The Infidels, In
Their Headlong Fight, Lightened Their Beasts By Emptying Their Bags Of
"Sawik." This Is The Old And Modern Arabic Name For A Dish Of Green
Grain, Toasted, Pounded, Mixed With Dates Or Sugar, And Eaten On
Journeys When It Is Found Difficult To Cook.
Such is the present
signification of the word:
M.C. de Perceval (vol. iii., p. 84) gives it
a different and a now unknown meaning. And our popular authors
erroneously call the affair the "War of the Meal-sacks."
[FN#13] A popular but not a bad pun-"Harb" (Fight), becomes, by the
alteration of the H, "Harb" (Flight).
[FN#14] The old Arabic proverb is "A greater wiseacre than the goat of
Akhfash"; it is seldom intelligible to the vulgar.
[FN#15] That is to say, "I will burn them (metaphorically) as the fiery
wick consumes the oil,"-a most idiomatic Hijazi threat.
[FN#16] A "cold-of-countenance" is a fool. Arabs use the word "cold" in
a peculiar way. "May Allah refrigerate thy countenance!" i.e. may it
show misery and want. "By Allah, a cold speech!" that is to say, a
silly or an abusive tirade.
[FN#17] That is to say, they would use, if necessary, the dearest and
noblest parts of their bodies (their eyes) to do the duty of the basest
(i.e. their feet).
[FN#18] Writers mention two Al-Akik. The superior comprises the whole
site of Al-Madinah, extending from the Western Ridge, mentioned below,
to the cemetery Al-Bakia.
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