Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

and very careful to avoid the Turkish troops, the violence of the one little suiting the simplicity of the other. p. 44. It is natural to suppose that Isaac possessed the like sagacity when he sowed in the land of Gerar, and received that year a hundred fold. His lands appear to have been hired of the fixed inhabitants of the country. On this account the king of the country might, after the reaping of the crop, refuse his permission a second time, and desire him to depart. HARMER, vol. i. p. 85.

No. 629.-xxvi. 15. For all the wells which his father's servants had digged in the days of Abraham his father, the Philistines had stopped them, and filled them with earth.] The same mode of taking vengeance which is here mentioned has been practised in ages subsequent to the time here referred to. Niebuhr (Travels, p. 302.) tells us, that the Turkish Emperors pretend to a right to that part of Arabia that lies between Mecca and the countries of Syria and Egypt, but that their power amounts to very little. That they have however garrisons in divers little citadels built in that desert, near the wells that are made on the road from Egypt and Syria to Mecca, which are intended for the greater safety of their caravans. But in a following page (p. 330.) he gives us to understand, that these princes have made it a custom, to give annually to every Arab tribe which is near that road, a certain sum of money and a certain number of vestments, to keep them from destroying the wells that lie in that route, and to escort the pilgrims cross their country.

We find in D'Herbelot (p. 396.) that Gianabi, a famous rebel in the tenth century, gathered a number of people together, seized on Bassora and Coufa, and afterwards insulted the reigning Caliph by presenting himself boldly before Bagdat his capital: after which he retired by little and little, filling up all the pits with sand which had been dug in the road to Mecca, for the benefit of the pilgrims. HARMER, vol. iv. p. 247.

No. 630.-xxvii. 16. Put the skin of the kids of the goats.] It is observed by Bochart (p. 1. Hierozoic. 1. ii. c. 51.) that in the eastern countries goats-hair was very like to that of men: so that Isaac might very easily be deceived, when his eyes were dim, and his feeling no less decayed than his sight.

No. 631.-xxviii. 22. And this stone, which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house.] It appears strange to us to hear a stone pillar called God's house, being accustomed to give names of this kind to such. buildings only, as are capable of containing their worshippers within them. But this is not the case in every part of the world, as we learn from Major SYMES's narrative of his Embassy to the Kingdom of Ava. The temples of that people, vast as many of them are, are built without cavity of any sort, and he only mentions some of the most ancient of those at Pagahm as constructed otherwise. The following extract will sufficiently illustrate this matter.

"The object in Pegu that most attracts, and most merits notice, is the noble edifice of Shoemadoo, or the golden supreme. This is a pyramidical building, composed of brick and mortar, without excavation or aperture of any sort: octagonal at the base, and spiral at the top. Each side of the base measures one hundred and sixty-two feet. The extreme height of the edifice, from the level of the country, is three hundred and sixty-one feet, and above the interior terrace three hundred and thirty-one feet. Along the whole extent of the northern face of the upper terrace there is a wooden shed for the convenience of devotees, who come from a distant part of the country. There are several low benches near the foot of the temple, on which the person, who comes to pray, places his offering, commonly consisting of boiled rice, a plate of sweetmeats, or cocoa-nuts fried in oil;

[ocr errors]

when it is given, the devotee cares not what becomes of it; the crows and wild dogs often devour it in the presence of the donor, who never attempts to disturb the animals. I saw several plates of victuals disposed of in this manner, and understood it was the case with all that was brought."

"The temple of Shoedagan, about two miles and a half north of Rangoon, is a very grand building, although not so high, by twenty-five or thirty feet, as that of Shoemadoo, at Pegu. The terrace on which it stands is raised on a rocky eminence, considerably higher than the circumjacent country, and is ascended by above a hundred stone steps. The name of this temple, which signifies Golden-Dagon, naturally recals to mind the passage in the scriptures, where the house of Dagon is mentioned, and the image of idolatry bows down before. the Holy Ark."

66

Many of the most ancient temples at Pagahm are not solid at the bottom: a well arched dome supports a ponderous superstructure; and, within, an image of Gaudona sits enshrined."

No. 632.-xxix. 6. Rachel his daughter.] Her name in Hebrew signifies a sheep. It was anciently the custom to give names even to families from cattle, both great and small. So Varro tells us (lib. ii. de re rustica, c. 1.) Multa nomina habemus ab utroque pecore, &c. à minore, PORCIUS, OVILIUS, CAPRILIUS; a majore, EQUITIUS, TAURUS, &c. See Bochart, p. 1. Hieroz. lib. ii. cap. 43.

No. 633.-xxix. 26. And Laban said, it must not be so done in our country, to give the younger before the first-born.] Mr. HALHED observes in his preface to the Gentoo Laws, (p. 69) "We find Laban excusing himself for having substituted Leah in the place of Rachel to Jacob, in these words, It must not be so done in our

country, to give the younger before the first-born. This was long before Moses. So in this compilation, it is made criminal for a man to give his younger daughter in marriage before the elder; or for a younger son to marry while his elder brother remains unmarried."

No. 634.-xxix. 32. And she called his name Reuben, for she said, Surely the Lord hath looked upon mine affliction.] Many names which occur in the scriptures were taken from particular incidents and circumstances, Other people besides the Jews have acted in this manner. "The children of the Mandingoes are not always named after their relations; but frequently in consequence of some remarkable occurrence. Thus, my landlord at Kamalia was called Karfa, a word signifying to replace; because he was born shortly after the death of one of his brothers. Other names are descriptive of good or bad qualities: as Modi, a good man: Fadibba, father of the town. Indeed the very names of their towns have something descriptive in them as, Sibi dooloo, the town of siboa trees. Kenneyetoo, victuals here. Dorita, lift your spoon. Others appear to be given by way of reproach, as Bammakoo, was a crocodile. Karankalla, no cup to drink from. Among the negroes, every individual, besides his own proper name, has likewise a kongtong or surname, to denote the family or clan to which he belongs. Every negro plumes himself on the importance or the antiquity of his clan, and is much flattered when he is addressed by his kontong." MUNGO PARK's Travels in Africa, p. 269.

No. 635.-xxix. 32. And Leah conceived, and bare a son, and she called his name Reuben.] It seems probable that in common the mother gave the name to a child, and this both amongst the Jews and the Greeks; though perhaps not without the concurrence of the

VOL. II.

C

father. In the age of Aristophanes the giving of a name to the child seems to have been a divided prerogative between the father and the mother. Homer ascribes it to the mother:

Him on his mother's knees, when babe he lay,
She nam'd Arnæus on his natal day.

Odyss. xviii. 6. Pope.

No. 636.-xxxi. 27. That I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp.] A striking similarity prevails between the modern dance of the South Sea islands, as performed before Captain Cook, and the ancient choral dance of Egypt and Palestine. "A band or chorus of eighteen men seated themselves before us; they sung a slow and soft air; twenty women entered. Most of them had upon their heads garlands, of the crimson flowers of the china rose, or others. They made a circle round the chorus, and began by singing a soft air, to which responses were made by the chorus in the same tone: and these were repeated alternately. All this while the women accompanied their song with several very graceful motions of their hands towards their faces, and in other directions. Their manner of dancing was now changed to a quicker measure, in which they made a kind of half turn by leaping, and clapped their hands, repeating some words in conjunction with the chorus. Toward the end, as the quickness of the music increased, their gestures and attitudes were varied with wonderful vigour and dexterity." Last Voyage, vol. i. p. 250. See also O. C. No. 20.

No. 637.-xxxiii. 3. And he passed over before them.] In travelling it was usual to place the women and children in the rear of the company. This was evidently

« ZurückWeiter »