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gold, jewels, precious stones, iron, or lead, he is ready to be your customer; but he only buys with his own weights, which are much heavier than the standard. Should you, however, require to purchase any articles, then he has other weights by which he sells; and you may often see him fumbling for a considerable time in the bag before he can find those which are less in weight than the regular standard.
29. “ The beauty of old men is the grey
head.” Should a youth despise the advice of a grey-headed man, the latter will point to his hairs. When young men presume to give advice to the aged, they say, “ Look at our grey hairs.” Do old people commit things unworthy of their years, the young ask, “ Why have you these grey hairs ?” intimating they ought to be the emblem of wisdom.
XXI. 4.—“ An high look, and a proud heart, and the
plowing of the wicked, is sin.” The margin has,
instead of plowing, light; “ The light of the wicked.” The Tamul translation has the lamp of the wicked. In Eastern language, as well as in the Scriptures, the word lamp is often used to denote the life of man : but in this passage it means the PROSPERITY of the wicked.
“ Look at Valen, how brightly does his lamp burn in these days !”—“Yes, his lamp has now a thousand faces.” Thus the haughty eyes, the proud hearts, and the PROSPERITY of the wicked were alike sinful before God. The lamp (i. e. prosperity) of the wicked is sin.
9. — “ It is better to dwell in a corner of the housetop,
than with a brawling woman in a wide house.” The termagants of the East are certainly not inferior to those of their own sex in any part of the world : in some respects, the females are perhaps more timid and retired than those of Europe; but let them once go beyond the prescribed bounds, and let their powers be brought fairly into action, and they are complete furies. Has any one caused a woman's child to cry, does a neighbour intimate that she is not what she ought to be, or that some of her friends are no better than they should be, the whoop is immediately sounded, and the brawl begins. She commences her abuse in her best and highest tone of voice: vociferates all the scandal she can think of, and all she can INVENT. Sometimes she runs up to her antagonist, as if about to knock her down: again she retires, apparently to go home; but, no! she thinks of something more which ought not to be lost, and again returns to the contest. At intervals (merely to vary the scene) she throws up dust in the air, and curses her opponent, her husband, and her children. Should the poor woman not have been blessed with a progeny, that will not be overlooked, and a thousand highly provoking and indecent allusions will be made. See her fiery eyes, her dishevelled hair, her uplifted hand, and she is more like a fury from another region than a human being.
An Eastern sage says, “ Should one woman scold, the whole earth will shake; should two ! commence, the sign Pisces will fall; if three join in the brawl, the sea will dry up; but if four try their powers, what will become of the world ?” In the Scanda Purana it is said, “ It is better for any one to fall into hell, than to perform the duties of householder with a woman who will not respect her husband's word. Is there any other disease, any other Yama*, than spending life with such a woman ?”
One of their philosophers describes some of the defects in young females which ought to deter any man from marrying them. “ Those who love to be at the houses of other people, who are great sleepers, who love dancing and other sports, who are wounded by the arrows of Cama (Cupid), who love before their fathers betroth them, who have voices like thunder, who have tender, or rolling, or cat eyes, who have coarse hair, who are older than yourself, who are full of smiles, who are very athletic, who are caught in the hell of useless and strange religions, who despise the gooroo, and call the gods statues; have nothing to do with them.”
* The deity of death and hell.
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Solomon says in another place, “ The contentions of a wife are a continual dropping;" and the Tamul proverb has it, “ She is like the thunder of the rain, and is ever dropping.”
XXIII. 5. — “Riches certainly make themselves wings;
they fly away." A husband who complains of the extravagance of his family, says, “ How is it that wings grow on all my property ? not many days ago I purchased a large quantity of paddy, but it has taken the wing, and flown away. The next time I buy anything, I will look well after the wings.” “You ask me to give you money, and I would, if I possessed any.”—“Possessed any! why! have wings grown on your silver and gold?” “ Alas! alas! I no sooner get things into the house, than wings grow on them, and they fly away. Last week I began to clip wings; but they have soon grown again.”
6, 7, 8. — “ Eat thou not the bread of him that hath an
evil eye, neither desire thou his dainty meats: for as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee. The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit
Many references are made in the Scriptures to an EVIL EYE. Sometimes they mean anger or envy; but in the passage cited an allusion appears to be made to the malignant influence of an evil eye: “ The morsel which thou hast eaten shalt thou vomit up.” The kan-nuru, evil eye, of some people is believed to have a most baneful effect upon whatsoever it shall be fixed. Those who are reputed to have such eyes are always avoided, and none but near relations will invite them to a feast. “Your cattle, your wives, your children, your orchards, your fields, are all in danger from that fellow's eyes. The other day he passed my garden, cast his eyes upon my lime tree, and the fruit has since fallen to the ground. Ay, and worse than that, he caught a look at my child's face, and a large abscess has since appeared.”
To prevent such eyes from doing an injury to their children, many parents (both Mahometan and Hindoo) adorn them with numerous jewels and jackets of varied colours, to attract the eye from the person to the ornaments.
XXV. 3. — “ The heaven for height, and the earth for
depth.” “ His fame has reached to the heavens.” “Yes, the earth is very deep; but, though you could measure it, can you measure a vile woman ?”
7.6 For better it is that it be said unto thee, Come
up hither, than that thou shouldest be put lower.” (Luke
xiv. 8.) In an eastern feast or ceremony, nothing can exceed the particularity which is observed in reference to the rank and consequent precedence of the guests. Excepting where kings or members of the royal family are present, the floor and seats are always of an equal height; but the upper part of a room is most respectable, and there the most dignified individual will be placed. Should, however, an inferior presume to occupy that situation, he will soon be told to go to a lower station. There are also ROOMS assigned to different guests, in reference to their rank or caste, and none but their peers can remain in the place. I was once present at the marriage feast of a person of high caste: the ceremonies were finished, and the festivities had commenced; but just before the SUPPER was
* A. Caldcleugh, Esq., says, in his travels in South America, “ Not many years since, the Indians of Marogogippe burnt a young woman alive on the mere suspicion of having set evil eyes on a sick person : and a female relation was obliged to fly on the same accusation.”
Those who are acquainted with the superstitions of Great Britain will recollect many fearful stories of the power of the evil eye !
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announced, it was discovered that one of the guests was not quite equal in rank to those in the same apartment. A hint was therefore given to him, but he refused to leave the place: the host was then called; but, as the guest was scarcely a grade lower than the rest, he felt unwilling to put him out. The remainder, therefore, consisting of the first men in the town, immediately arose and left the house.
11.-“A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in
pictures of silver.” Some suppose this alludes to fruit served up in filigree work: but I believe it does not refer to real fruit, but to representations and ornaments in solid gold. The Vulgate has, instead of pictures, “ in lectis argenteis,” “ in silver beds.” The Tamul translation has in place of pictures of silver, velletattam, i. e. salvers or trays of silver. The Rev. T. Hartwell Horne, “ Apples of gold in net-work of silver.” In the 6th and 7th verses directions are given as to the way a person ought to conduct himself in the presence of a king : and words fitly spoken are compared in their effect on the mind to apples of gold, in salvers of silver, when presented as tribute or presents to the mighty. When eastern princes visit each other, or when men of rank have to go into their presence, they often send silver trays, on which are gold ornaments, as presents to the king, to propitiate him in their favour. Thus, when the Governor-General, and the native sovereigns visit each other, it is said, they distributed so many Trays of jewels, or other articles of great value. Golden ornaments, whether in the shape of fruit or any other thing, when placed on highly polished silver salvers, or in net-work of the same metal, have a very beautiful appearance to the eye, and are highly acceptable and gratifying to him who receives them. As, then, apples or jewels of gold are in " salvers
“ net-work" of silver to the feelings of the receiver; so are words fitly spoken, when addressed to the mind of him who is prepared to receive them.