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quarrels, and gathered with such zeal in defence of their com mon country, that the endearing term mother-land (urtois) arose first among them; and hence also came the word syncretism (ovyzontiouós). And, when its ancient fame had tempted the ambition of the Romans to include it in the vast sweep of their conquests, they found it any thing but an easy task to overcome the resistance of the Cretans. The Roman general was confident of success; but he soon found out his mistake, and was severely punished for his arrogance. The Cretans intercepted a great part of his fleet, took his soldiers prisoners, and hung them at the yard-arm. But it was a fatal success; for Rome never pardoned a defeat.

The Cretans had an ancient custom of marking every fortunate day of their lives with a white stone, and every evil day with a black one; and then, throwing these stones into their quivers, they reckoned the number of days they had lived by the number of white stones. They must have used a very black stone indeed to mark the day when the Roman eagles were descried again from the mountain-tops, glittering in the sunlight on the distant sea; for though they made a desperate defence, and compelled the Romans to buy their victory with the blood of their bravest legions, yet fortune was against them. Fate was riding roughshod over the ancient world; and they who had led on the purple dawn of Hellenism were the necessary victims of its incomplete development. The first care of the Romans was to abolish the laws of Minos, and establish those of Numa; for Strabo says that in his time the Cretan institutions were already no longer in force, because the Romans had compelled them to adopt theirs.

The Cretan archers and slingers appear as mercenaries in Greece and Asia. Pausanias saw their tombstones, on his way to the Academy, next to those of Thessalian horsemen. And the Sfakiots, the brave mountaineers of Crete, still uphold the reputation of their ancestors, whose true descendants all the testimony agrees they are. Secluded in their mountain homes, they have preserved not merely the unmixed blood and the haughty carriage of the ancient Cretan soldiers, but a good many of the ancient customs. In Belon's time

they still carried the bow and quiver; but they appear with them now only on festive occasions, when they assume the old national costume, and dance the old Pyrrhic dance invented by their fathers untold centuries ago, the dance that was held in such honor, that it was equally disgraceful and equally an offence against the law to desert the ranks of the dancers and the line of battle in the face of the enemy. In Savary's time, the Sfakiots, when they executed it, were clad in the ancient costume, a short robe, tightened round the waist by a girdle, with breeches and buskins, and quiver on their shoulder, and bow in their hand, and a long sword at their side. According to Mr. Pashley, the dress of the peasant still resembles that of antiquity; for he still wears the boots described by Galen, and the short cloak mentioned by Eupolis and Aristophanes. And even the dialect of the Sfakiots still exhibits peculiarities that have probably come down from the days of Minos; for, however long the tide of foreign conquest, Roman or Saracen or Italian or Turkish, may have submerged the lowlands, it has never swept up to the mountain retreats of this ancient and hardy tribe. Their dialect, indeed, is claimed by some to have an affinity with the Doric. One of the most competent judges of modern times, the late Colonel Leake, pronounces it to be genuine Hellenic, in a state of extreme corruption; while the accurate German. traveller, Sieber, infers the purity of their descent, not merely from their isolated position, but especially from the great similarity in their physiognomy.

So, too, the marriage festivals among the Cretans at the present day still exhibit the beautiful symbolism of the ancient life. They decorate the walls of the bride's chamber, says Captain Spratt, with loaves of wheaten bread, as an omen of plenty and peace; and upon the pillows of the nuptial bed they lay three wreaths, woven of leaves of thorn and myrtle and orange the thorn as an emblem of long life and endurance under its cares, and the myrtle and orange-leaves as a token that the love of husband and wife should be as lasting and as fragrant as the evergreens. And when the priest says, in concluding the marriage ceremony, "Glory and honor to you

who are crowned," they throw cotton seeds, and myrtle and orange-leaves, upon bride and bridegroom. And, as they pass the house of the bridegroom's mother, the bride dips the little finger of the right hand in a pot of virgin honey, and makes four crosses on the door with it, in token that her love is as holy and sweet and strong as this symbol of her faith. And then they present her with a pomegranate, which she throws down, scattering its ruby-colored fruit upon the floor, as a token of her desire that her house may be filled with as many goods as there are seeds thus scattered. And finally they enter the bride's house; and the bride and bridegroom, taking their seats side by side upon the couch at the end of the room, the young virgins gather around them, and sing songs in praise of the happy and honored pair. Has Theocritus described any thing more idyllic?

So, too, the old Cretan institutions sanctioned solemn friendships between male friends and also between female friends, and the Greek Church does the same to-day; the spiritual relationship thus established being held so sacred, that marriages cannot take place between those immediately connected with the contracting parties. And if the Cretan peasants still have their superstitions, they are quite harmless compared with many that desolate Italy and Spain and other Catholic countries. If they still cherish the memory of the Cretan labyrinth as one of the seven wonders of the ancient world, and naïvely believe that these seven wonders correspond to the seven sacraments of the Christian Church; or if they people the fountains with holy virgins, as their fathers did with the Naiads, it is surely a much less baneful fancy than the necromancy and kindred delusions that prevail in New England at this moment.


If any thing, however, were wanted to refute the charge of degeneracy so often brought against the modern Greeks, it would be the terrible earnestness with which the Cretans are now struggling to conquer their independence. We have already alluded in these pages to the Revolution of 1821, which resulted in the establishment of the present Hellenic kingdom, as well as to some of the political events which have

since occurred; and we have nothing now to add to what we have said as to the character and vitality of the Greek genius.*

The history of the present struggle may be embraced in a few words. It began in April of last year, when, unable to endure any longer the unheard-of tyranny of the Turks, the Cretans assembled, and addressed a memorial to the Sultan, imploring relief, and showing that for the two preceding years the taxes they had been forced to pay into the Ottoman treasury exceeded the revenues of the island. The Sultan replied after three months, by landing a body of thirty thousand Turkish-Egyptian troops. During July and August, there was no collision; but when, on the 31st of August, Mustapha Pacha landed on the island with instructions to refuse all concessions on the part of the Porte, the Christians collected their forces, and, taking a solemn oath to obtain their liberty and be united with Greece, or die in the attempt, went into the conflict with a calmness and intrepidity which challenges comparison with any thing recorded in the annals of man. And now for about five months and a half, up to the moment when we write these words, they have never quailed before the deadly task they have set themselves. They have seen their wives and children massacred, and their houses and fields burned and laid waste; and they have fought on, with God's voice only to cheer them.

The Minotaur was once a fabulous animal in Crete: he is fabulous no longer. Half bull, half man, he stalks to-day, raging with the fury of ten thousand fiends, over that doomed isle, trampling all things, man, woman, child, orchards, olive groves, meadows, under his brutal hoof. Once and again the tribute of the choicest youths and maidens of matchless beauty has been offered up to him, but only to whet his insatiable appetite and to fire his godless lust. It remains but for some brave Theseus to slay him. And let us hope that he will appear, on board an iron-clad, and with a Spencer rifle, for the beautiful Ariadne, the beaming, radiant goddess,

* See Christian Examiner for May, 1862, and July, 1864.

the white-winged genius

Aridela, as the Cretans called her, of liberty, waits to give him the key to the labyrinth, and conduct him to the monster's lair; that so in the beast's blood the bond may be for ever severed which, binding Asia with Europe, leagues together in an infamous union the aspiring intellect and the purer hope of the West, with the filthy vices and the sodden despair of the East.

The long struggle by which the Turks conquered Crete from Venice cost them so many lives, that the island has been known among them ever since as the Mussulmans' grave. It will be so indeed, if, as all the signs indicate, the Cretans succeed; for Islam, once dead in Crete, will have received its death-blow in Europe. "The man who has not learned to die for liberty is unworthy the enjoyment of it," was the dominant idea of the ancient Doric race; and the Doric race colonized Crete.




WHEN, two or three years ago, Mr. Mill made his celebrated attack on the philosophy of Hamilton and its defenders, it was a matter of curious interest, apart from the points in controversy, to see how he would maintain himself in that comparatively unfamiliar field. The listener pricked up his ears, at hearing the logician, the political economist, the student of positive science, discourse so confidently of metaphysics as taught by Plato, Kant, or the more modern masters. The reader rubbed his eyes at statements respecting Hamilton's opinions and arguments, which seemed to show that we had all been under a delusion in giving him credit for any consistent method, or any genuine learning, or any intellectual discernment. We felt a certain painful and perplexed interest to know what could be said in vindication of so great a name. There was a deliberation, a confidence of conviction, a decision of utterance in Mr. Mill's assertions, which made it seem impossible that his charges could be groundless, while his great reputation as a thinker commanded much reliance,

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