« הקודםהמשך »
servant of mine joined himself to a company who were going from Batticaloa to Colombo. There was a magician, who walked in front, who had acquired great fame as a charmer of serpents and other wild animals. After a few days they saw a large elephant, and the charmer said, “ Fear not." But the animal continued to approach ; and my servant thought it expedient to decamp and climb a tree. The others, also, began to retire; but the old man remained on the spot, repeating his charms. At last the elephant took him in his pro boscis, and laid him gently on the ground; then lopped A the charmer's head, arms, and legs, and crushed the lifeless body flat on the earth.
By the power of charms the magicians pretend to have influence over ghosts, beasts, fire, wind, and water.
8. “ As a snail which melteth." « I have heard that Venāsi is dying.” — “ Yes; his body will soon be like the deserted shell of a snail.”
LIX. 9. -“God is my defence." The Hebrew has,
my high place.” In Eastern language high place signifies defence, refuge, consolation, safety.
LX. 4. “ Thou hast given a banner to them that
feared thee." Has a person gained a signal triumph over his enemy by the assistance of another, he then says of the latter, “ He has given me a victorious kuddi," banner. “ Yes,” say the conquerors, “ we have gained a victorious banner.”
LXII. 3. " Ye shall be as a bowing wall." Dr.
Boothroyd, “ like a tottering wall.” In consequence of heavy rains and floods, and unsound foundations, it is VERY common to see walls much out of
perpendicular, and some of them so much so, that it might
be thought scarcely possible for them to stand. Poor old Rāman is very ill, I hear.”—“Yes, the wall is bowing."
Begone, thou low caste; thou art a kutte-chivver,” i. e. a ruined wall. ** By the oppression of the head man the people of that village are like a ruined wall.”
LXIV. 3. “ Their arrows, even bitter words." “ The curses of that magician are like sharp arrows.”
LXV. 1.-" Praise waiteth for thee, O God.” Mar
gin, “ is silent.” Ainsworth, “ Prayse silent wayteth for thee, O God.” The people of the East are much given to meditation, and silent praise, and sometimes they may be seen for hours so completely absorbed, as to be insensible to all surrounding objects. “Oh ! Swamy, have you not heard my silent praises ?” Amongst the devotees are to be found the silent praises of Siva.
“ My lord, only grant me this favour, and you will HEAR even my silent praises.”
13. “ The valleys also are covered over with corn;
they shout for joy, they also sing." People in passing fields or gardens, after a fine rain, say, “ Ah ! how these fields and trees are laughing to-day.” “ Yes, you) may well laugh ; this is a fine time for you.” “ How nicely these flowers are laughing together.”
LXVIII. 21.-“ God shall wound the head of his
enemies, and the hairy scalp of such a one." This language, in the East, is equivalent to saying, “I will kill you.” “ The king will soon break the uche (the scalp) of that fellow.” “ Tamban's uche is broken, he died last week.” “ Under the scalp is the royal wind, which is the last to depart after death.” 66 With those who are buried, it remains three days in its place: but when the body is burned, it immediately takes its departure, which is a great advantage.”
25. — “ The singers went before, the players on instru
ments followed after; among them were the dam
sels playing with timbrels.” This, no doubt, is a description of a religious procession in the time of David. In the sacred and domestic processions of the Hindoos they observe the same order, and have the same class of people in attendance. See them taking their god to exhibit to the people, or to remove some calamity, he is put into his car or tabernacle, and the whole is placed on men's shoulders. As they move along, the men and women precede, and sing his praises; then follow the musicians, who play with all their might in honour of the god, and for the enjoyment of the people.
LXIX. 9. 66 The zeal of thine house hath eaten me
up." He who is zealous in his religion or ardent in his attachments is said to be eaten up.
« Old Muttoo has determined to leave his home for ever; he is to walk barefoot to the Ganges for the salvation of his soul : his zeal has eaten him up.”
14. –6 Deliver me out of the mire." “Ah! this chearu, this chearu, (this mud, this mud,”) says the man who is in trouble, “who will pull me out ?” “I am like the bullock, with his legs fast in the mud; the more I struggle, the faster I am.”
“ This shall please the Lord better than an ox,
or bullock, that hath horns and hoofs." Dr. Boothroyd, “ For this will be more acceptable to Jehovah, than a full-horned and a full-hoofed steer.”
Buffaloes which are offered in sacrifice must always be full
grown, and must have their horns and hoofs of a particular size and shape. Those without horns are offered to devils. Thus, it is difficult and expensive to procure a victim of the right kind. The writer of this psalm is supposed to have been a captive in Babylon, and consequently poor, and otherwise unable to bring an acceptable sacrifice to the Lord; but he rejoiced to know that he “ heareth the poor, and despiseth not his prisoners;” and that, by praising “ the name of God with a song,” and by magnifying him with thanksgiving, would be more acceptable than the most perfect victim offered to him in sacrifice.
LXXI. 11. 66 God hath forsaken him : persecute and
take him." When a respectable man, in the service of his sovereign, or superior, falls into disgrace; when rich men become poor, or servants lose the favour of their masters; then a horde of accusers, who did not before dare to show their faces, come forward with the most fearful stories of the wickedness of the fallen man. Formerly they were ever flattering and cringing at his feet; but now they are the most brutal and bold of his enemies.
LXXII. 9. -" His enemies shall lick the dust." This is a very favourite way of threatening among the Hindoos. The half frantic man says to his foe, “ Yes, thou shalt soon eat the earth;” which means, his mouth will soon be open to receive it, as in death.
Soon, soon wilt thou have man," i. e. earth, “ in thy mouth.” In time of great scarcity, it is said, “ The people are now eating earth ; the cruel, cruel king, did nothing but put earth in the mouths of his subjects.”
LXXIV. 11.—“ Why withdrawest thou thy hand,
even thy right hand ? pluck it out of thy bosom.” The word which we translate bosom does not always, in Eastern language, mean the breast; but OFTEN the lap, or that part of the body where the long robe folds round the loins. Thus, in the folds of the garment, in front of the body, the
Orientals keep their little valuables, and there, when they are perfectly at ease, they place their hands. Sternhold and Hopkins, who translated from the original text, have the same idea :
“ Why dost thou draw thy hand aback,
And hide it in thy lap ?”
To a king, whose enemies have invaded his territories, and are ravaging his kingdom, it will be said, should he not make any exertions to repel them, “ Why does your majesty keep your hands in your maddeyila (bosom) ? Take your sword, your heroism thence.” When two men go to a magistrate to complain of each other, perhaps one says, “He has beaten me severely, my lord.” Then the other replies, “ It is true, I did strike him, but these wounds on my body show he did not keep his hands in his bosom.” “ Complain not to me, fellow, for want of food; do I not see you always with your hands in your bosom ?” “He has been cursing me in the most fearful
but I told him to put the imprecations in his own bosom.”
“ Thy right hand,” which is the hand of honour. Hence, “ the right hand of the Most High.” The Hindoos have a right hand caste, and when they take a solemn oath they lift up that hand to heaven.
The whole of the right side of man is believed to be more honourable than the left, and all its members are said to be larger! and stronger! and, to give more dignity to it, they call it the ānpackham, i.e. the male side; whereas the other is called the female. This idea, also, is followed up in reference to their great deity, Siva ; his right side is called male, and the other the female; which notion also applies to the Jupiter of western antiquity, as he was said to be male and also female.
LXXV.5.-“ Liftnot up your horn on high.” (lxxxix.17.
“In thy favour our hornshall be exalted.") (Jer.xlviji.
25. “ The horn of Moab is cut off.” Zech. i. 21.) A man of lofty bearing is said to carry his HORN very