EASTERN TURBANS. -- Strange is the magic of turban. Eastern garments are always graceful, and truly the turban is the crown of grace, and honoured as the protector of the human head should be. There are fashions and colours in turbans. The Turkish is heavy and round ĘC the Syrian broad and flat, roll outside roll of rich Cashmere.
A special chair is consecrated to the repose of the turban ĘC and losing the substance in the form, when an irreverent donkey threw a shekh of dignity into the dirt, and among the camel legs of a bazaar, causing him to shed his turban in tumbling, the reverent crowd eagerly pursued the turban, and rescuing it, bore it with care in their hands, shouting, "Lift up the crown of El Islam" ĘC while the poor neglected shekh angrily cried from the dirt, "Lift up the shekh of El Islam."
The lords of the land, and the luxurious, wreathe around their heads Cashmere shawls of texture so delicate, that they may be drawn through a thin signet ring, yet they are as full, and rich upon the head, as the forms of sunset clouds whose brilliance they emulate.
This day before Esne, Abdallah, our Samsonian Abdallah, sat glorious in the sunset in an incredible turban. He was not used to wear one, content on ordinary days with a cap that had been white. At first, as if to break his head gently into the unaccustomed luxury, I saw him sitting upon the boatside very solemnly ĘC his brows cinctured with what seemed to be a mighty length of dish-clout. I fancied that having assisted at the washing of the dishes, he had wreathed his brows triumphantly with the clouts, as Indian warriors girdle themselves with scalps. But presently stationing the wease-faced crew's cook near the mainmast, with one end of a portentously long white robe of cotton, he posted himself with the other end by the foremast, and then gradually drew the boy toward him, as he turned his head like a crank, and so wound himself up with glory.
Afterward I saw him moving with solemn cautiousness, and with his hands ready- as if he were the merest trifle top-heavy. Fate paints what it will upon the canvass of memory, and I must for ever see the great, gawky, dog-faithful, abused Samsonian Abdallah, sitting turbaned on the boatside in the sunset.
Adopted from Niles Notes.
England in the Orient
Foreign retirees in Manchuria
Prejevalsky's Exploration in Mongolia
Was Prejevalsky the father of Stalin?
The Third Asiatic Expedition in Mongolia
Waiting in Ulaan Baatar
My first trip to Tibet
The Expulsion of Count Tolstoi
Around the world on a bicycle
The Assyrian Origin of Devil Worshippers
The Crusades and the Crusaders