Page images
PDF
EPUB

and looking-glasses, which, with the decorations of the ceiling and walls, may be considered as almost the only appendages to a Grecian apartment. The principal room (or what with us would be the drawing-room) was large, lofty, and decorated with much richness. Its height was sufficient for a double row of windows along three sides of the apartment; all these windows, however, being small, and so situated as merely to admit light without allowing any external view. The ceiling was profusely ornamented with painting and gilding upon carved wood, the walls divided into panels, and decorated in the same way, with the addition of several pier-glasses. A couch or divan, like those described in the seraglio, passed along three sides of the apartment, and superseded equally the use of chairs and tables, which are but rarely found in a Greek house.

“ The dining-room was also large, but furnished with less decoration; and the same with the other livingapartments. The kitchen and servants' rooms were con- . nected by a passage with the great gallery ; but this gallery itself formed a privileged place to all the members of the family, and it was seldom that some of the domestics might not be seen here partaking in the sports of the children, and using a familiarity with their superiors which is sufficiently common in the south of Europe, but very unusual in England. Bedchambers are not to be sought for in Greek or Turkish habitations. The sofas of their living-apartments are the place of nightly repose with the higher classes; the floor with those of inferior rank. Upon the sofas are spread their cotton or woollen mattresses, cotton sheets, sometimes with worked muslin trimmings, and ornamented quilts. Neither men nor women take off more than a small part of their dress; and the lower classes seldom make any change whatever before throwing themselves down .among the coarse woollen cloaks which form their

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

nightly covering. In this point the oriental customs
are much more simple than those of civilized Europe.
." The separate communication of the rooms with an
open gallery renders the Greek houses very cold in
winter, of which I had reason to be convinced during
both my residences at Ioannina. The higher class of
Greeks seldom use any other means of artificial warmth
than a brazier of charcoal in the middle of the apart-
ment, trusting to their pelisses and thick clothing for
the rest. Sometimes the brazier is placed under a table,
covered with a thick rug cloth which falls down to the
floor. The heat is thus confined, and the feet of those
sitting round the table acquire an agreeable warmth,
which is diffused to the rest of the body.
: “ The family of Metzou generally rose before eight
o'clock. Their breakfast consisted simply of one or
two cups of coffee, served up with a salver of sweet-
meats, but without any more substantial food. In con-
sideration to dir grosser morning appetites, bread,
honey, and rice-milk, were added to the repast which
was set before us. Our host, who was always addressed
with the epithet of Affendi by his children and domes-
tics, passed much of the morning in smoking, in walk-
ing up and down the gallery, or in talking with his
friends who called upon him. Nột being engaged in
commerce, and influenced perhaps by his natural
timidity, he rarely quitted the house; and I do not
recollect to have seen him more than five or six times
beyond the gates of the area of his dwelling. His lady,
meanwhile, was engaged either in directing her house-
hold affairs, in working embroidery, or in weaving silk
thread. The boys were occupied during a part of the
morning in learning to read and write the Romaic with
a young man who officiated as tutor, the mode of
instruction not differing much from that common elsc-
where.

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

ed it timale domen in suster uported out

“ The dinner hour of the family was usually between twelve and one, but from complaisance to us they delayed it till two o'clock. Summoned to the diningroom, a female domestic, in the usage of the east, presented to each person in succession a large basin with soap, and poured tepid water upon the hands from a brazen ewer. This finished, we seated ourselves at the table, which was simply a circular pewter tray, still called trapeza, placed upon a stool, and without cloth or other appendage. The dinner consisted generally of ten or twelve' dishes, presented singly at the table by an Albanian servant, habited in his national costume. The dishes afforded some, though not great variety; and the enumeration of those at one dinner may suffice as a general example of the common style of this repast in a Greek family of the higher class :- First, a dish of boiled rice flavoured with lemon-juice; then a plate of mutton boiled to rags ; another plate of mutton cooked with spinach or onions, and rich sauces; a Turkish dish composed of force-meat with vegetables, made into balls; another Turkish dish, which appears as a large flat cake, the outside of a rich and greasy, paste, the inside composed of eggs, vegetables, with a small quantity of meat: following this, a plate of baked mutton, with raisins and almonds, boiled rice with oil, omelet balls, a dish of thin cakes made of flour, eggs, and honey; or sometimes, in lieu of these, small cakes made of flour, coffee, and eggs; and the repast finished by a dessert of grapes, raisins, and chesnuts. But for the presence of strangers, the family would have ate in common from the dishes successively brought to the table; and even with separate plates before them this was frequently done. The thin wine of the country was drunk during the repast; but neither in eating or drinking is it common for the Greeks to indulge in excess.

: “ The dinner tray removed, the basin and ewer were again carried round,-a practice which is seldom omitted even among the inferior classes in this country. After an interval of a few minutes, a glass of liquor and coffee were handed to us, and a Turkish pipe presented to any one who desired it. In summer a short siesta is generally taken at this hour, but now it was not considered necessary. After passing an hour or two on the couches of the apartment, some visitors generally arrived, and the family moved to the larger room before described. These visitors were Greeks of the city, some of them relations, others friends of the family, who did not come on formal invitation, but in an unreserved way, to pass the evening in conversation. This mode of society is common in Ioannina, and, but that the women take little part in it, might be considered extremely pleasant. When a visitor enters the apartment, he salutes and is saluted by the right hand placed on the left breast,—a method of address at once simple and dignified: Seated on the couch, sweetmeats, coffee, and a pipe, are presented to him; and these form, in fact, the only articles of entertainment."

of a slavand barbar to Asha

« Truly,” said Egeria, - that does not indeed look very much like a description of the habitation of a slave. I must confess that of late my ideas of slavery and barbarism have been strangely unsettled. Bowdich's mission to Ashantee has opened up a view of the state of Africa of which I had formed no previous conception. Really it would seem that the barbaric pearl and gold there are wonderfully like the pomps and pageantries among ourselves. Turn up the volume at page 34, and you will find the description to which I allude.”

AFRICAN MANNERS.

“ An area of nearly a mile in circumference was crowded with magnificence and novelty. The king, his tributaries and captains, were resplendent in the distance, surrounded by attendants of every description, fronted by a mass of warriors which seemed to make our approach impervious. The sun was reflected, with a glare scarcely more supportable than the heat, from the massy gold ornaments which glistened in every direction. More than a hundred bands burst at once on our arrival, with the peculiar airs of their several chiefs ; the horns flourished their defiances, with the beating of innumerable drums and metal instruments, and then yielding for a while to the soft breathings of their long flutes, which were truly harmonious; and a pleasing instrument, like a bagpipe without the drone, was happily blended. At least a hundred large umbrellas, or canopies, which could shelter thirty persons,' were sprung up and down by the bearers with brilliant effect, being made of scarlet, yellow, and the most showy cloths and silks, and crowned on the top with crescents, pelicans, elephants, barrels, and arms and swords of gold: they were of various shapes, but mostly dome; and the valances (in some of which small looking-glasses were inserted) fantastically scalloped and fringed: from the fronts of some the proboscis and small teeth of elephants projected, and a few were roofed with leopard skins, and crowned with various animals naturally stuffed. The state hammocks, like long cradles, were raised in the rear, the poles on the heads of the bearers; the cựshions and pillows were covered with crimson taffeta, and the richest cloths hung over the sides. Innumerable small umbrellas, of various coloured stripes, were crowded in the intervals,

« PreviousContinue »