Footnote to Richard Burton's Translation of

The Arabian Nights

....Now there was in the bazar a man who was Deputy Syndic of the brokers and was given to the use of opium and electuary and green hashísh*....


* Arab. "Barsh" or "Bars," the commonest kind. In India it is called Ma'jún (=electuary, generally): it is made of Ganja or young leaves, buds, capsules and florets of hemp (C. sativa), poppy-seed and flowers of the thorn-apple (datura) with milk and sugar-candy, nutmegs, cloves, mace and saffron, all boiled to the consistency of treacle which hardens when cold. Several recipes are given by Herklots (Glossary s. v. Majoon). These electuaries are usually prepared with "Charas," or gum of hemp, collected by hand or by passing a blanket over the plant in early morning, and it is highly intoxicating. Another intoxicant is "Sabzi," dried hemp-leaves, poppy-seed, cucumber-seed, black-pepper and cardamoms rubbed down in a mortar with a wooden pestle, and made drinkable by adding milk, ice-cream, etc. The Hashish of Arabia is the Hindustani Bhang, usually drunk and made as follows. Take of hemp-leaves, well washed, 3 drams; black pepper 45 grains and of cloves, nutmeg and mace (which add to the intoxication) each 12 grains. Triturate in 8 ounces of water or the juice of watermelon or cucumber, strain and drink. The Egyptian Zabíbah is a preparation of hemp-florets, opium and honey, much affected by the lower orders, whence the proverb: "Temper thy sorrow with Zabibah." In Al-Hijaz it is mixed with raisins (Zabíb) and smoked in the water-pipe. (Burckhardt No. 73.) Besides these there is (1) "Post" poppy-seed prepared in various ways but especially in sugared sherbets; (2) Datura (stramonium) seed, the produce of the thorn-apple, bleached and put into sweetmeats by dishonest confectioners; it is a dangerous intoxicant, producing spectral visions, delirium tremens, etc.; and (3) various preparations of opium especially the "Madad," pills made up with toasted betel-leaf and smoked. Opium, however, is usually drunk in the shape of "Kusumba," a pill placed in wet cotton and squeezed in order to strain and clean it of the cowdung and other filth with which it is adulterated.




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