תמונות בעמוד

recommendation to say the Amma (the lady) prepared this.

27.-" He smelled the smell of his raiment The

smell of my son is as the smell of a field.” The natives are universally fond of having their garments strongly perfumed : so much so, that Europeans can scarcely bear the smell. They use camphor, civet, sandal wood or sandal oil, and a great variety of strongly scented waters.

It is not common to salute as in England : they simply smell each other; and it is said that some people know their children by the smell. It is common for a mother or father to say, “Ah! child, thy smell is like the Sen-Paga-Poo." * The crown of the head is the principal place for smelling.

Of an amiable man, it is said, “How sweet is the smell of that man ! the smell of his goodness is universal.”

41.-" The days of mourning for my father are at

hand.” When the father (or the mother) has become aged, the children say, “ The day for the lamentation of our father is at hand.” “The sorrowful time for our mother is fast approaching.” If requested to go to another part of the country, the son will ask, “ How can I go? the day of sorrow for my father is fast approaching.” When the aged parents are seriously ill, it is said, “ Ah! the days of mourning have come.”

44.—“ Tarry with him a few days, until thy brother's

fury turn away.” (See also Gen. xxxiii. 3.) How exactly does this advice agree with that which is given under similar circumstances at this day! Any Tamul mother would have recommended the same thing as did Rebekah, and any son would have acted in the same way.

See a person

* Michelia Champacca, a flower sacred to Chrisna, and which tips one of the arrows of Cama, the Indian Cupid.

who has deeply offended another he wishes to conciliate; he will for weeks and months keep entirely out of his way, and yet enquire of the servants and others if they ever hear the master mention his name. He will perhaps request a person to go (as if not sent by himself) and say, “How great is his distress ! his sleep has departed from him, his food has become bitter, and his soul is withered.” Should there be a slight hope of reconciliation, he enquires in what direction his offended friend will walk that day; and then he occupies a place where he must be seen. So soon as he can attract the attention of his superior, he puts his hand to his forehead, stoops to the ground as if touching his feet, to show submission. Should no notice be taken, he will go and “tarry a few days longer, and again repeat the same humiliations, till he shall have gained his object.

XXVIII. 18.-"Set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon


top of it." At the consecration of an altar, or the lingam, ghee, i.e. clarified butter, is always (with other things) poured upon them. .

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XXIX. 1.--" Jacob went on his journey.” The mar

gin has “ lifted up his feet;" which, in Eastern language, signifies to walk quickly — to reach out

— to be in good earnest— not to hesitate. Thus Jacob journeyed to the East, he lifted up his feet, and stretched forth in good earnest, having been greatly encouraged by the vision of the ladder, and the promise, “ Thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth."

7.—“ It is yet high day.” Heb. “ Yet the day is great.” Are people travelling through places where are wild beasts, those who are timid will keep troubling the party by saying, “Let us seek for a place of safety:" but the others reply, “Not yet;” for “the day is great.“Why should I be in such haste? the day is yet great.When tired of working, it is remarked,



Why, the day is yet great." Yes, yes, you manage to leave off while the day is yet great."

14. — “ Abode with him the space of a month.” The

Margin has this (also in many other places), “ Month

of days." So it is still said, “ How long have you been performing this penance ? ” —“A month of time.” “How long have you been performing your vows?”—“A year of time.”

19. — “ It is better that I give her to thee.” So said Laban, in reference to his daughter Rachel; and so say fathers in the East, under similar circumstances.

The whole affair is managed in a business-like way, without any thing like a consultation with the maiden. Her likes and dislikes are out of the question. The father understands the matter perfectly, and the mother is very knowing; therefore they manage the transaction.

This system, however, is the fruitful source of that general absence of domestic happiness which prevails there. She has, perhaps, never seen the man with whom she is to spend her days. He may be young; he may be aged; he may be repulsive or attractive. The whole is a lottery to her. Have the servants or others whispered to her something about the match ; she will make her enquiries; but the result will never alter the arrangements : for though her soul abhor the thoughts of meeting him, yet it must be done. *

26.-“ Laban said, It must not be so done in our coun

try, to give the younger before the first-born.”

A fine native girl, belonging to the Wesleyan Society in Jaffna, was thus betrothed to a man whom she disliked. The parents pressed her to have the nuptials celebrated; but she positively declared she never would have him, and that she would for ever rather remain as she was. For a full year the parents and relations plied her, but to no purpose; and at last they were obliged to allow her to marry the man whom she loved, and who It has been said (and with much truth), that could Alexander re-visit India, he would find the same customs and manners that prevailed in his day. From age to age the fashions and usages are carefully and reverently adhered to.

is also a member of the same society.

When the eldest daughter is deformed, or blind, or deaf, or dumb, then the younger may be given first: but under other circumstances it would be disgraceful in the extreme. Should any one wish to alter the order of things, the answer of Laban is given.

Should a father, however, have a very advantageous offer for a younger daughter, he will exert all his powers to get off the elder; but until this can be accomplished, the younger will not be married.

Younger brothers are sometimes married first, but even this takes place but very seldom.

35. — “ She called his name Judah," (Margin,

(Margin, “She called his name Praise,"). “ and left bearing."

Heb. “stood from bearing." Scriptural names have generally a meaning. Thus, Didymus means a twin; Boanerges, a son of thunder; and Peter, a stone.

The names of the Orientals have always a distinct meaning. Thus, Ani Muttoo, the precious pearl ; Pun Amma, the golden lady; Perrya Amma, the great lady; Chinny Tamby, the little friend; Kanneyar, the gentleman for the eye. Vast numbers of their children are named after their gods.

“ Stood from bearing.” When a mother has ceased to bear children, should a person say it is not so, others will reply, “ She stood from bearing at such a time.”


XXX. 20.-" Now will husband dwell with me, be

cause I have borne him six sons. Should it be reported of a husband, that he is going to forsake his wife, after she has borne him children, people will say, “ She has borne him sons; he will never, never leave

her.” To have children is a powerful tie upon a husband. Should she, however, not have any, he is almost certain to forsake her.

30.-—The Lord hath blessed thee since my coming.”

Heb. “at my foot.” By the labour of Jacob's foot, the cattle of Laban had increased into a multitude.

Of a man who has become rich by his own industry, it is said, “Ah! by the labour of his feet these treasures have been acquired.” How have you gained this prosperity ? “By the favour of the gods, and the labour of my feet.How is it the king is so prosperous ? “By the labour of the feet of his ministers.”

32.—“I will pass through all thy flock to-day, removing

from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle.

of such shall be my hire.” It is the custom of some to give to their shepherds the males which are born for their wages; and, as a general thing, they have not any other reward. This mode of paying, however, applies only to flocks of sheep and goats.

XXXI. 2.—“The countenance of Laban— behold, it was

not toward him as before.” Heb. “as yesterday and the day before.” See also marginal reading to

Isa. xxx. 33. Of old, “from yesterday.” The latter form of speech is truly Oriental, and means time gone by. Has a person lost the friendship of another, he will say to him, “Thy face is not to me as yesterday and the day before.” Is a man reduced in his circumstances, he says, “ The face of God is not upon me as yesterday and the day before.

The future is spoken of as to-day and to-morrow. “His face will be upon me to-day and to-morrow;" which means, always. “I will love thee to-day and to-morrow.” “Do you think of me?” _“Yes, to-day and to-morrow.” “ Modeliar, have you

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