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I am not sure that there was no view, in like manner, to the delicacy of eggs, in the words of our LORD, Luke xi. 11, 12, where he speaks both of fish and eggs. It may on the contrary, perhaps, add to the beauty of the passage, if we understand it as signifying, If a child should ask an earthly parent for bread, a necessary of life, he will not deny him what is necessary for his support, putting him off with a stone ; and if he should ask him for a sort of food of the more delicious kind, a fish or an egg, he will not, we may assure ourselves, give his child what is hurtful, a serpent or a scorpion: if sinful men then will give good gists to their children, how much more will your. Heavenly Father give the necessary and the more extraordinary gifts of his Spirit to them that supplicate for them ? not giving up to hurtful illusions those that affectionately pray for the hallowing his name, and the coming of his kingdom, which petitions involve in them the asking for the extraordinary gifts of the Spirit, v. 20.
But whatever might be the view of our Lord, it is certain St. Jerom was right in putting eggs into his list of Eastern delicacies :*
* Even Plutarch mentions eggs, along with bread made of sifted flour, and a preparation of grain unground, as de. licacies among the ancient Greeks, in his book de Animi Tranquillitate.
However this may be in other places, Dr. Russell asserts, that eggs are not delicacies in Syria. A person eating an egg at breakfast, in England, would be considered either as an epicure, or as one who required more delicate treatment than ordinary. Yet in Ireland, boiled eggs are uniformly brought to table, and most people eat onc at least. This is a common custom in all genteel families. Edit.
for nothing is more common than to meet with eggs in modern entertainments there, when they would treat persons in the most respectful manner. So Dr. Pococke describes a very grand morning-collation, given in Egypt to a person of distinction, as consisting of the best sort of bread made with butter, fried eggs, honey, green salt cheese, olives, and several other small things. Vol. i. p. 57. He mentions also eggs very often, in the accounts he gives of the entertainments made for him by the Sheiks in the Holy Land. Agreeably to which Mons. d'Arvieux tells us, that a supper, prepared by the peasants of a village near Mount Carmel, for him and for their Governor, and attended with all the marks of respect they were capable of expressing, consisted of wine, fried fish, eggs, and some other things."
It must be their reputed delicacy also, one would imagine, that occasions them frequently to be sent to persons of figure for presents, in those countries : fifty eggs being sent at one time to the English Consul whom Pococke attended to Cairo, and a hundred at another,
Polled Flesh made use of by Travellers in the East,
The flesh that travellers in the East frequently carry along with their other provisions,
- Voy, dans la Pal. p. 29.
is usually potted, in order to preserve it fit for use. Dr. Shaw' mentions it as part of the provision he made for his journey to Mount Sinai, which commonly is not completed under two months; nor does he speak of any other sort of mcat which he carried with him..
In some such way, doubtless, was the meat prepared that Joseph sent to his father for his viaticum, when he was to come into Egypt, ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with corn, and bread, and meat, for his father by the way. But meat is by no means necessary for an Eastern traveller; and especially for so short a journey as Jacob had to take; and still less for one who was to travel with considerable quantities of cattle, as we know Jacob did, Gen. xlvi. 6, 32, who, consequently, could kill a goat or a kid, a sheep or a lamb, for himself and his company, whenever he pleased : it was therefore, in consequence, rather sent as a piece of respect, and as a delicacy; and so in another letter of St. Jerom's, that father speaks of potted flesh ? in this light, which therefore may be added to his preceding catalogue of dainty meats. · There are other ways, however, in these hot countries of potting flesh for keeping, besides
? Pref. p. 11. What I have seen, says Dr. Russell, (M$. note,) Pasterma, is not potted, but is more like smoked beef. They have sausages also. Edit.
4 Revera non poterat Deus conditum ei merum mittere, et electos cibos, et carnes contusione mutatas. Ep. ad
that of contusion, mentioned by St. Jerom, and practised in our country. Jones, in that paper of the Miscellanea Curiosa' I cited in a preceding Observation, gives us this description of the Moorish elcholle," which is made of beef, mutton, or camel's flesh, but chiefly beef, and which “ they cut all in long slices, salt it well, and let it lie twenty hours in the pickle. They then remove it out of those tubs, or jars, into others with water; and when it has lain a night, they take it out, and put it on ropes in the sun and air to dry;' when it is thoroughly dried, and hard, they cut it into pieces, of two or three inches long, and throw it into a pan, or cauldron, which is ready, with boiling oil and suet sufficient to hold it, where it boils till it is very clear.and red, if one cuts it; which, taken out, they set to drain : when all is thus done, it stands to cool, and jars are prepared to put it up in, pouring the liquor they fried it in upon it; and as soon as it is thoroughly cold, they stop it up close. It will keep two years; it will be hard, and the hardest they look on to be best done. This they dish up cold, sometimes fried with eggs and garlick, sometimes stewed, and lemon squeezed on it. It is very good any way, either hot or cold.” ,
• Vol. iii. p. 388, 389.
s Or, alcholled. Phil. Trans. Abr. vol. iii. part 2, ch. 3 $ 36. . : This is what Dr. Russell calls pasterma Edit.
Different kinds of Game esteemed Delicacies in the
. I do not know whether St. Jerom any where speaks of wild animals as delicacies ; but it should seem that Isaac and the Ancients thought them se, as well as the Moderns. What Esau catched for his father, I am not able to say, but antelopes, Shaw tells us," abound in Syria, Phænice, and the Holy Land; and Russell observes that though in the sporting season they are lean, yet they have a good flavour, and in summer, when fat, they may vie even with our venison in England.*
The hunting of partridges is expressly mens tioned in another passage of Scripture ;' and the account Dr. Shaw gives us, of the manner of doing it by the Arabs, ought to be set down, as it is a lively comment on that Scripture, which is not, however, taken notice of by that ingenious author. " The Arabs have another, though a more laborious method of catching these birds; for, observing that they become languid and fatigued after they have been hastily put up twice or thrice, they immediately run in upon them, and knock them down with their zerwattys, or bludgeons, as we should call them.". It was precisely in this manner * P. 317.
* P. 54. i 1 Sam. xxvi. 20.