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parfimonious turn, has not been well explained by commentators, but is capable of a clear explanation from books of travels.

The editor of the Dauphin edition explains this unctam aquam of water that was muddy, or mixed with fomething filthy when taken up; but it is probable, that it rather refers to an oilinefs, that the water contracted, from it's being fetched in uncleanly leather bottles.

The Perfians, according to Sir John Chardin, ufe leather bottles, and find them of fervice to keep water fresh, especially if people are careful to moisten them, when they travel, To this he wherever they meet with water. adds, that the water doth not taste of the leather, for that they take that off, by causing it to imbibe rofe-water, when it is new, and before they make any use of these vessels. And that formerly the Perfians, according to report, perfumed thefe leather vessels, in which they carry their water, when they journey, with maftic, or with incenfe.

But though the polite Perfians take fuch care of their water-veffels, all in the Eaft are not fo exact now; and we may believe, therefore, all the old Romans were not so very among careful. Irwin, I remember, complains of some water, which was fetched for him from the mountains near Cofire, in the Upper Ægypt, and on the fhore of the Red-Sea, and which water was esteemed better than that drank in common, by the people of that town, from a spring that was, nearer them;


but this water, fetched from the mountains, he complains, had an oily disagreeable taste, from the fkins having been newly foaked in this difguftful liquid, to prevent their leaking. In the fucceeding page he obferves, that the Arabs, whofe bufinefs it is to keep the skins in order, are too lazy to attend to the cleanliness of the infides of them.

That the ancient Romans were acquainted with goat-fkin bottles, is evident from two lines of Virgil',

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"Mollibus in pratis unctos faliere per utres."

The circumftances clearly determine, that they were leather bottles, which were oiled on the outfide, to make them more flippery, and more likely to cause those to fall that hopped upon them. Whether these were in general ufe among the old Romans, or the use of them confined to their peafantry, we need not stay to enquire.

The fame reason that makes it neceffary to oil these water-veffels, among the Arabs, from time to time, muft in fome degree have obliged the Romans to make use of the same remedy; which the parfimonious Nævius might as little attend to, as the people of Cofire. This clearly explains the meaning of the word


The usefulness of applying Eastern customs
Geor. ii. v. 383, 384.


to the Claffics, as well as the Scriptures, is fufficiently proved by a flip of this very ingenious tranflator of Horace, who gives us this note on a paffage of the fecond epiftle of his fecond book: "The ancients carried their

money in a purse tied to their girdles, from "whence we find in Plautus, Sector Zona"rius, a cut-purfe;" whereas, according to Dr. Shaw, the present purses, in the Levant, are not tied to their girdles, but a part of the girdle itfelf: They are made to fold feveral "times about the body; one end of which

being made to double back, and fewn along "it's edges, ferves them for a purse, agreeable "to the acceptation of the (w in the Scrip"tures'." He might have added, and of the Roman writers,

N° IX.

Obfervations made by travellers, into the Eaft, may be thought to place a remarkable paffage of Perfius in a better light, than has been done by all the notes upon it, in the Variorum edition of that writer.

The paffage I refer to is in the 5th fatire of Perfius:

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"Difpofita pinguem nebulam vomuêre lucernæ,
"Portantes violas, rubrumque amplexa catinum
"Cauda natat thynni, tumet alba fidelia vino:
"Labra moves tacitus, recutitaque fabbata palles."
Ver. 179-184.

The first remark I would make is, that as the lighting up of many lamps is frequent in those countries, in times of great rejoicing, fo among the Jews it seems to have been done with fuch profufion, when they celebrated the feaft of the dedication of the altar, of which we read in the gospel of St. John, ch. x. 22, that from thence it fhould feem to have derived it's distinguishing appellation, being called Qwra, or the Feast of Lights.

That feast of dedication mentioned by St. John, or the folemnity called Qwra, was obferved in confequence of an appointment of Judas the Maccabee, and of the body of the Jews at that time, of which we have an account in

1 Macc. iv. 59. "Moreover Judas and his "brethren, with the whole congregation of "Ifrael, ordained that the days of the dedi"cation of the altar fhould be kept in their "feafon from year to year, by the fpace of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Cafleu, with mirth and gladnefs."

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Jofephus, indeed', when he gives an account of this feftival, and tells us it was called Qwra,

Antiq. Jud. lib. 12, cap. 7, § 7, ed. Haverc.


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would fuppofe it derived it's name from the darkness of affliction's being turned into joy. But this is confidered as an unnatural refinement by the learned; more especially as it is well known, and appears by the Talmud, that through the eight days of this folemnity many lights were wont to be fet up in or about their houses. From whence it was natural to denominate the festival wrx, lights, in the plural; whereas, if the explanation of Jofephus had been juft, it fhould rather have been called us, or light, in the fingular.

2. This feftival of the Jews, diftinguished from others among them by the name of the Feast of Lights, and therefore, it is to be fuppofed, by much the most remarkable for it's illuminations, was obferved in the latter end of the month Cafleu, which answers to the firft part of our December, and by their intercalations might be confiderably later, which, in that country, is not too early for violets, which Juvenal supposes were used as an additional ornament. For Dr. Ruffell, fpeaking of Aleppo, which lies more to the north than Jerufalem, and, as I have elsewhere shown, it's productions not earlier, tells us, that the feverity of the winter there lafts but forty days, which they call Maarbanie, beginning from the

• Vide not. in loc.

2 So on a fimilar occafion, when that mighty revolution happened in their favour in the time of Mordecai, it is faid in the Septuagint, Τοις δε Ιεδαίοις εγενετο ΦΩΣ και Ευφροσύνη.

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