« ZurückWeiter »
TRANSLATION. " John, of English descent, but said to have been born at Mentz, obtained the popedom by sinister arts; for, she palmed herself upon the world as a man, when, in reality, she was a woman. In her youth, she accompanied a learned lover of hers to Athens; and there, by attending the lectures of the best literary professors, she made so great a progress in erudition, that, on her arrival in Rome, she had few equals, and no superiors, in all kinds of theological knowledge. By her learned lectures, and by her masterly disputations, she acquired so much esteem and authority, that on the death of Leo, she was, by universal consent, (as Martinius affirms,) created pope. Some time after her elevation to the pontifical dignity, she became criminally familiar with one of her domestics, and pregnancy was the consequence. She took care, by every precaution, to conceal this circumstance, as long as possible; until
, at last, as she was walking (in public procession) to the Lateran church, (in Rome,) she was suddenly seized with labour-pains, and brought forth her infant, in that part of the street which lies between the theatre and the church of St. Clement. She died on the spot; having held the popedom two years, one month, and four days. Some writers affirm, that, to this very day, whenever the pope walks in procession to the Lateran church, he constantly goes thither by another way, to avoid reviving the memory of the above-mentioned detestable event; and that, in order to prevent a similar imposition, (that is, in order that the infallible church may not again mistake the sex of her popes,) the new-elected pentiff is properly ex. amined by the junior deacon, at the time of his holiness's first enthronement in St. Peter's chair-* * * *
This said Mrs. Joan, (who called herself John VIII.) was successor in the popedom to Leo IV. who died A. D. 855; and she, herself, was succeeded by Benedict III. Was not this pope, at least, the “ whore of Babylon?”
A DASHING ADVERTISEMENT. " St. Helena, Feb. 21st. 1811.–To the Public. Stolen or mislaid, a devilish good silver hunting watch, made by M'Cabe, London, (number forgot,) with a dashing gold chain, and two huge seals, without inscriptions. Whoever has found the said watch and scals, and will deposit them at the bar of the tavern, or give any information relative to them, will, besides the thanks of the advertiser, receive any reward he thinks
From F. C. Pouqueville's Travels in the Morea, Albania, and
other parts of the Ottoman empire. The Morean women have undoubtedly a claim to the prize of beauty, perhaps also to the palm of virtue. They may probably owe the first advantage to physical causes not difficult to be assigned. During the greater part of the year the sun warms the Morea with its benignant rays: the air is free from all humidity, and charged with the perfume of thousands of flowers—is pure and vivifying, while the temperature is mild and serene as in our finest days of spring. If to this be added the moderate share of labour to which the women of the East are subjected, and the regular lives they lead in these united causes a sufficient reason will be found for the beauty which has always distinguished the women of Peloponnesus.
The models which inspired Apelles and Phidias are still to be found among them. They are generally tall and finely formed; their eyes are full of fire, and they have a beautiful mouth ornamented with the finest teeth. There are, however, degrees in their beauty, though all in general may be called handsome. The Spartan woman is fair, of a slender make, but with a noble air; the women of Taygetes have the carriage of Pallas when she flourished her formidable ægis in the midst of a battle. The Messenian woman is low in stature and distinguished for her embonpoint; she has regular features, large blue eyes, and long black hair. The Arcadian, in her coarse woollen garment, scarcely suffers the regularity of her form to appear; but her countenance is expressive of great purity of mind, and her smile is the smile of innocence. Chaste as daughters, the women of the Morea assume as wives even a character of austerity. Rarely after the death of a husband whom she loved does the widow ever think of contracting a new engagement. Supporting life with difficulty, deprived of the object of her affections, the remainder of her days are often passed in weeping her loss. Endowed with organs sensible to melody, most of the Greek women sing in a pleasing manner, accompanying themselves with a tetrachord, the tones of which are an excellent support to the voice. In their songs they do not extol the favours of love, they do not arraign the coldness and inconstancy of a lover; it is rather a young man who pines away with love, as the grass is withered on the house tops; who complains of the cruelty of his inflexible mistress,—who compares himself to a bird deprived of his mate, to a solitary turtle-dove;-who requires all naturc, in short, to share in his sorrows. At this long recital of woes, the companions of the songstress are often melted into tears, and quit her with warm expressions of delight at the pleasure they have received.
If the Greek women have received from the hand of nature the gift of beauty as their common dower, and a heart that loves with ardour and sincerity, they have the defects of being vain, avaricious, an ambitious; at least this is the case with those in the higher ranks of society. Totally destitute of instruction, they are incapable of keeping up a conversation in any degree interesting, nor can they supply their want of education by a natural playfulness of imagination which gives birth intuitively to lively sallies, and often charms in women more than cultivation of mind. It may be said in general that the Greek women know nothing: even those who are born in the higher ranks are ignorant of the art of presiding in their own houses; an art so well known, and so well practised in our own country, that a woman destitute of real knowledge has often by this means drawn around her a circle of the most cultivated and most amiable among the other sex. As a proof of the total want of education among the Greek women, I cannot help adding that I have often heard at Constantinople, even from the mouths of those who bore the title of princesses, the grossest language used towards their servants, such as would not be endured among us but from the very lowest dregs of the people. It is not difficult, from the specimen, to form an idea of the charm which such sort of female society presents to Europeans of polished countries.
A belief in sorcery or witchcraft, that great stumbling-block of the human understanding in all ages and climes, is exceedingly prevalent in modern Greece. A number of old Sibyls, withered sorceresses of the race known among us by the name of Bohemians or Egyptians, the refuse of Thessaly, a country celebrated in all times for female magicians, are in high repute in every part of the Morea. They explain signs, interpret dreams, and all the delirious wanderings of the imagination. Reverenced, feared, caressed, nothing is done without consulting them; nor is it difficult to conceive how unbounded an empire these impostors obtain over imaginations as ardent, united with minds as little cultivated as characterize the Grecian women.
A Young woman wishes to know what sort of a husband she is to have. She consults one of these oracles of fate, who gives her a pie seasoned with mint and other aromatic herbs gathered from the mountains. This she is to eat at night without drinking, and go to bed immediately, first hanging round her neck, in a little enchanted bag, three flowers, one white, another red, and the third yellow. The next morning she puts her hand into the bag and draws out one of the flowers: if it be the white, she is to marry a young man; if the red, one of a middle age; if the yellow, a widower. She is then to relate what she has dreamt in the night, and from her dreams the Sibyl draws omens, whether the husband is to be rich, and whether the marriage is to prove happy or not. If the predictions be not accomplished, no fault is ever ascribed to the oracle; either her orders were not exactly observed, or the Evil-eye, has rendered her divinations abortive. This Evil. eye, the Arimanes of the ancients, is a dæmon, the enemy of all happiness, the very name of whom terrifies even the most courageous. According to the Greeks, this spirit or invisible power is grieved at all prosperity, groans at success, is indignant at a plentiful harvest, or at the fecundity of the flocks, murmurs even against Heaven for having made a young girl pleasing or handsome. In consequence of so strange a superstition, no one thinks of congratulating another upon having handsome children, and they carefully avoid admiring the beauty of a neighbour's horse, for the Evil-eye would very probably at the saine instant afflict the children with a leprosy, or the horses with lameness. The power of this genius even extends to taking away treasures of every kind from those by whom they are possessed. If, however, in complimenting the beauty of the children or the horses, care is taken to talk of garlic or to spit, the charm is broken. .
After having shown how much the modern Greeks are given up to superstition, and the degree of debasement to which their minds are reduced by the slavery under which they have so long languished, another feature of their character will appear the more extraordinary; this is the vanity which all have more or less of being distinguished by the most pompous titles. Nothing is heard among them but the titles of archon, prince, most illustrious, and others equally high-sounding; the title of his holiness is given to their priests. The child accustomed to forget the most endearing of appellations, the wife forgetting that which she ought most to cherish, salute the father and the husband with the title of signor', at the same time kissing his hand. This name, which is only a term of submission, is by the pride of the Greeks preferred to all others, for the very reason that it seems to acknowledge superiority in the person to whom it is addressed.
It is from this sentiment of vanity that those Greeks who have acquired any knowledge of the history of their country, speak with so much pride of the ancient relics still scattered over it. According to the affinity which may be found in their names to any of those celebrated in antiquity, they call themselves the descend. ants of Codrus, of Phidias, of Themistocles, of Belisarius. The same sentiment leads them to hoard up money, that they may be enabled at last to purchase some situation which shall give them the power of domineering over their brethren; and this achieved, it is by no means unusual to see them become more insolent and tyrannical towards them than the Turks themselves: they justify in this respect but too fully the common saying, that the Turk has no better instrument for enforcing slavery than the Greek.
SPECIMENS OF A VOLUME OF POETRY, ABOUT TO BE PUBLISHED
LAND of the exile-my own native land,
Sweet refuge to the wretched of this earth!
And hail the glorious morn that gave thee birth.
Where all that breathe the breath of life are free;
To share the sweets of virtuous liberty.
The blue-eyed German smokes his pipe at ease,
Oppressed Erin finds a refuge here,
Treads hardy Caledonia's mountaineer.
The peaceful monarch banish'd from his throne;
Here seek a refuge-here, and here alone.
One bloody deluge roll o'er all the world-
While tottering despots from their seats are hurl'ú.
And veil'd from every eye sweet Nature's face,
And saved the remnant of the human race.
Sweet refuge to the banish'd of the earth!
And hail the glorious morn that gave thee birth.
Still thy bright stars like glorious fires of Heav'n,
The exile from his home and country driv'n.
From every corner of the suffering earth,
Oh may Oppression's victim hither come!
Cherish the land in which he found a home.
Land of the exile-my own native land,
Mother of heroes, child of liberty!
Flourish forever-be forever free!