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When Dr. Chandler first landed in Asia, 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 saluted 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 she saluted them with affectionate pleasure. 9
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.
Of Caravanserais, and Public Ims in the East.
The caravanserais of the East, in which travellers lodge, differ from those in which the merchants reside for a considerable 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 9 Exageticar.
Gen. xxix. 11 • Voy, de Chardin, tom. 1, p 147, 148.
those that sojourn in them, namely strangers, perhaps even fellow-travellers.
To circumstances of this nature then I should suppose it is, that the son of Sirach refers, when he says, Be ashamed ... of thefi, in regard of the place where thou sojournest, and in regard of the truth of God and his covenant.
All theft is iniquitous, and consequently shameful ; but it may be attended with cireumstances of aggravation : a truth which all feel. It is mentioned as an alleviation of the crimes of a celebrated free-booter Robin Hood, in the reign of Richard I, 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 sufferer 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 sojourning; which seems to be explained by the nature of the present Eastern caravanserais.
To guard against this, Niebuhr tells us, that in Arabia, where the houses for lodging travellers are called simseras, and sometimes manzils, 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."
* Ecclesiasticus xli. 17, 19. "Voy, tome 1, p. 314.
In the simseras of Arabia nothing is to be ... had, in common, but coffee, rice, bread, and
butter.* This coffee is explained by the preceeding 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 camel's 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 a long thread. But in one of these manzils, 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 whcaten 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 wanted for themselves, as bread, wine, ( in those places where it is plentiful,) butter, garden stuff, fruit, fowls, and fuel. As for butcher's meat, they must fetch it from some neighbouring village, or the encampments of those that feed the flocks and herds of the adjoining country.
Such well-furnished resting-places appear to have been known in Judea, in the time of our LORD, since he supposes the good Samaritan * In the same page.
P. 250. * In the same page. • Voy.de Chardin, tom. 1, p. 148. committed the poor wounded man to the care of the host, or keeper of the caravanserai, and promised at his return to pay him whatever things his state required, and that the keeper should furnish him with. See Luke x. 34, 35. This could not be a place like some of the Eastern caravanserais, • in which nothing is to be found but bare walls.
The great Liberality of the Arabs to their Fellow
THERE is a great deal of difference in these countries, between the several nations that inhabit them, with respect to the readiness of communicating of their provisions to their fellow-travellers : the Arabs are very commupicative; the Turks of a more sour and close disposition.
I have somewhere met with a place, in our books of travels, where the writer was struck with the liberality of a poor muleteer, or camel-driver, who with all cheerfulness made an offer of some of his bread and dates to those with whom he travelled, though the quantity that he had with him was very moderate ; while some rich Turks were very careful to take their repast in concealment and silence.
6 Or rather Turkish kancs, of many of which M., Maundrell gives this description, p. 2..
This is precisely, I imagine, what the author of Ecclesiasticus had in view, when, after having spoken of thievishness in travellers as a just ground of shame, he goes on to add, and to lean with thine elbow upon meat, or, on the loaves of bread, Ecclus. xli. 19. For he bad been speaking immediately before of travellers; what follows then may be naturally Spuposed to be nearly related to them, as certainly the first clause of the next verse has a very intimate connexion with people in that situation : Be ashamed-of silence before them that salute thee.
The attitude in which the son of Sirach represents the man he is pointing out, is exactly descriptive of a traveller dismounted from his camel, his horse, or his ass, and sitting upon the ground, leaning with his elbow on bis saddle, and so covering with his large sleeve the provisions he had in his lap, and eating his morsel alone, without the least notice of those about him.
The leaning with his elbow on the saddle is precisely the posture in which the Baron de Tott represents Ali Aga, his conductor, as sitting when dismounted, not eating indeed, but waiting for his supper ;' but might as well be represented as the posture of one taking his repast, especially if of an unsociable turn.
We have an instance of this exchange of food in travelling, in the account Irwin has given of his passing through the deserts of
Mem, tom. ii, p. 18.