Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

1

1

1

its evident ingenuousness. The poem “ To my Mother,” | The translations of several popular songs into the Greek we hold 10 be very beautiful.

and Latin languages--a scholastic amusement that has The lines “To a Jewish Shekel,” are eminently good, fonnd considerable favor in England--are well done. The not only from the deep religious feeling that pervades them, work is richly bound in embossed morocco, with gilt edges, but also from their stately solemnity, the latter quality be- and illustrated with nine steel engravings-among them a ing materially aided by the peculiar construction of the likeness of the author. verse. Yet, lest it be supposed that he is always thus serious, we extract “ The Fairy Isle," written in a lighter but

Books for Children. most musical strain. It is illustrated by an exquisite en

We beg leave to call the attention of such of our readers graving.

as are parents, or interested in the education of the young, “THE FAIRY ISLE. “ In the far off South, where no rude breeze

to the important subject of Juvenile Literature. This branch

of book-making, has increased to a marvellous extent of late E'er sweeps o'er the plain of the halcyon seas,

years: and it has too often been left to bunglers. Now, let Where the airs breathe balm, and the heavens smile

it be considered that early impressions are the strongest, With a glorious radiance, a fairy isle

and that in childhood the elements of taste are formed; and Lolls on the breast of the mother deep

it is not easy to overrate the importance of children's books. With a dimpled cheek like a babe asleep.

They should not only be unexceptionable in their moral “There forests sloped, from the silver flood

influence, but in mechanical execution and style rendered To the sunlight lift their tall greenwood,

attractive and improving. Many a child has imbibed his With bowers beneath through whose tendrils gleams

first idea of art from a picture-book, and insensibly caught The rnellowed light in its fitful beams;

the rudiments of expression from a nursery-tale. Happily, And embroiders around, with its golden sheen,

the wretched daubs that once illustrated Jack the GiantThe velvet moss of the alleys green.

Killer, are now banished, and something more interesting There beetling cliffs, and mountains high

than Mother Goose is provided for the infant mind. Miss Their dark brows rear to the arching sky,

Edgeworth, Mrs. Barbauld, and other benevolent and senWith winding groitoes that flash with gems

sible writers, have introduced a new era in Juvenile LiteRicber than sparkle on diadems.

rature. We have examined some of the specimens of chil. “There the crystal waters gently chime

dren's books issued from our own prolific press, and have seen With a mellowed ione or a voice sublime

none that for neatness and good taste can compare with the The streamlet's murmur, the fountain's call,

series published by James P. Giffing, successor to Samuel And the bounding rush of the waterfall

Colman, New York. These tasteful and elegant volumes, Till the echoes within their thousand caves,

are prepared by such writers as William Howitt, Caroline Laugh at the sound of the joyous Waves.

Gilman, and S. G. Goodrich, whose names are a guarantee The occan-ripples, with gentle flow,

for the excellence of the matter. The purest sentimentsSweep over sands like the dristed snow,

the best language--the most usesul information characterize And ring with a chime of mimic bells

these little works. We would especially commend ParAmong shining pebbles and purple shells,

LEY's Book of Poetry, Parley's Christmas Tales, That echo again their ocean tone,

and the Boy's Country:Book ;-the neat typography, As beart responds to a heart like its own.

beautiful illustrations and careful execution of which “ But the richest treasures of earth and main

render chem admirable gifts for children. MY LITTLE Have not been garnered up here, in vain,

FRIENDS and The Boy's LIFE OF HARRISON, are also To deck, for many an ocean mile,

very pretty volumes. The series comprise books adapted ln tranquil beauty, the fairy isle From the wrath of waves, and the breath of storms,

to every age, from the child learning to read, to the full For life is there in its rarest forms.

grown boy or girl. We invite parents to examine these The speckled fish, in their sportive play,

handsome publications, before they stock their children's

libraries.
Throw up from the waves the silvery spray ;
The sea-fowl winnow the waters o'er,
Or unsold their wings to the sun on shore.

American Melodies, “From blushing flowers of thousand dyes,

This is the title of a very neat little volume, compiled by And blossoms gleaming, like angel eyes,

George P. Morris, illustrated by L. P. Clover, Jr., and pubMid the dewy leaves of the waving trees,

lished by Linen & Fennel, of Broadway, New.York. We That fragrance shed on the passing breeze;

have long required a collection of this kind. No country is In the calm of the twilight hour is heard

without its favorite airs and popular songs; and there are The warbling of many a forest bird,

few more agreeable pocket-companions than a well-chosen That thrills the eve with its notes, and illumes

volume of melodies. The materials for such a book are The dark green shades with its golden plumes.

abundant in America. In the mass of periodical literatureOn the mossy cliffs, there ocean's daughters

in the newspaper annals of festivals-in the scrap-books, Their green locks dress in the crystal waters,

port-folios and college-chronicles, scattered over the United And the mermen gambol and pelt with pearls

States, there are innumerable gems of song worthy to be And golden spanyles, the naiad girls.

enshrined in a handsome and permanent form. In the pre“At eve, in the dance, at music's call,

sent case, we have a single selection from the productions On velvet alleys the footsteps fall,

of two hundred writers. Many of the names, and not a of the fairy forms that in daylight sleep

few of the pieces, are familiar, and endeared by old asso*In winding shell, or in cavern deep;

ciations; and taken as a whole, the volume is a very tasteAnd some sail on wings of glorious light

ful and pleasant affair. The field, however, is by no means Through the soft and perfumed air of night,

exhausted. The editor admits this in his preface, and proWhile the car-like shell of the Fairy Queen

poses to issue a new volume--in the preparation of which, Who reigns supreme o'er the airy scene,

he solicits the aid of all interested in the undertaking. We O'er the moonlit waters is seen to ylide

hope the publishers will meet with such encouragement as With her swanlets breasting the rippling tide."

to continue an enterprize so invitingly commenced.

PCBLISHED MONTHLY, AT FIVE DOLLARS PER ANNUM-THOMAS W. WHITE, EDITOR AND PROPRIETOR.

VOL. VII.

RICHMOND, FEBRUARY, 1841.

NO. 2.

IN TWO PARTS.--PART I.

THE ISLAND OF CYPRUS, *

liest period of the world. The decrease in the soundings, and the color and taste of the water,

announced to us that we were within the influence The sun was casting its setting rays upon a of the mighty river of Egypt, then at the height low, distant, sandy coast. Our noble frigate was of its inundation, before we discovered the land of ploughing its way westward, as gallantly as when the Delta, which is but little elevated above the it entered into that first naval combat, during our surface of the sea. We passed in sight of Dalast war with England, from which it issued so mietta and Rosetta, and of the bay of Aboukir, gloriously. There was little around us but sky and safely entered the harbor of Alexandria.and water, and that little was fast receding from What names are all these for historical associations! our view. One small speck, however, in the dis-To stand on the ruins of such places,- for it is by tant horizon, sent back the last beams of declining their ruins most of them are dear to us,-seems to day, and the transatlantic pilgrims, who crowded bring before the solitary observer the deeds of the vessel's deck, bent their parting looks upon early ages, and to compress within the compass of a this arid shore, and upon the narrow pillar which brief visit the events and vicissitudes of centuries. rose orer it, telling the story of departed days.

From Alexandria we made an excursion into And well these objects claimed all the interest they the most interesting portion of Egypt, running excited; for that pillar, it was the column of Cleo

over the Delta and the Desert, sailing on the Canal patra, and that sterile coast, it was Egypt.

and the Nile, ascending the Pyramids, and descendAfter an interesting excursion in Syria and Pa-ing into the Catacombs, and exploring that land of lestine, we had reached the Mediterranean, at Tri

wonders, where human power has left so many poli, and had thence continued our route, partly by monuments, and where ignorance and misery preland and partly by water, along the coast of these

sent so many deplorable scenes of the very extreold and renowned regions, stopping at Beyroot, at

mity of human suffering. Tyre, at Sidon, at St. Jean d'Acre, the ancient

After gratifying, but not satisfying, our curiosity Prolemais, at Caipha, at Cesarea ; and then arri- in the land of the Pharaohs, the Ptolemies, and ving at the seaport of Jerusalem, the Joppa of the Mamelukes, we embarked for Western Europe; the ancient world, and the celebrated Jaffa of the but circumstances induced a change in our route, age of the Crusades, but now as miserable a vil- and after making some progress towards our deslage as Moslem tyranny ever called its own. It

tination, we suddenly shisted our course, and bore is about forty miles from the Holy City, having up for the island of Cyprus. between it and the hill country of Judea, the

Cyprus, the kingdom of Venus, where are Paplain of Sharon, once the garden of Canaan, and phos, Cytherea and Olympus; or truly, where the now a barren waste of sand.

sacred mountain rises now, as it did in the earliest From Jaffa we sailed for the coast of Egypt, ages of the heathen mythology, but where the leaving in the distance, Gaza and Ascalon, and favorite seats of the voluptuous goddess are as other places, whose history remounts to the ear- abandoned as her worship, as desolate as her

* In the Southern Literary Messenger for Noreinber, shrines! What powerful words are these, also, to 1939, we published a statistical account of the Island of stir up the imagination! What associations do they Candia, from the pen of Gen. Cass, the American Minis, awaken between the past and the present! What ler at France. We are here favored with an elaborate and most interesting article from the same writer, on the Island interesting reflections and anticipations did they of Cyprus--so renowned in mythology as the Kingdom of excite, as a favoring breeze drove us onward, and Venus ; so famed in authentic history for its fruitfulness, on the 29th of September, 1837, brought us in its wealth, its visitations, the oppression of its catalogue sight of a range of mountains whose cloud-capped of tyrants; and its final degradation under the Mahometan summit was the residence of the Jupiter Zeus OAyoke. The bistorical memoranda collected, and the ob. servations of the compiler thereupon, prove him to be the Philas ac repotnTÌS. While approaching the shore, let infoining traveller, and a scholar of taste and experience. us look back at the history of this renowned island, lodependent of the general narrative, its incidental cir- and briefly glance at the events which have imcumstances alone, are of suficient interest to repay the pressed it with an interest that neither time nor reader'a time, and the space we have appropriated to this degradation can destroy. report of our distinguished fellow.citizen. Disclaiming

Situated in the most favored regions of the in these rernarks all invidious preferences, we commend the subject with pleasure to the reader's entertainment. Old World, leaving Syria to the east, Egypt to the In another number the goverumental statistics of the Island south, Asia Minor to the north, and the Grecian of Cyprus will be given.-Ed. So. Lit. Mess.

Archipelago to the west, it was in the very centre

Vol. VII-11

of early civilization, and its settlement and es- The fame of Greece, and her assembled host,

Had reached that monarch on the Cyprian coast; tablishment precede the period of authentic his

'Twas then the friendship of the chief to gain, tory. In the very earliest records which have

This glorious gift he sent, nor sent in vain. come down to us, both sacred and profane, this

Ten rows of azure steel the work unfold, island makes its appearance, with all the elements Twice ten of tin, and twelve of ductile gold, of power and prosperity, with a numerous popula- Three glittering dragons to the gorget rise,

Whose imitated scales against the skies tion, extensive commerce, flourishing cities, and firm and regular governments. It had passed

Reflected various light, and arching, bow'd

Like colored rainbows o'er a show'ry cloud." through its intervals of fable and tradition, and it was already invested with a prestige, which it

It would seem, from this incident, that Cyprus could only have gained by a noble career in the was renowned at this early period for the skill of days of demigods and heroes. It is mentioned its artists, as Eustathius says it was, for its mines in the Pentateuch, as early as the Exodus of the of various metals. Jews, and was known to the Orientals, under the

In the earliest ages, it was the fate of Cyprus, name of Kitim, in our translation of the Bible,

as it is in our days, to be divided among different Chittim,-a name which, in the process of time, races, and thence proceeded internal dissensions, came to designate the islands of the Mediterranean with all those disastrous consequences which hisgenerally, and even the coasts of that sea. In the

tory tells, in bloody characters. Herodotus relates, beautiful and impressive prophecy of Balaam, - that the island was inhabited by three different who was called by the Moabite prince to curse the people--the Phænicians, the Grecians, and the advancing host of the Jews, but who was com- Ethiopians. Commentators have differed, respectmanded by God to bless them, and did bless them, -ing the origin of the latter, but they certainly were the seer took up his parable, and said, alas ! who not from the country known to us as Ethiopia, but shall live, when God doeth thus ? And ships shall probably from the Cyrenian Pentapolis upon the come from the coast of Chittim, and shall afflict Syrian coast. Ashur, and shall afflict Eber, and he also shall

There were, at an early period, nine kingdoms, perish forever.”

And, in the denunciations of each with its king and capital, and possessing the Isaiah against the city of Tyre, when all which machinery of a separate government. At that that proud mart of nations was destined to suffer epoch in human history, nations were small sociefrom the king of Babylon, was foretold, with all ties, and monarchies little tribes, governed by their the truth, and almost all the minuteness of history, respective chiefs. Agamemnon Homeus, king of it was foretold that Chittim was to be one of the men, or, in the sounding original avaš àrðpúr Auaprwr, agents in that great downfall. And how this was ruled over Argos, now a petty portion of the petconfirmed, we learn from Arrian, the historian of ty kingdom of Greece ; and the realm of Ulysses, Alexander, who tells us, in his account of the

so renowned in the Iliad and the Odyssey, conGreek maritime force, that “Cyprus furnished one tained perhaps eighty sections of land. Well did hundred and twenty ships in the naval operations its narrow extent justify the remark of Cicero, of the siege of Tyre, while Macedonia sent but that the son of Laertes loved his country, a single vessel.”—Arrian, Expeditione Alexandri, quia larga sed quia sua.” It is difficult for the L. II. C. 20.

imagination to escape from the kind of enchantIn the enumeration of the Greek forces employment which holds it captive, the romance of early ed in the expedition of Troy, which is given in poetry and history, and which have invested with the second book of the Iliad, we find the contingent a deathless interest the actors and events that first of Cyprus to have been twenty vessels :

emerged into view, after the human race had " In twenty sail, the bold Penhæbians came, learned to offer subjects worthy of record, and From Cyprus. Guineus was their leader's name."

writers worthy to record them. At that time the Greeks occupied only a por- The primitive world of civilization and literation of the island, its possession being divided be- ture, for us, occupied but a narrow space, upon tween them and the Phænicians and the Ethio- the surface of the globe. A few little islands in pians. It is not probable that the two latter lent the eastern part of the Mediterranean, together any aid to a cause, which neither touched their in- with some of the adjacent coast, extending in the terests nor excited their passions.

south a considerable distance along the Nile, and Homer makes another allusion to Cyprus, in the in the east to the Euphrates, contained the scenes further progress of the action of his poem. In of all that is now interesting in the early annals of the eleventh book, devoted to the feats of Aga- mankind. We do not measure the dignity of the memnon, he describes the armor of the Greek events by the space they occupied, but by the inchief,

-a subject, by-the-by, which the poet loved terest with which they are invested. This comto sing,—and thus paints the cuirass :

pression, however, as often happens in life, was “The beaming cuirass next adorned his breast,

not without its system of compensation. If it The same which once King Cinyras possess'd. brought communities into close contact, and excited

non

passions which too often led to war, it excited also the family of Cyniras, the founder of the city, till more generous rivalries, which led to a competi- the conquest of the island by the Romans, when tion in the efforts of genius, in the progress of Cato, the Proconsul, offered this charge to Ptolemy, civilization, and in the works of art. If these as a situation at once honorable and lucrative. little states were more easily overthrown, they To the north of Amathuntum was Citium, the were more easily resuscitated; and individual self- site of which is now occupied by Larnica, the love was brought more readily in aid of patriotism, most important port of the island.

This city because each felt his importance in the narrow claimed a Phænician origin, and even the honor of circle, which shut in the objects that were dearest being founded by Belus,* called by some the father to him.

of Pygmalion. But it may claim a higher and a A glance at the royal cities of Cyprus may in-surer honor, as the birthplace of Zeno, the founterest the reader, and will exhibit the claims of der of the Stoics. His is one of the most illusthis celebrated island to its ancient renown, and to trious names of antiquity. Driven by a shipwreck the interest of the traveller, who seeks in its ruins into the Pireus, he studied the institutions of the the recollections of its former splendor, and finds little republic whose hospitality he received, and but the evidence of its present decay.

wrote a book which contained the result of his obThe most ancient of the Cyprian capitals was servations. He then established a school, and Amathuntum, of Phænician origin, whose impor- soon found himself surrounded with disciples, to tance was such, that Eratosthenes, the chief of the whom he taught his doctrines. The empire which Museum of Alexandria, wrøte its history in many this sect acquired over the opinions of mankind, is books. This work, howerer, is lost, and few au- one of the most extraordinary facts in the history thentic facts are known, respecting the city: but of the human mind. Almost all antiquity, and it possessed a famous temple, dedicated to Venus, many able writers, down to our days, have considwhere the worship of that goddess was celebrated, ered its philosophy, or rather its speculations, as under circumstances which we have no disposition the highest effort of reason; and one of the brightto repeat, but which will forever tarnish with in- est ornaments of French literature has lamented famy the memory of the licentious Cypriots. It its destruction, or more truly, its oblivion, as one is indeed hardly credible that the orgies, which the of the misfortunes in the progress of intellect. As ancient historians describe in all their revolting generally happens in speculative philosophy, the nakedness, should not merely be tolerated in any doctrines of the master were more rational than civilized community, but that their observance those of his disciples. Those who succeeded him should be enforced as a religious duty, to propitiate in the direction of the school, refined upon the legadivinities controlling the human destiny. It is a cy he left, and pushed his principles farther than melancholy proof of the insufficiency of reason to he contemplated. He taught, as a fundamencheck the force of the passions.

tal axiom, that true felicity consists in a life absoIn the temple of Adonis, at Amathuntum, was lutely agreeable to nature and reason. There was left, as a precious relic, the famous collar of Eu- sufficient latitude, indeed, for difference of opinion philus, given by Hercules to Hermione, the wife in the enunciation of this principle. But his sucof Cadmus. And one of the local traditions made cessors, with academic pride and subtlety, mainthis city the place of the temporary residence of tained as a corollary, that a virtuous man might be Theseus and of Ariadne, and of the death and bu- happy in the midst of the greatest misery and torrial of the latter. Richard Cour de Lion, in his ment. They acknowledged but one God, who was conquest of Cyprus, destroyed Amathuntum, whose the soul of the universe, which they considered as ruins yet exist, and make part of the little seaport the body, and both together as a perfect being. town of Limasol.

This arrant nonsense passed in the Old World for Another of these cities was Paphos. Its foun- the perfection of reason : the Creator of all things dation ascends to a period anterior to the capture was incorporated with his own works, and these of Troy, and contemporaneous probably with Da- formed part of their Maker. Apathy, or indiffenaus, Cadmus, and Cecrops, and with the migra-rence to external circumstances, was the greatest tion of the Phænician and Egyptian colonies to virtue; and physical sufferings were to be so conGreece. It was built upon the river Aphrodisios, quered by moral reflections, that the bed of roses where Venus and Adonis bathed; and it was at the of the Mexican Emperor would cease to be a remouth of this stream, that the Paphian goddess proach to a feeble follower. The truth is, that first reached the land, after her birth upon the ancient metaphysics were a strange mixture of wares. In the course of time the old city fell into sublime rhapsodies and of puerile absurdities. decay, and a new Paphos was built at some dis- After Citium came Malium, of which little is tance ; but the former preserved its sanctity, and known. It was destroyed in the time of the Greek was visited in an annual solemn procession, which kings of Egypt. was yet maintained in the time of Strabo.

* This seems to have been a common denomination borne The intendance of the temple was preserved in' by the Phænician kings. It was derived from Baal, Lord.

But the history of Salamis, now Famagosta, / sian empire, Herodotus informs his readers that it has been much better preserved. It filled an im- was divided into nineteen great departments. Cyportant part in the annals of the island. Tradition prus, with Phænicia and Palestine, composed the says its foundation was laid by Teucer, the brother fifth of these departments; and as its whole reveof Ajax Telamon, who, having been driven from nue yielded to the Great King but three hundred his little kingdom of the isle of Salamis, near and fifty talents, we may place confidence in the Athens, by his father Telamon, because he did not assertions of the historian, that the taxes were avenge the death of his brother, sailed for Cyprus, moderate. with many Greek adventurers who had followed After the battles of Platæa and Salamis, where his standard at the siege of Troy, and many cap- all the land and naval forces of Xerxes were detives whom the subjugation of that unfortunate city stroyed, the Greeks, aware of the importance of had put in his power, and established himself at this island to their enemies, as a marine station this place. In process of time it became the most and nursery for their fleets, sent Aristides, with a important city of the island, and was the last strong squadron of thirty gallies, to aid the Cypriots to hold of the Venetian power.

free themselves from the Persian yoke. We learn Upon the northern coast of Cyprus, looking to- from Thucydides, that this expedition, which took wards the rugged shores of Caramania, were two place in the fifth century before the Christian era, cities,-Lapathos, claiming Belus, for its founder, j was successful, and that many cities recovered and Soli. Little is, however, known of them. their liberty. The Persians, however, soon rePlutarch says that each was the capital of a king- duced them again to subjection, when the Greeks dom. Soli, however, is interesting, as the resi- determined by a great effort, to drive their rivals dence of Solon, who dwelt here for some time, from an island which furnished them such extenwhile seeking wisdom in foreign travel. He be- sive resources in their naval operations. The came attached to its king, Cypranor, and wrote an maritime republics equipped a fleet of two hundred eulogy to his memory. Its name is preserved in gallies, and gave the command to Cimon, the son our word, solecism, which we have borrowed from of Miltiades, who was descended from Ajax Telathe Greek, and which owes its origin to the barba-mon, and who had, by this descent, hereditary rerous pronunciation of the inhabitants of this city.lations with the island. The Athenian general

The eighth capital was Kutri, situated in the in- took possession of the cities of Citium and of Materior, of which little but the name is known. lium, and beat the Persian fleet of three hundred The last was Carpassium, upon the eastern ex- gallies, of which one hundred were captured, many tremity of the island, whose origin ascends to the sunk, and the rest dispersed. He then subdued heroic times, and which claims Pygmalion for its many other cities, and laid siege to Salamis, the founder. Who has not heard of his beautiful sta- principal seat of the Persian power, and where tue, and of the miracle by which Venus endowed there was a numerous garrison. it with life?

Artaxerxes, the Persian monarch, became alarmThese were the nine royal cities of Cyprus, the ed at the progress of his enemies, and consented to capitals of its kingdoms, which attest its former that peace, so shameful for him, but so glorious for power and opulence, and whose ruins now tell the the Greeks, by which the cities of their countrystory of its degradation. According to Diodorus men in Asia Minor were restored to their laws and and Herodotus, the Cypriots preserved their na- liberties, and the Persians were prohibited from tional independence till the time of Amasis, king approaching within three days journey of the Ægeof Egypt, whose power they recognized. The an sea. The victorious general, however, fell a predecessor of this prince, the Apries of the Greeks, victim to his exertions, and dying in Cyprus, his and the Pharaoh Hopher of the Scriptures, had ashes were transported to Athens. That renowned landed in Cyprus, and ravaged its cities, carrying but turbulent, and too often unjust republic, was away with him an immense booty.

more liberal in the rewards it decreed to the memoIn the contests between the Egyptians and Per- ry of the dead, than to the services of the living. sians, which ended in the victory of Cambyses, and And the cynical remark, which has been so often in the establishment of his power over Egypt, repeated by the enemies of free states, that it has Cyprus took part with the Persfans. Xenophon become almost a political apothegm, that these states that the island was subjugated by Cyrus, the governments are ungrateful, has been principally father of Cambyses. However this may be, it is cer- deduced from the Athenian history, -where, intain that the Persian monarchs established their deed, there are lamentable proofs that the people power over it, and maintained it, with some vicissi- were too often guided in their measures by-an antudes, however, till the memorable contest com- worthy feeling towards eminent services and talmenced between them and the little Grecian repub- ents. This tendency is inseparable, perhaps, from lics, which laid the foundation for the ruin of both-J a small community, where those strong passions, of the one by success, of the other by defeat. In which produce splendid results when foreign danhis account of the political statistics of the Per-'gers threaten, are turned to internal dissensions

« НазадПродовжити »