By Rana Kabbani

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47 They spent their lives in sexual preparation (Chardin recounted that they filled linen pouches with musk and introduced them 'dans Ia partie que Ia pudeur ne me permet pas de nommer'. 48 ) and in sexual intrigue. They dallied with each other when their men were absent: 'les femmes Orientales ont toujours passe pour Tribades' 49 (a point that Burton would later stress5°). • ... 51 pats It was such an idea that made Galland's fortune, smce he happened upon the most fitting stories to feed it with.

Lane's enthusiasm for magical practices had been awakened in the first instance by a compatriot, as this passage elucidates: 'A few days after my arrival in this country, my curiosity was excited on the subject of magic by a circumstance related to me by Mr Salt, our Consul-general. ' 7 Europeans in the East depended on each other's testimony to sustain their communal image of the Orient. Lane's book became a classic mainly because it instructed England about Egypt in keeping with a long tradition, using a system of thought that remained untainted by the very location it was describing.

Antony desires both, although of necessity preferring one to the other (since the two are mutually incompatible as this play suggests) at different moments of the drama. Even the dialogue of two onlookers confirms the unappeasable nature of these warring urges in Antony as they describe the two women who meet those urges. Maecenas stresses Octavia's 'wisdom, modesty' and her being a social boon to Antony, a 'blessed lottery to him', while Enobarbus dwells on the spectacle of Cleopatra in describing her approaching barge: 'She makes hungry where most she satisfies'she is the sexual urge itself, unappeasable and intransigent.

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