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some afternoon climb over a rough lating and highly exciting quality of mountain-path worn in the rocks, which poetry which is now supposed to be is a portion of the old road from Cirrha essential to it, is not found in Homer, to Delphi, by a sudden turn of the nor in the poetical books of the Bible; road we came in sight of Delphi, or but in these its flow is limpid, cooling, where Delphi once was. The spot prob- and rest-producing, like a clear, refreshably made the oracle; nor could the ing stream. religion of Nature have found a more There is a cistern or reservoir for fit and grander temple.
bathing purposes cut in the rock at the A vast amphitheatre, as it were, seems head of the Castalian fount, doubtless to be sunken in the bosom of the moun- the one frequently mentioned by Greek tain, so that the rocks rise upon the authors as that in which pilgrims to back of it to a great height in an almost the shrine bathed themselves before perpendicular wall. This is, in fact, a entering the temple. The mouth of lower ridge of Mt. Parnassus. Nearly the ravine which splits the rocky wall in the centre, this sernicircular wall is of the mountain forms a sombre and cloven into two lofty crags, and at the
I clambered up into foot of the ravine which is made by it some way with difficulty, for the this separation, or deep cleft, flows the rocks here are worn smooth as polished Castalian fount. The ground then de- alabaster. How to get down was the scends rapidly on either side of the nar- question, as it has been with many berow ravine made by the stream of the fore who have sought the Castalian Castalian spring, to the still profounder spring: there was, indeed, no way but abyss of the river Pleistus. Every thing by making a grand slide, more rapid is on the grandest scale; and on this
tban safe ; and I was right glad to get narrow area, crowding up into the heart out of the predicament with no broken of the mountains, and under these vast bones. overhanging precipices, the sacred city These crags were once famous for the and temple of Delphi stood. In the numbers of birds and eagles that hauntlittle village of Kastri, just under the ed their inaccessible precipices, doubtrocks on the slope of the hill, I put up less adding to the resources and value at the house of a poor Turkish woman of the oracle by their prophetic movewho had become a Christian. I went ments and flights. I saw two large at once to visit the Castalian spring, the eagles sailing slowly around the top of fount of inspiration to the ancient world. the eastern cliff, the Cliff of Judgment, It still runs pure and sparkling. A bare- down which those who blasphemed the footed girl from the village was filling oracle were hurled, among whom Æsop her water-pot, which she bore away on is reputed to have been numbered. her head, looking at me with some sur- The terrace-like, semicircular steps prise—for a European or American was cut in the solid rock where the “ Stathen rare at Delphi — and thinking, dium” stood are still to be seen ; and doubtless, that the water she drew there are also some marked and extenmorning and evening was only pure sive remains of the marble platform or water; and so it was. Pure water is area occupied by the four temples at the the symbol of life and inspiration; and very commencement of the “Schisté" it is so in holier oracles than those of road running from Delphi westward Delphi. The oldest religion, the di- into Bæotia—the same road upon which vinest poetry, took water for its fount Ædipus, at the “Divided Way," met of inspiration, and not wine. Water is and slew his father Laius. the emblem of truth; and poetry pro- There are also considerable indicaceeds from the bosom of truth; it was tions of the site of the chief temple of originally but the simple flowing forth the oracle of Delphi ; and a heap of of truth, natural and pure, and the poet confused walls, as if a tower had once was a truth-scer, a prophet. The stimu- stood there, gave the name to the mod
ern town of Castri; but the hearth mountain-side, to see a small ruined where burned the perpetual flame, the temple, whose name I did not then, nor Pythian tripod, the sacred olive-grove, do I now, know. It is no matter ; I the architraves adorned with the golden found it, like the Temple of Fame - bucklers from Marathon hung up by the which some toil so hard to reach, to be Athenians, the image of Homer, the but a ruined heap of stones. altar at which the son of Achilles was In the evening I was visited by an old slain, the portico inscribed with the Epirote soldier, with sun-burnt face maxims of the Grecian sages, the innu- and a long sabre-cut on the left temple, merable bronze statues of the victors in huge silver-mounted pistols and dagthe public games, and the accumulated gers thrust in his girdle, a little blue treasures of ages which at length in- , jacket slung over one shoulder, snowy flamed the cupidity of a later more fustanelle,"
,” blue leggins fitting close corrupt and unbelieving ancient world, to the leg and spreading a little over kindling the flames of war and causing the foot, which was clothed in sort the destruction of the temple itself- of leathern laced sandal. He also would these are no more. The legend of Aga- dissuade me from going up Mt. Parmedes and Trophonius, who built the nassus on the morrow, on account of a temple of Delphi, is not without its band of robbers, or insurrectionists, significance even now. They demanded who had just been defeated by the wages of the god for their labor. He royal troops at Lepanto, and were probpromised to pay them on the seventh ably by this time in the immediate day, and in the meanwhile they were neighborhood of Parnassus, passing to enjoy themselves and be merry as over the mountains on their way to the they might. They did as they were Turkish dominions. I concluded, howtold, and the seventh day they lay down ever, to go, taking three armed men to sleep, and died. This looks as if a and the veteran to command the expefaint gleam of immortality had shot dition. The agreement was concluded across the dark sky of the old false reli- after a great deal of talk. We startgion of Delphi.
ed at four o'clock the next morning, In the monastery which stands upon my escort, with their long carbines and the site of the ancient “gymnasium,” I savage looks, being not unlike brigands; saw some interesting marbles and bas- but no questions were asked. Our road relievos found upon the spot; but the led past the ancient Stadium, and then most beautiful remains of Grecian art by a steep, zigzag mountain-path dithat I noticed at Delphi—in the ceme- rectly up as by a ladder to the high tery of the convent, if I remember table-land spreading with diversified rightly—was a sarcophagus lying neg- surface nearly to the foot of Parnassus. lected amid weeds and dirt, broken in It was bright starlight when we started, two, and half of it gone, but revealing but we had hardly got among the enough to fill one with wonder at the mountains when we were overtaken by exquisite workmanship. The figure of a thunder-storm, which was one man in the procession which is panied by pitch darkness, our way only carved upon the side that is upper- revealed to us by the flashes of lightmost, is still perfect, and also the ning. The rain fell in torrents; but we beads of two eagles, or griffins. The slowly struggled on until we reached top of the tomb consists of a female some stone hovels, where, lighting a figure reclining upon a cushion, as fire and drying our clothes, we took natural as life itself. How long had breakfast. Around the blazing knotshe thus been sleeping, and who was fire in the low apartment, with darkthe real sleeper, that, centuries ago, ness and storm without, our company vanished beneath the marble lid ? crouched—a Salvator-Rosa group-the « The oracles are dumb."
red light of the flame playing on the I scrambled some distance up the panther-bright eyes, wild forms, and
arms of our escort. There is an un- as they were in the ancient days, when tamed fiercen as in the mountain Greek they belonged to the temple of Delphi which rarely softens—an almost wild- -as did, in fact, all this Parnassian animal savageness in the expression of circle of mountains and valleys; for this the face, and especially of the glittering formed the holy land of Greece, the eyes, although often the features are common shrine of the old religion of handsome and regular. After an hour Nature, which makes its home in the 'or so it cleared up, and came out one mountains, and seeks in the strange and of the most crystalline days I ever re- sublime phenomena of mountain scenery member-just the day to go up a moun- its chief power and inspiration. As we tain and get a noble view.
galloped along, we had Mt. Parnassus After riding more than an hour, we continually in full sight before us, a dismounted, and clambered up a rough white, shining limestone mountain, hillside, until we came to the month of about eight thousand feet high, with the Corycian Cave, the ancient grotto a long, straight back, and then a holof Pan, and noted afterwards as being low like that of a Turkish saddle, and the resort of “the robbers of Parnassus," then another peak, the highest, making as they were called. This cavern was the familiar biformed appearance with lost sight of for a long time, and even which it is characterized by the old Mr. Hobhouse, in his day, says, “The poets. great Corycian Cave, which evaded the We at length reached the base of the scent of the famous English traveller, mountain, and there leaving our horses has not, that I know of, been ever dis- and the rest of the company, my guide covered." *
included, . the old militaire and myIts entrance is imposing — far more self began the ascent on foot. We so than the entrance of the Mammoth might have ridden much farther than Cave of Kentucky, though it is nothing we did, but at such times one is at the in size, being but a few hundred feet mercy of his attendants, both as regards deep. Looking under and into the his weakness and his ignorance. We broad-browed archway, one sees heavy first passed through a gently ascending stalagmites, their white relieved against grove of venerable beech and pine trees the interior blackness, and resembling -a fine place for Pan's bees and flocks, grotesque and time-battered statues of with much fresh pasturage broken up old gods made by rude pagan hands- hy huge limestone rocks, forming pica fit home for Pan, the earth-divinity, turesque Arcadian scenery, where sheep half malicious and half beneficent, half and long-haired goats were feeding ; human and half brute. The old Epi- and had we seen prick-eared Pan with rote fired his carbine into the cavern,
his cloven feet and pipe, sitting on a whose report rung and rolled like a peal rock, it would have seemed all right of thunder.
just there; I should have tried to musHaving explored this lonely grot ter up Greek enough to say,
“Goodconsecrated to Pan and the Nymphs, morning, Pan!”
But this pleasing and that once played a conspicuous Arcadian landscape soon gave way to a part in the wild Dionysiac rites that more barren and desolate were held upon these heights, we re- dead trees cropped by the avalanche mounted and spurred on for the object stood haggard and bleaching, enormous of our expedition. We rode through a masses of rock fallen from the mountain long, smiling, and somewhat cultivated lay scattered around, and deep gorges plain, then over another low mountain, sprinkled with fir-trees opened beneath then through another plain, the valleys us in wild, broken confusion, until at being somewhat cultivated, and still length we emerged upon the bare neck quite valuable for agricultural purposes,
of the mountain above all the lower
living world, and where we were ex* Hobhouse's “ Travels," vol. i. p. 252. posed to an intensely hot sun, while we
picked our way painfully among sharp- also seemingly near at hand. Such, at edgeil, loose stones, until the face of my least, is my best remembrance of the guide grew black with the heat. He panorama from Mt. Parnassus. had used great precautions all the way When we descended, we found the up, stopping and listening, motioning rest of the party gathered in a pine this way and that, as if in fear of some grove, and engaged in roasting a sheep invisible enemy; and whether it was all spitted upon a pole. They made a bed pantonime, or really genuine, I never with carpets spread upon boughs of knew, for the fou did not make bimself trees, and I slept off my fatigue until visible. When we reached the summit, the cry awoke me that the feast was the scenery became suddenly magnifi- ready. Four or five daggers, whipped cent. We looked, as it were, directly out from the belts of the solvier-guides, off the back of Parnassus, by one tre- soon made mince-meat of the animal; mendous precipice, to the diminished the best cut was presented smoking to plain beneath, quite different from the me on a pine bough-a good substitute more easily sloping southwestern side
for crockery. Never did mutton taste of the mountain that we had ascended; so good; for, in addition to a keen apand I should think the mountain seen petite, Parnassian mutton is renowned from that side would be a very grand for its flavor. object. The highest summit of Parnas- We set out in the afternoon for Kassus, the sharp peak of Lycoreia, now tri, in fine spirits, quite inspired by our called Lykeri, rose a little above us to success—or by Parnassus air, I know the east.
not which. But I must not forget an The view from Mt. Parnassus is the incident which occurred to me before finest in Greece, because it is the high- leaving our camp. While strolling off est central point in the land. In every at some distance, I was set upon by two direction rise the dark summits, or large and ferocious wolf-dogs belonging bumps, of the mountains of the Parnas- to shepherds; and I mention the cirsian and Pindus ranges. The whole of cumstance because, though I did not use Greece proper is, in fact, nothing but a the same cunning defence that Ulysses conglomeration of mountains, crossing did, namely, “a masterly inactivity," and interlocking, and thus forming high yet the sequel was something the same. walls around territories, making those I kept off the savage beasts by plying haughty little states of old, and as effec- stones; but it would undoubtedly have tually separating them as if seas rolled gone hard with me, had not two shepbetween. A second almost equally herds, attracted by the uproar, rushed marked impression of the land, as seen to my rescue, and beaten off the dogs from such a commanding point, is the with their long staffs. That the travelirregular ocean-coast, its singular deep ler may know what he may possibly, at indentations where the sea lies in the this day, have to encounter in Greece very arms of the land, thus opening a from these savage shepherd-dogs, I'tranvast surface of coast for so small a coun- scribe the whole passage from the Fourtry. Toward the north, clearly dis- teenth Book of the “Odyssey :" cerned in the brilliant atmosphere, lay the far-off mountains of Thessaly, and
"Εξαπίνης δ' 'Οδυσηα ίδoν κύνες υλοκόμωροι •
οι μεν κεκλήγοντες επέδραμον αυτάρ Οδυσσεύς where was Thermopylæ; on the north- έζετο κερδοσύνη, σκήπτρον δε οι εκπεσε χειρός. west, the Alps of Epirus; on the north- ένθα κεν ο παρ σθαθμώ αεικέλιον πάθεν άλγος •
αλλά συβώτης ώκα ποσί κραιπνοισι μετασπών east, the dimly-seen island of Eubea,
έσσυτ’ ανά πρόθυρον, σκότος δε οι εκπεσε χειρός. and the strip-like silver of the inter- τους μεν όμοκλήσας σευεν κύνας άλλυδις άλλη vening sea; on the south, the rugged,
πυκνήσιν λιθάδεσσιν· ο δε προσέειπεν άνακτα: ocean-like mountains of Peloponnesus;
"Ω γέρον, η ολίγου σε κύνες διαδηλώσαντο
εξαπίνης • και κέν μοι ελεγχείην κατέχενας. the blue Gulf of Corinth glittered immediately below; and the dark masses If, indeed, the ruse of Ulysses, in of Mt. Helicon and Mt. Cithæron were sitting down, was to feign that he was going to pick up a stone, always & murs, and then breaking forth again good method under such circumstances, into startling loudness and vehemence, then the cases were quite similar as far every period in the recitative having a as the dogs, stones, and herdsmen were prolonged, quavering, and almost melconcerned.
ancholy close. There is nothing like As we went briskly on our way back softness, sprightly melody, or even simto Kastri, the day was still beautifully ple solemnity, in their vocal or instruclear, and there was a slight cooling mental music. Love, mirthfulness, or breeze, The old Epirote took the devotion, do not form the subjects of lead, riding sideways, then myself, then song, but exhortations to battle, to retho Patras guide, then the soldiers venge, recitations of the warlike deeds striding beside us, who looked as if of their fathers, and of their own fierce they could use their arms if needed; mountain-soldiery, curses against the fine figures, with heads carried high and Turks, and rebellious rhymes upon their proud, well-cut features, with the black present government; these are the hair curling down a little way over themes for the rude and untutored lyre their foreheads under the red fez, and of the modern Greek, falling long and streaming over the The immense rock of the Acrocorinshoulders behind, as the old Greeks thus, rising sheer from the plain two used to wear their hair. They had thousand feet, is a majestic object, and shaggy sheep-skin capotes or coats, must have been doubly so when crownwith short sleeves and flying capes, ed with its ancient temples and citadel, making their backs look broad and looking down in its rugged simplicity their waists slim. The last part of the upon the luxurious city at its foot. journey down the mountain to Delphi The view from the Acrocorinthus, was very fatiguing, as it was done though less extensive than that from mostly at night; and when, at length, Parnassus, is no less beautiful; one we came to Kastri, all the watch-dogs, traveller of the last century enthusiastiand as to that all the donkeys, gave cally says, " It is the finest view in the tongue, and it seemed as if the whole universe.” To the north and west, the sleeping village was fairly roused. sombre ridge of Cithæron and the peak
Returning to Scala, my guide and of Helicon, and of a clear day the myself reëmbarked upon the sloop we peaks of Parnassus, are discernible; had hired at Vostizza, and we sailed the stern mountains of the Peloponnesus with a fine stiff breeze and rough sea, lie on the south and west ; just below, but all running in our favor, up the the strip of the isthmus, called by PinGulf of Corinth, arriving at evening at dar “the bridge of the sea,” so narrow Kalamaki, the present port of Corinth, is it, is a fine object; and to crown all, where I slept that night in the open on the extreme eastern horizon one air on the sea-shore, wrapped in my may see the mountains which surround cloak, lulled to sleep by the soothing Athens, the plain of Attica, and, like sound of the waves.
a mole-hill in the miilst, the Athenian During our sail up the Gulf, two Acropolis. The island of Ægina, the young Grecks whom we had taken on Gulf of Salamis, and the sites of Eleuboard furnished us from time to time sis and Megara, are in plainer view. with music of a wild, yet not entirely The crest of the rock is now covered inharmonious sort, being mostly battle- with Venetian fortifications, and the songs, like the ancient Orthian hymns, interior of the fort is filled with rubaccompanying their voices with lutes bish, left so from the times of the played with a steel plectrum. All the Turks; but Time and Turk cannot quite music which I heard in Greece was of destroy the magnificence of Nature, this wild and almost barbarian char. I drank of the true “Peirene," and acter, being pitched upon a high shrill drank " deep,” too, for I was terribly key, sinking suddenly into low mur- thirsty from the hot ride up. Sep