The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-457

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#658] A formula for averting “Al-Ayn,” the evil eye. It is always unlucky to meet a one-eyed man, especially the first thing in the morning and when setting out on any errand. The idea is that the fascinated one will suffer from some action of the physical eye. Monoculars also are held to be rogues: so the Sanskrit saying “Few one-eyed men be honest men.” [FN#659] Al-Nashsh�r from Nashr = sawing: so the fiddler in Italian is called the “village-saw” (Sega del villaggio). He is the Alnaschar of the Englished Galland and Richardson. The tale is very old. It appears as the Brahman and the Pot of Rice in the Panchatantra; and Professor Benfey believes (as usual with him) that this, with many others, derives from a Buddhist source. But I would distinctly derive it from �sop’s market-woman who kicked over her eggs, whence the Lat. prov. Ante victoriam canere triumphum = to sell the skin before you have caught the bear. In the “Kalilah and Dimnah” and its numerous offspring it is the “Ascetic with his Jar of oil and honey;” in Rabelais (i., 33) Echephron’s shoemaker spills his milk, and so La Perette in La Fontaine. See M. Max Muller’s “Chips,” (vol. iii., appendix) The curious reader will compare my version with that which appears at the end of Richardson’s Arabic Grammar (Edit. Of 1811): he had a better, or rather a fuller MS. (p. 199) than any yet printed. [FN#660] Arab. “Atr” = any perfume, especially oil of roses; whence our word “Otter,’ through the Turkish corruption. [FN#661] The texts give “dirhams” (100,000 = 5,000 dinars) for “dinars,” a clerical error as the sequel shows. [FN#662] “Young slaves,” says Richardson, losing “colour.”