Part 8 out of 8
[FN#352] A favourite sentiment in the East: we find it at the very
beginning of Sa'di's Gulistan: better a weal-bringing lie than a
[FN#353] A penny, one sixth of the drachma.
[FN#354] Founder of the Hanbali, fourth (in date) of the four
orthodox Moslem schools. The Caliph al-Mu'atasim bi'llah, son of
Harun al-Rashid, who believed the Koran to have been created and
not a Logos (whatever that may be), co-eternal with Allah, scourged
this Imam severely for "differing in opinion" (A.H. 220=833). In
fact few of the notable reverends of that day escaped without a
caress of the scourge or the sword.
[FN#355] A learned man of the eighth century at Bassorah (A.D.).
[FN#356] A traditionist of Khorasan in the ninth century (A.D.).
[FN#357] "Azal," opp. to "Abad," eternity without end, infinity.
[FN#358] Koran lxvi. 6.
[FN#359] A traditionist of Al-Medinah, eighth century (A.D.).
[FN#360] Arab. "Músá": the Egyptian word was "Mesu," the "child" or
the "boy" (brought up in the palace?), and the Hebrews made it
"Mosheh" or "one drawn out of the water;" "Mu" in Egypt being
water, the Arab "Ma"; whence probably the moderns have derived the
dim. "Moyeh ," vulg. Egyptian for water.
[FN#361] Koran, chaps. xxviii.: Shu'ayb is our Jethro: Koran,
chaps. vii. and xi. Mr. Rodwell suggests (p. 101) that the name has
been altered from Hobab (Numb. x. 29).
[FN#362] Arab. "Taub" (Saub), the long shirt popularly written in
English Tobe and pronounced so by Egyptians. It is worn by both
sexes (Lane, M. E. chaps. i. "Tob") in Egypt, and extends into the
heart of Moslem Africa: I can compare it with nothing but a long
nightgown dyed a dirty yellow by safflower and about as picturesque
as a carter's smock-frock.
[FN#363] There is nothing of this in the Koran; and it is a most
unhappy addition, as Moses utterly and pretentiously ignored a
[FN#364] Koran xxviii. 22-27. Mohammed evidently confounded the
contract between Laban and Jacob. (Gen. xxix. 15-39.)
[FN#365] So says Al-Hariri (Ass. of Sasan), "The neighbour before
the house and the traveller before the journey." In certain cities
the neighbourhood is the real detective police, noting every action
and abating scandals (such as orgies, etc.) with a strong hand and
with the full consent of public opinion and of the authorities.
This loving the neighbour shows evident signs of being borrowed
[FN#366] Al-Asamm a theologian of Balkh, ninth century (A.D.).
[FN#367] The founder of the Senior School, for which see Sale Prel.
Disc. sect. viii.
[FN#368] Thus serving the Lord by sinning against his own body.
[FN#369] An Egyptian doctor of the law (ninth century).
[FN#370] Koran lxxvii. 35, 36. This is one of the earliest and most
poetical chapters of the book.
[FN#371] Abu Hanifah was scourged for refusing to take office and
was put to death in prison, it is said by poison (A.H. 150=A.D.
767), for a judicial sentence authorising rebellion against the
second Abbaside, Al-Mansur, surnamed Abu'l-Dawánik (Father of
Pence) for his exceeding avarice.
[FN#372] "Lá rayba fí-hi" says the Koran (ii. 1) of itself; and the
saying is popularly applied to all things of the Faith.
[FN#373] Arab. "Rivál al-Ghayb," somewhat like the "Himalayan
Brothers" of modern superstition. See Herklots (Qanoon-e-Islam) for
a long and careful description of these "Mardán-i-Ghayb" (Pers.),
a "class of people mounted on clouds," invisible, but moving in a
circular orbit round the world, and suggesting the Hindu
"Lokapálas." They should not be in front of the traveller nor on
his right, but either behind or on his left hand. Hence tables,
memorial couplets and hemistichs are required to ascertain the
station, without which precaution journeys are apt to end badly.
[FN#374] A sweetmeat before noticed.
[FN#375] Door hinges in the east are two projections for the top
and bottom of the leaf playing in hollows of the lintel and
threshold. It appears to be the primitive form, for we find it in
the very heart of Africa. In the basaltic cities of the Hauran,
where the doors are of thick stone, they move easily on these pins.
I found them also in the official (not the temple)City of Palmyra,
but all broken.
[FN#376] The effect of the poison and of the incantation which
[FN#377] King Omar who had raped her. My sympathies are all with
the old woman who nightly punished the royal lecher.
[FN#378] Arab. "Zunnár," the Gr. . Christians and Jews were
compelled by the fanatical sumptuary laws of the Caliph Al-
Mutawakkil (AD. 856) to wear a broad leather belt in public, hence
it became a badge of the Faith. Probably it was confounded with the
"Janeo" (Brahmanical thread) and the Parsi sacred girdle called
Kashti. (Dabistan i, 297, etc.). Both Mandeville and La Brocquičre
speak of "Christians of the Girdle, because they are all girt
above," intending Jacobites or Nestorians.
[FN#379] "Siláh dár" (Arab. and Pers.)=a military officer of high
rank; literally an "armour-bearer," chosen for velour and
trustworthiness. So Jonathan had a "young man" (brave) who bare his
armour (I Sam. xiv. 1, 6 and 7); and Goliath had a man that bare
the shield before him (ibid. xvii. 7, 41). Men will not readily
forget the name of Sulayman Agha, called the Silahdar, in Egypt.
(Lane M. E. chaps. iv.)
[FN#380] It will be told afterwards.
[FN#381] The elder brother thus showed himself a vassal and proved
himself a good Moslem by not having recourse to civil war.
[FN#382] Arab. "Ghazwah," the corrupt Gallicism, now
[FN#383] Turk in modern parlance means a Turkoman, a pomade: the
settled people call themselves Osmanli or Othmanli. Turkoman=Turk-
[FN#384] Arab. "Nimsá;" southern Germans, Austrians; from the Slav.
"Nemica" (any Germans), literally meaning "The dumb" (nemac),
because they cannot speak Slav.
[FN#385] Arab. "Dubárá" from the Slav. "Dubrovnik," from "Dub" (an
oak) and "Dubrava" (an oak forest). Ragusa, once a rival of Venice,
gave rise to the word "Argosy." D'Herbelot calls it "Dobravenedik"
or "Good Venice," the Turkish name, because it paid tribute when
Venice would not (?).
[FN#386] Arab. "Jawarnah," or, "Júrnah" evidently Zara, a place of
many names, Jadera (Hirtius de Bell. Alex. cap. 13), Jadra, Zadra
(whence the modern term), Diadora, Diadosca and Jadrossa. This
important Liburnian city sent forth many cruisers in crusading
days; hence the Arabs came to know its name.
[FN#387] Arab. "Banu'l-Asfar;" which may mean "Pale faces," in the
sense of "yeller girls" (New Orleans) and that intended by North
American Indians, or, possibly, the peoples with yellow (or rather
tow-coloured) hair we now call Russians. The races of Hindostan
term the English not "white men," but "red men;" and the reason
will at once be seen by comparing a Britisher with a high-caste
Nágar Brahman whose face is of parchment colour as if he had drunk
exsangue cuminum. The Yellow-faces of the text correspond with the
Sansk. "Svetadvipa"--Whiteman's Land.
[FN#388] Arab. "Al-Musakhkham." No Moslem believes that Isa was
crucified and a favourite fancy is that Judas, changed to the
likeness of Jesus, thus paid for his treason. (Evangel. Barnabć.)
Hence the resurrection is called not "Kiyámah" but
"Kumámah"=rubbish. This heresy about the Cross they share with the
Docetes, "certain beasts in the shape of men" (says Ignatius), who
held that a phantom was crucified. So far the Moslems are logical,
for "Isa," being angelically, miraculously and immaculately
conceived, could not be; but they contradict themselves when they
hold a vacant place near Mohammed's tomb for the body of Isa after
his second coming as a forerunner to Mohammed and Doomday.
(Pilgrimage ii. 89.)
[FN#389] A diviner, priest, esp. Jewish, and not belonging to the
tribe of Levi.
[FN#390] Again the coarsest word "Khara." The allusion is to the
vulgar saying, "Thou eatest skite!" (i.e. thou talkest nonsense).
Decent English writers modify this to, "Thou eatest dirt:" and Lord
Beaconsfield made it ridiculous by turning it into "eating sand."
[FN#391] These silly scandals, which cause us only to smile, excite
Easterns to fury. I have seen a Moslem wild with rage on hearing a
Christian parody the opening words of the Koran, "Bismillahi 'l-
Rahmáni 'l-Rahím, Mismish wa Kamar al-din," roughly translated,
"In the name of Allah, the Compassionating, the Compassionate!
Apricots and marmalede." The idea of the Holy Merde might have been
suggested by the Hindus: see Mandeville, of the archiprotopapaton
(prelate) carrying ox-dung and urine to the King, who therewith
anoints his brow and breast, &c. And, incredible to relate, this is
still practiced after a fashion by the Parsis, one of the most
progressive and the sharpest witted of Asiatic races.
[FN#392] Meaning that he had marked his brow with a cross (of
ashes?) as certain do on Ash Wednesday.
[FN#393] Syria, the "left-hand land" as has before been explained.
The popular saying about its people is "Shámi shúmi!"--the Syrian
is small potatoes (to render the sense Americanicč). Nor did Syrus,
the slave in Roman days, bear the best of names. In Al-Hijaz the
Syrian is addressed "Abú Shám" (Father of Syria) and insulted as
"Abuser of the Salt" (a traitor). Yet many sayings of Mohammed are
recorded in honour of Syria, and he sometimes used Syriac words.
Such were "Bakh, bakh" (=euge, before noticed), and "Kakh," a
congener of the Latin Cacus and Caca which our day has docked to
"cack." (Pilgrimage iii. 115)
[FN#394] Koran xiv. 34. "They (Unbelievers) shall be thrown therein
(i.e., the House of Perdition=Hell); and an unhappy dwelling shall
[FN#395] The leg-cut is a prime favourite with the Eastern Sworder,
and a heavy two-handed blade easily severs a horse's leg.
[FN#396] Mohammed repeatedly declared (Koran lxi.) that the
Christians had falsified the passage ("I go to my Father and the
Paraclete shall come," John xvi. 7) promising the advent of the
Comforter, (ibid. xiv. 20; xv. 26) by substituting the
latter word for glorious, renowned, i.e., Ahmed or
Mohammed=the praised one. This may have been found in the Arabic
translation of the Gospels made by Warakah, cousin to Mohammed's
first wife; and hence in Koran lxi. we find Jesus prophesying of an
Apostle "whose name shall be Ahmad." The word has consequently been
inserted into the Arabic Gospel of Saint Barnabas (Dabistan iii.
67). Moslems accept the Pentateuch, the Psalter and the Gospel; but
assert (Koran, passim.) that all extant copies have been hopelessly
corrupted, and they are right. Moses, to whom the Pentateuch is
attributed, notices his own death and burial--"the mair the
miracle," said the old Scotch lady. The "Psalms of David" range
over a period of some five hundred years, and there are three
Isaiahs who pass with the vulgar for one. The many apocryphal
Gospels, all of which have been held genuine and canonical at
different times and in different places, prove that the four, which
are still in use, were retained because they lack the manifest
absurdities of their discarded rivals.
[FN#397] Arab. " Labbayka; " the Pilgrimage-cry (Night xxii.) which
in Arabic is,
Labbayk' Allahumma, Labbayk'!
Lá Sharíka lake, Labbayk'!
Inna 'l-hamda w'al ni'amata lake wa'l mulk!
Labbayk' Allahumma, Labbayk'!
Some add "Here am I, and I honour Thee, the son of Thy two slaves;
beneficence and good are all between Thy hands."With the "Talbiyah"
the pilgrims should bless the Prophet, pray Allah to grant Heaven
and exclaim, "By Thy mercy spare us from the pains of Hell-fire!"
(Pilgrimage iii. 232.) Labbayka occurs in the verses attributed to
Caliph Ali; so labba=he faced, and yalubbu=it faces (as one house
faces another); lastly, he professed submission to Allah; in which
sense, together with the verbal noun "Talbiyah," it is used by Al-
Hanri (Pref. and Ass. of Su'adah).
[FN#398] Arab. "Kissís" (plur. Kusús) from ‘ .
[FN#399] Koran ii. The "red cow" is evidently the "red heifer" of
Barnabas, chaps. vii.
[FN#400] Arab. "Al-Jásalík"= .
[FN#401] This is from the first "Gospel of Infancy," wherein Jesus
said to his mother, "Verily I am Jesus, the Son of God, the Word
which thou hast brought forth, as the Angel Gabriel did declare
unto thee; and my Father hath sent me to save the world" (chaps. i.
2.). The passage is virtually quoted in the Koran (chaps. iii.
141), of course omitting " the Son of God"
[FN#402] Mohammed allowed his locks to grow down to his ear-lobes
but never lower.
[FN#403] Arab. "Lisám" I have explained as a covering for the lower
face, made by drawing over it the corner of the head-kerchief
(Pilgrimage i. 346). The Lisám of the African Tawárik hoods the
eyes so that a man must turn up his face to see, and swathes all
the lower half, leaving only the nose exposed. And this is worn by
many men by night as well as by day, doubtless to avoid the evil
eye. The native Sultans of Darfur, like those of Bornu and others
further west, used white muslin as a face-wrap: hence, too, the
ceremonies when spitting, etc., etc. The Kúfiyah or head-kerchief
of the Arabs soon reached Europe and became in Low Latin Cuphia; in
Spanish Escofia; in Ital. Cuffia or Scuffia; in French Escoffion,
Scofion (Reine Marguerite) Coëffe (une pellicule, marque de
bonheur) Coiffe and Coife, &c.; the Scotch Curch or Coif, opposed
to the maiden snood, and, lastly our Sergeant-at-Law's Coif.
Littré, the Learned, who in erudition was né coiffé, has missed
this obvious derivation.
[FN#404] "Cutting," throughout the book, alludes to the scymitar
with which Arabs never give point; and "thrusting" to the footman's
spear and the horseman's lance.
[FN#405] A popular phrase, I repeat, for extreme tenor and
[FN#406] The name usually applies to a well-known district and city
of Al Yaman, where "Koss the eloquent" was bishop in Mohammed's
day: the Negiran of D'Herbelot. Here, however, it is the Syrian
Najrán (Nejrân of Missionary Porter's miserable Handbook), now a
wretched village near the volcanic Lajjá, about one hundred and
twenty miles direct south of Damascus and held by Druzes and
[FN#407] The Kantár (quintal) of 100 ratls (Ibs.) =98-99 Ibs.
[FN#408] Arab. "Juráb (bag) mi'adat- ih (of his belly)," the
"curdling of the testicles" in fear is often mentioned.
[FN#409] Clearly alluding to the magic so deeply studied by
[FN#410] Arab. "Sahákah," lit. rubbing. The Moslem Harem is a great
school for this "Lesbian (which I would call Atossan) love "; but
the motive of the practice lies deeper. As amongst men the mixture
of the feminine with the masculine temperament leads to sodomy, so
the reverse makes women prefer their own sex. These tribades are
mostly known by peculiarities of form and features, hairy cheeks
and upper lips, gruff voices, hircine odour and the large
projecting clitoris with erectile powers known to the Arabs as
"bazar" hence Tabzír=circumcision or amputation of such clitoris.
Burckhardt (Prov. 436) translates " Bazarah" by slut or wench. He
adds " it originally signifies the labia which the Cairenes also
entice Zambúr and which are cut off in girlhood." See also Lane,
Lex. s.v.; Tabzír. Both writers confuse excision of the nymphć with
circumcision of the clitoris (Zambúr) Al-Siyúti (Kitab al-Izá'
fi'Ilm al-Nikah) has a very interesting chapter on Sapphic venery,
which is well known to Europe as proved by such works as "Gamiani,"
and "Anandria ou Confessions de Mademoiselle Sappho, avec la Clef,"
Lesbos, 1718. Onanism is fatally prevalent: in many Harems and
girls' schools tallow candles and similar succedanea are vainly
forbidden and bananas when detected are cut into four so as to be
useless; of late years, however, China has sent some marvellous
artificial phalli of stuffed bladder, horn and even caoutchouc, the
latter material of course borrowed from Europe.
[FN#411] This is considered a powerful aphrodisiac in the East.
Hence male devotees are advised to avoid tile "two reds," i.e. meat
and wine; while the "two reds," which corrupt women, are gold and
saffron, that is perfumery. Hence also the saying of Mohammed:--
"Perfumes for men should have scent and not colour; for women
should have colour and not scent." (Mishkát al-Masábíh ii. 361.)
[FN#412] These are the "Hibás" or thin cords of wool which the
Badawi binds round his legs, I believe to keep off cramp.
(Pilgrimage iii. 78).
[FN#413] Crying out "La iláha illa 'llah." (There is no god but the
God.); technically called "Tahlíl."
[FN#414] i.e. Men, angels and devils, the "Triloka" (triple people)
of the Hindus. Alamín (plur.), never Alamayn (dual), is the
Triregno denoted by the papal Tiara, the three Christian kingdoms
being Heaven, Hell and Purgatory.
[FN#415] Matrahinna or Mit-Rahinah is a well-known village near
Memphis, the name being derived from the old Egyptian Minat-ro-
hinnu, the port at the mouth of the canal. Let me remark that two
of these three words, "Minat" and "Ru," are still common in "
[FN#416] Kirámat, a sign, a prodigy, opposed to Mu'ujizah, a
miracle wrought by a prophet. The Sufis explain this thaumaturgy by
Allah changing something of Nature's ordinary course in favour of
an especial worshipper, and, after a fashion, this is Catholic
doctrine (See Dabistan, iii. 173).
[FN#417] Koran, x. 25, "until the earth receive its vesture and be
adorned with various plants."
[FN#418] i.e. the young hair sprouting on the boy's cheek.
[FN#419] A fighter for the faith and now a title which follows the
name, e.g. Osmán Páshá Ghází, whom the English press dubbed "Ghazi
[FN#420] That is the King of Constantinople.
[FN#421] Cassia fistularis, a kind of carob: " Shambar" is the
Arab. form of the Persian " Chambar."
[FN#422] Koran, ii. 149. Hence the vulgar idea that Martyrs are
still alive in the flesh. See my Pilgrimage (ii. 110 and elsewhere)
for the romantic and picturesque consequences of that belief. The
Commentators (Jalál al-Dín, etc.) play tricks with the Koranic
words, " they (martyrs) are not dead but living" (iii. 179) by
placing the happy souls in the crops of green birds which eat of
the fruits and drink of the waters of Paradise; whereas the
reprobates and the (very) wicked are deposited in black birds which
drain the sanies and the boiling waters of Hell. Amongst the Greeks
a body remaining entire long after death suggests Anathema
Maranatha: it is the contrary with Catholic Christians (Boccaccio
iv. 5, of the Pot of Basil). Concerning this creed see Maundrell,
Letter of 1698.
[FN#423] Tor is "Mount Sinai" in the Koran (xcv. 1). I have only to
repeat my opinion concerning the present site so called: "It is
evident that Jebel Serbal dates only from the early days of Coptic
Christianity; that Jebel Musa, its Greek rival, rose after the
visions of Helena in the fourth century; whilst the building of the
Convent by Justinian belongs to A.D 527. Ras Safsáfah, its rival to
the north, is an affair of yesterday, and may be called the
invention of Robinson; and Jebel Katerina, to the south is the
property of Rüppell" (Midian Revisited i., 237). I would therefore
call the "Sinaitic" Peninsula, Peninsula of Paran in old days and
Peninsula of Tor (from its chief port) in our time. It is still my
conviction that the true Mount Sinai will be found in Jabal Aráif,
or some such unimportant height to the north of the modern Hajj-
road from Suez to Akabah. Even about the name (which the Koran
writes "Sainá" and "Sínín") there is a dispute: It is usually
derived from the root "Sanah"=sentis, a bush; but this is not
satisfactory. Our eminent Assyriologist, Professor Sayce, would
connect it with "Sin," the Assyrian Moon- god as Mount Nebo with
the Sun-god and he expects to find there the ruins of a Lunar
temple as a Solar fane stands on Ba'al Zapuna (Baal Zephon) or the
classical Mount Casius.
[FN#424] Alluding to the miracle of Aaron's rod (the gift of
Jethro) as related in the Koran (chapts. vii. 1., xx., etc.), where
the Egyptian sorcerers threw down thick ropes which by their magic
twisted and coiled like serpents.
[FN#425] Arab. "Ayát" lit. "signs," here "miracles of the truth,"
1. c. Koranic versets as opposed to chapters. The ranks of the
enemy represent the latter, sword-cuts the former--a very
persuasive mode of preaching.
[FN#426] Lane (M. E. chapt.. iii.) shows by a sketch the position
of the worshipper during this "Salám" which is addressed, some say,
to the guardian angels, others suppose to all brother-believers and
[FN#427] i.e., where the Syrians found him.
[FN#428] i.e., Dedianus Arabised; a name knightly and plebian.
[FN#429] In such tales the Wazir is usually the sharp-witted man,
contrasting with the "dummy," or master.
[FN#430] Carrier-pigeons were extensively used at this time. The
Caliph Al-Násir li-Díni ‘lláh (regn. A.H. 575=1180) was, according
to Ibn Khaldún, very fond of them. The moderns of Damascus still
affect them. My successor, Mr. Consul Kirby Green, wrote an
excellent report on pigeon-fancying at Damascus. The so-called
Maundeville or Mandeville in A. D. 1322 speaks of carrier-pigeons
in Syria as a well-known mode Of intercourse between lord and lord.
[FN#431] Mohammed who declared "There is no monkery in Al-Islam,"
and who virtually abolished the priest, had an especial aversion to
the shaveling (Ruhbán). But the "Gens ćterna in quâ nemo nascitur"
(Pliny v. 17) managed to appear even in Al-lslam, as Fakirs,,
Dervishes, Súfis, etc. Of this more hereafter.
[FN#432] i.e. her holiness would act like a fascinating talisman.
[FN#433] The "smoking out" practice is common amongst the Arabs:
hence Marshal Pelissier's so- called " barbarity." The Public is
apt to forget that on a campaign the general's first duty is to
save his own men by any practice which the laws of fair warfare do
not absolutely forbid.
[FN#434] i.e. Mohammed, who promised Heaven and threatened Hell.
[FN#435] Arab. "Ahr" or "ihr," fornication or adultery, i.e.,
irreligion, infidelity as amongst the Hebrews (Isaiah xxiii.17).
[FN#436] A sign of defeat.
[FN#437] In English "last night": I have already noted that the
Moslem day, like the Jewish and the Scandinavian, begins at
sundown; and "layl " a night, is often used to denote the twenty-
four hours between sunset and sunset, whilst "yaum," a day, would
by us be translated in many cases "battle-day."
[FN#438] Iterum the "Himalayan Brothers."
[FN#439] Again, Mohammed who promised Good to the Good, and vice
[FN#440] They are sad doggrel like most of the pičces d'occasion
inserted in The Nights.
[FN#441] Here "Kahwah" (coffee) is used in its original sense of
strong old wine. The derivation is "Akhá"=fastidire fecit, causing
disinclination for food, the Matambre (kill- hunger) of the
Iberians. In old days the scrupulous called coffee "Kihwah" in
order to distinguish it from 'Kakwah," wine.
[FN#442] i.e. Mohammed, a common title.
[FN#443] That is, fatal to the scoffer and the impious.
[FN#444] Equivalent to our "The Devil was sick," etc.
[FN#445] i.e. to the enemy: the North American Indians (so called)
use similar forms of "inverted speech"; and the Australian
aborigines are in no way behind them.
[FN#446] See Vol. i., p. 154 (Night xvi.).
[FN#447] Arab. "Sauf," a particle denoting a near future whereas
"Sa-" points to one which may be very remote.
[FN#448] From the root "Shanh"=having a fascinating eye,
terrifying. The Irish call the fascinater "eybitter" and the victim
(who is also rhymed to death) "eybitten."
[FN#449] i.e., not like the noble-born, strong in enduring the
stress of fight.
[FN#450] i.e., of Abraham. For the Well Zemzem and the Place of
Abraham see my Pilgrimage (iii. 171-175, etc.), where I described
the water as of salt-bitter taste, like that of Epsom (iii. 203).
Sir William Muir (in his excellent life of Mahomet, I. cclviii.)
remarks that "the flavour of stale water bottled up for months
would not be a criterion of the same water freshly drawn;" but
soldered tins-full of water drawn a fortnight before are to be had
in Calcutta and elsewhere after Pilgrimage time; and analysis would
at once detect the salt.
[FN#451] Racing was and is a favourite pastime with those
hippomanists, the Arabs; but it contrasts strongly with our
civilised form being a trial of endurance rather than of speed. The
Prophet is said to have limited betting in these words, "There
shall be no wagering save on the Kuff (camel's foot), the Hafir
(hoof of horse, ass, etc.) or the Nasal (arrow-pile or lance
[FN#452] In the Mac. Edit. "Arman"=Armenia, which has before
occurred. The author or scribe here understands by "Cćsarea" not
the old Turris Stratonis, Herod's city called after Augustus, but
Cćsareia the capital of Cappadocia (Pliny, vi. 3), the royal
residence before called Mazaca (Strabo).
[FN#453] An idiom meaning "a very fool."
[FN#454] i.e. Kána (was) má (that which) was (kána).
[FN#455] A son being "the lamp of a dark house."
[FN#456] When the Israelites refused to receive the Law (the souls
of all the Prophets even those unborn being present at the
Covenant), Allah tore up the mountain (Sinai which is not
mentioned) by the roots and shook it over their heads to terrify
them, saying, "Receive the Law which we have given you with a
resolution to keep it" (Koran chaps. xlx. 170). Much of this story
is from the Talmud (Abodah Sar. 2, 2, Tract Sabbath, etc.) whence
Al-Islam borrowed so much of its Judaism, as it took Christianity
from the Apocryphal New Testament. This tradition is still held by
the Israelites, says Mr. Rodwell (p. 333) who refers it to a
misunderstanding of Exod. xix. 17, rightly rendered in the E.
version "at the nether part of the mountain."
[FN#457] Arab. "Azghán" = the camel-litters in which women travel.
[FN#458] i.e. to joy foes and dismay friends.
[FN#459] Whose eyes became white (i.e. went blind) with mourning
for his son Joseph (Koran, chaps. xii. 84). He recovered his sight
when his face was covered with the shirt which Gabriel had given to
the youth after his brethren had thrown him into the well.
[FN#460] "Poison King" (Persian); or "Flower-King" (Arabic).
[FN#461] A delicate allusion to the size of her hips and back
parts, in which volume is, I have said, greatly admired for the
best of reasons.
[FN#462] All Prophets had some manual trade and that of David was
making coats of mail, which he invented, for before his day men
used plate-armour. So "Allah softened the iron for him" and in his
hands it became like wax (Koran xxi. xxxiv., etc.). Hence a good
coat of mail is called "Davidean." I have noticed (First Footsteps,
p. 33 and elsewhere) the homage paid to the blacksmith on the
principle which made Mulciber (Malik Kabir) a god. The myth of
David inventing mail possibly arose from his peculiarly fighting
career. Moslems venerate Dáúd on account of his extraordinary
devotion, nor has this view of his character ceased : a modern
divine preferred him to "all characters in history."
[FN#463] "Travel by night," said the Prophet, "when the plagues of
earth (scorpions, serpents, etc.) afflict ye not." Yet the night-
march in Arabia is detestable (Pilgrimage iii.).
[FN#464] This form of ceremony is called "Istikbál" (coming forth
to greet) and is regulated by the severest laws of etiquette. As a
rule the greater the distance (which may be a minimum of one step)
the higher the honour. Easterns infinitely despise strangers who
ignore these vitals of politeness.
[FN#465] i.e. he will be a desert Nimrod and the game will delight
to be killed by him.
[FN#466] This serves to keep the babe's eyes free from
[FN#467] i.e. Crown of the Kings of amorous Blandishment.
[FN#468] Lane (i. 531) translates "the grey down." The Arabs use
"Akhzar" (prop. "green") in many senses, fresh, gray-hued, etc.
[FN#469] Allusion to the well-known black banners of the house of
Abbas. The Persians describe the growth of hair on a fair young
face by, "His cheeks went into mourning for the loss of their
[FN#470] Arab. "Káfir" a Koranic word meaning Infidel, the active
participle of Kufr= Infidelity i.e. rejecting the mission of
Mohammed. It is insulting and in Turkish has been degraded to
"Giaour." Here it means black, as Hafiz of Shiraz terms a cheek
mole "Hindu" i.e. dark-skinned and idolatrous.
[FN#471] Alluding to the travel of Moses (Koran chaps. xviii.) with
Al-Khizr (the "evergreen Prophet") who had drunk of the Fountain of
Life and enjoyed flourishing and continual youth. Moses is
represented as the external and superficial religionist; the man of
outsight; Al-Khizr as the spiritual and illuminated man of insight.
[FM#472] The lynx was used like the lion in Ancient Egypt and the
Chita-leopard in India: I have never seen or heard of it in these
[FN#473] Arab. "Sukúr," whence our "Saker" the falcon, not to be
confounded with the old Falco Sacer, the Gr. . Falconry which,
like all arts, began in Egypt, is an extensive subject throughout
Moslem lands. I must refer my readers to "Falconry in the Valley of
the Indus" (Van Voorst, 1852) and a long note in Pilgrimage iii.
[FN#474] It was not respectful to pitch their camp within dog-bark.
[FN#475] Easterns attach great importance to softness and
smoothness of skin and they are right: a harsh rough epidermis
spoils sport with the handsomest woman.
[FN#476] Canticles vii. 8: Hosea xiv. 6.
[FN#477] The mesmeric attraction of like to like.
[FN#478] Arab. "Taswif"=saying "Sauf," I will do it soon. It is a
[FN#479] A very far fetched allusion. The face of the beloved
springing from an unbuttoned robe is the moon rising over the camp
in the hollow (bat'há).
[FN#480] Arab. "Kasabát" = "canes," long beads, bugles.
[FN#481] Koran, xcvi. 5.
[FN#482] Both words (masc. and fem.) mean "dear, excellent, highly-
prized." The tale is the Arab form of the European "Patient
Griselda" and shows a higher conception of womanly devotion,
because Azizah, despite her wearisome weeping, is a girl of high
intelligence and Aziz is a vicious zany, weak as water and wilful
as wind. The phenomenon (not rare in life) is explained by the
I love my love with an S—
Because he is stupid and not intellectual.
This fond affection of clever women for fools can be explained only
by the law of unlikeness which mostly governs sexual unions in
physical matters; and its appearance in the story gives novelty and
point. Aziz can plead only the violence of his passion which
distinguished him as a lover among the mob of men who cannot love
anything beyond themselves. And none can pity him for losing a
member which he so much abused.
[FN#483] Arab. "Sháhid," the index, the pointer raised in
testimony: the comparison of the Eastern and the Western names is
[FN#484] Musk is one of the perfumes of the Moslem Heaven; and
"musky" is much used in verse to signify scented and dark-brown.
[FN#485] Arab. "Mandíl": these kerchiefs are mostly oblong, the
shore sides being worked with gold and coloured silk, and often
fringed, while the two others are plain.
[FN#486] Arab. "Rayhání," of the Ocymum Basilicum or sweet basil:
a delicate handwriting, so called from the pen resembling a leaf
(?) See vol. i. p. 128. [Volume 1, note 229 & 230]
[FN#487] All idiom meaning "something unusual happened."
[FN#488] An action common in grief and regret: here the lady would
show that she sighs for union with her beloved.
[FN#489] Lane (i. 608) has a valuable note on the language of
signs, from M. du Vigneau's "Secretaire Turc," etc. (Paris, 1688),
Baron von Hammer-Purgstall ("Mines de ['Orient," No. 1, Vienna,
1809) and Marcel's "Comes du Cheykh El-Mohdy" (Paris, 1833). It is
practiced in Africa as well as in Asia. At Abeokuta in Yoruba a man
will send a symbolical letter in the shape of cowries, palm-nuts
and other kernels strung on rice- straw, and sharp wits readily
interpret the meaning. A specimen is given in p. 262 of Miss
Tucker's "Abbeokuta; or Sunrise within the Tropics."
[FN#490] Mr. Payne (ii. 227) translates "Hawá al-'Urzí" by "the
love of the Beni Udhra, an Arabian tribe famous for the passion and
devotion with which love was practiced among them." See Night
dclxxxiii. I understand it as "excusable love" which, for want of
a better term, is here translated "platonic." It is, however, more
like the old "bundling" of Wales and Northern England; and allows
all the pleasures but one, the toyings which the French call les
plaisirs de la petite ode; a term my dear old friend Fred. Hankey
derived from la petite voie. The Afghans know it as "Námzad-bází"
or betrothed play (Pilgrimage, ii. 56); the Abyssinians as eye-
love; and the Kafirs as Slambuka a Shlabonka, for which see The
[FN#491] "Turk" in Arabic and Persian poetry means a plunderer, a
robber. Thus Hafiz: "Agar án Turk-i-Shirázi ba-dast árad dil-i-
márá," If that Shirazi (ah, the Turk!) would deign to take my heart
in hand, etc.
[FN#492] Arab. "Názir," a steward or an eye (a "looker"). The idea
is borrowed from Al-Hariri (Assemblies, xiii.), and,--
[FN#493] Arab. "Hájib," a groom of the chambers, a chamberlain;
also an eyebrow. See Al-Hariri, ibid. xiii. and xxii.
[FN#494] This gesture speaks for itself: it is that of a dyer
staining a cloth. The "Sabbágh's" shop is the usual small recess,
open to the street and showing pans of various dyes sunk like "dog-
laps" in the floor.
[FN#495] The Arab. "Sabt" (from sabata, he kept Sabt) and the Heb.
"Sabbath" both mean Saturn's day, Saturday, transferred by some
unknown process throughout Christendom to Sunday. The change is one
of the most curious in the history of religions. If there be a
single command stronger than all others it is "Keep the Saturday
holy." It was so kept by the Founder of Christianity; the order was
never abrogated and yet most Christians are not aware that Sabbath,
or "Sawbath," means Saturn's day, the "Shiyár" of the older Arabs.
And to complete its degradation "Sabbat" in French and German means
a criaillerie, a "row," a disorder, an abominable festival of Hexen
(witches). This monstrous absurdity can be explained only by
aberrations of sectarian zeal, of party spirit in religion.
[FN#496] The men who cry to prayer. The first was Bilál, the
Abyssinian slave bought and manumitted by Abu Bakr. His simple cry
was "I testify there is no Iláh (god) but Allah (God)! Come ye to
prayers!" Caliph Omar, with the Prophet's permission, added, "I
testify that Mohammed is the Apostle of Allah." The prayer-cry
which is beautiful and human, contrasting pleasantly with the
brazen clang of the bell. now is
Allah is Almighty (bis).
I declare no god is there but Allah (bis).
Hie ye to Rogation (Hayya=halumma).
Hie ye to Salvation (Faláh=prosperity, Paradise).
("Hie ye to Edification," a Shi'ah adjunct).
Prayer is better than sleep (in the morning, also bis).
No god is there but Allah
This prayer call is similarly worded and differently pronounced and
intoned throughout Al-Islam.
[FN#497] i.e. a graceful youth of Al-Hijaz, the Moslem Holy Land,
whose "sons" claim especial privileges.
[FN#498] Arab. "harf'= a letter, as we should say a syllable.
[FN#499] She uses the masculine "fatá," in order to make the
question more mysterious.
[FN#500] The fountain-bowl is often ornamented by a rude mosaic of
black and white marble with enlivenments of red stone or tile in
[FN#501] Arab. "Kubád" = shaddock (citrus decumana): the huge
orange which Captain Shaddock brought from the West Indies; it is
the Anglo-Indian pompelmoose, vulg. pummelo. An excellent bitter is
made out of the rind steeped in spirits. Citronworts came from
India whence they spread throughout the tropics: they were first
introduced into Europe by the heroic Joam de Castro and planted in
his garden at Cintra where their descendants are still seen.
[FN#502] Arab. "Bakláwah," Turk. "Baklává," a kind of pastry with
blanched almonds bruised small between layers of dough, baked in
the oven and cut into lozenges. It is still common
[FN#503] Her just fear was that the young woman might prove "too
clever by half" for her simpleton cousin.
[FN#504] The curse is pregnant with meaning. On Judgment-day the
righteous shall arise with their faces shining gloriously: hence
the blessing, "Bayyaz' Allaho wajh-ak" (=Allah whiten thy
countenance!). But the wicked shall appear with faces scorched
black and deformed by horror (Koran xxiv.): hence "God blacken thy
brow!" I may observe that Easterns curse, the curse being
everywhere the language of excited destructiveness; but only
Westerns, and these chiefly English, swear, a practice utterly
meaningless. "Damn it" without specifying what the "it" is, sounds
like the speech of a naughty child anxious only to use a "wicked
word." "Damn you!" is intelligible all the world over. It has given
rise to "les goddams" in France, "Godámes" in the Brazil and
"Gotáma" amongst the Somal of Eastern Africa, who learn it in Aden,
[FN#505] Arab. "Zardah," usually rice dressed with saffron and
honey, from Pers. "Zard," saffron, yellow. See Night dcxii.
[FN#506] Vulgarly called "knuckle-bone," concerning which I shall
have something to say.
[FN#507] A bit of wood used in the children's game called "Táb"
which resembles our tip-cat (Lane M. E. chaps. xvii.).
[FN#508] Arab. "Balah," the unripened date, which is considered a
laxative and eaten in hot weather.
[FN#509] Lane (i. 611), quoting Al-Kazwíní, notes that the date-
stone is called "Nawá" (dim. "Nawáyah") which also means distance,
absence, severance. Thus the lady threatens to cast off her greedy
and sleepy lover.
[FN#510] The pad of the carob-bean which changes little after being
plucked is an emblem of constancy.
[FN#511] This dirham=48 grains avoir.
[FN#512] The weight would be round: also "Hadíd" (=iron) means
sharp or piercing (Koran chaps. Vi]. 21). The double "swear" is
intended to be very serious. Moreover iron conjures away fiends:
when a water-spout or a sand-devil (called Shaytán also in Arabia)
approaches, you point the index at the Jinn and say, "Iron, O thou
ill-omened one!" Amongst the Ancient Egyptians the metal was ill-
omened being the bones of Typhon, 80 here, possibly, we have an
instance of early homśopathy--similia similibus.
[FN#513] Probably fermented to a kind of wine. The insipid fruit
(Unnáb) which looks like an apple in miniature, is much used in
stews, etc. It is the fruit (Nabak classically Nabik) of Rhamnus
Nabeca (or Sidrat) also termed Zizyphus Jujuba, seu Spina Christi
because fabled to have formed the crown of thorns: in the English
market this plum is called Chinese Japonica. I have described it in
Pilgrimage ii. 205, and have noticed the infusion of the leaves for
washing the dead (ibid. ii. 105): this is especially the use of the
"Ber" in India, where the leaves are superstitiously held
peculiarly pure. Our dictionaries translate "Sidr" by "Lote-tree";
and no wonder that believers in Homeric writ feel their bile
aroused by so poor a realisation of the glorious myth. The Homerids
probably alluded to Hashish or Bhang.
[FN#514] Arab. "Azrár": the open collar of the Saub ("Tobe") or
long loose dress is symptomatic. The Eastern button is on the same
principle as ours (both having taken the place of the classical
fibula); but the Moslem affects a loop (like those to which we
attach our "frogs") and utterly ignores a button-hole.
[FN#515] Alluding to the ceremonious circumambulation of the Holy
House at Meccah: a notable irreverence worthy of Kneph-town
[FN#516] The ear-drop is the penis and the anklet its crown of
[FN#517] Equivalent to our "Alas! Alas!" which, by the by, no one
ever says. "Awah," like "Yauh," is now a woman's word although used
by Al-Hariri (Assembly of Basrah) and so Al-awwáh=one who cries
from grief "Awáh." A favourite conversational form is "Yehh" with
the aspirate exasperated, but it is an expression of astonishment
rather than sorrow. It enters into Europe travel-books.
[FN#518] In the text "burst her gall-bladder."
[FN#519] The death of Azizah is told with true Arab pathos and
simplicity: it still draws tear. *from the eyes of the Badawi, and
I never read it without a "lump in the throat."
[FN#520] Arab. "Inshallah bukra!" a universal saying which is the
horror of travellers.
[FN#521] I have explained "Nu'uman's flower" as the anemone which
in Grecised Arabic is "Anúmiyá." Here they are strewed over the
tomb; often the flowers are planted in a small bed of mould sunk in
the upper surface.
[FN#522] Arab. "Barzakh" lit. a bar, a partition: in the Koran
(chapts. xxiii. and xxxv.) the space or the place between death and
resurrection where souls are stowed away. It corresponds after a
fashion with the classical Hades and the Limbus (Limbo) of
Christendom, e.g.. Limbus patrum, infantum, fatuorum. But it must
not be confounded with Al-A'aráf, The Moslem purgatory.
[FN#523] Arab. "Zukák al-Nakíb," the latter word has been explained
as a chief, leader, head man.
[FN#524] Moslems never stand up at such times, for a spray of urine
would make their clothes ceremonially impure: hence the scrupulous
will break up with stick or knife the hard ground in front of them.
A certain pilgrim was reported to have made this blunder which is
hardly possible in Moslem dress. A high personage once asked me if
it was true that he killed a man who caught him in a standing
position; and I found to my surprise that the absurd scandal was
already twenty years old. After urinating the Moslem wipes the os
penis with one to three bits of stone, clay or handfuls of earth,
and he must perform Wuzu before he can pray. Tournefort (Voyage au
Levant iii. 335) tells a pleasant story of certain Christians at
Constantinople who powdered with "Poivre-d'Inde" the stones in a
wall where the Moslems were in the habit of rubbing the os penis by
way of wiping The same author (ii. 336) strongly recommends a
translation of Rabelais' Torcheculative chapter (Lib i., chaps. 13)
for the benefit of Mohammedans.
[FN#525] Arab. "Nuhás ahmar," lit. red brass.
[FN#526] The cup is that between the lady's legs.
[FN#527] A play upon "Sák" = calf, or leg, and "Sákí," a cup-
bearer. The going round (Tawáf) and the running (Sa'i) allude to
the circumambulation of the Ka'abah, and the running between Mount
Safá and Marwah (Pilgrimage ii. 58, and iii. 343). A religious
Moslem would hold the allusion highly irreverent.
[FN#528] Lane (i. 614) never saw a woman wearing such kerchief
which is deshabille. It is either spread over the head or twisted
[FN#529] The "Kasabah" was about two fathoms of long measure, and
sometimes 12 ˝ feet; but the length has been reduced.
[FN#530] "Bat and ball," or hockey on horseback (Polo) is one of
the earliest Persian games as shown by every illustrated copy of
Firdausi's "Shahnámeh." This game was played with a Kurrah or small
hand-ball and a long thin bat crooked at the end called in Persian
Chaugán and in Arabic Saulaján. Another sense of the word is given
in the Burhán-i-Káti translated by Vullers (Lex. Persico-Latinum),
a large bandy with bent head to which is hung an iron ball, also
called Kaukabah (our "morning-star") and like the umbrella it
denotes the grandees of the court. The same Kaukabah particularly
distinguished one of the Marquesses of Waterford. This Polo
corresponds with the folliculus, the pallone, the baloun-game
(moyen âge) of Europe, where the horse is not such a companion of
man; and whereof the classics sang:--
Folle decet pueros ludere, folle senes.
In these days we should spell otherwise the "folle" of seniors
playing at the ball or lawn-tennis.
[FN#531] "Dalíl" means a guide; `'Dalílah," a woman who misguides,
a bawd. See the Tale of Dalílah the Crafty, Night dcxcviii.
[FN#532] i.e. she was a martyr.
[FN#533] Arab. "Ghashím" a popular and insulting term, our "Johnny
Raw." Its use is shown in Pilgrimage i. 110.
[FN#534] Bathers pay on leaving the Hammam; all enter without
[FN#535] i.e. she swore him upon his sword and upon the Koran: a
loaf of bread is sometimes added. See Lane (i. 615).