Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 20.djvu/710

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THE POPULAR SCIENCE MONTHLY.

on this point were soon settled by the famous circular of Dr. Reidor, to whom the Tripolitan Government had intrusted the publication of the Hakim's chronicle. As the preliminary account of the Anabasis through the Soodan waddies (sufficiently known from the writings of Barth and Burton) is little more than a collection of military march reports, it has not been included in the second edition of Dr. Reidor's translation, and the present brief summary will suffice for the explanation of subsequent events.

But the chronicle itself is a work of quite a different character, and at once attracted the attention of the scientific public. Its general interest may be inferred from the success of the German[1] and Spanish[2] editions, though the speculative portion of the original has been partly omitted in both works, and, strangely enough, especially in the German version, whose (Austrian) expurgators have found it necessary to suppress the most interesting political and ethical reflections. I shall offer no apology for having restored those passages. From European prejudices the author of the "Chronicle" is as free as Hafiz Ben Eddin, but his work is certainly not immoral, and can be called irreligious only where that word has not yet ceased to be a synonym of truth-loving. The commentaries of the Spanish translator have greatly aided me in the exegesis of the Mauritanian idioms; but, where a literal translation would fail to elucidate the ambiguity of certain topographical terms, I have thought it safer to retain the nomenclature of the Arabian text.

f. l. o.

 

 

THE CHRONICLE OF HAKIM BEN SHEYTAN, THE SERVANT OF ALLAH.

CHAPTER I.

In the Name of the All-merciful, etc., Adna-Mullah Ibn Saddi: To my Father, Greeting and Peace.

Not now, Namullah, nor in weeks of speech and free discourse, could I recount all the hardships of our journey since we parted at El Kamr. And yet I praise the lord, and through these, and twice as many dangers I would go again, for all the wonders he has thus revealed, and for the ever-memorable manifestations of his judgment upon the impious who violate the laws of his Word, the laws which Nature has proclaimed even to the heathens.

The death of Abu Riyah you will have learned from the pasha's report, as well as the fate of Sheik Hanbal's companions; and I will begin my relation from the Alms-week of the New Year (February

  1. "Die Wunder des Mond-Gebirges. Von Prof. D. P. . Widerleger." 2 vols., sq. 8vo. Vienna, 1881.
  2. "Las Aventuras de Hakim Ben Sheytan. Por el Dr. S. L. Reidor." 2da edicion. 8vo. Salamanca. 1881.