Billeder på siden

principal officers of the court, who were sitting in a scattered manner, in the shade, upon stones, by the side of the wall. Among them was the nakib, (the general, or rather master of the horse,) Gheir Allah, with whom I had some acquaintance before. He immediately resigned his place to me, and applied himself to draw together stones into an heap, in order to build himself a new seat."

This management to us appears very strange ; it might possibly be owing to the extreme heat of that time of the year in that country, which made sitting on the ground very disagreeable; it can hardly however be supposed that they sat upon the heap of stones that had been gathered together on Mount Gilead," for this reason, since high grounds are cooler than those that lie low; since it was in spring-time, when the heat is more moderate, for it was at the time of sheep-shearing: but it might be wet, and disagreeable sitting on the ground, especially as they were not furnished with sufficient number of carpets, pursuing after Jacob in a great hurry; and several countries furnishing stones so flat as to be capable of being formed into a pavement, or seat, not so uneasy as we may have imagined. Mount Gilead might be such a country. It might also be thought to tend more

• The latter end of July. See also p. 271, where we have an account of their not sitting on the ground, in another part of Arabia, which is a burning sand.

Gen. xxxi 21.

This is a remark made by Niebuhr, over and over again, in this volume of his travels.

* Gen. xxxi. 19.

strongly to impress the mind, when this feast of reconciliation was eaten upon that very heap that was designed to be the lasting memorial of this renewed friendship.'

As for the making use of heaps of stones for a memorial, many are found to this day in these countries, and not merely by land, for they have been used for sea-marks too: So Niebuhr, in the same volume, tells us of an heap of stones placed upon a rock in the Red Sea, which was designed to warn them that sailed there of the danger of the place, that they might be upon their guard."


Manner in which the Copts eat their Victuals.

SONNINI observes, "In many respects the Copts take their meals in the same manner as the Turks and Arabs. They are seated, with their legs across, round a table with one foot, in the shape of a large circular tea-board, on which are placed the dishes, without either table-cloth, plates, knives, or forks. They put the right hand into the dishes, from which they successively help themselves with their fingers, each according to his particular taste. The left hand, being destined for ablutions, is unclean, and must not touch their food. Sometimes they collect in one dish what they have

1 Gen. xxxi. 48-52.

P. 208.

taken from several, in order to form a mess, worked up in a big ball, which they convey to their very widely-extended mouth. The poultry and the boiled meats are divided and pulled to pieces with the hands aud nails. The roast meats are served up in small bits, cut before they are put upon the spit; and no where is better roast meat eaten than in Turkey. No conversation is carried on at table as they sit down at it only to eat, they lose no time, but swallow with the greatest precipitation. They are not men assembled for the sake of enjoying the pleasure of society, but animals collected round their food by want and voracity. The grease runs down from each side of their mouth; the stomach emits frequent eructations, which they prolong and render as noisy as they can. He whose hunger is soonest appeased, rises first: and it is not considered as unmannerly to remain alone at table, if a person's appetite is not completely satisfied." EDIT.

[ocr errors]


Method of cultivating Rice in different Parts of the East Indies, to which frequent allusion is made in the Sacred Writings.

THE grounds on which rice is sowed, are of three kinds, wet land, or that watered artificially, and producing what are called wet

crops, or grains, dry field, or that which receives no artificial supply of water, and which produces dry crops.


The soil of the Ashta Gram (one of the villages near Seringapatam) is considered as of four different kinds, the fertility of which is great according to the order in which they are enumerated. First, a very black soil, containing a large proportion of clay, and called Eray, Crishna, or Mucutu. Secondly, a very red soil, containing also a very large proportion of clay, and called Cababy or kempu bumi. These two sometimes contain a few small pebbles, or loose rounded stones without injuring the quality of the land. Thirdly, Marulu is a light brown coloured soil, with a large proportion of sand. This also may contain loose nodules of stone without injury to its quality. Fourthly, Daray, which consists of much sand, and angular nodules of stone so compacted that the plough penetrates it with difficulty to avoid circumlocution, I shall frequently use these native terms.

The farmers of the Ashta Gram, have annually two crops on their wet grounds; one crop grows during the rainy season, and is called Hainu, and also the male crop, being supposed to be the stronger, the other crop is called Caru, and female, and grows in the dry season. The grounds are of course formed into terraces, quite level, and surrounded by little banks for the purpose of irrigation. The

plots of watered grounds, owing to the considerable declivity of the country, are very contracted, and irregular in shape: but by means of small channels leading from the grand canals, or from reservoirs, they can, at the pleasure of the cultivator, be either filled with water, or allowed to be dry.

Throughout India there are three modes of sowing the seed of rice, from whence arise three kinds of cultivation. In the first mode, the seed is sown dry on the fields that are to rear it to maturity: this I call the dry seed cultivation; at Seringapatam it is called the Bara butta, or Puncji. In the second mode, the seed is made to vegetate before it is sown ; and the field, when fitted to receive it, is reduced to a puddle: this I call the sprouted cultivation; at Seringapatam, it is called the Molla butta. In the third kind of cultivation, the seed is sown very thick in a small plot of ground; and, when it has shot up to about a foot high, the young rice is transplanted into the fields where it is to ripen this I call the cultivation by transplanting; the farmers of the Ashta Gram call it Nati.

The Hainu cultivation of rice, being here the principal crop, shall engage the chief part of our attention.

The higher fields are cultivated after the dry seed manner of sowing; the lower grounds are reserved fer the sprouted and transplanted cultivations. By far the most common seed

« ForrigeFortsæt »