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Page 78. "The name of the boy was Farrukh-zād "—that is, "fortunately-born"; from farrukh, happy, fortunate, and zád, born. Page 81. "An old woman beheld the Queen, as she sat alone, weeping."-In Eastern fiction old women—and especially hypocritical devotees are useful go-betweens for lovers, and excellent, prudent procuresses. In the present case, however, the old woman plays an unusual rôle : employing her sage experience and skill in reconciling husband and wife.

Page 82. "I have a certain talisman," &c.-The word talism is not in the lithographed text; the sentence is to this effect: "I have that which is precious, and possesses the same magical power as the precious things of Solomon, written in Greek characters and in the Syrian language "--which means, Syrian words disguised under the letters of the Greek alphabet. Among the Arabs and Persians it is a common belief that Solomon, the son of David, by virtue of a seal-ring (Muhr-iSulaymani) sent down from heaven, had unlimited control over the good and evil spirits (jinn), and over birds, the winds, and beasts.*

The origin of Solomon's magical signet-ring, which is so often mentioned in Oriental poetry and romance, according to Muslim legends-borrowed or adapted from the Talmudic writers-is as follows: Eight angels appeared to Solomon in a vision, saying that Allah had sent them to surrender to him the power over them and the eight winds at their command. The most exalted of the angels presented him with a jewel with this inscription: To Allah belong greatness and might. Whenever he raised the stone towards heaven, they would appear and do his bidding. Next four others appeared, differing from each other in form and name. One resembled an immense whale, another an eagle, the third a lion, and the fourth a serpent. These were lords of all creatures living in the earth and in the water. The

* See Lane's Thousand and One Nights, Introduction, note 21, ch. iii, note 14; Kur'an ii, 96.


angel representing the kingdom of birds gave him a jewel on which was inscribed: All created things praise the Lord. An angel then appeared, whose upper part looked like the earth, and the lower like water, having power over both earth and sea, and gave him a jewel with the inscription: Heaven and Earth are servants of Allah. A third angel surrendered to him power over the kingdom of spirits, with a jewel on which was inscribed: There is no God but one, and Muhammad is His Messenger. Solomon caused the four jewels to be set in a signet-ring, and the first purpose to which he applied its wondrous powers was the subjugation of the demons and jinn— all but the mighty Sakhr, who was concealed in an unknown island of the ocean, and Iblis (Satan), the monster of all evil spirits, to whom God had promised the most perfect independence till the Day of Judgment.+ In Oriental fictions the most solemn and binding oath with Fairies is to swear by the Seal of Solomon. Readers familiar with the Arabian Nights will recollect the Story of the Fisherman and the Genie (jinnī). A confidence in the virtue of Talismans, whether for the protection of persons, treasures, or cities, may be traced up to the earliest ages, when so many Eastern nations were of the Sabean faith, and adored the 'host of heaven," or the celestial bodies; and notwithstanding the change of religion and the prohibition of magic, even Muhammadans can reconcile to their consciences the preparation of certain amulets, after rules transmitted through the Chaldeans and Nabatheans. ‡ The magic of


* It is perhaps hardly necessary to say that Muhammad did not profess to introduce a new religion, but simply to restore the original and only true faith, which was held and taught by Abraham, David, Solomon, and the other great prophets.

† See Dr. Weil's interesting little work, entitled, The Bible, the Koran, and the Talmud, where also will be found the curious legend of how the demon Sakhr, above mentioned, by obtaining possession of Solomon's magical signet, personated the great Hebrew King, and of the wonderful recovery of the seal-ring, and Solomon's restoration to his kingdom.

Sir Gore Ouseley's Biographical Notices of Persian Poets.

Babylon is frequently alluded to by Muslim writers; the poets speak of the "Babylonian witchery" of a beautiful woman's eyes; and it is believed that the two wicked angels Harut and Marut, mentioned in the Kur'an (see chap. ii, and Sale's note), are still hanging, head downwards, in a well at Babel, and will instruct any one in magic who is bold enough to go and solicit them. Setting idle legends aside, it is highly probable, as Sir William Ouseley remarks, in his Persian Miscellanies, that at Babylon the Persians learnt the arts of magical incantation from the conquered Chaldeans. "Time," says Dr. Jonathan Scott, "has not eradicated in Asia belief in the magical powers of cabalistical characters engraven on gems, or embroidered on standards, or written upon small rolls of paper, which, enclosed in small boxes of gold and silver, and strung on silken cord, are worn round the arm or wrist, and sometimes as a pendant from the neck."* The charms to which the greatest efficacy is ascribed are those consisting of passages of the Kur'ān; and Morier tells that such was Muhammad Riza Bey's faith in this species of talisman that he always wore the whole of the Kur'an about his person; half of it tied on one arm, and half on the other, rolled up in small silver cases. Next in estimation as potent charms are passages transcribed from the celebrated Burda (or Mantle-Poem) of El-Busīrī, in praise of the Prophet, written in the 13th century; which are framed and suspended on the walls of rooms, or, in cases, on the person. The whole poem is also recited in times of sickness and during the funeral procession.‡

* Arabian Nights' Entertainments, edited by Jonathan Scott. 6 vols, 8vo. London, 1811. Vol. vi, Notes.

+ Morier's Second Journey to Persia, &c.

See Lane's Modern Egyptians.-In my Arabian Poetry for English Readers is a translation (the first that has appeared in English) of the famous Burda-Poem of El-Busiri, contributed by Mr J. W. Redhouse, with Preface and Notes.

Page 83. "Scrawled on it some unmeaning characters.”The word in the text here rendered by "unmeaning " literally signifies "not known," and should be translated "mysterious.”

Page 84. "Desired him to point out the spot where his body lay," &c.-ziyārat, a visit, a pilgrimage. During the period of the great festivals, and also on other occasions, it is customary to visit the tomb of a relation, and place on it the leaves or broken branches of the palm-tree, also sweet-basil and other flowers. On arriving at the tomb the opening chapter of the Kur'ān, and sometimes a longer chapter, the xxxvi, is recited.— See Lane's Modern Egyptians, ii, pp. 209, 241, 253.


Page 86. "Government resembles a tree, the root of which is legal punishment "-siyāzat, that is, discretional punishment, such as the law has not provided, but may be inflicted.-The lithographed text thus proceeds: "And its extremity [i.e. of the root] is justice, and its bough, mercy, and its flower, wisdom, and its leaf, liberality, and its fruit, a degree of kindness, and the leaf of every tree, of which the root becomes dry, assumes a yellow [tint], and does not produce fruit. And as the root of government is legal punishment, delay on this point is not permissible; and as in this legal punishment there is postponement, I am apprehensive lest the root of the tree has become dry; after which reparation is impossible."

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Page 87. "In case she should give birth to a boy, to call his name Bihrūz"-an appropriate name for a jeweller's son, since it denotes a species of blue crystal," as well as "good day." The lithographed text adds: "If it should be a daughter, give her a name suitable and proper;" alluding to the privilege accorded to a mother of naming her own daughter; the name of a son is given by the father.



Page 88. "The boys had learned to read the Kur'ân" (properly, as I have spelt it in the translation, Qur'ān).-Muslim children are not only taught to read the whole, but commit to memory portions, of the Kur'an. After learning by heart the first chapter which is to the Muslim what the Lord's Prayer is to the Christian-the remaining chapters are learnt in their inverse order, and those who have learnt to repeat the whole of the Kur'an may then claim the title of Hafiz, or Hāfizu kalāmi 'llah, "rememberer of the Word of God," or who knows God's Word by heart.". "Much merit," says Torrens, "is attributed by the Muslims to recitations of the Kur'an. On occasions of festivity persons are hired to repeat either the whole or the principal parts of it. These are fickees, a term usually applied to schoolmasters by modern Arabs, but signifying, a person learned in the law.' They know by heart the whole, or particular parts, of the Kur'an, which each in turn recites. These recitations are introduced among the Egyptians as an entertainment at parties." +

Page 88. "Were instructed in the art of penmanship." -"Beautiful writing," says Sir John Malcolm, "is considered as a high accomplishment. It is carefully taught in schools, and those who excel in it are almost classed with literary men. They are employed to transcribe copies of books, and some have attained such an eminence in this art that a few lines written by

* Called El-Fatiha; according to Sale's translation, it is as follows: PRAISE be to God, the Lord of all creatures; the most merciful, the King of the Day of Judgment. Thee do we worship, and of thee do we beg assistDirect us in the right way, in the way of those to whom thou hast been gracious; not of those against whom thou art incensed, nor of those who go astray.



Translated by

The Book of the Thousand Nights and One Night. Henry Torrens. Calcutta: 1838. Vol. I. Notes.-This excellent translation comprises only the first 50 Nights, and it is much to be regretted that Torrens did not live to complete a task so well begun.

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