Page:The Folk-Lore Journal Volume 7 1889.djvu/216

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Review for September last year, but otherwise I am not aware that any translation of them has been made.

During the past winter, which I spent in Egypt, I was told a good many stories by my waiter on board a dahabiah, by name Mustafa ’Ali. Mustafa was a native of Helwân, but had been educated and brought up in Cairo since the age of eight or nine. The Arabic he spoke was that of the ordinary Cairene, who, unlike Spitta Bey’s informants, make no pretensions to correct speaking. The dialect with them is unspoilt by admixture with literary forms and modes of pronunciation.

Unfortunately, I could not write rapidly enough to follow Mustafa’s dictation, except where the story was a short one, especially as my attention was chiefly directed to recording the precise nuances of his pronunciation, and I did not, therefore, attempt to transcribe more than two of the stories he told me. They were by no means good samples of the rest, as they were short and somewhat feeble in character, though like most Cairene tales they were provided with a moral at the end. Such as they are, however, I lay them before the readers of the Folklore Journal and hope that another year I may return to England with a larger supply.

No. 1. Fî kân wâhid sultân fellâti: ubâdên howa yeshûf wâhid sitt; yekhallî gôzah, râhh beled tâni: ubâdên howa râhh fïl bêt. Fî wâhid wezîr: ’ando wâhid sitt kwaiyîs ; ubâdên lamma howa síma’, gai fil bêt es-sultân billêl: es-sitte betâ’ el-wezîr, lamma síma’ es-sultân gai hineh, ishtéri samak wa-’amal ashkal ketîr; ubâdên lamma gai es-sultân hatto el-akl ’al es-soffra ’oddâmo; ubâdên akal minno washâf et-tâm betâ’ es-samak; ubâdên howa ’alêha: fî ashkal ketîr, lâkin et-tâm samak; ’alet-lo: ya sultân, ehhna kamân el-hharïm kûllo zê bádo. Howa ’álêha: ana ma’amilshi hhâga battâl ebeden fîl dûnya. Ubâdên lamma gai el-wezîr, síma’ es-sultân gai fil bêt; ubâdên mâ-nâm-shi way el-hharîm betâ’o. Es sitt lébis zê wâhid râgil, urâhh ’and’ es sultân: en-nâs ma’ arafûsh es-sitt; wa es-sultân ’âlo: ’au’z ê, ya shâter? ’Âlo: ana lî hhâga ’and el-wezîr. Ba’at-lo el-wezîr. Lamma gai el-wezîr ’al-lo el wezir: ma’aggar minnî wâhid bostân; lamma eggar minnî el-bostân,