The arrangement of the inner court is very simi lar to that of the outer; but the whole is more open and airy. The buildings usually occupy two sides of the square, of which the one opposite the entmnce contains the principal apartments. They are upon what we should call the first floor, and open into a wide gallery or vemndah, which in good houses is nine or ten feet deep, and covered by a wooden penthouse suppprted by a row of wooden columns. This terrace, or gallery, is fur nished with a strong wooden balustrade, and is usually paved vvith squared stones, or else floored with boards. In the centre of the principal front is the usual open drawing-room, on which the best art of the Eastern decorator is expended (No. 273), Much of one of the sides of the court front is usu lattice-front covered with coloured glass, similar to that in the outer court. The other rooms of smaller size, are the more private apartments of the mansion. The interior of one of these is shcwn in the previous cut (No. 274). There are usually no doors to the sitting or drawing-rooms of Eastern houses : they are closed by curtains, at least in summer, the opening and shutting- of doors being odious to most Orientals. The same seems to have been the case among the Hebrews, as far as we may judge from the curtains which served instead of doors to the tabernacle, and which separated the inner and outer chambers of the temple. The curtained entrances to our West minster courts of law supply a familiar example of the same practice.
Some ideas respecting the arrangements and ar chitecture of the interior parts of the dwelling may be formed from the annexed cut (No. 275), al though the house in this case, being modern Egyp tian, differs in some points of arrangement from those on which our description is chiefly based.
trees of the court, often visit it, in the absence of the servants, in search of crumbs, etc. As they sometimes blacken themselves, this perhaps explains the obscure passage in Ps. lxviii. 13, 'Though ye have lien among the pots, ye shall be as the wings of a dove covered with silver,' etc. In Turkish Arabia most of the houses have underground cel lars or vaults, to which the inhabitants retreat These observations apply to the principal story. The basement is occupied by various offices, stores of corn and fuel, places for the water-jars to stand in, places for grinding corn, baths, kitchens, etc. The kitchens are always in this inner court, as the cooking is performed by women, and the ladies of the family superintend or actually assist in the pro cess. The kitchen, open in front, is on the same side as the entrance from the outer court ; and the top of it forms a terrace, which affords a communi cation between the first floor of both courts by a private door, seldom used but by the master of the house and attendant eunuchs.
The kitchen, of which the annexed cut (No. 276) is the only existing reprcsentation, is sur rounded by a brick terrace, on the top of which are the fireplaces formed in compartments, and separated by little walls of fire-brick or tile. In these different compartments the various dishes of an Eastern feast may be at once prepared at char coal fires. This place being wholly open in front, the half-tame doves, which have their nests in the during the mid-day heat of summer, and there enjoy a refreshing coolness. We do not discover any notice of this usage in Scripture. But at Acre the substructions of very ancient houses were some years ago discovered, having such cellars, which were very probably subservient to this use. In
the rest of the year these cellars, or serdaubs, as they are called, are abandoned to the bats, which swarm in them in scarcely credible numbers (Is. ii. 2o).
From the court a flight of stone steps, usually at the corner, conducts to the gallery, from which a plainer stair leads to the house-top. If the house be large, there are two or three sets of steps to the different sides of the quadrangle, but seldom more than one flight from the terrace to the house top,of any one court. There is, however, a sepa rate stair from the outer court to the roof, and it is usually near. the entrance. This will bring to mind the case of the paralytic, whose friends, finding they could not get access to Jesus through the people who crowded the court of the house in which he was preaching, took him up to the roof, and let him down in his bed through the tiling, to the place where Jesus stood (Luke v. 17-26). If the house in which our Lord then was had more than one court, he and the auditors were certainly in the outer one ; and it is reasonable to conclude that he stood in the veranda addressing the crowd below. The men bearing the paralytic therefore, perhaps went up the steps near the door ; and finding they could not even then g,et near the person of Jesus, the gallery being also crowded, continued their course to the roof of the house, and removing the boards over the covering of the gallery, at the place where Jesus stood, lowered the sick man to his fcet. But if they could not get access to the steps near the door, as is likely, from the door being much crowded, their alter native was to take him to the roof of the next house, and there hoist him over the parapet to the roof of the house which they desired to enter.
The roof of the house is, of course, flat. It is formed by layers of branches, twigs, matting, and earth, laid over the rafters and trodden down ; after which it is covered with a compost which acquires considerable hardness when dry. Such roofs would not, however, endure the heavy and continuous rains of our climate ; and in those parts of Asia where the climate is more than usually, moist, a stone roller is usually kept on every roof, and after a shower a great part of the population is engaged in drawing, these rollers over the roofs. It is now very common, in countries where timber is scarce, to have domed roofs ; but in that case, the flat roof, which is indispensable to Eastern habits, is obtained by filling up the hollow intervals between thc several domes, so as to form a flat surface at the top. These flat roofs are often alluded to in Scripture ; and the allusions shew that they were made to serve the same uses as at present. In fine weather the inhabitants resorted much to them to breathe the fresh air, to enjoy a fine prospect, or to witness any event that occurred in the neighbourhood (2 Sam. xi. 2 ; IS. XXii. I ; Matt. xxiv. 17 ; Mark xiii. 15). The dryness of the summer atmosphere enabled them, without injury to health, to enjoy the bracing coolness of the night-air by sleeping on the house-tops ; and in order to have the benefit of the air and prospect in the daytime, without inconvenience from the sun, shcds, booths, and tents, were sometimes erected on the house-tops (2 Sam. xvi. 22).