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1819, a large one burst near our ship, which caused considerable alarm to all on board. We were near to it before we were aware, and the captain ordered the guns to be loaded and discharged, to cause it to break. Happily for us it burst at some distance; but the noise the water made in rushing from the water-spout, and again in dashing into the sea, strongly reminded me of this expression, “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy water-spouts."*
11.-" Who is the health of my countenance." Ains
worth, “ the salvations of my face.” “ Oh! Siva, are you not the salvation of my face?” says the prostrate devotee. “ To whom shall I make known '
my distress? are not you the salvation of my face?” “ Alas! alas ! the salvation of my face has departed.” “The blossoming on my face is now withered and gone,” says the widow, lamenting over the corpse of her husband.
XLV. 8. — “ All thy garments smell of myrrh, and
aloes, and cassia." The people of the East are extremely fond of perfumes, and they are so easily obtained, either from animals, gums, or vegetables, that all enjoy them. On festive occasions their garments have an extra dash, and so powerful is the scent from a numerous assemblage, that an Englishman can scarcely bear it. Thus, in mixing in crowds on their great religious festivals, I have often been most anxious to escape into the open place.
Some take great pleasure in keeping civet cats, as that animal supplies them with abundance of perfume.“ Ah! Tamby, how fragrant are you ! how sweet your garments !"
XLVI. 5. — “ God shall help her, and that right early.” The Hebrew has instead of early, 66 when the
* The Hindoos believe the clouds take water from the sea, as is seen in the book Raymayanum. . “ Samūtra-sāla-panan-panu, vatha, megam.”
morning appeareth.” Ainsworth, “ God will help it at the looking forth of the morning."
A person in perplexity says, “ Yes, I hope the morning will soon come; then will my friends help me.”. “ When the daylight shall appear, many will be ready to assist me.” “Ah! when will the morning come? How long has been this night of adversity !"
XLVIII. 6. « Fear took hold as of a woman
in travail.” “ His pain not great? it was equal to that of a woman in travail.” “ Alas! alas ! this is like the agony of the womb."
Nothing but the womb knows trouble like this."
LV. 6. —“Oh, that I had wings like a dove! for then
would I fly away, and be at rest.” The Hindoos have a science called Aagiya-Kannam, which teaches the art of FLYING! and numbers in every age have tried to acquire it. There are, however, so many difFICULTIES! in the way, that few have succeeded.
When Magā Vishnoo went to fight with the demi-gods and giants, he mounted aloft on the wings of an eagle.
Those who wish to attain a blessing which is afar off, or who desire to escape from trouble, often exclaim, “Oh! that I had learned the Aagiya-Kannam ; then should I gain the desire of my heart." “ Could I but fly, these things would not be so.”
8. -" Hasten my escape from the windy storm and
tempest.” All calamities and afflictions are spoken of as the desolating storm. “ Ah! the monsoon ; how fiercely does it blow !"
LVI. 8. — “ Put thou my tears into thy bottle.” The lachrymatories used in Greece and Rome are, I believe, unknown to the Hindoos. A person in distress, as he weeps, says, “ Ah ! Lord, take care of these tears, let them not run in vain.” “ Alas ! my husband, why beat me? my tears are known to God.”
LVII. 8. —“Awake up, my glory: awake, psaltery
and harp.” (Jer. xlvii. 6. Zech. xii. 7.) Dr. Boothroyd has this, “ Awake, my glory! awake, lyre and harp!”
The Orientals often speak to inanimate objects as if they had intelligence. Thus a strolling musician, before he begins to play in your presence, says, “ Arise, arise, my harp, before this great king! play sweetly in his hearing, and well shalt thou be rewarded.” A person who has sold an article says to it when being caried away,
“ Go, thou, go.' The Prophet says, “ Awake, oh! sword.” “ When two heroes were preparing for a duel, one of them found a difficulty in drawing his sword from the scabbard; at which his antagonist asked, “What! is thy sword afraid ?'_' No,' replied the other, it is only hungry for thy blood.'”
LVIII. 3, 4.-" The wicked are estranged from the
womb: they go astray as soon as they be born, speaking lies. Their poison is like the poison
of a serpent.” “ Do you ask whence he had this disposition? I will tell you ; it was from the womb." “ Expect him not to change; he had it in the womb."
The figure of the wicked going astray so soon as they are born, seems to be taken from the disposition and power of a young serpent soon after its birth. The youngest serpent can convey poison to any thing it bites; and the suffering in all cases is great, though the bite is seldom fatal. Put a stick near the reptile, whose age does not amount to many days, and he will immediately snap at it. The young of the tiger and alligator are equally fierce in their earliest habits.
4. — “ Like the deaf adder that stoppeth her ear.” Several of the serpent tribe are believed to be deaf, or very dull of hearing. Perhaps that which is called the puddeyan, the beaver serpent, is more so than any other. I have several times been close upon them, but they did not offer to get out of the way. They lurk in the path, and the victim bitten by them will expire a few minutes after the bite.
“ Talk not to him: he is as the deaf serpent, he will not hear.” Truly, I am a deaf serpent, and may soon bite you." Young man, if you repeat the ubbatheasum, which the priest has whispered in your ear, your next birth will be that of a deaf serpent."
" Which will not hearken to the voice of charmers, charming never so wisely. Break their teeth, O God, in their mouth.” Margin, “ Be the charmer never so cunning.” (Jer. viii. 17.
Job iv. 10. Ps. iii. 7.) The kuravan, or serpent charmer, may be found in every village, and some who have gained great fame actually live by the art. Occasionally they travel about the district, to exhibit their skill. In a basket they have several serpents, which they place on the ground. The kuravan then commences playing on his instrument, and to talk to the reptiles, at which they creep out, and begin to mantle about with their heads erect, and their hoods distended. After this, he puts his arm to them, which they affect to bite, and sometimes leave the marks of their teeth.
From close observation I am convinced that all these serpents thus exhibited have their poisonous FANGS extracted, and the Psalmist seems to have had his eyes on that when he says, “ Break their teeth.” Living animals have been repeatedly offered to the man for his serpents to bite, but he would never allow it; because he knew no harm would ensue.
It is, however, granted, that some of these men may believe in the power of their charms, and there can be no doubt that serpents in their wild state are affected by the influence of music. One of these men once went to a friend of mine (in the civil service) with his serpents and charmed them before him. After some time the gentleman said, “ I have a cobracapella in a cage, can you charm him ?”—“Oh! yes,” said the charmer. The serpent was let out of the cage, and the man began his incantations and charms; the reptile fastened on his arm, and he was dead before the night.
The following is said to be a most potent charm for all poisonous serpents - Suttellām, pande, keere, soolavea, karudan vārān, orou, vattami, kiddantha, pămba, valliya, vuttakal, vāya ; which means, “Oh! serpent, thou who art coiled in the path, get out of my way; for around thee are the mongoos, the porcupine, and the kite in his circles is ready to take thee.” The mongoos is in shape and size much like the English weasel. The porcupine is also a great enemy of the serpent. The kite before he pounces on his prey flies round in circles, and then drops like a stone; he seizes the reptile with his talons just behind the head, carries it up in the air, and bills it in the head till it expire.
But there are also charmers for bears, tigers, elephants, and other fierce animals. A party having to go through forests or deserts, to a distant country, generally contrive to have some one amongst them possessed of that art. A
* The porcupine and the English hedgehog resemble each other in appearance and habits; but the former is much larger in size than the latter. In Tamul, the porcupine is called Mulla-Pande, i. e. thorny-hog! hedgehog ! Professor Buckland has proved that the hedgehog also eats snakes !