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ably as we watched them that we outer wall of the church we see had eventually to hurry back to rich old frescoes. The Emperor the monastery with all speed, for Alexis Comnenus presenting the half an hour after sunset the great island to St Christodoulos, the iron gate is closed, and ingress and saint himself and the theologian, egress is forbidden.
Outside this and the Creator, are all depicted great iron gate is a little church, on this wall in the stiff convenwith a flat space in front of it. tional style of the Eastern Church. Here the monks delight to sit and Within the church is a labyrinth of chat of an evening with the towns- colour and richness.
The rococo folk as they pass by, and it is quite screen, which shuts off the most the fashionable rendezvous for Pat- sacred precincts, is covered with mos for the half-hour before the lovely eikons set in silver; the great wooden semandron—a quaint floor is set with opus Alexandrinspecies of gong which hangs out- um ; the stalls are richly carved ; side the church, and which is and the dome is covered with sounded with a wooden hammer- frescoes, but it is dark and small, announces the hour for vespers. as are all the gems of Byzantine At this iron gate, in the good old art. days, the superior used to sit on One day the superior called upon his throne, and distribute to the us in our cell. His bow on enterpoor once a week portions of peas, ing is a perfect study of dignified loaves, and fishes; but this custom grace; but his manner is stiff, and has been abandoned of late years, we think he can never have quite and has been commuted for a dis- forgiven the raw leg of lamb and tribution of alms at Eastertide. the fishes. We took this occasion
We had ample time on our of asking for his gracious permishands for examining the interior sion to see the sacred relics of the of the monastery, and for wander- monastery, which the monks are ing among its labyrinthine pas- not fond of showing to the Westsages. After a hot climb up the ern heterodox. Our request was hill, nothing can be more delight- granted ; and that evening, after ful than to sit in the courtyard, vespers, the treasurer came for us which is exceedingly small and with his key, and took us to gratvault-like. It is surrounded by an ify our curiosity. As the relics arched arcade, above which rise are never exposed to view except two storeys of cells : in its centre on festivals, a number of women, is the monastic well, and never on who had been attending the eventhe hottest day in summer is this ing service, on hearing what was courtyard too warm. Along one to happen, took occasion to tarry side of it is the church, rich in behind that they might obtain an every species of Byzantine decora- extraordinary kiss at the treasures. tion. Twisted pillars with gro- We were first of all shown St tesque capitals support the arches Thomas's head bound in silver, and before the vestibule, across which deposited in a huge silver cup; stretches the great wooden seman- then the chains in which St John dron, which Father John sounds was brought from Rome to Patmos for everyday sevice. At Easter, were handed to us for inspection ; and on high festivals only, do they and after these the head of Ansound the shrill iron one, which tipas, “my witness, my faithful hangs inside the vestibule. On the one," was produced; but I think we were most interested in the em- his mode of life at the same time. balmed body of St Christodoulos, The pious old man inhabits a small about whom we had heard so much stone hut, which he has built for since we came to Patmos. Appar- himself on the slopes of Mt Prophet ently, owing to Saracenic maraud- Elias, the loftiest of the Patmiote ers, the saint was obliged to aban- mountains. He gave us a hearty don Patmos after building the welcome, and seemed to revel in monastery, and died in Eubea, his poverty and his tiny church, leaving the strictest injunctions to which adjoins his dwelling. He is his faithful followers to convey his getting very blind, he told us; but remains back when a favourable with the aid of clearers he can opportunity occurred. This after still read his prayer-book in church, a few years they succeeded in and the four thumbed and torn doing; and the miracles wrought by works on asceticism which form his these embalmed remains have pro- library, and which by this time he vided material for many volumes, probably knows by heart; for what which those who desire may read else can he have to do without in the library above. The body is companionship, without employnow reposing in a richly embossed ment, except to till a small plot silver coffin in a wall-cupboard of ground, which produces a sufto the right as you enter the ficiency of herbs for his requirechurch. Amid much incensing ments ? and profound veneration this was Twice during the day, and twice unlocked by the treasurer, and a during the night, he makes the rush was made by the faithful for desert around re-echo with his a kiss and a smell, for, say they, chanting in his church. On great by divine mercy and in recogni- feast-days only does he return to tion of his many virtues, the body the monastery. He had not been of St Christodoulos has the power there since Christmas he told us to emit a sweet-smelling odour to (hence the delightful immunity we those who approach it in faith; had enjoyed from vermin of all we, however, perceived nothing of kinds), and he should not go again this, for the air was heavy with till Easter, during which time he the fumes of frankincense. Finally, hoped we would continue to occupy we were shown St Christodoulos's his rooms. When we praised them, sandals, and his staff with which he told us that he had long since he had wrought in his day so many realised that they were too good miracles, and which if placed on for erring mortals; and when we sick-bed, think the Patmiotes, is asked him if the other monks were a more effectual remedy than any not erring mortals too, he replied medicine their physician may ad- that he had been so troubled of minister; and such is the power of late years by the frivolity of his faith amongst them, that I believe brethren, that he had found a rethere are many genuine recoveries ligious life amongst them imposactually on record.
sible. Before leaving Patmos, we felt We had no means of remuneratit our duty to visit Father Gera- ing our poor old host for the loan simos, the owner of our cell, in his of his cell: he wanted nothing, he distant hermitage, so that we might said, in this world, and we found deliver to him our thanks in person, it out of our power to offer him and satisfy our curiosity concerning anything towards his requirements in the next. Around Gerasimos's invitation to occupy his cell till hermitage the configuration of Easter, though if time had perPatmos is extraordinary; massive mitted we would willingly have boulders rise up like genii on the done so, the further to improve mountain-slopes, and in the gloom our acquaintance with the Patthe spot must be weird in the ex- miotes and their quaint surroundtreme. No sound is heard here ings. One fine morning, when the except the cry of the red-legged breeze was favourable, we sent for partridges, with which Patmos donkeys, and commenced our downabounds, and the tinkling of goat- ward pilgrimage. The superior's bells, when on occasions a shep- farewell was more cordial than his herd' may pass by with his flocks. greeting; and Father John, who Nature is here seen in her wildest assisted in loading our donkey, was form; and we could not help won- heard to say, “May the theologian dering if St John ever wandered be with you !" An hour or so later amongst these rocks, a far more we were in a caique, and rapidly fitting spot for inspiration than increasing the distance between the small cave which the Patmiotes ourselves and the island so celeof to-day have selected as the scene brated for its reminiscenses of St of the Revelations.
“Quis multa gracilis te puer in rosa,” &c.—HORACE, Odes, I. 5.
BEDEWED with odorous balms, what pretty boy,
For whom dost backward knot
Thy yellow hair, bewitching simple? Oh,
And roughened seas are wroth,
Who now, fond fool, enjoys thee, deems thee gold,
Still loving! Woe for these,
On whom thy wiles are newly flung!
My brine-bedabbled clothes.
THE SAME, MODERNISED.
the favoured youngster be,
Fair Coralie, Who in thy velvet-cushioned bower
Doth now devour With hungry eyes those charms of thine,
That once were mine? For whom, with all-consummate grace,
Back from thy face
Will he, poor lout,
At woman frail,
Rough gibe and jeer
And all sweet wiles,
Sees in thine eyes
As bless our dreams;
Call when he may, And always with a passion in thy kiss
To crown his bliss ! Oh, how I pity those who know thee not
Till they are caught, And, in thy toils Circean, all too late,
Must dree their fate! I, lucky dog, some time ago broke loose.
Now, play the deuce
To see the sport