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classic bards of Greece and Rome, so far as the writer has observed, never imagined, for of these attributes they had very low ideas indeed, and by consequence were at no pains to express them by appropriate metaphors. But the sacred writers, guided by the Spirit of God, and entertaining high and awful conceptions of the divine holiness and unchangeable duration, invested Jehovah with hair “ like the pure wool.”u The whole description of the appearance, and providential government of God, is in a strain of sublimity, which leaves at an infinite distance below, the loftiest flights of Homer's muse: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him ; thousand thousands ministered unto him; and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him ; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” In the same style of awful sublimity, the apostle John describes the mediatory perfections of his Lord and Saviour: “ His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow."' From the place which the hair of the head occupies in these descriptions of human and celestial beauty, we have a right to infer the very high value put upon it by the people of the east. It is indeed one of the most common ornaments which Homer bestows upon his countrymen under the walls of Troy; the well-haired Greeks is a phrase continually in his mouth.
After the hair is plaited and perfumed, the eastern ladies proceed to dress their heads, by tying above the lock u Dan, vii, 9.
"Rev. i, 14.
into which they collect it, a triangular piece of linen, adorned with various figures in needle-work. This, among persons of better fashion, is covered with a sarmah, as they call it, which is made in the same triangular shape, of thin flexible plates of gold or silver, carefully cut through, and engraven in imitation of lace, and might therefore answer to (Ounun) hasheharnim, the moon-like ornament mentioned by the prophet in his description of the toilette of a Jewish lady. A handkerchief of crape, gauze, silk, or painted linen, bound close over the sarmah, and falling afterwards carelessly upon the favourite lock of hair, completes the head-dress of the Moorish ladies. The kerchief is adjusted in the morning, and worn through the whole of the day: in this respect it differs from the veil, which is assumed as often as they go abroad, and laid aside when they return home. So elegant is this part of dress in the esteem of the orientals, that it is worn by females of every age, to heighten their personal charms. In Persia, the prophet Ezekiel informs us, the kerchief was used by women of loose character, for the purpose of seduction ; for so we understand that passage in his writings, “ Woe to the women that sew pillows to all arm holes, and make kerchiefs upon the head of every stature to hunt souls." The oriental ladies delighted in ornamenting their dress with devices of embroidery and needle-work; but it was chiefly about the neck they displayed their taste and ingenuity. To such decorations the sacred writers often allude, which clearly shews how greatly they were valued, and how much they
* Isa. iii, 18.
Shaw's Trav. vol. I, p. 412. Lady M. W. Montagu's Lett. vol. i, p. 214. · Ezek. xii, 18. Taylor's Calmet, vol. iii.
were used. Nor were they confined to the female sex ; they seem to have been equally coveted by the males; and à garment of needle-work was frequently reserved, as the most acceptable part of the spoil, for the stern and ruthless warrior: The mother of Sisera, in the fondness of her heart, allotted to her son the robe curiously wrought with vivid colours on the neck : " To Sisera, a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needle-work, of divers colours of needle-work on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil.”
When these operations are finished, they proceed to tinge the hair and edges of their eye-lids with Al ka-hol, that is, the powder of lead ore. This singular and hazardous operation is performed, by dipping first into the powder a small wooden bodkin of the thickness of a quill, and then drawing it afterwards through the eye-lids over the ball of the eye. From this statement, we have a lively image of what the prophet may be supposed to mean, " by renting the eyes” (not as we render it with painting, but) with (710,) lead ore. The sooty colour, which is thus communicated to the eyes, is thought to add a wonderful gracefulness to persons of all complexions. The practice may be traced to a very remote period; for, besides the instance mentioned by Jeremiah, we find in the passage where Jezebel is said to have painted her face, the original words 177997 7183 Sun, that is, she adjusted (or set off) her eyes with the powder of pouk, or lead ore. The prophet Ezekiel alludes to the same practice in these words, (unn) cahailt anaich, “Thou hast dressed thine eyes with Al ka-hol;" which the Septuagint render 516:28 7850P 021.448508, “thou hast dressed thine eyes with stibium." Judg. v, 30.
b 2 Kings ix, 30.
They interpret the word pouk in the same manner; which in our version, is to paint the face; whence it is probable that Pouk and Cahal, or, in the Arabic form, Alkahol, meant the same thing; and were names of the same mineral which the modern orientals use for dressing their eyelids. Dr. Shaw says it is a rich lead ore pounded into an impalpable powder, that imparted a jetty blackness to the eye-lid, and set off the whiteness of the eye to great advantage. But, in attempting to ascertain the date of this custom, we must ascend to an age long anterior to those we have mentioned ; for Keren-happuc, the name which Job gave to his youngest daughter, which signifies the horn of pouk, or lead ore, seems to relate to this practice, which was, perhaps, the invention of a still remoter period.
This method of tinging the eye-lids a jetty black, was imported into Egypt, and generally adopted by the inhabitants; for, among other curiosities that were taken out of the catacombs at Sahara relating to the Egyptian women, Dr. Shaw had the opportunity of seeing a joint of the common reed, or donax, which contained one of these bodkins, and an ounce or more of this powder, agreeably to the fashions and practice of modern times. The custom was also received by the Greeks and the Romans; for, according to Xenophon, the eye-lids of Astyages, the grandfather of Cyrus, and the principal persons of his court, were dressed with lead ore ;d and both Dioscorides and Pliny speak of the power of stibium in dilating the eyes of women. The modern Persians continue the
• Shaw's Trav. vol. i, p. 413. Clarke's Trav. in Palestine, vol. ii, chap. xii, p. 388.
d Xen. Curop. lib. I, p. 19; and lib. vi, p. 463. • Dioscor. lib. iii, cap. 99; and Pliny, lib. xxxiii, cap. 6.
tice, strongly tinging their eye lashes and eye lids with antimony.
The nose-jewel is another ornament peculiar to the east, which the Jewish females were accustomed to wear, and of which the Asiatic ladies are extremely fond. It is mentioned in several parts of Scripture; thus the prophet Ezekiel : “ And I put a jewel on thy forehead,” or, as it should have been rendered, on thy nose. This ornament was one of the presents which the servant of Abraham
gave to Rebecca, in the name of his master : " I put,” said he, “ the ear-ring upon her face ;” more literally, I put the ring on her nose. They wore ear-rings besides; for the household of Jacob, at his request, when they were preparing to go up to Bethel, gave him all the ear-rings which were in their ears, and he hid them under the oak which was by Shechem. The difference between these ornaments is clearly stated by the prophet: “ I put a jewel on thy nose, and ear-rings in thine ears." The nose-jewel, , therefore, was different from the ear-ring, and actually worn by the females as an ornament in the east. This is confirmed by the testimony of Sir John Chardin, who says,
66 It is the custom in almost all the east, for the women to wear rings in their noses, in the left nostril, which is bored low down in the middle. These rings are of gold, and have commonly two pearls and one ruby between them, placed in the ring; I never saw a girl, or young woman in Arabia, or in all Persia, who did not wear a ring after this manner in her nostril. Some writers contend, that by the nose-jewel, we are to understand rings,
Forbes's Orient. Mem. vol. i, p. 263 ; and Morier's Trav. vol. I, p. 61. 8 Ibid. p. 258. i Harmer's Observ. vol. iv, p. 316-320.
h Gen. XXXV, 4.