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Journey. They are standing in a perfect
quagmire of filth, for we have had heavy rains
of late; and I can almost see the noxious
exhalations steaming out of it in the noon-day
sun. I hasten my pace, and light a
cigar, for such a neighbourhood is dangerous;
and the best antidote for this kind of poison
I know of, is tobacco. Farther along the
street come a troop of broad-backed
hamals (porters); each carries a slain lamb
upon his shoulders, to be sent off by the
Austrian boat to Constantinople this evening.
Other people are also carrying pretty baskets
full of the white sheep's milk cheeses, made in
the Levant. They are eaten with honey, and
form perhaps the most exquisite dish in the
world. Let us hope they will figure, therefore,
advantageously at the table of Vice-
Admiral Dundas. For, all this fuss which
makes the Greeks work even upon a festival-
day, comes of the appearance of the
combined fleets in Turkish waters: and they have
laid all Turkey under contribution to supply
dainties for them.

But here come a band of mummers, with
masks and music. They are begging, and
they will stop me, for I am not supposed to
know them. There is one cub drunk with
unaccustomed eating, whom I should know
from his stifled guffaw in a minute, and from
a thousand. I know also that he would
follow me about all day if I did not buy him
off. I take a handful of small coin, therefore,
from a pocket where it has been reposing
gingerly many days, and as I pass on they
are all rolling and squabbling in the mud
about it.

The afternoon has stolen on while I have
been wandering about, yet I cannot make up
my mind to go home: and I halt once more
before some young men at play. I think they
are all among the most powerful lads I ever
saw, and I watch them with the natural pleasure
one has in seeing health, and strength,
and beauty. They are playing at a species of
leap-frog, but the "back" is made by three
youths, instead of one; they form a triangle
as they stoop down, and they do not "tuck in
their twopennies" by any means in sporting
style. However, the runners charge
them gallantly; they bump their heads with
great force into the back of the first boy,
whose hind-quarters are turned towards them,
and they turn a complete sommerset over
the other two. The first who falls makes a
"back," and relieves one of the others. It is
rough sport and dangerous, but it is the first
time in my life that I have ever seen Greeks
in violent exercise; and I notice now, that
the players are the lowest of the low. Whenever
there is any dispute, I also notice that
they toss a slipper to decide it, and "sole" or
"upper-leather" wins the day. as the case may
be. It is needless to add, that they are all
playing barefoot.

By and by, they grow tired of leap-frog;
and the game by which it is succeeded is as
severe a trial of strength as I ever witnessed.
One of the young giants takes another in his
arms. The man carried has his head
downwards and his legs gripping the other tightly
about the neck. Two young men now go
down on all fours, and place themselves close
together, while the two other players, twined
together as I have said, turn a summerset
backwards over them, and the man whose
head was downwards before is now upwards,
and the other has of course taken his position.
So they go backwards and forwards, and if
they come apart or fall, they have to kneel
down and make a "back" for others to tumble
over in the same way. I remarked two
young men clinging together in this way who
turned a summerset twenty-three times in
succession. At last they fell from a feint of one
of the "backs," who began to grow tired of
the sport. They went on playing till evening
gradually crept over us, and the sun was
quite lost behind the snow-capped mountains.
Then, as the dews fell heavily, and the chill
air grew keener, they tied up their trowsers;
and, shuffling on their slippers, returned to
our little town, bawling rude monotonous
choruses, and dancing as they went, if hopping
would not be a better term for their uncouth

I have returned home. A wood fire burns
cheerfully in the hearth, and a lamp sheds a
pretty tempered light on the desk I am to
use presently. The books and maps, the
dumpy pens, and the well-worn penknife, the
cigar case, the broken tea-cups on a side-table,
and the milk in a glass, all made ready
by kind hands, seem to smile a silent welcome
to me, like old friends. Five minutes at the
window, a few cups of tea, a short game with
pen and ink, and then to bed.


THE poet Gray has pleasantly told us that
the best enjoyment during the dog days is
"to lie on a sofa and read novels." Sultry
hours may be as agreeably whiled away by
turning over a volume of old newspapers.

The Domestic Intelligence, from March,
sixteen hundred and seventy-nine to March,
sixteen hundred and eighty, is now in our
hands. The volume is not remarkable for
thickness, and still less for size; for newspapers
in this early day were published but twice a
week, and were but half-sheets small folio,
and thus scarcely larger than the broadside
which displayed the last dying speech, or
detailed the startling particulars of the last
horrid Popish, or detestable Presbyterian
plot. The publisher of the paper, however,
filled his two pages well. There is close
type, and narrow margin; and although, of
course, immeasurably behind the modern
newspaper, the Intelligencer of those days,
in extent of information as well as in the
advantage of its wider circulation, was a
great advance upon the earlier newsletter.

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