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Pirate

koran, arabic, arab, written, language and spoken

PIRATE COAST,—The littoral within the Per s:an Gulf between the mountain range and the and extending in that direction from Ka ab to the island of Bahreiu—a distance of 350 1,0iles—biars the designation of the Pirate Coast. Ihn Ilankal, in his version of the Koran, informs is that before the deliverance of the children of Israel from Egyptian bondage, the subjects of a pirate monarch in these parts seized on every valuable ship which passed. The possession of a fk w ports within and near the entrance of the Persian Gulf, where it is not more than thirty miles across, enabled them to perceive and sally out on all passing vessels. To the Portuguese, during their brief career in India, they proved quite as troublesome as they did in the latter part of the 18th century to the British. The imams of Maskat have been repeatedly at war with these tribes. In 1809, an expedition was sent against them under Captain Wainwright, in Ills Majesty's ship Chiffonne. Their principal stronghold, Ras-ul-Khaimah, was stormed and taken, and fifty of their largest vessels burnt or destroyed. Leit, on the island of Kishm, and several other ports, were reduced, but they soon returned to their old practices. The inhabitants of the Pirate Coast consider themselves to be far superior to either the Bedouin or town Arab. The latter, especially those from Oman, they hold in such contempt, that a Maskatti and an arrant coward are by them held to be nearly synony mous. They are taller, fairer, and in general more muscular, than either of the above classes, until they attain the age of thirty or forty years, when they acquire a similar patriarchal appear ance.

The Arab Caliphs were eminently literary. The Arab invasion of Europe first dispelled the darkness which had spread over that continent. They brought with them the knowledge of the East, and in a measure, also, the then forgotten learning of Grecian antiquity. About the 8th century they gave to Europe their numerical figures, and the art of determining their rank in the decimal arrangement by their positional value.

The Arabic language, as written in the Koran, is the most developed and richest of the Semitic tongues. It is not now spoken in any part of Arabia, as there written. Probably it never was ao, any more than the Latin, the English, the German, or Italian, have ever been spoken as written in their respective bounds ; and Burton quotes from the Arabic Grammar of Clodius, that the dialectn.s .A.mbum vulgaris tantum differt ab eruclita, quantum Isocrates dictio ab hodierna lingua Gneca. Indeed, the Arabs themselves divide their spoken and even written language into two orders,—the Kahan Wrati, or vulgar tongue, sometimes employed in epistolary corre spondence; and the Nahwi, or grammatical and classical language. Every man of education uses the former, and can use the latter. 'And the Koran is no more a model of modern Arabic (as it is often assumed to be) than Paradise Lost is of English. The Koran has been translated from the Arabic into English, French, Persian, Urdu, Malay, Javan, Tamul. In Socotra, the language in use is undoubtedly derived from the Ghiz or Ethiopic. At present the Arabic alphabet is in use amongst the Turks, Persians, Malaya, some of the people of India and Africa. It was, however, of Syrian origin. The Arab family is Muhammadan, except the Christian Arabs of Malta. Nejd or Central Arabia is Syrian, and arranged into divisions called Suk. — Lane's Koran ; Peschel, Races of Man; Lathani's Ethnology; Captain .Pelix Jones in Boy. Geogl. S'ocs. Trans., xii.; Colonel MacGregor; Dr. Carter in Boy. As. Soc. Jour. ; Pelly ; Ratelinson ; Wellstcd's Travels ; Burton's Mecca, iii. p. 330; Bunsen's Egypt, iii. and iv. ; Fontanier; Layard's Nineveh; Mignan's Tray.