Page images

inscribed, "This is Attalus, the christian." So Sueton. Domitian. cap. 10. the man was cast to the dogs in the arena to be devoured, with this inscription, "He spake impiously." The same custom prevailed in crucifixions. Dio. (lib. 54, 598.) mentions a servant or slave who was carried to the cross with a writing declaring the cause of his death.

No. 436.-ST. LUKE ii. 7.

The inn.

Ir will be proper here to give a full and explicit account of the inns or caravanserais of the East, in which travellers are accommodated. They are not all alike, some being simply places of rest, by the side of a fountain if possible, and at a proper distance on the road. Many of these places are nothing more than naked walls; others have an attendant, who subsists. either by some charitable donation, or the benevolence of passengers: others are more considerable establishments, where families reside, and take care of them, and furnish the necessary provisions.

"Caravanserais were originally intended for, and are now pretty generally applied to the accommodation of strangers and travellers, though, like every other good institution, sometimes perverted to the purposes of private emolument, or public job. They are built at proper distances through the roads of the Turkish dominions, and afford to the indigent or weary traveller an asylum from the inclemency of the weather; are in general built of the most solid and durable materials, have commonly one story above the ground floor, the lower of which is arched, and serves for warehouses to store goods, for lodgings, and for stables, while the upper is used merely for lodgings; besides which they are always accommodated with a fountain, and have cooks' shops and other conveniences to supply the wants of lodgers. In Aleppo, the caravanserais are almost exclusively occupied by merchants, to whom they are, like other houses, rented." CAMPBELL's Trav. part ii. p.8.

"In all other Turkish provinces, particularly those in Asia, which are often thinly inhabited, travelling is sub

ject to numberless inconveniences, since it is necessary not only to carry all sorts of provisions along with one, but even the very utensils to dress them in, besides a tent for shelter at night and in bad weather, as there are no inns except here and there a caravanserai, where nothing but bare rooms, and those often very bad, and infested with all sorts of vermin, can be procured." ANTES's Observations on Egypt, p. 55.

The poverty of the eastern inns appears also from the following extract. "There are no inns any where; but the cities, and commonly the villages, have a large building called a kan, or kervanserai, which serves as an asylum for all travellers. These houses of reception are always built without the precincts of towns, and consist of four wings round a square court, which serves by way of inclosure for the beasts of burthen. The lodgings are cells, where you find nothing but bare walls, dust, and sometimes scorpions. The keeper of this kan gives the traveller the key and a mat, and he provides himself the rest; he must therefore carry with him his bed, his kitchen utensils, and even his provisions, for frequently not even bread is to be found in the villages. On this account the orientals contrive their equipage in the most simple and portable form. The baggage of a man, who wishes to be completely provided, consists in a carpet, a mattrass, a blanket, two saucepans with lids contained within each other, two dishes, two plates, and a coffee-pot, all of copper well tinned; a small wooden box for salt and pepper; a round leathern table, which he suspends from the saddle of his horse; small leathern bottles or bags for oil, melted butter, water, and brandy, (if the traveller be a christian) a pipe, a tinder-box, a cup of cocoa-nut, some rice, dried raisins, dates, cyprus cheese, and above all coffeeberries, with a roaster and wooden mortar to pound them." VOLNEY's Travels, vol. ii. p. 419.

"The caravanserais are the eastern'inns, far different from ours; for they are neither so convenient nor handsome: they are built square, much like cloisters, being usually but one story high, for it is rare to see one of two stories. A wide gate brings you into the court, and in the midst of the building, in the front, and upon the right and left hand, there is a hall for persons of the best quality to keep together. On each side of the hall are lodgings for every man by himself. These lodgings are raised all along the court, two or three steps high, just behind which are the stables, where many times it is as good lying as in the chambers. Right against the head of ever horse there is a niche with a window into the lodging chamber, out of which every man may see that his horse is looked after. These niches are usually so large that three men may lie in them, and here the servants usually dress their victuals." TAVERNIER'S Travels, p. 45.

"The entrance is under a high and magnificent portal adorned with Mosaic work, like all the rest of the buildings, and upon the sides runs a portico, where you may lie in the day time conveniently, and as pleasantly as in the inn itself. The fountain in the middle of the court is raised above five feet, and the brims of it are four feet broad, for the convenience of those that will say their prayers after they have performed their puri fication." CHARDIN, p. 412.

It appears from the preceding extracts, that there are inns or caravanserais of different kinds, some better than others. The scriptures use two words to express a caravanserai, in both instances translated inn, Luke ii. 7. There was no room for them in the INN, Xaтaλúμarıthe place of untying; that is, of beasts for rest. Luke x. 34. And brought him to the inn, navdoxor, whose keeper is called in the next verse Tavdoxus. This word properly signifies a receptacle open to all comers.

No. 437.—iv. 1. And Jesus being full of the Holy Ghost, returned from Jordan, and was led by the spirit into the wilderness, being forty days tempted of the devil.] Mr. Maundrell in his travels in the Holy Land saw the place which was the scene of Christ's temptations, and thus describes it: "From this place (the Fountain of the Apostles) you proceed in an intricate way amongst hills and valleys interchangeably, all of a very barren aspect at present, but discovering evident signs of the labour of the husbandman in ancient times. After some hours travel in this sort of road, you arrive at the mountainous desert into which our blessed Saviour was led by the spirit to be tempted by the devil. A most miserable dry barren place it is, consisting of high rocky mountains, so torn and disordered as if the earth had suffered some great convulsion, in which its very bowels had been turned outward." Journey, p. 79.

No. 438.-iv. 18. Andrecovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised.] It is beautifully observed by Mr. CRADOCK (Harmony, p. 69.) that the clause, recovering of sight to the blind, alludes to the wretched state of those prisoners, who, according to the inhuman custom still retained in the East, had their eyes put out: and with regard to such as these, this great deliverer is represented as restoring them, a work far beyond all human power. Probably they are the same with those who are spoken of in the next clause, as bruised with the weight of their fetters; for it is plain that even blind captives were sometimes loaded with them, as was the case with Samson, Judges xvi. 21. and Zedekiah, 2 Kings xxv. 7.

No. 439.-vi. 38. Good measure pressed down, and shaken together, and running over, shall men give into your bosom.] The eastern garments being long, and

« PreviousContinue »