Arabian Nights, Volume 4
[FN#1] The name is indifferently derived from the red sand about the town or the reeds and mud with which it was originally built. It was founded by the Caliph Omar, when the old Capital-Madáin (Ctesiphon) opposite was held unwholesome, on the West bank of the Euphrates, four days' march from Baghdad and has now disappeared. Al-Saffáh, the first Abbaside, made it his Capital--and it became a famous seat of Moslem learning; the Kufi school of Arab Grammarians being as renowned as their opponents, the Basri (of Bassorah). It gave a name to the "Cufic" characters which are, however, of much older date.
[FN#2] "Ni'amat" = a blessing, and the word is perpetually occurring in Moslem conversation, "Ni'amatu'lláh" (as pronounced) is also a favourite P.N. and few Anglo-Indians of the Mutiny date will forget the scandalous disclosures of Munshi Ni'amatu 'llah, who had been sent to England by Nana Sahib. Nu'm = prosperity, good fortune, and a P. N. like the Heb. "Naomi."
[FN#3] i.e. "causing to be prosperous", the name, corrupted by the Turks to "Tevfik," is given to either sex, e.g. Taufik Pasha of Egypt, to whose unprosperous rule and miserable career the signification certainly does not apply.
[FN#4] Lane (ii. 187) alters the two to four years.
[FN#5] i.e. "to Tom, Dick or Harry:" the names like John Doe and Richard Roe are used indefinitely in Arab. Grammar and Syntax. I have noted that Amru is written and pronounced Amr: hence Amru, the Conqueror of Egypt, when told by an astrologer that Jerusalem would be taken only by a trium literarum homo, with three letters in his name sent for the Caliph Omar (Omr), to whom the so-called Holy City at once capitulated. Hence also most probably, the tale of Bhurtpore and the Lord Alligator (Kumbhir), who however did not change from Cotton to Combermore for some time after the successful siege.
[FN#6] BinYúsuf al-Sakafi, a statesman and soldier of the seventh and eighth centuries (A.D.). He was Governor of Al-Hij az and Al-Irak under the fifth and sixth Ommiades, and I have noticed his vigorous rule of the Moslems' Holy Land in my Pilgrimage (iii. 194, etc.). He pulled down the Ka'abah and restored it to the condition in which it now is. Al- Siyuti (p. 219) accuses him of having suborned a man to murder Ibn Omar with a poisoned javelin, and of humiliating the Prophet's companions by "sealing them in the necks and hands," that is he tied a thong upon the neck of each and sealed the knot with lead. In Irak he showed himself equally masterful, but an iron hand was required by the revolutionists of Kufah and Basrah. He behaved like a good Knight in rescuing the Moslem women who called upon his name when taken prisoners by Dahir of Debal (Tathá in Sind). Al-Hajjaj was not the kind of man the Caliph would have chosen for a pander; but the Shi'ahs hates him and have given him a lasting bad name. In the East men respect manly measures, not the hysterical, philanthropic pseudo-humanitarianism of our modern government which is really the cruellest of all. When Ziyád bin Abihi was sent by Caliph Mu'awiyah to reform Bassorah, a den of thieves, he informed the lieges that he intended to rule by the sword and advised all evil-doers to quit the city. The people were forbidden, under pain of teeth, to walk the streets after prayers, on the first night two hundred suffered; on the second five and none afterwards. Compare this with our civilised rule in Egypt where even bands of brigands, a phenomenon perfectly new and unknown to this century, have started up, where crime has doubled in quantity and quality, and where "Christian rule" has thoroughly scandalised a Moslem land.
[FN#7] The old bawd's portrait is admirably drawn: all we dwellers in the East have known her well: she is so and so. Her dress and manners are the same amongst the Hindus (see the hypocritical-female ascetic in the Katha, p. 287) as amongst the Moslems; men of the world at once recognise her and the prudent keep out of her way. She is found in the cities of Southern Europe, ever pious, ever prayerful; and she seems to do her work not so much for profit as for pure or impure enjoyment. In the text her task was easy, as she had to do with a pair of innocents.
[FN#8] Koran, xxv. 70. I give Sale's version.
[FN#9] Easterns, I have observed, have no way of saying "Thank you;" they express it by a blessing or a short prayer. They have a right to your surplus: daily bread is divided, they say and, eating yours, they consider it their own. I have discussed this matter in Pilgrimage i. 75-77, in opposition to those who declare that "gratitude" is unknown to Moslems.
[FN#10] Cufa (Kufah) being a modern place never had a "King," but as the Hindu says, " Delhi is far" it is a far cry to Loch Awe. Here we can hardly understand "Malik" as Governor or Viceroy: can it be syn. with Zú-mál-(moneyed)?
[FN#11] Abd al-Malik has been before mentioned as the "Sweat of a Stone," etc. He died recommending Al-Hajjaj to his son, Al-Walid, and one of his sayings is still remembered. "He who desireth to take a female slave for carnal-enjoyment, let him take a native of Barbary; if he need one for the sake of children, let him have a Persian; and whoso desireth one for service, let him take a Greek." Moderns say, "If you want a brother (in arms) try a Nubian; one to get you wealth an Abyssinian and if you want an ass (for labour) a Sáwahíli, or Zanzibar negroid."
[FN#12] Probably suggested by the history of Antiochus and Stratonice, with an addition of Eastern mystery such as geomancy.
[FN#13] Arab, "Kárúrah": the "water-doctor" has always been an institution in the east and he has lately revived in Europe especially at the German baths and in London.
[FN#14] Lane makes this phrase "O brother of the Persians!" synonymous with "O Persian!" I think it means more, a Persian being generally considered "too clever by half."
[FN#15] The verses deal in untranslatable word-plays upon women's names, Naomi (the blessing) Su'adá or Su'ád (the happy, which Mr. Redhouse, in Ka'ab's Mantle-poem, happily renders Beatrice); and Juml (a sum or total) the two latter, moreover, being here fictitious.
[FN#16] "And he (Jacob) turned from them, and said, 'O how I am grieved for Joseph' And his eyes became white with mourning. ... (Quoth Joseph to his brethren), 'Take this my inner garment and throw it on my father's face and he shall recover his sight.' . . . So, when the messenger of good tidings came (to Jacob) he threw it (the shirt) over his face and he recovered his eye-sight." Koran, xii. 84, 93, 96. The commentators, by way of improvement, assure us that the shirt was that worn by Abraham when thrown into the fire (Koran, chaps. xvi.) by Nimrod (!). We know little concerning "Jacob's daughters" who named the only bridge spanning the upper Jordan, and who have a curious shrine tomb near Jewish "Safe" (North of Tiberias), one of the four "Holy Cities." The Jews ignore these "daughters of Jacob" and travellers neglect them.
[FN#17] Easterns, I have remarked, mostly recognise the artistic truth that the animal-man is handsomer than woman and that "fair sex" is truly only of skin-colour. The same is the general-rule throughout creation, for instance the stallion compared with the mare, the cock with the hen; while there are sundry exceptions such as the Falconidae.
[FN#18] The Badawi (who is nothing if not horsey) compares the gait of a woman who walks well (in Europe rarely seen out of Spain) with the slightly swinging walk of a thoroughbred mare, bending her graceful neck and looking from side to side at objects as she passes.
[FN#19] Li'lláhi (darr') al-káil, a characteristic idiom. "Darr"=giving (rich) milk copiously and the phrase expresses admiration, "To Allah be ascribed (or Allah be praised for) his rich eloquence who said etc. Some Hebraists would render it, "Divinely (well) did he speak who said," etc., holding "Allah" to express a superlative like "Yah" Jah) in Gen. iv. 1; x. 9. Nimrod was a hunter to the person (or presence) of Yah, i.e. mighty hunter.
[FN#20] Hamzah and Abbás were the famous uncles of Mohammed often noticed: Ukayl is not known; possibly it may be Akíl, a son of the fourth Caliph, Ali.
[FN#21] The Eastern ring is rarely plain; and, its use being that of a signet, it is always in intaglio: the Egyptians invented engraving hieroglyphics on wooden stamps for marking bricks and applied the process to the ring. Moses B. C. 1491 (Exod. xxviii. 9) took two onyx-stones, and graved on them the names of the children of Israel. >From this the signet ring was but a step. Herodotus mentions an emerald seal-set in gold, that of Polycrates, the work of Theodorus, son of Telecles the Samian (iii. 141). The Egyptians also were perfectly acquainted with working in cameo (anaglyph) and rilievo, as may be seen in the cavo rilievo of the finest of their hieroglyphs. The Greeks borrowed from them the cameo and applied it to gems (e.g. Tryphon's in the Marlborough collection), and they bequeathed the art to the Romans. We read in a modern book "Cameo means an onyx, and the most famous cameo in the world is the onyx containing the Apotheosis of Augustus." The ring is given in marriage because it was a seal--by which orders were signed (Gen. xxxviii. 18 and Esther iii. 10-12). I may note that the seal-ring of Cheops (Khufu), found in the Greatest Pyramid, was in the possession of my old friend, Doctor Abbott, of Auburn (U.S.), and was sold with his collection. It is the oldest ring in the world, and settles the Cheops-question.
[FN#22] This habit of weeping when friends meet after long parting is customary, I have noted, amongst the American "Indians," the Badawin of the New World; they shed tears thinking of the friends they have lost. Like most primitive people they are ever ready to weep as was Eneas or Shakespeare's saline personage,
This would make a man, a man of salt
To use his eyes for garden waterpots."
(King Lear, iv. 6.)
[FN#23] Here poetical-justice is not done; in most Arab tales the two adulterous Queens would have been put to death.
[FN#24] Pronounce Aladdin Abush-Shámát.
[FN#25] Arab. "Misr," vulg. Masr: a close connection of Misraim the "two Misrs," Egypt, upper and lower.
[FN#26] The Persians still call their Consuls "Shah-bander," lit. king of the Bandar or port.
[FN#27] Arab. "Dukhúl," the night of going in, of seeing the bride unveiled for the first time, etcaetera.
[FN#28] Arab. "Barsh" or "Bars," the commonest kind. In India it is called Ma'jún (=electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or young leaves, buds, capsules and florets of hemp (C. saliva), poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (daiura) with milk and auger-candy, nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the consistency of treacle which hardens when cold. Several-recipes are given by Herklots (Glossary s.v. Majoon). These electuaries are usually prepared with "Charas," or gum of hemp, collected by hand or by passing a blanket over the plant in early morning, and it is highly intoxicating. Another intoxicant is "Sabzi," dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber heed, black pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc. The Hashish of Arabia is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made as follows. Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams black pepper 45 grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each 12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is a preparation of hemp florets, opium and honey, much affected by the lower orders, whence the proverb: "Temper thy sorrow with Zabibah. In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked in the water-pipe. (Burck hardt No. 73.) Besides these there is (1) "Post" poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in sugared sherbets; (2) Datura (stramonium) seed, the produce of the thorn-apple breached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing spectral-visions, delirium tremens, etc., and (3) various preparations of opium especially the "Madad," pills made up with toasted betel-leaf and smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk in the shape of "Kusumba," a pill placed in wet cotton and squeezed in order to strain and clean it of the cowdung and other filth with which it is adulterated.
[FN#29] Arab. "Sikankúr" (Gr. ÓißÕiïl, Lat. Scincus) a lizard (S. officinalis) which, held in the hand, still acts as an aphrodisiac in the East, and which in the Middle Ages was considered a universal-medicine. In the "Adja'ib al-Hind" (Les Merveilles de l'Inde) we find a notice of a bald-headed old man who was compelled to know his wife twice a day and twice a night in consequence of having eaten a certain fish. (Chaps. Ixxviii. of the translation by M. L. Marcel Devic, from a manuscript of the tenth century, Paris Lemaire, 1878.) Europeans deride these prescriptions, but Easterns know better: they affect the fancy, that is the brain, and often succeed in temporarily relieving impotence. The recipes for this evil, which is incurable only when it comes from heart-affections, are innumerable in the East; and about half of every medical-work is devoted to them. Many a quack has made his fortune with a few bottles of tincture of cantharides, and a man who could discover a specific would become a millionaire in India only. The curious reader will consult for specimens the Ananga-Ranga Shastra by Koka Pandit; or the "Rujú 'al-Shaykh ila 'l-Sabáh fi Kuwwati 'l-Báh" (the Return of the Old Man to Youth in power of Procreation) by Ahmad bin Sulaymán known as Ibn Kamál-Báshá, in 139 chapters lithographed at Cairo. Of these aphrodisiacs I shall have more to say.
[FN#30] Alá al-Din (our old friend Aladdin) = Glory of the Faith, a name of which Mohammed who preferred the simplest, like his own, would have highly disapproved. The most grateful names to Allah are Abdallah (Allah's Slave) and Abd al-Rahman (Slave of the Compassionate); the truest are Al-Hárith (the gainer, "bread winner") and Al-Hammám (the griever); and the hatefullest are Al-Harb (witch) and Al-Murrah (bitterness, Abu Murrah being a kunyat or by-name of the Devil). Abu al-Shámát (pronounced Abushshámát)=Father of Moles, concerning which I have already given details. These names ending in -Din (faith) began with the Caliph Al-Muktadi bi-Amri 'llah (regn. A.H. 467= 1075), who entitled his Wazir "Zahír al-Din (Backer or Defender of the Faith) and this gave rise to the practice. It may be observed that the superstition of naming by omens is in no way obsolete.
[FN#31] Meaning that he appeared intoxicated by the pride of his beauty as though it had been strong wine.
[FN#32] i.e. against the evil eye.
[FN#33] Meaning that he had been delicately reared.
[FN#34] A traditional-saying of Mohammed.
[FN#35] So Boccaccio's "Capo bianco" and "Coda verde." (Day iv., Introduct.)
[FN#36] The opening chapter is known as the "Mother of the Book" (as opposed to Yá Sín, the "heart of the Koran"), the "Surat (chapter) of Praise," and the "Surat of repetition" (because twice revealed?) or thanksgiving, or laudation (Ai-Masáni) and by a host of other names for which see Mr. Rodwell who, however, should not write "Fatthah" (p. xxv.) nor "Fathah" (xxvii.). The Fátihah, which is to Al-Islam much what the "Paternoster" is to Christendom, consists of seven verses, in the usual-Saj'a or rhymed prose, and I have rendered it as follows:
In the name of the Compassionating, the Compassionate! * Praise be to Allah who all the Worlds made * The Compassionating, the Compassionate * King of the Day of Faith! * Thee only do we adore and of Thee only do we crave aid * Guide us to the path which is straight * The path of those for whom Thy love is great, not those on whom is hate, nor they that deviate * Amen! O Lord of the World's trine.
My Pilgrimage (i. 285; ii. 78 and passim) will supply instances of its application; how it is recited with open hands to catch the blessing from Heaven and the palms are drawn down the face (Ibid. i. 286), and other details,
[FN#37] i.e. when the evil eye has less effect than upon children. Strangers in Cairo often wonder to see a woman richly dressed leading by the hand a filthy little boy (rarely a girl) in rags, which at home will be changed to cloth of gold.
[FN#38] Arab. "Asídah" flour made consistent by boiling in water with the addition of "Same" clarified butter) and honey: more like pap than custard.
[FN#39] Arab. "Ghábah" = I have explained as a low-lying place where the growth is thickest and consequently animals haunt it during the noon-heats
[FN#40] Arab. "Akkám," one who loads camels and has charge of the luggage. He also corresponds with the modern Mukharrij or camel-hirer (Pilgrimage i. 339), and hence the word Moucre (Moucres) which, first used by La BrocquiPre (A.D. 1432), is still the only term known to the French.
[FN#41] i.e. I am old and can no longer travel.
[FN#42] Taken from Al-Asma'i, the "Romance of Antar," and the episode of the Asafir Camels.
[FN#43] A Mystic of the twelfth century A.D. who founded the Kádirí order (the oldest and chiefest of the four universally recognised), to which I have the honour to belong, teste my diploma (Pilgrimage, Appendix i.). Visitation is still made to his tomb at Baghdad. The Arabs (who have no hard g-letter) alter to "Jílán" the name of his birth-place "Gilan," a tract between the Caspian and the Black Seas.
[FN#44] The well-known Anglo-Indian "Mucuddum ;" lit. "one placed before (or over) others"
[FN#45] Koran xiii. 14.
[FN#46] i.e.. his chastity: this fashion of objecting to infamous proposals is very characteristic: ruder races would use their fists.
[FN#47] Arab. "Ráfizí"=the Shiah (tribe, sect) or Persian schismatics who curse the first three Caliphs: the name is taken from their own saying "Inná rafizná-hum"=verily we have rejected them. The feeling between Sunni (the so-called orthodox) and Shi'ah is much like the Christian love between a Catholic of Cork and a Protestant from the Black North. As Al-Siyuti or any historian will show, this sect became exceedingly powerful under the later Abbaside Caliphs, many of whom conformed to it and adopted its tractices and innovations (as in the Azan or prayer-call), greatly to the scandal-of their co-religionists. Even in the present day the hatred between these representatives of Arab monotheism and Persian Guebrism continues unabated. I have given sundry instances m my Pilgrimage, e.g. how the Persians attempt to pollute the tombs of the Caliphs they abhor.
[FN#48] Arab. "Sakká," the Indian "Bihishtí" (man from Heaven): Each party in a caravan has one or more.
[FN#49] These "Kirámát" or Saints' miracles, which Spiritualists will readily accept, are recorded in vast numbers. Most men have half a dozen to tell, each of his "Pír" or patron, including the Istidráj or prodigy of chastisement. (Dabistan, iii. 274.)
[FN#50] Great granddaughter of the Imam Hasan buried in Cairo and famed for "Kirámát." Her father, governor of Al-Medinah, was imprisoned by Al-Mansur and restored to power by Al-Mahdi. She was married to a son of the Imam Ja'afar al-Sadik and lived a life of devotion in Cairo, dying in A.H. 218=824. The corpse of the Imam al-Shafi'i was carried to her house, now her mosque and mausoleum: it stood in the Darb al-Sabúa which formerly divided Old from New Cairo and is now one of the latter's suburbs. Lane (M. E. chaps. x.) gives her name but little more. The mention of her shows that the writer of the tale or the copyist was a Cairene : Abd al-Kadir is world-known : not so the "Sitt."
[FN#51] Arab. "Farkh akrab" for Ukayrib, a vulgarism.
[FN#52] The usual Egyptian irreverence: he relates his abomination as if it were a Hadis or Tradition of the Prophet with due ascription.
[FN#53] A popular name, dim. of Zubdah cream, fresh butter, "creamkin."
[FN#54] Arab. "Mustahall," "Mustahill' and vulg. "Muhallil" (=one who renders lawful). It means a man hired for the purpose who marries pro forma and after wedding, and bedding with actual-consummation, at once divorces the woman. He is held the reverse of respectable and no wonder. Hence, probably, Mandeville's story of the Islanders who, on the marriage- night, "make another man to lie by their wives, to have their maidenhead, for which they give great hire and much thanks. And there are certain men in every town that serve for no other thing; and they call them cadeberiz, that is to say, the fools of despair, because they believe their occupation is a dangerous one." Burckhardt gives the proverb (No. 79), "A thousand lovers rather than one Mustahall," the latter being generally some ugly fellow picked up in the streets and disgusting to the wife who must permit his embraces.
[FN#55] This is a woman's oath. not used by men.
[FN#56] Pronounced "Yá Sín" (chaps. xxxvi.) the "heart of the Koran" much used for edifying recitation. Some pious Moslems in Egypt repeat it as a Wazifah, or religious task, or as masses for the dead, and all educated men know its 83 versets by rote.
[FN#57] Arab. "Ál-Dáúd"=the family of David, i.e. David himself, a popular idiom. The prophet's recitation of the "Mazámir" (Psalter) worked miracles.
[FN#58] There is a peculiar thickening of the voice in leprosy which at once betrays the hideous disease.
[FN#59] These lines have occurred in Night clxxxiii. I quote Mr. Payne (in loco) by way of variety.
[FN#60] Where the "Juzám" (leprosy, elephantiasis, morbus sacrum, etc. etc.) is supposed first to show: the swelling would alter the shape. Lane (ii. 267) translates "her wrist which was bipartite."
[FN#61] Arab. "Zakariyá" (Zacharias): a play upon the term "Zakar"=the sign of "masculinity." Zacharias, mentioned in the Koran as the educator of the Virgin Mary (chaps. iii.) and repeatedly referred to (chaps. xix. etc.), is a well-known personage amongst Moslems and his church is now the great Cathedral-Mosque of Aleppo.
[FN#62] Arab. " Ark al-Haláwat " = vein of sweetness.
[FN#63] Arab. "Futúh," which may also mean openings, has before occurred.
[FN#64] i.e. four times without withdrawing.
[FN#65] i.e. a correspondence of size, concerning which many rules are given in the Ananga- Rangha Shastra which justly declares that discrepancy breeds matrimonial-troubles.
[FN#66] Arab. "Ghuráb al-Bayn"= raven of the waste or the parting: hence the bird of Odin symbolises separation (which is also called Al-bayn). The Raven (Ghurab = Heb. Oreb and Lat. Corvus, one of the prehistoric words) is supposed to be seen abroad earlier than any other bird; and it is entitled "Abu Zajir," father of omens, because lucky when flying towards the right and v.v. It is opposed in poetry to the (white) pigeon, the emblem of union, peace and happiness. The vulgar declare that when Mohammed hid in the cave the crow kept calling to his pursuers, "Ghár! Ghár!" (cavern, cavern): hence the Prophet condemned him to wear eternal-mourning and ever to repeat the traitorous words. This is the old tale of Coronis and Apollo (Ovid, lib. ii.).
----------" who blacked the raven o'er
And bid him prate in his white plumes no more."
[FN#67] This use of a Turkish title "Efendi" being=our esquire, and inferior to a Bey, is a rank anachronism, probably of the copyist.
[FN#68] Arab. "Samn"=Hind. "Ghi" butter melted, skimmed and allowed to cool.
[FN#69] Arab. "Ya Wadúd," a title of the Almighty: the Mac. Edit. has "O David!"
[FN#70] Arab. "Muwashshahah;" a complicated stanza of which specimens have occurred. Mr. Payne calls it a "ballad," which would be a "Kunyat al-Zidd."
[FN#71] Arab. "Baháim" (plur. of Bahímah=Heb. Behemoth), applied in Egypt especially to cattle. A friend of the "Oppenheim" house, a name the Arabs cannot pronounce was known throughout Cairo as "Jack al-baháim" (of the cows).
[FN#72] Lit. "The father of side-locks," a nickname of one of the Tobba Kings. This "Hasan of: the ringlets" who wore two long pig-tails hanging to his shoulders was the Rochester or Piron of his age: his name is still famous for brilliant wit, extempore verse and the wildest debauchery. D'Herbelot's sketch of his life is very meagre. His poetry has survived to the present day and (unhappily) we shall] hear more of "Abu Nowás." On the subject of these patronymics Lane (Mod. Egypt, chaps. iv.) has a strange remark that "Abu Dáúd i' not the Father of Dáúd or Abu Ali the Father of Ali, but whose Father is (or was) Dáúd or Ali." Here, however, he simply confounds Abu = father of (followed by a genitive), with Abu-h (for Abu-hu) = he, whose father.
[FN#73] Arab. "Samúr," applied in slang language to cats and dogs, hence the witty Egyptians converted Admiral-Seymour (Lord Alcester) into "Samúr."
[FN#74] The home-student of Arabic may take this letter as a model even in the present day; somewhat stiff and old-fashioned, but gentlemanly and courteous.
[FN#75] Arab. "Salím" (not Sé-lim) meaning the "Safe and sound."
[FN#76] Arab. "Haláwah"=sweetmeat, meaning an entertainment such as men give to their friends after sickness or a journey. it is technically called as above, "The Sweetmeat of Safety."
[FN#77] Arab. Salát" which from Allah means mercy, from the Angels intercession and pardon; and from mankind blessing. Concerning the specific effects of blessing the Prophet, see Pilgrimage (ii. 70). The formula is often slurred over when a man is in a hurry to speak: an interrupting friend will say " Bless the Prophet!" and he does so by ejaculating "Sa'am."
[FN#78] Persian, meaning originally a command: it is now applied to a Wazirial-order as opposed to the " Irádah," the Sultan's order.
[FN#79] Arab. " Mashá'ilí" lit. the cresses-bearer who has before appeared as hangman.
[FN#80] Another polite formula for announcing a death.
[FN#81] As he died heirless the property lapsed to the Treasury.
[FN#82]This shaking the kerchief is a signal to disperse and the action suggests its meaning. Thus it is used in an opposite sense to "throwing the kerchief," a pseudo-Oriental practice whose significance is generally understood in Europe.
[FN#83] The body-guard being of two divisions.
[FN#84] Arab. "Hadbá," lit. "hump-backed;" alluding to the Badawi bier; a pole to which the corpse is slung (Lane). It seems to denote the protuberance of the corpse when placed upon the bier which before was flat. The quotation is from Ka'ab's Mantle-Poem (Burdah v . 37), "Every son of a female, long though his safety may be, is a day borne upon a ridged implement," says Mr. Redhouse, explaining the latter as a "bier with a ridged lid." Here we differ: the Janázah with a lid is not a Badawi article: the wildlings use the simplest stretcher; and I would translate the lines,
The son of woman, whatso his career
One day is borne upon the gibbous bier."
[FN#85] This is a high honour to any courtier.
[FN#86] "Khatun" in Turk. means any lady: mistress, etc., and follows the name, e.g. Fátimah Khatun. Habzalam Bazazah is supposed to be a fanciful compound, uncouth as the named; the first word consisting of "Habb" seed, grain; and "Zalam" of Zulm=seed of tyranny. Can it be a travesty of "Absalom" (Ab Salám, father of peace)? Lane (ii. 284) and Payne (iii. 286) prefer Habazlam and Hebezlem.
[FN#87] Or night. A metaphor for rushing into peril.
[FN#88] Plur. of kumkum, cucurbite, gourd-shaped vessel, jar.
[FN#89] A popular exaggeration for a very expert thief.
[FN#90] Arab. "Buka'at Ad-bum": lit. the "low place of blood" (where it stagnates): so Al-Bukáah = CÉlesyria.
[FN#91] That common and very unpleasant phrase, full of egotism and self-esteem, "I told you so," is even more common in the naVve East than in the West. In this case the son's answer is far superior to the mother's question.
[FN#92] In order to keep his oath to the letter.
[FN#93] "Tabannuj; " literally "hemping" (drugging with hemp or henbane) is the equivalent in Arab medicine of our "anFsthetics." These have been used in surgery throughout the East for centuries before ether and chloroform became the fashion in the civilised West.
[FN#94] Arab. "Durká'ah," the lower part of the floor, opposed to the "liwán" or daVs. Liwán =Al- Aywán (Arab. and Pers.) the hall (including the daVs and the sunken parts)
[FN#95] i.e. he would toast it as he would a mistress.
[FN#96] This till very late years was the custom in Persia, and Fath Ali Shah never appeared in scarlet without ordering some horrible cruelties. In Dar-For wearing a red cashmere turban was a sign of wrath and sending a blood red dress to a subject meant that he would be slain.
[FN#97] That is, this robbery was committed in the palace by some one belonging to it. References to vinegar are frequent; that of Egypt being famous in those days. "Optimum et laudatissimum acetum a Romanis habebatur Egyptum" (Facciolati); and possibly it was sweetened: the Gesta (Tale xvii.) mentions "must and vinegar." In Arab Proverbs, One mind by vinegar and another by wine"=each mind goes its own way, (Arab. Prov. . 628); or, "with good and bad," vinegar being spoilt wine.
[FN#98] We have not heard the last of this old "dowsing rod": the latest form of rhabdomancy is an electrical-rod invented in the United States.
[FN#99] This is the procPs verbal always drawn up on such occasions.
[FN#100] The sight of running water makes a Persian long for strong drink as the sight of a fine view makes the Turk feel hungry.
[FN#101] Arab. "Min wahid aduww " a peculiarly Egyptian or rather Cairene phrase.
[FN#102] Al-Danaf=the Distressing Sickness: the title would be Ahmad the Calamity. Al-Zaybak (the Quicksilver)=Mercury Ali Hasan "Shuuman"=a pestilent fellow. We shall meet all these worthies again and again: see the Adventures of Mercury Ali of Cairo, Night dccviii., a sequel to The Rogueries of Dalilah, Night dcxcviii.
[FN#103] For the "Sacrifice-place of Ishmael" (not Isaac) see my Pilgrimage (iii. 306). According to all Arab ideas Ishmael, being the eldest son, was the chief of the family after his father. I have noted that this is the old old quarrel between the Arabs and their cousins the Hebrews.
[FN#104] This black-mail was still paid to the Badawin of Ramlah (Alexandria) till the bombardment in 1881.
[FN#105] The famous Issus of Cilicia, now a port-village on the Gulf of Scanderoon.
[FN#106] Arab. " Wada'á" = the concha veneris, then used as small change.
[FN#107] Arab. "Sakati"=a dealer in "castaway" articles, such es old metal,damaged goods, the pluck and feet of animals, etc.
[FN#108] The popular tale of Burckhardt's death in Cairo was that the names of the three first Caliphs were found written upon his slipper-soles and that he was put to death by decree of the Olema. It is the merest nonsense, as the great traveller died of dysentery in the house of my old friend John Thurburn and was buried outside the Bab al-Nasr of Cairo where his tomb was restored by the late Rogers Bey (Pilgrimage i. 123).
[FN#109] Prob. a mis-spelling for Arslán, in Turk. a lion, and in slang a piastre.
[FN#110] Arab. "Maka'ad ;" lit. = sitting-room.
[FN#111] Arab. "Khammárah "; still the popular term throughout Egypt for a European Hotel. It is not always intended to be insulting but it is, meaning the place where Franks meet to drink forbidden drinks.
[FN#112] A reminiscence of Mohammed who cleansed the Ka'abah of its 360 idols (of which 73 names are given by Freytag, Einleitung, etc. pp. 270, 342-57) by touching them with his staff, whereupon all fell to the ground; and the Prophet cried (Koran xvii. 84), "Truth is come, and falsehood is vanished: verily, falsehood is a thing that vanisheth" (magna est veritas, etc.). Amongst the "idols" are said to have been a statue of Abraham and the horns of the ram sacrificed in lieu of Ishmael, which (if true) would prove conclusively that the Abrahamic legend at Meccah is of ancient date and not a fiction of Al-Islam. Hence, possibly, the respect of the Judaising Tobbas of Hiwyarland for the Ka'abah. (Pilgrimage, iii. 295.)
[FN#113] This was evidently written by a Sunni as the Shí'ahs claim to be the only true Moslems. Lane tells an opposite story (ii. 329). It suggests the common question in the South of Europe, "Are you a Christian or a Protestant?"
[FN#114] Arab. "Ana fí jírat-ak!" a phrase to be remembered as useful in time of danger.
[FN#115] i.e. No Jinni, or Slave of the Jewel, was there to answer.
[FN#116] Arab. "Kunsúl" (pron. "Gunsul") which here means a well-to-do Frank, and shows the modern date of the tale as it stands.
[FN#117] From the Ital. "Capitano." The mention of cannon and other terms in this tale shows that either it was written during the last century or it has been mishandled by copyists.
[FN#118] Arab. "Minínah"; a biscuit of flour and clarified butter.
[FN#119] Arab. "Waybah"; the sixth part of the Ardabb=6 to 7 English gallons.
[FN#120] He speaks in half-jest B la fellah; and reminds us of "Hangman, drive on the cart!"
[FN#121] Yochanan (whom Jehovah has blessed) Jewish for John, is probably a copy of the Chaldean Euahanes, the Oannes of Berosus=Ea Khan, Hea the fish. The Greeks made it Joannes; the Arabs "Yohanná" (contracted to "Hanná," Christian) and "Yábyá" (Moslem). Prester (Priest) John is probably Ung Khan, the historian prince conquered and slain by Janghiz Khan in A.D. 1202. The modern history of "John" is very extensive: there may be a full hundred varieties and derivation' of the name. "Husn Maryam" the beauty (spiritual. etc.) of the B.V.
[FN#122] Primarily being middle-aged; then aid, a patron, servant, etc. Also a tribe of the Jinn usually made synonymous with "Márid," evil controuls, hostile to men: modern spiritualists would regard them as polluted souls not yet purged of their malignity. The text insinuates that they were at home amongst Christians and in Genoa.
[FN#123] Arab. "Sar'a" = epilepsy, falling sickness, of old always confounded with "possession" (by evil spirits) or "obsession."
[FN#124] Again the true old charge of falsifying the so-called "Sacred books." Here the Koran is called "Furkán." Sale (sect. iii.) would assimilate this to the Hebr. "Perek" or "Pirka," denoting a section or portion of Scripture; but Moslems understand it to be the "Book which distinguisheth (faraka, divided) the true from the false." Thus Caliph Omar was entitled "Fárúk" = the Distinguisher (between right and wrong). Lastly, "Furkán," meanings as in Syr. and Ethiop. deliverance, revelation, is applied alike to the Pentateuch and Koran.
[FN#125] Euphemistic for "thou shalt die."
[FN#126] Lit. "From (jugular) vein to vein" (Arab. "Waríd"). Our old friend Lucretius again: "Tantane relligio," etc.
[FN#127] As opposed to the "but" or outer room.
[FN#128] Arab. "Darb al-Asfar" in the old Jamalíyah or Northern part of Cairo.
[FN#129] A noble tribe of Badawin that migrated from Al-Yaman and settled in Al-Najd Their Chief, who died a few years before Mohammed's birth, was Al-Hatim (the "black crow"), a model of Arab manliness and munificence; and although born in the Ignorance he will enter Heaven with the Moslems. Hatim was buried on the hill called Owárid: I have already noted this favourite practice of the wilder Arabs and the affecting idea that the Dead may still look upon his kith and kin. There is not an Arab book nor, indeed, a book upon Arabia which does not contain the name of Hatim: he is mentioned as unpleasantly often as Aristides.
[FN#130] Lord of "Cattle-feet," this King's name is unknown; but the Kámús mentions two Kings called Zu 'l Kalá'a, the Greater and the Less. Lane's Shaykh (ii. 333) opined that the man who demanded Hatim's hospitality was one Abu'l-Khaybari.
[FN#131] The camel's throat, I repeat, is not cut as in the case of other animals, the muscles being too strong: it is slaughtered by the "nahr," i.e. thrusting a knife into the hollow at the commissure of the chest. (Pilgrimage iii. 303.)
[FN#132] Adi became a Moslem and was one of the companions of the Prophet.
[FN#133] A rival-in generosity to Hatim: a Persian poet praising his patron's generosity says that it buried that of Hatim and dimmed that of Ma'an (D'Herbelot). He was a high official-under the last Ommiade, Marwán al-Himár (the "Ass," or the "Century," the duration of Ommiade rule) who was routed and slain in A.H. 132=750. Ma'an continued to serve under the Abbasides and was a favourite with Al-Mansúr. "More generous or bountiful than Ka'ab" is another saying (A. P., i. 325); Ka'ab ibn Mámah was a man who, somewhat like Sir Philip Sidney at Zutphen, gave his own portion of drink while he was dying of thirst to a man who looked wistfully at him, whence the saying "Give drink to thy brother the Námiri" (A. P., i. 608). Ka'ab could not mount, so they put garments over him to scare away the wild beasts and left him in the desert to die. "Scatterer of blessings" (Náshir al-Ni'am) was a title of King Malik of Al-Yaman, son of Sharhabíl, eminent for his liberality. He set up the statue in the Western Desert, inscribed "Nothing behind me," as a warner to others.
[FN#134] Lane (ii. 352) here introduces, between Nights cclxxi. and ccxc., a tale entitled in the Bresl. Edit. (iv. 134) "The Sleeper and the Waker," i.e. the sleeper awakened; and he calls it: The Story of Abu-l-Hasan the Wag. It is interesting and founded upon historical-fact; but it can hardly be introduced here without breaking the sequence of The Nights. I regret this the more as Mr. Alexander J. Cotheal-of New York has most obligingly sent me an addition to the Breslau text (iv. 137) from his MS. But I hope eventually to make use of it.
[FN#135] The first girl calls gold "Titer" (pure, unalloyed metal); the second "Asjad" (gold generally) and the third "Ibríz" (virgin ore, the Greek Ð&kõæïõ). This is a law of Arab rhetoric never to repeat the word except for a purpose and, as the language can produce 1,200,000 (to 100,000 in English) the copiousness is somewhat painful to readers.
[FN#136] Arab. "Shakes" before noticed.
[FN#137] Arab. "Kussá'á"=the curling cucumber: the vegetable is of the cheapest and the poorer classes eat it as "kitchen" with bread.
[FN#138] Arab. "Haram-hu," a double entendre. Here the Barlawi means his Harem the inviolate part of the house; but afterwards he makes it mean the presence of His Honour.
[FN#139] Toledo? this tale was probably known to Washington Irving. The "Land of Roum " here means simply Frank-land as we are afterwards told that its name was Andalusia the old Vandal-land, a term still applied by Arabs to the whole of the Iberian Peninsula.
[FN#140] Arab. "Amáim" (plur. of Imámah) the common word for turband which I prefer to write in the old unclipt fashion. We got it through the Port. Turbante and the old French Tolliban from the (now obsolete) Persian term Dolband=a turband or a sash.
[FN#141] Sixth Ommiade Caliph, A.D. 705-716, from "Tárik" we have "Gibraltar"=Jabal-al-Tárik.
[FN#142] Arab. "Yunán" = Ionia, applied to ancient Greece as "Roum" is to the GrFco-Roman Empire.
[FN#143] Arab. "Bahramáni ;" prob. alluding to the well-known legend of the capture of Somanath (Somnauth) from the Hindus by Mahmud of Ghazni. In the Ajá'ib al-Hind (before quoted) the Brahmins are called Abrahamah.
[FN#144] i.e. "Peace be with thee!"
[FN#145] i.e. in the palace when the hunt was over. The bluntness and plain-speaking of the Badawi, which caused the revelation of the Koranic chapter "Inner Apartments" (No. xlix.) have always been favourite themes with Arab tale-tellers as a contrast with citizen suavity and servility. Moreover the Badawi, besides saying what he thinks, always tells the truth (unless corrupted by commerce with foreigners); and this is a startling contrast with the townsfolk. To ride out of Damascus and have a chat with the Ruwalá is much like being suddenly transferred from amongst the trickiest of Mediterranean people to the bluff society of the Scandinavian North. And the reason why the Turk will never govern the Arab in peace is that the former is always trying to finesse and to succeed by falsehood, when the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth is wanted.
[FN#146] Koran. xvi. 112.
[FN#147] A common and expressive way of rewarding the tongue which "spoke poetry." The Jewels are often pearls.
[FN#148] Ibrahim Abu Ishák bin al-Mahdi, a pretender to the Caliphate of well known wit and a famed musician surnamed from his corpulence "Al-Tannín"=the Dragon or, according to others (Lane ii. 336), "Al-Tin"= the fig. His adventurous history will be found in Ibn Khallikan D'Herbelot and Al-Siyuti.
[FN#149] The Ragha of the Zendavesta, and Rages of the Apocrypha (Tobit, Judith, etc.), the old capital-of Media Proper, and seat of government of Daylam, now a ruin some miles south of Teheran which was built out of its remains. Rayy was founded by Hoshang the primeval-king who first sawed wood, made doors and dug metal. It is called Rayy al- Mahdiyyah because Al-Mahdi held his court there. Harun al-Rashid was also born in it (A.H. 145). It is mentioned by a host of authors and names one of the Makamat of Al-Hariri.
[FN#150] Human blood being especially impure.
[FN#151] Jones, Brown and Robinson.
[FN#152] Arab. "Kumm ," the Moslem sleeve is mostly (like his trousers) of ample dimensions and easily converted into a kind of carpet-bag by depositing small articles in the middle and gathering up the edge in the hand. In this way carried the weight would be less irksome than hanging to the waist. The English of Queen Anne's day had regular sleeve-pockets for memoranda, etc., hence the saying, to have in one's sleeve.
[FN#153] Arab. "Khuff" worn under the "Bábúg" (a corruption of the Persian pá-push=feet-covers, papooshes, slippers). [Lane M. E. chaps. i.]
[FN#154] Done in hot weather throughout the city, a dry line for camels being left in mid-street to prevent the awkward beasts slipping. The watering of the Cairo streets of late years has been excessive; they are now lines of mud in summer as well as in winter and the effluvia from the droppings of animals have, combined with other causes, seriously deteriorated the once charming climate. The only place in Lower Egypt, which has preserved the atmosphere of 1850, is Suez.
[FN#155] Arab. Hurák: burnt rag, serving as tinder for flint and steel, is a common styptic.
[FN#156] Of this worthy, something has been said and there will be more in a future page.
[FN#157] i.e. the person entitled to exact the blood-wite.
[FN#158] Al-Maamum was a man of sense with all his fanaticism One of his sayings is preserved "Odious is contentiousness in Kings, more odious vexation in judges uncomprehending a case; yet more odious is shallowness of doctors in religions and most odious are avarice in the rich, idleness in youth, jesting in age and cowardice in the soldier."
[FN#159] The second couplet is not in the Mac. Edit. but Lane's Shaykh has supplied it (ii. 339)
[FN#160] Adam's loins, the "Day of Alast," and the Imam (who stands before the people in prayer) have been explained. The "Seventh Imam" here is Al-Maamun, the seventh Abbaside the Ommiades being, as usual, ignored.
[FN#161] He sinned only for the pleasure of being pardoned, which is poetical-and hardly practical-or probable.
[FN#162] The Katá (sand-grouse) always enters into Arab poetry because it is essentially a desert bird, and here the comparison is good because it lays its eggs in the waste far from water which it must drink morning and evening. Its cry is interpreted "man sakat, salam" (silent and safe), but it does not practice that precept, for it is usually betrayed by its piping " Kata! Kata!" Hence the proverb, "More veracious than the sand-grouse," and "speak not falsely, for the Kata sayeth sooth," is Komayt's saying. It is an emblem of swiftness: when the brigand poet Shanfara boasts, "The ash-coloured Katas can drink only my leavings, after hastening all night to slake their thirst in the morning," it is a hyperbole boasting of his speed. In Sind it is called the "rock pigeon" and it is not unlike a grey partridge when on the wing.
[FN#163] Joseph to his brethren, Koran, xii. 92, when he gives them his "inner garment" to throw over his father's face.
[FN#164] Arab. "Hajjám"=a cupper who scarifies forehead and legs, a bleeder, a (blood-) sucker. The slang use of the term is to thrash, lick, wallop. (Burckhardt. Prov. 34.)
[FN#165] The Bresl. Edit. (vii. 171-174) entitles this tale, "Story of Shaddád bin Ad and the City of Iram the Columned ;" but it relates chiefly to the building by the King of the First Adites who, being promised a future Paradise by Prophet Húd, impiously said that he would lay out one in this world. It also quotes Ka'ab al-Ahbár as an authority for declaring that the tale is in the "Pentateuch of Moses." Iram was in al-Yaman near Adan (our Aden) a square of ten parasangs (or leagues each= 18,000 feet) every way, 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 ArabiF Emporium, as Pliny does his Massola. They border upon the HomeritF 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 exploration.
[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 Marinus.
[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 Christians.
[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. ôõnäõ, in Pliny typhon, whirlwind, a giant (TyphÉus) 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 ôõnäõ. "
[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 places.
[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 al-Rashid.
[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;