Words, page 15


… when he had rested from the weariness of wayfare, he donned his dress and went down to wander about the streets, where he never passed a group without hearing them prate about the pavilion and its grandeur and vaunt the beauty of Alaeddin…
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).


The Moorman replied, “The sum of my wishes is to look upon this pavilion and, if thou wouldest do me a favour, prithee guide me thereunto, for I am a foreigner.”
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

prithee = pray thee; please.


… 'tis my desire that thou cause me taste the wine of thy natal soil, the African land, because …
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

natal, as in prenatal.


O my father, I recovered not life save yesterday when I saw my husband, and he it was who freed me from the thraldom of that Maghrabi, that Magician, that Accursed, than whom I believe there be none viler on the face of earth
Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

thrall = Slavery; bondage; servitude. Compare today's “enthrall”.


This is typically known as “carb-loading.” The end result is an ultra-lean bodybuilder with full hard muscles and a dry, vascular appearance


The future King Louis XVI was a shy, affable, blundering gourmand who fell so far short of his royal forebears' womanizing prowess that he failed to complete sexual intercourse with his own wife for the first seven years of their marriage.


The location photography and crisp editing are splendid, but less impressive are the dull re-creations where an actress standing in for Marie Antoinette gratuitously wanders around with a parasol, her slack or striding contemporary body language and mannish, athletic hands at jarring odds with what the narrator is telling us about the queen's “Habsburg dignity and French grace.” The magical “Versailles glide” is nowhere in sight.


Admirably, this Marie Antoinette uses subtitles instead of voice-overs for its fascinating interviews with French historians. Foreign languages are too rarely heard on mainstream American TV, including news programs, an omission that can only worsen national provincialism.


Has representative democracy, paralyzed by rancorous partisanship and bureaucratic incompetence, become the waning ancien regime assailed by hordes at the gates?


… dismisses salacious rumors about the queen's nymphomania and lesbianism and induces respect for the queen's courage in adversity.


For two centuries, views of Marie Antoinette have been sharply polarized: She was either a saint and martyr or a monster and a Messalina (one of the many scathing sobriquets flung at her in her lifetime).


… we all three entered the gate of the palace between two rows of guards, armed and dressed after a very antic manner, and with something in their countenances that made my flesh creep with a horror I cannot express.


The narrative is extraordinarily dependent upon correspondence as a medium for ensuring the flow of events, and while not an epistolary novel in the way that Pierre Choderlos de Laclos' Les Liaisons Dangereuses is, nevertheless, it is immediately apparent that the flow of letters forms a driving center to much of the narrative development in this novel.

See also: Epistolary novel


Anna Leonowens (November, 1831 - January 19, 1915) is chiefly famous for being the British governess portrayed in the musical The King and I. The play, based on adaptations of her factually slipshod memoirs, provides a fictionalised look at her life in the royal court of Siam (present-day Thailand).


Now by the fiat of Fate on the very next day Fatimah came down to the city…
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).
money by fiat


Moslems are curious about sleeping postures and the popular saying is:—Lying upon the right side is proper to Kings; upon the left to Sages, to sleep supine is the position of Allah's Saints and prone upon the belly is peculiar to the Devils.
Aladdin (Sir Richard Burton).


… the Sultan appeared and the Wazirs made their obeisance and likewise did the Nobles and the Notables.
from Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).

See also: Obeisance


So doing they left the city-gate, and the Maroccan took to promenading with Alaeddin amongst the gardens and to pointing out for his pleasure the mighty fine pleasances and the marvellous high-builded pavilions.
from Aladdin (by Sir Richard Burton).


Godiva (or Godgifu) (fl. 1040 – 1080) was an Anglo-Saxon noblewoman who, according to legend, rode naked through the streets of Coventry in England in order to gain a remission of the oppressive toll imposed by her husband on his tenants.