Tales From The Arabic, Footnotes
1. A town of Khoiassan.
2. i.e., he dared not attempt to force her?
3. i.e. her "yes" meant "yes" and her "no" "no."
4. Lit. ignorance.
5. Lit. spoke against her due.
6. i.e. a domed monument.
7. Lit "ignorance," often used in the sense of "forwardness."
8. i.e. my present plight.
9. i.e. ten thousand dinars.
10. A similar story to this, though differing considerably in detail, will be found in my "Book
of the Thousand Nights and One Night," Vol. V. p. 9, The Jewish Cadi and his pions wife.
11. Or divineress (kahinek).
12. i.e. whoredom.
13. Or "scar" (ather).
14. i.e. hearken to.
15. i.e. Persia.
16. i.e. the case with which he earned his living.
17. i.e. the ten thousand dirhems of the bond.
18. i.e. exhorted her to patience.
19. Or performing surgical operations (ilaj).
20. i.e. the open space before his house.
21. Or "drew near unto."
22. i.e. a descendant of Mohammed.
23. Or the art of judging from external appearances (firaseh).
24. Sic in the text; but the passage is apparently corrupt. It is not plain why a rosy
complexion, blue eyes and tallness should be peculiar to women in love. Arab women being
commonly short, swarthy and black eyed, the attributes mentioned appear rather to denote the
foreign origin of the woman; and it is probable, therefore, that this passage has by a copyist's
error, been mixed up with that which related to the signs by which the mock physician recognized
her strangehood, the clause specifying the symptoms of her love lorn condition having been
crowded out in the process, an accident of no infrequent occurrence in the transcription of
25. Yellow was the colour prescribed for the wearing of Jews by the Muslim lawm in
accordance with the decree issued by Khalif Omar ben el Khettab after the taking of Jerusalem in
26. i.e. Sunday.
27. Herais, a species of "risotto," made of pounded wheat or rice and meat in shreds.
28. Lit. "That have passed the night," i.e. are stale and therefore indigestable.
29. i.e. Saturday.
30. i.e. native of Merv.
31. Or "ruined," lit. "destroyed."
32. i.e. native of Rei, a city of Khorassia.
33. The text has khenadic, ditches or valleys; but this is, in all probability, a clerical or
typographical error for fenadic, inns or caravanserais.
34. It is a paramount duty of the Muslim to provide his dead brother in the faith with decent
interment; it is, therefore, a common practice for the family of a poor Arab to solicit contributions
toward the expenses of his burial, nor is the well-to-do true believer safe from imposition of the
kind described in the text.
35. i.e. the recompense in the world to come promised to the performer of a charitable action.
36. i.e. camphor and lote-tree leaves dried and powdered (sometimes mixed with rose-water)
which are strewn over the dead body, before it is wrapped in the shroud. In the case of a man of
wealth, more costly perfumes (such as musk, aloes and ambergris) are used.
37. All the ablutions prescribed by the Mohammedan ritual are avoided by the occurrence,
during the process, of any cause of ceremonial impurity (such as the mentioned in the text) and
must be recommenced.
38. Having handled a corpse, he had become in a state of legal impurity and it beloved him
therefore to make the prescribed ablution.
39. Which he had taken off for the purpose of making abulution. This was reversing the
ordinary course of affairs, the dead man's clothes being the washer's prequisite.
40. i.e. till it was diminished by evaporation to two-thirds of its original volume.
41. The Mohammedan grave is a cell, hollowed out in the sides of a trench and so constructed
as to keep out the earth, that the deceased may be able to sit up and answer the examining angels
when they visit him in the tomb. There was, therefore, nothing improbable in Er Razi's boast that
he could abide two days in the tomb.
42. Nawous, a sort of overground well or turricle of masonry, surmounted by an iron grating,
on which the Gueber's body is placed for devoration by the birds.
43. Munkir [Munker] and Nakir [Nekir] are the two angels that preside at 'the examination of
the tomb.' They visit a man in his grave directly after he has been buried and examine him
concerning his faith; if he acknowledge that there is but one God and that Mohammed is His
prophet [apostle], they suffer him to rest in peace; otherwise they beat him with [red-hot] iron
maces, till he roars so loud[ly] that he is heard by all from east to west, except by man and Ginns
[Jinn]."--Palmer's Koran, Introduction.
44. Lit. the oven (tennour); but this is obviously a mistake for "tombs" (cubour).
45. i.e. as a propitiatory offering on behalf of.
46. i.e. though he remain at thy charge or (as we should say) on thy hands.
47. About twenty-five shillings.
48. About £137 10s.
49. Meaning the sharper.
50. i.e. he asketh nought but that which is reasonable.
51. The strict Muslim is averse from taking an oath, even in support at the truth, and will
sometimes submit to a heavy loss rather than do so. For an instance of this, see my "Book of the
Thousand Nights and One Night," Vol. V. p. 44, The King of the Island.
52. To wit, the merchant and his officious friend.
53. There appears to be some mistake here, but I have no means of rectifying it. The passage
is probably hopelessly corrupt and a portion of the conclusion of the story seems to have dropped
54. i.e. well-guarded, confined in the harem.
55. i.e. an old woman to crafty that she was a calamity to those against whom she plotted.
56. i.e. the amount of the contingent dowry and of the allowance which he was bound to make
her for her support during the four months and some days which must elapse before she could
lawfully marry again.
57. i.e. thou wilt have satisfied us all.
58. With the smoke of burning aloes-wood or other perfume, a common practice among the
Arabs. The aloes-wood is placed upon burning charcoal in a censer perforated with holes, which
is swung towards the person to be fumigated, whose clothes and hair are thus impregnated with
the grateful fragrance of the burning wood. An accident such as that mentioned in the text might
easily happen during the process of fumigation.
59. i.e. by God. The old woman is keeping up her assumption of the character of a devotee by
canting about Divine direction.
60. This is the same story as "The House with the Belvedere." See my "Book of the Thousand
Nights and one Night," Vol. V. p. 323.
61. See note, Vol. I. p. 212. Also my "Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night," Vol. V.
p. 263, The King and his Vizier's wife.
62. Or experienced.
63. i.e. the inhabitants of the island and the sailors?
64. i.e. postponed the fulfilment of his promise.
65. Sic; but apparently a state-prison or place of confinement for notable offenders is meant.
66. Or "getting hold of."
67. Lit. "betrothed."
68. Or "in."
69. i.e. if his appearance be such as to belie the possibility of his being a thief.
70. i.e. people of power and worship.
71. i.e. of wine.
72. i.e. all his former afflictions or (perhaps) all His commandments.
73. i.e. a more venial sin.
74. i.e. I have a proposal to make thee.
75. i.e. he was brought up in my house.
76. i.e. prayed for him by name, as the reigning sovereign, in the Khutbeh, a sort of homily
made up of acts of prayer and praise and of exhortations to the congregation, which forms part of
the Friday prayers. The mention of a newly-appointed sovereign's name in the Khutbeh is
equivalent with the Muslims to a solemn proclamation of his accession.
77. i.e. deprive him of his rank.
78. Or perverted belief, i.e. an infidel.
79. i.e. not God.
80. Or corrupt belief, i.e. that the destinies of mankind were governed by the planets and not
by God alone.
81. i.e. "him who is to me even as mine own soul," to wit, the king.
82. The whole of this story (which is apparently intended as an example of the flowery style
(el bediya) of Arab prose) is terribly corrupt and obscure, and in the absence of a parallel version,
with which to collate it, it is impossible to be sure that the exact sense has been rendered.
83. Breslau Text, vol xi. pp. 321-99, Nights dccccxxx-xl.
84. i.e. the first or Beherite dynasty of the Mameluke Sultans, the founder of which was
originally a Turkish (i.e. Turcoman) slave.
85. Fourth Sultan of the above dynasty.
86. i.e. Palestine (Es Sahil) so styled by the Arabs.
87. Lit. his nightly entertainers, i.e. those whose place it was to entertain him by night with the
relation of stories and anecdotes and the recitation of verses, etc.
88. i.e. the perfect of police.
89. About fifty shillings.
90. i.e. those of the visible and invisible worlds.
91. i.e. of the Sultan's officers of the household. The Sultan's palace and the lodgings of his
chief officers were situate, according to Eastern custom, in the citadel or central fortress of the
92. Lit. [self-]possession (temkin).
93. God forbid!
94. Or strong place.
95. i.e. lest ill-hap betide her and you be held responsible for her.
96. Which was in his custody in his ex-officio capacity of guardian, orphans in Muslim
countries being, by operation of law, wards of the Cadi of their district.
97. Altogether six thousand dinars or about £3000.
98. i.e. except thou give me immediate satisfaction, I will complain of thee to the Sultan.
99. i.e. forgetting all that is enjoined upon the true-believer by the Institutes of the Prophet
(Sunneh) and the Canons (Fers) of the Divine Law, as deduced from the Koran.
100. Lit. red i.e. violent or bloody) death.
101. Lit. the conquered one.
102. i.e. my view of the matter differs from that of the Cadi, but I cannot expect a hearing
against a personage of his rank.
103. And therefore freshly shed.
104. For redness.
105. Or parties.
106. Lit. quench that fire from him.
107. Of Cairo or (quære) the two Egyptian provinces known as Es Sherkiyeh (The Eastward)
and El Gherbiyeh (The Westward).
108. i.e, he was a man of ready wit and presence of mind.
109. Or (in modern slang) "There are good pickings to be had out of this job."
110. Lit "the douceur of the key," i.e. the gratuity which it is customary to give to the porter or
portress on hiring a house or lodging. Cf. the French denier à Dieu, Old English "God's penny."
111. i.e. made the complete ablution prescribed by the Muslim law after copulation.
112. i.e. the round opening made in the ceiling for ventilation.
113. i.e. he who sits on the bench outside the police-office, to attend to emergencies.
114. Lit. witnesses, i.e. those who are qualified by their general respectability and the
blamelessness of their lives, to give evidence in the Mohamedan courts of law.
116. About 50 pounds.
117. Or guardian.
118. Syn. book (kitab).
119. Or made it a legal deed.
120. Lit. assessors.
121. This sentence is almost unintelligible, owing to the corruptness and obscurity of the text;
but the sense appears to be as above.
122. Apparently supposing the draper to have lost it and purposing to require a heavy
indemnity for its loss.
123. Apparently, a cant phrase for "thieve."
124. or disapprove of.
125. This passage is unintelligible; the text is here again, to all appearance, corrupt.
126. i.e. women's tricks?
127. Muslim formula of invitation.
128. i.e. the singers?
129. i.e. easily.
130. Or made a show of renouncing.
131. i.e. strong men (or athletes) armed.
132. Fityan, Arab cant name for thieves.
133. Apparently in a pavillion in some garden or orchard, the usual pleasure of the Arabs.
134. i.e. engaged her to attend an entertainment and paid her her hire in advance.
135. Lit. a [she-]partner, i.e. one who should relieve her, when she was weary of singing, and
accompany her voice on the lute.
136. i.e. they grew ever more heated with drink.
137. Helfeh or helfaa (vulg. Alfa), a kind of coarse, rushy grass (Pos. multiflora), used in the
East as fuel.
138. Lit. "we repented to God, etc, of singing." The practice of music, vocal and instrumental,
is deprecated by the strict Muslim, in accordance with a tradition by which the Prophet is said to
have expressed his disapproval of these arts.
139. i.e. required to find the thief or make good the loss.
140. i.e. the parties aggrieved.
141. Or irrigation-work, usually a bucket-wheel, worked by oxen.
142. Or "came true."
143. i.e. crucify.
144. i.e. a native of the Hauran, a district East of Damascus.
145. i.e. the mysterious speaker.
146. i.e. in the punishment that overtook me.
147. The well-known Arab formula of refusal to a beggar, equivalent to the Spanish
"Perdoneme por amor de Dios, hermano!"
148. i.e. what I could afford.
149. i.e. that of the officers of police.
150. A common Oriental game, something like a rude out-door form of back-gammon, in
which the players who throw certain numbers are dubbed Sultan and Vizier.
151. Lit. milk (leben), possibly a copyist's error for jubn (cheese).
152. i.e. his forbearance in relinquishing his blood-revenge for his brother.
153. In the text, by an evident error, Shehriyar is here made to ask Shehrzad for another story
and she to tell it him.
155. i.e. the mysterious speaker?
156. Apparently some famous saint. The El Hajjaj whose name is familiar to readers of the
Thomsand and One Night (see supra, Vol. I. p. 53, note 2) was anything but a saint, if we may
believe the popular report of him.
157. Breslan Text, vol. xi. pp. 400-473 and vol. xii. pp. 4-50, Nights dccccvli-dcccclvii.
158. The usual meaning of the Arab word anber (pronounced amber) a ambergris, i.e. the
morbid secretion of the sperm-whale; but the context appears to point to amber, i.e. the fossil
resin used for necklaces, etc.; unless, indeed, the allusion of the second hemistich is to ambergris,
as worn, for the sake of the perfume, in amulets or pomanders (Fr. pomme d'ambre) slung about
159. i.e. galena or sulphuret of lead, of which, reduced to powder, alone or in combination with
other ingredients, the well-known cosmetic or eye-powder called kohl consists.
160. See supra, Vol. 1. p. 50, note 2.
161. Or "accomplishments" (adab).
162. Title of the Khalif.
163. i.e. Isaac of Mosul, the greatest of Arab musicians.
164. Elder brother of Jaafer; see my "Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night," Vol. IX.
p. 342 et seq.
165. Yonnus ibn Hebib, a renowned grammarian and philologer of the day, who taught at
Bassora and whose company was much sought after by distinguished men of letters and others.
He was a friend of Isaac of Mosul.
166. Apparently a suburb of Baghdad.
167. i.e. the principal street of Et Taf.
168. Or "elegant."
169. See supra, Vol. I. p. 236, note 1.
171. A passage has apparently dropped out here. The Khalif seems to have gone away without
buying, leaving Ishac behind, whereupon the latter was accosted by another slave-girl, who came
out of a cell in the corridor.
172. Or "have withheld myself."
173. For not selling me?
174. i.e. Tuhfeh the fool. Hemca is the feminine form of ahmec, fool. If by a change in the
(unwritten) vowels, we read Humeca, which is the plural form of ahmec, the title will signify,
"Gift (Tuhfeh) of fools" and would thus represent a jesting alteration of the girl's real name
(Tuhfet el Culoub, Gift of hearts), in allusion to her (from the slave-merchant's point of view)
foolish and vexatious behaviour in refusing to be sold to the first comer, as set out below.
175. Or "folly" (hemakeh).
176. i.e. not every one is lucky enough to be in Ishac's house.
177. Apparently some part of Baghdad adjoining the Tigris. Khanekah means "a convent of
178. Lit. stronger (acwa).
179. The gist of this curious comparison is not very apparent. Perhaps "blander" is meant.
180. About 10s.
181. About a penny; i.e. I have found all my skill in the craft but a trifle in comparison with
182. i.e. thou art what he wants.
183. i.e. the dews of her mouth, commonly compared by Oriental writers to wine and honey.
184. i.e. he died.
185. i.e. if my hand were out for want of practice.
186. i.e. a gift or rarity.
187. Or "rarity" (tuhfeh)
188. i.e. thou didst her not justice.
189. i.e. that set apart for the chief of the concubines.
190. i.e. from the opening made in the ceiling for ventilation. Or the saloon in which she sat
may have been open to the sky, as is not uncommon in the East.
191. Zubeideh was the daughter of Jaafer, son of El Mensour, second Khalif of the house of
Abbas, and was therefore Er Reshid's first cousin. It does not appear why she is called daughter
(bint) of El Casim.
192. Lit. "of those noble steps."
193. So styled by the Muslums, because Abraham is fabled by them to have driven him away
with stones, when he strove to prevent him from sacrificing Ishmael, whom they substitute for
Isaac as the intended victim.
194. i.e. Gift of Breasts. The word "breasts" here is, of course, used (metonymically) for
195. i.e. "He (lit. father) of the hosts of tribes."
196. See post, passim.
197. Lit. witnesses (shawahid).
198. Lit. seas (behar).
199. Afterwards called Zelzeleh; see post, p. 245 et seq.
200. i.e. I cannot look long on them.
201. i.e. change the sir to one less poignant? Or (perhaps) "lower thy voice."
202. i.e. from time immemorial, before the creation of the world. The most minute details of
every man's life in the world are believed by the Mohammedans to have been fore-ordained by
God from all eternity. This belief is summed up in the Koranic saying, "Verily, the commandment
of God is a prevenient decree."
203. No mention is afterward made of any wedding, and the word is, therefore, probably used
here in its implied sense of "festival," "merry-making." I am not, however acquainted with any
instance of this use of the word urs.
204. Or "peewit."
205. i.e. those that led the water to the roots of the trees, after the manner of Eastern
206. One of the seven "Gardens" or stages for the Mohammedan heaven.
207. "God is Most Great!" So called because its pronunciation, after that of the niyeh or intent
(i.e. "I purpose to pray such and such prayers"), prohibits the speaking of any words previous to
208. i.e. those of the five daily prayers (due at daybreak, noon, mid-afternoon, sundown, and
nightfall respectively) which she had been prevented from praying on the previous evening,
through having passed it in carousing with the Jinn. It is incumbent on the strict Muslim to make
up his arrears of prayer in this manner.
209. Lit. skill in physiognomy (firaseh).
210. i.e. the owner of this palace.
211. The Mohammedan rite of ablution, previous to prayer, is a very elaborate and complicated
process, somewhat "scamped" by the ordinary "true-believer." See my "Book of the Thousand
Nights and One Night," Vol. IV. pp. 332-4.
212. i.e. the prayers of nightfall, in addition to those of daybreak.
213. i.e. those of noon, mid-afternoon and sundown.
214. Containing the dessert.
215. i.e. Mohammed, who was passionately fond of flowers and especially of the rose, which is
fabled to have blossomed from his sweat.
216. The Arab name (julnar) of the promegranate is made up of the Persian word for rose (gul)
and the Arabic fire (nar).
217. i.e. Chapters cxiii. and cxiv. of the Koran, respectively known as the Chapter of the [Lord
of the] Daybreak and the Chapter of [The Lord of] Men. These chapters, which it is the habit of
the Muslim to recite as a talisman or preventive against evil, are the last and shortest in the book
and run as follows. Chapter cxiii.--"In the name of the Compassionate, the Merciful! Say [quoth
Gabriel] 'I take refuge with the Lord of the Daybreak from the evil of that which He hath created
and from the evil of the beginning of the night, whenas it invadeth [the world], and from the
mischief of the women who blow on knots (i.e. witches) and from the mischief of the envier,
whenas he envieth.'" Chapter cxiv.--"In the name of God the Compassionate, the Merciful! Say
[quoth Gabriel] 'I take refuge with the Lord of Men, the King of Men, the God of Men, from the
mischief of the stealthy Tempter (i.e. the devil) who whispereth (i.e. insinuateth evil) into the
breasts (hearts) of mankind, from Jinn and men!'" These two chapters are often written on
parchment etc. and worn as an amulet about the person--hence their name.
218. Hieratic title of the Khalif, as foreman (imam) of the people at prayer.
219. i.e. the Jinn that dwell therein. Each house, according to Muslim belief, has its haunter or
220. i.e. yearning.
221. i.e. her return.
222. See ante, p. 229, note 2.
223. "As for him who is of those brought near unto God, [for him shall be] easance and sweet
basil (syn. victual, rihan), and a garden of pleasance."--Koran lvi. 87-8. It will be observed that
this verse is somewhat garbled in the quotation.
224. Meaning apparently, "None of the Jinn may tread these carpets, etc., that thou treadest."
225. i.e. to hold festival.
226. This passage may also be rendered, "And in this I do thee a great favour [and honour thee]
over all the Jinn."
227. Lit. "How loathly is that which yonder genie Meimoun eateth!" But this is evidently a
mistake. See ante, p. 226.
228. Lit. "I have not an eye that availeth to look upon him."
229. i.e. "May I not lack of thy visits!"
230. i.e. "As much again as all thou hast given."
231. The attainment by a boy of the proper age for circumcision, or (so to speak) his religious
majority, in a subject for great rejoicing with the Mohammedans, and the occasion is celebrated by
the giving of as splendid an entertainment as the means of his family will afford, during which he
is displayed to view upon a throne or raised seat, arrayed in the richest and ornaments that can be
found, hired or borrowed for the purpose.
233. Lit. "be equitable therewith unto;" but the meaning appears to be as above.
234. Lit. "places" (mawazi). Quaere "shifts" or "positions."
235. See my "Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night," Vol. VI. p. 226, Isaac of Mosul
and his Mistress and the Devil.
236. i.e. method of playing the lute.
237. i.e. not indigenous?
238. Apparently the residence of King Es Shisban.
239. i.e. all the Jinn's professions of affection to me and promises of protection, etc.
240. i.e. one so crafty that he was a calamity to his enemies, a common Arab phrase used in a
241. i.e. the Flying Lion.
242. i.e. How canst thou feel assured of safety, after that which thou hast done?
243. Or "life" (ruh).
244. Quaere the mountain Cat.
245. i.e. why tarriest thou to make an end of her?
246. i.e. arm.
247. i.e. for length.
248. A fabulous mountain-range, believed by the Arabs to encompass the world and by which
they are supposed to mean the Caucasus.
249. The Anca, phoenix or griffin, is a fabulous bird that figures largely in Persian romance. It
is fabled to have dwelt in the Mountain Caf and to have once carried off a king's daughter on her
wedding-day. It is to this legend that the story-teller appears to refer in the text; but I am not
aware that the princess in question is represented to have been the daughter of Behram Gour, the
well-known King of Persia, who reigned in the first half of the fifth century and was a
contemporary of the Emperors Theodosius the Younger and Honorius.
250. One of the names of God.
251. i.e. thy return.
252. Gift of the Breast (heart).
253. Binat el hawa, lit. daughters of love. This is the ordinary meaning of the phrase; but the
girl in question appears to have been of good repute and the expression, as applied to her, is
probably, therefore, only intended to signify a sprightly, frolicsome damsel.
254. Lit. the forehead, quare the lintel.
255. Or "put to nought"
256. Comparing her body, now hidden in her flowing stresses and now showing through them,
to a sword, as it flashes in and out of its sheath.
257. About £25.
258. About £75.
259. i.e. all defects for which a man is by law entitled to return a slave-girl to her seller.
260. Ed Dilem is the ancient Media. The allusion to its prison or prisons I do not understand.
261. i.e. the complete ablution prescribed by the Mohammedan law after sexual intercourse.
262. It is customary for a newly-married man to entertain his male acquaintances with a
collation on the morning after the wedding.
263. Lit. more striking and cutting.
264. Sherifi, a small gold coin, worth about 6s. 8d.
265. Or "false pretences."
266. Or, as we should say, "the apple."
267. Apparently the Cadi was our claimed to be a seyyid i.e. descendant of Mohammed,
through his daughter Fatmeh.
268. Lit. more ill-omened.
269. i.e. that the law would not allow him to compel the young merchant to divorce his wife.
270. i.e. veil in honour.
271. Lit the fire, i.e. hell.
272. i.e. by an irrevocable divorcement (telacan bainan), to wit, such a divorcement as estops
the husband from taking back his divorced wife, except with her consent and after the execution
of a fresh contract of marriage.