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tioned on these occasions in the East, by other writers.o
Fowls also are still sent in the Holy Land by the people to their great men, for the use of their tables. So when the Emir Derveesh happened to come to Tartoura, and was disposed
• So Pellow tells us, the provisions prepared for his wed. ding-feast, besides what his brother-in-law gave, were a fat bullock, four sheep, two dozen of large fowls, twelve dozen of young pigeons, one hundred and fifty pounds weight of fine flour, and fifty pounds of butter, besides honey, spices, &c. all which, his wedding holding three days, was fairly consumed, with a great deal of mirth and friendly satisfaction. (p. 73.) So, though Russell speaks of the turkey, goose, and duck, as used at Aleppo for food, besides the hen-kind and pigeons, and, after men. tioning water-hens, water-rails, wild-geese, wild duck and mallard, several kinds of widgeon, coots, spoon-bills and teal, adds, with which the tables of the Europeans are plentifully supplied, and some eaten by the natives in win. ter, (vol.ii. p. 193,) yet I do not remember to have observed any of them taken notice of by Dr. Pooocke, or other writers that give us an account of the Eastern collations they were present at.* It may not, however, be improper to observe, that according to Albertus Aquensis, (Gesta Dei per Francos, p. 285,) an Eastern Patriarch sent to Godfrey, afterwards king of Jerusalem, and the other princes that besieged that city, besides pomegranates and rich wine, fatted peacocks. The curious will do well to consider, whether the fatten barburim of Solomon mean fowls of this sort; and whether the term may be supposed to give any intimation of the country from whence they were originally brought. D'Herbelot mentions two dif. ferent countries called Barbary by the people of the East, the one on the coast of the Mediterranean, commonly known by that name; the other, which he calls the Ethiopic Barbary, lies on the Ethiopic Ocean, between the Red Sea and Mozambique, near a gulpl which Ptolemy calls Sinus Barbaricus.
· Vol 1. p. 46.
• Dr. Russell observes (MS. note) that game is very seldom brought lo Mohammedan tables; and when brought, not being dressed as in Europe, may be easily mistaken by a traveller. On this account, Dr. Pococke and other writers may not have perceived it, even when it was a part of their fare. EDIT.
to pass the night in its neighbourhood, d' Arvieux, who was with him, observed that nothing was more easy than the obeying his orders, when he directed a supper to be got ready for him, all people at Tartoura being forward to bring him presents of meat, poultry, game, fruit, and coffee. Voy. dans la Pal. p. 67.
The villages of Egypt, Dr. Pococke found, are wont to send in like manner provisions to their great men when they travel, for he observes, that those villages that happened to be nearest the place where the Governor of Faiume stopped, in whose company he travelled, used to send a supper for him and his attendants. Presents of the like kind, or rather regular contributions of this sort, is undoubtedly what Nehemiah refers to, when he says of his predecessors, that they had been chargeable to the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, besides shekels of silver ; whereas he kept as bountiful a table as any of them at his own expence, and then mentions the ox, the six sheep, the fowls, and the wine.
Different Methods of serving up Food at Meals.
As the Arabs serve up the things they intended for their guests all at once, so Olearius gives us to understand it is also the Persian cus
• Vol. 1. p. 56. 9 Voy. dans la Pal. p. 128.
tom, and that the viands are distributed by a domestic, who takes portions of divers sorts out of the large dishes in which they are severally served up, and lays four or five different kinds of meat in one smaller dish; these are set, furnished after this manner, before those whom they entertain: one of these smaller dishes being placed before two persons only, or at most three. The same practice obtains, he tells us, at the royal table itself...
This is not the custom at Aleppo. There, among the great, the several dishes are brought in one by one according to Dr. Russell, the company eating a little of each, after which they are removed. The modern managements of the Eastern people then, in their entertainments, are not similar; they might not be so anciently. May we not then suppose, that the ancient Egyptians treated their guests in a manner a good deal resembling the way of the modern Persians ? What else was the honour done to Benjamin, in making his mess five times larger than those of his brethren ? Gen. xliii. 34. Each man had, doubtless, enough, and to spare, answerable to the magnificence of the person that entertained them, and the haying five times more than the rest could have been of no advantage to him ;* unless we sup
P. 472. P. 710. Vol. 1. 173. . * Egmont and Heyman observed the same thing, in an entertainment given the English Ambassador by the Grand Vizier in a plain near Constantinoplo; after the first course was removed, thirty dishes of roasted fowls, partridges, &c. were successively served up. Vol. 1. p. 218.
* What is added to this Observation, in this edition, will
pose enough was set before him of each sort of provision for his complete repast, in case he should prefer any one to the rest ; or else that a much greater variety was set before him than before his brethren, ten or fifteen different things being placed before him, it may be, while two or three only were set before the others.
Every circumstance of this old Egyptian entertainment seems to agree with Olearius's account of the Persian, and, in particular, their being placed in a row on one side of the room, none being opposite to them ; which Olearius remarks in his account, and which, with a distinct dish being placed before each of them with different kinds of food, seems to have been what occasioned that marvelling the sacred historian mentions, Gen. xliii. 33, rather than any thing else; they being wont, instead of this variety, solemnity, and order, to eat in a confused huddled way of one single dish, a good deal, we may believe, like those Arabs dining on the borders of the Nile, who attracthowever shew that Sir J. Chardin apprchends this is what was meant.
✓ This would be agreeable to Sir Thomas Roe's chaplain's account of a great entertainment, at which he was present in India. The Ambassador, he tells us, had more dishes by ten, and he less by ten, than their entertainer had, (who was the Great Mogul's brother-in-law,) yet that he (the chap, lain) himself had for his part fifty, p. 408. Here we see the distinction made by the number of dishes set before each. The reader will judge for himself, which is the most natu, ral sense to put on the account of the sacred historian, that Benjamin's mess was five times as much as any of his brethren's
ed the attention of le Bruyn : “ They sat on the ground,” says he, “and had in the middle of them a large wooden dish of milk, into which they dipped by turns their hands, supping the milk afterwards out of them," Such a contrast between the solemnity and order, (being to sit down according to their age) and their common confused way of eating; and between this variety and sumptuousness, and their mean repasts; was enough to produce astonishment, and much more easily accounts for it, than the supposing Joseph ranged them in order, and that his brethren imagined he did it by divination, as some commentators have done."
Sir J. Chardin has a note on this account of Joseph's entertainment, which will be a pleasing addition to what I have been saying; as it confirms and enlarges the account I before gave. "I see, in these verses,” says his MS. “ many customs, which are the same with those generally practised through all the East. They do not in common make use of a table, or chairs; the floors of the houses are covered with mats, pieces of felt, or carpets. Among those who are at all opulent there are, besides, embroidered or stitched coverings four feet broad, and cushions placed against the wall to lean upon. All these things are embroidered with gold, among people of quality. When the provisions are served up, they spread a cloth whose breadth and length is proportioned to the hall when it is full of people, and
Tom. 1. p. 586. Vide Poli Syn. in loc.