The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-413

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#405] This is the custom with such gentry, who, when they see a likely man sitting, are allowed by custom to ride astraddle upon his knees with most suggestive movements, till he buys them off. These Ghaw�zi are mostly Gypsies who pretend to be Moslems; and they have been confused with the Almahs or Moslem dancing-girls proper (Aw�lim, plur. of Alimah, a learned feminine) by a host of travellers. They call themselves Bar�mikah or Barmecides only to affect Persian origin. Under native rule they were perpetually being banished from and returning to Cairo (Pilgrimage i., 202). Lane (M.E., chapts. xviii. and xix.) discusses the subject, and would derive Al’mah, often so pronounced, from Heb. Almah, girl, virgin, singing-girl, hence he would translate Al-Alamoth shir (Psalm xlvi.) and Nebalim al-alamoth (I. Chron., xv.20) by a “song for singing-girls” and “harps for singing-girls.” He quotes also St. Jerome as authority that Alma in Punic (Ph�nician) signified a virgin, not a common article, I may observe, amongst singing-girls. I shall notice in a future page Burckhardt’s description of the Ghawazi, p.173, “Arabic Proverbs;” etc., etc. Second Edition. London: Quaritch, 1875. [FN#406] I need hardly describe the tarb�sh, a corruption of the Per. “Sar￾p�sh” (headcover) also called “Fez” from its old home; and “tarbrush” by the travelling Briton. In old days it was a calotte worn under the turban; and it was protected by scalp-perspiration by an “Arakiyah” (Pers. Arak-chin) a white skull-cap. Now it is worn without either and as a headdress nothing can be worse (Pilgrimage ii. 275). [FN#407] Arab. “T�r.”: the custom still prevails. Lane (M.E., chapt. xviii.) describes and figures this hoop-drum. [FN#408] The couch on which she sits while being displayed. It is her throne, for she is the Queen of the occasion, with all the Majesty of Virginity. [FN#409] This is a solemn “chaff;” such liberties being permitted at weddings and festive occasions.