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 something 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, "If thou do this, I will work thy weal—and reward thee." "Then give me a dinar," rejoined the broker, and Shams al-Din said, "Take these two dinars." He took them and said, "Give me also yonder big bowl of porcelain." So he gave it to him and the

  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. sativa), poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (datura) with milk and sugar-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-seed, 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. (Burckhardt 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 bleached 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.