-coat and

high hat.

The conversation

is

conducted in French, and

then interpreted for the public benefit

owned

and

to understanding Greek, the result is

as

we have not

rather amusing.

"

"

THE PHOCIAN

ALPS.

117

For instance, after some talk about European

much

and

politics,

abuse (in Greek) of the monster Lord Beaconsfield,

we

turn to the engrossing topic of the general election.

Demarch. "Of course the Government has every chance


obtaining a majority, having power to coerce local
individual electors
"

Englishmen.

of

and

officials

On

the

contrary, there

tendency to vote against a Ministry

always a strong

is

so that, other things

being equal, the Opposition has the best chance.

In any

case,

force neither is nor can be employed."


JEldcrs of the
ansioer).

"

People (in chorus, after interpretation of the

Absurd

Impossible

The

lords are abusing our

credulity."

And
credit

the answer has to be repeated twice before they can

any Government with so ludicrous a neglect

of

its

opportunities.

Demarch {prompted hy an
Cabinet force the Porte to

elder).

fulfil

its

"

Why

not

does

your

pledges and surrender

Thessaly and Epirus to Greece, thereby freeing those lands

from the darkness of Turkish oppression, and unfolding

them the

glorious light of Hellenic liberty

Englishmen (mildly).
pledged
is

itself to

make

"

Eemember

that

these concessions

to

the

Porte

also, that

never

England

only one out of six Great Powers, and cannot single-handed

control the action of Europe."

Chorus
indication.

of

strong

ejaculations

expressive

of

speechless

"

THE PHOGIAN ALPS.

118

Dcmarch

{chaivjing suhjcct).

neighbourhood

this

"

What do you wish

Englishmen. " Delphi, the Corycian cave, and,

make

to

to see in

if

possible,

the ascent of Parnassus."

Dcmarch.

"

That

out of the question

is

snow

the

is

six

"

Be-

feet deep."

An

Elder (his voice rising above the general murmur).

sides, it's fearfully cold

up

there."

Dcmarch {contemptuously

to the interrupter).

though any Englishman minded

"

You

fool

as

They're used to no-

that.

thing else."

The interview
cipitous streets,

An

uxorious

over,

we scramble up and down

and then adjourn

to the lodging discovered

Mine host

for US Ijy the authorities.

the pre-

is

distinctly of a

comic

husband.

and apologises

turn,
slie is

out working in the fields

chuckles,
is

is

day's

this,

rain,

all

and

on the ground that

he remarks with

what he always makes her

discovered that

the

for his wife s absence

do.

many

After dinner,

it

the bedding has been drenched during

no

kind

of

attempt made to dry

it.

Doubting the assertion that there

is

we make our way

and not only have our pains

to the kitchen,

no

fire fit for

the purpose,

for

our trouble, but also inspire the master of the house with

tlie

idea of accompanying us back to our room, where he sits

down and makes himself


familiar conversation.

at

There

home, and enters into a long and


is,

perhaps, no more astounding

aspect of the national character than the

way

in

which a

householder, liaving extorted a fancy price for a night's use

THE FHUCIAN ALPS.

of a

119

single room, devoid of carpet or furniture, will play the

genial host, invade his " guests "

at

hobnobbing with them, and

on their departure, clamor-

demand a

ously

haksJieesh,

vow never

English clergyman

who had once

Towards the

action.

audience disposed to slumber

He

him by an

which, towards midnight, was

he

damp

remarked, " I

left

the aforesaid

couches.

morning proves the inad-

feeling of indisposition next


all

day upon an

insufficient allowance of

food and sleep, as well as the desirability of dry beds

"

ferently.

Our dragoman accounts


Ah, gentlemen

can you expect

morning

Theban

"

At

drivers,

if

you

pro-

his

audience to their

practicable.

out

perceiving

conclusion,

and not being contradicted,

walking

let

ap-

fear I bore you,"

visability of

to

much emphasis and

hardly, under the circumstances, unnatural

to

register a

stayed in his house, and

proceeded to read them out with


propriate

written

letters,

upon

warmly thanked

to be

the language of the country.

complimentary

two

duced

insist

on any similar occasion,

again,

we understood

that

and expect

hours,

Our present host made us

for his "hospitality."

pious

finally,

all

"

for the

when

phenomenon

he remarks, with

feeling, "

dif-

what

will use those nasty cold baths in the

breakfast there takes place an irruption of the

who, with their beasts, have been sent to the

right-about so soon as an opportunity of procuring fresh ani-

mals presented
all

itself

They

insist

round two or three times

that this

is

upon shaking hands warmly

over.

It subsequently appears

a strong hint that a baksheesh would be agreeable

THE PHOGIAN ALPS.

120

but, considering their conduct

dismissal, the hint

the

a vast improvement upon the horses

plain once the property of

little

a stream flows

common

according to

Tlie Coryciaii

of

the

Corycian

rocks

the

into

is

Tliis

temple, and

midst of those

and vanishes,

reappear,

to

At one

the Castalian fount.

belief, as

natural

a tiny lake, from which

plain rises a great conical

grot.

the

the

in

fertile

In the centre

stony solitudes.

liide

of the rha3driades rocks,

we come upon

Delphi,

even now looking strangely

end

Thick rainy clouds

the jagged rocks.

that overhang

crags

basin, a

Eounding the summit

the prospect.

their

not taken.

is

Mounted on mules

we scramble up

and the circumstances of

hill,

containing the

pronounced by Pausanias to be

cave,

CilVC,

the largest in

tlie

world,

is

well worth the trouble of a visit

*,

which, in spite of the old traveller's assertion that the grotto

can be reached by a

" horse, or

mule, or active man," can

most certainly be accomplished only by the biped.

An

now

ascent

of about twenty minutes, hand-over-hand, will bring one to

the

mouth

in a state of considerable exhaustion.

can be inspected without a torch

statement that

it

true of the

chamber

so high

first

Pausanias'

for

is

almost

though 100 yards in length,

and wide througliout, that the

penetrates almost to the back.

light

The

it is

from the entrance

visitor,

however, will

probably rue any attempt to test the truth of Pausanias'


suggestion, considering the

uneven

lie

of the floor, slippery

with constant drippings, and alibrding effectual stumblingblocks in

tlie

shape of huge masses of stalagmite.

As

in

THE PHOCIAN

all

ALPS.

121

limestone caves that have not been expressly protected,

the smaller and more f^raceful stalactite formations have lono-

ago been broken away, and nothing remains but the huge

lumps that probably were already stout enough

to resist the

destructive efforts of the aboriginal inhabitants of the district.

At
to

the end of

meet

but there

this
is

great

just

hall

room

the floor and roof seem

to pass

between them up a

jagged and slippery incline into the second chamber, some

We

thirty yards in length.


teers

and a chance shepherd or two

gentry,

who

by our mule-

are accompanied

most

villanous-looking

suggest the advisability of our waking the echoes

with a few shots from our revolvers.

The

effect

is

certainly

good, the sound rolling round the hollows of the lofty ceiling,

and coming back with increased volume.


for a repetition of the

performance that

They
it

are so anxious

strikes us as not

altogether prudent, considering the scene and the company,


to

empty

all

the chambers of our weapons, and thereby effec-

tively to disarm ourselves.

After luncheon beside a tarn just under the cave, the word
is

given to march for Delphi, and the train moves off through

some miles
of

of pine -forest.

Very charming

is

this glimpse

Greek wooded scenery, accentuating the irreparable

loss

sustained by the greater part of the country in the destruction of the timber.

"Water becomes at once more plentiful

an invariable rule where the trees have been preserved

and

lends an extra charm to scenery almost unrivalled, the sea be-

ing added to the ordinary components of an alpine landscape.

THE PHOCIAN

122

The savagery
upon

seems impressed

of nature in these highlands

inanimate or living

all things,

increased in ferocity, like the


Skirmish with

ALPS.

species in Greece

and even the dogs have

human

has always

The canine

inhabitants.

largely

exhibited

this

trait.

Hereditary experience has stamped upon the mental structure


of the race a firm,

the intentions

and in the main accurate conviction, that

of strangers

are

Trained, therefore,

evil.

to

constant watchfulness against fierce beasts and fiercer men,


the Hellenic sheep-dog affords an element of danger by no

means unworthy

of precaution.

from the days of

Homer up

But one thing

till

has' always,

now, checked his impetuosity,

he cannot abide a stone, and luckily these missiles are plen-

tiful in

most parts

Should there be none

of Greece.

to

hand,

the pilgrim must take his choice between shooting his assailants or being rent in pieces
alternatives

the

first

is less

and the

difference

than might have been expected, seeing that

course will certainly expose

him

to

perhaps death, at the bands of the owners,


enjoy witnessing the prowess of their

tempt

to

call

them

Horn. Oa. xiv. 29

off,

(vOa fifv

aWa

airap 'OSiVaeus

ffKrJTnpov 5e ol (Kirefff x^^P^^-

irapa ffraOfK^ a.fiKf\ioi' iraOev &Kyos'

avfiiln7)s SiKa irocrl Kpanrvo7ai (xfTacnruiv

i(riTVT' iva.

Tous

2^fot<^[/^s,

Kvvfs v\aK6fj.u3poi.

KfKKrjyovTfs ^irtSpafiov

and

who thoroughly

e^TO Kiphoawri

violence,

make no

at-

and resent any unavoidable injury

'E^uirivTjs 5' '05i;cr^o 'Sot'


oi fxeu

between these

irpSdvpov ffKvros St

fiiv SfioKXriaas fffCfi/

KvKvfjaiv XtddSiffcrtv

'

ol iicirfaf xf'fx^j.

Kvvas &\\vBis 6.Wri

6 5 irpoaininv IkvaKJa.

THE PHOCIAN

upon them

inflicted

123

in self-defence as keenly as

were personal to themselves.

become an exciting

assaults

ALPS.

But up
sport, as

only circumstance under which a

in

though

it

Parnassus canine

constituting about the

human

being

justified in

is

indulging in the unspeakable delight of heaving stones with


all

his

might

mark.

a living

at

jumped from our mules

So

at

every attack

in order to engage the enemy.

munition there was plenty, and a very rapid


necessary.

At times he

strategical

powers

Am-

was often

fire

got within ten yards, but never

He would

succeeded in closing.

we

display considerable

also

having vented his wrath upon some of

the missiles, he would feign defeat, and retire en masse with

between his

his tail

legs,

only to spring out in disagreeable

proximity from some boulders farther on.

At

last begins the

almost endless zigzag that leads down to

Delphi, over slippery rock the whole way.

cook

stick to their mules, until one of

still

unpleasantly close to the precipice,

example and condescend


the dirty

The guide and

them

when they

At sunset we

to walk.

rolls

follow

over

our

pass through

hamlet of Kastri, built upon the very founda-

little

tions of the great temple of the Pythian Apollo, to the priest's

house beyond, once a monastery, standing in an olive-grove on

Man

the left of the Castalian stream.


to efface this

world-renowned centre of

thousand years retained


stition

of humanity.

works are

still

its

religion,

which

for a

hold upon the belief or super-

But nature

complete, to

has done his utmost

fill

defies his

efforts,

the beholder with

and her

awe and

Delphi.

THE PITOCIAN ALPS.

124

town

Tlie

reverence.

tlie "

stood, like

cavea

"

of an ancient

theatre, in the

form of a semicircle on the mountain-side.

Many

in

abrupt succession supply the analogy of

At

the bottom, as

of

the Pleistos,

tiers

terraces

of seats.

winds the bed

and opposite

were in the " orchestra,"

now

called

Dry

the

Iliver,

the long wall of Kirphis, answering to the

rises

"scena" or background

of the

town, or rather overhanging


split in

it

twain by a narrow

it,

above

Straight

stage.

the

are the huge Pha^driades rocks,

cleft.

Ignorant writers and poets

have often confused them with the twin summits of Parnassus.


Delphi being on the Parnassus range,
able to transfer

some

of its

was

it

of course justifi-

and sanctity

attributes

to the

whole mountain.

But the two great culminating points

are

miles behind

town, and completely hidden

the

the

Pha^driades have been surmounted.

until

glance at these preci-

pices explains the alleged miraculous delivery of the shrine

On

both from Persian and Celtic desecration.


huf^e
masses of
O

and

fallen

each occasion

rock are said to have detached themselves

upon the impious barbarian

hosts,

amid earth-

quake and thunder and the appearance of the native heroes,


reawakened from the dead

to defend

their

much-loved and

sacred home.

A
to
Castalian
fount.

minute examination on the following day adds but

the

There

awe and
is

excited by the

the Castalian fount springing

between the two


source,

interest

which

is

rocks.

first

little

general view.

forth in

tlie

fissure

landslip five years ago choked the

not yet clear of debris.

The quadrangular

THE PHOGIAN

ALPS.

125

stone basin wherein the water was collected

The natural rock behind

cleaned out.

and sundry

little

all

more abundant, and merely

Perhaps
offers

for surrounding

beauty and

of

has been scarped,

good

taste

it

is

was never much

a striking instance of the


trivial

perhaps,

Tliis

the ritual of the sanctuary,

scanty.

extraordinarily

Greek capacity

however, again

niches cut to contain votive offerings.

holy stream, employed in

now

it

is,

the

like

shrank before the dread voice that drove Apollo


shriek " from " the steep of Delphos

"

with a halo

things

and

"

Pleistos,

it

with hollow

his old prophetic

shrine.

Leaving

now, alas

this

the other remains, consisting of


tions of

little

old buildings, which on

Delphi which

is

is

daily called

inspect

more than the founda-

that steep declivity were

Unlike most of the walls

obliged to be unusually massive.


that the traveller

we

not too limpid stream,

upon

really interesting.

to visit, there is one at

It appears to

have formed

part of the substructions of the temple, and dates from a

remote antiquity.

It

may

posed of polygonal blocks


tions of the

be called " Pelasgic," because com-

but unlike other Pelasgic construc-

more cultivated

period, their lines are not straight,

but sinuous beyond conception.


irregularity, each

stone

accuracy, and retains


of

is

now

into its

neighbour with perfect

place without cement or fastening

Subsequently the outer surface was smoothed,

any kind.

and

its

fits

Yet, in spite of this extreme

a mass

of business of

of inscriptions

relating

to

every kind

which the temple was the centre

such

as

inscriptions.

THE PHOCIAN ALPS.

12fi

the liberation of slaves, appointments of consuls in foreign

use of the

towns, grants to the

numerous

sanctuary, and

other subjects.

About

Arrival of reinforcements.

this

preceding

have been

the way, ride into Kastri, and join their forces

all

Eumour seems

to ours.

whom we

time our three friends,

as usual to

have

lied

at least

of the reported twenty-five soldiers have accompanied

the

way

but

we have

along the road to prove

seen quite enough


tliat

men

none

them on

at intervals

the Government thought

ad-

it

visable to keep a sharp watch over our safety in this wild


region.

Having

started later on for the sea,

other side of the village to inspect

we dismount on

some tombs cut

rock, as well as the stadium, the scene of the

This

games.

lies

one of our greatcoats

tain season.

One

of

them

is

going

down

to rejoin
dis-

drachma}

for

two days' hire

him, most

ruffiau,

to

a serious matter at this uncer-

sent back to look for

course never rejoins the party

to

On

and have taken advantage of our short absence

tance,
" lose "

a,

famous Pythian

men have moved on some

our animals, we find that the

Phoeian

in the

above the road, and commands a far more

extensive prospect than the town.

manuers.

the

he only

of his beast,

valuable garment.

forfeits

it,

and of

some twelve

and gets in exchange

Although

rid

of

one

our troubles with these gentry are by no means over.

They give

signs of open insubordination.

advance during our


vention of orders

visit to the

and

tliis

For instance,

their

stadium was in direct contra-

disobedience was meant to serve as

THE PEOCIAN ALPS.

a protest against delay,

it

being their object to deposit us at

During the almost pre-

the sea and get back before sunset.


cipitous descent

On

upon

127

an approach to mutiny.

Crissa, there is

one of the saddle-bows hangs a large revolver

has on

One

all

made

occasions

of the drivers

rider cannot

talk

it

an object

suddenly whips
Greek, but

is

it

of

off

We

driver feigning not to understand his

been interpreted to him,

stick to

make him

give

up

its

size

to the natives.

and pockets

it.

The

heard from behind expos-

tulating in very choice English.

this has

envy

it

ride

up and

meaning

find the

even when

requires a display of the

his prize.

He

apologises on the

plea that the steepness of the track put the instrument in

danger of falling
it

an undoubtedly

off

would have run a much greater

when he

again seizes

it,

but then

risk of being lost if once

About ten minutes afterwards

transferred to his custody.


his predictions are verified,

true position

and the

pistol actually drops

and again condescends

off,

to relinquish it

only upon the application of some very personal arguments.


After detecting and frustrating a third attempt, the owner
fastens

the weapon to his

person,

and so escapes further

trouble.

Enlivened by these
steadily (except

when

little

incidents the descent goes

a refractory

mule stops

to

do a

on

little

kicking, and thereby disorganises the whole cavalcade), right

through the village of Krysso, the ancient Crissa (not to be


confused with Cirrha, the seaport of Delphi),
fertile

Cirrhean plain.

down upon the

The whole was formerly claimed

as

THE PHOCIAN ALPS.

128

sacred by the Delphic priests, and was apparently unculti-

vated
Locri

by

even

Amphissa

of

The

them.
in

conduct

sacrilegious

of

the

venturing to utilise a part of this

waste land, caused their condemnation by the Amphictyonic


council and the outbreak of the Sacred AVar,
that

olive-groves

La

Scala di

Salona.

now

cover

surface

its

we

Through the
trot

on

to

La

Scala di Salona, thankful to exchange perpendicular rock for


,

level ground.

At

this little port,

some two miles from

wait the steamer that touches

ourselves, to

Patras and Corinth.


a khani,
of a

Cirrha,

we had

Dining peaceably up

we

between

here

in the balcony of

a good opportunity of watching the

Greek maritime population.

establish

manners

Like their inland brethren,

they appeared to have nothing to do but talk and


Kleptomania.

pilfer.

This last tendency was illustrated at the cost of the drago-

man, who came up to announce with many winnings, that


after spreading out his towels to

dry in the large room below,

he had gone to the door to give some instructions to the cook,

and in that instant

his possessions

had been appropriated.

There must have been several witnesses of the


person in

tlie

place denied knowledge of

universal sympathy with crime, the

not far behind the Irish.

These

it

to

but every

for in point of

Hellenic population

little

is

transfers of property

are effected with a truly marvellous rapidity.

on leaving the kliani

theft,

For example,

go on board, one of the party re-

collected, before proceeding fifty yards, that his walking-stick

was

left

up

in

the verandah.

He

returned at once for

it,

THE PHOCIAN ALPS.

only to find that in

tliose

few minutes

129

inmates had ran-

tlie

sacked the scene of our repast and secured

it.

About half-way between the shore and the steamer the


boatmen suddenly

lie

on their oars and demand a hakshresh

to

Further
*^,

traits

*^^^"

ciiaracter.

We

rather peremptorily.

reply that

all

charges are settled by

our respective dragomans,

who have preceded

make arrangements.

retort that

to

evil

They

given to underpaying those

race,

us on board

dragomans are an

whom

they employ.

Seeing that an agreement has been already concluded, this


contention

seems rather beside

sequently declining to

consider

ing the vessel, they at once


about, with a view

to

the

the question

is

produces a magical

effect,

further interruption, and

with

little

before

An

returning to land.

necessary

our

conreach-

begin to put the boat's head

with six armed rascals on the sea

but firmness

On

mark.

is

altercation

certainly to be avoided,

a significant touch of our holsters


the transit completes itself without

we

bid adieu to the gallant Phocians

regret, feeling that, if their forefathers

resembled

them, no praise can be too high for Philip's severe punish-

ment

of their offences.

The boat

is

of course overcrowded, like all

Greek steamers

but our guide has beaten the other one by a head, and secured
the two last berths.

The

to share the saloon sofas

rest of the party

with crowds of natives, who beguiled

the night-watches by conversing


also

had a

humours

in

fit.

have to be content

till

daybreak.

One

of

them

So our friends were not in the best

the morning.

of

Nevertheless their sufferings were


I

THE nWCIAX A LPS.

130

valuable as giving birth to a theory likely to be of use to

comparative ethnologists
of the
all

Greeks

is clue to

namely,

their addiction to talk,

the forces of the system.

continuous
beating "

exposition
to

which exhausts

Undoubtedly, in the power of

they could give

French, Italians, or

loquacious races.

that the unproductiveness

any

"

long odds

other

of

the

and a

more

THE ARGULID.

CHAPTER

131

IX.

THE AEGOLID.

TO

land at six on a drizzling morning, and subsequently to


wait two hours for food, are bad auspices under wliicli to

begin a tour of the Peloponnese.

town about

a mile

seaport, appears to

Corinth

and a half from the old

grow

rapidly.

a brand-new^

is

site,

At nine we

and

leave our com-

panions and start with a cavalcade of the same


northern Greece.

The men

Ijeing a

size

as

in

are of quite a different stamp,

with none of that cut-throat aspect which so disagreeably impresses the stranger in Phocis.

what they

call

an

extremely proud.

ment

in

"

One

of the steeds possesses

English " saddle, of

It is true that its

Leicestershire

or

wdiicli

the owner

is

shape would evoke com-

The Eow, and

its

appointments

are rather incomplete, the stirrup-leathers being represented

by ropes

of

uneven lengths, and breakmg on one

other at least six times a-day

Ijut in spite of

side or the

these drawbacks,

the apparatus admits of a seat upon the horse's back and a

THE ABOOLIIK

132

grip of his sides, vvliich, after


horse,

Of

Corinth.

so long hestrode a towel-

liavinii-

indeed a luxury.

is

the centre of Greek luxury and refinement, the

Coriiitli,

second

home

mains

nothing

with

clothed

unknown

and

corn

an early date

and commerce, there

but the amphitheatre,


weeds, and

now

seven

Piustum,^

at

Each

temple.

mere hollow

columns

an

of

they are even more massive than those of

being

scarcely

and with capitals larger than those

height,

re-

Their extreme squatness refers them to

temple.

Posidonium

architecture,

of art,

shaft consists of only

four

diameters

in

of the great Italian

two drums

indeed the

lower of these monoliths reaches to three-quarters of the total

Acrocoviii-

height, so

that the

peculiar.

But

to

make up

at

for

somewhat

is

much

Corinth, as elsewhere, nature does

the decay of

human handiwork

and the

grandly above the desolate

frowns

marvellous Acrocorinth
plain.

on close inspection,

effect,

winding path on the west enables horses

to

mount

to

the outside of the fortifications, a very great convenience

to

the jaded tourist.

Passing through the gateway, he enters a perfect wilderness


of

building, Hellenic, Frank, Venetian, Turk, each occupant

having

town

left

his

there,

is

mark upon

cliurches,

witli

unicpie

this

mos(jues,

fortress.

no living creature within

There

solitude

a very city of the dead, peopled, if at

it is

by the shades

of those

who
'

whole

towers, walls,

battlements.

is

and

this

vast

all,

only

successively had dominion therein.

See frontispiece.

wm

mm

"'*'''"''

>^^:M^^
kiilliilililllllilillilll ll :^ll^^llll^lil^llWiiilllllH

f^^

THE

There

and

one

is still

relic of antiquity

133

the fountain of Pirene, Fountain

presence on this isolated height

its

Here legend

able.

AKGULIL).

certainly remark-

is

that Bellerophon caught Pegasus

states

thirst.

The spring was,

of course, assigned to a miraculous origin.

Zeus had carried

while unsuspectingly quenching his

the daughter of the river-god Asopus, and Sisyphus,

off

had seen the rape, unwisely

let

prudent not

to

meddle with the

but judging

it

the king of heaven,

affairs of

Much importuned by

he declined to mention names.

who

out to the disconsolate father

he knew whither the maid was gone

that

^^^^'

Asopus,

he consented to make a revelation, on the apparently impossible condition that

of Acrocorinth.

water should spring forth on the summit

These terms were at once

phus reluctantly disclosed the nymph's

fate

which

and Sisyindiscre-

every one knows, he expiated by immediate death,

tion, as

and a subsequent sentence


the side of a Tartarean

of

the

great

evermore rolling a huge rock up

of

hill.

To reach Mycenae, there


root

fulfilled,

a track due

is

promontory

of

south through the

the Argolid.

It

passes

between Acrocorinth and an almost equally high stronghold


called Pentephouka,

Then

it

strikes

and

for

still

crowned by a large Turkish

some miles over

steep

ruin.

rocky ground

At

looking very dismal in the unceasing downpour of rain.


length

it

enters

intersected
for riding.
site

upon a small plain broken by low

by streams, where the

soil

hills

and

becomes sandy and

fit

In a sort of dale hard by, a single wall marks the

where Cleonte once

stood.

Earthquake has

laid

low more

Cleona.

of

THE ARGOLID.

134

than one modern village on this spot, but after each disaster
This hamlet contains a house with a

fresh houses have risen.


" guest

chamber," a long, low apartment, ventilated copiously

through the tiled

way

roof,

of furniture.

but actually containing two settees by

While engaged

down, the guide

in settling

remarks cheerfully that two Germans are coming there for the

little

we

we

Observing that

night.

show

of interest,

receive the

announcement with

he goes on to ask which end of the room

should like to occupy

and then

flashes across us that

it

the landlord, having already let the place once over for the
night,

intends to

secure double

do a sort of Box-and-Cox
Considering,

rent.

other houses in the place,


to

we

business,

and

however, that there are

firmly but respectfully decline

be intruded upon by two perfect strangers, who, as

we

subsequently learned, had no difficulty in procuring accommodation elsewhere.


Nemea.

Next morning, a
brings us to

triumph

of

instituted

slight deviation

Xemea,

from the road to Argos

a very pretty spot.

Heracles over the dreaded

To

celebrate the

a festival was

lion,

which took rank among the four great pan-Hellenic

assemblies.

Xo town grew up

a hicron containing

The whole stood

sacred

at this place

it

temple,

gi-ove,

was simply

and stadium.

valley, watered

in a little smiling

by a

winding brook, enjoying perpetual solitude, except when gay


multitudes from Cleome assembled to
of the athletes

and

witness

the prowess

to celebrate the victories of Heracles

in plain language, those coiKiuests of

human

skill

over nut-

THE ARGOLID.

by which alone man's

ural evil

life

135

has been rendered endur-

able.

The racecourse
into the

stadium and

this

that other at

Delphi where we

There the surroundings are snowy peaks,

so lately stood.

sheer precipices, pine-forests, and sea


in an English landscape

bounding a

hills

for its length, cut right

Nothing can be stronger than the contrast

hill.

between

remarkably wide

is

fertile

here, all are gentle as

a narrow prospect of low grassy

plain covered with grass, corn, and

aromatic shrubs.

Of the temple, three

Corinth show

lightest, as those of

it

of the
its

at its heaviest develop-

So graceful are they as to suggest an Ionic

ment.
is

and a small part

These columns exhibit Doric architecture at

cella walls.

it

pillars are erect

edifice,

and

almost a surprise to discover on a nearer approach the

simple, unornamented capitals.

Following the course of a considerable stream,


our
oSo's,

way
or

along the remains of what Pausanias calls the

"road

carriages

we pursue

full

of holes,"

it is still

as

and describes as practicable

uneven

passable for a wheelbarrow.

as

After a couple of hours,

The subject

left

famous ruin

is

too vast to be

Attempts

harmonise the discrepant versions

of the track.

for

can be, but would barely be

appears on the

to

Tp-qri]

Myceme

of this ever-

more than touched upon


of

the

legends attaching to the mighty house of Atreus,


utterly to give a satisfactory explanation of the

here.

many
fail

as

Mycenean

remains as do judgments based solely upon those remains

Mycenae.

THE ARGOLID.

136

The town

witliout reference to tradition.

so conspicu-

itself,

ous in Homeric story, was destroyed by Argos, certainly not

middle of the

later than the


it

fifth

century

B.C.,

in consequence,

supposed, of the jealousy of that powerful neighbour,

is

whose mean desertion

of the national cause during the Persian

fact that eighty

Myceneans joined

the forces under Leonidas at Thermopyla3.

But though not

war was emphasised by the

destroyed

till

after the Persian war, it

poses disappeared before the

dawn

had

pur-

for practical

of history, since the Dorian

inhabitants of Argos, irreconcilably hostile to the older race

which

still

lived on

near them, had long since reduced

so

The great stronghold

their city to insignificance.

of Pelops thus

became a

desert,

and has altered

of the line

2000

little for

years.

The

mountains

immense

position

of

alike the plain

and the

passes.

long low
Treasury of

an isolated rock on the edge

citadel occupies

this

are

hill,

the

the

famous

first

rise

strength,

Across a

of

the

commanding

little

valley

is

from the level ground, and in


This

" treasuries."

name they have

Atreus.

always borne, and must consequently be 40 designated


it

is

only

highly doubtful whether they were not built for tombs

rather than for treasure-houses.

Tradition

doned

error.

if it

has here committed an

the Pelopid kings

is

may

well be par-

The great wealth

of

everywhere insisted upon in epic and in

drama, and seems to have been the source of that superiority


over contemporary chieftains which
to this mysterious

house

of

is

so constantly attributed

foreign, probably

non-Hellenic,

THE ARGOLID.

When,

origin.

137

men saw on

then, in later ages,

terranean chambers of massive strength,


to hold that they

But the

fact

had been used

that

they

sub-

sj^ot

was not unnatural

to store this wealth away.

outside

are

it

the

throws serious doubts over this

the

once

at

citadel,

Unfortunately, no

belief.

recorded excavations have helped to solve the question by


bringing to light either treasure or

human

But be

remains.

they treasuries or tombs, these buildings will remain one of

Two

the wonders of the world.


pieces

about half of a third

The form

is

left

is

the fourth

is

complete.

that of a huge beehive built within the hill

entrance by a

employed

out of four have fallen to

way excavated

consists of

gradually diminishing

The material

in the hillside.

huge stones

the

rising above each other in

concentric

circles,

smooth

cut

after

being put in place, small stones being forced into the aperture thus created in front between each layer

a lining of extraordinary evenness.

so that there is

The dome

is

purely

supporting, without clamps or cement, and, besides

enormous weight, has

described.
is

The

size

lintel alone is

calculated to weigh over

of executing

of

work

at once so

the blocks have

26

150

feet long

tons.

by 20

been often
thick,

stupendous and so elaborate,

of cover to the whole, has

and from the summit of the


darkness below.

hill

and

generation capable

have been prehistoric, but was certainly not barbaric.


topmost stone, a sort

own

pressure of the earth above.

to bear the

The workmanship and

its

self-

may
The

been removed,

one can look down into the

Unlike the ordinary vault,

this structure

was

THE

138

in

AliGOLll).

no way dependent upon

livni

without

it.

coping, and remains just as

its

small bonfire

and reveals a chamber opening out

may

be

of the

lit

with great

effect,

main building, where

traces are still visible of the futile explorations of

some pre-

Schliemannic German archajologist who had not that great

man's nose
The Acropolis.

From

smelling out antiquities.

for

a few steps

buildings

strange

these

foot of the Acropolis, with its massive walls

The

gate.

lifelike

much

civilisation

them

up.

attitude of

similar

empty

ornament appears

'

and

The

triangular space.

" Pelasgic."

The

first

is

to

both

is

set

"

is

now an

Cyclopean

"

filled

by smaller

the latter to blocks of various polygonal shapes, but


into each other with

cut so as to

fit

The Pelasgic

part of the

smooth

and

applied to rough blocks

put loosely together, with their interstices


stones

lion-

have once stood

where there

architecture

term

and famous

race that carved

over the lintel of the "treasury,"

the

to

rampant beasts argues

these

unknown

in the

lead

surface,

more

Mycenean walls

and has no crannies

or less accuracy.

presents a perfectly

to be filled up.

Both

the lion-gate and the other at the north are approached by a

narrow

alley, in

close quarters

order to expose assailants to a cross-fire at

from the defenders.

These alleys are lined

with stones even more nearly approaching the

Greek architecture proper


fitted,

for

they are tetragonal and closely

but not always rectangular.

fications traditionally rcfeiTed

" Hellenic " or

to

Thus

in one set of forti-

a single date, and in any

case of extreme antiquity, are specimens of the three great

THE ARGOLW.

139

periods into wliicli all buildings on Greek soil have generally

The

been divided.

excellent

workmanship

of the " treasury," Dr

the lions, and some parts of the wall, find a parallel in

many

Schlie-

"^^""

^^'

cavations.

of the articles discovered

by Dr Schliemann within the

The cunning thus displayed

much

gives

food for reflexion

we were once taught

belongs to an age which

barbarous in that country

has nothing in

it

illustrated

Homeric
of

life

it

to regard as

common with

the development of Hellenic art and architecture

toms

citadel.

the cus-

by the excavations do not even accord with

and

Thus

habits.

power and wealth

in the

this

wondrous Argolid, centre

Homeric legend, seems

grave of an older and pre-Hellenic civilisation.

to be the

The

lions,

for instance, are far

more

tures of later date

which immediately preceded the emanci-

lifelike

than the

pation and perfection of Greek plastic art

stiff

the

archaic sculp-

human

figures

with heads of animals point to a religious

spirit

very different

from that revealed in Greek

with

its

tendency to humanise

its

literature,

deities

invariable

the accessories of a great

funeral, as revealed in these tombs, are in strange contrast

with the

rites so

minutely described in the Homeric poems.

These considerations do not disprove the identity of

mann's

relics

memnon and
this

Dr

Schlie-

with the characters known in legend as AgaCassandra

supposition,

that

the

but they do prove,


conditions

of

life

changed in the interval between the age of


tain

and that

last,

being devoid of

at

which the early


the

" historic

if

we admit

had radically

this great chief-

rhax^sodists sang.

sense,"

These

would naturally

THE ARGOLID.

140

attribute to the

own
Identification

covered remains.

of old time the habits obtaining in their

clays.

"We
the

men

and ownership
^

date

comfortable conclusion that

the

arrive, therefore, at

iJr

of

Schliemann's

matters vague and indeterminate, and that

on the matter

is

much

speculation

Nothing proves

but lost labour.

are

treasure

more

this

abundantly than the great excavator's ponderous volume on


Mycenffi

his claims as a scholar or archaeologist are far

commensurate with

his claims as a discoverer

from

and the book

almost ludicrously the perplexity induced by the

illustrates

That Agamemnon, with his

various aspects of the question.

mistress and companions, were all interred within the Acropolis


at Mycense,

that

belief of Pausanias,

was apparently the

Agamemnon and

who

some

is

"

Clytemnestra and ^gisthus were buried a

from the wall, but were deemed unworthy to rest

Agamemnon and

those murdered with

him were

there has been no mention of a city wall

brated wall of the Acropolis


that Pausanias believed

the

Dr Schliemann

to

search,

and we have

little

little

inside,

lying."

w\ay

where

Now

only of the cele-

are justified in assuming

remains of the murdered king

Undoubtedly

to repose within the citadel.


'jested

we

so

douljt

Then he

about the tomb commonly assigned to Cassandra.


:

comrades murdered with him are

his

certainly buried at JMycente, although there

proceeds

says

the

institution

beyond

it

this passage sugof

his

to guide us.

successful

The Greek

dramatists seem uncertain whether to place the scene of Aga1

I'aus.

ii.

16, 3.

THE ARGOLID.

141

rnemnon's death and sepulture at Argos or Mycenae.

them

destruction of the latter city caused


tally in the former
trict

"

"

dis-

additional

In

is laid.

of J^schylus, the " Electra " of Sophocles,

Electra " of Euripides, the topographical notices are

too vague to enable us to decide.


tinctly places the

murder

Menelaus, brother

of the

Tlie

Homeric account

in neither town.

murdered king,

tells his

young guest

Agamemnon,

back from Troy, was driven southward

off

Elmo, and eventually landed, not close at home, but


distant part of the Argolid

but

Thyestes,

"

dis-

In the Odyssey,^

Telemachus how the foul deed was accomplished.


sailing

men-

it

used of the

is

determining at which place the scene

Agamemnon

and the

merge

we have an

as well as of the town, so that

difficulty in

the "

but the name Argos

to

The

St

Caj)e

some

at

the land's end, where erst dwelt

now ^gisthus,

Thyestes'

son."

Here

the

treacherous cousin had kept unceasing watch for the king's


return.

His plans were laid

kinsman

to his house,

ox in the

stall."

lie

invited

and slew him

This

his

board, " like an

at the

perpetration of

unsuspecting

the

murder

out-of-the-way place, in ^gisthus' own home, gives


different aspect

from

tlie

version followed

in

an

it

by the tragedians

but knowing that great honours were paid hy the guilty pair
to the outraged shades of their victims, it
to

suppose

that

were

they

circumstance in the capital.

buried

with

is

natural for us

much pomp and

The charred human skeletons

discovered so recently, hardly recall to us the " gigantic frame


1

Horn. Oa.

iv.

517.

THE ARGOLin.

142

of the

any

King

of

Dr

rate,

Men, or the

fairy

Schlieniann has

of olden time, laid to rest

form of Cassandra."

lUit at

exhumed some powerful

amid

his wives

and

cliief

retainers,

and

decked out with golden ornaments amid possessions which he


cherished while yet alive.

The excavations have

scarcely altered the

Just within the lion-gate

place.

of the

aspect

a nearly circular space

is

containing six empty tombs, surrounded by a narrow passage

formed by a double
precious

contents

row of upright

have

luckily

removed

been

except a single ghastly object kept in a


It is a half -burnt

the shape of

mass in which a

human

are clear
to the air

guardian
Argos.

An
little

and
;

so here

it

in its hideousness

remains under

calls it the corpse of

hard

human

of Argos.

face

the teeth alone

removal or exposure

glass,

and nut even the

Agamemnon.

hour and a half over the plain brings us to the

town

])y.

close inspection reveals

It is incapable of

distinct.

the

Athens,

to

cottage

bones, and the outlines of a

more than mummy-like

All

flagstones.

The wind has dropped, and we

S(pialid

realise

the charms of a Greek spring sunset, such as early training

has taught us to expect.

The

effect is

very sootliing to frames

Up

the

an increasing concourse.

exhausted by exposure to incessant gales and


dirty street
halt

is

pass, followed ly

called in front of a fislnuonger's shop, tlirougli whicli

we proceed
native

we

rain.

into a fold-yard

curiosity.

beyond

Nevertheless a

thus for once cheating

few

waiting outside at whatsoever liour of

loiterers
tlie

are

day or

always

niglit

we

THE ARGOLID.

may
a

chance to emerge, and a cry of


crowd.

little

It is

"

143

" at

Lords

once collects

very gratifying to be a public character,

but a retiring nature sometimes feels overwhelmed with the


honour.

An encampment

is

soon accomplished in the bare back- News from

room, and to help to while away the bad hour or two which
invariably precede dinner,

Athens journal

of

we send

some antiquity

is

^'"'

An

out for a newspaper.

procured, wherein a single

278

cold-blooded telegram curtly announces that out of

seats

the Eadicals have gained about 32, and that even the Conservative press has accepted a change of Ministry.

announcement

is

result through the events of each successive day.

who fancy

Upon tempers

that their chance has

thus sweetened, there

consequently hardly less


Maltee, in
into

the

The blow

accounts,

fell

now indeed

supplies,

gives

whence we discover that he


and men, wine, and a few other

extras, in spite of the accurate

Our

ISTot

guileless

occasion to go
is

treating one

little trifles,

agreement in which

incidental expenses were included.

come.

an immediate, and a

annoyance.

acute

demanding fresh

of the horses

feeling in the

all

as

these

humour

submit to extortion, we decline absolutely to concede his

claims
as

for

embittered by the ill-suppressed exultation of the noble

Hellenes,

to

by

startling in a degree hardly appreciable

whose minds have been gradually prepared

those

is

Such an

best

whereupon he hints darkly

we

can.

grow on every

Now

tree of the

at leaving us to get

cooks, beds,

away

and kitchens do not

Morea, and we begin to recollect

dragoman's

THE ARGOLID.

144

that no

amount

of

on our side would compensate

legal right

our

own

control our rising choler,

and

us for the fearful inconvenience of being

way

out of the mess

we

so

left to find

determine to ride into Nauplia, and see

we can

if

there dis-

cover any substitute.

Accordingly, keeping dark our


select the three

;Mr Dragoman,

most

1'

youtli

named

'*'"

ygj.j different

appreciates the holiday, start

most agreeable

The plain on

of

our

this side of

staff,

Argos

a
is

from the portion we had traversed on the preIt is

not only

is

the

Anastasius.

ceding evening.
soil

of

we next day

purpose,

our horses, and leaving behind

who thoroughly

under the protection


The Argive

fiery of

fell

unlike most parts of Greece, for the

fertile

but cultivated

and

all

along the

excellent road leading to Nauplia are corn-fields, vineyards,

tobacco -plantations, and orange -orchards, showing what in-

dustry might

make

of Greece

the

roused in the breast of


gardens,

with

frequently, and

respectable

if

any such virtue could be

average

houses

altogether this

southern Italy rather than Greece.

bit

The

of

un-

not

occur

attached,

little

"Walled

inhabitant.

country recalls

illusion

is

further

increased by the unusual quantity of vehicles upon the road

plying to and fro between the two towns, this being a great
feast-day at Nauplia.

An
Nauplia.

untimely downfall of rain makes us leave Tiryns

the return journey and push on to


pretty

tlie

port.

town overhung by the great Palamedes

jirovisionally the ca])ital

of the country for

Nauplia
rock.

It

some years

for

is

was
after

111

THE ARGOLID.

145

the war of independence, and exhibits attempts at civilisation,

such as pavement in the streets and glass in the shop-

But

windows.

as

proof of the backwardness of even so

highly favoured a place as

this,

we may mention

that un-

resined wine was obtainable only at one shop, where a single

kind of bottled native liquor was to be procured


afterwards enjoyed even this

modicum

we never

The eparch

of luck.

of Pyrgos subsequently explained to us that his

countrymen

so greatly preferred the flavour of turpentine to that of the

grape, as to render

any importation

of the decent

Greek vin-

tages absolutely unremunerative.

After duly visiting the

gateway

of the

"

and turn about

made us wonder how

would ever have got on but

we bethink

the Venetian occupation,

In

harbour and handsome old

town, which once more

the " sons of the Hellenes

of our visit,

little

for

us of the main purpose

to look for advice

and information.

spite of the festival, the population has retired indoors to

avoid the rain.

We

at length elicit the fact that there is

no

English vice-consul in Nauplia, but are du-ected to the abode

commerce

of the protector of Italian

opinion being our main object.


to

an

independent foreign

Unfortunately, he turns out

have gone to Mycenae, in order to receive there

honour the friends from


gentleman inhabiting a
us to walk up-stairs.

whom we

flat

He

in the

witli

parted at Corinth

same house

due

but a

politely asks

proves to be a money-lender, and

talks excellent English, but understands with

some

difficulty

the nature of our requirements, having probably never been

THE ARGOLID.

146

into the interior or given a thought as to

Anything

are carried out.

like a guide,

appliances, he pronounces to be an
so, after

how such

with the necessary

unknown animal

a further interchange of civilities,

Outside

we come

we

of the garrison

is

bearing

standing outside holding the three horses,


occasioned

little difficulty.

their breasts,

and the whole

dance, dragging round

down upon

Anastasius

who

all

lot

tlie

commence a

sort of Pyrrhic

and round the unhappy youth, who

and

fall in

and greatcoats

various directions

the oozy street amid the crash of broken wine-

However, order

bottles.

fly off in

Our

we have time

gives place to disgust when, before

to intervene, rugs

of this

dormant within

fire

manfully hangs on to the end of the reins and halters.

amusement

is

hitherto have

But the excruciating sound

music arouses

strans:e martial

Nauplia

take our leave.

playing the Greek national anthem.

us, lustily

at

in for a quaint, but to ourselves unpleas-

The band

ing, spectacle.

expeditions

we

soon restored, and

is

ride out

towards Argos.
Natural

On

liis-

tory of the

Greek horse.

two

the way,

we draw

of the horses,

out Anastasius,

and knows

all

who

himself owns

about the third.

The two

with halters are respectively 23 and 20 years of age, while


the spirited animal with the " English
of

15:

"but

young,"

then,"

says

the proud

"

saddle

owner, "liis heart

this longevity is

is

due to the humane system

of morally never unharnessing these animals.


lias

a mere colt

"We think once more of the Pickwickian cab-horse,

and assume that

leader

is

been

all

Our temporary

along very proud of his position of con-

THE ARGOLID.

fidence,

and

14"

deeply pained at havino- been degraded before

is

the military and

burgesses

of

our Peloponnesian employes, he

Nauplia.

Like the rest of

a vast

improvement on the

is

northern Greeks, of whose surly impudence he, for one, has

no

He

trace.

gives us a good deal of information, and fully

understands that

Churches

is

we

eat

meat because the Lent

already past

of the

Western

but he evidently has serious doubts

whether the members of those religious bodies can be classed


JMoreover, he volunteers

as Christians.

hearing one or two,


voice

we

some songs

him not

earnestly beg

but after

injure his

to

by continuing.

Close to the roadside, about half-wa}^ round the bay, are Thyns.

the eternal walls of Tiryns, that other miglity remnant of the

Like Mycenre,

heroic age in the Argolid.

Argives,
city,

who

and

Mycente,
" piled

forcibly

left
it

it

it fell

a prey to the

removed the inhabitants into

a desert.

their

Euder and more massive than


it

was

of giants for godlike kings of old."

It

answers well to the current belief that

by the hands

represents Cyclopean architecture in


that, says Pausanias,-^ " a

yoke

Blocks so huge

excelsis.

mules could not move the

of

very smallest of them," are piled up some 40 feet in

and 50 in thickness, a breadth


observable.

The whole

like

an island from

out

of

place

entrance,

on

or 8

structure rests

upon

plain,

tlie

of

side

towards
1

Pau^.

lieight

being in places
a

low

hill

rising

and looks strangely weird and

amid the surrounding


the

own

ii.

cultivation.

Nauplia,
2.5,

8.

are

two

At

the

galleries

THE ARGOLID.

148

within the thickness of the wall, one at least a hundred feet

Whether

long.

men

conceal the

is

a matter of the merest conjec-

Their shape and construction

there

is

are very peculiar,

to the

Greek or Roman mind

hardly less marvellous than the pyramids of Egypt.

The

inte-

been raised by the accumulations of ages almost to the

level of their

top,

unlovely modern
rests

and

no egress at the farther end.

Such are the walls of Tiryns,

rior has

to

defend the gate, or simply as

told off to

armouries for the garrison,


ture.

ambuscade

these were used for purposes of

and

life

affords

around

is

a pleasing solitude where the


quite

shut out, and the eye

only on a luxuriant growth of spring flowers, enlivened

by the loving gambols

of

two hoopoes, and where the mind

can speculate undisturbed upon the

and so

so rude
in the "

skilful,

midst of Aroos

unknown

people, at once

who

laid these fragments in their place

that fertile sea- washed region where

"

Perseus, Heracles, Danaus, Pelops, and the " king of

"

men

held sway.

But
portant

it is

time to get back to Argos, so as to explore that im-

city.

Unfortunately, this work

to the various destructions


Theatre of

"

'

liill

very

wrought upon the

the large theatre, where about 6

another small theatre near

is

it,

and a large

summit

of the ancient Acropolis.

barrack

is

It

place.

owing

There

is

tiers of seats are discernible

castle

behind, with Pelasgic foundations, proving

piazza.

light,

it

on the high
to

occupy the

Inside the town a large

the most remarkable building, situated in a sort of


is

more pretentious than the

otlier

small towns

THE ARGOLID.

of Greece,

which are usually nothing but big


of cottages

collections

and farm-houses;

Venetians have been, there

upon

149

mere

but wherever the

invariably some improvement

is

In one respect, however, we failed

this state of things.

to appreciate the

villages

admixture of Italian blood flowing in the

veins of the Argive population

the rising generation of this

place are most incurably addicted to begging, and cling to the


stranger with a pertinacity equal to that of young lazzaroni.

Elsewhere in Greece there

is

no mendicancy, force or fraud

being popularly regarded as nobler and more successful modes


of acquiring the property of other people.

But we had occasion

bless

to

Argos

for

something besides

its

Hitherto, never having stayed

beggars.

night in

the

same

we had

village,

escaped

more than one


attacks of

the

But here on the second evening they

domestic insects.

dis-

covered us, and issued from their hiding-places in considerable


force.

We

did not complain

the landlord would have been

incapable of entering into the cause of our annoyance

we

"

swore an oath and kept

it,"

with a mind as

"

but

equal

" as

the circumstances permitted, never again to remain anywhere


for

two consecutive days

till

we should have reached

civilised

latitudes.

In the morning we found our guide, philosopher, and friend


in a very
of

humble frame

the day before.

So,

of

mind, subdued by our firm attitude

with

much inward

thankfulness,

we

consented to finish our proposed tour on the original terms,

promising

him

liberal

present

Entomological
studies.

if

he gave

satisfaction

THE

150

throughout.

Ilis

weak points thenceforth became doubly

Through northern Greece and

prominent.

had followed a
proposed

AliGOLID.

to

line

give

Argolid

tlie

"We now

with which he was familiar.

up

and

Laconia

visiting

way

order to traverse the Peloponnese by

of

we

Messenia,

in

central Arcadia,

fondly hoping to realise the pastoral descriptions of the Italian

Our dragoman, however, had never

poets.

by way

of Sparta,

and

either could not or

crossed except

would not admit

Maps and

the possibility of adopting the route suggested.

guide-books declared that Tripolitza might be reached in a


long day's journey from Argos

and was not going

to

but he had never done

begin at his time of

At

argument employed.

sort of

life

it,

that was the

he consented to consult

last

native opinion, and returned with the startling information


that Tsipiana

few hours

of

Tripolitza

was

was the point

make

for, as

being within a

Megalopolis.

In vain we pointed out that

in a straight

Hne between these two

and that consequently


detour

to

his

proposal

involved

places,

needless

he decHned to look at maps or books, which, as he

could not read, could scarcely have

and roundly reasserted the

made him much

the wiser,

facts just furnished to him.

Hav-

ing long ceased to be surprised at anything, and knowing two


sides of a triangle to be the direction usually followed in this

country in order to get along


departed for Tsipiana.

tire

base,

we gave way and

HAPPY ARCADIA.

CHAPTER

151

X.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

THE

road out of the Argive plain

liant

with anemones and purple

picturesque shrubs.
bed,

is

Then

up

a gentle slope, bril-

irids,

the track runs along a deep river-

where more than one broken Turkish bridge

the " fecklessness " of the powers that be.


is

and dotted with

testifies to

The mid-day

by the water-side, where the bank widens out

halt

into a little

plateau of the greenest turf sprinkled with wild olive-trees

one of those deep-soiled hollows so

stone hills of England

common

in the lime-

but in this misused land no labour

calls forth the fertility of

such spots, and the bells of a flock

sounding faintly from the mountains alone give signs of habitation.

The post-prandial meditation

the baggage -horses,


roll

who suddenly

is

perturbed by one of

takes

it

into his head to

upon the sward, crushing with an ill-omened sound the

dressing-bags and valises

upon

his back.

The

flattening of

our only paint-box, and consequent intermixture of


is

its colours,

not the least irritating result of his light-heartedness.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

152

For a long two hours we climb almost perpendicular rocks,


the guide with his

yawning gulf

coming down on the brink of a

steed

but not yet will he deign to walk.

In our

before the top of the pass the track utterly vanishes.

hopeful
o-*

o^e.

we

perplexity

met by a

are

little

boy driving a

Just

flock of goats,

j^ spite of his tender years he declines to direct us except


for a pecuniary consideration,

necessary

him

induce

to

and a display

to

his

alter

the stick

of

is

determination.

scramble through cloud and snow brings us over the ridge,

whence

far

below us

the

lie

plains

Arcadia

of

clad

in

sunlight.

The descent

beyond

painful

is

dragoman and the cook prefer trusting


and the beasts are

We

way down.
sort
"
Tsipiana.

move gingerly along

estuary of the

of

combes

"

of

our

is

to
to

their

own

legs,

find

their

own

the rocky side of a

table-land below, in shape

southern

Tsipiana, our destination,


left

and allowed

go

let

the

like

At the entrance

coast.

lies

and on the towering summit on the

a monastery, whence the brethren have a glorious

prospect of the doings of the village at their

men

Sending the

to

make arrangements

under a mistake,

repaid

it

nothing to see in the


as

historically

Arcadia.

The

way and

walls

way

it

us

for

the

of antiquities,

illustrates

the

feet.

for tlie night,

sally forth to explore this little-known spot.

well

Even the

description.

Though

visited

There

trouble.

we

is

but geologically as

condition

of

Happy

identity of its remains, consisting of a gate-

on

the

citadel,

has

never

been

satisfac-

"

HAPPY ARCADIA.

Perhaps

established.

torily

but

this

the

best

uncertainty

times

of

centrifugal

occult

between the

is

little

was

it

only

known and

power

common

region,

or

co

great

this

at

Some

operation

table-land,

gathering together

of

centre obtained but a qualified suc-

Thus the very names

cess.

that

civilised.

union

communities occupying

in a

of
less

and even Epaminondas's grand idea


their

Melangia

formerly

typical

prevented

force

153

of these

towns have perished,

except a few, like Tegea and Mantinea, while none of them

The inhabitants were pro-

played a great part in history.


verbial for

want

the

district.

the

acme

did

swains

swampy

Flat

so

of picturesque beauty,

Italian poets,

rustic

and

Such

satyr.

the

of

pastoral

this

plains,

poetry

country,

and low,

as

earliest

up

spring

many

of

these.

amid

persons

rolling, treeless
;

Arcadia as

originate with the

and not even amongst the

Greek

of

of

chosen home of faun

attributes

evoke spontaneous bursts of song


soil

was the greater part

The Greek poets never speak

and nymph and

Neither

of culture,

the

suppose.

hills,

do not

nor does an ungrateful

produce that more quiet sense of thankfulness for nature's

bounties,

which in rich though unpicturesque lands some-

times finds an utterance in verse.

The plain wherein Tsipiana stands


fortunate conditions here alluded

to.

illustrates well the

Just as

we have

great part of the Bceotian lowlands to be a hopeless


similar causes

name

mar the

fertility of this country,

of EleStov 'Apyov, or "

Lazy

Plain,"

is

un- The " Barren


Plain.

seen a

swamp,

so do

and the ancient

well deserved.

Al-

HAPPY ARCADIA.

154

most shut

by

in

water from every

tall

mountains,

side,

and

stream whose only outlet

is

receives torrents of rain-

it

drained insufficiently by a single


a magnificent katavothron.

is

phenomenon, so common in the Greek mountains, has

The

illustration here.

it,

and

it

an opening in the side

vanishes into the bowels of the earth, only

to reappear, as Pausanias believed, in the

number

ment

to

see

easily a

down

across

stranger

him

cave were a

to

astonish-

suddenly appear at the


the thought

there flashed

push could send a man

how

destruction and oblivion

that boiling tide.

Eeturning to the
a low dirty
of

this

IMighty was their

current.

a European

entrance, while

of the sea off a

of natives grinding corn at three small

the

mills erected in

bed

Within

place called Dine in the Argolid.


considerable

best

acropolis forms a projecting spur of rock

against which the torrent charges


receives

its

This

some

loft,

tiles

village,

We

kennel

so

think the demarch might

to rather better quarters

that functionary was " not at

upon him,

are directed to our lodging

rendered rather too airy by the displacement

in the roof.

have guided us

we

home

"

but

when

it

the guide called

the latter promptly contracted

offered.

stone floor does not

any warmer, neither are we

appears that

make

for

the

first

the di-aughts

specially gratified to perceive that

the family and suite are to pass the night on the other side of
Another

soci-

In come the host and his father

a thin wooden partition.

(who, like Laertes in the

dom

to his son),

'

Odyssey,' has

made over

and show themselves very

the king-

sociable, insisting

HAPPY ARCADIA.

upon pledging us
in theirs

in our

own

155

wine, and upon our pledging them

which arrangement proved rather one-sided,

as

could not swallow theirs, while they both could and did
serious inroads into

our

little

We

store.

we

make

are asked lots of

questions, but decline to understand them, so the conversation goes on in the following strain
"

Host

How much

did the lords pay for their revolvers,

their boots, their watches


"

Dragoman.
to inform

him

"
?

Gentlemen, he begs you to be so very kind as

of the value of these articles."

Englislimen. "

on account of

power;

The revolvers are worth 2000 francs

their exquisite

the boots

cost

apiece,

workmanship and extraordinary

500, and the watches 20 francs."

{Then, observing that the good gentleman has got hold of our
cartridges,

and

is

preparing

to

appropriate some

:)

" Tell

that these cartridges are capable of going off at any


carelessly handled,

if

and would blow the roof

him

moment

off."

Host {dragoman having interpreted) hurriedly drops his plunder,


"

and asks

Liberals

"

Are they lovers

of

freedom

"

{Greek for

").

Englishmen. " Tell

him

that freedom

is

dear to the heart of

every Englishman, whether or no he belong to the political


party styled Liberal, and that," &c., &c.

Dragoman

{succinctly).

Englishman

ivatches

and

is

"

{perceiving that

attempting

Disgust of host.

No."

to

he

wind

has ijiched up one of the


it

up with

"Tell him to put that watch down, or

I'll,"

the corkscrew).
&c.,

&c.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

156

"

Dragoman.

The gentleman begs you

to

be so extremely

much

good as to give up his watch, because, though very


intentions, he

obliged for your kind

has already

wound

it

up."
"

ITost.

Do

they

know Pausanias

Englishmen {not ivishing


Greek).

"

Who
"

Host.

is

he

to oivn to

"
?

a knoivledgc even of ancient


"

friend of yours

Ancient writer."

Englishmen.

"

What

did he write about

Host doesn't know.


Englishmen

{to start

fellow the demarch

Conversation

a nctv

flags.

Ask him what

"

topic).

"
?

sort of a

is."

"

Host {immediately tqjon interpretation).

Oh, such a beast

"
!

Host

Englishmen burst out laugliing before interpretation.


stares.

Dragoman

{solemnly).

"

He

says he does not love

him

as a

brother."

This sort of thing lasts for ab"out two hours, after which

our entertainer seems anxious to put us to bed, and

blow out the candles.

we mildly

object

As we

have, of course, not undressed,

but he seems to think

leave us before the lights are out

we say

"

tries to

so,

it

discourteous to

plucking up courage,

good-night " in Greek, very pointedly.

At about

the

sixth repetition, he takes the hint, and leaves us to the gentle

slumber into which we soon sink, lulled by the excited argu-

ments

of the domestic circle in the adjoining apartment.

Next morning, during the course

of

our

toilette,

we

are

HAPPY ARCADIA.

by the members

visited

157

male and female, bring-

of tiie family,

ing coins and bronzes from the village antiquary.


functionary

official

an appendage

is

apparently buys up on speculation

values of his wares

him

will cheat

all

need look

None but

" a rise "

Indeed the

be

nothing of the

professed numismato-

out of the archtieologist by


lot,

or

making some other

country has been pretty well

and

cleared of anything of value,

would be the merest

it

the whole stock-in-trade

if

may

but assuming that purchasers

bidding a drachma for the whole

chance

that

these things, unless the traveller care to

at

amuse himself by getting

sarcastic offer.

anything

village

^^^^^^^^S^^*-

they can, he asks some ludicrously high

price for everything alike.


logists

every hamlet, and

He knows

discovered in the neighbourhood.


relative

to

This un- The

were not composed

of

rubbish.

Our

now announces

leader

that

it

is

Andritsena that night, passing through an

Now

called Vedina.

not only

is

to

reach

unknown

place

possible

the latter undiscoverable, but

the whole distance looks about a two days' journey, to judge

by our usual

know
to

best,

rate of progress.

we

sally forth

Still,

supposing the natives

and emerge from the

village,

to

when,

our disgust, six soldiers come up and declare that they

have

strict

orders to

accompany

us.

The demarch, whom

universal testimony declared to have been in his house all the


time, has

now found

it

directed us to lodgings
to despatch

an

escort

convenient to be

" at

home

"

would have caused him trouble


gives

have

to
;

but

him none, and enhances

his

Contradictory

HA pry ARCADIA.

158

own

dignity, while relieving

liini

of all responsibility

on our

account.

In vain we assure the men that we can dispense with their


services

their orders are

They

Alpheus.
practicable,

peremptory

we had maintained

and drivers partake

As

the

through the narrow neck

we made our way


his death in the

to

wliicli joins

to our right

all

talking at

of terminating,

Debouching

begin.

the great plain to the

the low walls of Mantinea,

over the ground whereon Epaminondas met

moment

level, the occasion

and

groups of disputants with our sticks,

little

and lea^ing

through

soldiers, natives, guide,

shows no signs

and peremptorily order the march

" Lazy,"

is

Hereupon ensues

at Argos.

gesticulating, swearing,

this state of things

we break up

Andritsena

to

an impassioned discussion, in which

once.

convoy us across the

also observe that our proposed route is im-

and that our only way

Tripolitza, as

to

of victory.

seemed favourable

The
for

soil

being soft and

impro^^ng upon our

ordinary rate of progress, which, on the average, might be

estimated at two miles an hour


Drawbacks of
an escor

so

we urged our

steeds into

a sort of amble, and overtook the advanced-guard,

^^^^ began to ruu in order to retain the

The

lead.

who

at

sight of

the poor fellows poundiug along at the double, burdened witli


their rifles
last, in

and greatcoats, was grotesque

sheer pity,

we

At

pulled up, and pointed out the needless-

ness of their exertions

but they answered that they had

received strict injunctions to precede us.


this obedience tliat

in the extreme.

we were anxious

Now

it

was exactly

to discourage, l)ecause the

HAPPY ARCADIA.

wind was blowing

159

our teeth, and

full in

aware of much garlic moving before us

made us

painfully

so that there

was no

chance of escaping the infliction except by ourselves getting

them
full

comrades in the

join their

to

responsibility

any

for

we induced

After long persuasion,

in front of the nuisance.

evils

undertaking the

rear,

that might in consequence

befall us.

At noon

was entered

Tripolitza

Founded a century

the most

modern

of towns.

ago, it l^ecame the Turkish capital of the

Peloponnese, but was utterly destroyed during the "war of

independence

hence

its

We

extreme newness.

ally intended to rest there for the previous night,

contrasted

its

of

origin-

and ruefully

comfortable-looking houses with the den that

had sheltered us
example

had

Tsipiana.

at

This was

what the stranger may expect

but an everyday
to suffer

from the

ignorance and mendacity of the rustics, who, uninformed of


the existence of places within a day's ride of their homes,

concoct mythical statements as to routes and distances, less

perhaps from a love of practical joking than from a dislike of


not seeming to

know

better than other people.

of Tripolitza, apprised of our arrival,


night, appeared to
at least,

they were

all

assembled in the central square,

national dress, except the military and


in

and expecting us

last

have been on the look-out ever since

fine-looking set of men, every one of

clad

The populace

frock-coat

uniform of his kind.

whom was
tlie

wearing the

demarch, who was

and "go-to-meeting" hat

the

official

Tripolitza.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

ino

He

expresses deep regret at not having had the honour of

entertaining

iis

on the previous night, a sentiment wherein we

we

Neither can

fully participate.

stop for coffee and conver-

sation (the Hellenic substitute for " tea


tlie

and talk

"),

owing

distance between this place and Megalopolis, which

are

bound

we

pass

by the

to reach

down the
civil

the citizens.

streets

and military

At

many

So, with

to-night.

and out

bulk of

a solemn leave-taking,

and we shake hands with the demarch,


their respective

accompanied

authorities, as well as the


is

we

polite speeches,

of the town,

the outskirts there

to

tlie

prefect of police,

myrmidons, and most of the principal burghers.

we

After advancing some yards,

look back, and perceive the

guide going through the same ceremony, evidently

much

to

his satisfaction.
Airadian

The next few hours unfold

.UK scape.

snow-capped peaks give a

far distance

be desired, and that the same

may be

and in any

case, there

foreground or middle distance

is

hills

chorus of
to-day

said of

clear,

they are in-

no pleasing object in the

flats

such

is

rest.

on either hand, shape-

without vegetation, no signs of


countless frogs

to

Taygetus on the

on which the eye can

Clouds of dust on the road, marshy


less

which leaves nothing

but unless the day be unusually

visible

the hideousness of central

True that on the north Mount Cyllene and other

Arcadia.

south

all

life

but the endless

the central Arcadia of

a bleak, unlovely table-land.

Leaving to the

left

the

sites

of

Tegea and Pallanteum,

and crossing the low ground, the road follows a

long, steep

HAPPY ARCADIA.

whose summit commands the wide undulating plain

ascent,
of

161

Megalopolis.

The bottom takes a considerable time

reach by means of a well-engineered and winding road.

hardly needful to say that this


as

if

it

Ottoman

is

to

It is

a Turkish work, and looks

had never been repaired since the expulsion of the


:

yet so good

is

its

construction, that

used after half a century of neglect.


overtake cook and baggage,

whom we

The whole party

an hour in advance.

it

can

still

be

During the descent we


fondly imagined to be
is

looking helplessly at

one of the horses, who has been seized with a rolling

fit

on the

verge of the precipice, and although he has escaped destruction,

has succeeded in squashing the luggage and bursting the

bonds

secured

til at

mischief

is

repaired,

it

to

his person.

After some delay the

and we pursue our way with the pleasing

assurance that the satisfaction of hunger must be indefinitely


postponed.

We
in,

providentially get

and soon traverse the

The

the town.

down

before the night has fully set Megalopolis.

level country dividing the hills

cook's failure to

make good use

from

of his start

imposes upon us the disagreeable necessity of seeking quarters


in the dark.

The demarch,

of course,

is "

not at home," but a

bystander points out the prefect of police in


is

tlie street.

immediately captured, and in self-defence guides us

eparch's house.

This

teously takes us

in,

official is

young and a bachelor

and we establish ourselves

him

to dinner, the invariable practice

to tlie

he cour- The

in the office, as

bein^ the only room large enough for the purpose.


invite

He

We

then

under such circum-

Epar-

HAPPY ARCADIA.

102

stances.

He

appreciates the unresined wine, but grows neither

inquisitive nor

communicative under

mation that we are not

European

in

politics

" lovers of

influence.

its

freedom

"

The

infor-

exhausts his interest

wliile his care for national affairs is con-

fined to the acquittal of the late war-minister on a charge of

peculation,

a result due, as he informs us, not to any lack of

evidence against the accused, but to the reluctance of both

He

parties to investigate these little matters.

nature of his
" nome,"

is

a subdivision of the

and both nomarchs and eparchs are appointed by the

He

Government.

mere

The eparchy

office.

expounds the

therefore superior to the

is

local functionary elected in

a fact which

he

is

each

"

demarch

deme," or commune

not backward in

impressing on

(nir

minds.

Megalopolis was different from the usual Hellenic city both


in

B.C.,

it

and

position

when

Founded

in the fourth century

the art of fortification was thoroughly understood,

had no need

hills,

constitution.

of

an acropolis, and stood well away from the

city of

a very

the plain."

liuge circumference of

Its

about six miles contrasted strangely with the


of the ordinary
Sparta,

who

town

indeed

it

was even

she required.

and

w^

ere all the fortification

This vast area was never fully peopled, and

Babylon

corn-fields

larger than that of

possessed no walls, boasting that her natural

position and the valour of lier citizens

recalls

strait precincts

or

Nineveh,

pleasaunces,

with

their

wide

rather

than

anytliing

intramural

Greek.

Neither was Megalopolis the seat of a new sovereignty, inde-

HAPPY ARCADIA.

pendent

of the

federation into

Arcadian communities

which these

cities, to

163

it

the

was the centre

number

of forty,

of a

were

induced to enter.

To Epaminondas was due

and

execution.

After breaking the power of Sparta on the

Leuctra, he

saw that the only method of permanently

its

field of

suppressing that great


of

a rival

power

in

enemy

of

conception

this

Thebes was the establishment

The

the central Peloponnese.

"

Great

City " sprang up in three years, and received contingents of


colonists

from every place in the neighbourhood, except the

more powerful Tegea and Mantinea


not included in the
out of the twelve

list,

but these towns, though

favoured the project by furnishing six

cekists,

or founders.

Theban was perhaps not

fully

The

attained

ideal of the great


for

many

of

the

inhabitants, obeying the indomitable tendencies of their race,


drifted gradually

back to their old homes.

Nevertheless the

newly established council and assembly continued

to regulate

the affairs of the union, and Megalopolis retained strength

not only to resist successfully

all

the attacks of the Lacedae-

monians, but also to prove a perpetual thorn in their

side.

Surprised at night and in time of truce by Cleomenes, tyrant


of Sparta,
its

it

was burnt

foundation.

to the ground, a century

Eebuilt immediately,

it

"

after

rapidly and peace-

fully decayed, so that in Strabo's time it is

scribed as a " great desert

and a half

humorously de-

and Pausanius compares

it

with

Thebes or Nineveh, as a melancholy instance of vanished


greatness.

Flat as are the immediate surroundings, there

is

something

HAPPY ARCADIA.

1(54

very taking in
of

Helisson, the river

tlie

town

and

sterility

The

theatre,

The

yesterday

and swamp

the river-side

in

is

visible

have crossed the


drainage

between to-day's scenery

wonderful

fruitfulness

to

to

land which finds

difference

is

hanks

ran through the centre of the

it

is

change from

By

and running water.

the theatre, the largest in

is

masonry

the

of

now

be

to

into the Ionian sea.


of

tliat

westward course proves us

its

watershed, and

and that

Fertile fields clothe the

situation.

tlu'

all

Greece.

Little

but grass, shrubs, and dwarf oaks

turn the huge mass into a very pretty dingle, sloping g6ntly

down

to the clear current beneath.

Crossing the Alpheus below

we wandered

Mount

Lycajus on our

true Arcadia
Karytreiia.

left

junction with the Helisson

down

hand.

western bank, with

its

At Karyticna begins
wood and

the land of crag and

and the Dryads.

I'an

of

hours

for three

its

torrent,

Karytiena occupies the

over the

and summit of a beetling crag

face

home

site of

ancient Brenthe, but possesses no Hellenic remains.

the

the

It lies

one side

is

separated by a deep gorge from another rock whereon stands


a grand old

bed

the roaring Alpheus.

of

trict^

Frankish tower, and

human

On

race.

and there stood

human
^

Paus.

sacrifice,

viii.

1,

This

by the inhabitants

believed

the other overhangs

the

that old-world dis-

is

to be the

cradle of

the

Lycjeus they asserted that Zeus was reared,


his altar,

where Lycaon

its

and forthwith became a wolf

2, states

that Pclasgus was born

tliere.

founder offered
(Xukos).

Here

Tliis is equivalent

to claiming Arcadia as the birtlii)lacc of the aborif^iual inliabitiuits of all Greece.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

too were celebrated the Lyca?an

human

origin

and

the oldest that had a

here was the great temple of Pan.

the country of the

men

games

165

golden age, wherein gods walked with

as friends long before the growth of w^ealtli and pride

and wrong caused these manifestations to cease from

Such indeed

earth.

every

is

and self-conscious age

civilised

off the

no more than the popular belief of

Science tends to prove

man

It is

it

although unhappily

groundless by showing primitive

have been in reality but a very wretched and unlov-

to

Nevertheless, in such a region, amid nature's

able creature.
beauties,

unmarred by man's presence,

it

is

permissible,

if

anywhere, to indulge in these day-dreams and look regretfully

back on an imaginary

At an

past.

hour's distance from Karytsena the path strikes due Woodland

westward, leaving the Alpheus valley, and plunging into the


forests that cover the heights

now

on that

side.

The scenery

exactly suited to the genius of pastoral poetry

grand, but wild and varied.

wooded bed, and

make charming

of

Mount

pictures

in

Glimpses of the river in

not very
its

deep

Lycteus clothed in oak and

ilex,

their

frames of green boughs

masses of dense thunder-cloud hang about, imparting

effects

and shade such as one usually associates with Scot-

of light

land.

is

Both colouring and form seem

from Greece

and the presence

of

to carry us far

vegetation, with

sequently plentiful supply of water, helps the

away

a con-

illusion

reminding us of the burns and becks of our own land.


trees are

mainly oaks, but of three or four distinct kinds

by
The

and

HAPPY ARCADIA.

166

the open glades are filled witli ailnitus, myrtle, eytisus, and

other sweet-smelling shrubs.


Oi)stiuctioii.

Progress

slow,

necessarily

is

the

being formed

road

of

bare rock, and following the picturesque though scarcely convenient windings of the mountains.

we

Once, in the open,

encountered a peasant with a long train of pack-beasts.

dead-lock appeared imminent, as there was no possibility of

and neither party seemed anxious

passing,

to retreat

more-

over, a

sudden disagreement between one of our horses and one

of the

enemy's mules promised to land both those animals

several hundred feet below the level whereon they then stood.

came forward, and having succeeded

Luckily, our escort

convincing
assisted

the

him

obstructionist

to

that

backwards

retire

he

was

with

in

his

spot sufiiciently wide to admit of our passing.

in

the wrong,
into

The mules

of

train

course displayed some obstinacy, and were only driven back


at the point of the bayonet

forced

harm

them

to

draw

off

resulted from their

but as the nature of the ground

with their faces to the enemy, no


recalcitrations

to

any one except

themselves.

Distances are always understated, so

of

course the esti-

mated four hours from Karyta-na had not even brought us


Aiulritseiiii.

in sight of Andritscua.

as to its existence,

it

builder, like tliose of

But just as grave doubts were

burst upon us round a liill-corner.

Arakhova and Karytana, seems

chosen an inclination of 45 for his


his skill

in

setting

arising

to

Its

have

site, in

order to exhibit

up houses warranted not

to slide into the

HAPPY ARCADIA.

Though apparently

abyss below.

we

beheld

first

reaching

it

it,

so close

was a

there

1G7

of

lot

to

when

the place

work

do before

to

a long circuit of the valley to be accomplished,

including a break-neck descent and a lung-exhausting climb.

An
is

even greater peculiarity than the steepness

their extreme narrowness, the roofs

absence both of sweetness and

enough

may

to expect the

of

actually contained

were shy

for

one

is

notable

sanguine

latter.

was unusually

some furniture
;

compelled us to stack

make room

is

former quality in a Greek town, but he

entertainment

lumbering description

No

light.

reasonably hope to find the

Our house

streets

often approaching to

Thus there

within three feet of each other.

of its

of a

rather

clean,

curious

and Unwonted
and

but the smallness of the apartment


it

outside in the balcony, in order to

Luckily,

our beds.

it

did not rain.

Insects

also a matter for congratulation.

In the morning Messrs Cook and Co. depart for Tsakha, a


little

hamlet at three hours' distance, where we propose to

spend the night after visiting Bassa?, which


or southern side of Andritsena.

extreme, but most

difficult.

sides of precipitous ravines,

At

The
first

ride

is

lies

on the other

picturesque in the

the track winds along the

and eventually disappears in sheer

rock, so that the ascent has to be finished on foot.

nature

is

Of

this

the access to the famous temple, whether one start

from Andritsena or Phigalia


attribute its preservation

and

for while

Morea has more than a few columns

to its

situation

we may

no other building in the


standing,

we

find here a

Bassse.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

168

specimen of the best period of Greek architecture nearly exterTeniple of

nally complete.

monument speaks

noble

Tliis

to us with pcr-

haps greater eloquence than any other in the world.

It is not

the handiwork of the citizens of Athens, Thebes, or Argos

it

does not bear witness to the wealth and power of any leading
State,

unknown Arcadian town.

but of an almost

dour of Delphi or the luxury of Corinth are


realised

So the splen-

now most

from a comparison with this temple, erected by the

insignificant people of Pliigalia as a thank-offering

Pans.

viii.

This

41, 5.

Now

its

nature and

in

any degree worth mentioning."

effects

Thucydides

in his

The

accuracy of Pausanias's belief ?

so gi-catly as to

by such a monument.

Are we, then, to

latter's

words are

mention
'

surname

'

Averter of Evil

My

'

inference

by these double surnames, and on the

the temple at Pliigalia,

who

nearly 600 years

is

is

or to doubt the

in like

manner

having turned away

for

based on the probability in-

fact that Ictinus, the architect of

lived in the age of Pericles, also constructed the

Thus the negative evidence

temple at Athens called the Parthenon."

contemporary Thucydides

Athens

at

The name of Apollo the


'

'

due to the help given on the occasion of a pestilence

the plague from that city also.


dicated

immortal description of

any town had suffered

sujipose the sufferings of Pliigalia too slight to deserve

as he received the

the

Yet that accurate historian would hardly


if

signalise the cessation of the pestilence

is

when

expressly asserts that "it did not attack the Peloponnese

have omitted to mention the fact

'

same plague that ravaged Athens

stated to be the

is

during the Peloponnesian war.

Helper

forcibly

of the

at least as strong as the conjecture of a writer

later.

Another explanation

is

suggested by the words of the former historian.

his account of the plague, after stating

how

it

In

reminded the Athenians of the

ancient oracle
".\ Dorian

war

shall come,

and plague therewith

he proceeds to say, "Those who had heard

it,

"

also calletl to

mind the answer

given to the Laceda-moiiians, when they asked the god whether they ought to

go to war, that

'

if

they fouglit with might and main, victory should be theirs,

and that he himself would help them.'"

Now

might not the help rendered

to

the Peloponnesian arms by the pestilence be what Pliigalia wished to celebrate,

and not

its

own

deliverance therefrom

This suggestion appears

less

impossible

HAPPY ARCADIA.

plague was stayed

among them

may

sources of ancient Greece


that

it

was

169

and some idea

be derived from remembering

and embittered war

in the midst of a universal

community found means

that this little-known

of the re-

to

carry out

so great a work.

The names

Pausanias briefly mentions the building as the

literature.

Peloponnesian

of

finest

and Phigalia hardly occur in ancient

of Basste

temples

further informs us of the occasion of


it

was created by the genius of

Parthenon.

that

after
its

Tegea, and

of

construction, and that

Ictiuus, the architect of the

Therefore, but for the accident of

its

preservation,

the fact that this building, or even the city of Phigalia


ever existed, would be

unknown

itself,

save to a few curious anti-

Fortunately, the shrine of Apollo the Helper

quarians.
stands, the
civilisation

most characteristic monument

still

that Hellenic

of

whereof art was an essential quality, not merely

an accident or appendage.

The
of

situation is not intrinsically

Greek buildings

other

absence of modern
accessory.

life

allies.

priest,

is

appear

Athens

is

to

that

the

as well as

expressly characterised as

Did he not make the same answer

columns

"

quite unexpectedly

We

the scene.

mind that ApoUo sends plagues

call to

his thus smiting

owing

so

a lofty crest, the "

temple

before us, and very striking


we

only seems

tlian

that most obtrusive and disagreeable

As we surmount

for so the natives call the

if

it

more admirable

stand upon the

removes them, and that

"help"

to Sparta

and her

to the prayer of Chryses, his outraged

and aid him in the recovery of his daugliter by plagiiing the Achaean host

before Troy

HAPPY ARCADIA.

170

northern ridge of the hollow whence


Bacra-ai ("

("

The Glens

The Cup

"),

as well as that of the

The edge drops down

").

heights of Lyceus

derived the

is

of

mountain KotvXiov

to the south, disclosing the

while to the west

rises into

it

peak, once graced with a shrine of Aphrodite.


of the hollow, out of sight of

name

human

a small

In the bottom

habitation, stands the

temple, set about with gnarled old oaks and Titanic rocks.

The whole region exhibits the perfection


The view from

scape.

Yet

distant wall of Taygetus.

in spite of

its

peace, warmth,

ridge

tlie

of

Arcadian land-

bounded only by the

is

and varied panorama,

this vast

wilduess and solitude, suggests nothing but

and plenty

and instantly the imagination

absorbed with undisturbed pictures of that far-away rustic

on which history

is

so silent,

these hills and dales in

when man,

when

flocks

company with

is

life

and herds ranged

the stag and wild boar

simple but not barbarous, shared these groves

and streams with creatures


and nymphs and satyrs
below, by the

sounding

of his

own

imagination, with gods

or when, from their craggy

falls

of

home

Neda, long trains of

the

Phigalian citizens toiled up the steep ascent to offer sacrifice

and praise

to

Apollo the Healer, the Averter of Evils,

who had

helped them in their sorest need.

The
It

is

edifice

itself

offers

several architectural peculiarities.

a peripteral hexastyle of the Doric order, with fifteen

columns on each

side.

The material

blue-grey stone, quarried on the

is

spot.

exterior columns, only three have fallen,

a very close-grained

Of the thirty-eight
and upon the greater

i!!l!iiiiiiiilllllllllililifllll!l!ii!!l!!iir

illillilllllllilliiill

:t

'"im

iiilSiiiiii^^

HAPPY ARCADIA.

part of their length the architrave

outer

shell

appearance

nearly

is

complete
the

deceptive,

is

is still

but

Thus the

lying.

well

this

condition

the

of

preserved

interior

not

The walls of the building

answering to that of the peristyle.


are

171

nowhere more than three or four

feet in heifrht

does any one of the interior pillars retain

its

neither

capital.

The

orientation differs from the otherwise invariable custom, the

vestibules facing north and south, instead of east and west.

Moreover, there

is

no platform of any kind, so the columns

spring straight from their kindred rock

and thus, no doubt

intentionally, is heightened the sense of abruptness produced

by the sudden appearance

in the spectator

that lonely spot.

The

struction, being lined


of

the

Ionic

cella

on each side with

which form a

order,

remains in

of the frieze

the debris of cornice and walls,


till skill

and money

of

the British

series

mixed up with

strews the ground, waiting

Nothing

is

absent

scattered

except

the

the frieze within the cella, which repose safely in

Museum

and the reconstruction of the temple

at

the scheme.

But trouble and expense are

Athens proves the

scarcely to the native

authorities

its

of

possibility of carrying out

that

inauguration, although the Hellenic

upon

of small recesses,

Catholic church.

Nike Apteros

itself

unique con-

engaged columns

its place, but,

it

shall be found to restore the

fragments to their place.

metopes

five

Eoman

resembling the side-chapels of a

None

presents

also

of a temple in

requisite

we can

so

look for

it is

its

Government does pride

care for ancient relics, and although

we

did

HAPPY ARCADIA.

172

actually find a solitary

workman

busily employed in knocking

a hole in one of the standing columns.

Power undertake the

foreign

the excavations at Olympia,

temple at Bassre resume

We

manage

task, as

Therefore, unless

Germany has undertaken

we have small hope

of seeing the

appearance.

its original

hour and forty

to return to Andritsena in an

minutes, improving considerably upon our previous time.


is

some

This

accomplished by sending on the horses before the conclusion

of our mid-day meal,

when

the road

is

much

a practice

be recommended

to

downhill, since the extreme steadiness of the

animals under these circumstances by no means atones for


their slowness

and the combination

of these

two

tainly does not here bear out the proverb about


Sufferings of

the troops.

At Andritsena

race."

a change of soldiers

who

insisted

there

is

some attempt

is effected;

its

winning

tlie

to delay us while

and certainly the unfortunates

upon taking part

look fairly exhausted with

qualities cer"

in the expedition to Bassai


fatigues.

We

constantly on

such occasions exercised our minds with wonderinc: whether


the Greek soldier ever, under any circumstances, laid aside
his greatcoat, for
so.

Inasmuch

escort

we never had

autoptic evidence of his doing

as even a matter so

seemed fenced

aljout willi

triflincf

as a chancre of

multifarious formalities,

peremptorily declined to await the arrival of our


fenders
off,

in

and

flinging a drink-offering to the others,

but were afterwards distressed

to find

new
we

we
de-

rode

one of them toilinu

our wake, not daring, apparently, to leave us altogether

unprotected.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

173

The road ran downhill, along paths shaded by beautiful

making us long

evergreens,

au extension

for

The

der stock of botanical knowledge.

of passing through the wilder grounds

home

and

after

now

the river,

coming in sight

of our very slen-

effect

was often that

a country-house at

of

Alpheus valley, where

of the

swollen to considerable proportions, meanders

between many-coloured banks of enormous depth, we


Greece

worth visiting

is

At

of its

now

the pretty

house, newly built

the

latest

beauty alone, and sadly

for its natural

might resemble Western Arcadia.

arid surface
little

that

man's wantonness and indolence, the

reflected that, but for

whole

felt

hamlet

for

we

are taken into a

but scarcely furnished with

indeed,

improvements

Tsakha,

of

all

although the inevitable two

rooms possess separate doors, they are separated only by a

bamboo

screen.

feeling

here

that

Eemembering
curious

him with

of the partition,

all

our ways, through the inthe guide, and charge

horrid threats to keep guard within and protect us

But that wily

fearful of offending the natives,

should be none the wiser

if

steps out to breathe the

air,

devices.

next morning, and

about our path, and

we summon

from unhallowed observation.

ways

fact

were

eyes

about our bed, and spying out


terstices

this

is

between the bamboos.

and supposing that we

our orders were disobeyed, quietly

and leaves the family

Accordingly, during the

hill-water, one of us

individual, al-

first

to its

own

splashings in the cold

aware of several eyes eagerly peering

howl

of

execration, accompanied

with a volley of missiles, momentarily clears the coast, and

Tsakha.

HAPPY ARCADIA.

174

produces the reappearance of our faithless attendant, trying


his best to look as

upon he
there

is

is

given

if

he had not

to

understand

a virtue called

himself, but prized

intend to have

twenty minutes

down behind

the other room

left

in

forcible

wliere-

language that

decency, unintelligible possibly to

by the English mind, which we do not

outraged with impunity

Mr Dragoman

the

partition,

is

so

for

the next

kept patrolling up and

pondering,

moral instruction just imparted.

we

hope, over

tlie

OLYMPIA.

175

CHAPTER XL
OLYMPIA.

LEAENING
to the

that

men

of

there

Tsakha,

we determine

journey by availing ourselves of


act

guide,

as

and takes

below us known only

a ford

is

us

to

shorten our

Mine host

it.

straight

down

to

agrees

the

to

river,

through shrubberies even more variegated than those above

The passage demands minute

the village.

and
of

is

threefold,

the Alpheus, and

just above

the

crossing

As

it

stream

the Phonia and Dunia

After that" point the river be-

their junction.

comes unfordable.

knowledge. Fording

Karyttena or main

tributaries

its

local

is,

the water reaches the top of

the girths, and a very serpentine course has to be taken to

avoid

the

over the

numerous holes

first

in the bottom.

Having

all

branch, with the exception of the military,

seem very loath

to face

the water,

we

got

who

are quietly proceeding

over the narrow tongue of land dividing the two streams,

when

the guide pauses and

our dragoman.

is

heard arguing earnestly with

The upshot appears

to be, that the former.

^'^^

the

OLYMI'IA.

176

Native ras-

altliougli

now

he Las contracted to pilot us over for

he cannot do

finds

will be

it

for less

than ten

five draclima?,

otherwise he

under the painful necessity of leaving us stuck

tween the Karyta^na and the Phonia.


terror of the

Such

is

fast be-

our dragoman's

Greeks, that instead of asserting his rights, he

we

begins abjectly to bargain and haggle with the rascal, until

discover the cause of the discussion, and promptly terminate


it

by promising

to shoot the latter

We

instantly proceed.

on the spot

if

he does not

Then

are at once taken safely across.

the guide having received his five francs, promptly begs a


baksheesh, probably supposing us

ignorant of the full extent

of his iniquities, interpretation having

out the recent transactions.

Of course we

ceiving that answer he gives vent to

many

been employed through-

much

decline,

impolite remarks to the leader of our forces.

"

Descend-

he, " it

man

" he's

This

him

tells

another " whereupon the other gentleman calls him


;

an " accursed

comes

indignantly repudiates, and

you

is

are dissuading the lords from giving lahsheesh!'

accusation our

re-

spleen, addressing

ant of an abandoned great-grandmother," says

who

and on

this

liar,"

and vows

to

murder him next time he

way.

The exchange

of these

little

mutual compliments

is

inter-

rupted by a message from the soldiers, brought over by the


liindmost driver, and requesting us to release

Their orders

were to conduct

us

across

them

the Alpheus

although they can see us safely on the other

bound

to

in writing.

wade over and back again unless we

side,

so,

they are

certify that

we

OLYMPIA.

do not require
sary

been

This course seems to us slightly unneces-

it.

but knowing the unyielding nature of foreign ideas as

we concoct

to discipline,

that

177

we have

crossed the Alpheus in perfect security, and have

guarded by the

efficiently

we consign

a splendid testimonial, setting forth

A^aliant

these presents, and that they are discharged on

the southern bank of the river at our

The

third river

is

some

at

two, and though smaller,

owing

little

of its

perses in order to seek a descent


ticable spot is discovered,

much

down, and

ingenuity

still

more

two

is

own

special desire.

distance from the other Dispersion

scarcely less difficult to negotiate,

is

immense depth

to the

so that

heroes to whose hands

The party

banks.

dis-

and by the time a prac-

of the drivers

have disappeared,

required to get the baggage-horses

to induce

them

take to the water.

to

Indeed the sagacious anmials, accustomed to move only in


Indian

file

mode

of procedure rendered impossible

break-neck character of the bank


drivers, turn

and

by the

deprived of their

absolutely unamenable, and either remain dog-

gedly on the height above, or wander aimlessly up and


the current.

The

activity to get

Anastasius performs prodigies of

faithful

them back

into the right way.

are all collected on the farther side, where

comfortably sitting

they had

had got

lost

us,

we

just out of sight,

and thought

it

At

last

they

find our truants

and declaring

best to wait there

to

tliat

we

till

Eighteous indignation overflows, and we

across.

the dragoman

down

down

tell

impart to them our sentiments, which

done something as follows

is

'^
.

^'''^'^'" ^'

of

OLYMPIA.

178

Travellers.

"

Ask them what

the

tliey

mean by

sneaking over like that, and leaving their brutes to run wild
about the country."

Dmr/oman.

"

The gentlemen beg

forgot your unreasonables."

the

modern Greek

one

"

i.e.,

calls

(N'.B.

why you

informed

to be

For

some occult reason

his horse to aXoyov, the " unreasoning

the " brute " ^;r cxcdkncc.)

Drivers excitedly

explain that the

away from them (which

is

"

unreasonables

"

ran

about as true as to say that a

railway station ran away from a train).


Travellers.

"

Just say we've a good mind to break these

sticks over their backs,

that

if

to fine

them

they do anything of the kind again,

Dragoman.
duct,

and

and

"

The gentlemen

lialf

we

it

certainly shall."

you repeat

we

lay aside our habitual

reserve and address a few observations to the

After this episode,

leus.

^.^|_^^

bank

it."

hopeless to try to communicate our true sen-

timents through such a medium,

Valley of the

and

are not pleased with your con-

will be less pleased each time that

Finding

their pay,

we proceed

of the river, over

etation of every size

men

pleasantly onwards

low sandy

and colour

hills

directly.

down

tlie

covered with veg-

dark pines blending with

the light green of the shrubs, and set off here and there by a

Judas-tree in the deep pink of

and mist

fail to

like the majestic


Olyiiipia.

At

its

full

bloom.

Even

the rain

destroy the soft beauty of this valley, so un-

but arid glories of the north and

al)Out five o'clock,

east.

rounding a turn in the road, we sud-

denly found ourselves in the rear of a considerable assem-

OLYMPIA.

179

blage, consisting of the entire population of Olympia,

by

Our

their eparch.

some

arrival lost

of its

headed

dignity,

to that gentleman's very reasonable expectation that

we

owing
should

choose the lower road, which was considerably shorter than


the one

we had

taken, and also offered the great advantage of

But then the guide had never

passing the water by a bridge.

been over
its

it,

existence

and was therefore wholly incapable of


and our landlord

likely to mention

it

Tsakha was of course un-

at

when he saw

his

chance of leading us

over the ford, and thereby extorting a

had therefore sent troops


and was looking out

was

little

leading us

up

in state,

He

for us in quite another direction.


still

had the

triumph round the base

into the " Altis," or sacred precincts,

were going

The eparch

profit.

to the bridge to bring us

disappointed, but

in

realising

of

satisfaction

of

Mount Kronion

where the excavations

on.

Arrived in this wondrous spot, where the liberality and


disinterested enthusiasm of

a foreign

Government had

just

reopened a closed book and restored to light the long-hidden


headquarters of the most peculiar and characteristic institution of Hellenic
formality,

and

life,

we

naturally desire

at once establish

the newly uncovered

ruins.

to

dispense with

a rough acquaintance with

But the eparch and Co. cour-

teously insist upon accompanying ns in our wanderings, and


"prove an insuperable obstacle to our using guide-books, and

otherwise prosecuting researches on our

own

account, wliile

they turn out to be splendidly ignorant even of the names of

OLYMPIA.

180

The

the various buildings.

best-iu formed of the party points

out the temple of Zeus Olynipius


that,

he

quite sure about

is

As

but further he has not troubled to inquire.

Sunday, the Clermans are

all

So after satisfying ourselves as

we

principal edifices,

neighbouring

hill,

museum

absent and the

it is

closed.

to the relative position of the

hamlet high

retire to the little

where a small

kliani has a

\\\^

room

on a

to let of

the very snuggest dimensions, and enlivened half the night

by the conversation and songs

of the carousers in

the shop

below.

Next moming we

The excava-

on

after the

Sunday's

superintended by
of the

the excavations,

visit

rest.

ously and

efficiently

The gentleman

thorough

his

anti(|uarian knowledge,

bered and ticketed so soon as discovered,

the haphazard, superficial

Greek Government conducts

its

article is

make

All this

a pleasure rather than a duty.

is

in charge

does us the honours most courte-

and the admirable method with which each

ment upon

is

a vast improve-

manner

researches

which the

in

and very pleasant

many

journey through a desert of barbarism and ignorance


greater than the pleasure wherewith

grimage.

With an

and the assistance


tlie

various

parts

life

we

num-

the lionisation

the discovery of this oasis of education after

the trammels of European

merrily

The workmen are Greeks, but

German foremen.

museum and works

now going

days'

even

originally laid aside

and entered upon our

excellent plan of the works to refer

of the
of

German

the

Altis.

sccvant,

It

we

easily

make

pilto,'

out

unfortunately happens

;iiill;''3lfiil!'ii'!i;ili

!Jli |'!'l!!:'1IB:::i:!!ia:ll! :!.

g^.5MW

OLYMPIA.

181

that the contract between the two

Governments terminates

(1881), and there

this year

may come

to

undertaking

an untimely end
will

much

is

have been

fear that the operations

hut even at the worst, a great


satisfactorily

carried

the

out,

having been uncovered, and with them

principal buildings

objects of art sufficient to add very materially to our existino'

knowlediie.

The Olympic games were

and the most The

at once the oldest

important of these eminently Greek assemblies


that, along
ligion,
tical

tie

race, so incapable in poli-

matters of union and co-operation.


festivals,

origin, the

the one

with community of speech and community of re-

bound together the Hellenic

periodic

Olympic

'^

While the other

however ancient, claimed only a human

Olympia boasted an

Kronos, the father of the gods.


obscured by various legends

whence the Hellenes dated


the birth of Christ,

hands

of

their exact source

is

initiation

But

and the

at

first official

776

B.C.

to the respect-

But long before that date the

Alpheus' banks were the scene of athletic competitions


confused tales relate

from

the founding of the city, or

Mahometans from the Hegira, only goes back


able antiquity of

Olympiad,

Christians

their years, as

Eomans from

the

how gods and demigods

and

instituted or took

part in such contests.

The place
first

is

called the " colony of

Olympic ode

of

Pindar narrates

Lydian Pelops," and the

how

that hero, beloved of

Poseidon, and carried off in childhood to the house of Zeus,

was sent down

to earth again " in the flower of his age,

when

Their origin.

OLYMPIA.

182

the

down

first

covered and darkened his chin," and

how he

resolved to win to wife Hippodamia, daughter of Gi^noniaus,


tlie

"

risan king

how by

the foaming sea he prayed to the

loud-thundering lord of the mighty trident

victory in the chariot-race with her

alone could his suit be successful

had already

suitors

failed in the

trial,

inglorious old age

how

the

God

maiden

"

better

than a long

of ocean heard his prayer,


of

immortal

race,

he overcame the might of CEnomaus, and won the

for his bride."

"

And now by

Alpheus' stream he

tomb whereuuto

sliares in glorious funeral-rites, laid in a

men

him

and suffered death as

and gave him a golden chariot and steeds

whereby

give

knowing that thirteen

doom

the penalty, he pronounced that

to

on which condition

sire,

liow,

"

an altar highly honoured of strangers.

resort, beside

all

And

the fame of Pelops shines afar in the races of the Olympic

where the prize

feasts,

swiftness

of

eminence of strength with mighty


Besides the Asiatic kings

and gave

to Pisa
is

it

its

who

name

contested and pre-

is

toil."

ruled the land from Argos

"
" island of Pelops

intimately associated with the Olympia."

Heracles

Pindar in another

ode speaks of the " contest founded by the mighty Heracles


beside the ancient

tomb

he had conquered

of Pelops," after

the country and destroyed the Epei, with their lawless and
bloodthirsty chief.

Pisa

all his

" Zeus' valiant

son, collecting in

host and booty, measured out a parcel of ground

to be sacred
'

Tlien

l'iii.l.

to his great father


01.

i.

lit;.

and having
;

riii.l.

built a fence
01. X. 30.

OLYMPIA.

about the Altis, he marked

and made the plain


oured Alpheus'

And

flood,

out in a clear treeless space,

round a place of feasting, and hon-

along with the twelve supreme gods.

name

the hill he called after Kronos'

(Enomaus
"

all

it

183

reigned, the

But no

trees

snow-crowned

grew in the glades

without them, the plot was


rays."

for before,

Zeus-born Pelops

of

felt to suffer

when

was nameless."
;

and

from the sun's burning

after the first celebration, " his heart stirred

So

hill

him

to

once more to the Istrian country," whither he had

travel

before gone to fetch the golden-horned doe

a land " beyond

the cold blast of the ISTorth Wind," full of marvellous trees,

some

which he now longed

of

course.

begged

plant around the

to

race-

So he journeyed again to that hyperborean land, and


of

the gentle people there dwelling an olive-shoot, to

give shade to the sacred enclosure, and crowns for the victors.

How

highly esteemed was this simple meed,

by a glance

a,t

any one

which have survived

of those

be judged

magnificent odes of victory

our time.

to

may

The conqueror, whether

he be a Sicilian monarch in the four-horsed chariot-race, or a

humble youth

in the boys' wrestling-match, is treated as having

reached the summit of earthly distinction


success

is

exultation

reflected
is

upon

his native town,

the lustre of his

and

his righteous

only to be checked by the ever-present fear lest

too

much

prosperity unaccompanied

call

down

a " Nemesis " from the jealous gods.

Tradition preserves the


1

names

rhul. 01.

by due humility

shall

of the victors in that first

iii. -20.

Legend

of the

ULYMFIA.

184

The various
lonipe

Contest

foot-race, wrestling, boxing, chariot-race, hurling the

ions.

^^^

jg^^,gjj^

^j^g discus,

being

all

really describing the scenes of his

how

these competitions, and

But the poet

mentioned.^

own day

is

in speaking of all

at their conclusion, " far into the

evening gleamed the lovely light of the broad moon, and the

whole sanctuary resounded with joyful songs, after the fashion


wherein victory

is

one contest, the foot

but

Corcebus in 776

Fresh
of

" events "

In primitive ages there was

celebrated."

B.C.,

race

a full record was kept of successful names.

for

300

boys in

which the original number

to see,

and the

B.C.,

the same year in

of Hellanodikae, or chief judges of

the games, was finally restored.

much

Thus

festival

at last there

was strangely

the primeval simplicity of Coroebus's day.


ginal foot

back

"

race, there

two

of

were constantly added, up to the institution

a ixincratiuTii

been

and since the victory

was the

lengths of

the

diaulos,

must have

altered from

Besides the ori-

or race " there and

stadium instead of one

the

pentatlilum, or combination of running, leaping, boxing, wrestling,

and javelin

throwing,

dividual had to win

boxing-match
bination

of

four-horsed chariot-race

boys' boxing-match

single-horse race

and single

As

colts,

which

of

the

same

in-

in order to be proclaimed victor; the

boxing and wrestling

and wrestling
armour

all

race of soldiers in heavy

pair-horse race

and the imncratiiim

the meeting increased

pancratium, or com-

combination of running

I'iii.l.

.\.

races of four, two,

for boys.

in variety
01.

1-6.

and importance, so

OLYMPIA.

did the

185

material aspect of the Altis

and

surroundings.

its

Within the sacred precincts sprang up temples,


mere catalogue appals the

altars, till the

victors

heroes,

the games, kings

in

reader.

Eoman

and

peopled in effigy that splendid enclosure.


deities

and

Gods and
emperors,

Altars to

all

the

under their various attributes smoked with countless


Shrines of every shape and size exemplified the

sacrifices.

noblest products of

and temples

made

statues,

as

Even without

art.

on the top

to the sire of Zeus.

the Altis were altars

Kronion, where offering was

of

Around,

too,

were gymnasia, baths,

treasure-houses, the town-hall of the Eleans, quarters for the


officials,

and lodgings

who thronged
from

itself.

frequented

mass

of general spectators,

thither every four years from Africa, from Asia,

from the islands, and

Italy,

Greece

for the vast

But not only

at the

all

parts

of

continental

Olympiads was the place

there would at all times be a constant stream of

%vorshippers to the various shrines and to the oracle of Zeus,


of athletes training in the

gymnasium,

and

of tourists anxious to

visit

and

art.

Pillaged

of

Elean councillors

this great centre of religion

by Eoman and Byzantine, pagan and

Christian, the

place became a desert, and the floods of Alpheus bursting the

unrepaired dikes, overwhelmed

Government has laboriously

its

ruins.

But the German

laid bare the site,

and archaeology

has reaped benefits even greater than were anticipated.

ginning at
the

tlie

temple of Zeus

commencement

of

this

Be-

the only building that before

undertakino-

could be with

cer-

OLYMPIA.

186

tainty ideutified

The

Altis.

the works have extended over the greater

This enclosure was bounded on the west

part of the Altis.

by the

by a low

east

by Mount Kronion, on the

river Cladeus, on the nortli


hill,

and on the south by the Al[)heus, embank-

ments being employed on

this side to

supplement the fence

that elsewhere

marked

sions entered

by the great gate on the bank

off the

The proces-

hallowed ground.

of the Cladeus

hard by was the sacred olive-tree whence the victors' crowns


cut.

Passing by the gymnasion and lieroon of Pelops,

find the

whole basement of the principal temple clear and

were
Temiile of
"^'

7n
Zeus.

^"

we

complete, paved with

tiles

of white marble, according to the

description of Pausanias.^

It

was

architect: its height to the cornice

95, and the length

230;

a worthy rival of the Parthenon

unfavourably

witli

it is

Indeed

we

the breadth

feet,

it
it

ranked amongst

was regarded

are able, from the

as

although the pumice-stone

constructed, in our eyes contrasts

the more magnificent material

cVceuvre of the Acropolis.

yet

was 62

so that for size

the greatest of Hellenic buildings.

of tlie district, of wliich

by Libon, a native

built

The columns

.of

the chef

are all overthrow^n,

numerous drums that

lie

about, to

reconstruct the building in exact accord with the account of

Pausanias.

Moreover, his accurate record of the sculptures

on either front permits us to explain and identify the frag-

ments brought

was the work


parations for

to light at this spot.

The eastern pediment

of Pceonius, a Thracian, representing the pretliat

primeval cliariot-race between Pelops and


'

Tans.

V.

10, 2.

ULYMPIA.

187

Zeus occupies the middle place

Q^nomaus.

on Lis right are

(Enomaus, Myrtilus, his charioteer, and four horses


left

Hippodamia and

At

the

I'elops, also

ends

respective

are

ou his

with his driver and horses.

the

river

and

Cladeus

gods

Alpheus, in accordance with the Greek custom of typifying


scenery by a personification of the chief natural

The western pediment,

neighbourhood.

the

olijects

attributed

of

to

Alcamenes, illustrated the famous broil between the Lapithse

and Centaurs.

Pirithous

is

the central figure, with Caineus

and Theseus, resisting the assaults

who

canying

are in the act of

half-human guests,

his

the youths and maidens of

now

Considerable portions of both subjects are

the Lapithae.

be seen at Olympia

to

off

of

they are in extremely high

relief,

scarcely seeming a part of the slabs to

which they belong.

The workmanship

group

Alcamenes

to the

of

the

opisthodome

rank assigned

second sculptor of his age."

to

fully

him by Pausanias,

The almost

raises

"

the

perfect figure of a

wife of one of the Lapithse, on whose person are discernible


the
a

now

bit,

mutilated hands of a sacrilegious Centaur,

is

as

good

both in design and execution, as one could wish to

The metopes,

illustrating the labours of Heracles,

were

see.

dis-

covered at an earlier time, and transferred to the Louvre at


Paris.

To the north
of Pelops,

who

is

at

the

curiously shaped lieroon, or shrine. The

Olympia was honoured

as highly above all

other heroes as was Zeus above all other gods.


ing occupied

temenos, or sacred

plot,

The build-

planted with

trees.

Pelopiou.

OLYMl'IA.

188

running parallel

length of the great temple, and

to half the

consecrated by Heracles to the shade of his great ancestor.

The body of that king had a curious

An

history.

oracle

having foretold that Troy could only be captured after bringing to the spot the

bow

Heracles and the bones of Pelops,

of

the Achiuan host sent to Leranos to procure the


for the

I'isa

was taken.

city

Both

second.

Among

arrived,

many

the

returning Greeks was a storm

perils

in the sand,

and, ignorant of

the Euboean coast, which

oft'

till

its

Years after-

corpse.

cidence,

of

more than

sacred nature, gave

he could find opportunity to

ask the import of his discovery.

visit

it

burial

Delphi and

There, by a fortunate coin-

were present Elean envoys seeking some cure

jiestilence

to

encompassing the

wards an Eretrian fisherman drew up a skeleton


size,

and

and in due course the

sunk the vessel that bore the precious

himian

first,

then ravaging their land.

The

for a sore

oracle revealed that

the bones were those of Pelops, and bade the finder restore

them

to the Eleans,

ceased,

and he and

which he accordingly did


his descendants for ever

Much

guardians of the skeleton.


Pelops' shade, with

many

sacrifice

the plague

were appointed

was

offered to

black rams

curious observances

being the only victims, and the wood of the wliite poplar the

only

fuel.

Those, too,

who had

tasted of these victims, were

not allowed without due purification to enter the house of

Zeus

in order, presumably, to

mark the

in Hellenic mythology, between

and heaven above.

great gulf fixed, even

the denizens of hell below

OLYMPIA.

Beyond

heaven,

temple of Hera, a Doric edifice The Herseam.

this building is the

by an unknown

As

architect.

dedicated to

the

temple of Zeus in male worship.

or sacred cloak,

was

Its affairs

were managed by

women, who every four years wove the

a board of sixteen

and superintended the maidens'

five-sixths of

were three contests,

for

going

is

of the

up

athletics, just

last, is

not indicated

]3ut

That

of

probably

life at

which

as the analogous question of ball-

in our time left to the circumstances

young lady

The

the ordinary course; and there

each determined for herself the proper time of


give

jjcplus

races.

competitors of various ages.

who ran

the eldest virgins,

to

queen of

boasted the same supremacy in female as did the

it

distance

189

and discretion

herself.

These sports were referred back to an origin as remote as


the masculine, their institution being assigned to Hippodamia,
in celebration of her marriage.

sternly

doubtless

excluded

The profane gaze

from

the

during the regular Olympic festival

woman

to

great Altar of

the

performance, just
it

offered

Heneum and

was death

for

as

any

shrine of Pelops stood Altar of Olym-

Olympian Zeus, now

excellent reason that

animals

man was

be discovered within the railing of the Altis.

Midway between
tlie

of

in

it

entirely gone, for the

was wholly composed

sacrifice.

These charred

of the ashes of

remains were

kneaded into clay with water from the Alpheus, and

of blocks

thus formed was built an altar 22 feet in height, standing

on a circular base

To the

right of

(n-poOva-is)

the

120

Herreum

feet in
is

circumference.

the Exedra, a crescent-

Tlie Exedra.

OLYMPIA.

U)o

shaped building, wliere

men

and talked

sat

Metroum, a large Doric temple sacred


Going back towards the great

gods.

to

gate,

and beyond

it tlie

the mother of the

we

find a circular

erection called the Philippeum, or shrine of Philip of Macedon,

a brick edifice once surrounded with columns, built to celebrate the subjugation of free Hellas in the battle of Cha?ronea.

There lay Philip himself, his father Amyntas, and Alexander


his son.
Art

Of the innumerable

.Us-

altars,

statues,

and works

of art

tliat

covciies.

once crowded these

comparatively few have survived,

slirines,

at least so as to be capable of identification.

carried

away

that

everytliing

l)y

offered temptation to their greed

of Zeus,

wrought

wonders

of tlie world.

is

in gold

and

tlie

such

Foreign spoilers

value of

its

material

as the Phidian statue

ivory, accounted one of the seven

Amongst

the more famous discoveries

the base of the great Altar of Victory, recognised beyond

doubt by the draped

Her

goddess dug up at

effigy of the

face is unfortunately

wanting

all

its side.

but in spite of this dis-

figurement, the grace of her figure, and the lifelike poise of

the limbs

the

first

spread

out in

coml)ine

flight,

specimens of plastic

art.

Still

to

create

more famous

one of
is

the

beautiful Hermes, the undoubted product of no less a chisel

than that of Praxiteles himself,


spot where

it

familiarised

and the
tlirough

was discovered.

we may judge from

the

Already numerous casts have

Europe with the almost

identification has lately


tlie

if

faultless

been rendered

head and bust


all l)ut

certain

discovery of the miniature figure of the infant

"

OLYMPIA.

Dionysus, which the larger figure

On

191

known

is

have supported

to

on

its

its

polished floor and remains of graceful colonnades

it

arm.

the west of the Altis

is tlie

gymnasium, with
and near

a picturesque ruined church built out of fragments of the

wrought masonry, with which the neighbourhood abounded.

To the south the council-house has been


east the baths

laid bare,

If

this

is

uncovered.

to the

while further north on the same side

entrance to the stadium, spanned by a bridge.


course itself has

and

the

is

The

race-

to be cleared, as well as the hippodrome.

still

ever accomplished,

the Altis will be practically

The works might even with advantage be ex-

tended beyond those

limits, for

we know

that all round were

lodging-houses and other kinds of buildings, which, even


architecturally uninteresting, might

contain

many

olijects

if

of

value.

All portable discoveries are at once removed to two

sheds close by, styled grandiloquently the Museums.

little

The

Greek Government has driven a hard bargain with the German, stipulating that everything

is

to be left in the country,

when

the less

But a further

difficulty

except in the case of undoubted duplicates,


perfect specimen
arises in

of

may

be taken away.

consequence of the absurd obstinacy of the

Olympia

in asserting

to let anything be

its

"

deme

municipal rights, and declining

removed from the spot

so that all these

marbles and bronzes, instead of being studied at Berlin or

even at Athens, waste their sweetness on

and can only be known

to the

general

literally desert air,

public through the

The museums,

OLYMPIA.

192

medium

and photographs

of casts

cottages, containing one


all

since a collection of ten

room between them, which

spare

accommo-

the place can boast, can hardly be considered

dation sufficient for any great

number

of archaeologists.

About 12,000 bronzes have been dug

Among

the most diverse dates.

preservation

and two beautiful

skilfully

iixed

shooting,

the

upon

plaster,

other

up, of

apparently

the best are a

dedicatory

some grateful champion,

the offering of

discus,

reliefs,

worn very

must be owned that there

it

thin, but

including

designs,

of

is

eagles,

In the sculp-

gryphons, Heracles, and the Asiatic Artemis.


ture-shed,

in excellent

one representing Heracles

the

series

is

a great deal of

very second-rate work, a large proportion consisting of the


of

statues

Romans, and

mediocrity.
tions

But

rather

than

above

Hermes, Victory, and pedimental decora-

tlie

amply repay

below

falling

all

the trouble of a

some excellent fragments, and

visit.

There are also

a very perfect statue of a

Eoman

lady.

The above
work

is

but an extremely rough sketch of the great

just accomplished

Hellenic

soil.

by an enlightened foreign Power on

The richness

of

the vein

here struck gives

good hope that similar enterprises might be elsewhere undertaken with great, though probably not equal, success.

The
added

troubles

that have

passed

to the worthlessness of its

the outward traces

of its old

over

tliis

unhappy

land,

inhabitants, have destroyed

civilisation.

But thougli

its

OLYMPIA.

temples

cannot

rise

again

from their graves,

193

it

has been

proved possible to bring to light their bones, and find out

how they
are

now

stood and looked

when

their only tombstones,

most in the race

the wretched \dllages, that

were flourishing

cities,

of culture throuohout the world.

fore-

PVRGO!^

104

AXD ZAXTE.

CHAPTER
1'

WE

though no

i;

Olympia

left
is

AX D

in sorrow

AN T

E.

and an open

a tolerable road from


farther.

XII.

the

sea

carriage, for there

up

to

this

point,

Here, therefore, as in the Argive plain,

improved cultivation

the

is

manifest

Magnificent

result.

oranges, as large as melons, were not the least agreeable of

the products of a roadside farm, abounding also in raisins and


tigs.

Only the lemon

crop, usually

no

less

excellent,

perished from the fearful cold of the past winter.

indeed was the idea of frost and snow amid those


ing with

life

and

ricli

with the promise of harvest.

had

all

Strange

fields

teem-

The huge

green lizard darting across the road, the waving corn already
in the ear, tlie

reawakened snake basking

tender vine-leaves newly opened


light

and

fruitfulness.

be too often
less

falsified,

Alas

and

tliat

tliat

all

in the sunshine, the

spoke of warmth and

sucli

expectations should

a Greek spring .should be no

treacherous than our own, liable at any

moment

to be

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

swept by a wave

sudden and destructive as the

of winter as

storms of the surrounding seas

The

town

little

of

195

Pyrgos (The Fort)

and uninteresting, and consequently one

is

of the

by the discovery that the whole

demanding considerable
in

of unresined wine.

the eparch entailed coffee and palaver

to

flourish-

place, although a considerable

emporium, did not contain a single bottle


visit

most

Pyrgos,

Hellenic progressiveness was here illustrated

ing in Greece.

eminently modern

fortitude,

owing

trial

manner

to the forcible

which the worthy gentleman's house recalled the immediate

neighbourhood of the Cloaca Maxima.

Subsequently learning

our desire to purchase a few Greek knives and fezzes, the pre- Shopping
feet of police volunteered to

accompany us

in our quest.

The

population flocked to assist at the negotiations, which were


therefore conducted under the gaze of a vast procession that

gravitated

up and down the main

in the centre of attraction.

was simple
"

These

fect

silk tassels are

would

order

hun

The method

say,

worth

with decision,

to put

up

as

many

12
"

drachmae apiece."

Give him

as

change

of transacting business

The tradesman would

the extreme.

in

street according to each

8,"

observe,

The

pre-

and would then

might be required, the other

complying without the smallest hesitation or show of annoyance.

Among

native

who

insisted

torial,

crowd was an interesting sjDecimen

talked the most idiomatic nautical English, ami

upon

countrymen.

the

airing this accomplishment before his admiring

His catechism at

and showed

last

liim to possess

became rather

some knowledge

too inquisiof English

iu

PYRGOS AXT> ZAXTE.

190

life,

since

that

we

lie

now

refused to accept our

li\cd in London,

stereotyped statement

and declaring that English gentlemen

always had homes in the country, demanded detailed accounts


of the climate, products,

we happened

counties to which

Katak(..lo.

of a

drive brings the

sliort

Pyrgos to

and physical characteristics

little

its

promontory

respectively to belong.

homeward-bound

from

tourist

port Katakolo, standing at the extremity

of the

same name.

compose the entire town and shipping

few boats and houses

a steamer

On

occurrence at this benighted spot.

blowing steadily, so

a north-west gale

of those

a very rare

is

our arrival
for

tliat

there was no chance of proceeding on our

way

we found

tlie

present

Zante

to

but

having forty hours in wliich to catch the Austrian Lloyd's boat


at

that

island,

During dinner

we experienced no

in

They seemed genuinely

The contrast was

Peloponnese.

between these men and the northern Greeks.


lights

the delay.

sorry

and had, on the whole, behaved well throughout

our travels in the

their

at

one of the bare rooms of the inn, our drivers

requested a farewell interview.


to leave us,

uneasiness

they were

thankful for kindness

civil

and

obliging,

striking

According to

and unfeignedly

whereas politeness, activity, or grati-

tude seemed absolutely non-existent amongst the corresponding class in Phocis and Boeotia.

Next morning the wind continued


our caicque proved

l)y

contrary,

no means reassuring.

and

a visit to

Tlie

skipper

gave voluble accounts of the rapid runs he had made to

Zante

in

three

hours with a

fair

wind, and

so on

also

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

expatiating upon the beauties of his boat

very ordinary specimen of


until

we were

own

its

107

our eyes a

to

highly incommodious class

length compelled to explain that no former

at

triumphs of navigation would console us for our enforced


delay at the present moment.

The

Katakolo was soon exhausted.

interest of

The un-

carpeted, unpapered walls of the khani did not tend to raise

our

spirits.

The

caicqucs bore too strong a family likeness

admit

to each other to

of long inspection.

of its smallness, the place

as

unsavoury as any other town

So the day was spent among the cytisus

of that country.

upon the bleak

was

Moreover, in spite

above the town, watching with longing

cliffs

eyes the misty outline of Zante across the foaming

time arrived without a change of weather, but

were given

for

an immediate

Bed-

strict

orders

start in the event of

sudden variations so common


3 A.M.,

sea.

when exhaustion had

in that fickle region.

one of those

At about

at length produced a temporary

oblivion of the exquisite discomfort of the native bedsteads,

information arrived that the wind had shifted round to the


east.

Hastening down

plunging caicque

lionest

penny.

venerable age,

whom

At

last

whom

air,

we rowed

alongside our

the skipper, having already let

an extortionate

in order to consult

Disliking fresh

beach,

but some delay occurred in waiting for an

extra passenger, out of


his boat to us at

to the

this

rate, desired to

make another

gentleman arrived, a native

of

severe ophthalmia was taking to Zante

an oculist of high repute in that

island.

he requested to be placed under hatches.

Pleasures of

PYRGOS AXJ) ZANTE.

108

ami was consequently stowed away

in the fore-cabin

where

of about

two cubic yards capacity

fastened

down during the succeeding

we drove

a space

he remained snugly

eight hours.

many

After rounding Katakolo Point with

waste of time,

tacks and

much

merrily westward over a sea

running high after the recent

gale.

still

good spell of sleep

ensued, under the comfortable belief that our future course

was

plain

all

The wind had

brought disillusion.
the

distance

Awakening, as too often

sailing.

were passed, and our


furiously but

island, tossing

the steamer's arrival was

she appeared

now

past,

away

as

our

lay

craft

off

The hour

the
of

and we concluded that


on

wlien, to our

great

on the southern horizon, e\adently, like

Hope

by the storm.

ourselves, belated

little

after two-thirds of

unprogressively.

she had already touched and gone


joy,

fallen

happens,

helplessness

revived, only to fade

became revealed.

Too small

to

carry a boat, but too large to be itself propelled by oars, the


caicque is nicely calculated to

combine and aggravate

worst features of sea

bows within a quarter

of a mile.

mast-head and guns


obtaining
bridge,
tijwn.

the

slightest

none came

recognition from

a breath of

to our aid,

and

in

satisfaction of seeing her slip

gracefully

away

to the

Flags were waved from our

as signals of distress, but without

and she ran placidly on

Even then

the

The steamer crossed our

travelling.

fired

all

north.

to

the

officer

on her

her anchorage under the

wind might have saved


another hour or so

us,

but

we had

the

from her moorings and glide

PYKGOS AND ZANTE.

The boat had by


tall ridge

under IMoiint Scopes, a

running round the southern part of the great bay, of

which the farther


and the

this time drifted

190

castle-hill

by the long straggling town

side is fringed

behind

it.

light breeze sprang up,

The

took us gently across the beautiful expanse of water.

view

is

by the background

closed

of hills

and

but their slopes,

clad with verdure, the clear white houses, and the busy harbour,

make up

picture

may

in brightness

and variety

We

lack in extent.

anything that the

for

proceed on shore in not the

must

best of humours, having learnt that at least five days

another boat, which feeling of

elapse before the arrival of

annoyance our easy-going skipper seems quite unable

We

stand.

afterwards heard from

same dismal passage a few days

friends

later,

to under-

who made

the

that this gentleman

boasted loudly of having taken us across in three hours


eight being the time really occupied

was amply

justified

by

and

that their incredulity

their subsequent sufferings during

an

agonising passage of fourteen.

The cleanness and

civilisation of

to our enforced delay.

The

"

Zante soon reconciled us

National Hotel," in the Place of

the Poet, did indeed seem luxurious after recent experiences

and

its

accommodation, like that

of Corfu, serves to illustrate

the tenacity of English habits and influence.

done
l*aul,

to mitigate the lot of the castaways, to

the " foreign people showed no

the much-needed luncheon was

messenger with baskets

full of

still

roses

little

Everything was

whom,

like to St

kindness."

While

under discussion, came a

and strawberries

a gift

Zaute.

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

200

from the oldest inliabitant of the

known

well

who have touched

to all

present age of almost a century, he

This gentleman

place.

his

one of those few survivors

is

An

that recall the old order of things.

At

at the island.

is

Englishman, he retains

the keenest interest in the afiairs of his native country, and


criticises

passing events with

all

Yet

the clearness of youth.

Zante has been his home ever since he acted as banker to

Lord Byron in that

Married to a native lady of large

island.

fortune, he spends the evening of his days in the land of his

adoption, and does

passing travellers.
villas,

an

to

He

number

the

ofier

all in his

at

of

power

promote the comfort

to

once placed at our disposal

five,

in various

which proved invaluable

of

his

parts of the island

in that soft do-nothing

climate.

For

invalids,

fine scenery
it

and

can boast a

Zante

is

facilities

still

for sport afforded

warmer and more equable

greater quiet and seclusion.

a large garden.

It lacks the

even better than Corfu.

Corfu

Mounting the

is

by the

latter,

climate,

and

but
still

a small country, Zante

castle-hill,

the spectator over-

looks the great central plain of the island, enclosed between


]\Iount Scopos

and a

line of

and the ridge whereon he stands on the south,

lower

hills to

the

nortli.

The space between

is

covered with vineyards and corn-fields, olive-groves and orangetrees,

and thickly

studded

with

the

tiniest

villas.

Every

Zantiote has his country-house, whereunto he betakes himself

during the sunniicr months, and leads a


idleness,

watching the ingathering

of

his

life

of

voluptuous

various crops fnmi

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

beneath the shade of his

number

extraordinary

from the town


sides

of the

little

vine and

or the villages which nestle

itself,

of

is

the

upon the

This semi-urban, semi-

hills.

life ^^ar

Homer

excellence

of the Ionian isles

will at once recall his description of the

farm in Ithaca, where Ulysses finds his aged father with-

drawn from the

bustle of the city, and where

between his

final fight

little

band

The

castle-hill offers

fovight the

is

of faithful followers

angry relatives of the slaughtered

and the

chiefs.-^

another sad example of recent desola-

The Venetian waUs, and the English buildings

tion.
tell

Hence the

fig-tree.

detached cottages, so different

of these

farther range of

rural existence

and readers

own

201

The barracks

the modern history of the spot.

good

repair,

are

within,
still

but empty, except that a few rooms have been

converted into barns

not a

tile

or coat of

paint has been

added since our garrison marched out seventeen years

No

single soul dwells within the circumvallation

sprung up between the closely


court,

till

in

fitting

ago.

grass has

stones of the racquet-

the whole has become a tangled mass of weeds

guns

of various epochs, stuck upright in the ground, are wearing

out an inglorious existence as gate-posts

and the St Mark's

Lion does not look more a thing of the past than the
fresh English legends on the doors
is

the castle-hill,

tory), the

it

yields the

northern spur of

and

palm

its

walls.

still

Picturesque as

to Akroteri (the Pronion- Akroteii.

own

ridge.

Here, amid the

olive-woods, are all the prettiest villas of the island, peeping


1

Od. xxiv. 204, kc.

PYRGOS AXI> ZAXTE.

202

hv a house and garden

fully arranged as to produce

and arbours

terraces

on a small

is

had

towards

mouutaiiis

Anent
tale

the
this

the show-

but so

scale,

skil-

There

a perfect wilderness

roses,

in

The outlook

little

and

Cephalonia

of

of

while oranges and straw-

for the plucking.

charming

occupied

is

no sense of confinement.

verbenas, and scented geraniums


berries can be

farthest point

of our hospitable friend

Everything

place of Zante.

are

The

masses of flowers.

(Hit tlinniuli

is

seaward,

mainland.

the

domain we heard an instructive

from a resident compatriot, illustrating how superficial

is

usually the knowledge of Greece possessed by her most ardent

admirers.

certain historical writer,

garian agitation of

1876 sought

kingdom shortly

He

after.

the Bul-

notoriety by his uncompro-

mising denunciations of Turkey, saw


lenic

who during

fit

seems

to

visit

the Hel-

have confined

to

himself to inspecting Athens and the principal ports, where-

unto a grateful Government conveyed him in

On
at

his

homeward way he touched

once

made

to

secure

But the owner

Akroteri.

out of his

way

to

his carriage.

On

it.

was

a semi-triumphal reception at

said to have flatly declined to go

him

at his villa nor sent

})lace

and

him

thither

against any visitor anxious to

So the })roeession came

dignified manner,

interest

the other hand, he had no desire to be

uncourteous or shut his


see

is

and

vessels.

do honour to anti-English Englishmen, and

neither went to receive


in

him

at Zante,

own

its

its failure

oil",

l)ut

in a

somewhat un-

appears to have sharpened the

always rather acrid humour of the guest.

He

consequently.

^^!^^

liillll
lllil{lllWlil!!!li!l;ll!i{:ill!l!l

liillll

irNii.li

PYEGOS AND ZANTE.

203

on returning to the town, indulged the populace with a homily

spoken in what he conceived to be Greek

of extra ferocity,

although our informant was asked by an intelligent bystander


" the

whether

any

rate,

he

understood to have concluded with a power-

is

ful peroration

contrastmg the glorious liberty of autonomous

Greece with the


"

You

selves

are heroes,

ignoble

slavery

and the sons

we Englishmen

At

gentleman was talking French or English."

are

of

down-trodden England.

and you govern your-

of heroes,

governed by a wretched Jew."

After which patriotic observation he went on board his gunboat and

departed for Corfu, doubtless well satisfied

that

he knew Greece thoroughly, and possibly leaving behind a


sense of astonishment in the minds of the natives of that
country.

At Zante

On

able to see.

charm

there

of its

The

Even

own.

to the convent

island.

providentially

little

that

it is

indispens- MouutScopos.

the other hand, every nook and corner offers a

mountaineer has

up

is

less

to

the soaring spirit of the confirmed

content

itself

with a climb of 1300 feet

on Mount Scopos, the

with satisfaction that

energetic will learn

the entire ascent can be


to avail themselves

made on

of that

higliest point in the

horseback, and will do

knowledge.

The convent

w^ell

is

pic-

turesque, and the view an extension of that obtainable from

the

castle

Mount

- hill.

anciently

known

as

Elatos, or Pine Hill, illustrating the epithet " thickly

wooded," which
fir-trees

Mount Scopos was

Homer

connects inseparably with Zante.

have disappeared long

since,

and

all

The

other natural

PYRGOS A XL) ZANTE.

204

wood

but

Homeric
The

tlie

olives,

one sacred duty to perform

one considerable lion

wells, the

brated

the

justify

still

he has at

traveller's wanderings,

wells.

least

oranges

adjective.

But liowever aimless the

pitch-

and

figs,

of

that

is,

to visit the pitch-

These

the place.

phenomena can be comfortably inspected

day's excursion from the town.

The road runs

cele-

in a short

for

about nine

At

miles, as far as Lithakia, across the great central plain.

that point

we found another

all his others,

villa of

ready seemingly at any

our English friend

moment

dation of guests, and well stocked with fresh

wine made on the


like the

fruit,

This excellent liquor

estate.

like

accommo-

and native

is

quite un-

Zante wine usually sold in Greece or exported to

England, which

much

is

with our countrymen.

too sweet

and heady

to find favour

In the present case the sugar had been

extracted, with the effect of producing a

for the

most excellent drink

the white resembling old natural sherry, and the red a very

Burgundy.

soft

rough walk

of

one hour brought us to the

little

plain on

the southern coast where the wells are situated, hard by the

They

sea.

are

than the other.

two

in nuinljer, Init one

An

transparent clearness.
its

surface swollen

sending up a

two wells
leum

is

l)ut

is

considerably larger

iridescent film covers water of the

At a depth

of about a foot

is

the pitch,

by great bubbles that slowly grow and

murky

li([ui(l

to join the film above.

most

burst,

Between the

a hole sunk some time ago in order to obtain petrothe yield did not suffice to pay expenses, and the

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

works were abandoned.


blazed
after

up and produced a

must have been


asserts

largest

them

was 70

larger
to

bonfire lasting

some ten minutes,

of to-day.
stades,

consider

in

These

out.

whose time they

and more important than

in our own.

of

which the

every way, with two fathoms of water

dimensions very greatly exceeding those

Moreover, he declares the sea to have been four

or nearly half a

nearer now.

by Herodotus/

have been several in number,

feet

above the bitumen

we

dropped into this cavity soon

which time the flames burnt themselves

pitch-springs are described

He

light

205

mile,

distant

it

is

certainly

much

But these discrepancies may be disregarded


that twenty-three

centuries

if

have passed since

Herodotus wrote, and that Zante has undergone numerous and


repeated shocks of earthquake in the interval.

The

old historian also describes

by thrusting green boughs down

how

into

it

the pitch was collected

and then suffering the

substance to drip off into vessels placed round the margin.

similar plan might easily be adopted at present.

quality

But the

must have sadly deteriorated

of this substance

whereas Herodotus asserts

it

to

for

have been more highly esteemed

than any other Grecian pitch, not excepting the famous product of Pieria,

it

is

now

worthless, except for caulking the

outsides of vessels, and even then can only be used after ad-

mixture with a certain proportion of vegetable pitch.

most curious assertion concerning these wells


that substances thrown

into
1

Herod,

is

195.

his

to the effect

them always reappear


iv.

But

after

I'YRGOS

200

Although we

certain time in the sea.


belief
is,

among

failed to discover this

existing Zantiote traditions,

may

similar substance

we

learnt that there

the island, a spot in the sea where a

off the other side of

be seen bubbling up from the bottom of

The presence

the water.

AND ZANTE.

of

such a phenomenon goes far to

corroborate the accuracy of the " father of history."

walking

After

round

the

little

bay

of

natural harbour a small schooner was at

we returned by another

Kieri,

tliat

in

which

moment

lying,

route to Lithakia, and tlience drove

back to town, finding there some friends just arrived from the
mainland.
at the

They seemed

hands of

officious

to

have suffered unspeakable things

At Argos,

officialism.

instead of having quarters privately secured

man, they listened

their drago-

l)y

to the siren voice of politeness,

sented to be lodged in the barracks.

remember sundry

for instance,

of

the

and con-

There they had cause to

plagues of Egypt, and afforded a

cheap gratification to the curiosity of the rank and

file

of the

garrison, while all the time feeling that these enjoyments

causing no slight inconvenience to the gallant

officers

were

who had

turned out of their quarters on their account.

Dove-shoot111''.

this

single incident disturbed the even tenor of our life in

home

arrival

of

Africa.

choice a

of

a ihglit

doves on

of

their

Every one promptly quitted


quarry.

The

method adopted being


till

This was no less a matter than

idleness.

sport

way northward from


work

his

perhaps

is

perclies

to pursue so

hardly

to stand in !niil)us]i behind

one of the iunocent birds

tlie

witliiu

great, tlie

an olive-tree
range of the

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

207

Under these circumstances

deadly flint-lock.

rapidly grew too hot to hold us

and our

the olive-groves

artist,

after being

driven from one post of vantage to another, abandoned his


purpose, and ignominiously sought the shelter of garden-walls.

To make matters worse, the

birds in spring are old

and in bad

condition, so that they offered no gastronomic consolations for

In autumn, during their southward passage, the

these perils.

young doves, then

full-fed

on ripe grapes, are esteemed, and

doubtless rightly, a great delicacy.


all

feathered fowls are fair game,

seasons,

and

it is

But

to the

Greek mind

and

irrespective of times

not unusual to see creatures so beautiful as

hoopoes and golden aureoles ruthlessly exposed for sale in the


market-place.

At length

the arrival was announced of a steamer for Corfu

of course, at

some abnormal hour.

The ill-humour

resulting

from broken slumbers was not improved by the aspect

She was even

vessel.

other
saloon

Greek

boats

literally did

filthier

whereof

and more crowded than the

we had had

experience.

until the advent of a smart

shower caused

unceremoniously into the hold.


took place a rush below, and

heavy

all

which,

it

mob on
to

we had

to choose

we

deck,

be pitched

At the same moment

there

between soak-

There was meanwhile a swell

to prostrate the

added to

The

not give room to stow away our hand-

baggage, which was trampled under foot by the

ing or suffocation.

of the

sufficiently

weaker vessels among the passengers


suffered under the steward's old witti-

cism of announcing dinner for a certain hour in the even-

Close packinf

ing,

AND ZAXTE.

PYliGOS

208

and subsequently altering

it

middle of the

to the

after-

noon.

The voyage being by day, enabled us

to get a glimpse of

those Ionian islands which on the outward passage


Ithaca.

The rocky, barren Ithaca

passed in the night.


as readers of the

indeed a sceptic

home

'

Odyssey

would imagine

'

who would
Of

of Ulysses.

it " lies

refuse to accept this spot as the

course,

far

just such

and he must be

many

of the

Homeric

at variance with the actual facts, particularly the

account that

is

we had

beyond

all

notices are

well-known

other lands in the deep

"

but against such arguments we have to set universal and un-

broken

well as the consideration

tradition, as

how admirably

the general configuration of Thiaki corresponds to legendary


description.

too

The modern population

is

indeed ready to prove

much, not only identifying Mount Anogi with

"

Neritus of

the waving foliage," and St Stephen's cave with the grotto


of the

nymphs, wherein the slumbering hero was

laid

by

his

Phaeacian escort, but also pointing out to the more credulous

the palace of Odysseus and the garden of Laertes.


Paxos.

About three hours from Corfu

is

the charming island of

Paxos, with the neighl)ouring rock called Anti-Paxos.


tory says

little of their

past

but tradition asserts that

Hisofif

this

peaceful coast, on the night of Christ's nativity, some mariners

heard strange wailings, and a voice of loud lament that bade

them go and say


Corfu.

As

" the great

god Pan was dead."

the boat nears Corfu, some one points out the unusual
'

X\avviTipTii.Tr) fir oAi

Kurai.

PYKGOS AND ZANTE.

of this

The

be experienced in obtaining shelter.

difficulty likely to

whole

209

enormous crowd must necessarily pass the night

in the town, there

being no means of proceeding until the

following morning.

It is consequently determined to tell off

an advanced-party, with orders


at

any hazard secure rooms

who happen

to

row instantly

for ourselves

and

ashore,

and some

friends

The precaution proved most

be on board.

necessary, the hotels

to

being already crowded with visitors

many, indeed, departing by the three boats that started next


day, but none the less standing for that night between the

new

arrivals

and their much-coveted

repose.

It

was a heart-

rending spectacle to see these unfortunates arrive one by one,


vainly seeking hospitality.

But

Corfiote habits

are

accom-

modating, and the enterprising management of the St George

Hotel succeeded eventually in procuring some sort of asylum


for all applicants.

Daylight showed us Corfu as charming as before, with


cloudless gky,

its

verdure, and

its

light sea-breezes.

friends were passing through, or breaking

a prolonged residence.

We

select the

up

their

its

Many

camp

after

Italian steamer (Florio

Italian

steamers,

line)

for

Brindisi,

with passengers.
diately

and

find

her clean, but sadly overloaded

The only vacant

sleeping-places are

imme-

above the screw, a position not well calculated to

promote slumber.

Indeed two English acquaintances betook

themselves in disgust to the second-class berths, and having


thrust their heads through the port-holes to avoid the atmo-

sphere within, spent a pleasant night in this remarkable posi-

PYRGOS AND ZANTE.

210

tion.

The

result hardly justified their adventurous enterprise,

for they did not leave those berths

obliged, after landing, to enter

research,

unaccompanied, and were

upon a course

which only finished with our

At daybreak we

arrival at Naples.

reach Brindisi, and anchor ten yards off

the quay, in the interests of the boatmen,

nothing

if

of entomological

we were moored

alongside.

who

But we have

farewell to Greece, and do not propose to enter

rambles, and

the patience to

humbly

those

who

accompany us through our

lioping that our unvarnished tale

prove not altogether useless should they hereafter


to visit the " land of lost gods

said

upon a theme

Warmly thanking

so trite as Italian experiences.

may have had

could extort

feel

may

impelled

and godlike men," we bid them

also adieu, having, like Horace, reached


" Brundisium longi finem chartaeque viopque."

APPENDIX.
JIEAXS OF REACHIXG

The form

foregoing narrative has precluded more than a

the

of

AND SEEING GREECE.

passing reference to the important question of routes into Greece,

and locomotion
Athens

This
are

requires the best part of a

the time occupied

is

The intending

for while a journey of fifty hours brings

Eome, he

to

after arrival in that country.

trav-

probably be struck by the comparative inaccessibility of

eller will

no means

of

week

by the mail

improving upon

it,

him from London

to arrive at the Pirasus,

that at

so

however

present there

skilfully the journey

be varied.

Presuming, therefore, a desire to adopt one of the more direct


routes,

we

Marseilles,

find the

following alternatives

whence the

Firstly,

to

embark

IMessageries Maritimes steamers start

for the Piraeus, accomplishing the distance in five days.

at

weekly

This plan

has the advantage of simplicity, and the boats are well found and
comfortable

but

it

presents the, to

of a rather long sea- voyage.


sailors,

it

many

at sea, before the

In any

Thus

all

case,

at least sixty-five hours

end of which period most people "find

ordinary weather.

drawback

aU but hopelessly bad

possesses the strongest recommendations.

Athens cannot be reached without spending


legs " in

people, serious

Jfevertheless, for

their sea-

the discomforts of constantly

changing trains and vessels are avoided, without as a rule entailing

any additional

sufi'ering

upon the

Secondly, the traveller


vessels of the

same

line.

may

passenger.

proceed to Xaples, and there catch the

Tlie Messagcries packets always touch at,

APPENDIX.

212

ami

othei-s start from, tliat port

no means

the

be overlooked by those

to

of their berths

being a consideration by

latter

who have

regard for the position

and other preliminaries of a journey by

The

sea.

passage occupies three days, which, added to the sixty-four hours

by

necessary for reaching Naples

the

first

route

while those

land, gives a trifling superiority over

who

are not pressed for time will ap-

Rome, Naples,

preciate the advantages of passing through Florence,

and Messina, and

probably avail themselves of this favourable

Avill

opportunity for visiting the Hellenic remains of PiBstum, Giurgcnti,

and Taormina, so invaluable

to a student of

Greek

architecture.

Thirdly, follows the course described in the above pages

by Brindisi and Corfu.

entering Greece
are considerable
tory,

and we

But once

have oidy a choice of evUs.

arrived, Ave

that brought us proceeds on the following day, but does not

passengers are dropped at Syra (about forty-

two hours from Corfu), where,


picked up by another

some ten hours more,

after waiting a

movements

whole day, they are

steamer and landed at their destination in

is

a pleasing uncertainty as to the

of the so-called " corresponding " steamer,

a Greek packet.

By

up the Gulf

ourselves to travelling

discarding

of Corinth in

This involves a delay of some days at Corfu.

distance between Corfu and Athens


forty-four hours

which on very

an appearance.

slight provocation will fail to put in

we reduce

To crown

or after a total of nearly three days.

shocking waste of time, there

this plan,

Lloyd or

cross in the very fair vessels of the Austrian

touch at the Piraeus

this

that of

a single night suffices to laud us in Hellenic terri-

Florio Companies.

The boat

Its superficial attractions

is

The

accomplished nominally in

but the possible gain of time

is

a poor

set-ott'

against the certainty of discomfort on board, coupled with the likeli-

hood of not being met

membered

at

Kalamaki

that that desolate spot

accommodation.

serious risk

when

^loreover, native steamers should be

sparingly as possible.

it is re-

devoid of the very humblest

is

employed as

Therefore, until the establishment of some

and imjjroved through communication,


Athens by way of the Isthmus.

If,

it is

then,

advisal)le not to

we

a straight passage from INIarseilles or Naples,

are to choose

new

approach

between

and an almost equally

long series of short runs from Brindisi, involving changes of vessel

APPENDIX.

and other inconveniences, there

213

will be a large balance of material

advantage on the side of the former course.

The

folloAving table exhibits the comparative lengths of the four

journeys just described.

way and

Only the time actually occupied on the

rail-

the steamer can be given, because the arrangements of the

local services are subject to constant alteration,

waiting at Corfu and Syra vary accordingly.

advantages of the two direct routes


to the Piraeus), are

[i.e.,

and the intervals of

K"ot the least

among

freedom from any such uncertainty, and absence

of delay at the port of embarkation,

owing

to the direct connection

between the Messageries Maritimes and the through expresses.

N.B.The

time

the

from Marseilles or N'aples

is

Route.

calculated from London.

APPENDIX.

214

the division of

tlic

empire, and prove the futility of acting against


If he follow these, the traveller passes

the indications of nature.


straight

from the famous remains of Hellenic

more famous remains of

to the even

that

one peninsula to

fairest in

is

The Ionian

its

that

all

west

civilisation in the

centre and capital, from

Islands are charming, but there

all

fairest in the other.

is

is

something in their

semi-Italian character intellectually unsatisfactory to those eager after

Greece and her true associations


will preclude suclx persons

push forward

a restless impulse to

from enjoying them as they deserve.

But

homeward bound these objections do not apply.


with sight-seeing, and somewhat tired Avith much journey-

in the case of the

Satiated
ing,

one

is

then able to appreciate to the

unrivalled climate, and teeming fertility.


arities

make

Western

a gentle break in the return to

combined with a strong homelike

their varied scenery,

full

Their half-Eastern peculilife,

curiously

up by the many

feeling called

remaining traces of the English occupation.

There are also

practical

saries

for

strongly

considerations

indeed to be procured in Corfu

and there

is

favour

Dragomans

a protracted tour be so well obtained.

to select from,

in

of

In no other town can the neces-

proceeding directly to Athens.

but there

a smaller assortment

is

no choice of men and

over, a short sojourn in the capital gives

are

beasts.

More-

some insight into that strange

psychological phenomenon, the Hellenic character, and enables those

who know Greek

to catch the accent, Avhicli is the

understanding the modern language.

found most useful in the

These two

interior, as

main

obstacle to

be

accjuisitions will

without them the traveller

is

absolutely at the mercy of his guide.

Persons desirous of seeing the country aie practically reduced to

one of two alternative modes of travelling

manner described
yacht.

in the preceding pages, or

either

by

by land

in

sea in their

the

own

It is true that native steamers touch at all the little ports

but Athens and Patras are the only towns on the mainland possessed
of habitable inns,

and Patras

special interest.

Now

and

as the boats only

sengers,

it

fi,)lluw,s

is

not within easy reach of any place of

as the other

towns afford no kind of

shelter,

remain long enough to land and take in pas-

tliat

this

method

of

locomotion

is

unavailable.

APPENDIX.

But those who possess a yacht can

215

majority of the most in-

visit a

teresting spots without being obliged to sleep on shore.


for instance,

may be

hours and a

half.

Olympia,

reached by carriage from Katakolo in about four

Tiryns

within thirty minutes of Nauplia, and

is

the remainder of the road to Argos can be traversed in about forty-

more

five

Delphi

is

Mycenae
accessible

half hours

lying at an hour and a half's distance beyond.

from the Scala di Salona in a ride

while from Chalcis to Thebes

Of

same duration.

and Bassse

Sparta,
is

sea,

required

are

but then,

if

and therefore

among such

of

two and a

a drive of about the

course, certain exj)editions involve

two or three nights from the


of land-travelling

is

all

an absence of

the paraphernalia

are trips

to

Livadia,

these have to be abandoned, there

ample compensation in the power of visiting the islands in com-

fort

no

But

easy matter without some sort of private vessel.

as the majority of

mankind have not this luxury at command,


make what shift they can

they must either give up the islands, or

with the

vile local steamers or viler sailing-vessels,

selves with traversing the

manner.

To

description,

those about to

it

is

earnestly

embark upon a pilgrimage

As

canvas will greatly conduce to health

much

Should

other time.

earlier in the year,

before remarked, a

1.

Whenever

and therefore impossible

practicable, to

where

it is

tion,

is

increased

to sleep in tents, then the

and food ready

by the sudden

strength of the system to

The

benefit of

almost indescribable.

is

by considerable exhaus-

fall in

the temperature after

so that the appetite can easily be overstayed

On no

any

send forward the baggage and kitchen

siderable evil in that treacherous climate,

2.

at

in that exciting air are followed

which

sunset

summer than

intended to pass the night.

finding quarters prepared

Long days

under

be unfortunately necessary to make the tour

following precautions are recommended

to the village

life

and comfort, and the country

greater advantage in the


it

of this latter

hoped that some hints may have been

conveyed in the preceding pages.

will be seen to

and content them-

mainland on beast-back in the regulation

which

it

a not incon-

requires the whole

resist.

account to submit to being put up in a passage room,

slumber under these circumstances being an impossibility.

APPENDIX.

216

3.

Invariably

sleep

to

The stimulating

flannel.

in

properties

of the air produce feverislmess resulting in profuse perspiration dur-

ing the night;


to

chill

are

and the dangers

largely

increased

permeate the walls and roofs of


4.

is

To change

quarters daily

of

the consequent susceptibility

by the innumerable draughts that


Greek

all
if

cottages.

practicable.

necessary, select a house with as little

AVhere a longer stay

woodwork about

it

as possible.

But no precautions, short of the employment of mosquito -curtains,


can guarantee immunity from insect marauders.
Of course weapons
5. Always to have a revolver ready to hand.
are useless in an encounter with brigands, wlio, like Irishmen, never

attack except from a position of vantage, and with a numerical superiority over their victims of at least ten to one

but the sight of an

many an amateur

English-made pistol will overawe the cupidity of


robber,

and

act as a

wholesome check upon

the natural insolence of

the population.
6.

In

all

cases to allow

more time than that estimated by the

guide for packing up, settling

down

for the night,

making a

getting from place to place.


7.

Never

to bargain personally

8.

Never

to believe

any

with the natives

of their statements.

TFiE

END.

PRINTF.D KY WILLIAM BLAC

KWOOD AND SON3

and

ih'tour, or

UNIVERSITY OF CAUFORNIA
LIBRARY
Los Angeles
This book

i,

DUE on d,e las. date sumped

NO PHONE

1 3

Wow.

REi^uVVAL

7036
158 01067

>(*}>

'..T.:

SOUW

000

42 550

-'i^w^mmW^

>vciaMHaaaa

^Va

^K^mMkis.

TACK

Related Interests