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Beshír. What is the meaning of the proverb, “ MORE STUPID THAN BAKIL?”
SHádán. It expresses the greatest degree of stupidity; for this BAkil one day bought a gazelle for eleven dirhems, and took her home, holding her fast with his teeth. On the way some one met him, who asked him how much money she had cost him. As he could not speak, he expanded his ten fingers, and to express the eleventh without speaking, he lolled out his tongue, and consequently allowed the gazelle to fall and escape, which he wished to have avoided by bis silence,
Beshír. What is the origin of the proverb, “ How CHEAP WERE THE CAMEL, IF NO CURSE HUNG ON HIS NECK ?"
Suádán. An Arab had a vicious camel, which caused him every sort of vexation.
One day he swore in his anger, that if he refused to sell his camel for a dirhem, he wished that his wife might remain barren. Shortly afterwards he repented of his oath, yet for the sake of at least remaining true to it in appearance, he invented a singular salvo. He hung a cat on the neck of the camel, and then caused it to be proclaimed: “ The CAMEL FOR ONE DIRHEM, AND THE CAT for FOUR HUNDRED; BUT BOTH MUST BE SOLD TOGETHER, AND NOT SEPARATELY.” Those who passed by, exclaimed: "How CHEAP WERE THE CAMEL, IF NO CURSE HUNG ON HIS NECK!” since which, this proverb has been currently applied to all things which appear cheap, but are only to be purchased by means of great sacrifices.
Shádán. How can I fail to be!-the Prophet says, “LEARN
جن spiritual legions
These proverbs are extracted from Meidäni: they are in Nuveir likewise.
SHádán. Men are called umil,' from that which is obvious to the sight, e. g. W cimit, hast thou seen the fire? but on derives not its name from any thing obvious to the senses : US als us?, the night enveloped or concealed him. Hence an insane person, whose intellect is naturally obscure, is called
Shádán. It is said in the Koran : “ The PERSIAN IN ELEGANCE APPROACHES NEXT TO THE ARABIC;" and in another place,
" THE INHABITANTS OF PARADISE SPEAK ARABIC, AND THE DERI DIALECT Of The Persian.”
THE ART OF WRITING.
Shádán. The art of writing is one of the most distinguished branches of human knowlege, and is therefore called, “ THE TONGUE OF THE HAND. The sciences are also described as game, and writing as the net which catches them.
Ninth Class. Beskír. Art thou likewise well acquainted with jurisprudence?
Shádán. Commence thine inquiries.
Beshír. How wouldest thou decide between two women, who bring forth in the same place, the one a boy, the other a girl, and after the birth exchange them?
SHÁDÁN. I would fill two flasks with the milk of both mothers, and weigh them. The heaviest will contain the milk of the mother of the boy.
· From (mét, cognovit, vidit.
Tenth Class. Beshír. Let us now direct our attention to traditions. How are we to understand the Prophet,
« REVILE NOT THE WORLD, FOR THE WORLD IS God?"
Shádán. The Prophet by this intended to put a stop to the slanders of the ignorant, wishing them to understand, that even the world, as a work of God, must not be reviled.
Beshír. Admirably, Shádán! Thou hast acquainted thyself with every subject, and from each derived instruction. Explain to me but one thing more, one wbich bas often placed even the wisest in embarrassment. Give me a definition of love.
Twelfth Class. Suádán. Love, at first, exists in contemplation, from whence it passes to reflection: hence arises the desire of enjoyment; at length, the fire bursts out into a flame, just as dust dancing in the rays of the sun, assumes the appearance of suns. The powers of reason vanish— the body wastes- the soul is seized with vertigo—and at last, finds all its energies annihilated.
Beshír. Show me now the fair side of love.
Shádán. At least it produces one advantage: it destroys pride and immoderate self-love. True love, which proposes to itself no aim, but that of resembling and pleasing the beloved object, is incompatible with these defects. But impassioned love, so long as it continues remote from perfection, is a sort of punishment which God inflicts on men when they forsake the path of his pure love.
Beshír. By Heavens, I have been seeking such a friend as thou art for many years! Thou art welcome to my friendship.
These questions are omitted, on account of their gross ideas. 2 Why Love should be classed among Ethics, is doubtful:-the expression of dust, &c. is an oriental metaphor, and the allusion is noticed by only two travellers in the East.
Shápán. As thou art to mine.
The two young men embraced each other, and fastened the bond of friendship. Harun A’rrashid was lost in amazement and wonder, and as they were about to depart, thus addressed them “ Intelligent and virtuous young men! cannot you accompany me to Baghdad, where I hope to cultivate your friendship and acquaintance?"
The MORAL. Beshír. Servant of God! thou art as little suited to our friendly society as we to thine.
THE KHALIF. Why not?
Beshír. Softly, softly, servant of God! Thou art too much the slave of thy will, and subject to passion. Thou desirest a thing, and art therefore resolved that it shall come to pass; yet something lies in the way of thy wish : be prepared accordingly for the disappointment. The passions are thy masters and lords. We have, however, tamed and subdued them. We suppress desire, and smother anger.
Harun was melted into tears, and requested a lesson, at least, by the way. Beshir said to him: “Treasure up in thy mind this verse of the Koran: "Hast THOU SEEN OF WHAT USE A NUMBER OF
TO THEM! VERILY, THINGS HAVE HAPPENED TO THEM WHICH THEY DID NOT EXPECT, AND THOSE, OF WHICH THEY HAD THE ENJOYMENT, AVAILED THEM NOT.'”
This dialogue has been translated into the Turkish, and is as good a specimen of the nature of those studies, which the Arabs elevate to the rank of sciences, as any that may be produced. The style of it is, in a certain degree, analogous to that of “ fables," to which the commentaries on the proverbs, with which this nation abounds, bear a still closer resemblance. The
ضالة العاقل الحكمة يطلبها حيث maxim of these moralists is
äv, in the search of which they care not how much fiction be admixed with the truth.
The Meaning of St. Paul, 1 Cor. 11, 10. clearly esta
blished on the Authority of the Scriptures, of the
No. II.-[Concluded from No. LIX.] “ Thus we have seen, What is the condition and property of that place, which in nay text is called God's House. But before I proceed to speak of the duty of those who come thither, (which was the second thing I propounded,) there is one thing yet to be cleared concerning that which I last mentioned, namely, How God is said to come unto, or to be present with, men in one place more than another; seeing his presence fills every place; Heaven being his throne, and the whole Earth his footstool. For, although we reade often in Holy Scripture of such a Shecinah, or Speciality of the divine Presence, and have it often in our mouths, yet what it is, and wherein the ratio thereof consisteth, is seldom, if at all, enquired into. When we speak of Churches, we content ourselves to say, that God's special presence there is in his Word and Sacraments. But, though it be true that the Divine Majesty is there specially present, where his Word and Sacraments are, yet seems not this speciality of presence to be the same with his Word and Sacraments, but a diverse relation from them. This may be gathered in some sort out of those words of Exodus, whereupon we have so lung dwelt, as where the recording of God's name and his coming thither are spoken of as two; but is more strongly evinced by such instances of Scripture, where the Lord is said to have been specially present in places, where this record of his Word and Sacraments was not; as for example, to Moses in the Bush, to Jacob at Bethel, and the like. "The true ratio, therefore, of this Shecinah, or Speciality of divine Presence, must be sought and defined by something, which is common to all these, and not by that, which is proper to some onely.
“ Well then, to hold you no longer in suspence, this specification of the divine Presence, whereby God is said to be in one place more then another, I suppose (under correction), to consist in his train or retinue. A King is there, where his Court is, where his train and retinue are: so God, the Lord of Hoasts, is there specially present, where the heavenly guard, the blessed Angels, keep their sacred station and rendezvous.