Bīrūnī, Muḥammad ibn Aḥmad, Alberuni's India (v. 1)

(London :  Kegan Paul, Trench, Trübner & Co.,  1910.)



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CHAPTER XVI.                             185

along the other side on the other margin of the board,
in case there is no impediment in its way. In con¬
sequence of these two numbers, the elephant, in the
course of his moves, occupies the two ends of the

The pieces have certain values, according to which
the player gets his share of the stake, for the pieces are
taken and pass into the hands of the player. The value
of the king is 5, that of the elephant 4, of the horse 3, of
the tower 2, and of the pawn i. He who takes a king
gets 5. For two kings he gets 10, for three kings 15,
if the winner is no longer in possession of his own king.
But if he has still his own king, and takes all three
kings, he gets 54, a number which represents a pro¬
gression based on general consent, not on an algebraic

If the Hindus claim to differ from us, and to be TheinDate
something better than we, as we on our side, of course, of the Hindu
do vice versd, yge might settle the question by an ex¬
periment to be made with their boys. I never knew a
Hindu boy who had only recently come into Muham¬
madan territory who was not thoroughly versed in the
manners and customs of the people, but at the same
time he would place the shoes before his master in a
wrong order, the right one to the left foot, and vice versd;
he would, in folding, turn his master's garments inside
out, and spread the carpets so that the under part is
uppermost, and more of the kind. All of which is a
consequence of the innate perversity of the Hindu

However, I must not reproach the Hindus only with customs of

Pill                                            *^''° heathen

their heathen practices, for the heathen Arabs too com- Arabs,
mitted crimes and obscenities. They cohabited with
menstruating and pregnant women ; several men agreed
to cohabit with the same woman in the same period of
menstruation ; they adopted the children of others, of
their guests, of the lover of their daughter, not to men-
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