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the spirit of the moment, and the suggestion of their own taste. This rapid and frequent change of figure, together with the power of giving expression and creating novelty, renders the Romaika a very pleasing dance, and perhaps among the best of those which have become national, since the plan of its movement allows scope both to the learned and unlearned in the art. In a ball-room at Athens, I have seen it performed with great effect. Still more I have enjoyed its exhibition in some Arcadian villages ; where in the spring of the year, and when the whole country was glowing with beauty, groupes of youth of both sexes were assembled amidst their habitations, circling round in the mazes of this dance; with flowing hair, and a dress picturesque enough, even for the outline which fancy frames of Arcadian scenery. It is impossible to look upon the Romaika without the suggestion of antiquity; as well in the representation we have upon marbles and vases, as in the description of similar movements by the poets of that age.'—Dr. Holland, vol. i. p. 242, 243.
* I never shall forget,' says Mr. Douglas,' the first time I saw this dance; I had landed on a fine Sunday evening, in the island of Scio, after three months spent amidst Turkish despotism, and I found most of the poorer inhabitants of the town strolling upon the shore, and the rich absent at their farms; but in riding three miles along the coast to visit what is falsely called the school of Homer, I saw about thirty parties engaged in dancing the Romaika upon the sand; in some of these groups, the girl who led them, chaced the retreating wave,
and it was in vain that her followers hurried their steps, some of them were generally caught by the returning sea, and all would court the laugh rather than break the indissoluble chain. Near each party were seated a group of parents and elder friends who (“ τεττιγεσσιν εοϊκολες") rekindled the last spark of their expiring gaiety and vigour, in the happiness they saw around them.' -P. 121.
In Albania the common dance, even among the Greeks, is the Albanitiko, of a character very different from the Romaica, and abounding in strange gestures. This barbarous dance has also been dignified by travellers with a supposed resemblance to the Pyrrhic dance of their ancestors. It is almost exclusively performed by men, who display strength and activity, but without grace. It is thus described by Dr. Holland :
An Albanian dance followed, exceeding in strange uncouthness what might be expected from a North American savage : it was performed by a single person, the pipe and tambourine accompanying his movements. He threw back his long hair in wild disorder, closed his eyes, and unceasingly for ten minutes went through all the most violent and unnatural postures; sometimes strongly contorting his body to one side, then throwing himself on his knees for a few seconds ; sometimes whirling rapidly round, at other times again casting his arms violently about his head. If at any moment his efforts appeared to languish, the increasing loudness of the pipe summoned him to fresh exertion, and he did not cease till apparently exhausted by fatigue.'-vol. i. p. 114,
VOL. XXIII. NO. XLVI.
These scenes of occasional gaiety, however, are but little enjoyed by the females of the towns, except perhaps at Athens, where the state of society is distinguished from that of other parts of Greece, by its greater vivacity and freedom from restraint, owing in part to the feebleness of the Turkish government, and partly to the frequent visits of foreigners. Yet even here, when the Greeks are inclined to have a ball, they must ask the vaivode's permission. Our countrymen have contributed much to bring the Athenian ladies into company, and to encourage .social intercourse, and none more than Lord Guilford: by numerous acts of kindness and generosity, this nobleman so completely gained the affection of the inhabitants, as to induce them to forego some of their most inveterate habits to afford him pleasure. Dr. Holland mentions a ball given by his lordship at which were between thirty and forty ladies, all habited in the Greek fashion, and many of them with great richness of decoration.
The bath has in all ages been the favourite resort of both sexes for health and recreation; but its too frequent and protracted indulgence has been the chief cause of that early decay of beauty and elegance of form, which renders the women, after being, as Dr. Holland observes,' for a few years the playthings of man, the objects of his contempt and disregard. Whole days are spent in the enjoyment of the bath; and the scenes which take place, where no restraint is laid on the loquacity still distinguishing the Grecian fair, equal, we are told, the strongest paintings of the Ecclesiazuzæ and the Lysistrata. Without stopping to inquire into the truth of the picture as drawn by Aristophanes, what transient traveller, we would ask, is likely to know what passes in the female bath at Athens ? The very attempt to break in upon its sacred privacy, would subject a man to the risk of losing his life. Of this we have a curious instance before us. The disdar, or governor of the Acropolis, took it into his head one day to conceal himself in the female bath, and, like another Actæon, (says Mr. Dodwell,) to feast his unhallowed eyes on the forbidden charms of the young females who were unconsciously exposed to his view. The rash intruder was soon discovered; a scream of terror resounded through the vaulted chạmber of the bath; the inexpiable insult was soon known to the infuriated husbands, and the trembling disdar was compelled to take refuge in the Acropolis. This was not all; he found it necessary to fly to Ægina, from thence to Hydra, and it was not till after many months concealment in a catholic convent in Athens, that he was able to make his peace and resume his command.
There are other causes, however, besides the inimoderate use of the bath, which hasten the commencement of decay in the females of Greece; they seldom exceed the age of fifteen when married, and frequently do not even reach that age; they lead a sedentary and confined life; and the climate itself is relaxing. It shortens,' says Dr. Holland,' the blooni of youth and the beauty of adult age, takes from the period of mental education, and thereby renders the long latter stage of life more burdensome 'in itself and less graceful and dignified in the eyes of others. Their general character is thus given : ... Their conversation, though commonly lively, yet is deficient in variety; they read but little, and are enslaved to many superstitious feelings and practices. There is an air of indolence in the carriage of a Greek lady, which, though alluring perhaps to the stranger from attitude, dress, and a reference to oriental custom, would soon lose its charm in the fatigue of uniformity. All the movements are slow and languid, and the occupations which occur are performed with a sort of listlessness, that seems ever passing again into a state of inaction. Yet it must be allowed, that there is in these women a feminine softness of manner, which wins admiration ; as there is also in their habit and style of dress, something which gains upon the fancy, in its relation to the costume and magnificence of the East. Their address is usually graceful and engaging; and both in the course of medical practice and otherwise, I have met with Greek females of the higher class at Ioannina, whose propriety of demeanour might have fitted them for most European circles.'-vol. i. p. 223.
The female peasantry, as in other countries, are exposed to labour on the land, frequently with a child fastened on their back. “In going from place to place,' says Dr. Hunt,' they not only carry their infants in this manner, but have often a lofty jar or pitcher on their heads, and a rock and spindle in their hands, with which they spin as they walk;'* yet there is in their appearance a degree of elegance and beauty not commonly to be met with out of Greece. In Bæotia more particularly, the features of the young girls are said to approach more to the beau ideal of ancient sculpture than elsewhere; and the traveller who will watch the Hercynian fountain at Livadia, or that of Dirce at Thebes, will find this confirmed even by the appearance of the common washer-women who frequent these fountains. Their profiles resemble those of the ancient statues, or of the figures represented ou vases. The face is oval, the nose in general forms nearly a straight line with the forehead, and the eyes are large, dark and brilliant.
It is due to the modern Greeks to mention that drunkenness is a vice almost unknown to them. In this respect they differ essentially from their ancestors. In their eating too, they are far
* Walpole's Memoirs on Turkey.
more simple. Fish, poultry and rice, served up in different ways, constitute the principal articles in the cookery of the rich; and salted olives, coarse bread, honey and onions are now, as they always appear to have been, the food of the lower classes. The peasantry of the rich vale of Thessaly, and from the defile of Tempe along the eastern coast as far as Attica, are probably in as good a condition as those in any other part of Greece; yet the most substantial of them is content with what we should call a mere hovel, the principal furniture of which consists of a few implements of cookery, and a large jar, about five feet high, of wicker-work, coated with mud and filled with corn. The dress of the female peasantry in this line of country consists of a coarse woollen petticoat, a short gown, a belt round the waist, fastened in front by two enormous metal clasps, a band round the head, and the hair plaited in two wreaths behind, and descending to the ancles.
The habitations and the domestic economy of the superior classes of Greeks are accurately and minutely described by Dr. Holland from a residence of some weeks in the house of a Greek of Ioannina,—a man of a generous and affectionate temper, whose wife, with much vivacity and beauty, possessed the same excellent qualities of heart, and whose domestic connections were of the most exemplary kind. The family consisted of two sons, two daughters, and an elderly lady, a near relation of the husband.
• The habitation of our host resembled those which are common in the country. Externally to the street nothing is seen but a high stone wall, with the summit of a small part of the inner building. Large double gates conduct you into an outer area, from which you pass through other gates into an inner square, surrounded on three sides by the buildings of the house. The basement story is constructed of stone, the upper part of the structure almost entirely of wood. A broad gallery passes along two sides of the area, open in front, and shaded overhead by the roof of the building. To this gallery you ascend by a flight of stairs, the doors of which conduct to the different living rooms of the house, all going from it. In this country, it is uncommon, except with the lower classes, to live upon the ground-floor, which is therefore generally occupied as out-buildings, the first floor being that always inhabited by the family. In the house of our host there were four or five living rooms, furnished with couches, carpets, and looking-glasses, which, with the decorations of the ceiling and walls, may be considered as almost the only appendages to a Grecian apartment. The principal room (or what with us would be the drawing-room) was large, lofty, and decorated with much richness. Its height was sufficient for a double row of windows along three sides of the apartment; all these windows however being small, and so situated as merely to admit light without allowing any external view. The ceiling was profusely ornamented with painting and gilding upon carved wood, the walls divided into pannels, and decorated in the same way, with the addition of several pier-glasses. A couch or divan, like those described in the seraglio, passed along three sides of the apartment, and superseded equally the use of chairs and tables, which are but rarely found in a Greek house.
* The dining-room was also large, but furnished with less decoration; and the same with the other living apartments. The kitchen and servants' rooms were connected by a passage with the great gallery; but this gallery itself formed a privileged place to all the members of the family, and it was seldom that some of the domestics might not be seen here partaking in the sports of the children, and using a familiarity with their superiors, which is sufficiently common in the south of Europe, but very unusual in England. Bed-chambers are not to be sought for in Greek or Turkish habitations. The sofas of their living apartments are the place of nightly repose with the higher classes; the floor with those of inferior rank. Upon the sofas are spread their cotton or woollen mattrasses, cotton sheets, sometimes with worked muslin trimmings, and ornamented quilts. Neither men nor women take off more than a small part of their dress; and the lower classes seldom make any change whatever before throwing themselves down among the coarse woollen cloaks which form their nightly covering. In this point the oriental customs are much more simple than those of civilized Europe.
• The separate communication of the rooms with an open gallery renders the Greek houses very cold in winter, of which I had reason to be convinced during both my residences at Ioannina. The higher class of Greeks seldom use any other means of artificial warmth than a brazier of charcoal in the middle of the apartment, trusting to their pelisses and thick clothing for the rest. Sometimes the brazier is placed under a table, covered with a thick rug cloth which falls down to the floor. The heat is thus confined, and the feet of those sitting round the table acquire an agreeable warmth, which is diffused to the rest of the body.
• The family of Metzou generally rose before eight o'clock. Their breakfast consisted simply of one or two cups of coffee, served up with a salver of sweetmeats, but without any more substantial food. In consideration to our grosser morning appetites, bread, honey, and rice-milk were added to the repast which was set before us. Our host, who was always addressed with the epithet of Affendi by his children and domestics, passed much of the morning in smoking, in walking up and down the gallery, or in talking with his friends who called upon him. Not being engaged in commerce, and influenced perhaps by his natural timidity, he rarely quitted the house; and I do not recollect to have seen him more than five or six times beyond the gates of the area of his dwelling. His lady meanwhile was engaged either in directing her household affairs, in working embroidery, or in weaving silk thread. The boys were occupied during a part of the morning in learning 10 read and write the Romaic with a young man who officiated as tutor, the mode of instruction not differing much from that common elsewhere.
• The dinner hour of the family was usually between twelve and one, but from complaisance to us they delayed it till two o'clock. Sum