Page:The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night - Volume 4.djvu/47

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Now there was in the bazar a man who was Deputy Syndic of the brokers and was given to the use of opium and electuary and green hashish.[1] He was called Shaykh Mohammed Samsam and being poor he used to wish Shams al-Din good morrow every day. So he came to him according to his custom and saluted him. The merchant returned his salute, but in ill-temper, and the other, seeing him vexed, said, "O my lord, what hath crossed thee?" Thereupon Shams al-Din told him all that occurred between himself and his wife, adding, "These forty years have I been married to her yet hath she borne me neither son nor daughter; and they say:—The cause of thy failure to get her with child is the thinness of thy seed; so I have been seeking a some thing wherewith to thicken my semen but found it not." Quoth Shaykh Mohammed, "O my lord, I have a seed-thickener, but what wilt thou say to him who causeth thy wife to conceive by thee after these forty years have passed?" Answered the merchant, "

  1. Arab. "Barsh" or "Bars," the commonest kind. In India it is called Ma'jún (=electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or young leaves, buds, capsules and florets of hemp (C. saliva), poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (daiura) with milk and auger-candy, nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the consistency of treacle which hardens when cold. Several-recipes are given by Herklots (Glossary s.v. Majoon). These electuaries are usually prepared with "Charas," or gum of hemp, collected by hand or by passing a blanket over the plant in early morning, and it is highly intoxicating. Another intoxicant is "Sabzi," dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber heed, black pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc. The Hashish of Arabia is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made as follows. Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams black pepper 45 grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each 12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is a preparation of hemp florets, opium and honey, much affected by the lower orders, whence the proverb: "Temper thy sorrow with Zabibah. In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked in the water-pipe. (Burck hardt No. 73.) Besides these there is (1) "Post" poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in sugared sherbets; (2) Datura (stramonium) seed, the produce of the thorn-apple breached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing spectral-visions, delirium tremens, etc., and (3) various preparations of opium especially the "Madad," pills made up with toasted betel-leaf and smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk in the shape of "Kusumba," a pill placed in wet cotton and squeezed in order to strain and clean it of the cowdung and other filth with which it is adulterated.