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[FN#367] The Mac. Edit. gives by mistake “Abu Daud”: the Bul.

correctly “Abu Duwad,” He was Kazi al-Kuzat (High Chancellor) under Al-Mu’tasim, Al-Wasik bi’llah (Vathek) and Al-Mutawakkil.

[FN#368] Arab. “Zaffu”=they led the bride to the bridegroom’s house; but here used in the sense of displaying her as both were in the palace.

[FN#369] i.e. renounce the craft which though not sinful (haram) is makruh or religiously unpraiseworthy; Mohammed having objected to music and indeed to the arts in general.

[FN#370] Arab. “La tankati’i;” do not be too often absent from us. I have noticed the whimsical resemblance of “Kat'” and our “cut”; and here the metaphorical sense is almost identical.

[FN#371] See Ibn Khallikan ii. 455.

[FN#372] The Turkish body-guard. See vol. iii. 81.

[FN#373] Twelfth Abbaside (A.H. 248-252=862-866) the son of a slave-concubine Mukharik. He was virtuous and accomplished, comely, fair-skinned, pock-marked and famed for defective p.r.o.nunciation; and he first set the fashion of shortening men’s capes and widening the sleeves. After may troubles with the Turks, who were now the Praetorian guard of Baghdad, he was murdered at the instigation of Al-Mu’ tazz, who succeeded him, by his Chamberlain Sa’id bin Salih.

[FN#374] Arab. “Usul,” his forbears, his ancestors.

[FN#375] Lane rejects this tale because it is “extremely objectionable; far more so than the t.i.tle might lead me to expect.” But he quotes the following marginal note by his Shaykh: –“Many persons (women) reckon marrying a second time amongst the most disgraceful of actions. This opinion is commonest in the country-towns and villages; and my mother’s relations are thus distinguished; so that a woman of them, when her husband dieth or divorceth her while she is young, pa.s.seth in widowhood her life, however long it may be, and disdaineth to marry a second time.” I fear that this state of things belongs to the good old days now utterly gone by; and the loose rule of the stranger, especially the English, in Egypt will renew the scenes which characterised Sind when Sir Charles Napier hanged every husband who cut down an adulterous wife. I have elsewhere noticed the ignorant idea that Moslems deny to women souls and seats in Paradise, whilst Mohammed canonised two women in his own family. The theory arose with the “Fathers” of the Christian Church who simply exaggerated the misogyny of St. Paul. St. Ambrose commenting on Corinthians i. ii., boldly says:–“Feminas ad imaginem Dei factas non esse.”

St. Thomas Aquinas and his school adopted the Aristotelian view, “Mulier est erratum naturae, et mas occasionatus, et per accidens generatur; atque ideo est monstrum.” For other instances see Bayle s. v. Gediacus (Revd. Simon of Brandebourg) who in 1695 published a “Defensio s.e.xus muliebris,” a refutation of an anti-Socinian satire or squib, “Disputatio perjucunda, Mulieres homines non esse,” Parisiis, 1693. But when Islam arose in the seventh century, the Christian learned cleverly affixed the stigma of their own misogyny upon the Moslems ad captandas foeminas and in Southern Europe the calumny still bears fruit.

Mohammed (Koran, chapt. xxiv.) commands for the first time, in the sixth year of his mission, the veiling and, by inference, the seclusion of women, which was apparently unknown to the Badawin and, if practised in the cities was probably of the laxest. Nor can one but confess that such modified separation of the s.e.xes, which it would be impossible to introduce into European manners, has great and notable advantages. It promotes the freest intercourse between man and man, and thus civilises what we call the “lower orders”: in no Moslem land, from Morocco to China, do we find the brutals without manners or morals which are bred by European and especially by English civilisation. For the same reason it enables women to enjoy fullest intimacy and friendship with one another, and we know that the best of both s.e.xes are those who prefer the society of their own as opposed to “quite the lady’s man” and “quite the gentleman’s woman.” It also adds an important item to social decorum by abolishing e.g. such indecencies as the “ball-room flirtation”–a word which must be borrowed from us, not translated by foreigners. And especially it gives to religious meetings, a tone which the presence of women modifies and not for the better. Perhaps, the best form is that semiseclusion of the s.e.x, which prevailed in the heroic ages of Greece, Rome, and India (before the Moslem invasion), and which is perpetuated in Christian Armenia and in modern h.e.l.las. It is a something between the conventual strictness of Al-Islam and the liberty, or rather licence, of the “Anglo-Saxon” and the “Anglo-American.” And when England shall have cast off that peculiar insularity which makes her differ from all civilised peoples, she will probably abolish three gross abuses, time-honoured scandals, which bear very heavily on women and children. The first is the Briton’s right to will property away from his wife and offspring. The second is the action for “breach of promise,” salving the broken heart with pounds, shillings, and pence: it should be treated simply as an exaggerated breach of contract. The third is the procedure popularly called “Crim.

Con.,” and this is the most scandalous of all: the offence is against the rights of property, like robbery or burglary, and it ought to be treated criminally with fine, imprisonment and in cases with corporal punishment after the sensible procedure of Moslem law.

[FN#376] “Moon of the age,” a name which has before occurred.

[FN#377] The Malocchio or gettatura, so often noticed.

[FN#378] The crescent of the month Zu ‘l-Ka’dah when the Ramazan-fast is broken. This allusion is common. Comp. vol. i.


[FN#379] This line contains one of the Yes, Yes and No, No trifles alluded to in vol. ii, 60. Captain Lockett (M. A. 103) renders it “I saw a fawn upon a hillock whose beauty eclipsed the full moon. I said, What is thy name? she answered Deer. What my Dear said I, but she replied, no, no!” To preserve the sound I have sacrificed sense: Lulu is a pearl, Li? li? (= for me, for me?) and La! La! = no! no! See vol. i, 217. I should have explained a line which has puzzled some readers,

“A sun (face) on wand (neck) in knoll of sand (hips) she showed” etc,

[FN#380] Arab. “Al-huwayna,” a rare term.

[FN#381] Bright in the eyes of the famishing who is allowed to break his fast.

[FN#382] Mr. Payne reads “Maghrabi” = a Mauritanian, Maroccan, the Moors (not the Moorish Jews or Arabs) being a race of Sodomites from highest to lowest. But the Mac. and Bul. Edit.

have “Ajami.”

[FN#383] For “Ishk uzri” = platonic love see vol. i. 232; ii.


[FN#384] Zaynab (Zen.o.bia) and Zayd are generic names for women and men.

[FN#385] i.e. He wrote “Kasidahs” (= odes, elegies) after the fashion of the “Suspended Poems” which mostly open with the lover gazing upon the traces of the camp where his beloved had dwelt.

The exaggerated conventionalism of such exordium shows that these early poems had been preceded by a host of earlier pieces which had been adopted as canons of poetry.

[FN#386] The verses are very mal-a-propos, like many occurring in The Nights, for the maligned Shaykh is proof against all the seductions of the pretty boy and falls in love with a woman after the fashion of Don Quixote. Mr. Payne complains of the obscurity of the original owing to abuse of the figure enallage; but I find them explicit enough, referring to some debauched elder after the type of Abu Nowas.

[FN#387] Arab. “‘Irk” = a root which must here mean a sprig, a twig. The basil grows to a comparatively large size in the East.

[FN#388] Arab. “Lait “= one connected with the tribe of Lot, see vol. v. 161.

[FN#389] For the play upon “Saki” (oblique case of sak, leg-calf) and Saki a cupbearer see vol. ii. 327.

[FN#390] “On a certain day the leg shall be bared and men shall be called upon to bow in adoration, but they shall not be able”

(Koran, lxviii. 42). “Baring the leg” implies a grievous calamity, probably borrowed from the notion of tucking up the skirts and stripping for flight. On the dangerous San Francisco River one of the rapids is called “Tira-calcoens” = take off your trousers (Highlands of the Brazil, ii. 35). But here the allusion is simply ludicrous and to a Moslem blasphemous.

[FN#391] Arab. “Istahi,” a word of every day use in reproof. So the Hindost. “Kuchh sharm nahin?” hast thou no shame? Shame is a pa.s.sion with Orientals and very little known to the West.

[FN#392] i.e. Angels and men saying, “The Peace (of G.o.d) be on us and on all righteous servants of Allah!” This ends every prayer.

[FN#393] Arab. “Al-Niyah,” the ceremonial purpose or intent to pray, without which prayer is null and void. See vol. v. 163. The words would be “I purpose to pray a two-bow prayer in this hour of deadly danger to my soul.” Concerning such prayer see vol. i.


[FN#394] Arab. “Sakin” = quiescent, Let a sleeping hound lie.

[FN#395] Arab. “Asar” lit. traces i.e. the works, the mighty signs and marvels.

[FN#396] The mention of coffee now frequently occurs in this tale and in that which follows: the familiar use of it showing a comparatively late date, and not suggesting the copyist’s hand.

[FN#397] Arab. “Al-Kahwah,” the place being called from its produce. See Pilgrimage i. 317-18.

[FN#398] Arab. “Al-Ghurbah Kurbah:” the translation in the text is taken from my late friend Edward Eastwick, translator of the Gulistan and author of a host of works which show him to have been a ripe Oriental scholar.

[FN#399] The fiction may have been suggested by the fact that in all Moslem cities from India to Barbary the inner and outer gates are carefully shut during the noontide devotions, not “because Friday is the day on which creation was finished and Mohammed entered Al-Medinah;” but because there is a popular idea that in times now approaching the Christians will rise up against the Moslems during prayers and will repeat the “Sicilian Vespers.”

[FN#400] i.e. the syndic of the Guild of Jewellers.

[FN#401] This is an Arab Lady G.o.diva of the wrong sort.

[FN#402] This is explained in my Pilgrimage i. 99 et seq.

[FN#403] About three pennyweights. It varies, however, everywhere and in Morocco the “Mezkal” as they call it is an imaginary value, no such coin existing.

[FN#404] i.e. over and above the value of the gold, etc.

[FN#405] This was the custom of contemporary Europe and more than one master cutler has put to death an apprentice playing Peeping Tom to detect the secret of sword-making.

[FN#406] Among Moslems husbands are divided into three species; (1) of “Bahr” who is married for love; (2) of “Dahr,” for defence against the world, and (3) of “Mahr” for marriage-settlements (money). Master Obayd was an unhappy compound of the two latter; but he did not cease to be a man of honour.

[FN#407]The Mac. Edit. here is a ma.s.s of blunders and misprints.

[FN#408] The Mac. Edit. everywhere calls her “Sabiyah” = the young lady and does not mention her name Halimah = the Mild, the Gentle till the cmlxxivth Night. I follow Mr. Payne’s example by introducing it earlier into the story, as it avoids vagueness and repet.i.tion of the indefinite.

[FN#409] Arab “Adim al-Zauk,”=without savour. applied to an insipid mannerless man as “barid” (cold) is to a fool. “Ahl Zauk”

is a man of pleasure, a voluptuary, a hedonist.

[FN#410] Arab. “Finjan” the egg-sh.e.l.l cups from which the Easterns still drink coffee.


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