The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-353

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#150] Arab. “K�mat Alf�yyah” = like the letter Alif, a straight perpendicular stroke. In the Egyptian hieroglyphs, the origin of every alphabet (not syllabarium) known to man, one form was a flag or leaf of water-plant standing upright. Hence probably the Arabic Alif-shape; while other nations preferred other modifications of the letter (ox’s head, etc), which in Egyptian number some thirty-six varieties, simple and compound. [FN#151] I have not attempted to order this marvellous confusion of metaphors so characteristic of The Nights and the exigencies of Al-Saj’a = rhymed prose. [FN#152] Here and elsewhere I omit the “k�la (dice Turpino)” of the original: Torrens preserves “Thus goes the tale” (which it only interrupts). This is simply letter-wise and sense-foolish. [FN#153] Of this worthy more at a future time. [FN#154] i.e., sealed with the Kazi or legal authority’s seal of office. [FN#155] “Nothing for nothing” is a fixed idea with the Eastern woman: not so much for greed as for a sexual point d’ honneur when dealing with the adversary—man. [FN#156] She drinks first, the custom of the universal East, to show that the wine she had bought was unpoisoned. Easterns, who utterly ignore the “social glass” of Western civilisation drink honestly to get drunk; and, when far gone are