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customs and ways of the people in these few days than by months of mere travel through the land.
According to this account, Paul's euroclydon of fourteen days was no very extraordinary occurrence.
Not as to the length of the storm, certainly; nor do I understand the historian to intimate that there was any thing miraculous about it. It was one, however, of extreme violence. Neither sun nor stars appeared in many days, and all hope of being saved was taken away. And yet we are not to suppose that there were no intermissions in this tempest, any more than that the people literally tarried fourteen days fasting, without taking any thing. Such expressions never deceive or disturb an Oriental. They do not mean absolutely nothing. In our medical practice, it is almost impossible to arrive at accuracy in regard to what a patient has eaten. Both he and his friends will assure you, in the most comprehensive terms, that he has "continued fasting, having eaten nothing;” and yet, by close questioning, you find that he has loaded his stomach with trash highly injurious to him. When pressed on the point, he will merely say, “It does not deserve to be mentioned.” You may take this as a general canon of interpretation, that any amount much less than usual means “nothing" in their dialect, and if you understand more by it, you are misled. In fact, their ordinary fasting is only abstaining from certain kinds of food, not from all, nor does the word convey any other idea to them.
In regard to Paul's euroclydon: it is no uncommon thing to encounter similar storms at this day, in the same part of the Mediterranean. I have followed nearly the exact route of his disastrous voyage, and, as our noble steamer sailed in between Catzo and Candia—the Crete of the Acts—we were met by a tremendous wind, which tried the utmost power of her engines. Slowly and laboriously she plowed her foaming furrow through the troubled sea, close under Crete, for twenty-four hours, and then ran into the harbor of Suda, which we found as quiet as a mill-pond, and, unlike Paul's
1 Acts xxvii. 14, 20.
Fair Havens, it would be quite commodious for the entire British navy to winter in. Here we remained a "night and a day;" but, as the wind did not moderate, the captain became impatient, and sailed out into the very teeth of the gale. For a long time we made very little progress, and, as
. we ran under a certain island that was called Clauda, I could well understand that such a vessel as that “ship of Alexandria” must have been exceedingly tossed with the tempest. However, by the aid of steam, we were carried in four, instead of fourteen days, to that "certain island called Melita,” and into the glorious harbor of Valetta, instead of being wrecked at the entrance of St. Paul's Bay. And though we were also laden with wheat, we were not obliged to cast it into the sea to “lighten the ship.” I shall never forget the impressions of that voyage over the seas of Cilicia and Pamphylia, and across the “ Adria,” where Paul was driven up and down for fourteen days.
I no longer wonder that the people of this country believe in jan, and ghools, and all the exaggerated machinery of the Thousand Nights. About one o'clock I was startled out of profound sleep by the most frightful noise I ever heard. It seemed to come from this grave-yard, on the east of your house, and to be very near. What on earth could have produced it?
It was nothing but a concert of jackals. You may be serenaded by them every night, but they are particularly musical in the fiercest storms.
Deliver me from their music. I was terrified. It began in a sort of solo: a low, long-drawn wail, rising, and swelling higher and higher, until it quite overtopped the wind; and just when it was about to choke off in utter despair, it was re-enforced by many others, yelling, screaming, barking, wailing, as if a whole legion of demons were fighting among the tombs over some son of perdition that had fallen into their clutches.
Why, you have been positively startled out of all propriety by these creatures; but no wonder. What a doom is that which David pronounces upon those who seek the
soul of the righteous to destroy it: They shall fall by the sword; they shall be a portion for foxes;' by which jackals are meant, as I suppose. These sinister, guilty, wo-.
, begone brutes, when pressed with hunger, gather in gangs among the graves, and yell in rage, and fight like fiends
, over their midnight orgies; but on the battle-field is their great carnival. Oh! let me never even dream that any one dear to me has fallen by the sword, and lies there to be torn, and gnawed at, and dragged about by these hideous howlers. I have been wanting to send Salîm down town on an
errand, but he has been pounding at something most zealously all the morning. What is he after?
He is braying wheat with a pestle in a mortar, to make kibby, the national dish of the Arabs, and a
MORTAR AND PESTLE,
very good one it is. Every family has one or more of these large stone mortars, and you may hear the sound of the “braying" at all hours, as you walk the streets of the city.
So I suppose Solomon means that, if we pound a fool in a mortar, among wheat, with a pestle, into a batch of kibby, yet will not his foolishness depart from him.
At any rate, there is nothing else in the country so likely to suggest the proverb; and, if foolishness will not depart under such discipline, the case is indeed hopeless. But our boy is braying fish, not a fool, and we shall therefore have kibbet samak, which many people are extremely fond of. It is more commonly made of mutton, mixed with fat from the large tail of the sheep. When thoroughly pounded, it is sent to the oven, and baked in a copper dish made for the purpose. It will keep good in winter for half a month, and makes a capital lunch for the road.
While on the subject of cooking, take another favorite dish of the Arabs. They select a young kid, fat and tender, dress it carefully, and then stew it in milk, generally sour, mixed with onions, and hot spices such as they relish.
, They call it Lebn immû—kid, “in his mother's milk.” The Jews, however, will not eat it. They say that Moses specifically forbade it in the precept, Thou shalt not seethe a kid in his mother's milk, which he repeated three several times, and with special emphasis. They farther maintain that it is unnatural and barbarous to cook a poor kid in that from which it derives its life. This may have been one reason for the prohibition. Many of the Mosaic precepts are evidently designed to cultivate gentle and humane feelings; but "kid in his mother's milk" is a gross, unwholesome dish, calculated also to kindle up animal and ferocious passions, and, on these accounts, Moses may have forbidden it. Besides, it is even yet associated with immoderate feasting, and originally, I suspect, was connected with idolatrous sacrifices. A great deal of learning has been spent upon this passage by critics, to ascertain what the law
1 Prov. xxvii. 22. 2 Ex. xxiii. 19, and xxxiv. 26; Deut. xiv. 21.
giver referred to; but, after seeing the dish actually prepared, and hearing the very name given to it which Moses employs, we have the whole mystery explained. I have repeatedly tasted Lebn immû, and, when well prepared, it has a rich and agreeable flavor. But, though there is little of the Jew in me, yet I have some scruples about partaking of this forbidden food, just as I have in regard to any kind of dish cooked in blood. The reason assigned for the original prohibition continues in full force to this day: But flesh with the life thereof, the blood thereof, shall ye not eat. Nearly all sects of the East, Christian included, regard this reservation, in the grant to eat flesh, as strictly obligatory. The semi-barbarian Abyssinians, according to Bruce's famous story, it is true, violate the whole breadth of the precept when they cut out and devour flesh from the flanks of the living animal, and it is just possible that the command was aimed against some such brutal practice. However that may be, in this country, not only blood-puddings, but every preparation of blood for food, is held in utter abomination. And so, also, it is unlawful to eat animals, fowls, and birds strangled or smothered, and cooked with the blood in them; and, in my feelings at least, the Orientals, in this matter, are right. Moses repeats the prohibition in these emphatic words: Ye shall eat no manner of blood, whether it be of fowl, or of beast, in any of your dwellings.? And again, in chap. xvii. 10–14, it is reaffirmed in the most absolute terms, extended even to strangers, and made to include game taken in hunting. Accordingly, our hunters, when they shoot even a small bird, are careful to cut its throat, and “pour out the blood thereof." God himself declares, I will even set my face against that soul that eateth blood, and will cut him off from among his people.
In addition to the original reason of the prohibition that the blood is the life, it is here added, I have given it to you, upon the altar, to make an atonement for your souls. And let us not forget that the element which represents blood is still given to us in the Supper as the symbol of atonement.
! Gen. ix. 4.
2 Levit. vii. 26.