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according to the number of people who live in them ; and are accordingly supported, some with one pillar, others with two or three, whilst a curtain, or carpet, let down upon occasion from each of these divisions, turns the whole into so many separate apartments." Thus we read of Jacob's tent, Leah's tent, &c.

The following is a description of Bedouin tents—such as are common among the middle classes, as we may call them: "It is usual to have nine poles or posts,—three in the middle, and an equal number on each side of the tent. The tent is divided into two parts, the men's apartment, and the women's; these apartments are separated by a white woollen carpet of Damascus manufacture, (sometimes...interwoven with patterns of flowers); this partition is drawn across the tent, and fastened to the three middle posts. In the men's apartment the ground is generally covered with a good Persian or Bagdad carpet; ...the women's apartment is the receptacle for the cooking utensils, the butter and water-skins, &c.

"These tents are kept firm and steady by bracing, or stretching down their eaves with cords, tied to hooked wooden pins, well pointed, which they drive into the ground with a mallet; one of these pins answering to the nail, as the mallet does to the hammer, which Jael used in fastening to the ground the temples of Sisera.* The pillars which I have mentioned, are straight poles, eight or ten feet high, and three or four inches in thickness; serving, not only to support the tent itself, but, being full of hooks fixed there for the purpose, the Arabs hang upon them their clothes, baskets, saddles, and accoutrements of war."

It has already been observed, that the fittings up of some of these dwellings are very handsome. Mr. Morier describes the tent of a chief among the Eelauts, as composed of a wooden frame of circular laths, which was fixed on the ground, and then covered over with


* Lord Lindsay observes, "I never drive in a tent-pin without thinking of Jael and Sisera."

large felts, that were fastened down by a cord, ornamented by tassels of various colours. A curtain, curiously worked by the women with coarse needlework of various colours, was suspended over the door."

Mr. Ainsworth writes of a tent prepared for his use by a powerful eastern chief. "It was circular, and very capacious, being divided into two parts, the outer canvass walls at a distance of about four feet from the inner; and a circular gallery thus left... The central space, besides its canvass walls, was lined with a pretty pattern of red print; on the floor were carpets, and in front a double row of cushions, with variegated yellow and red silks, on which flowers of gold were exquisitely wrought."

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A late King of Persia caused a tent to be made, that cost £150,000. It was called the "House of Gold," because there was nothing but gold that glistened in every part of it. Mr. Harmer gives an instance of a superb tent covered on the outside with scarlet cloth, and lined with violet-coloured satin, ornamented with animals and flowers, formed of precious stones and pearls.

The carpets are the work of the women. Even for the common Arab tents the women weave goats'

hair into carpets and cloth, and curtains. It may easily be supposed, that dwellings so frail are very subject to accident. Burckhardt relates, that on one occasion, when encamped near Mount Seir, a gust of wind threw down all the tents at the same moment. Mr. Buckingham thus details the effects of a storm upon a large encampment on the east of Jordan. About midnight came on "a dreadful tempest, which gathered up in pitchy darkness, and descended in a torrent of thunder, lightning, and rain. The tents were thus beaten down, and the affrighted flocks and herds flying to them for shelter, increased the general confusion; while, amid the awful darkness which succeeded to the lightning's glare, and the deluge of rain that swept everything before it, the mingled cries of terror uttered by the women, the children, and the cattle, added only to the horror of the scene. We continued in this situation until the day broke upon us, and displayed a perfect wreck, as not a tent throughout the whole encampment was left standing; and many of the young infants, as well as the tender kids and lambs which had been exposed to the storm without shelter, were dead and dying round us; in short, the devastation was more marked and more extensive, than I should have thought it possible for such a storm to have occasioned on shore."

The readiness, too, with which these habitations are removed from place to place, has furnished the sacred writers with a beautiful emblem of the shortness and uncertainty of life. Thus, Hezekiah, when stricken with dangerous sickness, complains that his age is removed, like a shepherd's tent.* "There is something very me

* In the well-watered parts of the country between the Euphrates and the Tigris, there are still several tribes who support themselves by their horses, their buffaloes, their cows, and by agriculture. They remove their habitations from country to country, according as they want lands to till, or pasturage; it is for this reason we sometimes find whole villages, where, the day before, there was not a single hut.

lancholy," writes Lord Lindsay, "in our morning flittings. The tent-pins are plucked up, and in a few minutes a dozen holes, a heap or two of ashes, and the marks of the camels' knees in the sand, soon to be obliterated, are the only traces left of what has been for a while our home."

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A recent traveller observes :-" Now we were taught the meaning of dwelling in tents with Isaac and Jacob.' Such a life is one of constant dependance and faith. In the morning, when the tent is struck, the traveller never knows where he is to pitch it at noon or evening; whether it is to be beside the palm and springs of water, or in solitude and sand."

How beautifully does St. Paul contrast with this

uncertain changing state, the immortality for which he longed! “We know, that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God; a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens !"

There are, indeed, "a thousand allusions to this primitive mansion in Scripture, almost unintelligible, till familiarity with the tent and the desert explains them." The prophet Isaiah, declaring the power and majesty of Jehovah, represents him as spreading out the heavens like one vast tent to dwell in, and to fill with his glory; and again, when predicting the future blessedness and security of Jerusalem, and typically of the Church of God, he employs this beautiful language: "Thine eyes shall see Jerusalem a quiet habitation—a tabernacle that shall not be taken down; not one of the stakes thereof shall ever be removed, neither shall any of the cords thereof be broken;" while the wonderful increase of the Church in the latter days is also foretold by him in these striking words :-"Enlarge the place of thy tent, and stretch forth the curtains of thy habitation; spare not, lengthen thy cords and strengthen thy stakes; for thou shalt break forth on the right hand and on the left."-See BUCKINGHAM's Travels among the Arab Tribes, pp. 8, 52, 88; HARTLEY'S Researches in Greece, p. 245; BURCKHARDT's Notes on the Bedouins and Wahabys, vol. i. pp. 37-43; SHAW's Barbary, vol. i. pp. 398, 399; MORIER's Second Journey through Persia, &c. p. 251; AINSWORTH's Asia Minor, &c. vol. i. pp. 311, 312 CALMET'S Dictionary: Fragments, No. clxxxvii. ; HARMER'S Observations on the Song of Solomon; LORD LINDSAY'S Travels, vol. i. p. 305; Narrative of a Mission of Enquiry to the Jews, p. 88.

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