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form into close companies of six or seven
each; and they huddle together anywhere to
be at once in the shade and out of the wind,
which is still blowing freshly. Yet five
minutes more, and the enormous black bottles
which are circulating so freely will begin to
do their work. First, there is a loud solitary
laugh, which goes off from the midst of one
of the farthest groups like a shot. It is soon
answered, and one of the parties, which has
been drinking stoutly for the last ten minutes,
opens the festivity of the day with some rude
music. The palicaria* begin now to rise in
all directions; the dancing, singing, and
laughing has become general; and, as far as
the eye can reach, the uncouth revel is going
on, while the same large black bottle is being
handed about everywhere.
* Palikaria (?????????) is a Greek word signifying
young man, like the "braves" of the lllyrian

About this time, if you look away yonder,
towards the brow of the hill, you may begin
to see bands of gaily-dressed women and
children, watching the scene below. By and
by, they come nearer, always timidly,
however, and they never join in the games or
dances of the men.

I am standing at this moment on one of
the most magnificent sites in the world.
Beneath, lies the Gulf of Adramiti, to the
right I can see almost to the plains of Troy,
and to the left, nearly to Cape Baba. Before
me there is neither tree nor shrub visible;
nothing but one grand amphitheatre formed
of sea and mountains; but behind lie the
rich woods and emerald meads, the gentle
hills and picturesque valleys of beautiful
Lesbos. Along the winding shore stretch
the pretty houses of the rich citizens; a
lofty Turkish mosque from whence the
hoja is calling; two light-houses, and the
harbour crowded with vessels waiting for
corn to take to England. As my eyes fall
musingly on the ground, I see a little oblong
piece of metal; and, stooping to examine it,
I find that it is a coin, at least two thousand
years old.

But there is no time for musing. About,
around, touching me, pushing me, the Greek
palicaria hold on their revel; and magnificent
as the scene is, I am bound to confess
that the quaint pictures which everywhere
meet my eye, of another life than ours, are no
mean additions to it. Presently we find a
band of Greeks sufficiently busy. They take
a block of wood, and they dress it in
some old clothes which they tie on with
cords. It has neither head, nor hands,
nor feet; but one can see that it is meant
for a very fat man. No wonder indeed that
he is fat, for I find on inquiry that he is
intended to represent the Greek carnival: a
glutton, if ever there was one. The busy
group I have described now take two stout
poles, and fastening them together with some
cross sticks, they make a sort of bier. On
this, they place the Carnival, who is just dead:
and some six or eight palicaria supporting
the bier, set off to bear him to the tomb.
They are preceded by a company of others
who dance in line, hand in hand. There
may be some ten abreast of them. They are
soon joined by all the other revellers, and
away they go dancing and singing ribald
songs in the same manner as the priests
chaunt the "De Profundis."

I watch them as they wind over hill and
valley towards the town; and almost fancy
I am witnessing some pagan saturnalia; for
it is wonderful how old games have been
always kept up by popular traditions. On
they go, performing all sorts of uncouth
buffooneries; but they are not the less picturesque
and interesting: at last they disappear
in the dirty narrow little streets of the distant
town, and I know that they are going about
from house to house begging; as I cannot
very well follow them in such an expedition,
I am afraid I shall lose the burial of the
carnival, and I am sorry to add that my fears
have been verified.

I enter the town by a street distant from
my own house and pick my way daintily amid
foul gutters where fever always sits brooding,
and over slippery stones, rendered dirty and
dangerous by all sorts of garbage thrown into
the street. I am lightly shod and I do
not make much noise, nor am I a very fearful
apparition; for I have too much to do to
take care of myself to meditate harm to
others; but I have no sooner entered the
street than a change comes over it. When
I first turned the corner, young women were
gossiping and laughing everywhere in the
doorways, and from the windows: now I hear
the click of many doors closing stealthily;
and the lattices are shut everywhere. A
Frank is a rare sight in this obscure quarter,
and the women are wild as young fawns.
They are watching me from all sorts of places;
but if I stayed there for hours, not one would
come out till I was gone. I know why the
Greek girls are as shy as young fawns, and it
pains me to think of it. A thousand tales
are fresh in my memory of harmless young
women who caught the eye of some terrible
Turk, by chance, and soon after disappeared
mysteriously, or were torn shrieking from their
homes by armed men, and were never heard
of afterwards. I hope such times are gone
by now, but I am not quite sure of it; and,
therefore, I have no right to wonder that
Greek maidens should tremble at the step of
a stranger.

Gradually I emerge into a more frequented
quarter, and everywhere the sound of nasal
singing, the clapping of hands, and the jingling
of glasses, comes from open doors and lattices;
while here and there a Turk smokes his
nargilleh, sitting cross-legged upon a stone, apart
and disdainfully. A long string of mules tied
together are lading with oil-skins for a

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