The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3
Richard F. Burton

Part 8 out of 8

[FN#148] The Comrades of the Cave, famous in the Middle Ages of
Christianity (Gibbon chaps. xxxiii.), is an article of faith with
Moslems, being part subject of chapter xviii., the Koranic Surah
termed the Cave. These Rip Van Winkle-tales begin with Endymion
so famous amongst the Classics and Epimenides of Crete who slept
fifty-seven years; and they extend to modern days as La Belle au
Bois dormant. The Seven Sleepers are as many youths of Ephesus
(six royal councillors and a shepherd, whose names are given on
the authority of Ali); and, accompanied by their dog, they fled
the persecutions of Dakianus (the Emperor Decius) to a cave near
Tarsus in Natolia where they slept for centuries. The Caliph
Mu'awiyah when passing the cave sent into it some explorers who
were all killed by a burning wind. The number of the sleepers
remains uncertain, according to the Koran (ibid. v. 21) three,
five or seven and their sleep lasted either three hundred or
three hundred and nine years. The dog (ibid. v. 17) slept at the
cave-entrance with paws outstretched and, according to the
general, was called "Katmir" or "Kitmir;" but Al-Rakim (v. 8) is
also applied to it by some. Others hold this to be the name of
the valley or mountain and others of a stone or leaden tablet on
which their names were engraved by their countrymen who built a
chapel on the spot (v. 20). Others again make the Men of Al-Rakim
distinct from the Cave-men, and believe (with Bayzawi) that they
were three youths who were shut up in a grotto by a rock-slip.
Each prayed for help through the merits of some good deed: when
the first had adjured Allah the mountain cracked till light
appeared; at the second petition it split so that they saw one
another and after the third it opened. However that may be,
Kitmir is one of the seven favoured animals: the others being the
Hudhud (hoopoe) of Solomon (Koran xxii. 20); the she-camel of
Salih (chaps. Ixxxvii.); the cow of Moses which named the Second
Surah; the fish of Jonah; the serpent of Eve, and the peacock of
Paradise. For Koranic revelations of the Cave see the late Thomas
Chenery (p. 414 The Assemblies of Al-Hariri: Williams and
Norgate, 1870) who borrows from the historian Tabari.

[FN#149] These lines have occurred in Night cxlvi.: I quote Mr.
Payne by way of variety.

[FN#150] The wolf (truly enough to nature) is the wicked man
without redeeming traits; the fox of Arab folk-lore is the
cunning man who can do good on occasion. Here the latter is
called "Sa'alab" which may, I have noted, mean the jackal; but
further on "Father of a Fortlet" refers especially to the fox.
Herodotus refers to the gregarious Canis Aureus when he describes
Egyptian wolves as being "not much bigger than foxes" (ii. 67).
Canon Rawlinson, in his unhappy version, does not perceive that
the Halicarnassian means the jackal and blunders about the hyena.

[FN#151] The older "Leila" or "Leyla": it is a common name and is
here applied to woman in general. The root is evidently
"layl"=nox, with, probably, the idea, "She walks in beauty like
the night."

[FN#152] Arab. Abu 'l-Hosayn; his hole being his fort (Unexplored
Syria, ii. 18).

[FN#153] A Koranic phrase often occurring.

[FN#154] Koran v. 35.

[FN#155] Arab. "Bazi," Pers. "Baz" (here Richardson is wrong
s.v.); a term to a certain extent generic, but specially used for
the noble Peregrine (F. Peregrinator) whose tiercel is the Shahin
(or "Royal Bird"). It is sometimes applied to the goshawk (Astur
palumbarius) whose proper title, however, is Shah-baz
(King-hawk). The Peregrine extends from the Himalayas to Cape
Comorin and the best come from the colder parts: in Iceland I
found that the splendid white bird was sometimes trapped for
sending to India. In Egypt "Bazi" is applied to the kite or
buzzard and "Hidyah" (a kite) to the falcon (Burckhardt's Prov.
159, 581 and 602). Burckhardt translates "Hidayah," the Egyptian
corruption, by "an ash-grey falcon of the smaller species common
throughout Egypt and Syria."

[FN#156] Arab. "Hijl," the bird is not much prized in India
because it feeds on the roads. For the Shinnar (caccabis) or
magnificent partridge of Midian as large as a pheasant, see
"Midian Revisted" ii. 18.

[FN#157] Arab. "Suf;" hence "Sufi,"=(etymologically) one who
wears woollen garments, a devotee, a Santon; from =wise;
from =pure, or from Safa=he was pure. This is not the place
to enter upon such a subject as "Tasawwuf," or Sufyism; that
singular reaction from arid Moslem realism and materialism, that
immense development of gnostic and Neo-platonic transcendentalism
which is found only germinating in the Jewish and Christian
creeds. The poetry of Omar-i-Khayyam, now familiar to English
readers, is a fair specimen; and the student will consult the
last chapter of the Dabistan "On the religion of the Sufiahs."
The first Moslem Sufi was Abu Hashim of Kufah, ob. A. H. 150=767,
and the first Convent of Sufis called "Takiyah" (Pilgrimage i.
124) was founded in Egypt by Saladin the Great.

[FN#158] i.e. when she encamps with a favourite for the night.

[FN#159] The Persian proverb is "Marg-i-amboh jashni
dared"--death in a crowd is as good as a feast.

[FN#160] Arab. "Kanat", the subterranean water-course called in
Persia "Kyariz." Lane (ii. 66) translates it "brandish around the
spear (Kanat is also a cane-lance) of artifice," thus making rank
nonsense of the line. Al-Hariri uses the term in the Ass. of the
Banu Haram where "Kanat" may be a pipe or bamboo laid

[FN#161] From Al-Tughrai, the author of the Lamiyat al-Ajam, the
"Lay of the Outlander;" a Kasidah (Ode) rhyming in Lam (the
letter "l" being the rawi or binder). The student will find a new
translation of it by Mr. J. W. Redhouse and Dr. Carlyle's old
version (No. liii.) in Mr. Clouston's "Arabian Poetry." Muyid
al-Din al-Hasan Abu Ismail nat. Ispahan ob. Baghdad A.H. 182)
derived his surname from the Tughra, cypher or flourish (over the
"Bismillah" in royal and official papers) containing the name of
the prince. There is an older "Lamiyat al-Arab" a pre-Islamitic
L-poem by the "brigand-poet" Shanfara, of whom Mr. W. G. Palgrave
has given a most appreciative account in his "Essays on Eastern
Questions," noting the indomitable self-reliance and the absolute
individualism of a mind defying its age and all around it.
Al-Hariri quotes from both.

[FN#162] The words of the unfortunate Azizah, vol. ii., p. 323.

[FN#163] Arab. "Hawi"=a juggler who plays tricks with snakes: he
is mostly a Gypsy. The "recompense" the man expects is the golden
treasure which the ensorcelled snake is supposed to guard. This
idea is as old as the Dragon in the Garden of the Hesperides--and

[FN#164] The "Father of going out (to prey) by morning"; for dawn
is called Zanab Sirhan the Persian Dum-i-gurg=wolf's tail, i.e.
the first brush of light; the Zodiacal Light shown in morning.
Sirhan is a nickname of the wolf--Gaunt Grim or Gaffer Grim, the
German Isengrin or Eisengrinus (icy grim or iron grim) whose wife
is Hersent, as Richent or Hermeline is Mrs. Fox. In French we
have lopez, luppe, leu, e.g.

Venant a la queue, leu, leu,

i.e. going in Indian file. Hence the names D'Urfe and Saint-Loup.
In Scandinavian, the elder sister of German, Ulf and in German
(where the Jews were forced to adopt the name) Wolff whence
"Guelph." He is also known to the Arabs as the "sire of a
she-lamb," the figure metonymy called "Kunyat bi 'l-Zidd" (lucus
a non lucendo), a patronymic or by-name given for opposition and
another specimen of "inverted speech."

[FN#165] Arab. "Bint' Arus" = daughter of the bridegroom, the
Hindustani Mungus (vulg. Mongoose); a well-known weasel-like
rodent often kept tame in the house to clear it of vermin. It is
supposed to know an antidote against snake-poison, as the weasel
eats rue before battle (Pliny x. 84; xx. 13). In Modern Egypt
this viverra is called "Kitt (or Katt) Far'aun" = Pharaoh's cat:
so the Percnopter becomes Pharaoh's hen and the unfortunate (?)
King has named a host of things, alive and dead. It was
worshipped and mummified in parts of Ancient Egypt e.g.
Heracleopolis, on account of its antipathy to serpents and
because it was supposed to destroy the crocodile, a feat with
AElian and others have overloaded with fable. It has also a
distinct antipathy to cats. The ichneumon as a pet becomes too
tame and will not leave its master: when enraged it emits an
offensive stench. I brought home for the Zoological Gardens a
Central African specimen prettily barred. Burckhardt (Prov. 455)
quotes a line:--

Rakas' Ibn Irsin wa zamzama 'l-Nimsu,
(Danceth Ibn Irs whileas Nims doth sing)

and explains Nims by ichneumon and Ibn Irs as a "species of small
weasel or ferret, very common in Egypt: it comes into the house,
feeds upon meat, is of gentle disposition although not
domesticated and full of gambols and frolic."

[FN#166] Arab. "Sinnaur" (also meaning a prince). The common name
is Kitt which is pronounced Katt or Gatt; and which Ibn Dorayd
pronounces a foreign word (Syriac?). Hence, despite Freitag,
Catus (which Isidore derives from catare, to look for) = gatto,
chat, cat, an animal unknown to the Classics of Europe who used
the mustela or putorius vulgaris and different species of
viverrae. The Egyptians, who kept the cat to destroy vermin,
especially snakes, called it Mau, Mai, Miao (onomatopoetic): this
descendent of the Felis maniculata originated in Nubia; and we
know from the mummy pits and Herodotus that it was the same
species as ours. The first portraits of the cat are on the
monuments of "Beni Hasan," B.C. 2500. I have ventured to derive
the familiar "Puss" from the Arab. "Biss (fem. :Bissah"), which
is a congener of Pasht (Diana), the cat-faced goddess of Bubastis
(Pi-Pasht), now Zagazig. Lastly, "tabby (brindled)-cat" is
derived from the Attabi (Prince Attab's) quarter at Baghdad where
watered silks were made. It is usually attributed to the Tibbie,
Tibalt, Tybalt, Thibert or Tybert (who is also executioner),
various forms of Theobald in the old Beast Epic; as opposed to
Gilbert the gib-cat, either a tom-cat or a gibbed (castrated)

[FN#167] Arab. "Ikhwan al-Safa," a popular term for virtuous
friends who perfectly love each other in all purity: it has also
a mystic meaning. Some translate it "Brethren of Sincerity," and
hold this brotherhood to be Moslem Freemasons, a mere fancy (see
the Mesnevi of Mr. Redhouse, Trubner 1881). There is a well-known
Hindustani book of this name printed by Prof. Forbes in Persian
character and translated by Platts and Eastwick.

[FN#168] Among Eastern men there are especial forms for "making
brotherhood." The "Munhbola-bhai" (mouth-named brother) of India
is well-known. The intense "associativeness" of these races
renders isolation terrible to them, and being defenceless in a
wild state of society has special horrors. Hence the origin of
Caste for which see Pilgrimage (i. 52). Moslems, however, cannot
practise the African rite of drinking a few drops of each other's
blood. This, by the by, was also affected in Europe, as we see in
the Gesta Romanoru, Tale lxvii., of the wise and foolish knights
who "drew blood (to drink) from the right arm."

[FN#169] The F. Sacer in India is called "Laghar" and tiercel
"Jaghar." Mr. T.E. Jordan (catalogue of Indian Birds, 1839) says
it is rare; but I found it the contrary. According to Mr. R.
Thompson it is flown at kites and antelope: in Sind it is used
upon night-heron (nyctardea nycticorax), floriken or Hobara (Otis
aurita), quail, partridge, curlew and sometimes hare: it gives
excellent sport with crows but requires to be defended. Indian
sportsmen, like ourselves, divide hawks into two orders: the
"Siyah-chasm," or black-eyed birds, long-winged and noble; the
"Gulabi-chasm" or yellow-eyed (like the goshawk) round-winged and

[FN#170] i.e. put themselves at thy mercy.

[FN#171] I have remarked (Pilgrimage iii.307) that all the
popular ape-names in Arabic and Persian, Sa'adan, Maymun, Shadi,
etc., express propitiousness--probably euphemistically applied to
our "poor relation."

[FN#172] The serpent does not "sting" nor does it "bite;" it
strikes with the poison-teeth like a downward stab with a dagger.
These fangs are always drawn by the jugglers but they grow again
and thus many lives are lost. The popular way of extracting the
crochets is to grasp the snake firmly behind the neck with one
hand and with the other to tantalise it by offering and
withdrawing a red rag. At last the animal is allowed to strike it
and a sharp jerk tears out both eye-teeth as rustics used to do
by slamming a door. The head is then held downwards and the venom
drains from its bag in the shape of a few drops of slightly
yellowish fluid which, as conjurers know, may be drunk without
danger. The patient looks faint and dazed, but recovers after a
few hours and feels as if nothing had happened. In India I took
lessons from a snake-charmer but soon gave up the practice as too

[FN#173] Arab. "Akh al-Jahalah" = brother of ignorance, an
Ignorantin; one "really and truly" ignorant; which is the value
of "Ahk" in such phrases as a "brother of poverty," or, "of

[FN#174] Lane (ii. 1) writes "Abu-l-Hasan;" Payne (iii. 49)
"Aboulhusn" which would mean "Father of Beauty (Husn)" and is not
a Moslem name. Hasan (beautiful) and its dimin. Husayn, names now
so common, were (it is said), unknown to the Arabs, although
Hassan was that of a Tobba King, before the days of Mohammed who
so called his two only grandsons. In Anglo-India they have become
"Hobson and Jobson." The Bresl. Edit. (ii. 305) entitles this
story "Tale of Abu 'l Hasan the Attar (druggist and perfumer)
with Ali ibn Bakkar and what befel them with the handmaid
(=jariyah) Shams al-Nahar."

[FN#175] i.e. a descendant, not a Prince.

[FN#176] The Arab shop is a kind of hole in the wall and buyers
sit upon its outer edge (Pilgrimage i. 99).

[FN#177] By a similar image the chamaeleon is called Abu
Kurrat=Father of coolness; because it is said to have the
"coldest" eye of all animals and insensible to heat and light,
since it always looks at the sun.

[FN#178] This dividing the hemistich words is characteristic of
certain tales; so I have retained it although inevitably

I left Matilda at the U-
niversity of Gottingen.

[FN#179] These naive offers in Eastern tales mostly come from the
true seducer--Eve. Europe and England especially, still talks
endless absurdity upon the subject. A man of the world may
"seduce" an utterly innocent (which means an ignorant) girl. But
to "seduce" a married woman! What a farce!

[FN#180] Masculine again for feminine: the lines are as full of
word-plays, vulgarly called puns, as Sanskrit verses.

[FN#181] The Eastern heroine always has a good appetite and eats
well. The sensible Oriental would infinitely despise that
maladive Parisienne in whom our neighbours delight, and whom I
long to send to the Hospital.

[FN#182] i.e. her rivals have discovered the secret of her heart.

[FN#183] i.e. blood as red as wine.

[FN#184] The wine-cup (sun-like) shines in thy hand; thy teeth
are bright as the Pleiads and thy face rises like a moon from the
darkness of thy dress-collar.

[FN#185] The masculine of Marjanah (Morgiana) "the she
coral-branch ;" and like this a name generally given to negroes.
We have seen white applied to a blackamoor by way of metonomy and
red is also connected with black skins by way of fun. A Persian
verse says :

"If a black wear red, e'en an ass would grin."

[FN#186] Suggesting that she had been sleeping.

[FN#187] Arab. "Raushan," a window projecting and latticed: the
word is orig. Persian: so Raushana (splendour)=Roxana. It appears
to me that this beautiful name gains beauty by being understood.

[FN#188] The word means any servant, but here becomes a proper
name. "Wasifah" usually= a concubine.

[FN#189] i.e. eagerness, desire, love-longing.

[FN#190] Arab. "Rind," which may mean willow (oriental), bay or
aloes wood: Al-Asma'i denies that it ever signifies myrtle.

[FN#191] These lines occur in Night cxiv.: by way of variety I
give (with permission) Mr. Payne's version (iii. 59).

[FN#192] Referring to the proverb "Al-Khauf maksum"=fear
(cowardice) is equally apportioned: i.e. If I fear you, you fear

[FN#193] The fingers of the right hand are struck upon the palm
of the left.

[FN#194] There are intricate rules for "joining" the prayers; but
this is hardly the place for a subject discussed in all religious
treatises. (Pilgrimage iii. 239.)

[FN#195] The hands being stained with Henna and perhaps indigo in
stripes are like the ring rows of chain armour. See Lane's
illustration (Mod. Egypt, chaps. i.).

[FN#196] She made rose-water of her cheeks for my drink and she
bit with teeth like grains of hail those lips like the
lotus-fruit, or jujube: Arab. "Unnab" or "Nabk," the plum of the
Sidr or Zizyphus lotus.

[FN#197] Meaning to let Patience run away like an untethered

[FN#198] i.e. her fair face shining through the black hair.
"Camphor" is a favourite with Arab poets: the Persians hate it
because connected in their minds with death; being used for
purifying the corpse. We read in Burckhardt (Prov. 464) "Singing
without siller is like a corpse without Hanut"--this being a
mixture of camphor and rose-water sprinkled over the face of the
dead before shrouded. Similarly Persians avoid speaking of
coffee, because they drink it at funerals and use tea at other

[FN#199] i.e. she is angry and bites her carnelion lips with
pearly teeth.

[FN#200] Arab. "Wa ba'ad;" the formula which follows
"Bismillah"--In the name of Allah. The French translate it or
sus, etc. I have noticed the legend about its having been first
used by the eloquent Koss, Bishop of Najran.

[FN#201] i.e. Her mind is so troubled she cannot answer for what
she writes.

[FN#202] The Bul. Edit. (i. 329) and the Mac. Edit. (i. 780) give
to Shams al-Nahar the greater part of Ali's answer, as is shown
by the Calc. Edit. (230 et seq.) and the Bresl. Edit. (ii. 366 et
seq.) Lane mentions this (ii. 74) but in his usual perfunctory
way gives no paginal references to the Calc. or Bresl.; so that
those who would verify the text may have the displeasure of
hunting for it.

[FN#203] Arab. "Bi'smi 'llahi' r-Rahmani'r-Rahim." This
auspicatory formula was borrowed by Al-Islam not from the Jews
but from the Guebre "Ba nam-i-Yezdan bakhshaishgar-i-dadar!" (in
the name of Yezdan-God--All-generous, All-just!). The Jews have,
"In the name of the Great God;" and the Christians, "In the name
of the Father, etc." The so-called Sir John Mandeville begins his
book, In the name of God, Glorious and Almighty. The sentence
forms the first of the Koran and heads every chapter except only
the ninth, an exception for which recondite reasons are adduced.
Hence even in the present day it begins all books, letters and
writings in general; and it would be a sign of Infidelity (i.e.
non-Islamism) to omit it. The difference between "Rahman" and
"Rahim" is that the former represents an accidental
(compassionating), the latter a constant quality (compassionate).
Sale therefore renders it very imperfectly by "In the name of the
most merciful God;" the Latinists better, "In nomine Dei
misericordis, clementissimi" (Gottwaldt in Hamza Ispahanensis);
Mr. Badger much better, "In the name of God, the Pitiful, the
Compassionate"--whose only fault is not preserving the assonance:
and Maracci best, "In nomine Dei miseratoris misericordis."

[FN#204] Arab. Majnun (i.e. one possessed by a Jinni) the
well-known model lover of Layla, a fictitious personage for whom
see D'Herbelot (s. v. Megnoun). She was celebrated by Abu
Mohammed Nizam al-Din of Ganjah (ob. A.H. 597=1200) pop. known as
Nizami, the caustic and austere poet who wrote:--

The weals of this world are the ass's meed!
Would Nizami were of the ass's breed.

The series in the East begins chronologically with Yusuf and
Zulaykha (Potiphar's wife) sung by Jami (nat. A.H. 817=1414); the
next in date is Khusraw and Shirin (also by Nizami); Farhad and
Shirin; and Layla and Majnun (the Night-black maid and the
Maniac-man) are the last. We are obliged to compare the lovers
with "Romeo and Juliet," having no corresponding instances in
modern days: the classics of Europe supply a host as Hero and
Leander, Theagenes and Charicleia, etc. etc.

[FN#205] The jeweller of Eastern tales from Marocco to Calcutta,
is almost invariably a rascal: here we have an exception.

[FN#206] This must not be understood of sealing-wax, which,
however, is of ancient date. The Egyptians (Herod. ii. 38) used
"sealing earth" ( ) probably clay, impressed with a
signet ( ); the Greeks mud-clay ( ); and the Romans
first cretula and then wax (Beckmann). Mediaeval Europe had
bees-wax tempered with Venice turpentine and coloured with
cinnabar or similar material. The modern sealing-wax, whose
distinctive is shell-lac, was brought by the Dutch from India to
Europe; and the earliest seals date from about A.D. 1560. They
called it Ziegel-lak, whence the German Siegel-lack, the French
preferring cire-a-cacheter, as distinguished from cire-a-sceller,
the softer material. The use of sealing-wax in India dates from
old times and the material, though coarse and unsightly, is still
preferred by Anglo-Indians because it resists heat whereas the
best English softens like pitch.

[FN#207] Evidently referring to the runaway Abu al-Hasan, not to
the she-Mercury.

[FN#208] An unmarried man is not allowed to live in a respectable
quarter of a Moslem city unless he takes such precaution. Lane
(Mod. Egypt. passim) has much to say on this point; and my
excellent friend the late Professor Spitta at Cairo found the
native prejudice very troublesome.

[FN#209] Arab. "Ya fulan"=O certain person (fulano in Span. and
Port.) a somewhat contemptuous address.

[FN#210] Mr. Payne remarks, "These verses apparently relate to
Aboulhusn, but it is possible that they may be meant to refer to
Shemsennehar." (iii. 80.)

[FN#211] Arab. and Pers "Bulur" (vulg. billaur) retaining the
venerable tradition of the Belus- river. In Al-Hariri (Ass. of
Halwan) it means crystal and there is no need of proposing to
translate it by onyx or to identify it with the Greek ,
the beryl.

[FN#212] The door is usually shut with a wooden bolt.

[FN#213] Arab. "Ritanah," from "Ratan," speaking any tongue not
Arabic, the allusion being to foreign mercenaries, probably
Turks. In later days Turkish was called Muwalla', a pied horse,
from its mixture of languages.

[FN#214] This is the rule; to guard against the guet-apens.

[FN#215] Arab. "Walidati," used when speaking to one not of the
family in lieu of the familiar "Ummi"=my mother. So the father is
Walid=the begetter.

[FN#216] This is one of the many euphemistic formulae for such
occasions: they usually begin "May thy head live." etc.

[FN#217] Arab. "Kanun," an instrument not unlike the Austrian
zither; it is illustrated in Lane (ii. 77).

[FN#218] This is often done, the merit of the act being
transferred to the soul of the deceased.

[FN#219] The two amourists were martyrs; and their amours, which
appear exaggerated to the Western mind, have many parallels in
the East. The story is a hopeless affair of love; with only one
moral (if any be wanted) viz., there may be too much of a good
thing. It is given very concisely in the Bul. Edit. vol. i.; and
more fully in the Mac. Edit. aided in places by the Bresl. (ii.
320) and the Calc. (ii. 230).
[FN#220] Lane is in error (vol. ii. 78) when he corrects this to
"Shah Zeman"; the name is fanciful and intended to be old
Persian, on the "weight" of Kahraman. The Bul. Edit. has by
misprint "Shahraman."

[FN#221] The "topothesia" is worthy of Shakespeare's day.
"Khalidan" is evidently a corruption of "Khalidatani" (for
Khalidat), the Eternal, as Ibn Wardi calls the Fortunate Islands,
or Canaries, which owe both their modern names to the classics of
Europe. Their present history dates from A.D. 1385, unless we
accept the Dieppe-Rouen legend of Labat which would place the
discovery in A.D. 1326. I for one thoroughly believe in the
priority on the West African Coast, of the gallant descendants of
the Northmen.

[FN#222] Four wives are allowed by Moslem law and for this
reason. If you marry one wife she holds herself your equal,
answers you and "gives herself airs"; two are always quarrelling
and making a hell of the house; three are "no company" and two of
them always combine against the nicest to make her hours bitter.
Four are company, they can quarrel and "make it up" amongst
themselves, and the husband enjoys comparative peace. But the
Moslem is bound by his law to deal equally with the four, each
must have her dresses her establishment and her night, like her
sister wives. The number is taken from the Jews (Arbah Turim Ev.
Hazaer, i.) "the wise men have given good advice that a man
should not marry more than four wives." Europeans, knowing that
Moslem women are cloistered and appear veiled in public, begin
with believing them to be mere articles of luxury, and only after
long residence they find out that nowhere has the sex so much
real liberty and power as in the Moslem East. They can possess
property and will it away without the husband's leave: they can
absent themselves from the house for a month without his having a
right to complain; and they assist in all his counsels for the
best of reasons: a man can rely only on his wives and children,
being surrounded by rivals who hope to rise by his ruin. As
regards political matters the Circassian women of Constantinople
really rule the Sultanate and there soignez la femme! is the
first lesson of getting on in the official world.

[FN#223] This two-bow prayer is common on the bride-night; and at
all times when issue is desired.

[FN#224] The older Camaralzaman="Moon of the age." Kamar is the
moon between her third and twenty-sixth day: Hilal during the
rest of the month: Badr (plur. Budur whence the name of the
Princess) is the full moon.

[FN#225] Arab "Ra'aya" plur. of 'Ra'iyat" our Anglo-Indian Ryot,
lit. a liege, a subject; secondarily a peasant, a Fellah.

[FN#226] Another audacious parody of the Moslem "testification"
to the one God, and to Mohammed the Apostle.

[FN#227] Showing how long ago forts were armed with metal plates
which we have applied to war-ships only of late years.

[FN#228] The comparison is abominably true--in the East.

[FN#229] Two fallen angels who taught men the art of magic. They
are mentioned in the Koran (chaps. ii.), and the commentators
have extensively embroidered the simple text. Popularly they are
supposed to be hanging by their feet in a well in the territory
of Babel, hence the frequent allusions to "Babylonian sorcery" in
Moslem writings; and those who would study the black art at
head-quarters are supposed to go there. They are counterparts of
the Egyptian Jamnes and Mambres, the Jannes and Jambres of St.
Paul (2 Tim. iii. 8).

[FN#230] An idol or idols of the Arabs (Allat and Ozza) before
Mohammed (Koran chaps. ii. 256). Etymologically the word means
"error" and the termination is rather Hebraic than Arabic.

[FN#231] Arab. "Khayt hamayan" (wandering threads of vanity), or
Mukhat al-Shaytan (Satan's snivel),=our "gossamer"=God's summer
(Mutter Gottes Sommer) or God's cymar (?).

[FN#232] These lines occur in Night xvii.; so I borrow from
Torrens (p. 163) by way of variety.

[FN#233] A posture of peculiar submission; contrasting strongly
with the attitude afterwards assumed by Prince Charming.

[FN#234] A mere term of vulgar abuse not reflecting on either
parent: I have heard a mother call her own son, "Child of

[FN#235] Arab. "Ghaza," the Artemisia (Euphorbia ?) before
noticed. If the word be a misprint for Ghada it means a kind of
Euphorbia which, with the Arak (wild caper-tree) and the Daum
palm (Crucifera thebiaca), is one of the three normal growths of
the Arabian desert (Pilgrimage iii. 22).

[FN#236] Arab. "Banat al-Na'ash," usually translated daughters of
the bier, the three stars which represent the horses in either
Bear, "Charles' Wain," or Ursa Minor, the waggon being supposed
to be a bier. "Banat" may be also sons, plur. of Ibn, as the word
points to irrational objects. So Job (ix. 9 and xxxviii. 32)
refers to U. Major as "Ash" or "Aysh" in the words, "Canst thou
guide the bier with its sons?" (erroneously rendered "Arcturus
with his sons") In the text the lines are enigmatical, but
apparently refer to a death parting.

[FN#237] The Chapters are: 2, 3, 36, 55, 67 and the two last
("Daybreak" cxiii. and "Men" cxiv.), which are called
Al-Mu'izzatani (vulgar Al-Mu'izzatayn), the "Two Refuge-takings
or Preventives," because they obviate enchantment. I have
translated the two latter as follows:--

"Say:--Refuge I take with the Lord of the Day-break *
from mischief of what He did make *
from mischief of moon eclipse-showing *
and from mischief of witches on cord-knots blowing *
and from mischief of envier when envying."

"Say:--Refuge I take with the Lord of men *
the sovran of men *
the God of men *
from the Tempter, the Demon *
who tempteth in whisper the breasts of men *
and from Jinnis and (evil) men."

[FN#238] The recitations were Nafilah, or superogatory, two short
chapters only being required and the taking refuge was because he
slept in a ruin, a noted place in the East for Ghuls as in the
West for ghosts.

[FN#239] Lane (ii. 222) first read "Muroozee" and referred it to
the Muruz tribe near Herat he afterwards (iii. 748) corrected it
to "Marwazee," of the fabric of Marw (Margiana) the place now
famed for "Mervousness." As a man of Rayy (Rhages) becomes Razi
(e.g. Ibn Faris al-Razi), so a man of Marw is Marazi, not Muruzi
nor Marwazi. The "Mikna' " was a veil forming a kind of
"respirator," defending from flies by day and from mosquitos,
dews and draughts by night. Easterns are too sensible to sleep
with bodies kept warm by bedding, and heads bared to catch every
blast. Our grandfathers and grandmothers did well to wear
bonnets-de-nuit, however ridiculous they may have looked.

[FN#240] Iblis, meaning the Despairer, is called in the Koran
(chaps. xviii. 48) "One of the genii (Jinnis) who departed from
the command of his Lord." Mr. Rodwell (in loco) notes that the
Satans and Jinnis represent in the Koran (ii. 32, etc.) the
evil-principle and finds an admixture of the Semitic Satans and
demons with the "Genii from the Persian (Babylonian ?) and Indian
(Egyptian ?) mythologies."

[FN#241] Of course she could not see his eyes when they were
shut; nor is this mere Eastern inconsequence. The writer means,
"had she seen them, they would have showed," etc.

[FN#242] The eyes are supposed to grow darker under the influence
of wine and sexual passion.

[FN#243] To keep off the evil eye.

[FN#244] Like Dahnash this is a fanciful P. N., fit only for a
Jinni. As a rule the appellatives of Moslem "genii" end in us
(oos), as Tarnus, Huliyanus, the Jewish in--nas, as Jattunas;
those of the Tarsa (the "funkers" i.e. Christians) in--dus, as
Sidus, and the Hindus in--tus, as Naktus (who entered the service
of the Prophet Shays, or Seth, and was converted to the Faith).
The King of the Genii is Malik Katshan who inhabits Mount Kaf;
and to the west of him lives his son-in-law, Abd al-Rahman with
33,000 domestics: these names were given by the Apostle Mohammed.
"Baktanus" is lord of three Moslem troops of the wandering Jinns,
which number a total of twelve bands and extend from Sind to
Europe. The Jinns, Divs, Peris ("fairies") and other pre-Adamitic
creatures were governed by seventy-two Sultans all known as
Sulayman and the last I have said was Jan bin Jan. The angel
Haris was sent from Heaven to chastise him, but in the pride of
victory he also revolted with his followers the Jinns whilst the
Peris held aloof. When he refused to bow down before Adam he and
his chiefs were eternally imprisoned but the other Jinns are
allowed to range over earth as a security for man's obedience.
The text gives the three orders. flyers. walkers and divers.

[FN#245] i.e. distracted (with love); the Lakab, or poetical
name, of apparently a Spanish poet.

[FN#246] Nothing is more "anti-pathetic" to Easterns than lean
hips and flat hinder-cheeks in women and they are right in
insisting upon the characteristic difference of the male and
female figure. Our modern sculptors and painters, whose study of
the nude is usually most perfunctory, have often scandalised me
by the lank and greyhound-like fining off of the frame, which
thus becomes rather simian than human.

[FN#247] The small fine foot is a favourite with Easterns as well
as Westerns. Ovid (A.A.) is not ashamed "ad teneros Oscula (not
basia or suavia) ferre pedes." Ariosto ends the august person in

Il breve, asciutto, e ritondetto piece,
(The short-sized, clean-cut, roundly-moulded foot).

And all the world over it is a sign of "blood," i.e. the fine
nervous temperament.

[FN#248] i.e. "full moons": the French have corrupted it to
"Badoure"; we to "Badoura." winch is worse.

[FN#249] As has been said a single drop of urine renders the
clothes ceremoniously impure, hence a Stone or a handful of earth
must be used after the manner of the torche-cul. Scrupulous
Moslems, when squatting to make water, will prod the ground
before them with the point o f stick or umbrella, so as to loosen
it and prevent the spraying of the urine.

[FN#250] It is not generally known to Christians that Satan has a
wife called Awwa ("Hawwa" being the Moslem Eve) and, as Adam had
three sons, the Tempter has nine, viz., Zu 'l-baysun who rules in
bazars. Wassin who prevails in times of trouble. Awan who
counsels kings; Haffan patron of wine-bibbers; Marrah of
musicians and dancers; Masbut of news-spreaders (and newspapers
?); Dulhan who frequents places of worship and interferes with
devotion. Dasim, lord of mansions and dinner tables, who prevents
the Faithful saying "Bismillah" and "Inshallah," as commanded in
the Koran (xviii. 23), and Lakis, lord of Fire worshippers
(Herklots, chap. xxix. sect. 4).

[FN#251] Strong perfumes, such as musk (which we Europeans
dislike and suspect), are always insisted upon in Eastern poetry,
and Mohammed's predilection for them is well known. Moreover the
young and the beautiful are held (justly enough) to exhale a
natural fragrance which is compared with that of the blessed in
Paradise. Hence in the Mu'allakah of Imr al-Keys:--

Breathes the scent of musk when they rise to rove, *
As the Zephyr's breath with the flavour o'clove.

It is made evident by dogs and other fine-nosed animals that
every human being has his, or her, peculiar scent which varies
according to age and health. Hence animals often detect the
approach of death.

[FN#252] Arab. "Kahla." This has been explained. Mohammed is said
to have been born with "Kohl'd eyes."

[FN#253] Hawa al-'uzri, before noticed (Night cxiv.).

[FN#254] These lines, with the Nazir (eye or steward), the Hajib
(Groom of the Chambers or Chamberlain) and Joseph, are also
repeated from Night cxiv. For the Nazir see Al-Hariri (Nos. xiii.
and xxii.)

[FN#255] The usual allusion to the Hur (Houris) from "Hangar,"
the white and black of the eye shining in contrast. The Persian
Magi also placed in their Heaven (Bihisht or Minu) "Huran," or
black-eyed nymphs, under the charge of the angel Zamiyad.

[FN#256] In the first hemistich, "bi-shitt 'it wady" (by the
wady-bank): in the second, "wa shatta 'l wady" ("and my slayer"--
i.e. wady act. part. of wady, killing--"hath paced away").

[FN#257] The double entendre is from the proper names Budur and
Su'ad (Beatrice) also meaning "auspicious (or blessed) full

[FN#258] Arab. "Hazir" (also Ahl al-hazer, townsmen) and Badi, a
Badawi, also called "Ahl al-Wabar," people of the camel's hair
(tent) and A'arab (Nomadic) as opposed to Arab (Arab settled or
not). They still boast with Ibn Abbas, cousin of Mohammed, that
they have kerchiefs (not turbands) for crowns, tents for houses,
loops for walls, swords for scarves and poems for registers or
written laws.

[FN#259] This is a peculiarity of the Jinn tribe when wearing
hideous forms. It is also found in the Hindu Rakshasa.

[FN#260] Which, by the by, are small and beautifully shaped. The
animal is very handy with them, as I learnt by experience when
trying to "Rareyfy" one at Bayrut.

[FN#261] She being daughter of Al-Dimiryat, King of the Jinns.
Mr. W. F. Kirby has made him the subject of a pretty poem.

[FN#262] These lines have occurred in Night xxii. I give
Torrens's version (p. 223) by way of variety.

[FN#263] Arab. "Kamat Alfiyyah," like an Alif, the first of the
Arabic alphabet, the Heb. Aleph. The Arabs, I have said, took the
flag or water leaf form and departed very far from the Egyptian
original (we know from Plutarch that the hieroglyphic abecedarium
began with "a"), which was chosen by other imitators, namely the
bull's head, and which in the cursive form, especially the
Phoenician, became a yoke. In numerals "Alif" denotes one or one
thousand. It inherits the traditional honours of Alpha (as
opposed to Omega) and in books, letters and writings generally it
is placed as a monogram over the "Bismillah," an additional
testimony to the Unity. (See vol. i. p. 1.) In mediaeval
Christianity this place of honour was occupied by the cross: none
save the wildest countries have preserved it, but our vocabulary
still retains Criss' (Christ-)cross Row, for horn-book, on
account of the old alphabet and nine digits disposed in the form
of a Latin cross. Hence Tickell ("The Horn-book"):

----Mortals ne'er shall know
More than contained of old the Chris'-cross Row.

[FN#264] The young man must have been a demon of chastity.

[FN#265] Arab. "Kirat" from i.e. bean, the seed of the
Abrus precatorius, in weight=two to three (English) grains; and
in length=one finger-breadth here; 24 being the total. The Moslem
system is evidently borrowed from the Roman "as" and "uncia."

[FN#266] Names of women.

[FN#267] Arab. "Amsa" (lit. he passed the evening) like "asbaha"
(he rose in the morning) "Azha" (he spent the forenoon) and
"bata" (he spent the night), are idiomatically used for "to be in
any state, to continue" without specification of time or season.

[FN#268] Lit. "my liver ;" which viscus, and not the heart, is
held the seat of passion, a fancy dating from the oldest days.
Theocritus says of Hercules, "In his liver Love had fixed a
wound" (Idyl. xiii.). In the Anthologia "Cease, Love, to wound my
liver and my heart" (lib. vii.). So Horace (Odes, i. 2); his
Latin Jecur and the Persian "Jigar" being evident congeners. The
idea was long prevalent and we find in Shakespeare:--

Alas, then Love may be called appetite,
No motion of the liver but the palate.

[FN#269] A marvellous touch of nature, love ousting affection;
the same trait will appear in the lover and both illustrate the
deep Italian saying, "Amor discende, non ascende." The further it
goes down the stronger it becomes as of grand-parent for
grand-child and vice versa.

[FN#270] This tenet of the universal East is at once fact and
unfact. As a generalism asserting that women's passion is ten
times greater than man's (Pilgrimage, ii. 282), it is unfact. The
world shows that while women have more philoprogenitiveness, men
have more amativeness; otherwise the latter would not propose and
would nurse the doll and baby. Pact, however, in low-lying lands,
like Persian Mazanderan versus the Plateau; Indian Malabar
compared with Maratha-land; California as opposed to Utah and
especially Egypt contrasted with Arabia. In these hot damp
climates the venereal requirements and reproductive powers of the
female greatly exceed those of the male; and hence the
dissoluteness of morals would be phenomenal, were it not obviated
by seclusion, the sabre and the revolver. In cold-dry or hot-dry
mountainous lands the reverse is the case; hence polygamy there
prevails whilst the low countries require polyandry in either
form, legal or illegal (i,e. prostitution) I have discussed this
curious point of "geographical morality" (for all morality is,
like conscience, both geographical and chronological), a subject
so interesting to the lawgiver, the student of ethics and the
anthropologist, in "The City of the Saints " But strange and
unpleasant truths progress slowly, especially in England.

[FN#271] This morning evacuation is considered, in the East, a
sine qua non of health; and old Anglo-Indians are unanimous in
their opinion of the "bard fajar" (as they mispronounce the
dawn-clearance). The natives of India, Hindus (pagans) and Hindis
(Moslems), unlike Europeans, accustom themselves to evacuate
twice a day, evening as well as morning. This may, perhaps,
partly account for their mildness and effeminacy; for:--

C'est la constipation qui rend l'homme rigoureux.

The English, since the first invasion of cholera, in October,
1831, are a different race from their costive grandparents who
could not dine without a "dinner-pill." Curious to say the
clyster is almost unknown to the people of Hindostan although the
barbarous West Africans use it daily to "wash 'um belly," as the
Bonney-men say. And, as Sonnini notes to propose the process in
Egypt under the Beys might have cost a Frankish medico his life.

[FN#272] The Egyptian author cannot refrain from this
characteristic polissonnerie; and reading it out is always
followed by a roar of laughter. Even serious writers like Al-
Hariri do not, as I have noted, despise the indecency.

[FN#273] "'Long beard and little wits," is a saying throughout
the East where the Kausaj (= man with thin, short beard) is
looked upon as cunning and tricksy. There is a venerable Joe
Miller about a schoolmaster who, wishing to singe his long beard
short, burnt it off and his face to boot:--which reminded him of
the saying. A thick beard is defined as one which wholly conceals
the skin; and in ceremonial ablution it must be combed out with
the fingers till the water reach the roots. The Sunnat, or
practice of the Prophet, was to wear the beard not longer than
one hand and two fingers' breadth. In Persian "Kuseh" (thin
beard) is an insulting term opposed to "Khush-rish," a
well-bearded man. The Iranian growth is perhaps the finest in the
world, often extending to the waist; but it gives infinite
trouble, requiring, for instance, a bag when travelling. The Arab
beard is often composed of two tufts on the chin-sides and
straggling hairs upon the cheeks; and this is a severe
mortification, especially to Shaykhs and elders, who not only
look upon the beard as one of man's characteristics, but attach a
religious importance to the appendage. Hence the enormity of
Kamar al-Zaman's behaviour. The Persian festival of the vernal
equinox was called Kusehnishin (Thin-beard sitting). An old man
with one eye paraded the streets on an ass with a crow in one
hand and a scourge and fan in the other, cooling himself,
flogging the bystanders and crying heat! heat! (garma! garma!).
For other particulars see Richardson (Dissertation, p. Iii.).
This is the Italian Giorno delle Vecchie, Thursday in Mid Lent,
March 12 (1885), celebrating the death of Winter and the birth of

[FN#274] I quote Torrens (p. 400) as these lines have occurred in
Night xxxviii.

[FN#275] Moslems have only two names for week days, Friday,
Al-Jum'ah or meeting-day, and Al-Sabt, Sabbath day, that is
Saturday. The others are known by numbers after Quaker fashion
with us, the usage of Portugal and Scandinavia.

[FN#276] Our last night.

[FN#277] Arab. "Tayf"=phantom, the nearest approach to our
"ghost," that queer remnant of Fetishism imbedded in
Christianity; the phantasma, the shade (not the soul) of tile
dead. Hence the accurate Niebuhr declares, "apparitions (i.e., of
the departed) are unknown in Arabia." Haunted houses are there
tenanted by Ghuls, Jinns and a host of supernatural creatures;
but not by ghosts proper; and a man may live years in Arabia
before he ever hears of the "Tayf." With the Hindus it is
otherwise (Pilgrimage iii. 144). Yet the ghost, the embodied fear
of the dead and of death is common, in a greater or less degree,
to all peoples; and, as modern Spiritualism proves, that ghost is
not yet laid.

[FN#278] Mr. Payne (iii. 133) omits the lines which are apropos
de rein and read much like "nonsense verses." I retain them
simply because they are in the text.

[FN#279] The first two couplets are the quatrain (or octave) in
Night xxxv.

[FN#280] Arab. "Ar'ar," the Heb. "Aroer," which Luther and the A.
V. translate "heath." The modern Aramaic name is "Lizzab"
(Unexplored Syria. i. 68).

[FN#281] In the old version and the Bresl. Edit. (iii. 220) the
Princess beats the "Kahramanah," but does not kill her.

[FN#282] 'This is still the popular Eastern treatment of the

[FN#283] Pers. "Marz-ban" = Warden of the Marches, Margrave. The
foster-brother in the East is held dear as, and often dearer
than, kith and kin.

[FN#284] The moderns believe most in the dawn-dream.

Post mediam noctem visus, quum somnia vera.
(Horace Sat. i. 10, 33,)

[FN#285] The Bresl. Edit. (iii. 223) and Galland have "Torf:"
Lane (ii. 115) "El-Tarf."

[FN#286] Arab. "Maghzal ;" a more favourite comparison is with a
tooth pick. Both are used by Nizami and Al-Hariri, the most
"elegant" of Arab writers.

[FN#287] These form a Kasidah, Ode or Elegy= rhymed couplets
numbering more than thirteen: If shorter it is called a "Ghazal."
I have not thought it necessary to preserve the monorhyme.

[FN#288] Sulayma dim. of Salma= any beautiful woman Rabab = the
viol mostly single stringed: Tan'oum=she who is soft and gentle.
These fictitious names are for his old flames.

[FN#289] i.e. wine. The distich is highly fanciful and the
conceits would hardly occur to a

[FN#290] Arab. "Andam," a term applied to Brazil-wood (also
called "Bakkam") and to "dragon's blood," but not, I think, to
tragacanth, the "goat's thorn," which does not dye. Andam is
often mentioned in The Nights.

[FN#291] The superior merit of the first (explorer, etc.) is a
lieu commun with Arabs. So Al-Hariri in Preface quotes his

Justly of praise the price I pay;
The praise is his who leads the way.

[FN#292] There were two Lukmans, of whom more in a future page.

[FN#293] This symbolic action is repeatedly mentioned in The

[FN#294] Arab. "Shakhs"=a person, primarily a dark spot. So
"Sawad"=blackness, in Al-Hariri means a group of people who
darken the ground by their shade.

[FN#295] The first bath after sickness, I have said, is called
"Ghusl al-Sihhah,"--the Washing of Health.

[FN#296] The words "malady" and "disease" are mostly avoided
during these dialogues as ill-omened words which may bring on a

[FN#297] Solomon's carpet of green silk which carried him and all
his host through the air is a Talmudic legend generally accepted
in Al-Islam though not countenanced by the Koran. chaps xxvii.
When the "gnat's wing" is mentioned, the reference is to Nimrod
who, for boasting that he was lord of all, was tortured during
four hundred years by a gnat sent by Allah up his ear or nostril.

[FN#298] The absolute want of morality and filial affection in
the chaste young man is supposed to be caused by the violence of
his passion, and he would be pardoned because he "loved much."

[FN#299] I have noticed the geomantic process in my "History of
Sindh" (chaps. vii.). It is called "Zarb al-Ram!" (strike the
sand, the French say "frapper le sable") because the rudest form
is to make on the ground dots at haphazard, usually in four lines
one above the other: these are counted and, if even-numbered, two
are taken ( ** ); if odd one ( * ); and thus the four lines will
form a scheme say * *
* *
This is repeated three times, producing the same number of
figures; and then the combination is sought in an explanatory
table or, if the practitioner be expert, he pronounces off-hand.
The Nights speak of a "Takht Raml" or a board, like a schoolboy's
slate, upon which the dots are inked instead of points in sand.
The moderns use a "Kura'h," or oblong die, upon whose sides the
dots, odd and even, are marked; and these dice are hand-thrown to
form the e figure. By way of complication Geomancy is mixed up
with astrology and then it becomes a most complicated kind of
ariolation and an endless study. "Napoleon's Book of Fate," a
chap-book which appeared some years ago, was Geomancy in its
simplest and most ignorant shape. For the rude African form see
my Mission to Dahome, i. 332, and for that of Darfour, pp. 360-69
of Shaykh Mohammed's Voyage before quoted.

[FN#300] Translators understand this of writing marriage
contracts; I take it in a more general sense.

[FN#301] These lines are repeated from Night Ixxv.: with Mr.
Payne's permission I give his rendering (iii. 153) by way of

[FN#302] The comparison is characteristically Arab.

[FN#303] Not her "face": the head, and especially the back of the
head, must always be kept covered, even before the father.

[FN#304] Arab. "Siwak"=a tooth-stick; "Siwa-ka"=lit. other than

[FN#305] Arab. "Arak"=tooth stick of the wild caper-tree;
"Ara-ka" lit.=I see thee. The capparis spinosa is a common
desert-growth and the sticks about a span long (usually called
Miswak), are sold in quantities at Meccah after being dipped in
Zemzem water. In India many other woods are used, date-tree,
Salvadora, Achyrantes, phyllanthus, etc. Amongst Arabs peculiar
efficacy accompanies the tooth-stick of olive, "the tree
springing from Mount Sinai" (Koran xxiii. 20); and Mohammed would
use no other, because it prevents decay and scents the mouth.
Hence Koran, chaps. xcv. 1. The "Miswak" is held with the unused
end between the ring-finger and minimus, the two others grasp the
middle and the thumb is pressed against the back close to the
lips. These articles have long been sold at the Medical Hall near
the "Egyptian Hall," Piccadilly. They are better than our unclean
tooth-brushes because each tooth gets its own especial rubbing'
not a general sweep; at the same time the operation is longer and
more troublesome. In parts of Africa as well as Asia many men
walk about with the tooth-stick hanging by a string from the

[FN#306] The "Mehari," of which the Algerine-French speak, are
the dromedaries bred by the Mahrah tribe of Al-Yaman, the
descendants of Mahrat ibn Haydan. They are covered by small wild
camels (?) called Al-Hush, found between Oman and Al-Shihr:
others explain the word to mean "stallions of the Jinns " and
term those savage and supernatural animals, "Najaib
al-Mahriyah" nobles of the Mahrah.

[FN#307] Arab. "Khaznah"=a thousand purses; now about 5000. It
denotes a large sum of money, like the "Badrah," a purse
containing 10,000 dirhams of silver (Al-Hariri), or 80,000
(Burckhardt Prov. 380); whereas the "Nisab" is a moderate sum of
money, gen. 20 gold dinars=200 silver dirhams.

[FN#308] As The Nights show, Arabs admire slender forms; but the
hips and hinder cheeks must be highly developed and the stomach
fleshy rather than lean. The reasons are obvious. The Persians
who exaggerate everything say e.g. (Husayn Vaiz in the

How paint her hips and waist ? Who saw
A mountain (Koh) dangling to a straw (kah)?

In Antar his beloved Abla is a tamarisk (T. Orientalis). Others
compare with the palm-tree (Solomon), the Cypress (Persian, esp.
Hafiz and Firdausi) and the Arak or wild Capparis (Arab.).

[FN#309] Ubi aves ibi angel). All African travellers know that a
few birds flying about the bush, and a few palm-trees waving in
the wind, denote the neighbourhood of a village or a camp (where
angels are scarce). The reason is not any friendship for man but
because food, animal and vegetable, is more plentiful Hence
Albatrosses, Mother Carey's (Mater Cara, the Virgin) chickens,
and Cape pigeons follow ships.

[FN#310] The stanza is called Al-Mukhammas=cinquains; the
quatrains and the "bob," or "burden" always preserve the same
consonance. It ends with a Koranic lieu commun of Moslem

[FN#311] Moslem port towns usually have (or had) only two gates.
Such was the case with Bayrut, Tyre, Sidon and a host of others;
the faubourg-growth of modern days has made these obsolete. The
portals much resemble the entrances of old Norman castles--Arques
for instance. (Pilgrimage i. 185.)

[FN#312] Arab. "Lisam"; before explained.

[FN#313] i.e. Life of Souls (persons, etc.).

[FN#314] Arab. "Insanu-ha"=her (i.e. their) man: i.e. the babes
of the eyes: the Assyrian Ishon, dim. of Ish=Man; which the
Hebrews call "Babat" or "Bit" (the daughter) the Arabs "Bubu (or
Hadakat) al-Aye"; the Persians "Mardumak-i-chashm" (mannikin of
the eye); the Greeks and the Latins pupa, pupula, pupilla. I
have noted this in the Lyricks of Camoens (p. 449).

[FN#315] Ma'an bin Za'idah, a soldier and statesman of the eighth

[FN#316] The mildness of the Caliph Mu'awiyah, the founder of the
Ommiades, proverbial among the Arabs, much resembles the
"meekness" of Moses the Law-giver, which commentators seem to
think has been foisted into Numbers xii. 3.

[FN#317] Showing that there had been no consummation of the
marriage which would have demanded "Ghusl," or total ablution, at
home or in the Hammam.

[FN#318] I have noticed this notable desert-growth.

[FN#319] 'The "situation" is admirable, solution appearing so
difficult and catastrophe imminent.

[FN#320] This quatrain occurs in Night ix.: I have borrowed from
Torrens (p. 79) by way of variety.

[FN#321] The belief that young pigeon's blood resembles the
virginal discharge is universal; but the blood most resembling
man's is that of the pig which in other points is so very human.
In our day Arabs and Hindus rarely submit to inspection the
nuptial sheet as practiced by the Israelites and Persians. The
bride takes to bed a white kerchief with which she staunches the
blood and next morning the stains are displayed in the Harem. In
Darfour this is done by the bridegroom. "Prima Venus debet esse
cruenta," say the Easterns with much truth, and they have no
faith in our complaisant creed which allows the hymen-membrane to
disappear by any but one accident.

[FN#322] Not meaning the two central divisions commanded by the
King and his Wazir.

[FN#323] Ironice.

[FN#324] Arab. "Rasy"=praising in a funeral sermon.

[FN#325] Arab. "Manaya," plur. of "Maniyat" = death. Mr. R. S.
Poole (the Academy, April 26, 1879) reproaches Mr. Payne for
confounding "Muniyat" (desire) with "Maniyat" (death) but both
are written the same except when vowel-points are used.

[FN#326] Arab. "Iddat," alluding to the months of celibacy which,
according to Moslem law, must be passed by a divorced woman
before she can re-marry.

[FN#327] Arab. "Talak bi'l-Salasah"=a triple divorce which cannot
be revoked; nor can the divorcer re-marry the same woman till
after consummation with another husband. This subject will
continually recur.

[FN#328] An allusion to a custom of the pagan Arabs in the days
of ignorant Heathenism The blood or brain, soul or personality of
the murdered man formed a bird called Sady or Hamah (not the Huma
or Humai, usually translated "phoenix") which sprang from the
head, where four of the five senses have their seat, and haunted
his tomb, crying continually, "Uskuni!"=Give me drink (of the
slayer's blood) ! and which disappeared only when the vendetta
was accomplished. Mohammed forbade the belief. Amongst the
Southern Slavs the cuckoo is supposed to be the sister of a
murdered man ever calling or vengeance.

[FN#329] To obtain a blessing and show how he valued it.

[FN#330] Well-known tribes of proto-historic Arabs who flourished
before the time of Abraham: see Koran (chaps. xxvi. et passim).
They will be repeatedly mentioned in The Nights and notes.

[FN#331] Arab. "Amtar"; plur. of "Matr," a large vessel of
leather or wood for water, etc.

[FN#332] Arab. "Asafiri," so called because they attract sparrows
(asafir) a bird very fond of the ripe oily fruit. In the Romance
of "Antar" Asafir camels are beasts that fly like birds in
fleetness. The reader must not confound the olives of the text
with the hard unripe berries ("little plums pickled in stale")
which appear at English tables, nor wonder that bread and olives
are the beef-steak and potatoes of many Mediterranean peoples It
is an excellent diet, the highly oleaginous fruit supplying the
necessary carbon,

[FN#333] Arab. "Tamer al-Hindi"=the "Indian-date," whence our
word "Tamarind." A sherbet of the pods, being slightly laxative,
is much drunk during the great heats; and the dried fruit, made
into small round cakes, is sold in the bazars. The traveller is
advised not to sleep under the tamarind's shade, which is
infamous for causing ague and fever. In Sind I derided the
"native nonsense," passed the night under an "Indian date-tree"
and awoke with a fine specimen of ague which lasted me a week.

[FN#334] Moslems are not agreed upon the length of the Day of
Doom when all created things, marshalled by the angels, await
final judgment; the different periods named are 40 years, 70, 300
and 50,000. Yet the trial itself will last no longer than while
one may milk an ewe, or than "the space between two milkings of a
she-camel." This is bringing down Heaven to Earth with a witness;
but, after all, the Heaven of all faiths, including
"Spiritualism," the latest development, is only an earth more or
less glorified even as the Deity is humanity more or less

[FN#335] Arab. "Al-Kamarani," lit. "the two moons." Arab rhetoric
prefers it to "Shamsani," or {`two suns," because lighter
(akhaff), to pronounce. So, albeit Omar was less worthy than
Abu-Bakr the two are called "Al-Omarani," in vulgar parlance,

[FN#336] Alluding to the angels who appeared to the Sodomites in
the shape of beautiful youths (Koran xi.).

[FN#337] Koran xxxiii. 38.

[FN#338] "Niktu-hu taklidan" i.e. not the real thing (with a
woman). It may also mean "by his incitement of me." All this
scene is written in the worst form of Persian-Egyptian
blackguardism, and forms a curious anthropological study. The
"black joke" of the true and modest wife is inimitable.

[FN#339] Arab. "Jamiz" (in Egypt "Jammayz") = the fruit of the
true sycomore (F. Sycomorus) a magnificent tree which produces a
small tasteless fig, eaten by the poorer classes in Egypt and by
monkeys. The "Tin" or real fig here is the woman's parts; the
"mulberry- fig," the anus. Martial (i. 65) makes the following

Dicemus ficus, quas scimus in arbore nasci,
Dicemus ficos, Caeciliane, tuos.

And Modern Italian preserves a difference between fico and fica.

[FN#340] Arab. "Ghaniyat Azara" (plur. of Azra = virgin): the
former is properly a woman who despises ornaments and relies on
"beauty unadorned" (i.e. in bed).

[FN#341] "Nihil usitatius apud monachos, cardinales,
sacrificulos," says Johannes de la Casa Beneventius Episcopus,
quoted by Burton Anat. of Mel. lib. iii. Sect. 2; and the famous
epitaph on the Jesuit,

Ci-git un Jesuite:
Passant, serre les fesses et passe vite!

[FN#342] Arab. "Kiblah"=the fronting-place of prayer, Meccah for
Moslems, Jerusalem for Jews and early Christians. See Pilgrimage
(ii. 321) for the Moslem change from Jerusalem to Meccah and
ibid. (ii. 213) for the way in which the direction was shown.

[FN#343] The Koran says (chaps. ii.): "Your wives are your
tillage: go in therefore unto your tillage in what manner so ever
ye will." Usually this is understood as meaning in any posture,
standing or sitting, lying, backwards or forwards. Yet there is a
popular saying about the man whom the woman rides (vulg. St.
George, in France, le Postillon); "Cursed be who maketh woman
Heaven and himself earth!" Some hold the Koranic passage to have
been revealed in confutation of the Jews, who pretended that if a
man lay with his wife backwards, he would beget a cleverer child.
Others again understand it of preposterous venery, which is
absurd: every ancient law-giver framed his code to increase the
true wealth of the people--population--and severely punished all
processes, like onanism, which impeded it. The Persians utilise
the hatred of women for such misuse when they would force a wive
to demand a divorce and thus forfeit her claim to Mahr (dowry);
they convert them into catamites till, after a month or so, they
lose all patience and leave the house.

[FN#344] Koran lit 9: "He will be turned aside from the Faith (or
Truth) who shall be turned aside by the Divine decree;" alluding,
in the text, to the preposterous venery her lover demands.

[FN#345] Arab. "Futuh" meaning openings, and also victories,
benefits. The lover congratulates her on her mortifying self in
order to please him.

[FN#346] "And the righteous work will be exalt": (Koran xxxv. 11)
applied ironically.

[FN#347] A prolepsis of Tommy Moore:--

Your mother says, my little Venus,
There's something not quite right between us,
And you're in fault as much as I,
Now, on my soul, my little Venus,
I swear 'twould not be right between us,
To let your mother tell a lie.

But the Arab is more moral than Mr. Little. as he purposes to

[FN#348] Arab. "Khunsa" flexible or flaccid, from Khans=bending
inwards, i.e. the mouth of a water-skin before drinking. Like
Mukhannas, it is also used for an effeminate man, a passive
sodomite and even for a eunuch. Easterns still believe in what
Westerns know to be an impossibility, human beings with the parts
and proportions of both sexes equally developed and capable of
reproduction; and Al-Islam even provides special rules for them
(Pilgrimage iii. 237). We hold them to be Buffon's fourth class
of (duplicate) monsters belonging essentially to one or the other
sex, and related to its opposite only by some few
characteristics. The old Greeks dreamed, after their fashion, a
beautiful poetic dream of a human animal uniting the
contradictory beauties of man and woman. The duality of the
generative organs seems an old Egyptian tradition, at least we
find it in Genesis (i. 27) where the image of the Deity is
created male and female, before man was formed out of the dust of
the ground (ii. 7). The old tradition found its way to India (if
the Hindus did not borrow the idea from the Greeks); and one of
the forms of Mahadeva, the third person of their triad, is
entitled "Ardhanari"=the Half-woman, which has suggested to them
some charming pictures. Europeans, seeing the left breast
conspicuously feminine, have indulged in silly surmises about the

[FN#349] This is a mere phrase for our "dying of laughter": the
queen was on her back. And as Easterns sit on carpets, their
falling back is very different from the same movement off a

[FN#350] Arab. "Ismid," the eye-powder before noticed.

[FN#351] When the Caliph (e.g. Al-Ta'i li'llah) bound a banner to
a spear and handed it to an officer, he thereby appointed him
Sultan or Viceregent.

[FN#352] Arab. "Shaib al-inghaz"=lit. a gray beard who shakes
head in disapproval.

[FN#353] Arab. "Ayat" = the Hebr. "Ototh," signs, wonders or
Koranic verses.

[FN#354] The Chapter "Al-Ikhlas" i.e. clearing (oneself from any
faith but that of Unity) is No. cxii. and runs thus:--

Say, He is the One God!
The sempiternal God,
He begetteth not, nor is He begot,
And unto Him the like is not.

It is held to be equal in value to one-third of the Koran, and is
daily used in prayer. Mr. Rodwell makes it the tenth.

[FN#355] The Lady Budur shows her noble blood by not objecting to
her friend becoming her Zarrat (sister-wife). This word is
popularly derived from "Zarar"=injury; and is vulgarly pronounced
in Egypt "Durrah" sounding like Durrah = a parrot (see
Burckhardt's mistake in Prov. 314). The native proverb says,
"Ayshat al-durrah murrah," the sister-wife hath a bitter life. We
have no English equivalent; so I translate indifferently co-wife,
co-consort, sister-wife or sister in wedlock.

[FN#356] Lane preserves the article "El-Amjad" and "El-As'ad;"
which is as necessary as to say "the John" or "the James,"
because neo-Latins have "il Giovanni" or "il Giacomo." In this
matter of the article, however, it is impossible to lay down a
universal rule: in some cases it must be preserved and only
practice in the language can teach its use. For instance, it is
always present in Al-Bahrayn and al-Yaman; but not necessarily so
with Irak and Najd.

[FN#357] It is hard to say why this ugly episode was introduced.
It is a mere false note in a tune pretty enough.

[FN#358] The significance of this action will presently appear.

[FN#359] An "Hadis."

[FN#360] Arab. "Sabb" = using the lowest language of abuse.
chiefly concerning women-relatives and their reproductive parts.

[FN#361] The reader will note in the narration concerning the two
Queens the parallelism of the Arab's style which recalls that of
the Hebrew poets. Strings of black silk are plaited into the long
locks (an "idiot-fringe" being worn over the brow) because a
woman is cursed "who joineth her own hair to the hair of another"
(especially human hair). Sending the bands is a sign of
affectionate submission; and, in extremes" cases the hair itself
is sent.

[FN#362] i.e., suffer similar pain at the spectacle, a phrase
often occurring.

[FN#363] i.e., when the eye sees not, the heart grieves not.

[FN#364] i.e., unto Him we shall return, a sentence recurring in
almost every longer chapter of the Koran.

[FN#365] Arab. "Kun," the creative Word (which, by the by, proves
the Koran to be an uncreated Logos); the full sentence being "Kun
fa kana" = Be! and it became. The origin is evidently, "And God
said, Let there be light: and there was light" (Gen. i. 3); a
line grand in its simplicity and evidently borrowed from the
Egyptians, even as Yahveh (Jehovah) from "Ankh"=He who lives
(Brugsch Hist. ii. 34).

[FN#366] i.e. but also for the life and the so-called "soul."

[FN#367] Arab. "Layali"=lit. nights which, I have said, is often
applied to the whole twenty-four hours. Here it is used in the
sense of "fortune" or "fate ;" like "days" and "days and nights."

[FN#368] Abdullah ibn al-Zubayr a nephew of Ayishah, who had
rebuilt the Ka'abah in A.H. 64 (A.D. 683), revolted (A.D. 680)
against Yezid and was proclaimed Caliph at Meccah. He was
afterwards killed (A.D. 692) by the famous or infamous Hajjaj
general of Abd al-Malik bin Marwan, the fifth Ommiade, surnamed
"Sweat of a stone" (skin-flint) and "Father of Flies," from his
foul breath. See my Pilgrimage, etc. (iii. 192-194), where are
explained the allusions to the Ka'abah and the holy Black Stone.

[FN#369] These lines are part of an elegy on the downfall of one
of the Moslem dynasties in Spain, composed in the twelfth century
by Ibn Abdun al-Andalusi. The allusion is to the famous
conspiracy of the Kharijites (the first sectarians in
Mohammedanism) to kill Ah, Mu'awiyah and Amru (so written but
pronounced "Amr") al-As, in order to abate intestine feuds m
Al-Islam. Ali was slain with a sword-cut by Ibn Muljam a name
ever damnable amongst the Persians; Mu'awiyah escaped with a
wound and Kharijah, the Chief of Police at Fustat or old Cairo
was murdered by mistake for Amru. After this the sectarian wars

[FN#370] Arab. "Sarab"= (Koran, chaps. xxiv.) the reek of the
Desert, before explained. It is called "Lama," the shine, the
loom, in Al-Hariri. The world is compared with the mirage, the
painted eye and the sword that breaks in the sworder's hand.

[FN#371] Arab. "Dunya," with the common alliteration "daniyah"
(=Pers. "dun"), in prose as well as poetry means the things or
fortune of this life opp. to "Akhirah"=future life.

[FN#372] Arab. "Walgh," a strong expression primarily denoting
the lapping of dogs; here and elsewhere "to swill, saufen."

[FN#373] The lines are repeated from Night ccxxi. I give Lane's
version (ii. 162) by way of contrast and--warning.

[FN#374] "Sahirah" is the place where human souls will be
gathered on Doom-day: some understand by it the Hell Sa'ir (No.
iv.) intended for the Sabians or the Devils generally.

[FN#375] His eyes are faded like Jacob's which, after weeping for
Joseph, "became white with mourning" (Koran, chaps. xxi.). It is
a stock comparison.

[FN#376] The grave.

[FN#377] Arab. "Sawwan" (popularly pronounced Suwan) ="Syenite"
from Syrene; generally applied to silex, granite or any hard

[FN#378] A proceeding fit only for thieves and paupers:
"Alpinism" was then unknown. "You come from the mountain"
(al-Jabal) means, "You are a clod-hopper"; and "I will sit upon
the mountain"=turn anchorite or magician. (Pilgrimage i. 106.)

[FN#379] Corresponding with wayside chapels in Catholic
countries. The Moslem form would be either a wall with a prayer
niche (Mibrab) fronting Meccah-wards or a small domed room. These
little oratories are often found near fountains, streams or
tree-clumps where travellers would be likely to alight. I have
described one in Sind ("Scinde or the Unhappy Valley" i. 79), and
have noted that scrawling on the walls is even more common in the
East than in the West; witness the monuments of old Egypt
bescribbled by the Greeks and Romans. Even the paws of the Sphinx
are covered with such graffiti; and those of Ipsambul or Abu
Simbal have proved treasures to epigraphists.

[FN#380] In tales this characterises a Persian; and Hero Rustam
is always so pictured.

[FN#381] The Parsis, who are the representatives of the old
Guebres, turn towards the sun and the fire as their Kiblah or
point of prayer; all deny that they worship it. But, as in the
case of saints' images, while the educated would pray before them
for edification (Labia) the ignorant would adore them (Dulia);
and would make scanty difference between the "reverence of a
servant" and the "reverence of a slave." The human sacrifice was
quite contrary to Guebre, although not to Hindu, custom; although
hate and vengeance might prompt an occasional murder.

[FN#382] These oubliettes are common in old eastern houses as in
the medieval Castles of Europe, and many a stranger has met his
death in them. They are often so well concealed that even the
modern inmates are not aware of their existence.

[FN#383] Arab. "Bakk"; hence our "bug" whose derivation (like
that of "cat" "dog" and "hog") is apparently unknown to the
dictionaries, always excepting M. Littre's.

[FN#384] i.e. thy beauty is ever increasing.

[FN#385] Alluding, as usual, to the eye-lashes, e.g.

An eyelash arrow from an eyebrow bow.

[FN#386] Lane (ii. 168) reads:--"The niggardly female is
protected by her niggardness;" a change of "Nahilah" (bee-hive)
into "Bakhilah" (she skin flint).

[FN#387] Koran iv. 38. The advantages are bodily strength,
understanding and the high privilege of Holy War. Thus far, and
thus far only, woman amongst Moslems is "lesser

[FN#388] Arab. "Amir Yakhur," a corruption of "Akhor"=stable

[FN#389] A servile name in Persian, meaning "the brave," and a
title of honour at the Court of Delhi when following the name.
Many English officers have made themselves ridiculous (myself
amongst the number) by having it engraved on their seal-rings,
e.g. Brown Sahib Bahadur. To write the word "Behadir" or
"Bahadir" is to adopt the wretched Turkish corruption.

[FN#390] "Jerry Sneak" would be the English reader's comment; but
in the East all charges are laid upon women.

[FN#391] Here the formula means "I am sorry for it, but I
couldn't help it."

[FN#392] A noble name of the Persian Kings (meaning the planet
Mars) corrupted in Europe to Varanes.

[FN#393] Arab. "Jallab," one of the three muharramat or
forbiddens, the Harik al-hajar (burner of stone) the Kati'
al-shajar (cutter of trees, without reference to Hawarden N. B.)
and the Bayi' al-bashar (seller of men, vulg. Jallab). The two
former worked, like the Italian Carbonari, in desert places where
they had especial opportunities for crime. (Pilgrimage iii. 140.)
None of these things must be practiced during Pilgrimage on the
holy soil of Al-Hijaz--not including Jeddah.

[FN#394] The verses contain the tenets of the Murjiy sect which
attaches infinite importance to faith and little or none to
works. Sale (sect. viii.) derives his "Morgians" from the
"Jabrians" (Jabari), who are the direct opponents of the
"Kadarians" (Kadari), denying free will and free agency to man
and ascribing his actions wholly to Allah. Lane (ii. 243) gives
the orthodox answer to the heretical question:--

Water could wet him not if God please guard His own; *
Nor need man care though bound of hands in sea he's thrown:
But if His Lord decree that he in sea be drowned; *
He'll drown albeit in the wild and wold he wone.

It is the old quarrel between Predestination and Freewill which
cannot be solved except by assuming a Law without a Lawgiver.

[FN#395] Our proverb says: Give a man luck and throw him into the

[FN#396] As a rule Easterns, I repeat, cover head and face when
sleeping especially in the open air and moonlight. Europeans find
the practice difficult, and can learn it only by long habit.

[FN#397] Pers. = a flower-garden. In Galland, Bahram has two
daughters, Bostama and Cavam a. In the Bres. Edit. the daughter
is "Bostan" and the slave-girl "Kawam."

[FN#398] Arab. "Kahil"=eyes which look as if darkened with
antimony: hence the name of the noble Arab breed of horses
"Kuhaylat" (Al-Ajuz, etc.).

[FN#399] "As'ad"=more (or most) fortunate.

[FN#400] This is the vulgar belief, although Mohammed expressly
disclaimed the power in the Koran (chaps. xiii. 8), "Thou art
commissioned to be a preacher only and not a worker of miracles."
"Signs" (Arab. Ayat) may here also mean verses of the Koran,
which the Apostle of Allah held to be his standing miracles. He
despised the common miracula which in the East are of everyday
occurrence and are held to be easy for any holy man. Hume does
not believe in miracles because he never saw one. Had he
travelled in the East he would have seen (and heard of) so many
that his scepticism (more likely that testimony should be false
than miracles be true) would have been based on a firmer
foundation. It is one of the marvels of our age that whilst
two-thirds of Christendom (the Catholics and the "Orthodox"
Greeks) believe in "miracles" occurring not only in ancient but
even in our present days, the influential and intelligent third
(Protestant) absolutely "denies the fact."

[FN#401] Arab. "Al-Shahadatani"; testifying the Unity and the


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