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which is infinitely greater than that of the sea. The land surrounding the lake being equally impregnated with that saltness, refuses to produce plants; the air itself, which is by evaporation loaded with it, and which moreover receives vapours of sulphur and bitumen, cannot suit vegetation ; whence the dead appearance which reigns around the lake.” (Voyage en Syrie, tom. i. p. 282.) Thus also Virgil, Georg. ii. lib. 238. Hence the ancient custom of sowing an enemy's city, when taken, with salt, in token of perpetual desolation. Judges, ix. 45. And thus in aftertimes, (An. 1162.) the city of Milan was burnt, razed, sown with salt, and ploughed by the exasperated emperor Frederick Barbarossa. Complete Syst. of Geog. vol. i. p. 822.
No. 72.-xxxii. 13. And oil out of the flinty rock.] This must mean the procuring of it from the olivetrees growing there. MAUNDRELL, (Journey at March. 25.) speaking of the ancient fertility and cultivation of Judea, says, “ the most rocky parts of all, which could not well be adjusted for the production of corn, might yet serve for the plantation of vines and olive-trees, which delight to extract, the one its fatness, the other its sprightly juice, chiefly out of such dry and flinty places."
Comp. Virgil Georg. ii. lib. 179.
No. 73.-JOSHUA v. 15.
Loose thy shoe from off thy foot. The custom which is here referred to, not only constantly prevailed all over the East, from the earliest ages, but continues to this day. To pull off the sandals, or slippers, is used as a mark of respect, on entering a mosque or a temple, or the room of any person of distinction; in which case they were either laid aside, or given to a servant to bear. Ives (Travels, p. 75.) says, at the doors of an Indian Pagoda, are seen as many slippers and sandals as there are hats hanging up in our churches.” The same custom prevails amongst the Turks. Maundrell, p. 29, describes exactly the ceremonials of a Turkish visit, on which (though an European and a stranger,) he was obliged to comply with this custom.
74,-is. 4. Wine bottles.] CHARDIN informs us that the Arabs, and all those that lead a wandering life, keep their water, milk, and other liquors, in leathern bottles. “ They keep in them more fresh than otherwise they would do. These leathern bottles are made of goat skins. When the animal is killed, they cut off its feet and its head, and they draw it in this manner out of the skin, without opening its belly. They afterwards sew up the places where the legs were cut off, and the tail, and when it is filled, they tie it about the neck. These nations, and the country people of Persia, never go a journey without a small leathern bottle of water hanging by their side like a scrip. The great leathern bottles are made of the skin of an he goat, and the small ones, that serve instead of a bottle of water on the road, are made of a kid's skin," These bottles are frequently rent, when old and much used, and are ca. pable of being repaired by being bound up. This they do, Chardin says, “ sometimes by setting in a piece; sometimes by gathering up the wounded place in manner of a purse; sometimes they put in a round flat piece of wood, and by that means stop the hole.” Maundrell gives an account exactly similar to the above. Speaking of the Greek convent at Bellmount, near Tripoli, in Syria, he says, “ the same person whom we
, saw officiating at the altar in his embroidered sacerdotal robe, brought us the next day, on his own back, a kid and a goat-skin of wine, as a present from the convent.” (Journey, March 12.) These bottles are still used in Spain, and called borrachas. Mr. Bruce gives a description of the girba, which seems to be a vessel of the same kind as those now mentioned, only of dimensions considerably larger. “ A girba is an ox's skin, squared, and the edges sewed together very artificially, by a
which does not let out water, much resembling that upon the best English cricket balls. An opening is left at the top of the girba, in the same manner as the bung-hole of a cask, around this the skin is gathered to the size of a large handful, which, when the girba is full of water, is tied round with whip-cord. These girbas generally contain about sixty gallons each, and two of them are the load of a camel. They are then all besmeared on the outside with grease, as well to hinder the water from oozing through, as to prevent its being evaporated by the heat of the sun upon the girba, which, in fact, happened to us twice, so as to put us in imminent danger of perishing with thirst." (Travels, vol. iv. p. 334.) Vide HARMER, vol. i. p. 132.
No. 75.-8. 11. The Lord cast down great stones from heaven.] Some writers are of opinion that this was bail, larger and more violent than usual; others maintain
that Joshua is to be understood literally, of a shower of stones. Such a circumstance, so far from being impossible, has several times occurred. The Romans, who looked upon showers of stones as very disastrous, have noticed many instances of them. Under the reign of Tullius Hostilius, when it was known to the people of Rome that a shower of stones had fallen on the mountain of Alba, at first it seemed incredible. They sent out proper persons to inquire into this prodigy, and it was found that stones had fallen after the same manner as a storm of hail driven by the wind. (Tit. Liv. lib. 1. decud. 1. p. 12. Idem lib. 25, 30, 34, 35. et Alibi passim.) Some time after the battle at Canne there was seen upon the same mountain of Alba a shower of stones, which continued for two days together. In 1538, near a village in Italy called Tripergola, after some shocks of an earthquake, there was seen a shower of stones and dust, which darkened the air for two days, after which they observed that a mountain had risen up in the midst of the Lucrine Lake. (MONTFAUCON, Diar. Italic. cap. 21.)
No. 76.—xxiv. 30.] There is a remarkable addition in the Septuagint to the Sacred History concerning Joshua, which deserves attention, and naturally engages the mind to enquire, whether it was made by the Egyptian translators of the Jewish scriptures, in conformity to what they knew was practised in the burials of Egypt, or whether it was on that account expunged by the Jewish critics from the Hebrew original. The Vatican copy of the Septuagint has given us this addition to the account that appears in the Hebrew copies of the interment of Joshua. (Ch. xxiv. v. 30.) “ These “they put with him, into the sepulchre in which they “ buried him, the knives of flint with which he circum“ cised the children of Israel in Gilgal, when he brought
“ them out of Egypt, as the Lord commanded them, " and there they are unto this day."
On the contrary, the famous Alexandrine copy of the Septuagint, and some others, have not these clauses. Whether this superadded account is spurious or not, there seems to be a manifest allusion to the manner in which the ancient Egyptians were accustomed to bury their dead. Maillet informs us,
" that sometime before he wrote, the principal person of Sacara, a village near the plain where the mummies lie buried, caused some of these subterraneous vaults to be opened, and as he was very much my friend, he communicated to me various curiosities, a great number of mummies, of wooden figures, and inscriptions in hieroglyphical and unknown characters, which were found there. In one of these vaults they found, for instance, the coffin of an embalmed body of a woman, before which was placed a figure of wood, representing a youth on his knees, laying a finger on his mouth, and holding with his other hand a sort of chafing-dish, which was placed on his head, and in which, without doubt had been some perfumes. This youth had divers hieroglyphical characters on his stomach. They broke this figure in pieces, to see if there was any gold inclosed in it. There was found in the
mummy, which was opened in like manner for the same reason, a small vessel, about a foot long, filled with the same kind of balsam with that made use of to, preserve bodies from corruption ; perhaps this might be a mark by which they distinguished those persons who had been employed in embalming the dead." (p. 277.) He goes on; “ I caused another mummy to be opened, which was the body of a female, and which had been given me by the Sieur Bagarry, it was opened in the house of the Capuchin fathers of this city (Grand Cairo). This mummy had its right hand placed upon its stomach, and under this hand were found the strings of