« הקודםהמשך »
that were received, are given to the officiating Brahmin. They then return to their house, in front of which is planted a young plantain tree (banana) which has never borne fruit. Over the threshold is placed the pestle ; and the youth who has had the ring taken from his nose, walks three times round the tree alluded to, from left to right, and then rushes into the house, taking care not to touch the threshold or pestle. After he has entered, he is placed near a full vessel of water, in which are mango leaves. A married woman then takes a salver, on which are chunam and saffron, which when mixed with water has the colour of blood. A lighted wick is then floated on the surface of that which represents blood, and she waves it three times before him. The youth then retires, and the woman spits three times on the ground; and the imitation blood is thrown into the back yard. Near the plantain tree, in front of the house, is a man, who, so soon as the ceremonies have been performed, cuts it down, knocks at the door three times, which is then opened, and he enters (not having looked back); and the same ceremonies which have been performed for the youth are now repeated for him.
Let us now look at Adonis : he was a beautiful youth, beloved by Venus, which induced Mars (also her lover) to send a wild boar to destroy him. In memory of that event, the RIVER Adonis is said to run blood.
“ Ran purple to the sea suffused with blood.”— Milton.* Look, then, at the destruction of the children by the king Kanjam ; see the nose-jewel to prevent future death : at the blood as an offering, at the way in which the youth goes to ask alms, when the ring is to be taken off, his hair on the left side, which is the feminine, being in disorder, as a sign of grief; at the representation, again, of blood by mixing the saffron and chunam, and at the woman, who is the principal performer; we see certain coincidences which seem to point at the death of Adonis and the sorrow of the females.
* Maundrell notices this circumstance: the water is supposed to have been stained with the red earth, or ochre.
I am, therefore, of opinion, that to “put the branch to their nose," was the idolatrous practice of boring a child's nose and putting a ring therein, to dedicate it to an idol ; and, therefore, to show it was under its protection, rather than that of Jehovah.
XIII. 4. — “ O Israel, thy prophets are like the foxes
in the deserts.” (Ps. Ixiii. 10.) “They shall be a
portion for foxes.” In the above passages, Dr. Boothroyd, instead of foxes, translates “ jackals," and I think it by far the best rendering. These animals are exceedingly numerous in the East, and are remarkably CUNNING and voracioUS. I suppose the reason why they are called the lion's provider is, because they yell so much when they have scent of prey, that the noble beast, hearing the sound, goes to the spot and satisfies his hunger. They often hunt in packs, and I have had from twenty to thirty following me (taking care to conceal themselves in the low jungle) for an hour together. They will not, in general, dare to attack man: but, let him be helpless or dead, and they have no hesitation. Thus our grave-yards are often disturbed by these animals; and, after they have once tasted of human flesh, they (as well as many other creatures) are said to prefer it to any other. Their CUNNING is proverbial : thus, a man of plots and schemes is called a nareyan, i. e. a jackal. “Ah! only give that fellow a tail, and he will make a capital jackal.” “ Begone, low caste, or I will give thee to the jackals.”
18.—“And say, Thus saith the Lord God, Woe to the
women that sew pillows to all armholes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls." The margin has, instead of “ armholes," “ elbows."
The marginal reading is undoubtedly the best. Rich people have a great variety of pillows and bolsters to support themselves in various positions when they wish to take their
Some are long and round, and are stuffed till they are quite hard; whilst others are short and soft, to suit the convenience. The verse refers to females of a loose character, and Parkhurst is right when he says, “ These false prophetesses decoyed men into their gardens, where probably some impure rites of worship were performed.” The pillows were used for the vilest purposes, and the kerchiefs were used as an affectation of shame.
XVI. 4. - 66 Thou wast not salted.” The Hindoos do not wash their new-born infants in salt: but before the Brahmin names the child he puts a little salt into its mouth.
XIX. 8.-" Then the nations set against him on every
side from the provinces, and spread their net over
him : he was taken in their pit.” (Lam. iv. 20.) These figures are derived from the way in which wild beasts are hunted and taken. When large and deep pits have been formed in paths, where it is known the animals must go,
the people assemble on every side where the victims are, and begin to shout, to beat on instruments, and rush among the trees. The creatures become alarmed, and run towards the place where they know is an opening; and then fall into the deep pits which are prepared for them. Even elephants are sometimes caught in this way; and the agony, the rage, they manifest when thus entrapped, is most affecting. The nets and ropes are then thrown over them, and when they are sufficiently entangled, a way is made for them to walk out.
XXI. 6. — “ The breaking of thy loins." It is said, when a man's strength is reduced, “ Alas ! that poor fellow's loins are broken."
Thou, therefore, son of man, prophesy, and
smite thine hands together." « SMITE THINE HANDS TOGETHER.” To smite the hands together, in the East, amounts to an oath ! In the 17th verse, the Lord says, in reference to Jerusalem, “ I will also smite mine hands together, and I will cause my fury to rest : I the Lord have said.” By the solemn smiting of the hands it was shown the word had gone forth, and would not be recalled.
When a priest delivers a message to the people, when he relates any thing which he professes to have received from the gods, he smites his hands together, and says, “ True.”
Does a Pandārum, or other kind of religious mendicant, consider himself to be insulted, he smites his hands against the individuals, and pronounces his imprecations upon them, crying aloud, “ True, true, it will all come upon you." Should a person, when speaking of any thing which is certain to happen, be doubted by others, he will immediately smite his hands. .“ Have you heard that Muttoo has been killed by a tiger ?”—“No! nor do I believe it.” The relater will then (if true) smite together his hands, which at once confirms the fact. “ Those men cannot escape for any great length of time, because the king has smitten his hands;" meaning, he has sworn to have them taken. Jehovah did smite His hands together against Jerusalem.
21. — “ For the king of Babylon stood at the parting of
the way, at the head of the two ways, to use divination: he made his arrows bright, he consulted with images.” The margin has, instead of “parting," “ mother;" which accords with the Tamul : “ Mo
ther way.” In former times it was customary to decide important affairs by shooting arrows. Thus, should three princes propose for the daughter of a king, and should he be in doubt to whom he ought to give her, he will write the name of each prince on an arrow, and then shoot them altogether or sepa
rately from the bow, and the man whose name is on the most distant arrow, will be the husband of the princess.
XXII. 12. — “ In thee have they taken gifts to shed
blood : thou hast taken usury and increase, and thou hast greedily gained of thy neighbours by
extortion." There is surely no part of the world worse than the East for usury and extortion. A rich man will think nothing of demanding twenty per cent. for his precious loan. Does a person wish to buy or sell an article ; does he want to avoid any office or duty, or to gain a situation, or place any person under an obligation; he cannot think of doing the one or the other, without giving himself into the hands of the extortioner.
30. — “ I sought for a man among them, that should
make up the hedge, and stand in the gap before me
for the land.” A man having lost all his children, and in complaining of his forlorn condition, says, “ Alas! I have not any one to stand in the gate; my enemies can now enter when they please, to tear and devour me.” “ In the gate, in the gate no one stands."
men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with
vermilion.” The nature of those images, and the practices, may be seen from the context, and the portraying was of the colour of VERMILION. (See on Isa. i. 18.) In the Hindoo temples and vestibules, figures of the most revolting descriptions are portrayed on the walls : there the sexes are painted in such a way as few men of discretion would dare to describe. In some temples there are stone figures in such positions as hell itself could only have suggested: and, recollect, these are the places where men, women, and children, assemble for WORSHIP.