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thou shalt not weep with bitter sobbings ; thou shalt not even suffer tears at all to appear. On the contrary, be silent, and assume none of the common forms of mourning : put on thy turban as usual; thy shoes on thy feet; muffle not up the lower part of thy face ; and eat not the bread of consolation, wont to be prepared by the humane, and sent to those in deep afx fliction.
The Head sometimes shaved in Mourning for the Dead.
Not only common readers, but even the learned themselves appear to be perplexed about the meaning of that prohibition of the law of Moses, contained in the latter part of the first verse of the 14th of Deuteronomy, Ye shall not cut yourself, nor make any baldness between your eyes for the dead ; but it seems to be clearly explained by a passage of Sir John Chardin, as to its expressing sorrow, though it is probable the idolatrousness of the of the practice may, at this distance of time, be irrecoverably lost.
Sir John tells us, "that black hair is most esteemed among the Persians, as well on the head, as on the eye-brows, and in the beard. That the largest and thickest eye-brows are the most beautiful, especially when they are of such a size as to touch one another. The
Arab women have the most beautiful eye-brows of this sort. The Persian women, when they have them not of this colour, tinge them, and rub them with black, to make them the larger. They also make, in the lower part of the fore-head, a little below the eye-brows, a black spot, in form of a lozenge, not quite so large as the nail of the little finger.” This is probably not of a lasting nature, but quickly wears ofl.
These notions of beauty differ very much from those of the ladies of Europe.
rope. None of them, I think, are fond of having their eyebrows meet; but on the contrary take pains to keep the separation between them very distinct.
But if the Eastern people are of a different opinion, it is not at all surprising, that at the same time that they laid aside the hair of their heads, with their more artificial ornaments, in a time of mourning, they should make a space bald between their eyes too, since it was their pride to have them meet when in a joyful state, and even to join them with a black perishable spot, rather than have interruption appear between the eye-brows.
But as the sacred writers admitted the making their heads bald in mourning, while Moses forbids not only idolatrous cuttings of the flesh, but this making the space bald between the eye-brows, it appears there was something of idolatry in this too, as well as in those cuttings, though it is not easily made out. After this circumstance, relating to Eastern beauty, is known, the addition to Bishop Patrick's account of the heathens being wont to shave the eye-brows, in times of mourning, will, I presume, give no pleasure : “Or,” says this worthy writer, "( which some think is the meaning of between the eyes) the hair in the fore-part of the head, or near the temples, as R. Solomon interprets it. Which seems to be the meaning of the Hierusalem Targum, which translates it, Ye shall not make any baldness in the house of
Noise and Tumult frequent at the Death of a Person
in the East,
The assembling together of multitudes to the place where persons have lately expired, and bewailing them in a noisy manner, is a custom still retained in the East, and seems to be considered as
as an honour done to the deceased.
That is was done anciently, appears from the story of the dying of the daughter of Jairus. St. Mark uses the term opußos, which signifies tumult, to express the state of things in the house of Jairus then, ch, v. 38. And accordingly Sir J. Chardin's MS. tells us, that now the concourse in places where persons
lie • Upon the place.
dead is incredible. Every body runs thither, the poor and the rich ; and the first more especially make a strange noise.
Dr. Shaw takes notice, I remember, of the noise they make in bewailing the dead, as soon as they are departed; but he takes no notice, I think, of the great concourse of people of all sorts on such occasions; which yet is a circumstance very proper to be remarked, in order to enter fully into the sense of the Greek word Θορυβος. .
But the most distinct account of the Eastern lamentations that Sir J. Chardin has given us, in the 6th volume of his MSS. by which we learn that their emotions of joy, as well as of sorrow, are expressed by loud cries. The passage is extremely curious, and the purport of it is as follows: Gen. xlv. 2. And he wept aloud, and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard. “ This is exactly the genius of the people of Asia, especially of the women. Their sentiments of joy or of grief are properly transports; and their transports are ungoverned, excessive, and truly outrageous.-When any one returns from a long journey, or dies, his family burst into cries, that
that may be heard twenty doors off ; and this is renewed at different times, and continues many days, according to the vigour of the passion. Especially are these cries long in the case of death, and frightful, for the mourning is right down despair, and an image of hell. I was lodged in the year 1676, at Ispahan, near the Royal
square; the mistress of the next house to mine died at that time. The moment she expired, all the family, to the number of twenty-five or thirty people, set up such a furious cry, that I was quite startled, and was above two hours before I could recover myself. These cries continue a long time, then cease all at once ; they begin again as suddenly, at day-break, and in concert. It is this suddenness which is so terrifying, together with a greater shrillness and loudness than one could easily imagine. This enraged kind of mourning, if I may call it so, continued forty days; not equally violent, but with diminution from day to day. The longest and most violent acts were when they washed the body, when they perfumed it, when they carried it out to be interred, at making the inventory, and when they divided the effects. You are not to suppose that those that were ready to split their throats with crying out, wept as much; the greatest part of them did not shed a single tear through the whole tragedy.”
This is a very distinct description of Eastern mourning for the dead: they cry out too, it secms, ou other occasions ; no wonder then the house of Pharaoh heard, when Joseph wept at making himself known to his brethren.
It seems, according to the margin, that it was in the middle of the night, Sir John in bed, and the cry so vio. lent, that he imagined, his own servants were actually murdered.