Page:Satires and profanities -microform- (1884).djvu/133

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been validated.
124
SATIRES AND PROFANITIES.

long and arduous fasts. In spite or because of all this they bear a very bad character as sullen, avaricious abominable dissemblers, cringing or domineering according to circumstances. The one respectable Copt discovered by Lane admitted that they are generally ignorant, faithless, worldly, sensual, and drunken; he declared that the Patriarch was a tyrant and suborner of false witnesses; that the monks and priests in Cairo are seen every evening begging and asking the loan of money, which they never repay, at the houses of their parishioners and other acquaintances, and procuring brandy if possible wherever they call. So much for our esteemed fellow-Christians in Egypt, descendants of what in heathen times was long the foremost nation, in the world.

"Women are not to be excluded from paradise, according to the faith of El Islam; though it has been asserted by many Christians, that the Muslims believe women to have no soul. In several places in the Kur-an, Paradise is promised to all true believers." They will be admitted by God's mercy on account of their faith, not of their good works; but their felicity there will be proportioned to their good works. The very meanest male in Paradise is promised eighty thousand beautiful youths as servants, and seventy-two wives of the daughters of Paradise. These celestial virgins we commonly call houris, but learned and accurate Mr. Lane terms them hooreeyehs, vividly sugesting that the Muslim saints burst into rapturous and prolonged hoorays on first perceiving them. He may also have the wives he had here below, if he wants them; and doubtless the good will desire the good. On behalf of the earthly fair sex, I must emphatically protest against this part of the heavenly arrangements. How do we know that the good husband will desire the good wife, however good, when he has two-and-seventy maidens of Paradise all to himself? The trust that he will, cannot be trusted; it is a perfidious consolation to poor women. No wonder Muslim wives are obsequious,