The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-349

The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#129] The words are the very lowest and coarsest; but the scene is true to Arab life. [FN#130] Arab.“Hayh�t:” the word, written in a variety of ways is onomatopoetic, like our “heigh-ho!” it sometimes means “far from me (or you) be it!” but in popular usage it is simply “Alas.” [FN#131] Lane (i., 134) finds a date for the book in this passage. The Soldan of Egypt, Mohammed ibn Kala’�n, in the early eighth century (Hijrah = our fourteenth), issued a sumptuary law compelling Christians and Jews to wear indigo-blue and saffron-yellow turbans, the white being reserved for Moslems. But the custom was much older and Mandeville (chaps. ix.) describes it in A. D. 1322 when it had become the rule. And it still endures; although abolished in the cities it is the rule for Christians, at least in the country parts of Egypt and Syria. I may here remark that such detached passages as these are absolutely useless for chronology: they may be simply the additions of editors or mere copyists. [FN#132] The ancient “Mustaph�” = the Chosen (prophet, i. e. Mohammed), also titled Al-Mujtaba, the Accepted (Pilgrimage, ii., 309). “Murtaza”=the Elect, i.e. the Caliph Ali is the older “Mortada” or “Mortadi” of Ockley and his day, meaning “one pleasing to (or acceptable to) Allah.” Still older writers corrupted it to “Mortis Ali” and readers supposed this to be the Caliph’s name. [FN#133] The gleam (zodiacal light) preceding the true dawn; the Persians call the former Subh-i-k�zib (false or lying dawn) opposed to Subh-i-s�dik (true dawn) and suppose that it is caused by the sun shining through a hole in the world-encircling Mount Kaf.