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should be added the numerous agiasmas, or holy places, which are all designated by the name of some patron saint. In Prinkipos, most of the agiasmas are little grottos on the shore, sometimes containing fountains or reservoirs of water. There are also rude pictures of the saints suspended in the grottos, before which the sick light their tapers, but their chief expectation of a cure is from drinking or bathing in the sacred fountain, I learned of no division of the people into parishes, either by territorial limits, or voluntary association. Every one attended which of the two churches he chose, usually that which was nearest.
According to the Greek usage, each church has the services of two priests, a principal and assistant, who purchase their situation yearly, of the Bishop of Chalcedon. This bishop, who is one of the council of twelve that elect the Patriarch, has his residence at Coos-conjux on the Asiatic shore of the Bosphorus. He has under his jurisdiction the Princes’ Islands, Scutari, and an extensive district around the ancient Chalcedon. The priests derive their revenue from the voluntary offerings of the people, as well as from fixed sums for baptisms, marriages, and burials. They are careful likewise to turn their numerous feast days to a good account, and on these occasions are very ingenious in their devices, for collecting paras, by sprinkling with holy water, carrying round pictures of the saints, selling relics and the like. Besides the parochial clergy, several others were occasionally resident in the island during the summer. Some of them were under sentence of banishment for habits of intemperance, and even grosser vices. Others had quar
reled with their superiors, or become objects of their jealousy. One of these was the Proto-Singulos, or Secretary of the last exiled patriarch. Having the advantage of a good personal appearance, (the only qualification which my shrewd young Greek could discover,) he succeeded before the summer was past, in making so much interest with the principal Greek ladies of the Phanar, as to secure a Bishopric in Macedonia. I was ashamed of the servility with which the most respectable ladies gathered round and kissed the hand of this painted block, and saluted him with the usual title of ò deonórns—master.
When I first became acquainted with the priests, I was disposed to view them in a favorable light, and there are a few for whom I still feel respect. The head priest of the principal church in Prinkipos, is truly a worthy man, and though I fear not experimentally acquainted with the gospel, yet so far as could be expected of such an one, discharging the pastoral duties of visiting the sick, reproving the disorderly, and comforting the sorrowful. In general, however, they are said by those who have had better opportunities than myself for understanding their character, to be a compound of ignorance, self conceit, gluttony, or avarice. One of the four priests of the island, I have seen reeling about the streets from intoxication, in consequence of which he was removed to a less public situation in the island of Antigone. Two others had the reputation of excessive drinking, and were always studious to be found at the frequent feasts of their parishioners. At the request of one of them, who was perhaps aspiring to a bishopric, I presented him some Italian books. I soon found, however, Vol. I.
that it was necessary to give a negative to pretty broad hints, that this or the other article would be an acceptable present.
RESIDENCE AT THE PRINCES' ISLANDS.
Government of the islands—Arrival of a Turkish regiment-Un
easiness of the inhabitants--Good conduct of the soldiers--Schools in Prinkipos—Efforts for the instruction of youth—Distribution of Greek tracts—Eagerness of the people to obtain them-Publicity of distribution-Results.
Syra, Dec. 1827. The Princes' Islands are under the government of the Aga of Chartalami, a village on the continent nearly opposite. They have long been a privileged retreat to the Greeks, not having had until lately, a single resident Turk, and still being indulged with subordinate governors of their own nation. All considerable offences, however, come before the Aga, whose secretaries remain in each of the islands, to examine and give the local passports, without which, no one is permitted to land or depart.
During the present summer, nearly a thousand of the new Turkish soldiers have been quartered in one of the monasteries of Prinkipos. The arrival of this body of men, excited at first scarcely less uneasiness, than that of an invading army. Lamentations were heard in every family that their ancient rights were invaded. Their pleasant and almost sacred island, they
said, would now become so common, that no longer would the Franks, and the more wealthy of their own countrymen, make this the scene of their pleasures, and consequent lavish expenditure of their money. After a while, however, they began to find that the residence of a thousand Turks, brought with it pecuniary advantages of its own; and they contrived before the summer was past, to make their shops and their gardens so inviting as to glean most of the monthly pay of the soldiers. A Greek apothecary among others, took advantage of the strong inclination of several hundreds of their sick, to make use of a variety of simples, nicely mingled and colored. In return, when the commander wished any work to be performed on his parade ground, he would send a file of men and press a sufficient number of Greeks, to labor without any compensation. During the whole time of their residence, the chapel of the convent was accessible to the monks, and they were only advised by the bim-bushi, or colonel, to remove the picture of St. Nicholas from a public place, lest it should be treated with rudeness by some thoughtless soldier. These new recruits, mostly boys of twelve and fifteen years of age, were nearly all in a course of training for musicians of the different regiments. It was amusing to see the child. like interest with which, after they were dismissed from parade, one busied himself with bis drum; another with his fife; a third mustered a few volunteers to march under his orders, and a fourth ran down to the fountain to perform his ablutions, and under the canopy of heaven, to offer his evening prayers. I never witnessed but one slight act of violence on the part of the soldiers towards the citizens, and the latter, I am
persuaded, were exposed to fewer insults, than are ordinarily experienced from the vicinity of regular soldiers. Once or twice during the summer, several offcers of distinction, and among others the Seraskier and his suite, came over to review the troops. On this occasion, the inhabitants vied with each other in their expressions of loyalty, by rejoicings, illuminations, and half voluntary contributions for the private purse of his excellency. The Sultan did not, according to expectation, favor the people with a visit.*
On my arrival at Pripkipos, I was rejoiced to find four or five Greek schools in regular operation. Two of them were kept, as usual, by the assistant priests and supported from the funds of the respective churches. The principal object of these parochial schools, is to train up choirs for chanting the church service. They have with all their imperfections, proved a blessing to the Greeks, and perhaps much of the light now dawning on their national horizon, may have been kindled at these village fires. Besides those under the patronage of the church, there is also one for teaching the ancient classics. Such were formerly called Hellenic schools, but the term Romaic as applied to the modern language, is no longer agreeable to the people: ancient and modern Hellenic, or Greek, are the designations which they prefer. The school in Prinkipos had one of the accompaniments, which have
* A company of Greek boys, pleased with the novel sight of milia tạry parade,'once or twice shouldered their sticks, and began to play the soldier. Their friends were sadly frightened, lest some serious punishment should be inflicted on the children, or grieva. ous exaction light upon them.