Page:Did Charles Bradlaugh die an atheist.djvu/3

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IN the "Arabian Nights' Entertainment" there is a gruesome tale called "The Story of Sidi Nonman". I read this when I was a small child, and to this day I have a vivid recollection of the sense of sickening horror I then felt. Those of you who have read these stories may remember that Sidi Nonman was a young man of moderate fortunes, married to a wife, Amina, whose manner of eating puzzled and disturbed him. Instead of eating her rice with a spoon, she ate it grain by grain, and even that sparingly and occasionally. Sidi Nonman was convinced there was some mystery, and watching his wife he saw her go out one moonlight night to the burying ground, where she met a ghoul. Amina and her dread companion dug up a dead body, and the ghoul cut off pieces of the flesh, which they ate together by the grave side. The ghouls of to-day are a different order of beings: they no longer feed upon dead men's bodies, it is dead men's reputations they dig up and devour. To right-minded people devouring dead men's reputations is an occupation scarcely less revolting than devouring dead men's flesh.

H. B. B.

March, 1898.