The Mechitarist Convent of St. Lazarus, Venice.
Lazzaro. - An Arial view of the
way of the divertissement, I am studying daily at an Armenian monastery,
the Armenian language. I found that my mind wanted something craggy
to break upon; and this-as the most
difficult thing I could discover here for an amusement - I have chosen,
to torture me into attention.
It is a rich language, however, and would amply repay any one the trouble of learning it. I try, and shall go on; - but I answer for nothing, least of all for my intentions or my success.
There are some very curious Mss. in the monastery, as well as books; translations also from Greek originals, now lost, and from Persian and Syriac etc.; besides works of their own people.
Four years ago the French instituted an Armenian professorship. Twenty pupils presented themselves on Monday morning, full of noble ardor, ingenuous youth, and impregnable
industry. They persevered, with a courage worthy of the nation and of universal conquest, till Thursday; when fifteen of the twenty succumbed to the six-and-twentieth letter of the alphabet. It is, to be sure, a Waterloo of an alphabet - that must be said for them. But it is so like these fellows, to do by it as they did by their sovereigns - abandon both; to parody the old rhymes,
"Take a thing and give a thing" -
"Take a thing and give a king".