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would be opened. A little after another report was spread, &c'. Here we find the gates were shut, and continued to be shut against them, but it was owing to some alarm, which afterwards appeared to be a violent disturbance raised in Jerusalem out of spite to the Christians. The shutting of the gates of Jerusalem, did not appear to them to be extraordinary ; but the refusing to let them in, when the return of the pilgrims could not but be expected about that time. Nehemiah also was in a state of alarm, when he gave such strict orders concerning the gates of Jerusalem ; as were also the people of Jericho, who shut their gates immediately after their messengers were sent out of the city.
But the gates of Suez were shut all night in a time of peace: and so Rauwolff found the gate of Tripoli shut, when there was no particular alarm, about an hour after sun-set, when he arrived at ito, which was opened to him through the interest of the European merchants of that city.
The real state of things seems to be, that many of their caravanserais are without the walls of their cities; that many private families reside in unwalled towns, to whom their friends may repair at midnight, without difficulty: and that as to towns with gates and bars, which are shut up all night, they
'P. 318, 319. ,Josh. 2. 7. Ray's Trav. part 1, p. 19.
usually take care, so to regulate their times of journeying, as to get there before their gates are shut, or not 'till they are opened, or on the point of being so.
As we read the book of Tobit, it may posfibly seem very strange to us, and by no means consonant to the customs of the East, that when his son Tobias and his angelic, but disguised companion came to Ecbatane, to the house of Raguel, Sarah, Raguel's daughter, should be represented as meeting them, and, after saluting them, as bringing them into the house, who appeared to her to be perfect frangers. Tobit vii. 1.
But perhaps this may be removed, and the book might be written by one that lived in the East, and was acquainted with the customs there, if we consider, that though they appeared to be quite strangers, yet they were somehow understood to be Jews', for Raguel immediately calls them brethren, v. 3 ; and though the Turkish women are now kept, with great care, out of sight, the ancient Jewish females
? Either by their language, or by their different dress. The Jews that inhabit Media, and it's neighbouring provinces, are distinguished now by turbants or bonnets of a ditterent colour from those of other religious professions, aird other marks, mentioned by Chardin, tom. 2, p. 307.
had more liberty, and even have to this day, in these countries.
When Dr. Chandler first landed in Afia, he was received by a Jew, who had connexions with the English nation, and carried to his house, where he was agreeably received and entertained, and, among other circumstances, he tells us, that the daughter of this Jew faluted him, by gently kissing his hand.
The daughter of Raguel might then be supposed to have treated these strange Jews in the same manner, though the term that is made use of is by no means so determinate, and only expresses that the saluted them with affectionate pleasure'.
Perhaps Jacob's kissing Rachel, at their first interview ?, is to be understood after the same manner; but I much question whether the kisses of the harlot, mentioned Prov. vii. 13, are to be supposed to have been equally modest.
The caravanserais of the East, in which travellers lodge, differ, it should seem, from those in which the merchants reside for a confiderable time, in that these last have doors to
their several chambers or rooms, which the others have not', in which case, it must be particularly base to take advantage of such an unguarded situation, and of those that sojourn in them, namely strangers, perhaps even fellow-travellers.
To circumstances of this nature then I should suppose it is, that the fon of Sirach refers, when he says, “ Be alhamed .... of “ theft, in regard of the place where thou fo“ journest, and in regard of the truth of God “ and his covenant ?.”
All theft is iniquitous, and consequently shameful; but it may be attended with circumstances of aggravation : a truth which all feel. It is mentioned as an alleviation of the crimes of a celebrated free-booter in the reign of Richard Ift”, that though he robbed the rich, he was kind and generous to the poor; so those that rob at a fire are detested as the worst of villains, because of the distress of such a time, and the inability of the sufferers to guard entirely against such depredations.
It is of this comparative kind of shamefulness that this ancient Jewish writer is evidently speaking, and in particular of theft in a place of fojourning. Which seems to be explained by the nature of the present Eastern caravanserais.
To guard against this, Niebuhr tells us, that
"Voy. de Chardin, tome 1, p. 147, 148. • Ecclefiafticus 41. 17, 19.
s Robin Hood.
in Arabia, where the houses for lodging travellers are called himjeras, and sometimes mansales, in the evening the door, and there is only one, is shut, and in some places notice is given in the morning, before it is opened, that travellers may examine whether they have lost any thing'.
In the fimseras of Arabia nothing is to be had, in common, but coffee, rice, bread, and butter. This coffee is explained by a preceding page to be nothing but a preparation from the husks that inclose the coffee berries; and the bread is said to be made of durra, which is a sort of coarse millet ; along with camels milk or butter :. This kind of milk is said there to be ropy, for if the finger is taken out of it, after having been dipped into it, it draws out in a long thread. But in one of these mansales, when the master of it understood that they were Europeans, he would have killed a sheep for them, if they would have stayed, and actually caused wheaten bread to be made for them, and cow's milk to be brought, when he perceived they were not accustomed to camel's milk *.
The caravanserais of Persia have, it is said, better accommodations oftentimes, their keepers commonly selling to travellers what is wanted for the horses, and what is most wanted for themselves, as bread, wine, (in those
3 P. 250.
1 Voy. tome I, p. 314.
? In the same page. * In the same page.