The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 4
Richard F. Burton

Part 6 out of 7

men, the two witnesses, are in such a street in such a house,
engaged in abominable wickedness.' So I disguised myself, I and
my body-servant, and ceased not trudging till I came to the house
and knocked at the door, whereupon a slave-girl came out and
opened to me, saying, 'Who art thou?' I entered without answering
her and saw the two legal-witnesses and the house-master sitting,
and lewd women by their side and before them great plenty of
wine. When they saw me, they rose to receive me, and made much of
me, seating me in the place of honour and saying to me, 'Welcome
for an illustrious guest and well come for a pleasant cup-
companion!' And on this wise they met me without showing a sign
of alarm or trouble. Presently, the master of the house arose
from amongst us and went out and returned after a while with
three hundred dinars, when the men said to me, without the least
fear, 'Know, O our lord the Wali, it is in thy power to do even
more than disgrace and punish us; but this will bring thee in
return nothing but weariness: so we reck thou wouldest do better
to take this much money and protect us; for Almighty Allah is
named the Protector and loveth those of His servants who protect
their Moslem neighbours; and thou shalt have thy reward in this
world and due recompense in the world to come.' So I said to
myself, 'I will take the money and protect them this once, but,
if ever again I have them in my power, I will take my wreak of
them;' for, you see, the money had tempted me. Thereupon I took
it and went away thinking that no one would know it; but, next
day, on a sudden one of the Kazi's messengers came to me and said
to me, 'O Wali, be good enough to answer the summons of the Kazi
who wanteth thee.' So I arose and accompanied him, knowing not
the meaning of all this; and when I came into the judge's
presence, I saw the two witnesses and the master of the house,
who had given me the money, sitting by his side. Thereupon this
man rose and sued me for three hundred dinars, nor was it in my
power to deny the debt; for he produced a written obligation and
his two companions, the legal witnesses, testified against me
that I owed the amount. Their evidence satisfied the Kazi and he
ordered me to pay the sum, nor did I leave the Court till they
had of me the three hundred gold pieces. So I went away, in the
utmost wrath and shame, vowing mischief and vengeance against
them and repenting that I had not punished them. Such, then is
the most remarkable event which befel me during my term of
office." Thereupon rose the Chief of the Bulak Police and said,
"As for me, O our lord the Sultan, the most marvellous thing that
happened to me, since I became Wali, was as follows:" and he

The Story of the Chief of the Bulak Police.

"I was once in debt to the full amount of three hundred thousand
gold pieces;[FN#402] and, being distressed thereby, I sold all
that was behind me and what was before me and all I hent in hand,
but I could collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali of
Bulak continued: "So I sold all that was behind and before me,
but could collect no more than an hundred thousand dinars and
remained in great perplexity. Now one night, as I sat at home in
this state, behold, there came a knocking; so I said to one of my
servants, 'See who is at the door.' He went out and returned, wan
of face, changed in countenance and with his side-muscles a-
quivering; so I asked him, 'What aileth thee?'; and he answered,
'There is a man at the door; he is half naked, clad in skins,
with sword in hand and knife in girdle, and with him are a
company of the same fashion and he asketh for thee.' So I took my
sword and going out to see who these were, behold, I found them
as the boy had reported and said to them, 'What is your
business?' They replied, 'Of a truth we be thieves and have done
fine work this night; so we appointed the swag to thy use, that
thou mayst pay therewith the debts which sadden thee and deliver
thee from thy distress.' Quoth I, 'Where is the plunder?'; and
they brought me a great chest, full of vessels of gold and
silver; which when I saw, I rejoiced and said to myself,
'Herewith I will settle all claims upon me and there will remain
as much again.' So I took the money and going inside said in my
mind, 'It were ignoble to let them fare away empty-handed.'
Whereupon I brought out the hundred thousand dinars I had by me
and gave it to them, thanking them for their kindness; and they
pouched the monies and went their way, under cover of the night
so that none might know of them. But when morning dawned I
examined the contents of the chest, and found them copper and
tin[FN#403] washed with gold worth five hundred dirhams at the
most; and this was grievous to me, for I had lost what monies I
had and trouble was added to my trouble. Such, then, is the most
remarkable event which befel me during my term of office." Then
rose the Chief of the Police of Old Cairo and said, "O our lord
the Sultan, the most marvellous thing that happened to me, since
I became Wali, was on this wise;" and he began

The Story of the Chief of the Old Cairo Police.

"I once hanged ten thieves each on his own gibbet, and especially
charged the guards to watch them and hinder the folk from taking
any one of them down. Next morning when I came to look at them, I
found two bodies hanging from one gallows and said to the guards,
'Who did this, and where is the tenth gibbet?' But they denied
all knowledge of it, and I was about to beat them till they owned
the truth, when they said, 'Know, O Emir, that we fell asleep
last night, and when we awoke, we found that some one had stolen
one of the bodies, gibbet and all; so we were alarmed and feared
thy wrath. But, behold, up came a peasant-fellow driving his ass;
whereupon we laid hands on him and killed him and hanged his body
upon this gallows, in the stead of the thief who had been
stolen.'[FN#404] Now when I heard this, I marvelled and asked
them, 'What had he with him?'; and they answered, 'He had a pair
of saddle-bags on the ass.' Quoth I, 'What was in them?'; quoth
they, 'We know not.' So I said, 'Bring them hither;' and when
they brought them to me I bade open them, behold, therein was the
body of a murdered man, cut in pieces. Now as soon as I saw this,
I marvelled at the case and said in myself, 'Glory to God! The
cause of the hanging of this peasant was none other but his crime
against this murdered man; and thy Lord is not unjust towards His
servants.'"[FN#405] And men also tell the tale of


A certain Shroff, bearing a bag of gold pieces, once passed by a
company of thieves, and one of these sharpers said to the others,
"I, and I only, have the power to steal yonder purse." So they
asked, "How wilt thou do it?"; and he answered, "Look ye all!";
and followed the money-changer, till he entered his house, when
he threw the bag on a shelf[FN#406] and, being affected with
diabetes, went into the chapel of ease to do his want, calling to
the slave-girl, "Bring me an ewer of water." She took the ewer
and followed him to the privy, leaving the door open, whereupon
the thief entered and, seizing the money-bag, made off with it to
his companions, to whom he told what had passed.--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the thief
took the money-bag and made off with it to his companions to whom
he told what had passed. Said they, "By Allah, thou hast played a
clever trick! ''tis not every one could do it; but, presently the
money-changer will come out of the privy; and missing the bag of
money, he will beat the slave-girl and torture her with grievous
torture. 'Tis as though thou hast at present done nothing worthy
of praise; so, if thou be indeed a sharper, return and save the
girl from being beaten and questioned." Quoth he, ' Inshallah! I
will save both girl and purse." Then the prig went back to the
Shroff's house and found him punishing the girl because of the
purse; so he knocked at the door and the man said, "Who is
there?" Cried the thief, "I am the servant of thy neighbour in
the Exchange;" whereupon he came out to him and said, "What is
thy business?" The thief replied, "My master saluteth thee and
saith to thee: 'Surely thou art deranged and thoroughly so, to
cast the like of this bag of money down at the door of thy shop
and go away and leave it.' Had a stranger hit upon it he had made
off with it and, except my master had seen it and taken care of
it, it had assuredly been lost to thee." So saying, he pulled out
the purse and showed it to the Shroff who on seeing it said,
"That is my very purse," and put out his hand to take it; but the
thief said, "By Allah, I will not give thee this same, till thou
write me a receipt declaring that thou hast received it! for
indeed I fear my master will not believe that thou hast recovered
the purse, unless I bring him thy writing to that effect, and
sealed with thy signet-seal." The money changer went in to write
the paper required; and in the meantime the thief made off with
the bag of money and thus was the slave-girl saved her beating.
And men also tell a tale of


It is related that Alá al-Dín, Chief of Police at Kús,[FN#407]
was sitting one night in his house, when behold, a personage of
handsome appearance and dignified aspect came to the door,
accompanied by a servant bearing a chest upon his head and,
standing there said to one of the Wali's young men, "Go in and
tell the Emir that I would have audience of him on some privy
business." So the servant went in and told his master, who bade
admit the visitor. When he entered, the Emir saw him to be a man
of handsome semblance and portly presence; so he received him
with honour and high distinction, seating him beside himself, and
said to him, "What is thy wish?" Replied the stranger, "I am a
highwayman and am minded to repent at thy hands and turn to
Almighty Allah; but I would have thee help me to this, for that I
am in thy district and under thine inspection. Now I have here a
chest, wherein are matters worth some forty thousand dinars; and
none hath so good a right to it as thou; so do thou take it and
give me in exchange a thousand dinars, of thine own monies
lawfully gotten, that I may have a little capital, to aid me in
my repentance,[FN#408] and save me from resorting to sin for my
subsistence; and with Allah Almighty be thy reward!" Speaking
thus he opened the chest and showed the Wali that it was full of
trinkets and jewels and bullion and ring-gems and pearls, whereat
he was amazed and rejoiced with great joy. So he cried out to his
treasurer, saying, "Bring hither a certain purse containing a
thousand dinars,"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali
cried out to his treasurer, saying "Bring hither a certain purse
containing a thousand dinars; and gave it to the highwayman, who
took it and thanking him, went his way under cover of the night.
Now when it was the morrow, the Emir sent for the chief of the
goldsmiths and showed him the chest and what was therein; but the
goldsmith found it nothing but tin and brass, and the jewels and
bezel stones and pearls all of glass; whereat the Wali was sore
chagrined and sent in quest of the highwayman; but none could
come at him. And men also tell the tale of


The Caliph Al-Maamún once said to his uncle Ibrahim bin Al-Mahdí,
"Tell us the most remarkable thing that thou hast ever seen."
Answered he: "I hear and obey, O Commander of the Faithful. Know
that I rode out one day, a-pleasuring, and my ride brought me to
a place where I smelt the reek of food. So my soul longed for it
and I halted, O Prince of True Believers, perplexed and unable
either to go on or to go in. Presently, I raised my eyes and lo!
I espied a lattice-window and behind it a wrist, than which I
never beheld aught lovelier. The sight turned my brain and I
forgot the smell of the food and began to plan and plot how I
should get access to the house. After awhile, I observed a tailor
hard by and going up to him, saluted him. He returned my salam
and I asked him, 'Whose house is that?' And he answered, 'It
belongeth to a merchant called such an one, son of such an one,
who consorteth with none save merchants.' As we were talking,
behold, up came two men, of comely aspect with intelligent
countenances, riding on horseback; and the tailor told me that
they were the merchant's most intimate friends and acquainted me
with their names. So I urged my beast towards them and said to
them, 'Be I your ransom! Abu Fulán[FN#409] awaiteth you!'; and I
rode with them both to the gate, where I entered and they also.
Now when the master of the house saw me with them he doubted not
but I was their friend; so he welcomed me and seated me in the
highest stead. Then they brought the table of food and I said in
myself, 'Allah hath granted me my desire of the food; and now
there remain the hand and the wrist.' After awhile, we removed
for carousel to another room, which I found tricked out with all
manner of rarities; and the host paid me particular attention,
addressing his talk to me, for that he took me to be a guest of
his guests; whilst in like manner these two made much of me,
taking me for a friend of their friend the house-master. Thus I
was the object of politest attentions till we had drunk several
cups of wine and there came into us a damsel as she were a willow
wand of the utmost beauty and elegance, who took a lute and
playing a lively measure, sang these couplets,

'Is it not strange one house us two contain * And still thou
draw'st not near, or talk we twain?
Only our eyes tell secrets of our souls, * And broken hearts by
lovers' fiery pain;
Winks with the eyelids, signs the eyebrow knows; * Languishing
looks and hand saluting fain.'

When I heard these words my vitals were stirred, O Commander of
the Faithful, and I was moved to delight, for her excessive
loveliness and the beauty of the verses she sang; and I envied
her her skill and said, 'There lacketh somewhat to thee, O
damsel!' Whereupon she threw the lute from her hand in anger, and
cried, 'Since when are ye wont to bring ill-mannered louts into
your assemblies?' Then I repented of what I had done, seeing the
company vexed with me, and I said in my mind, 'My hopes are lost
by me'; and I weeted no way of escaping blame but to call for a
lute, saying, 'I will show you what escaped her in the air she
played.' Quoth the folk, 'We hear and obey'; so they brought me a
lute and I tuned the strings and sang these verses,

'This is thy friend perplexed for pain and pine, * Th' enamoured,
down whose breast course drops of brine:
He hath this hand to the Compassionate raised * For winning wish,
and that on hearts is lien:
O thou who seest one love-perishing, * His death is caused by
those hands and eyne!'[FN#410]

Whereupon the damsel sprang up and throwing herself at my feet,
kissed them and said, 'It is thine to excuse, O my Master! By
Allah, I knew not thy quality nor heard I ever the like of this
performance!' And all began extolling me and making much of me,
being beyond measure delighted' and at last they besought me to
sing again. So I sang a merry air, whereupon they all became
drunken with music and wine, their wits left them and they were
carried off to their homes, while I abode alone with the host and
the girl. He drank some cups with me and then said, 'O my lord,
my life hath been lived in vain for that I have not known the
like of thee till the present. Now, by Allah, tell me who thou
art, that I may ken who is the cup-companion whom Allah hath
bestowed on me this night.' At first I returned him evasive
answers and would not tell him my name; but he conjured me till I
told him who I was, whereupon he sprang to his feet"--And
Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased saying her
permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Ibrahim son
of Al-Mahdi continued: "Now when the housemaster heard my name he
sprang to his feet and said, 'Indeed I wondered that such gifts
should belong to any but the like of thee; and Fortune hath done
me a good turn for which I cannot thank her too much. But, haply,
this is a dream; for how could I hope that one of the Caliphate
house should visit my humble home and carouse with me this
night?' I conjured him to be seated; so he sat down and began to
question me as to the cause of my visit in the most courteous
terms. So I told him the whole affair, first and last, hiding
naught, and said to him, 'Now as to the food I have had my will,
but of the hand and wrist I have still to win my wish.' Quoth he,
'Thou shalt have thy desire of the hand and wrist also,
Inshallah!' Then said he to the slave-girl, 'Ho, such an one, bid
such an one come down.' And he called his slave-girls down, one
by one and showed them to me; but I saw not my mistress among
them, and he said, 'O my lord, there is none left save my mother
and sister; but, by Allah, I must needs have them also down and
show them to thee.' So I marvelled at his courtesy and large
heartedness and said, 'May I be thy sacrifice! Begin with the
sister;' and he answered, 'With joy and goodwill.' So she came
down and he showed me her hand and behold, she was the owner of
the hand and wrist. Quoth I, 'Allah make me thy ransom! this is
the damsel whose hand and wrist I saw at the lattice.' Then he
sent his servants without stay or delay for witnesses and
bringing out two myriads[FN#411] of gold pieces, said to the
witnesses, 'This our lord and master, Ibrahim son of Al-Mahdi,
paternal-uncle of the Commander of the Faithful, seeketh in
marriage my sister such an one; and I call you to witness that I
give her in wedlock to him and that he hath settled upon her ten
thousand dinars.' And he said to me, 'I give thee my sister in
marriage, at the portion aforesaid.' 'I consent,' answered I,
'and am herewith content.' Whereupon he gave one of the bags to
her and the other to the witnesses, and said to me, 'O our lord,
I desire to adorn a chamber for thee, where thou mayst sleep with
thy wife.' But I was abashed at his generosity and was ashamed to
lie with her in his house; so I said, 'Equip her and send her to
my place.' And by thy being, O Commander of the Faithful, he sent
me with her such an equipage that my house, for all its
greatness, was too strait to hold it! And I begot on her this boy
that standeth in thy presence." Then Al-Maamun marvelled at the
man's generosity and said, "Gifted of Allah is he! Never heard I
of his like." And he bade Ibrahim bin al-Mahdi bring him to
court, that he might see him. He brought him and the Caliph
conversed with him; and his wit and good breeding so pleased him
that he made him one of his chief officers. And Allah is the
Giver, the Bestower! Men also relate the tale of


A certain King once made proclamation to the people of his realm
saying, "If any of you give alms of aught, I will verily and
assuredly cut off his hand;" wherefore all the people abstained
from alms-deed, and none could give anything to any one. Now it
chanced that one day a beggar accosted a certain woman (and
indeed hunger was sore upon him), and said to her, "Give me an
alms"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say
her permitted say.

When it was Three Hundred and Forty-eighth Night

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that, quoth the
beggar to the woman, "Give me an alms however small." But she
answered him, "How can I give thee aught, when the King cutteth
off the hands of all who give alms?" Then he said, "I conjure
thee by Allah Almighty, give me an alms;" so when he adjured her
by the Holy Name of Allah, she had ruth on him and gave him two
scones. The King heard of this; whereupon he called her before
him and cut off her hands, after which she returned to her house.
Now it chanced after a while that the King said to his mother, "I
have a mind to take a wife; so do thou marry me to a fair woman."
Quoth she, "There is among our female slaves one who is
unsurpassed in beauty; but she hath a grievous blemish." The King
asked, "What is that?" and his mother answered, "She hath had
both her hands cut off." Said he, "Let me see her." So she
brought her to him, and he was ravished by her and married her
and went in unto her; and begat upon her a son. Now this was the
woman who had given two scones as an alms to the asker, and whose
hands had been cut off therefor; and when the King married her,
her fellow-wives envied her and wrote to the common husband that
she was an unchaste, having just given birth to the boy; so he
wrote to his mother, bidding her carry the woman into the desert
and leave her there. The old Queen obeyed his commandment and
abandoned the woman and her son in the desert; whereupon she fell
to weeping for that which had befallen her and wailing with
exceeding sore wail. As she went along, she came to a river and
knelt down to drink, being overcome with excess of thirst, for
fatigue of walking and for grief; but, as she bent her head, the
child which was at her neck fell into the water. Then she sat
weeping bitter tears for her child, and as she wept, behold came
up two men, who said to her, "What maketh thee weep?" Quoth she,
"I had a child at my neck, and he hath fallen into the water."
They asked, "Wilt thou that we bring him out to thee?" and she
answered, "Yes." So they prayed to Almighty Allah, and the child
came forth of the water to her, safe and sound. Then said they,
"Wilt thou that Allah restore thee thy hands as they were?"
"Yes," replied she: whereupon they prayed to Allah (extolled and
exalted be He!) and her hands were restored to her, goodlier than
before. Then said they, "Knowest thou who we are?"; and she
replied, "Allah is all knowing;"[FN#412] and they said, "We are
thy two Scones of Bread, which thou gayest in alms to the asker
and which were the cause of the cutting off of thy hands.[FN#413]
So praise thou Allah Almighty for that He hath restored to thee
thy hands and thy child." Then she praised Almighty Allah and
glorified Him. And men relate a tale of


There was once a devout man of the Children of Israel,[FN#414]
whose family span cotton-thread; and he used every day to sell
the yarn and buy fresh cotton, and with the profit he laid in
daily bread for his household. One morning he went out and sold
the day's yarn as wont, when there met him one of his brethren,
who complained to him of need; so he gave him the price of the
thread and returned, empty-handed, to his family, who said to
him, "Where is the cotton and the food?" Quoth he, "Such an one
met me and complained to me of want; whereupon I gave him the
price of the yarn." And they said, "How shall we do? We have
nothing to sell." Now they had a cracked trencher[FN#415] and a
jar; so he took them to the bazar but none would buy them of him.
However presently, as he stood in the market, there passed by a
man with a fish,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and
ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Forty-ninth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the man
took the trencher and jar to the bazar, but none would buy them
of him. However there presently passed by a man with a fish which
was so stinking and so swollen that no one would buy it of him,
and he said to the Jew, "Wilt thou sell me thine unsaleable ware
for mine?" "Yes," answered the Jew; and, giving him the wooden
trencher and jar, took the fish and carried it home to his
family, who said, "What shall we do with this fish?" Quoth he,
"We will broil it and eat it, till it please Allah to provide
bread for us." So they took it and ripping open its belly, found
therein a great pearl and told the head of the household who
said, "See ye if it be pierced: if so, it belongeth to some one
of the folk; if not, 'tis a provision of Allah for us." So they
examined it and found it unpierced. Now when it was the morrow,
the Jew carried it to one of his brethren which was an expert in
jewels, and the man asked, "O such an one! whence haddest thou
this pearl?"; whereto the Jew answered, "It was a gift of
Almighty Allah to us," and the other said, "It is worth a
thousand dirhams and I will give thee that; but take it to such
an one, for he hath more money and skill than I." So the Jew took
it to the jeweller, who said, "It is worth seventy thousand
dirhams and no more." Then he paid him that sum and the Jew hired
two porters to carry the money to his house. As he came to his
door, a beggar accosted him, saying, "Give me of that which Allah
hath given thee." Quoth the Jew to the asker, "But yesterday we
were even as thou; take thee half this money:" so he made two
parts of it, and each took his half. Then said the beggar, "Take
back thy money and Allah bless and prosper thee in it; I am a
Messenger,[FN#416] whom thy Lord hath sent to try thee." Quoth
the Jew, "To Allah be the praise and the thanks!" and abode in
all delight of life he and his household till death. And men
recount this story of


Quoth Abú Hassán al-Ziyádi[FN#417]: "I was once in straitened
case and so needy that the grocer, the baker and other tradesmen
dunned and importuned me; and my misery became extreme, for I
knew of no resource nor what to do. Things being on this wise
there came to me one day certain of my servants and said to me,
'At the door is a pilgrim wight, who seeketh admission to thee.'
Quoth I, 'Admit him.' So he came in and behold, he was a
Khorasání. We exchanged salutations and he said to me, 'Tell me,
art thou Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi?'; and I replied, 'Yes, what is thy
wish?' Quoth he, 'I am a stranger and am minded to make the
pilgrimage; but I have with me a great sum of money, which is
burdensome to bear: so I wish to deposit these ten thousand
dirhams with thee whilst I make my pilgrimage and return. If the
caravan march back and thou see me not, then know that I am dead,
in which case the money is a gift from me to thee; but if I come
back, it shall be mine.' I answered, 'Be it as thou wilt, an thus
please Allah Almighty.' So he brought out a leather bag and I
said to the servant, 'Fetch the scales;' and when he brought them
the man weighed out the money and handed it to me, after which he
went his way. Then I called the purveyors and paid them my
liabilities"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fiftieth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth Abu
Hassan al-Ziyadi: "I called the purveyors and paid them my
liabilities and spent freely and amply, saying to myself, 'By the
time he returns, Allah will have relieved me with one or other of
the bounties He hath by Him.' However, on the very next day, the
servant came in to me and said, 'Thy friend the Khorasan man is
at the door.' 'Admit him,' answered I. So he came in and said to
me, 'I had purposed to make the pilgrimage; but news hath reached
me of the decease of my father, and I have resolved to return; so
give me the monies I deposited with thee yesterday.' When I heard
this, I was troubled and perplexed beyond measure of perplexity
known to man and wotted not what reply to make him; for, if I
denied it, he would put me on my oath, and I should be disgraced
in the world to come; whilst, if I told him that I had spent the
money, he would make an outcry and dishonour me before men. So I
said to him, 'Allah give thee health! This my house is no
stronghold nor site of safe custody for this money. When I
received thy leather bag, I sent it to one with whom it now is;
so do thou return to us to-morrow and take thy money,
Inshallah!'[FN#418] So he went away and I passed the night in
great concern, because of his return to me; sleep visited me not
nor could I close my eyes; so I rose and bade the boy saddle me
the she-mule. Answered he, 'O my lord, it is yet but the first
third of the night and indeed we have hardly had time to rest.' I
returned to my bed, but sleep was forbidden to me and I ceased
not to awaken the boy, and he to put me off, till break of day,
when he saddled me the mule, and I mounted and rode out, not
knowing whither to go. I threw the reins on the mule's shoulders
and gave myself up to regrets and melancholy thoughts, whilst she
fared on with me to the eastward of Baghdad. Presently, as I went
along, behold, I saw a number of people approaching me and turned
aside into another path to avoid them; but seeing that I wore a
turband in preacher-fashion,[FN#419] they followed me and
hastening up to me, said, 'Knowest thou the lodging of Abu Hassan
al-Ziyadi?' 'I am he,' answered I; and they rejoined, 'Obey the
summons of the Commander of the Faithful.' Then they carried me
before Al-Maamun, who said to me, 'Who art thou?' Quoth I, 'An
associate of the Kazi Abu Yúsuf and a doctor of the law and
traditions.' Asked the Caliph, 'By what surname art thou
known?'[FN#420] and I answered, 'Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi;' whereupon
quoth he, 'Expound to me thy case.' So I recounted to him my case
and he wept sore and said to me, 'Out on thee! The Apostle of
Allah (whom Allah bless and assain!) would not let me sleep this
night, because of thee; for in early darkness[FN#421] he appeared
to me and said, 'Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi.' Whereupon I awoke
and, knowing thee not, went to sleep again; but he came to me a
second time and said to me, 'Woe to thee! Succour Abu Hassan
al-Ziyadi.' I awoke a second time, but knowing thee not I went to
sleep again; and he came to me a third time and still I knew thee
not and went to sleep again. Then he came to me once more and
said, 'Out on thee! Succour Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi!' After that I
dared not sleep any more, but watched the rest of the night and
aroused my people and sent them on all sides in quest of thee.'
Then he gave me one myriad of dirhams, saying, 'This is for the
Khorasani,' and other ten thousand, saying, 'Spend freely of this
and amend thy case therewith, and set thine affairs in order.'
Moreover, he presented me with thirty thousand dirhams, saying,
'Furnish thyself with this, and when the Procession-day[FN#422]
is being kept, come thou to me, that I may invest thee with some
office.' So I went forth from him with the money and returned
home, where I prayed the dawn-prayer; and behold, presently came
the Khorasani, so I carried him into the house and brought out to
him one myriad of dirhams, saying, 'Here is thy money.' Quoth he,
'It is not my very money; how cometh this?' So I told him the
whole story, and he wept and said, 'By Allah, haddest thou told
me the fact at first, I had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah,
I will not accept aught of this money'"--And Shahrazad perceived
the dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-first Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
Khorasani to Al-Ziyadi, "'By Allah, haddest thou told me the fact
at first, I had not pressed thee!; and now, by Allah, I will not
accept aught of this money and thou art lawfully quit of it.' So
saying, he went away and I set my affairs in order and repaired
on the Procession-day to Al-Maamun's Gate, where I found him
seated. When he saw me present myself he called me to him and,
bringing forth to me a paper from under his prayer-carpet, said
to me, 'This is a patent, conferring on thee the office of Kazi
of the western division of Al-Medinah, the Holy City, from the
Bab al-Salám[FN#423] to the furthest limit of the township; and I
appoint thee such and such monthly allowances. So fear Allah (to
whom be honour and glory!) end be mindful of the solicitude of
His Apostle (whom may He bless and keep!) on thine account.' Then
the folk marvelled at the Caliph's words and asked me their
meaning; whereupon I told them the story from beginning to end
and it spread abroad amongst the people." "And" (quoth he who
telleth the tale) "Abu Hassan al-Ziyadi ceased not to be Kazi of
Al-Medinah, the Holy City, till he died in the days of Al-Maamun
the mercy of Allah be on him!" And among the tales men tell is
one of


There was once a rich man who lost all he had and became
destitute, whereupon his wife advised him to ask aid and
assistance of one of his intimates. So he betook himself to a
certain friend of his and acquainted him with his necessities;
and he lent him five hundred dinars to trade withal. Now in early
life he had been a jeweller; so he took the gold and went to the
jewel-bazar, where he opened a shop to buy and sell. Presently,
as he sat in his shop three men accosted him and asked for his
father, and when he told them that he was deceased, they said,
"Say, did he leave issue?" Quoth the jeweller, "He left the slave
who is before you." They asked, "And who knoweth thee for his
son?"; and he answered, "The people of the bazar whereupon they
said, "Call them together, that they may testify to us that thou
art his very son." So he called them and they bore witness of
this; whereupon the three men delivered to him a pair of saddle-
bags, containing thirty thousand dinars, besides jewels and
bullion of high value, saying, "This was deposited with us in
trust by thy father." Then they went away; and presently there
came to him a woman, who sought of him certain of the jewels,
worth five hundred dinars which she bought and paid him three
thousand for them. Upon this he arose and took five hundred
dinars and carrying them to his friend who had lent him the
money, said to him, "Take the five hundred dinars I borrowed of
thee; for Allah hath opened to me the gate of prosperity." Quoth
the other, "Nay; I gave them to thee outright, for the love of
Allah; so do thou keep them. And take this paper, but read it not
till thou be at home, and do according to that which is therein."
So he took the money and the paper and returned home, where he
opened the scroll and found therein inscribed these couplets,

"Kinsmen of mine were those three men who came to thee; * My sire
and uncles twain and Sálih bin Ali.
So what for cash thou coldest, to my mother 'twas * Thou soldest
it, and coin and gems were sent by me.
Thus doing I desired not any harm to thee * But in my presence
spare thee and thy modesty."

And they also recount the story of


There lived once in Baghdad a wealthy man and made of money, who
lost all his substance and became so destitute that he could earn
his living only by hard labour. One night, he lay down to sleep,
dejected and heavy hearted, and saw in a dream a Speaker[FN#425]
who said to him, "Verily thy fortune is in Cairo; go thither and
seek it." So he set out for Cairo; but when he arrived there
evening overtook him and he lay down to sleep in a mosque
Presently, by decree of Allah Almighty, a band of bandits entered
the mosque and made their way thence into an adjoining house; but
the owners, being aroused by the noise of the thieves, awoke and
cried out; whereupon the Chief of Police came to their aid with
his officers. The robbers made off; but the Wali entered the
mosque and, finding the man from Baghdad asleep there, laid hold
of him and beat him with palm-rods so grievous a beating that he
was well-nigh dead. Then they cast him into jail, where he abode
three days; after which the Chief of Police sent for him and
asked him, "Whence art thou?"; and he answered, "From Baghdad."
Quoth the Wali, "And what brought thee to Cairo?"; and quoth the
Baghdadi, "I saw in a dream One who said to me, Thy fortune is in
Cairo; go thither to it. But when I came to Cairo the fortune
which he promised me proved to be the palm-rods thou so
generously gavest to me." The Wali laughed till he showed his
wisdom-teeth and said, "O man of little wit, thrice have I seen
in a dream one who said to me: 'There is in Baghdad a house in
such a district and of such a fashion and its courtyard is laid
out garden-wise, at the lower end whereof is a jetting-fountain
and under the same a great sum of money lieth buried. Go thither
and take it.' Yet I went not; but thou, of the briefness of thy
wit, hast journeyed from place to place, on the faith of a dream,
which was but an idle galimatias of sleep." Then he gave him
money saying, "Help thee back herewith to thine own country;"--
And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her
permitted say.

When It was the Three Hundred and Fifty-second Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the Wali
gave the Baghdad man some silver, saying, "Help thee back
herewith to thine own country;" and he took the money and set out
upon his homewards march. Now the house the Wali had described
was the man's own house in Baghdad; so the wayfarer returned
thither and, digging underneath the fountain in his garden,
discovered a great treasure. And thus Allah gave him abundant
fortune; and a marvellous coincidence occurred. And a story is
also current of


There were in the palace of the Caliph al-Mutawakkil
ala'llah[FN#426] four thousand concubines, whereof two thousand
were Greeks and other two thousand slave born Arabians[FN#427]
and Abyssinians; and 'Obayd ibn Táhir[FN#428] had given him two
hundred white girls and a like number of Abyssinian and native
girls. Among these slave-borns was a girl of Bassorah, hight
Mahbúbah, the Beloved, who was of surpassing beauty and
loveliness, elegance and voluptuous grace. Moreover, she played
upon the lute and was skilled in singing and making verses and
wrote a beautiful hand; so that Al-Mutawakkil fell passionately
in love with her and could not endure from her a single hour. But
when she saw this affection, she presumed upon his favour to use
him arrogantly, wherefore he waxed exceeding wroth with her and
forsook her, forbidding the people of the palace to speak with
her. She abode on this wise some days, but the Caliph still
inclined to her; and he arose one morning and said to his
courtiers, "I dreamt, last night, that I was reconciled to
Mahhubah." They answered, "Would Allah this might be on wake!";
and as they were talking, behold, in came one of the Caliph's
maidservants and whispered him; so he rose from his throne and
entered the Serraglio; for the whisper had said, "Of a truth we
heard singing and lute-playing in Mahbubah's chamber and we knew
not what this meant." So he went straight to her apartment, where
he heard her playing upon the lute and singing the following

"I wander through the palace, but I sight there not a soul * To
whom I may complain or will 'change a word with me.
It is as though I'd done so grievous rebel-deed * Wherefrom can
no contrition e'er avail to set me free.
Have we no intercessor here to plead with King, who came * In
sleep to me and took me back to grace and amity;
But when the break of day arose and showed itself again, * Then
he departing sent me back to dree my privacy?"

Now when the Caliph heard her voice, he marvelled at the verse
and yet more at the strange coincidence of their dreams and
entered the chamber. As soon as she perceived him, she hastened
to rise and throw herself at his feet, and kissing them, said,
"By Allah, O my lord, this hap is what I dreamt last night; and,
when I awoke, I made the couplets thou hast heard." Replied Al-
Mutawakkil, "By Allah, I also dreamt the like!" Then they
embraced and made friends and he abode with her seven days with
their nights. Now Mahbubah had written upon her cheek, in musk,
the Caliph's name, which was Ja'afar: and when he saw this, he
improvised the following,

"One wrote upon her cheek with musk, his name was Ja'afar highs;
* My soul for hers who wrote upon her cheek the name I
If an her fingers have inscribed one line upon her cheek, * Full
many a line in heart of mine those fingers did indite:
O thou, whom Ja'afar sole of men possesseth for himself, * Allah
fill Ja'afar[FN#429] stream full draught, the wine of thy

When Al-Mutawakkil died, his host of women forgot him, all save
Mahhubah,--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day and ceased
saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-third Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when
Al-Mutawakkil died, his host of women forgot him all save
Mahbubah who ceased not to mourn for him, till she deceased and
was buried by his side, the mercy of Allah be on them both! And
men also tell the tale of


There lived once in Cairo, in the days of the Caliph Al-Hákim bi'
Amri'llah, a butcher named Wardán, who dealt in sheep's flesh;
and there came to him every day a lady and gave him a dinar,
whose weight was nigh two and a half Egyptian dinars, saying,
"Give me a lamb." So he took the money and gave her the lamb,
which she delivered to a porter she had with her; and he put it
in his crate and she went away with him to her own place. Next
day she came in the forenoon and this went on for a long time,
the butcher gaining a dinar by her every day, till at last he
began to be curious about her case and said to himself, "This
woman buyeth of me a ducat-worth of meat every morning, paying
ready money, and never misseth a single day. Verily, this is a
strange thing!" So he took an occasion of questioning the porter,
in her absence, and asked him, "Whither goest thou every day with
yonder woman?"; and he answered, "I know not what to make of her
for surprise; inasmuch as every day, after she hath taken the
lamb of thee, she buyeth necessaries of the table, fresh and
dried fruits and wax-candles a dinar's worth, and taketh of a
certain person, which is a Nazarene, two flagons of wine, worth
another dinar; and then she leadeth me with the whole and I go
with her to the Wazir's Gardens, where she blindfoldeth me, so
that I cannot see on what part of earth I set my feet; and,
taking me by the hand, she leadeth me I know not whither.
Presently, she sayeth, 'Set down here;' and when I have done so,
she giveth me an empty crate she hath ready and, taking my hand,
leadeth me back to the Wazir's Gardens, the place where she bound
my eyes, and there removeth the bandage and giveth me ten silver
bits." "Allah be her helper!" quoth Wardan; but he redoubled in
curiosity about her case; disquietude increased upon him and he
passed the night in exceeding restlessness. And quoth the
butcher, "Next morning she came to me as of custom and taking the
lamb, for which she paid the dinar, delivered it to the porter
and went away. So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and followed
her without her seeing me;"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of
day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fourth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that Wardan the
butcher continued: "So I gave my shop in charge to a lad and
followed her without her seeing me; nor did I cease to keep her
in sight, hiding behind her, till she left Cairo and came to the
Wazir's Gardens. Then I hid myself whilst she bandaged the
porter's eyes and followed her again from place to place till she
came to the mountain[FN#431] and stopped at a spot where there
was a great stone. Here she made the porter set down his crate,
and I waited whilst she conducted him back to the Wazir's
Gardens, after which she returned and, taking out the contents of
the basket, instantly disappeared. Then I went up to that stone
and wrenching it up entered the hole and found behind the stone
an open trap-door of brass and a flight of steps leading
downwards. So I descended, little by little, till I came to a
long corridor, brilliantly lighted and followed it, till I made a
closed door, as it were the door of a saloon. I looked about the
wall sides near the doorway till I discovered a recess, with
steps therein; then climbed up and found a little niche with a
bulls-eye giving upon a saloon. Thence I looked inside and saw
the lady cut off the choicest parts of the lamb and laying them
in a saucepan, throw the rest to a great big bear, who ate it all
to the last bite. Now when she had made an end of cooking, she
ate her fill, after which she set on the fruits and confections
and brought out the wine and fell to drinking a cup herself and
giving the bear to drink in a basin of gold. And as soon as she
was heated with wine, she put off her petticoat-trousers and lay
down on her back; whereupon the bear arose and came up to her and
stroked her, whilst she gave him the best of what belongeth to
the sons of Adam till he had made an end, when he sat down and
rested. Presently, he sprang upon her and rogered her again; and
when he ended he again sat down to rest, and he ceased not so
doing till he had futtered her ten times and they both fell to
the ground in a fainting-fit and lay without motion. Then quoth I
to myself, 'Now is my opportunity,' and taking a knife I had with
me, that would cut bones before flesh,[FN#432] went down to them
and found them motionless, not a muscle of them moving for their
hard swinking and swiving. So I put my knife to the bear's gullet
and pressed upon it, till I finished him by severing his head
from his body, and he gave a great snort like thunder, whereat
the lady started up in alarm; and, seeing the bear slain and me
standing whittle in hand, she shrieked so loud a shriek that I
thought the soul had left her body. Then she asked, 'O Wardan, is
this how thou requites me my favours?' And I answered, 'O enemy
of thine own soul, is there a famine of men[FN#433] that thou
must do this damnable thing?' She made no answer but bent down
over the bear, and looked fondly upon him; then finding his head
divided from his body, said to me, 'O Wardan, which of the two
courses wouldst thou take; either obey me in what I shall say and
be the means of thine own safety'"--And Shahrazad perceived the
dawn of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-fifth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that quoth the
lady, " 'O Wardan, which of the two courses wouldst thou take;
either obey me in what I shall say and be the means of thine own
safety and competency to the end of thy days, or gainsay me and
so cause thine own destruction?'[FN#434] Answered I, 'I choose
rather to hearken unto thee: say what thou wilt.' Quoth she,
'Then slay me, as thou hast slain this bear, and take thy need of
this hoard and wend thy ways.' Quoth I, 'I am better than this
bear: so return thou to Allah Almighty and repent, and I will
marry thee, and we will live on this treasure the rest of our
lives.' She rejoined, 'O Wardan, far be it from me! How shall I
live after him? By Allah, an thou slay me not I will assuredly do
away thy life! So leave bandying words with me, or thou art a
lost man: this is all I have to say to thee and peace be with
thee!' Then said I, 'I will kill thee, and thou shalt go to the
curse of Allah.' So saying, I caught her by the hair and cut her
throat; and she went to the curse of Allah and of the angels and
of all mankind. And after so doing I examined the place and found
there gold and bezel-stones and pearls, such as no one king could
bring together. So I filled the porter's crate with as much as I
could carry and covered it with the clothes I had on me. Then I
shouldered it and, going up out of the underground treasure-
chamber, fared homewards and ceased not faring on, till I came to
the gate of Cairo, where behold, I fell in with ten of the
bodyguard of Al-Hakim bi' Amri'llah[FN#435] followed by the
Prince himself who said to me, 'Ho, Wardan!' 'At thy service, O
King,' replied I; when he asked, 'Hast thou killed the bear and
the lady?' and I answered, 'Yes.' Quoth he, 'Set down the basket
from thy head and fear naught, for all the treasure thou hast
with thee is thine, and none shall dispute it with thee.' So I
set down the crate before him, and he uncovered it and looked at
it; then said to me, 'Tell me their case, albe I know it, as if I
had been present with you.' So I told him all that had passed and
he said, 'Thou hast spoken the truth,' adding, 'O Wardan, come
now with me to the treasure.' So I returned with him to the
cavern, where he found the trap-door closed and said to me, 'O
Wardan, lift it; none but thou can open the treasure, for it is
enchanted in thy name and nature.'[FN#436] Said I, 'By Allah, I
cannot open it,' but he said, 'Go up to it, trusting in the
blessing of Allah.' So I called upon the name of Almighty Allah
and, advancing to the trap-door, put my hand to it; whereupon it
came up as it had been of the lightest. Then said the Caliph, 'Go
down and bring hither what is there; for none but one of thy name
and semblance and nature hath gone down thither since the place
was made, and the slaying of the bear and the woman was appointed
to be at thy hand. This was chronicled with me and I was awaiting
its fulfilment.'[FN#437] Accordingly (quoth Wardan) I went down
and brought up all the treasure, whereupon the Caliph sent for
beasts of burden and carried it away, after giving me my crate,
with what was therein. So I bore it home and opened me a shop in
the market." And (saith he who telleth the tale) "this market is
still extant and is known as Wardan's Market." And I have heard
recount another story of


There was once a Sultan's daughter, whose heart was taken with
love of a black slave: he abated her maidenhead and she became
passionately addicted to futtering, so that she could not do
without it a single hour and complained of her case to one of her
body women, who told her that no thing poketh and stroketh more
abundantly than the baboon.[FN$438] Now it so chanced one day,
that an ape-leader passed under her lattice, with a great ape; so
she unveiled her face and looking upon the ape, signed to him
with her eyes, whereupon he broke his bonds and chain and climbed
up to the Princess, who hid him in a place with her, and night
and day he abode there, eating and drinking and copulating. Her
father heard of this and would have killed her;--And Shahrazad
perceived the dawn of day and ceased to say her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-sixth Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that when the
Sultan heard of this work he would have slain his daughter; but
she smoked his design; and, disguising herself in Mameluke's
dress, mounted horse after loading a mule with gold and bullion,
and precious stuffs past all account; then carrying with her the
ape, she fled to Cairo, where she took up her abode in one of the
houses without the city and upon the verge of the Suez-desert.
Now, every day, she used to buy meat of a young man, a butcher,
but she came not to him till after noonday; and then she was so
yellow and disordered in face that he said in his mind, "There
must indeed hang some mystery by this slave." "Accordingly (quoth
the butcher) one day when she came to me as usual, I went out
after her secretly, and ceased not to follow her from place to
place, so as she saw me not, till she came to her lodging on the
edge of her waste and entered; and I looked in upon her through a
cranny, and saw her as soon as she was at home, kindle a fire and
cook the meat, of which she ate enough and served up the rest to
a baboon she had by her and he did the same. Then she put off the
slave's habit and donned the richest of women's apparel; and so I
knew that she was a lady. After this she set on wine and drank
and gave the ape to drink; and he stroked her nigh half a score
times without drawing till she swooned away, when he spread over
her a silken coverlet and returned to his place. Then I went down
in the midst of the place and the ape, becoming aware of me,
would have torn me in pieces; but I made haste to pull out my
knife and slit his paunch and his bowels fell out. The noise
aroused the young lady, who awoke terrified and trembling; and,
when she saw the ape in this case, she shrieked such a shriek
that her soul well nigh fled her body. Then she fell down in a
fainting-fit and when she came to herself, she said to me, 'What
moved thee to do thus? Now Allah upon thee, send me after him!'
But I spoke her fair for a while and pledged myself to stand in
the ape's stead in the matter of much poking, till her trouble
subsided and I took her to wife. But when I came to perform my
promise I proved a failure and I fell short in this matter and
could not endure such hard labour: so I complained of my case and
mentioned her exorbitant requirements to a certain old woman who
engaged to manage the affair and said to me, 'Needs must thou
bring me a cooking-pot full of virgin vinegar and a pound of the
herb pellitory called wound-wort.'[FN#439] So I brought her what
she sought, and she laid the pellitory in the pot with the
vinegar and set it on the fire, till it was thoroughly boiled.
Then she bade me futter the girl, and I futtered her till she
fainted away, when the old woman took her up (and she
unconscious), and set her parts to the mouth of the cooking-pot.
The steam of the pot entered her slit and there fell from it
somewhat which I examined; and behold, it was two small worms,
one black and the other yellow. Quoth the old, woman, ''The black
was bred of the strokings of the negro and the yellow of stroking
with the baboon.' Now when she recovered from her swoon she abode
with me, in all delight and solace of life, and sought not
swiving as before, for Allah had done away from her this
appetite; whereat I marvelled"--And Shahrazad perceived the dawn
of day and ceased saying her permitted say.

When it was the Three Hundred and Fifty-seventh Night,

She said, It hath reached me, O auspicious King, that the young
man continued: "In truth Allah had done away from her this
appetite; whereat I marvelled and acquainted her with the case.
Thereupon I lived with her and she took the old woman to be to
her in the stead of her mother." "And" (said he who told me the
tale) "the old woman and the young man and his wife abode in joy
and cheer till there came to them the Destroyer of delights and
the Sunderer of societies; and glory be to the Ever-living One,
who dieth not and in whose hand is Dominion of the world visible
and invisible!''[FN#440] And another tale they tell is that of

End of Arabian Nights Volume 4.

Arabian Nights, Volume 4

[FN#1] The name is indifferently derived from the red sand about
the town or the reeds and mud with which it was originally built.
It was founded by the Caliph Omar, when the old Capital-Madáin
(Ctesiphon) opposite was held unwholesome, on the West bank of
the Euphrates, four days' march from Baghdad and has now
disappeared. Al-Saffáh, the first Abbaside, made it his
Capital--and it became a famous seat of Moslem learning; the Kufi
school of Arab Grammarians being as renowned as their opponents,
the Basri (of Bassorah). It gave a name to the "Cufic" characters
which are, however, of much older date.

[FN#2] "Ni'amat" = a blessing, and the word is perpetually
occurring in Moslem conversation, "Ni'amatu'lláh" (as pronounced)
is also a favourite P.N. and few Anglo-Indians of the Mutiny date
will forget the scandalous disclosures of Munshi Ni'amatu 'llah,
who had been sent to England by Nana Sahib. Nu'm = prosperity,
good fortune, and a P. N. like the Heb. "Naomi."

[FN#3] i.e. "causing to be prosperous", the name, corrupted by
the Turks to "Tevfik," is given to either sex, e.g. Taufik Pasha
of Egypt, to whose unprosperous rule and miserable career the
signification certainly does not apply.

[FN#4] Lane (ii. 187) alters the two to four years.

[FN#5] i.e. "to Tom, Dick or Harry:" the names like John Doe and
Richard Roe are used indefinitely in Arab. Grammar and Syntax. I
have noted that Amru is written and pronounced Amr: hence Amru,
the Conqueror of Egypt, when told by an astrologer that Jerusalem
would be taken only by a trium literarum homo, with three letters
in his name sent for the Caliph Omar (Omr), to whom the so-called
Holy City at once capitulated. Hence also most probably, the tale
of Bhurtpore and the Lord Alligator (Kumbhir), who however did
not change from Cotton to Combermore for some time after the
successful siege.

[FN#6] BinYúsuf al-Sakafi, a statesman and soldier of the
seventh and eighth centuries (A.D.). He was Governor of Al-Hij az
and Al-Irak under the fifth and sixth Ommiades, and I have
noticed his vigorous rule of the Moslems' Holy Land in my
Pilgrimage (iii. 194, etc.). He pulled down the Ka'abah and
restored it to the condition in which it now is. Al-Siyuti (p.
219) accuses him of having suborned a man to murder Ibn Omar with
a poisoned javelin, and of humiliating the Prophet's companions
by "sealing them in the necks and hands," that is he tied a thong
upon the neck of each and sealed the knot with lead. In Irak he
showed himself equally masterful, but an iron hand was required
by the revolutionists of Kufah and Basrah. He behaved like a good
Knight in rescuing the Moslem women who called upon his name when
taken prisoners by Dahir of Debal (Tathá in Sind). Al-Hajjaj was
not the kind of man the Caliph would have chosen for a pander;
but the Shi'ahs hates him and have given him a lasting bad name.
In the East men respect manly measures, not the hysterical,
philanthropic pseudo-humanitarianism of our modern government
which is really the cruellest of all. When Ziyád bin Abihi was
sent by Caliph Mu'awiyah to reform Bassorah, a den of thieves, he
informed the lieges that he intended to rule by the sword and
advised all evil-doers to quit the city. The people were
forbidden, under pain of teeth, to walk the streets after
prayers, on the first night two hundred suffered; on the second
five and none afterwards. Compare this with our civilised rule in
Egypt where even bands of brigands, a phenomenon perfectly new
and unknown to this century, have started up, where crime has
doubled in quantity and quality, and where "Christian rule" has
thoroughly scandalised a Moslem land.

[FN#7] The old bawd's portrait is admirably drawn: all we
dwellers in the East have known her well: she is so and so. Her
dress and manners are the same amongst the Hindus (see the
hypocritical-female ascetic in the Katha, p. 287) as amongst the
Moslems; men of the world at once recognise her and the prudent
keep out of her way. She is found in the cities of Southern
Europe, ever pious, ever prayerful; and she seems to do her work
not so much for profit as for pure or impure enjoyment. In the
text her task was easy, as she had to do with a pair of

[FN#8] Koran, xxv. 70. I give Sale's version.

[FN#9] Easterns, I have observed, have no way of saying "Thank
you;" they express it by a blessing or a short prayer. They have
a right to your surplus: daily bread is divided, they say and,
eating yours, they consider it their own. I have discussed this
matter in Pilgrimage i. 75-77, in opposition to those who declare
that "gratitude" is unknown to Moslems.

[FN#10] Cufa (Kufah) being a modern place never had a "King,"
but as the Hindu says, " Delhi is far" it is a far cry to Loch
Awe. Here we can hardly understand "Malik" as Governor or
Viceroy: can it be syn. with Zú-mál-(moneyed)?

[FN#11] Abd al-Malik has been before mentioned as the "Sweat of
a Stone," etc. He died recommending Al-Hajjaj to his son,
Al-Walid, and one of his sayings is still remembered. "He who
desireth to take a female slave for carnal-enjoyment, let him
take a native of Barbary; if he need one for the sake of
children, let him have a Persian; and whoso desireth one for
service, let him take a Greek." Moderns say, "If you want a
brother (in arms) try a Nubian; one to get you wealth an
Abyssinian and if you want an ass (for labour) a Sáwahíli, or
Zanzibar negroid."

[FN#12] Probably suggested by the history of Antiochus and
Stratonice, with an addition of Eastern mystery such as geomancy.

[FN#13] Arab, "Kárúrah": the "water-doctor" has always been an
institution in the east and he has lately revived in Europe
especially at the German baths and in London.

[FN#14] Lane makes this phrase "O brother of the Persians!"
synonymous with "O Persian!" I think it means more, a Persian
being generally considered "too clever by half."

[FN#15] The verses deal in untranslatable word-plays upon
women's names, Naomi (the blessing) Su'adá or Su'ád (the happy,
which Mr. Redhouse, in Ka'ab's Mantle-poem, happily renders
Beatrice); and Juml (a sum or total) the two latter, moreover,
being here fictitious.

[FN#16] "And he (Jacob) turned from them, and said, 'O how I am
grieved for Joseph' And his eyes became white with mourning. ...
(Quoth Joseph to his brethren), 'Take this my inner garment and
throw it on my father's face and he shall recover his sight.' . .
. So, when the messenger of good tidings came (to Jacob) he threw
it (the shirt) over his face and he recovered his eye-sight."
Koran, xii. 84, 93, 96. The commentators, by way of improvement,
assure us that the shirt was that worn by Abraham when thrown
into the fire (Koran, chaps. xvi.) by Nimrod (!). We know little
concerning "Jacob's daughters" who named the only bridge spanning
the upper Jordan, and who have a curious shrine tomb near Jewish
"Safe" (North of Tiberias), one of the four "Holy Cities." The
Jews ignore these "daughters of Jacob" and travellers neglect

[FN#17] Easterns, I have remarked, mostly recognise the artistic
truth that the animal-man is handsomer than woman and that "fair
sex" is truly only of skin-colour. The same is the general-rule
throughout creation, for instance the stallion compared with the
mare, the cock with the hen; while there are sundry exceptions
such as the Falconidae.

[FN#18] The Badawi (who is nothing if not horsey) compares the
gait of a woman who walks well (in Europe rarely seen out of
Spain) with the slightly swinging walk of a thoroughbred mare,
bending her graceful neck and looking from side to side at
objects as she passes.

[FN#19] Li'lláhi (darr') al-káil, a characteristic idiom.
"Darr"=giving (rich) milk copiously and the phrase expresses
admiration, "To Allah be ascribed (or Allah be praised for) his
rich eloquence who said etc. Some Hebraists would render it,
"Divinely (well) did he speak who said," etc., holding "Allah" to
express a superlative like "Yah" Jah) in Gen. iv. 1; x. 9. Nimrod
was a hunter to the person (or presence) of Yah, i.e. mighty

[FN#20] Hamzah and Abbás were the famous uncles of Mohammed
often noticed: Ukayl is not known; possibly it may be Akíl, a son
of the fourth Caliph, Ali.

[FN#21] The Eastern ring is rarely plain; and, its use being
that of a signet, it is always in intaglio: the Egyptians
invented engraving hieroglyphics on wooden stamps for marking
bricks and applied the process to the ring. Moses B. C. 1491
(Exod. xxviii. 9) took two onyx-stones, and graved on them the
names of the children of Israel. From this the signet ring was
but a step. Herodotus mentions an emerald seal-set in gold, that
of Polycrates, the work of Theodorus, son of Telecles the Samian
(iii. 141). The Egyptians also were perfectly acquainted with
working in cameo (anaglyph) and rilievo, as may be seen in the
cavo rilievo of the finest of their hieroglyphs. The Greeks
borrowed from them the cameo and applied it to gems (e.g.
Tryphon's in the Marlborough collection), and they bequeathed the
art to the Romans. We read in a modern book "Cameo means an onyx,
and the most famous cameo in the world is the onyx containing the
Apotheosis of Augustus." The ring is given in marriage because it
was a seal--by which orders were signed (Gen. xxxviii. 18 and
Esther iii. 10-12). I may note that the seal-ring of Cheops
(Khufu), found in the Greatest Pyramid, was in the possession of
my old friend, Doctor Abbott, of Auburn (U.S.), and was sold with
his collection. It is the oldest ring in the world, and settles
the Cheops-question.

[FN#22] This habit of weeping when friends meet after long
parting is customary, I have noted, amongst the American
"Indians," the Badawin of the New World; they shed tears thinking
of the friends they have lost. Like most primitive people they
are ever ready to weep as was Æneas or Shakespeare's saline

"This would make a man, a man of salt
To use his eyes for garden waterpots."
(King Lear, iv. 6.)

[FN#23] Here poetical-justice is not done; in most Arab tales
the two adulterous Queens would have been put to death.

[FN#24] Pronounce Aladdin Abush-Shámát.

[FN#25] Arab. "Misr," vulg. Masr: a close connection of Misraim
the "two Misrs," Egypt, upper and lower.

[FN#26] The Persians still call their Consuls "Shah-bander,"
lit. king of the Bandar or port.

[FN#27] Arab. "Dukhúl," the night of going in, of seeing the
bride unveiled for the first time, etcaetera.

[FN#28] Arab. "Barsh" or "Bars," the commonest kind. In India it
is called Ma'jún (=electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or
young leaves, buds, capsules and florets of hemp (C. saliva),
poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (daiura) with milk and
auger-candy, nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the
consistency of treacle which hardens when cold. Several-recipes
are given by Herklots (Glossary s.v. Majoon). These electuaries
are usually prepared with "Charas," or gum of hemp, collected by
hand or by passing a blanket over the plant in early morning, and
it is highly intoxicating. Another intoxicant is "Sabzi," dried
hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber heed, black pepper and
cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made
drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc. The Hashish of Arabia
is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made as follows. Take
of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams black pepper 45 grains and
of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each
12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of
watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is
a preparation of hemp florets, opium and honey, much affected by
the lower orders, whence the proverb: "Temper thy sorrow with
Zabibah. In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked
in the water-pipe. (Burck hardt No. 73.) Besides these there is
(1) "Post" poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in
sugared sherbets; (2) Datura (stramonium) seed, the produce of
the thorn-apple breached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest
confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing
spectral-visions, delirium tremens, etc., and (3) various
preparations of opium especially the "Madad," pills made up with
toasted betel-leaf and smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk
in the shape of "Kusumba," a pill placed in wet cotton and
squeezed in order to strain and clean it of the cowdung and other
filth with which it is adulterated.

[FN#29] Arab. "Sikankúr" (Gr. {Greek letters}, Lat. Scincus) a
lizard (S. officinalis) which, held in the hand, still acts as an
aphrodisiac in the East, and which in the Middle Ages was
considered a universal-medicine. In the "Adja'ib al-Hind" (Les
Merveilles de l'Inde) we find a notice of a bald-headed old man
who was compelled to know his wife twice a day and twice a night
in consequence of having eaten a certain fish. (Chaps. Ixxviii.
of the translation by M. L. Marcel Devic, from a manuscript of
the tenth century, Paris Lemaire, 1878.) Europeans deride these
prescriptions, but Easterns know better: they affect the fancy,
that is the brain, and often succeed in temporarily relieving
impotence. The recipes for this evil, which is incurable only
when it comes from heart-affections, are innumerable in the East;
and about half of every medical-work is devoted to them. Many a
quack has made his fortune with a few bottles of tincture of
cantharides, and a man who could discover a specific would become
a millionaire in India only. The curious reader will consult for
specimens the Ananga-Ranga Shastra by Koka Pandit; or the "Rujú
'al-Shaykh ila 'l-Sabáh fi Kuwwati 'l-Báh" (the Return of the Old
Man to Youth in power of Procreation) by Ahmad bin Sulaymán known
as Ibn Kamál-Báshá, in 139 chapters lithographed at Cairo. Of
these aphrodisiacs I shall have more to say.

[FN#30] Alá al-Din (our old friend Aladdin) = Glory of the
Faith, a name of which Mohammed who preferred the simplest, like
his own, would have highly disapproved. The most grateful names
to Allah are Abdallah (Allah's Slave) and Abd al-Rahman (Slave of
the Compassionate); the truest are Al-Hárith (the gainer, "bread
winner") and Al-Hammám (the griever); and the hatefullest are
Al-Harb (witch) and Al-Murrah (bitterness, Abu Murrah being a
kunyat or by-name of the Devil). Abu al-Shámát (pronounced
Abushshámát)=Father of Moles, concerning which I have already
given details. These names ending in -Din (faith) began with the
Caliph Al-Muktadi bi-Amri 'llah (regn. A.H. 467= 1075), who
entitled his Wazir "Zahír al-Din (Backer or Defender of the
Faith) and this gave rise to the practice. It may be observed
that the superstition of naming by omens is in no way obsolete.

[FN#31] Meaning that he appeared intoxicated by the pride of his
beauty as though it had been strong wine.

[FN#32] i.e. against the evil eye.

[FN#33] Meaning that he had been delicately reared.

[FN#34] A traditional-saying of Mohammed.

[FN#35] So Boccaccio's "Capo bianco" and "Coda verde." (Day iv.,

[FN#36] The opening chapter is known as the "Mother of the Book"
(as opposed to Yá Sín, the "heart of the Koran"), the "Surat
(chapter) of Praise," and the "Surat of repetition" (because
twice revealed?) or thanksgiving, or laudation (Ai-Masáni) and by
a host of other names for which see Mr. Rodwell who, however,
should not write "Fatthah" (p. xxv.) nor "Fathah" (xxvii.). The
Fátihah, which is to Al-Islam much what the "Paternoster" is to
Christendom, consists of seven verses, in the usual-Saj'a or
rhymed prose, and I have rendered it as follows:

In the name of the Compassionating, the Compassionate! * Praise
be to Allah who all the Worlds made * The Compassionating, the
Compassionate * King of the Day of Faith! * Thee only do we adore
and of Thee only do we crave aid * Guide us to the path which is
straight * The path of those for whom Thy love is great, not
those on whom is hate, nor they that deviate * Amen! O Lord of
the World's trine.

My Pilgrimage (i. 285; ii. 78 and passim) will supply instances
of its application; how it is recited with open hands to catch
the blessing from Heaven and the palms are drawn down the face
(Ibid. i. 286), and other details,

[FN#37] i.e. when the evil eye has less effect than upon
children. Strangers in Cairo often wonder to see a woman richly
dressed leading by the hand a filthy little boy (rarely a girl)
in rags, which at home will be changed to cloth of gold.

[FN#38] Arab. "Asídah" flour made consistent by boiling in water
with the addition of "Same" clarified butter) and honey: more
like pap than custard.

[FN#39] Arab. "Ghábah" = I have explained as a low-lying place
where the growth is thickest and consequently animals haunt it
during the noon-heats

[FN#40] Arab. "Akkám," one who loads camels and has charge of
the luggage. He also corresponds with the modern Mukharrij or
camel-hirer (Pilgrimage i. 339), and hence the word Moucre
(Moucres) which, first used by La Brocquière (A.D. 1432), is
still the only term known to the French.

[FN#41] i.e. I am old and can no longer travel.

[FN#42] Taken from Al-Asma'i, the "Romance of Antar," and the
episode of the Asafir Camels.

[FN#43] A Mystic of the twelfth century A.D. who founded the
Kádirí order (the oldest and chiefest of the four universally
recognised), to which I have the honour to belong, teste my
diploma (Pilgrimage, Appendix i.). Visitation is still made to
his tomb at Baghdad. The Arabs (who have no hard g-letter) alter
to "Jílán" the name of his birth-place "Gilan," a tract between
the Caspian and the Black Seas.

[FN#44] The well-known Anglo-Indian "Mucuddum;" lit. "one placed
before (or over) others"

[FN#45] Koran xiii. 14.

[FN#46] i.e.. his chastity: this fashion of objecting to
infamous proposals is very characteristic: ruder races would use
their fists.

[FN#47] Arab. "Ráfizí"=the Shi'ah (tribe, sect) or Persian
schismatics who curse the first three Caliphs: the name is taken
from their own saying "Inná rafizná-hum"=verily we have rejected
them. The feeling between Sunni (the so-called orthodox) and
Shi'ah is much like the Christian love between a Catholic of Cork
and a Protestant from the Black North. As Al-Siyuti or any
historian will show, this sect became exceedingly powerful under
the later Abbaside Caliphs, many of whom conformed to it and
adopted its tractices and innovations (as in the Azan or
prayer-call), greatly to the scandal-of their co-religionists.
Even in the present day the hatred between these representatives
of Arab monotheism and Persian Guebrism continues unabated. I
have given sundry instances m my Pilgrimage, e.g. how the
Persians attempt to pollute the tombs of the Caliphs they abhor.

[FN#48] Arab. "Sakká," the Indian "Bihishtí" (man from Heaven):
Each party in a caravan has one or more.

[FN#49] These "Kirámát" or Saints' miracles, which Spiritualists
will readily accept, are recorded in vast numbers. Most men have
half a dozen to tell, each of his "Pír" or patron, including the
Istidráj or prodigy of chastisement. (Dabistan, iii. 274.)

[FN#50] Great granddaughter of the Imam Hasan buried in Cairo
and famed for "Kirámát." Her father, governor of Al-Medinah, was
imprisoned by Al-Mansur and restored to power by Al-Mahdi. She
was married to a son of the Imam Ja'afar al-Sadik and lived a
life of devotion in Cairo, dying in A.H. 218=824. The corpse of
the Imam al-Shafi'i was carried to her house, now her mosque and
mausoleum: it stood in the Darb al-Sabúa which formerly divided
Old from New Cairo and is now one of the latter's suburbs. Lane
(M. E. chaps. x.) gives her name but little more. The mention of
her shows that the writer of the tale or the copyist was a
Cairene : Abd al-Kadir is world-known : not so the "Sitt."

[FN#51] Arab. "Farkh akrab" for Ukayrib, a vulgarism.

[FN#52] The usual Egyptian irreverence: he relates his
abomination as if it were a Hadis or Tradition of the Prophet
with due ascription.

[FN#53] A popular name, dim. of Zubdah cream, fresh butter,

[FN#54] Arab. "Mustahall," "Mustahill' and vulg. "Muhallil"
(=one who renders lawful). It means a man hired for the purpose
who marries pro forma and after wedding, and bedding with
actual-consummation, at once divorces the woman. He is held the
reverse of respectable and no wonder. Hence, probably,
Mandeville's story of the Islanders who, on the marriage-night,
"make another man to lie by their wives, to have their
maidenhead, for which they give great hire and much thanks. And
there are certain men in every town that serve for no other
thing; and they call them cadeberiz, that is to say, the fools of
despair, because they believe their occupation is a dangerous
one." Burckhardt gives the proverb (No. 79), "A thousand lovers
rather than one Mustahall," the latter being generally some ugly
fellow picked up in the streets and disgusting to the wife who
must permit his embraces.

[FN#55] This is a woman's oath. not used by men.

[FN#56] Pronounced "Yá Sín" (chaps. xxxvi.) the "heart of the
Koran" much used for edifying recitation. Some pious Moslems in
Egypt repeat it as a Wazifah, or religious task, or as masses for
the dead, and all educated men know its 83 versets by rote.

[FN#57] Arab. "Ál-Dáúd"=the family of David, i.e. David himself,
a popular idiom. The prophet's recitation of the "Mazámir"
(Psalter) worked miracles.

[FN#58] There is a peculiar thickening of the voice in leprosy
which at once betrays the hideous disease.

[FN#59] These lines have occurred in Night clxxxiii. I quote
Mr. Payne (in loco) by way of variety.

[FN#60] Where the "Juzám" (leprosy, elephantiasis, morbus
sacrum, etc. etc.) is supposed first to show: the swelling would
alter the shape. Lane (ii. 267) translates "her wrist which was

[FN#61] Arab. "Zakariyá" (Zacharias): a play upon the term
"Zakar"=the sign of "masculinity." Zacharias, mentioned in the
Koran as the educator of the Virgin Mary (chaps. iii.) and
repeatedly referred to (chaps. xix. etc.), is a well-known
personage amongst Moslems and his church is now the great
Cathedral-Mosque of Aleppo.

[FN#62] Arab. " Ark al-Haláwat " = vein of sweetness.

[FN#63] Arab. "Futúh," which may also mean openings, has before

[FN#64] i.e. four times without withdrawing.

[FN#65] i.e. a correspondence of size, concerning which many
rules are given in the Ananga-Rangha Shastra which justly
declares that discrepancy breeds matrimonial-troubles.

[FN#66] Arab. "Ghuráb al-Bayn"= raven of the waste or the
parting: hence the bird of Odin symbolises separation (which is
also called Al-bayn). The Raven (Ghurab = Heb. Oreb and Lat.
Corvus, one of the prehistoric words) is supposed to be seen
abroad earlier than any other bird; and it is entitled "Abu
Zajir," father of omens, because lucky when flying towards the
right and v.v. It is opposed in poetry to the (white) pigeon, the
emblem of union, peace and happiness. The vulgar declare that
when Mohammed hid in the cave the crow kept calling to his
pursuers, "Ghár! Ghár!" (cavern, cavern): hence the Prophet
condemned him to wear eternal-mourning and ever to repeat the
traitorous words. This is the old tale of Coronis and Apollo
(Ovid, lib. ii.).

----------" who blacked the raven o'er
And bid him prate in his white plumes no more."

[FN#67] This use of a Turkish title "Efendi" being=our esquire,
and inferior to a Bey, is a rank anachronism, probably of the

[FN#68] Arab. "Samn"=Hind. "Ghi" butter melted, skimmed and
allowed to cool.

[FN#69] Arab. "Ya Wadúd," a title of the Almighty: the Mac.
Edit. has "O David!"

[FN#70] Arab. "Muwashshahah;" a complicated stanza of which
specimens have occurred. Mr. Payne calls it a "ballad," which
would be a "Kunyat al-Zidd."

[FN#71] Arab. "Baháim" (plur. of Bahímah=Heb. Behemoth), applied
in Egypt especially to cattle. A friend of the "Oppenheim" house,
a name the Arabs cannot pronounce was known throughout Cairo as
"Jack al-baháim" (of the cows).

[FN#72] Lit. "The father of side-locks," a nickname of one of
the Tobba Kings. This "Hasan of: the ringlets" who wore two long
pig-tails hanging to his shoulders was the Rochester or Piron of
his age: his name is still famous for brilliant wit, extempore
verse and the wildest debauchery. D'Herbelot's sketch of his life
is very meagre. His poetry has survived to the present day and
(unhappily) we shall] hear more of "Abu Nowás." On the subject of
these patronymics Lane (Mod. Egypt, chaps. iv.) has a strange
remark that "Abu Dáúd i' not the Father of Dáúd or Abu Ali the
Father of Ali, but whose Father is (or was) Dáúd or Ali." Here,
however, he simply confounds Abu = father of (followed by a
genitive), with Abu-h (for Abu-hu) = he, whose father.

[FN#73] Arab. "Samúr," applied in slang language to cats and dogs,
hence the witty Egyptians converted Admiral-Seymour (Lord Alcester)
into "Samúr."

[FN#74] The home-student of Arabic may take this letter as a model
even in the present day; somewhat stiff and old-fashioned, but
gentlemanly and courteous.

[FN#75] Arab. "Salím" (not Sé-lim) meaning the "Safe and sound."

[FN#76] Arab. "Haláwah"=sweetmeat, meaning an entertainment such
as men give to their friends after sickness or a journey. it is
technically called as above, "The Sweetmeat of Safety."

[FN#77] Arab. "Salát" which from Allah means mercy, from the
Angels intercession and pardon; and from mankind blessing.
Concerning the specific effects of blessing the Prophet, see
Pilgrimage (ii. 70). The formula is often slurred over when a man
is in a hurry to speak: an interrupting friend will say " Bless the
Prophet!" and he does so by ejaculating "Sa'am."

[FN#78] Persian, meaning originally a command: it is now applied
to a Wazirial-order as opposed to the " Irádah," the Sultan's

[FN#79] Arab. " Mashá'ilí" lit. the cresses-bearer who has before
appeared as hangman.

[FN#80] Another polite formula for announcing a death.

[FN#81] As he died heirless the property lapsed to the Treasury.

[FN#82]This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the
action suggests its meaning. Thus it is used in an opposite sense
to "throwing the kerchief," a pseudo-Oriental practice whose
significance is generally understood in Europe.

[FN#83] The body-guard being of two divisions.

[FN#84] Arab. "Hadbá," lit. "hump-backed;" alluding to the Badawi
bier; a pole to which the corpse is slung (Lane). It seems to
denote the protuberance of the corpse when placed upon the bier
which before was flat. The quotation is from Ka'ab's Mantle-Poem
(Burdah v . 37), "Every son of a female, long though his safety may
be, is a day borne upon a ridged implement," says Mr. Redhouse,
explaining the latter as a "bier with a ridged lid." Here we
differ: the Janázah with a lid is not a Badawi article: the
wildlings use the simplest stretcher; and I would translate the

"The son of woman, whatso his career
One day is borne upon the gibbous bier."

[FN#85] This is a high honour to any courtier.

[FN#86] "Khatun" in Turk. means any lady: mistress, etc., and
follows the name, e.g. Fátimah Khatun. Habzalam Bazazah is supposed
to be a fanciful compound, uncouth as the named; the first word
consisting of "Habb" seed, grain; and "Zalam" of Zulm=seed of
tyranny. Can it be a travesty of "Absalom" (Ab Salám, father of
peace)? Lane (ii. 284) and Payne (iii. 286) prefer Habazlam and

[FN#87] Or night. A metaphor for rushing into peril.

[FN#88] Plur. of kumkum, cucurbite, gourd-shaped vessel, jar.

[FN#89] A popular exaggeration for a very expert thief.

[FN#90] Arab. "Buka'at Ad-bum": lit. the "low place of blood"
(where it stagnates): so Al-Buká'ah = Cœlesyria.

[FN#91] That common and very unpleasant phrase, full of egotism
and self-esteem, "I told you so," is even more common in the naïve
East than in the West. In this case the son's answer is far
superior to the mother's question.

[FN#92] In order to keep his oath to the letter.

[FN#93] "Tabannuj; " literally "hemping" (drugging with hemp or
henbane) is the equivalent in Arab medicine of our "anæsthetics."
These have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries
before ether and chloroform became the fashion in the civilised

[FN#94] Arab. "Durká'ah," the lower part of the floor, opposed to
the "liwán" or daïs. Liwán =Al-Aywán (Arab. and Pers.) the hall
(including the daïs and the sunken parts)

[FN#95] i.e. he would toast it as he would a mistress.

[FN#96] This till very late years was the custom in Persia, and
Fath Ali Shah never appeared in scarlet without ordering some
horrible cruelties. In Dar-For wearing a red cashmere turban was a
sign of wrath and sending a blood red dress to a subject meant that
he would be slain.

[FN#97] That is, this robbery was committed in the palace by some
one belonging to it. References to vinegar are frequent; that of
Egypt being famous in those days. "Optimum et laudatissimum acetum
a Romanis habebatur Ægyptum" (Facciolati); and possibly it was
sweetened: the Gesta (Tale xvii.) mentions "must and vinegar." In
Arab Proverbs, One mind by vinegar and another by wine"=each mind
goes its own way, (Arab. Prov. . 628); or, "with good and bad,"
vinegar being spoilt wine.

[FN#98] We have not heard the last of this old "dowsing rod": the
latest form of rhabdomancy is an electrical-rod invented in the
United States.

[FN#99] This is the procès verbal always drawn up on such

[FN#100] The sight of running water makes a Persian long for
strong drink as the sight of a fine view makes the Turk feel

[FN#101] Arab. "Min wahid aduww " a peculiarly Egyptian or rather
Cairene phrase.

[FN#102] Al-Danaf=the Distressing Sickness: the title would be
Ahmad the Calamity. Al-Zaybak (the Quicksilver)=Mercury Ali Hasan
"Shuuman"=a pestilent fellow. We shall meet all these worthies
again and again: see the Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo, Night
dccviii., a sequel to The Rogueries of Dalilah, Night dcxcviii.

[FN#103] For the "Sacrifice-place of Ishmael" (not Isaac) see my
Pilgrimage (iii. 306). According to all Arab ideas Ishmael, being
the eldest son, was the chief of the family after his father. I
have noted that this is the old old quarrel between the Arabs and
their cousins the Hebrews.

[FN#104] This black-mail was still paid to the Badawin of Ramlah
(Alexandria) till the bombardment in 1881.

[FN#105] The famous Issus of Cilicia, now a port-village on the
Gulf of Scanderoon.

[FN#106] Arab. " Wada'á" = the concha veneris, then used as small

[FN#107] Arab. "Sakati"=a dealer in "castaway" articles, such es
old metal,damaged goods, the pluck and feet of animals, etc.

[FN#108] The popular tale of Burckhardt's death in Cairo was that
the names of the three first Caliphs were found written upon his
slipper-soles and that he was put to death by decree of the Olema.
It is the merest nonsense, as the great traveller died of dysentery
in the house of my old friend John Thurburn and was buried outside
the Bab al-Nasr of Cairo where his tomb was restored by the late
Rogers Bey (Pilgrimage i. 123).

[FN#109] Prob. a mis-spelling for Arslán, in Turk. a lion, and in
slang a piastre.

[FN#110] Arab. "Maka'ad;" lit. = sitting-room.

[FN#111] Arab. "Khammárah"; still the popular term throughout
Egypt for a European Hotel. It is not always intended to be
insulting but it is, meaning the place where Franks meet to drink
forbidden drinks.

[FN#112] A reminiscence of Mohammed who cleansed the Ka'abah of
its 360 idols (of which 73 names are given by Freytag, Einleitung,
etc. pp. 270, 342-57) by touching them with his staff, whereupon
all fell to the ground; and the Prophet cried (Koran xvii. 84),
"Truth is come, and falsehood is vanished: verily, falsehood is a
thing that vanisheth" (magna est veritas, etc.). Amongst the
"idols" are said to have been a statue of Abraham and the horns of
the ram sacrificed in lieu of Ishmael, which (if true) would prove
conclusively that the Abrahamic legend at Meccah is of ancient date
and not a fiction of Al-Islam. Hence, possibly, the respect of the
Judaising Tobbas of Hiwyarland for the Ka'abah. (Pilgrimage, iii.

[FN#113] This was evidently written by a Sunni as the Shí'ahs
claim to be the only true Moslems. Lane tells an opposite story
(ii. 329). It suggests the common question in the South of Europe,
"Are you a Christian or a Protestant?"

[FN#114] Arab. "Ana fí jírat-ak!" a phrase to be remembered as
useful in time of danger.

[FN#115] i.e. No Jinni, or Slave of the Jewel, was there to

[FN#116] Arab. "Kunsúl" (pron. "Gunsul") which here means a
well-to-do Frank, and shows the modern date of the tale as it

[FN#117] From the Ital. "Capitano." The mention of cannon and
other terms in this tale shows that either it was written during
the last century or it has been mishandled by copyists.

[FN#118] Arab. "Minínah"; a biscuit of flour and clarified butter.

[FN#119] Arab. "Waybah"; the sixth part of the Ardabb=6 to 7
English gallons.

[FN#120] He speaks in half-jest à la fellah; and reminds us of
"Hangman, drive on the cart!"

[FN#121] Yochanan (whom Jehovah has blessed) Jewish for John, is
probably a copy of the Chaldean Euahanes, the Oannes of Berosus=Ea
Khan, Hea the fish. The Greeks made it Joannes; the Arabs "Yohanná"
(contracted to "Hanná," Christian) and "Yábyá" (Moslem). Prester
(Priest) John is probably Ung Khan, the historian prince conquered
and slain by Janghiz Khan in A.D. 1202. The modern history of
"John" is very extensive: there may be a full hundred varieties and
derivation' of the name. "Husn Maryam" the beauty (spiritual. etc.)
of the B.V.

[FN#122] Primarily being middle-aged; then aid, a patron, servant,
etc. Also a tribe of the Jinn usually made synonymous with "Márid,"
evil controuls, hostile to men: modern spiritualists would regard
them as polluted souls not yet purged of their malignity. The text
insinuates that they were at home amongst Christians and in Genoa.

[FN#123] Arab. "Sar'a" = epilepsy, falling sickness, of old always
confounded with "possession" (by evil spirits) or "obsession."

[FN#124] Again the true old charge of falsifying the so-called
"Sacred books." Here the Koran is called "Furkán." Sale (sect.
iii.) would assimilate this to the Hebr. "Perek" or "Pirka,"
denoting a section or portion of Scripture; but Moslems understand
it to be the "Book which distinguisheth (faraka, divided) the true
from the false." Thus Caliph Omar was entitled "Fárúk" = the
Distinguisher (between right and wrong). Lastly, "Furkán," meanings
as in Syr. and Ethiop. deliverance, revelation, is applied alike to
the Pentateuch and Koran.

[FN#125] Euphemistic for "thou shalt die."

[FN#126] Lit. "From (jugular) vein to vein" (Arab. "Waríd"). Our
old friend Lucretius again: "Tantane relligio," etc.

[FN#127] As opposed to the "but" or outer room.

[FN#128] Arab. "Darb al-Asfar" in the old Jamalíyah or Northern
part of Cairo.

[FN#129] A noble tribe of Badawin that migrated from Al-Yaman and
settled in Al-Najd Their Chief, who died a few years before
Mohammed's birth, was Al-Hatim (the "black crow"), a model of Arab
manliness and munificence; and although born in the Ignorance he
will enter Heaven with the Moslems. Hatim was buried on the hill
called Owárid: I have already noted this favourite practice of the
wilder Arabs and the affecting idea that the Dead may still look
upon his kith and kin. There is not an Arab book nor, indeed, a
book upon Arabia which does not contain the name of Hatim: he is
mentioned as unpleasantly often as Aristides.

[FN#130] Lord of "Cattle-feet," this King's name is unknown; but
the Kámús mentions two Kings called Zu 'l Kalá'a, the Greater and
the Less. Lane's Shaykh (ii. 333) opined that the man who demanded
Hatim's hospitality was one Abu'l-Khaybari.

[FN#131] The camel's throat, I repeat, is not cut as in the case
of other animals, the muscles being too strong: it is slaughtered
by the "nahr," i.e. thrusting a knife into the hollow at the
commissure of the chest. (Pilgrimage iii. 303.)

[FN#132] Adi became a Moslem and was one of the companions of the

[FN#133] A rival-in generosity to Hatim: a Persian poet praising
his patron's generosity says that it buried that of Hatim and
dimmed that of Ma'an (D'Herbelot). He was a high official-under the
last Ommiade, Marwán al-Himár (the "Ass," or the "Century," the
duration of Ommiade rule) who was routed and slain in A.H. 132=750.
Ma'an continued to serve under the Abbasides and was a favourite
with Al-Mansúr. "More generous or bountiful than Ka'ab" is another
saying (A. P., i. 325); Ka'ab ibn Mámah was a man who, somewhat
like Sir Philip Sidney at Zutphen, gave his own portion of drink
while he was dying of thirst to a man who looked wistfully at him,
whence the saying "Give drink to thy brother the Námiri" (A. P., i.
608). Ka'ab could not mount, so they put garments over him to scare
away the wild beasts and left him in the desert to die. "Scatterer
of blessings" (Náshir al-Ni'am) was a title of King Malik of
Al-Yaman, son of Sharhabíl, eminent for his liberality. He set up
the statue in the Western Desert, inscribed "Nothing behind me," as
a warner to others.

[FN#134] Lane (ii. 352) here introduces, between Nights cclxxi.
and ccxc., a tale entitled in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 134) "The
Sleeper and the Waker," i.e. the sleeper awakened; and he calls it:
The Story of Abu-l-Hasan the Wag. It is interesting and founded
upon historical-fact; but it can hardly be introduced here without
breaking the sequence of The Nights. I regret this the more as Mr.
Alexander J. Cotheal-of New York has most obligingly sent me an
addition to the Breslau text (iv. 137) from his MS. But I hope
eventually to make use of it.

[FN#135] The first girl calls gold "Titer" (pure, unalloyed
metal); the second "Asjad" (gold generally) and the third "Ibríz"
(virgin ore, the Greek {Greek letters}. This is a law of Arab
rhetoric never to repeat the word except for a purpose and, as the
language can produce 1,200,000 (to 100,000 in English) the
copiousness is somewhat painful to readers.

[FN#136] Arab. "Shakes" before noticed.

[FN#137] Arab. "Kussá'á"=the curling cucumber: the vegetable is of
the cheapest and the poorer classes eat it as "kitchen" with bread.

[FN#138] Arab. "Haram-hu," a double entendre. Here the Barlawi
means his Harem the inviolate part of the house; but afterwards he
makes it mean the presence of His Honour.

[FN#139] Toledo? this tale was probably known to Washington
Irving. The "Land of Roum " here means simply Frank-land as we are
afterwards told that its name was Andalusia the old Vandal-land, a
term still applied by Arabs to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.

[FN#140] Arab. "Amáim" (plur. of Imámah) the common word for
turband which I prefer to write in the old unclipt fashion. We got
it through the Port. Turbante and the old French Tolliban from the
(now obsolete) Persian term Dolband=a turband or a sash.

[FN#141] Sixth Ommiade Caliph, A.D. 705-716, from "Tárik" we have

[FN#142] Arab. "Yunán" = Ionia, applied to ancient Greece as
"Roum" is to the Græco-Roman Empire.

[FN#143] Arab. "Bahramáni ;" prob. alluding to the well-known
legend of the capture of Somanath (Somnauth) from the Hindus by
Mahmud of Ghazni. In the Ajá'ib al-Hind (before quoted) the
Brahmins are called Abrahamah.

[FN#144] i.e. "Peace be with thee!"

[FN#145] i.e. in the palace when the hunt was over. The bluntness
and plain-speaking of the Badawi, which caused the revelation of
the Koranic chapter "Inner Apartments" (No. xlix.) have always been
favourite themes with Arab tale-tellers as a contrast with citizen
suavity and servility. Moreover the Badawi, besides saying what he
thinks, always tells the truth (unless corrupted by commerce with
foreigners); and this is a startling contrast with the townsfolk.
To ride out of Damascus and have a chat with the Ruwalá is much
like being suddenly transferred from amongst the trickiest of
Mediterranean people to the bluff society of the Scandinavian
North. And the reason why the Turk will never govern the Arab in
peace is that the former is always trying to finesse and to succeed
by falsehood, when the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the
truth is wanted.

[FN#146] Koran. xvi. 112.

[FN#147] A common and expressive way of rewarding the tongue which
"spoke poetry." The Jewels are often pearls.

[FN#148] Ibrahim Abu Ishák bin al-Mahdi, a pretender to the
Caliphate of well known wit and a famed musician surnamed from his
corpulence "Al-Tannín"=the Dragon or, according to others (Lane ii.
336), "Al-Tin"= the fig. His adventurous history will be found in
Ibn Khallikan D'Herbelot and Al-Siyuti.

[FN#149] The Ragha of the Zendavesta, and Rages of the Apocrypha
(Tobit, Judith, etc.), the old capital-of Media Proper, and seat of
government of Daylam, now a ruin some miles south of Teheran which
was built out of its remains. Rayy was founded by Hoshang the
primeval-king who first sawed wood, made doors and dug metal. It is
called Rayy al-Mahdiyyah because Al-Mahdi held his court there.
Harun al-Rashid was also born in it (A.H. 145). It is mentioned by
a host of authors and names one of the Makamat of Al-Hariri.

[FN#150] Human blood being especially impure.

[FN#151] Jones, Brown and Robinson.

[FN#152] Arab. "Kumm ," the Moslem sleeve is mostly (like his
trousers) of ample dimensions and easily converted into a kind of
carpet-bag by depositing small articles in the middle and gathering
up the edge in the hand. In this way carried the weight would be
less irksome than hanging to the waist. The English of Queen Anne's
day had regular sleeve-pockets for memoranda, etc., hence the
saying, to have in one's sleeve.

[FN#153] Arab. "Khuff" worn under the "Bábúg" (a corruption of the
Persian pá-push=feet-covers, papooshes, slippers). [Lane M. E.
chaps. i.]

[FN#154] Done in hot weather throughout the city, a dry line for
camels being left in mid-street to prevent the awkward beasts
slipping. The watering of the Cairo streets of late years has been
excessive; they are now lines of mud in summer as well as in winter
and the effluvia from the droppings of animals have, combined with
other causes, seriously deteriorated the once charming climate. The
only place in Lower Egypt, which has preserved the atmosphere of
1850, is Suez.

[FN#155] Arab. "Hurák:" burnt rag, serving as tinder for flint and
steel, is a common styptic.

[FN#156] Of this worthy, something has been said and there will be
more in a future page.

[FN#157] i.e. the person entitled to exact the blood-wite.

[FN#158] Al-Maamum was a man of sense with all his fanaticism One
of his sayings is preserved "Odious is contentiousness in Kings,
more odious vexation in judges uncomprehending a case; yet more
odious is shallowness of doctors in religions and most odious are
avarice in the rich, idleness in youth, jesting in age and
cowardice in the soldier."

[FN#159] The second couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. but Lane's
Shaykh has supplied it (ii. 339)

[FN#160] Adam's loins, the "Day of Alast," and the Imam (who
stands before the people in prayer) have been explained. The
"Seventh Imam" here is Al-Maamun, the seventh Abbaside the Ommiades
being, as usual, ignored.

[FN#161] He sinned only for the pleasure of being pardoned, which
is poetical-and hardly practical-or probable.

[FN#162] The Katá (sand-grouse) always enters into Arab poetry
because it is essentially a desert bird, and here the comparison is
good because it lays its eggs in the waste far from water which it
must drink morning and evening. Its cry is interpreted "man sakat,
salam" (silent and safe), but it does not practice that precept,
for it is usually betrayed by its piping " Kata! Kata!" Hence the
proverb, "More veracious than the sand-grouse," and "speak not
falsely, for the Kata sayeth sooth," is Komayt's saying. It is an
emblem of swiftness: when the brigand poet Shanfara boasts, "The
ash-coloured Katas can drink only my leavings, after hastening all
night to slake their thirst in the morning," it is a hyperbole
boasting of his speed. In Sind it is called the "rock pigeon" and
it is not unlike a grey partridge when on the wing.

[FN#163] Joseph to his brethren, Koran, xii. 92, when he gives
them his "inner garment" to throw over his father's face.

[FN#164] Arab. "Hajjám"=a cupper who scarifies forehead and legs,
a bleeder, a (blood-) sucker. The slang use of the term is to
thrash, lick, wallop. (Burckhardt. Prov. 34.)

[FN#165] The Bresl. Edit. (vii. 171-174) entitles this tale,
"Story of Shaddád bin Ad and the City of Iram the Columned ;" but
it relates chiefly to the building by the King of the First Adites
who, being promised a future Paradise by Prophet Húd, impiously
said that he would lay out one in this world. It also quotes Ka'ab
al-Ahbár as an authority for declaring that the tale is in the
"Pentateuch of Moses." Iram was in al-Yaman near Adan (our Aden) a
square of ten parasangs (or leagues each= 18,000 feet) every way,


Back to Full Books