The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume 2: by John Payne


1.  A.H. 65-86.

2.  i.e. none could approach him in the heat of fight.

3. Sophia.

4. Apparently Palestine (in this case).

5. i.e. man of might and munificence.

6. About 35,000.

7. Dhai ed Dewahi.

8. i.e. sperma hominis.

9. Apparently the names of noted wrestlers.

10. A phrase of frequent occurrence in the Koran, meaning "your female slaves" or "the women ye have captured in war."

11. Quoth he (Solomon), "O chiefs, which of you will bring me her throne?" (i.e. that of Belkis, queen of Sheba) ......."I," said an Afrit of the Jinn, "will bring it thee, ere thou canst rise from thy stead, for I am able thereto and faithful!"--Koran xxvii. 38, 39.

12. One of the fountains of Paradise.

13. Kutheiyir ibn Ali Juma, a well-known poet of the seventh and eighth centuries at Medina. He was celebrated for his love of Azzeh, in whose honour most of his poems were written. The writer (or copyist) of this tale has committed an anachronism in introducing these verses, as Kutheiyir was a contemporary of the Khalif Abdulmelik ben Merwan before whose time Sherkan and his father (both imaginary characters) are stated( see supra, p. 1 {Vol. 2, FN#1}) to have lived; but the whole narrative is full of the grossest anachronisms, too numerous, indeed, to notice.

14.  Jemil ben Mamer, another celebrated Arabian poet and lover, a friend and contemporary of Kutheiyir.

15.  A person who dies for love is esteemed a martyr by the Arabs.

16. I suspect these verses to have been introduced in error by some copyist. They appear utterly meaningless in this context.

17. The bishop.

18. Apparently referring in jest to her speech to him see supra, p. 27 {see text, Vol. 2, after FN#17}), "Thou art beaten in everything."

19. He likens the glance of her eye to the blade of a Yemen sword,--a comparison of frequent occurrence in Arabic poetry.

20. Mehmil. A decorated framework or litter borne by a camel, sent as an emblem of royalty with the caravan of pilgrims to Mecca, by way of honour to the occasion and to the sacred object of the pilgrimage, much as great people send their empty carriages to attend the funeral of a person for whose memory they wish to show their respect. The introduction of the Mehmil here is another of the many anachronisms of the story, as the custom is said not to here come into use till a much later period.

21. Mecca.

22. Medina.

23. Oriental substitutes for soap.

24. i.e., death.

25. Apparently the Bedouin was angry with the merchant for praising the girl to her face and perhaps also alarmed at finding that he had kidnapped a young lady of consequence, where he only thought to have made prize of a pretty wench of humble condition and friendless.

26. Delight of the age.

27. Affliction (or wrath) of the age.

28. For fuel.

29.  "God will open on me another gate (or means) of making my living." A common formula, meaning, "It is not enough."

30. Or state problems.

31. One of the four great Muslim sects or schools of theology, taking its name from the Imam es Shafi (see post, p. 131, note). {see Vol. 2 FN#89}

32. Second of the Abbasside Khalifs, A.H. 136-158.

33. The second Khalif after Mohammed (A.H. 13-23) and the most renowned for piety and just government of all the borders of the office, except perhaps his descendant Omar ben Abdulaziz (A.H. 99-102).

34. As a reward (in the next world) for good deeds.

35. The fourth Khalif.

36. The word rendered "good breeding" may also be translated "polite accomplishments " or "mental discipline" and has a great number of other meanings.

37. Sixth Khalif and founder of the Ommiade dynasty (A.H. 41 60).

38. One of the most notable men of the day, chief of the great tribe of the Benou Temim. He was a contemporary of the Prophet and was held in much esteem by Muawiyeh.

39. Surname of Ahnaf.

40. Governor of Bassora and other places under the first four Khalifs.

41. Ziad teen Abou Sufyan, illegitimate brother of the Khalif Muawiyeh, afterwards governor of Bassora Cufa and the Hejaz.

42. Because it might have been taken to mean, "inhabitants of hell."

43. i.e. death.

44. A battle fought near Medina, A,D. 625, in which Mohammed was defeated by the Meccans under Abou Sufyan.

45. One of Mohammed's widows and Omar's own daughter.

46. A well-known man of letters and theologian of the seventh and eighth centuries.

47. i.e. to prepare himself by good works, etc., for the world to come.

48. A celebrated Cufan theologian of the eighth century.

49. i.e. for the next world.

50. The eighth Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty, a rival in piety and single-mindedness of Omar ben Khettab.

51. The descendants of Umeyyeh and kinsmen of the reigning house.

52. The second, fifth, sixth and seventh Khalifs of the Ommiade dynasty.

53. The mother of Omar ben Abdulaziz was a granddaughter of Omar ben Khettab.

54. Brother of Omar's successor, Yezid II.

55. This passage apparently belongs to the previous account of Omar's death-bed; but I have left it as it stands in the text, as it would be a hopeless task to endeavour to restore this chaos of insipid anecdote and devotional commonplace to anything like symmetry.

56. Lit. with (or by) neither book (i.e. Koran) nor Sunneh (i.e. the Traditions of the Prophet).

57. Chief of the tribe of Temim and one of the most elegant orators of the eighth century.

58. Surnamed Eth Thekefi, Governor of Yemen and Irak: also a well known orator, but a most cruel and fantastic tyrant.

59. Tenth Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty (A.D. 723-742).

60. i.e. slave-girl.

61. i.e. It was decreed, so it was.

62. Nuzhet ez Zeman.

63. Nuzhet ez Zeman.

64. Zoulmekan.

65. Nuzhet ez Zeman.

66. Sedic.

67. Sidc.

68. Mohammed Ibn Shihab ez Zuhri, a celebrated Traditionist and jurisconsult of Medina in the seventh and eighth centuries.

69. Alexander.

70. The celebrated fabulist, said to have been a black slave of the time of David, but supposed by some to be identical with Aesop.

71. Koran iii. 185.

72. One of the Companions of the Prophet.

73. One of the contemporaries of Mohammed and a noted Traditionist (or repeater of the sayings of the Prophet) at Cufa in the seventh century.

74. A noted Traditionist and expounder Of the Koran in the first century of the Muslim era. He was a black and a native of Cufa.

75. Son of the martyr Hussein and grandson of the Khalif Ali.

76.  A very eminent doctor of the law and Traditionist of the eighth century. He was a native of Cufa and was regarded as one of the great exemplars of the true believers.

77. i.e. those who love and obey the precepts of the Koran.

78.  i.e. Barefoot. A native of Merv and a famous ascetic of the eighth and ninth centuries.

79. Necessitating a fresh ablution, before the prayer can be ended.

80. Another noted ascetic of the time.

81. About a penny.

82.  A well-known legist and devotee of the eighth and ninth centuries at Baghdad, Sounder of one of the four great orthodox Muslim schools.

83. A famous theologian and devotee of the eighth century at Bassora.

84. A noted preacher and Traditionist of Khorassan in the ninth, century.

85. Koran .xvi. 6.

86. A Traditionist of Medina. who flourished in the eighth century.

87. This paragraph is part extract from and part paraphrase of the Koran xxviii 22-27.

88. A well-known pietist of the eighth century.

89.  Abou Hatim el Asemm (the Deaf), a famous Balkhi theologian of the ninth century.

90. One of two of the most famous theologians of the second century of the Hegira and the founders of two of the four great Mohammedan schools.

91.  One of two of the most famous theologians of the second century of the Hegira and the founders of two of the four great Mohammedan schools.

92. Ismail ibn Yehya el Muzeni, a famous Egyptian doctor of the law pupil of Es Shafi and Imam of the Shafiyite school in the ninth century.

93. Koran lxxvii. 35, 36.

94. Mohammed.

95. Islam.

96. "In Hell shall they (the unbelievers) burn, and ill shall be (their) stead."--Koran, xiv. 34.

97.  Mohammed pretended that his coming had been foretold in the Gospels and that the Christians had falsified the passage (John xvi. 7) promising the advent of the Comforter ({Greek letters}) by substituting the latter word for <Greek letters>, glorious, renowned, praised, i.e. Mohammed.

98. The second chapter of the Koran, beginning, "This is the Book, etc."

99. It appears by what follows that Afridoun, supposing the victory to be gained, returned to Constantinople immediately after sending this message and left the command of the army to King Herdoub.

100. At Mecca.

101. i.e. There is no god but God.

102. Koran, x. 25.

103. Cassia fistularis, a kind of carob.

104. "say not of those who are slain in the way (service) of God that they are dead; nay, they are living." Koran, ii 149.

105. Apparently Constantinople.

106. This verse alludes to the garbled version of the miracle of Aaron's rod given in the Koran, which attributes the act to Moses and makes the Egyptian sorcerers throw down ropes, to which by their art they give the appearance of serpents.

107. i.e., of the Koran.

108. A certain formula, invoking peace on the Prophet and all men recurring at the end of the five daily prayers and pronounced sitting.

109. ex voto.

110. i.e. Mohammed.

111. "What news bringest thou, O saint?"

112. i.e. Mohammed.

113. These epithets are often applied by the Arabs, in a complimentary sense, to anyone who works great havoc among his enemies by his prowess and cunning.

114. See Vol. I. p. 135, note. {Vol. 1, FN#45}

115. i.e. Deal with thee as if thou wert slave-born and therefore not used to knightly fashions nor able to endure stress of battle.

116. A chapel so called in the Temple at Mecca.

117. Mohammed.

118. Protector of the women that ride therein.

119.  The Mohammedans have a legend that God gave David extraordinary skill in working iron and making chain mail, that he might earn his living without drawing upon the public treasury. "And we gave David a grace from us and softened for him iron (saying), 'Make thou coats of mail and adjust the rings duly and deal rightly, for I look upon what ye do."' --Koran, xxxiv. 10.

120. This appears to be an allusion to the colours of the house of Abbas, which were black.

121. Kafir means "black" as well as "infidel."

122. One of the Mohammedan legends represents Moses as seeking the water of life.

123. The allusion here is to the face of a beloved one, which is likened to a moon rising out of her dress.

124. An ornamental hand, said to be so called from the resemblance of the pen with which it is written to the leaf of the sweet basil.

125.  lit. "the love of the Beni Udhra," an Arabian tribe, famous for the passion and devotion with which love was practiced among them.

126. Syn. eye (nazir).

127. Syn. eyebrow (hajib).

128. i.e. including the two days that had already elapsed.

129. i.e. a graceful youth of the province in which Mecca is situate.

130. A small piece of wood used in a children's out-door game called tab.

131. The stone of the beleh or "green" date, not allowed to ripen.

132. Or drachm-weight.

133. An audacious parody of the consecrated expression used to describe the ceremonious circumambulation of the Kaabeh at Mecca.

134. Subaudiantur autem utriusque sexûs pudenda.

135. Subaudiantur autem utriusque sexûs pudenda.

136. Subaudiatur vas muliebre.

137. The word sac (leg), when used in the oblique case, as it would necessarily be here, makes saki, i.e. cup-bearer. A play upon the double meaning is evidently intended.

138. In the East, bathers pay on leaving the bath.

139. As a styptic.

140. Dunya.

141. Semen hominis.

142. i.e. the rolls of dirt that come off under the bathman's hands.

143. Paradise.

144. The cold room of the bath.

145. The hot room.

146. The door-keeper of hell.

147. The door-keeper of Paradise.

148. i.e. Crown of Kings.

149. An obscure star in the Great Bear.

150. Zibl means "dung" or "sweepings." Can (Khan) means "chief."

151. i.e., Him who fights for the Faith.

152. A town on the Euphrates, on the borders of Syria and Mesopotamia.

153. i.e. recognized him as king by naming him in the public prayers.

154. i.e. the silky whiskers, which it is common, in poetry, to call green likening them to newly-sprouted herbage.

155. i.e. the Day of Judgment.

156. Ironical.

157. i.e. Kanmakan.

158. Meaning, apparently, poisoned.

159. i.e. with a blow worthy of the members of the family of Thaalebeb to which (see post, p. 368 here.) he belonged.

160. i.e. his sister.

161. i.e. benefits.

162. i.e. new moon.