388 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
as not to touch one. Meantime, the articles were removed noiselessly one by one, and it was extremely amusing to the audience to see how earnestly the walker strove to avoid stepping upon anything, the pleased look at his success, and his surprise when, the bandage having been removed, he found that he had been "made a fool of."
THE HISTORICAL EASTER '
Among our Saxon forefathers, the goddess Eastre— the personification of the opening year or spring as well as of the dawn or east—was worshipped with most elaborate ceremonies. The return of spring, observed as a season of rejoicing in almost every land, was especially welcomed among northern peoples, where its contrast with the previous desolation was the more marked.
When the church, in the persons of the earliest missionaries to Britain, sought to lead its new converts to a joyous recognition of the great truth of our Lord's resurrection and the promise of their own—the Christian festival was, with the usual policy, grafted on a pagan stock, and a new significance was given to their popular custom.
Joy in the rising of the natural sun and the awakening of the earth from the death of winter the people were led to regard as typical of the rising of the "Sun of Righteousness."
We Anglo-Saxons have retained the name of Easter, but among other nations the season is known as Paques, Pasque, etc.—according to lingual peculiarities—derived from the Paschal feast of the Jews, which was coincident with it.
It is the fashion to decry the present, and in the opinion of the pessimists, "the world is going the way of all flesh