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sufficiently mature to suit the gravity the inclosure of the temple, walking of his miniftry, and his voice so foncr- in filence two by two, and each care ous that it may be heard with pleasure. rying a lighted torch. When they His priesthood is for life. From the re-entered the facred af;lum, they moment he is invested with it, he must hastened their pace; and I was inconfine himself to celibacy; and it is formed that this was intended to repretended, that by rubbing his body present the wanderings of Ceres and with hemlı ck he is enabled more eali- Proserpine ; and that, in their rapid ely io observe this law.
volutions, they took their forches, The office of the second minister is and frequently haoded them from one to carry the sacred torch in the cere. to another. The fame which they monies, and purify those who prefent agitate, it is fid, purifies their fouls, themselves for initiat!on : he, like the and is the emblem of that light by Hierophant, has the right to wear a which they are to be illuminated. diadem. The two others are the sa On one of the days games were cecred herald, and the afliftant at the lebrated in honour of the goddesles. altar; the office of the former is to Famous athletæ, from the different command the profane to retire, and to countries of Greece, repaired to ihe maintain silence and serious thought- festival; and the reward of the coo. fulness among the initiated; that of queror was a measure of barley, grown the latter is io alhift the others in their on the neighbouring plain, the inhabiseveral functions.
tants of which, instructed by Ceres, The respect they claim from the were the firit who cultivated that spesanctity of their ministry is still more cies of corn. heightened by their illustrious birth. On the fixth day, which is the most The Hierophant is chosen from the splendid, the prielis, accompanied by bouse of ihe Eumolpidæ, one of the the initiated, carried from Athens to most ancient in Athens; and the fa. Eleufis the statue of Iacchus, who is cred herald from that of the Ceryces, said to have been the son either of Cewhich is a branch of the Eumolpidæ. res or of Proferpine. The god was The two others are chosen from fa- crowned with myrtle, and bore a milies equally illustrious; and all the torch. Nearly thirty thousand pericus four have under them several subaltern followed, and the air refuunded with ministers, fuch as interpreters, chant- the name of lacchus. The procesios, ers, and officers whose place it is to regulated by the found of musical inarrange the processions, and regulate ft: uments and the chanting of hymns, the minutiæ of the different ceremo was sometimes interrupted by lacrifi. nies.
cesand dances. The statue was brought There are also at Eleusis priestesses into the temple at Eleusis; and aftercorsecrated to Ceres and Proserpine. ward carried back to its own, with the They may initiate certain persons ; fame pomp and ceremonies. and, on particular days in the year, Many of those who followed in the offer sacrifices for individuals. procetion bad yet been only admitted
The second of the archuns presides into the lefler mysteries, ci lebrated at the festivals, and is especially char- annually in a fmall ten ple fucated near ged to maintain order in them, and to the Illus, at the gates of AthensSee that no irregularities are admitted There one of the priests of the second into the celebration of the religious order is appointed to examine and prerites. Thele last several days. The pare the candidates. He excludes initiated sometimes interrupt their ihem if they have been guilty of for: Deep to continue their ceremonies. cery, or of any atrocious crime ; and We saw them, during the night, leaye especially if they have committed bo
micide, even though involuntarily.- “ hence be the profane, the impious, He enjoins the others frequent expia- “ and all those whose fouls are polluttions, and convincing them of the ne “ed with guilt.” After this notices cerity of preferring the light of truth death would be the punishment of any to che darkness of error, disseminates peison who should have the rashness in their minds the feeds of the facred to remain in the assembly without do&trine. He exhorts them to repress having been initiated. The second every violent pallion; and, by purity of priest caused the kiss of the victims mind and heart, to merit the inesti- offered in sacrifice to be spread under mable benefit of initiation.
our feet, an 1 purified us anew. The Their noviciate sometimes continues ritual of initiation was read aloud, and several years, and must last at least one hymns were sung in honour of Ceres. eptire year. During the time of their Soon after a hollow found was trial, the candidates attend he fefti heard, and the earth seemed to groan vals of Eleafis ; but remain without beneath our feet: we heard thunder ; the gate of the temple, and anxioufly and perceived, by the glare of light: wait the hour in which they fhall be niog, phantoms and spectres wanderpermitted to enter.
ing in darkness, and filling the holy This hour bad at length arrived. places with howlings that chilled us The following night was appointed for with terror, and groans that rent our the ceremonies of initiation into the hearts. Agonizing pain, corroding greater myfteries. As a preparation care, poverty, difeafes, and death, for them, facrifices and prayers were presented themselves to our eyes in offered for the prosperity of the states dreadful and funereal forms. The by the second archon, attended by four Hierophant explained to us thefe fealfitants, chosen by the people. The veral emblems, and his animated denorices were crowned with myrtle. scription till added to our inquietude
The robes in which they are initi- and our fears. Ated are supposed to acquire such fanc In the mean time, by the assistance tity by the ceremony, that the greater of a feeble light, we advanced topart continue to wear them till they wards that part of the infernal shades are quite worn out; and others make where fouls are purified, till they arthem into swaddling clothes for their rive at the abodes of happiness. Here, children, or hang them up in the tem- amid a multitude of plaintive cries, ple. We saw the candidates enter we heard the bitter lamentations of the facred inclosure ; and the next day those who had deprived themselves of one of the newly initiated, with whom life. “ They are punished,” said the I was particularly intimate, gave me Hierophant," because they have dean account of some ceremonies to “ serted the post which the gods had which he had been witness.
“ alsigned them in this world.” We found, faid be, the priesis of Scarcely had he uttered these the temple habited in their pontifical words, than the-brazen gates, openvestments. The Hierophant, who on ing with a dreadful noise, disclosed to this occasion represents the Creator of our view the horrors of Tartarus. the universe, wis invelled with lyri- We heard the clanking of chains, and bols fignificatory of the Supreme the cries of the tortured ; and, amid Power; the torch-bearer, and the af- piercing shrieks and lamentable groans, fiftant at the altar, with those of the distinguished at intervals these words : Sun and Moon; and the facred he « Learn, by our example, to revesald with those of Mercury.
rence the Gods, to be just and No sooner had we taken our places “ grateful.” For hardness of heart, than the herald proclaimed : « Far neglect of parents, and every species
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of ingratitude, there meet their punjh- fteries of Ceres. Do they only conment; as also every crime that escapes tain, said they, the history of nature the vengeance of human laws, or tends and its revolutions; or are they solely to dettroy the worship of the gods.
intended to sew that, by means of We faw the furies, armed with scourges, laws and agriculture, man has been relentlessiy pursuing the guilty. advanced from the state of barbarisnı
Thele terrific scenes, inceffanıly to that of civilized life? But why rendered more animated by the fonor. should ideas like these be covered with ous and majeltic voice of the Hiero, the veil of secresy? A disciple of Pluto phant, who appeared to be the minister modetty proposed a conjecture which of divine vengeance, filled us with I shall nere give my readers. dread; and scarcely could we recover It appears undeniable, faid he, that from our apprehenfions, when we were the necefiiy of the rewaris and punihled into delightful groves and smiling ments which await us after death was meadows, the abodes of happiness, and inculcated in the mysteries, and that the image of the Elysian Fields, llu- the initiated were presented with a reminätej by a serene and pure ligni, presentation of the different deftisies and where harmonious voices et:ered prepared for men in this and the os her the most cnchanting ibunus. Thence world. It also appears ceriain that we were brought into the fanctuary, they were taught by the Hierophart, where we beheld the latue of the god- that, among that great number of divi. dels resplendent with light, and a. nilies which are adored by the multidorned with all its richert ornaments. tude, some are pure genii, who are the Here, our trials were to end, and here ministers of the will of the Supreme we saw and heard things which it is being, and regula:e, subservient to his not permitted to reveal. I Mall only commands, all the motions of the u. add that, in the intoxica:ion of a holy niverfe ; while others have been only joy, we sang hymos, in which we con mere mortals, wiose tombs are ftill gratulated ourselves on our happinels. to be seen in different paris of
Such was the account I received Greece. from my newly initiated friend : I Is it not, therefore, natural to imaJearned from another a circumstance gine, that the inititutors of the mystewhich he had omitted. On one of sies, wishing to diffuse a more just in the days of the festival, the Hiero- dea of the Supreme Being, earnestly, phant uncovered the mystic baskets, endeavoured to establish a doctrine, of which are carried in the pr. ceilions, which traces, more or less manifelt, and are che objects of public venera- are found in the opinions and ceremorion. They contain the sacred symbuls, nies of almost all nations--that there which may not be seen by the profane; is one God, who is the author and but which, however, are only cakes end of all things ? and this doctrine of different shapes, fome grains of salt, is, in my opinion, the momentous leand other things, relative either to the cree revealed to the initiated. history of Ceres, or to the doctrines The eftablifhment of this religious taught in the mysteries. The initiat- affocation was doubtless favoured by ed, after having removed them from political views. Polytheism had be. one basket into another, affirm that come general, when it was perceived they have falled and drank Ciceon. what fatal consequences resulied to
Among those who have not been ini- morality from a worship, the objects of tiated, I have frequently heard men which were only multiplied to authoof sense and learning communicate to rize every species of injustice and vice; each other doubts and opinions con- but this worship was equally agreeable serving the doctrines taught in the my- to the people from its antiquity, and
even from its imperfections. Far, us several circumstances of the
of therefore, from fruitlessly at:emping Proserpine, the pursuit of Ceres, and to abolish it, endeavours were made by her arrival and stay at Eleusis : the the legislator to counterbalance it by environs of that town are covered with a more pure religion, which should re monuments erected in honour of the pair the injurics done to focieży by goddess; and the stone on which it is polytheism. As the multicade are pretended she sat down when exhaustmore easily restrained by the laws than ed with fatigue, is still thewn. Tius, by manners, it was thought they might on the one hand, persons of litle be abandoned to fuperftitions, of which knowledge and discernment suffer it would be easy to prevent the abuse; themselves to be perfuaded by appearbut, as the more enlightened citizens ances that favour their prejudices; and, are influenced more by manners than on the other, the initiated, pen trating by the laws, it was judged proper to to the spirit of the mysteries, believe communicate to them a doctrine a. they may rely on the purity of their dapted to render them virtuous. intentions. You are now able to conceive why Whatever foundation there may
be the gods are permitted to be introdu- for the conjecture I have here given, ced in ludicrous situarions on the stage initiation is at present little more than of Athens. The magitrates, deliver- an idle ceremony: those who receive ed from the false ideas of polytheism, it are not more virtuous than others ; attempt not to repress a liberty which they every day violate the vow they can do no injury to the people, and have made to abitaio from fowl, fith, which contributes to their anuoment. poinegranates, beans, and many other
You likewise understand how two kinds of pulse and fruits. Many areligions, fo oppolite in their doctrines, mong them have contracted this facred have sublifted for so long a time in the engagement in a manner by no means fame place, without disturbance or ri- suitable to its object; for, almost in valry; it is because, ihough their doc. our time, the government, to retrieve trines are different, their language is the exhausted stare of the finances, the same; and truth snews that re- has been known to grant per million spect ro error which it may be expec- that the right of participating in the ted to require.
mysteries should be purchaled, and The mysteries externally have the women of dilulute life have long been appearance of the religious worthip a- admitted to initiation: a time theredopted by the people. The hymns fore must arrive when the most sacred which are sung in public, and the great- of ass. ciations will be entirely corrupcer part of the ceremonies, present to ed and disfigured.
Marriage Ceremonies of the Ancient Grecians. From the fame.
of Delos; and the numerous and by these multiplied triumphs preyouth which the god had allembled pared the way for the most glorious of around him, acknowledged no other all the marriage of Ismene and TheaJaws than his. Sometimes, in con- geanes. cert with Hymen, he crowned the As I was a witness to the cerenioconftancy of faithful lovers; fome. nies with which this union was acrimes he excited a cender languor and companied, I shall proceed to relate
them, and describe practices which the of poppy, sesamum, and other plants laws, cuslom, and fupartition have facred to Venus. Thus habited, they introduced, to provide for the securi- mounted a chariot, and proceeded ty and happin:ss of the most sacred of towards the temple. Ismene bad engagements : and if, in this account, Theageanes on her right, and on her some apparen:ly frivolous circumstan- left a friend of Theagenes, who was ces should be found, they will ac to follow him in this ceremony. The quire importance and dignity from the people who thronged around them simplicity of the times from which scattered flowers and perfumes in their they derive their origin.
way. They cried out: These are Silence and tranquillity began to not mortals ; it is Apollo and Corobe restored at Delos. The multitude nis; it is Diana and Endymion ; it of strangers diminished like a river, is Apollo and Diana. They fought to which, after having overflowed the procure us favourable omens, and to plain, gradually retires into its bed. prevent such as were of evil portent. The inhabitants of the island had risen One faid: I saw this moroing two before the dawn ; they were crowned turtles long hover in the air, and at with flowers, and incefiantly offered length rest together on a branch of up, in the temples, and before their that Another said: Drive houses, facrifices to render the gods away the fulitary crow, and let her go propitious to the marriage of Ilmene. far hence to mourn the loss of her The moment when it was to be con- faithful companion ; for she brings the cluded was arrived. We were affem- most ill-boding of avguries. bled in the house of Philocles: the The bride and bridegroom were re. door of the apartment of Ismene open- ceived at the gate of the temple by a ed, and we saw her and Theagencs priest, who presented to each of them come out of it, followed by their pa- a branch of ivy, the symbol of the rents, and a public officer, who had bonds by which they were to be for just drawn up the instrument of their ever united. He then conducted engagement. The conditions of this them to the altar, where every thing engagement were simple ; in it no pro- was prepared for the sacrifice of a vilion had been made for any discuf- heifer to Diana, to the chaste Diana, fion of interest between their relatives, whom, as well as Minerva, and the nor any cause of divorce between the other divinities who had never subcontracting parties : and, with respect miited to the yoke of Hymen, they to the marriage porrion, as Theagenes thus endeavoured to appease. They was already related to Philocles, it also implored Jupiter and Juno, whole was thought sufficient to mention a union and loves shall be eternal; law of Solon's; which, to prevent the the Heavens and the Earth, the conproptrty of a family from being curence of which produces fertility and carried out
enaels that plenty; the Parcæ, because they hold heiresles shall marry their nearest kinf- in their hands the life of mortals; the
Graces, becaus: they embellish the We were dressed in magnificent pleasures of barpy marriages; and, habits, which had received lantly, Venus, from whom Love from Ilmene. That which Theagenes derives his birth, and who bestows wore was her own work. Her orn. happiness on mortals. ments were, a necklace of precious The priests, after having examined stones, and a por;le robe embroidered the intrails of the vi&ims, declared that with goll. Ich wore on their hair, the gods approved the marriage. To which fowed on their shoulders, and conclude the ceremonies, we proceed. was perfumed with essences, crowas ed to the Artemisium, where the