Part 4, Chapter 4

Part IV

Chapter 4

‘EAT, David,’ said Scherirah.

‘I will eat bread,’ answered Alroy.

‘What! have you had so much meat lately that you will refuse this delicate gazelle that I brought down this morning with my own lance? ’Tis food for a caliph.’

‘I pray you give me bread.’

‘Oh! bread if you like. But that a man should prefer bread to meat, and such meat as this, ’tis miraculous.’

‘A thousand thanks, good Scherirah; but with our people the flesh of the gazelle is forbidden. It is unclean. Its foot is cloven.’*

‘I have heard of these things,’ replied Scherirah, with a thoughtful air. ‘My mother was a Jewess, and my father was a Kourd. Whichever be right, I hope to be saved.’

‘There is but one God, and Mahomed is his prophet!’ exclaimed Kisloch; ‘though I drink wine. Your health, Hebrew.’

‘I will join you,’ said the third robber. ‘My father was a Guebre,* and sacrificed his property to his faith; and the consequence is, his son has got neither.’

‘As for me,’ said a fourth robber, of very dark complexion and singularly small bright eyes, ‘I am an Indian, and I believe in the great golden figure with carbuncle eyes, in the temple of Delhi.’*

‘I have no religion,’ said a tall negro in a red turban, grinning with his white teeth; ‘they have none in my country; but if I had heard of your God before, Calidas,* I would have believed in him.’

‘I almost wish I had been a Jew,’ exclaimed Scherirah, musing. ‘My mother was a good woman.’

‘The Jews are very rich,’ said the third robber.

‘When you get to Jerusalem, David, you will see the Christians,’ continued Scherirah.

‘The accursed Giaours,’* exclaimed Kisloch, ‘we are all against them.’ ‘With their white faces,’ exclaimed the negro.

‘And their blue eyes,’ said the Indian.

‘What can you expect of men who live in a country without a sun?’ observed the Guebre.