« PreviousContinue »
Saul hunted David, coming hastily upon him, and putting him up from time to time, in hopes he should at length, by frequent repetitions of it, be able to destroy him.
Egmont and Heyman give an account of the manner of taking snipes in the Holy Land, very much like the Arab way of catching partridges. They say, that if the company be numerous they may be hunted on horseback, as they are then never suffered to rest, till they are so tired that you may almost take them in your hand. But snipes delight in watery places. David therefore being in dry deserts, might rather mention the partridge, of which there are more species than one in the East, some of which, at least, haunt mountainous and desert places."
Shoulder of Lamba Delicacy in the East.
IF from the wild we proceed to the tame animals, I would observe that the shoulder of a lamb is thought in the East a great deliсасу,
Abdalmelick the Caliph,“ upon his enter► Vol. ii. p. 49, 50. These snipes they found not far from St. John d'Acre. They mention them before as found in great numbers near the sea of Tiberias, p. 37.
See Egmont and Heyman, vol. ii. p. 171, 172, 244'; and Hasselquist, p. 130,
* See Ockley's Hist, of the Sarazens, vol. ij. p. 977.
ing into Cufah, made a splendid entertainment. • When he was sat down, Amrou, the son of Hareth, an ancient Mechzumian, came in : he called him to him, and placing him by him upon his sofa, asked him what meat he liked best of all that ever he had eaten. The old Mechzumian answered, an ass's neck well seasoned, and well roasted. You do nothing, says Abdalmelick; what say you to a leg or a shoulder of a sucking lamb, well roasted, and covered over with butter and milk ?d The history adds, that while he was at supper, he said, Ilow sweetly we live, if a shadow would last ! This prince then thought the shoulder of a sucking lamb one of the most exquisite of dishes; and what he says explains Samuel's ordering it to be reserved for the future king of Israel, Sam. ix. 24, as well as what that was which was upon it, the butter and the milk, which circumstance the sacred historian distinctly mentions, and which an European reader is apt to wonder what it should mean, but which added so much to the delicacy of
the meat, that an Eastern prince, as well as an · Eastern author, was led distinctly to mention it.
This, and a number of the other observations I have been making, may be thought of no great consequence, nor is it pretended that they are; but they may prevent some improprieties which cannot but be disagrecable to so
Probably leban is ineant, which is a little acid, and is estocmed a very good sauce. Edit.
curious and accurate an age as this. Who, that has read the history of Abdalmelick, can read, without pain, the description that is given us of this transaction of Samuel's life, by so considerable a prelate as Archbishop Bramball, in a celebrated place, on a remarkable occasion, and before a great audience ? When Saul was to be inaugurated king by Samuel, he set nothing before him but a shoulder, 1 Sam. ix: a mean dish for a royal entertainment. According to Abdalmelick, he could not have set a more delicious one before him. The Archbishop goes on to remark, that some found a mystery in this dish, which he says they might better have called an allegory, containing some instruction for a prince relating to government. This, as will appear to those that shall take the pains to peruse the passage is built on the supposition, that the breast is what is meant by the sacred historian, when, along with the shoulder, he mentions that which was upon it: a common supposition this, but probably a false one.
Fat Lambs esteemed a Delicacy in the East...
Amos reckons fat lambs among the delicacies of the Israelites ;' and it seems these creatures are in the East extremely delicious. * At York Minster, before his Excellency the Marquis of Newcastle, about to meet the Scotch army. Amos vi. 4.
The last observation related to the shoulder of a lamb; this relates to their whole bodies. It takes in kids also.
Sir John Chardin, in his manuscript note on Amos vi. 4, expresses himself in very strong terms on the deliciousness of these animals in the East. He tells us, that there, in many places, lambs are spoken of as a sort of food excessively delicious. That one must have eaten of them in several places of Persia, Media, and Mesopotamia, and of their kids, to form a conception of the moisture, taste, delicacy, and fat of this animal; and as the Eastern people are no friends of game, nor of
fish, nor fowls, their most delicious food is the · lamb and the kid.
This observation illustrates those passages that speak of kids as used by them for delicious repasts, and presents ; & as well as those others that speak of their feasting on lambs. It also gives great energy to our apprehensions of what is meant, when the Psalmist talks of . marrow and fatness.
How Strangers are entertained in the East.
OCKLEY, in a note on that piece of history concerning Abdalmelick, mentioned in the last Observation but one, observes that the Arabians .. : Judges av. i. 1 Sam. xvi 20. Luke xv. 29.
had not altered their cookery since Abraham's time, who make use of butter and milk when he entertained the angels, Gen. xviii. 8. The fact is certainly true, that the customs of the Arabs are not altered ; but this circumstance of Abdalmelick's entertainment, compared with Abraham's, does not prove it; the Patriarch's milk and butter might be for another purpose ; the above mentioned passage of Samuel's history is much more certainly illustrated by it. However, it may be necessary to consider that patriarchal collation a little distinctly, not only on this account, but for another purpose.
Abraham was sitting in his tent-door in the heat of the day; three men presented them selves to him, and he invited them to eat with him ; the Angels accepted the invitation ; upon which he ordered a beast to be killed for their repast, and cakes of bread to be made. This in a family like that of Abraham, who lived like a prince in that country, appears to us very extraordinary; we are ready to imagine this great emir should have a variety of eatables ready prepared for his own table, and for the entertainment of such strangers as he should think fit to invite to eat with him. A calf, however, is killed, and presented to these strangers, with butter and milk. This is the
Abraham had already dined, and there was time enough to kill meat for supper. Fresh meat is not preserved from meal to meal, in the East, but is fresh dressed at each repast ; the residue of the former meal being always con. sumed by the attendants and servants. Fresh meat cannot be long preserved in the East, in warm weather. EDIT.