« PreviousContinue »
thanks to his officers and people for their exertions in his favour, or, in the language of the historian, spake to the hearts of his fervants', and when he received their compliments of congratulation : it is, I say, somewhat uncertain, whether he met his friends in the upper. chamber, whither he retired to mourn, which the author of the paper in the Archæologia would call the state-room ; or in the room where he first fat between the two gates; or in some other apartment of that building, Joab indeed, we are told, with great roughness laid before him the necessity of laying aside his mourning, of appearing in public, and graciously acknowledging the service his people had done him, in doing which he calls upon him to arise and go forth; but this doth not inform us where he fat in state, only we know from the following verse', that it was somewhere in the gate. And the words go forth might even only mean, arise from the ground on which thou liest, go out of this closet, or this obscure corner, where thou hast given up thyself to mourning, inta this adjoining state-room, and appear like thyfelf, the king of Israel, to whom God has preserved the crown, on a seat of dignity suita able to thy present state.
"See ch. 19. v. 7, margin.
? The 8th. 3 And Mr. King has shown, that very frequently small recesses attended these public rooms in or over the gates of our old English castles.
. We sit not now, in common, in the gates of our public buildings, but Bishop Pococke, when he travelled in these countries, found this ancient custom still kept up. So speaking of the ancient Byblus, he says, “ When “ I returned from viewing the town, the “ Theik and the elders were fitting in the “ gate of the city, after the ancient manner, “ and I fat a while with them.”
There is another circumstance relating to this old castle at Tunbridge, which is mentioned in this fame paper of the Archæologia, and which should not be passed over in filence here, and that is the use of pitch, instead of lime, for cementing stones together. On digging at the bottom of the foss, he tells the Antiquarian Society, “ were found “ remaining the foundations of two piers, “ which supported the bridge ; and which “ were constructed in a very remarkable man“ ner, the stones being laid in pitch, mixed " with hair, instead of mortar."
When then it is said in the book of Genesis ", that in building the tower of Babel they had slime for morter, by which bitumen is supposed to be meant, which very much resembles pitch, and which pitchy substance the earth throws out in various places, it is not a necessary consequence, derivable from that account, that it was the first kind of cement that ever was made use of, since the use
· Trav, vol. 2. p. 98.
? Gen. II. 3.
of lime might be known in that age, and the bitumen be used notwithstanding, as pitch in the castle at Tunbridge, for it's supposed strength.
Many structures of stone have been raised up without any cement at all, and there are some such still remaining in Scotland, as appears by the papers of the Antiquarian Society', 'so artfully were the stones laid; but when the Tunbridge castle was built, the use of lime was certainly well known in England : pitch must have been chosen on account of it's supposed strength; bitumen might be used for the same reason, in the construction of the tower of Babel.
The ecrly use of burnt brick in the building that tower, deserves attention too: “ They 66 faid one to another, Go to, let us make “ brick, and burn them throughly. And " they had brick for stone, and slime had “ they for morter.” A great part, perhaps the largest, of the bricks that are used at this day in these countries are only dried in the sun.
The same ingenious gentleman", in the fame paper of observations on our old castles,
'Niebuhr found many buildings in the southern part of Arabia, that had no cement, but were, formed of loose stones placed with some management on each other. Voy, tom. I. ? Archæol. v. 6. p. 293.
gives us a note designed to illustrate, though with great modesty, another passage of Scripture, which it may not be amiss to add to the preceding. .
“ When I read (in the 9th ch, of the ad “ book of Kings) that on Jehu's being an“ ointed king over Israel, at Ramoth-Gilead, " the captains of the host, who were then fit“ ting in council, as soon as they heard there" of, took every man his garment, and put “ it under him, on the top of the stairs; and “ blew with trumpets, proclaiming, Jebu is " king; and when I consider the account given “ by Herodotus, of the ancient Ecbatana, “ which was at no great distance from Syria, “ and in a country much connected with it; « and reflect also on the appearance of the top “ of the stair-cases both at Lanceston and “ Connisborough'; when, I say, I consider all 66 these circumstances, I am very apt to con
clude, that at either of the two latter places “ is still to be beheld, nearly the same kind “ of scenery, as to building, which was ex“ hibited to the world, on the remarkable “ occasion of inaugurating Jehu at Ramoth
! According to the 23d plate of this volume, which gives us representations of this castle at Connisborough, in one corner of a court, strongly walled in, is a keep, or tower of peculiar strength, to which the ascent is by a narrow, steep, and dangerous flight of many steps, which Mr. King supposes might resemble the stairs ascenda ing the tower in which Jehu was sitting in council, and on the top of which stairs he was proclaimed.
« Gilead :
• Gilead : but I dare not to determine preso cisely on a matter of such very high anti" quity; and leave every one to form his " own conclusions, from what has been here “ laid before him, as to the affinity of these " kinds of buildings, and the derivation of “ their original plan from the East.” · This is very ingenious, as well as amiably modest. All' I would say on this obscure subject is comprised in the following particulars.
1. That Ramoth-Gilead was a place of which the possession was disputed between the kings of Syria and of the ten tribes, See
1 Kings xxii, 3. - 2. That it was at this time in poffeffion of Israel, 2 Kings ix. 14.
3. That before this time they had been wontto strengthen fortified towns, in this country, with a tower of peculiar strength built in it, to which the inhabitants fled when they apprehended the town itself not tenable against an army, or no longer so. See Judges ix. 51, viii. 9,
4. As in the earlier ages in our own country strong places were wont to be built on eminences, and we have reason to believe were so in many other countries, so we find mention made of stairs, for going up to or coming down from the city of David, or Zion, the strongest part of the city of Jerusalem, at least after the Temple. Nehem, ul. 15.