Pot shots

A rare reference (at least in Western languages) to a court jester in the Middle East in recent times.  Lawrence of Arabia comments on the ruler (and later king), of Jordan, Abdullah I (r. 1921-51):

Lawrence had described him as ‘short, thick-built, strong as a horse, with merry, dark brown eyes, a smooth round face, full but short lips, straight nose’ – and he had led an adventurous life, shocking Lawrence with his raffish exploits: ‘once Abdullah shot a coffee-pot off his court-fool’s head thrice from twenty yards’.

We trust that all three pot-shots hit the pot and not the sot.  Unlike this account by Maxim Gorky concerning an army officer who thought himself a hot shot, taking aim at a bottle hanging between the legs of Ignashka.

Source: Simon Sebag Montefiore, Jerusalem: The Biography (London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson, 2011), p. 477; Montefiore does not provide the original reference for this quote by Lawrence of Arabia.

Photo credit: Partha Narasimhan at unsplash


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