The Book Of The Thousand Nights And A Night, Vol 1 Page-461

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

A plain and literal translation of the arabian nights entertainments

[FN#686] “Nahnu m�lih�n” = we are on terms of salt, said and say the Arabs. But the traveller must not trust in these days to the once sacred tie; there are tribes which will give bread with one hand and stab with the other. The Eastern use of salt is a curious contrast with that of Westerns, who made it an invidious and inhospitable distinction, e.g., to sit above the salt-cellar and below the salt. Amongst the ancients, however, “he took bread and salt” means he swore, the food being eaten when an oath was taken. Hence the “Bride cake” of salt, water and flour. [FN#687] Arab. “Har�sah,” the meat-pudding before explained. [FN#688] Arab. “Sikb�j,” before explained; it is held to be a lordly dish, invented by Khusraw Parwiz. “Fatted duck” says the Bresl. Edit. ii., 308, with more reason. [FN#689] I was reproved in Southern Abyssinia for eating without this champing, “Thou feedest like a beggar who muncheth silently in his corner;” and presently found that it was a sign of good breeding to eat as noisily as possible. [FN#690] Barley in Arabia is, like our oats, food for horses: it fattens at the same time that it cools them. Had this been known to our cavalry when we first occupied Egypt in 1883-4 our losses in horse-flesh would have been far less; but official ignorance persisted in feeding the cattle upon heating oats and the riders upon beef, which is indigestible, instead of mutton, which is wholesome. [FN#691] i.e. “I conjure thee by God.”