Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

may each have our own opinion : but penditure of no exorbitant sum it might for 900 years, at all events, this treasure be made capable of holding the entire has a plausible history. It is kept usu- Channel fleet. To the north and west it ally not here, but in the parent monas- is surrounded by sand-swept wolds, tery of Cicco, far among the moun- which are bounded far off by a line of tains ; and it was brought down, last purple mountains. To the south the year, during a drought, to its present ground is more fertile. Approached station among the plains in order to pro- from the land, it looks less like a town cure rain for the neighborhood, which than like one enormous fort. Here and was specially in need of it.

there at a distance we see a tower or an Such is a Cyprian monastery, which elevated battery; but the long lines of is in many ways typical. Outside is a the walls, brown and melancholy, only farm-yard, swimming with puddles ; in- just peer over the slope that swells toside, hidden with gold and jewels, is one ward them. It is from the south side of the chief objects of the faith and the that one enters. My first visit was in devotion of millions. But in Cyprus the morning, and the day was soft and that faith and devotion have peculiar blue, with a beauty passing even that of characteristics of their own. Though the Riviera. The road ran through a the Hellenic temples have fallen, and deep-green meadow of asphodel, across the earth covers their columns, the Hel- which was moving a bevy of Turkish lenic religion still lives to-day-persist- women, who, in their white yashmaks, ent through all these ages—in the relig- shone like a bed of lilies. Before me ion of the Christian peasantry. The the asphodel rose toward the length of birth of Venus from the foam of the Cyp- the fortification, while the road lost itrian sea is celebrated annually at Lar- self in a cutting under a dark cluster of naka, under a thin disguise, by a marine towers. Arrived at this cutting, one refestival, half fair and half regatta ; and alized the character of the place better. one favorite name of the Madonna is One saw that it was surrounded by an Aphroditíssa.

enormous moat or trench cut in the

solid rock; and that the walls were really But space will not permit me to lin- some fifty feet in height. The road ger over the Greeks. I can introduce the crossed the ditch on a causeway of nine reader to but one scene more, and that arches and entered a gate, before which scene will be essentially Western. To a drawbridge once descended. What me it was the most impressive and in- struck me most, at first, was the wonteresting thing in Cyprus. I am speak- derful preservation of the masonry. ing of the city of Famagosta. Fama- The stains of the weather left a frown gosta to most people is hardly so much upon everything ; but there was no deas a name: to very few is it more. cay or crumbling. On entering, this Those whose attention has been turned impression deepened. Dark, unbroken to these localities are aware that it was arches were sharp and solid over my a place of importance from the days of head, and the passage ended with an the Ptolemies and of Augustus; that it open vaulted space that seemed like a subsequently rose to a fresh importance baron's hall. Close behind it, yawning under the Lusignans; that under the and shadowy in the sunshine, was anothGenoese it was one of the richest trad- er open vault similar to it, facing the ing towns in the world ; that the Vene- interior, and hollowed in the thickness tians recognized and treated it as the of the ramparts ; and in the shadow of key to Cyprus ; that against it was di- this were other vaulted openings leading rected the first Turkish attack, and that away into black, mysterious passages. here the Turks encountered the most And what of the town? I had heard desperate and heroic resistance.

that it was ruinous, but I was quite It is situated on the sea, on the east- unprepared for the peculiar aspect of ern coast of the island, at one end of its desolation. Immediately facing one the great central plain. The harbor, on entering, was a dilapidated Turkwhich is now nearly filled up, was in ish café, built against the fortifications; former days capacious; and by the ex- to the left was a roofless Turkish hut,

and to the right a lane of cottages wan a lion's skin ; and instead of its two dered away fortuitously; but through a towers it is spiked now with a tall wide gap was visible an open space be- minaret. I entered the garden. This, yond, and making my way to this, the over half its little area, was rank with whole of Famagosta burst upon me. I luxuriant green-stuff: but half was bare, was in the midst of a desert.

The great for the simple reason that half was ocwalls ran on unbroken on one side of cupied by the stones of ruined meme, but on the other were grassy ex diæval buildings. In one corner of it panses littered with huge heaps of stones was a dilapidated Persian water-wheel, and crowded with ancient churches. for a wall on one side it had the ruin Many of them stood within fifty yards of a small church; the path at my of one another, and my eye and my feet was strewn with fragments of arithmetic were quite bewildered by pottery; and above all these, itself no their number. I made my way toward longer Christian, the forlorn cathedral one, across a small field, climbing over lifted its English outlines. Before me, a rude enclosure and stumbling now visibly and materially, were the very and again over some broken pieces of images that were in the mind of the carving. I entered the door, and found preacher when he wrote the verses by myself in the hollow gloom of those which so many best remember him. vaulted isles, with sand and refuse strew- The pitcher was broken at the fountain, ing the uneven floor and everywhere on and the wheel was broken at the cistern, the walls around me the remains of gor- and everything in the stillness seemed geous frescoes. I mounted the ram- to be saying of man that he was gone parts to obtain a wider view; and a to his long home. The sentiment was wide desolation was before me with in the air ; it breathed like "an unheard more churches standing in it.

melody;" it was drawn out and repeatThe Turkish cottages, with their flated on all sides as if by some soundless mud roofs, and one or two larger build- orchestra. ings used for government purposes I could not, however, remain there hardly broke the impression of perfect listening to this indefinitely ; so pressolitude. The few figures to be seen ently made my way to the ruined chanand the few sounds to be heard only cel, through whose arches the brilliant added to it. Here and there a shepherd sea was glimmering, and under whose was sitting under a palm tree; a group shadow some Turkish children played. of children played on a ruined wall; Thence across a perfect waste I passed sometimes a voice called ; sometimes a to the solemn-looking castle, which stood sheep-bell tinkled ; and ever and again like a bastion at the northeast angle of over the heaps that once were palaces, the walls, and projected partly into the faint yet crisp, came the long plash of sea. There was nothing beautiful in its

As I examined the scene, three appearance, but it was impressive for its objects struck me specially. One was e antiquity, its preservation, and its forcluster of low towers, at an angle of the bidding strength. Externally there was town toward the sea. Another was a not a single window-nothing but blind ruined chancel, whose tall, slender arches walls and huge bulging towers. But, for showed like a skeleton in the sky. The all that, it was in many ways interestthird was a church larger than all the ing. Over the gate, let into the ancient others. I at once recognized it as the stonework, was the lion of the Venetian cathedral, which I knew existed there. Republic ; and mounting to the battleI made my way toward this last through ments by an external stair, I saw, standa network of sunken lanes, along which ing in the sea and approached by a were built some of the poor habitations neck of masonry, a circular building I have mentioned : and my first near which is named Torre del Moro. There view of it was through the wicket of an tradition says were the quarters of a old woman's garden. In many ways it Venetian governor, Christoforo Moro ; is like the cathedral of Lichfield, only and he was none other than the protomore florid in carving; the stone is of type of Othello. This made the remote & peculiar tawny color, something like and rarely visited walls at once seem

the sea.

familiar, and peopled them with well- which I have not even glanced. I have known figures ; and I pleased myself written—if I may so express myselfby fancying that, in a sombre Gothic as an impressionist, not as an antiquahall, with heavy pillars and vaulting of rian. The scenes and impressions I have enormous thickness, I had discovered described are few; but so far as they the place where Iago made the “ canna- go they are typical : and if anyone finds kin clink.”

a charm in remote and neglected beauty, And here I am compelled to end. and cares to bend over the face of the Those who are acquainted with the past rather than dissect its body, I hope writings and the discoveries of Di Ces- I may have conveyed to him some idea nola will of course be aware that there of the charm which is still to be found are aspects of Cyprus and its history on in this famous but neglected island.

[blocks in formation]

By Hugh McCulloch.

[ocr errors]

N April, 1833, I left churches of England, and was regarded

my New England by many as not being inferior to the home to make my finest of them in symmetry and grace. start in life in the The long row of dwelling-houses in West. Fifty-four what was then upper New York, Layears are a long fayette Place, had just been completed. time to look for- They were the show houses of the city; ward to, but a I was taken to them that I might see

short time to look what elegant, commodious, and expenback upon. Crowded as these years sive houses the New Yorkers were have been, in the United States, with building. My visit to New York was events of surpassing interest and im- very agreeable—made so chiefly by the portance, they seem too wonderful to kindness of Mr. Emerson, who, less disbe real. What advances have they re- tinguished than his brother Ralph corded in the extent of our cultivated Waldo, possessed many of his admiralands, in manufactures, in mining, in ble qualities, with simple manners and facilities of social and commercial in- ripe scholarship. From New York I tercourse !

What changes have they went by_steamboat to Amboy, by railwitnessed in our domestic institutions, road to Bordentown, and from Bordenin the character and in the political and town to Philadelphia by steamboat. religious sentiment of the people ! The only thing in this part of my jour

A reference to events that have left a ney that I especially recollect was the lasting impression upon my mind, and beauty of the Delaware. The journey to a few of the persons whom I have from Philadelphia to Baltimore was known in the course of a long life, and made by railroad and steamboat. I to others whom I did not know person- spent but a single day in either city, ally but who were conspicuous in my but long enough to see the charming early days, may be interesting, and per- parks in the former, and the monuhaps of some value as the recollections ments—the finest I had ever seen-in of a contemporary of many notable men the latter. From Baltimore I went by in a critical period of our history. rail to Frederick, in Maryland, and

I started for the great and compared thence by stage-coach, two days and with what it is now) unsettled West, by one night, over the Cumberland (Narailroad from Boston to Providence, tional) road to Wheeling. thence by steamboat to New York, The Ohio was in good boating condiwhere I remained a couple of days to tion, and the journey down the river see something of what was rapidly be- was charming. It then deserved the coming the great commercial city of the reputation it had, of being one of the Union. Here I renewed my acquaint- most beautiful rivers in the world. ance with William Emerson, brother of There was nothing but a few straggling Ralph Waldo, who, some years before, villages to marits original beauty. had been my teacher in Kennebunk. The magnificent forest through which With him I went to the Battery, then in it flowed had been quite untouched by its old-time beauty, in the neighborhood the great destroyer, the woodman’s axe. of which were the fine residences of the The banks of the river had not then aristocracy of the city; the City Hall, been stripped of their beauty, as they which still remains unchanged, and have been since, by the destruction of which in architectural design has not the magnificent trees that covered them, been surpassed by any public building and disfigured by the inroads which, in in the country ; St. Paul's, which had consequence thereof, the waters have been built in the style of the Wren made upon them. For miles upon

[graphic]

miles nothing could be seen but the sky me in the Lake House, in Chicago, sitand the river and the grand old forest ting upon a bench with the messenger through which it ran. Occasionally we boys, and talking to them incoherently overtook flatboats loaded with coal or -a mental and physical wreck. He lumber, or met a high-pressure stern- had joined temperance societies, and wheel steamboat, making slow progress made temperance speeches equal to the against the stream. There was little best of Gough's, for, like Gough, he else than these and the puffing of our spoke from his own experience. His own steamer to break the pervading description of the terrible next morning solitude. On my way down the river I following the night's debauch was as read with great interest a number of truthful and touching as it was graphic. letters, just published in pamphlet form, For months together

he seemed to have by Thomas F. Marshall in advocacy of conquered his enemy, a thirst for intoxthe gradual abolition of slavery in Ken- icating drink, but its hold had become tucky. The injurious effects of slavery too strong to be overcome. He reupon the industrial condition of the solved, and re-resolved, and died the State were illustrated by comparison of victim of alcohol. I have known many the rapid growth of Ohio on the one victims of intemperance, but none who side of the river with the slow growth have fallen from so distinguished a poof Kentucky on the other, and its in- sition, whose ruin was so lamentable and justice to the slave, and its depressing complete. influence upon enterprise were presented Soon after I reached Indiana I heard a with great indepen lence and force. good deal about Thomas Corwin, then a

I never saw Mr. Marshall but twice: prominent Whig member of Congress once when he was in the meridian of from Ohio. Of Mr. Corwin it is not too his intellectual strength—the accom- much to say that in wit, in humor, and plished and magnetic orator; and again general knowledge; in a ready command when he had fallen from his high estate of language; in voice, in mobility and exto be the slave of intemperance—an ob- pressiveness of features; in all the requiject of painful commiseration. A few sites for fascinating and effective stump days after the unsuccessful efforts made oratory, he was without an.equal. Men in the House in 1837 to pass a resolution would travel twenty or thirty miles to of censure against John Quincy Adams listen to the matchless orator, and even for his temerity in presenting a petition his political opponents could not help from slaves, in which effort Mr. Marshall joining in the applause which his took a leading part, I happened to be speeches never failed to call forth. His seated with some Southern members of memory was not only a perfect storeCongress at the dinner-table of one of house of historical facts, but also of anthe Washington hotels, when Mr. Mar- ecdotes and stories. It was worth a shall came in. It seemed that Mr. “Sabbath day's journey” to hear "Tom” Adams had said or done something that Corwin (as he was familiarly called) tell day which had irritated these gentle- a story. No matter how frequently men, and as Mr. Marshall was taking his heard, it was always made fresh and seat at the table one of thein exclaimed, racy by his variable and inimitable man“Well, Marshall, the old devil has been ner of telling it. While the attractiveat work again ; you must take him in ness of his speeches was in no small hand.” “Not I," replied Mr. Marshall, degree attributable to his extraordinary with a decisive shake of his head ; “I control of the muscles of his face, which have been gored once by the damned were always in accord with the sentiold bull, and have had enough of him. ments he was expressing and the anecIf there is to be any more of this kind dotes he was relating, and to his charmof work it must be undertaken by some- ing voice, they were never lacking in body else. The old devil, as you call eloquence or force. He had always him, is a match for a score of such fel- something good to say, and he never lows as you and I.”

failed to be instructive as well as fasciMany years after I saw Mr. Marshall nating. His power over popular and in Washington he was pointed out to promiscuous assemblies was immense.

« AnkstesnisTęsti »