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tals, as that of Achilles among the Greeks. He possessed, also, in common with other Solimans, the cuirass called the Gebeh, and the Tig-atesch, or smouldering sword, which rendered them invisible in their wars with the demons.* In his time the race had become so proud and so incorrigible to the various lessons given to them and their ancestors from above, that Heaven sent down the angel Hareth to reduce them to obedience. Hareth did his work, and took the government of the world into his hands, but became so proud in his turn, that the deity in order to punish him created a new species of beings to possess the earth, and bade the angels fall down and worship it. Hareth refused, as being of a nobler nature, and was thrust, together with the chiefs of those who adhered to him, into hell, the whole race of the Genii being dismissed at the same time into the mountains of Kaf, and man left in possession of his inheritance. The Genii, however, did not leave him alone. They made war upon him occasionally till the time of the greatest of all the Solimans, Soliman ben Daoud (Solomon the son of David) who having finally conquered and driven them back, was allowed to retain power over them, to give peace of mind to such as had yielded in good time, and to compel the rest to succumb to him whenever he thought fit, as angels overcame the devils. These last are the rebellious Genii of the “ Arabian Nights.” They are the Deevs, in the diabolical and now the only sense of the word, — Deev signifying a gigantic evil spirit; and are all monsters, more or less, and generally black ; though the most famous of them is the Deev-Sifeed, or great white devil, whose conquest was the crowning glory of Rustam, the Eastern Hercules.
* D'Herbelot, in the article “ Soliman Ben Daoud.”
They appear to be of different classes, and to have different names, except the latter be provincial. Some are called Ishreels, others Afreets, and another is our old acquaintance the Ghoul (pronounced ghool). They are permitted to wander from Kaf, and roam about the world, “as a security,” says Richardson, “for the future obedience of man.” They tempt and do mischief in the style of the Western devil, the lowest of them infesting old buildings, haunting church-yards, and feeding on dead bodies. The reader will recollect the lady who supped with one of them, and who used to pick rice with a bodkin. These are the Ghouls above mentioned. They sometimes inhabit waste places, moaning in the wind, and waylaying the traveller. A Deev is generally painted with horns, tail, and saucer eyes, like our devil; but an author now and then lavishes on a description of him all the fondness of his antipathy. The following is a powerful portrait of one of them, called an Afreet, in the Bahar Danush,- or “ Garden of Knowledge” (translated from the Persian by Mr. Gladwin): –
“On his entrance, he beheld a black demon, heaped on the ground like a mountain, with two large horns on his head, and a long proboscis, fast asleep. In his head the divine Creator had joined the likenesses of the elephant and the wild bull. His teeth grew out like the tusks of the wild boar, and all over his monstrous carcase hung shaggy hairs, like those of the bear. The eye of the mortal-born was dimmed at his appearance, and the mind, at his horrible form and frightful figure, was confounded.
“He was an Afreet created from mouth to foot by the wrath of God.
“His hair like a bear's, his teeth like a boar's. No one ever beheld such a monster.
“Crooked-backed and crab-faced; he might be scented at the distance of a thousand furlongs.
“His nostrils were like the ovens of brick-burners, and his mouth resembled the vat of a dyer.
“When his breath came forth, from its vehemence the dust rose up as in a whirlwind, so as to leave a chasm in the earth ; and when he drew it in, chaff, sand, and pebbles, from the distance of some yards, were attracted to his nostrils.”
Some of these wanderers about the world appear nevertheless to be of a milder nature than others, and undertake to be amiable on the subject of love and beauty: though this indeed is a mansuetude of which most devils are rendered capable. In the story of Prince Camaralzaman and the Princess of China, a “cursed genie” makes common · cause with a good fairy in behalf of the two lovers. The fairy makes no scruple of chatting and comparing notes with him on their beauty, at the same time addressing him by his title of “cursed,” and wondering how he can have the face to differ with her. The devil, on the other hand, is very polite, calling her his “dear lady” and “agreeable Maimoune,” and tremblingly exacting from her a promise to do him no harm, in return for his telling her no lies. The question demands an umpire; and, at a stamp of Maimoune's foot, out comes from the earth “a hideous, humpbacked, squinting, and lame genie, with six horns on his head, and claws on his hands and feet.” Caschcasch (this new monster) behaves like a well-bred arbiter; and the fairy thanks him for his trouble. In the “ Arabian Tales; or, sequel to the Arabian Nights,” * is an evil
* The “Arabian Tales” are unquestionably of genuine Eastern groundwork, and amidst a great deal of pantomimic extravagance, far inferior to the
genius resembling the Asmodeus of the Devil on Two Sticks. Asmodeus is evidently Eastern, the Asmadai of the “ Paradise Lost.”
There is a world of literature in the East, of which we possess but a little corner ; though, indeed, that corner is exquisite, and probably the finest of all.*
“Nights," have some capital stories. Il Bondocani, for instance, and Maugraby. But till we have the express authority of a scholar to the contrary, it is difficult to say that a French hand has not interfered in it, beyond what is stated by the translator of the reformed edition. There are fine things in the story of Maugraby.
* Doubts have been gratuitously and not very modestly expressed of the value of the celebrated Eastern poets; but surely a few names could not have risen eminently above myriads of others, and become the delight and reverence of nations, without possessing something in common with the great attractions of humanity in all countries. Sir John Malcolm pronounces Ferdoosi, the epic poet of Persia, to be a great and pathetic genius; and he gives some evidence of what he says, even in a prose sketch of one of his stories, which, says the original, is a story “full of the waters of the eye." There is a couplet, translated by Sir William Jones, from the same author, which shows he had reflected upon a point of humanity that appears obvious enough, and yet which was never openly noticed by an Englishman till the time of Shakespeare. Sir William's couplet is in the modern fashion, and probably not in the original simplicity, but it is well done, and fit to remember. It is upon crushing an insect.
Ah! spare yon emmet, rich in hoarded grain:
Do the gratuitous critics recollect, that the stories of Ruth and Joseph, and the sublime book of Job, are from the East? or that the religion of simplicity itself comes from that quarter? the religion that set children on its knee, and bade the orthodox Pharisee retire? It appears to us highly probable, that even our Eastern scholars are liable to be mistaken respecting the pompous language of the Orientals. We talk of their highflown metaphors, and eternal substitution of images for words; but how far would not our own language be liable to siinilar misconception, if translated in the same literal spirit? What should we think of Persians, who instead of overlooking the every-day nature of our colloquial imagery should arrest it at every turn, and wonder how we can talk of standing in other people's shoes, taking false steps, throwing light on a subject, stopping the mouths of our enemies, &c. ? There are bad and florid
So much for the rebellious or evil Jinn.
The Jinns obedient seldom make their appearance in a male shape; the Orientals, with singular gallantry of imagination, almost always making them females, as we shall see presently. The best of the males are of equivocal character, and retain much of the fiery and capricious natures of the genii of old. They may be good and kind enough, if they have their way; but do not willingly come in contact with men, except to carry off their wives or daughters ; still resenting, it would seem, the ascendancy of human kind, and choosing to serve their own princes and genii, rather than be compelled to appear before masters of an inferior species, — for magicians have power over them, as our astrologers had over the spirits of Plato and the Cabala. They come frightfully, as well as against the grain, -in claps of thunder, and with severe faces. Furthermore, they have a taste for deformity, if we are to judge from the description of Pari Banou's brother. He was not above a foot and a half high, had a beard thirty feet long, and carried upon his shoulders a bar of iron of five hundred weight, which he used as a quarter-staff. But we will indulge ourselves (and we hope the reader) with an extract about him. Prince Ahmed, who has had the good luck to marry the gentle Pari, which has excited a great deal of jealousy and a wish to destroy him, is requested by his father (into whose dull head the thought has been put) to bring him a little monster of a man of the above description.
“It is my brother Schaibar,' said the fairy; "he is
writers in all countries, perhaps more in Persia, because the people there are more fervent; but we should judge of a literature by its best specimens, not its worst.