« EelmineJätka »
ATHENS, AS IT NOW IS. Written for the Monthly Repository and Library of Entertaining Knowledge.
We are persuaded that a general and picturesque view of a city, which was the glory of ancient Greece, and the birthplace of the most distinguished orators, philosophers, and heroes of antiquity, cannot fail of being acceptable to our readers.
Athens, which is the capital of Livadia, is situated 100 miles south-east of Lacedemon, and 300 south-west by west of Constantinople—it contains a population of about ten thousand souls, and is surrounded by a wall, which, like many of its noble edifices, is considerably dilapidated. The environs of Athens are strikingly romantic and beautiful-indeed nature and art seem to have struggled for the mastery in the formation of this celebrated city. A traveller, (Mr. Turner,) who visited Athens in 1811, says—“Never shall I forget the sublimity of the scenery which surrounded me for those three hours. Trees and shrubs issuing as it were from the barren rock--precipices, whose tremendous depth I trembled to look at-mountains soaring to such a height that no human foot can ever have trod them. On all sides the streams from the heights were rolling down in cascades, while before us was one of the richest plains I have ever seen, entirely covered with flowers and the richest pasturage."
The approach by sea presents a spectacle astonishingly grand. It was viewed by Dr. Clarke and his companions with transports of the greatest joy. It was no sooner descried, than its lofty edifices, catching the sun's
rays, rendered the buildings in the Acropolis visible at the distance of fifteen miles. The reflected light gave them a white appearance.
The Parthenon appeared first above a long chain of hills in the front. Presently, says Dr. Clarke, we saw the top of Mount Anchesmus, to the left of the temple, the whole being backed by a lofty mountainous ridge. As we drew near to the walls, we beheld the vast Cecropian citadel crowned with temples that originated in the veneration once paid to the memory of the illustrious dead, surrounded by objects telling the same theme of sepulchral grandeur,
-now monuments of departed greatness, gradually mouldering in all the solemnity of ruin. The prodigious columns belonging to the ruins of Hadrian's Temple of Olympian Jove, appeared in full view between the citadel and the bed of the Ilissus-high upon our right rose the Acropolis, in the most impressive grandeur; an advanced part of the rock on the western side of it is the Hill of the Areopagus, where St. Paul preached to the Athenians, and here their most solemn tribunal was held. [See Monthly Repository, &c. vol. i. p. 216.] Beyond all appeared the beautiful Plain of Athens, bounded by Mount Hymettus. We proceeded, continues Dr. Clarke, in his account, towards the east, to ascend Mount Anchesmus, and to enjoy in one panoramic survey the glorious prospect presented from its summit, of all the antiquities and natural beauties of the Athenian plain. We ascended to the commanding eminence of the mount, once occupied by a temple of Anchesmian Jupiter—[this Pagan shrine has been succeeded by a small Christian sanctuary.] From the summit of this rock even the celebrated Wheeler could not write without emotion. Here, said he, a Democritus might sit and laugh at the pomps and vanities of the world, whose glories so soon vanish; or an Heraclitus, weep over its manifold misfortunes, and tell sad stories of its various changes.
The prospect embraces every object excepting only those upon the south-west side of the castle.
THE SABBATH BELL. To all civilized nations—to all who revere the name of Him who fixed the stars--to all who stand in awe of the great Architect of nature and of ourselves, the Sabbath Bell has a grateful sound. It strikes a deep and awful caii iɔ every man of reflection. It invites the good and pure in heart to an holy converse with the Deity, and it warns the obstinate and depraved to pause, and turn, and be received. After the toils of the secalar week, the morning Sabbath Bell tolls in the ear of a busy people, to rest from their labors, and enjoy the calm which the great Almighty hath ordained; it rings to all nature the tones of peace and good will to men.
The solemnities of our religion are variously observed, with equal value to man. On the Sabbath morning, in the country, when Providence is breathing its smiles upon the earth, it is refreshing to hear the call of the country Sabbath Bell; to join the devotional procession as it wends in silence to the House that is dedicated to the God of the Universe. There is a holy charm in contemplating their simple and unadorned attire-emblematical of the spotlessness of the spirit within-their meek and unaffected devotion, and the quiet concern of the soul in things that speak of its everlasting peace.
Nor in a populous city like ours, is the spectacle less solemn. After the turmoil of business and the fascination of the week, the Sabbath Bell calls the venerable. and the great, the young, the gay and the beautiful, to remember Him who imparts his blessing to the just, and even to the unjust. The prosperous tradesman, and the opulent merchant, are called from their cares to devote a few hours to holy recreation.
They assemble in the holy house--all the diversified passions are lulled to rest—the business of the world is forgotten, and amidst the profound silence of the throng a voice proclaims, "The Lord is in his Holy Temple. Every heart and voice responds with conscious conviction, and hundreds unite in praise to the mighty Author