The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night, Volume 6: by John Payne


1.  Es sulmeh, a popular name for the officers of the civil power, as opposed to the religious, alone acknowledged by all Muslims.

2. It need hardly be remarked that "pilgrim" [i.e. one who has made the pilgrimage to Mecca] is a title of honour among the Muslims.

 A customary practice in confirmation of an agreement.

See note, Vol. II. p. 127. {see Vol. 2, FN#82}

One of the chief of the Kings of the Jinn.

Rissoled mutton.

i.e. we look upon their visit as a blessing.

The port of Mecca.

 The point of this verse is an untranslatable play upon the double meaning of the word kheliyeh, which signifies "beehive" and is also the feminine of the word kheliy "empty."

10. i.e. wonderful.

11. By reason of its darkness.

12. i.e. stranger.

13. See note, Vol. II, p. 1. {see Vol. 2, FN#2}

14. This is a poetical exaggeration, not intended to be taken literally, and means merely tall strong men or "Amalekites," which latter name is often given by the Arabs to a doughty and large-limbed man of war.

15. It is hardly necessary to remind the reader that the Bedouin idea of wealth is limited to flocks and cattle. Hence the figure used.

16. Quære Aad. See post.

17. Islam.

18. i.e. There is no god, etc.

19.  So called because it is the result of a graft upon an almond-tree. It s kernel is sweet and it has a special delicacy of flavour, attributed by the Arabs to the Graft. See Russell's Natural History of Aleppo, p. 21.

20. So called from the flavour of its kernel.

21. Apparently Ctesiphon, the ancient dual capital of the Chosroes, situate on the Tigris below Baghdad. The place is elsewhere spoken of as "The Cities," a circumstance which confirms this supposition, Medain or Medain Kisra (the cities of Chosroes) being the Arabic name of Ctesiphon.

22. Koran vi. 103.

23. Quære, another form of throwing the handkerchief."

24. i.e. a mighty man of war.

25. i.e. the Brainer.

26. Es Shera, a mountainous tract in Arabia, infested with lions.

27. Fire (nar) is feminine in Arabic.

28. The Destroyer.

29. i.e. his reason was confounded at its beauty.

30. i.e. Fekhr Taj, who had been promised him in marriage. See supra, p. 76. Here.

31. A town in Persian Irak.

32. A town of Turkestan.

33. A town of Armenia.

34. A decorated part of the southern portico of the Prophet's Mosque, situate between his tomb and his pulpit and so called from his saying, "Between my tomb and my pulpit is a garden of the gardens of Paradise."

i.e. descendant of one of those citizens of Medina who succoured the Prophet at the time of his flight from Mecca.

In Medina.

Two men of the tribe of Anezeh went forth to gather mimosa-fruit and never returned; hence the proverb.

Semaweh (hod. Semeva), a place on the left bank of the Euphrates, about midway between Cufa and Bassora.

39. El Hejjaj's family name was Eth Thekifi or descendant of Thekif.

40. Seventh Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty, A.D. 715-717.

The overflowing [in bounty].

i.e. A repairer of the slips of the noble, an evasive answer meant to put Khuzeimeh off the scent of his benefactor's identity by making him believe that this was the latter's real name, a deception easy to practise among the Arabs, whose names all have a manifest meaning.

In token of deputation of authority, a ceremony usual on the appointment of a viceroy.

The capital of Mesopotamia, a town on the Tigris about midway between Mosul and Diarbekir.

In Palestine.

46. About 1250.

Eleventh Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty, A.D. 743-744.

Thirty thousand dirhems or about 750.

6th February, 743.

16th April, 744, by the rebels in the interest of his cousin and successor, Yezid III.

51. The tent of the chief of the tribe stands in the midst of the encampment and is higher than the rest.

52. One of the most celebrated of Er Reshid's court poets. See note, Vol. IV. p. 8. {see Vol. 4, FN#6}

Alif (), Ha () and Waw (), the first, twenty-seventh and twenty-sixth letters of the Arabic alphabet.

Alif (), Ha () and Waw (), the first, twenty-seventh and twenty-sixth letters of the Arabic alphabet.

Alif (), Ha () and Waw (), the first, twenty-seventh and twenty-sixth letters of the Arabic alphabet.

56. El Liwa, a beautiful valley of Arabia frequently referred to by the poets.

i.e. Father of Bitterness, a name for the Devil.

58. See note, Vol. II. p. 25. {see Vol. 2, FN#14} The introduction here of Jemil is an anachronism, as he died many years before Er Reshid's birth.

Apparently the branch of a tree.

Or verdant tract of country.

61. Governor of Medina under Muawiyeh and afterwards [AD 683-4] fourth Khalif of the Ommiade dynasty.

62. Abou Ali el Hussein surnamed El Khelia [the Wag] on account of his gay and licentious humour, a well-known poet of the Court of the early Abbaside Khalifs. He was a native of Bassora and a boon-companion of Abou Nuwas; but his introduction here is an anachronism as he did not make his appearance at court till the succeeding reign, that of Er Reshid's son El Amin.

63. Governor of Bassora, but not in El Hussien's time.

64. A place near Bassora.

65. A quarter of Bassora.

66. Senaa, capital of the Arabian province of Yemin.

67. i.e. she had no power to avert that which was fated to betide her.

68. Third Khalif of the Abbaside dynasty [A.D. 775-785] and father of Haroum er Reshid.

69. A well-known valley near Medina.

70. i.e. the murder of Jaafer and massacre of his kinsmen by the "good" Haroun er Reshid.

71. See Vol. IV. p.116, note. {see Vol. 4, FN#55}

72. i.e. Ill of the Way

73.  The beautiful damsels who guard enchanted treasures, such as that of Es Shemerdel (see here), are called by the Arabs, "brides of the treasure."

74. i.e. by contact with a person in a state of legal impurity.

75. i.e. herself.

76. ex voto.

77. The colocasia is a kind of edible arum and (like the other species of its family) bears both male and female flowers on one spathe.

78.  See Vol. III. p. 179, notes 2 and 3 {see Vol. 3, FN#52, FN#53}, where sycamore fruit is referred to, instead of promegranates; but the meaning is the same.

79. The wearing of gold and silk is held reprehensible by the strict Muslim.

80. i.e. on account of his beauty. See Vol. III. p. 255, note. {see Vol. 3, FN#89}

81. i.e. even were my eyes blue or diseased.

82. Or barrack.

83. i.e. the lex talionis.

84. Nonsense-words, strung together for the sake of the jangle of rhyme, between the words sebib (raisins), hebib (beloved) and lebib (man of sense). The water-carrier was apparently selling nebis or raisin wine, as a flavouring for his water.

85. El Khanekeh.

86. So as to fix it in the handle and prevent it shutting up, when used to strike with.

87. Apparently because of the fear in which the people of the city held the notorious rascal and swashbuckler whom Er Reshid had made town-captain of Baghdad.

88. i.e. the sister's son of Zeyneb the Trickstress; see supra, p. 236 {see here.}

89. Emissio seminis, even involuntary, entails total ablution upon a Muslim.

90. i.e. one who gratuitously meddles in matters that concern him not; a popular saying similar in character to the well-known verses, "They who in quarrels interpose, Must often wipe a bloody nose."

91. Leben, sic in all the texts; probably a copyist's mistake for tebn (straw).

92. i.e. on her wedding-night.

93. i.e. Mohammed.

94. Artaxerxes.

95. i.e. semen hominis.

96. Koran xii. 31. (Said of Joseph.)

97. Naai el maut, the person who announces any one's death to the friends and relations of the deceased and invites them to the funeral.

98. i.e. the Vizier.

99. i.e. her hair.

100. i.e. her eyes.