Ue of Iacchus (Bacchus) is borne, crowned with myrtle, tumultuously
through the sacred gate, along the sacred way, halting by the sacred
fig-tree, (all sacred, mark you, from Eleusinian associations,) where
the procession rests, and then moves on to the bridge over the
Cephissus, where again it rests, and where the expression of the wildest
grief gives place to the trifling farce,–even as Demeter, in the midst
of her grief, smiled at the levity of Iambe in the palace of Celeus.
Through the “mystical entrance” we enter Eleusis. On the seventh day,
games are celebrated; and to the victor is given a measure of
barley,–as it were a gift direct from the hand of the goddess. The
eighth is sacred to Aesculapius, the Divine Physician, who heals all
diseases; and in the evening is performed the initiatory ritual. Let us
enter the mystic temple and be initiated,–though it must be supposed
that a year ago we were initiated into the Lesser Mysteries at Agrae.
(“_Certamen enim,–et praeludium certaminis; et mysteria sunt quae
praecedunt mysteria_.”) We must have been _mystae_ (veiled) before we
can become _epoptae_ (seers); in plain English, we must have shut our
eyes to all else before we can behold the mysteries. Crowned with
myrtle, we enter with the other _mystae_ into the vestibule of the
temple,–blind as yet, but the Hierophant within will soon open our
eyes. But first,–for here we must do nothing rashly,–first we must
wash in this holy water; for it is with pure hands and a pure heart that
we are bidden to enter the most sacred inclosure. Then, led into the
presence of the Hierophant, he reads to us, from a book of stone, things
which we must not divulge on pain of death. Let it suffice that they fit
the place and the occasion; and though you might laugh at them, if they
were spoken outside, still you seem very far from that mood now, as you
hear the words of the old man (for old he always was) and look upon the
revealed symbols. And very far indeed ar
The Classics Nerd inside me just adores that a passage about Bacchus is hiding advertisements for Viaga and Cialis.
And I also worry a little that I read all the way to the Latin and then had to scroll all the way down to see the ad before I realised that it actually was Spam and not just a delightful email.