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to gain the favor of her relations, he endeavors to do it by a liberal distribution of the same liquor.
The Icelanders, though living in a climate even more inclement, and exposed to equal fatigue while fishing in their stormy seas, are temperate in their habits, and at festive meetings rarely drink any thing but milk and water. They have a love of literature truly surprising among a people exposed to such continual danger and toil. It is contrary to law for a woman to marry unless she can read and write. When darkness covers the land, and their little huts are almost buried in snow, one of the family reads some instructive volume, by the light of a lamp, while the others listen to him, as they perform their usual avocations. “In these regular evening readings the master of the family always begins, and he is followed by the rest in their turn. Even during their daily in-door labors, while some are employed in making ropes of wool, or horse-hair, some in preparing sheep-skin for fishing dresses, or in spinning, knitting, or weaving, one of the party generally reads aloud for the amusement and instruction of the whole. Most farm-houses have a little library, and they exchange books with each other. As these houses are scattered over a wild country, and far apart, the only opportunity they have of making these exchanges is when they meet at church; and there a few always contrive to be present, even in the most inclement weather.”
The dress of the Icelanders is neat, without any effort to be ornamental. Families are almost inva. riably clothed in garments spun and woven at home. It is needless to say that a people with such habits cherish the domestic virtues, and treat their women with kindness.
The general manners of the modern Greeks are the same, whether they live in Constantinople or the various islands of the Archipelago. In cities, women rarely appear in public, even ai churches, till they are married. In their houses certain rooms are appropriated to the ladies and their atendants, to carry on embroidery and other feminine employments. The men have separate apartments. Female slaves are treated with great gentleness. Some adopt them when very young, and call them “children of their souls.” Like the Greeks of old, some trusty female slave is often the nurse, confidant, and friend of her mistress. A woman of any consideration never appears abroad without one servant at least; and those who affect display, are attended by an innumerable troop. The Greek ladies present their hand to be kissed by their children or inferiors. Young girls salute each other in a singular manner; they hold each other by the ears while they kiss the eyes. The wealthy Greeks, like the Turks, are exceedingly fond of expensive jewels. The ladies often dress themselves in the most splendid manner, without any expectation of seeing company, merely to indulge their own fancy, or that of their husbands.
Their marriage ceremonies in many respects resemble those of their classic ancestors. The evening preceding the wedding, the bride is conducted to the
bath, accompanied by music and attendants. The next day, she proceeds with slow and solernn pace to the church, adorned with all the jewels she can obtain, and covered with a rose-colored veil. A blazing torch is carried before her, and a long procession follows. At the altar both bride and bridegroom are crowned with flowers, which are frequently exchanged in the course of the ceremony. They have likewise two wedding rings, which are exchanged and re-exchanged several times. Immediately after the benediction, a cup of wine is offered to the young couple, and afterward to the witnesses of the marriage. When the bride arrives at her new home, she is lifted over the threshold, it being considered ominous for her feet to touch it. She likewise walks over a sieve covered with a carpet. She is seated on a sofa in the corner of the room, and there expected to remain downcast and immovable, amid all the music, and dancing, and gayety around her. Every guest, as he comes into the room, passes by her, and throws a piece of money in her lap, which she deposits in a small silver box, without moving her lips, or raising her eyes. The festival is kept up three days, during which time the bride does not ut. ter a word except it be in a whisper to some of her female attendants. Marriages usually take place on Sunday, and the bride is not allowed to leave the house until the Sunday following. Custom demands that some dowry should be in readiness, and even a beautiful woman is more acceptable for not being entirely destitute. The Albanian girls carry their marriage portions on their scarlet caps, which are covered with paras and piastres, like scales. Peasant girls will undergo the greatest fatigue to add a para to this cherished hoard. They often get a large price for old coins found among the ruins; but sometimes no money will tempt them to sell it, because they believe a certain charm resides in the legend round the coin. The Greeks have universally a strong belief in omens, signs, and oracles. When they drink to the health of a bridal pair, they always accompany it with the wish that no evil eye, or ma. lignant influence, may blight their happiness. They are a gay and lively people, exceedingly fond of music and dancing, which in their fine climate are often enjoyed in'the open air. Their character is ardent and susceptible in the extreme; and the reality of love is very apt to be tested by the suddenness of the impression. Girls are often married at ten years of age, and bachelors are very uncommon. Except in the large towns, and among the opulent classes, matches are rarely made from interested motives, and divorces scarcely ever occur.
The inhabitants of ancient Lesbos were said to be dissolute in their manners; and the island (now called Metelin) still bears the same character. The women of Scio are said to be peculiarly handsome and engaging in their manners. They may be seen at the doors and windows, twisting silk, or knitting ; and when a traveller appears, they not only invite him into their houses, but urge him with playful ear. nestness. Their object is partly friendly hospitality
and partly a wish to sell some of the handsome purses for which Scio is celebrated. They have learned to offer them in the language of many nations; and Frenchman, Italian, or Swede, is likely to hear himself addressed, in his own tongue, from various quarters, “Come and look at some handsome purses, sir.” But this frankness is so obviously innocent, that a profligate man would never mistake it for boldness.
The dead are carried to the grave in a kind of open litter, with the face uncovered. When a young maiden dies, she is covered with rich garments, and crowned with a garland. As the bier passes along the streets, women throw roses, and scatter perfumed waters upon it.
At various epochs of their history, the Greek women have evinced heroism worthy of the ancient Spartans. They have fought against the Turks with the resolute and persevering bravery of disciplined warriors, and sought death in its most horrid forms to save themselves from infamy. A woman of Cyprus, with the consent of her daughters, set fire to the powder-magazine in which they were concealed, because they preferred this fate to the sultan's seraglio; and this was but one of many instances of similar resolution. The captain of a Greek gun-brig, famous for his bravery during the dreadful scene at Napoli di Romania, was treacherously murdered by order of the capitan pacha, at Constantinople. To avenge his death, his widow built three ships at her own expense, of which during the war she took the command, accompanied by her two sons.