« السابقةمتابعة »
the skins of naked coolies. In Persia, it is stated by Mirza Abdul Razes that the Churrus is prepared by pressing the resinous plant on coarse cloths, and then scraping it from these and melting it in a pot with a little warm water. He considers the Churrus of Herat as the best and most powerful of all the varieties of the drug.
The preparations of Hemp are used for the purpose of intoxication as follows.
Sidhee, Subjee, and Bang (synonymous) are used with water as a drink, which is thus prepared. About three tola weight, 540 troy grains, are well washed with cold water, then rubbed to powder, mixed with black pepper, cucumber and melon seeds, sugar, half a pint of milk, and an equal quantity of water. This is considered sufficient to intoxicate an habituated person. Half the quantity is enough for a novice. This composition is chiefly used by the Mahomedans of the better classes.
Another recipe is as follows.
The same quantity of Sidhee is washed and ground, mixed with black pepper, and a quart of cold water added. This is drank at one sitting. This is the favorite beverage of the Hindus who practice this vice, especially the Birjobassies and many of the Rajpootana soldiery.
From either of these beverages intoxication will ensue in half an hour. Almost invariably the inebriation is of the most cheerful kind, causing the person to sing and dance, to eat food with great relish, and to seek aphrodisiac enjoyments. In persons of a quarrelsome disposition it occasions, as might be expected, an exasperation of their natural tendency. The intoxication lasts about three hours, when sleep supervenes. No nausea or sickness of stomach succeeds, nor are the bowels at all affected; next day there is slight giddiness and vascularity of the eyes, but no other symptom worth recording.
Gunjah is used for smoking alone-one rupee weight, 180 grains, and a little dried tobacco are rubbed together in the palm of the hand with a few drops of water. This suffices for three persons. A little
tobacco is placed in the pipe first, then a layer of the prepared Gunjah, then more tobacco, and the fire above all.
Four or five persons usually join in this debauch. The hookah is passed round, and each person takes a single draught. Intoxication ensues almost instantly; and from one draught to the unaccustomed, within half an hour; and after four or five inspirations to those more practised in the vice. The effects differ from those occasioned by the Sidhee. Heaviness, laziness, and agreeable reveries ensue, but the person can be readily roused, and is able to discharge routine occupations, such as pulling the punkah, waiting at table, &c.
The Majoon, or Hemp confection, is a compound of sugar, butter, flour, milk, and Sidhee or Bang. The process has been repeatedly performed before me by Ameer, the proprietor of a celebrated place of resort for Hemp devotees in Calcutta, and who is considered the best artist in his profession. Four ounces of Sidhee and an equal quantity of Ghee are placed in an earthen or well-tinned vessel, a pint of water added, and the whole warmed over a charcoal fire. The mixture is constantly stirred until the water all boils away, which is known by the crackling noise of the melted butter on the sides of the vessel; the mixture is then removed from the fire, squeezed through cloth while hot-by which an oleaginous solution of the active principles and colouring matter of the Hemp is obtained—and the leaves, fibres, &c., remaining on the cloth are thrown away.
The green oily solution soon concretes into a buttery mass, and is then well washed by the hand with soft water so long as the water becomes coloured. The colouring matter and an extractive substance are thus removed, and a very pale green mass, of the consistence of simple ointment, remains. The washings are thrown away;--Ameer says that these are intoxicating, and produce constriction of the throat, great pain, and very disagreeable and dangerous symptoms.
The operator then takes two pounds of sugar, and adding a little water places it in a pipkin over the fire. When the sugar dissolves and froths, two ounces of milk are added; a thick scum rises and is removed-more milk and a little water are added from time to time, and the boiling continued about an hour, the solution being carefully stirred until it becomes an adhesive clear syrup, ready to solidify on a cold surface; four ounces of tyre (new milk dried before the sun) in fine powder are
now stirred in, and lastly the prepared butter of Hemp is introduced, brisk stirring being continued for a few minutes. A few drops of uttur of roses are then quickly sprinkled in, and the mixture poured from the pipkin on a flat cold dish or slab. The mass concretes immediately into a thin cake, which is divided into small lozenge-shaped pieces. A seer thus prepared sells for four rupees: one drachm by weight will intoxicate a beginner; three drachms one experienced in its use. The taste is sweet, and the odour very agreeable.
Ameer states that there are seven or eight Majoon makers in Calcutta ; that sometimes by special order of customers he introduces stramonium seeds, but never nux-vomica;—that all classes of persons, including the lower Portuguese or "Kala Feringhees," and especially their females, consume the drug;—that it is most fascinating in its effects, producing extatic happiness, a persuasion of high rank, a sensation of flying, voracious appetite, and intense aphrodisiac desire. He denies that its continued use leads to madness, impotence, or to the numerous evil consequences described by the Arabic and Persian physicians. Although I disbelieve Ameer's statements on this point, his description of the immediate effects of Majoon is strictly and accurately correct.
Most carnivorous animals eat it greedily, and very soon experience its narcotic effects, becoming ludicrously drunk, but seldom suffering any worse consequences.
Historical details-Notices of Hemp, and its popular uses, by the
The preceding notice suffices to explain the subsequent historical and medicinal details. I premise the historical, in order to shew the exact state of our knowledge of the subject, when I attempted its investigation.
Although the most eminent of the Arabic and Persian authors concur in referring the origin of the practice of Hemp intoxication to the natives of Hindoostan, it is remarkable that few traces can be detected of the prevalence of the vice at any early period in India.
The Pandit Moodoosudun Gooptu finds that the "Rajniguntu," a standard treatise on Materia Medica, which he estimates vaguely at 600 years date, gives a clear account of this agent. Its synonymes are 'Bijoya,” “Ujoya,” and “Joya,”-names which mean, promoters of success; "Brijputta," or the strengthener, or the strong-leaved ; "Chapola," the causer of a reeling gait; "Ununda," or the laughtermoving; "Hursiní," the exciter of sexual desire. Its effects on man are described as excitant, heating, astringent. It is added that it "destroys phlegm, expels flatulence, induces costiveness, sharpens the memory, increases eloquence, excites the appetite, and acts as a general tonic."
The "Rajbulubha," a Sanscrit treatise of rather later date, alludes to the use of Hemp in gonorrhæa, and repeats the statements of the "Rajniguntu." In the Hindu Tantra, or a religious treatise, teaching peculiar and mystical formulæ and rites for the worship of the deities, it is said, moreover, that Sidhee is more intoxicating than wine.
In the celebrated "Susruta," which is perhaps the most ancient of all Hindu medical works, it is written, that persons labouring under catarrh should, with other remedies, use internally the Bijoya or Sidhee. The effects however are not described.
The learned Kamalakantha Vidyalanka has traced a notice of Hemp in the 5th chapter of Menu, where Brahmins are prohibited to use the following substances, Palandoo or onions, Gunjara or Gunjah, and such condiments as have strong and pungent scents.
The Arabic and Persian writers are however far more voluminous and precise in their accounts of these fascinating preparations. In the 1st vol. of De Sacy's "Crestomathie Arabe" we find an extremely interesting summary of the writings of Takim Eddin Makrizi on this subject. Lane has noticed it too with his usual ability in his admirable work "the Modern Egyptians." From these two sources, the MS. notes of the Syed Keramut Ali and Mr. DaCosta, and a curious paper communicated by our friend Mirza Abdul Razes, a most intelligent Persian physician, the following epitome is compiled.
Makrizi treats of the Hemp in his glowing description of the celebrated Canton de la Timbaliere, or ancient pleasure grounds, in the vicinity of Cairo. This quarter, after many vicissitudes, is now a heap of ruins. In it was situated a cultivated valley named Djoneina, which we are informed was the theatre of all conceivable abomina
tions. It was famous above all for the sale of the Hasheeha, which is still greedily consumed by the dregs of the populace, and from the consumption of which sprung the excesses which led to the name of "Assassin" being given to the Saracens in the Holy Wars. The history of the drug the author treats of thus:-The oldest work in which Hemp is noticed is a treatise by Hasan, who states that in the year 658, M. E. the Sheikh Djafar Shirazi, a monk of the order of Haider, learned from his master the history of the discovery of Hemp. Haider, the chief of ascetics and self-chasteners, lived in rigid privation on a mountain between Nishabor and Ramah, where he established a monastery of Fakirs. Ten years he had spent in this retreat without leaving it for a moment, till one burning summer's day when he departed alone to the fields. On his return an air of joy and gaiety was imprinted on his countenance; he received the visits of his brethren and encouraged their conversation. On being questioned, he stated that struck by the aspect of a plant which danced in the heat as if with joy, while all the rest of the vegetable creation was torpid, he had gathered and eaten of its leaves. He led his companions to the spot,-all ate and all were similarly excited. A tincture of the Hemp leaf in wine or spirit seems to have been the favorite formula in which the Sheikh Haider
indulged himself. An Arab poet sings of Haider's emerald cup-an evident allusion to the rich green colour of the tincture of the drug. The Sheikh survived the discovery ten years, and subsisted chiefly on this herb, and on his death his disciples by his desire planted it in an arbour about his tomb.
From this saintly sepulchre the knowledge of the effects of Hemp is stated to have spread into Khorasan. In Chaldea it was unknown until 728 M. E. during the reign of the Khalif Mostansir Billah: the kings of Ormus and Bahrein then introduced it into Chaldea, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey.
In Khorasan however, it seems that the date of the use of Hemp is considered to be far prior to Haider's era. Biraslan, an Indian pilgrim, the contemporary of Cosröes,* is believed to have introduced and
By this term is probably meant the first of the Sassanian dynasty, to whom the epithet "of Khusrow" or Cosröcs, equivalent to Káiser, Cæsar, or Czar, has been applied in many generations. This dynasty endured from A. D. 202 to a. D. 636– Vide note 50 to Lane's translation of the Arabian Nights, vol. ii. p. 226.