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And all the land shall madden with the dance.'
Euripides' Play of · The Bacchanals.'
Translated by DEAN MILMAN.
HENRY SOLL Y,
Chartist,' Gonzaga,' etc.
(All Rights Reserved.]
At the present time the subject of popular Recreation, and of Amusement generally, is occupying a large share of attention, and is coming into contact or collision with questions both of morality and of religion. Hence there must be many persons who desire, from a national point of view, to see these subjects dealt with in such ways as shall promote, not only the happiness of the people, but also the development of their higher life.
It seems, therefore, not altogether inappropriate to look back to a former age, and observe what one of the most remarkable nations of history then thought and did in regard both to Recreation and the religious Worship with which, in their case, it was so intimately blended; while the experiences of a man who nearly seventy years ago appears to have felt a deep interest in the matter, may also help to throw a few rays of light upon the solution of an important problem.
As, however, it is needful that not only social and religious reformers, but the people themselves should aim at promoting the national well-being, it is hoped that the scenes and experi. ences narrated in this volume will be read with interest alike by learned and unlearned—by working men and women at home and in their clubs, as well as by the more abundantly endowed leaders of social and religious improvement. A fine old Hampshire estate with the run of the New Forest, and three years' residence at Oriel College, Oxford, during the earlier part of this century-visits to the ‘back-slums' of our great metropolis, and to Alpine heights—afford many favourable conditions for the development of a 'Bacchanalian 'life, in a higher sense than is commonly attached to this word now, though not so widely different from that in which it would have been understood by Homer and Hesiod in the “ Youth of the World.'
Then the struggles for liberty made by oppressed Italian Carbonari, and Greek Hetairists, about the same period, and by Hungarian patriots a little earlier, furnish fitting illustrations of the indestructible passion of the human heart for that freedom, and its aspirations for that happier nobler life, which a modern Bacchanal might righteously crave to possess, and ardently desire to secure for his toiling fellow-creatures.
But the darker shades in the Dionysiac legend, and the Bacchantic life, have not been omitted in Charles Dayrell's life, for the narrative is true to reality. Not always by the means, nor always in the measure, calculated to secure the end, do we strive to obtain the blessings which the Heavenly Father desires His children to possess.
Any readers interested in the great Greek dramatist's play of “The Bacchanals,' should consult the admirable edition, if they are not already acquainted with it, recently given to the world, with copious notes, illustrations, etc., by the Public Orator of the University at Cambridge, J. E. Sandys, Esq,, M.A.
'Good gracious! what is the child about !' exclaimed the nurse, as she jumped up from her seat on the lawn of Holmleigh Hall, and hurried to a large elm tree at its farther extremity, where a chubby-cheeked boy of three, remarkably like the antique statues of Cupid, was balancing himself on one of the lower boughs. A table with a chair upon it indicated pretty clearly how the adventurous young gentleman had attained his slightly dangerous elevation, from which he was jumping, when his proceedings were partially arrested, and his nurse's arms broke his fall. To pick him up, scold and comfort him, wipe away his tears, and examine him to see that no bones were broken, was soon satisfactorily accomplished. “Why, Master Charlie, whatever were you about?'
'Me wanted to fy,' sobbed little Cupid. Me wanted to be an angey and fy.'
But you've no wings, deary; you can't be an angel and fly without wings.'
Den oo muth get me wingth. Oo thing about angeys fying to heaven. Me muth be an angey.'
“Ah, when you're an angel, you'll have wings in plenty, I dare say, and somebody else will sing to you then, I expect. But you're a long way off that, my boy, I hope