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mode of speaking is still used by this people. Thus, in describing a man's possessions, they convey an idea of their extent by saying, “How many yoke of oxen will be required to keep the fields in order ?” *
26.—“ And when the people were come into the wood,
behold, the honey dropped.” Bees, in the East, are not, as in England, kept in hives : they are all in a wild state. The forests literally flow with honey ; large combs may be seen hanging on the trees as you pass along, full of honey. Hence this article is cheap and plentiful, and is much used by the Vedahs to preserve the flesh of animals they catch in the chase.
The ancient poets take great pleasure in speaking of the value of milk and honey.
41.-“Saul said unto the Lord God of Israel, Give a
perfect lot.” 42.- Cast lots between me and Jonathan my son.”
(1 Chron. xxvi. 14, 15, 16. Prov. xviii. 18. Jonah
i. 7. Matt. xxvii. 35.) To cast lots where human wisdom was either not able, or not allowed to decide, appears to have been the custom of all antiquity.
The Hindoos often settle their disputes by casting lots. On particular occasions they do it opposite to the temple; and before they begin, they appeal to their gods, that they may show the right. “Let justice be shown,” “Show the innocent,” and such-like appeals, are often made. But sometimes they cast the lot in the rest-house or a private dwelling. Should there be a dispute betwixt two people respecting the possession of any given article, the name of each will be writ
* The Eastern farmers who wish to have a good crop, plough their fields eight and ten times over. Having made their furrows lengthwise, they then cross them. The corn is also covered by the plough instead of the harrow.
ten on separate pieces of olah, and thrown into a vessel half full of water. A person who is chosen by mutual agreement takes out an olah, and he whose name is inscribed thereon is in the right. See on 1 Chron. xxvi. 14, 15, 16.
XV. 9.-" The best of the sheep-the fatlings and
the lambs.” The margin has, instead of “ fatlings”
of the " second sort.” This curious way of designating the quality of animals finds an exact parallel amongst the Hindoos. They do not usually compare, as we do, by good, better, best; but first, second, or third sort. An animal of the finest proportions is said to be of the first sort; the next, of the second; and the last, the third. All the productions of art and nature are compared, as to their value, in the same way. They tell us there are three kinds of fruit they prefer to all others : first, gold; second, precious stones; and third, land.
XVI. 23. — “ David took an harp, and played with his
hand; so Saul was refreshed, and was well.” Several kinds of diseases are believed to be removed or alleviated by music; and devils and evil spirits are (with the addition of charms) ejected in the same way. Thus, to a person suffering under the possession of a fiend, a man beats a small tambourine, and sings songs respecting the wife of Siva. Those who are deranged, also, are said to be much benefited by music.
XVII. 18.—“Look how thy brethren fare, and take
their pledge.” The sons of Jesse were serving in the army of Saul; and as he probably had not heard from them for some time, he sent their brother David to take a present to the captain, to induce him to be kind to his sons; also to bring a pledge, or token, from his sons themselves, to assure him that they were well. A person in a distant country sends to those who
are interested in his welfare a ring, a lock of hair, or a piece of his nail. This is his “ pledge" of health and prosperity. A man who has returned from a far country, in calling upon an old friend (should he not be at home), will leave a handkerchief as a token, to testify that he had called.
40.—“His sling was in his hand, and he drew near
to the Philistine.” David was a keeper of sheep, and required a sling, not only to keep off the enemies of his flock, but also to chastise any of his charge which might go astray. Shepherds in the East (especially on the continent) carry a sling and stones for the same purpose.
43.-" The Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog,
that thou comest to me with staves ? And the
Philistine cursed David by his gods.” Men of high caste will not strike those who are of low caste with the hand, because the touch would defile them : they therefore beat them with a stick or some other
Hence to offer to strike any person with a stick is very provoking, and the person so struck will ask, “ Am I a dog ?” When a man wishes to make another angry, he pretends to be looking for a stick, which will produce a similar question and feeling. Sometimes, however, they only repeat the proverb, “ Take up a stick, and the dog will run off.”
As did the Philistine, so do these people curse each other by their gods. The imprecations are generally of such a kind as it would be improper to repeat. The extremes of filthiness, of sin and hell, are put under contribution, to furnish epithets and allusions for their execrations.
44.-—“I will give thy flesh unto the fowls of the air and
to the beasts of the field.” The rhodomontade of Goliath is still the favourite way of terrifying an enemy.
“ Begone, or I will give thy flesh to the jackalls.” “ The crows shall soon have thy carcase.” “Yes, the teeth of the dogs shall soon have hold of thee.” “ The eagles are ready.”
55.—“ Whose son is this youth ?” (Chap. x. 11. xvi.
18. xx. 27. xxii. 7. Num. xxiii. 18. and Judges
v. 12.) It is a favourite way of addressing a person by saying, “ You are the son of such a person," or, “Is he not the son of such a man?” How Saul could have forgotten David is impossible to account for. When a person has to ask a number of questions, though he know well the name of the individual he has to address, he often begins by asking, “Whose son are you?” Many people never go by their proper name: they are known by the son of such a person, as Nellinaderin Maggan, i.e. the son of Nellinăder.
XVIII. 6. — “ To meet king Saul with tabrets
with instruments of music." Has a long absent son returned, is a person coming who has performed some great exploit, are the bride and bridegroom with their attendants expected; then, those in the house go forth with tabrets and pipes to meet them, and greet them, and conduct them on the way.
When a great man is expected, the people of the village always send the tabrets and pipes to meet him. It is amusing to see with what earnestness and vehemence they blow their instruments, or beat their tom-toms, and stamp along the road.
10. — “ The evil spirit.” Nearly all diseases, and accidents, and misery, are attributed to the power of evil spirits. There are evil spirits for infants, others for youth, and many for old age. That which is so troublesome to the youth of both sexes is called Mogani,
which bears some relation to the English notion of a fairy. The elves of ancient Britain, so famous for their midnight revelries, have a numerous sisterhood, of equal renown for their orgies, in the East. The fairies, like those of our native land, are believed to be subject to passion, pain, and death. In general they are supposed to be extremely beautiful; but when on an evil errand they assume the most terrific shapes, having dishevelled hair, a dirty face, large teeth, and wounds in their legs. In their hands they carry a vulkku-māru, i.e. a broom, and are arrayed in black garments. But when they go on an expedition of love, they are dressed in white or scarlet, and have great pleasure in their intercourse with the youth of both sexes when asleep: lascivious dreams in early life are always attributed to their influence.
Does a young person look delicate; the parents or friends immediately suspect the fairy is troubling them, and have recourse to a charm or adcharam, which is bound round the wrist or waist.
Some of these sylvan beings love to dwell in the jungle, trees, and rivers. They can assume either sex.
XIX. 24. - “ He stripped off his clothes also and
prophesied—and lay down naked.” (Exod. xxxii. , 25.) “ Moses saw that the people were naked; for Aaron had made them naked unto their shame."
(2 Sam. vi. 20. Isa. xx. 2. Micah i. 8.) It is supposed the term naked in these and many other passages, means either to take off all the upper garments, or to be in a defenceless condition. That it does so in some of them I do not doubt, but that it does so in all I cannot believe. The nature of the idolatry and the practices arising from it, in which the Israelites were engaged, probably demanded that shameless conduct in its votaries.
In those lascivious rites arising from the Satte-Poosy, those engaged are always naked. There are also vast numbers of devotees who walk about entirely destitute of