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Supplemental Nights, Volume 4 by Richard F. Burton

Part 6 out of 7

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scymitar brandished over the head of the young student and
expecting only the royal order to strike his neck. So Abu Niyyah
salam'd to him and said, "O King of the Age, release yonder youth
from under the sword and send him to thy prison, for if I avail
to laying the Spirit and driving him from thy daughter thou shalt
have mercy upon yonder wight, and if I fail thou wilt shorten by
the head me as well as him." Hereupon the King let unbind the
youth and sent him to jail; then he said to Abu Niyyah, "Wouldst
thou go at once to my daughter and unspell her from the Jinni?"
But the other replied, "No, O King, not until Meeting-day[FN#408]
at what time the folk are engaged in congregational prayers."
Now when Abu Niyyah had appointed the Friday, the King set apart
for his guest an apartment and rationed him with liberal
rations.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased to say her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister mine, and how
enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where is this
compared with that I should relate to you on the coming night an
the King suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the next night
and that was

The Four Hundredth and Seventy-seventh Night

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Abu Niyyah
having appointed the Sultan for Meeting-day, when he would
ensorcel the Princess, waited till the morning dawned. Then he
went forth to the Bazar and brought him a somewhat of
wormwood[FN#409] for a silvern Nusf and brought it back, and, as
soon as the time of congregational prayers came, the Sultan went
forth to his devotions and gave orders that Abu Niyyah be
admitted to his daughter whilst the folk were busy at their
devotions. Abu Niyyah repaired to his patient, and scattered the
Absinthium beneath the soles of her feet, when, lo, and behold!
she was made whole, and she groaned and cried aloud, "Where am
I?" Hereat the mother rejoiced and whoso were in the Palace;
and, as the Sultan returned from the Mosque, he found his
daughter sitting sane and sound, after they had dressed her and
perfumed her and adorned her, and she met him with glee and
gladness. So the two embraced and their joy increased, and the
father fell to giving alms and scattering moneys amongst the
Fakirs and the miserable and the widows and orphans, in gratitude
for his daughter's recovery. Moreover he also released the
student youth and largessed him, and bade him gang his gait.
After this the King summoned Abu Niyyah into the presence and
said to him, "O young man, ask a boon first of Allah and then of
me and let it be everything thou wishest and wantest." Quoth the
other, "I require of thee to wife the damsel from whom I drove
away the Spirit," and the King turning to his Minster said,
"Counsel me, O Wazir." Quoth the other, "Put him off until the
morrow;" and quoth the Sultan, "O youth, come back to me hither
on the morning of the next day." Hereupon Abu Niyyah was
dismissed the presence, and betimes on the day appointed he came
to the Sultan and found the Wazir beside him hending in hand a
gem whose like was not to be found amongst the Kings. Then he
set it before the Sultan and said to him, "Show it to the Youth
and say to him, 'The dowry of the Princess, my daughter, is a
jewel like unto this.'" But whilst Abu Niyyah was standing
between his hands the King showed him the gem and repeated to him
the words of the Wazir, thinking to himself that it was a pretext
for refusing the youth, and saying in his mind, "He will never be
able to produce aught like that which the Wazir has brought."
Hereupon Abu Niyyah asked, "An so be I bring thee ten equal to
this, wilt thou give me the damsel?" and the King answered, "I
will." The youth went from him when this was agreed upon and
fared to the Market Street, where he bought him a white cock in
its tenth month, such as had been described by the 'Ifrit, whose
plume had not a trace of black or red feathers but was of the
purest white. Then he fared without the town and in the
direction of the setting sun until he came to the Azure Column,
which he found exactly as he had heard it from the Jinni, and
going to it, he cut the throat of the cock thereupon, when all of
a sudden the earth gaped and therein appeared a chamber full of
jewels sized as ostrich eggs. That being the Hoard, he went
forth and brought with him ten camels, each bearing two large
sacks, and returning to the treasure-room, he filled all of these
bags with gems and loaded them upon the beasts. Presently he
entered to the Sultan with his string of ten camels and, causing
them to kneel in the court-yard of the Divan, cried to him, "Come
down, O King of the Age, and take the dowry of thy daughter." So
the Sultan turned towards him and, looking at the ten camels,
exclaimed, "By Allah, this youth is Jinn-mad; yet will I go down
to see him." Accordingly he descended the staircase to the place
where the camels had been made to kneel, and when the sacks had
been unloaded and as the King came amongst them, the bags were
opened and were found full of jewels greater and more glorious
than the one was with him. Hereupon the Sultan was perplext and
his wits were bewildered, and he cried to the Wazir, "Walla-hi!
I think that all the Kings of the Earth in its length and its
breadth have not one single gem the like of these: but say me how
shall I act, O Wazir?" The Minister replied, "Give him the
girl."--And Shahrazad was surprised by the dawn of day and fell
silent and ceased saying her permitted say. Then quoth her
sister Dunyazad, "How sweet and tasteful is thy tale, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where
is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming
night, an the King suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Seventy-ninth Night

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that the Wazir
said to the King, "Give him the girl." Hereupon the marriage-tie
was tied and the bridegroom was led in to the bride, and either
rejoiced mightily in his mate,[FN#410] and was increased their
joy and destroyed was all annoy. Now Abu Niyyah was a favourite
of Fortune, so the Sultan appointed him the government during
three days of every week, and he continued ruling after that
fashion for a while of time. But one day of the days, as he was
sitting in his pleasaunce, suddenly the man Abu Niyyatayn passed
before him leaning on a palm-stick, and crying, "O ye beneficent,
O ye folk of good!" When Abu Niyyah beheld him he said to his
Chamberlain, "Hither with yonder man;" and as soon as he was
brought he bade them lead him to the Hammam and dress him in a
new habit. They did his bidding and set the beggar before his
whilome comrade who said to him, "Dost thou know me?" "No, O my
lord," said the other; and he, "I am thy companion of old whom
thou wouldst have left to die in the well; but I, by Allah, never
changed my intent, and all that I own in this world I will give
unto thee half thereof." And they sat in converse for a while of
time, until at last the Double-minded one, "Whence camest thou by
all this?" and quoth he, "From the well wherein thou threwest
me." Hereupon from the excess of his envy and malice Abu
Niyyatayn said to Abu Niyyah, "I also will go down that well and
what to thee was given the same shall be given to me." Then he
left him and went forth from him, and he ceased not faring until
he made the place. Presently he descended, and having reached
the bottom, there sat until the hour of nightfall, when behold!
the two 'Ifrits came and, taking seat by the well-mouth, salam'd
each to other. But they had no force nor contrivance and both
were as weaklings; so said one of them, "What is thy case, O my
brother, and how is thy health?" and said the other, "Ah me, O my
brother, since the hour that that I was with thee in this place
on such a night, I have been cast out of the Sultan's daughter,
and until this tide I have been unable to approach her or indeed
at any other time." Said his comrade, "I also am like thee, for
the Hoard hath forth from me, and I have waxed feeble."[FN#411]
then cried the twain, "By Allah, the origin of our losses is from
this well, so let us block it up with stones." Hereupon the
twain arose and brought with them crumbling earth and
pebbles,[FN#412] and threw it down the well when it fell upon Abu
Niyyatayn, and his bones were crushed upon his flesh.[FN#413] now
his comrade, Abu Niyyah, sat expecting him to return, but he came
not, so he cried, "Wallahi! needs must I go and look for him in
yonder well and see what he is doing." So he took horse and
fared thither and found the pit filled up; so he knew and was
certified that his comrade's intent had been evil, and had cast
him into the hands of death.--And Shahrazad was surprised by the
dawn of day and fell silent and ceased to say her permitted say.
Then quoth her sister Dunyazad, "How sweet is thy story, O sister
mine, and how enjoyable and delectable!" Quoth she, "And where
is this compared with that I should relate to you on the coming
night, an the Sovran suffer me to survive?" Now when it was the
next night and that was

The Four Hundred and Eightieth Night

Dunyazad said to her, "Allah upon thee, O my sister, an thou be
other than sleepy, finish for us thy tale that we may cut short
the watching of this our latter night!" She replied, "With love
and good will!" It hath reached me, O auspicious King, the
director, the right-guiding, lord of the rede which is benefiting
and of deeds fair-seeming and worthy celebrating, that Abu Niyyah
knew and was certified of his comrade Abu Niyyatayn being dead,
so he cried aloud, "There is no Majesty and there is no Might
save in Allah the Glorious, the Great. O Allah mine, do thou
deliver me from envy, for that it destroyeth the envier and haply
jealousy may lead to frowardness against the Lord (glorified be
His Glory!);" and so saying he returned to the seat of his
kingdom. Now the Sultan's daughter his spouse had two sisters,
both married,[FN#414] and she after the delay of a year or so
proved with child, but when her tale of days was told and her
delivery was nearhand her father fell sick and his malady grew
upon him. So he summoned the Lords of his court and his kingdom
one and all, and he said, "In very deed this my son-in-law shall
after my decease become my successor;" and he wrote a writ to
that purport and devised to him the realm and the reign before
his demise; nor was there long delay ere the old King departed to
the ruth of Allah and they buried him. Hereupon trouble arose
between his two other sons-in-law who had married the Princesses
and said they, "We were connected with him ere this man was and
we are before him in our claim to the kingdom." Thereupon said
the Wazir, "This rede is other than right, for that the old King
before his decease devised his country to this one and also write
it in his will and testament: here therefor ye are opposing him,
and the result will be trouble and repentance." And when the
Minister spoke on such wise they kept to their houses. Presently
the wife of Abu Niyyah bare him a babe, her two sisters being
present at her accouchement; and they gave to the midwife an
hundred gold pieces and agreed upon what was to be done. So when
the babe was born they put in his place a pup and taking the
infant away sent it by a slave-girl who exposed it at the gate of
the royal garden. Then they said and spread abroad, "Verily, the
Sultan's wife hath been delivered of a doglet," and when the
tidings came to Abu Niyyah's ears he exclaimed, "Verily this also
is a creation of Allah Almighty's:" so they clothed the pup and
tended it with all care. Anon the wife became pregnant a second
time and when her days were fulfilled she bare a second babe
which was the fairest of its time and the sisters did with it as
they had done with the first and taking the infant they exposed
him at the door of the garden. Then they brought to the mother
another dog-pup in lieu of her babe, saying, "Verily the Queen
hath been delivered a second time of a doglet." Now in this wise
it fared with them: but as regards the two infants which were
cast away at the garden gate the first was taken up by the
Gardener whose wife, by decree of the Decreer, had become a
mother on that very same night; so the man carried away the
infant he found exposed and brought the foundling home and the
woman fell to suckling it. After the third year the Gardener
went forth one day of the days and happening upon the second
infant in similar case he bore it also back to his wife who began
to suckle it and wash it and tend it and nurse it, till the twain
grew up and entered into their third and fourth years. The
Sultan had in the meantime been keeping the two pups which he
deemed to have been brought forth by his wife until the Queen
became in the family-way for the third time. Hereupon the Sultan
said, "By Allah, 'tis not possible but that I be present at and
witness her accouchement;" and the while she was bringing forth
he sat beside her. So she was delivered of a girl-child, in whom
the father rejoiced with great joy and bade bring for her wet-
nurses who suckled her for two years until the milk time was
past.[FN#415] This girl grew up till she reached the age of four
years and she could distinguish between her mother and her father
who, whenever he went to the royal garden would take her with
him. But when she beheld the Gardener's two boys she became
familiar with them and would play with them; and, as each day
ended, her father would carry her away from the children and lead
her home, and this parting was grievous to her and she wept right
sore. Hereat the Sultan would take also the boys with her until
sleep prevailed over her, after which he would send the twain
back to their sire the Gardener. But Abu Niyyah the Sultan would
ever wonder at the boys and would exclaim, "Praise be to Allah,
how beautiful are these dark-skinned children!" This endured
until one day of the days when the King entered into the garden
and there found that the two beautiful boys[FN#416] had taken
some clay and were working it into the figures of horses and
saddles and weapons of war and were opening the ground and making
a water-leat;[FN#417] so the Sultan wondered thereat time after
time for that he ever found them in similar case. And he
marvelled the more because whenever he looked upon them his heart
was opened to both and he yearned to the twain and he would give
them some gold pieces although he knew not the cause of his
affection. Now one day he entered the garden, and he came upon
the two boys of whom one was saying, "I am the Sultan!" and the
other declaring, "I am the Wazir!" He wondered at their words
and forthwith summoned the Gardener and asked him concerning the
lads, and lastly quoth he to him, "Say me sooth and fear naught
from me." Quoth the other, "By Allah, O King of the Age, albe
falsehood be saving, yet is soothfastness more saving and most
saving; and indeed as regards these children the elder was found
by me exposed at the gateway of the royal garden on such a night
of such a year, and I came upon the second in the very same
place; so I carried them to my wife who suckled them and tended
them and they say to her, 'O mother,' and they say to me, 'O
father.'" Hereupon Abu Niyyah the King returned home and
summoning the midwife asked her, saying, "By the virtue of my
predecessors in this kingdom, do thou tell me the truth
concerning my spouse, whether or no she was delivered of two dog-
pups," and she answered, "No, by Allah, O King of the Age, verily
the Queen bare thee two babes like full moons and the cause of
their exposure before the garden gate was thy wife's two sisters
who envied her and did with her these deeds whereof she was not
aware."[FN#418] hereupon cried Abu Niyyah, "Alhamdolillah--Glory
be to God who hat brought about this good to me and hath united
me with my children, and soothfast is the say, 'Whoso doeth an
action shall be requited of his Lord and the envious wight hath
no delight and of his envy he shall win naught save
despight.'"[FN#419] Then the King of Mosul, being a man of good
intent, did not put to death his wife's sisters and their
husbands, but banished them his realm, and he lived happily with
his Queen and children until such time as the Destroyer of
delights and the Severer of societies came to him and he deceased
to the mercy of Almighty Allah.


Appendix A.


The reader will not understand this allusion (Foreword, p. ix.)
without some connaissance de cause. I would apologise for
deforming the beautiful serenity and restfulness of The Nights by
personal matter of a tone so jarring and so discordant a sound,
the chatter and squabble of European correspondence and
contention; but the only course assigned to me perforce is that
of perfect publicity. The first part of the following papers
appeared by the editor's kindness in "The Academy" of November
13, 1886. How strange the contrast of "doings" with "sayings," if
we compare the speech reported to have been delivered by Mr.
Librarian Nicholson at the opening of the Birmingham Free Public
Central Lending and Reference Libraries, on June 1, 1882:--

"As for the Bodleian, I claim your sympathies, not merely because
we are trying to do as much for our readers as you are for yours,
but because, if the building which you have opened to-day is the
newest free public library in the world, the building which I
left earlier in the morning is the oldest free public library in
the world. (No!) I call it a free public library because any
Birmingham artizan who came to us with a trustworthy
recommendation might ask to have the rarest gem in our collection
placed before him, and need have no fear of asking in vain; and
because, if a trusty Birmingham worker wanted the loan of a MS.
for three months, it would be lent to the Central Free Library
for his use." See Twentieth and Twenty-first Annual Reports of
the Free Libraries Committee (Borough of Birmingham), 1883.

And now to my story. The play opens with the following letter:--

No. I.

Sept. 13, 1886.


"I have the honour to solicit your assistance in the following

"Our friend Dr. Steingass has kindly consented to collaborate
with me in re-translating from the Wortley Montague MS. of the
Bodleian Library, Oxford, the tales originally translated in vol.
vi. of Dr. Jonathan Scott's 'Arabian Nights.' Dr. Steingass
cannot leave town, and I should find it very inconvenient to live
at Oxford during the work, both of us having engagements in
London. It would be a boon to us if the Curators of the Bodleian
would allow the MS. to be transferred, volume by volume, to the
India Office, and remain under the custody of the Chief
Librarian--yourself. The whole consists of seven volumes, as we
would begin with vols. iii. and iv. I may note that the
translated tales (as may be seen by Scott's version) contain
nothing indelicate or immoral; in fact the whole MS. is
exceptionally pure. Moreover, the MS., as far as I can learn, is
never used at Oxford. I am the more anxious about this matter as
the November fogs will presently drive me from England, and I
want to end the extracts ere winter sets in, which can be done
only by the co-operation of Dr. Steingass.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Yours obediently,

Chief Librarian, India Office."

As nearly a month had elapsed without my receiving any reply, I
directed the following to the Vice-Chancellor of the University,
Rev. Dr. Bellamy:--

No. II.

Oct. 13, 1886.


"I have the honour to submit to you the following details:--

"On September 13, 1886, I wrote to Dr. Rost, Chief Librarian,
India Office, an official letter requesting him to apply to the
Curators of the Bodleian Library, Oxford, for the temporary
transfer of an Arabic Manuscript, No. 522 (the Wortley Montague
text of the Arabian Nights) to the library of the India Office,
there to be kept under special charge of the Chief Librarian.
There being seven volumes, I wanted only one or two at a time. I
undertook not to keep them long, and, further, I pledged myself
not to translate tales that might be deemed offensive to

"Thus, I did not apply for a personal loan of the MS. which,
indeed, I should refuse on account of the responsibility which it
would involve. I applied for the safe and temporary transfer of a
work, volume by volume, from one public library to another.

"My official letter was forwarded at once by Dr. Rost, but this
was the only expeditious step. On Saturday, September 25, the
Curators could form no quorum; the same thing took place on
Saturday, October 9; and there is a prospect that the same will
take place on Saturday, October 23.

"I am acquainted with many of the public libraries of Europe, but
I know of none that would throw such obstacles in the way of

"The best authorities inform me that until June, 1886, the
signatures of two Curators enabled a student to borrow a book or
a manuscript; but that since June a meeting of three Curators has
been required; and that a lesser number does not form a quorum.

"May I be permitted to suggest that the statute upon the subject
of borrowing books and manuscripts urgently calls for revision?

I have the honour to be, sir,

Yours obediently,


The Curators presently met and the following was the highly
unsatisfactory result which speaks little for "Bodleian" kindness
or courtesy:--

No. III.

Monday, Nov. 1, 1886.


"The Curators considered your application on Saturday, Oct. 30,
afternoon, and the majority of them were unwilling to lend the

Yours very truly,

Learning through a private source that my case had been made an
unpleasant exception to a long-standing rule of precedent, and
furthermore that it had been rendered peculiarly invidious by an
act of special favour,[FN#421] I again addressed the
Vice-Chancellor, as follows:--

No. IV.

November 3rd, 1886.


"I have the honour to remind you that, on October 13, I
communicated with you officially requesting a temporary transfer
of the Wortley Montague manuscript (Arabian Nights) from the
Bodleian Library to the personal care of the Librarian, India

"To this letter I received no reply. But on November 1, I was
informed by Mr. Librarian Nicholson that the Curators had
considered my application on Saturday, October 30, and that the
majority of them were unwilling to lend the manuscript.

"The same Curators at the same meeting allowed sundry manuscripts
for the use of an Indian subject to be sent to the India Office.

"I cannot but protest against this invidious proceeding, and I
would willingly learn what cause underlies it.

"1. It cannot be the importance of the manuscript, which is one
of the meanest known to me--written in a schoolmaster character,
a most erroneous, uncorrected text, and valuable only for a few
new tales.

"2. It cannot be any consideration of public morals, for I
undertook (if the loan were granted) not to translate tales which
might be considered offensive to strict propriety.

"3. It cannot be its requirement for local use. The manuscript
stands on an upper shelf in the manuscript room, and not one man
in the whole so-called 'University' can read it.

I have the honour to be, sir,

Yours obediently,


In due time came the reply:--

No. V.

November 6th, 1886.

"Dear Sir,

"I will remove from your mind the belief that I treated your
former letter with discourtesy.

"I may say, that it did not appear to me to contain any question
or request which I could answer. You informed me that you had
made formal application in September for a loan of MSS., and your
letter was to complain of the delay in considering this request.
You told me that you had learned from the Librarian the cause of
the delay (the want of a quorum), and that he had intimated that
there would probably be no meeting formed before October 30th.

"You complained of this, and suggested that the statute
regulating the lending of the Bodleian books should be speedily

"As I had no power to make a quorum, nor to engage that your
suggestion should be adopted; and as your letter made no demand
for any further information, I thought it best to reserve it for
the meeting of the 30th, when I communicated it to the Curators.

"I will lay the letter (dated November 3rd), with which you have
favoured me, before the next meeting of the Curators.

I beg to remain,

Yours faithfully,
(Signed) J. BELLAMY."


To resume this part of the subject.

The following dates show that I was kept waiting six weeks before
being finally favoured with the curtest of refusals:

Application made on September 13th, and sent on.

On Saturday, September 25th, Curators could not form quorum, and
deferred next meeting till Saturday, October 9th.

Saturday, October 9th. Again no quorum; and yet it might easily
have been formed, as three Curators were on or close to the spot.

Saturday, October 23rd. Six Curators met and did nothing.

Saturday, October 30th. Curators met and refused me the loan of

My letter addressed to the Vice-Chancellor was read, and notice
was given for Saturday (December 3rd, 1886) of a motion, "That
the MS. required by Sir R. F. Burton be lent to him"--and I was
not to be informed of the matter unless the move were successful.
Of course it failed. One of the Curators (who are the delegates
and servants of Convocation) was mortally offended by my letter
to "The Academy," and showed the normal smallness of the official
mind by opposing me simply because I told the truth concerning
the laches of his "learned body."

Meanwhile I had addressed the following note to the Most
Honourable the Chancellor of the University.[FN#422]

November 30th, 1886.


"I deeply regret that the peculiar proceedings of the Bodleian
Library, Oxford, necessitate a reference to a higher authority
with the view of eliciting some explanation.

"The correspondence which has passed between the Curators of the
Bodleian Library and myself will be found in the accompanying
printed paper.

"Here it may be noticed that the Committee of the Orientalist
Congress, Vienna, is preparing to memorialise H.M.'s Secretary of
State, praying that Parliament will empower the British Museum to
lend out Oriental MSS. under proper guarantees. The same measure
had been proposed at the Leyden Congress of 1883; and thus an
extension, rather than a contraction of the loan-system has found
favour with European savants.[FN#423]

"I believe, my Lord, that a new statute upon the subject of the
Bodleian loans of books and MSS. is confessedly required, and
that it awaits only the initiative of the Chancellor of the
University, without whose approval it cannot be passed.

I have, &c.,


My object being only publicity I was not disappointed by the
following reply:--

December 1st, 1886.


"I beg to acknowledge your letter of the 30th of November with

"I have, however, no power over the Bodleian Library, and,
therefore, I am unable to assist you.

Yours, very truly,
(Signed) SALISBURY."


On January 29, 1887, there was another "Bodleian Meeting," all
the Curators save one being present and showing evident symptoms
of business. The last application on the list of loans entered on
the Agenda paper ran thus:--

V MS. Bodl. Vols. 550-556 to the British Museum (the 7 vols.
successively) for the use of Mr. F. F. Arbuthnot's Agent.

[The MS. lately refused to Sir R. Burton. Mr. Arbuthnot wishes to
have it copied.]

It was at once removed by the Regius Professor of Divinity (Dr.
Ince) and carried nem. con. that, until the whole question of
lending Bodleian books and MSS. then before Council, be
definitely settled, no applications be entertained; and thus
Professor Van Helton, Bernard Kolbach and Mr. Arbuthnot were
doomed, like myself, to be disappointed.

On January 31, 1887, a hebdomadal Council was called to
deliberate about a new lending statute for submission to
Convocation; and an amendment was printed in the "Oxford
University Gazette." It proposed that the Curators by a vote of
two-thirds of their body, and at least six forming a quorum,
might lend books or MSS. to students, whether graduates or not;
subject, when the loans were of special value, to the consent of
Convocation. Presently the matter was discussed in "The Times"
(January 25th; April 28th; and May 31st), which simply re-echoed
the contention of Mr. Chandler's vigorous pamphlets.[FN#424]
Despite the letters of its correspondent "F. M. M." (May 6th,
1887), a "host in himself," who ought to have added the authority
of his name to the sensible measures which he propounded, the
leading journal took a sentimental view of "Bodley's incomparable
library" and strongly advocated its being relegated to
comparative inutility.

On May 31, 1887, an amendment practically forbidding all loans
came before the House. In vain Professor Freeman declared that a
book is not an idol but a tool which must wear out sooner or
later. To no purpose Bodley's Librarian proved that of 460,000
printed volumes in the collection only 460 had been lent out, and
of these only one had been lost. THE AMENDMENT FORBIDDING THE

Personally I am not dissatisfied with this proceeding. It is
retrograde legislation befitting the days when books were chained
to the desks. It suffers from a fatal symptom--the weakness of
extreme measures. And the inevitable result in the near future
will be a strong reaction: Convocation will presently be
compelled to adopt some palliation for the evil created by its
own folly.

The next move added meanness to inertness. I do not blame Mr. E.
B. Nicholson, Bodley's Librarian, because he probably had orders
to write the following choice specimen:



"I have received two vols. of four (read six) 'Supplemental
Nights' with a subscription form. If a Bodleian MS. is to be
copied for any volume, I must stipulate that that volume be
supplied to us gratis. Either my leave or that of the Curators is
required for the purpose of copying for publication, and I have
no doubt that they would make the same stipulation. I feel sure
you would in any case not propose to charge us for such a volume,
but until I hear from you I am in a difficulty as to how to reply
to the subscription form I have received.

Yours faithfully,
(Signed) E. B. NICHOLSON,

The able and energetic papers, two printed and one published by
Mr. H. W. Chandler, of Pembroke College, Oxford, clearly prove
the following facts:--

1. That on June 20, 1610, a Bodleian Statute peremptorily forbade
any books or manuscripts being taken out of the Library.

2. That, despite the peremptory and categorical forbiddance by
Bodley, Selden, and others, of lending Bodleian books and MSS.,
loans of both have for upwards of two centuries formed a

3. That Bodley's Statute (June 20th, An. 1610) was formally and
officially abrogated by Convocation on May 22nd, 1856;
Convocation retaining the right to lend.

4. That a "privileged list" of (113) borrowers presently arose
and is spoken of as a normal practice:--sicut mos fuit, says the
Statute (Tit. xx. iii. § 11) of 1873; and, lastly,

5. That loans of MSS. and printed books have for years been
authorised to approved public libraries.

After these premises I proceed to notice other points bearing
upon the subject which, curious to say, are utterly neglected or
rather ignored by Mr. Chandler and "The Times." Sir Thomas Bodley
never would have condemned students to study in the Bodleian had
he known the peines fortes et dures to which in these days they
are thereby doomed. "So picturesque and so peculiar is its
construction," says a writer, "that it ensures the maximum of
inefficiency and discomfort." The whole building is a model of
what a library ought not to be. It is at once over solid and
ricketty: room for the storage of books is wanted, and its wooden
staircases, like touchwood or tinder, give one the shudders to
think of fire. True, matches and naked lights are forbidden in
the building; but all know how these prohibitions are regarded by
the public, and it is dreadful to think of what might result from
a lucifer dropped at dark upon the time-rotten planks. The
reading public in the XIXth century must content itself with
boxes or stalls, like those of an old-fashioned tavern or
coffee-house of the humbler sort wherein two readers can hardly
find room for sitting back to back. The atmosphere is unpleasant
and these mean little cribs, often unduly crowded, are so dark
that after the 1st October the reading-room must be closed at 3
p.m. What a contrast are the treasures in the Bodleian with their
mean and miserable surroundings and the way in which the public
is allowed to enjoy them. The whole establishment calls urgently
for reform. Accommodation for the books is wanted; floor and
walls will hardly bear the weight which grows every year at an
alarming ratio--witness the Novel-room. The model Bodleian would
be a building detached and isolated, the better to guard its
priceless contents, and containing at least double the area of
the present old and obsolete Bibliotheca. An establishment of the
kind was proposed in 1857; but unfortunately, the united wisdom
of the University preferred new "Examination Schools" for which
the old half-ruinous pile would have been sufficiently well
fitted. The "Schools," however, were for the benefit of the
examiners; ergo the scandalous sum of 100,000 (some double the
amount) was wasted upon the well-nigh useless Gothic humbug in
High Street, and thus no money was left for the prime want of the
city. After some experience of public libraries and reading-rooms
on the Continent of Europe I feel justified in asserting that the
Bodleian in its present condition is a disgrace to Oxford; indeed
a dishonour to letters in England.

The Bodleian has a succursale, the Radcliffe, which represents
simply a step from bad to worse. The building was intended for an
especial purpose, the storage of books, not for a salle de
lecture. Hence the so-called "Camera" is a most odious
institution, a Purgatory to readers. It is damp in the wet season
from October to May; stuffy during the summer heats and a cave of
Eolus in windy weather: few students except the youngest and
strongest, can support its changeable and nerve-depressing
atmosphere. Consequently the Camera is frequented mainly by the
townsfolk, a motley crew who there study their novels and
almanacs and shamefully misuse the books.[FN#425] In this
building lights, forbidden by the Bodleian, are allowed; it opens
at 10 a.m. and closes at 10 p.m.. and the sooner it reverts to
its original office of a book-depot the better.

But the Bodleian-Radcliffe concern is typical of the town and, if
that call for reform, so emphatically does

"Oxford, that scarce deserves the name of land."

From my childhood I had heard endless tirades and much of what is
now called "blowing" about this ancient city, and my youth
(1840-42) suffered not a little disappointment. The old place,
still mostly resembling an overgrown monastery-village, lies in
the valley of the Upper Thames, a meadowland drained by two
ditches; the bigger or Ise, classically called the Isis, and the
lesser the Charwell. This bottom is surrounded by high and
healthy uplands, not as the guide-books say "low scarce-swelling
hills that softly gird the old town;" and these keep off the
winds and make the riverine valley, with its swamped meads and
water-meadows, more fenny and feverish even than Cambridge. The
heights and woods bring on a mild deluge between October 1st and
May 1st; the climate is rainy as that of Shap in Westmoreland
(our old home) and, as at Fernando Po and Singapore, the rain it
raineth more or less every day during one half of the year. The
place was chosen by the ancient Britons for facility of water
transport, but men no longer travel by the Thames and they have
naturally neglected the older road. Throughout England, indeed a
great national work remains to be done. Not a river, not a
rivulet, but what requires cleaning out and systematic excavation
by elevateurs and other appliances of the Suez Canal. The
channels filled up by alluvium and choked by the American weed,
are now raised so high that the beds can no longer act as drains:
at Oxford for instance the beautiful meadows of Christ Church are
little better than swamps and marshes, the fittest homes for
Tergiana, Ouartana and all the fell sisterhood: a blue fog broods
over the pleasant site almost every evening, and a thrust with
the umbrella opens up water. This is the more inexcusable as the
remedy would be easy and by no means costly: the river-mud, if
the ignorant peasants only knew the fact, forms the best of
manures; and this, instead of being deposited in spoil-heaps on
the banks for the rain to wash back at the first opportunity,
should be carried by tram-rails temporarily laid down and be
spread over the distant fields, thus almost paying for the dredge
works. Of course difficulties will arise: the management of the
Thames is under various local "Boards," and each wooden head is
able and aye ready to show its independence and ill temper at the
sacrifice of public interests to private fads.

Hence the climate of Oxford is detestable. Strong undergraduates
cannot withstand its nervous depression and the sleeplessness
arising from damp air charged with marsh gases and bacteria. All
students take time to become acclimatized here, and some are
never acclimatized at all. And no wonder, when the place is
drained by a fetid sewer of greenish yellow hue containing per
10,000, 245 parts of sewage. The only tolerable portion of the
year is the Long Vacation, when the youths in mortar-boards all
vanish from the view, while many of the oldsters congregate in
the reformed convents called Colleges.

Climate and the resolute neglect of sanitation are probably the
chief causes why Oxford never yet produced a world-famous and
epoch-making man, while Cambridge can boast of Newton and Darwin.
The harlequin city of domes and spires, cribs and slums shows
that curious concurrence of opposites so common in England. The
boasted High Street is emblematical of the place, where moral as
well as material extremes meet and are fain to dwell side by
side. It is a fine thoroughfare branching off into mere lanes,
neither these nor that apparently ever cleaned. The huge
buildings of scaling, mouldering stone are venerable-looking
piles which contrast sadly with the gabled cottages of crepi,
hurlin, or wattle and dab; and the brand-new store with its
plate-glass windows hustles the old-fashioned lollipop-shop. As
regards minor matters there are new market passages but no Public
Baths; and on Sundays, the stands are destitute of cabs, although
with that queer concession to democracy which essentially belongs
to the meaner spirited sort of Conservatism, "'busses" are
allowed to ply after 2 p.m., when the thunder of bells somewhat

Old "Alma Mater," who to me has ever been a "durissima noverca,"
dubs herself "University;" and not a few of her hopefuls entre
faiblesse et folie, still entitle themselves "University men."
The title once belonged to Oxford but now appertains to it no
more. Compare with it the model universities of Berlin, Paris and
Vienna, where the lists of lecturers bear the weightiest names in
the land. Oxford is but a congeries of twenty-one colleges and
five halls or hostels, each educating its pupils (more or less)
with an especial eye to tutors' fees and other benefices, the
vested rights of the "Dons." Thus all do their best to prevent
the scholars availing themselves of University, as opposed to
Collegiate, lectures; and thus they can stultify a list of some
sixty-six professors. This boarding-school system is simply a
dishonest obstacle to students learning anything which may be of
use to them in after-life, such as modern and Oriental languages,
chemistry, anthropology and the other -ologies. Here in fact men
rarely progress beyond the Trivium and the Quadrivium of the Dark
Ages, and tuition is a fine study of the Res scibilis as
understood by the Admirable Crichton and other worthies, circa
A.D. 1500. The students of Queen Elizabeth's day would here--and
here only--find themselves in congenial company. Worse still,
Oxford is no longer a "Seat of learning" or a "House of the
Muses," nor can learned men be produced under the present system.
The place has become a collection of finishing schools, in fact
little better than a huge board for the examination of big boys
and girls.

Oxford and her education are thoroughly disappointing; but the
sorest point therein is that this sham University satisfies the
hapless Public, which knows nothing about its faineance. It is a
mere stumbling-block in the way of Progress especially barring
the road to one of the main wants of English Education, a great
London University which should not be ashamed to stand by Berlin,
Paris and Vienna.

Had the good knight and "Pious Founder," Sir Thomas Bodley, who
established his library upon the ruins of the University
Bibliotheca wrecked by the "Reformation," been able to foresee
the condition of Oxford and her libraries--Bodleian and
Radcliffean--in this latter section of the XIXth century, he
would hardly, I should hope, have condemned English students and
Continental scholars to compulsory residence and labour in places
so akin to the purgatorial.

Appendix B.


(Page 353 of Mr. Gibb's translation.)

There was in the city of Cairo a merchant, and one day he bought
a slave-girl, and took her to his house. There was in his house
an ape; this the merchant fetched and dragged up to the
slave-girl. He said, "Yield thyself over to this, and I will set
thee free." The slave-girl did so of necessity, and she conceived
by him. When her time was come she bare a son all of whose
members were shaped like those of a man, save that he had a tail
like an ape. The merchant and the slave-girl occupied themselves
bringing up this son. One day, when the son was five or six
months old, the merchant filled a large cauldron with milk, and
lighted a great fire under it. When it was boiling, he seized the
son and cast him into the cauldron; and the girl began to lament.
The merchant said, "Be silent, make no lamentation; go and be
free;" and he gave her some sequins. Then he turned, and the
cauldron had boiled so that not even any bones were left. The
merchant took down the cauldron, and placed seven strainers, one
above the other; and he took the scum that had gathered on the
liquid in the cauldron and filtered it through the seven
strainers, and he took that which was in the last and put it into
a bottle. And the slave-girl bare in her heart bitter hatred
against the merchant, and she said in herself, "Even as thou hast
burned my liver will I burn thee;" and she began to watch her
opportunity. (One day) the merchant said to her, "Make ready some
food," and went out. So the girl cooked the food, and she mixed
some of that poison in the dish. When the merchant returned she
brought the tray and laid it down, and then withdrew into a
corner. The merchant took a spoonful of that food, and as soon as
he put it into his mouth, he knew it to be the poison, and he
cast the spoon that was in his hand at the girl. A piece, of the
bigness of a pea, of that poisoned food fell from the spoon on
the girl's hand, and it made the place where it fell black. As
for the merchant, he turned all black, and swelled till he became
like a blown-out skin, and he died. But the slave-girl medicined
herself and became well; and she kept what remained of the poison
and sold it to those who asked for it.

(Page 366 in Mr. Gibb's translation.)

There was of old time a tailor, and he had a fair wife. One day
this woman sent her slave-girl to the carder's to get some cotton
teased. The slave-girl went to the carder's shop and gave him
cotton for a gown to get teased. The carder while teasing the
cotton displayed his yard to the slave-girl. She blushed and
passed to his other side. As she thus turned round the carder
displayed his yard on that side also. Thus the slave-girl saw it
on that side too. And she went and said to her mistress, "Yon
carder, to whom I went, has two yards." The lady said to her, "Go
and say to yon carder, 'My mistress wishes thee; come at night.'"
So the slave-girl went and said this to the carder. As soon as it
was night the carder went to that place and waited. The woman
went out and met the carder and said, "Come and have to do with
me while I am lying by my husband." When it was midnight the
carder came and waked the woman. The woman lay conveniently and
the carder fell to work. She felt that the yard which entered her
was but one, and said, "Ah my soul, carder, at it with both of
them." While she was softly speaking her husband awaked and
asked, "What means thy saying, 'At it with both of them?'" He
stretched out his hand to his wife's kaze and the carder's yard
came into it. The carder drew himself back and his yard slipped
out of the fellow's hand, and he made shift to get away. The
fellow said, "Out on thee, wife, what meant that saying of thine,
'At it with both of them?'" The woman said, "O husband, I saw in
my dream that thou wast fallen into the sea and wast swimming
with one hand and crying out, 'Help! I am drowning!' I shouted to
thee from the shore, 'At it with both of them,' and thou
begannest to swim with both thy hands." Then the husband said,
"Wife, I too know that I was in the sea, from this that a wet
fish came into my hand and then slipped out and escaped; thou
speakest truly." And he loved his wife more than before.

(From the India Office MS.)
(Page 399 in Mr. Gibb's translation.)

They tell that there was a Khoja and he had an exceeding fair
son, who was so beautiful that he who looked upon him was
confounded. This Khoja watched over his son right carefully; he
let him not come forth from a certain private chamber, and he
left not the ribbon of his trousers unsealed. When the call to
prayer was chanted from the minaret, the boy would ask his father
saying, "Why do they cry out thus?" and the Khoja would answer,
"Someone has been undone and has died, and they are calling out
to bury him." And the boy believed these words. The beauty of
this boy was spoken of in Persia; and a Khoja came from Persia to
Baghdad with his goods and chattels for the love of this boy. And
he struck up a friendship with the boy's father, and ever gave to
him his merchandise at an easy price, and he sought to find out
where his son abode. When the Khoja had discovered that the boy
was kept safe in that private chamber, he one day said to his
father, "I am about to go to a certain place; and I have a chest
whereinto I have put whatsoever I possess of valuables; this I
shall send to thee, and do thou take it and shut it up in that
chamber where thy son is." And the father answered, "Right
gladly." So the Khoja let build a chest so large that he himself
might lie in it, and he put therein wine and all things needful
for a carouse. Then he said to his servant, "Go, fetch a porter
and take this chest to the house of Khoja Such-an-one, and say,
'My master has sent this to remain in your charge,' and leave it
and come away. And again on the morrow go and fetch it, saying,
'My master wishes the chest.'" So the servant went for a porter,
and the Khoja hid himself in the chest. Then the boy laded the
porter with the chest and took it to the other Khoja's house,
where he left it and went away. When it was night the Khoja came
forth from the chest, and he saw a moon-face sleeping in the
bed-clothes, and a candle was burning in a candlestick at his
head; and when the Khoja beheld this he was confounded and
exclaimed, "And blessed be God, the fairest of Creators!"[FN#426]
Then the Khoja laid out the wine and so forth; and he went up
softly and waked the boy. And the boy arose from his place and
addressed himself to speak, saying, "Wherefore hast thou come
here?" Straight-way the Khoja filled a cup and gave it to him,
saying, "Drink this, and then I shall tell thee what manner of
man I am." And he besought the boy and spread out sequins before
him. So the boy took the cup and drank what was in it. When the
Khoja had given him to drink three or four cups the face of the
boy grew tulip-hued, and he became heated with the wine and began
to sport with the Khoja. So all that night till morning did the
Khoja make merry with the boy; and whatsoever his desire was, he
attained thereto. When it was morning, the Khoja again went into
the chest; and the servant came and laded the porter with the
same and took it back to his house. And on the morrow, when the
boy and his father were sitting together, the mu'ezzin chanted
the call to prayer, whereupon the boy exclaimed, "Out on thee,
father; and the boy who is undone dies, and so this fellow goes
up there and bawls out; last night they undid me; how is it that
I am not dead?" Then the father smote the boy on the mouth and
said, "Speak not such words; they are a shame." And then he knew
why the chest had come.

Arabian Nights, Volume 14

[FN#1] From the Wortley Montague MS. vol. iii. pp. 80-96. J.
Scott: vol. vi. pp. 1-7. Histoire du Sulthan d'Yemen et de ses
trots fils; Gauttier vol. vi. pp. 158-165.

[FN#2] The worst disease in human life, now recognised as "Annus

[FN#3] Arab. "Mal wa Ghawal": in Badawi parlance "Mal"
would=flocks and herds (pecunia, pecus); and amongst the
burghers=ready money, coin. Another favourite jingle of similar
import is "Mal wa Nawal."

There is an older form of the Sultan of Al Yaman and his three
sons, to be found in M. Zotenberg's "Chronique de Tabari," vol.
ii. pp. 357-61.

[FN#4] In the W. M. MS. the sisters are called "Shahrzadeh"
(=City born) and "Dinarzadeh" (=ducat born) and the royal
brothers Shahrbaz (=City player or City falcon) and Kahraman
(vol. i. p. 1) alias Samarban (ibid.). I shall retain the old

[FN#5] I have hitherto translated "wa adraka (masc.) Shahrazada
al-Sabah," as=And Shahrazad perceived the dawn of day; but it is
more correct as well as more picturesque to render the phrase
"was surprised (or overtaken) by the dawn."

[FN#6] Arab. "'Adran,"=much and heavy rain.

[FN#7] For "Halwa" see vol. ii. pp. 47-212. Scott (vol. vi. 413)
explains "Hamiz" as "a species of small grain," probably
confounding it with Hummus (or Himmis)=vetches. It is the pop.
term for pickles, "sour meat" as opposed to "sweetmeats." The
Arabs divide the camel's pasture into "Khullah" which means sweet
food called bread and into "Hamiz" termed fruit: the latter is
composed mainly of salsolaceae, and as camels feed upon it during
the hot season it makes them drink. Hence in Al Hariri (Preface)
"I change the pasture," i.e., I pass from grave to gay, from
light to dignified style. (Chenery, p. 274).

[FN#8] This is the modern version of the tale which the author
of "Zadig" has made familiar to Europe. The hero is brought
before the King and Queen of Babylon for stealing a horse and a
dog; and, when held by the chief "Destour" (priest) to be a
thief, justifies himself. I have given in full the older history
from Tabari, the historian (vixit A.D. 839-923). For the tracker
("Paggi") and the art of tracking see Sind Revisited, i. 180-183.
I must again express my wonder that the rural police of Europe
still disdain the services of trained dogs when these are about
to be introduced into the army.

[FN#9] Arab. "Bita'i"=my own. I have already noticed that this
is the Egypt. form and the Nilotes often turn the 'Ayn into an H,
e.g. Bitaht for Bita'at, e.g. Ash Shabakah bitaht as-Sayd, thy
net for fishing. (Spitta Bey, Contes Arabes Modernes, p. 43.)

[FN#10] Arab. "Mukabbab;" prop. vaulted, arched, domed in Kubbah
(or cupola)-shape.

[FN#11] Arab. "Firasah." "Sciences are of three kinds: one the
science of Faith, another the science of Physiognomy (Firasah),
and another the science of the Body; but unless there be the
science of Physiognomy, other science availeth not." So says "The
Forty Vizirs:" Lady's vith story and Vizir's xxxist story. For a
note on "Firasah" see vol. viii. 326.

[FN#12] Arab. "In lam tazidd Kayni"=lit. unless thou oppose my
forming or composition.

[FN#13] Arab. "Farafish," a word which I cannot find in the
dictionary, and so translate according to the context. Dr.
Steingass remarks that the nearest approach to it would be
"Farafik" (plur. of Furfak)=fine, thin or soft bread.

[FN#14] See, in the "Turkish Tales" by Petis de la Croix (Weber,
Tales of the East, vol. iii. 196), the History of the Sophi of
Baghdad, where everything returns to (or resembles) its origin.
Thus the Wazir who proposed to cut up a criminal and hang him in
the shambles was the self-convicted son of a butcher; he who
advised boiling him down and giving his flesh to the dogs was the
issue of a cook, and the third who proposed to pardon him was
nobly born. See Night cccxli.

[FN#15] Arab. "Al-Mafyaat," lit.=a shady place; a locality
whereupon the sun does not rise.

[FN#16] Arab. "Ja'idiyah," a favourite word in this MS.
"Ja'ad"=a curl, a liberal man: Ja'ad al-yad=miserly, and Abu
ja'dah=father of curls,=a wolf. Scott (passim) translates the
word "Sharper;" Gore Ouseley "Labourer;" and De Sacy
(Chrestomathie ii. 369, who derives it from Ju'd=avoir les
cheveux crepus): in Egypt, homme de la populace, canaille. He
finds it in the Fabrica Linguae Arab. of Germanus of Silesia (p.
786)=ignavis, hebes, stupidus, esp. a coward. Ibrahim Salamah of
Alexandria makes the term signify in Syria, impudent, thieving,
wicked. Spitta Bey translates this word musicien ambulant in his
Gloss. to Contes Arabes, p. 171. According to Dr. Steingass, who,
with the Muhit al-Muhit, reads "Ju'aydiyah," Ju'ayd is said to be
the P. N. of an Egyptian clown, who, with bell-hung cap and
tambourine in hand, wandered about the streets singing laudatory
doggrel and pestering the folk for money. Many vagabonds who
adopted this calling were named after him and the word was
generalised in that sense.

[FN#17] MS. vol. iii. pp. 96-121. Scott, "Story of the Three
Sharpers and the Sultan," pp. 7-17; Gauttier, Histoire des trois
filous et d'un Sulthan, vi. 165-176.

[FN#18] Arab. Yasrahu=roaming, especially at early dawn; hence
the wolf is called "Sirhan," and Yaklishu (if I read it aright)
is from Kulsh, and equivalent to "kicking" (their heels).

[FN#19] Nusf=half a dirham, drachma or franc, see ii. 37; vi.
214, etc.

[FN#20] Bast, a preparation of Bhang (Cannabis Sativa), known in
Egypt but not elsewhere: see Lane, M. E., chapt. xv. Here it is
made synonymous with "Hashish"=Bhang in general.

[FN#21] Ghaushah, a Persianism for which "Ghaugha" is a more
common form. "Ghaush" is a tree of hard wood whereof musical
instruments were made; hence the mod. words "Ghasha" and
"Ghawwasha"=he produced a sound, and "Ghaushah"=tumult, quarrel.
According to Dr. Steingass, the synon. in the native dicts. are
"Khisam," "Lag-hat," "Jalabah," etc.

[FN#22] Said ironice, the jeweller being held to be one of the
dishonest classes, like the washerman, the water-carrier, the
gardener, etc. In England we may find his representative in the
"silversmith," who will ask a pound sterling for a bit of metal
which cost him perhaps five shillings or even less, and who hates
to be bought by weight. The Arab. has "Jauhar-ji," a Turkish form
for Jauhari; and here "jauhar" apparently means a pearl, the
stone once peculiar to royalty in Persia, but the kind of gem is
left undetermined.

[FN#23] Arab. "Saza, yasizu," not a dictionary word. Perhaps it
is a clerical error for "Sasa," he groomed or broke in a horse,
hence understood all about horses.

[FN#24] In the orig. "Shorbah," Pers.=a mess of pottage: I have
altered it for reasons which will presently appear.

[FN#25] Arab. "Ghabasah," from Ghabas=obscure, dust-coloured.

[FN#26] Arab. "Susah"=a weevil, a moth, a worm. It does not mean
simply a flaw, but a live animal (like our toads in the rock);
and in the popular version of the tale the lapidary discovers its
presence by the stone warming in his hand.

[FN#27] Arab. "Masha'ili" the cresset-bearer who acted hangman:
see vol. i. 259, etc.

[FN#28] Arab. "Ta'kil," tying up a camel's foreleg above the
knee; the primary meaning of Akl, which has so many secondary

[FN#29] Arab. "Suwan," lit.=rock, syenite, hard stone, flint;
here a marteau de guerre.

[FN#30] Arab. "Halik"=intensely black, so as to look blue under a
certain angle of light.

[FN#31] Arab. "Rikab" (=stirrup) + "dar" Pers. (=holder).

[FN#32] I have ransacked dictionaries and vocabularies but the
word is a mere blank.

[FN#33] Arab. "Jamusah." These mules are believed in by the
Arabs. Shaw and other travellers mention the Mauritanian
"Jumart," the breed between a bull and a mare (or jennyass) or an
ass and a cow. Buffon disbelieved in the mongrel, holding it to
be a mere bardeau, got by a stallion horse out of an ass.
Voltaire writes "Jumarre" after German fashion and Littre derives
it from jument + art (finale pejorative), or the Languedoc
"Gimere" which according to Diez suggests "Chimaera." Even in
London not many years ago a mule was exhibited as the issue of a
horse and a stag. No Indian ever allows his colt to drink
buffalo's milk, the idea being that a horse so fed will lie down
in instead of fording or swimming a stream.

[FN#34] See Sindbad the Seaman, vol. vi. 9.

[FN#35] Arab. "Mubattat" from batt=a duck: in Persia the
Batt-i-May is a wine-glass shaped like the duck. Scott (vi. 12)
translates "thick and longish."

[FN#36] Arab. "his Harim"; see vol. i. 165; iv. 126. VOL. XIV.

[FN#37] Again "he" for she. See vol. ii. 179.

[FN#38] Arab. "Ghaziyah": for the plur. "Ghawazi" see vol. i.
214; also Lane (M.E.) index under "Ghazeeyehs."

[FN#39] The figure prothesis without apodosis. Understand "will
slay thee": see vol. vi. 203.

[FN#40] Because the girl had not been a professional dancer, i.e
a public prostitute.

[FN#41] Arab. "Aman"=quarter, mercy: see vol. i. 342.

[FN#42] For the "Mandil" of mercy see vol. i. 343; for that of
dismissal x. 47 and Ibn Khall. iv. 211. In Spitta Bey's "Contes
Arabes" (p. 223), I find throwing the kerchief (taramma al
mahramah) used in the old form of choosing a mate. In the Tale of
the Sultan of AlYaman and his three Sons (Supplem. Nights, vol.
iv.) the Princesses drop their kerchiefs upon the head of the
Prince who had saved them, by way of pointing him out.

[FN#43] Arab. "Sattar:" see vols. i. 258 and iii. 41.

[FN#44] In the text "Argha" for "Arkha"=he "brayed" (like an
ostrich, etc.) for "his limbs relaxed." It reminds one of the
German missionary's fond address to his flock, "My prethren, let
us bray!"

[FN#45] Arab. "Azbad," from Zbd (Zabd)=foaming, frothing, etc.,
whence "Zubaydah," etc.

[FN#46] Arab. "Zabh" (Zbh)=the ceremonial killing of animals for
food: see vols. v. 391; viii. 44. I may note, as a proof of how
modern is the civilisation of Europe that the domestic fowl was
unknown to Europe till about the time of Pericles (ob. B.C. 429).

[FN#47] See in "The Forty Vizirs" (Lady's ivth Tale) how Khizr
tells the King the origin of his Ministers from the several
punishments which they propose for the poor man. I have noticed
this before in Night cccxxxiii. Boethius, translated by Chaucer,
explains the underlying idea, "All thynges seken ayen to hir
propre course and all thynges rejoysen in hir returninge agayne
to hir nature."

[FN#48] For the Taylasan hood see vol. iv. 286.

[FN#49] The "Kalansuwah"-cap is noted by Lane (A. N. chapt. iii.
22) as "Kalensuweh." In M. E. (Supplement i. "The Copts") he
alters the word to Kalas'weh and describes it as a strip of
woollen stuff, of a deep blue or black colour, about four inches
wide, attached beneath the turban and hanging down the back to
the length of about a foot. It is the distinguishing mark of the
Coptic regular clergy.

[FN#50] W. M. MS. vol. iii. pp. 121-141. Scott, "The Adventures
of the abdicated Sultan," pp. 18-19; including the "History of
Mahummud, Sultan of Cairo," pp. 20-30.

[FN#51] "Kahirah." I repeat my belief (Pilgrimage i. 171) that
"Kahirah," whence our "Cairo" through the Italian corruption,
means not la victorieuse (Mediant al-Kahirah) as D'Herbelot has
it; but City of Kahir or Mars the planet. It was so called
because as Richardson informed the world (sub voce) it was
founded in A.H. 358 (=A.D. 968) when the warlike planet was in
the ascendant by the famous General Jauhar a Dalmatian renegade
(not a "Greek slave") for the first of the Fatimite dynasty
Al-Mu'izz li 'l-dini 'llah.

[FN#52] According to Caussin de Perceval (pere) in his
translation of the "Contes Arabes," there are four wonders in the
Moslem world: (1) the Pharos of Alexandria; (2) the Bridge of
Sanjia in Northern Syria; (3) The Church of Rohab (Edessa); and
(4) the Amawi Mosque of Damascus.

[FN#53] Arab. "Faddah," lit.=silver, because made of copper
alloyed with nobler metal; the smallest Egyptian coin=Nuss (i.e.
Nusf, or half a dirham) and the Turk. parah. It is the fortieth
of the piastre and may be assumed at the value of a

[FN#54] This word, in Egypt. "Harag," is the cry with which the
Dallal (broker) announces each sum bidden at an auction.

[FN#55] The Portuguese Xerafim: Supplemental Nights, vol. iii.

[FN#56] A Khan or caravanserai: see vol. i. 266 and Pilgrimage i.

[FN#57] Arab. "Hilm" (vision) "au 'Ilm" (knowledge) a phrase
peculiar to this MS.

[FN#58] The careless scribe forgets that the Sultan is speaking
and here drops into the third person. This "Enallage of persons"
is, however, Koranic and therefore classical: Arab critics aver
that in such cases the "Hikayah" (=literal reproduction of a
discourse, etc.) passes into an "Ikhbar"=mere account of the same
discourse). See Al Mas'udi iii. 216. I dare not reproduce this
figure in English.

[FN#50] Arab. "Auzah," the Pers. Otak and the Turk. Otah (vulg.
"Oda" whence "Odalisque"), a popular word in Egypt and Syria.

[FN#60] Arab. "Al Afandiyah" showing the late date or reduction
of the tale. The Turkish word derives from the Romaic Afentis
({Greek}) the corrupted O.G.{Greek}=an absolute commander, and
"authentie." The word should not be written as usual "Effendi,"
but "Efendi," as Prof. Galland has been careful to do.

[FN#61] Arab. "Al-dakhlah"; repeatedly referred to in The Nights.
The adventure is a replica of that in "Abu Mohammed highs
Lazybones," vol. iv., pp. 171-174.

[FN#62] Usual in the East, not in England, where some mothers are
idiots enough not to tell their daughters what to expect on the
wedding night. Hence too often unpleasant surprises, disgust and
dislike. The most modern form is that of the chloroform'd bride
upon whose pillow the bridegroom found a paper pinned and
containing the words, "Mamma says you're to do what you like."

[FN#63] Arab. "Akhaztu dam wajhhi ha."

[FN#64] Arab. "Dilk" more commonly "Khirkah," the tattered and
pieced robe of a religious mendicant.

[FN#65] Arab. "Darbalah." Scott (p. 24) must have read
"Gharbalah" when he translated "A turban full of holes as a
sieve." In classical Arabic the word is written "Darbalah," and
seems to correspond with the Egyptian "Darabukkah," a tabor of
wood or earthenware figured by Lane (M.E. chapt. xviii.). It is,
like the bowl, part of the regular Darwaysh's begging gear.

[FN#66] Vulg. Maghribi. For this word see the story of Alaeddin,
Supplem., vol. iii. 31. According to Heron, "History of
Maugraby," the people of Provence, Languedoc and Gascony use
Maugraby as a term of cursing: Maugrebleu being used in other
parts of France.

[FN#67] In text "Fanarat"; the Arab. plur. of the Pers. "Fanar"=a
light-house, and here equiv. to the Mod. Gr. {Greek}, a lantern,
the Egypt. "Fanus."

[FN#68] This Sultan of the Jann preceded by sweepers,
flag-bearers and tent-pitchers always appears in the form of
second-sight called by Egyptians "Darb al Mandal"=striking the
magic circle in which the enchanter sits when he conjures up
spirits. Lane (M. E. chapt. xii.) first made the "Cairo Magician"
famous in Europe, but Herklots and others had described a cognate
practice in India many years before him.

[FN#69] Arab, "Jawush" for Chawush (vulg. Chiaush) Turk.=an army
serjeant, a herald or serjeant at arms; an apparitor or officer
of the Court of Chancery (not a "Mace-bearer or Messenger,"
Scott). See vol. vii. 327.

[FN#70] Arab. from Persian "Bimaristan," a "sick-house,"
hospital, a mad-house: see vol. i. 288.

[FN#71] The text says only that "he was reading:" sub. the Holy

[FN#72] MS. vol. iii., pp. 142-168. Scott, "Story of the First
Lunatic," pp. 31 44. Gauttier, Histoire du Premier Fou, vol. vi.
187. It is identical with No. ii. of Chavis and Cazotte,
translated by C. de Perceval, Le Bimaristan (i.e. the Hospital),
ou Histoire du jeune Marchand de Bagdad et de la Dame inconnue
(vol. viii. pp. 179-180). Heron terms it the "Story of Halechalbe
(Ali Chelebi?) and the Unknown Lady," and the narrative is
provided with a host of insipid and incorrect details, such as "A
gentleman enjoying his pipe." The motif of this tale is common in
Arab. folk lore, and it first appears in the "Tale of Aziz and
Azizah," ii. 328. A third variant will occur further on.

[FN#73] Spelt in vol. iii. 143 and elsewhere, "Khwaja" for

[FN#74] Arab. "Hubban li-raasik,"=out of love for thy head, i.e.
from affection for thee. Dr. Steingass finds it analogous with
the Koranic "Hubban li 'llahi" (ii. 160), where it is joined with
"Ashaddu"=stronger, as regards love to or for Allah, more Allah
loving. But it can stand adverbially by itself=out of love for
Allah, for Allah's sake.

[FN#75] Arab. "Zahr," lit. and generically a blossom; but often
used in a specific sense throughout The Nights.

[FN#76] Arab. "Kursi" here=a square wooden seat without back and
used for sitting cross-legged. See Suppl. vol. i. 9.

[FN#77] Arab. "Sujjadah"=lit. a praying carpet, which Lane calls

[FN#78] Arab. "Wakil," lit.=agent: here the woman's
representative, corresponding roughly with the man who gives away
the bride amongst ourselves.

[FN#79] The mention of coffee and sherbet, here and in the next
page, makes the tale synchronous with that of Ma'aruf or the
xviith. century.

[FN#80] The MS. writes "Zardakat" for "Zardakhan": see below.

[FN#81] Scott (p. 36) has "mahazzim (for mahazim), al Zerdukkaut
(for al-Zardakhan)" and "munnaskif (for manashif) al fillfillee."
Of the former he notes (p. 414) "What this composition is I
cannot define: it may be translated compound of saffron, yoke of
egg or of yellowish drugs." He evidently confounds it with the
Pers. Zard-i-Khayah=yoke of egg. Of the second he says "compound
of peppers, red, white and black." Lane (The Nights, vol. i. p.
8) is somewhat scandalised at such misrepresentation, translating
the first "apron-napkins of thick silk," and the second "drying
towels of Lif or palm-fibre," further suggesting that the text
may have dropped a conjunction=drying towels and fibre.

[FN#82] Arab. "Liwan al-barrani," lit.=the outer bench in the
"Maslahk" or apodyterium.

[FN#83] Arab. "Ma'jun," pop. applied to an electuary of Bhang
(Cannabis sativa): it is the "Maagoon" sold by the "Maagungee" of
Lane (M.E. chapt. xv.). Here, however, the term may be used in
the sense of "confections" generally, the sweetmeats eaten by way
of restoratives in the Bath.

[FN#84] He speaks of taking her maidenhead as if it were porter's
work and so defloration was regarded by many ancient peoples. The
old Nilotes incised the hymen before congress; the Phoenicians,
according to Saint Athanasius, made a slave of the husband's
abate it. The American Chibchas and Caribs looked upon virginity
as a reproach, proving that the maiden had never inspired love.
For these and other examples see p. 72, chap. iii. "L'Amour dans
l'Humanite," by P. Mantegazza, a civilised and unprejudiced

[FN#85] Arab. "Zill," lit. "shadow me."

[FN#86] Arab. "Istinshak," one of the items of the "Wuzu" or
lesser ablution: see vol. v. 198.

[FN#87] In Chavis her name is "Zaliza" and she had "conceived an
unhappy passion" for her master, to whom she "declared her
sentiments without reserve."

[FN#88] Arab. "Armaghanat," the Arab. plur. of "Armaghan,"
Pers.=a present.

[FN#89] In the text, "jumlatun min al-mal," which Scott
apparently reads "Hamlat al-jamal" and translates (p. 38) "a
camel's load of treasure."

[FN#90] The learned man was to exorcise some possible "evil
spirit" or "the eye," a superstition which seems to have begun,
like all others, with the ancient Egyptians.

[FN#91] The MS., I have said, always writes "Khwaja" instead of
"Khwajah" (plur. "Khwajat"): for this word, the modern Egyptian
"Howajah," see vol. vi. 46. Here it corresponds with our

[FN#92] Arab. "Yatazawadu"=increasing.

[FN#93] By which she accepted the offer.

[FN#94] This incident has already occurred in the tale of the
Portress (Second Lady of Baghdad, vol. i. 179), but here the
consequences are not so tragical. In Chavis the vulgar cock
becomes "a golden Censer ornamented with diamonds, to be sold for
two thousand sequins" (each=9 shill.).

[FN#95] A royal sign of wrath generally denoting torture and
death. See vols. iv. 72; vi. 250.

[FN#96] Arab. "Ya Sallam," addressed to Allah.

[FN#97] Here more is meant than meets the eye. When a Moslem's
head was struck off, in the days of the Caliphate, it was placed
under his armpit, whereas that of a Jew or a Christian was set
between his legs, close to the seat of dishonour.

[FN#98] In Chavis and Cazotte the lady calls to "Morigen, her
first eunuch, and says, Cut off his head!" Then she takes a
theorbo and "composed the following couplets"--of which the first
may suffice:

Since my swain unfaithful proves,
Let him go to her he loves, etc., etc.

[FN#99] The device has already occurred in "Ali Baba."

[FN#100] Arab. "Al-ma'hud min ghayr wa'd."

[FN#101] In Chavis and Cazotte the king is Harun al-Rashid and
the masterfl young person proves to be Zeraida, the favourite
daughter of Ja'afar Bermaki; whilst the go-between is not the
young lady's mother but Nemana, an old governess. The over-
jealous husband in the Second Lady of Baghdad (vol. i. 179) is
Al-Amin, son and heir of the Caliph Marun al-Rashid.

[FN#102] Vol. iii. pp. 168-179: and Scott's "Story of the Second
Lunatic," pp. 45-51. The name is absurdly given as the youth was
anything but a lunatic; but this is Arab symmetromania. The tale
is virtually the same as "Women's Wiles," in Supplemental Nights,
vol. ii. 99-107.

[FN#103] This forward movement on the part of the fair one is
held to be very insulting by the modest Moslem. This incident is
wanting in "Women's Wiles."

[FN#104] Arab. "Labbah," usually the part of the throat where
ornaments are hung or camels are stabbed.

[FN#105] The chief of the Moslem Church. For the origin of the
office and its date (A.D. 1453) see vols. ix. 289, and x. 81.

[FN#106] Arab. "Satihah"=a she-Satih: this seer was a headless
and neckless body, with face in breast, lacking members and lying
prostrate on the ground. His fellow, "Shikk," was a half-man, and
both foretold the divine mission of Mohammed. (Ibn Khall. i.

[FN#107] Arab. "Wakt al-Zuha;" the division of time between
sunrise and midday.

[FN#108] In the text "Sufrah"=the cloth: see vol. i. 178, etc.

[FN#109] Arab. "Ya Tinjir," lit.=O Kettle.

[FN#110] Arab. "Tari," lit.=wet, with its concomitant suggestion,
soft and pleasant like desert-rain.

[FN#111] Here meaning "Haste, haste!" See vol. i. 46.

[FN#112] The chief man (Agha) of the Gypsies, the Jink of Egypt
whom Turkish soldiers call Ghiovende, a race of singers and
dancers; in fact professional Nautch-girls. See p. 222, "Account
of the Gypsies of India," by David MacRitchie (London, K. Paul,
1886), a most useful manual.

[FN#113] Arab. "Kurush," plur of. "Kirsh" (pron. "Girsh"), the
Egyptian piastre=one-fifth of a shilling. The word may derive
from Karsh=collecting money; but it is more probably a corruption
of Groschen, primarily a great or thick piece of money and
secondarily a small silver coin=3 kreuzers=1 penny.

[FN#114] The purse ("Kis") is=500 piastres (kurush)=5; and a
thousand purses compose the Treasury ("Khaznah")=5,000.

[FN#115] MS. vol. iii. pp. 179-303. It is Scott's "Story of the
Retired Sage and his Pupil, related to the Sultan by the Second
Lunatic," vi. pp. 52-67; and Gauttier's Histoire du Sage, vi.
199-2l4. The scene is laid in Cairo.

[FN#116] Meaning that he was an orphan and had, like the
well-known widow, "seen better days."

[FN#117] The phrase, I have noted, is not merely pleonastic: it
emphasises the assertion that it was a chance day.

[FN#118] An old Plinian fable long current throughout the East.
It is the Pers. Nim-chihreh, and the Arab Shikk and possibly
Nasnas=nisf al-Nas (?) See vol. v. 333. Shikk had received from
Allah only half the form of a man, and his rival diviner Satih
was a shapeless man of flesh without limbs. They lived in the
days of a woman named Tarifah, daughter of Al-Khayr al-Himyari
and wife of Amru bin 'Amir who was famous for having intercourse
with the Jann. When about to die she sent for the two, on account
of their deformity and the influence exercised upon them by the
demons; and, having spat into their mouths, bequeathed to them
her Jinni, after which she departed life and was buried at
Al-Johfah. Presently they became noted soothsayers; Shikk had
issue but Satih none; they lived 300 (some say 600) years, and
both died shortly before the birth of the Prophet concerning whom
they prophesied. When the Tobba of Al-Yaman dreamed that a dove
flew from a holy place and settled in the Tihamah
(lowland-seaboard) of Meccah, Satih interpreted it to signify
that a Prophet would arise to destroy idols and to teach the best
of faiths. The two also predicted (according to Tabari) to
Al-Rabi'ah, son of Nasr, a Jewish king of Al-yaman, that the
Habash (Abyssinians) should conquer the country, govern it, and
be expelled, and after this a Prophet should arise amongst the
Arabs and bring a new religion which all should embrace and which
should endure until Doomsday. Compare this with the divining
damsel in Acts xvi. 16-18.

[FN#119] Arab. "Kahramanah;" the word has before been explained
as a nurse, a duenna, an Amazon guarding the Harem. According to
C. de Perceval (pere) it was also the title given by the
Abbasides to the Governess of the Serraglio.

[FN#120] So in the Apocrypha ("Tobias" vi. 8). Tobit is taught by
the Archangel Raphael to drive away evil spirits (or devils) by
the smoke of a bit of fish's heart. The practice may date from
the earliest days when "Evil Spirits" were created by man. In
India, when Europeans deride the existence of Jinns and
Rakshasas, and declare that they never saw one, the people
receive this information with a smile which means only, "I should
think not! you and yours are worse than any of our devils."

[FN#121] An Inquisitorial costume called in the text "Shamiyat bi

[FN#122] A tribe of the Jinn sometimes made synonymous with
"Marid" and at other times contrasted with these rebels, as in
the Story of Ma'aruf and J. Scott's "History of the Sultan of
Hind" (vol. vi. 195). For another note see The Nights, iv. 88.

[FN#123] Arab. "'Ilm al-Huruf," not to be confounded with the
"'Ilm al-Jumal," or "Hisab Al-Jumal," a notation by numerical
values of the alphabet. See Lumsden's Grammar of the Persian
Language, i. 37.

[FN#124] Like our "Cut your mutton," or manger la soupe or die
suppe einzunehmen. For this formula meaning like the Brazilian
"cup of water," a grand feast, see vol. vii. 168.

[FN#125] Arab. "Tafazzal," a most useful word employed upon
almost all occasions of invitation and mostly equivalent to "Have
the kindness," etc. See vol. ii. 103.

[FN#126] The Shaykh for humility sits at the side, not at the
"Sadr," or top of the room; but he does not rise before the
temporal power. The Sultan is equally courteous and the Shaykh
honours him by not keeping silence.

[FN#127] Arab. "Miat Mamluk kitabi," the latter word meaning "one
of the Book, a Jew" (especially), or a Christian.

[FN#128] This MS. prefers the rare form "Al-Jann" for the

[FN#129] These flags, I have noticed, are an unfailing
accompaniment of a Jinn army.

[FN#130] MS. vol. iii. pp. 203-210; Scott, "Night Adventure of
the Sultan," pp. 68-71. Gauttier, Aventure nocturne du Sulthan,
vi. 214.

[FN#131] Arab. "Mashrut shadak." Ashdak is usually applied to a
wide-chapped face, like that of Margaret Maultasch or
Mickle-mouthed Meg. Here, however, it alludes to an accidental
deformity which will presently be described.

[FN#132] Arab. "Amsik lisana-k": the former word is a standing
"chaff" with the Turks, as in their tongue it means cunnus-penis
and nothing else. I ever found it advisable when speaking Arabic
before Osmanlis, to use some such equivalent as Khuz=take thou.

[FN#133] This is the familiar incident in "Ali Baba": Supplem.
vol iii. 231, etc.

[FN#134] MS. iii. 210-214. Scott's "Story of the broken-backed
Schoolmaster," vi. pp. 72-75, and Gauttier's "Histoire du Maitre
d'ecole ereinte," vi. 217. The Arabic is "Muaddib al-Atfal"=one
who teacheth children. I have before noted that amongst Moslems
the Schoolmaster is always a fool. So in Europe of the 16th
century probably no less than one-third of the current jests
turned upon the Romish clergy and its phenomenal ignorance
compared with that of the pagan augur. The Story of the First
Schoolmaster is one of the most humorous in this MS.

[FN#135] For the usual ceremony when a Moslem sneezes, see vol.
ix. 220.

[FN#136] The "day in the country," lately become such a favourite
with English schools, is an old Eastern custom.

[FN#137] MS. iii. 214-219. Scott's "Story of the wry-mouthed
Schoolmaster," vi. pp. 74-75: Gauttier's Histoire du Second
Estropie, vi. p. 220.

[FN#138] In these days the whole would be about 10d.

[FN#139] Pay-day for the boys in Egypt. The Moslem school has
often been described but it always attracts the curiosity of
strangers. The Moorish or Maroccan variety is a simple affair;
"no forms, no desks, few books. A number of boards about the size
of foolscap, whitewashed on either side, whereon the
lessons--from the alphabet to sentences of the Koran--are plainly
written in large black letters; a pen and ink, a book and a
switch or two, complete the paraphernalia. The dominie, squatting
on the ground, tailor-fashion, like his pupils, who may number
from ten to thirty, repeats the lesson in a sonorous singsong
voice, and is imitated by the urchins, who accompany their voices
by a rocking to and fro which sometimes enables them to keep
time. A sharp application of the cane is wonderfully effectual in
recalling wandering attention; and lazy boys are speedily
expelled. On the admission of a pupil, the parents pay some small
sum, varying according to their means, and every Wednesday, which
is a half-holiday, a payment is made from 1/4d. to 2d. New moons
and feasts are made occasions for larger payments, and are also
holidays, which last ten days during the two greater festivals.
Thursdays are whole holidays, and no work is done on Friday
mornings, that day being the Mohammedan 'Sabbath,' or at least
'meeting day,' as it is called. When the pupils have mastered the
first short chapter of the Koran, it is customary for them to be
paraded round the town on horseback, with ear-splitting music,
and sometimes charitably disposed persons make small presents to
the youngster by way of encouragement. After the first, the last
is learned, then the last but one, and so on, backwards, as, with
the exception of the first, the longest chapters are at the
beginning. Though reading and a little writing are taught, at the
same time, all the scholars do not arrive at the pitch of
perfection necessary to indite a polite letter, so that
consequently there is plenty of employment for the numerous
scribes or Talibs who make a profession of writing. These may
frequently be seen in small rooms opening on to the street,
usually very respectably dressed in a white flowing haik and
large turban, and in most cases of venerable appearance, their
noses being adorned with huge goggles. Before them are their
appliances,--pens made of reeds, ink, paper, and sand in lieu of
blotting paper. They usually possess also a knife and scissors,
with a case to hold them all. In writing, they place the paper on
the knee, or upon a pad of paper in the left hand." The main
merit of the village school in Eastern lands is its noises which
teach the boy to concentrate his attention. As Dr. Wilson of
Bombay said, the young idea is taught to shout as well as to
shoot, and this viva voce process is a far better mnemonic than
silent reading. Moreover it is fine practice in the art of
concentrating attention.

[FN#140] Arab. "Mikshat," whose root would be "Kasht"=skinning (a

[FN#141] Evidently said ironice as of innocents. In "The Forty
Vezirs" we read, "At length they perceived that all this tumult
arose from their trusting on this wise the words of children."
(Lady's XXth Tale.)

[FN#142] MS. iii. 219-220. For some unaccountable reason it is
omitted by Scott (vi. 76), who
has written English words in the margin of the W. M. Codex.

[FN#143] In text "Kadum," for "Kudum," a Syrian form.

[FN#144] Arab. "Hidyah," which in Egypt means a falcon; see vol.
iii. 138.

[FN#145] Arab. "Sifah,"=lit. a quality.

[FN#146] Arab. "Istilah"=specific dialect, idiom. See De Sacy,
Chrestomathie, i. 443, where the learned Frenchman shows abundant
learning, but does very little for the learner.

[FN#147] In the text "Kattan"=linen, flax.

[FN#148] Arab. "Fi Jifan ka'l-Jawabi!" which, I suppose, means
small things (or men) and great.

[FN#149] This form of cleverness is a favourite topic in Arabian
folk-lore. The model man was Iyas al-Muzani, al-Kazi (of
Bassorah), in the 2nd century A.H., mentioned by Al-Hariri in his
7th Ass. and noted in Arab. Prov. (i. 593) as "more intelligent
than Iyas." Ibn Khallikan (i. 233) tells sundry curious tales of
him. Hearing a Jew ridicule the Moslem Paradise where the blessed
ate and drank ad libitum but passed nothing away, he asked if all
his food were voided: the Jew replied that God converted a part
of it into nourishment and he rejoined, "Then why not the whole?"
Being once in a courtyard he said that there was an animal under
the bricks and a serpent was found: he had noted that only two of
the tiles showed signs of dampness and this proved that there was
something underneath that breathed. Al-Maydani relates of him
that hearing a dog bark, he declared that the beast was tied to
the brink of a well; and he judged so because the bark was
followed by an echo. Two men came before him, the complainant
claimed money received by the defendant who denied the debt. Iyas
asked the plaintiff where he had given it, and was answered,
"Under a certain tree." The judge told him to go there by way of
refreshing his memory and in his absence asked the defendant if
his adversary could have reached it. "Not yet," said the rogue,
forgetting himself; "'tis a long way off"--which answer convicted
him. Seeing three women act upon a sudden alarm, he said, "One of
them is pregnant, another is nursing, and the third is a virgin."
He explained his diagnosis as follows: "In time of danger persons
lay their hands on what they most prize. Now I saw the pregnant
woman in her flight place her hand on her belly, which showed me
she was with child; the nurse placed her hand on her bosom,
whereby I knew that she was suckling, and the third covered her
parts with her hand proving to me that she was a maid."
(Chenery's Al Hariri, p. 334.)

[FN#150] Such an address would be suited only to a King or a

[FN#151] MS. iii. 231-240; Scott's "Story of the Sisters and the
Sultana their mother," vi. 82; Gauttier's Histoire de la Sulthane
et de ses trois Filles, vi. 228.

[FN#152] Arab, "Darajatani"=lit. two astronomical degrees: the
word is often used in this MS.

[FN#153] Arab. "Siwan;" plur. "Siwawin."

[FN#154] Arab. "'Ala hudud (or Ala hadd) al-Shauk," repeated in
MS. iii. 239.

[FN#155] Here the writer, forgetting that the youngest sister is
speaking, breaks out into the third person--"their case"--"their
mother," etc.

[FN#156] The idea is that of the French anonyma's "Mais,
Monsieur, vous me suivez comme un lavement."

[FN#157] The text (p. 243) speaks of two eunuchs, but only one
has been noticed.

[FN#158] Arab. "Manjanik;" there are two forms of this word from
the Gr. {Greek}, or {Greek}, and it survives in our mangonel, a
battering engine. The idea in the text is borrowed from the life
of Abraham whom Nimrod cast by means of a catapult (which is a
bow worked by machinery) into a fire too hot for man to approach.

[FN#159] Showing that he was older; otherwise she would have
addressed him, "O my cousin." A man is "young," in Arab speech,
till forty and some say fifty.

[FN#160] The little precatory formula would keep off the Evil

[FN#161] Supper comes first because the day begins at sundown.

[FN#162] Calotte or skull-cap; vol. i. 224; viii. 120.

[FN#163] This is a new "fact" in physics and certainly to be
counted amongst "things not generally known." But Easterns have a
host of "dodges" to detect physiological differences such as
between man and maid, virgin and matron, imperfect castratos and
perfect eunuchs and so forth. Very Eastern, mutatis mutandis, is
the tale of the thief-catcher, who discovered a fellow in
feminine attire by throwing an object for him to catch in his lap
and by his closing his legs instead of opening them wide as the
petticoated ones would do.

[FN#164] She did not wish to part with her maidenhead at so cheap
a price.

[FN#165] Arab. "Subu'" (for "Yaum al-Subu'") a festival prepared
on the seventh day after a birth or a marriage or return from
pilgrimage. See Lane (M. E. passim) under "Subooa."

[FN#166] For this Anglo-Indian term,=a running courier, see vol.
vii. 340. It is the gist of the venerable Joe Miller in which the
father asks a friend to name his seven-months child. "Call him
'Cossid' for verily he hath accomplished a march of nine months
in seven months."

[FN#167] Arab. "Madafi al-Salamah," a custom showing the date of
the tale to be more modern than any in the ten vols. of The
Nights proper.

[FN#168] Master, captain, skipper (not owner): see vols. i. 127;
vi. 112.

[FN#169] Zahr al-Bahr=the surface which affords a passage to man.

[FN#170] Arab. "Batiyah," gen.=a black jack, a leathern flagon.

[FN#171] "Kunafah"=a vermicelli cake often eaten at breakfast:
see vol. x. 1: "Kunafani" is the baker or confectioner. Scott (p.
101) converts the latter into a "maker of cotton wallets for

[FN#172] In the text (iii. 260) "Midi," a clerical error for
"Mayyidi," an abbreviation of "Muayyadi," the Faddah, Nuss or
half-dirham coined under Sultan al-Muayyad, A.H. ixth cent.=A.D.

[FN#173] Arab. "Rub'" (plur. "Arba'")=the fourth of a "Waybah,"
the latter being the sixth of an Ardabb (Irdabb)=5 bushels. See
vol. i. 263.

[FN#174] A royal pavilion; according to Shakespear (Hind. Dict.
sub voce) it is a corruption of the Pers. "Sayaban."=canopy.

[FN#175] Arab. "Musajja'"=rhymed prose: for the Saj'a, see vol.
i. 116, and Terminal Essay, vol. x. p. 220. So Chaucer:--

In rhyme or elles in cadence.

[FN#176] Arab. "Huwa inna na'rifu-h" lit.=He, verily we wot him
not: the juxtaposition of the two first pronouns is intended to
suggest "I am he."

[FN#177] In Moslem tales decency compels the maiden, however much
she may be in love, to show extreme unwillingness in parting with
her maidenhead especially by marriage; and this farce is enacted
in real life (see vol. viii. 40). The French tell the indecent

Desir de fille est un feu qui devore:
Desir de femme est plus fort encore.

[FN#178] The Arab. form (our old "bashaw") of the Turk. "Pasha,"
which the French and many English write Pacha, thus confusing the
vulgar who called Ibrahim Pacha "Abraham Parker." The origin of
the word is much debated and the most fanciful derivations have
been proposed. Some have taken it from the Sansk. "Paksha"=a
wing: Fuerst from Pers. Paigah=rank, dignity; Von Hammer
(History) from Pai-Shah=foot of the king; many from
"Padishah"=the Sovran, and Mr. E. T. W. Gibb suspects a
connection with the Turk. "Bash"=a head. He writes to me that the
oldest forms are "Bashah" and "Bashah"; and takes the following
quotation from Colonel Jevad Bey, author of an excellent work on
the Janissaries published a few years ago. "As it was the custom
of the (ancient) Turks to call the eldest son 'Pasha,' the same
style was given to his son Ala al-Din (Aladdin) by Osman Ghazi,
the founder of the Empire; and he kept this heir at home and
beside him, whilst he employed the cadet Orkhan Bey as his
commander-in-chief. When Orkhan Ghazi ascended the throne he
conferred the title of Pasha upon his son Sulayman. Presently
reigned Murad (Amurath), who spying signs of disaffection in his
first-born Sawuji Bey about the middle of his reign created Kara
Khalil (his Kazi-Askar or High Chancellor) Wazir with the title
Kazyr al-Din Pasha; thus making him, as it were, an adopted son.
After this the word passed into the category of official titles
and came to be conferred upon those who received high office."
Colonel Jevad Bey then quotes in support of his opinion the
"History of Munajjim Pasha" and the "Fatayah
al-Waku'at"=Victories of Events. I may note that the old title
has been sadly prostituted in Egypt as well as in Turkey: in 1851
Pashas could be numbered on a man's fingers; now they are
innumerable and of no account.

[FN#179] Arab. "'Ala babi 'llah"=for the love of the Lord,
gratis, etc., a most popular phrase.

[FN#180] Arab. "Bahar," often used for hot spices generally.

[FN#181] In the text Shajarat Rih.

[FN#182] Arab. "Ma'adin"=minerals, here mentioned for the first

[FN#183] For the ear conceiving love before the eye (the basis of
half these love-stories), see vol. iii. 9.

[FN#184] According to Dr. Steingass "Mirwad"=the iron axle of a
pulley or a wheel for drawing water or lifting loads, hence
possibly a bar of metal, an ingot. But he is more inclined to
take it in its usual sense of "Kohl-pencil." Here "Mirwad" is the
broader form like "Miftah" for "Miftah," much used in Syria.

[FN#185] For the Ashrafi, a gold coin of variable value, see vol.
iii. 294. It is still coined; the Calcutta Ashrafi worth 1 11s.
8d. is 1/16th (about 5s. to the oz.) better than the English
standard, and the Regulations of May, 1793, made it weigh 190.894
grs. Troy.

[FN#186] In text "Anjar"=a flat platter; Pers.

[FN#187] By what physical process the author modestly leaves to
the reader's imagination. Easterns do not often notice this
feminine venereal paroxysm which takes the place of seminal
emission in the male. I have seen it happen to a girl when
hanging by the arms a trifle too long from a gymnastic cross-bar;
and I need hardly say that at such moments (if men only knew
them) every woman, even the most modest, is an easy conquest. She
will repent it when too late, but the flesh has been too strong
for her.

[FN#188] A neat and suggestive touch of Eastern manners and

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