No. XVI—pp. 73 and 198.

AN error in the translation of the story of the Concealed Robe falls to be corrected in this place: pp. 76, 77, “One day the vile hag,” etc.,—it is not the old woman who visits the lady at her mother's house, after she ran away from her husband's violence, but the same “effeminate one” who concealed the robe, and who not only conducts her to her lover, but also makes peace between the husband and wife. The only part the old woman takes in the intrigue is to engage the services of the “effeminate one”—in the original, mukhannas, which means a hermaphrodite, and has another signification, which need not be here explained—for, although she “had now cleared her hands from the affairs of the world, she had formerly managed many such matters.” (I may as well mention that I had originally suppressed the circumstance of the want of sex on the part of the individual employed by the old woman, and, somehow, neglected to alter the terms in pages 76, 77.)—The wretched being who is so comically described in the text would doubtless readily obtain access to the women's apartments of any house in Persia or India; and as Eastern tales of common life are considered to faithfully reflect the manners and customs of the age in which they were composed, it may be concluded that eunuchs and epicene individuals were formerly employed in those countries as go-betweens in affairs of gallantry. It is hardly to be supposed, surely, that the author of the Sindibād Nāma deliberately substituted this hermaphrodite go-between for the conventional old woman of the same story as found in other versions. But I shall not take upon myself to say whether this peculiar turn of the story in the Persian text is evidence of its greater antiquity. I may add, that it will be observed that in the Persian version of the story the cloth, or robe, is not burnt, nor is the lady divorced, apparently, as in the Arabian and other texts; and perhaps the most remarkable difference is, that it is the young man himself who suggests that the husband should be reconciled to his wife. The story is so differently told in the Persian text from the Greek, Arabic, and other versions, that Falconer could only have cursorily looked at it in the MS. when he referred his reader to the tale as given in Jonathan Scott's Seven Vazīrs. Professor Comparetti has stated, in his “Researches,” that the Story of the Burnt Cloth is not in the Persian text of the Sindibād. He was, perhaps, misled by the French translator of Falconer's analysis, in the Revue Britannique, who may have omitted the brief allusion which Falconer makes to the story, in these words: “The vazīr [i.e. the sixth] next relates the Story of the Stratagem of the Old Woman with the Merchant's Wife and the Young Man, which, being told in the Seven Vazīrs (‘Tales,’ etc., p. 168), need not be here repeated.”—As this is one of the “secondary” tales of the vazīrs, which Professor Comparetti conceives was added when the tales of the Libertine Husband and the Old Woman and the She-Dog were fused together, it is of some importance to find it in the Persian text, and told so dif­ferently, as well as these two stories separately.

In some of the Arabian texts of the Seven Vazīrs, the story of the Burnt Veil is followed by the tale of