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his domestics asked the traveller what he wanted. The traveller answered, that he was the friend of Kaïs, and needed his assistance. The domestic said to him, “I will not wake my master ; but here are seven thousand pieces of gold, which are all that we at present have in the house, Take also a camel from the stable, and a slave; these will, I think, be sufficient for you until you reach your own house.' When Kaïs awoke, he chid the domestic for not having given more.
“The third repaired to his friend Arabad of the tribe of As. Arabad was blind, and was coming out of his house, leaning on two slaves, to pray to God in the temple of Mecca. As soon as he heard his friend's voice, he said to him- I possess nothing but my two slaves; I beg that you will take and sell them; I will go to the temple, as well as I can, with my
stick.' “ The three disputants, having returned to the assembly, faithfully related what had happened. Many praises were bestowed on Abdallah son of Giafar, on Kaïs son of Saad, and on Arabad of the tribe of As: but the preference was given to Arabad."
The Arabs have several tales of this kind; but our western nations have none. Our romances are not in this taste. We have, indeed, several which turn upon trick alone, as those of Boccacio, Guzman d'Alfarache, Gil Blas, &c.
On Job, the Arab. It is clear that the Arabs at least possessed noble and exalted ideas. Those who are most conversant with the oriental languages, think that the book of Job, which is of the highest antiquity, was composed by an Arab of Idumæa. The most clear and indubitable proof is, that the Hebrew translator has left in his translation more than a hundred Arabic words, which, apparently, he did not understand.
Job, the hero of the piece, could not be a Hebrew ; for he says, in the forty-second chapter, that having been restored to his former circumstances, he divided his possessions equally among his sons and daughters, which is directly contrary to the Hebrew law.
It is most likely that, if this book had been composed after the period at which we place Moses, the author, who speaks of so many things, and is not sparing of examples, would have mentioned some one of the astonishing prodigies worked by Moses, which were, doubtless, known to all the nations of Asia.
In the very first chapter, Satan appears before God, and asks. permission to tempt Job. Satan was unknown in the Pentateuch; it was a Chaldean word;
a fresh proof that the Arabian author was in the neighbourhood of Chaldea.
It has been thought that he might be a Jew, because the Hebrew translator has put Jehovah instead of El, or Bel, or Sadai. But what man of the least information does not know that the word Jehovah was common to the Phoenicians, the Syrians, the Egyptians, and every people of the neighbouring countries?
A yet stronger proof-one to which there is no reply, is the knowledge of astronomy which appears in the book of Job. Mention is here made of the constellations which we call Arcturus, Orion, the Pleiades, and even of those of the chambers of the south."* Now, the Hebrews had no knowledge of the sphere; they had not even a term to express astronomy; but the Arabs, like the Chaldeans, have always been famed for their skill in this science,
It does, then, seem to be thoroughly proved, that the book of Job cannot have been written by a Jew, and that it was anterior to all the Jewish books. Philo and Josephus were too prudent to count it among those of the Hebrew canon. It is incontestably an Arabian parable or allegory.
This is not all: we derive from it some knowledge of the customs of the ancient world, and especially of Arabia. Here we read of trading with the Indies,t a commeree which the Arabs have in all ages carried on, but which the Jews never even heard of.
Here, too, we see that the art of writing was in great cultivation, and that they already made great books.
# Chap. xxxi.
It cannot be denied that the commentator Calmet, profound as he is, violates all the rules of logic in prétending that Job announces the immortality of the soul and the resurrection of the body, when he says.
“ For I know that my Redeemer liveth. And though after my skin--worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God. But ye should say, Why persecute we him ?--seeing the root of the matter is found in me. Be ye afraid of the sword: for wrath bringeth the punishment of the sword, that ye may know there is a judgment."
Can anything be understood by those words, other than his hope of being cured? The immortality of the soul, and the resurrection of the body at the last day, are truths so indubitably announced in the New Testament, and so clearly proved by the Fathers and the Councils, that there is no need to attribute the first knowledge of them to an Arab. These great mysteries are not explained in any passage of the Hebrew Pentateuch; how then can they be explained in a single verse of Job, and that in so obscure a manner ? Calmet has no better reason for seeing in the words of Job the immortality of the soul and the general resur. rection, than he would have for discovering a disgraceful disease in the malady with which he was afflicted. Neither physics nor logic take the part of this commentator.
As for this allegorical book of Job :-it being manifestly Arabian, we are at liberty to say that it has neither justness, method, nor precision. Yet it is perhaps the most ancient book that has been written, and the most valuable monument that has been found on this side the Euphrates.
ARARAT. A MOUNTAIN of Armenia, on which the Ark rested. The question has long been agitated, whether the Deluge was universal, whether it inundated the whole earth without exception, or only the portion of
* Chap. xix. V. 25, &c.
the earth which was then known. Those who have thought that it extended only to the tribes then existing, have founded their opinion on the inutility of flooding unpeopled lands, which reason seems very plausible. As for us, we abide by the Scripture text, without pretending to explain it. But we shall take greater liberty with Berosus, an ancient Chaldean writer, of whom there are fragments preserved by Abydenus, quoted by Eusebius, and repeated word for word by George Syncellus. From these fragments we find, that the Orientals of the borders of the Euxine, in ancient times, made Armenia the abode of their Gods. In this they were imitated by the Greeks, who placed their deities on Mount Olympus. Men have always confounded human with divine things. Princes built their citadels upon mountains; therefore they were also made the dwelling-place of the Gods, and became sacred. The summit of Mount Ararat is concealed by mists; therefore the Gods hid themselves in those mists, sometimes vouchsafing to appear to mortals in fine weather.
A God of that country, believed to have been Saturn, appeared one day to Xixuter, tenth king of Chaldea, -according to the computation of Africanus, Abydenus, and Apollodorus, and said to him
« On the fifteenth day of the month Oësi, mankind shall be destroyed by a deluge. Shut up close all your i writings in Sipara, the city of the sun, that the memory
of things may not be lost. Build a vessel; enter it
birds and beasts; stock it with provisions: and, when you are asked, Whither are you going in that vessel?' answer, “To the Gods, to beg their favour for mankind.'”
Xixuter built his vessel, which was two stadii wide and five long; that is, its width was two hundred and fifty geometrical paces, and its length six hundred and twenty-five. This ship, which was to go upon the Black Sea, was a slow sailer. The flood came. When it had ceased, Xixuter let some of his birds fly out; but, finding nothing to eat, they returned to the vessel. A few days afterwards, he again set some of his birds at liberty, and they returned with mud in their claws. At last they went, and returned no more. Xixuter did likewise: he quitted his ship, which had perched upon a mountain of Armenia, and he was seen no more: the Gods took him away.
There is probably something historic in this fable. The Euxine overflowed its banks, and inundated some portions of territory; and the King of Chaldea hastened to repair the damage. We have in Rabelais tales no less ridiculous, founded on some small portion of truth: The ancient historians are, for the most part, serious Rabelais.
As for Mount Ararat, it has been asserted that it was one of the mountains of Phrygia, and that it was called by a name answering that of ark, because it was enclosed by three rivers.
There are thirty opinions respecting this mountain. How shall we distinguish the true one? That which the monks now call Ararat, was, they say, one of the limits of the terrestrial paradise,-a paradise of which we find but few traces. It is a collection of rocks and precipices, covered with eternal snows. Tournefort went thither by order of Louis XIV. to seek for plants. He says that the whole neighbourhood is horrible, and the mountain itself still more so; that he found snow four feet thick, and quite crystallized; and that there are, perpendicular precipices on every side. .
The Dutch traveller, John Struys, pretends that he went thither also. He tells us that he ascended to the very top, to cure a hermit afficted with a rupture. “ His hermitage,” says he, was so distant from the earth, that we did not reach it until the close of the seventh day, though each day we went five leagues.” If, in this journey, he was constantly ascending, this Mount Ararat must be thirty-five leagues high. In the time of the Giants' war, a few Ararats piled one upon another would have made the ascent to the moon quite easy. John Struys moreover assures us, that the hermit whom he cured presented him with a cross made of the wood of Noah's ark. Tournefort had not this advantage.