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chamber, which serves for a kitchen, dining-room, and bed-chamber; besides one corner of it, which is reserved for their foals, calyes, and kids. As these hovels are al ways fixed and immoveable, they are undoubtedly what the ancients called magalia ; and therefore, Carthage itself, before the time of Dido, was nothing more than a cluster of mud-built hovels :C
“ Miratur molem Æneas, magalia quondam.” Æn. lib. i, 1. 425. The houses of the lower orders in Egypt are in liķe man. ner constructed of unburnt bricks, or square pices of clay, baked in the sun, and only one story high; but those of the higher classes, of stone, and generally two, and some times three stories high. These facts are at once a short and lively comment on the words of the prophet: “ AŲ the people shall know, even Ephraim, and the inhabitants of Samaria, that say, in the pride and stoutness of heart, The bricks are fallen down, but we will build with hewn stone; the sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars."d Bricks dried in the sun, are poor
© Dr. Shaw's Tray. vol. i, p. 400.-The houses of the lower classes in Persia are built of the same materials. Malcom's Hist. vol. ii, p. 525. The houses of Bassorah are built partly of sun-dried and partly of burnt bricks. Kinneir's Geographical Memoir of the Persian Empire, p. 289.-
The villages of modern Egypt still consist of mud and straw-built þuts, with white pigeon-houses on the top. Richardson's Trav. vol. ii, p. 141.
Isa. ix, 9, 10.-Richardson informs us that “the brick pyramid in Egypt is much fallen down on the north side, and looks as if the roof of one cham. ber had given way, and the walls fallen in : the bricks are sun-dried and remarkably fresh ; they have been made of mud and cut straw, in the same manner that bricks are made in Egypt in the present day” (Trav. vol. ii, p. 146); and it may be added, in the days of that Pharaoh who made the lives of enslaved and proscribed Israel.“ bitter with hard bondage, in mortar, and in brick, and in all manner of service in the field.” Exod. i, 11-14. The ruins of On, or Heliopolis, consist chiefly of houses of unburnt brick, of the same description with the ruins in Upper Egypt. Such, it is most probable, were the treasure cities which the people of Israel built for Pharach. P. 164.
materials for building, compared with hewn stone, which in Egypt, is almost equal to marble; and forms a strong contrast between the splendid palace, and mud-walled cabin. And if, as is probable, the houses of the higher orders in Israel were built with the same species of costly and beautiful stone, the contrast stated by the prophet, places the vaunting of his wealthier countrymen in a very strong light. The boastful extravagance of that people, is still further displayed by the next figure : “ The sycamores are cut down, but we will change them into cedars;" the forests of sycamore, the wood of which we have been accustomed to employ in building, are cut down by the enemy, but instead of them we will import cedars, of whose fragrant and beautiful wood we will construct and adorn our habitations. The sycamore grew in abundance, in the low country of Judea, and was not much esteemed ; but the cedar was highly valued; it was brought at a great expense, and with much labour, from the distant and rugged summits of Lebanon, to beautify the dwellings of the great, the palaces of kings, and the temple of Jehovah. It was therefore, an extravagant boast, which betrayed the pride and vanity of their depraved hearts, that all the warnings, threatenings, and judgments of the living God, were insufficient to subdue or
restrain. · In Judea, and some of the neighbouring countries, where rain often falls in winter in very copious and violent showers, instead of earth and straw, they make use of wood in constructing the walls of their dwellings. In this manner was the wall originally built, which enclosed the court of the temple at Jerusalem ; and it was re-constructed of the same materials, wood and stone, when the Jews returned from their long and painful captivity, by
the direction of the Persian monarch. It is evident that the walls of their fortified cities were partly constructed of combustible materials; for the prophet, denouncing the judgments of God upon Syria and other countries, declares; “ I will send a fire on the wall of Gaza, which shall devour the palaces thereof."e The walls of Tyre and Rabbah seem to have been of the same perishable materials ; for the prophet adds: “ I will send a fire on the wall of Tyrus, which shall devour the palaces thereof;" and again; 56 I will kindle a fire in the walls of Rabbah, and it shall devour the palaces thereof with shouting in the day of battle." The more durable materials of wood and stone, were preferred by the inhabitants of Canaan from the earliest times ; for Moses, in the law concerning the leprous house, proceeds on the supposition that their houses were built of these : “ Then the priest shall command that they take away the stones in which the plague is.”g. The greater durableness and beauty of such edifices have not, however, prevailed on the lower orders in the east to abandon their mud-walled habitations, even in those places where stone may be procured in abundance. · At Damas: cus, for example, they continue to build with mud and slime, though they have plenty of stones near the city. In the time of Job, and probably for a long succession of ages, the houses of all ranks in the land of Uz were built of mud; for he charges the adulterer with digging through the walls of his neighbour's house, with the view of gratifying his vile propensities : “ In the dark,” said the sorrowful and indignant patriarch, “they dig through houses which they had marked for themselves in the day time: e Amos i, 7. f Verses 10, 14.
Lev. xiv, 40. h Maundrell's Journey, p. 124.
they know not the light."i These walls of dried clay, when moistened with copious showers, must have been liable to accidents of this kind ; and as the walls of eastern houses are made very thick, in order to shelter the inhabi. tants more effectually from the oppressive heats, the term digging, as applied to them, is peculiarly expressive.
The short duration of mud-walled buildings is not the only objection to the use of unburnt brick ; for in windy weather, the streets are incommoded with dust, and with mire in time of rain. At Damascus, when a violent rain happens to fall, the whole city, by the washing of the houses, becomes as it were a quagmire. So great is the quantity of dust and mire which sometimes accumulates in the streets of an eastern city, that the prophet Zechariah borrows a figure from it, of great force and significancy in the ear of an oriental, to denote the immense riches of Tyre: “ Tyrus did build herself a strong hold, and heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets." ! The beauty of the figure is lost if we attempt to judge of it by the state of an occidental city in modern times ; but it will not be easy to conceive one more strikingly appropriate, if the streets of an eastern city, choaked with mire, or suffocated with dust, are considered. Dr. Shaw directs the attention of his readers to the same circumstance, the dissolution of oriental buildings upon a shower, and supposes it may illustrate what Ezekiel observes respecting untempered mortar." When that traveller was at Tozer, in the month of December, they had a small drizzling shower, which conti
When there observer, and
i Job xxiv, 16. j Egmont and Hayman, vol. i, p. 300.
Maundrell's Journey, p. 124, 125.
m Ezek. xiii, 11.
nued for the space of two hours ; and so little provision was made against accidents of this kind, that several of the houses, which, as usual, were built only with palm branches, mud and tiles baked in the sun, fell down by imbibing the moisture of the shower. Nay, provided the drops had been either larger, or the shower of a longer continuande, he was persuaded the whole city would have dissolved and dropt to pieces." In his opinion, the phrase “ untempered mortar” refers to the square pieces of clay of which the wall is constructed; but on fooking at the text, it is evident that it refers to the plaster which is used in the east for covering the walls after they are built. The words of the prophet are: “ And one built up a wall, and, lo, others daubed it with untempered mortar ---Lo, when the wall is fallen, shall it not be said unto you, Where is the daubing wherewith ye have daubed it ? The view which Chardin gives of this text is, therefore, to be preferred. According to that intelligent traveller, the mud walls fall down in consequence of the rain dissolving the plaster, This plaster hinders the water from penetrating the bricks; but when it has been soaked with wet, the wind cracks it, by which means the rain, in some succeeding shower, gets between and dissolves the whole mass. To this external coating of plaster, the prophet certainly refers, and not to the bricks, of which the wall is constructed; for these, however tempered, never can be supposed to resist the action of violent rains. The ruinous effect of stormy winds and heavy rains upon such frail structures, is well described in the thirteenth verse, and exactly corresponds with the accounts of modern travellers: “ Therefore, thus saith the Lord God, I will even rend it with a stormy
* Shaw's Trav. vol. i, p. 250. Harmer's Observ. vol. I, p. 287.