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IJI. Bathing in the Nile, one Mode of expressing Gra.
titude for the Benefits received from the over.
BIDDULPH, the chaplain to the English
factory at Aleppo, in the reign of queen Elizabeth, was greatly surprised at observing, that the women in the Holy Land used instruments of music in their lamentations, and that, before the melancholy event happened to which their wailing referred.• He would have been equally surprised, I imagine, if he had met the companions of the daughter of Jephthal, while she wandered up and down the mountains bewailing her virginity.
“ While I was at Saphetta," says this traveller, many Turks departed from thence towards Mecca in Arabia. And the same morn
a Collection of Voyages and Travels from the Earl of Oxford's library, vol. 1, p. 814.
Saphet in Galilee.
ing they went, we saw many women playing with timbrels as they went along the streets, who made a yelling, or shrieking noise as if they cried. We asked what they meant in so doing ? It was answered us, that they mourued for the departure of their husbands, who were gone that morning on pilgrimage to Mecca, and they feared that they should never see them again, because it was a long way,• and dangerous, and many died there every year. It seemed strange to us, that they should mourn with music about the streets, for music is used in other places at times of mirth, and not at times of mourning."
The circumstances were considerably alike, though not exactly similar. The female relations and friends, in both cases, lamented those that were dear to them, though not at that time dead, yet supposed to be in great danger of death; but the bewailing the daughter of Jephthah must be supposed to have been much the more bitter, as her danger must have been appréhended to have been greater than that of the people of Saphetta, that had to travel through the deserts of Arabia, for many of those pilgrims return. Both arose from religious considerations ; but ill-directed in both cases. In each they were lamented in melancholy processions, and with mournful music.*
This gentleman seems to have forgotten the manner in which the daughter of Jairus was lamented, Matt. ix. 23.
* This is said on the supposition that Jeptha's daughter was really sacrificed, of which there is no proof, Epit.
Dead Bodies ornamented in the East.
The ancient Greeks, we are told, d used to place their dead near the doors of their houses, and to attend them there with mourning: the same custom still continues among the Greeks; and might, perhaps, obtain among the ancient Jews.
Dr. Richard Chandler observed the continuance of this custom among the people of the first nation, when he was lately travelling in Greece. A woman was sitting, he tells us, at Megara,
- with the door of her cottage open, lamenting her dead husband aloud." And again he tells us, that when at Zante, he saw "a woman in a house, with the door
bewailing her little son, whose body lay by her, dressed, the hair powdered, the face painted, and bedecked with leaf-gold."
The decorating the forehead and the cheeks of a Grecian bride with leaf-gold, which he mentions p. 135, appears to us odd; the adorn ing a corpse after this manner may appear more strange: nor do I recollect any allusion to this custom among
the Jews in the Old Testament; but as the weeping for Tammuz is described
Potter's Antiq. book 4, chap. 3., • Travels in Greece, p. 195.
i P. 300.