Travels in Morocco, by James Richardson

Chapter 4

Division of Morocco into kingdoms or States, and zones or regions. — Description of the towns and cities on the Maroquine coasts of the Mediterranean and Atlantic waters. — The Zafarine Isles. — Melilla. — Alhucemas. — Penon de Velez. — Tegaza. — Provinces of Rif and Garet. — Tetouan. — Ceuta. — Arzila. — El Araish. — Mehedia. — Salee. — Rabat. — Fidallah. — Dar-el-Beidah. — Azamour. — Mazagran. — Saffee. — Waladia.

Morocco has been divided into States, or kingdoms by Europeans, although such divisions scarcely exist in the administration of the native princes. The ancient division mentioned by Leo was that of two large provinces of Morocco and Fez, separated by the river Bouragrag, which empties itself into the sea between Rabat and Salee; and, indeed, for several centuries, these districts were separated and governed by independent princes. Tafilett always, and Sous occasionally, were united to Morocco, while Fez itself formed a powerful kingdom, extending itself eastward as far as the gates of Tlemsen.

The modern division adopted by several authors, is —

Northern, or the kingdom of Fez. Central, or the kingdom of Morocco. Eastern, or the Province of Tafilett. Southern, or the province of Sous. Some add to this latter, the Province of Draha.

Then, a great number of districts are enumerated as comprehended in these large and general divisions; but the true division of all Mussulman States is into tribes. There is besides another, which more approaches to European government, viz, into kaidats, or jurisdictions. The name of a district is usually that of its chief tribe, and mountains are denominated after the tribes that inhabit them. There is, of course, a natural division, sometimes called a dividing into zones or specific regions, which has already been alluded to in enumerating the natural resources of Morocco, and which besides corresponds with the present political divisions.

I. The North of the Atlas: coming first, the Rif, or mountainous region, which borders the Mediterranean from the river Moulwia to Tangier, comprising the districts of Hashbat west, and Gharet and Aklaia east. Then the intermediate zone of plains and hills, which extends from the middle course of the Moulwia to Tangier on one coast, and to Mogador on the other.

II. The Central Region, or the great chain of the Atlas. The Deren 56 of the natives, from the frontiers of Algeria east to Cape Gheer, on the south-west. This includes the various districts of the Gharb, Temsna, Beni Hasan, Shawia, Fez, Todla, Dukala, Shragno, Abda, Haha, Shedma, Khamna, Morocco, &c.

III. South of the Atlas: or quasi-Saharan region, comprising the various provinces and districts of Sous, Sidi Hisham, Wadnoun, Guezoula, Draha (Drâa), Tafilett, and a large portion of the Sahara, south-east of the Atlas.

As to statistics of population I am inclined fully to admit the statement of Signor Balbi that, the term of African statistics ought to be rejected as absurd. Count Hemo de Gräberg, who was a long time Consul at Tangier, and wrote a statistical and geographical account of the empire of Morocco, states the number of the inhabitants of the town of Mazagran to be two thousand. Mr. Elton who resided there several months, assured me it does not contain more than one hundred. Another gentleman who dwelt there says, three hundred. This case is a fair sample of the style in which the statistics of population in Morocco are and have been calculated.

Before the occupation of Algeria by the French, all the cities were vulgarly calculated at double, or treble their amount of population. This has also been the case even in India, where we could obtain, with care, tolerably correct statistics. The prejudices of oriental and Africo-eastern people are wholly set against statistics, or numbering the population. No mother knows the age of her own child. It is ill-omened, if not an affront, to ask a man how many children he has; and to demand the amount of the population of a city, is either constructed as an infringement upon the prerogative of the omnipotent Creator, who knows how many people he creates, and how to take care of them, or it is the question of a spy, who is seeking to ascertain the strength or weakness of the country. Europeans can, therefore, rarely obtain any correct statistical information in Morocco: all is proximate and conjectural. 57 I am anxious, nevertheless, to give some particulars respecting the population, in order that we may really have a proximate idea of the strength and resources of this important country. In describing the towns and cities of the various provinces, I shall divide them into,

1. Towns and cities of the coast.

2. Capital or royal cities.

3. Other towns and remarkable places in the interior 58.

The towns and ports, on the Mediterranean, are of considerable interest, but our information is very scanty, except as far as relates to the praesidios of Spain, or the well-known and much frequented towns of Tetuan and Tangier.

Near the mouth of the Malwia (or fifteen miles distant), is the little town of Kalat-el-wad, with a castle in which the Governor resides. Whether the river is navigable up to this place, I have not been able to discover. The water-communication of the interior of North Africa is not worth the name. Zaffarinds or Jafarines, are three isles lying off the west of the river Mulweeah, at a short distance, or near its mouth. These belong to Spain, and have recently been additionally fortified, but why, or for what reason, is not so obvious. Opposite to them, there is said to be a small town, situate on the mainland. The Spaniards, in the utter feebleness and decadence of their power, have lately dubbed some one or other “Captain-general of the Spanish possessions, &c. in North Africa.”

Melilla or Melilah is a very ancient city, founded by the Carthaginians, built near a cape called by the Romans, Rusadir (now Tres–Forcas) the name afterwards given to the city, and which it still retains in the form of Ras-ed-Dir, (Head of the mountain). This town is the capital of the province of Garet, and is said to contain 3,000 souls. It is situate amidst a vast tract of fine country, abounding in minerals, and most delicious honey, from which it is pretended the place receives its name.

On an isle near, and joined to the mainland by a draw-bridge, is the Spanish praesidio, or convict-settlement called also Melilla, containing a population of 2,244 according to the Spanish, but Rabbi and Gräberg do not give it more than a thousand. At a short distance, towards the east, is an exceedingly spacious bay, of twenty-two miles in circumference, where, they say, a thousand ships of war could be anchored in perfect safety, and where the ancient galleys of Venice carried on a lucrative trade with Fez. Within the bay, three miles inland, are the ruins of the ancient city of Eazaza, once a celebrated place.

Alhucemos, is another small island and praesidio of the Spaniards, containing five or six hundred inhabitants; it commands the bay of the same name, and is situate at the mouth of the river Wad Nechor, where there is also the Islet of Ed–Housh. Near the bay, is the ancient capital, Mezemma, now in ruins; it had, however, some commercial importance in the times of Louis XIV., and carried on trade with France.

Peñon de Velez is the third praesidio-island, a convict settlement of the Spaniards on this coast, and a very strong position, situate opposite the mouths of the river Gomera, which disembogues in the Mediterranean. The garrison contains some nine hundred inhabitants. So far as natural resources are concerned, Peñon de Velez is a mere rock, and a part of the year is obliged to be supplied with fresh water from the mainland. Immediately opposite to the continent is the city of Gomera (or Badis), the ancient Parientina, or perhaps the Acra of Ptolemy, afterwards called Belis, and by the Spaniards, Velez de la Gomera. The name Gomera, according to J.A. Conde, is derived from the celebrated Arab tribe of the Gomeres, who flourished in Africa and Spain until the last Moorish kings of Granada. Count Graberg pretends Gomera now contains three thousand inhabitants! whilst other writers, and of later date, represent this ancient city, which has flourished and played an important part through many ages, as entirely abandoned, and the abode of serpents and hyaenas. Gellis is a small port, six miles east of Velez de Gomera.

Tegaza is a small town and port, at two miles or less from the sea near Pescadores Point, inhabited mostly by fishermen, and containing a thousand souls.

The provinces of Rif and Garet, containing these maritime towns are rich and highly cultivated, but inhabited by a warlike and semi-barbarous race of Berbers, over whom the Emperor exercises an extremely precarious authority. Among these tribes, Abd-el-Kader sought refuge and support when he was obliged to retire from Algeria, and, where he defied all the power of the Imperial government for several months. Had the Emir chosen, he could have remained in Rif till this time; but he determined to try his strength with the Sultan in a pitch battle, which should decide his fate.

The savage Rifians assemble for barter and trade on market-days, which are occasions of fierce and incessant quarrels among themselves, when it is not unusual for two or three persons to be left dead on the spot. Should any unfortunate vessel strike on these coasts, the crew find themselves in the hands of inhuman wreckers. No European traveller has ever visited these provinces, and we may state positively that journeying here is more dangerous than in the farthest wastes of the Sahara. Spanish renegades, however, are found among them, who have escaped from the praesidios, or penal settlements. The Rif country is full of mines, and is bounded south by one of the lesser chains of the Atlas running parallel with the coast. Forests of cork clothe the mountain-slopes; the Berbers graze their herds and flocks in the deep green valleys, and export quantities of skins.

Tetuan, the Yagath of the Romans, situate at the opening of the Straits of Gibraltar, four or five miles from the sea, upon the declivity of a hill and within two small ranges of mountains, is a fine, large, rich and mercantile city of the province of Hasbat. It has a resident governor of considerable power and consequence, the name of the present functionary being Hash–Hash, who has long held the appointment, and enjoys great influence near the Sultan. Half a mile east of the city passes from the south Wad Marteen, (the Cus of Marmol) which disembogues into the sea; on its banks is the little port of Marteen or Marteel, not quite two miles distant from the coast, and about three from the city, where a good deal of commerce is carried on, small vessels, laden with the produce of Barbary, sailing thence to Spain, Gibraltar, and even France and Italy. The population of Tetouan is from nine to twelve thousand souls, including, besides Moors and Arabs, four thousand Jews, two thousand Negroes, and eight thousand Berbers. The streets are generally formed into arcades, or covered bazaars.

The Jews have a separate quarter; their women are celebrated for their beauty. The suburbs are adorned with fine gardens, and olive and vine plantations. Orange groves, or rather orange forests, extend for miles around, yielding their golden treasures. A great export of oranges could be established here, which might be conveyed overland to India. Altogether, Tetuan is one of the most respectable coast-cities of Morocco, though it has no port immediately adjoining it. Its fortifications are only strong enough to resist the attack of hostile Berbers. The town is about two-thirds of a day’s journey from Tangier, south-east. A fair day’s journey would be, in Morocco, upwards of thirty English miles, but a good deal depends upon the season of the year when you travel.

Ceuta is considered to be Esilissa of Ptolemy, and was once the capital of Mauritania Tingitana. The Arabs call it Sebât and Sebta, i.e., “seven,” after the Romans, who called it Septem fratres, and the Greeks the same, apparently on account of the seven mountains, which are in the neighbourhood. Ceuta, or Sebta, is evidently the modern form of this classic name. It is a very ancient city and celebrated fortress, situate fourteen miles south of Gibraltar, nearly opposite to it, as a species of rival stronghold, and placed upon a peninsula, which detaches itself from the continent on the east, and turns then to the north. The city extends over the tongue of land nearest the continent; the citadel occupies Monte-del-Acho, called formerly Jibel-el-Mina, a name still preserved in Almina, a suburb to the south-east.

In the beginning of the eighth century, Ceuta, which was inhabited by the Goths, passed into the hands of the Arabs, who made it a point of departure for the expeditions into Spain. It was conquered by the powerful Arab family of the Ben–Hamed, one of whom, called Mohammed Edris, invaded Spain, and, after several conquests, was proclaimed King of Cordova, in A.D. 1,000,

On 21st of August, 1415, the Portuguese conquered it, and it was the first place which they occupied in Africa. In 1578, at the death of Don Sebastian, Ceuta passed with Portugal and the rest of the colonies into the power of Spain; and when, in 1640, the Portuguese recovered their independence, the Spaniards were left masters of Ceuta, which continues still in their hands, but is of no utility to them except as a praesidio, which makes the fourth penal settlement possessed by them on this coast.

Ceuta contains a garrison of two or three thousand men. The free population amounts to some five or six thousand. It has a small and insecure port. Here is the famed Gibel Zaterit, “Monkey’s promontory,” or “Ape’s Hill,” which has occasioned the ingenious fable, that, inasmuch as there are no monkeys in any part of Europe except Gibraltar, directly opposite to this rock, where also monkeys are found, there must necessarily be a subterranean passage beneath the sea, by which they pass and re-pass to opposite sides of the Straits, and maintain a friendly and uninterrupted intercourse between the brethren of Africa and Europe. Anciently, the mountains hereabouts formed the African pillars of Hercules opposite to Gibraltar, which may be considered the European pillar of that respectable hero of antiquity.

Passing Tangier after a day’s journey, we come to Arzila or Asila, in the province of Hasbat, which is an ancient Berber city, and which, when conquered by the Romans, was named first Zilia and afterwards Zulia, Constantia Zilis. It is placed on the naked shores of the Atlantic, and has a little port. Whilst possessed by the Portuguese, it was a place of considerable strength, but its fortifications being, as usual, neglected by the Moors, are now rapidly decaying. 59 The population is about one thousand. The country around produces good tobacco. The next town on the Atlantic, after another day’s journey southwards, is El Araish, i.e., the trellices of vines; vulgarly called Laratsh. This city replaces the ancient Liscas or Lixus and Lixa, whose ruins are near. The Arabs call it El–Araish Beai–Arous, i.e., the vineyards of the Beni–Arous, a powerful tribe, who populate the greater part of the district of Azgar, of which it is the capital and the residence of the Governor. It was, probably, built by this tribe about 1,200 or 1,300, AD. El–Araish contains a population of 2,700 Moors, and 1,300 Jews, or 4,000 souls; but others give only 2,000 for the whole amount, of which 250 are Jews. It has a garrison of 500 troops. The town is situate upon a small promontory stretching into the sea, and along the mouth of the river Cos, or Luccos (Loukkos), which forms a secure port, but of so difficult access, that vessels of two hundred tons can scarcely enter it. In winter, the roadstead is very bad; 60 the houses are substantially built; and the fortifications are good, because made by the Spaniards, who captured this place in 1610, but it was re-taken by Muley Ishmael in 1689. The climate is soft and delicious. In the environs, cotton is cultivated, and charcoal is made from the Araish forest of cork-trees. El–Araish exports cork, wool, skins, bark, beans, and grain, and receives in exchange iron, cloth, cottons, muslins, sugar and tea. The lions and panthers of the mountains of Beni Arasis sometimes descend to the plains to drink, or carry off a supper of a sheep or bullock. Azgar, the name of this district, connects it with one of the powerful tribes of the Touaricks; and, probably, a section of this tribe of Berbers were resident here at a very early period (at the same time the Berber term ayghar corresponds to the Arabic bahira, and signifies “plain.”)

The ancient Lixus deserves farther mention on account of the interest attached to its coins, a few of which remain, although but very recently deciphered by archeologists. There are five classes of them, and all Phoenician, although the city now under Roman rule, represents the vineyard riches of this part of ancient Mauritania by two bunches of grapes, so that, after nearly three thousand years, the place has retained its peculiarity of producing abundant vines, El–Araish, being “the vine trellices;” others have stamped on them “two ears of corn” and “two fishes,” representing the fields of corn waving on the plains of Morocco, and the fish (shebbel especially) which fills its northern rivers.

Strabo says:— “Mauritania generally, excepting a small part desert, is rich and fertile, well watered with rivers and washed with lakes; abounding in all things, and producing trees of great dimensions.” Another writer adds “this country produces a species of the vine whose trunk the extended arms of two men cannot embrace, and which yields grapes of a cubit’s length.” “At this city,” says Pliny, “was the palace of Antaeus, and his combat with Hercules and the gardens of Hesperides.”

Mehedia or Mâmora, and sometimes, Nuova Mamora, is situate upon the north-western slope of a great hill, some four feet above the sea, upon the left bank of the mouth of the Sebon, and at the edge of the celebrated plain and forest of Mamora, belonging to the province of Beni–Hassan. According to Marmol, Mamora was built by Jakob-el-Mansour to defend the embouchure of the river. It was captured by the Spaniards in 1614, and retaken by the Moors in 1681. The Corsairs formerly took refuge here. It is now a weak and miserable place, commanded by an old crumbling-down castle. There are five or six hundred fishermen, occupying one hundred and fifty cabins, who make a good trade of the Shebbel salmon; it has a very small garrison. The forest of Mamora, contains about sixty acres of fine trees, among which are some splendid oaks, all suitable for naval construction.

Salee or Sala, a name which this place bore antecedently to the Roman occupation, is a very ancient city, situate upon the right bank of the river Bouragrag, and near its mouth. This place was captured in 1263, by Alphonso the Wise, King of Castille, who was a short time after dispossessed of his conquest by the King of Fez; and the Moorish Sultans have kept it to the present time, though the city itself has often attempted to throw off the imperial yoke. The modern Salee is a large commercial and well-fortified city of the province of Beni–Hassan. Its port is sufficiently large, but, on account of the little depth of water, vessels of large burden cannot enter it. The houses and public places are tolerably well-built. The town is fortified by a battery of twenty-four pieces of cannon fronting the sea, and a redoubt at the entrance of the river. What navy the Maroquines have, is still laid up here, but the dock-yard is now nearly deserted, and the few remaining ships are unserviceable. The population, all of whom are Mahometans, are now, as in Corsair times, the bitterest and most determined enemies of Christians, and will not permit a Christian or Jew to reside among them. The amount of this population, and that of Rabat, is thus given,

Salee Rabat
Gräberg 23,000 27,000
Washington 9,000 21,000
Arlett 14,000 24,000

but it is probably greatly exaggerated.

A resident of this country reduces the population of Salee as low as two or three thousand. For many years, the port of Salee was the rendezvous of the notorious pirates of Morocco, who, together with the city of Rabat, formed a species of military republic almost independent of the Sultan; these Salee rovers were at once the most ferocious and courageous in the world. Time was, when these audacious freebooters lay under Lundy Island in the British Channel, waiting to intercept British traders! “Salee,” says Lemprière, “was a place of good commerce, till, addicting itself entirely to piracy, and revolting from the allegiance to its Sovereign, Muley Zidan, that prince in the year 1648, dispatched an embassy to King Charles 1, of England, requesting him to send a squadron of men-of-war to lie before the town, while he attacked by land.” This request being acceded to, the city was soon reduced, the fortifications demolished, and the leaders of the rebellion put to death. The year following, the Emperor sent another ambassador to England, with a present of Barbary horses and three hundred Christian slaves.

Rabat, or Er–Rabat, and on some of the foreign maps Nuova Sale, is a modern city of considerable extent, densely populated, strong and well-built, belonging to the province of Temsna. It is situated on the declivity of a hill, opposite to Salee, on the other side of the river, or left side of the Bouragrag, which is as broad as the Thames at London Bridge, and might be considered as a great suburb, or another quarter of the same city. It was built by the famous Yakob-el-Mansour, nephew of Abd-el-Moumen, and named by him Rabat-el-Fatah, i.e., “camp of victory,” by which name it is now often mentioned.

The walls of Rabat enclose a large space of ground, and the town is defended on the seaside by three forts, erected some years ago by an English renegade, and furnished with ordnance from Gibraltar. Among the population are three or four thousand Jews, some of them of great wealth and consequence. The merchants are active and intelligent, carrying on commerce with Fez, and other places of the interior, as also with the foreign ports of Genoa, Gibraltar, and Marseilles. In the middle ages, the Genoese had a great trade with Rabat, but this trade is now removed to Mogador, Many beautiful gardens and plantations adorn the suburbs, deserving even the name of “an earthly paradise.”

The Moors of Rabat are mostly from Spain, expelled thence by the Spaniards. The famous Sultan, Almanzor, intended that Rabat should be his capital. His untenanted mausoleum is placed here, in a separate and sacred quarter. This prince, surnamed “the victorious,” (Elmansor,) was he who expelled the Moravedi from Spain. He is the Nero of Western Africa, as Keatinge says, their “King Arthur.” Tradition has it that Elmansor went in disguise to Mecca, and returned no more. Mankind love this indefinite and obscure end of their heroes. Moses went up to the mountain to die there in eternal mystery. At a short distance from Rabat is Shella, or its ruins, a small suburb situated on the summit of a hill, which contains the tombs of the royal family of the Beni–Merini, and the founder of Rabat, and is a place of inviolate sanctity, no infidel being permitted to enter therein. Monsieur Chenier supposes Shella to have been the site of the metropolis of the Carthaginian colonies.

Of these two cities, on the banks of the Wad–Bouragrag, Salee was, according to D’Anville, always a place of note as at the present time, and the farthest Roman city on the coast of the Atlantic, being the frontier town of the ancient Mauritania Tingitana. Some pretend that all the civilization which has extended itself beyond this point is either Moorish, or derived from European colonists. The river Wad–Bouragrag is somewhat a natural line of demarcation, and the products and animals of the one side differ materially from those of the other, owing to the number and less rapid descent of the streams on the side of the north, and so producing more humidity, whilst the south side, on the contrary, is of a higher and drier soil.

Fidallah, or Seid Allah, i. e., “grace,” or “gift of God,” is a maritime village of the province of Temsa, founded by the Sultan Mohammed in 1773. It is a strong place, and surrounded with walls. Fidallah is situated on a vast plain, near the river Wad Millah, where there is a small port, or roadstead, to which the corsairs were wont to resort when they could not reach Salee, long before the village was built, called Mersa Fidallah. The place contains a thousand souls, mostly in a wretched condition. Sidi Mohammed, before he built Mogador, had the idea of building a city here; the situation is indeed delightful, surrounded with fertility.

Dar-el-Beida (or Casa–Blanco, “white house,”) is a small town, formerly in possession of the Portuguese, who built it upon the ruins of Anfa or Anafa, 61 which they destroyed in 1468. They, however, scarcely finished it when they abandoned it in 1515. Dar-el-Beida is situate on the borders of the fertile plains of the province of Shawiya, and has a small port, formed by a river and a spacious bay on the Atlantic. The Romans are said to have built the ancient Anafa, in whose time it was a considerable place, but now it scarcely contains above a thousand inhabitants, and some reduce them to two hundred. Sidi Mohammed attempted this place, and the present Sultan endeavoured to follow up these efforts. A little commerce with Europe is carried on here. The bay will admit of vessels of large burden anchoring in safety, except when the wind blows strong from the north-west. Casa Blanco is two days journey from Rabat, and two from Azamor, or Azemmour, which is an ancient and fine city of the province of Dukaila, built by the Amazigh Berbers, in whose language it signifies “olives.” It is situate upon a hill, about one hundred feet above the sea, and distant half a mile from the shore, not far from the mouth of the Wad–Omm-er-Rbia (or Omm–Erbegh) on its southern bank, and is everywhere surrounded by a most fertile soil. Azamor contains now about eight or nine hundred inhabitants, but formerly was much more populated. The Shebbel salmon is the principal commerce, and a source of immense profit to the town. The river is very deep and rapid, so that the passage with boats is both difficult and dangerous. It is frequently of a red colour, and charged with slime like the Nile at the period of its inundations. The tide is felt five or six leagues up the river, according to Chénier. Formerly, vessels of every size entered the river, but now its mouth has a most difficult bar of sand, preventing large vessels going up, like nearly all the Maroquine ports situate on the mouths, or within the rivers.

Azamor was taken by the Portuguese under the command of the Duke of Braganza in 1513 who strengthened it by fortifications, the walls of which are still standing; but it was abandoned a century afterwards, the Indies having opened a more lucrative field of enterprise than these barren though honourable conquests on the Maroquine coast. This place is half a day’s journey, or about fourteen miles from Mazagran, i. e. the above Amayeeghs, an extremely ancient and strong castle, erected on a peninsula at the bottom of a spacious and excellent bay. It was rebuilt by the Portuguese in 1506, who gave it the name of Castillo Real. The site has been a centre of population from the remotest period, chiefly Berbers, whose name it still bears. The Arabs, however, call it El–Bureeja, i.e., “the citadel.” The Portuguese abandoned it in 1769; Mazagran was the last stronghold which they possessed in Morocco. The town is well constructed, and has a wall twelve feet thick, strengthened with bastions. There is a small port, or dock, on the north side of the town, capable of admitting small vessels, and the roadstead is good, where large vessels can anchor about two miles off the shore. Its traffic is principally with Rabat, but there is also some export trade to foreign parts. Its population is two or three hundred. 62 After proceeding two days south-west, you arrive at Saffee, or properly Asafee, called by the natives Asfee, and anciently Soffia or Saffia, is a city of great antiquity, belonging to the province of Abda, and was built by the Carthaginians near Cape Pantin. Its site lies between two hills, in a valley which is exposed to frequent inundations. The roadstead of Saffee is good and safe during summer, and its shipping once enabled it to be the centre of European commerce on the Atlantic coast. The population amounts to about one thousand, including a number of miserable Jews. The walls of Saffee are massy and high. The Portuguese captured this city in 1508, voluntarily abandoning it in 1641. The country around is not much cultivated, and presents melancholy deserts; but there is still a quantity of corn grown. About forty miles distant, S.E., is a large salt lake. Saffee is one and a half day’s journey from Mogador.

Equidistant between Mazagran and Saffee is the small town of El–Waladia, situate on an extensive plain. Persons report that near this spot is a spacious harbour, or lagune, sufficiently capacious to contain four or five hundred sail of the line; but, unfortunately, the entrance is obstructed by some rocks, which, however, it is added, might easily be blown up. The lagune is also exposed to winds direct for the ocean. The town, enclosed within a square wall, and containing very few inhabitants, is supposed to have been built in the middle of the seventeenth century by the Sultan Waleed. after whom it was named.

This brings us to Mogador, which, with Aghadir, have already been described.

56 Mount Atlas was called Dyris by the ancient aborigines, or Derem, its name amongst the modern aborigines. This word has been compared to the Hebrew, signifying the place or aspect of the sun at noon-day, as if Mount Atlas was the back of the world, or the cultivated parts of the globe, and over which the sun was seen at full noon, in all his fierce and glorious splendour. Bochart connects the term with the Hebrew meaning ‘great’ or ‘mighty,’ which epithet would be naturally applied to the Atlas, and all mountains, by either a savage or civilized people. We have, also, on the northern coast, Russadirum, the name given by the Moors to Cape Bon, which is evidently a compound of Ras, head, and dirum, mountain, or the head of the mountain.

We have again the root of this word in Doa-el-Hamman, Tibet Deera, &c., the names of separate chains of the mighty Atlas. Any way, the modern Der-en is seen to be the same with the ancient Dir-is.

57 The only way of obtaining any information at all, is through the registers of taxation; and, to the despotism and exactions of these and most governments, we owe a knowledge of the proximate amount of the numbers of mankind.

58 Tangier, Mogador, Wadnoun, and Sous have already been described, wholly, or in part.

59 In 936, Arzila was sacked by the English, and remained for twenty years uninhabited.

60 According to Mr. Hay, a portion of the Salee Rovers seem to have finally taken refuge here. Up the river El–Kous, the Imperial squadron lay in ordinary, consisting of a corvette, two brigs, (once merchant-vessels, and which had been bought of Christians), and a schooner, with some few gun-boats, and even these two or three vessels were said to be all unfit for sea. But, when Great Britain captured the rock of Gibraltar, we, supplanting the Moors became the formidable toll-keepers of the Herculean Straits, and the Salee rivers have ever since been in our power. If the Shereefs have levied war or tribute on European navies since that periods it has been under our tacit sanction. The opinion of Nelson is not the less true, that, should England engage in war with any maritime State of Europe, Morocco must be our warm and active friend or enemy, and, if our enemy, we must again possess ourselves of our old garrison of Tangier.

61 So called, it is supposed, from the quantity of aniseed grown in the neighbourhood.

62 Near Cape Blanco is the ruined town of Tit or Tet, supposed to be of Carthaginian origin, and once also possessed by the Portuguese, when commerce therein flourished.

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