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and customs of the modern Egyptians might be illustrated to a considerable extent by the proverbial sayings current among them. In putting them together on paper, he stopped short at the number nine hundred and ninetynine; "adopting herein," he says, "a notion prevalent among Arabs, that even numbers are unlucky, and that anything perfect in its quantity is particularly affected by the evil eye."
It is curious to recognise the existence of this superstition of the deserts in the neighbourhood of London. We remember that, when we were children, there was a great cow-keeper at Islington of the name of Rhodes, who had no difficulty in keeping nine hundred and ninetynine cows all safe and sound ; but, do what he would, he could never keep a thousand. If he bought one to make up the number, two or three others were sure to die; nay, if he purchased ten or twenty at a time, before he could get them home, a sudden mortality would dispose of other ten or twenty; thus always keeping the number down to the charmed nine hundred and ninety-nine. At least so went the story ; the truth of which no cook-maid, housemaid, or old maid in the neighbourhood seemed to doubt. In latter years, we detected the same superstitious notion in France, Spain, Switzerland, and Italy.
Some years after Mr. Burckhardt's death, his collection of Arab proverbs, edited by Sir William Ouseley, was published in a quarto volume by authority of the Association for promoting the discovery of the interior of Africa. Though it has been neglected by the generality of readers, it is a curious, and in some instances, a highly useful volume.
A very large portion of these proverbs in their form of a verbal translation would be altogether unintelligible without the traveller's explanation and running commentary. A few are intelligible enough, and almost counterparts of European sayings.
The Arabs have,—
"The one-eyed person is a beauty in the country of the blind." The French,—
"Dans le pays des aveugles les borgnes sont rois."
The Arabs also have the " bird in the hand" proverb, but expressed with much more grandiosity than in English or Turkish. They say,—
"A thousand cranes in the air are not worth one sparrow in the fist."
"The walls have ears," is as common an adage at Cairo as in London.
The Arabs have a number of proverbs gainst borrowing, e. g.~
"A borrowed cloak does not keep one warm."
"Lending is ruinous both to borrowers and lenders."
"Lending nurses enmity."
"A hand accustomed to take, is far from giving."
They have several of the " de gustibus non est disputandum" character. The first of the following reminds us of the Italian adage about St. Anthony and the sow.
"Thy beloved is the object thou lovest, be it even a monkey."
"One shaved his beard, a second plucked out his hairs; every one, they said, according to his own liking."
The Egyptians also make frequent use of the following, which are old English :—
"A dog that barks does not bite."
"Hearing is not like seeing."
"Be of good memory if you become a liar."
"The kettle reproached the kitchen-spoon, and called it Blackie."
"A word only is sufficient for the wise."
"He who cannot reach the bunch of grapes, says of it, 'it is sour.'"
A proverb they put into the mouth of an unlucky man is,—
"If I were to trade in winding-sheets, no one would die."
They also make such a doomed person say,— "If thou wast to see my luck, thou wouldst trample it under foot."
To express that a husband and wife are ill-suited to each other, and quarrel, they say,—
"Her meat and his meat cannot be cooked together in the same pot."
Here follow a few more curious specimens of these Arabic adages:—
"There are no fans in hell."
"If you do not eat at a man's wedding, take care to feast at his funeral."
"He who eats a hen of the sultan will have to give a cow in return."
"Man is only man by his money."
"Tear off the curtain of doubt by questions."
"People are more like the times they live in than they are like their own fathers."
"He who eats alone coughs alone."
"The man who makes chaff of himself shall be eaten by cows."
"They said to the cock, ' What hast thou seen in thy sleep?'—' I saw people sifting corn,' he replied."
"They said to the hen, 'Eat, and do not scatter thy corn about.'—' I cannot leave off my old habits,' she replied."
"The young ones of the duck are swimmers."
"Give dinner to the drunken but not supper to the tipsy."
"The blind man does what is nasty on the house-top, and thinks people do not see him.
"Singing without remuneration is like a dead body without perfumes."
"When the singing women," says Mr. Burckhardt, "perform in Egypt, they collect money from all the persons present, the landlord or host as well as the guests; and, according to custom, one of them proclaims with a loud voice the sum which each person puts on the plate, mentioning at the same time the donor's name. This custom excites the vanity of those who form the company, each from a kind of emulation in liberality wishing to have his own name mentioned as the most generous : this heightens the interest and pleasure of the society, and fills the pockets of the singers. ... A mixture of camphor and rose-water is sprinkled over the face of a dead person before the body is placed in the coffin."
XLVII. A DEVIL AT THE TOP OF ST. PAUL'S.
A SINGULAR HALLUCINATION.
Dr. Pritchard, in an essay on somnambulism and animal magnetism, with which he has enriched the Cyclopaedia of Medicine, has given so remarkable a case of ecstasis, as he calls it, that it deserves to be presented entire to our readers; it would be unjustifiable to clip it of a single line.
A gentleman, about thirty-five years of age, of active habits and good constitution, living in the neighbourhood of London, had complained for about five weeks of slight headache. He was feverish, inattentive to his occupations, and negligent of his family. He had been cupped, and taken some purgative medicine, when he was visited by Dr. Arnould of Camberwell, who has favoured us with the following history. By that gentleman's advice he was sent to a private asylum, where he remained about two years; his delusions very gradually subsided, and he was afterwards restored to his family. The account which he gave of himself was, almost verbatim, as follows. We insert the statement as we received it from his physician.—One afternoon in the month of May, feeling himself a little unsettled, and not inclined to business, he thought he would take a walk into the city to amuse his mind; and having strolled into St. Paul's Churchyard, he stopped at the shop-window of Carrington and Bowles, and looked at the pictures, among which was one of the cathedral. He had not been long there, before a short, grave-looking, elderly gentleman, dressed in dark-brown clothes, came up, and began to examine the prints, and occasionally casting a glance at him, very soon entered into conversation with him ; and, praising the view of St. Paul's which was exhibited at the window, told him many anecdotes of Sir Christopher Wren, the architect, and asked him at the same time if he had ever ascended to the top of the dome. He replied in the negative. The stranger then inquired if he had dined, and proposed that they should go to an eatinghouse in the neighbourhood, and said that after dinner he would accompany him up St. Paul's: 'it was a glorious afternoon for a view, and he was so familiar with the place that he could point out every object worthy of attention.' The kindness of the old gentleman's manner induced him to comply with the invitation; and they went to a tavern in some dark alley, the name of which he did not know. They dined, and very soon left the table, and ascended to the ball just below the cross, which they entered alone. They had not been there many minutes, when, while he was gazing on the extensive prospect, and delighted with the splendid scene below him, the grave gentleman pulled out from an inside coat-pocket something like a compass, having round the edges some curious figures ; then, having muttered some unintelligible words, he placed it in the centre of the ball. He felt a great trembling and a sort of horror come over him, which was increased by his companion asking him if he should like to see any friend at a distance, and to know what he was at that moment doing, for if so, the latter could show him any such person. It happened that his father had been for a long time in bad health, and for some weeks past he had not visited him. A sudden thought came into his mind, so powerful that it overcame his terror, that he should like to see his father. He had no sooner expressed the wish than the exact person of his father was immediately presented to his sight on the mirror, reclining in his arm-chair, and taking his afternoon sleep. Not having fully believed in the power of the stranger to make good his offer, he became overwhelmed with terror at the clearness and truth of the vision presented to him ; and he entreated his mysterious companion that they might immediately descend, as he felt himself very ill. The request was complied with; and on parting under the portico of the northern entrance, the stranger said to him, 'Remember, you are the slave of the man of the mirror!' He returned in the evening to his home, he does not know exactly at what hour; felt himself unquiet, depressed, gloomy, ap