Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton




























 -  Here a bare-footed girl
trills and quavers, accompanied by a noisy tambourine and a scrannel
pipe of abominable discordance - Page 110
Personal Narrative Of A Pilgrimage To Al-Madinah & Meccah - Volume 1 of 2 - By Captain Sir Richard F. Burton - Page 110 of 571 - First - Home

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Here A Bare-Footed Girl Trills And Quavers, Accompanied By A Noisy Tambourine And A "Scrannel Pipe" Of Abominable Discordance,

In honour of a perverse saint whose corpse insisted upon being buried inside some respectable man's dwelling-house.[FN#13]

The scene reminds you strongly of the Sonneurs of Brittany and the Zampognari from the Abruzzian Highlands bagpiping before the Madonna. There a tall, gaunt Maghrabi displays upon a square yard of

[p.81]dirty paper certain lines and blots, supposed to represent the venerable Ka'abah, and collects coppers to defray the expenses of his pilgrimage. A steady stream of loungers sets through the principal thoroughfares towards the Azbakiyah Gardens, which skirt the Frank quarter; there they sit in the moonlight, listening to Greek and Turkish bands, or making merry with cakes, toasted grains, coffee, sugared-drinks, and the broad pleasantries of Kara Gyuz[FN#14] (the local Punch and Judy). Here the scene is less thoroughly Oriental than within the city; but the appearance of Frank dress amongst the varieties of Eastern costume, the moon-lit sky, and the light mist hanging over the deep shade of the Acacia trees-whose rich scented yellow-white blossoms are popularly compared to the old Pasha's beard[FN#15]-make it passing picturesque. And the traveller from the far East remarks with wonder the presence of certain ladies, whose only mark of modesty is the Burka, or face-veil: upon this laxity the police looks with lenient eyes, inasmuch as, until very lately, it paid a respectable tax to the state.[FN#16]

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