Page images

'attention to time, or tune, or air, each performer playing his own volun

tary, and each striving to be first in loudness and rapidity, will these • Turkish amateurs play for hours together, to the infinite delight of their • Musselman auditors, who are wonderfully pleased with their own wretched attempts at harmony, and entertain a sovereign contempt for our music.'

Journal. Henry Blount made a good experiment on the exact state of musical science in Turkey, which succeeded to admiration. I will give it in his own words :

• The music of Turkey is worthy consideration ; through all those vast * dominions there runs one tune, and for ought I heard no more, nor can every 'man play that; yet scarce any but hath a fiddle with two strings, and at

feasts and other meetings will confidently play upon it, but he knows not to what tune, nor can he play the same twice over. This I am certain of ; 'for to make experiment, I have ventured to play at divers meetings, pre“tending the airs of my country, to prove whether they had skill or not, and

it took so well, that they have often made me play again; then I found their skill and mine alike ; for I never understood the least touch of any instrument,' D'Ohsson's account of Turkish music is rather more favourable.“

1. 251. Phrosyne's mournful dirge.] See above, p. 129.

1. 252. O beauteous Haïdee.] See a translation of this song in Lord Byron's Childe Harold, p. 186,

1. 253. Athens' daughters.] The modern Greek ladies are fond of ornament. A small cap of pearls and gold is placed on the head. The hair, which may still be called, as Euripides termed it, tæpbevar gridav, falls in long ringlets over the shoulders, and down the back. The neck is covered with a broad necklace of pearls ; golden bracelets are worn on the arms, and large ear-rings in the ears. The garments are not well calculated to display the form, but hang loosely and negligently on the body. The outer vest, of

3 A Voyage into the Levant, by Master Henry Blount, 1634. * D'Ohsson, Tableau de l'Empire Othoman, t. 4. p. 416.


different coloured silks, is not confined by any bandage; the inner one, of muslin, is carelessly bound by the zone. Their eye-brows are formed into regular lines with great care, so as to appear, in the language of Anacreon, “ neither joined nor separated.” The eye-lids are stained with a dark tint called σύρμε. The nails of their fingers, and even of their toes, are tinged with a dye brought from Egypt, and called xuve. They wear a yellow slipper or sandal, and when they walk out cover their heads with a white veil. They paint their faces both white and red.

For many of these fashions they are indebted to the Greek ladies of antiquity, as will appear from the following quotations.

The description of the dress which Euripides has given to the Bacchanalians, will represent very accurately the costume of the modern Greek ladies. He mentions the κoμην επι τω κραλι ταναον, the πεπλοι ποδηρεις, and επι καρα μιτρα. The hair, in general, however, was not suffered to flow loose, but was gathered in a knot. This we learn from ancient statues, and from Pausanias's description of a picture at Delphi. Πολυξενη δε κατα τα ειθισμενα παρθενους αναπεπλεκθαι τας εν τη κεφαλη τριχας. It was a Spartan fashion:

[ocr errors]
[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

It was, however, occasionally worn loose and flowing, particularly in the dance :

Χοροις δε σαιην, όθι και
Παρθενος ευδοκιμων Γαμων
Παρα ποδ' ειλισσεσα φιλας
Μαίρος ηλικων θιασες,
Ες αμιλλας χαριτων
Χαίας αβροπλείοιο
Ες ερις ορνυμενα πολυποικιλα
Φαρεα, και πλοκα-
μες περιβαλλομενα
Γενυσιν εσκιαζον."

5 Εurip. Bacche, 1. 829-31.
1 Hor. 1. i. Οd. 11.

6 Paus. 1. x. c. 25.
* Εurip. Ιph. in Taur. 1. 1143.

Mine be the dance of lightest tread,

Such as in nuptial hour I twin'd,
When round my mother's couch I led

The maids who charm'd my youthful mind;
Hand link'd in hand the maze we wove,

Like Graces floating on the skies
To music's softest harmonies ;

And ev'ry virgin strove
Who with most art could twine her vest
In easy folds around the breast,
Or bid the clust'ring ringlets deck
Her shaded cheek, and iv'ry neck.

Lucian describes the hair of the Grecian ladies as stained with a red dye, and falling down over the shoulders.'

The wearing the hair long was an lonic fashion." The dress of the Athenian women was changed from the Doric to the Ionic, in consequence of an event mentioned by Herodotus.

The zone still forms an essential part of the Grecian female's dress. The ladies wear it either simply tied in front, or fastened by two large metal clasps. It is used to carry the purse, handkerchief, &c. as formerly."

The zone (called Milea, as well as [wrn) was anciently a great object of attention, and several ceremonies were observed respecting it. It was loosened at marriage, * and at the birth of the first child."

It was not worn till nine years of age. Hence young children were called Taidas apilges. They sometimes made an offering of the zones to the dead.'

The fashion of staining the eye-brows and eye-lids is mentioned by Lucian' and by Juvenal :

“ Ille supercilium madidâ fuligine tactum

Obliquâ producit acu, pingitque trementes
Attollens oculos." -

· Lucian Amores. s. 40.

Athen. xii. c. 30.

· Herod. v. c. 87 3 Apoll. Rhod. ii. 1. 566.

4 Theoc. Eid. xxvii. 1. 55. s Apoll. Rhod. i. 1. 288. and Pind. Ol. vi. 1. 66. • Callim. Hymn, in Dian. I. 14.

Soph. Elect. 1. 452. 8 Lucian Amores, s. 39. 9 Juv. Sat. č. 1.93.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

Xenophon describes the opdaajuss um ad El Popeyes ardpeixenw,' The mofpepær op baca puis was a custom amongst the Medes, and probably copied from them by the Greeks.

St. Chrysostom reprobates the υποτραφας οφθαλμων.

The epithet pododaxłuxos, so frequently used by Homer, marks the prevalence of the custom of dying the fingers with a rosy tint. Musæus describes his heroine as so adorned :

Ηρεμα μεν θλιβων ροδοειδεα δακτυλα κερης
Βυσσοθεν εσοναχιζεν αθεσφαίον δε σιωπη
Oια τε χωομενη ροδεην εξεσπασε χειρα.

- he press'd the damsel's hand
And deeply sigh’d; she silently withdrew,

In anger feign’d, her hand of rosy hue. We can find also precedents for the necklace, the ear-rings, and yellow sandals. Hesiod mentions the oquxs xquoel85," the golden necklaces ;' and Lysias enumerates the ear-rings as a female ornament.

Æschylus talks of the spoxoßanlov todos superpov, “the crocus-stained, or yellow sandal.''

The veil, which was sometimes of a yellow colour,' though generally white, was universally used by the Grecian ladies, and was formerly, as it is now, the most elegant part of their dress :

Αμβροσια δ' εφυπερθε καρυατι βαλλε καλύπρην
Agsupenu ...'
Above her head she drew her flowing veil

Of silv'ry whiteness. — The methos, or outer garment, was occasionally drawn over the face, and used as a veil."

St. Chrysostom gives a long catalogue of the articles of female dress, most of which are still in use with the Greek ladies.”

» Xen. Econ. 1. 10. s. 5.

? Xen. Cyrop. 1. i. c. iii. s. 2. 3 Chrysostom, In Epist. ad Timoth. c. 2. Hom. viii. s. 2. + Musæus, l. 114. 5 Hesiod. Op. et Dies. 1. 74.

• Lys. in Eratosth. t. i. p. 395. Ed. Reiske. 7 Æschyl. Persæ. 1. 659. 9 Æschyl. Agam. 1. 247. : Apoll. Rhod. ii. 1.833. " Ap. Rhod. iv. l. 44.

a Chrysost. in Esaiam. c. 3. t. 6. p. 44.

Γας οσσοις

The custom of painting the face is mentioned by Xenophon ;' and by Lucian.

The style of beauty for which the Greek females are at present distinguished partakes a great deal of the antique character. Their profiles resemble those of the ancient statues, or of the figures represented on fictile 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. They have, as Euripides expresses it,

Οινωπας οσσοις χαρίλας Αφροδιτης. The Greek beauties of the present day are distinguished by their dark locks, Light or golden hair was the theme of praise with the ancient poets.

Ω σερνα, και παρηίδες, και ξανθαι κομαι. The Greek ladies are almost entirely ignorant and illiterate. Most of them can neither read nor write. They are regarded by their husbands rather as servants than companions, and perform, as of old, many of the menial offices of the family; relieving the severer duties of cleaning the house and washing the clothes, with the lighter pleasures of self-decoration, spinning, and embroidery, like Penelope' or Helen. They employ themselves in working garments for their dowry, in weaving, &c. They make their pantaloons, their handkerchiefs, and embroider with gold or silver their zones, which are composed either of cotton or silk. They arrive at the full bloom of their beauty at thirteen or fourteen years of age, about which time they marry (contrary to Hesiod's' advice, who recommends them to wait till thirty) and look old at five-and-twenty.

The young Greek female, at least if she has not been contaminated by the manners of civilised nations, is never seen before marriage. When she walks out she is veiled and closely watched by a female relation. In this respect their manners differ in no respect from those of their ancestors :

Περας Γαρ αυλιος θυρα

Eacudaqçı Tuvasxs verouss' oixias.' 3 Xen. Econom. c. x. s. 2. * Luc. Amores, s. 39. 5 Euripid. Bacchæ, 1. 235. • Eurip. Iph. in Aul. 1. 681, and Eurip. Cyclops, 1. 496; see also Apoll. Rhod. iii. 1. 827. 1 Odyss.

8 Hesiod. Op. et Dies. I. 695. 9 Xenophon, however, mentions fifteen as a proper age for marriage. Xenoph. Econ. c. vii. s. 5.

* Menander, p. 90. See also Hom. Odyss. vi. 286; and Eurip. Troades, l. 649 ; Eurip. Androm. 2ĵ2ņēņtiņ2/2 ti2mēmēģ2/20ņēģ


« PreviousContinue »