תמונות בעמוד

para pet wall to the other, may be folded or unfolded at pleasure. The Psalınist seems to allude either to the tents of the Bedoweens, or to some covering of this kind, in that beautiful expression of spreading out the heavens like a veil or curtain, Psal. civ. v. 2. see also Isaiah xl. v. 22.

“ The court is, for the most part, surrounded with a cloister, over which, when the liouse has one or more stories, (and I have seen thein with two or three, says Dr. Shaw,) there is a gallery erected, of the same dimensions with the cloister, having a ballustrade, or else a piece of carved, or latticed work, going round about it, to prevent people from falling from it into the court. From the cloisters and galleries we are conducted into large spacious chambers, of the same length with the court, but seldom or never communicating with one another. One of thein frequently serves a whole family, particularly when a father indulges his married children to live with him, or when several persons join in the rent of the same house : from whence it is that the cities of these countries, which are, generally, much inferior in bigness to those of Europe, are so exceedingly populous, that great numbers are swept away with thie plague, or any other contagious distemper.

“ In houses of better fashion these chambers, from the middle of the wall downwards, are covered and adorned with velvet, or damask hangings, of white, blue, red, green, or other colours, [Esther chap. 1. verse 6.) suspended upon liooks, or taken down at pleasure. But the upper part is embellished with more permanent ornaments, being adorned with the most ingenious wreathings and devices in stucco and fret-work. The ceiling is generally of wainscot, either very artfully painted, or else thrown into a variety of pannels with gilded mouldings and scrolls of their Koran intermixed. The prophet Jeremiah, shap. xxii. verse 14, exclaims against the eastern houses, that they were ceiled with cedar, and painted with vermilion. The floors are laid with painted tiles, or plaster of terrace. But as these people make little or no use of chairs, (either sitting cross-legged, or lying at length,) they always cover or spread them over with carpets, which, for the most part, are of the richest materials. Along the sides of the wall, or floor, a range of narrow beds, or mattresses, is often placed upon these carpets ; and for their farther ease and convenience, several velvet or damask bolsters are placed upon these carpets, or mattresses,-indulgencies that seem to be alluded to by their stretching themselves upon couches, and by the sewing of pillows to the arm-holes, as we have it expressed. Amos chap. vi. verse 4. Ezek. chap. xiii. verse 8. At one end of each chamber there is a little gallery, raised three, four, or five feet above the floor, with a balustrade in the front of it, with a few steps, likewise, leading up to it. Here they place their beds, a situation frequently alluded to in the holy scriptures, which may, likewise, illustrate the circumstance of Hezekiah's turning his face, when he prayed, towards the wall, i. e. from his attendants, [2 Kings chap. xx. versc 2.] that the fervency of his devotion might be the less taken notice of and observed. The like is related of Ahab, [1 Kings chap. xxi. v. 4.) though, probably, not upon a religious account, but in order to conceal from his attendants the anguish he was in for his late disappointment.

“ The stairs are sometimes placed in the porch, soinetimes at the entrance into the court. When there is one or more stories, they are afterwards continued, through one corner or other of the gallery, to the top of the house, whither they conduct us through a door that is constantly kept shut, to prevent their domestic animals from daubing the terrace, and thereby spoiling the water which falls from thence into the cisterns below the court. This door, like most others we meet with in these countries, is hung, not with hinges, but by having the jamb formed, at each end, into an axle-tree or pivot, whereof the uppermost, which is the longest, is to be received iuto a correspondent

[ocr errors]

Bocket in the lintel, whilst the other falls into a cavity of the like fashion in the threshold.

" I do not remember," says Dr. Shaw, “ever to have observed the stair-case conducted along the outside of the house ; neither, indeed, will the contiguity and relation which these houses bear to the street, and to each, (exclusive of the supposed privacy of them ) admit of any such contrivance. However, we may go up or come down by the siair I have described, without entering into any of the offices or apartments, and; consequently, without interfering with the business of the house.

“ The top of the house, which is always flat, is covered with a strong plaster of terrace, from whence, in the Frank language, it has obtained the name of the terrace. This is usually surrounded by two walls, the outermost whereof is partly built over the street, partly makes the partition with the contiguous houses, being frequently so low that one may easily climb over it. The other, which I shall call the parapet wall, hangs immediately over the court, being always breast high, and answers to the p ng q h, [Deut. chap. xxii, verse 8.] which we render the battlements. Instead of this parapet wall some terraces are guarded, like the galleries, with balustrades only, or latticed work, in which fashion, probably, as the name seems to import, was the sh b k h, or net, or lattice, as we render it, that Ahazian [2 Kings chap. i. verse 2.] might be carelessly leaning over when he fell down from thence into the court : for upon those terraces several offices of the family are performed, such as the drying of linen and flax, (Josh. chap. ii. verse 6.) the preparing of figs or raisins, where, likewise, they enjoy the cool refreshing breezes of the evening, converse with one another, and offer up their devotioris. In the feast of tabernacles, booths were erected upon them, Neh. chap. väi. verse 16. As these terraces are thus frequently used and trampled upon, not to mention the solidity of the materials wherewith they are made, they will not easily permit any vegetable substances to take root or thrive upon them, which, perhaps, may illustrate the comparison, [Isa. chap: xxxvii. verse 27.] of the Assyrians, and (Psal. cxxix. verse 6.) of the wicked, to the grass upon the house-tops, which withereth before it is grown up.

In another part of the same work Dr. Shaw proceeds thus, “ Having thus described the several buildings peculiar to the cities and towns of this country, let us now take a view of the habitations of the Bedoweens and Kabyles. Now the Bedescens, as their great ancestors, the Arabians, did before them. [Isa. xiii. 20.] live in tents; called hhymas, from the shelter which they afford the inhabitants ; and beet el shaar, i. e. houses of hair, from the materials, or webs of goats' hair, whereof they are made. They are the very same which the antients called Mapalia ; and being then, as they are to this day, secured from the weather by a covering only of such hair cloth as our coal sacks are made of, might very justly be described, by Virgil, to have (rara fecta] thin roofs. The colour of them is beautifully alluded to, Cant. i. 5," I am black, but comely as the tents of Kedar.” For nothing, certainly, can afford a more delightful prospeet, than a large extensive plain, whether in its verdure, or even scorched up by the sun-beams, with these moveable habitations pitched in circles upon it. When we find any number of these tents together, (and I have seen from two to three hundred) they are usually placed in a circle, and constitute a Dou-war. The fashion of each tent is of an oblong figure, not unlike the bottom of a ship turned up-side down, as Sallust has long ago described them. However, they are different in bigness, according to the bumber of people who live in them ; and are, accordingly, supported, some with one pillar, others with two or three, whilst a curtain, or carpet, lay down, upon

down, upon occasion, from each of these divisions, turns the whole into so many separate apartments

These tents are kept firm and steady by bracing, or stretching their eves with cords tied to.


crodked pins, well pointed, which they drive into the ground with a mallet; one of these pins answering to the nail, as the mallet does to the hammer, which Jael used in fastening to the ground the temples of Sisera. (Judges iv. 21.] The pillars which I have mentioned are straight poles, eight or ten feet high, and three or four inches in thickness, serving not only to support the tent itself, but being full of hooks fixed there for the purpose, the Arabs hang upon them their clothes, baskets, saddles, and accoutrements of wa!. Holofernes, as we read Judith xiii. 16, made the like use of the pillar of his tent by hanging his faulchion upon it, where it is called the pillar of the bed, from the custom, perhaps, that has always prevailed in these countries, of having the upper end of the carpet, mattress, or whatever else they lie upon, turned from the skirts of the tent towards the centre of it. But konopcion, the canopy, as we render it, verse 9, should, I presume, be rather called the great, or muskeeta net, which is a close curtain of gauze, or fine linen, used all over the east, by people of better fashion, to keep out the flies. But the Arabs have nothing of this kind, who, in taking their rest, lie stretched out upon the ground, without bed, mattress, or pillow, wrapping themselves up only in their hykes, and lying, as they find room, upon a mat or carpet, in the middle, or in the corner of the tent. Those, indeed, who are married, have each of them a portion of the tent to themselves, cantoned off with a curtain ; the rest accommodate themselves as conveniently as they can, in the manner I have described.

The other furniture of the common Arabian tents consists chiefly of hair sacks, and trunks, and baskets, covered with skin, in which they carry their keities, pots, wooden howls, hand-mills, and pitchers. To these we must add their leather bottles, in which they keep their water, milk, and other liquors. These leather bottles are made either of goats' skins or kids' skins. When the animal is killed, they cut off its feet and its head, and they draw it, in this manner, out of the skin, without opening its belly, They afterwards sew up the places where the legs were cut off and the tail, and, when it is filled, they tie it about the neck. While

every year produces some alteration in our fashions, there is reason to believe that, in most instances, the appearance of the present inhabitants of Asia resembles that of their ancestors in the days of our Saviour, or even in the more remote ages of the Jewish kings and prophets. The principal articles of their dress are the lyke, the boornoose, the turban, the timic, the girdle, and the veil, which is worn by their females.

Dr. Shaw having observed that the Barbary women are employed in making of hykes, or blankets, as Androinache and Penelope were of old, and that they do not use the shuttle, but conduct every thread of the woof with their fingers, adds, that the usual size of the hyke is six yards long, and five or six feet broad, serving the Kabyle and Arab for a complete dress in the day; and as they sleep in their raiment, as the Israelites did of old, (Deut. xxiv. 13.] it serves, likewise, for his bed and covering in the night. It is a loose, but troublesome kind of garment, being frequently disconcerted and falling to the ground, so that the person who wears it is every moment obliged to tuck it up, and fold it anew around his body. This shews the great use there is for a girdle whenever they are concerned in any active employment, and, in consequence thereof, the force of the scripture injunction alluding thereto, of having our loins girded in order to set about it.

Instead of the fibula that was used by the Romans, the Arabe join together with thread, or a wooden bodkin, the two upper corners of this garment; and after having placed them first over one of their shoulders, they then fold the rest of it about their bodies The outer fold serves then frequently instead of an apron, wherein they carry herbs, loaves, corn, &c.; and many illustrate several allusions made thereto in scripture, as gathering the lap full of wild gourds, [2 Kings iv. 19.) rendering seven-fold, giring good measure into the bosom, [Psalm cxxix. 12. Luke vi. 38.] shaking the lap. Neh. v. 13.] &c. &c.

The burnoose, which answers to our cloak, is often, for warmth, worn over these hykes. It is wove in one piece, and strait about the neck, with a cape, to the head, and wide below like a cloak.

If we except the cape of the burnoose, which is only occasionally used during a shower of rain, or in very cold weather, several Arabs and Kabyles go bare-headed all the year long, binding their temples only with a narrow fillet, to prevent their locks from being troublesome. But the Moors and Turks, with some of the principal Arabs, wear, upon the crown of the head, a small hemispherical cap of scarlet cloih. The turbant, as they call a long narrow web of linen, silk, or muslin, is folded round the bottom of these caps, and very properly distinguishes, by the number and fashion of the folds, the several orders and degrees of soldiers, and sometimes of citizens one from another.

Under the hyke some wear a close-bodied frock or tunie, either with or without sleeves, which differs little from the Ronan tunica or babit, in which the constellation bootes is usually painted. The coat of our Saviour, which was woven without seam from top throughout, [John xix. 23,] night be of the like fashion. This too, no less than the hyke, is to be girded about their bodies, especially when they are engaged in any labour, exercise, or employment at which time they usually throw off their burnouses and hykes, and remain only in these tunics.

The girdles of these people are usually of worsted, very artfully woven into a variety of figures, such as the rich girdles of the virtuous virgins may be supposed to have been. [Prov. xxxi. 24.) They are made to fold several times round the body, one end of which being doubled back, and sewn along the edges, serves them for a purse, agreeable to the acceptation of the girdle in the scriptures. The Turks make a further use of these girdles, by fixing therein their knives and poniards ; whilst the hojias, i.e. the writers and secretaries, suspend in the same their ink-horns, a custom as old as the prophet Ezekiel, who mentions [ix. 2.] a person clothed in white linen, with an ink-horn about his loins.

It is customary for the Turks and Moors to wear shirts of linen, or cotton, or gauze, underneath the tunics. But the Arabs wear nothing but woollen. The sleeves of these shirts are wide and open, without folds, at the neck or wrists, as ours have, thereby.preventing the flen and the louse from being commodiously lodged : those, particularly, of the women are oftentimes of the richest gauze, adorned with different coloured ribbands interchangeably sewed to each other.

Neither are the Bedoweens accustomed to wear drawers, a habit, notwithstanding which, the citizens of both sexes constantly appear in, especially when they go abroad or receive visits. The virgins are distinguished from the matrons in having their drawers made of needle-work, striped silk, or linen, just as Tamar's garment is described 2 Sam. xiii, 18. But when the women are at home, and in private, then their hykęs are laid aside, and sometimes their tuniesi; and instead of drawers, they bind only a towel about their loins.

When these ladies appear in public they always fold themselves up so closely in their hykes, that, even without their veils, we could discover very little of their faces. But in the summer months, when they retire to their country seats, they walk abroad with less caution, though, even then, upon the approach of a stranger. they always dion their veils, as Rebekah did upon the sight of Isaac. [Gen, xxiv. 65.] They all affect to have their hair, the instrument of their pride, [Isa. xxii. 12. ) hang down to the ground, which, after they have collected into one lock, they bind and plait it with ribhands, a piece of finery disapproved of by the apostle. [1 Pet. iii. 3.) Wherc nature hash been less liberal in this ornament, there the defect is supplied by art, and foreign hair is procured to be interwoven with the natural : Absalom's hair, which was sold for two hundred shekels, [2 Sam. xiv. 26.] might have been applied to this 116e. After the hair is thus plaited, they proceed to dress their heads, by tying above the lock I have described a triangular piece of linen, adorned with various figures in needlework. This, among persons of better fashion, is covered with a sarmah, as they call it, which is made in the same triangular shape, of thin, flexible, plates of gold or silver, artfully cut through and engraven in imitation of lace, and might, therefore, answer to the moon-like ornament mentioned above. A handkerchief of crape, gauze, silk, or painted linen, bound close over the sarmah, and falling, afterwards, carelessly upon the favourite lock, completes the head-dress of the Moorish ladies.

The corn cultivated in the Holy Land is principally wheat, barley, and millet. The frst of these is the chief food of the inhabitants, barley being eaten only in times of scarcity, and the millet boiled up in their soups. Their harvest is in May, when they pluck up the corn by the roots, and carry it to an open place, where it is threshed. This last operation is performed, either by means of a rolling machine, on which are small irons notched like a saw, which cut the straw and separate the grain, or by treading it out with three or four mules or horses tied together, and whipped repeatedly round the floor. This is a quick method of threshing, but not so cleanly as that performed in our own country. As they make no hay, they carefully preserve their straw, upon which, together with barley, their horses and other cattle chiefly subsist. After the grain is trodden out they winnow it, by throwing it up against the wind with a shovel. They then lodge the grain in mattamores, or subterraneous magazines, as the custom was formerly of other

nations, two or three hundred of which are sometimes together, the smallest holding four hundred bushels.

Out of these granaries they usually take as much corn at a time as may be necessary for a day's use, and, having first carefully inspected it, and cleansed it from every impurity, grind it very early in the morning in small portable handmills. This office, which is very

laborious, is performed by the lowest of their female slaves, unless where families are very large, on which occasion horses are sometimes employed. For leaven they use small pieces of dough, which has been kept till it has become sour. The inhabitants of cities bake their bread in ovens, which, for want of better fuel, they heat with dried cow-dung ; but such as dwell in tents, bake either immediately upon the coals, or in a ta-jen, a shallow earthen vessel, resembling a frying-pan. There is also another way of baking, which is mentioned by Dr. Arvieux, as practised by the Arabs about mount Carmel, which is to make a fire in a great stone pitcher, and, when it is heated, they mix meal and water, as we do to make paste to glue things together with, which they apply, with the hollow of their hands, to the outside of the pitcher, and this extreme soft paste spreading itself upon it, is baked in an instant. The heat of the pitcher having dried up all the moisture, the bread comes off as thin as our wafers ; and the operation is so speedily performed, that in a very little time a sufficient quantity is made. The eastern bread is usually made into small moist cakes, which are not fit for food longer than a day; they have, however, rusks, and biscuits for travelling, and delicate cakes made with yolks of eggs, and strewed with seeds.

They have, also, a food called burgle, which is thus described by Dr. Russel ;

Burgle is wheat boiled, then bruised by a mill so as to take the husk off, thep dried and kept for use. The usual way of dressing it is either by boiling it, like rice, into a pilaw, or making it into balls with meat and spices, and either fried or boiled ; these balls are called cubby.”

« הקודםהמשך »