תמונות בעמוד

No. 1042.SOLOMON'S SONG 1. 5.

I am black, but comely, Oye daughters of Jerusalem, as

the tents of Kedar, as the curtains of Solomon.

Modern tents are sometimes very beautiful. “The
Turks spare for nothing in rendering their tents conve-
nient and magnificent. Those belonging to the grand
signor were exceeding splendid, and covered entirely
with silk; and one of them lined with a rich silk stuff,
the right side of which was the apartment for the eunuchs,
But even this was exceeded by another, which I was in-
formed cost twenty-five thousand piasters; it was made
in Persia, and intended as a present to the grand signor;
and was not finished in less than three or four years.
The outside of this tent was not indeed remarkable; but
it was lined with a single piece made of camels' hair, and
beautifully decorated with festoons and sentences in the

Turkish language.” Travels, by Van Egmont and Hey-
man, vol. i. p. 212.

Nadir Shah had a very superb tent, covered on the
outside with scarlet broad-cloth, and lined within with
violet-coloured satin, ornamented with a great variety of
animals, flowers, &c. formed entirely of pearls and pre-
cious stones.

[ocr errors]

· No. 1043.-i. 10. Thy cheeks are comely with rows of
jewels.] Olearius supposes the head-dress of the bride
here referred to is the same with that which is now
frequently used in the east. He says, (p. 818.) that
all the head-dress that the Persian ladies make use of
consists of two or three rows of pearls, which are not
worn there about the neck, as in other places; but
round the head, beginning at the forehead, and dea.

[ocr errors]

scending down the cheeks and under the chin ; so that their faces seem to be set in pearls.

HARMER, on Sol. Song, p. 205.

No. 1044.mii. 15. Take us the foxes, the little foxes, that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes.] Foxes are observed by many. authors to be fond of grapes, and to make great havoc in vineyards. Aristophanes in his Equites) compares soldiers to foxes, who spoil whole countries, as the others do vineyards. Galen (in his book of Aliments ), tells us, that hunters did not scruple to eat the flesh of foxes in autumn, when they were grown fat with feeding on grapes.

No. 1045.-iii. 1. Night.] In the East they now have a public festival called Zeenah, in which crowds of both sexes dress out in their best apparel, and laying aside all modesty and restraint, go in and out where they please; at other times the women are very closely confined. (Shaw's Trav. p. 207.) Mr. Harmer (Outlines of a Commentary; p. 270.) seems to suppose the night referred to in these words was one of those festivals.

No. 1046.-iii. 3. The watchmen that go about the city found me.] In Persia the watch is kept up very strictly. In the night they suffer no person to go about the streets without a lantern. They incessantly walk about the street to prevent mischief and robberies, with vigilance and exactness, being obliged to indemnify. those who are robbed.” “. It is reported that one night Shah Abbas, desirous to make trial of the vigilance of these people, suffered himself to be surprised by them; and had been carried to prison, had he not been known by one of the company, who discovering him to the

rest, they all cast themselves at his feet to beg his pardon.” Ambassador's Travels, p. 328. See Ezek. xxxiii. 2.

No. 1047.-iii. 11. The crown wherewith his mother crowned him in the day of his espousals.] Such a ceremony as this was customary among the Jews at their marriages. Maillet informs us the crowns were madė of different materials. Describing the custom as praca tised by the members of the Greek church who now live in Egypt, he says ( Lett. X. p. 85.) “ that the parties to be married are placed opposite to a readingdesk, upon which the book of the gospels is placed, and upon the book two crowns, which are made of such materials as people choose, of flowers, of cloth, or of tinsel. There he (the 'priest) continues his benedictions and prayers, into which he introduces all the patriarchs of the Old Testament. He after that places these crowns, the one on the head of the bridegroom, the other on that of the bride, and covers them both with a veil.” After some other ceremonies the priest concludes the whole by taking off their crowns, and dismissing them with prayers.

- No. 1048.—v. 13. His cheeks are as a bed of spices.] The ancients by way of indulgence used to repose themselves, on large heaps of fragrant herbs, leaves, and flowers. Among others, we may take an instance from Anacreon, in Ode iv. b. 1, of himself, he says,

[merged small][ocr errors]

No. 1049.-vi. 10. Fair as the moon.] This manner of describing beauty still prevails in the East. D'Herbelot informs us, that the later writers of these countries have given to the patriarch Joseph the title of the Moon of Canaan, that is, in their stile, the most perfect beauty that ever appeared above the horizon of Judea. Many eastern writers have applied the comparison particularly to the females of those countries.

No. 1050.--vii. 5. And the hair of thy head like pur· ple: the king is held (Heb. bound) in the galleries.] Mr.

Parkhurst proposes to render the words, the hair of thy. head is like the purple of a king bound up in the canals, or troughs. The Vulgate is, Comæ capitis tui sicut purpura regis vincta canalibus. “ In Solomon's Song,” says Mons. Goguet alluding to this text, “ there is mentioned a royal purple which the dyers dipt in the canals, after having tied it in small bundles.” (Origin of Laws, vol. ii. p. 99.) The following note is also added: “ The best way of washing wools after they are died, is to plunge them in running water. Probably the sacred author had this practice in view when he said, they should dip the. royal purple in canals. As to what he adds, after being tied in little bundles or packets, one may conclude from this circumstance, that instead of making the cloth 'with white wool, and afterwards putting the whole piece into the dye, as we do now, they then followed another' method: they began by dying the wool in skeins, and made it afterwards into purple stuffs.” His account well illustrates the comparison of a lady's hair to royal purple bound up in the canals, if we may suppose, what is highly probable, that the eastern ladies anciently braided their hair in numerous tresses (perhaps with purple ribands, as well as with those of other colours) in a manner somewhat similar to what they do in our times, according to the description given by Lady M. W. Montague.

No. 1051.-viii. 10. I am a wall, and my breasts like towers.] In these words Solomon alludes to mounts, common in Greece, Egypt, and Syria. They were generally formed by art; being composed of earth, raised'very high, which was sloped gradually with great exactness. The top of all was crowned with a tower. They were held in great reverence, and therefore considered as

places of safety, and were the repositories of much trea· sure. (Fosephus, Bell. Fud. 1. vii. p. 417.) There were often two of these mounds of equal height in the same inclosure. To such as these Solomon refers in this passage. HOLWELL's Mythological Dict. p. 262.

« הקודםהמשך »