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public street or market, where they temporarily erected their scales, and where the law compelled them to adjust the sale of each commodity with the strictest regard to justice, without favouring either the buyer or seller. All things sold by weight were submitted to this test, and the value of the money paid for .them was settled by the same unquestionable criterion.
A scribe or notary marked down the amount of the weight, whatever the commodity might be; and this document, being given or shown to the parties, completely sanctioned the bargain, and served as a pledge that justice had been done them.
The same custom is still retained by the modern Egyptians, the scales of the public kabbánch in the large towns being a criterion to which no one can object; and the weight of meat, vegetables, honey, butter, cheese, wood, charcoal, and other objects, having been ascertained, is returned in writing on the application of the parties.
The notaries were merely public writers, like the modern katebs of Egypt, or the scrivani of Italy, who for a small trifle compose and pen a petition to government, settle accounts, and write letters, or other documents not requiring the priest or the lawyer, for those who are untaught, or too idle to do so for themselves. These persons, however, must not be confounded with the "royal" or "priestly scribes "—men of high rank, of the military or sacerdotal class; and they were only on a par with the shopkeepers and master tradesmen, most of whom learnt to write; while the working men were contented to occupy their time in acquiring a knowledge of the art to which they were brought up.
Certain persons were also employed in the towns of Egypt, as at the present day in Cairo and other places, to pound various substances in large stone mortars; and salt, seeds, and other things were taken in the same manner by a servant to these shops, whenever it was inconvenient to have it done in the house. The pestles they used, as well as the mortars themselves, were precisely similar to those of the modern Egyptians; and their mode of pounding was the same; two men alternately raising ponderous metal pestles with both hands, and directing their falling
Pounding various substances in stone mortars, with metal pestles.
dd, pestles. Figs. 1 and 2, alternately raising and letting fall the pestles into Figs. 3 and 4, sifting the substance after it is pounded; the coarser parts, h, being returned into the mortar to be again pounded.
point to the centre of the mortar, which is now generally made of a large piece of granite, or other hard stone, scooped out into a long narrow tube, to little more than half its depth. When the substance was well pounded, it was taken out, and passed through a sieve, and the larger particles were again returned to the mortar, until it was sufficiently and equally levigated; and this, and the whole process here represented, so strongly resemble the occupation of the public pounders at Cairo, that no one, who has been in the habit of walking in the streets of that town, can fail to recognise the custom, or doubt of its having been handed down from the early Egyptians, and retained without alteration to the present day.
The occupation of the cooper was comparatively limited in Egypt, where water and other liquids were carried, or kept, in skins and earthenware jars; and wooden barrels were little suited to its arid climate. Barrels were not, therefore, in common use there; and the skill of the cooper was only required to make wooden measures for grain, which were bound with hoops either of wood or metal, and resembled in principle those used by the modern Egyptians for the same purpose; though in form some approached nearer to the small barrels, or kegs, of modern Europe.
THE FIFTH CLASS PASTORS, POULTERERS, SHOPS, FOWLERS, FISHERMEN, LABOURERS, BRICKMAKERS, AND COMMON PEOPLE-JEWS-PEOPLE GIVING AN ACCOUNT OF THEIR MODE OF LIVING-LAWS-JUDGES CRIMES AND PUNISHMENTS THIEVES DEBTORS -SALES AND DEEDS MARRIAGESPARENTS-LAWGIVERS-PROVINCES AND GOVERNORS -REVENUES-GOLD MENSURATION - THREE SEASONS INTERCALATION -SOTHIC YEARLAND MEASURES CUBIT WEIGHTS AND MEASURES.
THE fifth class was composed of pastors, poulterers, fowlers, fishermen, labourers, brickmakers, and common people. The pastors were divided into oxherds, shepherds, goatherds, and swineherds; but even among them a gradation of rank was observed; and those who tended the herds and flocks while grazing were inferior in position to the managers of stock in the farmyard, who prepared provender for them when the Nile covered the lands. Those too who understood the veterinary art and took care of the sick cattle were men of skill and intelligence, who held a higher post among the pastors. But they were all looked upon by the Egyptian aristocracy as people who followed a disgraceful employment; and it is therefore not surprising that Pharaoh should have treated the Israelites with that contempt which it was usual for the Egyptians to feel towards "shepherds ;" or that Joseph should have warned his brethren on their arrival, of this aversion of the Egyptians, and of their considering every shepherd an abomination. And from his recommending them to request they might dwell in the land of Goshen, we may conclude it was with a view to avoid as much as possible those who
were not shepherds like themselves, or to obtain a settlement in the land peculiarly adapted for pasture. It is also probable that much of Pharaoh's cattle was kept there, since the monarch gave orders that if any of those strangers were remarkable for skill in the management of herds, they should be selected to overlook his own cattle, after they were settled in the land of Goshen. This part of the country received at a later time the name of Bucolia; and the northern part of the Delta, with the lands lying to the east of the Damietta branch of the Nile, are still preferred for grazing cattle.
The hatred borne against shepherds by the Egyptians was not owing solely to their contempt for that occupation; this feeling originated in another and a far more powerful cause-the occupation of their country by a pastor race, who had committed great cruelties during their possession of the country. And as if to prove how much they despised every order of pastors, the artists, both of Upper and Lower Egypt, delighted on all occasions in caricaturing their appearance.
The swineherds were the most ignoble, and of all the Egyptians the only persons who are said not to have been permitted to enter a temple; and even if this statement is exaggerated, it tends to show with what contempt they were looked upon by the individuals from whom Herodotus received his information, and how far they ranked beneath any others of the whole order of pastors. Indeed (as I have before stated) the same is still the case in India, where the swineherds are the very lowest class, and are so despised that no others will associate with them.
The skill of these people in rearing animals of different kinds was the result, says Diodorus, of the experience they had inherited from their parents, and subsequently increased by their own observation; and the spirit of emulation, which is natural to all men, constantly adding to their stock of knowledge, they introduced many improvements unknown to other people. Their sheep were twice shorn, and twice brought forth lambs in the course of one year; and though the climate was the chief cause of these phenomena, the skill and attention of the shepherd were also necessary; nor, if the animals were neglected, would un
aided nature alone suffice for their continuance.