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of a well-built aqueduct, by which Valetta derives its supply of fresh water, except that which is caught and contained in tanks within the walls. In the suburbs of Citta Vecchia, we entered a church, where about a score of priests were chanting mass. At a beckon from our Maltese guide, one of them instantly abandoned his occupation, doffed his surplice, and accompanied us to the Catacombs: these are of considerable extent, and probably of Phoenician origin.
We groped our way with torches through long narrow pas sages, from which, on each side, opened crypts, hollowed out for the reception of the corpses. Some were made double, as if for the convenience of those who, even in death, would not be divided; some were cut into little cradles for dead children. Here and there were larger chambers with altars, and bloodchannels for sacrifice, or perhaps for washing the corpse. These corpses must have been embalmed, by the bye, or it would have been impossible for the living to enter this stifling labyrinth with their dead.
These Catacombs scarcely repay the trouble and disagreeability of their examination, particularly to those who have seen the Catacombs of Rome and Syracuse. The deserted city of Citta Vecchia is much more interesting, and is, indeed, as far as I know, unique.
You pass along fortifications of great strength, without a stone displaced, and enter by a broken drawbridge into a stately but profoundly silent city. The houses are handsome, and in good repair; they seem to want only inhabitants to be homes The palaces are magnificent, and appear the more imposing from the deep silence that invests their mysteriouslooking walls. Grass and rank weeds are growing in the streets, which echo to your horse's hoof; and the wind sighs along the lonely pillars and porticoes, with that wailing sound so peculiar to deserted places.
This was anciently the capital of the island; removed first to Vittoria, and finally to its present position by La Valetta, from whom it derives its name.
A little beyond Citta Vecchia is St. Paul's Bay, which, notwithstanding the arguments (ill-founded, as it seems to me) of
modern authors against Malta being the Melita of the apostle, retains the traditionary honor of which no pen and ink can now deprive it. On conversing with some of the natives as I rode shipwards, I found that they, like other people, had their good old times ("all times when old are good "), and these they consider to have been when the Order possessed their island. Being a people, they would of course fain exchange the present for their ancient, or for any other government. They forget their degraded condition under the knights, which prevented any native from entering the Order (or even the city, without permission)—which gave their daughters to be concubines to men who were as disdainful as incapable of a lawful connection, and which vested arbitrary power in an oligarchy of strangers. If there is less foreign money* spent among them now, their taxation is far lighter. They have all the advantages of English laws as well as of their own; they sit on juries; are capable of serving in any department, and have a native regiment paid by the British government. Important as this island is as a naval station, it was perhaps fortunate for England that a less scrupulous nation took that advantage of the degeneracy of the Order and the imbecility of Hompesch which our ideas of justice might have forbidden.†
Malta is also important as the great quarantine station in the Mediterranean, and latterly it has become a place of considerable resort to invalids. For the latter it has many attractions, besides a cheerful climate, in which there is little variation of temperature, and an almost constant sea-breeze to temper the
* The revenues of the Order, in its palmy days, amounted to £3,000,000 sterling.
↑ "The surrender of Malta had been preconcerted with the French Knights of the Order before Buonaparte sailed from Toulon. When he stood upon its ramparts, Caffarelli observed to him, General, it was very lucky that there were people in the town to open the gates for us.'" * "When we saw a small boat carry at her stern the Standard of the Order, sailing humbly beneath the ramparts on which it had once defied all the forces of the East, I thought I heard the ghosts of Lisle Adam and La Valette venting dismal lamentations; and fancied that I saw Time make to Philosophy the illustrious sacrifice of the most venerable of all illusions."-Denon.
warm atmosphere. Asthma here breathes freely, and hectic consumption preserves its beauty, but foregoes its victim. Seabathing is continued through the winter. There are excellent horses, and many places of interest to visit, exclusive of Crendi and the Boschetto. There is an excellent garrison library, besides a very curious and interesting collection of books, belonging to the Knights of the Order. The armory is not without interest, though much inferior to what we might expect, where all the new devices of armor must have been carried to perfection by steel-clad dandies, who had little else to think of. In addition to these resources, there is an opera, very good yachting, sea-fishing, a little racing, very animated soldier-society, a most hospitable and courteous governor, an excellent clergyman, skilful medical men, and, above all, means of leaving the island almost daily for all the shores of this bright sea, which comprises every scene of paramount interest in the ancient world.*
* Malta is about sixty miles in circumference, containing 130,000 inhabitants. It is composed principally of magnesian limestone, and, being cultivated with great labor, produces oranges, cotton, indigo, saffron, sugar, and large quantities of melons, grapes, and other fruit, in the soil of Sicily, which has been carried hither. Corn is grown in sufficient quantities to supply the island for six months; the rest is imported. Game is supplied by the little adjacent island of Comino. The population has nearly doubled since the island came into British occupancy. The revenue derived from the island is about £100,000, and the expenditure there about £88,000, exclusive, of course, of what the garrison and shipping expend. The Emperor Charles V. presented the island to the Knights Hospitallers when they were dispossessed of Rhodes.
Why dost thou build the hall, son of the winged days? Thou lookest from thy towers to-day: yet a few years, and the blast of the desert comes, it howls in thy empty courts.-OSSIAN.
TOWARDS evening, on the 18th day since leaving England, the low land of Egypt was visible from the mast-head. A heavy gale had been blowing ever since our departure from Malta, and, though a brilliant sun was shining, foam-clouds swept the decks, converted into rainbows as they passed. Not a sail ap. peared upon these lonely seas, that once swarmed with navies of war and commerce-the only object visible from the decks was a faint speck upon the horizon, but that speck was Pompey's Pillar.
In the time of the Pharaohs, the Egyptians displayed as much iealousy of the Phoenicians and other Mediterranean navigators, as the Celestial Empire has done in modern times, with regard to "barbarians." Naucratis, at the Canopic mouth, was the Canton of Egypt in those days. Little business, however, seems to have been transacted there; the trade of the valley of the Nile looked only eastward; and Joseph received port dues from Kosseir nearly 4000 years ago.
Alexander found a colony of Greeks settled at Racotis; his keen perception at once discovered what we have only just found out, that this was in truth the seaport of all India. Dinocrates was commissioned to create a city, which the Macedonian invested with his name, and thus started into existence the haven of our search.
I stood upon the modern Pharos, and as my eyes wandered over Alexandria, to which the ancient city "has bequeathed
nothing but its ruins and its name," I could observe few traces* of what it once had been-the emporium of the East, the seat of Empire, the centre of learning and civilisation. Though earth and sea remained unchanged, imagination can scarcely find a place for the ancient walls, fifteen miles in circumference; the vast streets, through the vista of whose marble porticoes the galleys on Lake Mareotis exchanged signals with those upon the sea; the magnificent temple of Serapis, on its platform of one hundred steps; the four thousand palaces, and the stately homes of six hundred thousand inhabitants.
All that is now visible within the shrunken and mouldering walls is a piebald town: one half European, with its regular houses, tall, and white, and stiff; the other half oriental, with its mud-colored buildings and terraced roofs, varied with fat mosques and lean minarets. The suburbs are encrusted with the wretched hovels of the Arab poor; and immense mounds and tracts of rubbish occupy the wide space between the city and its walls: all beyond is a dreary waste. Yet this is the site Alexander selected from his wide dominions, and which Napoleon pronounced to be unrivalled in importance. Here luxury and literature, the Epicurean and the Christian, philosophy and commerce, once dwelt together. Here stood the great library of antiquity, "the assembled souls of all that men held wise." Here the Hebrew Scriptures expanded into Greek under the hands of the Septuagint. Here Cleopatra, “vainqueur des vainqueurs du monde," revelled with her Roman conquerors. Here St. Mark preached the truth upon which Origen attempted to refine,† and here Athanasius held warlike controversy. Here Amru conquered, and here Abercrombie feli.
Pompey's Pillar and Cleopatra's Needle are mere exotics here; the former, having ventured on a pilgrimage, was kidnapped by Pompeios, a prefect, and pressed into the service of Diocletian or Adrian: the latter, with its fallen sister, was transplanted from Heliopolis, near Cairo.
The results of Origen's preaching show strikingly the dangers of attempting to improve God's truth by man's wisdom. His followers divided themselves into two sects-Origenists, whose faith, though tinctured with gnostism, was comparatively pure; and Origenians, whose doctrines the devil must have smiled on.