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clothes. Not long ago one of them entered the town of Jaffna, and walked about the streets in that condition, till taken up by the authorities, and removed to the place from whence he came. When a person is requested to submit to any thing shameful, he says, “ I would rather go naked than suffer that." *
XX. 3. — “ There is but a step between me and death." Men in great danger say, “ I have stretched my head to the gate of the pit.” “ Another step and the point is gained.” “ Fear not one step more.”
5. — “ To-morrow is the new moon, and I should
not fail to sit with the king.” (Deut. iv. 19.) “ And lest thou lift thine eyes unto heaven, and when thou seest the sun and the moon.” (Deut. xvii. 3.
Amos viii. 5.) It
appears to have been customary for David to dine with the king on the first day of the new moon; which may have arisen from the circumstance of some of their solemn sacrifices falling on that day. But the heathen and the Jews (who copied them) also paid honour to the moon, from a belief that she had great influence over the affairs of men.
The Jews, as mentioned by the prophet Amos, were anxious that the new moon should be gone, that they might 66 sell corn.” There was not a command for them to refrain from doing business on that day, which shows it was a custom of their own invention, arising from some opinion or superstition, which made it unfortunate or improper to sell their corn at that period.
The merchants will not, except under particular circumstances, purchase stock during the first fifteen days of the
* M. Savary, in his Letters on Egypt, vol. i. 237., informs us, that many of the Santons “ go entirely naked through the cities.” “ In the market stood a saint quite naked.” — See Henniker's Travels in Egypt, p. 90.See on Isa. chap. Ixv. 4. : and note on John xiv. 2.
new moon, they do, however, vend their goods to all who will buy.
On seeing the new moon for the first time the people present their hands, in the form of adoration, in the same way as to their gods.
XXI. 9.-" The sword of Goliath the Philistine,
whom thou slewest in the valley of Elah; behold
it is here wrapped in a cloth." All things which are valuable or sacred, or which have been acquired at great expense or trouble, are always folded in a cloth.
XXIII. 19. — 6 Doth not David hide himself with us
in strong holds, in the wood, in the hill of Hachilah, which is on the south of Jeshimon ? "
has, for south, “ on the right hand.” “ The Hebrews express the east, west, north, and south, by words which signify before, behind, left, and right, according to the situation of a man with his face turned towards the south.” In the same way do the Hindoos speak on this subject; the north is shown by the left, the south by the right hand, the face being considered to be towards the east. When the situation of any thing is spoken of, it is always mentioned in connection with the cardinal points.
Often, when people wish to give intelligence respecting any thing, they begin by asking a question which conveys the information required. Thus the situation of poor David was described by asking a question. “Have not the elephants been ravaging the fields of Tamban last night ? ” is a question asked when such a circumstance has taken place.
XXIV. S.- Saul went in to cover his feet.” The Hindoos say for this, “ He has gone to the open place,” or “ He has gone to the tank," or “ He has gone for the two things."
14. “ After whom is the king of Israel come out ? after
whom dost thou pursue ? after a dead dog ?” It is highly contemptible and provoking to compare a man to a dead dog. Has a servant offended his master; he will say, “ Stand there and be like a dead dog to me." Does a creditor press much for his money; the debtor will say, “ Bring your bond, and then he is a dead dog to me.”
66 I care as much for that fellow as for a dead dog."
“ I will tell you what that fellow is worth ; a dead dog!”
16. — “Saul lifted up his voice and wept." When a man in great sorrow is spoken of, it is said, “ Ah, how he did lift up his voice and weep.” “ Alas, how great is their trouble, they are all lifting up the voice.”
XXV. 5. “ Go to Nabal and greet him in my name.”
Job. xxix. 8. “The aged arose and stood up.” Acts xxviii. 10. “ Who also honoured me with many
honours." In the Old and New Testaments we have some striking examples of what may be termed good breeding. Look at the patriarchs and others in their renunciation of self, their anxiety to please, to show respect to the aged, the learned, the dignified, or those of the sacerdotal character: listen to their affecting eulogies and their touching appeals, and then say, have we not in them some of the most pleasing instances of gentility and good breeding ?
On their great anniversary festivals, the Hindoos always send to “greet” each other. Has a son or daughter got married; has a “male child” been born; has prosperity attended the merchant in his pursuits; does a traveller pass through a town or village where some of his friends or acquaintances reside : then, those concerned send greeting expressive of their joy, and best wishes for future prosperity.
See them on receiving company. A servant, or friend, stands at the gate to watch for the approach of the guests, and
to give notice to the master of the house. When they approach the premises the host goes out to meet them, and bows and expresses his joy at seeing them; he then puts his arm over their shoulders, or takes them by the hand, and conducts them into the house. When they retire also, he always accompanies them to the gate, and expresses the great joy he has had in their company.
Before people take their food they always wash their hands, feet, and mouth; and when they sit down, they take their places according to rank and seniority. Should any man presume to sit down “in the highest ” place when he has not a title to it, he will be sure (as in the parable) to hear the master say to him, in respect to a more honourable man,” “ Give this man place;” and then, “ with shame," he will be compelled “ to take the lowest” place.
In supplying the guests, the chief person present is always served the first, and generally by the hands of the host himself. They are also particular as to the order of serving up their viands and condiments; to set on the table certain articles first would be there considered as much out of place as it is in England to set on the dessert before the more substantial dishes.
Epicures at home would smile, and pout the lip, at the vegetable feast of a Saiva man. His first course consists of pulse, green gram, rice, and ghee, or butter; the second, of numerous curries, and pickles made of half-ripe fruits, vegetables, and spices; the third, an acid kind of broth; the fourth, curds, honey, and rice; the fifth, a rich supply of mellow fruits. From this humble repast the guests arise with more pleasure, and at less expense of health, than the luxurious Englishman does from his half-medicated meal, to which science is now the footman, and a few French terms its fashionable vocabulary.
When the visiters have taken what they require, the prin cipal person arises from his seat, and all present follow his example.
10. — “ Who is David ? and who is the son of
Jesse ?" When a man has gained some ascendancy over others, or when he assumes authority which is offensive to some one present, it will be enquired, by way of contempt, as Nabal did respecting David, “ Who is he? and whose son is he?”
16. — “ They were a wall unto us.” This was said of David and his men, who had been kind unto the servants of Nabal, and had probably been a defence to them whilst they had been in the wilderness tending their sheep. And the same figure is also used amongst us, in reference to those who have been a defence to others. “Ah ! my friend ; you have been a mathil, i. e, a wall, unto me." “ Alas! my wall is fallen,” means, the friend is dead, or become weak. “ What care I for that jackall ? I have a good wall before me.'
29.-" The soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle
of life.” Any thing which is important or valuable is called a kattu, i.e." a bundle, a pack, or bale.” A young man who is enamoured of a female, is said to be “ bound up in the kattu, bundle, of love.” Of a just judge the people say, “he is bound up in the bundle of justice.” When a man is very strict in reference to his caste," he is bound up in the bundle of high caste.” When a person is spoken to respecting the vanities or impurities of his system, he often replies, “ Talk not to me, I am bound up in the bundle of my reli
“ Why do those people act so ? — Because they are bound up in the bundle of desire.” David, therefore, was
An artful treacherous man is called a jackall : this animal is very much like the fox of England in his habits and appearance. I have been told they often catch the crab by putting their tail into its hole, which the creature immediately seizes, in hope of food: the jackall then drags it out and devours it.