תמונות בעמוד

it we meet with pieces of marble columns, most of them white or ash coloured, some fluted in a direct, and others in a spiral manner. We were really surprised at the great number of chapiters, frizes, and pedestals, other fragments, with scraps of inscriptions scarcely legible, though in several of them we could discern the woid Gymnasiarch. These perhaps, are as ancient as Epicurus's time, who at the age of thirty-two years read public lectures atMitylene, as we are informed by Diogenes Laertius; and Ar istotle resided here two years, according to the same author.

The ancient Mitylene has produced many illustrious persons, and among the rest Pittacus,* one of the seven sages of Greece, whose sentences were written on the walls of Apollo's temple at Delphos. The poet Alcaeus and the poetess Sappho were also of Mitylene, and lived at the same time; and the inhabitants struck medals in honor of these three ornaments of their country, several of which are still to be seen in the cabinets of the curious. On one of them Pittacus is represented on one side, and Alcaeus on

the other. Upon another medal we meet with Sappho sitting _s .!

* Pittacus was a true patriot, and did great service to his country. Joining with the brothers of Alcaeus, the famous lyric poet, and with Alcaeus himself, who was at the head of an exiled party, he drove the tyrants out of Lesbos, who had usurped the government of that island. The inhabitants of Mitylene, being at war with the Athenians, gave the command of their army to Pittacus; who, to spare the blood of his fellow citizens, offered to fight Phrynon, the enemy's general, in single combat; which challenge was accepted, and Pittacus was victorious, having killed his adversary. The Mitylenians, out of gratitude, conferred the sovereignty of the city upon Pittacus, which he accepted, and governed with great wisdom and moderation. In the meaa time Alcaeus, who was a declared enemy to all tyrants, did not spare Pittacus in his verses,notwithstanding the mildness of his government and temper; but when the poet afterwards fell into his hands, he was so far from taking his revenge, that he gave him his liberty, and showed by that act of clemency and generosity, that he was a tyrant only in name. After having governed ten years with great equity and wisdom, he voluntarily resigned his authority and retired. He used to say, That the proof of a good government was to engage the subjects not to be afraid of their prince, but to be afraid for him. And it was a maxim with him, That no man should ever give himself the liberty of speaking ill of a friend, or even of an enemy. See Rollin's Ancient History, Vol. II.

with a lyre in her hand and the reverse is the head of Nausicae, daughter of Alcinous, whose orchards were so famed for their excellent fruits. Sappho composed a considerable number of poems, of which there are but two remaining: but these are sufficient to satisfy us, that the praises given her in all ages, for the b«auty, pathetic softness, harmony, and infinite graces of her poetry, are not without foundation. The Ancients had such a great opinion of her merit, that they called her the tenth Muse: but the purity of her manners was not at all equal to the heauty of her genius. The rhetorician Diophanus, according to Strabo, was also a native of Mitylene: and in the age of Augustus, Potamon, Crinagoras, and the historian Theophanes, well known on account of his friendship with Pompey, whose acts he wrote, and was by him presented with the freedom of Rome. ,

Not only Mitylene, but other towns of Lesbos, have produced men famous for their genius and learning. It is reckoned there are still above a hundred towns and villages in this island, one of which, called Erisso, is undoubtedly the ancient Eressus, the birth place of Theophrastus and Phanies, two disciples of Aristotle. According to Plutarch, the Lesbians were the greatest musicians of all the Grecians: The famous Arion* was of Methymne, another town of Lesbos, the ruins whereof are visible to this day: and Terpander, who was the first that fitted seven strings to the lyre, was also a native of this country. We may add to all these, upon the authority of Strabo, Hellenicus the historian, and Callias, who wrote annotations upon the poem of Alcaeus and Sappho.

But notwithstanding so many great men have been born in this island, and such grave lectures of philosophy delivered there,

* This excellent musician and poet was in great esteem with Periander, king of Corinth, by whose recommendation he went over to Italy, and gained great wealth by his art. But returning from thence to Corinth, he was stripped of his money by the mariners, who also threatened to kill him; whereupon he desired leave to play one tune upon his haip before he died, and this being granted, he is said to have leaped into the sea, where he was received upon the back of a dolphin, charmed with his music, which carried him safe to shore.

the morals of the inhabitants were very corrupt, insomuch that it was a proverbial speech in Greece, when they spoke of a profligate fellow, to say, that he lived like a Lesbian. However, * the present natives do not seem to deserve so bad a character, and the women especially are more modest, and less addicted to gallantry, than in several other islands of the Archipelago.

The island .ofMetelin is about fifty miles in length, and five and twenty broad, its mountains being shaded with woods in many placQ^md its valleys and plains producing plenty of corn. It also affdras very good oil, and the best figs in all the Archipelt ago; and is still remarkable for its excellent wines, so justly cele.^J&wj^v brated by the Ancients.* Aristotle, we are told, pronounced in favor of the wine of Lesbos with his dying breath. It being debated, it seems, who should succeed this great philosopher in the Lyceum that might keep up the reputation of the Peripatetic school, and Menedemus of Rhodes and Theophrastus of Lesbos being candidates, Aristotle called for a glass of the wine of each island, and having tasted them deliberately, They are both excellent wines, (said he) but that of Lesbos is the most agreeable 4 ( of the two;t intimating, no doubt, that Theophrastus excelled his competitor, as much as the wine of Lesbos was preferable to that of Rhodes. Pliny likewise praised the wine of Lesbos, on the authority ofErasistratus, a very eminent physician of antiquity.

This island is inhabited partly by Turks, and partly by Greeks, and is governed by a Cadi, and an officer of the Janizaries, who

*, How lavish the Ancients were in the praise of this wine, may be seen jn Athenaeus, Lib. I. cap. 22, 23, &c.—Among other species of wines, we find mention of the Lesbian in Virgil's Georgicks:

Non eadem arboribus pendet vindemia nostris, *

Quam Methymineeo carpet de palmite Lesbos. Lib. II. 89, 90.

Nor our Italian vines produce the shape,
Or taste, or flavor of the Lesbian grape. Dryden.

d Horace, inviting his mistress to his country seat, promises to ""entertain her with a glass of Lesbian, which he calls innocent, or harmless:. .

Hie innocentis pocuta Lesbii •
Duces sub umbra: Lib. I. Od. 17.

t Aul. Gell. Lib. XIII. cap. 5.

Wside at Castro: which town is not very large nor well built, but is defended by a pretty strong castle with a good garrison. Castro, or the ancient Mitylene, is not the only port of the island 5 there are three others, namely, Jero, Caloni, and Sigre, the first of which is reckoned one of the handsomest in the Mediterranean, and is known to the Franks by the name of port Olivier. The wind coming to the North-West, we sailed from Castro early on the 6th of September, and in the evening dropped anchor in the road of Smyrna. The next day we went ashore, and wait* ed on the English and French consuls, who gave us a very kind reception, as did several gentlemen of the English factory, whom we afterwards visited as we had an opportunity.

The port of Smyrna is perhaps the finest in all the Levant, being capable of containing a numerous fleet, and is seldom without four score or a hundred ships of several nations. The city extends itself along the shore, at the foot of a hill, which commands it; on the top whereof stands an old castle, tfhich will be spoken of hereafter. The houses in general have no great beauty in them, being built low, and many of them of clay^ but the streets are wide, and the caravansaries and other public buildings, have an air of magnificence. The Franksstreet, so called from its being inhabited chiefly by European Christians, is the handsomest in Smyrna, and runs all along ihe port; the sea washing the back part of the houses. In this street are the houses of the consuls of England, Holland, and France, and of the foreign merchants, who live together very amicably, and do not fail of visiting and entertaining each other in the politest manner. In short, as we see scarce any but European habits in this part of the town, and hear the several languages of Europe spoken, we seem to be rather in Christendom than in Turkey, and feel a kind of pleasure that is not easy to be described.

The entrance of the port of Smyrna is defended by a square castle, whose sides are about a hundred paces long, flanked with four mean bastions, and has a square tower in the middle. The cannon are without carriages, and as large as those of the Dar-.


danelles; and though the place be of no great strength, it sufH* ciently commands the shipping going in or out of the bay.—' This castle stands upon a point of land, almost opposite to the mouth of the river Hermus, which forms a bank of sand, that makes the entrance of the bay narrow, but renders it safer for the ships that ride within it, by breaking the force of the sea, which would otherwise roll into it when the wind is strong at West; and though the entrance is narrow, it is far from being dangerous, if a pilot has the least knowledge of his business, and keeps towards the Southern shore.

. A day or two after our arrival, we went to stee the old castle of Smyrna, situated on a hill that commands the city, as I havte • observed before. Upon that side of the hill that looks towards the bay, was formerly one of the finest amphitheatres in Asia, all of white marble, which the Turks demolished in the last century, to build a fine bezestin and caravansary, which, are none of the least of the present ornaments of Smyrna. This amphitheatre was either built in the reign of the emperor Claudius, whose name M. Spon discovered upon a pedestal in a pari of the building; • or rather, as our countryman Sir George Wheeler conjectures, in the time of Gallienus, a pot of medals, all of that emperor's family, or of other princes reigning at thesametime, having been found in digging up the foundations of this noble structure.

As to the ancient c.istle, it was built by John Ducas; and savours of the time of the latter Greek emperois, when they used the finest marble in building the walls of cities and other fortifi•cations. The greatest part of this castle has run to ruin, and hardly any thing left standing but the walls. One may still discern two Roman eagles indifferently cut in stone near the Northgate, and over the gate a Greek inscription, but so high and defaced that we could not read it. There is also to be seen in the wall the bust of the Amazon Smyrna, the reputed foundress of this city: It is about three feet high, and does not seem to have been of extraordinary workmanship; but it is not very easy to judge of that, since the Turks have beat off the nose, and injured other parts of the face. It is certain this bust has none of the •

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