[FN#436] The Arabs are not satisfied with the comparative moderation of the Hebrew miracle, and have added all manner of absurdities. (Pilgrimage ii. 288.)
[FN#437] Koran lxxxi. 18. Sale translates "by the morning when it appeareth;" and the word (tanaffus) will bear this meaning. Mr. Rodwell prefers, "By the dawn when it clears away the darkness by its breath."
[FN#438] As a rule Moslems are absurdly ignorant of arithmetic and apparently cannot master it. Hence in Egypt they used Copts for calculating-machines and further East Hindds. The mildest numerical puzzle, like the above, is sure of success.
[FN#439] The paradiseal tree which supplied every want. Mohammed borrowed it from the Christians (Rev. xxi. 10-21 and xxii. 1-2) who placed in their paradise the Tree of Life which bears twelve sorts of fruits and leaves of healing virtue. (See also the 3rd book of Hermas, his Similitudes.) The Hebrews borrowed it from the Persians. Amongst the Hindus it appears as "Kalpavriksha;" amongst the Scandinavians as Yggdrasil. The curious reader will consult Mr. James Fergusson's learned work, "Tree and Serpent Worship," etc. London, 1873.
[FN#440] Aaron's Rod becomes amongst Moslems (Koran vii. 110) Moses' Staff; the size being that of a top-mast. (Pilgrimage i. 300, 301.) In Koran xx. 18, 19, we find a notice of its uses; and during the Middle Ages it reappeared in the Staff of Wamba the Goth (A.D.672-680) the witch's broomstick was its latest development.
[FN#441] Christ, say the Eutychians, had only one nature, the divine; so he was crucified in effigy.
[FN#442] Jesus is compared with Adam in the Koran (chapt. iii.): his titles are Kalmu 'llah (word of God) because engendered without a father, and Rhu 'llah (breath of God) because conceived by Gabriel in the shape of a beautifui youth breathing into the Virgin's vulva. Hence Moslems believe in a "miraculous conception" and consequently determine that one so conceived was, like Elias and Khizr, not subject to death; they also hold him born free from "original sin" (a most sinful superstition), a veil being placed before the Virgin and Child against the Evil One who could not touch them. He spoke when a babe in cradle; he performed miracles of physic; he was taken up to Heaven; he will appear as the forerunner of Mohammed on the White Tower of Damascus, and finally he will be buried at Al-Medinah. The Jews on the other hand speak of him as "that man:" they hold that he was begotten by Joseph during the menstrual period and therefore a born magician. Moreover he learned the Sham ha-maphrash or Nomen tetragrammaton, wrote it on parchment and placed it in an incision in his thigh, which closed up on the Name being mentioned (Buxtorf, Lex Talmud, 25-41). Other details are given in the Toldoth Jesu (Historia Joshu Nazareni). This note should be read by the eminent English littrateur who discovered a fact, well known to Locke and Carlyle, that "Mohammedans are Christians." So they are and something more.
[FN#443] In the Kalamdn, or pen-case, is a little inkstand of metal occupying the top of the long, narrow box.
[FN#444] A fair specimen of the riddle known as the "surprise."
[FN#445] Koran xli. 10.
[FN#446] Koran xxxvi. 82.
[FN#447] Here we enter upon a series of disputed points. The Wahhbis deny the intercession of the Apostle (Pilgrimage ii. 76-77). The Shi'ahs place Ali next in dignity to Mohammed and there is a sect (Ali-Ilhi) which believes him to be an Avatar or incarnation of the Deity. For the latter the curious reader will consult the "Dabistan," ii. 451. The Koran by its many contradictions seems to show that Mohammed never could make up his own mind on the subject, thinking himself at times an intercessor and then sharply denying all intercession.
[FN#448] Arab. "Kanjifah"=a pack of cards; corrupted from the Persian "Ganjfah." We know little concerning the date or origin of this game in the East, where the packs are quite unlike ours.
[FN#449] It is interesting to compare this account with the pseudo Ovid and with Tale clxvi. in Gesta "Of the game of Schaci." Its Schacarium is the chess-board. Rochus (roccus, etc.) is not from the Germ. Rock (a coat) but from Rukh (Pers. a hero, a knight-errant) Alphinus (Ital. Alfino) is Al-Firzn (Pers. science, wise).
[FN#450] Arab, "Baydak" or "Bayzak"; a corruption of the Persian "Piydah"=a footman, peon, pawn; and proving whence the Arabs derived the game. The Persians are the readiest backgammon-players known to me, better even than the Greeks; they throw the dice from the hand and continue foully abusing the fathers and mothers of the "bones" whilst the game lasts. It is often played in the intervals of dinner by the higher classes in Persia.
[FN#451] Metaphor from loading camels and mules. To "eat" a piece is to take it.
[FN#452] Arab. "Bilbil"; a plural of "Bulbul" with a double entendre balbil (plur. of ballalah)=heart's troubles, and "bal, bul"=a calamity, nay, etc.
[FN#453] The popular English idea of the Arab horse is founded upon utter unfact. Book after book tells us, "There are three distinct breeds of Arabians -the Attechi, a very superior breed; the Kadishi, mixed with these and of little value; and the Kochlani, highly prized and very difficult to procure." "Attechi" may be At-Tzi (the Arab horse, or hound) or some confusion with "At" (Turk.) a horse. "Kadish" (Gadish or Kidish) is a nag; a gelding, a hackney, a "pacer" (generally called "Rahwn"). "Kochlani" is evidently "Kohlni," the Kohl-eyed, because the skin round the orbits is dark as if powdered. This is the true blue blood; and the bluest of all is "Kohlni al-Ajz" (of the old woman) a name thus accounted for. An Arab mare dropped a filly when in flight; her rider perforce galloped on and presently saw the foal appear in camp, when it was given to an old woman for nursing and grew up to be famous. The home of the Arab horse is the vast plateau of Al-Najd: the Tahmah or lower maritime regions of Arabia, like Malabar, will not breed good beasts. The pure blood all descends from five collateral lines called Al-Khamsah (the Cinque). Literary and pedantic Arabs derive them from the mares of Mohammed, a native of the dry and rocky region, Al-Hijaz, whither horses are all imported. Others go back (with the Koran, chapt. xxviii.) to Solomon, possibly Salmn, a patriarch fourth in descent from Ishmael and some 600 years older than the Hebrew King. The Badawi derive the five from Rab'at al-Faras (R. of the mare) fourth in descent from Adnn, the fount of Arab genealogy. But they differ about the names: those generally given are Kahilan (Kohaylat), Saklwi (which the Badawin pronounce Saglwi), Abayn, and Hamdni; others substitute Mankhi (the long-maned), Tans and Jalfn. These require no certificate amongst Arabs; for strangers a simple statement is considered enough. The Badawin despise all half-breeds (Arab sires and country mares), Syrian, Turkish, Kurdish and Egyptian. They call these (first mentioned in the reign of Ahmes, B.C. 1600) the "sons of horses"; as opposed to "sons of mares," or thorough-breds. Nor do they believe in city-bred animals. I have great doubts concerning our old English sires, such as the Darley Arabian which looks like a Kurdish half-bred, the descendant of those Cappadocians so much prized by the Romans: in Syria I rode a "Harfsh" (Kurd) the very image of it. There is no difficulty in buying Arab stallions except the price. Of course the tribe does not like to part with what may benefit the members generally; but offers of 500 to 1,000 would overcome men's scruples. It is different with mares, which are almost always the joint property of several owners. The people too dislike to see a hat on a thorough-bred mare: "What hast thou done that thou art ridden by that ill-omened Kafir?" the Badawin used to mutter when they saw a highly respectable missionary at Damascus mounting a fine Ruwal mare. The feeling easily explains the many wars about horses occurring in Arab annals, e.g. about Dhis and Ghabr. (C. de Perceval, Essas, vol.ii.)
[FN#454] The stricter kind of Eastern Jew prefers to die on the floor, not in bed, as was the case with the late Mr. Emmanuel Deutsch, who in his well-known article on the Talmud had the courage to speak of "Our Saviour." But as a rule the Israelite, though he mostly appears as a Deist, a Unitarian, has a fund of fanatical feelings which crop up in old age and near death. The "converts" in Syria and elsewhere, whose Judaism is intensified by "conversion," when offers are made to them by the missionaries repair to the Khkhm (scribe) and, after abundant wrangling determine upon a modus vivendi. They are to pay a proportion of their wages, to keep careful watch in the cause of Israel and to die orthodox. In Istria there is a legend of a Jew Prior in a convent who was not discovered till he announced himself most unpleasantly on his death-bed. For a contrary reason to Jewish humility, the Roman Emperors preferred to die standing.
[FN#455] He wished to die in a state of ceremonial purity; as has before been mentioned.
[FN#456] Arab. "Badal": in Sind (not to speak of other places) it was customary to hire a pauper "badal" to be hanged in stead of a rich man. Sir Charles Napier signed many a death-warrant before he ever heard of the practice.
[FN#457] Arab. "La'an" = curse. The word is in every mouth though strongly forbidden by religion. Even of the enemies of Al-Islam the learned say, "Ila'an Yezd wa l tazd" = curse Yezid but do not exceed (i.e. refrain from cursing the others). This, however, is in the Shafi' school and the Hanafs do not allow it (Pilgrimage i. 198). Hence the Moslem when scrupulous uses na'al (shoe) for la'an (curse) as Ina'al abk (for Ila'an abu'-k) or, drat (instead of damn) your father. Men must hold Supreme Intelligence to be of feeble kind if put off by such miserable pretences.
[FN#458] Koran vi. 44, speaking of the Infidels. It is a most unamiable chapter, with such assertions as "Allah leadeth into error whom He pleaseth," etc.
[FN#459] Alluding to the "formication" which accompanies a stroke of paralysis.
[FN#460] Pronounce Zool Karnayn.
[FN#461] i.e. the Koranic and our medival Alexander, Lord of the two Horns (East and West) much "Matagrobolized" and very different from him of Macedon. The title is variously explained, from two protuberances on his head or helm, from two long locks and, possibly, from the ram-horns of Jupiter Ammon. The anecdote in the text seems suggested by the famous interview (probably a canard) with Diogenes: see in the Gesta, Tale cxlvi., "The answer of Diomedes the Pirate to Alexander." Iskandar was originally called Marzbn (Lord of the Marches), son of Marzabah; and, though descended from Yunn, son of Japhet, the eponymus of the Greeks, was born obscure, the son of an old woman. According to the Persians he was the son of the Elder Drb (Darius Codomannus of the Kayanian or Second dynasty), by a daughter of Philip of Macedon; and was brought up by his grandfather. When Abraham and Isaac had rebuilt the Ka'abah they foregathered with him and Allah sent him forth against the four quarters of the earth to convert men to the faith of the Friend or to cut their throats; thus he became one of the four world-conquerors with Nimrod, Solomon, Bukht al-Nasr (Nabochodonosor); and he lived down two generations of men. His Wazir was Arist (the Greek Aristotle) and he carried a couple of flags, white and black, which made day and night for him and facilitated his conquests. At the end of Persia, where he was invited by the people, on account of the cruelty of his half brother Darab II., he came upon two huge mountains on the same line, behind which dwelt a host of abominable pygmies, two spans high, with curious eyes, ears which served as mattresses and coverlets, huge fanged mouths, lions' claws and hairy hind quarters. They ate men, destroyed everything, copulated in public and had swarms of children. These were Yjj and Mjj (Gog and Magog) descendants of Japhet. Sikandar built against them the famous wall with stones cemented and riveted by iron and copper. The "Great Wall" of China, the famous bulwark against the Tartars, dates from B.C. 320 (Alexander of Macedon died B.C. 324); and as the Arabs knew Canton well before Mohammed's day, they may have built their romance upon it. The Guebres consigned Sikandar to hell for burning the Nusks or sections of the Zendavesta.
[FN#462] These terrific preachments to Eastern despots (who utterly ignore them) are a staple produce of Oriental tale-literature and form the chiaro-oscuro, as it were, of a picture whose lights are brilliant touches of profanity and indelicate humour. It certainly has the charm of contrast. Much of the above is taken from the Sikandar-nameh (Alexander Book) of the great Persian poet, Nizmi, who flourished A.H. 515-597, between the days of Firdausi (ob. A.D.1021) and Sa'adi (ob. A.D. 1291). In that romance Sikandar builds, "where the sun goes down," a castle of glittering stone which kills men by causing excessive laughter and surrounds it with yellow earth like gold. Hence the City of Brass. He also converts, instead of being converted by, the savages of the text. He finds a stone of special excellence which he calls Alms (diamond); and he obtains it from the Valley of Serpents by throwing down flesh to the eagles. Lastly he is accompanied by "Bilnas" or "Bilnus," who is apparently Apollonius of Tyana.
[FN#463] I have explained the beautiful name in Night cclxxxix: He is stil famous for having introduced into Persia the fables of Pilpay (Bidyapati, the lord of lore) and a game which the genius of Persia developed into chess.
[FN#464] Here we find an eternal truth, of which Malthusians ever want reminding; that the power of a nation simply consists in its numbers of fighting men and in their brute bodily force. The conquering race is that which raises most foot-pounds: hence the North conquers the South in the Northern hemisphere and visa versa.
[FN#465] Arab. "Wayha," not so strong as "Woe to," etc. Al-Hariri often uses it as a formula of affectionate remonstrance.
[FN#466] As a rule (much disputed) the Sayyid is a descendant from Mohammed through his grandchild Hasan, and is a man of the pen; whereas the Sharif derives from Husayn and is a man of the sword. The Najb al-taraf is the son of a common Moslemah by a Sayyid, as opposed to the "Najib al-tarafayn," when both parents are of Apostolic blood. The distinction is not noticed in Lane's "Modern Egyptians". The Sharif is a fanatic and often dangerous, as I have instanced in Pilgrimage iii. 132.
[FN#467] A theologian of Bassorah (eighth century): surnamed Ab Yahy. The prayer for mercy denotes that he was dead when the tale was written.
[FN#468] A theologian of Bassorah (eighth century).
[FN#469] Arab. "Musall"; lit. a place of prayer; an oratory, a chapel, opp. to "Jmi'" = a (cathedral) mosque.
[FN#470] According to all races familiar with the negro, a calf like a shut fist planted close under the ham is, like the "cucumber shin" and "lark heel", a good sign in a slave. Shapely calves and well-made legs denote the idle and the ne'er-do-well. I have often found this true although the rule is utterly empirical. Possibly it was suggested by the contrast of the nervous and lymphatic temperaments.
[FN#471] These devotees address Allah as a lover would his beloved. The curious reader will consult for instances the Dabistan on Tasawwuf (ii. 221; i.,iii. end, and passim).
[FN#472] Arab. "Ma'rifat," Pers. Dnish; the knowledge of the Truth. The seven steps are (1) Shar'at, external law like night; (2) Tarkat, religious rule like the stars; (3) Hakkat, reality, truth like the moon; (4) Ma'arifat like the sun; (5) Kurbat, proximity to Allah; (6) Waslat, union with Allah, and (7) Suknat, dwelling in Allah. (Dabistan iii.29.)
[FN#473] Name of a fountain of Paradise: See Night xlix., vol. ii., p.100.
[FN#474] Arab. "Atbk"; these trays are made of rushes, and the fans of palm-leaves or tail-feathers.
[FN#475] Except on the two great Festivals when fasting is forbidden. The only religion which has shown common sense in this matter is that of the Guebres or Parsis: they consider fasting neither meritorious nor lawful; and they honour Hormuzd by good living "because it keeps the soul stronger." Yet even they have their food superstitions, e.g. in Gate No. xxiv.: "Beware of sin specially on the day thou eatest flesh, for flesh is the diet of Ahriman." And in India the Guebres have copied the Hindus in not slaughtering horned cattle for the table.
[FN#476] Arab. "Jallbiyah," a large-sleeved robe of coarse stuff worn by the poor.
[FN#477] His fear was that his body might be mutilated by the fall.
[FN#478] The phrase means "offering up many and many a prayer."
[FN#479] A saying of Mohammed is recorded "Al-fakru fakhr" (poverty is my pride!), intelligible in a man who never wanted for anything. Here he is diametrically opposed to Ali who honestly abused poverty; and the Prophet seems to have borrowed from Christendom, whose "Lazarus and Dives" shows a man sent to Hell because he enjoyed a very modified Heaven in this life and which suggested that one of the man's greatest miseries is an ecclesiastical virtue—"Holy Poverty"—represented in the Church as a bride young and lovely. If a "rich man can hardly enter the kingdom" what must it be with a poor man whose conditions are far more unfavourable? Going to the other extreme we may say that Poverty is the root of all evil and the more so as it curtails man's power of benefiting others. Practically I observe that those who preach and praise it the most, practise it the least willingly: the ecclesiastic has always some special reasons, a church or a school is wanted; but not the less he wishes for more money. In Syria this Holy Poverty leads to strange abuses. At Bayrut I recognised in most impudent beggers well-to-do peasants from the Kasrawn district, and presently found out that whilst their fields were under snow they came down to the coast, enjoyed a genial climate and lived on alms. When I asked them if they were not ashamed to beg, they asked me if I was ashamed of following in the footsteps of the Saviour and Apostles. How much wiser was Zoroaster who found in the Supreme Paradise (Minuwn-minu) "many persons, rich in gold and silver who had worshipped the Lord and had been grateful to Him." (Dabistan i. 265.)
[FN#480] Koran vii. 52.
[FN#481] Arab. "Al-bayt" = the house. The Arabs had probably learned this pleasant mode of confinement from the Chinese whose Kea or Cangue is well known. The Arabian form of it is "Ghull," or portable pillory, which reprobates will wear on Judgment Day.
[FN#482] This commonest conjuring trick in the West becomes a miracle in the credulous East.
[FN#483] Arab. "Knn"; the usual term is Mankal (pron. Mangal) a pan of copper or brass. Some of these "chafing-dishes" stand four feet high and are works of art. Lane (M.E. chapt. iv) gives an illustration of the simpler kind, together with the "Azik," a smaller pan for heating coffee. See Night dxxxviii.
[FN#484] See vol. iii., p.239. The system is that of the Roman As and Unciae. Here it would be the twenty-fourth part of a dinar or miskal; something under 5d. I have already noted that all Moslem rulers are religiously bound to some handicraft, if it be only making toothpicks. Mohammed abolished kingship proper as well as priestcraft.
[FN#485] Al-Islam, where salvation is found under the shade of the swords.
[FN#486] Moslems like the Classics (Aristotle and others) hold the clitoris (Zambr) to be the sedes et scaturigo veneris which, says Sonnini, is mere profanity. In the babe it protrudes beyond the labi and snipping off the head forms female circumcision. This rite is supposed by Moslems to have been invented by Sarah who so mutilated Hagar for jealousy and was afterwards ordered by Allah to have herself circumcised at the same time as Abraham. It is now (or should be) universal in Al-Islam and no Arab would marry a girl "unpurified" by it. Son of an "uncircumcised" mother (Ibn al-bazr) is a sore insult. As regards the popular idea that Jewish women were circumcised till the days of Rabbi Gershom (A.D.1000) who denounced it as a scandal to the Gentiles, the learned Prof. H. Graetz informs me, with some indignation, that the rite was never practised and that the great Rabbi contended only against polygamy. Female circumcision, however, is I believe the rule amongst some outlying tribes of Jews. The rite is the proper complement of male circumcision, evening the sensitiveness of the genitories by reducing it equally in both sexes: an uncircumcised woman has the venereal orgasm much sooner and oftener than a circumcised man, and frequent coitus would injure her health; hence I believe, despite the learned historian, that it is practised by some Eastern Jews. "Excision" is universal amongst the negroids of the Upper Nile (Werne), the Soml and other adjacent tribes. The operator, an old woman, takes up the instrument, a knife or razor-blade fixed into a wooden handle, and with three sweeps cuts off the labia and the head of the clitoris. The parts are then sewn up with a packneedle and a thread of sheepskin; and in Dar-For a tin tube is inserted for the passage of urine. Before marriage the bridegroom trains himself for a month on beef, honey and milk; and, if he can open his bride with the natural weapon, he is a sworder to whom no woman in the tribe can deny herself. If he fails, he tries penetration with his fingers and by way of last resort whips out his whittle and cuts the parts open. The sufferings of the first few nights must be severe. The few Somli prostitutes who practised at Aden always had the labi and clitoris excised and the skin showing the scars of coarse sewing. The moral effect of female circumcision is peculiar. While it diminishes the heat of passion it increases licentiousness, and breeds a debauchery of mind far worse than bodily unchastity, because accompanied by a peculiar cold cruelty and a taste for artificial stimulants to "luxury." It is the sexlessness of a spayed canine imitated by the suggestive brain of humanity.
[FN#487] Koran vi. So called because certain superstitions about Cattle are therein mentioned.
[FN#488] Koran iv. So called because it treats of marriages, divorces, etc.
[FN#489] Sdi (contracted from Sayyid = my lord) is a title still applied to holy men in Marocco and the Maghrib; on the East African coast it is assumed by negro and negroid Moslems, e.g. Sidi Mubrak Bombay; and "Seedy boy" is the Anglo-Indian term for a Zanzibar-man. "Khawws" is one who weaves palm-leaves (Khos) into baskets, mats, etc.: here, however, it may be an inherited name.
[FN#490] i.e. in spirit; the "strangers yet" of poor dear Richard Monckton Milnes, Lord Houghton.
[FN#491] Al-Hakk = the Truth, one of the ninety-nine names of Allah.
[FN#492] The Moslem is still unwilling to address Salm (Peace be with you) to the Christian, as it is obligatory (Farz) to a Moslem (Koran, chapt. iv. and lxviii.). He usually evades the difficulty by saluting the nearest Moslem or by a change of words Allah Yahd-k (Allah direct thee to the right way) or "Peace be upon us and the righteous worshipers of Allah" (not you) or Al-Samm (for Salam) alayka = poison to thee. The idea is old: Alexander of Alexandria in his circular letter describes the Arian heretics as "men whom it is not lawful to salute or to bid God-speed."
[FN#493] Koran xxxvi. 82. I have before noted that this famous phrase was borrowed from the Hebrews, who borrowed it from the Egyptians.
[FN#494] The story of Moses and Khizr has been noticed before. See Koran chapt. xviii. 64 et seq. It is also related, says Lane (ii. 642), by Al-Kazwni in the Ajib al-Makhlkt. This must be "The Angel and the Hermit" in the Gesta Romanorum, Tale lxxx. which possibly gave rise to Parnell's Hermit; and Tale cxxvii. "Of Justice and Equity." The Editor says it "contains a beautiful lesson:" I can find only excellent excuses for "doing evil that good may come of it."
[FN#495] Koran chapt. v.108.
[FN#496] The doggrel is phenomenal.
[FN#497] He went in wonder and softened heart to see the miracle of saintly affection.
[FN#498] In Sufistical parlance, the creature is the lover and the Creator the Beloved: worldly existence is Disunion, parting, severance; and the life to come is Reunion. The basis of the idea is the human soul being a divin particula aur, a disjoined molecule from the Great Spirit, imprisoned in a jail of flesh; and it is so far valuable that it has produced a grand and pathetic poetry; but Common Sense asks, Where is the proof? And Reason wants to know, What does it all mean?
[FN#499] Koran xiii. 41.
[FN#500] Robinson Crusoe, with a touch of Arab prayerfulness. Also the story of the Knight Placidus in the Gesta (cx.), Boccaccio, etc.
[FN#501] Arabs note two kinds of leprosy, "Bahak" or "Baras" the common or white, and "Juzam" the black leprosy; the leprosy of the joints, mal rouge. Both are attributed to undue diet as eating fish and drinking milk; and both are treated with tonics, especially arsenic. Leprosy is regarded by Moslems as a Scriptural malady on account of its prevalence amongst the Israelites who, as Manetho tells us, were expelled from Egypt because they infected and polluted the population. In medival Christendom an idea prevailed that the Saviour was a leper; hence the term "morbus sacer"; the honours paid to the sufferers by certain Saints and the Papal address (Clement III. A.D.1189) dilectis filiis leprosis. (Farrar's Life of Christ, i.149.) For the "disgusting and impetuous lust" caused by leprosy, see Sonnini (p.560) who visited the lepers at Canea in Candia. He is one of many who describes this symptom; but in the Brazil, where the foul malady still prevails, I never heard of it.
[FN#502] A city in Irak; famous for the three days' battle which caused the death of Yezdegird, last Sassanian king.
[FN#503] A mountain pass near Meccah famous for the "First Fealty of the Steep" (Pilgrimage ii. 126). The mosque was built to commemorate the event.
[FN#504] To my surprise I read in Mr. Redhouse's "Mesnevi" (Trubner, 1881), "Arafat, the mount where the victims are slaughtered by the pilgrims." (p.60). This ignorance is phenomenal. Did Mr. Redhouse never read Burckhardt or Burton?
[FN#505] i.e. listening to the sermon.
[FN#506] It is sad doggrel.
[FN#507] This long story, containing sundry episodes and occupying fifty-three Nights, is wholly omitted by Lane (ii. 643) because "it is a compound of the most extravagant absurdities." He should have enabled his readers to form their own judgment.
[FN#508] Called Jamasp (brother and minister of the ancient Persian King Gushtasp) in the translations of Trebutien and others from Von Hammer.
[FN#509] The usual term of lactation in the East, prolonged to two years and a-half, which is considered the rule laid down by the Shara' or precepts of the Prophet. But it is not unusual to see children of three and even four years hanging to their mothers' breasts. During this period the mother does not cohabit with her husband; the separation beginning with her pregnancy. Such is the habit, not only of the "lower animals," but of all ancient peoples, the Egyptians (from whom the Hebrews borrowed it), the Assyrians and the Chinese. I have discussed its bearing upon pregnancy in my "City of the Saints": the Mormons insist upon this law of purity being observed; and the beauty, strength and good health of the younger generation are proofs of their wisdom.
[FN#510] Thus distinguishing it from "Asal-kasab," cane honey or sugar. See vol. i., 271.
[FN#511] The student of Hinduism will remember the Nga-Kings and Queens (Melusines and Echidn) who guard the earth-treasures in Naga-land. The first appearance of the snake in literature is in Egyptian hieroglyphs, where he forms the letters f and t, and acts as a determinative in the shape of a Cobra di Capello (Coluber Naja) with expanded hood.
[FN#512] In token that he was safe.
[FN#513] "Akhir al-Zamn." As old men praise past times, so prophets prefer to represent themselves as the last. The early Christians caused much scandal amongst the orderly law-loving Romans by their wild and mistaken predictions of the end of the world being at hand. The catastrophe is a fact for each man under the form of death; but the world has endured for untold ages and there is no apparent cause why it should not endure as many more. The "latter days," as the religious dicta of most "revelations" assure us, will be richer in sinners than in sanctity: hence "End of Time" is a facetious Arab title for a villain of superior quality. My Somali escort applied it to one thus distinguished: in 1875, I heard at Aden that he ended life by the spear as we had all predicted.
[FN#514] Jahannam and the other six Hells are personified as feminine; and (woman-like) they are somewhat addicted to prolix speechification.
[FN#515] These puerile exaggerations are fondly intended to act as nurses frighten naughty children.
[FN#516] Alluding to an oft-quoted saying "Lau l-ka, etc. Without thee (O Mohammed) We (Allah) had not created the spheres," which may have been suggested by "Before Abraham was, I am" (John viii. 58); and by Gate xci. of Zoroastrianism "O Zardusht for thy sake I have created the world" (Dabistan i. 344). The sentiment is by no means "Shi'ah," as my learned friend Prof. Aloys Springer supposes. In his Mohammed (p. 220) we find an extract from a sectarian poet, "For thee we dispread the earth; for thee we caused the waters to flow; for thee we vaulted the heavens." As Baron Alfred von Kremer, another learned and experienced Orientalist, reminds me, the "Shi'ahs" have always shown a decided tendency to this kind of apotheosis and have deified or quasi-deified Ali and the Imams. But the formula is first found in the highly orthodox Burdah poem of Al-Busiri:—
"But for him (Lau l-hu) the world had never come out of nothingness."
Hence it has been widely diffused. See Les Aventures de Kamrup (pp. 146-7) and Les uvres de Wali (pp. 51-52), by M. Garcin de Tassy and the Dabistan (vol. i. pp. 2-3).
[FN#517] Arab. "Smiy" from the Pers., a word apparently built on the model of "Kmiy" = alchemy, and applied, I have said, to fascination, minor miracles and white magic generally like the Hindu "Indrajal." The common term for Alchemy is Ilm al-Kf (the K-science) because it is not safe to speak of it openly as Alchemy.
[FN#518] Mare Tenebrarum = Sea of Darknesses; usually applied to the "mournful and misty Atlantic."
[FN#519] Some Moslems hold that Solomon and David were buried in Jerusalem, others on the shore of Lake Tiberias. Mohammed, according to the history of Al-Tabari (p. 56 vol. i. Duleux's "Chronique de Tabari") declares that the Jinni bore Solomon's corpse to a palace hewn in the rock upon an island surrounded by a branch of the "Great Sea" and set him on a throne, with his ring still on his finger, under a guard of twelve Jinns. "None hath looked upon the tomb save only two, Affan who took Bulukiya as his companion: with extreme pains they arrived at the spot, and Affan was about to carry off the ring when a thunderbolt consumed him. So Bulukiya returned."
[FN#520] Koran xxxviii. 34, or, "art the liberal giver."
[FN#521] i.e. of the last trumpet blown by the Archangel Israfil: an idea borrowed from the Christians. Hence the title of certain churches—ad Tubam.
[FN#522] This may mean that the fruits were fresh and dried like dates or tamarinds (a notable wonder), or soft and hard of skin like grapes and pomegranates.
[FN#523] Arab. "Ai-lksr" meaning lit. an essence; also the philosopher's stone.
[FN#524] Name of the Jinni whom Solomon imprisoned in Lake Tiberias (See vol. i., 41).
[FN#525] Vulgarly pronounced "Jahannum." The second hell is usually assigned to Christians. As there are seven Heavens (the planetary orbits) so, to satisfy Moslem love of symmetry, there must be as many earths and hells under the earth. The Egyptians invented these grim abodes, and the marvellous Persian fancy worked them into poem.
[FN#526] Arab. "Yjj and Majuj," first named in Gen. x. 2, which gives the ethnology of Asia Minor, circ. B.C. 800. "Gomer" is the Gimri or Cymmerians; "Magog" the original Magi, a division of the Medes, "Javan" the Ionian Greeks, "Meshesh" the Moschi; and "Tires" the Turusha, or primitive Cymmerians. In subsequent times, "Magog" was applied to the Scythians, and modern Moslems determine from the Koran (chaps. xviii. and xxi.) that Yajuj and Majuj are the Russians, whom they call Moska or Moskoff from the Moskwa River,
[FN#527] I attempt to preserve the original pun; "Mukarrabin" (those near Allah) being the Cherubim, and the Creator causing Iblis to draw near Him (karraba).
[FN#528] A vulgar version of the Koran (chaps. vii.), which seems to have borrowed from the Gospel of Barnabas. Hence Adam becomes a manner of God-man.
[FN#529] These wild fables are caricatures of Rabbinical legends which began with "Lilith," the Spirit-wife of Adam: Nature and her counterpart, Physis and Antiphysis, supply a solid basis for folk-lore. Amongst the Hindus we have Brahma (the Creator) and Viswakarm, the anti-Creator: the former makes a horse and a bull and the latter caricatures them with an ass and a buffalo, and so forth.
[FN#530] This is the "Lauh al-Mahfz," the Preserved Tablet, upon which are written all Allah's decrees and the actions of mankind good (white) and evil (black). This is the "perspicuous Book" of the Koran, chaps. vi. 59. The idea again is Guebre.
[FN#531] i.e. the night before Friday which in Moslem parlance would be Friday night.
[FN#532] Again Persian "Gw-i-Zamn" = the Bull of the Earth. "The cosmogony of the world," etc., as we read in the Vicar of Wakefield.
[FN#533] The Calc. Edit. ii. 614. here reads by a clerical error "bull."
[FN#534] i.e. Lakes and rivers.
[FN#535] Here some abridgement is necessary, for we have another recital of what has been told more than once.
[FN#536] This name, "King of Life," is Persian: "Tegh" or "Tigh" means a scimitar and "Bahrwn," is, I conceive, a mistake for "Bihrn," the Persian name of Alexander the Great.
[FN#537] Arab. "Mulkt" or meeting the guest which, I have said, is an essential part of Eastern ceremony, the distance from the divan, room, house or town being proportioned to his rank or consideration.
[FN#538] Arab. "Sifr": whistling is held by the Badawi to be the speech of devils; and the excellent explorer Burckhardt got a bad name by the ugly habit.
[FN#539] The Arabs call "Shikk" (split man) and the Persians "Nmchahrah" (half-face) a kind of demon like a man divided longitudinally: this gruesome creature runs with amazing speed and is very cruel and dangerous. For the celebrated soothsayers "Shikk" and "Stih" see Chenery's Al-Hariri, p. 371.
[FN#540] Arab. "Takht" (Persian) = a throne or a capital.
[FN#541] Arab. "Wady al-Naml"; a reminiscence of the Koranic Wady (chaps. xxvii.), which some place in Syria and others in Tif.
[FN#542] This is the old, old fable of the River Sabbation which Pliny ((xxx). 18) reports as "drying up every Sabbath-day" (Saturday): and which Josephus reports as breaking the Sabbath by flowing only on the Day of Rest.
[FN#543] They were keeping the Sabbath. When lodging with my Israelite friends at Tiberias and Safet, I made a point of never speaking to them (after the morning salutation) till the Saturday was over.
[FN#544] Arab. "La'al" and "Ykt," the latter also applied to the garnet and to a variety of inferior stones. The ruby is supposed by Moslems to be a common mineral thoroughly "cooked" by the sun, and produced only on the summits of mountains inaccessible even to Alpinists. The idea may have originated from exaggerated legends of the Badakhshn country (supposed to be the home of the ruby) and its terrors of break-neck foot-paths, jagged peaks and horrid ravines: hence our "balas-ruby" through the Spanish corruption "Balaxe." Epiphanius, archbishop of Salamis in Cyprus, who died A.D. 403, gives, m a little treatise (De duodecim gemmis rationalis summi sacerdotis Hebrorum Liber, opera Fogginii, Romae, 1743, p. 30), a precisely similar description of the mode of finding jacinths in Scythia. "In a wilderness in the interior of Great Scythia," he writes, "there is a valley begirt with stony mountains as with walls. It is inaccessible to man, and so excessively deep that the bottom of the valley is invisible from the top of the surrounding mountains. So great is the darkness that it has the effect of a kind of chaos. To this place certain criminals are condemned, whose task it is to throw down into the valley slaughtered lambs, from which the skin has been first taken off. The little stones adhere to these pieces of flesh. Thereupon the eagles, which live on the summits of the mountains, fly down following the scent of the flesh, and carry away the lambs with the stones adhering to them. They, then, who are condemned to this place watch until the eagles have finished their meal, and run and take away the stones." Epiphanius, who wrote this, is spoken of in terms of great respect by many ecclesiastical writers, and St. Jerome styles the treatise here quoted, "Egregium volumen, quod si legere volueris, plenissimam scientiam consequeris ," and, indeed, it is by no means improbable that it was from the account of Epiphanius that this story was first translated into Arabic. A similar account is given by Marco Polo and by Nicol de Conti, as of a usage which they had heard was practiced in India, and the position ascribed to the mountain by Conti, namely, fifteen days' journey north of Vijanagar, renders it highly probable that Golconda was alluded to. He calls the mountain Albenigaras, and says that it was infested with serpents. Marco Polo also speaks of these serpents, and while his account agrees with that of Sindbad, inasmuch as the serpents, which are the prey of Sindbad's Rukh, are devoured by the Venetian's eagles, that of Conti makes the vultures and eagles fly away with the meat to places where they may be safe from the serpents. (Introd. p. xiii., India in the Fifteenth Century, etc., R. H. Major, London, Hakluyt Soc. MDCCCLVII.)
[FN#545] Elder Victory: "Nasr" is a favourite name with Moslems.
[FN#546] These are the "Swan-maidens" of whom Europe in late years has heard more than enough. It appears to me that we go much too far for an explanation of the legend; a high-bred girl is so like a swan in many points that the idea readily suggests itself. And it is also aided by the old Egyptian (and Platonic) belief in pre-existence and by the Rabbinic and Buddhistic doctrine of ante-natal sin, to say nothing of metempsychosis. (Joseph Ant. xvii.. 153.)
[FN#547] The lines have occurred before. I quote Mr. Payne for variety.
[FN#548] Arab. "Al-Khayl": it is a synonym of "al-Tayf' and the nearest approach to our "ghost," as has been explained. In poetry it is the figure of the beloved seen when dreaming.
[FN#549] He does not kiss her mouth because he intends to marry her.
[FN#550] It should be "manifest" excellence. (Koran xxvii. 16.)
[FN#551] The phrase is Koranic used to describe Paradise, and Damascus is a familiar specimen of a city under which a river, the Baradah, passes, distributed into a multitude of canals.
[FN#552] It may be noted that rose-water is sprinkled on the faces of the "nobility and gentry, " common water being good enough for the commonalty. I have had to drink tea made in compliment with rose-water and did not enjoy it.
[FN#553] The "Valley Flowery:" Zahrn is the name of a place near Al-Medinah.
[FN#554] The Proud or Petulant.
[FN#555] i.e. Lion, Son of ( ?).
[FN#556] i.e. Many were slain.
[FN#557] I venture to draw attention to this battle-picture which is at once simple and highly effective.
[FN#558] Anglic a quibble, evidently evasive.
[FN#559] In text "An A'amil," etc., a true Egypto-Syrian vulgarism.
[FN#560] i.e. magical formul. The context is purposely left vague.
[FN#561] The repetition is a condescension, a token of kindness.
[FN#562] This is the common cubic of 18 inches: the modern vary from 22 to 26.
[FN#563] I have noticed the two-humped Bactrian camel which the Syrians and Egyptians compare with an elephant. See p. 221 (the neo-Syrian) Book of Kalilah and Dimnah.
[FN#564] The Noachian dispensation revived the Islam or true religion first revealed to Adam and was itself revived and reformed by Moses.
[FN#565] Probably a corruption of the Turkish "Kara Tsh" = black stone, in Arab. "Hjar Jahannam" (hell-stone), lava, basalt.
[FN#566] A variant of lines in Night xx., vol. i., 211.
[FN#567] i.e. Daughter of Pride: the proud.
[FN#568] In the Calc. Edit. by misprint "Maktab." Jabal Mukattam is the old sea-cliff where the Mediterranean once beat and upon whose North-Western slopes Cairo is built.
[FN#569] Arab. "Kutb"; lie. an axle, a pole; next a prince; a high order or doyen in Sainthood especially amongst the Sufi-gnostics.
[FN#570] Lit. "The Green" (Prophet), a mysterious personage confounded with Elijah, St. George and others. He was a Moslem, i.e. a ewe believer in the Islam of his day and Wazir to Kaykobad, founder of the Kayanian dynasty, sixth century B.C. We have before seen him as a contemporary of Moses. My learned friend Ch. Clermone-Ganneau traces him back, with a multitude of his similars (Proteus, Perseus, etc.), to the son of Osiris (p. 45, Horus et Saint Georges).
[FN#571] Arab. "Waled," more ceremonious than "ibn." It is, by the by, the origin of our "valet" in its sense of boy or servant who is popularly addressed Y waled. Hence I have seen in a French book of travels "un petit Iavelet."
[FN#572] Arab. "Azal" = Eternity (without beginning); "Abad" = Infinity (eternity without end).
[FN#573] The Moslem ritual for slaughtering (by cutting the throat) is not so strict as that of the Jews; but it requires some practice; and any failure in the conditions renders the meat impure, mere carrion (fats).
[FN#574] The Wazir repeats all the words spoken by the Queen—but "in iteration there is no recreation."
[FN#575] A phrase always in the Moslem's mouth: the slang meaning of "we put our trust in Allah" is "let's cut our stick."
[FN#576] Koran liii. 14. This "Sidrat al-Muntah" (Zizyphus lotus) stands m the seventh heaven on the right hand of Allah's throne: and even the angels may not pass beyond it.
[FN#577] Arab. "Habash" the word means more than "Abyssinia" as it includes the Dankali Country and the sea-board, a fact unknown to the late Lord Stratford de Redcliffe when he disputed with the Porte. I ventured to set him right and suffered accordingly.
[FN#578] Here ends vol. ii. of the Mac. Edit.