Imatges de pÓgina

Helor's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem," by M. Strauss. 15 to begin. Refreshments were offered were buried. And on the spot conseto the travellers, and especially to crated by so many recollections, the Elisaina, but he declared with earnest- children of these patriarchs were now Dess, that, even amidst the idolaters preparing to depart on their festal of Egypt, he had scarcely ever allowed pilgrinuage to Jerusalem. The occahimself to taste food early in a morn- sion and the place seemed to banisla ing, and much less would he do so from all hearts every other feeling but in Israel, and in the city of David, piety and good-will: mutual greetings and on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem. were exchanged, friends and relatives The commotion in the streets became sought each other oật, and associated greater and greater, and it was scarcely themselves for the journey, and all dawn when they set forth. All the faces beamed with joy. The priests doors of the houses were open, all the and elders led the procession; the roofs were covered with persons watch- people followed, and the slaves with ing their departure. Helon, as he the camels were placed in the midst passed through the streets of Hebron of them; the Levites had distributed in the ruddy light of the dawn, and themselves with their instruments by the palm trees at the gate, was among the multitude, and as they reminded that Hebron was one of the set forward they sung this Psalm oldest cities in the world, even older (cxxii.): than Zoan in Egypt ; that it had been conquered by Joshua, and given as a

. How am I glad when they say unto

me, portion to Caleb, the bravest and inost faithful of the explorers of the We will go up to the house of Jehovah ! land; that it had afterwards become My foot hath stood already in thy gates,

0 Jerusalem! a city of the priests, and had been for Jerusalem, thou beautifully built, seven years the residence of David ; Chief city, where all unite together! that it had been taken by the Idume. Thither do the tribes go up, ans, and reconquered by the Macca- The tribes of Jehovah to the festival of bees, and once more incorporated with remembrance, Juda. But when he had passed the gate, To praise the name of Jehovah. and gained a view of the lovely valley

There are the thrones of judguient, in which it stands, full of vineyards

The thrones of the house of David. and corn-fields, and looked around on

Pray for the peace of Jerusalem, the region where patriarchs had tend- May they prosper that love thee!

Peace be in thy walls, ed their flocks and pitched their tents, and lived in friendly communion with For my brethren and companions' sake,

Prosperity in thy palaces ! Jehovah, all the high and enthusiastic I wish thee peace. feelings of the preceding day were re- For the sake of the temple of our God, newed in his inind. From all the I bless thee with good,' cross-roads, men, women and children were streaming towards the highway “ It is impossible to conceive of the that led to Jerusalem. They had soul-felt exultation with which this scarcely proceeded a Sabbath-day's Psalm was sung, and of its effect on journey, when they saw the grove of old and young. Now the voices rose terebinths; cymbals, flutes and psalms like the notes of the mounting lark resounded from the midst of it, and upon the summits of the hills, now hundreds were standing under the tur- sunk again in the depths of the vale, pentine tree of Abraham, a tree of leys. How differently did it operate immense size and wide-spreading now upon the heart of Helon, and branches. Helon entered the grove of when he liad sung it before to his soMamre with feelings of religious re. litary harp on his roof in Alexandria ! Deration. Here Abraham had dwelt; How did he bless the memory of Sahere the angels had appeared to him; muel, who had given his schools of beneath these trees Isaac. bad been the prophets the harp and the flute; promised, and the rite of circuncision and of David, who, bred up among instituted; here Ishmael had been them, did not forget them even when born and driven from his father's tent; scated on his throne, but appointed and not far off was the cave of Maca Levites for the cultivation of music, pelah, where Abraham and Sarah, and himself often laid down his sceptre Isaac and Rebecca, Jacob and Leah to assume the harp!"

In this way the train of pilgrims to hands, to partake of the paschal mcal. the Passover proceeds; they halt at The unleavened bread, (iat cakes with inid-day beside the pools of Solomon, many small holes in them,) the bitter the reservoirs of an aqueduct by herbs, a vessel with vinegar, the paswhich Jerusalem had formerly been chal lamb, were then placed upon the supplied. In the evening they enter table, and last of all the charoseth, a the Holy City, and are hospitably re- thick pottage of apples, nuts, figs, ceived by Iddo, an old friend of Elisa- almonds and honey, boiled in wine ma's family. The description of the and vinegar, and not unfrequently City and Temple, of the day of Prepa- made in the form of a brick or tile, ration, the feast of the Passover itself, to remind the Israelites of their Egypthe Sabbath and the remaining days of tian slavery, and strewed with cinnathe solemnity, occupy the remainder mon in imitation of the straw which of this volume. The following de- was mixed with the clay. The master scription of the Paschal mcal may of the house then spoke again, ‘Praised serve as a specimen of the antiquarian be Thou, O Lord our God, who hast part of the work.

given us the fruits of the earth.' He “ In the middle of the room stood dipped one of the herbs in vinegar, and the table, which in the East is always the whole company did the same. At low, because the guests either lie this moment, the mistress touched her around it on divans, or sit on cushions. little grandson, a child of ten years On this occasion, however, there was old. Children were always present at neither divan nor cushion, and the this festival, and one design of its table stood apart, as if the prepara. establishment was, that the son should tions were but half finished. It was learn from the lips of his father the about the middle of the second hour events to which it referred, and the of evening (half-past seven) when the remembrance of them might thus be company, consisting of nineteen per- propagated to the most distant possons, assembled around the table. terity. The child understood the hint, Every one, though splendidly clad, and asked his grandfather why on this appeared prepared for a journey. With night only unleavened bread and bit-sandals on their feet, which at other ter herbs were to be eaten ; why on times were not worn in a room, but this night alone the guests stood given to the slaves to be placed at the around the table, instead of sitting or door, with their garments girt and a lying. With dignity and solemnity, staff in their hands, they surrounded the grandfather, turning to the child, the table. A large vessel, filled with related to him how their forefathers wine immediately from the cask, stood had been oppressed in Egypt, and how upon it, and the meal begun by the the Lord had brought theni out thence master of the house blessing it. He with a mighty arm. He described to laid hold of it with both hands, lifted him the evening which preceded their it up

with the right, and said, ‘Praised flight from Goshen, their busy prepabe Thou, O Lord our God, Thou ration, and their anxiety to conceal it King of the world, who hast given us from the Egyptians. The lamb was the fruit of the vine;' and the whole as- slain and the blood sprinkled on the sembly said, Amen. Next he blessed door-posts, that the destroying angel the day, and thanked God for having of the Lord might pass by their given them his passover ; and then, houses, when he slew the first-born drinking first himself from the cup, of the Egyptians. It was to be roastsent it round to the rest. When this ed, not boiled, that it might be sooner was over, he began again; • Praised ready, and strengthen more those who be Thou, O Lord our God, Thou King partook of it; it was to be eaten in a of the world, who hast sanctified us by standing posture, as by men prepared thy precepts, and commanded us to for instant departure; it was to be wash our hands.' He and the whole consumed entire ; for the whole peocompany then waslied their hands in a ple were to quit their dwellings and silver bason, with water poured from never to return to them: and no bone an ewer of the same meta). This was of it was to be broken; for this is the the emblem of purification, and im- act of inen who have time and leisure plied, that every one should come for their meal. The bitter herbs and with a pure heart, as well as clean unleavened bread were then caten, and

Helon's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem," by M. Struuss. 17 the exiüith and cxirth Psalms sung: Elisama by the beard, as he sat one This formed the first half of the great evening among the citizens at the

gate song of praise which was called em- of Jericho. The consequences of the phatically the Hallel, consisting of six old man's wrath are terrible. Psalms, from the cxiiith to the cxviiith, “Elisama arose, with glowing cheeks and was sung on all great festivities. and a look in which the expression of A second washing of the hands fol- the wildest rage grew every moment lowed, the cup was a second time stronger. His limbs treinbled; his blessed and sent round. The master features were distorted, his hair stood broke off a piece of the unleavened on end, and his breast heaved with a bread, wrapped it in the bitter herbs, feverish gasp. Accursed Heathen! and, having dipped it in the charoseth, he exclaimed in fury; accursed ate it and then distributed a portion Heathen!' he repeated, and drawing to each of the company, who did the his sword, aimed a blow at Myron. same; and now the eating of the Lamb The offender, awakened to a conbegan, in which the Paschal feast pro- sciousness of what he hud done, saw perly consisted.”

the weapon about to fall on him and When the festivities of the Passo- evaded the stroke; a citizen of Jeriver are concluded, and the crowds re- cho, whom the tumult of the assemturned home, Helon feels an irresisti- bly had pushed forward, received it ble desire to enter into the order of and fell mortally wounded at Elisama's the priests, that he may renew and feet. In silent horror all stood around, perpetuate the delight which he has and looked by turns on the murderer, felt from the services and offerings of the corpse and the author of the misthe Temple. Being Levitically born, chief. The whole city hastened to the he presents himself to the High- spot; Myron escaped, and Salumiel, Priest, and seeks admission into the taking the unconscious Elisama by sacerdotal order; his request is granted, the hand, led him home. . Helon prebut he is told that he must produce ceding them, burst with a cry of horthe genealogical register of his family, ror into the house, exclaiming, Woe, and to obtain this he makes a journey woe-homicide-Elisama!' The wofirst to Joppa, and, not finding the men hastened from their apartments, genealogist there, afterwards to Zik- and knew not the cause of the confulag, to find him. This gives the au- sion. Salumiel entered with Elisama thor an opportunity of describing -one .n eager haste, the othe, bewil. these parts of Palestine; and Helon dered, with fixed eyes and open mouth. and Elisama return to Jerusalem in *Bring horses, bring camels, bring any time to witness the triumphal entry beast of burden,' exclaimed Salumiel. of the sons of Hyrcanus, after their “Thou hast slain him, Elisama, and victories over the Samaritans. Helon, must flee before the avenger of blood.' after due probation by the Sanhedrim, Whither?' asked Helop. 'To a city is admitted as a priest, and all the ce- of refuge,—to Hebron in Juda-to remonies and offerings which attended Bezer in Reuben-to Ramoth Gilead such an initiation are described, per- best of all.' At these words Elisama haps, with too much of monotonous awoke from his trance. Tears flowed repetition. We are next called to at- from his aged eyes as he exclaimed, tend him in a visit to Jericho, the • Merciful God, inust I in my old age abode of Salumiel, the brother of flee as a murderer, and die by the Iddo; he becomes enamoured of his hands of the avenger?' His voice was lovely daughter Salamith, and, on his choked with sobs. Two rapid dromemarriage, takes up his residence there daries, ships of the desert, were in a splendid house purchased for him brought. Helon accompanied the unby Elisama. They visit Jerusalem to- happy man. It was already night, gether at the Feast of Pentecost, and and they passed unobserved out of all seems to promise pure and lasting Jericho. Without a salutation or an happiness, when the indiscretion of adieu they urged their flight, in dread Myron, who had accompanied them least the avenger should be on their to Jericho, occasions a fatal accident, traces, Elisama with his hair loose, and plunges the whole family in the his turban floating on the wind, and deepest distress. In a moment of death on his countenance. thoughtless gaiety, he has plucked It was one of the most terrific



[ocr errors][ocr errors]

customs of the East, that the next of been employed, and the precious balm
kin of any one who had been slain, of Gilead applied externally and inter-
even unwittingly, was deemed infa- nally. These were the two chief re-
mous if he did not avenge him by put- medies of the Hebrews. But here
ting to death the man who had killed they had lost their power. Elisama
him. Moses, unable to eradicate this fell into a death-like slumber. When
custom, had mitigated it by the ap- he was delirious, the image of Myron
pointment of six cities of refuge, three seemed to be constantly before his
on each side of the Jordan, in which eyes ; and he upbraided him with his
the unintentional homicide might be ingratitude, and warned his son Helon
safe from the vengeance of the Goel. to beware of him, as it would not be
In these cities, and for a thousand the last of his misdeeds. On the fol.
yards around, he could not be touch- lowing day his reason returned for
ed—if he ventured beyond these limits, some hours, and he spoke calmly and
before the death of the High-Priest, clearly. It was the last revival of the
the Goel might lawfully kill him. Aame of life. He requested Helon to
The roads and hedges leading to the repeat to him the prayer of Moses,
eity of refuge were to be kept in re- the man of God. Lord, Thou hast
pair, that the fugitive might not be been our refuge in all generations.'
impeded in his flight. The son of the Ps. xc. He heard it with great atten-
citizen of Jericho, whom Elisama had tion, and the einotions of his heart
killed, had been fetched from the were visible, at many passages, in his
fields and had gone forth to avenge looks and his clasped hands. He lay
his father ; but he was too late ; Eli- for a long time with closed eyes, but
sama had already reached Ramoth his lips were in inotion, and it was
Gilead in safety: Salumiel, who had evident that he was addressing him.
remained behind to attend the judicial self to God, probably in a penitential
proceedings, determined to go and see Psalm ; for once, when his voice grew
him, and Salamith could not be per- stronger, he was heard to say, (Ps.
suaded to remain behind. Ramoth cii. 10,)
Gilead lay on the other side of Jor-
dan, in the country called in ancient

My days pass away as a shadow,

Aud I wither as grass, times Gilead; a country not so fruit- But thoni, Jehovah,' shalt endure for ful as this side, from its many moun

ever, tains and sandy deserts, yet rich in And thy name remaineth from generapasturage for cattle, and watered by

tion to geperation. two mighty streams, the Arnon and Thou wilt arise and have mercy on Zion; the Jabok, which empty themselves For the time is come that thou shouldst into the Dead Sea and the Jordan.

favour her, The hills of Basan, Gilead and Aba- The appointed hour is come.' rim, extending from Antilibanus, send their branches through this country.

“His voice again became faint, and It was given on the conquest of Ca- it was after some interval that he was

heard to saynaan to the tribes of Gad and Reuben and the half tribe of Manasseh, as their • He weakeneth my strength in the way, residence. Ramoth, situated on the He shorteneth my days.' Jabok, was the principal city, celebrated in history by the vow of Jeph

“And then with a firmer tonetha, and the battle between Ahab and

• The children of thy servants shall conJehoshaphat and the Syrians.

tinue, On their arrival, they learnt that And their seed shall prosper before Elisama was dangerously ill. The thee.' agitation of mind and fatigue attendant on bis flight, had overpowered his He turned with an expression of feeble frame; he had been attacked the deepest affection to Helon, and by a fever, under which he was hourly said, 'Greet thy mother from mesinking. A Levite, who was the phy- when the High-Priest dies, carry my sician of Ramoth, and possessed great bones to the valley of Jehoshaphat knowledge of the human frame and and lay thein beside thy fathers' the virtues of plants, had been sum- wait on Jehovah and thou shalt ob.moned. Strengthening baths had tain,' his words became inaudible.

[ocr errors]

Helon's Pilgrimage to Jerusalem," by M. Strauss. 19 Helon held his cold hand, and bathed of the family began to weep along with it with his tears; and all who stood her. They arose, twisted their hand, around his bed, in mournful silence, kerchiefs together, and ran shrieking thought him already dead. But the round the room, while Salamith, sits dying eye opened once more,gazed ting motionless in the middle, wrung round on them all-then fixed itself her hands and tore her beautiful dark on heaven. His head sank back in hair. When she ceased, the mourners Salamith's arms. Twice the ipouth resumed their song till she again gave was distorted in the bitterness of pain them a signal, and the relatives re- then once again. The body became newed their lamentations. This last, rigid—the respiration ceased.

ed till towards evening, when the in“ After a solemn pause, each read- habitants asseinbled at the door, and ing in the countenance of the rest the the corpse was carried to the grave. confirmation of his fears, all uttered Those who carried the bier proceeded at the same moment a piercing shriek with such hasty steps, that they seemof grief. The men rent their upper ed rather to run than walk-an usage garments, beat their breasts, threw which was said to bear this meaning, their turbans on the ground, strewed that death is the most terrible punishdust and ashes on their head, put on ment of sin. Every one who inet the sackcloth, covered their chins and procession joined the mourners, and went barefoot. Helon was hurried bore part in the cries of the women. away, least, being a priest, he should “Before the gate of the city, in a contract pollution from the dead body. garden planted with trees, stood the The eyes of the corpse were closed, sepulchre of Elisama's host, hewn and it was carried into the Alija (a out of the rock; and in this the corpse small chapel on the roof of the house) was deposited; for burning was deemby the nearest relatives. As it had ed dishonourable by the Jews and rebeen the custom in Judea, since the garded with abhorrence. The bearers Captivity, to bury very soon, the night threw aloes, myrrh and other frawas past in making preparations. grant substances upon the body so as The body was wrapt in a large sheet, to cover it, and the sepulchre was the head bound with a napkin, and closed with a stone, which was annua then the whole, from head to foot, ally whitened with lime. The friends swathed with a broad bandage, and and relatives remained standing awhile each foot, each hand, each finger sea before the closed sepulchre, then bowparately. At midnight came the Le-, ed theinselves thrice to the earth and sites with their musical instruments : preyed : then taking up a sod threx the female mourners began their office it behind them and said, 'Remember, by lifting up their voices and lainent- ( man! that dust thou art and to ing, strewing ashes on their heads and dust thou shalt return.' The proces. singing a dirge. On the following siou returned with a repetition of the morning the house was filled with funeral lamentations. On reaching Deighbours and friends, expressing hoine they washed their hands, and their sympathy. Salamith ran about, the neighbours brought them the weeping and wringing her hands above bread of mourning. A beautiful and her head. The men sat in another humane custom in Israel! No vicapartinent upon the ground and mourn- tuals were prepared in the house which ed in silence. Salamith was conduct- death had visited, but the neighed to the apartment of the women, boursand friends came with costly where she placed herself on a carpet viands and invited the mourners to in the middle, and the rest of the fe- partake of them, to recruit their males of the family sat round her, strength and spirits. This was called The hired wourners formed a wider the bread of mourning, and the cup cirele at a little distance. Each of the which was handed round, the cup of pompen held a handkerchief in her consolation. The mourning lasted hand by two of the corners. The seven days, during which it was held bourners, who knew a variety of fua indecorous to wash the garments, to neral songs, began one which 'expres, bathe or anoint the body, or to wear sed the virtues and calamities of the the sandals or the turban. Every day deceased. Salamith gave them a sign Salamith weyt with the women of the and they ceased; and all the females family to lament, at the tomb of the

« AnteriorContinua »