Supplemental Nights, Volume 3
Richard F. Burton

Part 11 out of 11

remark that the medical treatment by Mesmerism, Braidism and
hypnotics, which was violently denounced and derided in 1850, is
in 1887 becoming a part of the regular professional practice and
forms another item in the long list of the Fallacies of the
Faculty and the Myopism of the "Scientist."

[FN#363] I may also note that the "Hßtif," or invisible Speaker,
which must be subjective more often than objective, is a common-
place of Moslem thaumaturgy.

[FN#364] It may have been borrowed from Ulysses and the Sirens.

[FN#365] Two heroes of the Shahnßmeh and both the types of
reckless daring. The monomachy or duel between these braves
lasted through two days.

[FN#366] The "Bßgh" or royal tiger, is still found in the jungles
of Mßzenderßn and other regions of Northern Persia.

[FN#367] In addressing the Shah every Persian begins with the
formula "Kurbßn-at bßsham" = may I become thy Corban or
sacrifice. For this word (Kurbßn) see vol. viii. 16.

[FN#368] The King in Persia always speaks of himself in the third
person and swears by his own blood and head, soul, life and
death. The form of oath is ancient: Joseph, the first (but not
the last) Jew-financier of Egypt, emphasises his speech "by the
life of Pharaoh." (Gen. xiii. 15, 16.)

[FN#369] Another title of the Shah, making him quasi-divine, at
any rate the nearest to the Almighty, like the Czar and the
Emperor of China. Hence the subjects bow to him with the body at
right angles as David did to Saul (I Sam. xxiv, 8) or fall upon
the face like Joshua (v. 14).

[FN#370] A most improbable and absurd detail: its sole excuse is
the popular superstition of "blood speaking to blood." The youths
being of the royal race felt that they could take unwarrantable

[FN#371] This is still a Persian custom because all the subjects,
women as well as men, are virtually the King's slaves.

[FN#372] i.e. King of kings, the {Greek}.

[FN#373] Majlis garm karna, i.e. to give some life to the

[FN#374] In Arabic "'Ilm al-Mukßshafah" = the science by which
Eastern adepts discover man's secret thoughts. Of late years it
has appeared in England but with the same quackery and imposture
which have ruined "Spiritualism" as the Faith of the Future.

[FN#375] Nor are those which do occur all in the same order: The
first in the Turkish book "Of 'Eb·-'l-Kßsim of Basra, of the
'Emİr of Basra, and of 'Eb·-'l-Faskh of Wßsit," is probably
similar to the first of Petis, "History of Aboulcasem of Basra."
The second "Of Fadzlu- 'llah of Mawsil (Moser), of 'Eb·-'l-Hasan,
and of Mßhyßr of Wßsit," is evidently the seventh in Petis,
"History of Fadlallah, Son of Bin Ortoc, King of Moussel." The
fourth, "Of Ridzwßn-Shah of China and the Shahristßni Lady," is
the second in Petis, "History of King Razvanschad and of the
Princess Cheheristany." The eleventh, "Of the Sovereign without a
care and of the Vazİr full of care," is the eighth in Petis
History of King Bedreddin Lolo and of his Vizier Altalmulc." The
third, "Of the Builder of Bemm with the two Vazİrs of the king of
Kawßshar," the seventh, "Of the Rogue Nasr and the son of the
king of Khurßsßn," and the tenth, "The Three Youths, the Old Man,
and the Daughter of the King," I cannot, from these titles,
recognise in Petis; while the fifth, "Farrukh-Shßd, Farrukh-R·z,
and Farrukh-Nßz," may be the same as the frame story of the
"Hazßr · Yek R·z," where the king is called Togrul-bey, his son
Farrukrouz, and his daughter Farruknaz, and if this be the case,
the Turkish book must differ considerably from the Persian in its
plan.--Although "The Thousand and One Nights" has not been found
in Persian, there exists a work in that language of which the
plan is somewhat similar--but adapted from an Indian source. It
is thus described by Dr. Rieu, in his Catalogue of Persian MSS.
in the British Museum, vol. ii. p. 773: Tale of Shİrzßd, son of
Gurgahan, emperor of China, and Gulshßd, daughter of the vazİr
Farrukhzßd (called the Story of the Nine Belvideres). Nine tales
told by Gulshad to Shİrzßd, each in one of the nine belvideres of
the royal palace, in order to save the forfeited life of her

[FN#376] A translation of this version, omitting the moral
reflections interspersed, is given by Professor E. B. Cowell in
the "Journal of Philology," 1876, vol. vi. p. 193. The great
Persian mystic tells another story of a Dream of Riches, which,
though only remotely allied to our tale, is very curious:

The Fakir and the Hidden Treasure.

Notwithstanding the clear evidence of God's bounty, engendering
those spiritual tastes in men, philosophers and learned men, wise
in their own conceit, obstinately shut their eyes to it, and look
afar off for what is really close to them, so that they incur the
penalty of being "branded on the nostrils" [Kurßn, lxviii. 16],
adjudged against unbelievers. This is illustrated by the story of
the poor Fakİr who prayed to God that he might be fed without
being obliged to work for his food. A divine voice came to him in
his sleep and directed him to go to the house of a certain scribe
and take a certain writing he should find there. He did so, and
on reading the writing found that it contained directions for
discovering a hidden treasure. The directions were as follows:
"Go outside the city to the dome which covers the tomb of the
martyr, turn your back to the tomb and face towards Mecca, place
an arrow in your bow, and where the arrow falls dig for the
treasure." But before the Fakİr had time to commence the search
the rumour of the writing and its purport had reached the King,
who at once sent and took it away from the Fakİr, and began to
search for the treasure on his own account. After shooting many
arrows and digging in all directions the King failed to find the
treasure, and got weary of searching, and returned the writing to
the Fakİr. Then the Fakİr tried what he could do, but failed to
hit the spot where the treasure was buried. At last despairing of
success by his own unaided efforts, he cast his care upon God,
and implored the divine assistance. Then a voice from heaven came
to him saying, "You were directed to fix an arrow in your bow,
but not to draw your bow with all your might, as you have been
doing. Shoot as gently as possible, that the arrow may fall close
to you, for hidden treasure is indeed 'nearer to you than your
neck-vein'" [Kurßn, l. 15]. Men overlook the spiritual treasures
close to them, and for this reason it is that prophets have no
honour in their own countries.--Mr. F: H. Whinfield's Abridgment
of "The Masnavi-i Ma'navi." (London, 1887.)

[FN#377] See Mr. Gibb's translation (London: Redway), p. 278

[FN#378] "Rem qu contigit patrum memoriÔ ut veram ita dignam
relatu et s penumero mihi assertam ab hominibus fide dignis

[FN#379] Thorpe says that a nearly similar legend is current at
Tanslet, on the island of Alsen.

[FN#380] The common tradition is, it was in English rhyme, viz.

"Where this stood
Is another as good;"

or, as some will have it:

"Under me doth lie
Another much richer than I."

[FN#381] Apropos to dreams, there is a very amusing story,
entitled "Which was the Dream ?" in Mr. F. H. Balfour's "Leaves
from my Chinese Scrap Book," p. 106-7 (London: Tr³bner, 1887).

[FN#382] The story in the Turkish collection, "Al-Faraj ba'd
al-Shiddah," where it forms the 8th recital, is doubtless
identical with our Arabian version, since in both the King of the
Genie figures, which is not the case in Mr. Gibb's story.

[FN#383] Although this version is not preceded, as in the
Arabian, by the Dream of Riches, yet that incident occurs, I
understand, in separate form in the work of 'Alİ Azİz.

[FN#384] Sir Richard has referred, in note 1, p. 18, to numerous
different magical tests of chastity, etc., and I may here add one
more, to wit, the cup which Oberon, King of the Fairies, gave to
Duke Huon of Bordeaux (according to the romance which recounts
the marvellous adventures of that renowned Knight), which filled
with wine in the hand of any man who was out of "deadly sin" and
attempted to drink out of it, but was always empty in the hands
of a sinful man. Charlemagne was shown to be sinful by this test,
while Duke Huon, his wife, and a companion were proved to be free
from sin.--In my "Popular Tales and Fictions" the subject of
inexhaustible purses etc. is treated pretty fully--they
frequently figure in folk-tales, from Iceland to Ceylon, from
Japan to the Hebrides.

[FN#385] "The Athenaeum," April 23,1887, p. 542.

[FN#386] See M. Eugene LÚvÛque's "Les Mythes et les LÚgendes de
l'Inde et la Perse" (Paris, 1880), p. 543, where the two are
printed side by side. This was pointed out more than seventy
years ago by Henry Weber in his Introduction to "Tales of the
East," edited by him.

[FN#387] Also in the romance of Duke Huon of Bordeaux and the
old French romance of the Chevalier Berinus. The myth was widely
spread in the Middle Ages.

[FN#388] Cf. the magic horn that Duke Huon of Bordeaux received
from Oberon, King of the Fairies, which caused even the Soudan of
Babylon to caper about in spite of himself, and similar musical
instruments in a hundred different tales, such as the old English
poem of "The Friar and the Boy," the German tale (in Grimm) of
"The Jew among Thorns," the "Pied Piper of Hamelin," &c.

[FN#389] Not distantly related to stories of this class are
those in which the hero becomes possessed of some all-bestowing
object--a purse, a box, a table-cloth, a sheep, a donkey, etc.--
which being stolen from him he recovers by means of a magic club
that on being commended rattles on the pate and ribs of the thief
and compels him to restore the treasure.

[FN#390] The Dwarf had told the soldier, on leaving him after
killing the old witch, that should his services be at any other
time required, he had only to light his pipe at the Blue Light
and he should instantly appear before him. The tobacco-pipe must
be considered as a recent and quite unnecessary addition to the
legend: evidently all the power of summoning the Dwarf was in the
Blue Light, since he tells the soldier when he first appears
before him in the well that he must obey its lord and master.

[FN#391] Belli signifies famous, or notorious.

[FN#392] This young lady's notion of the "function" of Prayer
was, to say the least peculiar, in thus addressing her petition
to the earth instead of to Heaven.

[FN#393] The gentle, amiable creature!

[FN#394] Chamley-bill was, says Dr. Chodzko, a fort built by
Kurrogl·, the ruins of which are still to be seen in the valley
of Salmas, a district in the province of Aderbaijan.

[FN#395] i.e. Kuvera, the god of wealth.

[FN#396] The attendants of Kuvera. a Buddhistic idea.

[FN#397] That every man has his "genius" of good or evil fortune
is, I think, essentially idea.

[FN#398] Such being the case, what need was there for the
apparition presenting itself every morning?--but no matter!

[FN#399] Pandit S. M. NatÚsa Sßstrİ, in "Indian Notes and
Queries," for March, 1887, says that women swallow large numbers
of an insect called pillai-puchchi (son-insect: gryllas) in the
hope of bearing sons, they will also drink the water squeezed
from the loin-cloth of a sanyßsİ [devotee] after washing it for
him!--Another correspondent in the same periodical. Pandit
Putlİbßi K. RaghunathjÚ, writes that Hindu women, for the purpose
of having children, especially a son, observe the fourth lunar
day of every dark fortnight as a fast and break their fast only
after seeing the moon, generally before 9 or 10 p.m. A dish of
twenty-one small, marble-like balls of rice is prepared, in one
of which is put some salt. The whole dish is then served up to
the woman, and while eating it she should first lay her hands on
the ball containing salt, as it is believed to be a positive sign
that she will be blessed with a son. In that case she should give
up eating the rest, but otherwise she should go on eating till
she lays her hands on the salted ball. The Pandit adds, that the
observance of this ball depends on the wish of the woman. She may
observe it on only one, five, seven, eleven, or twenty-one lunar
fourth days, or chaturthİ. Should she altogether fail in picking
out the salted ball first, she may be sure of remaining barren
all her life long.

[FN#400] I am glad to see among Messrs. Tr³bner & Co.'s
announcements of forthcoming publications Mr. Knowles' collection
of "Folk-Tales of Kashmİr" in popular handy volume form.

[FN#401] A holy man whose austerities have obtained for him
supernatural powers.

[FN#402] Also called "Story of the King and his Four Ministers."
There is another but wholly different Tamil romance entitled the
"AlakÚsa Kathß," in which a king's daughter becomes a disembodied
evil spirit, haunting during the night a particular choultry (or
serai) for travellers, and if they do not answer aright to her
cries she strangles them and vampyre-like sucks their blood.

[FN#403] The Pandit informs me that his "Folk-Lore in Southern
India" will be completed at press and issued shortly at Bombay.
(London agents, Messrs. Tr³bner & Co.)

[FN#404] In the "Kathß Sarit Sßgara," Book ii., ch. 14, when the
King of Vatsa receives the hand of Vasavadatta, "like a beautiful
shoot lately budded on the creeper of love," she walks round the
fire, keeping it to the right, on which Prof. Tawney remarks that
"the practice of walking round an object of reverence, with the
right hand towards it, has been exhaustively discussed by Dr.
Samuel Fergusson in his paper 'On the ceremonial turn called
Desiul,' published in the Proceedings of the Royal Irish Academy,
for March 1877 (vol. i., series ii., No. 12). He shows it to have
existed among the ancient Romans as well as the Celts.... Dr.
Fergusson is of opinion that this movement was a symbol of the
cosmical rotation, an imitation of the apparent course of the sun
in the heavens."

[FN#405] The affection of parents for their children is often a
blind instinct, and sometimes selfish, though, after all, there
is doubtless truth in these lines:

"A mother's love!
If there be one thing pure,
Where all beside is sullied,
That can endure
When all else pass away:
If there be aught
Surpassing human deed, or word, or thought,
It is a mother's love!"

[FN#406] Surma is a collyrium applied to the edges of the eyelids
to increase the lustre of the eyes. A Persian poet, addressing
the damsel of whom he is enamoured, says, "For eyes so
intoxicated with love's nectar what need is there of surma?"--
This part of the story seems to be garbled; in another text of
the romance of Hatim Ta'İ it is only after the surma has been
applied to the covetous man's eyes that he beholds the hidden

[FN#407] The first part of the story of the Young King of the
Black Isles, in The Nights, bears some analogy to this, but there
the paramour is only "half-killed" and the vindictive queen
transforms her husband from the waist downwards into marble.

[FN#408] On the Sources of some of Galland's Tales. By Henry
Charles Coote, F.S.A. "Folklore Record," 1881, vol. iii. Part 2,
p. 186.

[FN#409] See Thorpe's "Yule Tide Stories," Bohn's ed., pp. 481-
486.ûThorpe says that "for many years the Dummburg was the abode
of robbers, who slew the passing travellers and merchants whom
they perceived on the road from Leipsig to Brunswick, and heaped
together the treasures of the plundered churches and the
surrounding country, which they concealed in subterranean
caverns." The peasantry would therefore regard the spot with
superstitious awe, and once such a tale as that of Ali Baba got
amongst them, the robbers' haunt in their neighbourhood would
soon become the scene of the poor woodcutter's adventure.

[FN#410] A Persian poet says:

"He who violates the rights of the bread and salt
Breaks, for his wretched self, head and neck."

[FN#411] Miss Busk reproduces the proper names as they are
transliterated in J³lg's German version of those Kalmuk and
Mongolian Tales--from which a considerable portion of her book
was rendered--thus: Ardschi Bordschi, Rakschasas, etc., but
drollest of all is "Ramajana" (Ramayana), which is right in
German but not in English.

[FN#412] The apocryphal gospels and the Christian hagiology are
largely indebted to Buddhism, e.g., the Descent into Hell, of
which there is such a graphic account in the Gospel of Nicodemus,
seems to have been adapted from ancient Buddhist legends, now
embodied in the opening chapters of a work entitled,
"Kßranda-vy·ha," which contain a description of the Boddhisattva
Avalokiteswara's descent into the hell Avİchi, to deliver the
souls there held captive by Yama, the lord of the lower world.
(See a paper by Professor E. R. Cowell, LL.D., in the "Journal of
Philology," 1876, vol. vi. pp. 222-231.) This legend also exists
in Telugu, under the title of "Sßnanda Charitra," of which the
outline is given in Taylor's "Catalogue RaisonnÚ of Oriental MSS.
in the Government Library, Madras," vol. ii. p. 643: Sßnanda, the
son of Purna Vitta and Bhadra Datta, heard from munis accounts of
the pains of the wicked, and wishing to see for himself, went to
Yama-puri. His coming had been announced by Nßrada. Yama showed
the stranger the different lots of mankind in a future state, in
details. Sßnanda was touched with compassion for the miseries
that he witnessed, and by the use of the five and six lettered
spells he delivered those imprisoned souls and took them with him
to Kailasa. Yama went to Siva and complained, but Siva civilly
dismissed the appeal.--Under the title of "The Harrowing of
Hell," the apocryphal Christian legend was the theme of a Miracle
Play in England during the Middle Ages, and indeed it seems to
have been, in different forms, a popular favourite throughout
Europe. Thus in a German tale Strong Hans goes to the Devil in
hell and wants to serve him, and sees the pains in which souls
are imprisoned standing beside the fire. Full of pity, he lifts
up the lids and sets the souls free, on which the Devil at once
drives him away. A somewhat similar notion occurs in an Icelandic
tale of the Sin Sacks, in Powell and Magn·sson's collection
(second series, p. 48). And in T. Crofton Croker's "Fairy Legends
and Traditions of the South of Ireland," ed. 1828, Part. ii. p.
30 ff., we read of Soul Cages at the bottom of the sea,
containing the spirits of drowned sailors, which the bold hero
Jack Docherty set free.

[FN#413] The Rabbins relate that among the Queen of Sheba's tests
of Solomon's sagacity she brought before him a number of boys and
girls apparelled all alike, and desired him to distinguish those
of one sex from those of the other, as they stood in his
presence. Solomon caused a large basin of water to be fetched in,
and ordered them all to wash their hands. By this expedient he
discovered the boys from the girls, since the former washed
merely their hands, while the latter washed also their arms.

[FN#414] Dr. W. Grimm, in the notes to his "Kinder und
Hausmõrchen," referring to the German form of the story (which we
shall come to by and-by), says, "The Parrot, which is the fourth
story in the Persian Touti Nameh, bears some resemblance to
this"--the Parrot is the reciter of all the stories in the
collection, not the title of this particular tale.

[FN#415] To Sir Richard Burton's interesting note on the
antiquity of the lens and its applied use to the telescope and
microscope may be added a passage or two from Sir William
Drummond's "Origines; or, Remarks on the Origin of several
Empires, States, and Cities," 1825, vol. ii. pp. 246-250. This
writer appears to think that telescopes were not unknown to the
ancients and adduces plausible evidence in support of his
opinion. "Moschopalus," he says, "an ancient grammarian, mentions
four instruments with which the astronomers of antiquity were
accustomed to observe the stars--the catoptron, the dioptron, the
eisoptron and the enoptron." He supposes the catoptron to have
been the same with the astrolabe. "The dioptron seems to have
been so named from a tube through which the observer looked. Were
the other two instruments named from objects being reflected in a
mirror placed within them? Aristotle says that the Greeks
employed mirrors when they surveyed the celestial appearances.
May we not conclude from this circumstance that astronomers were
not always satisfied with looking through empty tubes?" He thinks
the ancients were acquainted with lenses and has collected
passages from various writers which corroborate his opinion,
besides referring to the numerous uses to which glass was applied
in the most remote ages. He goes on to say:

"Some of the observations of the ancients must appear very
extraordinary, if magnifying glasses had never been known among
them. The boldness with which the Pythagoreans asserted that the
surface of the moon was diversified by mountains and valleys can
hardly be accounted for, unless Pythagoras had been convinced of
the fact by the help of telescopes, which might have existed in
the observatories of Egypt and Chaldea before those countries
were conquered and laid waste by the Persians. Pliny (L. 11) says
that 1600 stars had been counted in the 72 constellations, and by
this expression I can only understand him to mean the 72 dodecans
into which the Egyptians and Chaldeans divided the zodiac. Now
this number of stars could never have been counted in the zodiac
without the assistance of glasses. Ptolemy reckoned a much less
number for the whole heavens The missionaries found many more
stars marked in the Chinese charts of the heavens than formerly
existed in those which were in use in Europe. Suidas, at the word
{Greek} (glass), indicates, in explaining a passage in
Aristophanes, that burning mirrors were occasionally made of
glass. Now how can we suppose burning mirrors to have been made
of glass without supposing the magnifying powers of glass to have
been known? The Greeks, as Plutarch affirms, employed metallic
mirrors, either plane, or convex, or concave, according to the
use for which they were intended. If they could make burning
mirrors of glass, they could have given any of these forms to
glass. How then could they have avoided observing that two
glasses, one convex and the other concave, placed at a certain
distance from each other, magnified objects seen through them?
Numerous experiments must have been made with concave and convex
glasses before burning mirrors made of glass could have been
employed. If astronomers never knew the magnifying powers of
glass, and never placed lenses in the tubes of the dioptrons,
what does Strabo (L. 3, c. 138) mean when he says: 'Vapours
produce the same effects as the tubes in magnifying objects of
vision by refraction?'"

Mr. W. F. Thompson, in his translation of the "Ahlak-i-Jalaly,"
from the Persian of Fakİr Jßnİ Muhammad (15th century), has the
following note on the Jßm-i-Jßmshid and other magical mirrors:
"Jßmshİd, the fourth of the Kaianian dynasty, the Soloman of the
Persians. His cup was said to mirror the world, so that he could
observe all that was passing elsewhere--a fiction of his own for
state purposes, apparently, backed by the use of artificial
mirrors. Nizßmİ tells that Alexander invented the steel mirror,
by which he means, of course, that improved reflectors were used
for telescopy in the days of Archimedes, but not early enough to
have assisted Jßmshİd, who belongs to the fabulous and
unchronicled age. In the romance of Beyjan and Manija, in the
"Shah Nßma," this mirror is used by the great Khosr· for the
purpose of discovering the place of the hero's imprisonment:

"The mirror in his hand revolving shook,
And earth's whole surface glimmered in his look;
Nor less the secrets of the starry sphere,
The what, the when, the bow depicted clear,
From orbs celestial to the blade of grass,
All nature floated in the magic glass."

[FN#416] We have been told this king had three daughters.

[FN#417] See in "Blackwood's Magazine," vol. iv., 1818, 1819, a
translation, from the Danish of J. L. Rasmussen, of "An
Historical and Geographical Essay on the trade and commerce of
the Arabians and Persians with Russia and Scandinavia during the
Middle Ages.--But learned Icelanders, while England was still
semi-civilized, frequently made very long journeys into foreign
lands: after performing the pilgrimage to Rome, they went to
Syria, and some penetrated into Central Asia.

[FN#418] This, of course, is absurd, as each was equally
interested in the business; but it seems to indicate a vague
reminiscence of the adventures of the Princes in the story of The
Envious Sisters.

[FN#419] There is a naivete about this that is particularly

[FN#420] This recalls the fairy Meliora, in the romance of
Partenopex de Blois. who "knew of ancient tales a countless

[FN#421] In a Norwegian folk-tale the hero receives from a dwarf
a magic ship that could enlarge itself so as to contain any
number of men, yet could be earned m the pocket.

[FN#422] The Water of Life, the Water of Immortality, the
Fountain of Youth--a favourite and wide-spread myth during the
Middle Ages. In the romance of Sir Huon of Bordeaux the hero
boldly encounters a griffin, and after a desperate fight, in
which he is sorely wounded, slays the monster. Close at hand he
discovers a clear fountain, at the bottom of which is a gravel of
precious stones. "Then he dyde of his helme and dranke of the
water his fyll, and he had no sooner dranke therof but
incontynent he was hole of all his woundys." Nothing more
frequently occurs in folk tales than for the hero to be required
to perform three difficult and dangerous tasks--sometimes
impossible, without supernatural assistance.

[FN#423] "Say, will a courser of the Sun
All gently with a dray-horse run?"

[FN#424] Ting: assembly of notables--of udallers, &c. The term
survives in our word hustings; and in Ding-wall--Ting-val; where
tings were held.

[FN#425] The last of the old Dublin ballad-singers, who assumed
the respectable name of Zozimus, and is said to have been the
author of the ditties wherewith he charmed his street auditors,
was wont to chant the legend of the Finding of Moses in a version
which has at least the merit of originality:

"In Egypt's land, upon the banks of Nile,
King Pharaoh's daughter went to bathe in style;
She took her dip, then went unto the land,
And, to dry her royal pelt, she ran along the strand.

A bulrush tripped her, whereupon she saw
A smiling baby in a wad of straw;
She took it up, and said, in accents mild--
Tare an' agurs, girls! which av yez owns this child?"

The Babylonian analogue, as translated by the Rev. Prof. A. H.
Sayce, in the first vol. of the "Folk-Lore Journal" (1883), is as

"Sargon, the mighty monarch, the King of AganŞ, am I. My mother
was a princess; my father I knew not, my father's brother loved
the mountain-land. In the city of Azipiranu, which on the bank of
the Euphrates lies, my mother, the princess, conceived me, in an
inaccessible spot she brought me forth. She placed me in a basket
of rushes, with bitumen the door of my ark she closed. She
launched me on the river, which drowned me not. The river bore me
along, to Akki, the irrigator, it brought me. Akki, the
irrigator, in the tenderness of his heart, lifted me up. Akki,
the irrigator, as his own child brought me up. Akki, the
irrigator, as his gardener appointed me, and in my gardenership
the goddess Istar loved me. For 45 years the kingdom I have
ruled, and the black headed (Accadian) race have governed."

[FN#426] This strange notion may have been derived from some
Eastern source, since it occurs in Indian fictions; for example,
in Dr. Rßjendralßla Mitra's "Sanskrit Buddhist Literature of
Nepßl," p. 304, we read that "there lived in the village of
Vßsava a rich householder who had born unto him a son with a
jewelled ring in his ear." And in the "Mahßbhßrata" we are told
of a king who had a son from whose body issued nothing but gold--
the prototype of the gold-laying goose.

[FN#427] Connected with this romance is the tale of "The Six
Swans," in Grimm's collection-- see Mrs. Hunt's English
translation, vol. i. p. 192.

[FN#428] Mahb·b. a piece of gold, value about 10 francs, replaces
the dinßr of old tales. Those in Egypt are all since the time of
the Turks: 9, 7, or 6 1/2 frs. according to issue.--Note by
Spitta Bey.

[FN#429] Here again we have the old superstition of "blood
speaking to blood," referred to by Sir Richard, ante, p. 347,
note 1. It often occurs in Asiatic stories. Thus in the Persian
"Bakhtyßr Nßma," when the adopted son of the robber chief is
brought with other captives, before the king (he is really the
king's own son, whom he and the queen abandoned in their flight
through the desert), his majesty's bowels strangely yearned
towards the youth, and in the conclusion this is carried to
absurdity: when Bakhtyßr is found to be the son of the royal
pair, "the milk sprang from the breasts of the queen," as she
looked on him--albeit she must then have been long past

[FN#430] The enchanted pitcher does duty here for the witches'
broomstick and the fairies' rush of European tales, but a similar
conveyance is, I think, not unknown to Western folk-lore.

[FN#431] In a Norse story the hero on entering a forbidden room
in a troll's house finds a horse with a pan of burning coals
under his nose and a measure of corn at his tail, and when he
removes the coals and substitutes the corn, the horse becomes his
friend and adviser.

[FN#432] M. Dozon does not think that Muslim customs allow of a
man's marrying three sisters at once; but we find the king does
the same in the modern Arab version.

[FN#433] London: Macmillan and Co., p. 236 ff.

[FN#434] This recalls the biblical legend of the widow's cruse,
which has its exact counterpart in Singhalese folk-lore.

[FN#435] This recalls the story of the herd-boy who cried "Wolf!

[FN#436] Again the old notion of maternal and paternal instincts;
but the children don't often seem in folk-tales, to have a
similar impulsive affection for their unknown parents.

[FN#437] Colotropis gigantea.

[FN#438] Rßkshashas and rßkshasİs are male and female demons or
ogres, in the Hind· mythology.

[FN#439] Literally, the king of birds, a fabulous species of
horse remarkable for swiftness, which plays an important part in
Tamil stories and romances.

[FN#440] Here we have a parallel to the biblical legend of the
passage of the Israelites dryshod

[FN#441] Demons, ogres, trolls, giants, et hoc genus omne, never
fail to discover the presence of human beings by their keen sense
of smelling. "Fee, faw, fum! I smell the blood of a British man,"
cries a giant when the renowned hero Jack is concealed in his
castle. "Fum! fum! sento odor christianum," exclaims an ogre in
Italian folk tales. "Femme, je sens la viande fra¯che, la chair
de chrÚtien!" says a giant to his wife in French stories.

[FN#442] In my popular "Tales and Fictions" a number of examples
are cited of life depending on some extraneous object--vol. i.
pp. 347-351.

[FN#443] In the Tamil story-book, the English translation of
which is called "The Dravidian Nights' Entertainments," a
wandering princess, finding the labour-pains coming upon her,
takes shelter in the house of a dancing-woman, who says to the
nurses, "If she gives birth to a daughter, it is well [because
the woman could train her to follow her own profession'], but if
a son, I do not want him;--close her eyes, remove him to a place
where you can kill him, and throwing a bit of wood on the ground
tell her she has given birth to it."--I daresay that a story
similar to the Bengali version exists among the Tamils.

[FN#444] It is to be hoped we shall soon have Sir Richard
Burton's promised complete English translation of this work,
since one half is, I understand, already done.


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