READERS who are not familiar with the Kurán may like to see in English the Muslim “Lord's Prayer,” called Al-Fátihá, which the Deaf Man recited in presence of his sick friend, so this is it, from Rodwell's translation, p. 11:

Praise be to God, Lord of the worlds!
The compassionate, the merciful!
King on the day of reckoning!
Thee [only] do we worship, and to thee do we cry for help.
Guide thou us on the straight path!
The path of those to whom thou hast been gracious; with whom thou art not angry, and who go not astray.”

This sura is esteemed as the quintessence of the Kurán, and is recited several times in the course of each of the five daily prayers, and on many other occasions.

It is well known that men afflicted with partial deafness are generally unwilling to acknowledge their infirmity, and even resent being talked to in a loud tone of voice; though they often betray themselves by the answers they give to questions asked of them, much to the amusement of their questioners.—A story is told of a deaf Persian who was taking home a quantity of wheat, and, coming to a river which he must cross, he saw a horseman approach; so he said to himself: “When that horseman comes up he will first salute me, saying, ‘Peace be with thee!’ Next he will ask, ‘What is the depth of this river?’ and then he will ask, how many máns of wheat I have with me.” But the deaf man's surmises were sadly amiss, for when the horse­man came up he cried: “Ho! my man, what is the depth of this river?” The deaf one replied: “Peace be with thee, and the mercy of Allah and his blessing!” At this the horseman laughed and said: “May they cut off thy beard!” to which the deaf one rejoined: “Up to my neck.” The horseman then said: “Dust be on thy mouth!” The deaf one placidly replied: “Eighty máns of it.”

Here we have a very close parallel to the story of the Deaf Man and his Sick Friend, and there is a curious Norwegian variant in Sir George W. Dasent's Tales from the Fjeld, under the title of “Goodman Axeshaft,” which is to this purpose:

The wife and daughter of an old ferryman, who was extremely deaf, by their extravagance plunge him into an ocean of debt and run away from home. The sheriff is to come and seize, and the old man wonders what he'll say to him. “Ah, I'll begin to cut an axeshaft, and the sheriff will ask me how long it is to be. I'll answer, ‘Up as far as that twig sticks out.’ Then he'll ask, ‘What's become of the ferry boat?’ and I'll say, ‘I'm going to tar her, and yonder she lies on the strand, split at both ends.’ Then he'll ask, ‘Where's your gray mare?’ and I'll say, ‘She's standing in the stable, big with foal.’ And then he'll ask, ‘Whereabouts is your sheepcote?’ and I'll answer, ‘Not far off; when you get a bit up the hill you'll soon see it.’” But when the sheriff comes up he says “Good day” to the old man, who answers: “Axeshaft.” Then he asks: “How far off to the river?” to which the ferryman replies: “Up to this twig,” pointing a little way up the piece of timber. The sheriff stares and shakes his head. “Where's your wife?” “I'm just going to tar her,” and so forth. “Where's your daughter?” “In the stable,” and so on. “To the deuce with you!” exclaims the sheriff, in a rage. “Very good,” says the old man; “not far off—when you get a bit up the hill you'll soon see it.” Upon this the sheriff goes off, in sheer despair.