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entitled, by ancient laws, to take from the guest any article of dress or baggage, worth about the value of the slaughtered sheep ; which he is, however, generally permitted to ransom, by paying one Spanish dollar. If the landlord is not repeatedly asked by the guests to sit down with them to the dinner, he tastes nothing ; and is only busy, together with his sons, in handing round the water. The Aenezes have nothing of this custom. A similar law exists among the same Arabs, with regard to the use of soap. Soap is a very scarce article, and to present a piece of it, after the meal, to the stranger, is looked upon as a great distinction. If the guest, in washing himself, allows the soap, through inadvertency, to drop out of his hands, the Arab, who stands by him, and pours out the water to him, has the right of taking away his turban or head-dress, whatever it may consist of. A man, they say, who does not know how to handle the soap, deserves not the honour of washing bimself with it ; and must be punished for having accepted that honour. Such an accident always creates great laughter and derision ; but the guest, in vain, endeavours to have his turban returned to him, without making a small present to his landlord.
The root Kemmaye only grows in the northern deserts of Syria. South of Syria it is not met with : its want is supplied by another production of the desert. A low shrub that grows on the Syrian Hadj route, and in the desert to the east of it, bears a small black grain, called samh, which is of the size of coriander seed. It grows in such quantities, that every family of Bedouins, who live in these parts, collect several camel loads of it. They mill it, like corn, and make bread of it, which does not taste amiss, and is very nourishing. The Rowalla, Sherarat, Beni, Szakher, and Howeytat use this samh. In years of cheapness of corn, they mix it with flour. In time of dearth, they eat it without any mixture. The people of Maan sell it to those Arabians who live in the southern Arabian deserts, and cannot, therefore, collect it themBelves.
Education, Poetry, &c. The Wahabels have established schools in their principal towns, like Derayeh, Medwick, Mékka, Djedeyde, Tayef; where all their young men are instructed in reading and writing.
I have heard of several great Bedouin Sheikhs, who are famous poets, and performers upon the Rababa. Among the
first of them is Nimr el Keblan, of the tribe of Adooan, in the Belka. This man appears to be endowed with all the Bedou-in virtues. Although upwards of sixty years of age, he is surpassed by none, in courage and strength. His liberality knows no bounds; and his eloquence and poetical talents are famous over the desert. His twelve sons are all horsemen, and accompany him into the fields, wherever he goes. Having left the party of el Adooan, after their treacherous behaviour towards Beni Szakher, in 1811, he composed a satirical poem against Hamood el Szaleh, his former chief, which has become a favourite song with the Arabs of Belka. Its length does not permit me to insert it here. The son of the Sheikh of Kerek, a boy of thirteen years, explained it to me; and it well deserves to be compared with the best satires of the history of Antar. Nimr has several books in his possession ; amongst others, the Kamoos, or Arabic dictionary ; and the Bedouins complain, that he makes use of words in his poetry which none but learned people can understand. The southern Arabs appear to be still more fond of music and singing than the Aenezes. Scarcely a tent is found, but has its Rababa or Guitarra ; and every evening the young people assemble round a distinguished singer. These instruments are very coarsely wrought : they are about eighteen inches in length; have a single string, and have their body covered with a thin gazelle skin. The strings of the fiddle-stick consist of a dozen horse hairs, not much stretched. They rub them with a kind of colophonium.
Among the Arabs Hamayda, the writer witnessed a very ludicrous performance of the already described song, called Sahdje. About twenty young men had ranged themselves opposite each other, in two lines, each party headed by a foreman, who had a sword in his hand. He began the song,
and accompanied it with ludicrous gestures, in which he was imitated by his party, who joined in the chorus. After he had finished, the others answered by still more ridiculous gestures, or postures. After having continued thus mimicking each other for upwards of an hour, some of the young men retired to their tents, and made their re-appearance, masqued in women's dresses. They went on, singing and acting, until midnight, amidst the laughter and applause of the whole tribe.
The El Had, or the song of the camel-drivers of the Arabs Howeytat, is
Gemelmely wa Edayr al el Kyaly
“ Walk gently, (O camel,) and remember thy master's kindness ; for thy lord is well pleased, and sits fast upon thy back." (El Oeza is the extremity of the sacks, into which a stone is put, in order to be able to tie the rope round it, by which it is fastened to the sack on the other side of the camel.)
(To be continued.)
AN INDIAN ECLOGUE.-Advertisement.
4. Sunt illis hæc quoque Carmina, quorum relatu, quem barditum vocant, accedunt animos, futuræque pugnæ fortunam, ipso cantu, augurantur.”
Tacitus de Mor. Ger. c. 3. There is a striking resemblance in the manners of all savage nations; and much of what Tacitus has so well said of the ancient Germans, is applicable to the scattered hordes of our North American wilds.
But before proceeding with this thought, courteous reader! I wish to call your attention to one word in my motto, which seems deserving of a digression. I mean that marked in Italic letters" barditum." Here is the etymon of our English word bard; which the ingenious critics inform us is derived originally from blaritum,—the cry or blare, (as we express it,) of calves! Others derive it, very elegantly, from baritum, quasi, “a baer, ursorum murmur,-the growling of bears ! Others, reflecting with singular sagacity on the condition of Germans, have deduced it from barrire, alluding to the cry of that northern animal, the elephant.*
Leaving it to others to settle the conflicting opinions, it becomes us to notice one thing, in particular, in which perhaps all agree: which is, that this beautiful word, like the British constitution, was "invented in the woods.” Nay, more, this agreeable, this ear-delighting expression had its origin in the honest adulation of the brute creation !
Now, reader, why should the story of Orpheus be thought incredible, which so many dying swans have sung; which Palæphatus has endeavoured to explain, and to which Cicero has 80 beautifully alluded in his oration for Archias? Orpheus was a poet, indeed, and when he sang, the wild beasts themselves gathered around him in the forests, and affectionately called him bard !
* See the profound notes to Erneste's Tacitus: “Quis talia legens temperet a risu!
Our author is sometimes strikingly facetious.--- Ed. † See Montesquieu, Spirit of Laws.
To return to the train of thought with which I commenced. The Indians, as well as the Germans, are said to have had their bards,-considerable bards, too; at least as respectable as our ancestors the Druids, notwithstanding the huge architecture which was piled by the latter upon Salisbury Plain. Upon the banks of a beautiful and romantic river, not unlike the Teleboas* of Xenophon, and which discharges its waters into the Pequod or Thames river, in Connecticut, there lived more than a century ago, an Indian poet, whose name was Ahauton. Tradition, which usually envelops the events of the past in the cloudy drapery of mystery, has handed down to us little besides obscure legends concerning him ; but from them we learn that he was esteemed among his countrymen as a youth of rare facetiousness, and of matchless valour. His name, it is said, is still kept alive among the smoking embers of Indian ruins, and the songs of Ahauton are the burden of a summer's day.
They tell us, amongst other pleasant tales, concerning him, that he was accustomed to hold nightly converse with the in the moon,” who taught him to express the sweet influence of that luminary upon an autumnal evening. Often was he seen seated upon the mountain's crags, or upon the verdant banks of his native rill, confabulating with the stars ;-and when the night was wasted, and the glories of the morning returned, he would wander through the mazy labyrinths of the wilderness, and seek out some sequestered spot beneath the tumbling waters of the cataract-or would pursue the bear through the lonely thicket, and the dangerous ravine.
The fame of Ahauton soon spread among the neighbouring tribes ; and his songs were rehearsed in the cabins of princes. The distant Aberginians left their beautiful bay,t to listen to his voice; and the stern sachems of the Wampanoags, for many years after his death, shed tears of affection at the grave of their poet!
The person of Ahauton is described to have been like his, whose praises the Syrian damselst sang, and whose death was celebrated by the Grecian bards : but, said the daughters of his nation, « Ahauton was more than beautiful : he was war
* «Μεγασμιν ου καλοσ δι'
The Syrian damsels to lament his fate,
PARDISE LOST, b. i. p. 20.
like. The oak of the plains could not vie with him in strength; and in gracefulness he surpassed the elm. His courage outdid the panther's ; and his activity was like that of the mountain roe! Danger but awakened his energies, and the noise of the battle was music to his ear! But when the conflict was over, and the war-song had died away, the smile of the young poet was like the rainbow after the shower ;-the fair ones of his nation sought to gaze upon it!"
From what I can gather from his verses, the heart of Ahauton was not unlike the Shepherds in Virgil, attuned to love; and whatever is remembered of his songs, is conformed to the structure of the Idylls of Greece. This is nothing surprising, since all accounts go to confirm us in the opinion, that the wastes of our hemisphere were originally peopled from Asia : and we have the authority of an erudite scholar* for the presumption, thatsthe Sanscrit, one of the polite languages of Asia, bears a near affinity to the idiom of the Greeks? With these premises, it does not need much logic to convince us, that the pastorals of our poet were borrowed from “ the Isles of the
It is singular, indeed, that any thing remains of his, through the vicissitudes of Indian history ; but, perhaps, not more so than the preservation of the poems of Homer: only one of his productions has fallen into my hands, in a written form ; this I have translated, in my own poor way, into the heroic rhyme of our vernacular tongue. I make no apology for presenting it to the reader, since, however humble my Ahauton may seem, compared with English poets, he can hardly sink below the Virgil of Doctor Trapp! “ Aliquando dormitat bonus Homerus," Quinctilian said, (after Horace,) neartwo thousand years ago ; and I am conscious that Ahauton nods sometimes : but I must entreat the reader, if he be disposed to respuate these verses, not to conclude, that ours was no poet, any more than that Virgil was a drowsy writer, because he slumbers in the version of the immortal Trapp!
I hope the student of the aboriginal languages of this country may hereafter be induced to present this distinguished bard, under more favourable auspices, to the public, gifted as he may be, with a better genius for poetry than I ever dreamed myself to possess, even in the most flattering visions of vanity.
Owing to my imperfect knowledge of the Mohegan dialect, the strictness of the original has not always been followed :