Supplemental Nights, Volume 2
by Richard F. Burton
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

When he was armed on that stead It is seen where his horse yede,[FN#584] And shall be evermore. As sparkle glides off the glede,[FN#585] In that stour he made many bleed, And wrought hem wonder sore. He rode up into the mountain, The soudan soon hath he slain, And many that with him were. All that day lasted the fight; Sir Isumbras, that noble knight, Wan the battle there. Knights and squires have him sought, And before the king him brought; Full sore wounded was he. They asked what was his name; He said, "Sire, a smith's man; What will ye do with me?" The Christian king said, than, "I trow never smith's man In war was half so wight." "I bid[FN#586] you, give me meat and drink And what that I will after think, Till I have kevered[FN#587] my might." The king a great oath sware, As soon as he whole were, That he would dub him knight. In a nunnery they him leaved, To heal the wound in his heved,[FN#588] That he took in that fight. The nuns of him were full fain, For he had the soudan slain, And many heathen hounds; For his sorrow they gan sore rue; Every day they salved him new, And stopped well his wounds.

We may fairly presume, without derogating from the merit of the holy sisters or from the virtue of their salves and bandages, that the knight's recovery was no less accelerated by the pleasure of having chastised the insolent possessor of his wife and the author of his contumelious beating. In a few days his health was restored; and having provided himself with a "scrip and pike" and the other accoutrements of a palmer, he took his leave of the nuns, directed his steps once more to the "Greekish Sea," and, embarking on board of a vessel which he found ready to sail, speedily arrived at the port of Acre.

During seven years, which were employed in visiting every part of the Holy Land, the penitent Sir Isumbras led a life of continued labour and mortification: fed during the day by the precarious contributions of the charitable, and sleeping at night in the open air, without any addition to the scanty covering which his pilgrim's weeds, after seven years service, were able to afford. At length his patience and contrition were rewarded. After a day spent in fruitless applications for a little food,

Beside the burgh of Jerusalem He set him down by a well-stream, Sore wepand[FN#589] for his sin. And as he sat, about midnight, There came an angel fair and bright, And brought him bread and wine; He said, "Palmer, well thou be! The King of Heaven greeteth well thee; Forgiven is sin thine."

Sir Isumbras accepted with pious gratitude the donation of food, by which his strength was instantly restored, and again set out on his travels; but he was still a widower, still deprived of his children, and as poor as ever; nor had his heavenly monitor afforded him any hint for his future guidance. He wandered therefore through the country, without any settled purpose, till he arrived at a "rich burgh," built round a "fair castle," the possessor of which, he was told, was a charitable queen, who daily distributed a florin of gold to every poor man who approached her gates, and even condescended to provide food and lodging within her palace for such as were distinguished by superior misery. Sir Isumbras presented himself with the rest; and his emaciated form and squalid garments procured him instant admittance.

The rich queen in hall was set; Knights her served, at hand and feet, In rich robes of pall: In the floor a cloth was laid; "The poor palmer," the steward said, "Shall sit above you all." Meat and drink forth they brought; He sat still, and ate right nought, But looked about the hall. So mickle he saw of game and glee (Swiche mirthis he was wont to see) The tears he let down fall.

Conduct so unusual attracted the attention of the whole company, and even of the queen, who, ordering "a chair with a cushion" to be placed near the palmer, took her seat in it, entered into conversation with him on the subject of his long and painful pilgrimage and was much edified by the moral lessons which he interspersed in his narrative. But no importunity could induce him to taste food: he was sick at heart, and required the aid of solitary meditation to overcome the painful recollections which continually assailed him The queen was more and more astonished, but at length left him to his reflections, after declaring that, "for her lord's soul, or for his love, if he were still alive," she was determined to retain the holy palmer in her palace, and to assign him a convenient apartment, together with a servant to attend him.

An interval of fifteen years, passed in the laborious occupations of blacksmith and pilgrim, may be supposed to have produced a very considerable alteration in the appearance of Sir Isumbras; and even his voice, subdued by disease and penance, may have failed to discover the gallant knight under the disguise which he had so long assumed. But that his wife (for such she was) should have been equally altered by the sole operation of time that the air and gestures and action of a person once so dear and so familiar to him should have awakened no trace of recollection in the mind of a husband, though in the midst of scenes which painfully recalled the memory of his former splendour, is more extraordinary. Be this as it may, the knight and the queen, though lodged under the same roof and passing much of their time together, continued to bewail the miseries of their protracted widowhood. Sir Isumbras, however, speedily recovered, in the plentiful court of the rich queen, his health and strength, and with these the desire of returning to his former exercises. A tournament was proclaimed; and the lists, which were formed immediately under the widows of the castle, were quickly occupied by a number of Saracen knights, all of whom Sir Isumbras successively overthrew. So dreadful was the stroke of his spear, that many were killed at the first encounter; some escaped with a few broken bones; others were thrown headlong into the castle ditch, but the greater number consulted their safety by a timely flight; while the queen contemplated with pleasure and astonishment the unparalleled exploits of her favourite palmer.

Then fell it, upon a day, The Knight went him for to play, As it was ere his kind; A fowl's nest he found on high; A red cloth therein he seygh[FN#590] Wavand[FN#591] in the wind. To the nest he gan win;[FN#592] His own mantle he found therein; The gold there gan he find.

The painful recollection awakened by this discovery weighed heavily on the soul of Sir Isumbras. He bore the fatal treasure to his chamber, concealed it under his bed, and spent the remainder of the day in tears and lamentations. The images of his lost wife and children now began to haunt him continually; and his altered demeanour attracted the attention and excited the curiosity of the whole court, and even of the queen, who could only learn from the palmer's attendant that his melancholy seemed to originate in the discovery of something in a bird's nest. With this strange report she was compelled to be satisfied, till Sir Isumbras, with the hope of dissipating his grief, began to resume his usual exercises in the field, but no sooner had he quitted his chamber than the "squires" by her command broke open the door, discovered the treasure, and hastened with it to the royal apartment. The sight of the gold and the scarlet mantle immediately explained to the queen the whole mystery of the palmer's behaviour. She burst into tears; kissed with fervent devotion the memorial of her lost husband; fell into a swoon; and on her recovery told the story to her attendants, and enjoined them to go in quest of the palmer, and to bring him at once before her. A short explanation removed her few remaining doubts; she threw herself into the arms of her husband, and the reunion of this long separated couple was immediately followed by the coronation of Sir Isumbras and by a protracted series of festivities.

The Saracen subjects of the Christian sovereign continued, with unshaken loyalty, to partake of the plentiful entertainments provided for all ranks of people on this solemn occasion, but no sooner had the pious Sir Isumbras signified to them the necessity of their immediate conversion, than his whole "parliament" adopted the resolution of deposing and committing to the flames their newly acquired sovereign, as soon as they should have obtained the concurrence of the neighbouring princes. Two of these readily joined their forces for the accomplishment of this salutary purpose, and invading the territories of Sir Isumbras with an army of thirty thousand men, sent him, according to usual custom, a solemn defiance. Sir Isumbras boldly answered the defiance, issued the necessary orders, called for his arms, sprang upon his horse, and prepared to march out against the enemy; when he discovered that his subjects had, to a man, abandoned him, and that he must encounter singly the whole host of the invaders.

Sir Isumbras was bold and keen, And took his leave at the queen, And sighed wonder sore: He said, "Madam, have good day! Sickerly, as you I say, For now and evermore!" "Help me, sir, that I were dight In arms, as it were a knight; I will with you fare: Gif God would us grace send, That we may together end, Then done were all my care." Soon was the lady dight In arms, as it were a knight; He gave her spear and shield: Again[FN#593] thirty thousand Saracens and mo.[FN#594] There came no more but they two, When they met in field.

Never, probably, did a contest take place between such disproportioned forces. Sir Isumbras was rather encumbered than assisted by the presence of his beautiful but feeble helpmate; and the faithful couple were upon the point of being crushed by the charge of the enemy, when three unknown knights suddenly made their appearance, and as suddenly turned the fortune of the day. The first of these was mounted on a lion, the second on a leopard, and the third on a unicorn. The Saracen cavalry, at the first sight of these unexpected antagonists, dispersed in all directions. But flight and resistance were equally hopeless: three and twenty thousand unbelievers were soon laid lifeless on the plain by the talons of the lion and leopard and by the resistless horn of the unicorn, or by the swords of their young and intrepid riders; and the small remnant of the Saracen army who escaped from the general carnage quickly spread, through every corner of the Mohammedan world the news of this signal and truly miraculous victory.

Sir Isumbras, who does not seem to have possessed the talent for unravelling mysteries, had never suspected that his three wonderful auxiliaries were his own children whom Providence had sent to his assistance at the moment of his greatest distress, but he was not the less thankful when informed of the happy termination of all his calamities. The royal family were received in the city with every demonstration of joy by his penitent subjects whose loyalty had been completely revived by the recent miracle. Magnificent entertainments were provided; after which Sir Isumbras, having easily overrun the territories of his two pagan neighbours, who had been slain in the last battle, proceeded to conquer a third kingdom for his youngest son; and the four monarchs, uniting their efforts for the propagation of the true faith, enjoyed the happiness of witnessing the baptism of all the inhabitants of their respective dominions.

They lived and died in good intent; Unto heaven their souls went, When that they dead were. Jesu Christ, heaven's king, Give us, aye, his blessing, And shield us from care!

On comparing these several versions it will be seen that, while they differ one from another m some of the details, yet the fundamental outline is identical, with the single exception of the Tibetan story, which, in common with Tibetan tales generally, has departed very considerably from the original. A king, or knight, is suddenly deprived of all his possessions, and with his wife and two children becomes a wanderer on the face of the earth; his wife is forcibly taken from him; he afterwards loses his two sons, he is once more raised to affluence; his sons, having been adopted and educated by a charitable person, enter his service, their mother recognises them through overhearing their conversation; finally husband and wife and children are happily re-united. Such is the general outline of the story, though modifications have been made in the details of the different versions— probably through its being transmitted orally in some instances. Thus in the Arabian story, the king is ruined apparently in consequence of no fault of his own; in the Panjabi version, he relinquishes his wealth to a fakir as a pious action; in the Kashmiri and in the romance of Sir Isumbras, the hero loses his wealth as a punishment for his overweening ride, in the legend of St. Eustache, as in the story of Job, the calamities which overtake the Christian convert are designed by Heaven as a trial of his patience and fortitude; while even in the corrupted Tibetan story the ruin of the monarch is reflected in the destruction of the parents of the heroine by a hurricane. In both the Kashmiri and the Panjabi versions, the father is swallowed by a fish (or an alligator) in re-crossing the river to fetch his second child, in the Tibetan story the wife loses her husband, who is killed by a snake, and having taken one of her children over the river, she is returning for the other when, looking back, she discovers her babe in the jaws of a wolf: both her children perish: in the European versions they are carried off by wild beasts and rescued by strangers—the romance of Sir Isumbras is singular in representing the number of children to be three. Only in the Arabian story do we find the father carrying his wife and children in safety across the stream, and the latter afterwards lost in the forest. The Kashmiri and Gesta versions correspond exactly in representing the shipman as seizing the lady because her husband could not pay the passage-money: in the Arabian she is entrapped in the ship, owned by a Magian, on the pretext that there is on board a woman in labour; in Sir Isumbras she is forcibly "bought" by the Soudan. She is locked up in a chest by the Magian; sent to rule his country by the Soudan; respectfully treated by the merchant in the Kashmiri story, and, apparently, also by Kandan in the Panjabi legend; in the story of St. Eustache her persecutor dies and she is living in humble circumstances when discovered by her husband.—I think there is internal evidence, apart from the existence of the Tibetan version, to lead to the conclusion that the story is of Buddhist extraction, and if such be the fact, it furnishes a further example of the indebtedness of Christian hagiology to Buddhist tales and legends.


We must, I think, regard this group of tales as being genuine narratives of the exploits of Egyptian sharpers. From the days of Herodotus to the present time, Egypt has bred the most expert thieves in the world. The policemen don't generally exhibit much ability for coping with the sharpers whose tricks they so well recount; but indeed our home-grown "bobbies" are not particularly quick-witted.

THE THIEF'S TALE.—Vol. XII. p. 28.

A parallel to the woman's trick of shaving off the beards and blackening the faces of the robbers is found in the well-known legend, as told by Herodotus (Euterpe, 121), of the robbery of the treasure-house of Rhampsinitus king of Egypt, where the clever thief, having made the soldiers dead drunk, shaves off the right side of their beards and then decamps with his brother's headless body.


The narrow escape of the singing-girl hidden under a pile of halfah grass may be compared with an adventure of a fugitive Mexican prince whose history, as related by Prescott, is as full of romantic daring and hair's breadth 'scapes as that of Scanderbeg or the "Young Chevader." This prince had just time to turn the crest of a hill as his enemies were climbing it on the other side, when he fell in with a girl who was reaping chian, a Mexican plant, the seed of which is much used in the drinks of the country. He persuaded her to cover him with the stalks she had been cutting. When his pursuers came up and inquired if she had seen the fugitive, the girl coolly answered that she had, and pointed out a path as the one he had taken.


The concluding part of this story differs very materially from that of the Greek legend of Ibycus (fl. B.C. 540), which is thus related in a small MS. collection of Arabian and Persian anecdotes in my possession, done into English from the French:

It is written in the history of the first kings that in the reign of a Grecian king there lived a philosopher named Ibycus, who surpassed in sagacity all other sages of Greece. Ibycus was once sent by the king to a neighbouring court. On the way he was attacked by robbers who, suspecting him to have much money, formed the design of killing him "Your object in taking my life," said Ibycus, "is to obtain my money; I give it up to you, but allow me to live." The robbers paid no attention to his words, and persisted in their purpose. The wretched Ibycus, in his despair, looked about him to see if any one was coming to his as assistance, but no person was in sight. At that very moment a flock of cranes flew overhead. "O cranes!" cried Ibycus, "know that I have been seized in this desert by these wicked men, and I die from their blows. Avenge me, and demand from them my blood." At these words the robbers burst into laughter: "To take away life from those who have lost their reason," they observed, "is to add nothing to their hurt." So saying, they killed Ibycus and divided his money. On receipt of the news that Ibycus had been murdered, the inhabitants of the town were exasperated and felt great sorrow. They caused strict inquiries to be made for the murderers, but they could not be found. After some time the Greeks were celebrating a feast. The inhabitants of the adjoining districts came in crowds to the temples. The murderers of Ibycus also came, and everywhere showed themselves. Meanwhile a flock of cranes appeared in the air and hovered above the people, uttering cries so loud and prolonged that the prayers and ceremonies were interrupted. One of the robbers looked with a smile at his comrades, saying, by way of joke, "These cranes come without doubt to avenge the blood of Ibycus." Some one of the town, who was near them, heard these words, repeated them to his neighbour, and they together reported them to the king The robbers were taken, strictly cross-examined, confessed their crime, and suffered for it a just punishment. In this way the cranes inflicted vengeance on the murderers of Ibycus. But we ought to see in this incident a matter which is concealed in it: This philosopher although apparently addressing his words to the cranes, was really imploring help from their Creator; he hoped, in asking their aid, that He would not suffer his blood to flow unavenged. So God accomplished his hopes, and willed that cranes should be the cause that his death was avenged in order that the sages of the world should learn from it the power and wisdom of the Creator.

This ancient legend was probably introduced into Arabian literature in the 9th century when translations of so many of the best Greek works were made, and, no doubt, it was adapted in the following Indian (Muslim) story:[FN#595]

There was a certain pir, or saint, of great wisdom, learning, and sanctity, who sat by the wayside expounding the Kuran to all who would listen to him. He dwelt in the out-buildings of a ruined mosque close by, his only companion being a maina, or hill-starling, which he had taught to proclaim the excellence of the formula of his religion, saying, "The Prophet is just!" It chanced that two travellers passing that way beheld the holy man at his devotions, and though far from being religious persons yet tarried a while to hear the words of truth. Evening now drawing on, the saint invited his apparently pious auditors to his dwelling, and set before them such coarse food as he had to offer. Having eaten and refreshed themselves, they were astonished at the wisdom displayed by the bird, who continued to repeat holy texts from the Kuran. The meal ended, they all lay down to sleep, and while the good man reposed, his treacherous guests, who envied him the possession a bird that in their hands might be the means of enriching them, determined to steal the treasure and murder its master. So they stabbed the sleeping devotee to the heart and then seized hold of the bird's cage. But, unperceived by them, the door of it had been left open and the bird was not to be found. After searching for the bird in vain, they considered it necessary to dispose of the body, since, if discovered, suspicion would assuredly fall upon them, and carrying it away to what they deemed a safe distance they buried it. Vexed to be obliged to leave the place without obtaining the reward of their evil deeds, they again looked carefully for the bird, but without success; it was nowhere to be seen, and so they were compelled to go forward without the object of their search. The maina had witnessed the atrocious deed, and unseen had followed the murderers to the place were they had buried the body, it then perched upon the tree beneath which the saint had been wont to enlighten the minds of his followers, and when they assembled flew into their midst, exclaiming, "The Prophet is just!" making short flights and then returning. These unusual motions, together with the absence of their preceptor, induced the people to follow it and directing its flight to the grave of its master, it uttered a mournful cry over the newly-covered grave. The villagers, astonished, began to remove the earth, and soon discovered the bloody corse. Surprised and horror-stricken, they looked about for some traces of the murderers, and perceiving that the bird had resumed the movements which had first induced them to follow it, they suffered it to lead them forward. Before evening fell, the avengers came up with two men, who no sooner heard the maina exclaim, "The Prophet is just'" and saw the crowd that accompanied it, than they fell upon their knees, confessing that the Prophet had indeed brought their evil deeds to light; so, their crime being thus made manifest, summary justice was inflicted upon them.


An entertaining story, but very inconsistent in the character of Iblis, who is constantly termed, in good Muslim fashion, "the accursed," yet seems to be somewhat of a follower of the Prophet, and on the whole a good-natured sort of fellow. His mode of expressing his approval of the damsel's musical "talent" is, to say the least, original.

WOMEN'S WILES.—Vol. XII. p. 99.

A variant—perhaps an older form—of this story occurs in the tale of Prince Fadlallah, which is interwoven with the History of Prince Calaf and the Princess of China, in the Persian tales of "The Thousand and One Days":

The prince, on his way to Baghdad, is attacked by robbers, his followers are all slain, and himself made prisoner, but he is set at liberty by the compassionate wife of the robber-chief during his absence on a plundering expedition. When he reaches Baghdad he has no resource but to beg his bread, and having stationed himself in front of a large mansion, an old female slave presently comes out and gives him a loaf. At this moment a gust of wind blew aside the curtain of a window and discovered to his admiring eyes a most beautiful damsel, of whom he became immediately enamoured. He inquired of a passerby the name of the owner of the mansion, and was informed that it belonged to a man called Mouaffac, who had been lately governor of the city, but having quarrelled with the kazi, who was of a revengeful disposition, the latter had found means to disgrace him with the khalif and to have him deprived of his office. After lingering near the house in vain till nightfall, in hopes of once more obtaining a glimpse of this beauty, he retired for the night to a burying-ground, where he was soon joined by two thieves, who pressed upon him a share of the good cheer with which they had provided themselves, but while the thieves were feasting and talking over a robbery which they had just accomplished, the police suddenly pounced upon them, and took all three and cast them into prison.

In the morning they were examined by the kazi, and the thieves, seeing it was useless to deny it, confessed their crime. The prince then told the kazi how he chanced to fall into company of the thieves, who confirmed all he said, and he was set at liberty. Then the kazi began to question him as to how he had employed his time since he came to Baghdad, to which he answered very frankly but concealed his rank. On his mentioning the brief glance he had of the beautiful lady at the window of the ex-governor's house, the kazi's eyes sparkled with apparent satifaction, and he assured the prince that he should have the lady for his bride; for, believing the prince to be a mere beggarly adventurer, he resolved to foist him on Mouaffac as the son of a great monarch So, having sent the prince to the bath and provided him with rich garments, the kazi dispatched a messenger to request Mouaffac to come to him on important business. When the ex-governor arrived, the kazi told him blandly that there was now an excellent opportunity for doing away the ill will that had so long existed between them. "It is this," continued he: "the prince of Basra, having fallen in love with your daughter from report of her great beauty, has just come to Baghdad, unknown to his father, and intends to demand her of you in marriage. He is lodged in my house, and is most anxious that this affair should be arranged by my interposition, which is the more agreeable to me, since it will, I trust, be the means of reconciling our differences." Mouaffac expressed his surprise that the prince of Basra should think of marrying his daughter, and especially that the proposal should come through the kazi, of all men. The kazi begged him to forget their former animosity and consent to the immediate celebration of the nuptials. While they were thus talking, the prince entered, in a magnificent dress, and was not a little astonished to be presented to Mouaffac by the treacherous kazi as the prince of Basra, who had come as a suitor for his daughter in marriage. The ex-governor saluted him with every token of profound respect, and expressed his sense of the honour of such an alliance: his daughter was unworthy to wait upon the meanest of the prince's slaves. In brief, the marriage is at once celebrated, and the prince duly retires to the bridal chamber with the beauteous daughter of Mouaffac. But in the morning, at an early hour, a servant of the kazi knocks at his door, and, on the prince opening it, says that he brings him his rags of clothes and is required to take back the dress which the kazi had lent him yesterday to personate the prince of Basra. The prince, having donned his tattered garments, said to his wife, "The kazi thinks he has married you to a wretched beggar, but I am no whit inferior in rank to the prince of Basra—I am also a prince, being the only son of the king of Mosel," and then proceeded to recount all his adventures. When he had concluded his recital, the lady despatched a servant to procure a suitable dress for the prince, which when he had put on, she said, "I see it all: the kazi no doubt, believes that by this time we are all overwhelmed with shame and grief. But what must be his feelings when he learns that he has been a benefactor to his enemies! Before you disclose to him your real rank, however, we must contrive to punish him for his malicious intentions. There is a dyer in this town who has a frightfully ugly daughter— but leave this affair in my hands."

The lady then dressed herself in plain but becoming apparel, and went out of the house alone. She proceeded to the court of the kazi, who no sooner cast his eyes upon her than he was struck with her elegant form. He sent an officer to inquire of her who she was and what she had come about. She made answer that she was the daughter of an artisan in the city. and that she desired to have some private conversation with the kazi. When the officer reported the lady's reply, the kazi directed her to be conducted into a private chamber, where he presently joined her, and gallantly placed his services at her disposal. The lady now removed her veil, and asked him whether he saw anything ugly or repulsive in her features. The kazi on seeing her beautiful face was suddenly plunged in the sea of love, and declared that her forehead was of polished silver, her eyes were sparkling diamonds, her mouth a ruby casket containing a bracelet of pearls. Then she displayed her arms, so white and plump, the sight of which threw the kazi into ecstasies and almost caused him to faint. Quoth the lady, "I must tell you, my lord, that with all the beauty I possess, my father, a dyer in the city, keeps me secluded, and declares to all who come to ask me in marriage that I am an ugly, deformed monster, a mere skeleton, lame, and full of diseases." On this the kazi burst into a tirade against the brutal father who could thus traduce so much beauty, and vowed that he would make her his wife that same day. The lady, after expressing her fears that he would not find it easy to gain her father's consent, took her leave and returned home.

The kazi lost no time in sending for the dyer, and, after complimenting him upon his reputation for piety, said to him, "I am informed that behind the curtain of chastity you have a daughter ripe for marriage. Is not this true?" Replied the dyer, "My lord, you have been rightly informed. I have a daughter who is indeed fully ripe for marriage, or she is more than thirty years of age, but the poor creature is not fit to be a wife to any man. She is very ugly, lame, leprous, and foolish. In short, she is such a monster that I am obliged to keep her out of all people's sight." "Ha!" exclaimed the kazi, "you can't impose on me with such a tale. I was prepared for it. But let me tell you that I myself am ready and willing to marry that same ugly and leprous daughter of yours, with all her defects." When the dyer heard this, he looked the kazi full in the face and said, "My lord, you are welcome to divert yourself by making a jest of my daughter." No," replied the kazi "I am quite in earnest. I demand your daughter in marriage." The dyer broke into laughter, saying, 'By Allah, some one has meant to play you a trick, my lord. I forewarn you that she is ugly, lame, and leprous." "True," responded the kazi, with a knowing smile; "I know her by these tokens. I shall take her notwithstanding." The dyer, seeing him determined to marry his daughter, and being now convinced that he had been imposed upon by some ill-wisher, thought to himself, "I must demand of him a round sum of money which may cause him to cease troubling me any further about my poor daughter." So he said to the kazi, "My lord, I am ready to obey your command; but I will not part with my daughter unless you pay me beforehand a dowry of a thousand sequins." Replied the kazi, "Although, methinks, your demand is somewhat exorbitant, yet I will pay you the money at once." which having done, he ordered the contract to be drawn up. But when it came to be signed the dyer declared that he would not sign save in the presence of a hundred men of the law. "Thou art very distrustful," said the kazi, "but I will comply in everything, for I am resolved to make sure of thy daughter." So he sent for all the men of law in the city, and when they were assembled at the house of the kazi, the dyer said that he was now willing to sign the contract; "But I declare," he added, "in the presence of these honourable witnesses, that I do so on the condition that if my daughter should not prove to your liking when you have seen her, and you should determine to divorce her, you shall oblige yourself to give her a thousand sequins of gold in addition to the same amount which I have already received from you. "Agreed," said the kazi, "I oblige myself to it, and call this whole assembly to be witnesses. Art thou now satisfied?" "I am," replied the dyer, who then went his way, saying that he would at once send him his bride.

As soon as the dyer was gone, the assembly broke up, and the kazi was left a house. He had been two years married to the daughter of a merchant of Baghdad, whom he had hitherto lived on very amicable terms. When she heard that he was arranging for a second marriage, she came to him in a great rage. "How now," said she, "two hands in one glove! two swords in one scabbard! two wives in one house! Go, fickle man! Since the caresses of a young and faithful wife cannot secure your constancy, I am ready to yield my place to my rival and retire to my own family. Repudiate me— return my dowry—and you shall never see me more." "I am glad you have thus anticipated me," answered the kazi, "for I was somewhat perplexed how to acquaint you of my new marriage." So saying, he opened a coffer and took out a purse of five hundred sequins of gold, and putting it into her hands, "There, woman," said he, "thy dowry is in that purse: begone, and take with you what belongs to you. I divorce thee once; I divorce thee twice, three times I divorce thee. And that thy parents may be satisfied thou art divorced from me, I shall give thee a certificate signed by myself and my nayb." This he did accordingly, and his wife went to her father's house, with her bill of divorce and her dowry.

The kazi then gave orders to furnish an apartment sumptuously for the reception of his bride. The floor was spread with velvet carpets, the walls were hung with rich tapestry, and couches of gold and silver brocade were placed around the room. The bridal chamber was decked with caskets filled with the most exquisite perfumes. When everything was in readiness, the kazi impatiently expected the arrival of his bride, and at last was about to despatch a messenger to the dyer's when a porter entered, carrying a wooden chest covered with a piece of green taffeta. "What hast thou brought me there, friend?" asked the kazi. "My lord," replied the porter, setting the chest on the floor, "I bring your bride." The kazi opened the chest, and discovered a woman of three feet and a half, defective in every limb and feature. He was horrified at the sight of this object, and throwing the covering hastily over it, demanded of the porter, "What wouldst thou have me do with this frightful creature?" "My lord," said the porter, "this is the daughter of Omar the dyer, who told me that you had espoused her out of pure inclination." "O Allah!" exclaimed the kazi, "is it possible to marry such a monster as this?" Just then, the dyer, well knowing that the kazi must be surprised, came in. "Thou wretch," cried the kazi, "how cost thou dare to trifle with me? In place of this hideous object, send hither your other daughter, whose beauty is beyond comparison; otherwise thou shalt soon know what it is to insult me." Quoth the dyer, "My lord, I swear, by Him who out of darkness produced light, that I have no other daughter but this. I told you repeatedly that she was not for your purpose, but you would not believe my words. Who, then, is to blame?" Upon this the kazi began to cool, and said so the dyer, "I must tell you, friend Omar, that this morning there came to me a most beautiful damsel, who pretended that you were her father, and that you represented her to everybody as a monster, on purpose to deter all suitors that came to ask her in marriage." "My lord," answered the dyer, "this beautiful damsel must be an impostor; some one, undoubtedly, owes you a grudge." Then the kazi, having reflected for a few minutes, said to the dyer, "Bid the porter carry thy daughter home again. Keep the thousand sequins of gold which I gave thee, but ask no more of me, if thou desirest that we should continue friends." The dyer, knowing the implacable disposition of the kazi, thought it advisable to content himself with what he had already gained, and the kazi, having formally divorced his hideous bride, sent her away with her father. The affair soon got wind in the city and everybody was highly diverted with the trick practiced on the kazi.

It will be observed that in the Arabian story there are two clever devices: that of the lady who tricks the boastful merchant, whose motto was that men's craft is superior to women's craft, into marrying the ugly daughter of the kazi; and that of the merchant to get rid of his bad bargain by disgusting the kazi with the alliance. The scene at the house of the worthy judge— the crowd of low rascals piping, drumming, and capering, and felicitating themselves on their pretended kinsman the merchant's marriage—is highly humorous. This does not occur in the Persian story, because it is the kazi, who has been duped into marrying the dyer's deformed daughter, and she is therefore simply packed off again to her father's house.

That the tales of the "Thousand and One Days" are not (as is supposed by the writer of an article on the several English versions of The Nights in the "Edinburgh Review" for July 1886, p. 167) mere imitations of Galland[FN#596] is most certain, apart from the statement in the preface to Petis' French translation, which there is no reason to doubt—see vol. x. of The Nights, p. 166, note 1. Sir William Ouseley, in his Travels, vol. ii., p. 21, note, states that he brought from Persia a manuscript which comprised, inter alia, a portion of the "Hazar u Yek Ruz," or the Thousand and One Days, which agreed with Petis' translation of the same stories. In the Persian collection entitled "Shamsa u Kuhkuha" occur several of the tales and incidents, for example, the Story of Nasiraddoli King of Mousel, the Merchant of Baghdad, and the Fair Zeinib, while the Story of the King of Thibet and the Princess of the Naimans has its parallel in the Turkish "Kirk Vazir," or Forty Vazirs. Again, the Story of Couloufe and the Beautiful Dilara reminds us of that of Haji the Cross-grained in Malcolm's "Sketches of Persia." But of the French translation not a single good word can be said—the Oriental "costume" and phraseology have almost entirely disappeared, and between Petis de la Croix and the author of "Gil Blas"—who is said to have had a hand in the work—the tales have become ludicrously Frenchified. The English translation made from the French is, if possible, still worse. We there meet with "persons of quality," "persons of fashion," with "seigneurs," and a thousand and one other inconsistencies and absurdities. A new translation is much to be desired. The copy of the Persian text made by Petis is probably in the Paris Library and Ouseley's fragment is doubtless among his other Oriental MSS. in the Bodleian. But one should suppose that copies of the "Hazar u Yek Ruz" may be readily procured at Ispahan or Tehran, and at a very moderate cost, since the Persians now-a-days are so poor in general that they are eager to exchange any books they possess for the "circulating medium."


This is an excellent tale, the incidents occur naturally and the reader's interest in the fortunes of the hero and heroine never flags. The damsel's sojourn with the old Muezzin—her dispatching him daily to the shroff—bears some analogy to part of the tale of Ghanim the Slave of Love (vol. ii. of The Nights), which, by the way, finds close parallels in the Turkish "Forty Vazirs" (the Lady's 18th story in Mr. Gibb's translation), the Persian "Thousand and One Days" (story of Aboulcasem of Basra), and the "Bagh o Bahar" (story of the First Dervish). This tale is, in fact, a compound of incidents occurring in a number of different Arabian fictions.


Here we have another instance of a youth falling in love with the portrait of a pretty girl (see ante, p. 236). The doughty deeds performed by the young prince against thousands of his foes throw into the shade the exploits of the Bedouin hero Antar, and those of our own famous champions Sir Guy of Warwick and Sir Bevis of Hampton.



I find yet another variant of this story in my small MS. collection of Arabian and Persian anecdotes, translated from the French (I have not ascertained its source):

They relate that a lord of Basra, while walking one day in his garden, saw the wife of his gardener, who was very beautiful and virtuous. He gave a commission to his gardener which required him to leave his home. He then said to his wife "Go and shut all the doors." She went out and soon returned, saying, "I have shut all the doors except one, which I am unable to shut." The lord asked, "And where is that door?" She replied "That which is between you and the respect due to your Maker: there is no way of closing it." When the lord heard these words, he asked the woman's pardon, and became a better and a wiser man.

We have here a unique form of the wide-spread tale of "The Lion's Track," which, while it omits the husband's part, yet reflects the virtuous wife's rebuke of the enamoured sultan.


If Straparola's version is to be considered as an adaptation of Ser Giovanni's novella— which I do not think very probable—it must be allowed to be an improvement on his model. In the Arabian story the singer is first concealed in a mat, next in the oven, and again in the mat, after which he escapes by clambering over the parapet of the druggist's roof to that of an adjoining house, and his subsequent adventures seem to be added from a different story. In Ser Giovanni's version the lover is first hid beneath a heap of half dried clothes, and next behind the street door, from which he escapes the instant the husband enters, and the latter is treated as a madman by the wife's relatives and the neighbours—an incident which has parallels in other tales of women's craft and its prototype, perhaps, in the story of the man who compiled a book of the Wiles of Woman, as told in "Syntipas," the Greek version of the Book of Sindibad. In Straparola the lover—as in the Arabian story—is concealed three times, first in a basket, then between two boardings, and lastly in a chest containing law papers; and the husband induces him to recount his adventures in presence of the lady's friends, which having concluded, the lover declares the story to be wholly fictitious: this is a much more agreeable ending than that of Giovanni's story, and, moreover, it bears a close analogy to the latter part of the Persian tale, where the lover exclaims he is right glad to find it all a dream. Straparola's version has another point of resemblance in the Persian story—so far as can be judged from Scott's abstract—and also in the Arabian story: the lover discovers the lady by chance, and is not advised to seek out some object of love, as in Giovanni; in the Arabian the singer is counselled by the druggist to go about and entertain wine parties. Story-comparers have too much cause to be dissatisfied with Jonathan Scott's translation of the "Bahar-i- Danish"—a work avowedly derived from Indian sources—although it is far superior to Dow's garbled version. The abstracts of a number of the tales which Scott gives in an appendix, while of some use, are generally tantalising: some stories he has altogether omitted "because they are similar to tales already well known" (unfortunately the comparative study of popular fictions was hardly begun in his time), while of others bare outlines are furnished, because he considered them "unfit for general perusal." But his work, even as it is, has probably never been "generally" read, and he seems to have had somewhat vague notions of "propriety," to judge by his translations from the Arabic and Persian. A complete English rendering of the "Bahar-i-Danish" would be welcomed by all interested in the history of fiction.


The trick played on the silly fuller of dressing him up as a Turkish soldier resembles that of the Three Deceitful Women who found a gold ring in the public bath, as related in the Persian story-book, "Shamsa u Kuhkuha:"

When the wife of the superintendent of police was apprised that her turn had come, she revolved and meditated for some time what trick she was to play off on her lord, and after having come to a conclusion she said one evening to him, "To-morrow I wish that we should both enjoy ourselves at home without interruptions, and I mean to prepare some cakes." He replied, "Very well, my dear; I have also longed for such an occasion." The lady had a servant who was very obedient and always covered with the mantle of attachment to her. The next morning she called this youth and said to him, "I have long contemplated the hyacinth grove of thy symmetrical stature; and I know that thou travellest constancy and faithfully on the road of compliance with all my wishes, and that thou seekest to serve me. I have a little business which I wish thee to do for me." The servant answered, "I shall be happy to comply. Then the lady gave him a thousand diners and said, "Go to the convent which is in our vicinity; give this money to one of the kalandars there and say to him, 'A prisoner whom the Amir had surrendered to the police has escaped last night. He closely resembles thee, and as the superintendent of the police is unable to account to the Amir, he has sent a man to take thee instead of the escaped criminal. I have compassion for thee and mean to rescue thee. Take this sum of money; give me thy dress; and flee from the town; for if thou remainest in it till the morning thou wilt be subjected to torture and wilt lose thy life.'" The servant acted as he was bid, and brought the garments to his mistress. When it was morning she said to her husband, "I know you have long wished to eat sweetmeats, and I shall make some to-day." He answered, "Very well." His wife made all her preparations and commenced to bake the sweetmeats. He said to her, "Last night a theft was committed in a certain place, and I sat up late to extort confessions; and as I have spent a sleepless night, I feel tired and wish to repose a little." The lady replied, "Very well."

Accordingly the superintendent of the police reclined on the pillow of rest; and when the sweetmeat was ready his wife took a little and putting an opiate into it she handed it to him, saying, "How long will you sleep? To-day is a day of feasting and pleasure, not of sleep and laziness. Lift up your head and see whether I have made the sweets according to your taste." He raised his head, swallowed a piece of the hot cake and lay down again. The morsel was still in his throat when consciousness left and a deep sleep overwhelmed him. His wife immediately undressed him and put on him the garments of the kalandar. The servant shaved his head and made some tattoo marks on his body. When the night set in the lady called her servant and said, "Hyacinth, be kind enough to take the superintendent on thy back, and carry him to the convent instead of that kalandar, and if he wishes to return to the house in the morning, do not let him." The servant obeyed. Towards dawn the superintendent recovered his senses a little; but as the opiate had made his palate very bitter, he became extremely thirsty. He fancied that he was in his own house, and so he exclaimed, "Narcissus, bring water." The kalandars awoke from sleep, and after hearing several shouts of this kind, they concluded that he was under the influence of bang, and said, "Poor fellow! the narcissus is in the garden; this is the convent of sufferers, and there are green garments enough here. Arise and sober thyself, for the morning and harbinger of benefits as well as of the acquisition of the victuals for subsistence is approaching." When the superintendent heard these words he thought they were a dream, for he had not yet fully recovered his senses. He sat quietly, but was amazed on beholding the walls and ceiling of the convent: he got up, looked at the clothes in which he was dressed and at the marks tattooed on his body, and began to doubt whether he was awake or asleep. He washed his face, and perceived that the caravan of his mustachios had likewise departed from the plain of his countenance.

In this state of perplexity he went out of the convent and proceeded to his house. There his wife, with her male and female servants, was expecting his arrival. He approached the house and placed his hand on the knocker of the door, but was received by Hyacinth, who said, "Kalandar, whom seekest thou?" The superintendent rejoined, "I want to enter the house." Hyacinth continued, "Thou hast to-day evidently taken thy morning draught of bang earlier and more copiously than usual, since thou hast foolishly mistaken the road to thy convent. Depart! This is not a place in which vagabond kalandars are harboured. This is the palace of the superintendent of the police. and if the symurgh looks with incivility from the fastness of the west of Mount Kaf at this place, the wings of its impertinence will at once become singed." The superintendent said, "What nonsense art thou speaking? Go out of my way, for I do not relish thy imbecile prattle." But when he wanted to enter, Hyacinth struck him with a bludgeon on the shoulder, which the superintendent returned with a box on the ear, and both began to wrestle together. At that moment the lady and her maid-servants rushed forth from the rear and assailed him with sticks and stones, shouting, "This kalandar wishes in plain daylight to force his way into the house of the superintendent. What a pity that the superintendent is sick, or else this crime would have to be expiated on the gallows!" In the meantime all the neighbours assembled, and on seeing the shameless kalandar's proceedings they cried, "Look at that impudent kalandar who wants forcibly to enter the house of the superintendent." Ultimately the crowd amounted to more than five hundred persons, and the gentleman was put to flight and pursued by all the little boys, who pelted him with stones till they expelled him from the town.

At the distance of three farsangs from the town there was a village where the superintendent concealed himself in the corner of a mosque. During the evenings he went from house to house and begged for food to sustain life, until his mustachios again grew and the tattooed scars gradually began to disappear. Whenever anyone inquired for the superintendent at his house, he was informed by the servants that the gentleman was sick. After one month had expired, the grief of separation and the misery of his condition had again driven him back to the city. He went to the convent because fear hindered him from going to the house. His wife happened one day to catch a glimpse of him from her window, and perceived him sitting in the same dress with a company of kalandars. She felt compassion for him, called the servant and said, "The superintendent has had enough of this!" She made a loaf of bread and put some opiate into it, and said, "When the kalandars are asleep, you must go and place this loaf under the pillow of the superintendent." The servant obeyed, and when the gentleman awoke in the middle of the night he was surprised to find the loaf. He fancied that when his companions had during the night returned from begging, they had placed it there, and so he ate some of it. During the same night the servant went there by the command of the lady, took his master on his back and carried him home. When it was morning, the lady took off the kalandar's clothes from her husband and dressed him in his own garments, and began to make sweetmeats as on the former occasion. After some time he began to move, and his wife exclaimed, "O superintendent, do not sleep so much. I have told you that we shall spend this day in joy and pleasure, and it was not fair of you to pass the time in this lazy way. Lift up your head and see what beautiful sweetmeats I have baked for you." When he opened his eyes, and saw himself dressed in his own clothes and at home, the rosebush of his amazement again brought forth the flowers of astonishment, and he said, "God be praised! What has happened to me?" He sat up, and exclaimed, "Wife, things have happened to me which I can scarcely describe." She replied, "From the uneasy motions which you have made in your sleep, it appears you must have had extraordinary dreams." "Dreams, forsooth," said he, "since the moment I lay down I have experienced the most strange adventures." "Certainly," rejoined the lady, "last night you have been eating food disagreeing with your constitution, and to-day the vapours of it have ascended into your brains, and have caused you all this distress." The superintendent said, "Yes last night we went to a party in the house of Serjeant Bahman, and there was roasted pillau, of which I ate somewhat more than usual, and the vapour of it has occasioned me all this trouble.''[FN#597]

Strikingly similar to this story is the trick of the first lady on her husband in the "Fabliau des Trois Dames qui trouverent un Anel." Having made him drunk, she causes his head to be shaved, dresses him in the habit of a monk, and carries him, assisted by her lover, to the entrance of a convent. When he awakes and sees himself thus transformed he imagines that God by a miraculous exercise of His grace had called him to the monastic life. He presents himself before the abbot and requests to be received among the brethren. The lady hastens to the convent in well-feigned despair, and is exhorted to be resigned and to congratulate her husband on the saintly vow he has taken. "Many a good man, ' says the poet, "has been betrayed by woman and by her harlotry. This one became a monk in the abbey, where he abode a very long time. Wherefore, I counsel all people who hear this story told, that they ought not to trust in their wives, nor in their households, if they have not first proved that they are full of virtues. Many a man has been deceived by women and by their treachery. This one became monk against right, who would never have been such in his life, if his wife had not deceived him.''[FN#598]

The second lady's trick in the fabliau is a very close parallel to the story in The Nights, vol. v. p. 96.[FN#599] She had for dinner on a Friday some salted and smoked eels, which her husband bade her cook, but there was no fire in the house. Under the pretext of going to have them cooked at a neighbour's fire she goes out and finds her lover, at whose house she remains a whole week. On the following Friday, at the hour of dinner, she enters a neighbour's house and asks leave to cook the eels, saying that her husband is angry with her for having no fire, and that she did not dare to go back, lest he should take off her head. As soon as the eels are cooked she carries them piping hot to her own house. The husband asks her where she has been for eight days, and commences to beat her. She cries for help and the neighbours come in, and amongst them the one at whose fire the eels had been cooked, who swears that the wife had only just left her house and ridicules the husband for his assertion that she had been away a whole week. The husband gets into a great rage and is locked up for a madman.

The device of the third lady seems a reflection of the "Elopement," but without the underground tunnel between the houses of the wife and the lover. The lady proposes to her lover to marry him, and he believes that she is only jesting, seeing that she is already married, but she assures him that she is quite in earnest, and even undertakes that her husband will consent. The lover is to come for her husband and take him to the house of Dan Eustace, where he has a fair niece, whom the lover is to pretend he wishes to espouse, if he will give her to him. The wife will go thither, and she will have done her business with Eustace before they arrive. Her husband cannot but believe that he has left her at home, and she will be so apparelled that he cannot recognise her. This plan is accordingly carried out. The lover asks the husband for the hand of his niece in marriage, to which he joyously consents, and without knowing it makes a present of his own wife. "All his life long the lover possessed her, because the husband gave and did not lend her; nor could he ever get her back."

Le Grand mentions that this fabliau is told at great length in the tales of the Sieur d'Ouville, tome iv. p. 255. In the "Facetiae Bebelianae," p. 86, three women wager which of them will play the best trick on her husband. One causes him to believe he is a monk, and he goes and sings mass, the second husband believed himself to be dead, and allows himself to be carried to that mass on a bier; and the third sings in it quite naked. (There is a very similar story in Campbell's "Popular Tales of the West Highlands.") It is also found, says Le Grand, in the "Convivales Sermones," tome i. p. 200, in the "Delices de Verboquet," p. 166; and in the Facetiae of Lod. Domenichi, p. 172. In the "Comes pour Rire," p. 197, three women find a diamond, and the arbiter whom they select promises it, as in the fabliau, to her who concocts the best device for deceiving her husband, but their ruses are different.

End of Supplemental Nights Volume 2.

Arabian Nights, Volume 12 Footnotes

[FN#1] Bresi. Edit., vol. xi. pp. 321-99, Nights dccccxxx-xl.

[FN#2] Arab. "Iklim" from the Gr. {Greek}, often used as amongst us (e.g. "other climes") for land.

[FN#3] Bibars whose name is still famous and mostly pronounced "Baybars," the fourth of the Baharite Mamelukes whom I would call the "Soldans." Originally a slave of Al-Salih, seventh of the Ayyubites, he rose to power by the normal process, murdering his predecessor, in A. D. 1260; and he pushed his conquests from Syria to Armenia. In his day "Saint" Louis died before Tunis (A. D. 1270).

[FN#4] There are sundry Sahils or shore-lands. "Sahil Misr" is the River-side of Cairo often extended to the whole of Lower Egypt (vol. i. 290): here it means the lowlands of Palestine once the abode of the noble Philistines; and lastly the term extends to the sea-board of Zanzibar, where, however, it is mostly used in the plur. "Sawahil"=the Shores.

[FN#5] Arab. "Sammar" (from Samar,=conversatio nocturna),=the story-teller who in camp or house whiles away the evening hours.

[FN#6] "Flag of the Faith:" Sanjar in old Persian=a Prince, a King.

[FN#7] "Aider of the Faith."

[FN#8] These policemen's tales present a curious contrast with the detective stories of M. Gaboriau and his host of imitators. In the East the police, like the old Bow Street runners, were and are still recruited principally amongst the criminal classes on the principle of "Set a thief," &c. We have seen that the Barmecide Wazirs of Baghdad "anticipated Fourier's doctrine of the passionel treatment of lawless inclinations," and employed as subordinate officers, under the Wali or Prefect of Police, accomplished villains like Ahmad al-Danaf (vol. iv. 75), Hasan Shuuman and Mercury Ali (ibid.) and even women (Dalilah the Crafty) to coerce and checkmate their former comrades. Moreover a gird at the police is always acceptable, not only to a coffee-house audience, but even to a more educated crowd; witness the treatment of the "Charley" and the "Bobby" in our truly English pantomimes.

[FN#9] i.e. the Chief of Police, as the sequel shows.

[FN#10] About L4.

[FN#11] i.e. of the worlds visible and invisible.

[FN#12] Arab. "Mukaddam:" see vol. iv, 42.

[FN#13] "Faithful of Command;" it may be a title as well as a P. N. For "Al-Amin," see vol. iv. 261.

[FN#14] i. e. "What have I to do with, etc.?" or "How great is the difference between me and her." The phrase is still popular in Egypt and Syria; and the interrogative form only intensifies it. The student of Egyptian should always try to answer a question by a question. His labours have been greatly facilitated by the conscientious work of my late friend Spitta Bey. I tried hard to persuade the late Rogers Bey, whose knowledge of Egyptian and Syrian (as opposed to Arabic) was considerable, that a simple grammar of Egyptian was much wanted; he promised to undertake it) but death cut short the design.

[FN#15] Arab. "Nawwab," plur. of Naib (lit. deputies, lieutenants)=a Nabob. Till the unhappy English occupation of Egypt, the grand old Kil'ah (Citadel) contained the palace of the Pasha and the lodgings and offices of the various officials. Foreign rulers, if they are wise, should convert it into a fort with batteries commanding the town, like that of Hyderabad, in Sind.

[FN#16] For this famous and time-honoured building, see vol. i. 269.

[FN#17] Arab. "Tamkin," gravity, assurance.

[FN#18] Arab. " Iyal-hu" lit. his family, a decorous circumlocution for his wives and concubines.

[FN#19] Arab. "Darb," lit. a road; here a large thoroughfare.

[FN#20] When Mohammed Ali Pasha (the "Great") began to rule, he found Cairo "stifled" with filth, and gave orders that each householder, under pain of confiscation, should keep the street before his house perfectly clean. This was done after some examples had been made and the result was that since that time Cairo never knew the plague. I am writing at Tangier where a Mohammed Ali is much wanted.

[FN#21] i.e. Allah forfend!

[FN#22] Arab. "Mustauda'"=a strong place where goods are deposited and left in charge.

[FN#23] Because, if she came to grief, the people of the street, and especially those of the adjoining houses would get into trouble. Hence in Moslem cities, like Damascus and Fez, the Harat or quarters are closed at night with strong wooden doors, and the guards will not open them except by means of a silver key. Mohammed Ali abolished this inconvenience, but fined and imprisoned all night-walkers who carried no lanterns. See Pilgrimage, vol. i. 173,

[FN#24] As Kazi of the quarter he was ex-officio guardian of the orphans and their property, and liable to severe punishment (unless he could pay for the luxury) in case of fraud or neglect.

[FN#25] Altogether six thousand dinars=L3000. This sentence is borrowed from the sequel and necessary to make the sense clear.

[FN#26] i.e. "I am going at once to complain of thee before the king unless thou give me due satisfaction by restoring the money and finding the thief."

[FN#27] The Practice (of the Prophet) and the Holy Law (Koranic): see vols. v. 36, 167 and i. 169.

[FN#28] In the corrupt text "Who knew me not;" thus spoiling the point.

[FN#29] Arab. "Maut Ahmar"=violent or bloody death. For the various coloured deaths, see vol. vi. 250.

[FN#30] i.e. for lack of sleep.

[FN#31] i.e. of the Kazi.

[FN#32] Arab. "Mubah," in the theologic sense, an action which is not sinful (haram) or quasisinful (makruh); vulgarly "permitted, allowed"; so Shahrazad "ceased to say her say permitted" (by Shahryar).

[FN#33] Arab. "Ya Khawand"; see vol. vii. 315.

[FN#34] i.e. we both make different statements equally credible, but without proof, and the case will go against me, because thou art the greater man.

[FN#35] Arab. "Irtiyad"=seeking a place where to stale, soft and sloping, so that the urine spray may not defile the dress. All this in one word!

[FN#36] Arab. "Bahar," the red buphthalmus sylvester often used for such comparisons. In Algeria it is called 'Arawah: see the Jardin Parfume, p. 245, note 144.

[FN#37] i.e. parties.

[FN#38] i.e. amongst men.

[FN#39] Almost as neat as "ou sont les neiges d'autan?"

[FN#40] Arab. "Adi," one transgressing, an enemy, a scoundrel.

[FN#41] It was probably stuck in the ground like an amphora.

[FN#42] i.e. hush up the matter.

[FN#43] In Egypt; the former being the Eastern of the Seven Provinces extending to the Pelusium branch, and the latter to the Canobic. The "Barari" or deserts, i.e. grounds not watered by the Nile, lie scattered between the two and both are bounded South by the Kalubiyah Province and Middle Egypt.

[FN#44] i.e. a man ready of wit and immediate of action, as opposed to his name Al-Atwash — one notable for levity of mind.

[FN#45] The negative is emphatic, "I certainly saw a Jew," etc.

[FN#46] The "Irish bull" is in the text; justified by—

They hand-in-hand, with wand'ring steps and slow Through Eden took their solitary way,

[FN#47] As we should say, "There are good pickings to be had out of this job." Even in the last generation a Jew or a Christian intriguing with an Egyptian or Syrian Moslemah would be offered the choice of death or Al-Islam. The Wali dared not break open the door because he was not sure of his game.

[FN#48] The Jew rose seemingly to fetch his valuables and ran away, thus leaving the Wali no proof that he had been there in Moslem law which demands ocular testimony, rejects circumstantial evidence and ignores such partial witnesses as the policeman who accompanied his Chief. This I have before explained.

[FN#49] Arab. "Raba'," lit.=spring-quarters. See Marba', iii. 79.

[FN#50] Arab. "Ni'am," an exception to the Abbe Sicard's rule. "La consonne N est l'expression naturelle du doute chez toutes les nations, par ce que le son que rend la touche nasale, quand l'homme incertain examine s'il fera ce qu'on lui demande; ainsi NE ON, NE OT, NE EC, NE IL, d'ou l'on a fait non, not, nec, nil.

[FN#51] For this "Halawat al-Miftah," or sweetmeat of the key-money, the French denier a Dieu, Old English "God's penny," see vol. vii. 212, and Pilgrimage i. 62.

[FN#52] Showing that car. cop. had taken place. Here we find the irregular use of the inn, perpetuated in not a few of the monster hotels throughout Europe.

[FN#53] For its rules and right performance see vol. vi. 199.

[FN#54] i.e. the "Basil(issa)," mostly a servile name, see vol. i. 19.

[FN#55] Arab. "La'alla," used to express the hope or expectation of some event of possible occurrence; thus distinguished from "Layta"—Would heaven! utinam! O si! etc.— expressing desire or volition.

[FN#56] Arab. "Balat," in Cairo the flat slabs of limestone and sandstone brought from the Turah quarries, which supplied stone for the Jizah Pyramids.

[FN#57] Arab. "Ya Mu'arras!" here=O fool and disreputable; see vol. i. 338.

[FN#58] These unfortunates in hot climates enjoy nothing so much as throwing off the clothes which burn their feverish skins: see Pilgrimage iii. 385. Hence the boys of Eastern cities, who are perfect imps and flibbertigibbets, always raise the cry "Majnun" when they see a man naked whose sanctity does not account for his nudity.

[FN#59] Arab. "Daur al-Ka'ah"=the round opening made in the ceiling for light and ventilation.

[FN#60] Arab. "La-nakhsifanna" with the emphatic termination called by grammarians "Nun al-taakid"—the N of injunction. Here it is the reduplicated form, the Nun al-Sakilah or heavy N. The addition of La (not) e.g. "La yazrabanna"=let him certainly not strike answers to the intensive or corroborative negative of the Greek effected by two negations or even more. In Arabic as in Latin and English two negatives make an affirmative.

[FN#61] Parturition and death in warm climates, especially the damp-hot like Egypt are easy compared with both processes in the temperates of Europe. This is noticed by every traveller. Hence probably Easterns have never studied the artificial Euthanasia which is now appearing in literature. See p. 143 "My Path to Atheism," by Annie Besant, London: Freethought Publishing Company, 28, Stonecutter Street, E. C., 1877, based upon the Utopia of the highly religious Thomas Moore. Also "Essay on Euthanasia," by P. D. Williams, Jun., and Mr. Tollemache in the "Nineteenth Century."

[FN#62] i.e. he whose turn it is to sit on the bench outside the police office in readiness for emergencies.

[FN#63] Arab. "'Udul" (plur. of 'Adil), gen. men of good repute, qualified as witnesses in the law court, see vol. iv. 271. It is also used (as below) for the Kazi's Assessors.

[FN#64] About L80.

[FN#65] Arab. "Kitab"=book, written bond. This officiousness of the neighbours is thoroughly justified by Moslem custom; and the same scene would take place in this our day. Like the Hindu's, but in a minor degree, the Moslem's neighbours form a volunteer police which oversees his every action. In the case of the Hindu this is required by the exigencies of caste, an admirable institution much bedevilled by ignorant Mlenchbas, and if "dynamiting" become the fashion in England, as it threatens to become, we shall be obliged to establish "Vigilance Committees" which will be as inquisitorial as caste

[FN#66] e.g. writing The contract of A. with B., daughter of Such-an-one, etc.

[FN#67] Arab. "Hujjat," which may also mean an excuse.

[FN#68] The last clause is supplied by Mr. Payne to stop a gap in the broken text.

[FN#69] The text idiotically says "To the King."

[FN#70] In the text "Nahnu"=we, for I, a common vulgarism in Egypt and Syria.

[FN#71] This clause has required extensive trimming; the text making the Notary write out the contract (which was already written) in the woman's house.

[FN#72] Arab. "Husn tadbir"=lit. "beauty of his contrivance." Husn, like pulcher, beau and bello, is applied to moral intellectual qualities as well as to physical and material. Hence the {Greek} or old gentleman which in Romaic becomes Calogero, a monk.

[FN#73] i.e. that some one told me the following tale.

[FN#74] Arab. "Mutawalli": see vol. i. 259.

[FN#75] i.e. his Moslem neighbours.

[FN#76] In the text is a fearful confusion of genders.

[FN#77] Her object was to sue him for the loss of the pledge and to demand fabulous damages.

[FN#78] Arab. "Ya'tamiduna huda-hum"=purpose the right direction, a skit at the devotees of her age and sex; and an impudent comment upon the Prefect's address "O she-devil!"

[FN#79] The trick has often been played in modern times at fairs, shows, etc. Witness the old joe Miller of the "Moving Multitude."

[FN#80] Apparently meaning the forbidden pleasures of wine and wassail, loose talk and tales of women's wiles, a favourite subject with the lewder sort of Moslem.

[FN#81] i.e. women's tricks.

[FN#82] The "Turkoman" in the text first comes in afterwards.

[FN#83] Arab. "Kasid," the old Anglo-lndian "Cossid"; see vol. vii. 340.

[FN#84] Being a merchant he wore dagger and sword, a safe practice as it deters attack and far better than carrying hidden weapons, derringers and revolvers which, originating in the United States, have now been adopted by the most civilised nations in Europe.

[FN#85] I have noted (vol. ii. 186, iv. 175) the easy expiation of perjury amongst Moslems, an ugly blot in their moral code.

[FN#86] i.e. Enter in the name of Allah.

[FN#87] i.e. Damn your soul for leading me into this danger!

[FN#88] Arab. "Saff Kamariyat min al-Zujaj." The Kamariyah is derived by Lane (Introd. M.E.) from Kamar=moon; by Baron Von Hammer from Khumarawayh, second of the Banu-Tulun dynasty, at the end of the ixth century A.D., when stained glass was introduced into Egypt. N.B.—It must date from many centuries before. The Kamariyah are coloured glass windows about 2 feet high by 18 inches wide, placed in a row along the upper part of the Mashrabiyah or projecting lattice-window, and are formed of small panes of brightly-stained glass set in rims of gypsum-plaster, the whole framed in wood. Here the allusion is to the "Mamrak" or dome-shaped skylight crowning the room. See vol. viii. 156.

[FN#89] i.e. easily arrested them.

[FN#90] The reader will not forget the half-penitent Captain of Bandits in Gil Blas.

[FN#91] Arab. "Abtal"=champions, athletes, etc., plur. of Batal, a brave: so Batalat=a virago. As the root Batala=it was vain, the form "Battal" may mean either a hero or a bad lot: see vol. viii. 335; x. 72,73.

[FN#92] Arab. "Fityan;" plur. of Fata; see vol. i, 67.

[FN#93] This was in popular parlance "adding insult to injury:" the blackening their faces was a promise of Hell-fire.

[FN#94] Arab. "Shayyan li 'llah!" lit.(Give me some) Thing for (the love of) Allah. The answer in Egypt. is "Allah ya'tik:"Allah will give it thee (not I), or, "Yaftah 'Allah,"= Allah open (to thee the door of subsistence): in Marocco "Sir fi halik" (pron. Sirf hak)= Go about thy business. In all cities there is a formula which suffices the asker; but the Ghashim (Johny Raw) who ignores it, is pestered only the more by his protestations that "he left his purse at home," etc.

[FN#95] i.e. engaged her for a revel and paid her in advance.

[FN#96] Arab. "Rasilah"=a (she) partner, to accompany her on the lute.

[FN#97] Suggesting that they are all thieves who had undergone legal mutilation.

[FN#98] Arab. "Nuzhat-i:" see vol. ii. 81.

[FN#99] Arab. "Muhattakat;" usually "with torn veils" (fem. plur.) here "without veils," metaphor. meaning in disgrace, in dishonour.

[FN#100] For this reedy Poa, see vol. ii. 18.

[FN#101] I have repeatedly noticed that singing and all music are, in religious parlance, "Makruh," blameable though not actually damnable; and that the first step after "getting religion" is to forswear them.

[FN#102] i.e. to find the thief or make good the loss.

[FN#103] i.e. the claimants.

[FN#104] Arab. "Sakiyah:" see vol. i. 123.

[FN#105] The lower orders of Egypt and Syria are addicted to this bear-like attack; so the negroes imitate fighting-rams by butting with their stony heads. Let me remark that when Herodotus (iii. 12), after Psammenitus' battle of Pelusium in B.C. 524, made the remark that the Egyptian crania were hardened by shaving and insolation and the Persians were softened by wearing head-cloths, he tripped in his anthropology. The Iranian skull is naturally thin compared with that of the negroid Egyptian and the negro.

[FN#106] Arab. "Farkalah," {Greek} from flagellum; cattle-whip with leathern thongs. Lane, M.E.; Fleischer Glos. 83-84; Dozy s.v.

[FN#107] This clause is supplied to make sense.

[FN#108] i.e. to crucify him by nailing him to an upright board.

[FN#109] i.e. a native of the Hauran, Job's country east of Damascus, now a luxuriant waste, haunted only by the plundering Badawin and the Druzes of the hills, who are no better; but its stretches of ruins and league-long swathes of stone over which the vine was trained, show what it has been and what it will be again when the incubus of Turkish mis-rule shall be removed from it. Herr Schuhmacher has lately noted in the Hauran sundry Arab traditions of Job; the village Nawa, where he lived; the Hammam 'Ayyub, where he washed his leprous skin; the Dayr Ayyub, a monastery said to date from the third century; and the Makan Ayyub at Al-Markaz, where the semi-mythical patriarch and his wife are buried. The "Rock of Job", covered by a mosque, is a basaltic monolith 7 feet high by 4, and is probably connected with the solar worship of the old Phoenicians.

[FN#110] This habit "torquere mero," was a favourite with the mediaeval Arabs. Its effect varies greatly with men's characters, making some open-hearted and communicative, and others more cunning and secretive than in the normal state. So far it is an excellent detection of disposition, and many a man passes off well when sober who has shown himself in liquor a rank snob. Among the lower orders it provokes what the Persians call Bad-masti (le vin mechant) see Pilgrimage iii. 385.

[FN#111] This mystery is not unfamiliar to the modern "spiritualist;" and all Eastern tongues have a special term for the mysterious Voice. See vol. i. 142.

[FN#112] Arab. "Alaykum:" addressed to a single person. This is generally explained by the "Salam" reaching the ears of Invisible Controls, and even the Apostle. We find the words cruelly distorted in the Pentamerone of Giambattista Basile (partly translated by John E. Taylor, London: Bogue, 1848), "The Prince, coming up to the old woman heard an hundred Licasalemme," p. 383.

[FN#113] Arab. "Al-Zalamah"; the policeman; see vol. vi. 214.

[FN#114] i.e. in my punishment.

[FN#115] i.e. on Doomsday thou shalt get thy deserts.

[FN#116] i.e. what I could well afford.

[FN#117] Arab. Hirfah=a trade, a guild, a corporation: here the officers of police.

[FN#118] Gen. "tip-cat" (vol. ii. 314.) Here it would mean a rude form of tables or backgammon, in which the players who throw certain numbers are dubbed Sultan and Wazir, and demean themselves accordingly. A favourite bit of fun with Cairene boys of a past generation was to "make a Pasha;" and for this proceeding, see Pilgrimage, vol. i. 119.

[FN#119] In Marocco there is great difficulty about finding an executioner who becomes obnoxious to the Thar, vendetta or blood-revenge. For salting the criminal's head, however, the soldiers seize upon the nearest Jew and compel him to clean out the brain and to prepare it for what is often a long journey. Hence, according to some, the local name of the Ghetto, Al-Mallah,=the salting-ground.

[FN#120] Mr. Payne suspects that "laban," milk, esp. artificially soured (see vol. vi, 201), is a clerical error for "jubn"=cheese. This may be; but I follow the text as the exaggeration is greater

[FN#121] i.e. in relinquishing his blood-wite for his brother.

[FN#122] The Story-teller, probably to relieve the monotony of the Constables' histories, here returns to the original cadre. We must not forget that in the Bresl. Edit. the Nights are running on, and that the charming queen is relating the adventure of Al-Malik al-Zahir.

[FN#123] Arab. "Za'amu"=they opine, they declare, a favourite term with the Bresl. Edit.

[FN#124] Arab. "Zirtah" the coarsest of terms for what the French nuns prettily termed un sonnet; I find ung sonnet also in Nov. ii. of the Cent nouvelles Nouvelles. Captain Lockett (p. 32) quotes Strepsiades in The Clouds {Greek} "because he cannot express the bathos of the original (in the Tale of Ja'afar and the old Badawi) without descending to the oracular language of Giacoma Rodogina, the engastrymythian prophetess." But Sterne was by no means so squeamish. The literature of this subject is extensive, beginning with "Peteriana, ou l'art de peter," which distinguishes 62 different tones. After dining with a late friend en garcon we went into his sitting-room and found on the table 13 books and booklets upon the Crepitus Ventris, and there was some astonishment as not a few of the party had never seen one.

[FN#125] This tale is a replica of the Cranes of Ibycus. This was a Rhegium man who when returning to Corinth, his home, was set upon by robbers and slain. He cast his dying eyes heavenwards and seeing a flight of cranes called upon them to avenge him and this they did by flying over the theatre of Corinth on a day when the murderers were present and one cried out, "Behold the avengers of Ibycus!" Whereupon they were taken and put to death. So says Paulus Hieronymus, and the affecting old tale has newly been sung in charming verse by Mr. Justin H. McCarthy ("Serapion." London: Chatto and Windus).

[FN#126] This scene is perfectly true to Badawi life; see my Pilgrimage iii. 68.

[FN#127] Arab. "Durraj": so it is rendered in the French translation of Al-Masudi, vii. 347.

[FN#128] A fair friend found the idea of Destiny in The Nights become almost a night-mare. Yet here we suddenly alight upon the true Johnsonian idea that conduct makes fate. Both extremes are as usual false. When one man fights a dozen battles unwounded and another falls at the first shot we cannot but acknowledge the presence of that mysterious "luck" whose laws, now utterly unknown to us, may become familiar with the ages. I may note that the idea of an appointed hour beyond which life may not be prolonged, is as old as Homer (Il. ??? 487).

The reader has been told (vol. vii. 135) that "Kaza" is Fate in a general sense, the universal and eternal Decree of Allah, while "Kadar" is its special and particular application to man's lot, that is Allah's will in bringing forth events at a certain time and place. But the former is popularly held to be of two categories, one Kaza al-Muham which admits of modification and Kaza al-Muhkam, absolute and unchangeable, the doctrine of irresistible predestination preached with so much energy by St. Paul (Romans ix. 15-24), and all the world over men act upon the former while theoretically holding to the latter. Hence "Chinese Gordon," whose loss to England is greater than even his friends suppose, wrote "It is a delightful thing to be a fatalist," meaning that the Divine direction and pre-ordination of all things saved him so much trouble of forethought and afterthought. In this tenet he was not only a Calvinist but also a Moslem whose contradictory ideas of Fate and Freewill (with responsibility) are not only beyond Reason but are contrary to Reason; and although we may admit the argumentum ad verecundiam, suggesting that there are things above (or below) human intelligence, we are not bound so to do in the case of things which are opposed to the common sense of mankind. Practically, however, the Moslem attitude is to be loud in confessing belief of "Fate and Fortune" before an event happens and after it wisely to console himself with the conviction that in no way could he have escaped the occurrence. And the belief that this destiny was in the hands of Allah gives him a certain dignity especially in the presence of disease and death which is wanting in his rival religionist the Christian. At the same time the fanciful picture of the Turk sitting stolidly under a shower of bullets because Fate will not find him out unless it be so written is a freak i.e. fancy rarely found in real life.

There are four great points of dispute amongst the schoolmen in Al-Islam; (1) the Unity and Attributes of Allah, (2) His promises and threats, (3) historical as the office of Imam and (4) Predestination and the justice thereof. On the latter subject opinions range over the whole cycle of possibilities. For instance, the Mu'tazilites, whom the learned Weil makes the Protestants and Rationalists of Al-Islam, contend that the word of Allah was created in subjecto, ergo, an accident and liable to perish, and one of their school, the Kadiriyah (=having power) denies the existence of Fate and contends that Allah did not create evil but left man an absolutely free agent. On the other hand, the Jabarlyah (or Mujabbar=the compelled) is an absolute Fatalist who believes in the omnipotence of Destiny and deems that all wisdom consists in conforming with its decrees. Al-Mas'udi (chaps. cxxvii.) illustrates this by the saying of a Moslem philosopher that chess was the invention of a Mu'tazil, while Nard (backgammon with dice) was that of a Mujabbar proving that play can do nothing against Destiny. Between the two are the Ashariyah; trimmers whose standpoint is hard to define; they would say, "Allah creates the power by which man acts, but man wills the action," and care not to answer the query, "Who created the will ?" (See Pocock, Sale and the Dabistan ii. 352.) Thus Sa'adi says in the Gulistan (iii. 2), "The wise have pronounced that though daily bread be allotted, yet it is so conditionally upon using means to acquire it, and although calamity be predestined, yet it is right to secure oneself against the portals by which it may have access." Lastly, not a few doctors of Law and Religion hold that Kaza al-Muhkam, however absolute, regards only man's after or final state; and upon this subject they are of course as wise as other people, and—no wiser. Lane has treated the Moslem faith in Destiny very ably and fully (Arabian Nights, vol. i. pp. 58-61), and he being a man of moderate and orthodox views gives valuable testimony.

[FN#129] Arab. "Shaykh al-Hujjaj." Some Santon like Hasan al- Marabit, then invoked by the Meccan pilgrims: see Pilgrimage, i. 321. It can hardly refer to the famous Hajjaj bin Yusuf al-Sakafi (vol. iv. 3).

[FN#130] Here the Stories of the Sixteen Constables abruptly end, after the fashion of the Bresl. Edit. They are summarily dismissed even without the normal "Bakhshish."

[FN#131] Bresl. Edit. vol xi. pp. 400-473 and vol. xii. pp. 4-50, Nights dccccxli.-dcccclvii. For Kashghar, see vol. i. 255.

[FN#132] Mr. Payne proposes to translate "'Anbar" by amber, the semi-fossilised resin much used in modern days, especially in Turkey and Somaliland, for bead necklaces. But, as he says, the second line distinctly alludes to the perfume which is sewn in leather and hung about the neck, after the fashion of our ancient pomanders (pomme d' ambre).

[FN#133] i.e. The Caliph: see vol. i. p. 50.

[FN#134] Arab. "Adab :" see vol. i. 132, etc. In Moslem dialects which borrow more or less from Arabic, "Bi-adabi"—without being Adab, means rudeness, disrespect, "impertinence" (in its modern sense).

[FN#135] i.e. Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab musicians: see vol. iv. 119.

[FN#136] The elder brother of Ja'afar, by no means so genial or fitted for a royal frolic. See Terminal Essay.

[FN#137] Ibn Habib, a friend of Isaac, and a learned grammarian who lectured at Basrah.

[FN#138] A suburb of Baghdad, mentioned by Al Mas'udi.

[FN#139] Containing the rooms in which the girl or girls were sold. See Pilgrimage i. 87.

[FN#140] Dozy quotes this passage but cannot explain the word Fawwak.

[FN#141] "A passage has apparently dropped out here. The Khalif seems to have gone away without buying, leaving Ishak behind, whereupon the latter was accosted by another slave-girl, who came out of a cell in the corridor." So says Mr. Payne. vol. ii. 207. The "raiser of the veil" means a fitting purchaser.

[FN#142] i.e. "Choice gift of the Fools," a skit upon the girl's name "Tohfat al-Kulub"=Choice gift of the Hearts. Her folly consisted in refusing to be sold at a high price, and this is often seen in real life. It is a Pundonor amongst good Moslems not to buy a girl and not to sleep with her, even when bought, against her will.

[FN#143] "Every one cannot go to Corinth." The question makes the assertion emphatic.

[FN#144] i.e. The Narrows of the (Dervishes') convent.

[FN#145] Arab. "Akwa min dahni 'l-lanz." These unguents have been used in the East from time immemorial whilst the last generation in England knew nothing of anointing with oil for incipient consumption. A late friend of mine, Dr. Stocks of the Bombay Establishment, and I proposed it as long back as 1845; but in those days it was a far cry from Sind to London.

[FN#146] The sequel will explain why she acted in this way.

[FN#147] i.e. Thou hast made my gold piece (10 shill.) worth only a doit by thy superiority in the art and mystery of music.

[FN#148] Arab. "Uaddiki," Taadiyah (iid. of Ada, he assisted) means sending, forwarding. In Egypt and Syria we often find the form "Waddi" for Addi, imperative.

[FN#149] Again "he" for "she".

[FN#150] i.e. Honey and wine.

[FN#151] i.e. he died.

[FN#152] i.e. if my hand had lost its cunning.

[FN#153] Arab. "Thiyab 'Amudiyah": 'Amud=tent prop or column, and Khatt 'Amud=a perpendicular line.

[FN#154] i.e. a choice gift. The Caliph speaks half ironically. "Where's this wonderful present etc?" So further on when he compares her with the morning.

[FN#155] Again the usual pun upon the name.

[FN#156] Throughout the East this is the action of a servant or a slave, practised by freemen only when in danger of life or extreme need an i therefore humiliating.

[FN#157] It had been thrown down from the Mamrak or small dome built over such pavilions for the purpose of light by day and ventilation by night. See vol. i. 257, where it is called by the Persian term "Badhanj."

[FN#158] The Nights have more than once applied this patronymic to Zubaydah. See vol. viii. 56, 158.

[FN#159] Arab. "Mutahaddisin"=novi homines, upstarts.

[FN#160] i.e.. thine auspicious visits.

[FN#161] He being seated on the carpet at the time.

[FN#162] A quotation from Al-Farazdat who had quarrelled with his wife Al-Howar (see the tale in Ibn Khallikan, i. 521), hence "the naked intercessor" became proverbial for one who cannot be withstood.

[FN#163] i.e. Choice Gift of the Breasts, that is of hearts, the continens for the contentum.

[FN#164] Pron. "Abuttawaif," the Father of the (Jinn-)tribes. It is one of the Moslem Satan's manifold names, alluding to the number of his servants and worshippers, so far agreeing with that amiable Christian doctrine, "Few shall be saved."

[FN#165] Mr. Payne supplies this last clause from the sequence.

[FN#166] i.e. "Let us go," with a euphemistic formula to defend her from evil influences. Iblis uses the same word to prevent her being frightened.

[FN#167] Arab. "Al-Mustarah," a favourite haunting place of the Jinn, like the Hammam and other offices for human impurity. For its six names Al-Khala, Al-Hushsh, Al-Mutawazza, Al-Kanif, Al-Mustarah, and Mirhaz, see Al-Mas'udi, chap. cxxvii., and Shirishi's commentary to Hariri's 47, Assembly.

[FN#168] Which, in the East, is high and prominent whilst the cantle forms a back to the seat and the rider sits as in a baby's chair. The object is a firm seat when fighting: "across country" it is exceedingly dangerous.

[FN#169] In Swedenborg's "Arcane Coelestia" we read, "When man's inner sight is opened which is that of kits spirit; then there appear the things of another life which cannot be made visible to the bodily sight." Also "Evil spirits, when seen by eyes other than those of their infernal associates, present themselves by correspondence in the beast (fera) which represents their particular lust and life, in aspect direful and atrocious." These are the Jinns of Northern Europe.

[FN#170] This exchange of salams was a sign of her being in safety.

[FN#171] Arab. "Shawahid," meaning that heart testifies to heart.

[FN#172] i.e. A live coal, afterwards called Zalzalah, an earthquake; see post p. 76. "Wakhimah"=an unhealthy land, and "Shararah"=a spark.

[FN#173] I need hardly note the inscriptions upon the metal trays sold to Europeans. They are usually imitation words so that infidel eyes may not look upon the formulae of prayer; and the same is the case with table-cloths, etc., showing a fancy Tohgra or Sultanic sign-manual.

[FN#174] i.e.. I cannot look at them long.

[FN#175] Evidently a diabolical way of clapping his hands in applause. This description of the Foul Fiend has an element of grotesqueness which is rather Christian than Moslem.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9     Next Part
Home - Random Browse