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come out from an audience he had of the Grand Seignor with a vest of cloth of gold upon his back, a caffetan of which sort of stuff thirty of his retinue also had ;• and in another place, that he saw one hundred and eight of the retinue of an Egyptian Bey thus honoured, along with their master, by a Basha of that country.
But if it should be indeterminate, whether this scarlet vestment was merely the dress belonging to the office with which Daniel was dignified, or a distinct honour, it is by no means uncertain whether it was put upon him or not, since these caffetans are always in readiness in the East and are wont immediately to be put on, contrary to the sentiment of the learned Mr. Lowth, who supposes, in his commentary on Dan. v. 9. that though the king thought himself bound to perform the promise of the 16th verse, yet that it was likely it could not take effect, at that unseasonable time of the night; and therefore the words might have been better translated, Then commanded Belshazzar that they should clothe Daniel with scarlet. This is certainly an unnecessary refinement.
I would here take the liberty of annexing a curious passage from Sir J. Chardin's sixth MS. volume, to the last paragraph, which will abundantly shew, how easy it is to put a garment on a person they intend to honour, answerable to that degree of honour they design to do him, let it be what it will. After having observed that in Persia, and the Indies, they not
• Part i. p. 85. P. 236
only give a vestment, but a complete suit of clothes, when they would do a person more honour than common, contrary to what is practised in Turkey and China, he goes on to observe, that these presents of vestments are only from superiors to inferiors, not from equals to equals, nor from the mean to the great. Kings constantly give them to ambassadors, residents, and envoys ; and send them to princes who are their tributaries, and pay them homage, They pay great attention to the quality or merit of those to whom these vestments or habits are given : they are always answerable to their rank. Those that are given to their great men have, in like manner, as much difference as there is between the degrees of honour they possess in the state. The kings of Persia have great wardrobes, where there are always many hundreds of habits ready, designed for presents, and sorted. The intendant of the wardrobe (which they call Kalaat Kané, that is, the house of Kalaats, that being the name given those vestments that are made presents of,) sends one of them to the person the great master orders, and of that kind the order directs. More than forty taylors are always employed in this house. This difference of vestments, as to the stuff they are made of, is not observed in Turkey; there they are pretty much alike in point of richness, but they give more or fewer, according to the dignity of the persons to whom they are presented, or the degree in which they
· See however the next Observation.
would caress them : there are ambassadors that have received twenty-five or thirty of them, for themselves and attendants; and several are given to one person, respect being had to the place he holds. In the year 1675, the king of Persia having returned answer to the agents of the grandson of Teimuras-Khan, the last king of Iberia, (who solicited his return to court, and was then in Moscovy), that he should be welcome, and this young prince having come to the frontiers, his Majesty sent one of his officers to bring him to hin, and to defray his expences, with a very rich present, in which, among other things, were five complete suits of clothes.
Presents of Garments often made even to the Great.
PRESENTS of vestments, on the other hand, are frequently made in these countries to the great, and those that are in public stations ; and they expect them.
Thevenot tells us, it was a custom in Egypt, in his time, for the Consuls of the European nations to send the Basha a present of so many vests, and so many besides to some officers, both when a new Basha came, or a new Consul entered his office, as were rated at above a thousand piastres. Does not this last account
- Part i. p. 253.
reinind us of the presents that were made to Solomon, by the neighbouring princes, at set times, part of which, we are expressly told, consisted of raiment? 2 Chron. ix. 244.
This may be thought not very well to agree with a remark of Sir J. Chardin, mentioned under the last Observation, “ that vestments are not presented by inferiors to superiors; or even by an equal to an equal ;” but there is really no inconsistency : vestments are not the things that are chosen by those that would make a present to the great, in common; but they may be ordered to be sent as a sort of a tribute, or a due which the superior claims.
The other things mentioned in that passage of Chronicles, vessels of silver, and vessels of gold, harness and spices, horses and mules, still continue to be thought fit presents to the great. So Russell tells us, in his account of the Eastern visits,' that if it is a visit of ceremony from a Basha or a person in power, a fine horse, sometimes with furniture, or some such valuable thing, is made a present of to him at his departure; and the Baron Fabricius, in his letters concerning Charles XII. of Sweden, tells us,' that when he was seized at Bender, the house being set on fire, the rich presents that had been made him, consisting of tents, sabres, saddles and bridles adorned with jewels, rich housings and harnesses, to the value of 200,000 crowns, were consumed. Of the rest, the vessels of silver and the spices may be illus
• Vol. i. p. 170. · P. 187.
trated by that story of d'Herbelot concerning Akhschid, the commander of an Eastern province, who is said to have purchased peace of Jezid, general of the troops of one of the Khaliffs, by sending him a present of seven hundred thousand drams of silver in ready money; four hundred loads of saffron, which that country produced in abundance ; and four hundred slaves, who each of them carried a rich turban of silk in a silver bason.
Party-coloured Garments esteemed a Nark of
PARTY-coloured vestments are also esteemed a mark of honour. Kings' daughters were so arrayed, 2 Sam. xiii. 18, which shows it was a dress of dignity.
Dr. Shaw cites this passage, and supposes ani account which he had just before given, of the dress of the present African ladies, exactly answers it. I should not therefore have taken any notice of this circumstance in these papers, had I not apprehended, that the Doctor's account was not perfectly accurate,
“ The virgins," says the Doctor, “are distinguished from the matrons, in having their drawers made of needle-work, striped silk of linen, just as Tamar's garment is described, % Samuel xiii, 18."
Two things, I think, are to be remarked,