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I knew a man who had nearly all his wealth in gold pagodas, which he kept in a large chest in his bed-room : neither in body nor in mind did he ever wander far from the precious treasure ; his abundance hindered him from sleeping; and for a time it seemed as if it would hinder him from dying; for when that fatal moment came, he several times, when apparently gone, again opened his eyes, and again gave ANOTHER look at the chest; and one of the Last offices of his hands, was to make an attempt to feel for the key under his pillow !
VI. 7.-" All the labour of man is for his mouth.” “ My friend,” says the sage, to the diligent and successful merchant, “why are you so anxious to have riches ? Know you not that all this exertion is for the support of one single span of the belly ?” “ Tamby, you and your people work very hard ; why do you do so ?” The man will look at you for a moment, and then putting his fingers on his navel, say, “ It is all for the belly.”
VII. 10. " What is the cause that the former days
were better than these ?” The Hindoos have four ages, which nearly correspond with the golden, silver, brazen, and iron ages of the western heathen. In the first age, called Krethá, they say the corn sprang up spontaneously, and required no attention; in the second, named Treatha, the justice of kings and the blessings of the righteous caused it to grow ; in the third, called Tuvara, rain produced it: but in this, the fourth age, called Kally, many works have to be done to cause it to grow. “ Our fathers,” say they, “ had three harvests in the year : the trees also gave an abundance of fruit. Where is now the cheapness of provisions ? the abundance of fish? the fruitful flocks? the rivers of milk ? the plenty of water ? Where the pleasures ? Where the docility of animals? Where the righteousness, the truth, and affection? Where the riches, the peace, the plenty ? Where the mighty men ? Where the chaste and beautiful mothers, with their fifteen or sixteen children ? Alas ! alas ! they are all fled.”
13. — “ Who can make that straight, which he hath
made crooked ?” “My lord, it is of no use trying to reform that fellow; his ways are crooked : should you by force make him a little straight, he will relapse into his former state.” “ If you make straight the tail of the dog, will it remain so ?”
25. — “I applied mine heart to know, and to search,
and to seek out wisdom.” The margin has instead of applied, “ I and mine heart compassed," i. e. en
circled, went round it. According to Dr. Adam Clarke, “ I made a circuit; -I circumscribed the ground I was to traverse; and all within my circuit I was determined to know.”
In English we say, “ I studied the subject,” but in Eastern idiom, it is, “I went ROUND it.” “ Have you studied grammar?” -“ Yes, sutte sutte," round and round. “That man is well acquainted with magic, for to my knowledge he has been round and round it: nay more, I am told he has comPASSED ALL the sciences.”
IX. 4. — “ A living dog is better than a dead lion.” “ A living sheep is better than a dead cow." “ Why do you grieve so for the loss of your eldest son? Should the best fruit-bearing tree in your garden fall, then that which REMAINS is the best.”
11. -- " The race is not to the swift, nor the battle to
the strong." Should a man of high caste fail in his efforts, and another, who is low, succeed; they say, “ If a man be fortunate, what can be done? Can poverty or disgrace take away the hairs of the head? Though a man be a hero, what can he do
against fate? In what man there is wisdom or strength, we cannot tell; for ALL sometimes fail.”
12. — “ Man also knoweth not his time: as the fishes
that are taken in an evil net." 6 Alas! alas ! trouble bas come suddenly upon me; I am caught as fishes in the net.” “ We are all of us to be caught as fishes in the net."
X. 7.-“ I have seen servants upon horses, and princes
walking as servants.” In all ages and nations, we read or hear of complaints against those who have arisen from obscurity to respectability or rank in the state. It is not so modern as some suppose
for servants and inferiors to imitate their superiors; and though some would like to see a return of the “ good old times !” when a man's vest and jerkin would have to be regulated by his rank, such things are doubtless best left to themselves. The Hindoos are most tenacious in their adherence to caste, and should any one, through property or circumstances, be elevated in society, he will always be looked upon with secret contempt. Their proverb is, “ He who once walked on the ground, is now in his palankeen; and he who was in his palankeen, is now on the ground.”
16. - “ Woe to thee, O land ! when — thy princes
eat in the morning.' It is considered to be most gross, most disgraceful, and ruinous to eat EARLY in the morning: of such an one it is said, “ Ah ! that fellow was born with his belly.”—“ The beast eats on his bed !"- “ Before the water awakes, that creature begins to take his food,” which alludes to the notion that water in the well sleeps in the night. “He only eats and sleeps pandy-pole,” i. e. as a pig. - “How can we prosper ? he no sooner awakes than he cries, teen! teen !” food ! food!
XI. 1.-“Cast thy bread upon the waters: for thou shalt
find it after many days.” I believe Dr. Adam Clarke is right in supposing that this alludes to the sowing of rice. The Tamul translation has it, “ Cast thy food upon the waters, and the profit thereof shall be found after many days.” Rice fields are so made as to receive and retain the rains of the wet monsoon, or to be watered from the tanks or artificial lakes. The rice prospers the most when the ground, at the time of sowing, is in the state of mud, or covered with a little water. In some lands, the water is allowed first to overflow the whole, and then the roots are just stuck into the mud, leaving the blades to float on the surface. In reaping time, as the water often remains, the farmer simply lops off the ears. See on Job xxiv. 24.
4. — He that observeth the wind shall not sow; and
he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap.” Dr. Boothroyd has this — “ observeth the wind, and is afraid it will blow away his seed, will never sow: and that is afraid of rain will not reap."
The favourite proverb on this subject is, “Enne, chey, chedtu; ennāmadt, chey, vellānmy : " i. e. “ In merchandise consider well; but in agriculture not at all.”
XII. 11.-" The words of the wise are as goads and as
nails.” It is said, “ The words of that judge are quite certain; they are like the driven nails." “ I have heard all he has to say, and the effect on my mind is like a nail driven home.” “What a speaker ! all his words are nails; who will draw them out
Chap. I. verse 7.—“Tell me, O thou whom my soul
loveth, where thou feedest, where thou makest thy
flock to rest at noon.” Before noon, the shepherds and their flocks may be seen slowly moving towards some shady banyan, or other tree, where they recline during the heat of the day. The sheep sleep, or lazily chew the cud; and the shepherds plait pouches, mats, or baskets, or in dreamy musings while away their time.
II. 5. — “ Stay me with flagons, comfort me with apples:
for I am sick of love." Dr. Boothroyd:-“ Support me with cordials; support me with citrons: for still I languish with love." Dr. A. Clarke:“ The versions in general understand some kind of ointments or perfumes by the first term," i. e. flagons. “ Comfort me with apples :" they had not apples as we in England; it is, therefore, probable the citron or the orange (both of which are believed to be good for the complaint alluded to) is the fruit meant.
“ I am sick of love." Is it not amusing to see parents and physicians treating this affection as a DISEASE of a very serious nature? It is called the Cāma-Cāchal, i.e. Cupid's fever, which is said to be produced by a wound inflicted by one of his five arrows. When a young man or woman becomes languid, looks thin, refuses food, seeks retirement, and neglects duties, the father and mother hold grave consultations; they apply to the medical man, and he furnishes them with medicines, which are forthwith to be be administered to relieve the poor patient.