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“ We are merely cleaning it out." Poor man! I believe he found nothing but stones, and bones, and a few copper coins.
“Dig for it more than for hid treasures” finds a practical illustration in the East, and is a figure of common use in the language.
IV. 9. — “ By the blast of God they perish, and by the
breath of his nostrils are they consumed.” The
margin has “ by his anger.” When people are angry, they distend their nostrils and blow with great force: the action may be taken from some animals, which when angry blow violently through their noses. Of a man who is much given to anger it is said, “ That fellow is always blowing through his nose.” blow through your nose for a thousand years, it will never injure me.” “ Go not near the breath of his nostrils, he will injure you."
- You may
15.-" The hair of my flesh stood up.” This refers to the great fear of Job; but the same effect is often ascribed to great joy. Thus, in Hindoo books, in describing the ecstasy of gods or men, it is often said, “ The hair of their flesh stood erect.” A father says to his long absent child, “My son, not having seen your lotus face for so long, my hair stands up with joy."
“ As the sparks fly upward.” Hebrew, “Sons of the burning coal.” Job. xxxviii. 32. “ Arcturus
with his sons.” The word son, amongst the Hindoos, is applied to man and all kinds of animal life. Men of ignoble parentage are called sons of the koddekal, i. e. the mechanics. When animals, reptiles, or insects, are troublesome, they are called passāsinudia maggal, sons of the devil; or vease-maggal, sons of the prostitute, or of the treacherous ones. See the ploughman at his occupation; should the bullocks prove restive, he immediately vociferates the epithets alluded to. Listen to the almost breathless cow-herd who is running after some of his refractory kine, to bring them to the fold, and he abuses them in the most coarse and indelicate language. The man, also, who for the first time discovers the white ants destroying his property, bawls out with all his might, “ Ah! vease-maggal, sons of the prostitute."
21. — “ Thou shall be hid from the scourge of the
tongue: neither shalt thou be afraid of destruction
when it cometh.” Dr. A. Clarke says, “ the Targum refers this to the incantations of Balaam; from the injury by the tongue of Balaam thou shalt be hidden.” The people live in great fear of the scourge of the tongue, and that independent of an incantation, because they believe the tongues of some men have the power of inflicting a dreadful curse on any object which has incurred their displeasure. Thus, many of the evils of life are believed to come from nā-vooru, the curse or the
scourge of the tongue.
“ Have you heard what Kandan's tongue has done for Muttoo ? "_" No! what has happened ? ”—“Why,
time ago, Kandan promised on his next voyage to bring Muttoo a cargo of rice, but he did not keep his word; Kandan, therefore, became very angry, and said, 'I shall not be surprised at hearing of thy vessel being wrecked.' Muttoo again sailed without caring for Kandan's tongue; but, lo! his vessel has been knocked to pieces on the rocks, and I saw him this morning on his way home, beating his head and exclaiming, • Ah! this nā-vooru, nā-vooru, this evil tongue, this evil tongue, my vessel has gone to pieces on the rocks.'”
But the tongues of some men are believed to possess malignant power, not merely in imprecations, but also in their blessings and praises. 6. The other day, when I and some others were sitting with our friend the Doctor, one of his daughters came to speak to her father; as she was delivering
her message, one of the party exclaimed, · What a beautiful set of teeth!' and from that moment they began to decay.” “ Alas! alas ! poor old Murager purchased a fine milch cow yesterday, and was driving her along the road this morning, on his way home, when, behold, a fellow met them and said, , • Ah, what large teats !' The cow broke from the string, she rushed on the hedge, and a stake ran through her udder.” “ Ah, what a miserable man is Valen; a few days ago, as his wife was nursing the infant, he said, “ How comely art thou, my fawn !' when immediately a cancer made its appearance in her breast, from which she can never recover.”
23.- “ The beasts of the field shall be at peace with
thee.” In a country where wild beasts are so numerous and fierce, and where the natives have so few means of defence, can it be a matter of surprise that people on a journey are always under the influence of great fear? The father says to his son, when he is about to depart; “Fear not; the beasts will be thy friends.” The dealer in charms says, when giving one of his potent spells, “ Be not afraid, young man; this shall make the cruel beasts respect thee.”
25.-" Thou shalt know, also, that thy seed shall be
great, and thine offspring as the grass of the
earth.” When a priest, or an aged person, blesses a young couple, he says, “ Your children shall be as the grass arruga-pillu (Agrostis Linearis). Yes, you shall twine, and bind yourselves together, like the
26. - “ Thou shalt come to thy grave in a full age.” Great is the desire of the men of the East to see a good old age. Thus the beggars, when relieved, often bless you, and say, “Ah ! my lord, may you live a thousand years.” “ Live, live, till the shakings of age.”
VI. 2.—“O that my grief were throughly weighed,
and my calamity laid in the balances together!” “Ah! my lord, could you weigh my poverty, I am sure you would relieve me." “ The sorrows of that man's soul, who can weigh them ?” “ Alas! if my sorrows could be weighed, then would pity be shown unto me.”
12.-“ Is my strength the strength of stones ? or is my
flesh of brass ?” Is a servant ordered to do a thing for which he has not strength; to undergo great hardships; he asks, “Is my strength as iron? Am I a stone ?”
15.—“My brethren have dealt deceitfully as a brook,
and as the stream of brooks they pass away.” This probably refers to those brooks which are dried up in the hot weather.
Of a man who cannot get any more money or help from another, and, in consequence, forsakes him, “Ah ! yes; that man is like the water-fowl, which immediately takes its departure when the tank becomes dry.” “ The true friend is like the water-plants; they never leave their place.”
28.—6 Now, therefore, be content, look upon me; for
it is evident unto you if I lie.” When a person is accused of uttering a falsehood, he says, “Look in my face, and you
will soon see I am innocent.” “ My face will tell you the truth.” When the countenance does not indicate guilt, it is said, “Ah! his face does not say
“ The man's face does not contain the witness of guilt.”
VII. 2.-“ As a servant earnestly desireth the shadow,
and as an hireling looketh for the reward of his
work." The people of the East measure time by the length of their shadow. Hence, if you ask a man what o'clock it is, he immediately goes in the sun, stands erect, then looking where his shadow terminates, he measures the length with his feet, and tells you nearly the time. Thus they earnestly desire the shadow which indicates the time for leaving their work. A person wishing to leave his toil, says, “How long my shadow is in coming.” “Why did you not come sooner?” — “Because I waited for
10.-" He shall return no more to his house, neither
shall his place know him any more.” Inanimate objects are often spoken of as if they knew their
A man who has sold his field, says, “ That will not know me any more.” Does a field not produce good crops, it is said, “ That field does not know its owner.” Has a man been long absent from his home, he asks, when entering the door, “Ah! do you know me?” Does he, after this, walk through his garden and grounds, the servants say, “Ah ! how pleased these are to see you.” Has a person been unfortunate at sea, it is said, “ The sea does not know him."
12.— “Am I a sea, or a whale, that thou settest a watch
over me ?" Some suppose this alludes to the sea overflowing its banks. But the Orientals also believe that the sea is the dwellingplace of many of their spiritual enemies. Hence they have a deity to watch the shore, whose name is Kāli. Numerous enemies, also, are compared to the sea, and wicked chiefs who oppress the people to a temingalam, i. e. a whale.“ Ah! that whale, who can escape him ?”
IX. 18.-" He will not suffer me to take my
breath.” Of a cruel master it is said, “When his servants stop to take their breath, he abuses them.” “ The man grudges me my breath.” “What! can I work without taking my breath?” “ The toil is always upon me: I have not time for breathing."