390 The Book of Indoor and Outdoor Games
Watteau and Lancret did not disdain to paint them—■ some of these are still preserved. The subjects were usually of a sacred character.
Nowhere has Easter been observed with more elaborate and joyous ceremonies than in Russia. It is still the custom for persons meeting on that day (emperor or moujik) to greet one another with a kiss—after which one says "Christ is risen," and the other responds, "He is risen, indeed."
In Poland an ancient custom exacted that on Easter morning every host and hostess should divide an egg with each visitor. Even in exile, the Polish nobles preserved the custom in the lands of their adoption. Prince Czartoriski used to receive many guests at his fine hotel in Paris, at Easter. Standing at the door of his salon, he broke the traditional egg with all comers—merely touching to his lips the half he retained, while the visitor was expected to eat his portion, according to the etiquette of time and place.
Paris at Easter is seen at its most typical season. The churches are gay with flowers and thronged with people who, in their newest clothes and with holiday faces, "make to themselves the duty of being happy," as they, themselves, express it.
The finest, most uplifting music aids their devotion, and after the religious service the day is given up to every kind of pleasure.
Among the more sober-minded, and notably the ancienne noblesse, family reunions, such as mark our Thanksgiving Day, are the accepted forms of hospitality.
The origin of "Easter bonnets" has its interest. Many years ago the fashionably religious used to compromise with their consciences by going to church frequently, but made choice of one a few miles distant