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worth one hundred rupees, I will sell them; you shall each pay a fine of twenty-five rupees, and the remaining fifty you may divide betwixt yourselves. The man replied, I will not have the twenty-five rupees; they are my own rings, you can do as you please. The magistrate then called the other man into the room, and proposed the same thing; he replied, “ What can I do, my lord, I must submit to your pleasure; I accept of the twenty-five rupees.” His worship saw that the man was much pleased with the prospect of getting the rupees, and therefore concluded that he was the thief. The ring was then given to the other man, who was the rightful owner.”
26. — “Her bowels yearned upon her son."
The Hebrew has for yearned, A mother, in lamenting over her suffering child, says, “ Ah! my bowels are hot over the child.” “ My bowels burn in his misery.” “My heart is burned to ashes.”
V. 9. — “ I will convey them by sea in floats unto the
place that thou shalt appoint me.” Bishop Patrick supposes, “ that they conveyed the pieces of timber from the high parts of the mountains to the river Adonis, or to the plain of Biblos.” “ By floats is probably meant that the pieces of timber were bound together, and so drawn through the rivers and the sea.”
In exactly the same way, timber is conveyed in all parts of the East. The trees are cut down before the rainy season, all the branches are lopped off, and the trunks are squared on the spot. Notches are then made in the logs, and they are tied together by ropes made of green withes gathered in the forests. If, however, the waters of the rainy season should not reach the spot where they are hewn down, they are dragged singly to the place where it is known that in the wet monsoon they will float. Thus, in passing through remote forests in the dry season, the inexperienced traveller, in seeing numerous trees felled in every direction, and then again, in another place a large collection bound together like a raft, which is also fastened to trees that are still standing, (to prevent it from being lost when the floods come,) is at a loss to know how it can be got to the river, or to the sea ; for he sees no tract or path except that which is made by the wild beast: he knows no vehicle can approach the place, and is convinced that men cannot carry it. But let him go thither when the rains have fallen, and he will see in one place men in a little canoe winding through the forest, in another directing a float with some men on it moving gently along; and in the river he sees large rafts sweeping down the stream, with the dexterous steersmen making for some neighbouring town, or the more distant ocean: and then may be seen in the harbour immense collections of the finest timber, which have been brought thither “ by sea in floats."*
VI. 18.—“ Carved with knops.” Prov. vii. 16. The people of the East are exceedingly profuse in their carved work. See a temple: it is almost from its foundation to its summit a complete mass of sculpture and carved work. Look at the sacred car in which their gods are drawn out in procession, and you are astonished at the labour, taste, and execution displayed by the workmen in carved work: nay, the roof and doors of private dwellings are all indebted to the chisel of the “cunning workman." The pillars that support the verandahs, their chests, their couches (as were those of Solomon), the handles of different instruments, their ploughs, their vessels (however rude in other respects), must be adorned by the skill of the carver.
VIII. 66. — “ They blessed the king.” The Hebrew be the most high God.” The Tamul translation has, for blessed, “praised.” So in Joshua xxii. 33., also in 2 Sam. xxii. 47., and in all other passages where the word occurs (when used in reference to
has, for blessed, “thanked." Gen. xiv. 20. “Blessed
Sometimes the rains come on earlier than expected; or the logs may not have been well bound together, or not have been fastened to trees still standing; hence, when the floods come, they naturally move towards the river; and then may be seen noble trees whirling and tumbling along till they reach the sea, and are thus lost to man.
God), it is rendered “praise,” or “praised.” The word bless, amongst the Hindoos, is, I think, not used, as in English, to praise, to glorify, but to confer happiness, to convey a benediction, or to show good will. St. Paul says,
“ Without all contradiction, the less is blessed of the better;" and this I believe, joined with greatness, is the only idea the Orientals attach to those who bless others. Hence he who blesses another must be a superior, either in years, rank, or sanctity. The heathen never bless their gods.
X. 1.—“And when the queen of Sheba* heard of the
fame of Solomon concerning the name of the Lord, she came to prove him with hard questions.” The Septuagint has, for hard questions, anvyjadi, enigmas, riddles. Judges xiv, 12. Ps. xlix. 4. lxxviii. 2. Prov. i. 6. Ezek. xvii. 2. (See on 2 Kings xiv. 9.
also on Ps. xlix. 4.) The Hindoos (especially their females) take great delight in riddles, apologues, and fables.. By this method they convey pleasure, instruction, or reproof. See them in their marriage feasts, or in their “ evenings at home;" how pleasantly they pass their time, in thus puzzling each other, and calling forth the talents of the young.
The story of Sinthā-manni and Vera-māran is a striking instance of the importance which they attach to riddles.
The king, called Veerasoora-toora-tān, and his nobles, went out with their chariots, borsemen, footmen, and elephants, to hunt the savage beasts of the desert. After some time, the king complained of thirst, when the prime minister took him to a deep well, and whilst his majesty was looking down, his faithless minister pushed him in. He then returned to the capital, published the death of the sovereign, and proclaimed himself king. The queen of the deceased monarch immediately went to a distant country, and procured a living by selling firewood. Not long after her residence there, some officers, on a hunting excursion, saw her, and told their sovereign of a majestic-looking woman they had seen selling firewood. The king sent for her, became enamoured with her, and determined to make her his wife; but she, on pretence of going out a little, departed to another country. After travelling some days, she came in sight of the cottage of a despised Pariah; and on going near to it, he came out, and seeing her noble mien, bowed to the earth. She said, “I am a seller of firewood, and beg you will allow me to live near to you.” The Pariah replied, “Madam, you must be of another rank; you look like a queen: I will build your majesty a cottage, and supply your wants.” She had not been long there before she brought forth a son to the late Veerasooratoora-tān, to whom she gave the name of Veera-māran. The infant was anointed with oil, and rubbed with holy ashes. The Pariah went forth and blew the victorious chank, put up the triumphant flag, purchased anklets, a waist-chain, bracelets, armlets, and neck-rings for the infant prince. So great was his joy, that he made gifts in money, robes, and cows to the Brahmins, and offerings to the gods. In course of years, the youth became exceedingly beautiful and accomplished. In the battle or the chase he was always the hero of the field. He, having heard of the fascinating princess Sinthā-manni, determined to try to get her for his wife ; but was told she would not give her hand to any one who could not explain all her riddles, and those who failed were to forfeit their lives. His soul was fixed on the attempt; and notwithstanding many princes had fallen a sacrifice to the talented princess, and in despite of the entreaties of his friends, he took
* The Septuagint has, instead of Sheba, Labà. — (See on Job xxviii.) Lobo, the Portuguese Jesuit (who left Portugal in 1662), says of Abyssinia, “ They call the place of her birth the land of Saba.- See “ Voyages and Travels of Lobo,” translated by Dr. Johnson.
his departure for the palace of Sinthā-manni. When he came in sight of the city, he was perfectly astonished with its splendour. Now he thought of all he had heard of the nine hundred and ninety-nine gates; of the ponds and streams of perfumed waters ; of the groves; of the fair deity of the
palace, with her attendants, the astronomers, the heralds, the bearers of incense, the beautiful footmen, the nobles, the musicians; he thought on her banners of gold, her throne of precious stones and gold; her shield made of the same metal; her couch made of the nine precious stones; and his mind became enraptured with the prospect of having her for his own. With joy he entered the fort without asking permission, and gallopped about the streets; after which, he ordered his attendant to make a triumphal arch of fragrant flowers. He then spread his carpet on the ground, and sate there, that he might be seen by the passers by. They soon began to enquire about his country, and his object in coming to their city; and when they heard it, they laughed, and clapped their hands, saying, Another madman has come to explain the riddles of the princess, and to add another to the list of those whose lives have been sacrificed to their ambition. He arose, and went till he came to the tenth gate, when the guards pushed him away, and treated him with great contempt. He then sent a letter to the princess by a confidential person, stating his object, and requesting to be allowed to come into her presence. The next day Veera-māran stood before the beautiful, the splendid Sinthā-manni: there she was seated on her throne of diamonds and rubies; there were the warriors, with their shields of gold; there were the poets, there the players on instruments, the tambour, the harps, and the lutes. Near her were females of great wisdom, and all around were garlands of flowers; there was the precious ointment, and there were those who sprinkled the guests with perfumed waters. Veera-māran looked around, and then with dignity walked up to the princess, and requested to have a seat by her side on the throne. This being granted, he ascended with match