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however, to doubt the fact on the account of the Doctor's silence, especially as it relates to another part of Barbary, and as it is given us by those that resided some years in that country.
Shaw makes no use of this circumstance relating to the education of youth in Barbary; but I confess, the account that the privateer's people have given of this procession, seems to me to be a lively comment on that ancient Jewish procession, mentioned 1 Sam. x. 5, 6, Thou shalt meet a company of Prophets coming down from the high place, with a psaltery, and a tabret, and a pipe, and a harp before them, and they shall prophesy. And the spirit of the LORD will come upon thee, and thou shalt prophesy with them, and shalt be turned into another man. That the word prophets oftentimes signifies sons or scholars of the Prophets, and prophesying, singing, have been often remarked; but no author, that I know of, has given any account of the nature of this procession, and what it was designed for. We are sometimes told, high places were used for sacrifices; and in one case, music, it is certain, went playing before them when they went up to worship, Is. xxx. 29; but did they also return from sacrificing with it? We are told that music was made use of by the Prophets to calm and compose them, and invite the divine influences; which is indeed very true, but is it to the purpose? Did they go forth in this manner from their college, into the noise and
interruptions of the world, to call down the prophetic impulse? But if we consider them as a company of the sons of the Prophets, going in procession with songs of praise, and music playing before them, and recollect that it is usual at this day for young scholars to go in procession with acclamations, and music playing before them, the whole mystery seems to be unravelled. To which may be added, that Saul was to meet them, and find himself turned into another man, into a man, perhaps, that is as instantaneously made as knowing in the law of GoD, as the youth to whom they were doing these honours, or any of his convoy; which acquaintance with the laws of GoD was very necessary, for one that was to judge among his brethren ast their king. For this reason, the Jewish kings were to write out a copy of the law of GoD, and read it continually, that they might be perfect masters of it, Deut. xvii. 18-20; which accomplishment some youth had gained whom Saul met with, and was honoured with the soTemnity the sacred historian speaks of, if the customs of South Barbary may be supposed to be explanatory of those of Judea.
Watering the Ground to lay the Dust, before a Superior.
WHEN the Consul whom Dr. Pococke attended, entered Cairo, the Doctor tells us, that, according to an ancient custom of state, a man went before and sprinkled water on the ground to lay the dust."
Every one knows the convenience of this practice in hot and dry countries; but I do not remember to have met with it mentioned any where else as an Eastern way of doing honour: but if the Doctor is right here, if it was not barely a thing thought at that time convenient, but an ancient custom of state, the same causes might occasion it to be used in other countries; and if it had been used in Judea before the time of David, in the days of the Judges and of Saul, it will explain Shimei's behaviour, and give it great energy, who, in direct opposition to it, threw stones, and dusted him with dust in the day of that prince's affiction. He had been wont to be honoured by having people go before him to take care that the ground should be moistened and no dust raised where he was to pass; Shimei did the reverse.
This honour is not however confined to roy2 Sam. xvi. 13. marg.
d Vol. 1.
alty; an English consul was thus treated; private persons were also thus dishonoured, for the Jews clamoured against St. Paul in the temple, and threw dust, Acts xxii. 23.
An observation Sir John Chardin has made in his MS. note on Job ii. 2, gives a somewhat different turn to our apprehensions of the behaviour of Shimei, and of the Jews in the temple towards St. Paul: he says, 'that in almost all the East, those who accuse a criminal, or demand justice against him, throw dust upon him, as much as to say, he deserves to be put under ground; and that it is a common interpretation of the Turks and Persians, Be covered with earth, Earth be upon thy head: as we are ready to say, I wish you four feet under ground." The Jews certainly thought St. Paul deserved to die; and Shimei might design to declare by what he did, that David was unworthy to live.
I must leave it to my reader to determine which sentiment is most natural.
Singular Method of honouring an Arabian Princess.
WHEN d'Arvieux was in the camp of the great Emir, his princess was visited by other Arab princesses. The last that came, whose visit alone he describes, was mounted, he says, on a camel, covered with a carpet, and decked with
flowers; a dozen women marched in a row before her, holding the camel's halter with one hand they sung the praises of their mistress, and songs which expressed joy, and the happiness of being in the service of such a beautiful and amiable lady. Those which went first, and were more distant from her person, came in their turn to the head of the camel, and took hold of the halter; which place, as being the post of honour, they quitted to others, when the princess had gone a few paces. The Emir's wife sent her women to meet her, to whom the halter was entirely quitted, out of respect, her own women putting themselves behind the camel in this order they marched to the tent, where she alighted. They then all sung together the beauty, birth, and good qualities of this princess.'
Does not this account illustrate a passage of the Prophet Nathan, where he speaks of the presenting the Queen of Nineveh, or Nineveh itself under the figure of a queen, to her conqueror? He describes her as led by her maids, with the voice of doves, with the voice of mourning that is; their wonted songs of joy with which they used to lead her along, as the Arab women did their princess, being turned into lamentations.
That the Prophet is speaking of the presenting Huzzab to her conqueror, is visible from the word brought up; Huzzab shall be led away captive, she shall be brought up, which is the Voy. dans la Pal. p. 219.
8 Ch. ii. 7.