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of the assembly, and by a slight motion of his head intimated to the bride's father that he required immediate silence and attention. The old man immediately rose on the turf-bank, and throwing his hand, over the white wavy locks that shadowed his face, soon quelled the general uproar of the roysters, whose eyes were bent with an expression of anxious curiosity on the Veogh. He was a handsome, wellmade youth, just verging on the brink of manhood, with an eloquent hazel-eye, a sparkling brow, a wreathed cheek, and a heart that did honour to the bosom it warmed. Methought some of the girls turned upon him with an imploring look, dashed with a spark of waggish merriment, as he sought out his jewel in the rich group of youth, health, and womanly beauty which encircled him. In a few moments his eyes were rivetted on a noble-looking fair-skinned young woman, who sat at the right-hand of the bride, and appeared to be wholly absorbed in unravelling the leaves and laying bare the blushing heart of a rosebud which adorned her dawning bosom. By her apparel I knew her to be one of the celebrated girls of the Barony of Iverk. She was arrayed in a sherkeen of blue frieze, laced and braided in front with broad blue ribbons, and a petticoat of the same materials, gathered in folds at the back of her waist, and decorated with a single ribbon of a similar colour and width to that which adorned the accurately-fitting jacket or sherkeen. She wore a pair of plain silver clasps in her shoes, her blue stockings were delicately braided up the ancles, and a crucifix suspended by a string of polished brown beads moved with the rise and fall of her young bosom. Its motion was considerably accelerated as she felt the eye of the Kilcash youth revelling on her cheek, and he seemed to enjoy by anticipation the rapture of pressing her lip at the conclusion of the dance." He immediately proclaimed her to be the lass of his heart, and the fairest of the bridemaids; and the blue-eyed Iverkian tripped gracefully to the centre of the sward. She received the white down pillow from the admirer's hands, and in a few moments began to dance with a fine buoyant air round the bawn, to the apt and beautiful cadence of one of the native tunes of her Barony, which she warbled out with a grace and expression peculiar to the gifted Iverkians. After two or three circuits, she gradually veered towards the spot from whence she had started, and as the last notes of the melody were gushing from her lips, dropped on her knees upon the pillow, which she had just thrown upon the green. The happy Veogh instantly bounded from his seat, and kneeling by her side, warmly saluted the deep-rosy lips of the maiden. He received the customary kiss on the cheek in return, and, amid the cheers of the assembly, led the fair Iverkian to her seat on the right hand of the bride. The pipes now pealed forth a heart-gladdening air—the boys and girls (that is to say, all present, whether old or young, who were unmarried) proceeded to the choice of partners and companions, and in a short time the bawn exhibited the regular complicated movements, and well-known but apparently mazy labyrinths of the national reel and merry jig.
After the lapse of an hour the mystic nuptial rites were commenced. The bridegroom's nuts were thrown, and scrambled for by the clamorous youngsters; small pieces of the hoarded cake were passed through the wedding-ring for the bride's most intimate and best-beloved companions, and the enamoured young men “seized the fair occasion" of declaring their love by dropping the white unsullied glove which the young wife wore in the last hour of her maidenhood at the feet of their sweethearts in the romping game of "the marriage morn.” After fatiguing themselves at these and similar sports, they gradually subsided into calmer amusements. A goblet of fountain water was brought out, and a quantity of new eggs placed upon the turf. The girls, after exhibiting a little becoming reluctance, tripped one by one to the sparkling goblet, wherein they hoped to discover the occupation of their future lords. The white of an egg was thrown into the vessel, and the station of the youth with whom the ministering lass was destined to wed deduced from the strange figure it assumed in the curdling liquid. While this ceremony (which produced peals of laughter from the joyous bystanders) was going on, some of the more cunning lasses were diligently plucking the pins from the bride's garments, which it is necessary to obtain by stealth, otherwise the charm wherein they are used would be inevitably abortive. They are thrust into a piece of the bride-loaf which has passed through the holy ring, and placed by the happy possessor beneath her pillow for the purpose of charming her into a dream about the present or future lad of her heart.
Numberless other ancient customs were performed with the most rigid adherence to every particular which had been transmitted from bridal to bridal as necessary to render the several charms infallible. Old tales, humorous and pathetic traditions, the feats of elves and goblins, songs, and rustic jokes, filled up the short intervals that occasionally happened between the rites, until the full harvest-moon rose from a grey cloud above the adjacent hills. A pilgrimage to the Claugh was then devised, and all acceded to the welcome but unexpected proposal with the most turbulent indications of joy. No time was lost in needless preparation; men, women, and children, tarried but a moment to gather a stone each, and then, preceded by the tottering but enthusiastic musician, danced hand-in-hand down the green lane that led to holy Claugh. We soon arrived at an open space from which four pathways branched in different directions. In the heart of a billock of stones, surmounted by a small green coronal of turf, a venerable thorn reared its moss-clothed boughs: this was the Claugh, and he who failed to throw a stone upon the heap as he passed was deemed an unrepenting sinner, and held in utter detestation and contempt for ever after. All the stones in the vicinity of the old thorn (as is usually the case) had long before disappeared, and pebbles were gathered by the provident a mile or more before they reached the junction of the paths. If this precaution were omitted, the luckless wight retraced his steps until chance threw a pebble in his way; and none but the graceless and depraved ever passed the ancient thorn without paying the customary tribute to its base, and imploring a blessing on the heads of those who were “ nearest and dearest to his
There are many Claughs about the country, and the loving mother often buries a lock of her infants' hair beneath four different thorn-crowned heaps to ensure its earthly happiness, and young men and maidens plight themselves to each other by the breaking of bread and partition of corn beneath the wide-spreading boughs of the revered Claugh-tree.
The Fairies' Moat lay in a field that bordered the lane, and we turned towards it on our way back, for the purpose of plucking the weed fairy-fur, which grew plentifully around it. The children trusted, while they retained a single leaf of this powerful weed about their persons, that no mischievous elfin, fearful ghost, or wicked hag, could waylay and harm them in their moonlight rambles. The moat was a green knoll in the centre of the field, surrounded by a sentinel trench, beneath which, the old dames asserted in suppressed and quivering tones, there was a gorgeous palace of jewels and gold, wherein the great ones of Fairy-land abided, and from whence the sounds of revelry oftentimes emanated at those particular times when the merry crew were forbidden to carouse upon the face of the earth.*
On our return to the house we found the children had arrived there before us, for the purpose of coming suddenly upon the keroges, or witch's auxiliaries, which, taking advantage of our temporary absence, had sallied out in swarms to commit their usual devastations. Their enemies, the inveterate youngsters, disturbed the spoilers when each was laden with a choice grain of old wheat, which it was believed was intended for the granary of the queen-witch their protectress, who dwelt on the skirts of the neighbouring wood, and whose body had been so often pinched and tormented hy the green hazel twigs which were wound about the ineffectual churns, to rid them of her potent spells, inflicted in revenge for the goodwife's accidentally omitting to send her the customary, but much-grudged tribute of butter and cream.
After supper, such of the bride's elder sisters as were still unmarried submitted to run the gauntlet, and endured all the other penalties of their awkward situations with a tolerable grace. A little before midnight, the lasses were summoned to the bridal chamber, to conclude the ceremonies and pastimes of the day by throwing the stocking; but the young bridegroom and his father-in-law, armed with a single straw each, guarded the door and denied ingress to any but unmarried females. The stocking, however, was thrown as usual by the wife from her soft pulpy bed, and the fair maid of Iverk proclaimed as the next who would kneel to the nuptial benediction. Within an hour afterwards, the watch-dog was lying across the old porch floor, the buchaugh and poor scholar were nestling together among the crackling straw-heaps in the barn, the blind knitter and the old woman with the child were snugly reposing in a clean bed in the loft, the piper had departed to cheer the guests on their way home with his crazy pipe, the ballad-maker was dreaming of war and bloodshed in the settle, the gossoon lay stretched on his old place among the dying embers, and the pale lunatic sat awake upon the log listening attentively to the merry chirrup of the minstrel cricket on the hearth.
Children are often supposed to be fairy-struck, or affected with the deadly elfin blight. The only cure for this dreaded malady is said to be a draught of blessed water in which nine leaves of the hedge-row plant faughoram have been steeped.
TIE GALLERY OF APELLES.*. COMBabus rose early, and after the first salutation to his host, passed the morning divided between reflections on his dream and his anticipations of seeing Stratonice. The appointed hour at length came, and he found himself with Erasistratus in the royal garden. It was, in truth, not so luxurious as that of the voluptuary prince of Corcyra. The spring and autumn did not meet there to minister at once to every sense, by presenting the olive and the vine in every stage, from fragrant blossoming to luscious maturity. But still art and nature were liberal of embellishment to the garden of Seleucus: the former adorned it with images of gods and goddesses, and heroes, muses, graces, oreads, and dryads, sculptured in living marble, by the masters of the Grecian chisel : and nature enriched it not only with every variety of shrub and flower, but with the most perfect emanation of her mysterious skill—the fair Stratonice. Combabus at any other time would have loitered with delight among the objects by which he was surrounded ; but his whole soul was rapt in the vision of loveliness now realized before him. Stratonice and her suite were still at some distance. Combabus felt exalted and inspired, rather than agitated, as she approached. She was conversing with those about her in so low a voice that her words did not distinctly reach him. But he caught the tones of that voice, so soft and bland, and light and musical, chat they still vibrated on the ear after she had ceased to speak. Combahus recognized, as she drew nearer, the liquid lustre of her eyes, the .crimsoned efflorescence that delicately tinged her cheeks t, the smiles playing about her mouth, and that graceful bending of her exquisitely moulded neck, in which she alone of the daughters of earth resembled the goddess of beauty. Her hair was gathered with artful negligence under a small tiara, from which it descended in a cluster of ringlets. Her drapery moved loosely and lightly on the breeze with the motion of her limbs, but sufficiently constricted to trace the moving outline of her form. She wore sandals tied with cerulean bands, which mingled their kindred tints with the blue veins that streaked her snowy ankles, and the external section above her left ankle was displayed nearly to the knee, by a silver porpé, from which the lower extremity of her robe fell divided, giving a finish to the beauty of her figure, and facility to her step. It was now three years since the adventure of Apelles—Stratonice in that time had become a little more ample than the Apellean Venus. She somewhat resembled, in form, the celebrated Ceres, yet virgin of Proserpinès; but in her brow, her eyes, her lips, her neck, she was still the Venus of Apelles.
Continued from page 116. + I think it is one of the commentators on Lucian, who in a note mentions the delicate tinting of this “ rubor efflorescens” of the cheek of beauty, as one of the many excellencies of Apelles, and as particularly admired in his celebrated Pacale. Lucian himself, adopting the image from Homer, whom he calls “ the best of painters, even in the presence of Apelles and Euphranor,” compares it to ivory purple-stained.-(Translator.)
This trait of Greek costume is preserved by Mademoiselle D. the Phedre and Hermione of the French theatre, with all the grace and beauty of the antique.(Trans.)
$ A charming figure of “the virgin Ceres” has descended to us from antiquity. It is considered a model of taste, for purity of form, and for the truth and finesse
VOL. V. NO. XXI.
Erasistratus and Combabus knelt as the queen passed them. She received their homage with a friendly smile to Erasistratus, and a gracious half-searching glance at Combabus. “ Now,” said Erasistratus, our presence is dispensed with, and we may walk the garden.' " Who?” said Combabus, still kneeling and not hearing a word of the doctor's proposal to walk the garden-" who is that happy mortal on whom she smiles?" “ That,” said Erasistratus, " is the courtpoet--you perceive a female attendant gathers from some of the flowers on the queen's path scraps of writing, and presents them to her. They are compliments supposed to be addressed to her by the flowers to which they were respectively attached, and for which the poet is rewarded with those enviable smiles.”—“ Blessed as the immortal gods is he,” said Combabus, interrupting him with a verse of one of Sappho's odes. “ A cask of wine," continued the doctor, pension, and the ridicule of the whole court, but particularly of the royal Selcucus." " Who," said Combabus, " is that nymph-like figure to whom the queen listens with so much interest ? ---and mark, the divine Stratonice looks this way.” “ That,” said Erasistratus, “ is a young Greek girl arrived within the last three days, to entertain the queen by her talents in music.” This attendant approached them as they spoke-it was Leucolene. “ You wonder,” said she, “ O Combabus, to see me here, and perhaps accuse me of having but partially rendered my confidence for yours; but I wished to procure you the pleasure of a surprise-perhaps, also, to prove myself your friend. You are com mmanded, O Ērasistratus, to attend the queen.' They accordingly presented themselves once more before Stratonice. “ Erasistratus,” said she, “ the king and I would gladly hear the news which this young traveller brings from Greece.” Seleucus himself, who had just returned from the chace of wild beasts, now entered the garden, and joined the royal party. He took off his helmet to'salute the queen, whom he still loved -though married to her three years! His immediate attendants knelt down to receive the helmet of the king. Combabus, taking advantage of their posture and preliminary ceremonial, took the helmet directly from the king's hand. A murmur of loyal horror was heard from the courtiers. " You kneel," said Combabus, “ to receive the helmet of the king of Upper Asia ; I stand erect to receive that of the conqueror of Asia and comrade of Alexander." ." And in token that I am pleased with you,” said Seleucus, receive my hand, and feast with me at the palace to-day.” The courtiers were ali mute in an instant, not excepting even the poet, who was the greatest talker in Antioch. Seleucus was of the heroic stature, with which he united a martial air and nobleness of demeanour that made friends of all who approached him. He was distinguished among the captains of Alexander, not only for his courage and conduct, but for his corporeal
with which the drapery is executed. The head has a virginal character of simplicity and beauty, which has induced some persons to take it for the muse Clio.-May it not have been the sight of this statue in the Vatican, during his travels in Italy, that suggested to Milton his comparison of Eve to
Ceres in her prine,
Yet virgin of Proserpinè from Jové. I have adopted part of these words, because they literally translate the Greek, -and because they are Milton's.-(Trans.)