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




























 -  In Egypt, the Ratl is 144 Dirhams or 12 Wukkiyahs,-about 1 lb.
2 oz. and 8 dwts. troy.
[FN - Page 540
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In Egypt, The Ratl Is 144 Dirhams Or 12 Wukkiyahs,-About 1 Lb. 2 Oz.

And 8 dwts.

Troy. [FN#8] "Necklace of Syria." I was told they derive this name from the place where they are made. "Al-Safra" (on the Meccah road) being also called Al-Sham (Damascus). [FN#9] This is a translation of the Arab word "Tazkir," which is certainly more appropriate than our "caprification" applied to dates. [FN#10] The male tree is known by its sterility. In some countries only the fecundating pollen is scattered over the female flower, and this doubtless must have been Nature's method of impregnating the date. [FN#11] The resemblance is probably produced by the similarity of treatment. At Al-Madinah, as in Italy, the vine is "married" to some tall tree, which, selfish as a husband, appropriates to itself the best of everything,-sun, breeze, and rain. [FN#12] This thorn (the Rhamnus Nabeca, or Zizyphus Spina Christi) is supposed to be that which crowned the Saviour's head. There are Mimosas in Syria; but no tree, save the fabled Zakhum, could produce the terrible apparatus with which certain French painters of the modern school have attempted to heighten the terrors of the scene. [FN#13] For what reason I am entirely unable to guess, our dictionaries translate the word Sidr (the literary name of the tree that bears the Nebek) "Lote-tree." No wonder that believers in "Homeric writ" feel their anger aroused by so poor a realisation of the beautiful myth. [FN#14] The only pears in Al-Hijaz, I believe, are to be found at Taif, to which place they were transplanted from Egypt. [FN#15] Travellers always remark the curious pot-bellied children on the banks of the Nile.

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