Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/128

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119
SOME MUSLIM LAWS AND BELIEFS.

or reasoning faculties, being wholly absorbed in devotion, so that his passions are left without control. Lunatics who are dangerous to society are kept in confinement; but those who are harmless are generally regarded as saints. Most of the reputed saints of Egypt are either lunatics, or idiots, or impostors." I wonder whether this applies at all, and if it does, to what extent, to the countless saints of our Most Holy Catholic Church of Christendom. In Egypt, as in other countries of the East, Muslims, Christians, and Jews adopt each other's superstitions, while they abhor the leading doctrines of each other's faith. "In sickness, the Muslim sometimes employs Christian and Jewish priests to pray for him: the Christians and Jews, in the same predicament, often call in Muslim saints for the like purpose!" So much human nature is there in man, not to speak of woman. The Muslims profoundly reverence the Kur-an, yet will quote it on the most trivial occasions in jest as well as on the most important in earnest. They are generally fond of conversing on religion among themselves; and the most prevalent mode of entertaining a party of guests among the higher middle classes, in Cairo, is the recital of the whole of the Kur-an, which is chanted by special persons hired for the purpose, or other religious exercises. This chanting of the Kur-an takes up about nine hours. When will our fashionable Bibliolaters issue invitations for the treat of hearing poor curates or scripture readers intone the whole of the Bible, or even so much of it at a time as might be got through in nine hours?

When, oh when?

Ladies will learn with approval that it is thought improper, and even disreputable, for a man to be single. Mr. Lane was a bachelor during his first two visits to Egypt; and in the former of these, having to change his residence, engaged another house. The lease was duly signed and some money paid in advance, but the inhabitants of the neighborhood (who were mostly descendants of the Prophet) would not have an un-