Entering at the street-door, a passage, usually sloping downward, conducts to the outer court ; the opening from the passage to this is not oppo site the gate of entrance, but by a side turn, to pre clude any view from the street into the court when the gate is opened. On entering the outer court through this passage, we find opposite to us the public room, in which the master receives and gives audience to his friends and clients. This is en tirely open in front, and being richly fitted up, has a splendid appearance when the first view of it is obtained. A refreshing coolness is sometimes given to this apartment by a. fountain throwing up a jet of water in trout of it. Some idea of the apart Men t may be formed from the annexed cut (No. 270).
The ground floor is in that case occupied by vari ous store-rooms and servants' offices. In all cases the upper floor, containing the principal rooms, is fronted by a gallery or terrace, protected from the sun by a sort of penthouse roof supported by pillars of wood.
In houses having but one court, the reception room is on the ground floor, and the domestic establishment in the upper part of the house. This arrangement is shown in the annexed en graving (No. 270, which is also interesting from This is the guest-chamber' of Luke xxii. t. A large portion of the other side of the court is occu pied with a frontage of lattice-work filled with coloured glass, belonging to a room as large as the g-uest-chamber, and which in winter is used for the same purpose, or serves as the apartment of any visitor of distinction, who cannot of course be ad mitted into the interior parts of the house. The other apartments in this outer court are compara tively small, and are used for the accommodation of visitors, retainers, and servants. These various apartments are usually upon what we should call the first floor, or at least upon an elevated terrace.
its shewing the use of the `pillars' so often men tioned in Scripture, particularly the pillars on which the house stood, and by which it was borne up' Undg. xvi. 29). Some other of the cuts which we introduce will exhibit pillars of similar import ance to the support of the house.
The kiosk, which has been mentioned above as fronting the street, over the gateway, is connected with one of the larger rooms already described, or forms a separate apartment, which is the summer parlour of Scripture. Here, in the heat of the atternoon, the master lounges or doses listlessly, refreshed by the air which circulates between the openings of the lattice-work ; and here he can, if he pleases, notice,onobsenred what passes in the street. In this we are to seek the summer parlour
in which awl smote the king of Moab (Judg. 2o), and the chamber on the wall,' which the Shunamite prepared for the prophet (2 Kings iv. Jo). The projecting construction over the recep tion chamber in No. 27r is, like the kiosk, towards the street of a summer parlour ; but there it belongs to the women's apartments, and looks into tbe court and not the street.
It is now time to proceed to the inner court, which we enter by a passage and door similar to those by which we entered from the street. This passage and door are usually at one of the inner most comers of the outer court. Here a much more extended prospect opens to us, the inner court being generally much larger than the former. The annexed cut (No. 272) will convey some no tion of it ; but being a Persian house, it somewhat ally occupied by the large sitting-room, with the differs from that which we have more particularly in view. It is lower, the principal apartments standing upon a terrace or bank of earth, and not upon a basement story of offices ; and it also wants the veranda or covered gallery in front, which we find in Syro-Arabian houses. The court is for the most part paved, excepting a por tion in the middle, which is planted with trees (usually two) and shrubs, with a basin of water in the midst. In our Arabian house the two trees were palm-trees, in which a number of wild doves built their nests. In the second cut (No. 269), shewing an ancient Egyptian house, we see the same arrangement ; two palm-trees growing in the court extend their tops above, and, as it were, out of the house—a curious effect frequently noticed in the towns of south-vvestem Asia. That the Jews had the like arrangement of trees in the courts of their houses, and that the birds nested in them, appears from Ps. lxxxiv. 2, 3 ; comp. Mic. iv. 4 ; Zech. iii. to, etc. They had also the basin of water in the inner court, or harem ; and among them it was used for bathing, as is shewn by David's dis covering Bathsheba bathing as he walked on the roof of his palace. The use of the reservoir has now been superseded by the establishment of public warm baths in every town and in private mansions. Cold bathing has all but ceased in western Asia.