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edges rows of the fan-shaped antefixae of classic architecture are often placed. Wealthy citizens sometimes build isolated houses with fronts and entrances of the classic orders, the Ionic and Corinthian orders having the preference, for private dwellings. The balcony is indispensable. Often this is half filled with house plants; and many a visitor to Athens, in his sultry morning walks, has learned to avoid the tempting shadows beneath the balconies because of the dropping of superfluous water from these projecting flower gardens after their morning shower-bath.
The finer public buildings are of dressed stone or marble, and several of them would do credit to any city of Europe or America. The patriotism of Greek merchants who win wealth in foreign lands is every year finding expression in handsome gifts or bequests to adorn the city of their love. Thus the Varvakion, the boys' high school of Athens, was erected by Barbakes as a gift to the city; while Arsakes, another wealthy Athenian, twenty years ago erected the Arsakion, or girls' high school. The fine building to which the Polytechnic School and Museum have just been removed, and where the treasures from Schliemann's excavations are on exhibition, is the gift of two wealthy Epirotes who are doing business in Germany, and who feel that they best honor all Greece in honoring Athens. By far the most noteworthy building of modern Athens—another gift of patriotic private wealth—is the Academy, still in process of construction. It is designed for the use of a society of scholars and artists and men of letters, not yet formed, but to be modelled after the Academy and the Institute of France. It is constructed of Pentelic marble, and, with the quarries of Pentelicus close at hand, it has already cost more than $1,500,000. In many of its proportions it is modelled after the Parthenon. The tympanum of the principal front has received a colossal group of statuary—a reproduction, as far as is possible, of “The Birth of Minerva,” which adorned the eastern front of the great temple on the Acropolis. The work is wonderfully well done. From this building one may form some conception of the splendor of the great Athenian temples of sparkling Pentelic marble in this brilliant Athenian sunshine, before time and exposure had dimmed the sparkling, crystalline purity which this marble shows
when newly quarried. Twice, on clear days, I made a serious attempt to study the details of exterior ornament on the Academy, and could not endure the sight, it was so dazzlingly, blindingly white My third and successful visit I was forced to make on a cloudy day.
The Academy is of especial interest, because in its decoration the architect is trying the effect of those brilliant blues and scarlets in the moulding of the soffits, and along the cornice, and on the capitals of the columns, of which we find so many traces in the Parthenon. However our modern taste may rebel at the idea of painted statues and temples of marble, there can be no doubt that Athenians of the best age of art used these colors, and found the effect pleasing to an eye and an aesthetic taste as highly developed as any age has ever known. And while few who are destitute of a strain of Eastern love of color in their blood at first admire color thus applied—while we Occidentals have always loved to associate the pure white of the marble with perfect ideal beauty of form—yet no one who has not seen it can intelligently condemn the effect of color thus used in this brilliant sunshine, and in a climate where purples and blues and reds and yellows are so rich and so plentiful as here in Grecian seas and sunsets, and on Grecian mountain ranges. Nature riots in rich effects of color here in the AEgean.
The first funeral procession which we met in Athens showed the peculiarities of the Greek custom at their best. On an open bier, resting on the shoulders of six young men, lay the body of a beautiful girl of sixteen, dressed in light blue and white, her face and arms exposed, her head garlanded with flowers, and flowers filling her hands, and lying in knots and clusters on her breast. So she was borne through the clear, sweet morning sunshine that flooded the streets of her native city, to her grave beyond its limits, under the shadow of Mount Hymettus.
Delegeorges, ex-Prime Minister, in the quickly succeeding changes of Greek party government several times at the head of the cabinet, and as often the leader of the opposition, died during our stay at Athens. He was a man whose stanch integrity and democratic love of simplicity had endeared him to the people. He was buried on the day after his death— the rule at Athens.
Dense crowds of men and boys thronged the streets near his house, from which the procession was to start. There were no services at his home, but acquaintances passed in to view the remains, and to offer sympathy to the family, who, as a rule, do not accompany the procession to the church or the grave. Every man who entered the house put on a white lace scarf over the right shoulder and under the left arm, the badge of mourning. Many bearded priests of the Greek Church mingled with the crowd. Their luxuriant hair is never cut, but is twisted into a roll, and knotted on the back of the head like a woman's. They wear a tall, cylindrical hat, brimless below, but with a round flat crown which projects laterally an inch or two. The dignitaries of the Church were resplendent in gold-embroidered robes of white, purple, and scarlet.
The coffin was of blue satin. The body, dressed in plain black as in life, the low shoes tied with white ribbon, was brought out and placed on the open bier. As is the custom at Athens, the upper half of the coffin, for its entire length, had been removed with the lid, and was carried in advance of the bier. On it was worked, in white, a cross and a crown. A glass cover was placed over the body. Flowers in profusion lay about the form of the dead statesman.
Two red banners—one with a formal sacred painting, in the Byzantine style, of the Annunciation, and of Mary and the Child; the other representing, in archaic figures, the Crucifixion and the Resurrection—were borne before the coffin. Then followed the clergy and prominent citizens, while the brass band played a slowmoving dirge. Leaving the crowded streets, I went by a shorter way to the cathedral, where the mention of my na
BISHOP OF THE GREEk Church.
tionality passed me through the closed doors, and secured me an excellent place —seats there were none, save for bishops and king. First enter the sacred banners, and the men with the lid of the coffin; then priests with lanterns, censers, tapers, and banners; then the coffin is carried in, and placed on a black catafalque in the choir. The king, with a few attendants, has taken his place just to the left of the Patriarch's throne, which is on the south of the choir. King George is rather tall, erect, well - formed, fair-haired, with a blonde mustache, and pleasantly regular features. He wears the dark blue uniform of a major, and a light blue short cloak with crimson lining, while a wide light blue scarf crosses his breast from the right shoulder. Young men press forward to the coffin with garlands of flowers. They are delegates from the university and the schools. The Patriarch takes his seat, two bishops on either hand, venerable, white-bearded men. The loud shrill chant of the priests, men's voices singing in unison, begins the service. Two singers who are not priests intone most of the service, the priests and bishops over against them answering antiphonally. The music has that weird shaking of the voice within a range of four or five notes which recalls Arabian music. Indeed, the Greeks of to-day, in their church chants and in their street ballads, have no music which does not seem to have been borrowed from Asia. Nothing you see or hear at Athens is more unlike Europe and America than the singing. The service finished, the king goes out first, after him the priests and the coffin. The procession resumes its slow march through the principal streets. Two hours later, as I stood on the Acropolis, I could see the crowd still standing about the open grave among the cypresses beyond the Ilissus, listening to panegyrics delivered in succession by four ex-prime ministers, the rivals and friends of the dead statesman. For several days the newspapers of Athens were filled with eulogies of Delegeorges. Many of them were very eloquent. I had the curiosity to count in one of these articles the words which I could not readily trace to a root used in classic Greek. There were but eleven such words in an article of two columns, so truly is the Greek of to-day Greek and not Slavonic. As to weddings, outside of Sparta, where women have still, as in classic times, more freedom and greater privileges than anywhere else in Greece, the general principle is, at every stage of the proceeding, a heavy discount upon the woman. When a girl is born, the sex is often concealed from the mother as long as possible, lest disappointment kill her outright. “Only a girl,” is the despondent answer of the father to inquiring friends. A man is said to be “terribly poor,” because with small property he has half a dozen daughters, whom he must, if possible, get married. Matches are usually arranged by the parents or relatives of the contracting parties. Usually the first advances come from the friends of the girl, who try to dispose of her here and there with as small a dot as possible. On the other hand, the young
man waits to be courted. Even if he be really in love, he is taught to interpose objections and to seem reluctant, that thus he may secure the offer of a larger marriage portion. Often the bride and groom have never seen each other more than once or twice when they meet at the altar.
The student finds again and again delightful illustrations of the Greek classics in Athenian customs and habits of to-day.
Thucydides gives us a vivid description of the half-playful way in which the Athenian soldiers, forced by stress of weather to land in the harbor off the island of Sphacteria (the modern Navarino),
set to work, at Demosthenes's request, to
fortify the point. He tells us that soldiers, bending over and clasping their hands low on their backs, took, in the receptacle thus formed, loads of mud for mortar, and of stone, which they carried up the hill to the wall. In Nikodemus Street, in Athens, I saw long lines of laborers carrying stones in precisely this same manner four or five rods, and up a narrow staging, to the masons at work on the walls of a new house. Some few of them wore a thick pad to protect the back, but most of them simply bent down, clasped their hands low on their hips behind, and were loaded by other laborers with three or four huge rough stones. The loose earth from the excavation was carried out in baskets strapped on the shoulders. On a saint's day, in the vacant space close under the north wall of the Acropolis, we came upon a scene which was replete with suggestions of the Homeric sacrificial feast. A group of rather roughlooking men were roasting whole a sheep which they had just killed. At a little distance the grass, crimsoned with gore, showed where the victim’s “head had been drawn back, while the sharp knife took away his strength.” The pelt, just removed, lay close by. The carcass was spitted from the mouth straight through the body, one end of the spit resting on a huge stone, the other end in a forked stake driven for the purpose. A fire was burning under its whole length, and the master of ceremonies slowly turned it on the spit. A hastily improvised sausage had been made by stuffing some of the finely chopped liver, heart, etc., into the larger intestines; and we saw this broiling sausage, looking not at all unsavory, tasted by the cook as we stood watching the Homeric scene. Here was a suggestion that the process so often baldly translated “tasting the entrails” may have been a rather savory sampling of tidbits, after all. To make the picture completely Homeric, certain impatient youths had cut up small pieces of the raw meat, had “pierced them through with little spits,” had “roasted them carefully,” and were “drawing them off the coals” as we came upon the ground. But candor compels the admission that priestly fillets and salted barley and pempobola nowhere appeared. After the Acropolis and the Pnyx, perhaps no place at Athens has a deeper charm from its associations than has the Academy of Plato. We visited its site one beautiful morning about the middle of May. From my note-book I venture to copy the description of our visit. We walk two miles northwest from the Acropolis to the olive groves that still mark the place. The wheat harvest is just finishing. Men are reaping with toothed sickles. One or two poorly dressed women are gleaning in the corners of the fields. Other women follow the reapers, binding the sheaves. The olive-trees are in blossom. In this warm climate, wheat and barley ripen well under the
GREAT THEATRE OF DIONYSIUS.
shade of these trees, and are commonly sown in the orchards. We walk across fields of wheat stubble, then over meadow-land, gay with yellow, blue, and red flowers. We count twenty-three varieties of blossoming flowers, all brilliant of hue. Then through groves of pomegranates, with their great, solid, deep red blossoms, and on through vineyards, where the blood red of the poppies contrasts beautifully with the tender green of the lowtrimmed vines. Large swallows skim the fields in every direction, twittering musically, reminding us of Anacreon's love for this bird, still so common even in the streets of Athens, and so well loved by the people. Other birds sing constantly in the groves. The tetix chirps shrilly in the grass. Little brown and green lizards dart here and there on the low earth walls which separate the fields. Immense old olive-trees, with gnarled and knotted trunks hollow at heart, remind us of those near Jerusalem. Fig-trees send out branches which are an intricate net-work of thick, clumsy shoots, bending now this way, then that, at the sharpest possible angle, regardless of all laws of symmetry. Lovely cloud shadows rest on Salamis, and float up the slopes of Mounts Ægaleos, Corydallus, and Parnes. The mountains of Argolis are as blue as is the bay that lies rippling between them and us. To the southeast, above the thickly clustering roofs of the modern city, rises the steep, altar-like rock of the Acropolis, still crowned with the ruins of the Parthenon and the Erechtheum. Thus enthroned above the modern city, the citadel, with its matchless ruins, seems constantly to assert its undying
MARBLE THRONE IN THE DIONYSIAC THEATRE.
right to be regarded as Athens, to the utter oblivion of all which the nineteenth century has built below them. Across this same lovely landscape, to those temples, then perfect, and rearing their snowy splendor against the purple-gray background of Hymettus, in the pauses of their conversation were lifted the eyes of that group of earnest, clear-souled thinkers who talked with Plato in these very olive groves, on the banks of the Cephissus—the men whose calm, enthusiastic search for truth has rendered so illustrious these Academic shades that, through all ages, in all lands, the lovers of wisdom and of art have been fain to borrow from their groves the name “Academy.” The literature and history of Greece become doubly delightful to one who has
seen all Attica and half of Greece from the summit of Mount Pentelicus, who has followed Pausanias and Leake and Curtius over all the boundaries of old Athens, who has read the plays of AEschylus and Sophocles and Aristophanes sitting in the old Dionysiac Theatre, on the very seats where sat the quick-eyed, keen enthusiasts for art who witnessed the first triumphs of these dramatists at that bright spring festival to which thronged all the intellect and fashion of young Europe; or, best of all, has ascended, morning, noon, and night, day after day, that airy Acropolis that presides over the modern city like the embodied memory of her glorious past. On this Acropolis the visitor shall learn, as only he who waits long and often there can learn, the soul-satisfying beauty of the ruins of the Parthenon, perfect in decay, mellowed to richest cream tint, the golden gift of this Southern sun, softened by time, and revealing in their exquisite proportions possibilities of harmony of which he had never before conceived, as the rays of the setting sun stream past these fluted columns, half filling the flutings with lines of shadow, and painting on other columns the graceful curves of this building, where curves took the place of rigid lines, and Plato's own “music of mathematics,” and not the plumb-line, was the presiding genius as the temple rose. There is a marvellous aesthetic exaltation in the effect produced on one by this perfect Greek architecture in the transparent, exhilarating atmosphere of Athens. Well might Aristophanes exclaim, “O thou, our Athens, violet-wreathed, brilliant, most enviable city " Well might Euripides speak of the Athenians as “ever treading, with light and measured grace, through a clear, transparent air.” The last night of my stay at Athens was spent upon the Acropolis. The fascinating charm the perfect moonlight cast around me there was too strong to be broken. As I lay and gazed at the Parthenon, the strong, abiding beauty, the restful strength, of the Doric architecture took possession of me—a new revelation of harmony and delight. One could feel these mighty yet graceful columns bearing easily, yet bearing firmly and forever, and with the grace of conscious beauty and strength, the immense weight laid upon them. The perfect proportions of