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ailments. For many of these diseases they have euphemistic names, like their forefathers. Child's colic is called Tò yλUKÙ TOV, "its sweet," and minor ailments for which they have no name are politely called "unintentionals,” aμeλérnia, and small-pox is called evλoua, or praise. Children are supposed to be particularly exposed to those mysterious beings which still haunt the streams and cliffs of insular Greece, and which they call Nereids, and to protect them from the Nereids a Greek mother performs many curious rites. Very often these Nereids are supposed to have children themselves by human fathers: these children are for the most part malicious, evil-disposed urchins, and a frequent term of abuse to use to a naughty child is to say, "Charon must have been your sponsor, and a Nereid your dam." For children who are sickly, and consequently supposed to have been struck by a Nereid, the following cure is much in vogue. A white cloth is spread under the tree or cliff where the spirit is supposed to live. On this are put bread, honey, and other sweets, a bottle of good wine, a knife, a fork, an empty glass, an unburnt candle, and a censer. These things must be brought by an old woman, who utters mystic words and goes away, that the Nereids may eat undisturbed, and that in their good humour, resulting from the food, they may allow the sufferer to regain its strength.

More interesting even that this relic of the offerings the Athenians once made to the Eumenides on the slopes of Areopagus, is another custom which prevails in the islands of Keos, or Zia, for curing children which have been struck by Nereids. In Keos St. Artemidos is the patron saint of these weaklings, and the church dedicated to him is some little way from the town on the hill-slopes; thither a mother will take her. child who is afflicted by any mysterious wasting. She then strips off its clothes and puts on new ones blessed by the priest, leaving the old ones as a perquisite to the church, and then, if perchance the child grows strong, she will thank St. Artemidos for the blessing he has vouchsafed, unconscious that by so doing she is perpetuating the archaic worship of Artemis, to whom in classical times were attached the epithets παιδοῖροφος, κουροτρόφος, biλoueipat. It is curious that on this island of Keos there are many traces of an extensive worship of Artemis, and many images of the fructifying Ephesian Artemis have been found

there.

Such are some of the customs respecting birth and childhood which appear to have survived antiquity; let us now take the closing scene of human life, and in the extant customs attending death and burial we shall find many of a like nature.

Charon is as much a personified being in Greece to-day as he was two thousand years ago. Charon is a synonym for death.

"Charon seized him" is a common expression, and a clever popular enigma likens the world to a reservoir full of water, at which Charon, as a wild beast, drinks; but the beast is never satisfied, and the reservoir never exhausted.

Imagination is the soul of the modern Greek death-ballads which hired women sing over the corpses, hired women which remind us of those Carian women who were employed for the same purpose; and on hearing a death wail to-day one's mind is carried back to a Greek chorus, that of Eschylus, for example, when the virgins at the gate of Agamemnon indulge in poignant grief, beating their breasts and lacerating their cheeks; and on seeing these scenes one realises the wisdom of Solon, who forbade women to indulge in this excessive lamentation. The ideas in these ballads are many of them very beautiful. They sing to you of feasts and banquets in Hades, where the dead are eaten for food; they tell you of the gardens of Hades, where the souls of the departed are planted and come up as weird plants. As an example, I will give you a literal translation of a deathwail I heard last winter in Karpathos:-"Charon wished to plant a garden; the aged he planted, and they came up as twisted lemon trees, the young as erect cypresses, and the little children he put as flowers in his vases."

King Charon is not the Death of the Middle Ages, the skeleton with the scythe in his hand; he is the Homeric ferryman; he rows souls across to Hades in his caïgue; he is a hero of huge stature and flaming eyes of colour like fire (cf. Toppúpeos in the Iliad); he goes round to collect the dead on horseback. So in olden days a horse was the symbol of death, as we see on so many tombstones. Charon, too, can lurk in ambush to surprise his victims, and can change himself into a swallow, like Athene, who perched on Ulysses' house on the day of the murder of Penelope's suitors. Charon's palace in Hades is decorated with the bones of the departed, and the dead who haunt it are for ever planning to return to the upper air, and form schemes for so doing which Charon always discovers; sometimes even they manage to steal his keys, but in vain.

There are traces, too, of Lethe in modern folklore, as a river of which the dead drink and forget their homes and orphan children, and in animal life there is a parallel case. A shepherd knows of a certain grass on the mountain top, called "the grass of denial," and when flocks eat thereof they forget their young.

Such are the things which these wailing women sing over the corpses. In the mountains of Naxos, over the dead body of a baby, I heard the following poetic words:-" To-day the heavens are darkened, the sun is obscured. To-day the child is cut off from his parents. It was not a tree that you could fell it, it was not a

flower that it should fall, but it was a weak young tendril which twined itself around their hearts! Would that I could descend to Hades, and gnash my teeth. For, lo! the worms of the earth to-day have joy. Whenever I think of thee, my darling, whenever my mind ponders on this grief, as a sea I am disturbed, as a wave my mind is troubled!"

In this village they actually retain a trace of the old "obolos for Charon," the freight money. It is only in the name vaûλov, "freight money," which they give to the little wax cross, with ΙΧ Ν Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς νικᾶ, “Jesus Christ conquers,” engraved thereon, which is put on the closed lips of the deceased. Thus has Christianity adapted to itself the pagan ritual. In Byzantine times, long after the introduction of Christianity, coins of the Eastern Empire have been found in tombs, placed on the skulls.

Scattered amongst the islands are various customs connected with burial which carry us back into the past. At Seriphos each landowner is buried in a tomb on his own field, built like a little shrine. I never saw this custom in any other island, except Corsica, and it reminded one of the days when an Athenian left in his will instructions that he should be buried in his own land.

In one village of Karpathos they bury their dead in tombs attached to the churches and belonging to various families. In these the body of a defunct member is deposited without any earth, and then allowed to decay, so that a noisome odour is generally the result in hot weather; into the cement at the top of this tomb they insert plates. I asked the reason for this, and none whatsoever could be given; it is evidently a survival of the old feast for the dead, which was laid out in the tombs. It was a curious coincidence that in some ancient tombs which I opened not far from this very village I found the plates thus set out with bones of fishes and traces of other food on them which had been there for over two thousand years.

Many of the ceremonies concerning burial are of ancient origin; there are the κóλλußa, that is to say, boiled wheat, adorned with sugar plums, honey, sesame, basil, &c., which are presented to the dead. Sometimes they call these μarápia, or blessed cakes, out of euphony no doubt; these cóλλußa are put on the tombs on stated days after the decease, with additional lamentations, and remind one forcibly of the ancient feasts for the dead which were likewise offered on stated days, and the idea of offering boiled wheat is but a survival of that embodied in the story of Demeter and her daughter, and expressed in Christian language by "sown in corruption and raised in incorruption."

Then again the vampire dread is widely extant still in the

isles of Greece, the belief that a wicked man cannot rest after death; they say that if the flesh is not decayed off the bones at the expiration of a year, when they are removed from the tomb to a charnel house, the spirit of the deceased wanders about, and "feeds on his own," as the expression goes, that is to say, he sucks the blood of his relatives, and thereby derives force for his ghostly wanderings. This reminds one of Homer's story that the shades in Hades believed that by filling themselves with blood they could return to life, and consequently eagerly lapped up the blood of slaughtered sheep.

The personification of the mysterious is as vivid to-day with the Greek islanders as ever it was with their forefathers. Charon we have seen as the personification of death. Consumption in like manner is personified in many places, and is called an Erinys, four of whom always stand at the four corners of the room where the patient lies dying, so that they may pounce on those in attendance; consequently consumption is considered by them to be an exceedingly infectious malady.

For every branch of atmospheric phenomena these simple islanders offer explanations of their own, which reflect the colouring of ancient days.

The sun is still to them a giant, like Hyperion, bloodthirsty when tinged with gold. The common saying is that the sun "when he seeks his kingdom (Baoiλevel ó λos) expects to find forty loaves prepared for him by his mother to appease his hunger after his long day's journey." Woe to her if these loaves are not ready! the sun eats his brothers, sisters, father and mother in his wrath. "He has been eating his mamma" is said when he rises red of a morning. It is curious to follow out the traces of the worship of Apollo in the modern prophet Elias. Every highest peak in every island is dedicated to this prophet, as of old they were dedicated to Apollo, and Hλas, Elias, is an obvious transition from Hλos, for the Eastern Church always tried to combine the ancient name and attributes with the modern worship as nearly as possible.

Prophet Elias is considered to have power over rain; in times of drought people assemble in crowds in his church to pray for rain. When it thunders they say the prophet is driving in his chariot in pursuit of demons.

Pretty allusions to the Dawn are frequent now in popular verse; it is the Virgin who has supplied the place of Eos: she is the mother of the sun; she opens the gates of the east that her son may pass through; and of the all-glorious life-giving sun the modern Greek peasant is extravagantly fond. He is the pattern of perfect beauty; "beautiful as the sun" is a constant expression to describe the beauty of a maiden, and I have heard

an island mother say, "Perhaps the sun will carry a message for me to my child," when she was speaking of her daughter in service somewhere on the mainland. It is the survival of the idea that Sophocles puts into the mouth of the dying Ajax, who appeals to the heavenly body to tell his fate to his old father and his sorrowing spouse. The belief that the sun is in danger when obscured by an eclipse is somewhat exploded now; yet there are those living who well remember the days when people would come out with brass kettles to drive away the evil demons which were threatening the life-giving sun, traces of which custom still survive in songs.

Again, the north wind is a real personage to a Greek islander: Kup Bopeás, Mr. Northwind, as they call him, is a constant and dreaded visitor in winter. He lives, they say, "somewhere up there," pointly vaguely towards Thrace, in a palace of ice and snow; but Mr. Southwind chose to blow one day and melted it all, so that nothing was left but his tears, which flowed down towards the river. In Tenos there exists a legend that the winds live in caves at the north of the island; they tell you how Michael the Archangel once slew two refractory north winds and placed pillars on their tombs, one of which rocks when the north wind blows. What a curious survival this is of the legend of Hercules who slew Zetes and Kalais, sons of Boreas, near this very island, with his arrows, and over their tombs were placed two stele, which rocked when Boreas blew!

Again, according to popular belief the twelve months are twelve handsome young brothers, Pallicari, who live together and rule the world in turn; of these brethren, March, the trying month of spring, is represented as the most capricious. During March the mariners dread to go to sea, and the shepherds abstain from going up to the mountains till his reign is over. March, the fickle swain, who dwells with a lovely but crossgrained mistress, and is delighted at her beauty, but grieves at her anger; March, who has deceived his eleven brothers, and for so doing has got a beating; March, who was so angry with an old woman for thinking he was a summer month, that he borrowed a day from his brother February, and froze her and her flocks to death,-all these things, and more besides, a Greek will tell you in order to illustrate the fickleness of this dread month.

Thus do these islanders love to personify what they do not understand in nature. On one occasion our muleteers told us that a certain spot high up in the mountains of Naxos was called the wind's dancing place, aveμoxoрevтa; it was a windy, misty day, and suiting the action to the words he began to perform some of the agile figures of the Syrtos dance to show us how he imagined the elements to dance.

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