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you seen any thing to-day in your travels?” -“I have not lifted up my eyes.” “I do not see the thing you sent me for, sir.” —“ Just lift up your eyes, and you will soon find it.”
4.-“ Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and
wash your feet.” How often, in passing through a village, may we see this grateful office performed for the weary traveller! As the people neither wear shoes nor stockings, and as the sandal is principally for the defence of the sole of the foot, the upper part soon becomes dirty. Under these circumstances, to have the feet and ankles washed is very refreshing, and is considered a necessary part of Eastern hospitality.
The service is always performed by servants. (John xiii. 14.)
27. — “ Am but dust." Such was the language of Abraham before the Lord. A poor man pleading for mercy, or speaking of his own littleness, says, “ Ah! my Lord, I am but man (i.e. dust) before you." Has a man been greatly despised, he says, “I am accounted as dust.”
XIX. 19.-—“Thy servant hath found grace in thy sight.” Nothing can be more common than this form of speech. Has a man been pleading with another and succeeded in his request, he will say, “ Ah! since I have found favour in your sight, let me mention another thing." “ My lord, had I not found favour in your sight, who would have helped me?”
Happy is the man who finds grace in your sight!”
26. — “ His wife looked back from behind him.” “ From behind him.” This seems to imply that she was following her husband, as is the custom at this day.
When men, or women, leave their house, they never look back, as “it would be very unfortunate.” Should a husband have left any thing which his wife knows he will require, she will not call on him to turn or look back; but will either take
the article herself, or send it by another. Should a man have to look back on some great emergency, he will not then proceed on the business he was about to transact. person goes along the road (especially in the evening), he will take great care not to look back, “ because the evil spirits would assuredly seize him.” When they go on a journey, they will not look behind, though the palankeen, or bandy, should be close upon them; they step a little on one side, and then look at you. Should a person have to leave the house of a friend after sunset, he will be advised in going home not to look back : “ as much as possible keep your eyes closed; fear not.” Has a person made an offering to the evil spirits, he must take particular care, when he leaves the place, not to look back. A female known to me is believed to have got her crooked neck by looking back. Such observations as the following may be often heard in private conversation. “ Have you heard that Comaran is very ill ?” — “ No, what is the matter with him?” -“ Matter ; why he has looked back, and the evil spirit has caught him.”
XX. 15. — “ Dwell where it pleaseth thee.” The
margin reads, “ good in thine eyes." Ask a man, What are you going to do? The reply will often be, “What is good in my eyes.” “ Whither are you going?”—“Where it is good in mine eyes.” " I wish you would perform that for me.”—“ It is not good in mine
16.—“ A covering of the eyes unto all that are with
thee.” Dr. Boothroyd translates this passage, “ I have given to thy brother a thousand pieces of silver, to purchase veils for thee and for all who are with thee.
The English notion of an Eastern veil is, that it is merely used to cover or conceal the face; but this is not all, as it serves also for a garment.
The object of Abimelech appears to have been to purchase that garment which a woman throws over her head. It is called Mukādu, because it serves also to cover the face. It is considered to be a great charity to give garments of that description, and rich men often purchase large quantities for that purpose. A husband will say to his wife, when he wants her to do anything which is arduous, “Ah! the apple of my eye, only do this, and I will give thee a gold (Mukādu) veil.”
XXI. 6.-“God hath made me to laugh.” A woman advanced in years, under the same circumstances, would make a similar observation: “I am made to laugh." But this figure of speech is also used on any wonderful occasion. Has a man gained any thing he did not expect, he will ask, “ What is this? I am made to laugh.” Has a person lost any thing which the moment before he had in his hand, he says, “I am made to laugh.” Has he obtained health, or honour, or wealth, or a wife, or a child, it is said, “ He is made to laugh.” “Ah, his mouth is now full of laughter; his mouth cannot contain all that laughter.” (Ps. cxxvi. 2.)
8.-“ Abraham made a great feast the same day that
Isaac was weaned.” When the time has come to wean a child, a fortunate day is looked for, and the event is accompanied with feasting and religious ceremonies. Rice is given to the child in a formal way, and the relations are invited to join in the festivities.
For almost every event of life the Hindoos have a fixed rule from which they seldom deviate. They wean a female child within the year, “ because, if they did not, it would become steril ;” but boys are often allowed the breast till they are three
· which she had born unto
9.-" The son of Hagar
• It is a curious fact, that a cow, having a female calf, is milked after one week; but after a male, not till one month.
It is not uncommon for a man of property to keep a concubine in the same house with his wife : and, strange as it may appear, it is sometimes at the wife's request. * Perhaps she has not had any children, or they may have died, and they both wish to have one, to perform their funeral ceremonies. By the laws of Menu, should a wife, during the first eight years of her marriage, prove unfruitful; or should the children she has borne be all dead in the tenth year after marriage; or should she have a daughter only in the eleventh year; he may, without her consent, put her away, and take a concubine into the house. He must, however, continue to support her.
16.—“A good way off; as it were a bow-shot.” This is a common figure of speech in their ancient writings, “ The distance of an arrow.—So far as the arrow flies.” The common way of measuring a short distance is to say, “ It is a call off,” i. e. so far as a man's voice can reach. “How far is he off?” “O, not more than three calls," i. e. were three men stationed within the reach of each other's voices, the voice of the one farthest off would reach to that distance.
21.-" And his mother took him a wife.” When a father dies, the mother begins to look out for a wife for her son, though he may be very young; and her. arrangements will generally be acceded to.
XXII. 2. — “ Take now thy son, thine only son Isaac,
whom thou lovest, and get thee into the land of
Moriah, and offer him there." In the book called Arupattu-Moovaa Kathi, is the following account:- In the village of Tiru-Chang-Kātang, lived a man named Siru-Tondan. He was exceedingly benevolent, and never would eat his food until he had called the holy Pandārams to partake of it. One day he went out, as usual, to invite them to his repast; but for some time could not find one.
* I know a couple with whom this occurred, and the wife delights in nursing and bringing up the offspring of her husband's concubine.
At last, Siva (the god) appeared as a Pandāram, and offered to accompany him, stating however, “ that his curry must be made of a child of twelve years of age, who is the only son of his mother." The father was to seize and hold the child, and the mother was to cut it up and prepare it. “ Then,” said he, " I will eat.” The curry was prepared, and brought before the Pandāram, but he would not partake of it. He then restored the son to life again, and the parents knew it was not a Pandāram. The god then blessed them for their faithfulness, and vanished out of their sight.
5. — “I and the lad will go — and come again.” The people of the East never say, as those of England, when taking leave, “ I go,” or “ I am going,” but “ I go and return.” Naan Poy Varrukerain.
XXIII. 7. — “ Abraham stood up and bowed himself
to the people of the land.” The politeness of Abraham may be seen exemplified amongst the highest and the lowest of the people of the East: in this respect, nature seems to have done for them, what art has done for others. With what grace do all classes bow on receiving a favour, or in paying their respects to a superior ! Sometimes they bow down to the ground ; at other times they put their hands on their bosoms, and gently incline the head; they also put the right hand on the face in a longitudinal position; and sometimes give a long and graceful sweep with the right hand, from the forehead to the ground.
15. — “My lord, hearken unto me, the land is worth
four hundred shekels of silver." Respectable people are always saluted with the dignified title “ My lord;” hence English gentlemen, on their arrival, are apt to suppose they are taken for those of very high rank.
The man of whom Abraham offered to purchase Machpelah, affected to give the land. Nay, my lord, hear me,