But If Any One
Adverse To "Etymological Fancies" Objects To My Deriving Maurus From
"Maghrab," Let Him Remember Johnson's Successfully
Tracing the course
of the metamorphosis of "dies" into "jour." An even more peculiar
change we may discover in the
Word "elephant." "Pilu" in Sanscrit,
became "pil" in old Persian, which ignores short final vowels; "fil,"
and, with the article, "Al-fil," in Arabic, which supplies the place of
p (an unknown letter to it), by f; and elephas in Greek, which is fond
of adding "as" to Arabic words, as in the cases of Aretas (Haris) and
Obodas (Obayd). "A name," says Humboldt, "often becoming a historical
monument, and the etymological analysis of language, however it may be
divided, is attended by valuable results."
[FN#2] The Toni or Indian canoe is the hollowed-out trunk of a
tree,-near Bombay generally a mango. It must have been the first step
in advance from that simplest form of naval architecture, the
"Catamaran" of Madras and Aden.
[FN#3] In these vessels each traveller, unless a previous bargain be
made, is expected to provide his own water and firewood. The best way,
however, is, when the old wooden box called a tank is sound, to pay the
captain for providing water, and to keep the key.
[FN#4] The "opener"-the first chapter of the Koran, which Moslems
recite as Christians do the Lord's Prayer; it is also used on occasions
of danger, the beginnings of journeys, to bind contracts, &c.
[FN#5] These Maghrabis, like the Somalis, the Wahhabis of the desert,
and certain other barbarous races, unaccustomed to tobacco, appeared to
hate the smell of a pipe.
[FN#6] The hands are raised in order to catch the blessing that is
supposed to descend from heaven upon the devotee; and the meaning of
drawing the palms down the face is symbolically to transfer the
benediction to every part of the body.
[FN#7] As is the case under all despotic governments, nothing can be
more intentionally offensive than the official manners of a superior to
his inferior in Egypt.
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