JR's Rare Books and Commentary



Burton's footnotes from The Arabian Nights

Original text by Sir Richard F. Burton


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Hic Niger est, hunc tu, Gens Anglia, caveto!  

-- Burton, "Notes on the Dahoman", Memoires read before the Anthr. Soc. of London, vol. i, 1865, pp. 308-321, reprinted in Penzer, Selected Papers... by Sir RB, 1924, pp. 109-125.

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From Burton's copious footnotes.  Compare with Ch. XIX, Dahome.


Vol. 1, p. 6:

[f/n 7] Debauched women prefer negroes on account of the size of their parts. I measured one man in Somali-land who, when quiescent, numbered nearly six inches. This is a characteristic of the negro race and of African animals; e.g. the horse; whereas the pure Arab, man and beast, is below the average of Europe; one of the best proofs by the by, that the Egyptian is not an Asiatic, but a negro partially white-washed. Moreover, these imposing parts do not increase proportionally during erection; consequently, the "deed of kind" takes a much longer time and adds greatly to the woman's enjoyment. In my time no honest Hindi Moslem would take his women-folk to Zanzibar on account of the huge attractions and enormous temptations there and thereby offered to them. Upon the subject of Imsak = retention of semen and "prolongation of pleasure," I shall find it necessary to say more.

Vol. 4, p. 250:

[main text said:  ". . . So Shem's face was whitened and from him sprang the prophets and the orthodox Caliphs and Kings; whilst Cham's face was blackened and he fled forth to the land of Abyssinia, and of his lineage came the blacks. [FN#358] All people are of one mind in affirming the lack of understanding of the blacks, even as saith the adage, 'How shall one find a black with a mind?'. . ."]

[f/n 358]  Here we have the naked legend of the negro's origin, one of those nursery tales in which the ignorant of Christendom still believe. But the deduction from the fable and the testimony to the negro's lack of intelligence, though unpleasant to our ignorant negrophiles, are factual and satisfactory.

Vol. 4, p. 255:

[f/n 372]  Although the Arab's ideal of beauty, as has been seen and said, corresponds with ours the Egyptians (Modern) the Maroccans and other negrofied races like "walking tun-butts" as Clapperton called his amorous widow.