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not to dismiss a traveller, who goes without money, without a viaticum, or a quantity of provisions sufficient for present support.
The form given by St. Matthew agrees with that of St. Luke in substance, but has a few small variations. Among the rest, instead of recommending to them to beg for the requisite addition to their food from day to day, he teaches them to pray for the additional bread they might want that very day, in which it seems, they had not enough with them for the whole of it, cautioning them, in that early stage of their attendance upon him, against an improper anxiousness for the morrow, ver. 25, and leading them, from the first, to depend on those unforeseen providential supplies on which they subsisted, after they, at the call of their Master, forsook their wordly occupations to be with him, as witnesses of what he said and did. This is agreeable to what we find is practised in Barbary, where they are wont to give strangers provisions, sufficient to support them the first part of the day on which they leave them, but no farther, referring it to others to supply the wants of the coming evening.
Provisions often extorted from the poor Inhabitants
of the Country, by the Officers.
The demanding provisions with roughness and severity by such as travel under the direction of
government, or authorized by government to do it, is at this day so practised in the East, as greatly to illustrate some other passages of Scripture.
When the Baron de Tott was sent, in 1767, to the Cham of the Tartars, by the French ministry, as resident of France with that Tartar prince, he had a mikmandar, or conductor, given him by the pasha of Kotchim, upon his entering the Turkish territories, whose business it was to precede and prepare the way for him, as is usually done in those countries to ambassadors, and such as travel gratis, at the expence of the Porte, or Turkish court. This conductor, whose name, it seems, was Ali Aga, made great use of his whip, when he came among the poor Greeks of Moldavia, to induce them to furnish out that assistance, and those provisions he wanted for the Baron ;? for though it was represented as travelling at the expence of the Porte, it was really at the expence of the inhabitants of those towns or villages to which he came. The Baron appears to have been greatly hurt by that mode of procedure, with those poor peasants, and would rather have procured what he wanted with his money, which he thought would be sufficiently efficacious, if the command - of the mikmandar should not be sufficient without the whip.
The Baron's account of the success of his , Memoirs, vol. 1, part 2, p. 10, &c. . : P. 15, &c.
efforts is a very droll one, which he has enlivened by throwing it into the form of dialogues between himself and the Greeks, and Ali Aga and those peasants, in which he has imitated the broken language the Greeks made use of, pretending not to understand Turkish, in order to make it more mirthful.
It would be much too long for these papers, and quite unnecessary for my design, to transcribe these dialogues ; it is sufficient to say, that after the jealousy of the poor oppressed Greeks of their being to be pillaged, or more heavily loaded with demands by the Turks, had prevented their voluntary supplying the Baron for his money, Ali Aga undertook the business, and upon the Moldavian's pretending not to understand the Turkish language, he knocked him down with his fist, and kept kicking him while he was rising ; which brought him to complain in good 'Turkish of his beating him so, when he knew very well they were poor people, who were often in want of necessaries, and whose princes scarcely left them the air they breathed. « Pshaw ! thou art joking, friend," was the reply of Ali Aga, “thou art in want of nothing, except of being well basted a little oftener; but all in good time. Proceed we to business. I must instantly have two sheep, a dazen of fowls, a dozen of pigeons, fifty pounds of bread, four oques of butter, with salt, pepper, nutmeg, cinnamon, lemons, wines,
• A Turkish weight of about forty-two ounces. VOL. II.
salad, and good oil of olive, all in great plenty.” With tears the Moldavian replied, "I have already told you that we are poor creatures, without so much as bread to eat. Where must we get cinnamon ?" The whip, it seems, was taken from under his habit, and the Moldavian beaten till he could bear it no longer, but was forced to fly, finding Ali Aga inexorable, and that these provisions must be produeed; and, in fact, we are told, the quarter of an hour was not expired, within which time Ali Aga required that these things should be produced, and affirmed to the Baron that they would be brought, before the primate, (or chief of the Moldavians of that town, who had been so severely handled,) assisted by three of his countrymen, brought all the provisions, without forgetting even the cinnamon.
May not this account be supposed to illustrate that passage of Nehemiah, chap v. 15.; The former governors that had been before me, were chargable unto the people, and had taken of them bread and wine, besides forty shckels of silver: yea, even their servants bare rule over the people: but so did not I, becarise of the fear of God.
It is evident something oppressive is meant. And that it related to the taking bread from them, or eatables in general, (together with wine) perhaps sheep, fowls, pigeons, butter, fruit, and other things, when probably they were travelling, or sojourning in some place at a distance from home. And that the likę im.
perious and unrighteous demands had, from time to time, been made upon them by the servants of these governors, whom they might have occasion to send about the country.
I cannot account for the setting down the precise number of forty, when speaking of shekels,' but by supposing, that the word besides here, nog acher, should have been translated afterwards, which it more commonly, if not more certainly, signifies; and means, that afterwards they were wont to commute this demand for provisions into money, often amounting to forty shekels. · It is certain it could not mean the whole annual allowance to the governor by the children of the captivity, that would have been much too small; nor could it mean what every househ older was to pay annually towards the governor's support, for fifty shekels was as much as each mighty man of wealth was assessed at by Menahem, when he wanted to raise a large sum of money for the king of Assyria ;' and when Israel was not in so low a state as in the time of Nehemiah : it must then, surely, mean the value of that quantity of eatables and wine they might charge any town with, when single towns were charged with the support of the governor's table, for a single repast, or a single day, which it is natural to suppose could only be when they thought fit to travel from place to place. This, it seems, . Something less than £5. sterling.
* 2 Kings xv. 20.