HOW THE DUSKY ARAB TAKES WATER.
“Water, water, everywhere, and every drop to drink,” is the way your philanthropical Arab reads the quotation. Arabia has the water hobby, and has it bad. A blue-grass critic would call it a disease, and a Weary Walker would refer to the continual erection of fountains as the emanations of idiots. And, in the face of all criticism, the Arab would go on about the business of life, which he interprets as being the placing in operation of as many drinking booths as it lies within his power to set up.
Any one who takes a trip through the country where these peculiar gentlemen live and have their being will note the extent to which the Arabs carry their ideas on the water question. In travelling through a section the siza of Westchester county one will run across as many fountains as he would find saloons in the district north of this city. When Allah calls from the field of activity one of the rich men of the tribe, the men of the law will find that the deceased, instead of leaving his superfluous coin to the Young Men’s Arabian society, or to a fund for the endowment of a college for the teaching of the classics, directs that the wealth be employed in erecting a fountain where the thirst of man and beast may be assuaged.
A peculiarity of these fountains is that very few of them contain the pure, clear water which is associated with the popular idea of a spring. The Arab has no use for the kind of water we drink in Madison Square park and the other breathing places. Such water he considers injurious, as he reasons it coatains chemical properties which produce ill ef fects upon its consumers. The Arab wants his water stagnant, and hence more or less dirty. The dirtier and more stagnant the greater its value in his eyes. He would probably go wild with joy could he impress a portion of the Chicago river into service, and he would fairly revel in the water as the early camp Wikoff visitors found it.