« PreviousContinue »
Seldom use Flesh Meat, but live on Milk, Pulse, 8c.
The quantity of meat in this pottage is small: and, indeed, they eat very little meat in the East, in comparison of what we do, “ Bread, dibbs, leban, butter, rice, a very little mutton, make the chief of their food in the winter,” says Dr. Russell,' speaking of the common people of Aleppo; “ as rice, bread, cheese, and fruit, do in the summer."
Dr. Shaw gives the like account of the abstemiousness of the Arabs, and this though they have such numbers of cattle, that an Arab tribe, which can bring but three or four hundred horse into the field, shall be possessed of more than so many thousand camels, and triple that number of sheep and black cattle. The Arabs, he says, rarely diminishing their flocks by using them for food, but living chiefly upon bread, milk, butter, dates, or what they receive in exchange for their wool.
The reason of this sparingness is not because animal food is not agrecable to them; no! Dr. Russell assures us that at Aleppo they can af. ford it, and dare shew it, and are far from being such abstemious people as many imagine those of thc East to be :h it arises then from the straitness of their circumstances. And though the Arabs abound in cattle, yet being
P. 108. P. 169. P. 105.
forced to draw all the other conveniencies of life from the profit they make of them, they kill very few for their own use. The Israelites were in much the same situation, great strangers to trade and manufactures, their patrimony but small, as they were so numerous, and therefore Solomon might, with great propriety, describe a ruinously expensive way of living by their frequent eating of flesh, Prov. xxiii. 20, which in our country would be expressed in a very different manner.
A dinner however on herbs alone is not what the ordinary people of Aleppo are obliged to content themselves with, sparing as their way of living may be: a thought that may serve to illustrate Prov. xv. 17, where the contrast between the repasts of the rich and the poor is designed to be strongly marked
Game sometimes used-Hunting of the Arabs.
These circumstances of the Israelites, how ever, did not, in any wise, forbid their indulging themselves in eating the flesh of those wildcreatures, which was then thought, as it is now, to be very delicious ; since the cultivating the small portion of land, that fell to the share of each, could by no means find them full employment ; and only labour, besides time, was requisite for the catching those ani
mals, which, when catched, could be put to no more profitable use, than the making their own repasts so much the more delicious. It is for this reason, I apprehend, that Solomon made this an instance of diligence, Prov. xii, 27, which would never have been mentioned as such by any English author in our times; but, agreeably to this instruction of Solomon, the present Arabs frequently exercise themselves with hunting in the Holy Land.'
There is something particular in the word go Charak, used in this passage of Solomon, it is not the word that is commouly used for roasting, but it signifies rather singeing, as appears. from Dan. iii. 27. ' No author, I think, gives us an account what this should mean, understood in this sense. Besides wildboars, antelopes, and hares, which are particularly mentioned by d'Arvieux, when he speaks of the Arabs as diverting themselves with hunting in the Holy Land, Dr. Shaw, tells us, all kinds of game are found in great plenty in that country:k but I do not remember an account of any thing being prepared for food by singeing, that is taken either in hunting or hawking, except hares,' which I have indeed somewhere read of as dressed, in the East, after this manner: an hole being dug in i Voy. dans la Pal. p. 243.
P. 347. | Unless, it may be, hedge-hogs, which according to an author in the Miscell. Cur. is reckoned a princely dish in Barbary, and which he says is singed after its throat is cut, and its spines cut off, Vol. iji. p. 389. But this animal must have been as unlawful to the Jews as an hare.
the ground, and the earth scooped out of it laid all round its edge, the brush-wood with which it is filled is set on fire, the hare is thrown unskinned into the hole, and afterwards covered up with heated earth that was laid round about it, where it continues till it is thought to be done enough, and then being brought to table, sprinkled with salt, is found to be very agreeable food."
But if Solomon refers to this, and our translation of Lev. xi. 6, and Deut. xiv. 7, be exact, the ancient Israelites were not near so scrupulous as their posterity have been; but of this we find traces in the Old Testament-history as to other injunctions of their law. They may be found in 2 Chron. xxxv. 18, Ch. xxxvi. 21, and more evidently still in Neh, viii. 17.
To these observations, relating to the hunting of the Israelites, we may add a remark from Hasselquist, who tells us, (p. 190,) that he had an excellent opportunity of seeing the manner in which the Arabians hunt the Capra Cervicapra, near Nazareth, in Galilee. An Arab, mounting a swift courser, held a falcon in his hand, which he let loose when he saw the animal on the top of a mountain, The falcon attacked it from time to time, fastening its talons on or near the throat, till the huntsman coming up, took it alive, and cut its throat ; the falcon drinking the blood, as a re
S a re
m Russell gives this account, Vol. 2. p. 158. In many parts of England, particularly in the West, the hogs are dressed in this way. Edit.
ward for his labour. If the Israelites hunted anciently in this manner, this was another point in which they were not very observant of the law. Perhaps Moses, on account of this old Arab way of hunting, might not only order the blood to be let out of the creatures taken in hunting, which the Arabs, in this case at least, practise, but that it should be covered with dust, and not given as food to the creatures whose assistance was wont to be used in hunting.
Inhabitants of the Villages obliged to supply their
Grandees when on a Journey, with Provisions.
The learned are undetermined as to the sense we are to put on the words translated fatted fowl, in the account that is given us of the provision for Solomon's table, 1 King iv. 23, the meaning of one of the original words not being certainly known;" but the pullets and the pigeons of Mohammed Ebn Toulon explain, without doubt, the fowls that were prepared for Nehemiah, these only being mentioned by Maillet in his account of the provisions of this Egyptian Prince, and these the chief, and almost the only fowls that are men
DYDIN 90210 barbureem abuseem, Michaelis sup. poses that these words, which all the versions render fatted fowl, signify such creatures, whether quadrupeds or fowls, as live in a wild or undomesticated state. Epit.