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paring, the Brahmin returns a second time to the river. He bathes again, repeating almost all the ceremonies in the same order as in the morning. But the anxious care is in returning home, lest he should happen to touch any thing on the way that might defile him; such as treading on a bone, or a bit of leather, or skin, on an old rag, broken dish, or any thing of that nature. Upon these points, however, it must be allowed that they are not all equally scrupulous.
The Brahmin being seated on the ground, his wife lays before him a banana leaf, or some other leaves sewed together, and, sprinkling them with a few drops of water, she serves the rice upon this simple cover, and close by it, on the same leaf, the different things which have been provided, consisting of the simple productions of nature, or of cakes. The rice is seasoned with a little clarified butter, or a kind of sauce so highly spiced, that no European palate could endure its pungency. The manner of serving up all this would appear very disgusting to us, as it is entirely performed by the hand, unless where the woman, to save her fingers, is obliged to take a wooden spoon. But this rarely happens, as the Hindoos generally love their meat cold, and their drink hot. The viands being laid before him, the Brahmin, before he touches them, sprinkles some drops of water round his plate; but whether to attract the dust that might blow over his rice, or as a sacrificial libation to the gods, I know not. But, before he puts a morsel into his mouth, he lays upon the ground a little of the rice, and the other things set before him; and this is an offering to his progenitors, and their portion of the meal. The repast is quickly finished, as in swallowing they have neither the bones of fish, nor of flesh to dread. He rises 'immediately, and washes both hands, although one only has been used; for the left being reserved for other purposes, as we have already mentioned, cannot even be employed in washing the right; and the lawful wife of the Brahmin can alone pour water over it for that purpose. After washing his hands, he rinses his mouth
twelve times. He never nses a tooth-pick, at least he never uses one twice, thinking that none but such as are inured to filth and beastliness could put up for another occasion a thing that had once touched their mouths, and been polluted with saliva. When the man has finished his repast, the wife begins hers, on the same leaf which had served him. As a mark of his attention and kindness, he is expected to leave her some fragments of his food; and she, on the other hand, must show no repugnance to eat his leavings.
About half an hour before sun-set, he returns a third time to the river, and goes through nearly the same ceremonies as on the two preceding occasions of that day. He then goes home, offers the sacrifice of Homan, and reads the Bhagavata (a book written in honour of Vishnoo, metamorphosed into the person of Krishna), and other books of that nature.
ADDRESS TO THE MUMMY IN BELZONI'S
And thou hast walk'd about (how strange a story!)
In Thebes's streets three thousand years ago,
And time had not begun to overthrow
Thou hast a tongue-come let us hear its tune; Thou'rt standing on thy legs, above ground, Mummy!
Revisiting the glimpses of the moon, Not like thin ghosts or disembodied creatures, But with thy bones and flesh, and limbs and features. Tell us-for doubtless thou canst recollect,
To whom should we assign the sphinx's fame? Was Cheops or Cephrenes architect
Of either Pyramid that bears his name?
Is Pompey's pillar really a misnomer?
By oath to tell the mysteries of thy trade,
In Memnon's statue which at sunrise play'd ? Perhaps thou wert a Priest-if so, my struggles Are vain, for priestcraft never owns its juggles. Perchance that very hand, now pinion'd flat,
Has hob-a-nobb'd with Pharoah glass to glass;
Or doff'd thine own to let Queen Dido pass,
Has any Roman soldier maul'd and knuckled,
Ere Romulus and Remus had been suckled :-
We have, above ground, seen some strange mutations; The Roman empire has begun and ended,
New worlds have risen—we have lost old nations, And countless kings have into dust been humbled, While not a fragment of thy flesh has crumbled. Didst thou not hear the pother o'er thy head, . .
When the great Persian conqueror, Cambyses, March'd armies o'er thy tomb with thundering tread,
O'erthrew Osiris, Orus, Apis, Isis, i
The nature of thy private life unfold :-
And tears adown that dusky cheek have rollid :
Have children climb'd those knees and kiss'd that face? What was thy name and station, age and race?
Statue of flesh-immortal of the dead!
Imperishable type of evanescence ! Posthumous man, who quitt'st thy narrow bed,
And standest undecay'd within our presence, Thou wilt hear nothing till the Judgment morning, When the great trump shall thrill thee with its warning.
Why should this worthless tegument endure,
If its undying guest be lost for ever?
In living virtue, that when both must sever,
New Monthly Magazine.
ANTIQUITY OF RINGS.
Rings, says the acute and learned Whitaker, are derived to us from a cistom, as universal as the love of ornament among the nations of the earth, and common to the Romans, the Gauls, and the Britons ; while the mode of wearing them is wholly Roman among us at present, and has always been so since the Roman conquest. This we may collect from several circumstances, little in themselves, independent of each other, but uniting in one testimony. The Romans wore rings even so familiarly upon their thumbs, that, among many evidences of the bodily hugeness of the emperor Maximius the elder, his thumb is recorded to have been so large as to bear upon it his queen's right hand bracelet for a ring. We correspondently find “upon rebuilding the abbey church of St. Peter, Westminster, by King Henry III.” that “the sepulchre of Sebert, king of the East Angles, was opened, and therein was found part of his royal robes, and his thumb-ring, in
which was set a ruby of great value." We also know “ an alderman's thumb-ring” to have been an object familiar to the eyes of Shakspeare*. This practice continued among us long after the days of Shakspeare; an alderman's thumb-ring continued to be noticed for its singularity as late as the middle of the seventeenth century t. But the Romans also placed the ring upon one of their fingers, the large statues in bronze of emperors and empresses at Portici, having each of them a ring upon the fourth finger; and Pliny informing us “ that the custom was originally to wear it upon the finger next to the least,” as we see in the statues of Numa and Servius Tullius. The custom of the kings was thus revived by the emperors, and continued very late. But in the interval between the revived and the original custom, the ring was put by the Romans on the fore-finger, “the very images of the gods," says Pliny, “ carrying it on the finger next the thumb,” and a Roman monument remaining, in which a man appears actually putting a ring upon the fore-finger of a woman in the act of marrying her. We accordingly use rings upon both these fingers at present. But we denominate the fourth particularly, just as the Romans and Saxons did, the ring-finger, as being that on which the ring is placed in marriages ; while the native Britons, like the Gauls, wore the ring upon the middle-finger, the very finger which alone was excepted by the Romans; thus, in 1012, on removing the bones of Dunstan at Canterbury, by four men who had been the depositors of his body before, in what is called a mausoleum, and who now opened it; “ they found the bones more valuable than gold and topazes, the flesh having been consumed by length of time; and recognized that ring put upon his finger when he was committed to the grave, which he himself is reported to have made in his
* “When I was about thy years, Hal, I was not an eagle's talon in the waist; I could have crept into an alderman's thumb-ring."
Henry IV. part I. act 11. + An alderman's thumb-ring is mentioned by Brome in 1640; in the " Northern Lass,” 1632; and in “ Wit in a Constable," 1640.