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To confirm this explanation the next verse is very apposite : “ As an ear-ring of gold, and an ornament of fine gold, so is a wise reprover upon an obedient ear.” The EFFECT, then, of a wise reproof on an obedient ear is equal to that produced by the presents of ear-rings of gold, or ornaments of fine gold.
17.- “ Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbour's house;
lest he be weary of thee, and so hate thee.” “ The premises are in grief through him who so often visits them." - Tamul Proverb. 6. The man, who though lost in the dark, and yet refuses to go to the house of him who will not treat him with respect, is worth ten millions of pieces of gold.”
19. — “ Confidence in an unfaithful man in time of
trouble is like a broken tooth, and a foot out of
joint.” The Eastern saying, “ To put confidence in an unfaithful man is like trying to cross a river on a horse made of clay," is quoted for the same purpose.
XXVI. 11. — “ As a dog returneth to his vomit, so a
fool returneth to his folly.” “ See the fellow,” it is said, “ he has repeatedly suffered for his folly; how often has he been corrected ! and yet, like the dog, he eats up the food he has vomited.” “ Yes, he is ever washing his legs, and ever running into the mud.” “ You fool ; because you fell nine times, must you fall
17. — “ Like one that taketh a dog by the ears.”
Why meddle with that matter ?” 6 Will a rat seize a cat by the ears ?” “ I will break thy bones, thou low caste.” “ No doubt about that; I suppose in the same way as the rat which seized my cat last night: begone, or I will give thee a bite.”
66 If we
25. “ There are seven abominations in his heart.” The number seven is often used to denote MANY. have rain, we shall have a crop of seven years.” friend, I came to see you seven times, but the servants always said teen-tingarār," i.e. he is eating. “I will never speak to that fellow again; he has treated me with contempt these seven times.” “ You stupid ass, I have told you seven times.” “ The wind is fair, and the dhony is ready for sea.”—“I cannot believe you; I have already been on board seven times.”
XXVII. 6. - " Faithful are the wounds of a friend;
but the kisses of an enemy are deceitful.” “ Begone! wretch: you cannot deceive me. I am more afraid of your smiles than the reproaches of my friend. I know the serpent-get out of my way.” “ Ah!” says the stranger, “ the trees of my own village are better to me than the friends of this place.”
10.-" Thine own friend, and thy father's friend, for
sake not; neither go into thy brother's house in the day of thy calamity : for better is a neighbour
that is near than a brother far off.” The respect which children often show for the companions and friends of their father is very striking. See a man in distress; he goes to the sons of his deceased friend: he repeats numerous instances of the assistance he had from their father; he is quite sure were he now alive his requests would be granted.
A person in great difficulty seldom seeks for relief from his own brothers or relations : no, he will tell his story to any one, suffer almost any thing rather than apply to near relations. Widows, too, will go for assistance to strangers, in preference to the relations of their late husbands.
17.-" Iron sharpeneth iron." “ As iron eats iron (alluding to the file), so do men eat each other."
19.-" As in water face answereth to face, so the heart
of man to man.” The Hindoos do not appear to have had mirrors made of silvered glass until they became acquainted with Europeans ; but they had them of burnished metal and other articles. Many even at this day pour water into a vessel which they use for the same purpose.
“ His friendship for me is like my body and its shadow in the sun, which never separate.”
22.—“ Though thou shouldest bray a fool in a mortar
yet will not his foolishness depart from him.” Dr. Boothroyd says, “ that is, no correction, however severe, will cure him.” Large mortars are used in the East for the purpose of separating the rice from the husk. When a considerable quantity has to be prepared, the mortar is placed outside the door, and two women, with each a pestle of five feet long, begin the work. They strike in rotation, as blacksmiths do on the anvil.
Cruel as it is, this is a punishment of the state: the poor victim is thrust into the mortar and beaten with the pestle. The late king of Kandy compelled one of the wives of his rebellious chiefs thus to beat her own infant to death. Hence the saying, “ Though you beat that loose woman in a mortar, she will not leave her ways:" which means, though you chastise her ever so much, she will never improve.
XXVIII. 3.-“ Like a sweeping rain which leaveth no
food.” To feel the force of this passage a person should see the rains which sometimes fall in the East. For many months together we are occasionally without a single drop of rain, and then it comes down as if the heavens were breaking up, and the earth were about to be dissolved. The ground, which had become cracked by the drought, suddenly swells; the foundations of houses sink, or partially remove from their place; men and beasts flee for shelter ; vegetables, trees, blossoms, fruits are destroyed; and when the waters go off, there is scarcely any thing left for the food of man or beast. The torrents which fell on the continent of India and North Ceylon in May, 1827, were a fearful illustration of the
sweeping rain which leaveth no food.”
XXX. 4. — “ Who hath ascended up into heaven,
or descended? who hath gathered the wind in his
fists?” “ Yes, you are full of confidence, you are quite sure, you know all about it: have you just returned from the heavens?” “ Truly, he has just finished his journey from above: listen, listen, to this divine messenger.”
66 Our friend is about to do wonderful things, he has already caught the wind; he has seized it with his hand.”
10. -" Accuse not a servant unto his master." Whatever crimes your servants commit, no one will tell you of them, except those who wish to gain your favour. But let them once fall, then people in every direction come to expose their villany.
the ravens of the valley shall pick it out.” In the East, in consequence of the superstitions of heathenism, numerous human bodies are exposed to become the prey of birds and wild beasts; and it is worthy of being recorded, that the eye is the part first selected by the former, as their favourite portion. It is, however, considered to be a great misfortune to be left without sepulchral rites; and it is no uncommon imprecation to hear, 66 Ah ! the crows shall one day pick out thy Eyes.” “ Yes, the lizards shall lay their eggs in thy Sockets."
17. 66 The eye
CHAP. I. verse 6. 6. The wind returneth again accord
ing to its circuits.” The earth is believed to be one vast plain, having boundaries of a circular shape; and the wind is said to move around this circle, according to the direction of Vāta-Riyana, the king or god of wind. To that deity sacrifices are offered when a vessel is launched; also by sailors when at sea.
II. 14.- “ The wise man's eyes are in his head.” “ See that fool: where are his eyes? in the nape of his neck!"
V. 12. 66 The abundance of the rich will not suffer
him to sleep.” In many parts of the East there are not any banks, or public offices, in which the affluent can deposit their riches : consequently the property has to be kept in the house, or concealed in some secret place. Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that a man having great wealth should live in constant dread of having it stolen. There are those who have large treasures concealed in their houses, or gardens, or fields, and the fact being known they are closely watched, whenever they pay special attention to any particular object, or place. The late king of Kandy, after he was taken prisoner, and on his voyage to Madras, was much concerned about some of his concealed treasures, and yet he would not tell where they were.* So great is the anxiety of some, arising from the jewels and gold they keep in their frail houses, that they literally watch a great part of the night, and sleep in the day, that their golden deity may not be taken from them.
* “ See Reminiscences relative to the late King of Kandy when on his voyage to Madras, by William Granville, Esq., of his Majesty's Ceylon Civil Service.