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equally wanting. Neither could it, I presume, from the very nature and quality of it, ever grow wild and uncultivated, as the Dudaim must certainly have done."
II. Of the climate and vegetables of Syria, Plaisted gives the following account, in his Journey from Busserah to Aleppo.
"At Aleppo or Haleb, the metropolis of Syria, the seasons are so regular, and the air is so healthy, pure, and free from damps, that all the inhabitants sup and sleep in the court-yards, or on the house tops, from the end of May to the middle of September. The severity of winter continues only from the 12th of December to the 20th of January, and then the air is excessively piercing; and yet the ice, even in shady places, is seldom strong enough to bear a man, and the snow very seldom lies above a day. Narcissus's, hyacinths, and violets, blow during this winter. In February the fields are clothed with an agreeable verdure, to which the springing up of the latter grain greatly contributes. The almond-tree blossoms in February, and the trees begin to have leaves at the beginning of March. During this month and April, nature assumes a gay and delightful appearance. But be fore the end of May, all the fields appear parched and barren. Only some robust plants are capable of bearing the heat. From this period there is no rain till about the middle of September, at which time a little generally falls, which refreshes the air, and bestows a more agreeable aspect upon the country. For twenty or thirty days after this, the air becomes serene and temperate. The trees retain their leaves till the middle of November. Some begin to make fires at the end of this month, and some have none all the year. The cold winds in the winter blow from between the north-west and the east; though those nearest the east are most sharp. But from the beginning of May to the end of September, the same winds are as hot as if they came out of an oven. And yet the water is so much cooler than when there is a westerly wind, which is the coldest in the hot months, and is much more frequent; for the hot winds blow very seldom. But when they do, they bring on a fainting, attended with difficulty of breathing, which obliges the inhabitants to close their doors and windows. They seem to partake of the nature of the Samael, a hot wind in the desert; only they do not kill like that.
"They begin to plow at the latter end of September, and sow their earliest wheats about the middle of October. And they continue to plow and sow all sorts of grain till the end of January, and barley sometimes after the middle of February. They plow the land over again to cover the seed, for they have no har rows. The plow is so light, that it may be carried with one hand. And one little cow, or at most two, or an ass, is sufficient to draw it in plowing; and it is managed so easily by one man, that he generally smokes his pipe at the same time. They sow
the fields with wheat, barley, cotton, cicers, lentiles, beans, everlasting pease, small vetches, sesamum, ricinus (or greater spurge), a green kidney bean called mash, hemp, musk-melon, watermelon, a small sort of cucumber, fænugreek, and Turkey millet. They sow few or no oats, the horses being fed with barley. In the gardens they plant tobacco, and ten or fifteen miles off, they plant it in the fields. And all the hills from Shogle to Latachia produce such plenty, that they trade with it to Egypt. The barley and wheat are generally all in by the 20th of May. They commonly pluck up the corn by the roots, and carry it to a hard spot of ground, where with a machine like a sledge, which runs on rollers, and in which are small irons notched like a saw, they cut the straw, and separate the grain. It is drawn by horses, cows or asses. Their granaries are subterranean cavities, with a narrow mouth like a well, which are commonly left open, and renders riding dangerous near the villages in the night-time. The cotton is not gathered till October. They have but few olives near Aleppo. But at Edlib, thirty miles to the south-west, and the adjacent country, they have plenty of the oil of olives, and make a soap of it, and the ashes brought out of the desert. The ricinus, or greater spurge, furnishes the common people with oil for their lamps. The oil of sesamum is chiefly consumed by the Jews. The vineyard produces good grapes, of which the Christians and the Jews are allowed to make wine for their own use, paying a certain tax. But the grapes are brought from some distance. Their white wines are poor, and their red without flavour, and heady, making however the drinkers rather stupid than merry. From raisins mixed with a few aniseeds, they draw a spirit which they call arrack, which is drank liberally by the Jews and Christians. The inspissated juice of the grape, called here Dibbs, is brought in skins, and sold in the public market. It looks like honey, is sweet, and much used by all sorts. They have variety of fruits common to Europe, but they have very little flavour, and the apples are bad. They have pistachio nuts and sumach, which is used as a relisher. Their fruit trees are all standards, and are little cultivated; and their other trees are the same as the European, but they have neither gooseberries nor currants. The pot herbs have nothing peculiar, but the season in which they are most plenty. It would take up too much room to describe the vast variety of fine flowers, herbs and plants, to be met with in those parts; and a catalogue of their names only would be tedious, for which reason we shall omit them."
Of the Manners and Customs, &c. of the Easterns.
Pag. 237. "The Arabs retain a great many of those manners and customs which we read of in sacred as well as profane history. For, if we except their religion, they are the very same people that they were two or three thousand years ago, without having ever embraced any of those novelties in dress or behaviour, which have had so many revolutions among the Turks and Moors. Upon meeting one another, they still use the primitive salutation of Salem alekum*, Peace be unto you; though by their art or superstition they have made it a religious compliment, as if they said, Be in a state of salvation. Before the Mahometan conquests, the expression was, Allah heekha, or God prolong your life, the same with Havo adoni, the Punic compliment in Plautus. Inferiors out of deference and respect kiss the feet, the knees, or the garments of their superiors; but children and the nearest relations kiss the head only. The posture they observe in giving one ano ther the Asslem-mah †, is to lay their right hand upon their breast, whilst others, who are more intimately acquainted, or are of equal age and dignity, mutually kiss the hand, the head, or shoulder of each other. At the feast of their Byram, and upon other great solemnities, the wife compliments her husband by kissing his hand.
"It is no disgrace here for persons of the highest character to busy themselves in what we should reckon menial employments. The greatest prince, like Gideon or Araunah of old, assists in the most laborious actions of husbandry; neither is he ashamed to fetch a lamb from his herd and kill it, (as Abraham did, Gen. xvii. 7.) whilst the princess his wife is impatient till she has prepared her fire and her kettle to seeth and dress it. The custom that still prevails, of walking either barefoot ‡, or with VOL. I. U slippers,
“* And he (Joseph) said, ☐ 1, (the same with the Arab Salem alekum) Peace be unto you, Gen. xliii. 23. Judg. vi. 23. xix. 20. 1 Sam. xxv. 6. John xx. 19. Peace be unto you.
"In Gen. xxvii, 4. it is said, when Joseph's brethren saw that their fa ther loved him more than all his brethren, that they hated him, and "could not speak peaceably unto him :" whereas these last words should be rendered thus," they would not give him the Asslem-mah, or the compliment of peace."
"The feet being thus unguarded, were every moment liable to be hurt or injured, and from thence perhaps the danger, without the divine assistance, which even protects us from the smallest misfortunes, of "dashing them against a stone," Psal. xci. 12. which perhaps may farther illustrate that difficult text, Job v. 23. of " being in league with the stones of the field. By attending so often as I have done to this custom of walking barefoot, I am induced to imagine, that, Deut. viii. 4. which we render, thy foot did not swell, should rather be, thy foot did not wear away,(attritus, Hieron.) by the exercising of it in Arabia Petræa for forty years.
slippers, requires the ancient compliment of bringing water upon the arrival of a stranger, to wash his feet *. And who is the person that presents himself first to do this office, and to give the Mar-habbah, or welcome, but the master himself of the family? who always distinguishes himself by being the most officious; and after his entertainment is prepared, accounts it a breach of respect to sit down wis his guests, but stands up all the time and serves them. Thus Abraham (as we read Gen. xviii. 8.) took butter and milk, and the calf which he had dressed, and set it before the angels; and he stood by them under the tree, and they did
"Yet this outward behaviour of the Arab, is frequently the very reverse of his inward temper and inclination, for he is naturally false, thievish and treacherous; and it sometimes happens that those very persons are overtaken and pillaged in the morning, who were entertained the night before with the greatest hospitality. The prophet Jeremiah has well described them: In the ways (says he, iii. 2.) hast thou sat for them, as the Arabian in the wilderness.
"Neither are they to be accused for plundering strangers only, or whomsoever they may find unarmed, but for those many implacable hereditary animosities which continually subsist among themselves, literally fulfilling to this day the prophecy of the angel to Hagar, Gen. xvi. 12. that Ishmael should be a wild man ; his hand should be against every man, and every man's hand against his. The greatest as well as the smallest tribes, are perpetually at variance with one another, frequently occasioned upon the most trivial account, as if they were, from the very days of their great ancestor, naturally prone to discord and contention. Even under the Turkish governments, where they have so often suffered by their untimely revolts, yet upon the least disturbance, or prospect of a revolution, they are the first in arms, in hopes of getting rid of their dependency, though they are sure that in the end their chains are thereby to be more strongly rivetted."
Pag. 239. "The custom of the Nasamones of plighting their troth by drinking out of each others hands, is at this time the only ceremony which the Algerines use in marriage. But the contract is previously made betwixt the parents, wherein express mention is made, not only of the Saddock, as they call that particular sum of money which the bridegroom settles upon the bride, but likewise, as it was in the time of Abraham, of the several changes of raiment, the quantity of jewels, Gen. xxiv. 22. 53. and the number of slaves, Gen. xvi. 3. xxiv. 59. 61. xxix. 24. 29. that the bride is to be attended with, when she first
*Thus Gen. xviii. 4. Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet. Judg. xix. 21. Luke vii. 44. I entered into thine house, thou gavest me no water for my feet; but she hath washed my feet with tears.
waits upon her husband. These likewise are her property ever afterwards. The parties never see one another till the marriage is to be consummated; at which time the relations being withdrawn, the bridegroom proceeds first to unveil his bride, and then (zonam solvere) to undress her. Upon forfeiture of the Saddock, the husband may put away his wife when he pleases, though he cannot take her again, till she is married and bedded to another.
"The civility and respect which the politer nations of Europe pay to the weaker sex, are looked upon here as extravagances, and as so many infringements of that law of nature which assigns to man the pre-eminence. For the matrons of this country, though they are considered as servants indeed of better fashion, yet they have the greatest share of toil and business upon their hands. Whilst the lazy husband reposes himself under some neighbouring shade, and the young men and the maidens, as we read of Rachel *, attend the flocks, the wives are all the day taken up, as the custom was likewise in ancient Greece, either in attending their looms, or in grinding at the mill, or in making of bread, cuscassowe, dweeda, and such like farinacious food, so far corresponding with the γυναίκες σιτοποιεσαι Οr σιτοποιοι. Neither is this all; for to finish the day, at the time of the evening, even the time that 、 women go out (dgvai, Hom. Odyss. X. ver. 105.) to draw water, Gen. xxiv. 11. they are still to fit themselves out with a pitcher, or a goat's skin, and tying their sucking children behind them, trudge it in this manner two or three miles to fetch water. Yet in the midst of all these labours and incumbrances, not one of these country ladies, in imitation no doubt of those of better fashion in cities, will lay aside any of their ornaments; neither their nose jewels, Isa. iii. 22. Ezek. xvi. 10. used still by the Levant Arabs; neither their bracelets, or their shackles, the tinkling ornaments of their feet, Isa. iii. 16. neither their earrings, or looking-glasses, which among the Hebrew women were of polished brass, Exod. xxxviii. 8. which they hang upon their breasts; neither the tinging their eye-lids with lead-ore: so prevalent is custom even in the most civilized parts of Barbary, and so very zealous are these homely creatures to appear in the mode and fashion."
Page 242. "At all their principal entertainments, and to shew mirth and gladness upon other occasions, the women welcome the arrival of each guest, by squalling out for several times together, Loo, Loo, Loo, a corruption, as it seems to be, of Hallelujah. Aλ, a word of the like sound, was used by an army, either before they gave the onset, or when they had obtained the victory.
"It is customary, even to this day, for the children of the greatest Emeer to attend their flocks, as we find, Ġen. xxix. 9. Rachel kept the sheep of her father Laban. The same is related of the seven children of the kings of Thebes, Iliad. vi. ver. 424. of Antiphus the son of Priam, Iliad. xi. ver. 106. of Anchises, Enea's father, Iliad i. ver. 313.