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acid in common, as we know it is mentioned in one particular case in a royal song. So Pitts tells us, in the beginning of his account of his sorrows, that the food that he, and the rest had, when first taken by the Algerines, was generally only five or six spoonsful of vinegar, half a spoonful of oil, a few olives, with a small quantity of black biscuit, and a pint of water a day;o on the other hand, Russell relates, that when they would treat a person at this day with distinguished honour in the East, they present him with sherbet, that is, water mingled with syrup of lemons. When a royal personage has vinegar given him in his thirst, the refreshment of a slave, of a wretched prisoner, instead of that of a prince, he is greatly dishonoured, and may well complain of it as a bitter insult, or represent such insults by this image.
. But from the use of their juice let us go on to consider that of lemons themselves, or their kindred fruit, citrons and oranges.
Maillet every where expresses a strong prejudice in favour of Egypt : its air, its water, and all its productions, are incomparable. He acknowledges, however, its apples and pears Cant, viii. 2.
• P. 6.
are very bad, and that in this respect Egypt is as little favoured as almost any place in the world ; that some, and those very indifferent, that are carried thither from Rhodes and Damascus, are sold extremely dear.P As the best apples of Egypt, which are however very in different, are brought thither by sea from Rhodes, and by land from Damascus, we may believe that Judea, an intermediate country between Egypt and Damascus : has none that are of any value. This is abundantly confirmed by d'Arvieux, who observed that the fruits that were most commonly eaten by the Arabs of Mount Carmel, were figs, grapes, dates, apples and pears, which they have from Damascus; apricots, both fresh and dried, melons, pasteques or water-melons, which they make use of in summer, instead of water, to quench their thirst ;' the Arabs then of Judea can find no apples there worth eating, but have them brought from Damascus, as the people of Egypt have.
Can it be imagined then the apple-trees of which the Prophet Joel speaks, ch. i. 12, and which he mentions among the things that gave joy to the inhabitants of Judea, were appletrees properly speaking ? Our translators must surely have been mistaken here, since the apples the Arabs of Judea eat at this day are of foreign growth, and at the same time but very indifferent.
? Lett, ix. p. 15, 16.
Voy. dans la Pal. p. 201,
Bishop Patrick, in his commentary on the Canticles,' supposes that the word son tappucheem, translated apples, is to be understood of the fruit to which we give that name, and also of oranges, citrons, peaches, and all fruits that breathe a fragrant odour : but the justness of this may be questioned. The Roman authors, it is true, call pomegranates, quinces, citrons, peaches, apricots, all by the common name of apples, only adding an epithet to distinguish them from the species of fruit we call by that name, and from one another; but it does not appear that the Hebrew writers do so too. The pomegranate certainly, has its peculiar name; and the book of Canticles seems to mean a particular species of trees by this term, since it prefers them to all the trees of the wood. This author then does not seem to be in the right, when he gives such a vague sense to the word.
What sort of tree and of fruit then are we to understand by the word, since, probably, one particular species is designed by it, and it cannot be supposed to be the proper apple-tree ? There are five places besides this in Joel, in which the word occurs, and from them we learn that it was thought the noblest of the trees of the wood, and that its fruit was very sweet or pleasant, Cant. ii. 3; of the colour of gold, Prov. xxv. 11 ; extremely fragrant, Cant. vii. 8 ; and proper for those to smell to that were ready to faint, Cant, ii. 5. The fifth passage, Cant. viii. 5. contains nothing particu
- On Cant. vii. 8 VOL. 11.
lar, I think ; but the description the other four give, perfectly answers the citron-tree and its fruit.
It may be thought possible, that the orange and the lemon-tree, which now grow in Judea in considerable numbers, ' as well as the citron, equally answers the description. They do : but it is to be remembered, that it is very much doubted by eminent naturalists, Ray in particular,' whether they were known to the ancients, whereas it is admitted that they were acquainted with the citron, The story that Josephus tells us," of the pelting King Alexander Jannæus by the Jews with their citrons, at one of their feasts, plainly proves that they were acquainted with it some generations before the birth of our LORD, and it is supposed to have been of much longer standing in that country.
Citron-trees are very noble, being large, their leaves very beautiful, ever continuing upon the tree, of an exquisite smell, and affording a most delightful shade : it might well therefore be said, As the citron-tree among the trees of the wood, so is my beloved among the sons. Its
Thevenot observed the gardens at Naplouse, part 1. p. 215, full of orange as well as citrov-trees; and Egmont and Heyman saw lemon-trees at Hattin and Saphet in Ga. lilee. Vol. ii, p. 30–48. See also Dr, Pococke's Tra. vels. vol. ii. p. 67. • D. Shaw appears to be of the same opinion, p. 341. u Antiq. Jud. I. xiii. c. 13.
• Dr. Russell says, (MS. note) that citrons are brought from Jerusalem to Aleppo for the Jews on their great feasts.
fruit is also of the colour of gold, according to Prov. xxv. Jl. Maundrell seems to have had the same sort of sensibility ; for, describing the palace of the emir Faccardine, at Beroot, on the coast of Syria, he prefers the orangegarden to every thing else that he met with there, though it was only a large quadranrular plat of ground, divided into sixteen lesser squares, but the walks were so shaded with orange-trees of a large spreading size, and so gilded with fruit, that he thought nothing could be more perfect in its kind, or, if it had been duly cultivated, could have been more delightful. When we recollect that the difference between citron-trees and orange is not very discernable,' excepting by the fruit, which are both however of the colour of gold, this passage of Maundrell may serve as a comment on that passage of this ancient royal song, which I mentioned in the beginning of the paragraph.
The fragrancy of the fruit is admirable : with great propriety then might the nose, or breath of the spouse, be compared to citrons ; whereas the energy of the comparison it lost when understood of apples, which are at least not near so fragrant, and in the East are very indifferent. ?
A brown redness in the young leaves is, I think, the only yulgar distinction, by which an observer is led to pronounce it a citron-tree, where there is no fruit.
? It is however a common saying in the East concerning any thing, the flavour of which is very pleasing, it smells like an apple. EDIT.