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cians, that he knew no greater happiness than a feast accompanied with music. We see the same pleasures mentioned in those passages of Scripture, where the prophets reproached those that abused them, but they added excess of wine, crowns and flowers, and perfumes, as we see the Greeks and Romans did.*
We have a catalogue of the perfumes which the Hebrews made use of in the Song of Solomon, and many other places of Scripture; but especially in the law, where it prescribes the composition of two sorts that were to be offered to God, the one wet, and the other dry.t The drugs there named for making them are the most odoriferous that were known, before musk and ambergrise were found out.
They loved eating in gardens under arboars and shady places, for it is natural in hot countries to seek coolness and fresh air. So, when the Scripture describes a time of prosperity, it says that every one ate and drank under his own vine and under his own fig-tree, which fruittrees haye the broadest leaves.
Their employment in country labour did not allow of their feasting or following their diversions every day, as most of the rich do now; but it served to make them relish them better. They had therefore stated times of rejoicing, sabbath-days, and all other feasts taken notice of in the law, weddings, dividing the spoil after victory, sheep-shearing, harvest and vintage, in each particular estate, where the neighbours came to bat the teasine Greeks
* Amos vi. 6. Isaiah v. 11, 12. Ibid. xxviii: 3. + Exod. xxx. 23, &c.
came together to assist each other.* It is well known that the feasts of Bacchus and Ceres had their rise among the Greeks from such rejoi. cings; and we still see some footsteps of it among the country people. The Israelites had no profane shews. "They were contented with the ceremonies of religion, and the pomp of sacrifices, which must needs have been very great, since the temple was the most magnificent building in the whole country, and there were thirty two thousand Levites appointed for it's service, . I do not perceive that they had either gaming or hunting, which are reckoned with us among the highest diversions. As to gaming, it seems as if they were entirely ignorant of it, since we do not so much as once find the name of it in the whole Scripture. Not but the people of Lydia had already invented games, if what is said of them be true. But to this day the Arabians, and some other eastern nations, play at no games of hazard, at least if they observe their law, As to hunting, either beasts or birds, it was not unknown to the Israelites; but it looks as if they followed it rather for furnishing their tables, and preserving their corn and vines, than for pleasure. For they often speak of nets and snares, but we do not find that even their kings had either dogs or any hunting equipage. It would no doubt haye made them odious to have hunted over ploughed lands, or bred beasts to do mischief. Hunting prevails chiefly in the vast forests and untilled lands of cold countries,
Their Mourning. AFTER rejoicings, let us speak of their mourning and signs of affliction. The antients did not only go into mourning upon the death of relations, but as often as any misfortune happened to them: and it did not consist merely in changing dress. The causes of it were either public calamities, as a mortality, a general scarcity, an invasion; or private misfo, tunes, as the death of a relation-or friend, if he was dangerously ill, or taken captive, or if one was accused of a crime:
The signs of mourning among the Israelites were, tearing their clothes as soon as they heard any ill news, or if they happened to be present at committing any great wickedness, as blasphemy, or any other sin against God ;* to beat their breast; to put their hands upon their head ; uncover. it, and throw dust or ashes upon it, instead of perfumes, which they used in the times of joy ; to shave the beard and hair off. On the contrary, the Romans, who used to shave, let their hair grow in the time of mourning. · As long as the mourning lasted, they were neither to anoint nor wash themselves, but wear their clothes dirty and torn, or else put on sackcloth, which was a strait garment without folds, and consequently was very uneasy; they called
it also hair-cloth, because the stuff was made of camel's hair, or something else that was rough and coarse. They bared the feet as well as head, but had their face covered.* Sometimes they wrapped themselves up in a mantle, that they might not see light, and to hide their tears. They fasted at the same time that they mourned, that is, as long as they were in mourning, they either ate nothing at all, or not till after sun-set, and then only plain food, as bread, or herbs, and drank nothing but water. . ., · They continued shut up, sitting upon the ground, or lying in the ashes, keeping a profound silence,+ and not speaking but to bemoan themselves, or sing, some doleful song. Mourning for a dead person commonly lasted seven days ;I sometimes they continued it a month, as for Aaron and Moses ;S and sometimes seventy days, as they did for the patriarch Jacob. But some widows mourned their whole lives, as Judith, and Auna the prophetess.
Thus their mourning was not, like ours, a mere ceremony, in which the rich only observe some set forms. It was attended with all the natural consequences of real grief: for a person in affliction takes no care of his dress, or of keeps ing himself clean; he can hardly resolve to eat; he speaks not, or, if he does, it is only to bewail himself; he goes, not abroad, and avoids all diversions. The Israelites were not the only people that mourned after this manner; the Greeks and Romans did so long after ; since St. Chry
* Ezek. xxiv. 17.' + Lament. ii. 10. § Numb, xx, 29. Deut. xxxiv, 8.
1 Sam. xxxi. 13. ll Gen. 1. 3. :
sostom describes it to be pretty much the same in his time.* I do not doubt but some acted a part, and did all that I mentioned, without being in any great concern; those however that were in earnest were at liberty, if they pleased, to indulge themselves in it. ..
But in general both the Israelites and all the antients followed nature more than we, and were under less constraint in venting their passions. They sang and danced, when they were pleased ; and wept and cried aloud, when they were grieved. When they were afraid, they owned it frankly; and in their anger they abused one another heartily. Homer and the tragic poets furnish us with examples in every page. See what affliction Achilles is in for the death of Patroclus, and in Sophocles the bitter lamentations of Oedipus and Philoctetes. Philosophy and Christianity have now corrected the outward behaviour in those that are well bred, and have had a good education. They are taught to speak like heroes or saints, though most are not at all better at the bottom, and are contented to disguise their passions, without conquering, or even striving against them.