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It is evident at once, that the last line must be corrupted, although it makes tolerable good sense ; for every one who studies the Greek Tragedies, well knows that the third foot of the paremiac must be an anapest. The following is the beautiful emendation of the illustrious Porson.
σκέψη βέλος ηλιθιώσαν. , We shall still more admire this correction, if we attend to the following considerations. In the first place, onas âr requires the subjunctive mood after it rather than the optative. In the second place, the first aorist participle of the verb nnobiow gives more force and vigor to the sentence, than the mere adjective wiosos. In the third place, Porson's verse has precisely the same number of letters as the verse in the Edd. When we take all these circumstances together, we may consider it as highly probable, that Porson hath restored the identical words of the Athenian Poet.
II. A. MATHEW.
ON THE LANGUAGE OF ACTION.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CLASSICAL JOURNAL. I.
you approve the following additional remarks on the Language of Action, on which subject I have, in a former No., supplied you with an article, they are at your service. Hatton, Oct. 24. 1812.
E. H. BARKER.
J. CASAUBON says in his Exercitationes ad Cardinales Baronii Annales p. 608. “ Observat Nicolaus Cabasilas in expositione Liturgia fuisse veteribus in more positum, ut sensa animi non verbis solum, sed etiam factis declararent ; qua de re et Plutarchus alicubi disserit, et nos in Commentariis Polybiani, multis exemplis hunc morem ex historia Græca et Latina illustramus, quæ nunc omittin.us : illustre exemplum Act. xxi. 2. in Agabo pedes ac manus sibi vinciente : quemadmodum autem communis hic mos fuit olim omnibus genti. bus; sic facta, quæ adjiciebantur ad verba, erant sæpe communia: quare Pilatus morem lavandi ad declarandam suam innocentiam, non magis sumsit a Judæis, quam formulam, qua utitur, cum protestatur de sua innocentia, Innocens ego sum a sanguine justi hujus, sumsit ex historia Susannæ, ubi non dissimilem usurpat Daniel, Mundus ego sum a sanguine hujus, in Historiâ Susannæ v. 46."
A very remarkable instance of this Language of Action occurs in the Travels of Denon (vol. 11. p. 115.): I shall cite the whole passage, as it is very interesting, and describes feelings honorable to human nature: “ Whilst I was looking at our people, whose necessities were as ingenious in bringing to light, as the care of the natives had been te
conceal, a soldier comes out of a cave, dragging after him a she-goat, which he had forced out; he is followed by an old man, carrying two young infants, who sets them down on the ground, falls on his knees, and without speaking a word, points, with tears in his eyes, to the young children, who must perish if the goat is taken away from them: but want, which is deaf, and blind to others' distress, does not stay his murderous hand for any intreaty, and the goat is killed: at the same moment, another soldier comes up, holding in his arms another child, whose mother doubtless had been obliged to desert it in her fight from us; this brave fellow, notwithstanding the weight of his subject, his cartridges, his knapsack, and the fatigue of 4 days of forced marches, had picked up this little forsaken creature, had carried it carefully for 2 leagues in his arms, and, not knowing what to do with it in this deserted
village, seeing one inhabitant left behind, with two children, he gtntly lays down his little charge beside them, and departs with the delightful expression of one, who has performed a benevolent action,”
This eloquent and accomplished Traveller says, in the 212th page of his 1st volume: “On our taking possession of Rosetta, at an entertainment, which was given, a young Greek came up to me, kissed my shoulder, and with his finger on his lips, without uttering a single syllable, slipped privately into my hand a nosegay, which he had brought me: this simple demonstration completely unfolded all his sensations, and was expressive of his political situation, his fears, and his hopes."
The curious reader will find many very striking instances of the language of action, which are all selected from the bible, in Dr. Har. wood's
Introduction to the Study and Knowledge of the New Testament. In the explanation of the Scriptures too little attention bas been paid by commentators to circumstances of this kind.
Account of the Extraordinary Sect called Yezidis; from the
Italian of Father Garzoni, who resided eighteen years in Kurdistan as a Missionary. This account was originally published by the Abbate Domenico Sestini, at Berlin in the year 1807, among a collection of Italian Works, entitled, “Viaggi e opusculi diversi &c."
Of the various Sects which have appeared in Mesopotamia since the death of Mohammed, none are held in such abhorrence by all true Mussulmans as the Yezidis; who derive their name from Sheikh Yezid, the declared enemy of Ali's race. The Yezidis' religious doctrine is a mixture of the ancient Persian faith, of Manicheism and of Mussulmanism, and is preserved traditionally, for they are neither permitted to read nor write. As they are thus without books, it is difficult to obtain any further information concerning this extraordinary people than what may be collected from observations made actually among them, whence it is evident that their first object is to secure the devil as a friend, and in honor or defence of him they are ready and willing to draw the sword. They not only refrain from ever uttering his name, but even use circumlocution to avoid any word which may resemble it in sound. Before these Sectaries it is extremely dangerous for a stranger to pronounce the devil's name, especially to curse him as the Turks frequently do when any of the Yezidis visit a town belonging to those true believers. Such an affront would probably endanger the imprudent foreigner's life. It has often happened that a Yezidi, condemned by the Turkish laws to suffer death for some offence, has submitted to his sentence rather than curse the devil, although by such an exécration he might have obtained his pardon.
If the Yezidis wish to designate the devil, Sheikh Mazen or Great Sheikh, is the expression which they use. All the prophets and saints revered by Christians are honored by them also ; and they are of opinion that those holy personages whilst living on earth were distinguished from other mortals, in proportion as the devil resided within them, more or less—and that above all, Moses, Jesus Christ, and Mohammed were in this respect the most highly favored ;-they believe that God ordains, but intrusts the execution of his commands to Satan.
Every morning, on the sun's first appearance, they retire as much as possible, from the sight of man, and kneeling, with their foreheads on the ground, they offer adoration to that luminary. They neither fast nor pray, but are persuaded that Sheikh Yezid has sufficiently atoned for all his Sect's omission of these duties till the end of the world. Without fastings, prayers, or sacrifices, they are likewise without religious festivals. Yet on the tenth day of the moon in August, they assemble near the tomb of Sheikh Adi, and for some days before and after this, the small caravans in the plains of Mousul and Kurdistan are liable to attacks from the Yezidis, who flock to this meeting, as pilgrims, from distant places. It is said that great numbers of their women also, from the neighbouring villages, attend cn this occasion, and that at night, having freely indulged in eating and drinking, they extinguish all the lights and observe a profound silence until the dawn of day, when every one retires. This assemblage of men and women, with the darkness, the silence, and other circumstances, have given room for scandalous suspicions. Unmarried females are not admitted to this love feast.
Every kind of food is allowed among the Yezidis, except lettuces, and gourds or pompions; their bread is always made of barley; in swearing they use the same forms as Turks, Jews or Christians ; but their strongest oath is, “ by the Standard of Yezid” that is, “ by their Religion."
They entertain great respect for the Christian Monasteries situated in their neighbourhood : before they enter one of these edifices they - take off their shoes or slippers, and proceed barefooted, kissing the doors and walls, in hopes that by such an act of devotion they may obtain favor of the patron saint. If during any illness they dream of a particular monastery, they hasten, when recovered, to carry thither offerings of incense, honey, wax, or other things: they do not hesitate to kiss the hands of a Christian patriarch or bishop, but they abstain from entering the Turkish Mosques.
The tomb of Sheikh Adi, which we have above mentioned, is situated in the jurisdiction of the Prince of Amadia, in Kurdistan. The Sheikh who guards this tomb is regarded as head of the Yezidi religion, and must be a descendant of Sheikh Yezid. In such veneration is he held, that he who can procure an old shirt of this spiri. tual chief to serve as a winding sheet, considers himself most fortunate, as by the possession of this treasure he insures to his soul an advantageous situation in the other world. For such a precious relic, in its entire state, some have given forty piastres, but many are obliged to content themselves with small fragments of it. The Sheikh sometimes condescends to bestow one of his shirts as a present, and to indemnify him for his kindness, the Yezidis secretly transmit to him a portion of their spoil taken in pillage.
The chief is always attended by a Kochek (petty Sheikh or laybrother): this personage is considered as an oracle, since he is favored with revelations immediately from the devil, and nothing is transacted without his approbation. If a Yezidi is embarrassed about any business of importance, he consults the Kochek, but must pay a little money for the good'man's advice. This holy personage, before he delivers his opinion, extends himself at full length on the ground and appears to fall asleep; he then proclaims whatever had been revealed in his dream ; sometimes he delays his answer for two or three nights. The following anecdote contains a proof of the influence which he possesses. "Till about forty years ago, the Yezidi women (like the Arabian), being very economical in respect to soap, wore shifts dyed blue with indigo. One morning, most unexpectedly, the Kochek waited on his chief, and declared a revelation of the preceding night, by which he learned that blue was an inauspicious color and displeasing to the devil. An order was instantly dispatched to all the tribes, proscribing blue shifts or blue garments of any kind, and directing that white should be immediately substituted; the order was implicitly obeyed, and at this day if a Yezidi, lodging in the house of a Christian or a Turk, were to find on his bed a blue counterpane or quilt, he would rather endure the severest cold all night, than sleep beneath a covering of that prohibited color.
The Yezidis must not clip their whiskers"; they are commanded to let them grow to their fullest natural extent. So that of several men amongst them, the mouths can scarcely be discovered.
Some few of this sect are known about Aleppo by the appellation of fakiran (poor men) or Karabash (black heads). They wear a black cap and cloak, but their under-dress is white; wherever they go, the people kiss their hands, and consider their visit as a presage of good fortune ; they are requested to lay their hands on the neck and shoulders of sick persons, and are well rewarded for their trouble. They insure to one, who has lately died, a state of happiness in the other VOL. VAI: NO. XIII,
world, by slightly touching the neck and shoulders of the naked corpse, which must be placed upright on its feet. They then strike it with the palm of the right hand, pronouncing at the same time these words in the Kurd dialect; “ Ara behesht,” “Go thou to Paradise.” For the performance of this ceremony their remuneration is considerable.
The Yezidis believe in a future state of repose and felicity, proportionate to the merits of their deceased friends, and they imagine that souls or spirits sometimes appear in dreams to parents or others, and that on the day of judgment they are to enter paradise with arms in their hands.
Some of the Yezidi tribes dwell in the prince of Gioulemerk's territory, others in the prince of Jezireh's land. Some reside in hills belonging to the government of Diarbekre, and others live under the prince of Amadia. The most powerful tribe of this sect inhabits the mountain of Sinjar, between Mousul and the river Khaboor. This mountain abounds in various kinds of fruits, and is extremely difficult of access. The Yezidis, who occupy it, can send into the field six thousand fuzileers besides cavalry, armed with lances; they frequently plunder the rich caravans, and have had many engagements with troops sent against them by the Pashas of Mousul and of Bagdad, These mountain Yezidis are universally dreaded, for they are not content with pillaging ; they kill all those who fall into their hands. Sherifs, descendants of Mohammed, and Mussulman doctors, they torture to death in the most cruel manner, esteeming this barbarity highly meritorious.
The princes of Kurdistan encourage the Yezidis, whom they find to be excellent soldiers both as infantry and cavalry, and particularly useful in nocturnal attacks, and plundering of villages. The Mussulmans believe that any man, who perishes by the hand of a Yezidi
, dies a martyr; and the prince of Amadia has one of this sect constantly with him as executioner of those Turks whom he condemns to death. The Yezidis entertain the same opinion respecting the Turks; and in killing one of these, they perform an act very pleasing to their Great Sheikh, the devil. An executioner, whose hands have been sanctified by the blood of many Turks, is received with veneration wherever he goes among the Yezidis.
Persians, and all Mussulmans attached to the sect of Ali, hold the Yezidis in abhorrence, and do not suffer them to live within their territories. The Turks are permitted to keep for their own use as slaves, or to sell, the women and children whom they take in war from the Yezidis
. But these sectaries not having the same privilege put to death all whom they take from the Turks.
If a Yezidi wishes to adopt the Turkish faith, he is only required to curse the devil, and at his leisure to instruct himself in the forms of prayer,
The Kurd language is used by all Yezidis, and some of them speak a little Turkish and Arabic.
There are, no doubt, among these extraordinary tribes, other customs and superstitions; but as they have not any written laws nor records, it is extremely difficult to obtain much information on those subjects. Many circumstances, also, change from time to time, according to the pretended revelations of their Kocheks, which throw an additional impediment in the way of an inquisitive stranger.