sought thee to deserve the Blessings of the Wise upon our
undertakings." Sometimes, with interested motives it must be owned, we
induce him to accompany us to the Hammam,[FN#33] where he insists upon
paying the smallest sum, quarrelling with everything and
[p.71]everybody, and giving the greatest trouble. We are generally his
only visitors; acquaintances he appears to have few, and no friends; he
must have had them once, for he was rich, but is not so now, so they
have fallen away from the poor old man.
When the Shaykh Mohammed sits with me, or I climb up into his little
shop for the purpose of receiving a lesson from him, he is quite at his
ease, reading when he likes, or making me read, and generally beginning
each lecture with some such preamble as this[FN#34]:-
"Aywa! aywa! aywa![FN#35]"-Even so, even so, even so! we take refuge
with Allah from Satan the Stoned! In the name of Allah, the
Compassionate, the Merciful, and the Blessings of Allah upon our Lord
Mohammed, and his Family and his Companions one and all! Thus saith the
author, may Almighty Allah have mercy upon him! ‘Section I. of chapter
two, upon the orders of prayer,' &c."
He becomes fiercely sarcastic when I differ from him in opinion,
especially upon a point of grammar, or the theology over which his
beard has grown grey.