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the more delicate the babe's constitution, During the hot months, several such the more anxious are the parents to have may be counted every day. The melanthe rite performed as carly as possible. choly nasal chant of the priests as they Notwithstanding all their precautions, come along, betokens the approach of the however, I have heard that great numbers train; and, as it comes nearer and nearer, of infants yearly die in consequence of the
the litanies which are recited become more shock they receive.
distinguishable. The corpse of the deThe act of baptism itself consisted in ceased is borne in a light wooden box or three times entirely immersing the child. coffin, upon the shoulders of men. The The priest managed this very adroitly, body, decorated with flowers and clothed and prevented its strangling by covering in white, is exposed to the gaze of all; for its mouth and whole face with one of his the lid has been removed, and is carried hands. After this was done (the name by a man or boy in the van of the proces being given at the same time), the priest sion. It has a large cross invariably returned the crying and shivering baby painted upon it. As it approaches, every into the hands of the godfather, and the bystander reverently raises his hat, and others who stood near, by whom he was stands uncovered until it has passed; but speedily wiped and clothed. The baptism this mark of respect is paid not to the de was completed by the application to the parted, but to the sign of the cross, as my child's forehead, cars, hands, and feet, of Greek friends assure me. It must be cona little of the holy unguent,” which is, fessed, there is something rather repulsive or was until lately, compounded only by in this parading of death through the the l'atriarch of Constantinople, and dis thronged street, especially where its subpensed once a year to all the churches. ject has been chosen from among the
The infant being now removed, the god aged, or bears the marks of great and father presented to each of the persons recent struggles for dear life. Such is present a bright silver coin of the date of
the manner in which the common people the current year, and à ribbon passed are carried to their last resting-place; but through a small hole in it. The person the death of a bishop occasions much who receives this little piece of money is greater pomp. IIe is carried through the bound to keep it safely, that it may re most public thoroughfares; and, dressed mind him of his having witnessed the bap as in the discharge of his ecclesiastical tism of that child. This testimony he is ex functions, he is placed in a sitting posture pected to render, if necessary, before men, upon the bier. Upon reaching the monasanıl also before the angels at the last tery where he is privileged to enter, he is Judgment. And now the glittering coin. buried in the same position,
,-a distinction as it lies glittering on the table before me allowed to no one else. as I write this, with the neat knot of blue The interest entertained by survivors ribbon tied to it, recalls the image of that for the memory and souls of the dead, is departed innocent, which no longer needs evinced by the prayers that are said in any to witness to its christening here their behalf
, though the Greeks do not below.
profess to believe in the existence of a The godfather bore all the contingent purgatory. A singular practice calls up expenses, which were in this case but their remembrance yet more vividly. Sevosmall, though they sometimes amount to ral successive Fridays are set apart as a considerable sum. So it is esteemed especially devoted to the dead. The bell quite a mark of friendship to stand as of the church of St. Nicolas, situated at sponsor for your neighbor's child. But the very base of the Acropolis, attracted the most important consideration by far, my attention on one of these occasions. is that the connection thus formed is as Upon entering the church, which was a binding as a natural relationship, and for small edifice scarcely exceeding in size an cver precludes all intermarriages between ordinary room, I found a few persons those thus allied to each other, even to waiting for the commencement of the the same degree as with members of the services, the men and boys, as usual, samo stock -that is, according to Greek standing near the altar, while the women law, to the ninth degree, I believe. kept at a more respectful distance. Ever
and anon some person would come in FUNERAL PROCESSIONS, AND OFFERINGS TO
carrying a small dish covered with a napkin; and after devoutly crossing himself
place the dish upon the floor, in front of Look with me for a moment at the pro the screen of the hieron or holy place. cession, which is this moment passing on These plates contain a peculiar sort of its way to the cemetery beyond the Ilissus. compound or cake, which is called the
Collyva. It is, in fact, an offering made to the "manes” of the dead, and can certainly claim a pagan, rather than a Christian origin. It is carefully made, the principal ingredients being boiled wheat and currants. The surface of the top is ornamented with various degrees of neatness, by means of the eatable red grains of the pomegranate, almonds, or any thing of that kind. These cakes were sent by the relatives of those who had died within a year or two; and if handsome, were allowed to remain before the chancel. If more commonly prepared, the contents was thrown into a basket. In every plate of Collyva, and in every basket were stuck a number of little lighted waxen tapers, which burned during the service time.
The notion of the common people was expressed to me by a person whom I
asked to explain the purport of the ceremony. “ The soul of the deceased," said he, for whom the Collyva is offered, comes down from heaven during the service, and eats a single grain of the wheat.” But what manner of good this could do the disembodied spirit, he could not inform me; nor did he give any satisfactory reason for offering so large a quantity, when the spirit is so moderate in its desires. The parish priest, during the short prescribed forms took notice of the names of all those for whom Collyra had been offered. At the conclusion, he helped himself to his share of the cakes, after that the spirits had enjoyed an ample opportunity of eating to their hearts' content. The rest was distributed by the handsul to every one present, to be carried away and eaten at home,-a feast for the dead.
PLACES OF PUBLIC AMUSEMENT.
THEATRES AND CONCERT ROOLIS.
Jones, the fisherman, and Bob Brown, the as Locke says, amusement for amuse omnibus driver, imagine that the highest ment's sake is equally unnatural. Amuse heaven of enjoyment might be found in ment that has to be sought becomes labor, the gallery of a theatre, where the air while labor becomes an amusement when would be hot, and the shifting scenes as properly directed. A Down East captain unlike as possible to any thing they had said to his crew, “Come, men, knock off ever seen from a smack's deck or the top work and go to piling staves." We seek of an omnibus. The amusements of a amusement in a similar manner, by change people, therefore, while they must be conof occupation, and, in dancing all night genial to their habits, must also be antagofor pleasure, we work much harder than nistical to their employments; fariners' we have done during the day at our regu boys would never go into the fields for lar business. Amusements are as often recreation, nor students to
lecture room ; called recreations, which is, perhaps, a and hence the impossibility of transplantbetter term; and the great point to be ing national pastimes, or even of reviving determined is what kind of amusement them when they have fallen into disuse. will yield the greatest amount of enjoy If people are let alone, they will find ment, or recreation, affording the overtaxed amusements best adapted to their necesmind and body opportunity to recover sities, and therefore any legal restraints their elasticity after having been subjected placed upon the natural tendency of a to too tight a strain. A moment's thought people in seeking for recreations must be bestowed upon this subject will at once productive of mischief. tend to the conclusion that amusements Bull-baitings, and cock-fightings, and the must be as varied as the employments of sports of the turf, are revolting to certain the people to be amused. Our friend
classes of people, but they are essential Snip, the tailor, whose employment con means of recreation to certain other classes, fines him six days out of seven to his who, when deprived of such legitimate shop-board, as well as Cocker, the book amusements will seek the gratification of keeper, can conceive of no more delightful their instincts in a more objectionable recreation than a target excursion or a manner. Instead of boisterous enjoyments party to the Fishing Banks; while Sam. in the fields, they will create riots, mobs,
and rows in the streets. On board of men has to pay a yearly fee which is appropriof war it is the custom to pipe all hands ated to the use of some public charity. to mischief, occasionally, when the crew The theatre is one of the greatest anohave been a long time on shipboard, that
malies of modern civilization. It has been the necessity for abandonment and fun an established institution in all civilized may be spent in harmless excitement. countries, in the face of an opposition lastBut for such safety valves, the irritation ing through 500 years, and it still stands. of constant restraint would lead to insub Next to the sports of the chase it is the ordination and mutiny. ('ommanders of oldest of all human recreations, and claims fleets and armies make timely arrange for its votaries the loftiest geniuses that ments for the recreation of the inen under have blessed mankind. The instincts of the them, and it would be wise in our inuni people demand its pleasures, and it will cipal governors if they would do the same. find a footing wherever it is not excluded
In most of the despotic countries of by lawr. The taste for the stage is not Europe, the inonarch finds it to his interest merely a love of tinsel and inexplicable to provide means of recreation to the dumb show-it is the universal desire to people free of cost, and these are generally sec the bright side of the world, and to on a scale of inverse liberality to the travel out of ourselves into the airy regions illiberality of the government. In no other of poetry and romance. part of the world are the amusements of The persecution it has met, has been the people more generously attended to deserved, where it fell upon the immorali than in France, while in no other does the ties unhappily united with it: but the individual enjoy so little of his individu undiscriminating hostility to all dramatic ality.
representations of human life, as something In this happy country of ours, where all iniquitous per se, is a mere folly, inexcusthe natural instincts are allowed their able were it not for something worthy in utmost expansion, it is very remarkable the feeling from which it sprung. Had the that the amusements of the people are the stage been rescued to the purposes of virtue, only affairs that are hampered by statutory instead of having suffered outlawry among restrictions. One may follow any business the good, a powerful instrument would he likes, embrace any religion, join any have been saved to the better side. Not party, or engage in any enterprise ; but only for the purposes of amusement, but of the law fixes the boundary of his amuse mental culture, dramatic show is a natural ments and forbids his recreating himself and efficient means. Regardless or thoughtin certain ways. In the State of Connec less of this, good men have let it decline ticut, the law prohibits all amusements to base uses and then blamed the evil and recreations of a theatrical or dramatic which in some measure at least, they might nature; Shakespeare may be read in the have prevented. Were every delicious parlor, or from the pulpit; but to present taste or art abandoned on the same ground Shakespeare's plays in the way they were as the drama, our life would be bereft of intended by their author to be represented, the benefit and solace of the whole of is unlawful and would subject those guilty
them. There are great difficulties, 10 of so wrong an act to fine and imprison doubt, in giving to the stage a high and ment. Ilorse jockeying is an indigenous pure character—but are they insuperable ? trade in Connecticut, but riding horses for Is there any reason why this as well as the amusement of others is there an inter any other natural taste may not be purged dicted employment.
In the State of and made a “minister of grace ?" If Massachusetts, the laws are less rigorous, there be, still let us discriminate between and Shakespeare's plays may be repre the thing itself and our own weakness. sented according to their author's inten It is a strange circumstance that while tions, by the payment of a fee and under music, painting, poetry, elocution, and a special license, on any night of the week dancing, are not only considered as harmbut Saturday and Sunday. On those two less, but as elevating and beneficial arts, evenings Shakespeare is interdicted as an in themselves, yet, when they are all comamusement in the good Old Bay State. bined in the production of a drama they In this city, a man may establish a dozen are regarded as fit only to be anathemawhisky distilleries, or manufacture fire tized. The church, too, combines in its arms, or quack medicines with perfect ceremonials all these arts but the last, freedom, without fee or license; but no and, in all Catholic countries eclipses the one can establish a place for theatrical feeble attempts of the stage, in their comamusements without a special license and bination to dazzle the senses and thrill the paying for the privilege. Every theatre, imagination. Of course there can be no and opera house, and circus in New-York comparison between the theatre and the
Church, because it is the province of the men.” It must be a sorry business, to be one to amuse, and the other to instruct sure, but hardly worse than being a the believer in the solemn mysteries of drudge in any other profession. The eternal salvation. The stage, too, pro vagabondage of the theatrical profession, fesses to be moral, and the punishment of which is generally supposed to be the vice is the inevitable end of all dramas. necessary condition of all its members, is There is no such lusus as an immoral rather imaginary than real. Actors are, drama. It is the delight of the coarsest generally, when off the stage, the most natures to see poetical justice dealt out to matter of fact and serious people to be the wicked, and the sufferings of the vir seen; many of them have other callings, tuous form the great staple of all tragedies. they engage in trade, or manufacturing, There is nothing that so certainly com and perform the parts of good citizens with mands the tears of an audience, as the un as much success as those of the stage vildeserved calamities of the innocent. One lains and heroes whom they personate for of our theatres has been reaping a harvest a living. It was lately revealed to the of nightly benefits by exhibiting the un public that Salvi, the fascinating tenor of timely death of a little girl, and the hard The Italian Opera, when not employed ships of a virtuous slave. The public go before the foot lights in fancy costume, was to the National Theatre, in one of the superintending his large soap-boiling and dirtiest streets of the city, where they sit tallow candle establishment on Staten in not over-clean boxes, amid faded finery, Island - à revelation, that may hereand tarnished gilding, to weep over Little after mar the effect of his spirto gentil Eva and Uncle Tom. It takes us back to in the ears of the listeners who have so the days Æschylus, and convinces us that often been charmed by his tender voice. the love of the drama is as strong as it But it is not every actor who has the good ever was, and that it must remain for ever fortune to be connected with so substanwhile men have hearts capable of being tial a business as that of Salvi's; the acmoved by human suffering. The descent tual life of too many presents a melanfrom Prometheus to Uncle Tom, dramati choly contrast to the stage splendors with cally considered, is not a very violent one, which they are associated in the minds nor so long as some may imagine.
of the public, who imagine it is all fun and It is the fashion with a certain class to hilarity behind the scenes. speak of the theatre as having outlived its Mrs. Mowatt, in her autobiography, time, and being no longer necessary to the gives some instructive glimpses of the people; but a reference to the history of private life of the heroes of the stage, and the stage, and an investigation into the bears her testimony to the general good condition of our theatres would prove that character of the greater part of the memthe theatre, as we observed just now, was bers of the profession which she joined as never before in so thriving a condition as a means of honorable independence. Even at present. Players are no longer vaga in the profession of the ballet dancer, bonds by act of parliament, nor are they which is looked upon as the lowest and exposed to any legal indignities here on most degraded of the whole class of industhe ground of their profession. An actor trials who draw their support from the may now be buried in consecrated ground theatre, she says “there is nothing neccsin France, but this privilege was denied his sarily demoralizing and degrading," and poor corpse in the days of Molière. Some she gives a slight sketch, but perfect as of our actors are men of large fortune, and far as it goes, of a poor ballet girl, who disour actresses make theʼnselves independent played such a heroic spirit in the discharge and retire to private life while they are of her humble duties, that her history yet young; and our managers become should be sufficient to ennoble her despised millionaires, and men of social standing. occupation. Mrs. Mowatt states that she It is said that the stage pays well as a knew this real heroine of the stage, and profession to those who are tolerably well had the opportunity of watching her conqualified for it, and men of capital are not duct for several years. averse to investing their money in theatri “She had been educated as a dancer cal property. There are many pains-tak from infancy. She had been on the stage ing, well-intentioned men who have gone all her life; had literally grown up be upon the stage, as coolly and deliberately hind the scenes of a theatre. Her parents as other men have gone to the bar or the were respectable, though it is difficult to pulpit, as a business pursuit, and have define their position in the social scale. maintained themselves and families respect At the time I knew her, her mother was ably by enacting the parts of “heavy paralytic and bedridden.' The father was fathers, and filling the posts of "utility enfeebled by age, and could only earn a
pittance by copying law papers. Georgina, walk home before her. Her mother genethe ballet girl, their only child, by her rally awoke at the hour when Georgina energetic exertions, supplied the whole was expected, and a fresh round of filial wants of the family. And what were duties were to be performed. Had not those exertions ? The mind of the most the wearied limbs which that poor ballet imaginative reader could hardly picture girl lail upon her couch earned their sweet what I know to be a reality. Georgina's repose ? Are there many whose refreshparents kept no servant; she discharged ment is so deserved—whose rising up and the entire duties of the household-cook- lying down are rounded by a circle so ing, washing, sewing, every thing. From holy? daylight to midnight not a moment of her "No one ever heard her murmur. Her time was unemployed. She must be at fragile forin spoke of strength overtasked ; rehearsal every morning at ten o'clock, and it was more careworn than her face. she had two iniles and a half to walk to That had always a look of busy serenity the theatre. Before that hour she had the
off the stage, a softly-animated expression morning meal of her parents to prepare, when occupied before the audience in the her marketing to accomplish, her house duties of her profession. She had a ready hold arrangements for the day to make; smile when addressed-a meek reply when if early in the week, her washing; if in rudely chided by the churlish ballet master the middle of the week, her ironing ; if at or despotic stage manager. Vany a tiine the close, her sewing; for she made all I hare seen the tears dropping upon her her own and her mother's dresses. At
work; but if they were noticed, she would what hour in the morning must she have brush them away, and say she was a fool risen?
and cried for nothing. IIer devotion to “Her ten o'clock rehearsal lasted from
her parents was the strongest impulse of two to four hours-more frequently the her nature. In her early youth she had latter. But watch her in the theatre, and been engaged to a young man, a musician, you never found her hands idle. When belonging to the orchestra. They had she is not on the stage, you were sure of been betrothed for several years. Somo discovering her in some quiet corner fairer face, though he could scarcely have knitting lace, cutting grate aprons out of found a succter, had rendered him faithtissue paper, making artificial flowers, or less. She bore her deep sorrow with that embroidering articles of fancy work, by lovely submission which elevates and the sale of which she aclded to her narrow purifies the spirit, but gave her heart means. From rehearsal she hastened home
awily no more. The breath of slander to prepare the midday meal of her parents had never shadowed her name. Younger and attend to her mother's wants. After and gayer girls in the theatre used to dinner she received a class of children, to designate her as the old maid,' but this whom she taught dancing for a trifling was the hardest word that any one ever gum. If she had half an hour to spare, applied to Georgina. Was not such a she assisted her father in copying law heart as hers what Elizabeth Barrett papers. Then tea must be preparel, and Browning has described as her mother arranged comfortably for the
"A fair, still house, well kept, night. Iler long walk to the theatre must
Which humblo thoughts had swepto be accomplished at least half an hour be
And holy prayers mado clean ?' fore the curtain rose— barely time to make her toilet. If she was belated by her
" IIer answer to a sympathizing How home avocations, she was compelled to run
weary you must be at night!' was, 'Yes; the whole distance. I have known this
but I am so thankful that I have health to occur. Not to be ready for the stage
to get through so much. What would would have subjected her to a forfeit. become of my poor mother or of my father, Botween the acts, or when she was not
if I fell ill?' on the stage, there sho sat again, in her
"IIow many are there who can render snug corner of. the greenroom, dressed as up such an account of their stewardship a fairy, or a maid of honor, or a peasant,
as this poor girl may give in the hereafter? or a page, with a bit of work in her hands,
IIow many can say with her that life has only laying down the needle, which her
been fingers actually made fly, when she was
• One perpetual growth summoned by the call boy, or required to
Of heavenward enterpriso?' change her costume by the necessities of “And this flower blossomed within the the play. Sometimes she was at liberty walls of a theatre-was the indigenous at ten o'clock, but oftener not until half growth of that theatre—a wallflower, if past eleven, and then there was the long you liko—but still sending up the rich