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ever rise thus much (a cubit), after all your cares?” yes,
the low caste thinks himself a cubit taller, because he has got the favour of the king."
VII. 6.-“ Give not that which is holy unto the dogs,
neither cast ye your pearls before swine.” Similar language is used to those who speak on subjects of a highly sacred nature before people of gross minds. “ What, are silk tassels to be tied to the broom? Will you give a beautiful flower to a monkey ? Who would cast rubies into a heap of rubbish? What, are you giving ambrosia to a dog ?”
9. “ If his son ask bread, will he give him a stone?” “ What father, when his son asks for sugar cane, will give him the poison fruit ? If he ask a fish, will he give him a serpent.”
This may allude to the eel, which is so much like the serpent. Some have said, on the parallel passage in Luke: “ If he shall ask an egg, will he offer him a scorpion ?” — “ This expression is used, because the white scorpion is like an egg" They might as well have said, it is like a whale.
18. - “ A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit.” When people converse on the good qualities of an obedient son, it is asked, “ Will the seed of the water-melon produce the fruit of the bitter pāvatta-kotti ?”— meaning, the father is good, and therefore the son is the same. A profligate son always leads the people to suspect the father or grandfather was not what he ought to have been.
6 You talk to me about that family : I know them well; the tree is bad, and the fruit is the same.”
27. — “ The rain descended, and the floods came, and
the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell : and great was the fall of it.”
The rains, and floods, and winds of an Eastern monsoon give a striking illustration of the above passage. When people in those regions speak of the strength of a house, it is not by saying, it will last so many years, but “ It will outstand the rains: it will not be injured by the floods.” Houses built of the best materials and having deep foundations, in a few years often yield to the rains of a monsoon. At first, a small crack appears in some angle, which gradually becomes larger, till the whole building lumbers to the ground. And who can wonder at this, when he considers the state of the earth? For several months there is not a drop of rain, and the burning sun has loosened the ground; when at once the torrents descend, the chapped earth suddenly swells, and the foundations are moved by the change. The house founded upon a rock can alone stand the rains and floods of a wet monsoon.
VIII. 20.-" The foxes have holes, and the birds of
the air have nests; but the Son of Man hath not
where to lay his head.” Listen to that poor man who is stating his case to a rich man; he pathetically laments his forlorn condition, and says, “ Ah! sir, even the birds have their nests, but I have not so much as they.”
IX. 15.-" Can the children of the bridechamber
mourn, as long as the bridegroom is with them ? " Does a man look sorry when he ought to rejoice, has he become rich, has he been greatly honoured, has a dear friend come to see him, has he become the father of a male child, and does he still appear dejected, it is asked, “ What, do people weep in the house of marriage ? Is it a funeral or a wedding you are going to celebrate ?” Does a person go to cheer his friend, he says, on entering the house, “ I am come this day to the house of marriage.”
16. - “ No man putteth a piece of new cloth unto an
old garment.” The Hindoos say of things which will not agree, “ Will unburnt clay join itself to that which has been burnt ?"
17.-“ Neither do men put new wine into old bottles:
else the bottles break, and the wine runneth out." The Eastern bottle called turunthe, is made of the raw hide of an animal, consequently, when any fermenting liquor is put into it, the skin being comparatively green, distends itself to the swelling of the liquor. But, should the bottle have been previously stretched by the same process, then it must burst if put to a second trial, because it cannot yield to the new pressure of fermentation.
X. 12. -" When ye come into an house, salute it.” When the priests or pandārams go into a house they sometimes sing a verse of blessings; at other times the priest stretches out his right hand, and says aloud, “ āservātham,” i. e. blessing.
XI. 29. — “ Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me.” A Hindoo sage says to his disciples, “ En, tandi, pin, pattu," i. e. follow my staff. “ What! do you wish to learn ?” -"Yes!” “ Then take this staff and follow me." “ I told that dunce to take my staff, but he has gone after another.”
XII. 27. — “ If I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by
whom do your children cast them out ?” The universal opinion in the East is, that devils have the power to enter into and take possession of men, in the same sense as we understand it to have been the case, as described by the Sacred Writers. I have often seen the poor objects who were believed to be under demoniacal influence, and certainly, in some instances, I found it no easy matter to account for their conduct on natural principles. I have seen them writhe and tear themselves in the most frantic manner; they burst asunder the cords with which they were bound, and fell on the ground as if dead. At one time they are silent, and again most vociferous; they dash with fury amongst the people, and loudly pronounce their imprecations. But no sooner does the exorcist come forward, than the victim becomes the subject of new emotions; he stares, talks incoherently, sighs, and falls on the ground; and in the course of an hour is as calm as any who are around him. Those men who profess to eject devils are frightful looking creatures, and are seldom associated with, except in the discharge of their official duties. It is a fact, that they affect to eject the evil spirits by their prince of devils.* Females are much more subject to those affections than men; and Friday is the day of all others on which they are most liable to be attacked. I am fully of opinion that nearly all their possessions would be removed by medicine, or by arguments of a more tangible nature. Not long ago, a young female was said to be under the influence of an evil spirit, but the father, being an unbeliever! took a large broom and began to beat his daughter in the most unmerciful manner. After some time the spirit cried aloud,“ Do not beat me, do not beat me," and took its departure! There is a fiend called poothani, which is said to take great delight in entering little children; but the herb called pa-maruta is then administered with great success!
XIII. 25.—“ But while men slept, his enemy came and
sowed tares among the wheat.” Strange as it may appear, this is still literally done in the East. See that lurking villain, watching for the time when his neighbour shall plough his field; he carefully marks the period when the work has been finished, and goes in the
ght following, and casts in what the natives call the pandi
See on 2 Kings, chap. i. 2.
nellu, i. e. pig paddy; this being of rapid growth, springs up before the good seed, and scatters itself before the other can be reaped, so that the poor owner of the field will be for years before he can get rid of the troublesome weed. But there is another noisome plant which these wretches cast into the ground of those they hate, called perum-pirandi, which is more destructive to vegetation than any other plant. Has a man purchased a field out of the hands of another, the offended person says, “ I will plant the perum-pirandi in his grounds.”
44. — “ The kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure
hid in a field.” (Prov. ii. 4. Job iii. 21.*) No practice was more common than that of hiding treasures in a field or garden, because the people had not any place of safety in which to deposit their riches, and because their rapacious rulers were sure to find some pretext for accusation against them, in order to get their money. Hence men of great property affected poverty, and walked about in mean apparel, in order to deceive their neighbours, and hence came the practice of hiding their treasures in the earth. In the book of fate called Saga-Thevan Sāsteram, the following question occurs many times, “ Will the buried things be found ?” There can be no doubt that there are immense treasures buried in the East at this day. Not long ago a toddy drawer ascended a palmirah tree to lop off the upper branches, when one of them in falling stuck in the ground. On taking out that branch, he saw something yellow; he looked, and found an earthen vessel full of gold coins and other articles. I rescued three of the coins from the crucible of the goldsmith, and what was my surprise to find on one of them in ancient Greek characters, konob-obryza. † About two years
I am aware the first passage probably refers to a mine. + How could these coins have come to North Ceylon ? I should say, from all the circumstances of the case, they must have come long before the passage by the Cape of Good Hope was found out: it is probable,