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

Part 7 out of 7

the walls were of red (baked) brick 500 cubits high and 20 broad,
with four gates of corresponding grandeur. It contained 300,000
Kasr (palaces) each with a thousand pillars of gold-bound jasper,
etc. (whence its title). The whole was finished in five hundred
years, and, when Shaddad prepared to enter it, the "Cry of Wrath"
from the Angel of Death slew him and all his many. It is mentioned
in the Koran (chaps. Ixxxix. 6-7) as "Irem adorned with lofty
buildings (or pillars)." But Ibn Khaldun declares that commentators
have embroidered the passage; Iram being the name of a powerful
clan of the ancient Adites and "imád" being a tent-pole: hence
"Iram with the numerous tents or tent-poles." Al-Bayzawi tells the
story of Abdullah ibn Kilabah (D'Herbelot's Colabah). At Aden I met
an Arab who had seen the mysterious city on the borders of
Al-Ahkáf, the waste of deep sands, west of Hadramaut; and probably
he had, the mirage or sun-reek taking its place. Compare with this
tale "The City of Brass" (Night dlxv.).

[FN#166] The biblical-"Sheba," named from the great-grandson of
Joctan, whence the Queen (Bilkis) visited Solomon It was destroyed
by the Flood of Márib.

[FN#167] The full title of the Holy City is "Madinat al-Nab)" =
the City of the Prophet, of old Yasrib (Yathrib) the Iatrippa of
the Greeks (Pilgrimage, ii. 119). The reader will remember that
there are two "Yasribs:" that of lesser note being near Hujr in the
Yamámah province.

[FN#168] "Ka'ab of the Scribes," a well-known traditionist and
religious poet who died (A.H. 32) in the Caliphate of Osman. He was
a Jew who islamised; hence his name (Ahbár, plur. of Hibr, a Jewish
scribe, doctor of science, etc. Jarrett's El-Siyuti, p. 123). He
must not be confounded with another Ka'ab al-Ahbár the Poet of the
(first) Cloak-poem or "Burdah," a noble Arab who was a distant
cousin of Mohammed, and whose tomb at Hums (Emesa) is a place of
pious visitation. According to the best authorities (no Christian
being allowed to see them) the cloak given to the bard by Mohammed
is still preserved together with the Khirkah or Sanjak Sherif
("Holy Coat" or Banner, the national oriflamme) at Stambul in the
Upper Seraglio. (Pilgrimage, i. 213.) Many authors repeat this
story of Mu'awiyah, the Caliph, and Ka'ab of the Burdah, but it is
an evident anachronism, the poet having been dead nine years before
the ruler's accession (A.H. 41).

[FN#169] Koran, lxxxix. 6-7.

[FN#170] Arab. "Kahramán" from Pers., braves, heroes.

[FN#171] The Deity in the East is as whimsical-a despot as any of
his "shadows" or "vice regents." In the text Shaddád is killed for
mere jealousy a base passion utterly unworthy of a godhead; but one
to which Allah was greatly addicted.

[FN#172] Some traditionist, but whether Sha'abi, Shi'abi or
Shu'abi we cannot decide.

[FN#173] The Hazarmaveth of Genesis (x. 26) in South Eastern
Arabia. Its people are the Adramitae (mod. Hazrami) of Ptolemy who
places in their land the Arabić Emporium, as Pliny does his
Massola. They border upon the Homeritć or men of Himyar, often
mentioned in The Nights. Hazramaut is still practically unknown to
us, despite the excursions of many travellers; and the hard nature
of the people, the Swiss of Arabia, offers peculiar obstacles to

[FN#174] i.e. the prophet Hud generally identified (?) with Heber.
He was commissioned (Koran, chaps. vii.) to preach Al-Islam to his
tribe the Adites who worshipped four goddesses, Sákiyah (the
rain-giver), Rázikah (food-giver), Háfizah (the saviouress) and
Sálimah (who healed sickness). As has been seen he failed, so it
was useless to send him.

[FN#175] Son of Ibraham al-Mosili, a musician poet and favourite
with the Caliphs Harun al-Rashid and Al-Maamun. He made his name
immortal-by being the first who reduced Arab harmony to systematic
rules, and he wrote a biography of musicians referred to by
Al-Hariri in the Séance of Singar.

[FN#176] This must not be confounded with the "pissing against the
wall" of I Kings, xiv. 10, where watering against a wall denotes a
man as opposed to a woman.

[FN#177] Arab. "Zambíl" or "Zimbíl," a limp basket made of plaited
palm-leaves and generally two handled. It is used for many
purposes, from carrying poultry to carrying earth.

[FN#178] Here we have again the Syriac ''Bakhkh
-un-Bakhkh-un-''=well done! It is the Pers Áferín and means "all
praise be to him."

[FN#179] Arab. "A Tufayli?" So the Arab. Prov. (ii. 838) "More
intrusive than Tufayl" (prob. the P.N. of a notorious sponger). The
Badawin call "Wárish" a man who sits down to meat unbidden and to
drink Wághil; but townsfolk apply the latter to the "Wárish."

[FN#180] Arab. "Artál"=rotoli, pounds; and

"A pint is a pound
All the world round;"

except in highly civilised lands where the pint has a curious power
of shrinking.

[FN#181] One of Al-Maamun's Wazirs. The Caliph married his
daughter whose true name was Búrán; but this tale of girl's freak
and courtship was invented (?) by Ishak. For the splendour of the
wedding and the munificence of the Minister see Lane, ii. 350-352.

[FN#182] I have described this scene, the wretch clinging to the
curtain and sighing and crying as if his heart would break
(Pilgrimage iii. 216 and 220). The same is done at the place
Al-Multazam'"the attached to;" (ibid. 156) and various spots called
Al-Mustajáb, "where prayer is granted" (ibid. 162). At Jerusalem
the Wailing place of the Jews" shows queer scenes; the worshippers
embrace the wall with a peculiar wriggle crying out in Hebrew, "O
build Thy House, soon, without delay," etc.

[FN#183] i.e. The wife. The scene in the text was common at Cairo
twenty years ago; and no one complained of the stick. See
Pilgrimage i., 120.

[FN#184] Arab. "Udm, Udum" (plur. of Idám) = "relish," olives,
cheese, pickled cucumbers, etc.

[FN#185] I have noticed how the left hand is used in the East. In
the second couplet we have "Istinjá"=washing the fundament after
stool. The lines are highly appropriate for a nightman. Easterns
have many foul but most emphatic expressions like those in the text
I have heard a mother say to her brat, "I would eat thy merde!"
(i.e. how I love thee!).

[FN#186] Arab. "Harrák," whence probably our "Carack" and
"Carrack" (large ship), in dictionaries derived from Carrus

[FN#187] Arab. "Gháshiyah"=lit. an étui, a cover; and often a
saddle-cover carried by the groom.

[FN#188] Arab. "Sharáb al-tuffáh" = melapio or cider.

[FN#189] Arab. "Mudawwarah," which generally means a small round
cushion, of the Marocco-work well known in England. But one does
not strike a cushion for a signal, so we must revert to the
original-sense of the word "something round," as a circular plate
of wood or metal, a gong, a "bell" like that of the Eastern

[FN#190] Arab. "Túfán" (from the root tauf, going round) a storm,
a circular gale, a cyclone the term universally applied in Al-lslam
to the "Deluge," the "Flood" of Noah. The word is purely Arabic;
with a quaint likeness to the Gr. {Greek letters}, in Pliny typhon,
whirlwind, a giant (Typhœus) whence "Typhon" applied to the great
Egyptian god "Set." The Arab word extended to China and was given
to the hurricanes which the people call "Tee foong," great winds,
a second whimsical-resemblance. But Sir John Davis (ii. 383) is
hardly correct when he says, "the name typhoon, in itself a
corruption of the Chinese term, bears a singular (though we must
suppose an accidental) resemblance to the Greek {Greek letters}. "

[FN#191] Plurale majestatis acting superlative; not as Lane
supposes (ii. 224) "a number of full moons, not only one." Eastern
tongues abound in instances beginning with Genesis (i. 1), "Gods
(he) created the heaven," etc. It is still preserved in Badawi
language and a wildling greatly to the astonishment of the citizens
will address his friend "Yá Rijál"= O men!

[FN#192] Arab. "Hásid" = an envier: in the fourth couplet "Azúl"
(Azzál, etc.) = a chider, blamer; elsewhere "Lawwám" = accuser,
censor, slanderer; "Wáshí,"=whisperer, informer; "Rakib"=spying,
envious rival; "Ghábit"=one emulous without envy; and "Shámit"= a
"blue" (fierce) enemy who rejoices over another's calamities.
Arabic literature abounds in allusions to this unpleasant category
of "damned ill-natured friends;" and Spanish and Portuguese
letters, including Brazilian, have thoroughly caught the trick. In
the Eastern mind the "blamer" would be aided by the "evil eye."

[FN#193] Another plural for a singular, "O my beloved!"

[FN#194] Arab. "Khayr"=good news, a euphemistic reply even if the
tidings be of the worst.

[FN#195] Abbás (from 'Abs, being austere; and meaning the "grim
faced") son of Abd al-Muttalib; uncle to Mohammed and eponym of the
Abbaside Khalifahs. A.D. 749=1258.

[FN#196] Katíl = the Irish "kilt."

[FN#197] This hat been explained as a wazirial title of the time.

[FN#198] The phrase is intelligible in all tongues: in Arabic it
is opposed to "dark as night," "black as mud" and a host of
unsavoury antitheses.

[FN#199] Arab. "Awwádah," the popular word; not Udíyyah as in
Night cclvi. "Ud" liter.= rood and "Al-Ud"=the wood is, I have
noted, the origin of our 'lute." The Span. 'laud" is larger and
deeper than the guitar, and its seven strings are played upon with
a plectrum of buffalo-horn.

[FN#200] Arab. "Tabban lahu!"=loss (or ruin) to him. So "bu'dan
lahu"=away with him, abeat in malam rem; and "Suhkan lahu"=Allah
and mercy be far from him, no hope for him I

[FN#201] Arab. "Áyah"=Koranic verses, sign, miracle.

[FN#202] The mole on cheek calls to prayers for his preservation;
and it is black as Bilal the Abyssinian. Fajran may here mean
either "A.-morning" or "departing from grace."

[FN#203] i.e. the young beard (myrtle) can never hope to excel
tile beauties of his cheeks (roses).

[FN#204] i.e. Hell and Heaven.

[FN#205] The first couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. (ii. 171)
which gives only a single couplet but it is found in the Bres.
Edit. which entitles this tale "Story of the lying (or false kázib)
Khalífah." Lane (ii. 392) of course does not translate it.

[FN#206] In the East cloth of frieze that mates with cloth of gold
must expect this treatment. Fath Ali Shah's daughters always made
their husbands enter the nuptial-bed by the foot end.

[FN#207] This is always done and for two reasons; the first
humanity, that the blow may fall unawares; and, secondly, to
prevent the sufferer wincing, which would throw out the headsman.

[FN#208] Arab. "Ma'áni-há," lit. her meanings, i.e. her inner
woman opposed to the formal-seen by every one.

[FN#209] Described in my Pilgrimage (iii. 168, 174 and 175): it is
the stone upon which the Patriarch stood when he built the Ka'abah
and is said to show the impress of the feet but unfortunately I
could not afford five dollars entrance-fee. Caliph Omar placed the
station where it now is; before his time it adjoined the Ka'abah.
The meaning of the text is, Be thy court a place of pious
visitation, etc. At the "Station of Abraham" prayer is especially
blessed and expects to be granted. "This is the place where Abraham
stood; and whoever entereth therein shall be safe" (Koran ii. 119).
For the other fifteen places where petitions are favourably heard
by Heaven see ibid. iii. 211-12.

[FN#210] As in the West, so in the East, women answer an
unpleasant question by a counter question.

[FN#211] This "Cry of Haro" often occurs throughout The Nights. In
real-life it is sure to colece a crowd. especially if an Infidel
(non Moslem) be its cause.

[FN#212] In the East a cunning fellow always makes himself the
claimant or complainant.

[FN#213] On the Euphrates some 40 miles west of Baghdad The word
is written "Anbár" and pronounced "Ambár" as usual with the "n"
before "b"; the case of the Greek double Gamma.

[FN#214] Syene on the Nile.

[FN#215] The tale is in the richest Rabelaisian humour; and the
requisitions of the "Saj'a" (rhymed prose) in places explain the
grotesque combinations. It is difficult to divine why Lane omits
it: probably he held a hearty laugh not respectable.

[FN#216] A lawyer of the eighth century, one of the chief pupils
of the Imam Abu Hanifah, and Kazi of Baghdad under the third,
fourth and fifth Abbasides. The tale is told in the quasi-
historical-Persian work "Nigáristán" (The Picture gallery), and is
repeated by Richardson, Diss. 7, xiii. None seem to have remarked
that the distinguished legist, Abu Yusuf, was on this occasion a
law-breaker; the Kazi's duty being to carry out the code not to
break it by the tricks of a cunning attorney. In Harun's day,
however, some regard was paid to justice, not under his successors,
one of whom, Al-Muktadir bi 'lláh (A.H. 295=907), made the damsel
Yamika President of the Diwán al-Mazálim (Court of the Wronged), a
tribunal which took cognizance of tyranny and oppression in high

[FN#217] Here the writer evidently forgets that Shahrazad is
telling the story to the king, as Boccaccio (ii. 7) forgets that
Pamfilo is speaking. Such inconsequences are common in Eastern
story-books and a goody-goody sentiment is always heartily received
as in an English theatre.

[FN#218] In the Mac. Edit. (ii. 182) "Al-Kushayri." Al-Kasri was
Governor of the two Iraks (I.e. Bassorah and Cufa) in the reign of
Al-Hisham, tenth Ommiade (A.D. 723-741)

[FN#219] Arab. "Thakalata k Ummak!" This is not so much a curse as
a playful phrase, like "Confound the fellow." So "Kátala k Allah"
(Allah slay thee) and "Lá abá lak" (thou hast no father or mother).
These words are even complimentary on occasions, as a good shot or
a fine recitation, meaning that the praised far excels the rest of
his tribe.

[FN#220] Koran, iii. 178.

[FN#221] Arab. "Al-Nisáb"=the minimum sum (about half-a crown) for
which mutilation of the hand is prescribed by religious law. The
punishment was truly barbarous, it chastised a rogue by means which
prevented hard honest labour for the rest of his life.

[FN#222] To show her grief.

[FN#223] Abú Sa'íd Abd al-Malik bin Kurayb, surnamed Al-Asma'i
from his grandfather, flor. A.H. 122-306 (=739-830) and wrote
amongst a host of compositions the well-known Romance of Antar. See
in D'Herbelot the right royal-directions given to him by Harun

[FN#224] There are many accounts of his death, but it is generally
held that he was first beheaded. The story in the text is also
variously told and the Persian "Nigáristán" adds some unpleasant
comments upon the House of Abbas. The Persians, for reasons which
will be explained in the terminal-Essay, show the greatest sympathy
with the Barmecides; and abominate the Abbasides even more than the
latter detested the Ommiades.

[FN#225] Not written, as the European reader would suppose.

[FN#226] Arab. "Fúl al-hárr" = beans like horsebeans soaked and
boiled as opposed to the "Fúl Mudammas" (esp. of Egypt)=unshelled
beans steamed and boiled all night and eaten with linseed oil as
"kitchen" or relish. Lane (M.E., chaps. v.) calls them after the
debased Cairene pronunciation, Mudemmes. A legend says that, before
the days of Pharaoh (always he of Moses), the Egyptians lived on
pistachios which made them a witty, lively race. But the tyrant
remarking that the domestic ass, which eats beans, is degenerate
from the wild ass, uprooted the pistachio-trees and compelled the
lieges to feed on beans which made them a heavy, gross, cowardly
people fit only for burdens. Badawis deride "beaneaters" although
they do not loathe the pulse like onions. The principal-result of
a bean diet is an extraordinary development of flatulence both in
stomach and intestines: hence possibly, Pythagoras who had studied
ceremonial-purity in Egypt, forbade the use, unless he referred to
venery or political-business. I was once sitting in the Greek
quarter of Cairo dressed as a Moslem when arose a prodigious hubbub
of lads and boys, surrounding, a couple of Fellahs. These men had
been working in the fields about a mile east of Cairo and, when
returning home, one had said to the other, "If thou wilt carry the
hoes I will break wind once for every step we take." He was as good
as his word and when they were to part he cried, "And now for thy
bakhshish!" which consisted of a volley of fifty, greatly to the
delight of the boys.

[FN#227] No porcelain was ever, as far as we can discover, made in
Egypt or Syria of the olden day; but, as has been said, there was
a regular caravan-intercourse with China At Damascus I dug into the
huge rubbish-heaps and found quantities of pottery, but no China.
The same has lately been done at Clysma, the artificial-mound near
Suez, and the glass and pottery prove it to have been a Roman work
which defended the mouth of the old classical-sweet-water canal.

[FN#228] Arab. "Lá baas ba-zálik," conversational-for "Lá jaram"=
there is no harm in it, no objection to it, and, sometimes, "it is
a matter of course."

[FN#229] A white emerald is yet unknown; but this adds only to the
Oriental-extravagance of the picture. I do not think with Lane (ii.
426) that "abyaz" here can mean "bright." Dr. Steingass suggests a
clerical-error for "khazar" (green).

[FN#230] Arab. "Sharárif" plur. of Shurráfah=crenelles or
battlements; mostly trefoil-shaped; remparts coquets which a
six-pounder would crumble.

[FN#231] Pronounce Abul-Muzaffar=Father of the Conqueror.

[FN#232] I have explained the word in my "Zanzibar, City, Island
and Coast," vol. i. chaps. v There is still a tribe, the Wadoe,
reputed cannibal-on the opposite low East African shore These
blacks would hardly be held " sons of Adam." "Zanj " corrupted to
"Zinj " (plur Zunúj) is the Persian "Zany" or "Zangi," a black,
altered by the Arabs, who ignore the hard g; and, with the
suffixion of the Persian -bár (region, as in Malabar) we have Zang-
bar which the Arabs have converted to "Zanjibar," in poetry "Murk
al-Zunúj"=Land of the Zang. The term is old; it is the Zingis or
Zingisa of Ptolemy and the Zingium of Cosmas Indicopleustes; and it
shows the influence of Persian navigation in pre-Islamitic ages.
For further details readers will consult "The Lake Regions of
Central-Africa" vol. i. chaps. ii

[FN#233] Arab. "Kawárib" plur. of "Kárib" prop. a dinghy, a small
boat belonging to a ship Here it refers to the canoe (a Carib word)
pop. "dug-out" and classically "monoxyle," a boat made of a single
tree-trunk hollowed by fire and trimmed with axe and adze. Some of
these rude craft which, when manned, remind one of saturnine Caliph
Omar's "worms floating on a log of wood," measure 60 feet long and

[FN#234] i.e. A descendant of Mohammed in general-and especially
through Husayn Ali-son. Here the text notes that the chief of the
bazar was of this now innumerable stock, who inherit the title
through the mother as well as through the father.

[FN#235] Arab. "Hasab" (=quaneity), the honour a man acquires for
himself; opposed to "Nasab" (genealogy) honours inherited from
ancestry: the Arabic well expresses my old motto (adopted by
Chinese Gordon),
"Honour, not Honours."

[FN#236] Note the difference between "Takaddum" ( = standing in
presence of, also superiority in excellence) and "Takádum"
(priority in time).

[FN#237] Lane (ii. 427) gives a pleasant Eastern illustration of
this saying.

[FN#238] A Koranic fancy; the mountains being the pegs which keep
the earth in place. "And he hath thrown before the earth, mountains
firmly rooted, lest it should move with you." (Koran, chaps. xvi.)
The earth when first created was smooth and thereby liable to a
circular motion, like the celestial-orbs; and, when the Angels
asked who could stand on so tottering a frame, Allah fixed it the
next morning by throwing the mountains in it and pegging them down.
A fair prolepsis of the Neptunian theory.

[FN#239] Easy enough for an Englishman to avoid saying "by God,"
but this common incident in Moslem folk-lore appeals to the peoples
who are constantly using the word Allah Wallah, Billah, etc. The
Koran expressly says, "Make not Allah the scope (object, lit.
arrow-butt) of your oaths" (chaps. ii. 224), yet the command is
broken every minute.

[FN#240] This must be the ubiquitous Khizr, the Green Prophet;
when Ali appears, as a rule he is on horseback.

[FN#241] The name is apparently imaginary; and a little below we
find that it was close to Jinn land. China was very convenient for
this purpose: the medieval-Moslems, who settled in considerable
numbers at Canton and elsewhere, knew just enough of it to know
their own ignorance of the vast empire. Hence the Druzes of the
Libanus still hold that part of their nation is in the depths of
the Celestial-Empire.

[FN#242] I am unwilling to alter the old title to "City of Copper"
as it should be; the pure metal having been technologically used
long before the alloy of copper and zinc. But the Maroccan City
(Night dlxvi. et seq.) was of brass (not copper). The Hindus of
Upper India have an Iram which they call Hari Chand's city (Colonel
Tod); and I need hardly mention the Fata Morgana, Island of Saint
Borondon; Cape Fly-away; the Flying Dutchman, etc. etc., all the
effect of "looming."

[FN#243] This sword which makes men invisible and which takes
place of Siegfried's Tarnkappe (invisible cloak) and of
"Fortunatus' cap" is common in Moslem folk-lore. The idea probably
arose from the venerable practice of inscribing the blades with
sentences, verses and magic figures.

[FN#244] Arab. "'Ukáb," in books an eagle (especially black) and
P. N. of constellation but in Pop. usage= a vulture. In Egypt it is
the Neophron Percnopterus (Jerdon) or N. Gingianus (Latham), the
Dijájat Far'aun or Pharaoh's hen. This bird has been known to kill
the Báshah sparrow-hawk (Jerdon i. 60); yet, curious to say, the
reviewers of my "Falconry in the Valley of the Indus" questioned
the fact, known to so many travellers, that the falcon is also
killed by this "tiger of the air," despite the latter's feeble bill
(pp. 35-38). I was faring badly at their hands when the late Mr.
Burckhardt Barker came to the rescue. Falconicide is popularly
attributed, not only to the vulture, but also to the crestless
hawk-eagle (Nisćtus Bonelli) which the Hindus call Morángá=peacock

[FN#245] Here I translate "Nahás"=brass, as the "kumkum"
(cucurbite) is made of mixed metal, not of copper.

[FN#246] Mansur al-Nimrí, a poet of the time and a protégé of
Yahya's son, Al-Fazl.

[FN#247] This was at least four times Mansur's debt.

[FN#248] Intendant of the Palace to Harun al-Rashid. The Bres.
Edit. (vii. 254) begins They tell that there arose full enmity
between Ja'afar Barmecide and a Sahib of Misr" (Wazir or Governor
of Egypt). Lane (ii. 429) quotes to this purpose amongst Arab;
historians Fakhr al-Din. (De Sacy's Chrestomathie Arabe i., p. 26,
edit. ii.)

[FN#249] Arab. "Armaníyah" which Egyptians call after their
mincing fashion "Irminiyeh" hence "Ermine" (Mus Ponticus).
Armaniyah was much more extensive than our Armenia, now degraded to
a mere province of Turkey, and the term is understood to include
the whole of the old Parthian Empire.

[FN#250] Even now each Pasha-governor must keep a "Wakíl" in
Constantinople to intrigue and bribe for him at head-quarters.

[FN#251] The symbol of generosity, of unasked liberality, the
"black hand" being that of niggardness.

[FN#252] Arab. Ráh =pure (and old) wine. Arabs, like our classics,
usually drank their wine tempered. So Imr al-Keys in his Mu'allakah
says, "Bring the well tempered wine that seems to be
saffron-tinctured; and, when water-mixed, o'erbrims the cup." (v.

[FN#253] There is nothing that Orientals relish more than these
"goody-goody" preachments; but they read and forget them as readily
as Westerns.

[FN#254] Lane (ii. 435) ill-advisedly writes "Sher," as "the word
is evidently Persian signifying a Lion." But this is only in the
debased Indian dialect, a Persian, especially a Shirazi, pronounces
"Shír." And this is how it is written in the Bresl. Edit., vii.
262. "Shár" is evidently a fancy name, possibly suggested by the
dynastic name of the Ghurjistan or Georgian Princes.

[FN#255] Again old experience, which has learned at a heavy cost
how many a goodly apple is rotten at the core.

[FN#256] This couplet has occurred in Night xxi. I give Torrens
(p. 206) by way of specimen.

[FN#257] Arab. "Záka" = merely tasting a thing which may be sweet
with a bitter after-flavour

[FN#258] This tetraseich was in Night xxx. with a difference.

[FN#259] The lines have occurred in Night xxx. I quote Torrens, p.

[FN#260] This tetrastich is in Night clxix. I borrow from Lane
(ii. 62).

[FN#261] The rude but effective refrigerator of the desert Arab
who hangs his water-skin to the branch of a tree and allows it to
swing in the wind.

[FN#262] Arab "Khumásiyah" which Lane (ii. 438) renders "of
quinary stature." Usually it means five spans, but here five feet,
showing that the girl was young and still growing. The invoice with
a slave always notes her height in spans measured from ankle-bone
to ear and above seven she loses value as being full grown. Hence
Sudási (fem. Sudásiyah) is a slave six spans high, the Shibr or
full span (9 inches) not the Fitr or short span from thumb to
index. Faut is the interval-between every finger, Ratab between
index and medius, and Atab between medius and annularis.

[FN#263] "Moon faced" now sounds sufficiently absurd to us, but it
was not always so. Solomon (Cant. vi. 10) does not disdain the
image "fair as the moon, clear as the sun," and those who have seen
a moon in the sky of Arabia will thoroughly appreciate it. We find
it amongst the Hindus, the Persians, the Afghans, the Turks and all
the nations of Europe. We have, finally, the grand example of

"Her spacious forehead, like the clearest moon, etc."

[FN#264] Blue eyes have a bad name in Arabia as in India: the
witch Zarká of Al-Yamamah was noted for them; and "blue eyed" often
means "fierce-eyed," alluding to the Greeks and Daylamites,
mortal-enemies to Ishmael. The Arabs say "ruddy of mustachio, blue
of eye and black of heart."

[FN#265] Before explained as used with camphor to fill the dead
man's mouth.

[FN#266] As has been seen, slapping on the neck is equivalent to
our "boxing ears," but much less barbarous and likely to injure the
child. The most insulting blow is that with shoe sandal-or slipper
because it brings foot in contact with head. Of this I have spoken

[FN#267] Arab. "Hibál" (= ropes) alluding to the A'akál-fillet
which binds the Kúfiyah-kerchief on the Badawi's head. (Pilgrimage,
i. 346.)

[FN#268] Arab. "Khiyál"; afterwards called Kara Gyuz (= "black
eyes," from the celebrated Turkish Wazir). The mise-en-scčne was
like that of Punch, but of transparent cloth, lamp lit inside and
showing silhouettes worked by hand. Nothing could be more
Fescenntne than Kara Gyuz, who appeared with a phallus longer than
himself and made all the Consuls-General-periodically complain of
its abuse, while the dialogue, mostly in Turkish, as even more
obscene. Most ingenious were Kara Gyuz's little ways of driving on
an Obstinate donkey and of tackling a huge Anatolian pilgrim. He
mounted the Neddy's back face to tail, and inserting his left thumb
like a clyster, hammered it with his right when the donkey started
at speed. For the huge pilgrim he used a ladder. These shows now
obsolete, used to enliven the Ezbekiyah Gardens every evening and
explain Ovid's Words,

"Delicias videam, Nile jocose, tuas!"

[FN#269] Mohammed (Mishkát al-Masábih ii. 360-62) says, "Change
the whiteness of your hair but not with anything black." Abu Bakr,
who was two years and some months older than the Prophet, used
tincture of Henna and Katam. Old Turkish officers justify black
dyes because these make them look younger and fiercer. Henna stains
white hair orange red; and the Persians apply after it a paste of
indigo leaves, the result is successively leek-green,
emerald-green, bottle-green and lastly lamp-black. There is a stage
in life (the youth of old age) when man uses dyes: presently he
finds that the whole face wants dye; that the contrast between
juvenile coloured hair and ancient skin is ridiculous and that it
is time to wear white.

[FN#270] This prejudice extends all over the East: the Sanskrit
saying is "Kvachit káná bhaveta sádhus" now and then a monocular is
honest. The left eye is the worst and the popular idea is, I have
said, that the damage will come by the injured member

[FN#271] The Arabs say like us, "Short and thick is never quick"
and "Long and thin has little in."

[FN#272] Arab. "Ba'azu layáli," some night when his mistress
failed him.

[FN#273] The fountain in Paradise before noticed.

[FN#274] Before noticed as the Moslem St. Peter (as far as the
keys go).

[FN#275] Arab. "Munkasir" = broken, frail, languishing the only
form of the maladive allowed. Here again we have masculine for
feminine: the eyelids show love-desire, but, etc.

[FN#276] The river of Paradise.

[FN#277] See Night xii. "The Second Kalandar's Tale " vol. i. 113.

[FN#278] Lane (ii. 472) refers for specimens of calligraphy to
Herbin's "Développements, etc." There are many more than seven
styles of writing as I have shown in Night xiii.; vol. i. 129.

[FN#279] Amongst good Moslems this would be a claim upon a man.

[FN#280] These lines have occurred twice already: and first appear
in Night xxii. I have borrowed from Mr. Payne (iv. 46).

[FN#281] Arab. "Ya Nasráni", the address is not intrinsically
slighting but it may easily be made so. I have elsewhere noted that
when Julian (is said to have) exclaimed "Vicisti Nazarene!" he was
probably thinking in Eastern phrase "Nasarta, yá Nasráni!"

[FN#282] Thirst is the strongest of all pleas to an Eastern,
especially to a Persian who never forgets the sufferings of his
Imam, Husayn, at Kerbela: he would hardly withhold it from the
murderer of his father. There is also a Hadis, "Thou shalt not
refuse water to him who thirsteth in the desert."

[FN#283] Arab. "Zimmi" which Lane (ii. 474) aptly translates a
"tributary." The Koran (chaps. ix.) orders Unbelievers to Islamize
or to "pay tribute by right of subjection" (lit. an yadin=out of
hand, an expression much debated). The least tribute is one dinar
per annum which goes to the poor-rate. and for this the Kafir
enjoys protection and almost all the civil rights of Moslems. As it
is a question of "loaves and fishes" there is much to say on the
subject; "loaves and fishes" being the main base and foundation of
all religious establishments.

[FN#284] This tetrastich has before occurred, so I quote Lane (ii.

[FN#285] In Night xxxv. the same occurs with a difference.

[FN#286] The old rite, I repeat, has lost amongst all but the
noblest of Arab tribes the whole of its significance; and the
traveller must be careful how he trusts to the phrase "Nahnu
málihin" we are bound together by the salt.

[FN#287] Arab. "Aláma" = Alá-má = upon what ? wherefore ?

[FN#288] Arab. "Mauz"; hence the Linnean name Musa (paradisiaca,
etc.). The word is explained by Sale (Koran, chaps. xxxvii. 146) as
"a small tree or shrub;" and he would identify it with Jonah's

[FN#289] Lane (ii. 446) "bald wolf or empowered fate," reading
(with Mac.) Kazá for Kattan (cat).

[FN#290] i.e. "the Orthodox in the Faith." Ráshid is a proper
name, witness that scourge of Syria, Ráshid Pasha. Born in 1830, of
the Haji Nazir Agha family, Darrah-Beys of Macedonian Draina, he
was educated in Paris where he learned the usual-hatred of
Europeans: he entered the Egyptian service in 1851, and, presently
exchanging it for the Turkish, became in due time Wali
(Governor-General) of Syria which he plundered most shamelessly.
Recalled in 1872, he eventually entered the Ministry and on June 15
1876, he was shot down, with other villains like himself, by
gallant Captain Hasan, the Circassian (Yarham-hu 'lláh !).

[FN#291] Quoted from a piece of verse, of which more presently.

[FN#292] This tetrastich has occurred before (Night cxciii.). I
quote Lane (ii. 449), who quotes Dryden's Spanish Friar,

"There is a pleasure sure in being mad
Which none but madmen know."

[FN#293] Lane (ii. 449) gives a tradition of the Prophet, "Whoso
is in love, and acteth chastely, and concealeth (his passion) and
dieth, dieth a martyr." Sakar is No. 5 Hell for Magi Guebres,
Parsis, etc., it is used in the comic Persian curse, "Fi'n-nári wa
Sakar al-jadd w'al-pidar"=ln Hell and Sakar his grandfather and
his father.

[FN#294] Arab. "Sifr": I have warned readers that whistling is
considered a kind of devilish speech by the Arabs, especially the
Badawin, and that the traveller must avoid it. It savours of
idolatry: in the Koran we find (chaps. viii. 35), "Their prayer at
the House of God (Ka'abah) is none other than whistling and
hand-clapping;" and tradition says that they whistled through their
fingers. Besides many of the Jinn have only round holes by way of
mouths and their speech is whistling a kind of bird language like
sibilant English.

[FN#295] Arab. 'Kíl wa kál"=lit. "it was said and he said;" a
popular phrase for chit chat, tittle-tattle, prattle and prate,

[FN#296] Arab. "Hadis." comparing it with a tradition of the

[FN#297] Arab. "Mikashshah," the thick part of a midrib of a
palm-frond soaked for some days in water and beaten out till the
fibres separate. It makes an exceedingly hard, although not a
lasting broom.

[FN#298] Persian, "the youth, the brave;" Sansk. Yuván: and Lat.
Juvenis. The Kurd, in tales, is generally a sturdy thief; and in
real-life is little better.

[FN#299] Arab. "Yá Shatir ;" lit. O clever one (in a bad sense).

[FN#300] Lane (ii. 453) has it. "that I may dress thy hair'" etc.
This is Bowdlerising with a witness.

[FN#301] The sign of respect when a personage dismounts.
(Pilgrimage i. 77.)

[FN#302] So the Hindus speak of "the defilement of separation" as
if it were an impurity.

[FN#303] Lane (i. 605) gives a long and instructive note on these
public royal-banquets which were expected from the lieges by Moslem
subjects. The hanging-penalty is, perhaps, a tattle exaggerated;
but we find the same excess in the priestly Gesta Romanorum.

[FN#304] Had he eaten it he would have become her guest. Amongst
the older Badawin it was sufficient to spit upon a man (in
entreaty) to claim his protection: so the horse-thieves when caught
were placed in a hole in the ground covered over with matting to
prevent this happening. Similarly Saladin (Saláh al-Din) the
chivalrous would not order a cup of water for the robber, Reynald
de Châtillon, before putting him to death

[FN#305] Arab. "Kishk" properly "Kashk"=wheat-meal-coarsely ground
and eaten with milk or broth. It is de rigueur with the Egyptian
Copts on the "Friday of Sorrow" (Good Friday): and Lane gives the
recipe for making it (M. E. chaps. xxvi.)

[FN#306] In those days distinctive of Moslems.

[FN#307] The euphemism has before been noticed: the Moslem reader
would not like to pronounce the words "I am a Nazarene." The same
formula occurs a little lower down to save the reciter or reader
from saying "Be my wife divorced," etc.

[FN#308] Arab, "Hájj," a favourite Egyptianism. We are wrong to
write Hajji which an Eastern would pronounce Háj-jí.

[FN#309] This is Cairene "chaff."

[FN#310] Whose shell fits very tight.

[FN#311] His hand was like a raven's because he ate with thumb and
two fingers and it came up with the rice about it like a camel's
hoof in dirty ground. This refers to the proverb (Burckhardt, 756),
"He comes down a crow-claw (small) and comes up a camel-hoof (huge
and round)."

[FN#312] Easterns have a superstitious belief in the powers of
food: I knew a learned man who never sat down to eat without a
ceremonious salam to his meat.

[FN#313] Lane (ii. 464), uses the vile Turkish corruption
"Rustum," which, like its fellow "Rustem," would make a Persian

[FN#314] Arab. "Darrij" i.e. let them slide (Americanicč).

[FN#315] This tetrastich has occurred before: so I quote Mr. Payne
(in loco).

[FN#316] Shaykh of Al-Butnah and Jábiyah, therefore a Syrian of
the Hauran near Damascus and grandson to Isú (Esau). Arab mystics
(unlike the vulgar who see only his patience) recognise that
inflexible integrity which refuses to utter "words of wind" and
which would not, against his conscience, confess to wrong-doing
merely to pacify the Lord who was stronger than himself. The
Classics taught this noble lesson in the case of Prometheus versus
Zeus. Many articles are called after Job e.g. Ra'ará' Ayyub or
Ghubayrá (inula Arabica and undulata), a creeper with which he
rubbed himself and got well: the Copts do the same on "Job's
Wednesday," i.e. that before Whit Sunday O.S. Job's father is a
nickname of the camel, etc. etc.

[FN#317] Lane (in loco) renders "I am of their number." But "fí
al-siyák" means popularly "(driven) to the point of death."

[FN#318] Lit. = "pathway, road"; hence the bridge well known as
"finer than a hair and sharper than a sword," over which all
(except Khadijah and a chosen few) must pass on the Day of Doom; a
Persian apparatus bodily annexed by Al-Islam. The old Guebres
called it Puli Chinávar or Chinávad and the Jews borrowed it from
them as they did all their fancies of a future life against which
Moses had so gallantly fought. It is said that a bridge over the
grisly "brook Kedron" was called Sirát (the road) and hence the
idea, as that of hell-fire from Ge-Hinnom (Gehenna) where children
were passed through the fire to Moloch. A doubtful Hadis says, "The
Prophet declared Al-Sirát to be the name of a bridge over hell-
fire, dividing Hell from Paradise" (pp. 17, 122, Reynold's trans.
of Al-Siyuti's Traditions, etc.). In Koran i. 5, "Sirat" is simply
a path, from sarata, he swallowed, even as the way devours (makes
a lakam or mouthful of) those who travel it. The word was orig.
written with Sín but changed for easier articulation to Sád, one of
the four Hurúf al-Mutabbakát, "the flattened," formed by the
broadened tongue in contact with the palate. This Sad also by the
figure Ishmám (=conversion) turns slightly to a Zá, the
intermediate between Sin and Sad.

[FN#319] The rule in Turkey where catamites rise to the highest
rank: C'est un homme de bonne famille (said a Turkish officer in
Egypt) il a été acheté. Hence "Alfi" (one who costs a thousand) is
a well-known cognomen. The Pasha of the Syrian caravan, with which
I travelled' had been the slave of a slave and he was not a
solitary instance. (Pilgrimage i. 90.)

[FN#320] The device of the banquet is dainty enough for any old
Italian novella; all that now comes is pure Egyptian polissonnerie
speaking to the gallery and being answered by roars of laughter.

[FN#321] i.e. "art thou ceremonially pure and therefore fit for
handling by a great man like myself?"

[FN#322] In past days before Egypt was "frankified" many
overlanders used to wash away the traces of travel by a Turkish
bath which mostly ended in the appearance of a rump wriggling
little lad who offered to shampoo them. Many accepted his offices
without dreaming of his usual-use or misuse.

[FN#323] Arab. "Imám." This is (to a Moslem) a most offensive
comparison between prayer and car. cop.

[FN#324] Arab. "Fi zaman-hi," alluding to a peculiarity highly
prized by Egyptians; the use of the constrictor vaginć muscles, the
sphincter for which Abyssinian women are famous. The "Kabbázah" (
= holder), as she is called, can sit astraddle upon a man and can
provoke the venereal-orgasm, not by wriggling and moving but by
tightening and loosing the male member with the muscles of her
privities, milking it as it were. Consequently the cassenoisette
costs treble the money of other concubines. (Arranga-Ranga, p.

[FN#325] The little eunuchs had evidently studied the Harem.

[FN#326] Lane (ii. 494) relates from Al-Makrizi, that when
Khamárawayh, Governor of Egypt (ninth century), suffered from
insomnia, his physician ordered a pool of quicksilver 50 by 50
cubits, to be laid out in front of his palace, now the Rumaylah
square. "At the corners of the pool were silver pegs, to which were
attached by silver rings strong bands of silk, and a bed of skins,
inflated with air, being thrown upon the pool and secured by the
bands remained in a continual-state of agreeable vacillation." We
are not told that the Prince was thereby salivated like the late
Colonel Sykes when boiling his mercury for thermometric

[FN#327] The name seems now unknown. "Al-Khahí'a" is somewhat
stronger than "Wag," meaning at least a "wicked wit." Properly it
is the Span. "perdido," a youth cast off (Khala') by his friends;
though not so strong a term as "Harfúsh"=a blackguard.

[FN#328] Arab. "Farsakh"=parasang.

[FN#329] Arab. "Nahás asfar"=yellow copper, brass as opposed to
Nahás ahmar=copper The reader who cares to study the subject will
find much about it in my "Book of The Sword," chaps. iv.

[FN#330] Lane (ii. 479) translates one stanza of this mukhammas
(pentastich) and speaks of "five more," which would make six.

[FN#331] A servile name. Delicacy, Elegance.

[FN#332] These verses have occurred twice (Night ix. etc.): so I
give Lane's version (ii. 482).

[FN#333] A Badawi tribe to which belonged the generous Ma'an bin
Za'idab, often mentioned The Nights.

[FN#334] Wealthy harems, I have said, are hot-beds of Sapphism and
Tribadism. Every woman past her first youth has a girl whom she
calls her "Myrtle" (in Damascus). At Agbome, capital-of Dahome, I
found that a troop of women was kept for the use of the "Amazons"
(Mission to Gelele, ii. 73). Amongst the wild Arabs, who ignore
Socratic and Sapphic perversions, the lover is always more jealous
of his beloved's girl-friends than of men rivals. In England we
content ourselves with saying that women corrupt women more than
men do.

[FN#335] The Hebrew Pentateuch; Roll of the Law.

[FN#336] I need hardly notice the brass trays, platters and
table-covers with inscriptions which are familiar to every reader:
those made in the East for foreign markets mostly carry imitation
inscriptions lest infidel eyes fall upon Holy Writ.

[FN#337] These six distichs are in Night xiii. I borrow Torrens
(p. 125) to show his peculiar treatment of spinning out 12 lines to

[FN#338] Arab. "Musámirah"=chatting at night. Easterns are
inordinately fond of the practice and the wild Arabs often sit up
till dawn, talking over the affairs of the tribe, indeed a Shaykh
is expected to do so. "Early to bed and early to rise" is a
civilised, not a savage or a barbarous saying. Samír is a companion
in night talk; Rafík of the road; Rahíb in riding horse or camel,
Ká'id in sitting, Sharíb and Rafís at drink, and Nadím at table:
Ahíd is an ally. and Sharík a partner all on the model of "Fa'íl."

[FN#339] In both lover and beloved the excess of love gave them
this clairvoyance.

[FN#340] The prayer will be granted for the excess (not the
purity) of her love.

[FN#341] This wailing over the Past is one of the common-places of
Badawi poetry. The traveller cannot fail, I repeat, to notice the
chronic melancholy of peoples dwelling under the brightest skies.

[FN#342] Moons=Budúr

[FN#343] in Paradise as a martyr.

[FN#344] i.e. to intercede for me in Heaven; as if the young woman
were the prophet.

[FN#345] The comparison is admirable as the two letters are
written. It occurs in Al-Hariri (Ass. of Ramlah).

"So I embraced him close as Lám cleaves to Alif:"

And again;

"She laid aside reluctance and I embraced her close
As if I were Lam and my love Alif."

The Lomad Olaph in Syriac is similarly colligated.

[FN#346] Here is a double entendre "and the infirm letters (viz.
a, w and y) not subject to accidence, left him." The three make up
the root "Awi"=pitying, condoling.

[FN#347] Showing that consummation had taken place. It was a sign
of good breeding to avoid all "indecent hurry" when going to bed.
In some Moslem countries the bridegroom does not consummate the
marriage for seven nights; out of respect for (1) father (2) mother
(3) brother and so forth. If he hurry matters he will be hooted as
an "impatient man" and the wise will quote, "Man is created of
precipitation" (Koran chaps. xxi. 38), meaning hasty and
inconsiderate. I remark with pleasure that the whole of this tale
is told with commendable delicacy. O si sic omnia!

[FN#348] Pers. "Nauroz"(=nau roz, new day):here used in the Arab.
plur.'Nawáriz, as it lasted six days. There are only four:
universal-festivals; the solstices and the equinoxes; and every
successive religion takes them from the sun and perverts them to
its own private purposes. Lane (ii. 496) derives the venerable
Nauroz whose birth is hid in the outer glooms of antiquity from the
"Jewish Passover"(!)

[FN#349] Again the "babes" of the eyes.

[FN#350] i.e. whose glance is as the light of the glowing braise
or (embers). The Arab. "Mikbás"=pan or pot full of small charcoal,
is an article well known in Italy and Southern Europe. The word is
apparently used here because it rhymes with "Anfás" (souls,

[FN#351] i.e. martyrdom; a Koranic term "fi sabíli 'llahi" = on
the way of Allah

[FN#352] These rhymes in -y, -ee and -ie are purposely affected,
to imitate the cadence of the Arabic.

[FN#353] Arab. "Sujúd," the ceremonial-prostration, touching the
ground with the forehead So in the Old Testament "he bowed (or fell
down) and worshipped" (Gen. xxiv., 26 Mat. ii., 11), of which our
translation gives a wrong idea.

[FN#354] A girl is called "Alfiyyah " = A-shaped.

[FN#355] i.e. the medial-form of m.

[FN#356] i.e. the inverted n.

[FN#357] It may also mean a "Sevigné of pearls."

[FN#358] Koran xxvii. 12. This was one of the nine "signs" to
wicked "Pharaoh." The "hand of Moses" is a symbol of power and
ability (Koran vii. 105). The whiteness was supernatural-beauty,
not leprosy of the Jews (Exod. iv. 6); but brilliancy, after being
born red or black: according to some commentators, Moses was a

[FN#359] Koran iii. 103; the other faces become black. This
explains I have noticed the use of the phrases in blessing and

[FN#360] Here we have the naked legend of the negro's origin, one
of those nursery tales in which the ignorant of Christendom still
believe But the deduction from the fable and the testimony to the
negro's lack of intelligence, though unpleasant to our ignorant
negrophils, are factual-and satisfactory.

[FN#361] Koran, xcii. 1, 2: an oath of Allah to reward and punish
with Heaven and Hell.

[FN#362] Alluding to the "black drop" in the heart: it was taken
from Mohammed's by the Archangel Gabriel. The fable seems to have
arisen from the verse ' Have we not opened thy breast?" (Koran,
chaps. xciv. 1). The popular tale is that Halímah, the Badawi nurse
of Mohammed, of the Banu Sa'ad tribe, once saw her son, also a
child, running towards her and asked him what was the matter. He
answered, 'My little brother was seized by two men in white who
stretched him on the ground and opened his bellyl" For a full
account and deductions see the Rev. Mr. Badger's article,
"Muhammed" (p. 959) in vol. in. "Dictionary of Christian

[FN#363] Arab. "Sumr," lit. brown (as it is afterwards used), but
politely applied to a negro: "Yá Abu Sumrah!" O father of

[FN#364] Arab. 'Lumá"=dark hue of the inner lips admired by the
Arabs and to us suggesting most umpleasant ideas. Mr. Chenery
renders it "dark red,' and "ruddy" altogether missing the idea.

[FN#365] Arab. "Saudá," feminine of aswad (black), and meaning
black bile (melancholia) as opposed to leucocholia,

[FN#366] i.e. the Magians, Sabians, Zoroastrians.

[FN#367] The "Unguinum fulgor" of the Latins who did not forget to
celebrate the shining of the nails although they did not Henna them
like Easterns. Some, however, have suggested that
alludes to colouring matter.

[FN#368] Women with white skins are supposed to be heating and
unwholesome: hence the Hindu Rajahs slept with dark girls in the
hot season.

[FN#369] Moslems sensibly have a cold as well as a hot Hell, the
former called Zamharir (lit. "intense cold")or AI-Barahút, after a
well in Hazramaut; as Gehenna (Arab. "Jahannam") from the
furnace-like ravine East of Jerusalem (Night cccxxv.). The icy Hell
is necessary in terrorem for peoples who inhabit cold regions and
who in a hot Hell only look forward to an eternity of "coals and
candles" gratis. The sensible missionaries preached it in Iceland
till foolishly forbidden by Papal-Bull.

[FN#370] Koran ii. 26; speaking of Abraham when he entertained the
angels unawares.

[FN#371] Arab. "Rakb," usually applied to a fast-going caravan of
dromedary riders (Pilgrimage ii. 329). The "Cafilah" is Arab.:
"Caravan" is a corruption of the Pers. "Karwán."

[FN#372] A popular saying. It is interesting to contrast this
dispute between fat and thin with the Shakespearean humour of
Falstaff and Prince Henry.

[FN#373] Arab. "Dalak" vulg. Hajar al-Hammam (Hammam-stone). The
comparison is very apt: the rasps are of baked clay artificially
roughened (see illustrations in Lane M. E. chaps. xvi.). The rope
is called "Masad," a bristling line of palm-fibre like the coir now
familiarly known in England.

[FN#374] Although the Arab's ideal-of beauty, as has been seen and
said, corresponds with ours the Egyptians (Modern) the Maroccans
and other negrofied races like "walking tun-butts" as Clapperton
called his amorous widow.

[FN#375] Arab. "Khayzar" or "Khayzarán" the rattan-palm. Those who
have seen this most graceful "palmijuncus" in its native forest
will recognize the neatness of the simile.

[FN#376] This is the popular idea of a bushy "veil of nature" in
women: it is always removed by depilatories and vellication. When
Bilkis Queen of Sheba discovered her legs by lifting her robe
(Koran xxvii.), Solomon was minded to marry her, but would not do
so till the devils had by a depilatory removed the hair. The
popular preparation (called Núrah) consists of quicklime 7 parts,
and Zirník or orpiment, 3 parts: it is applied in the Hammam to a
perspiring skin, and it must be washed off immediately the hair is
loosened or it burns and discolours. The rest of the body-pile
(Sha'arat opp. to Sha'ar=hair) is eradicated by applying a mixture
of boiled honey with turpentine or other gum, and rolling it with
the hand till the hair comes off. Men I have said remove the pubes
by shaving, and pluck the hair of the arm-pits, one of the vestiges
of pre-Adamite man. A good depilatory is still a desideratum, the
best perfumers of London and Paris have none which they can
recommend. The reason is plain: the hair bulb can be eradicated
only by destroying the skin.

[FN#377] Koran, ii. 64: referring to the heifer which the Jews
were ordered to sacrifice,

[FN#378] Arab. "kallá," a Koranic term possibly from Kull (all)
and lá (not) =prorsus non-altogether not!

[FN#379] "Habáb" or "Habá," the fine particles of dust, which we
call motes. The Cossid (Arab. "Kásid") is the Anglo-Indian term for
a running courier (mostly under Government), the Persian "Shátir"
and the Guebre Rávand.

[FN#380] Arab. "Sambari" a very long thin lance so called after
Samhar, the maker, or the place of making. See vol. ii. p. 1. It is
supposed to cast, when planted in the ground, a longer shadow in
proportion to its height, than any other thing of the kind.

[FN#381] Arab. "Suláfah ;" properly prisane which flows from the
grapes before pressure. The plur. "Sawálif" also means tresses of
hair and past events: thus there is a "triple entendre." And again
"he" is used for "she."

[FN#382] There is a pun in the last line, "Khálun (a mole)
khallauni" (rid me), etc.

[FN#383] Of old Fustát, afterwards part of Southern Cairo, a
proverbially miserable quarter hence the saying, "They quoted Misr
to Káhirah (Cairo), whereon Bab al-Luk rose with its grass," in
derision of nobodies who push themselves forward. Burckhardt, Prov.

[FN#384] Its fruits are the heads of devils; a true Dantesque
fancy. Koran, chaps. xvii. 62, "the tree cursed in the Koran" and
in chaps. xxxvii., 60, "is this better entertainment, or the tree
of Al-Zakkúm?" Commentators say that it is a thorn bearing a bitter
almond which grows in the Tehamah and was therefore promoted to

[FN#385] Arab. "Lasm" (lathm) as opposed to Bausah or boseh (a
buss) and Kublah (a kiss,

[FN#386] Arab. "Jufún" (plur. of Jafn) which may mean eyebrows or
eyelashes and only the context can determine which.
[FN#387] Very characteristic of Egyptian manners is the man who
loves six girls equally well, who lends them, as it were, to the
Caliph; and who takes back the goods as if in no wise damaged by
the loan.

[FN#388] The moon is masculine possibly by connection with the
Assyrian Lune-god "Sin"; but I can find no cause for the Sun
(Shams) being feminine.

[FN#389] Arab. "Al-Amin," a title of the Prophet. It is usually
held that this proud name "The honest man," was applied by his
fellow-citizens to Mohammed in early life; and that in his
twenty-fifth year, when the Eighth Ka'abah was being built, it
induced the tribes to make him their umpire concerning the
distinction of placing in position the "Black Stone" which Gabriel
had brought from Heaven to be set up as the starting-post for the
seven circuitings. He distributed the honour amongst the clans and
thus gave universal satisfaction. His Christian biographers mostly
omit to record an anecdote which speaks so highly in Mohammed's
favour. (Pilgrimage iii. 192.)

[FN#390] The idea is that Abu Nowas was a thought-reader such
being the prerogative of inspired poets in the East. His
drunkenness and debauchery only added to his power. I have already
noticed that "Allah strike thee dead" (Kátala-k Allah) is like our
phrase "Confound the fellow, how clever he is."

[FN#391] Again said facetiously, "Devil take you!"

[FN#392] In all hot-damp countries it is necessary to clothe dogs,
morning and evening especially: otherwise they soon die of
rheumatism and loin disease.

[FN#393] =Beatrice. A fragment of these lines is in Night cccxv.
See also Night dcclxxxi.

[FN#394] The Moslems borrowed the horrible idea of a "jealous God"
from their kinsmen, the Jews. Every race creates its own Deity
after the fashion of itself: Jehovah is distinctly a Hebrew, the
Christian Theos is originally a Judćo-Greek and Allah a half-Badawi
Arab. In this tale Allah, despotic and unjust, brings a generous
and noble-minded man to beggary, simply because he fed his dogs off
gold plate. Wisdom and morality have their infancy and youth: the
great value of such tales as these is to show and enable us to
measure man's development.

[FN#395] In Trébutien (Lane ii. 501) the merchant says to
ex-Dives, "Thou art wrong in charging Destiny with injustice. If
thou art ignorant of the cause of thy ruin I will acquaint thee
with it. Thou feddest the dogs in dishes of gold and leftest the
poor to die of hunger." A superstition, but intelligible.

[FN#396] Arab. "Sarráf" = a money changer.

[FN#397] Arab. "Birkah," a common feature in the landscapes of
Lower Egypt: it is either a natural-pool left by the overflow of
the Nile; or, as in the text, a built-up tank, like the "Táláb" for
which India is famous. Sundry of these Birkahs are or were in Cairo
itself; and some are mentioned in The Nights.

[FN#398] This sneer at the "military" and the "police" might come
from an English convict's lips.

[FN#399] Lit. "The conquering King;" a dynastic title assumed by
Saláh al-Dín (Saladin) and sundry of the Ayyúbi (Eyoubite)
sovereigns of Egypt, whom I would call the "Soldans."

[FN#400] "Káhirah" (i.e. City of Mars the Planet) is our Cairo:
Bulak is the port suburb on the Nile, till 1858 wholly disjoined
from the City; and Fostat is the outlier popularly called Old
Cairo. The latter term is generally translated "town of leathern
tents;" but in Arabic "fustát" is an abode of Sha'ar=hair, such as
horse-hair, in fact any hair but "Wabar"=soft hair, as the camel's.
See Lane, Lex.

[FN#401] Arab. "Adl"=just: a legal-witness to whose character
there is no tangible objection a prime consideration in Moslem law.
Here "Adl" is evidently used ironically for a hypocritical-rascal

[FN#402] Lane (ii. 503) considers three thousand dinars (the
figure in the Bres. Edit.) "a more probable sum." Possibly: but, I
repeat, exaggeration is one of the many characteristics of The

[FN#403] Calc. Edit. "Kazir:" the word is generally written
"Kazdír," Sansk. Kastira, born probably from the Greek .

[FN#404] This would have passed for a peccadillo in the "good old
days." As late as 1840 the Arnaut soldiers used to "pot" any
peasant who dared to ride (instead of walking) past their barracks.
Life is cheap in hot countries.

[FN#405] Koran, xii. 46 -- a passage expounding the doctrine of
free will: "He who doth right doth it to the advantage of his own
soul; and he who doth evil, doth it against the same; for thy
Lord," etc.

[FN#406] Arab. "Suffah"; whence our Sofa. In Egypt it is a raised
shelf generally of stone, about four feet high and headed with one
or more arches. It is an elaborate variety of the simple "Ták" or
niche, a mere hollow in the thickness of the wall. Both are used
for such articles as basin. ewer and soap; coffee cups, water
bottles etc.

[FN#407] In Upper Egypt (Apollinopolis Parva) pronounced "Goos,"
the Coptic Kos-Birbir, once an emporium of the Arabian trade.

[FN#408] This would appeal strongly to a pious Moslem.

[FN#409] i.e. "the father of a certain person"; here the merchant
whose name may have been Abu'l Hasan, etc. The useful word
(thingumbob, what d'ye call him, donchah, etc.) has been bodily
transferred into Spanish and Portuguese Fulano. It is of old
genealogy, found in the Heb. Fuluní which applies to a person only
in Ruth iv. I, but is constantly so employed by Rabbinic writers.
The Greek use {Greek letters}.

[FN#410] Lit. "by his (i.e. her) hand," etc. Hence Lane (ii. 507)
makes nonsense of the line.

[FN#411] Arab. "Badrah," as has been said, is properly a weight of
10,000 dirhams or drachmas; but popularly used for largesse thrown
to the people at festivals.

[FN#412] Arab. "Allaho A'alam"; (God knows!) here the popular
phrase for our, "I know not;" when it would be rude to say bluntly
"M'adri"= "don't know."

[FN#413] There is a picturesque Moslem idea that good deeds become
incarnate and assume human shapes to cheer the doer in his grave,
to greet him when he enters Paradise and so forth. It was borrowed
from the highly imaginative faith of the Guebre, the Zoroastrian.
On Chinavad or Chanyud-pul (Sirát), the Judgement bridge, 37 rods
(rasan) long, straight and 37 fathoms broad for the good, and
crooked and narrow as sword-edge for the bad, a nymph-like form
will appear to the virtuous and say, "I am the personification of
thy good deeds!" In Hell there will issue from a fetid gale a
gloomy figure with head like a minaret, red eyeballs, hooked nose,
teeth like pillars, spear-like fangs, snaky locks etc. and when
asked who he is he will reply, "I am the personification of thine
evil acts!" (Dabistan i. 285.) The Hindus also personify

[FN#414] Arab. "Banú Israíl;" applied to the Jews when theirs was
the True Faith i.e. before the coming of Jesus, the Messiah, whose
mission completed that of Moses and made it obsolete (Matrúk) even
as the mission of Jesus was completed and abrogated by that of
Mohammed. The term "Yahúd"=Jew is applied scornfully to the Chosen
People after they rejected the Messiah, but as I have said
"Israelite" is used on certain occasions, Jew on others.

[FN#415] Arab. "Kasa'ah," a wooden bowl, a porringer; also applied
to a saucer.

[FN#416] Arab. "Rasúl"=one sent, an angel, an "apostle;" not to be
translated, as by the vulgar, "prophet." Moreover Rasul is higher
than Nabí (prophet), such as Abraham, Isaac, etc., depositaries of
Al-Islam, but with a succession restricted to their own families.
Nabi-mursil (Prophet-apostle) is the highest of all, one sent with
a book: of these are now only four, Moses, David, Jesus and
Mohammed, the writings of the rest having perished. In Al-Islam
also angels rank below men, being only intermediaries (= ,
nuncii, messengers) between the Creator and the Created. This
knowledge once did me a good turn at Harar, not a safe place in
those days. (First Footsteps in East Africa, p. 349.)

[FN#417] A doctor of law in the reign of Al-Maamun.

[FN#418] Here the exclamation is= D.V.; and it may be assumed
generally to have that sense.

[FN#419] Arab. "Taylasán," a turban worn hood-fashion by the
"Khatíb" or preacher. I have sketched it in my Pilgrimage and
described it (iii. 315). Some Orientalists derive Taylasan from
Atlas=satin, which is peculiarly inappropriate. The word is
apparently barbarous and possibly Persian like Kalansuwah, the
Dervish cap. "Thou son of a Taylasán"=a barbarian. (De Sacy,
Chrest. Arab. ii. 269.)

[FN#420] Arab. " Kinyah" vulg. "Kunyat" = patronymic or
matronymic; a name beginning with "Abu" (father) or with "Umm"
(mother). There are so few proper names in Al-Islam that such
surnames, which, as will be seen, are of infinite variety, become
necessary to distinguish individuals. Of these sobriquets I shall
give specimens further on.

[FN#421] "Whoso seeth me in his sleep, seeth me truly; for Satan
cannot assume my semblance," said (or is said to have said)
Mohammed. Hence the vision is true although it comes in early night
and not before dawn. See Lane M. E., chaps. ix.

[FN#422] Arab. "Al-Maukab ;" the day when the pilgrims march out
of the city; it is a holiday for all, high and low.

[FN#423] "The Gate of Salutation ;" at the South-Western corner of
the Mosque where Mohammed is buried. (Pilgrimage ii. 60 and plan.)
Here "Visitation" (Ziyárah) begins.

[FN#424] The tale is told by Al-Isháki in the reign of Al-Maamun.

[FN#425] The speaker in dreams is the Heb. "Waggid," which the
learned and angry Graetz (Geschichte, etc. vol. ix.) absurdly
translates "Traum souffleur."

[FN#426] Tenth Abbaside. A.D. 849-861

[FN#427] Arab. "Muwallad" (fem. "Muwalladah"); a rearling, a slave
born in a Moslem land. The numbers may appear exaggerated, but even
the petty King of Ashanti had, till the last war, 3333 "wives."

[FN#428] The Under-prefect of Baghdad.

[FN#429] "Ja'afar," our old Giaffar (which is painfully like
"Gaffer," i.e. good father) means either a rushing river or a

[FN#430] A regular Fellah's name also that of a village
(Pilgrimage i. 43) where a pleasant story is told about one Haykal.

[FN#431] The "Mountain" means the rocky and uncultivated ground
South of Cairo, such as Jabal-al-Ahmar and the geological-sea-coast
flanked by the old Cairo-Suez highway.

[FN#432] A popular phrase=our "sharp as a razor."

[FN#433] i.e. are men so few; a favourite Persian phrase.

[FN#434] She is a woman of rank who would cause him to be

[FN#435] This is not Al-Hakimbi' Amri'llah the famous or infamous
founder of the Druze ((Durúz)) faith and held by them to be, not an
incarnation of the Godhead, but the Godhead itself in propriâ
personâ, who reigned A.D. 926-1021: our Hakim is the orthodox
Abbaside Caliph of Egypt who dated from two centuries after him
(A.D. 1261). Had the former been meant, it would have thrown back
this part of The Nights to an earlier date than is generally
accepted. But in a place still to come I shall again treat of the

[FN#436] For an account of a similar kind which was told to me
during the last few years see "Midian Revisited," i. 15. These
hiding-places are innumerable in lands of venerable antiquity like
Egypt; and, if there were any contrivance for detecting hidden
treasure, it would make the discoverer many times a millionaire.

[FN#437] i.e. it had been given to him or his in writing, like the
book left to the old woman before quoted in "Midian," etc.

[FN#438] Arab. "Kird" (pron. in Egypt "Gird"). It is usually the
hideous Abyssinian cynocephalus which is tamed by the ape-leader
popularly called Kuraydati (Lane, M.E., chaps. xx.). The beast has
a natural-penchant for women ; I heard of one which attempted to
rape a girl in the public street and was prevented only by a
sentinel's bayonet. They are powerful animals and bite like

[FN#439] Easterns attribute many complaints (such as toothache) to
worms, visible as well as microscopic, which may be held a fair
prolepsis of the "germ-theory" the bacterium. the bacillus, the
microbe. Nymphomania, the disease alluded to in these two tales is
always attributed to worms in the vagina.

[FN#440] Bestiality, very rare in Arabia is fatally common amongst
those most debauched of debauched races, the Egyptian proper and
the Sindis. Hence the Pentateuch, whose object was to breed a
larger population of fighting men, made death the penalty for lying
with a beast (Deut. xxvii. 21). C. S. Sonnini (Travels, English
translation, p. 663) gives a curious account of Fellah lewdness.
"The female crocodile during congress is turned upon her back ( ?)
and cannot rise without difficulty. Will it be believed that there
are men who take advantage of the helpless situation of the female,
drive off the male, and supplant him in this frightful intercourse
? Horrible embraces, the knowledge of which was wanting to complete
the disgusting history of human perversity!" The French traveller
forgets to add the superstitious explanation of this congress which
is the sovereignest charm for rising to rank and riches. The Ajáib
al-Hind tells a tale (chaps. xxxix.) of a certain Mohammed bin
Bullishad who had issue by a she-ape: the young ones were hairless
of body and wore quasi-human faces; and the father's sight had
become dim by his bestial-practice.


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