The Baldwin Library
f( Uni rit
ALFRED J. CHURCH.
The Story of Carthage. "Story of the Nations"
The Story of Early England. "Story of the
Nations" Series. (In press.)
Stories from Homer.
Stories from Virgil.
Stories from the Greek Tragedians.
Stories from Livy.
Roman Life in the Days of Cicero.
Stories of the Persian War.
Stories from Herodotus.
Two Thousand Years Ago.
The Count of the Saxon Shore.
Stories of the Magicians.
With the King at Oxford.
The Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem.
A Traveller's True Tale from Lucian.
HERA AND THE CHARIOT OF THE SUN.-Frontispiece.
A STORY OF HOME IN OLD TIME
REV. ALFRED J. CHURCH, M.A.
PROFESSOR OF LATIN IN UNIVERSITY COLLEGE, LONDON
WITH ILLUSTRATIONS AFTER FLAXMAN AND THE ANTIQUE
NEW YORK & LONDON
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
1 ictr889h L
G. P. PUTNAM'S SONS
I.-THE HOME IN ATHENS I
II.--THE HOME AT MARATHON 12
III.-AT THE TOILET 21
IV.-OLD HYLAX 31
V.-READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC 40
VI.-A FRIEND 49
VII.-THE END OF SCITON. 60
VIII.-A VOYAGE 69
X.-THE PEIRYEUS 99
XI.-A FAMILY SACRIFICE. IIO
XII.-AT SPARTA. 123
XIII.-THE STORY OF ARISTOMENES 140
XIV.-A MARRIAGE 152
XV.-GOOD-BYE TO SPARTA 167
XVI.-AT CORINTH 179
XVII.--THE GAMES 190
XVIII.-AT HOME AGAIN 200
LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS
HERA AND THE CHARIOT OF THE SUN
ULYSSES AND HIS DOG
THE FUNERAL OF SCITON.
ATOSSA'S DREAM .
THE SACRIFICE .
LEON AND ELPINIC .
THE OMEN .
A CHILD PRESENTED IN THE TEMPLE
GOING TO THE WARS
PLAYING AT BALL
AT THE VINTAGE .
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
THE HOME IN ATHENS.
I AM going to tell you about some Greek
children, who lived more than two thousand
years ago in a city called Athens. The city
stands still, and the ruins of many of its old
buildings are to be seen. Most of these build-
ings were temples, in which these people used
to worship their many gods. There was Phce-
bus, the sun-god; and Hera, the goddess of
power; and Athene, the goddess of wisdom;
and Demeter, or mother-earth. For they did
not know, as did the Jews-who had, you will
remember, but one temple,-that there is but
one God from whom all good things come down
to men. Athens was one of the richest and
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
most beautiful cities of the world, and very
powerful too; only at the particular time of
which I am writing the people were in great
distress. Their enemies sent an army every
year into their country, and shut them up in
their walls during all the spring and summer
time. Thousands and thousands more than the
city could properly hold were crowded into it;
numbers of people had no houses to live in, and
had to do as best they could under carts tilted
up, and even in great barrels-any thing that
could give them shelter. Even the rich felt
this trouble very much, and especially the chil-
dren, who had no out-door games; for the
streets were, of course, not fit for them to play
in, and they got sadly tired, in the hot days, of
being always shut up in their nurseries.
It is a very hot day in July, and the three
children I am going to tell you about are feel-
ing very tired, and, I am afraid, a little cross.
There are two girls, Gorgo and Rhodium (Rho-
dium means Little Rose), and a boy, Hipponax
(which is in English Iorse King). Gorgo
THE HOME IN A THENS.
and Rhodium are playing with dolls, not made
of wax or wood, like our English dolls, but of
clay, and painted to make them look like sol-
diers, sailors, and merchants, or ladies finely
dressed, or working women. Gorgo, who is the
elder of the two girls, likes soldier dolls, and
has divided hers into two little armies. One
army she calls Spartans (the Spartans were the
enemies who were shutting up the people in the
walls), and the other Athenians. She sits on
the floor and rolls a ball, first into one army
and then into the other. I don't think -that
she rolls it quite fairly, for more of the Spartans
are upset than of the Athenians. Gorgo is just
ten years old. Her sister, who is four years
younger, does not care about soldier dolls, but
is never tired of playing at mother, nurse, and
child, with three dolls which her own nurse
has dressed up for her. Hipponax, who is four,
is amusing himself with a cockchafer, which
one of the servants has caught for him. It has
got a thread tied round it, and he holds the
other end of the thread in his hand and lets it
4 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
fly about the room. This is rather a cruel
game, and his sisters seem to think so, for when
the little boy runs out of the room to get a
drink of water, Gorgo says to Rhodium: "I do
wish that tiresome child would find something
else to play with besides these wretched cock-
chafers. They do make such a nasty buzzing,
and, besides, they fly up against one's face, and I
don't like the feel of them at all. And I am
sure they must be very unhappy. I shall cut
the thread while he is away, and let the poor
Oh! but he will be so angry," said Rho-
dium, who is a timid, peaceable child, and
rather, afraid of her sturdy little brother, who
has already begun to think that he is very much
better than his sisters.
He may be as angry as he likes," says Gor-
go, and cuts the thread which the little boy had
tied to the leg of a chair.
Hipponax came back just in time to see the
beetle fly off through the open window, and
very angry he was. He knew that Gorgo had
THE HOME IN A TENS.
let it go, and, small as he was, he was ready to
fly at her, when Rhodium, the peacemaker, had
a happy thought.
"Brother, dear," she said, "will you have my
chariot to play with? "
It was a beautiful little toy of ivory, with four
horses made of wood, and so beautifully carved
and painted that, but for their size, they might
have seemed alive. The girl's uncle had given
it her the year before, when he won the chariot
race at the great games of Olympia. Little
Hipponax thought it ought to belong to him.
"What have girls to do with horses and
chariots ?" he would say; but I am the Horse
King." It was a special treat for him to be al-
lowed to play with it, and poor Rhodium used
to look on in great fear while he dragged it
about the room, pretending that he was winning
a race. This is what he began to do now, and
his two sisters played at being the people that
look on, and clapped their hands and shouted,
while he ran about with it.
Happily, before any mischief was done, the
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
nurse came back, and the children left their
play to ask her for a story.
Nurse was a Spartan woman. Rich people
always got Spartan nurses for their children if
they could, for they had a way of keeping them
in order without being unkind. She had come
into the family just after Gorgo's birth, and
could not bear to leave the dear little baby when
the war broke out between her country and
Athens. And there she had stopped ever since,
and the children loved her almost as much as
they loved their mother.
"A story, nurse a story !" they all cried.
"Have you been good children?" she said.
Hipponax hung his head, but as he had not
actually beaten his sister she was able to give
him a good character.
So nurse made the two girls sit by her, and
took Hipponax on her knee, and told them the
STORY OF THE BOY WHOM DEMETER LOVED.
Once upon a time the goddess Demeter went
wandering about the world looking for her
THE HOME IN A THEN. 7
daughter, whom she had lost, and in her wan-
derings she came to this country in which we are
now living. There was a poor man that had a
small farm about ten miles from the city. He
had two children, one a girl of about ten years
old, and the other a baby-boy. The girl took
care of two goats, which she used to lead out to
pasture and to milk. One day as she was com-
ing home she saw Demeter, who was dressed as
a poor woman, sitting on a stone near the house.
' Mother,' she said, is there any thing that you
want ?' And when Demeter said nothing, but
only shook her head and began to cry (for it was
a sad thing to be called 'mother' now that she
had lost her daughter), the little girl ran to her
father and told him about the poor woman. The
kind man came out and begged her to come in,
though it was but a poor place, he said. Now
it so happened that the baby-boy was very ill.
Indeed, his mother had no hope that he would
ever be well; but when Demeter went up to him
and kissed him as he lay in the cradle, at once
he began to get better, and before half an hour
8 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
was over he was kicking and crowing as if he
had never been ill in his life. Then they sat
down to supper-some curds and whey made
out of goat's milk, and honey in the comb, and
But had n't they any bread ?" broke in little
"No, my child," said nurse; "no one knew
then how to make bread.
"When they all went to bed Demeter said
that she would sit up by the fire, for she felt she
could not sleep. 'About midnight, when all
were sound asleep, she took the baby out of his
cradle, and laid him in the middle of the fire. Ah
you look frightened; but she knew what she
was about. She had done something to the child
that the fire should not hurt him, but only burn
out of him what was weak and mortal, so that
he should not die like other people. But when
this was half done the mother, who was still a
little anxious about the baby, happened to wake
and put her hand very gently on the cradle.
And lo it was empty That woke her up, you
TIHE HOME IN A THEN. 9
may be sure, thoroughly, and she sprang out of
bed, and going into the other room saw the child
lying in the middle of the fire. She had it out
in a moment, making sure that it must be dread-
fully burnt, if it was not dead. How astonished
she was when she found it was not hurt at all!
Then Demeter said, not angrily, but sadly:
'Foolish mother, why did you not trust me, and
leave him there ? Now your child will die some
day like other men and women. Still, I will
make him a wise man, for he shall learn to plough,
and sow, and reap.' And this is how people
first got to grow wheat, and to make bread."
Nurse had just finished her story when some-
thing happened that was very rare indeed-the
children's father came into the nursery, for gen-
erally they went down to see him. But now he
had such good news to tell them that he could
"There is peace, dear children," he said;
"peace has been made to-day."
"And we shall be able to go to our dear
country home ? said Gorgo.
IO THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
Yes," said he, though I am afraid that you
will find it in a very sad state."
All the rest of the day the children were al-
most out of their minds with joy. When the
two younger ones had gone to bed, nurse said
to Gorgo: "Now I am going to tell you a
story about another Gorgo, who lived many
years ago in my own dear country. I would
not tell you before, because I was sure that
you did not like my people, and did not care to
know any thing about them. But now that we
ae friends again you shall hear it.
"This Gorgo was daughter to one of our
kings, and was about a year younger than you
are. One day she was playing with her dolls
in her father's room, when a stranger was talk-
ing to him on some very serious business. The
stranger wished him to take an army of Spar-
tans on a very dangerous expedition, and when
he said no, offered him money: first ten, then
twenty, then fifty talents. When the king
heard of the fifty talents he began to be shaken,
for all the Spartans, even the kings, are very
THE HOME IN A THEN. II
poor, and this was a great sum of money. Then
Gorgo looked up from her dolls, and said:
'Father, go away, or else this stranger will do
you harm.' When she grew up to be a woman
she became the wife of that Spartan king who
fought with his three hundred men against all
the army of the Persians, and I think she helped
him to be the brave man he was."
The next day when Gorgo played with her
dolls, she made them into one army, and made
believe that they were going to march against
THE HOME AT MARATHON.
IN about a week's time the three children
were able to leave Athens for their dear coun-
try home. Dear it was, though I do not think
that even Gorgo, the eldest, remembered much
about it, and little Hipponax had never even
seen it. But they had heard their father and
mother talk about it till they seemed to know
it as well as if they had lived there all their
lives. It was about ten miles from the city,
and just outside a little .village called Mara-
thon. How pleased they were when they
found that after all not much harm had been
done to the house, and garden, and farm! The
reason of this was that one of the Spartan gen-
erals had been living there, and that by great
good luck this general was nurse's own foster-
brother. He had taken care of the place for
THE HOME AT MARA THON. 13
his own sake, and also because he knew that
its owners were very kind to his foster-sister.
So the house was bright, and clean, and ready,
with a very little preparation, for them to live
in; and the garden was full of flowers, and, joy
of joys there was an orchard, with beautiful
red pomegranates and apples and pears in it.
Behind the house, too, on the slope of the hill,
there was an olive-yard, and, what the children
thought much prettier, a vineyard, in which
the grapes were beginning to grow yellow and
purple. Little Hipponax, who had scarcely
been outside the city since he was born, was
quite wild with delight. The first morning
after they got there he slipped away from
nurse as soon as he was dressed-and you
may be sure he did not give her much peace
after it had once begun to be light,-and went
to explore the beautiful new place for himself.
When he found the apples and pears hanging
on the trees he was quite astonished. He ran
into the house, and made his way to his moth-
er's room, where she was still fast asleep; for
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
mothers used to be very tired in those days,
just as they are in these, with a family "move."
0 mother he cried, do get up and come
and look at this beautiful fruit. Why, it is
really hanging on the trees "
"Why not ?" his mother said, for she was
still very sleepy, and did not remember at the
moment that her little boy had never seen a fruit-
"Oh, but, mother," he went on, "in Athens
it never used to hang on trees, but used to lie
on boards, or be piled up in baskets in the shops.
And I used to think that the men in the shops
made it, for it cost a lot of money, you used to
say, just like the other things which people
make. But now, I suppose, we may have as
much of it as we like ? "
"Yes, darling," said his mother; "or perhaps
we had better say, as much as nurse thinks good
After breakfast, while the little girls were
helping their mother to get things into order,
Hipponax went for a walk with his father
THE HOME A T MA RA THON.
round the farm. It would not be easy to say
what pleased him most, but I think it was the
kind looks that all the people that were at work
on the farm gave him. In fact, if he had not
been a very nice, simple little fellow he might
easily have been spoilt. At Athens, his father,
whose name, I should have told you, was Leon,
was not a very great man, but here he was
quite the chief person of the place, and the
"little master," whom the old servants had
never seen before, was made much of. He felt
quite hot and ashamed when the old people
kissed his hand, and won their hearts by offer-
ing his cheek instead. When they came to the
vineyard they found a very old man busy tying
up some of the clusters that were touching the
ground. He did this wonderfully well though
he had but one hand. He was dressed like the
other laborers, and Hipponax was surprised to
see his father kiss him on both cheeks, while he
said: Here is the little one, father. Is he like
the old stock?"
"The gods make it flourish !" said the old
16 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
man, and he stooped down and kissed the little
Then Leon and the old man had some talk
together about the vines and other matters of
the farm. As they were going home Hipponax
said: "Father, why did you kiss the old man
and call him father' ?"
Leon answered: "Wait till to-morrow, my
little son, and you shall hear a story that you
must never forget as long as you live."
The next day all the family went on an expe-
dition. There was a cushioned carriage drawn
by two mules; in this the children rode with
their mother and nurse. The old man, too,
whom Hipponax had seen in the vineyard, went
with them. Leon rode on horseback by the
side of the carriage. The road ran along by the
side of a little stream, which was then almost
dry. On either side were cornfields, now quite
bare, and sometimes a little cottage, with its
little clump of old, gray olive-trees. Some of
the cottages were in ruins, but the olive-trees
seemed not to have been hurt at all. After
THE HOME AT MARA THON.
they had gone four or five miles they came to
two mounds, one of which had a number of
little pillars on it. Here the carriage stopped,
and the children got down. Then Leon said to
the old man, whose name was Sciton: Sciton,
no one but you must take them to see it." So
Sciton took the little boy by the hand, and
beckoned to the girls that they were to follow.
When they came near, they saw that all the
pillars had names written on them, some more
and some less. Sciton took them to one on
which there were about thirty names, and told
Gorgo, who, you will remember, was the elder
of the two girls, to read them. It was not very
easy to spell them out, for the letters were a
little old-fashioned. But after she had looked
at them about a minute she almost screamed:
"Oh, mother, here is father's name, and
brother's too !" And sure enough there they
were: Leon, son of Hipponax. Old Sciton
looked proud and sad, too, when he heard it.
Then Leon said to him: "Tell them the story,
Sciton." So Sciton told them the story of the
18 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
great battle of Marathon, in which he had him-
self fought almost seventy years before.
"Once upon a time some people called Per-
sians came to conquer this country. They came
in ships from over the sea, and there were so
many of them that they quite covered all this
plain that you now see. Still the Athenians
went out to fight with them, and drew up their
little army-it was very little to be compared
with the Persians-just under the hills there.
Your great-grandfather was among them, and I
was allowed to go with him, though I was only
a slave then. Well, we waited several days,
and began to get very sad and dull; and there
were some who even talked about making peace.
At last one of the generals, who was my master's
uncle, persuaded the others to fight. How glad
we all were to hear it, and that very night a
thousand men from a little town called Platsea
marched in to help us. The next day, when we
had been drawn up in line and had said our
prayers, we set off running towards the enemy.
One of their prisoners afterwards told us that
THE HOME AT MARA THON. 19
they thought we were mad. Well, your great-
grandfather and I were in the middle of the
line, and we happened to have the very strongest
of the Persians to fight with, and we came up to
them all out of breath and out of order. There
were so many of them that they pushed us back,
and we had not strength to stand, though we
did not wish to move. Your great-grandfather
was a very strong man, and could run almost
any distance without getting out of breath. He
would not give way, and he was left quite alone,
and of course I could not leave him. I do not
know how many Persians he struck down, but
at last one came behind him and aimed a great
blow at his head. I put my arm up to save
him, and the sword lopped my hand sheer off
and wounded him. Then another Persian struck
him, and we fell both together. I do not re-
member any thing more; but I heard that the
middle of our line was broken-the two ends
won the battle. My dear master was dead when
they came to look for us, but I was just alive,
and when I got better they made me free. That
is his name your sister read on the pillar there."
20 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
"Well," said Leon to little Hipponax, that
is the story that you must never forget. Never
forget, too, that you have seen one of the 'men
who fought at Marathon.'"
AT THE TOILET.
IT was one of the little girl's great delights to
see their mother dress, or, perhaps I should say,
be dressed, for her maid or maids (she gener-
ally had two or three waiting on her) used to
do very nearly every thing for her. What she
used to wear is more than I can tell you. But
you can get some notion of what she looked
like when the dressing was finished from the
picture that you will find with this chapter.
One day Gorgo-little Rhodium happened
that day to be not quite well-found a new
maid waiting upon her mother. The old one,
who had been with her ever since her marriage,
was just married. This sort of thing often hap-
pens in England. A girl goes into service when
she is sixteen or seventeen years old, and then,
perhaps in ten years' time, when she has saved
22 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
up some money, she marries a young man whom
she knew at home, or whose acquaintance she has
made since, perhaps the baker's young man, or
the young fellow that calls for orders from the
grocer. But this was not at all what had hap-
pened to Lapaxo, for this was the name of the
young woman who had just married. In the
summer of the year in which Leon was married
he had gone on an expedition against some towns
in Thrace, which is the country that they now
call Albania. The expedition did not do very
much, for the Thracians were very brave and
fierce, and were always ready to meet the Athe-
nians when they tried to land. But they did
manage to take one of the towns, coming on it
by surprise early one morning, when the coun-
try people were going in to market, and the
gates happened to be blocked up by a number
of carts. When it was taken, all the people in
it were sold as slaves. This was a shocking thing
to do, but it was one of the ways in which money
was got to pay the soldiers' and sailors' wages.
This time the general got nearly 30,000 for
AT THE TOILET.
the slaves he sold. Leon did not think it was
wrong; but he had a tender heart, and when he
saw poor Lapaxo hiding her face with her hands
and crying as if her heart would break, he could
not help being very sorry for her. She was the
daughter of one of the chief men of the place,
and was a very pretty, refined-looking girl. So
Leon determined to buy her, and give her to his
wife that was to be. He had to give as much as
200 for her, for the slave-dealers who followed
the army bid very high. Happily Leon was a
rich man, and when he said out aloud: By
Hera, I will give two talents sooner than let
her go," the dealers gave up. This was how
Lapaxo came to be Elpinic6's maid.
And now you shall hear about her marriage.
For eight years she lived with her mistress,
and seemed to have no thought of a change.
She would not so much as look at any of the
slaves, and when a rich tradesman, who had
'happened to see her when he was putting up
,:!i,. beautiful purple curtains from Thyatira,
wanted to make her his wife, she said No,"
24 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
quite angrily. (You must understand that this
man was a foreigner, for, of course, no Athenian
would have thought of marrying a slave.) Well,
one day she went with her mistress to a great
service in one of the temples, and there were
some archers from Thrace keeping the road that
the crowd might not push against the ladies.
When she saw the captain of the archers, she
turned quite pale. He was her old lover. You
see the Thracians did not much care for whom
they fought, and this young man, who had been
away from the town when it was taken, had
taken service with the Athenian army, and be-
ing a brave and clever fellow, had done very
well. He recognized Lapaxo quite as quickly
as she had recognized him, and it was not long
before he found out where she lived. By great
good luck he had served under Leon, and had
once helped him when he was wounded. So
when he went with a bag of gold, which he
had saved out of his pay, and told his story, and
wanted to buy Lapaxo's freedom, Leon said:
" No, my good friend, I have long wanted to do
:I -~i~al.\l dPLc~L~p~ 1_)jI)'
I'~dsl; :\. I~
AT THE TOILET.
something for you, so I will set her free for
nothing, and you shall use the money to begin
This is quite a long story about Elpinice's
maid; but I wanted you to know how people
got their servants in those days., And how, do
you think, did the lady get her new one ? Why,
she was left to her by her aunt's will. The old
lady thought very highly of her, and left her to
Elpinic6 because she was her favorite niece.
" I bequeath," she wrote in her will, my chief
dresser, Glykerion by name, to my brother's
daughter, Elpinice, wife of Leon, son of Hip-
ponax. Let her be reckoned as of the value of
twenty minas (about 83), for indeed she is the
most skilful adorner in Athens. But let not
her mistress spare the slipper, for indeed she is
as lazy as she is skilful." You must know that
ladies used to beat their maids with their slip-
pers if they did not please them.
So Glykerion came to wait on Leon's wife,
and this was the day on which she began her
'Elpinice means Victory of Hope."
26 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
duties. She got on well enough, though indeed
she seemed to think it all beneath her, till she
had done dressing her mistress' hair. Then she
began to look about as if for something that
she could not find. At last she whispered to
one of the slave girls: "Where is the rouge
box ?" Her mistress heard her, and said: "I
never use rouge." Glykerion almost dropped
the brush with which she was giving one or two
last touches to the hair. Then she recovered
herself. Truly your ladyship has color
enough of your own. But a little white-
lead- No, nor white-lead either," said
Elpinice; "I am quite content to be as na-
ture made me." "Nature said the maid, un-
der her breath. "What barbarism! Castor
preserve me! What would my old mistress
have said ?"
Elpinice thought it a good time, when the
maid was gone, to have a little talk with Gorgo
about these things. The little girl was begin-
ning, as little girls sometimes will, to think too
much about herself. She would look in the
AT THE TOILET.
glass (I should rather say the "brass," for peo-
ple in those days used polished brass or silver
instead of glass, to see their faces in), and put on
a smile or a languishing look, or strike an atti-
tude. Once her mother found her trying on
a mantle, with a couple of bracelets on her arm
that she had taken out of the jewelry box. So
now she said:
'"I am going to tell my little girl something
that happened before she was born. I am afraid
she will think that her mother was a very fool-
ish woman. Well, when I was married I was
not content to be as nature made me, but used
to paint myself red and white with the very
things that you heard the maid ask for. I must
say this for myself, that I had been taught to do
it; it was the custom in our family, as it is in
many families still. And this is how I was
cured of it. One day, about a month after we
had been married, your dear father said,' I have
a present for you, my love,' and he showed me
a very handsome-looking casket. When I
opened it, there was a mantle of a rich purple,
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
just the very color that he knew I liked best,
and under the mantle a fine gold bracelet
wrapped in wool, and at the bottom a number
of silver pieces. I was delighted, and threw my
arms round his neck and kissed him. 'You
dear, good husband,' I said, what a beautiful
present!' There was just a little twinkle in his
eye. I did notice that, but I was too much
pleased to think any thing about it. So I be-
gan to count over the money, for I had never
even seen so much together before. And as I
was counting it, one of the pieces slipped out of
my hand and fell on the table. It made such a
dull sound, not in the least like the ring of good
money, that I cried out: Oh it must be bad !'
' It does not sound well,' your father said; 'try
another one.' So I tried another one, and that
was just as bad, and then a third and a fourth,
till I was quite tired, and there was not a single
good one among them. Then your father said:
'Just try the bracelet with your nail; perhaps
that is not all right, and sure enough, when I
tried it with my nail, a piece of gold leaf came
AT THE TOILET. 29
off, and showed me the wood underneath.
' Dear me,' said my husband, 'this is a bad busi-
ness.' As for me, I burst out crying, and one
of the tears fell on the mantle, and I saw the
beautiful purple color begin to run. 'Well,'
said my husband, 'there is only the casket left;
let us try that.' And he wetted his finger, and,
lo and behold instead of being ebony, as I had
thought, it was only common pine wood painted
black And so all my beautiful present was a
mere sham. I threw myself on the couch, and
cried as if my heart would break. Then your
father came and sat down by me, and said: 'So
my darling likes real things, not sham. And
quite right, too; and so does her husband. He
likes his wife's real face, and not a face painted
to look redder than it is and whiter than it is;
and he likes his wife's real figure, which he
thinks just of the right height, and not one that
is made about three inches taller than it is with
high-heeled boots. And now, my darling, for.
give your husband for his little trick, and give
him a kiss.' So I looked up, and he had artfully
30 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
put a looking-glass so that I could not help see-
ing myself. Oh what a fright I was, for the
tears had run down through the red and white,
and made the most terrible mess of my face.
Well, that finished the lesson, if it wanted fin-
ishing. I never used paint again. And the
next day your father gave me just such another
present, only this time every thing was real,
casket, mantle, bracelet, money, and all."
ONE of the new friends whom the children
made at the Marathon house was old Hylax.
This name means Barker," and so you will not
be surprised when I tell you that old Hylax was a
dog. Very old he was, and so weak that he
could no longer go out hunting, but used to
spend the day lying in the sun, which never
seemed too hot for him. You would have
thought him dead as he lay stretched out at full
length, except that now and then he would
make a lazy little snap at the flies. But he used
to wake up a little when the hunting party
came home; they used always to go and show
him what they had caught, and for a minute or
two he would look quite young again. They let
him hold the hare or the rabbit in his mouth,
and the old sparkle came into his eye, and the
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
bristly hair round his neck grew rough, and he
gave a very deep growl. Poor old fellow! I
wonder whether he thought of the happy time
long ago when he was swift and strong? In
shape and size he was something like a deer-
hound, which, I may tell you, is a large, rough
I said that the children made friends with
him, but I must tell you that he made a curious
difference in his way of behaving to them. He
did not take much notice of the little girls.
When they patted him he would just open his
eyes, and wag his tail ever so little. But any
one could see that he thought much more of
Hipponax. He would lift his head and try
to lick the little boy's hand, and wag his tail
quite.briskly. And when Leon, the children's
father, came to see him, as he did every morn-
ing and evening, the poor old dog used to stag-
ger up on to his feet and lift one of his paws
for his master to shake, and look at him as if he
loved him, which I am sure he did with all the
heart he had. Once Leon come home wetted
to the skin with a sudden storm, and went into
the house to change his clothes, and did not
think of coming out again to say good-night to
Hylax. That night the poor old dog seemed
not to be able to rest. A groom, who was
sitting up with a sick horse, said next morning
that he heard him again and again give a little
moan as if something was troubling him.
"Is Hylax very old ?" said Gorgo to her
father the next day when they went to pay him
their morning visit.
"Yes," said Leon; "nearly twice as old as
you are. Indeed, he is the oldest dog I ever
heard of except one. Shall I tell you how I
came to get him ? "
Yes, father cried all the children together,
and Leon began.
"When I was a boy, about two years older
than Gorgo, I went with my father to pay a
visit to an old friend of his in Arcadia. There
are great woods in that country, and wild beasts,
such as bears and wolves, which we never see
here. Well, my father and his friend were very
34 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
fond of hunting, and sometimes they used to
take me with them. Very proud and pleased I
was, and though I could not help my heart
beating a little quickly when a bear, for instance,
stood at bay, I behaved pretty well. Indeed,
our host, Pauson was his name, was so pleased
with me that he gave me a little hunting spear
of my own.
Well, one day Pauson and my father went
after a great wild boar that was quite famous in
those parts. As it was a long journey, and
would be a difficult bit of hunting, they left me
at home. Then I did a very silly thing. The
truth was that Pauson's present had made me
quite conceited. I felt as if I were grown up,
and what should come into my head but that I
would do a little bit of hunting on my own
"The day after Pauson and my father started
-they were to be away three or four days-I
got up very early in the morning, managed to
get out of the house without waking any of the
servants, and was off, with my spear in my
OLD HYLAX. 35
hand, into the wood. I had not gone half a
mile when I heard a rustling in a thicket, and
there, right in front of me; was a bear !"
"0 father!" cried little Hipponax, "were
you very much frightened ?"
Well, to tell the truth, I think that I was.
Generally bears leave people alone if they are
left alone themselves. But this happened to
have a cub with it. It turned, looked at me,
growled, and then trotted towards me. I was
not too frightened to remember what I ought
to do. So I knelt on one knee, and planted my
spear, which, after all, was not much more than
a toy, as firmly as I could upon the ground, and
waited. When the bear was close to me she
lifted herself upon her hind legs and tried to
hug me. If I could have held the spear firm,
of course she could not have done it, but I was
not strong enough. The point just pricked the
beast's skin, and then the creature got its fore
paws round me. Just at that moment it was
knocked over by something that jumped on it
from behind. This was a big dog that had
36 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
been left behind by the hunters, because she
had a litter of puppies to attend to. She had
seen me go out, and followed me, either because
she wanted some amusement, or because she
knew that I was a foolish young creature, and
must be taken care of. Anyhow, she came just
in time. What a fight she and the bear had,
rolling over and over on the ground! but of
course the bear was much the stronger, and
when two woodcutters came by a few minutes
afterwards the poor dog was nearly dead. As
for me, I had got no harm, except a terrible
fright that made me dream of bears for many a
month to come. One of the little puppies was
given to me, and I took a great deal of trouble
in rearing it, for at first it was too young to lap,
and I had to put the milk down its throat.
That puppy is old Hylax there."
"But, father," said Rhodium, who was always
on the look-out for stories, you spoke of another
dog that was as old as Hylax. Tell us about
"Another time, my child. One story a day,
or I shall have no more to tell."
I OLD HYLAX. 37
But the time came that very evening. They
were coming home from a walk when Sciton
met them with the news that Hylax was dying.
Indeed, when they came to his kennel he seemed
dead. But when his master spoke to him he
opened his eyes and wagged his tail just a little
way, and drooped his ears just once, and then
he died. When the children looked at their
father they were almost frightened to see the big
tears rolling down his cheeks. Before they
went to bed he told them this story.
THE STORY OF ARGUS.
"Once upon a time, all the kings and chiefs
of Greece went to fight against a great city
called Troy. Ten years they fought aglaiut it,
and when at last they took it, many of them had
great trouble in getting home again. And of
all none had greater trouble than a certain Ulys-
ses, who was king of an island in the Western
Sea. He wandered about for ten years, and all
his ships were wrecked, and all his companions
perished, so that when he did get back at last
he was quite alone.
38 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
"And, I am sorry to say, he found great
trouble at home. Most people thought that he
must be dead, for, you see, he had been away
from home twenty years, and for the last ten
nothing had been heard of him. So a number
of princes came and wanted his wife to choose
one of them for a husband, and while she went
on putting them off, for she would not believe
that he was dead, they stayed in his house, and
killed his oxen and sheep and swine, and drank
his wine. When at last he came back no one
knew him; indeed, he did not want to be known,
for he had to see whether he had any friends
left, and to think how he was to get back his
own again. So he disguised himself as a beg-
gar, and went to one of his old servants. This
man was very kind to him, though he did not
in the least know who he was, and took him
the next day to the palace. There Ulysses saw
a poor old dog lying on a dunghill. And he
said to the old servant: Why do they let this
dog lie in this way ? I can see that he is of a
good breed, though he does look so wretched.'
ULYSSES AND HIS DOG.
"'Ah !' said the man,' his master went away
twenty years ago, and is long since dead, and
the careless women do not look after the poor
creature. Things go very wrong when there is
no master in a house.'
"But the old dog-his name was Argus-
heard his master's voice, and lifted up his head,
and when he saw him he knew him at once. He
wagged his tail, and drooped his ears, just as
you saw old Hylax do this afternoon, and then
he died. He had waited for his master twenty
years, and he saw him at the last."
"Thank you, father," said the children.
And then Rhodium asked: "Did not Ulysses
have some adventures while he was trying to
get home "
Yes," said Leon; and if you are good chil-
dren you shall hear some of them some day."
READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC.
LESSONs were not quite forgotten at the
Marathon house, though they did not take up
much of the day. Hipponax, who, you will
remember, was only four, was just learning his
letters, and girls, in those days, were never
taught much. The children's mother, indeed,
had not been able even to read and write when
she was married. You must not suppose from
this that she was not a lady. On the contrary,
she was a very well-born lady indeed, but then
she belonged to an old-fashioned family, in
which it was thought quite enough if a girl
knew how to spin and sew. But Leon, her
husband, was not of this way of thinking, and
so, as Elpinice was very willing to learn, he
began to teach her himself. She became quite
a well-educated lady, and her old aunts used to
READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC. 41
shake their heads, and hope that no harm would
come of such new-fai-gl-dl ways. However, no
harm did come of it, and now she was teaching
her own little girls. Perhaps you will ask,
"What did she teach them?" Well, it is not
very easy to say. You very likely are learning
now, and certainly will learn some day, some
other language-French, Latin, or German, per-
haps all three. Nothing of the kind was thought
of for our three children. No Greek ever dreamt
of learning the language of any other nation.
He thought far too much of his own people to
do so. Of course when Greeks went to other
countries as doctors or merchants, they had to
use the language spoken there, but no Greek
boy or girl ever learnt another language as a
lesson. For the same reason they had no geog-
raphy lessons. As for history, they knew a little
about their own nation, but knew and cared
nothing about that of any other. Then there were
very few books; no story books, no children's
books only one or two histories, and a very few
poems. The children's mother used to read to
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
Gorgo some verses written by a wise man whose
name was Solon, and Gorgo wrote them down on
a piece of wood like a folding slate, and covered
with wax. She did not use a pen and ink, but
something like a skewer, with one end sharp
and the other flat. Here is a picture of one.
She made the letters in the wax with the
sharp end, and when she wanted to rub any
thing out, she took the flat end, made the wax
all smooth, and wrote the word again. All the
words were written in capital letters, and there
were no stops. Here are two of the lines that
she wrote, translated into English, but printed
in the way she wrote them. See whether you
can make them out.
When Gorgo had written the verses down,
her mother would correct them, and then the
girl learnt them by heart. Rhodium had an
easier lesson of the same kind. Then they
READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC. 43
learnt arithmetic. This they did by means of
a kind of counting board. Here is a picture
With this they used little pieces of wood or
ivory, like the men on a draught-board or a
backgammon-board. Any piece that was put
into the division marked 1 counted for
100,000, in "2" it counted for 10,000, and so
on till in 6 it counted for one only. When
they wanted to add or subtract, they did not
"do it in their heads," but really put other
pieces in, or took them out. They could mul-
tiply and divide in the same way, but it would
take too long to explain how. You must ask
your teacher to do it, or perhaps, you might
see a counting-board, for they are still some-
44 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
times made, only with differently colored balls
strung upon wires.
Now, perhaps, you have had enough about
lessons, and will be glad to hear a story by way
of change. This is what Leon told the children
when they came to him one day with a good
report from their mother.
THE STORY OF ULYSSES AND CIRCO.
"One day Ulysses and his companions in
their travels came to an island, which none of
them knew. Ulysses went up to the top of a
hill, and saw some smoke rising up out of a
wood, and felt sure that it came from some
house. Then he went back to his companions,
and they cast lots who should go and see what
kind of people lived in the house. The lot fell
to a chief whom I shall call Broadbelt, and he
went with about twenty men, and came to a
house of marble in the middle of a wood. There
was a garden round it, and a number of lions,
and wolves, and other wild beasts walking about
it. When Broadbelt and his company saw them
READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC. 45
they were frightened, but the beasts did not try
to hurt them, but wagged their tails and rubbed
up against them, like so many dogs and cats.
While they were looking about them, they heard
the voice of some one singing inside the house.
' Hark!' said one of them, 'that must be a
woman, or, perhaps, a goddess; let us call to
her.' So they called to her, and she came to
the door and said: Come in, my friends.' So
they all went in, all but Broadbelt, who was
afraid that she might do them some mischief,
and stopped outside. Then the woman, or
rather the goddess, whose name was Circe, led
the men in and made them sit down on chairs,
and gave each of them a mess of barleymeal,
mixed with cheese, and honey, and wine. Very
sweet it was, and nice, and they all ate quite
greedily of it. And when they had finished it,
she struck them one after another with a little
switch she had in her hand, and each one that
she struck became a pig, for she had mixed a
dreadful poison in the mess, which made them
forget all about their country and their friends.
46 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
So when they were turned into pigs she shut
them up in styes, and gave them acorns and
beech-mast to eat.
Broadbelt did not know what had been done
to his companions, but as they did not come out
of the house again, he felt sure that some mis-
chief had happened to them. So he ran back
and told all he knew to Ulysses. Then Ulysses
said: I must go to, see after my friends,' and he
went, though all the others begged him to stay.
When he came to the house a very beautiful
young man met him, and said: 'This is Circe's
house. She has turned your companions into
swine. Do you think that you will set them free ?
No; for she will make you like one of them.
But stop; I will give you something that will help
you, a certain flower that I know. Go into the
house, keeping this flower in your hand. She
will give you a mess; take it, for it will not hurt
you. And when she shall strike you with her
switch, draw your sword and run at her, and do not
let her go till she has sworn to do you no harm.'
Then the young man, who was Hermes, the
READING, WRITING, AND ARITHMETIC. 47
god, picked a plant that grew close by. It had
a black root, and a flower that was white as
milk. Ulysses took it and went into the house,
and every thing happened just as Hermes had
said. Circe gave him the mess of meal, and
honey, and cheese, and wine. And when he had
swallowed it, she struck him with the switch,
and said: Go to thy stye.' But he drew his
sword, and made as if he would have killed her.
Then she caught him by the knees, and begged
for her life. And he made her swear that she
would not harm him. Then she told her ser-
vants to make ready a great feast. But before
he would eat he said: 'You must turn my
friends into men again.' So she went to the
styes and opened the doors, and drove them
out. Then she rubbed each one of them with
a magic ointment that she had, and the bristles
dropped off from them, and they became men
again, only younger, and handsomer, and taller
than they were before. And after that for a
whole year Circe kept Ulysses and all the com-
pany in her house."
48 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
Rhodium said: 0 father, does this wonder-
ful plant grow anywhere about here? "
"Yes," said Leon, "I am sure that it does,
though it is not so common as I could wish."
Then Rhodium cried: Tell us its name."
Its name is Temperance," said Leon.
LEON commonly had one or two guests in his
house. They would come to have a day or
two's hunting or fishing. Fishing could be got
in a little stream that ran through the marsh on
the Marathon plain; there you could find sea-
fish in the part near the sea, and fresh-water
fish higher up. As for hunting, there were
hares on the hills above the house, and there
were partridges in the corn-fields, and snipes in
the marsh. But all big game, such as boars
and wolves, had long ago been killed. So far
the country was just like England now.
Most of Leon's friends were from Athens,
but now and then there would be one from
some other part of Greece, and Gorgo, who was
very observant, and had sharp ears, noticed that
they did not talk quite like her father, pro-
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
nouncing many of their words in a different
way, and sometimes using words which she did
not know at all.
One day there was a pouring rain, which made
it quite impossible for any one to go out. The
night before a guest had come for a day's hunt-
ing; but as it was so wet he had to be amused in
some other way. The children heard him and
their father laughing very loud in Leon's own
sitting-room, and Hipponax, who was just a
little spoilt, peeped in to see what they were
doing. The stranger called out in a curious
broad way of talking, which was more like
Scotch than any thing else that I can think of :
" Coom in, youngster." And the little boy went
in readily enough. Only he was too shy to go
in alone, and so he dragged Rhodium in along
with him, and where Rhodium went of course
Gorgo was bound to follow. So all the three
children stood inside the room.
Their father and the stranger had just been
playing at draughts, and the children could
understand from what he was saying that the
A FRIEND. 51
stranger had been beaten, and, half in pet and
half in play, had upset the table, for there it
was lying on the floor, while the men had rolled
to all parts of the room.
Come, come," said the stranger, let us have
a game, at kottabos." (He spoke in the same
broad accent, but I shall not try to imitate it
"Very good," said Leon, and clapped his
hands for a slave, and when the boy came, told
him to bring the things that were wanted.
Now I must tell you what sort of game this
kottabos was. On one side of the room was put
a round, shallow pan, full of water. It was
about three feet across. In fact it was very
like a sponging bath. On this a dozen little
saucers were set to float. The players stood
on the other side of the room, with little cups
in their hands filled with wine, and threw the
wine so as to fill the saucers and sink them.
You will think it silly, perhaps, that they should
have used wine instead of water. And, indeed,
it was a wasteful thing to do. But then you
52 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
must remember that the wine that they used
was rather thick, not so thick as to stick to the
cup, but enough to keep more together than
water would, when it had to be thrown some
way through the air. At least this is the only
reason that I can think of, but, perhaps, it was
only a foolish fashion, as fashions often are
foolish, to use wine.
The two friends had a wager about the num-
ber of saucers they could sink. Perhaps this
was rather foolish too, but I can only tell what
they did, not what they ought to have done.
Some of the young men were so silly as to wager
large sums, far more than they could afford to
lose in this way. But Leon and his friend only
staked a silver coin on each saucer, each coin
being worth not quite tenpence, almost exactly
the same as a French franc. (It was called a
drachma, a word that properly meant a "hand-
ful," and came down from very old times when
there was no money at all; and if a man wanted
to sell a fish or a bird he would sell it for so
many handfuls of corn.) The stranger was
A FRIEND. 53
very clever at this game, and sunk nine out of
the twelve saucers, and so got his revenge, as
he called it, for being beaten at draughts. In
this way he won six drachmas, but he gave
them all to the boy who had brought in the
things for the game; so you see that anyhow
he did not make wagers, as I am afraid some
people do, because he was greedy for money.
When the game was finished, the weather be-
gan to clear up, and the stranger went out with
his bow, to see whether he could shoot some-
thing; but Leon, who had a cold, stopped at
home. Gorgo was quite scornful about the
stranger. "How foolish he was," she said, to
be vexed because you beat him at draughts!
and then how silly he was to jump about so
when he managed to sink one of the saucers!
And then how broadly he talked, just as if he
were a Bceotian !" And she mimicked him,
just as a foolish little girl that did not know
any better might say, Just like a Scotchman,"
for the Bceotians used to talk in this broad way.
"Like a Boeotian, my child," said Leon, "why,
54 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
that is just what he is ; that is to say, he is a
"What !" cried Gorgo, "one of that brave
people who came to help us at Marathon for
she remembered, as I hope you remember, the
story that old Sciton had told her. But,
father dear," she went on, "you told me that
there was no Plataea now, for that those wicked
Spartans-I hope nurse does not hear me-had
destroyed it and killed all the people."
"It is too true, said Leon, "but they did not
kill all, for some got away before the town was
taken, and Platon, for that is my friend's name,
was one of them. Indeed he was one of the
leaders, and but for him the thing would never
have been done. Perhaps you might like to hear
his story, only that you think him so silly."
Gorgo felt very much ashamed of herself, and
hung her head, making good resolutions that
she would never judge hastily again. She was
very polite to the Platean, whenever she saw
him, nor did she find it very hard to coax him
into telling his story. And this is what he
THE ESCAPE FROM PLATIEA.
"We had been shut up for more than a year
and a half, and our food began to run short. A
loaf about as big as my two fists, poor musty
stuff too, a bit of salt fish or salt meat as much
as would cover the palm of my hand, and half a
pint of sour wine-that was a man's allowance;
and we felt that something must be done. One
night, when I was thinking the matter over, the
prophet, who happened to be a great friend of
mine, came to tell me what he had seen that
afternoon. A number of doves used to build in
the eaves of the temple of Hera. The prophet
saw a pair of these fly round and round the
town, every time going a little farther from the
walls. About the fourth time a hawk pounced
down on them, and one of them flew back to the
temple, and the other flew off in the direction of
"' That is a sign,' said he; 'the hawk is the
besieger's army, and we are the doves; and the
sooner we are off by the way she went the bet-
ter for us.'
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
"Now I should tell you that the Spartans
had built a double wall all round our town, and
that the space between these two walls, which
was sixteen feet, was roofed over; also that little
towers were built on this roof, about a hundred
feet apart; also that there was a ditch on each
side of the double wall. Well, there were just
four hundred and forty of us in all, and at first
all agreed to go; but afterwards half drew back,
choosing rather to take their chance in the town.
It was a good thing for us that they did, but not
for them, poor fellows ? Well, we made all our
plans, and got ladders ready by which to get up
the wall. We guessed the length that they had
to be by counting the layers of bricks. One
very dark night, when there was a storm of wind
blowing, with sometimes rain and sometimes
snow, we started. All of us had the right foot
bare to keep us from slipping. We crossed the
first ditch, and then twelve of us climbed the
wall between two of the towers. As soon as
these were on the top, six of them ran to one
tower and six to the other, and killed the senti-
nels in them before they could cry out. You
must understand that the towers went quite from
one side of the wall to the other. No one could
go outside them, but had to go through
them, if he wanted to make his way along
the wall. It was just this way through that the
six men who ran to each tower secured. For
the time all the hundred feet of wall between
the two was ours, and our men went on climb-
ing upon it without ever being noticed. You see
the wind made a terrible din, and the Spartans
were very bad hands at keeping watch. At last
one of us knocked down a tile, and it fell with
such a clatter that the guard in the next tower was
woke, for I do believe that they were all asleep.
Then the soldiers began to rouse up. But just
at this time our friends who had stayed behind
pretended to be going to break out on the other
side of the town, so that, what with the noise
and the confusion, the Spartans did not know
what to do, and, in fact, simply did nothing.
All this time our men were letting themselves
down from the wall on the other side, and cross-
58 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
ing the ditch-not an easy matter, seeing that it
was just covered with thin ice that was not
strong enough to bear. But when they did get
across they drew up in line on the other bank,
and threw their darts at any one who tried to
come along the wall. You see they were in the
dark, while the soldiers on the walls mostly car-
ried torches, and so could be seen. I should tell
you that though the greater part of the besieg-
ing army stood still and did nothing, there
was a body of three hundred men who were al-
ways ready for any thing that might happen, and
it was these with whom we had to deal. I have
often wondered that we got off so easy; the
enemy must have been quite dazed."
"Did you all escape ? asked Gorgo.
"All but one poor fellow who was taken
prisoner, and six who were afraid and turned
"And when you were all across the outer
ditch, of course you set off running towards
Athens as fast as you could ? "
Not so, dear young lady; that was just what
A FRIEND. 59
the enemy thought we should do. We went just
the opposite way for about a mile, then turned
off to the right, got into the mountains, and so
got to Athens by a roundabout way. All the
time they were blundering along the high road,
and wondering what in the world had become
of us. Ah! it is an easy thing to outwit a
THE END OF SCITON.
ABOUT ten da after the death of H-1 c:, Sci-
ton was taken ill. He had been at work as
usual with the vit which were his especial
charge, from an hour after sunrise till noon.
Then he went home to his mid-day meal. He
seemed to '-iij.i- it as usual, and when it was
finished took a short 4--i1.. as his custom was.
This mid-dl:,- sleep was almost the only way in
which he seemed to allow that he was not quite
so young as he had been. When he t-hL-,: in-
stead of riini to go back as usual to tL, vine-
\-:,il, he sat si iI. The .-uiL.hlhi- who .i-'.- -it:h
him, a middl..- i d widow who had lost her
husband many years before at C.. *i..,',.1 was
quite surprised. She had never known f l ii to
I A battle between the Athenians and Thebans in 441 .c. (about
twenty years before the date of this story).
THE END OF SCITON.
do such a thing before, for indeed the old man
had never had a day's illness. "My work ,is
done," he said, in answer to her look; "I will
sleep a little more." "Take a little wine first,"
she said; and she poured out a little from a jar
which Elpinic6 had given her for the old man's
use. She put a little hot water to it and a spoon-
ful of honey. Her father took a mouthful, and
then settled himself to sleep. Pheido-that was
the daughter's name-watched him for a few
minutes till she saw that he was asleep, and
then hurried to the great house to tell the mas-
ter and mistress. There was something in her
father's look and voice that made her feel quite
sure that there was a change coming.
It so happened that the family doctor from
Athens had come over the day before to pay his
usual monthly visit. There was little hope of
doing any thing for an old man of ninety; but
still, every one was anxious to make things as
easy as they could for him. When the news
came, the doctor, who happily had found noth-
ing for him to do in Leon's family household,
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
had just come in from a walk. But it would
not have been proper for him to visit the sick
man in his walking dress. He went at once to
his room, and put on a perfectly clean white
robe. He had not been wearing any rings, but
now he took two very handsome ones out of
the case in which he carried his instruments
and medicines; and he did not forget to put
some scented oil on his hair, and brush it
very carefully. You must not think that he
took all this trouble because he was a fop, and
wanted to look fine. Not so ; it was a rule with
him to please his patients. They must not see
any thing that is not pleasant, as far as it can
be helped," he would say; and he took just as
much trouble in this way for the poorest man
or woman as he did for rich people.
When the doctor was ready, Leon and
Elpinic4 went with him to Sciton's cottage.
The old man was now in bed, and did not
seem to notice their coming in. The doctor
sat down on a stool by his side, and felt his
pulse. When he found how weak it was, he
THE END OF SCITON.
looked grave, and took a little bottle out of his
case. He poured something out of this into a
silver cup. This had a long spout, so that it
could be easily put between a patient's lips.
"Drink, father," he said into the old man's ear;
and, at the same time, with the help of the
daughter, who was standing on the other side of
the bed, he raised him up a little. Sciton swal-
lowed the draught. A minute or two afterwards
a little color came into his cheek, and he opened
He looked round the room, and his eye
lighted up a little when he saw Leon. Still he
seemed to miss something. Elpinice guessed
what he wanted, and whispered a few words to
the maid whom she had brought with her.
"He shall come, father," she said to the old
man, for she knew that he wanted the little boy.
It was easy to see, from the restful look that
came into his eyes, that she had guessed right.
I would make my will," he said. The doc-
tor had his tablets and stylus out directly, for
he was used to do this office for his patients.
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
It was very short. Let Leon, son of Hipponax,
see that all I have be divided between my
daughters. Only let Pheido, seeing that she is
the elder, have the choice of such one thing as
she may best like. The gods have not given me
a son, therefore I give my shield to Leon; let
him hang it, if he will, in his hall. My sword
I give to Hipponax, son of Leon."
Just as he said these last words, the maid
came back, leading the little boy by the hand.
The old man beckoned to her to bring him to
the bedside. Then he said to his daughter:
"Fetch me my sword." She went and took it
down from where it hung over the fire-place.
"My son," said the old man to the little boy,
"take this, and the gods give you strength to
strike many a good blow for your country."
Then he laid the weapon across the child's out-
stretched arms, put his right hand on the little
fellow's head, and kept it there for about a
minute. His lips were moving, but no one
could hear what he said. When he removed
his hand, Elpinice signed to the maid to lead the
THE END OF SCITON. 65
child away. He marched out, looking solemn,
but very proud, with the big sword still upon
his arms. He could only just carry it.
For a little time Sciton lay with his eyes
closed. Than he began to talk quickly. He
was fighting his first battle over again. These
were some of the words they caught: "Not
quite so fast, master; I cannot keep pace with
you. See, that rascal is bending his bow.
. He has it. It is nothing, a mere
scratch. Lean on me, master till you can
fetch your breath. Dead! no, it is impos-
sible; he was stronger than I." He opened his
eyes, and his look fell on Leon. His face
brightened in a way that none that stood there
had ever seen before. They told me you were
dead, dear master, and here you are, sound and
well. It is well; we will have another bout
with these Persian dogs, if Ares please." He
thought he was speaking to the young master
by whose side he had fought some seventy years
before on the Marathon plain. Perhaps he did
see him, but not there. The next moment he
66 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
had fallen back. There was the same happy
look upon his face. The old Marathon hero
The next day Leon and his wife went to take
a last look at the old man. He lay in a coffin
of rough pottery work; a copper coin was be-
tween his lips; and between his hands, which
were folded on his breast, was a cake made of
flour, honey, and poppy seed. Perhaps you will
ask what the coin and the cake were for. Well,
it was the custom to put them there, and the
reason of the custom was this. People believed
that when a man was dead, his soul had to be
ferried across the river that was called the Styx,
and they put the coin in his lips that he might
be able to pay the ferryman his fare for taking
him. And they believed also that when he got
across the river he would come to a narrow
place in the way, where there was a very fierce
dog with three heads, which would tear him in
pieces unless it could be kept quiet. So they
put the honey cake in his hands that he
might throw it to the creature. You see the
.I ((l:XI ~ I)
THF FUNERAL OF sCITO.,
THE END OF SCITON. 67
poppy seeds in it would make the dog fall
asleep. I do not suppose that Leon, or indeed
that many people, believed these silly stories.
But old customs often last long after there has
ceased to be any reason for keeping them up.
Flowers and herbs of various kinds, of which
parsley was the chief, were strewed on the body.
The two daughters sat by the bed of death,
for, besides Pheido, he had another daughter,
who was married to a coppersmith in Athens.
Now and then one or other of them would raise
a shrill cry. Their hair hung down loose over
Early in the morning of the next day Sciton
was carried to his grave. A Marathon hero was
not to be buried without some honors. Six
noble youths had come from Athens to bear his
coffin; and two of the chief magistrates, with
six of the principal inhabitants of Marathon,
walked behind. Leon was there, leading little
Hipponax by the hand. And behind the men
walked the two daughters and Elpinic,. Last
of all came four flute players. Of course the
68 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
poor were not commonly buried with so much
state; but then Sciton was a Marathon hero.
The grave of the old man was in a place where
he had often liked to sit in his lifetime. It was
under an old olive-tree on the brow of a hill,
from which you could see the Marathon plain
and the battle-field. The coffin was put into a
little vault made of bricks, and with it were a
few little things such as cups and jars. Before
the vault was closed up, Leon called out three
times in a loud voice :
citon, Sciton, Sciton."
Then all the party went back to Leon's house,
where there was a feast given to the visitors
from Athens and from the village. The dead
man was supposed to be the host. Before they
began to eat and drink, Leon poured out some
wine from a cup upon the ground, saying:
"Sciton offers this to Zeus the Protector, and to
Athene, keeper of this city, and to all the gods
and goddesses." Then he filled the cup again,
and drank to the company, saying : Sciton bids
you welcome, and wishes you health and pros-
ABOUT ten days after Sciton's funeral, Leon
said to his wife : "We must take the children
to see Salamis before the summer is quite over.
I had hoped that the old man would go with us
and fight another of his battles over again. Well,
that was not to be; the Fates spun his thread
out to the very end,' and we must not complain.
Anyhow, we will go. And it will be more
pleasant, I think, to make a little sea trip of it.
I met my friend Glaucus yesterday, and he will
lend me his yacht. We will start early the day
after to-morrow, if you can get ready by then,
SThe Greeks had a notion that there were three sisters, whom
they called the Fates, that settled the lives of men. One held the
distaff, another spun the thread from it, and the third stood by with
the scissors, ready to cut it when the time was come. So Milton
Stands the blind fury with the abhorred shears
And slits this thin spun life.
70 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
stop for the night at Peirseus,' take a couple of
days at Salamis, and then home again in the
Elpinice promised to have every thing ready
at the appointed time, and the children, as you
may suppose, made no objection. The sun was
just rising on the appointed day when the party
started. Nurse, of course, was one of them,
and Elpinic6 had her own maid, not the fine
lady about whom I told you a little time ago,
but a young girl who she thought would be
a more pleasant companion, and would not
grumble if they had to rough it, as they very
likely might. Then Leon had his own servant,
a middle-aged man, who used to dress him, cut
his hair and nails (no Greek gentleman ever
thought of cutting his own nails), and generally
look after his comfort. Lastly, there was an
elderly man whom we may call the butler. He
had the charge of the provisions, for the expe-
dition was to be something of a picnic; he
I This was the chief harbor of Athens, and was between three and
four miles from the city.
carried the purse, and paid all the expenses, for
which he afterwards would account to his
master, and generally managed the whole affair.
The father, mother, and children, together with
nurse, went in the mule carriage, and the ser-
vants followed in a wagon.
It was a bright morning, near the latter end
of August, and the children cried out with de-
light when they saw the yacht, all ready to
start, fastened to a little stone pier in the bay
of Marathon. She was about forty feet long,
and what we should call half-decked-that is,
about six feet at the head and fourteen or
fifteen at the stern were covered over, while
the middle part was open. There was a little
cabin under the after-deck, in which the pas-
sengers might take shelter, if the weather
should happen to be bad, and which also con-
tained cupboards and lockers for provisions,
wraps, and any thing else that might be wanted
on the voyage. The deck itself had some very
comfortable cushioned seats upon it.
The yacht was a sailing vessel, and carried
72 THREE GR-IEK CfHMLDPRE.
'. 'i its mast one great that reached
two thirds .its r. [ besides two on -
that were fastened to the .. "
were also ----- that :. --- o as .
could be used when weather wa.
or when the yacht, had i to be taken in or out
harbor. '_ was the ,and hai
- -- Dl ......
. I ] :- ] a '--. I -I ._ ,- J,
state a i t. c at _,- waist)
a --- -- .; th ? .
blue mantle .-. -" : : Uher .-
(' wle mvr
tor and T -.
consisted a .
a e:'-. w ,o .
. the twin
T .. weather was 7,- -- T --.wifl..
S"_. what was to. ,' ~
h the -. -. M t c as
share, the Marathn c aMst loos to1
A VO A GE. 73
carried them .. ,_. quickly without i.. ii' '.
waves. Even iii', who did not like the sea
at all, and had been sure before she started that
she should be '-,.i- ill, felt quite comfortable.
The e.:,ili. who had no trouble to keep the
vessel dtrnii.ht in its course, was as .1,.-,.-ii l as
p1 ..-i .1,, and the sailors, who had next to n. 'IL; u-
to do, sang s.ii_-. The children were in a
state of the greatest delight, though the two
girls rather envied their little brother, who ran
and clambered about just as he pleased, while
they, of course, had to sit quietly and properly
by their mother on the deck. The sailors
petted the brave little fellow, and helped him
to climb the ri.s.ii_. rather to the terror of his
mother. But he held on to the ropes like a
little squirrel, and as he had not a thought f
f- i-r, and was not in the least gid !-, there ],:i-,
was no danger. E"--' i now and then he wo'I.1
run back to the stern d- I-k. and T-- his mother
that he had quite made up his mind to be a
All went well as lon'. as they were 1.:.LL'i
74 THREE GREEX CHILDREN.
down the coast from Marathon southward.
But if you will look at the map of Greece, you
will see that there is a point, now called Cape
Colonna, where the coast ends, and that when a
ship has got round this point, if it wants to go
to Athens, it would have to sail nearly north-
wards. The west wind would not serve them
badly, for of course with a side breeze you can
sail either way you please; but the sea would
be rather more rough. But that day it seemed
as if they were to be wonderfully lucky, for just
as the Xantho rounded the point the wind
shifted to the south.
Here 's a stroke of good luck," said Leon to
the captain, "the wind now is blowing due aft,
and will carry us to Peirseus in no time."
"Very good, sir," said the captain, "if we
don't have too much of it; but I don't much
like the south wind, and I don't like at all these
sudden changes. There is something coming,
sir, that we shall not like."
The captain was quite right. Something was
coming. Nothing changes so quickly as the
A VOYAGE. 75
sea. In less than half an hour every thing
looked as different as possible from what it had
looked in the morning. The sky was covered
with low, scudding clouds, and the color of the
sea was changed from a bright, beautiful sap-
phire blue, to a dull purple. The great sail was
hauled down, or, as the sailors say, it would
have lifted the yacht clean out of the water;
only the sprit sails were kept up. If that had
not been done the yacht could hardly have been
steered. Even these were reefed as much as
they could be. Every minute the sea rose
higher and higher, and the big waves looked
like wild beasts that were pursuing the ship as
if they wanted to devour it. Luckily they came
right behind, and did no more harm than give
every one on board now and then a good wet-
ting. But then it was necessary to keep the
yacht right before the wind. If she should
"broach-to," as the sailors say, that is, get side-
ways to the sea, the waves would break over
her, and probably sink her in a very short time.
The steersman wanted a strong hand and a cool
76 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
head to do this, for every now and then the
wind would shift a point to the westward, and
catch the Xantho a little on the side. Then, un-
less the steersman was quite prepared, she would
get a little out of the straight course, and this
little might easily become more. The captain
had a sailor to help him hold the tiller, which
was too heavy for one man in rough weather,
and if he had not lost his head, all would have
been well. But this is just what he did. When
they had run about twelve miles past the Cape,
the wind shifted to the southwest, and struck
the yacht so suddenly, that the tiller was
wrenched out of the hands of the men who were
holding it. The sailor lost his footing, and
rolled against the bulwark, and the captain, in-
stead of getting hold again and doing his best
till some one came to help him-and this would
not have taken more than a few seconds,-fell on
his knees before the images of the Twin Breth-
ren, and began to pray at the top of his voice
that they would help him. Happily there were
people on board who did not lose their courage
A VO YAGE.
and presence of mind. Leon was just at that
moment coming out of the cabin, where he had
been keeping up his wife's spirits. He sprang
to the tiller without losing a moment, and so did
the mate, and very soon they had her head
straight again. But in that moment the yacht
had shipped a heavy sea. After that she was
lower in the water and did not" rise on the
waves as lightly as she had done before.
And what were the children doing all this
time ? The girls were sitting quite good and
quiet in the cabin, each holding one of their
mother's hands. She could not help being
frightened, but she was a brave woman (for it
is being brave to be frightened, and yet behave
as if you were not), and she would not let her
children see it. And they kept up because she
did. As for little Hipponax, he was not in the
least afraid, but laughed and clapped his hands
as the big waves came rolling by. The bigger
they were the more pleased he seemed to be. I
believe it did the sailors a world of good to see
him. They were ashamed to cry and wring
78 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
their hands, as, I dare say, some of them would
have done, when they saw the fearless little fel-
low. So they kept steadily at work baling out
the water, and doing their best to save the ship.
For some time it seemed as if it would be labor
lost. The Xantho took in more water than they
were able to throw out, and got lower and lower
in the sea, till Leon began to look about des-
perately for something in the way of barrels or
spars that he could lash his wife and children
to, so as to give them a chance of floating and
being picked up. Some time before they had
run up a flag of distress to the masthead.
Then there came another change. They
found that the sea was not running so high,
and the mate said to Leon: We must be un-
der the lee of iEgina (which you will se6 in
the map to be an island opposite the harbor of
Athens). And so it was; the driving rain,
which had hindered them from seeing much
more than a cable's length, stopped for a time,
and they saw the cliff of the island. And at
that very moment a great ship of war, with her
A VOYAGE. 79
three rows of oars on either side of her, rising
and falling as regularly as if by clockwork,
came out of the darkness. She did not seem to
mind the weather in the least, but drove on
through the waves straight for the harbor.
She was so close that they were almost afraid of
being run down; but it was very well that she
was close, for she stopped when her captain saw
the signal of distress, and one of her sailors
threw a rope on board the yacht. It all hap-
pened just at the right moment and at the
right place. Unless it had been fairly calm
water just there even the big and strong ship of
war could hardly have helped the little Xantho.
As it was, a strong towing cable was made fast
to the yacht, and she was dragged into the har-
bor, only just in time, for the water in the stern
cabin was up to the children's knees when they
got past the light-house at the mouth.
The captain of the war ship, who happened
to be a cousin of Leon's, wanted him and his
family to go with him to Athens; but Elpinice,
the girls, and the woman servants were so worn
80 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
out with what they had gone through, that
when the old harbor-master asked him to come
to his house close by, he preferred to go there.
You shall hear about this house in the next
chapter. Meanwhile, I will repeat the story of
a shipwreck which Leon told his little boy be-
fore he went to sleep that night. Hipponax,
you see, had thought it all good fun, even when
the water came into the cabin, and instead of
dropping off to sleep in a moment, as his sisters
did, he could hear the story which he used to
beg his father for every night.
You remember about Ulysses? said Leon.
"Yes, father," said the little boy, "he was
the man who had the wonderful flower given
him that saved him from being turned into a pig."
Then Leon told him-
THE STORY OF THE SHIPWRECK OF ULYSSES.
"For seven years Ulysses was kept in a cer-
tain island where a goddess called Calypso lived.
She would not let him go, because she hoped
that in time he would forget his country and
the wife and child he had left at home. But
she had to let him go at last, for the king of the
gods sent to her, and said: 'Why do you keep
this brave man when he wants to go home ?
Let him depart, if he wishes so to do.' So she
asked him whether he did really wish to go, and
when he said yes, she gave him an axe and
other tools, and showed him where some pine
trees and poplars grew, out of which he could
make a raft. So he set to work, and cut down
the trees, and made a raft, with a mast, and a
sail, and a rudder, and bundles of osiers all
round to keep the waves from washing over it.
"When he was ready to start, Calypso gave
him some handsome clothes and a skin of wine,
and another great skin of water, and several
baskets full of food. And she made a warm
and gentle wind blow; this she was able to do
because she was a goddess. She showed him
those stars in the sky that are called the Great
Bear, and said: You must always keep them
on your left.'
So he set his sail, and went on for seventeen
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
days and seventeen nights, never shutting his
eyes, but always watching to see that the Bear
was on his left.
Now one of the gods hated him. This was
the Lord of the Sea, and when he saw Ulysses
almost at his journey's end he grew very angry,
and said: What is this ? How has this fellow
managed to get so near home ?'
"And he raised a terrible storm. One big
wave struck Ulysses so hard, that he lost his
hold on the rudder, and fell into the sea; and
at the same moment the wind broke the mast
of the raft. The poor man was very nearly
drowned, for the fine clothes which the goddess
had given him weighed him down. But at last
he got on to the raft again, and sat there, not
knowing what would happen to him next.
But one of the nymphs of the sea saw him,
and was very sorry for him. She rose out of the
sea, and sat upon the raft like a seagull, and said:
SCast off your clothes, and jump into the sea,
and swim to land. As for the raft, let it go, for
it will not help you any more. And see, take
this veil, and wind it round you; it will keep
you from sinking. And mind that when you
get safe to land, you throw it into the sea, and
don't look behind you when you do it.'
When the nymph had said this she dived
under the sea and vanished. But Ulysses was
afraid to leave the raft, and try to swim to the
shore, for he knew that it was a long way off.
Then another great wave came, and broke the
raft to pieces, and he was left sitting astride on
a single beam. Then he felt that he could not
help himself; so he stripped off his clothes, and
put the veil under his chest, and jumped into
Two days and two nights he floated along,
till he was nearly dead. On the morning of the
third day he saw the land from the top of a big
wave (the storm had ceased, but the waves were
still very high). But when he got near he saw
no place where he could land, the shore was so
steep and rocky. And while he was thinking
what he should do, a great wave drove him
against one of the rocks. That time he was al-
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
most killed; but he put forth all his strength,
and swam out to sea till he got outside the
breakers. Then he swam along looking for a
quiet place, and at last he came to a river.
Then he landed, but he was so tired that as
soon as he got on to the dry land he fainted
away. No long time after he came to himself
again. And the very first thing that he did was
to throw the veil backwards into the sea, and he
was very careful not to look behind him when
he did it."
What would have happened to him if he
had," asked the little boy.
He never knew," said Leon, and he did not
care to know; for he was one of the wise people
who did what they were told without asking
LEoN's party took a day's rest after their
journey. Most of them needed it very much;
the weather, too, was still too rough to make an-
other excursion by sea quite pleasant. But when
they woke on the second morning, the children
found that the wind had gone down, and that
the sun was shining brightly; and soon they
heard with great delight from their father that
they were to go to Salamis that day. Nurse
was persuaded to stay at home, and though she
was very unwilling to be separated from the
dear children, and could hardly believe that
they would be safe without her to look after
them, she was not sorry to stop on dry land.
The Xantho was a heavier vessel than was
wanted for the excursion, so Leon hired a large
rowing-boat, and four more men to help his own
86 THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
crew. These made up ten rowers; the mate
steered; as for the captain he was so ashamed
of himself that he had slipped away as soon as
the Xantho was made fast in the harbor, and
never showed himself again. Leon and his
party sat behind with a gay-colored awning
over their heads to keep off the sun.
While they were on their way, Leon said to
the mate: Is old Ladon alive ? Some one told
me in the winter that he was not expected to
Yes, he is alive," said the mate, or was ten
days ago, for I saw him fishing for sardines.
Yes, and there he is this very moment," he
went on, pointing to a little rock jutting out,
where there was an old man sitting, with a long
rod in his hand.
Let us go and see whether he will come with
us," said Leon. It would be a thousand pities
to see Salamis without old Ladon."
The mate then pointed the boat's head to the
shore, taking care not to disturb the water where
the old man was fishing. To have done that
would have been to put him out of temper for
the rest of the day. So they landed about a
hundred yards away from the rock, and then
made their way to it along the shore. The old
man was so intent on his fishing that he did not
notice their coming. A basket half full of the
bright silvery little sardines was by his side,
and every now and then he caught another,
which a little boy-his great grandson, as the
mate whispered to Leon-took off the hook.
"Hail! Ladon," said Leon.
"Who wants me," said the old man, without
turning his eyes from the float which he was
"Leon, son of Hipponax."
The old man stood up and made a salute.
"The good son of a good father he said, the
gods preserve you, my son! How can Ladon
serve you ? "
"Come and show us Salamis," said Leon,
" and tell us the story of the battle."
Nothing could have pleased the old man
better. He seemed to grow young again at the
THREE GREEK CHILDREN.
thought. No one would have thought him of
the age he really was, close upon eighty.
Come with me," he said, and led the way
up the steep side of the hill so quickly that
some of the party could scarcely keep up with
him. In a short time they came to a flat place
about as large as a tennis lawn. It was about
five hundred feet above the sea. On their right
hand the hill rose many hundred feet higher,
on their left and behind them there was the city
of Athens, with all its beautiful temples, and its
harbors full of ships. But it was the view in
front of them that they came to see.