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but it required the nice taste of Mr. Galt to discover that it was hereditary in a race of men whom he now saw for the first time. As to comfort, if that ever was the object of any traveller before the present, then all the passages, in which the vanity and dissatisfaction of human life are, in authors both sacred and profane, represented to us under figures derived from the idea of life itself being a journey, are ridiculous and unmeaning.
Of the antiquities of Agrigentum he thus speaks :
* The temple of Concord is in fine condition, as an antiquary would say, the parts having been collected and replaced on each other by order of the king. The temple of Juno has been re-edified in the same manner. But still, even though they be the monuments of Agrigentum, the sight of them is hardly worth a Sabbath-day's journey. The church of St. Martin's in the Fields, London, is larger than both of them put together, and infinitely more magnificent.' p. 17.
After such an account of some of the most celebrated remains of antiquity, we were well satisfied with the propriety of Mr. Galt's not having made classical inquiries a part of the objects of his journies. But for the great inaccuracies, however, in the facts, such as the re-edification of the temples, and their magnitude, we should not have been unwilling to acknowledge the happiness of his comparison of these ancient edifices to the church of St. Martin's in the Fields, as being eminently calculated to further bis design of familiarizing to the British public the couutries connected with the Mediterranean.'
The country between Girgenti and Palermo ' is what a painter would probably call very beautiful, and a young lady romantic ! It is, however, (continues Mr. Galt,) really often savage, seldom pleasant, and altogether such as only necessity should lead me to pass again. Probably it wants the convenient ims, level roads, and opposition coaches which give such features of pleasantness to the run between Manchester and London.
With a rambling description of Palermo, are mixed a number of common-place observations on nobility, government, and the clergy in general. With regard to the latter, Mr. Galt’s opinion is uniform ; though it does not appear whether bis dislike arises from an idea that the whole of religion is an imposture, or from the circumstance of his having been bred a presbyterian, and the clergy, he meets with abroad belonging to episcopal churches.
' In Sicily,' he says, with appareut satisfaction, as in other countries, the hierarchy has seen the best of its days. “The church having ceased to be regarded as venerable, is looked upon as ridiculous. An easy transition, by the way! Again :
The institutions of the church are now generally estimated by their temporal utility; and, being found without value in this re
Spect, are, of course, deemed oppressive.' Just as the restrictions of morality would be, with reference to this life only, in the opinion of by far the majority of the world.
Out of innumerable absurdities we extract the following remarks on sculpture, occasioned by the tomb of the bishop of Cefalu, which Mr. Galt esteems one of the finest things in Sicily.
'The subject is the bishop distributing alms, a venerable and dignified person, in the lowing drapery of his order, giving a shirt to a naked cripple. The cripple is an excellent statue. The shirt which he is receiving has the lightness and easy folds of linen. The design of this monument appears to me a legitimate subject for sculpture. Angels and spirits, of any sort or shape, certainly ought never to be placed upon the same pedestals with mortals, because it is not possible for the chissel to endow them with that airiness of appearance which is essential to mark the difference between them and the beings of this world."
It may succeed, it seems, in a marble shirt, (qu. laivo xitwa,) but would hardly be allowed to touch on the ventus textilis,' or
nebula linea,' of Publius Syrus. The Britannias avd Fames of our national monuments' must be given up, as well as 'two cheesemongers with wings,' which Mr. Galt informs us are to be seen
in St. Paul's, exhibiting a couple of double Gloucesters, on which strange drawings of two naval officers have been scratched.'
His account of the means by which the execution of the sentence against the criminals, who were found guilty of the murder of an English merchant at Messina, was procured, is to us, though we were upon the spot at the time, perfectly new. That, in the case of the murder of a Sicilian, an execution would not have taken place, is indeed exceedingly probable; as the ordinary punishe ment for assassination seldom extends beyond hard labour and confinement as convicts. We doubt not that considerable interest was made for the criminals, frồm a false principle of humanity very prevalent among the Sicilians, and of which examples are not wanting in this country, especially to those lawyers who attend our Welsh circuits. But that any attempt was made to obtain their pardon by bribery, or that the attempt, if made, was counteracted by the payment of a larger sum on the other side, we do not believe; not only because we never heard it mentioned, when the subject was very ğenerally discussed, but because the latter part of the story confutes itself, inasmuch as the persons, whom Mr. Galt represents as subscribing to procure the execution, are the English residents.
In his way from Messina to Catania, Mr. Galt is totally at a loss to conjecture what can be the use of a romantic military castle, which crowns one of the headlands along which the road winds. It has nothing,' he says, “to protect, and can protect nothing. Yet
we had a garrison there. This is something like the remark of a man who, passing through a turnpike-gate with a ticket, should cone clude that it was never shut against those who came without onę, Had he been a French or Neapolitan colonel, on his way from Catania to Messina, at the head of his regiment, instead of a peaceable English merchant, travelling from Messina to Catania with the escort of a single campiere, he inight, perhaps, have found some slight obstacle to his progress from this castle, which, besides being very romantic, is so situated as to command a winding and narrow road, the only military communication between Messina and the south-eastern part of the island. It was on this account, probably, and because the proniontory on which it stands affords an admirable situation for a look-out and signal house, that some improvident English general had garrisoned it.
A little farther on, iu his account of the organ at the Benedictine convent at Catania, Mr. Galt gives an admirable specimen of the manner in which a poetical description may be improved upon, We remember a Greek translation of Gray's Elegy, in reference to one of the stanzas of which, it was said that “Cooke, Gray, and Nature seemed to contend for the mastery. In the following passage we venture to assert that, notwithstanding the disadvantages of prose, Mr. Galt leaves both Gray and Nature far behind. We beg our readers to refer to the first stanza of the ode, beginning, Awake, Æolian lyre!'
• The church belonging to this monastery is very grand; were the design completed it would be one of the largest in Europe. The organ is truly exquisite. It is said to be the finest in the world ; it is by far the finest I ever heard. The effect of the sonata which is performed in order to shew the whole genius of the instrument, may be compared to the course of a river from the fountain-head to the sea. It begins with a sweet little trilling movement, like the sound of waters trickling in a far remote pastoral upland. The breadth of harmony increases, and the mind is excited to activity, while the introduction of a delightful echo suggests the images of a rapid stream, and bands of huntsmen, with horns and hounds, coursing the banks. Continuing still to rise and spread, the music takes a more regular character, and fills the imagination, with the notion of a Thames, covered with moving vessels, flowing through a multitudinous city. Occasional military movements gradually open all the fountains of the instrument, and the full tide, deepening and rolling on, terminates in a finalé so vast, so various, so extraordinary an effusion of harmony, that it can be compared only to the great expanse of the ocean agitated by a tempest, and the astonish ing turbulence of a Trafalgarian battle.' pp. 93, 94.
We have always opposed, and always shall oppose, a popular, but, in our opinion, a very pernicious error, with regard to the original organization of the hunian mind; from which it is inferred, that the
perfection of any one power necessarily involves the imperfection of the rest : that the soundness of the judgment is an obstacle to the vigour of the imagination; and that a good poet must be a bad logician. We had frequently supported our cause by the great names of Milton, Dryden, Pope, and Johnson; and we were in hopes of adding to the list the name of Galt. How provoking then, after the above evidence of his poetic powers, to meet in the next page with the following specimen of his logic!
* The number of ecclesiastics in the town was greater than the num. ber of men in the garrison. The troops were British, and paid by the British nation. The expence of the monks could not be less than that of the soldiers, so that the British public, it may be said, were paying the ecclesiastics. p. 95.
Again• Syracuse is a place from which an enemy ought to meet with a formidable resistance. It is one of the strongest fortresses in the king. dom. The garrison was a British regiment, consisting of about 600 men. In the town there were upwards of 1200 ecclesiastics; therefore it was necessary to have a garrison of foreigners.' p. 102.
We quoted the above as a specimen of logic; we may add that every proposition is false, except that which relates to the British regiment, which, however, to be accurate, ought, we believe, to be a German regiment.
Not to abuse the patience of our readers, we pass over Malta and Cerigo, to give Mr. Galt a fair chance in a new country. Maina has been seldom visited, and we do not recollect any late description of it. Yet here Mr. Galt is employed in any thing but collecting facts. The general reader' may perhaps be delighted
with the following passage, which combines the excellencies of • MPherson and the author of the Rovers. In travelling through
this country, which being mountainous reminds him of ihe Highlands of his own; his imagination had become full of the blue and white melancholy of Ossian,' when he is surprised with a distinct vision of Oscar,' in the person of a Mainot chieftain, Alter exchanging compliments, • the young commandant walked on in silence before us till we reach. ed the middle of a field, at some distance from the town. It was a retired place. He suddenly halted; our fancies, in the meantime, were coming thickly. We looked at each other. The sun was down, and the twilight was obscure. But he only inquired if we had any news. Perceiving that he was anxious to get correct information
Here we fully expected that Mr. Galt would have produced from his pocket the Daily Advertiser, or, at least, the 'Epuenis Jovios, but he only tells the chief what he knows of the wars in christendom,' and ---so ends the matter.
But though this may 'gratify the general reader, the classical scholar,' we fear, will be rather disappointed that Mr. Galt should not have attempted to explain an inscription on a rock, in very ancient Greek characters,' which he noticed here, especially as, though the Doctor of the town had never heard of any one who could read it, it is evident from that acquaintance with the language which he so frequently displays, that our traveller would have experienced no great difficulty. Thus we are informed that the name of the country is peculiarly appropriate, * Lacedemonia, signifying the country of the devils.' p. 147. That the Greek word cons, written by Homer' (foolishly enough, no doubt) 'aïons, signifies obscure, hidden, i. e. buried.' p. 179. That Thermopylæ is derived from thermia, signifying hot water, and pyle, ground'! &c. &c.
The only thing we learn from this part of Mr. Galt's journey is, that either the accounts given by others of the difficulty and dangers of passing through the south of the Morea are false, or that the dispositions of the people are really improved. We are inclined to think that both of these are in some measure true. The cowardice of the Greeks, and the indolence of the Turks, equally induce them to give false and terrific accounts of countries which they are not in the habit of frequenting, and do not wish to visit. The Turks indeed claim a jurisdiction in Maina, and are therefore not very likely to be well received by a people anxious, above all things, to preserve their liberty. The Greeks are probably considered by the Mainots unworthy of favour, from their want of energy and submission to the conqueror. But the instances in which Europeans have been otherwise than hospitably treated are, we believe, exceedingly rare. Add to this, that of late a consider : able intercourse has been carried on between the chiefs of the Mainots and the emissaries both of this country and France. · The hope of ultimate relief, of restoration to something more than the name of independence is not contined to Egypt. Buonaparte, * whose family is of Mainot extraction, has not unfrequently flattered their vanity by claiming kindred with them; and we have ourselves, since our occupation of the Ionian islands, taken many of these modern Spartans into our service. All this tends to familiarise the people with Europeans, and we may hope that some more curious traveller than Mr. Galt will be enabled to turn to better account those opportunities which he was unable or unwilling to improve.
Mr. Galt gives a favorable, and we believe a true account of the civil discipline, if we may use the expression, of Veli Pashaw's
There is still a very leading family in Maina called Kadquepl; from a branch of 'which, that emigrated to Corsica, Napoleon is said to be descended.