Travels in Morocco

by the late James Richardson,

Author of “A Mission to Central Africa,” “Travels in the Desert of Sahara,” &c.

Edited by his Widow

In two volumes

This web edition published by eBooks@Adelaide.

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Table of Contents

Volume 1

  1. Policy of the Court of Morocco. — Its strength. — Diplomatic Intercourse with England. — Distrust of Europeans. — Commercial Relations.
  2. Arrival at Tangier. — Moorish Pilgrims in Cordova. — Address of the Anti–Slavery Society. — Mr. D. Hay, British Consul. — Institut d’Afrique. — Conveyance of Eunuchs in vessels under the French Flag. — Franco–Moorish Politics. — Corn Monopolies in Morocco. — Love and veneration for the English name. — Celebration of the Ayd–Kebir, great festival. Value of Money in Morocco. — Juvenile Strolling Singer. — General account of the city of Tangier. — Intercourse between the Moorish Emperor and the Foreign Consuls. — Cockney sportsmen, — The degrading of high Moorish Functionaries. — How we smuggle Cattle from Tangier to Gibraltar. — The Blood-letting of plethoric Placemen.
  3. The Posada. — Ingles and Benoliel. — Amulets for successful parturition. — Visits of a Moorish Taleb and a Berber. — Three Sundays during a week in Barbary. — M. Rey’s account of the Empire of Morocco. — The Government Auctioneer gives an account of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Morocco. — Benoliel as English Cicerone. — Departure from Tangier to Gibraltar. — How I lost my fine green broadcloth. — Mr. Frenerry’s opinion of Maroquine Affairs.
  4. Departure from Gibraltar to Mogador. — The Straits. — Genoese Sailors. — Trade-wind Hurricanes en the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. — Difficulties of entering the Port of Mogador. — Bad provisioning of Foreign Merchantmen. — The present Representative of the once far-famed and dreaded Rovers. — Disembarkation at Mogador. — Mr. Phillips, Captain of the Port — Rumours amongst the People about my Mission. — Visit to the Cemeteries. — Maroquine Wreckers. — Health of the inhabitants of Mogador. — Moorish Cavaliers “playing at powder” composed of the ancient Nuraidians. — The Barb. — The Life Guards of the Moorish Emperor. — Martial character of the Negro. — Some account of the Black Corps of the Shereefs. — Orthodoxy of the Shereefs, and illustrative anecdotes of the various Emperors.
  5. Several visits from the Moors; their ideas on soldiers and payment of public functionaries. — Mr. Cohen and his opinion on Maroquine Affairs. — Phlebotomising of Governors, and Ministerial responsibility. — Border Travels of the Shedma and Hhaha tribes. — How the Emperor enriches himself by the quarrels of his subjects. — Message from the Emperor respecting the Anti–Slavery Address. — Difficulties of travelling through or residing in the Interior. — Use of Knives, and Forks, and Chairs are signs of Social Progress. — Account of the periodic visit of the Mogador Merchants to the Emperor in the Southern Capital.
  6. Influence of French Consuls. — Arrival of the Governor of Mogador from the Capital; he brings an order to imprison the late Governor; his character, and mode of administering affairs. — Statue of a Negress at the bottom of a well. — Spanish Renegades. — Various Wedding Festivals of Jews. — Frequent Fetes and Feastings amongst the Jewish population of Morocco. — Scripture Illustration, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!” — Jewish Renegades. — How far women have souls. — Infrequency of Suicides.
  7. Interview with the Governor of Mogador, on the Address of the Anti–Slavery Society. — Day and night side of the Mission Adventure. — Phillips’ application to be allowed to stand with his “shoes on” before the Shereefian presence. — Case of the French Israelite, Dannon, who was killed by the Government. — Order of the Government against Europeans smoking in the streets. — Character of Haj Mousa, Governor of Mazagran. — Talmudical of a Sousee Jew. — False weights amongst the Mogador Merchants. — Rumours of war from the North, and levy of troops. — Bragadocio of the Governor. — Mr. Authoris’s opinion on the state of the Country. — Moorish opinions on English Abolition. — European Slavery in Southern Morocco. — Spanish Captives and the London Ironmongers Company. — Sentiments of Barbary Jews on Slavery.

Volume 2

  1. The Mogador Jewesses. — Disputes between the Jew and the Moor. — Melancholy Scenes. — The Jews of the Atlas. — Their Religion. — Beautiful Women. — The Four Wives. — Statues discovered. — Discrepancy of age of married people. — Young and frail fair ones. — Superstition respecting Salt. — White Brandy. — Ludicrous Anecdote.
  2. The Maroquine dynasties. — Family of the Shereefian Monarchs. — Personal appearances and character of Muley Abd Errahman. — Refutation of the charge of human sacrifices against the Moorish Princes. — Genealogy of the reigning dynasty of Morocco. — The tyraufc Yezeed, (half Irish). — Muley Suleiman, the “The Shereeff of Shereefs.” — Diplomatic relations of the Emperor of Morocco with European Powers. — Muley Ismael enamoured with the French Princess de Conti. — Rival diplomacy of France and England near the Maroquine Court. — Mr. Hay’s correspondence with this Court on the Slave-trade. — Treaties between Great Britain and Morocco; how defective and requiring amendment. — Unwritten engagements.
  3. The two different aspects by which the strength and resources of the Empire of Morocco may be viewed or estimated. — Native appellation of Morocco. — Geographical limits of this country. — Historical review of the inhabitants of North Africa, and the manner in which this region was successively peopled and conquered. — The distinct varieties of the human race, as found in Morocco. — Nature of the soil and climate of this country. — Derem, or the Atlas chain of mountains. — Natural products. — The Shebbel, or Barbary salmon; different characters of exports of the Northern and Southern provinces. — The Elæonderron Argan. — Various trees and plants. — Mines. — The Sherb–Errech, or Desert-horse.
  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.
  5. Description of the Imperial Cities or Capitals of the Empire. — El–Kesar. — Mequinez. — Fez. — Morocco. — The province of Tafilett, the birth-place of the present dynasty of the Shereefs.
  6. Description of the towns and cities of the Interior, and those of the Kingdom of Fez. — Seisouan. — Wazen. — Zawiat. — Muley Dris. — Sofru. — Dubdu. — Taza. — Oushdah. — Agla. — Nakbila. — Meshra. — Khaluf. — The Places distinguished in. Morocco, including Sous, Draka, and Tafilett. — Tefza. — Pitideb. — Ghuer. — Tyijet. — Bulawan. — Soubeit — Meramer. — El–Medina. — Tagodast. — Dimenet. — Aghmat. — Fronga. — Tedmest. — Tekonlet. — Tesegdelt. — Tagawost. — Tedsi Beneali. — Beni Sabih. — Tatta and Akka. — Mesah or Assah. — Talent. — Shtouka. — General observations on the statistics of population. — The Maroquine Sahara.
  7. London Jew-boys. — Excursion to the Emperor’s garden, and the Argan Forests. — Another interview with the Governor of Mogador on the Anti–Slavery Address. — Opinion of the Moors on the Abolition of Slavery.
  8. El–Jereed, the Country of Dates. — Its hard soil. — Salt Lake. Its vast extent. — Beautiful Palm-trees. — The Dates, a staple article of Food. — Some Account of the Date–Palm. — Made of Culture. — Delicious Beverage. — Tapping the Palm. — Meal formed from the Dates. — Baskets made of the Branches of the Tree. — Poetry of the Palm. — Its Irrigation. — Palm–Groves. — Collection of Tribute by the “Bey of the Camp.”
  9. Tour in the Jereed of Captain Balfour and Mr. Reade. — Sidi Mohammed. — Plain of Manouba. — Tunis. — Tfeefleeah. — The Bastinado. — Turkish Infantry. — Kairwan. — Sidi Amour Abeda. — Saints. — A French Spy — Administration of Justice. — The Bey’s presents. — The Hobara. — Ghafsa. Hot streams containing Fish. — Snakes. — Incantation. — Moorish Village.
  10. Toser. — The Bey’s Palace. — Blue Doves. — The town described. — Industry of the People. — Sheikh Tahid imprisoned and punished. — Leghorn. — The Boo-habeeba. — A Domestic Picture. — The Bey’s Diversions. — The Bastinado. — Concealed Treasure. — Nefta. — The Two Saints. — Departure of Santa Maria. — Snake-charmers. — Wedyen. — Deer Stalking. — Splendid view of the Sahara. — Revolting Acts. — Qhortabah. — Ghafsa. — Byrlafee. — Mortality among the Camels — Aqueduct. — Remains of Udina. — Arrival at Tunis. — The Boab’s Wives. — Curiosities. — Tribute Collected. — Author takes leave of the Governor of Mogador, and embarks for England. — Rough Weather. — Arrival in London.

Volume 1


Having made a limited tour in the Empire of Morocco a few years since, I am enabled to appreciate the information imparted to us by the lamented Richardson, and am desirous of adding a few observations of my own upon the present state of affairs in that part of the African Continent.

The following work of the indefatigable traveller demands, at the present moment, a more than ordinary share of public attention, in consequence of the momentous events now passing in the Straits of Gibraltar, where the presence of powerful armaments entails on the Governor of our great rock-fortress, a duty of some delicacy, situated as he now is in close proximity to three belligerent powers, all of whom are at peace with Great Britain. But distinguished alike for common sense and professional ability, Sir William Codrington, it is to be hoped, will steer clear of the follies committed by Sir Robert Wilson in 1844, and will command respect for the British name, without provoking bitter feelings between ourselves, and our French and Spanish neighbours.

It is scarcely possible that either France or Spain can contemplate the conquest of the entire Empire of Morocco, as the result of the present impending crisis, the superficial extent of the territory being 219,420 square miles, and the population nearly 8,000,000, 1 of which a large proportion live in a state of perpetual warfare, occupying inaccessible mountain fastnesses, from whence they only descend to the plains for the sake of plunder. The inhabitants may be classified as follows: 4,000,000 Moors and Arabs; 2,000,000 Berbers; 500,000 Jews, and the remainder are of the Negro race. The regular Army consists of less than thirty thousand men, but every Arab is an expert irregular horseman, and the Berbers make good foot-soldiers.

These indeed are, in ordinary times, rarely to be depended on by the Emperor, but so powerful an incentive is religious fanaticism that, were he to raise the standard of the Holy War, a large Army would quickly rally around him, deficient perhaps in discipline, yet living by plunder, and marching without the encumbrance of baggage, it would prove a formidable opponent.

Let us, however, suppose, that the present action of France and Spain should result in the subversion of the atrocious system of Government practised in Morocco: a guarantee from the conquerors that our existing commercial privileges should be respected, would alone be required to ensure the protection of our interests, and what an extended field would the facilities for penetrating into the interior open to us! We must also remember that Napoleon III. in heart, is a free-trader; and, should Destiny ever appoint him the arbiter of Morocco, the protectionist pressure of a certain deluded class in France would be impotent against his policy in Western Barbary, a country perhaps more hostile to the European than China. Sailors and others, who have had the misfortune to be cast on the inhospitable shore of Northern Africa, have been sent far inland into slavery to drag out a miserable existence; and, at this moment, there are many white Christian slaves in the southern and eastern provinces of the Empire.

Should the war not result in conquest, the least we have a right to expect, is that toleration should be forced upon the Moors, and that European capital and labour should be allowed a free development throughout their Empire. A flourishing trade would soon spring up, nature having blessed Barbary with an excellent soil and climate, besides vast mineral wealth in its mountains; lead, copper, and antimony are found in them. The plains produce corn, rice, and indigo; the forests of cedar, ilex, cork, and olive-trees are scattered over a vast extent, and contain antelopes, wild bears, and other species of game; Barbary also possesses an excellent breed of horses. The principal manufactures are leather, shawls and carpets.

England has, but a short time since, succeeded in emancipating her Jewish brethren from their few remaining disabilities; an opportunity may now be at hand, of ameliorating the condition of those in the Empire of Morocco, who are forced to submit to a grinding persecution, and are merely tolerated because they are useful. They supply many wants of the Moorish population; are the best, and in many handicrafts, the only artificers, and are much employed by the government in financial occupations. They are compelled to occupy a distinct quarter of the town they inhabit; are permitted only to wear black garments, are forbidden to ride, the horse being considered too noble an animal to carry a Jew, and are forced to take off their shoes on passing a mosque. Even the little Moorish boys strike and ill-treat them in various ways, and the slightest attempt at retaliation was formerly punished with death, and would now be visited with the bastinado. They are more heavily taxed than any other class, and special contributions are often levied on them.

Alas! why should we respect the national existence of any community of Mahometans? Have we effaced from our memory their treachery and inhuman cruelty in India; their utter worthlessness in Turkey; their neglect in taking advantage of the richness with which nature has blest the countries in their possession; and their conquest from Christendom of one of the fairest portions of Europe.

Civilization cries aloud for retribution on a race whose religion teaches them to regard us as “dogs.” Surely, far from protecting and cherishing, we should hunt them out of the fair lands they occupy, and force them back on the deserts which vomited them forth on our ancestors ten centuries ago. Brief periods of glory at Bagdad, Cairo, and Granada, should not protect those who are now slaves to the lowest vices that degrade human nature. No administrative reforms are at all practicable; their moral maladies have attacked the vital element; the sole cure is conquest, and the substitution of Christian Governments in Northern Africa, and Turkey in Europe and Asia. Russia, France, Austria, Greece, and Spain are weary of the excesses of their savage neighbours; none can be honestly inclined to stay their avenging swords.

I have, in these prefatory remarks, extracted a few particulars from the short chapter on Morocco, contained in my work on the “French in Africa,” and in advocating a crusade against the Mahometan races, I believe I am recording the sentiments of millions of Europeans.

It now only remains for me to give expression to that universal feeling of regret which prevails among my countrymen at the untimely fate of poor Richardson, and to offer my congratulations that he has bequeathed to us so pleasing an addition to his former works as the following narrative of his “Travels in Morocco.”

Author of “The French in Africa.”

Army and Navy Club,
November, 1859.

1 According to Xavier Darrieu.


The present unsettled state of affairs in Morocco, in consequence of the War in which she is now engaged with her more powerful and ancient enemy — Spain, must, I conceive, render any information regarding a region so little known peculiarly acceptable at the present moment.

In Morocco, my late husband laboured to advance the same objects which had previously taken him to Central Africa, viz., the amelioration of the condition of the strange and remarkable races of men who inhabit that part of the world. He aimed at the introduction of a legitimate commerce with a view, in the first instance, to destroy the horrible and revolting trade in slaves, and thus pave the way for the diffusion of Christianity among a benighted people. While travelling, with these high purposes in contemplation, he neglected no opportunity of studying the geography of the country, and of obtaining an insight into the manners, customs, prejudices, and sentiments of its inhabitants, as well as any other useful information in relation to it.

I accompanied him on his travels in Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, in which last city he left me, it not being considered advisable that I should proceed with him into the interior of the country. We were not destined to meet again in this world. My beloved husband died at Bornou, in Central Africa, whither he was sent by Her Majesty’s Government to enter into treaties with the chiefs of the surrounding districts.

Of the many difficulties and dangers which the traveller is likely to encounter in penetrating into the interior of so inhospitable a region, the reader may form some idea by a perusal of the the following extracts from my husband’s writings.

“I am very much of opinion that in African travel we should take especial care not to attempt too much at once; that we should proceed very slowly, feeling our way, securing ourselves against surprise, and reducing and confining our explorations to the record of matters of fact as far as possible, or consistently with a due illustration of the narrative. But, whether we attempt great tours, or short journeyings, we shall soon find, by our own sad experience, that African travel can only be successfully prosecuted piecemeal, bit by bit, here a little and there a little, now an island, now a line of coast, now an inland province, now a patch of desert, and slow and painful in all their results, whilst few explorers will ever be able to undertake more than two, at most three, inland journeys.

“Failures, disasters, and misadventure may attend our efforts of discovery; the intrepid explorers may perish, as they have so frequently done, or be scalped by the Indian savage in the American wilderness, or stabbed by the treacherous Bedouin of Asiatic deserts, or be stretched stiff in the icy dreary Polar circles, or, succumbing to the burning clime of Africa, leave their bones to bleach upon its arid sandy wastes; yet these victims of enterprise will add more to a nation’s glory than its hoarded heaps of gold, or the great gains of its commerce, or even the valour of its arms.

“Nevertheless, geographical discovery is not barren ardour, or wasted enthusiasm; it produces substantial fruits. The fair port of London, with its two parallel forests of masts, bears witness to the rich and untold treasures which result from the traffic of our merchant-fleets with the isles and continents discovered by the genius and enterprise of the maritime or inland explorer. And, finally, we have always in view the complete regeneration of the world, by our laws, our learning, and our religion. If every valley is to be raised, and every mountain laid low, by the spade and axe of industry, guided by science, the valley or the mountain must first be discovered.

“If men are to be civilized, they must first be found; and if other, or the remaining tribes of the inhabitable earth are to acknowledge the true God, and accept His favour as known to us, they also, with ourselves, must have an opportunity of hearing His name pronounced, and His will declared.”

My husband would, indeed, have rejoiced had he lived to witness the active steps now taken by Oxford and Cambridge for sending out Missionaries to Central Africa, to spread the light of the Gospel.

Among his unpublished letters, I find one addressed to the Christian Churches, entitled “Project for the establishment of a Christian Mission at Bornou,” dated October, 1849. He writes: “The Christian Churches have left Central Africa now these twelve centuries in the hands of the Mohammedans, who, in different countries, have successfully propagated the false doctrines of the impostor of Mecca. If the Christian Churches wish to vindicate the honour of their religion — to diffuse its beneficent and heavenly doctrines — and to remove from themselves the severe censure of having abandoned Central Africa to the false prophet, I believe there is now an opening, viâ Bornou, to attempt the establishment of their faith in the heart of Africa.”

He ends his paper by quoting the words of Ignatius Pallme, a Bohemian, the writer of travels in Kordofan, who says “It is high time for the Missionary Societies in Europe to direct their attention to this part of Africa (that is, Kordofan). If they delay much longer, it will be too late; for, when the negroes have once adopted the Koran, no power on earth can induce them to change their opinions. I have heard, through several authentic sources, that there are few provinces in the interior of Africa where Mohammedanism has not already begun to gain a footing.”

It would be a great solace to me should this work be received favourably, and be deemed to reflect honour on the memory of my lamented husband; and, in the hope that such may be the case, I venture to commit it into the hands of an indulgent public.


November 15, 1859.

Chapter 1

Policy of the Court of Morocco. — Its strength. — Diplomatic Intercourse with England. — Distrust of Europeans. — Commercial Relations.

Morocco is the China of North Africa. The grand political maxim of the Shereefian Court is, the exclusion of strangers; to look upon all strangers with distrust and suspicion; and should they, at any time, attempt to explore the interior of Morocco, or any of the adjacent counties, to thwart and circumvent their enterprise, is a veritable feat of statesmanship in the opinion of the Shereefian Court. The assassination of Mr. Davidson, some years since, is an odious and enduring stigma on the Moorish Court, notwithstanding the various efforts which have been made to deny the personal responsibility of the Emperor in that transaction.

The Prince de Joinville was once going to open Morocco, as we opened China; but bullets and shot which his Royal Highness showered upon Tangier and Mogador, only closed faster the approaches and routes of this well-guarded empire — only more hermetically sealed the capitals of Fez and Morocco against the prying or morbid curiosity of the tourist, or the mappings and measurings of the political spy. The striking anecdote, illustrating the exclusive policy of the Maroquine Court, is familiar to all who have read the history of the Moorish Sultans of the Mugreb. Years ago, a European squadron threatened to bombard Tangier, unless their demands were instantly satisfied; and the then reigning Sultan sent down from Fez this imperial message:

“How much will the enemy give me if I myself burn to ashes my well-beloved city of Tangier? Tell the enemy, O governor of the mighty city of Tangier, that I can reduce this self-same city to a heap of smoking ruins, at a much cheaper rate than he can, with all his ships, his warlike machines, and his fighting men.”

The strength of Morocco lies in her internal cities, her inland population, and the natural difficulties of her territory; about her coast she cares little; but the French did not find this out till after their bombardments. The unwonted discovery led them afterwards to boast that they had at length opened Morocco by the other and opposite system of a pacific mission. The parties forming the mission, pretended to have obtained from the Emperor permission for Europeans “to travel in Morocco without let or hindrance whithersoever they will.” But the opposition press justly ridiculed the pretensions of the alleged concession, as the precarious and barren result of a mission costing several million of francs. Even an Englishman, but much more a Frenchman — and the latter is especially hated and dreaded in all the Maroquine provinces, would have considerably hesitated in placing confidence in the safe conduct of this jealous Court.

The spirit of the Christian West, which has invaded the most secret councils of the Eastern world, Persia, Turkey, and all the countries subjected to Ottoman rule, is still excluded by the haughty Shereefs of the Mahometan West. There is scarcely any communication between the port and the court of the Shereefs, and the two grand masters of orthodox Islamism, this of the West, and that of the East, are nearly strangers to each other.

All that Muley Errahman has to do with the East, appears to be to procure eunuchs and Abyssinian concubines for his harem from Egypt, and send forward his most faithful, or most rebellious subjects 2 on their pilgrimage to Mecca.

Englishmen are surprised, that the frequent visits and uninterrupted communications between Morocco and Gibraltar, during so long a period, should have produced scarcely a perceptible change in the minds of the Moors, and that Western Barbary should be a century behind Tunis. This circumstance certainly does not arise from any inherent inaptitude in the Moorish character to entertain friendly relations with Europeans, and can only have resulted from that crouching and subservient policy which the Gibraltar authorities have always judged it expedient to show towards the Maroquines.

Our diplomatic intercourse began with Morocco in the reign of Queen Elizabeth; and though on friendly terms more or less ever since, Englishmen have not yet obtained a recognised permission to travel in the interior of the country, without first specially applying to its Government. Our own countrymen know little of Morocco, or of its inhabitants, customs, laws, and government; and, though only five or six days sail from England, it must be regarded as an unknown and unexplored region to the mass of the English nation.

Nevertheless, in spite of the Maroquine Empire being the most conservative and unchangeable of all North African Mussulman states, and whilst, happily for itself, it has been allowed to pursue its course obscurely and noiselessly, without exciting particular attention in Europe, or being involved in the wars and commotions of European nations, Morocco is not, therefore, beyond the reach of changes and the ravages of time, nor exempt from that mutability which is impressed upon all sublunary states. The bombardments of Tangier and Mogador have left behind them traces not easily to be effaced. It was no ordinary event for Morocco to carry on hostilities with an European power.

The battle of Isly has deeply wounded the Shereefians, and incited the Mussulman heart to sullen and unquenchable revenge. A change has come over the Maroquine mind, which, as to its immediate effects, is evidently for the worst towards us Christians. The distrust of all Europeans, which existed before the French hostilities, is now enlarged to hatred, a feeling from which even the English are hardly excepted. Up to the last moment, the government and people of Morocco believed that England would never abandon them to their unscrupulous and ambitious neighbours.

The citizens and merchants of Mogador could not be brought to believe, or even to entertain the idea that the British ships of war would quietly look on, whilst the French — the great rivals and enemies of the English — destroyed their towns and batteries. Most manifest facts and stern realities dissipated, in an hour when they little thought of it, such a fond delusion. From that moment, the moral influence of England, once our boast, and not perhaps unreasonably so, was no longer felt in Morocco; and now we have lost almost all hold on the good wishes and faith of the Mussulman tribes of that immense country.

As to exploring the empire of Morocco, or making it the way of communication with Soudan or Central Negroland, this is now altogether impracticable. The difficulties of Europeans travelling the Maroquine States, always great and perilous, are now become nearly insuperable. This suspicious distrust, or ill-feeling has communicated itself contagiously to the tribes of the South as far as the Desert, and has infected other parts of Barbary. The Engleez, once the cherished friends of the Moors, are looked upon more or less as the abettors of French aggressions in North Africa, if not as the sharers with them of the spoil. In the language of the more plain-spoken Moors, “We always thought all Christians alike, though we often excepted the English from the number of our enemies, now we are certain we were wrong; the English are become as much our enemies as the French and the Spaniards.” The future alone can disclose what will be the particular result of this unfavourable feeling; both with respect to France and England, and to other European nations. However, we may look forward without misgiving. Islamism will wear itself out — the Crescent must wane.

In these preliminary observations, the commercial system of the Maroquine Court deserves especial mention. The great object of Muley Abd Errahman 3 is — nay, the pursuit of his whole life has been — to get the whole of the trade of the empire into his own hands. In fact, he has by this time virtually succeeded, though the thing is less ostentatiously done than by the Egyptian viceroy, that equally celebrated prince-merchant. In order to effect this, his Shereefian Majesty seeks to involve in debt all the merchants, natives, or foreigners, tempting them by the offer of profuse credit. As many of them as are needy and speculative, this imperial boon is without scruple greedily accepted. The Emperor likewise provides them with commodious houses and stores; gives them at once ten or twenty thousand dollars worth of credit, and is content to receive in return monthly instalments. These instalments never are, never can be regularly paid up. The debt progressively and indefinitely increases; and whilst they live like so many merchant-princes, carrying on an immense trade, they are in reality beggars and slaves of the Emperor. They are, however, styled imperial merchants, and wear their golden chains with ostentatious pride.

This credit costs his Shereetian Highness nothing; he gives no goods, advances no moneys, whilst he most effectually impoverishes and reduces to servitude the foreign merchant resident in his empire, never allowing him to visit his native country without the guarantee of leaving his wife and family behind as hostages for his return. The native merchant is, in all cases, absolutely at the mercy of his imperial lord. On the bombardment of Mogador, all the native and resident traders, not excepting the English merchants, were found overwhelmed with debt, and, therefore, were not allowed to leave the country; and they were only saved from the pillage and massacre of the ferocious Berber tribes by a miracle of good luck.

Since the bombardment of Mogador, the Emperor has more strongly than ever set his face against the establishment of strangers in his dominions. Now his Imperial Highness is anxious that all commerce should be transacted by his own subjects. The Emperor’s Jews are, in future, to be the principal medium of commerce between Morocco and Europe, which, indeed, is facilitated by many of the native Jews having direct relations with European Jews, those of London and Marseilles. In this way, the Maroquines will be relieved from the embarrassments occasioned by the presence of Europeans, Jews, or Christians, under the protection of foreign consuls. The Emperor, also, has a fair share of trade, and gets a good return on what he exports; the balance of commercial transactions is always in his favour.

I must add a word on the way of treating politically with the Court of Morocco. The modes and maxims of this Court, not unlike those of the Chinese, are procrastination, plausible delays, and voluminous despatches and communications, which are carried on through the hands of intermediaries and subordinate agents of every rank and degree. You can never communicate directly with the Emperor, as with other Barbary princes and pashas. This system has admirably and invariably succeeded for the last two or three centuries; that is to say, the empire of Morocco has remained intact by foreign influences, while its system of commerce has been an exclusive native monopoly. The Americans, however, have endeavoured to adopt a more expeditious mode of treating with the Maroquine Court. They have something, in the style and spirit of Lynch law, usually made their own demands and their own terms, by threatening the immediate withdrawal of their consul, or the bombardment of ports.

The Shereefs, thus intimidated, have yielded, though with a very bad grace. Nevertheless, the Americans have received no favours, nor have they obtained a nearer approach to the awful Shereefian presence than other people; and it is not likely they ever will succeed beyond their neighbours. The French and English have always negotiated and corresponded, corresponded and negotiated, and been worsted once and worsted again. Somehow or other, the Emperor has, in most cases, had his own way. Neither the American nor our own European system is the right or dignified course. And I am still of opinion, that the Maroquine Court is so far enlightened respecting the actual state of the barbarians or Christian infidels, out of its Shereefian land of Marabouts, out of its central orthodox Mussulman land of the Mugreb, as to be accessible to ordinary notions of things, and that it would always concede a just demand if it were rightly and vigorously pressed, and if the religious fanaticism of its people were not involved in the transaction. Thus far we may do justice to the government of these Moorish princes.

This opinion, however, does not altogether coincide with that of the late Mr. Hay. According to the report of Mr. Borrow, as found in his work, “The Bible of Spain,” the Moorish government, according to Mr. Hay, was “one of the vilest description, with which it was next to impossible to hold amicable relations, as it invariably acted with bad faith, and set at nought the most solemn treaties.” But, if the Maroquine Court had acted in this most extraordinary manner, surely there would now be no Moorish empire of Western Barbary.

2 It has always been the policy of Mahometan States to send their troublesome subjects, such as were not considered rebel enough to decapitate or to imprison, on a pilgrimage to Mecca. Instead of expiating the sins of a buoyant patriotism at the galleys or the Bermudas, they are sent to slake their patriotic ardour at the holy wells of El–Kaaba.

3 The late Emperor of Morocco.

Chapter 2

Arrival at Tangier. — Moorish Pilgrims in Cordova. — Address of the Anti–Slavery Society. — Mr. D. Hay, British Consul. — Institut d’Afrique. — Conveyance of Eunuchs in vessels under the French Flag. — Franco–Moorish Politics. — Corn Monopolies in Morocco. — Love and veneration for the English name. — Celebration of the Ayd–Kebir, great festival. Value of Money in Morocco. — Juvenile Strolling Singer. — General account of the city of Tangier. — Intercourse between the Moorish Emperor and the Foreign Consuls. — Cockney sportsmen, — The degrading of high Moorish Functionaries. — How we smuggle Cattle from Tangier to Gibraltar. — The Blood-letting of plethoric Placemen.

The communication between Gibraltar and Tangier is by no means easy and regular, though the places are only a few hours’ distance from the other. I had waited many days at Gib. (as our captain called the former place), before the wind enabled us to leave, and then, our boat being a small transport for cattle, and the Government contractors wanting beef for the garrison — for an Englishman or an English soldier cannot live in any part of the world without beef — we were compelled to leave with the wind in our teeth, and to make a night’s voyage of this four or five hours’ traverse. It might be worth while, one would think, to try a small steam-tug for the conveyance of cattle from Tangier to our garrison, which, besides, would be a great convenience for passengers.

On coming on deck in the morning, Tangier, “the city protected of the Lord,” appeared in all its North African lineaments, white and bright, shining, square masses of masonry, domes of fair and modest santos, and the heaven-pointing minarets; here and there a graceful palm, a dark olive, or the black bushy kharoub, and all denned sharply and clearly in the goodly prospect. But these Barbary towns had lost much of their freshness or novelty to me, and novelty is the greatest ingredient of our pleasure in foreign travel. I had also just travelled through Spain, and the south of this country is still, as to its aspect, part and parcel of Morocco, though it is severed by the Straits. In the ancient Moorish city of Cordova, I had even saluted the turban. I met two Moors strolling along, with halting steps and triste mien, through the streets, whom I instinctively addressed.

Wein mashe. Ash tomel. Where are you going? What are you doing?”

The Moors (greatly pleased to hear the sound of their own mother-tongue in the land of their pilgrimage). — “Net jerrej. We are enjoying ourselves.”

Traveller. — “What do you think of the country (Cordova)?”

The Moors. — “This is the land of our fathers.”

Traveller. — “Well, what then? Are you going to possess it again?”

The Moors. — “Of what country are you?”

Traveller. — “Engleez.”

The Moors (brightening up). — “That is good. Yes, we are very glad. We thought you might be a Spaniard, or a Frenchman. Now we’ll tell you all; we don’t fear. God will give us this country again, when Seedna Aïsa 4 comes to deliver us from these curse-smitten dogs of Spaniards.” 5

Traveller. — “Well, never mind the Spaniards. Have you seen anything you like here?”

The Moors. — “Look at this knife; it is rusty; it should not be so.”

Traveller. — “How!”

The Moors. — “We read in our books and commentators that in Andalous (Spain) there is no rust, and that nothing rusts here.” 6

Traveller. — “Nonsense; have you seen the hundred pillars of your mosque?” (Now converted into a cathedral.)

The Moors. — “Ah, we have seen them,” with a deep sigh; “and the pillars will stand till to-morrow.” (End of the world.)

I was obliged to say farewell to these poor pilgrims, wandering in the land of their fathers, and worshipping at the threshold of the noble remains of Moresco–Spanish antiquity, for the diligencia was starting off to Seville.

To return from my digression. I soon found myself at home in Tangier amongst my old friends, the Moors, and coming from Spain, could easily recognise many things connecting the one country with the other.

The success attending the various measures of the Bey of Tunis for the abolition of slavery in North Africa, and the favourable manner in which this prince had received me, when I had charge of a memorial from the inhabitants of Malta, to congratulate his Highness on his great work on philanthropy, induced the Committee of the Anti–Slavery Society to confide to me an address to the Emperor of Morocco, praying him to enfranchise the negro race of his imperial dominions.

We were fully prepared to encounter the strongest opposition from the Shereefian Court; but, at the same time, we thought there could be no insuperable obstacle in our way.

The Maroquines had the same religion and form of government as the Tuniseens, and by perseverance in this, as well as any other enterprise, something might at last be effected. Even the agitation of the question in the empire of Morocco, amongst its various tribes, was a thing not to be neglected; for the agitation of public opinion in a despotic country like Morocco, as well as in a constitutional state like England, admirably prepares the way for great measures of reform and philanthropy; and, besides the business of an abolitionnist is agitation; agitation unceasing; agitation in season and out of season.

On my arrival at Tangier, I called upon Mr. Drummond Hay, the British Consul–General, stating to him my object, and asking his assistance. The English Government had instructed the Consul to address the Emperor on this interesting subject, not long before I arrived, but it was with the greatest difficulty that any sort of answer could be obtained to the communication.

Mr. Hay, therefore, gave me but small encouragement, and was not a little surprised when I told him I expected a letter of introduction from Her Majesty’s Government. He could not understand this reiterated assault on the Shereefs for the abolition of slavery, not comprehending the absolute necessity of continued agitation on such a difficult matter, as exciting from a despotic and semi-barbarous prince, fortified by the prejudices of ages and generally sanctioned in his conduct by his religion, the emancipation of a degraded and enslaved portion of the human race. 7 However, Mr. Hay was polite, and set about arranging matters for proceeding with a confessedly disagreeable subject for any consul to handle under like circumstances. He made a copy of the address of the Anti–Slavery Society, and sent it to the English Government, requesting instructions. I expected an address from the Institut d’Afrique of Paris; but, after waiting some time, the Secretary, Mr. Hippolyte de St. Anthoine, wrote me a letter, in which he stated that, on account of the ill-will manifested by the Emperor to the establishment of the French in Algeria, the Institut had come to the painful conclusion of not addressing him for the abolition of the slave-trade in his imperial states.

Soon after my arrival at Tangier, the English letter-boat, Carreo Ingles, master, Matteo Attalya, brought twelve eunuch slaves, African youths, from Gibraltar. They are a present from the Viceroy of Egypt to the Emperor of Morocco. The Correo is the weekly bearer of letters and despatches to and from Morocco. The slaves were not entered upon the bill of health, thus infringing upon the maritime laws of Gibraltar and Tangier. The other captains of the little boats could not help remarking, “You English make so much fuss about putting down the slave-trade, and allow it to be carried on under your own flag.” Even the foreign consuls here reprobated the inconsistency of the British Government, in aiding the slave-trade of the Mediterranean by their own flag. However, Government ordered a strict inquiry into this case, and took means for preventing the occurrence of a like abuse. Nevertheless, since then the Emperor has actually applied to the British Consul to allow eunuchs to be brought down the Mediterranean in English steamers, in the same way as these were brought from Malta to Gibraltar in the Prometheus — as, forsooth, servants and passengers. And on the refusal of our consul to sanction this illicit conveyance of slaves by British vessels, the Emperor applied to the French consul, who condescended to hoist the tri-coloured flag for the transport of slave-eunuchs! This is one way of mitigating the prejudices of the Shereefian Court against the French occupation of Algeria. Many slaves are carried up and down the Mediterranean in French vessels.

The keeper of an hotel related to me with great bitterness, that the French officer who came with me from Gibraltar had left Tetuan for Algeria. The officer had ordered a great many things of this man, promising to pay on his return to Tangier. He deposited an old hatbox as a security, which, on being opened by the hotel keeper, was found to be full of greasy paper. At Tetuan, the officer gave himself out as a special envoy of the Emperor of the French.

My good friends, the Moors, continue to speculate upon the progress of the French army in Algeria. I asked a Moorish officer what he thought of the rumoured French invasion of Morocco. He put the backs of his hands together, and locking together his fingers to represent the back of a hedgehog, he observed emphatically; “Impossible! No Christians can invade us. Our country is like a hedgehog, no one can touch us.” Tangier Christians will never permit the French to invade Morocco, whatever may be the pretext. This is even the opinion of the foreign consuls.

As a specimen of the commercial system of this country, I may mention that the monopoly of exporting leeches was sold this week to a Jew, at the rate of 25,000 dollars. Now the Jew refuses to buy leeches except at his own price, whilst every unfortunate trader is obliged to sell to him and to him only. In fact, the monopolist fixes the price, and everybody who brings leeches to Tangier must accept it. This case of leeches may be applied to nearly all the monopolies of the country. Can anything be more ruinous to commerce?

All the Moors of Tangier, immediately on entering into conversation with me, inquire if I am Engleez? Even Moorish children ask this question: it appears to be a charm to them. The Ayd Kebir (great feast) was celebrated to-day, being the first of the new year. It was ushered in yesterday by prayer in the mosques. About 9 A.M. the governor, the commandant of the troops, and other Tangier authorities, proceeded to the open space of the market, attended with flags and music, and some hundred individuals all dressed in their holiday clothes. The white flag, typical of the sanctity of religion, floated over others of scarlet and green; the music was of squeaking bagpipes, and rude tumtums, struck like minute drums. The greater part were on horseback, the governor being most conspicuous. This troop of individuals ascended a small hill of the market-place, where they remained half an hour in solemn prayer.

No Jew or Christian was allowed to approach the magic or sacred circle which enclosed them. This being concluded, down ran a butcher with a sheep on his back; just slaughtered, and bleeding profusely. A troop of boys followed quickly at his heels pelting him with stones. The butcher ran through the town to the seashore, and thence to the house of the Kady — the boys still in hot and breathless pursuit, hard after him, pelting him and the bleeding sheep. The Moors believe, if the man can arrive at the house of the judge before the sheep dies, that the people of Tangier will have good luck; but, if the sheep should be quite dead, and not moving a muscle, then it will bring them bad luck, and the Christians are likely to come and take away their country from them. The drollest part of the ceremony is, that the boys should scamper after the butcher, pelting the sheep, and trying to kill it outright, thus endeavouring to bring ill-luck upon their city and themselves. But how many of us really and knowingly seek our misfortunes? On the occasion of this annual feast, every Moor, or head of a family, kills a sheep. The rich give to the poor, but the poor usually save up their earnings to be able to purchase a sheep to kill on this day. The streets are in different parts covered with blood, making them look like so many slaughter grounds. When the bashaw of the province is in Tangier, thousands of the neighbouring Arabs come to pay him their respects. With the Moors, the festivals of religion are bonâ fide festivals. It may also be added, as characteristic of these North African barbarians, that, whilst many a poor person in our merry Christian England does not, and cannot, get his plum-pudding and roast-beef at Christmas, there is not a poor man or even a slave, in Morocco who does not eat his lamb on this great feast of the Mussulmans. It would be a mortal sin for a rich man to refuse a poor man a mouthful of his lamb.

Of course there was a sensation among the native population, and even among the consular corps, about my mission; but I have nothing very particular to record. I had many Moorish visitors, some of whom were officers of the imperial troops. I made the acquaintance of one, Sidi Ali, with whom I had the following dialogue:—

Traveller. — “Sidi Ali, what can I do to impress Muley Abd Errahman in my favour?”

Sidi Ali. — “Money!”

Traveller. — “But will the Emir of the Shereefs accept of money from us Christians?”

Sidi Ali. — “Money!”

Traveller. — “What am I to give the minister Ben Dris, to get his favour?”

Sidi Ali. — “Money!”

Traveller. — “Can I travel in safety in Morocco?”

Sidi Ali. — “Money:”

Indeed “money” seems to be the all and everything in Morocco, as among us, “the nation of shopkeepers.” The Emperor himself sets the example, for he is wholly occupied in amassing treasures in Mequiney. Another acquaintance of mine was a little more communicative.

Aged Moor. — “What can I do for you, stranger? You are good to me, every time I call here you give me tea with plenty of sugar in it. What can I do for you in my country?”

Traveller. — “Tell me how to get on in my mission? How can I see Muley Errahman?”

Aged Moor. — “Now I am bound to give you my best advice. First then, take plenty of money with you. All love money; therefore without money you can do nothing. Muley Abd Errahman loves money, and money he must have. And the minister loves money, and the minister must not be forgotten. The minister is the door to the Emperor. You cannot get into the house but through the door. Out of the towns and cities, the Emperor has no power; so that whenever you travel out of these places, remember to give the people money.”

I had numberless volunteers to conduct me to Fez. All came begging for this honour and lucrative employment. Whatever may be said of the virtues of hospitality, I found all the world alike in its determination to make the most of strangers, if not to devour them. But the Emperor was not at Fez; he was in the southern capital, and it was necessary for me to go via Mogador, to endeavour to obtain an interview with him at that place.

The dreary monotony of Moorish life was one day broken in upon by a juvenile strolling singer, who attracted a crowd of silent and attentive listeners. It was a grateful sight to see old men, with long and silvery beards, reclining in mute and serious attention; young men lounging in the pride and consciousness of animal strength; little children intermixed, but without prattle or merriment — all fixed and fascinated with the charm of vocal song. The vocalist himself was a picturesque object; his face was burnt black with Afric’s sun, his bare head was wildly covered with long, black matted, and curly hair, but his eye was soft and serene; and, as he stretched his throat upwards to give compass to his voice, he seemed as if he would catch inspiration from the Prophet in heaven. A coarse brown blanket enveloped his spare and way-worn body, his only clothing and shelter from the heat by day and the cold by night, a fold of which fell upon his naked feet.

The voice of the Arab vocalist was extremely plaintive, even to the tones and inflections of distress, and the burden of his song was of religion and of love — two sentiments which all pure minds delight to combine. When he stopped a moment to take breath, a murmur of applause vibrated through the still air of the evening, not indeed for the youth, but for God! 8 for it was a prayer of the artless and enraptured bystanders, invoking Allah to bless the singing lad, and also to bless them, while ascribing all praise to the Deity.

This devout scene raised the Moors greatly in my estimation. I thought men could not be barbarians, or even a jealous or vindictive race, who were charmed with such simple melody of sounds, and with sentiments so pure and true to nature.

The Arab youth sang:—

Oh, there’s none but the One God!
I’ll journey over the Desert far
To seek my love the fairest of maidens;
The camels moan loudly to carry me thither,
Gainly are they, and fleeter than the swift-legged ostrich.
Oh, there’s none but the One God!

What though the Desert wind slay me;
What of it? death is from God.
And woe to me! I cannot repine.
But I’ll away to the abode of my love,
I’ll embrace her with all my strength,
I’ll bear her back thence, and rest her on my couch.
Oh, there’s none but the One God!

So sang in plaintive accents the youth, until the last ray of the sun lingered on the minarets’ tops, when, by the louder and authoritative voice of the Muezin calling the Faithful to prayers, this crowd of the worshippers of song and vocal harmony was dispersed to meet again, and forthwith chant a more solemn strain. The poor lad of the streets and highways went into the mosque along with his motley group of admirers; and all blended their voices and devotion together in prayer and adoration, lowly and in profound prostration, before the Great Allah!

It is my intention, in the course of the present narrative, to give a brief account of the principal towns and cities of North Africa; and I cannot do better than begin with Tangier. This city is very ancient, having probably been built by the aboriginals, Berbers, and was usually called by the Romans, Taigo on Tingis. The Emperor Claudius re-peopled it, and called it Julia Traducta. The Moors call it Sanjah, and relate that Benhad Sahab El–Alem built it, also surrounded it with walls of metal, and constructed its houses of gold and silver. In this condition, it remained until destroyed by some Berber kings, who carried away all its treasures. The modern Tangier is a small city of the province of Hasbat, picturesquely placed on the eastern slope of a hill, which terminates in the west with its port and bay, having some analogy to the site of Algiers. It has almost a square form, and its ramparts are a wall, flanked here and there with towers. This place, likewise, is most advantageously situate in the narrowest part of the Straits of Gibraltar, at a few miles east of Cape Spartel, and thirty miles W.S.W. of Gibraltar, and has, therefore, been coveted by all the conquerors of North Africa. The Phoenicians, Romans, Goths, and Arabs successively effected its conquest; and it was long a bone of eager contention between the Moors and Portuguese. In 1471, Alonzo, King of Portugal, took it from the Moors; and in 1662 it came into the hands of the English, as a part of the dowry of Catherine, queen of Charles II.; so, whilst in our possession it was a place of considerable strength; but on its evacuation in 1684 by order of the English government, who were disgusted by the expense of its occupation, and the bootless collisions with the natives, the fortifications were demolished, and only the vestiges of them now are visible. Had the British Government continued its occupation for half a century, and kept in check the Maroquine tribes, it is probable that by this time the greater part of Morocco would have been under British rule, when we might have founded a flourishing colony, from which all North Africa might have received the elements of Christian civilization.

Old Tangier (Tangier belia) is situate about four miles east from the present, being now a heap of ruins, near a little river called Khalk or Tingia, spanned over by the remains of a once finely-built Roman bridge. Here was likewise an artificial port, where the Roman galleys retired. The whole of this part of Africa was denominated by the Romans, Mauritania, from the name of this city; and during their administration was united to the government of Spain. Tangier had a population of from four to six thousand. Grabert estimates the population at 10,000, including 2,500 Jews, who live intermixed with the Moors; 1,400 negroes, 300 Berbers of Rif, and about 100 Christians. The Consuls–General of the European Powers reside here; and most of them have commodious houses. The Swedish Consul has a splendid garden, which is thrown open to the European residents. There is but one good street in the town; and the transition from Europe to Barbary, at so short a distance, is striking to the stranger. Tarifa, on the opposite side, along the coast of Spain, has, however, a Moorish affinity to this place; and the dress of the women is not very dissimilar in the two towns, once inhabited by the people of the same religion, and now, perhaps, many of them descendants of the same families.

Tangier, though a miserable place compared to most of the cities in Europe, is something considerable in Morocco, and the great mosque is rather splendid. Mr. Borrow justly remarks that its minarets look like the offspring of the celebrated Giralda of Seville. The Christians have here a convent, and a church within it, to which are attached half-a-dozen monks. There is no Protestant church; Mr. Hay reads service in the British Consulate, and invites the Protestant residents. Tangier is the only place in the empire where the Christian religion is publicly professed. The Jews have three or four small synagogues. Usually, the synagogues in Barbary are nothing more than private houses.

Before the bombardment of the French, the fortifications mounted forty pieces or so of cannon, but of no strength; on the contrary, going completely to ruin and decay, being scarcely strong enough to fire a salute from. The Bay of Tangier is good and spacious; but, in the course of time, will be filled up with sand. The shipping is exposed to strong westerly winds. The safest anchorage, however, is on the the eastern part, about half a mile off the shore, in a line with the round tower. With a few thousand pounds, one of the finest — at least, one of the most convenient — ports of the Mediterranean could be constructed here. There is a bashaw of this province, who resides at El–Araish, and a lieutenant-governor, who lives at Tangier. With these functionaries, the representatives of European Powers have principally to transact affairs. On the north is the castle, the residence of the governor.

Eleven consuls take up their abode in Tangier; the British, French, Spanish, Portuguese, American, Danish, Swedish, Sardinian, Neapolitan, Austrian, and Dutch. Each consular house generally belongs to its particular nation, the ground to the Sultan.

The consuls who have the most interest to guard in Morocco, are the British, French, Spanish, and Portuguese. Up to the bombardment of Tangier, the Danish and Swedish Governments paid to the Maroquine Court, the former 25,000 and the latter 20,000 dollars per annum, to have the privilege of hoisting their flag at this port. The French hostilities against Morocco furnished a convenient opportunity for getting this odious tribute abolished. The Americans led the way in getting rid of this subservience to the Shereefian Court, and refused from the first all presents and annual donations. Generally, however, when new consuls are appointed, they bring with them presents, and visit the Emperor in person. On the occasion of fêtes, they sometimes make presents to the governors of districts. Whenever the Emperor condescends to come down to Tangier, three days after his arrival, it is the required etiquette for the consuls to seek his presence, and to make their obeisance to the Shereefian Lord. The consuls are accustomed to decide upon and control the affairs of their own countrymen, and those placed under their protection; but when a Moor and an European are concerned in a transaction, it is usually a mixed commission of the consulate and the Moorish authorities.

Many curious anecdotes are current respecting the consuls and the Moorish government. A Spanish consul once took it into his head to strike his flag and leave Tangier. Whilst he was gone, the Emperor ordered all the Jews to go and take possession of his house and live in it, as a degradation. The consular house was soon crammed with dirty Jews, whose vermin and filth rendered the house untenantable, until it had undergone a thorough repair and cleansing. Sometimes the Emperor shows a great affection for a particular consular family. The family of the Portuguese Consul were great favorites. During the war of succession in Portugal, the Portuguese Consul contracted debts in Tangier, not being able to get his salary amidst the strife of parties. The Moors complained to the Emperor of the consul’s debts. Muley Abd Errahman, though a thorough miser himself, paid the consul’s debts, alleging as a reason, “the consul was a friend of my ancestors, and he shall be my friend.” The Portuguese government wished to remove this consul on account of his alleged Miguelite propensities, but the Emperor threatened, if they did, that he would not receive another. Our government compelled the Portuguese to gratify the personal feeling of the Emperor. Senhor Colaso is a native of Morocco, as his father was before him, and the Emperor calls them his own children. The Jewish servants of the consulates are free from the poll-tax and other obnoxious contributions, and their Moorish servants are also exempt from government conscriptions.

At times, very serious misunderstandings and disputes occur between the consuls and the Emperor on the subject of his Imperial Highness. Our consul, Mr. Hay, was shot at by a fanatic marabout, the ball missing him, but killing a horse of one of the party. This affair was passed over, the consul very properly taking no notice of a mad saint. But I will cite another instance, as showing the intimate perception which the Moors have of the peculiar precepts of our religion, as well as exhibiting their own moral ideas, in each case representing them to us in a favourable light. One of the Emperor’s subjects had insulted the French consul, M. Sourdeau, and Muley Suleiman addressed to him the following singular epistle.

“In the name of God, the most merciful. There is no power or force except with the Most High and Great God!

“Consul of the French nation, Sourdeau, and salutation to him who is in the right way. Inasmuch as you are our guest, under our protection, and consul in our country of a great nation, so we cannot but wish you the greatest consideration and the honours. On which account, you will perceive that that which has happened to you is to us intolerable, and would still be so had it been done by one of our own children or most intimate friends. And although we cannot put any obstacle to the decrees of God, yet such an act is not grateful to us, even if it is done to the vilest of men, or even cattle, and certainly we will not fail to show an example of severe justice, God willing. If you were not Christians, having a feeling heart, and bearing patiently injuries, after the example of your prophet, whom God has in glory, Jesus the son of Mary, who, in the Book which he brought you in the name of God, commands you, that if any person strike you on one cheek turn to him the other also; and who (always blessed of God!) also did not defend himself when the Jews sought to kill him, from whom God took him. And, in our Book, it is said, by the mouth of our Prophet, there is no people among whom there are so many disposed to good works as those who call themselves Christians; and certainly among you there are many priests and holy men who are not proud; nevertheless, our Prophet also says, that we cannot impute a crime to persons of three sorts, that is to say, madmen (until they return to sound sense), children, and persons who sleep. Now this man who has offended you is mad, and has no knowledge; but we have decreed to give you full satisfaction. If, however, you should be pleased to pardon him, you will perform a magnanimous work, and the Most Merciful will abundantly recompense you. On the other hand, if you absolutely wish him to be punished, he is in your hands, for in my empire no one shall fear injustice or violence, with the assistance of God.”

A whimsical story is current in Tangier respecting the dealings of the Shereefian Court with the Neapolitan government, which characteristically sets forth Moorish diplomacy or manoeuvring. A ship load of sulphur was sent to the Emperor. The Moorish authorities declared it was very coarse and mixed with dirt. With great alacrity, the Neapolitan government sent another load of finer and better quality. This was delivered; and the Consul asked the Moorish functionaries to allow the coarse sulphur to be conveyed back. These worthies replied, “Oh dear, no! it is of no consequence, the Emperor says, he will keep the bad, and not offend his royal cousin, the King of Naples, by sending it back.” The Neapolitan government had no alternative but to submit, and thank the chief of the Shereefs for his extreme condescension in accepting two ship-loads of sulphur instead of one.

There are occasional communications between Tangier and Tarifa, in Spain, but they are very frequent with Gibraltar. A vast quantity of European merchandize is imported here from Gibraltar for Fez and the north of Morocco. All the postal and despatch business also comes through Tangier, which has privileges that few or no other Maroquine cities possess. The emperors, indeed, have been wont to call it “the City of Christians.” In the environs, there is at times a good deal of game, and the European residents go out to shoot, as one is wont in other countries to talk a walk. The principal game is the partridge and hare, and the grand sport, the wild boar. Our officers of the Gibraltar garrison come over for shooting. But quackery and humbug exist in everything. A young gentleman has just arrived from Gibraltar, who had been previously six weeks on his passage from Holland to that place, with his legs infixed in a pair of three-league boots. He says he has come from Holland on purpose to sport and hunt in Morocco. Several of the consuls, when they go out sporting, metamorphose themselves into veteran Numidian sportsmen. You would imagine they were going to hunt lions for months in the ravines of the Atlas, whereas it is only to shoot a stray partridge or a limping hare, or perchance they may meet with a boar. And this they do for a couple of days, or twenty-four hours, sleeping during the night very snugly under tents, and fed and feasted with milk, fowls, and sheep by the Arabs.

Morocco, like all despotic countries, furnishes some severe examples of the degrading of high functionaries. There is an old man, Sidi–El-Arby–Es-Said, living there, who is a marked victim of imperial tyranny. Some years ago, the conqueror despoiled him of all his wealth, and threw him into prison, after he had been twenty years bashaw of this district. He was in prison one year with his two sons. The object of the Emperor was to extort the last filse of his money; and he entirely succeeded. The oppressor, however, relented a little on the death of one of his victim’s sons; released him from confinement, and gave the ex-bashaw two houses, one for himself and the other for his surviving son. The old captain of the port has been no less than a dozen times in prison, under the exhausting pressure of the Emperor. After the imperial miser has copiously bled his captain, he lets him out to fill his skin again. The old gentleman is always merry and loyal, in spite of the treatment from his imperial taskmaster.

Very funny stories are told by the masters of the small craft, who transport the bullocks from hence to Gibraltar. The government of that place are only allowed to export, at a low duty per annum, a certain number of bullocks. The contractor’s agents come over; and at the moment of embarking the cattle, something like the following dialogue frequently ensues.

Agent of Contractor. — “Count away!”

Captain of the Port. — “One, two, three, &c. Thirty, forty. Ah! stop! stop! too many.”

Agent of Contractor. — “No, you fool, there are only thirty.”

Captain of the Port. — “You lie! there are forty.”

Agent of Contractor. — “Only thirty, I tell you,” (putting three or four dollars into his hand).

Captain of the Port. — “Well, well, there are only thirty.”

And, in this way, the garrison of Gibraltar often gets 500 or 1,000 head of cattle more than the stipulated number, at five dollars per head duty instead of ten. Who derives the benefit of peculation I am unable to state. An anecdote recurs to me of old Youssef, Bashaw of Tripoli, illustrative of the phlebotomizing system now under consideration. Colonel Warrington one day seriously represented to the bashaw how his functionaries robbed him, and took the liberty of mentioning the name of one person. “Yes, yes,” observed the bashaw, “I know all about him; I don’t want to catch him yet; he’s not fat enough. When he has gorged a little more, I’ll have his head off.”

The Emperor of Morocco, however, usually treats his bashaws of the coast with greater consideration than those of the interior cities, the former being more in contact with Europeans, his Highness not wishing his reputation to suffer in the eyes of Christians.

4 “Our Lord Jesus,” the name by which the Moors, always mention Our Saviour.

5 Moors entertain the lowest opinion possible of Spaniards. In an intercepted correspondence of the Emperor of Morocco, found at the Battle of Isly, Spaniards are called, “The most degraded of the human race.”

6 The climate of North Africa is remarkable for rusting everything which can contract rust. This may be the reason of the Moors representing Spain and other European countries as free from rust, because there it is not so soon contracted.

7 Lord Palmerston proceeded in the same determined way with the Schah of Persia (See Parliamentary Papers on the Slave Trade, class D, presented 1848). But Colonel Shiel was fortunate in obtaining several opinions of Mahomet that — “The worst of men is the seller of men” — was a powerful auxiliary. The perseverance of the Minister and his agents in Persia has been crowned with complete success; the Schah has issued a firman prohibiting the Slave Trade in his territories. This firman will complete our command over the Persian Gulf and the Arabian seas, and enable our cruisers to intercept the slavers from the eastern shore of Africa.

8 No people understand better than the Moors the noble feeling of gratitude, contained in the words “Non nobis, Domine,” &c.

Chapter 3

The Posada. — Ingles and Benoliel. — Amulets for successful parturition. — Visits of a Moorish Taleb and a Berber. — Three Sundays during a week in Barbary. — M. Rey’s account of the Empire of Morocco. — The Government Auctioneer gives an account of Slavery and the Slave Trade in Morocco. — Benoliel as English Cicerone. — Departure from Tangier to Gibraltar. — How I lost my fine green broadcloth. — Mr. Frenerry’s opinion of Maroquine Affairs.

I took up my stay at the “English Hotel” (posada Ingles), kept by Benoliel, a Morocco Jew, who spoke tolerable English. A Jerusalemitish rabbi came in one day to write charms for his wife, she being near her confinement. The superstition of charms and other cognate matters, are shared alike by all the native inhabitants of Barbary. It often happens that a Marabout shrine will be visited by Moor and Jew, each investing the departed saint with his own peculiar sanctity. So contagious is this species of superstition, that Romish Christians, long resident in Barbary, assisted by the inventive monks, at last discover the Moorish or Jewish to be a Christian saint. The Jewesses brought our Oriental rabbi, declaring him to know everything, and that his garments smelt of the Holy City. Benoliel, or Ben, as the English called him, protested to me that he did not believe in charms; he only allowed the rabbi to write them to please the women. But I have found, during my travels in the Mediterranean, many persons of education, who pretended they did not believe this or that superstition of their church, whilst they were at heart great cowards, having no courage to reject a popular falsehood, and quite as superstitious as those who never doubt the excrescent dogmas or traditionary fables of their religion. The paper amulets, however, operated favourably on Mrs. Benoliel. She was delivered of a fine child; and received the congratulations of her neighbours. The child was named Sultana; 9 and the people were all as merry as if a princess had been born in Israel.

I received a visit from a Moorish taleb, to whom I read some portions of my journal, as also the Arabic Testament:

Taleb. — “The English read Arabic because they are the friends of Mussulmans. For this reason, God gives them wit to understand the language of the Koran.”

Traveller. — “We wish to study all languages, and to know all people.”

Taleb. — “Now, as you have become so wise in our country, and read Arabic, where next are you going? Why not be quiet and return home, and live a marabout? Where next are you going?”

In this strain the Taleb continued lecturing me, until he was interrupted by a Berber of Rif.

The Rifian. — “Christian, Engleez, come to our mountains. I will conduct you to the Emir, on whom is the blessing of God. Come to the Emir, come.”

Traveller. — “No, I’ve nothing to do with war.”

The Rifian. — “Ah! ah! ah! I know you are a necromancer. Cannot you tell me where money is buried? I want money very bad. Give me a peseta.”

Traveller. — “Not I. I am going to see your Emperor.”

The Rifian. — “Ah! ah! ah! that is right; give him plenty of money. Muley Abd Errahman hoards up money always. If you give him plenty of money, you will be placed on a horse and ride by his side.”

The inhabitants of Barbary all bury their money. The secret is confided to a single person, who often is taken ill, and dies before he can discover the hiding place to his surviving relatives. Millions of dollars are lost in this way. The people, conscious of their secret practice, are always on the scent for concealed treasures.

One Friday, some Jews asked the governor of the custom-house to grant them their clearance-papers, because they were, early on the Sunday following, to depart for Gibraltar. The governor said, “Come to-morrow.” “No,” replied the Jews, “we cannot, it’s our feast.” “Well,” returned the governor, “you Jews have your feasts, the Christians have theirs, and we Mussulmen will have ours. I’ll not go down to the custom-house to day, for it is my feast.” These three Sundays or feasts, prevalent through North Africa, are very inconvenient for business, and often make men rebels to their religious persuasions.

The following is a Frenchman’s account of Morocco 10 up to the time of its bombardments.

“The question of Algeria cannot be confined within the limits of the French possessions. It embraces Morocco, a country possessing a vast and varied population. Leo gave a marvellous description of Fez, as the second city of Islamism in his time. Travellers who have sought to explore Africa, rarely or never took the route viâ Morocco. Formerly, monks were stationed in the interior to purchase captives; but, since piracy has ceased, these have left the country. Very few persons go into the interior, for Maroquine merchants come out of their country to trade. Tangier and Tetuan are not fair specimens of Morocco; they form a transition from Europe to Africa, being neither Spain nor Morocco. The ambassador, or merchant, who now-a-days gets an audience with the Sultan, is allowed to see little of the country, arising from the jealousy of the government or native merchants. Davidson was probably murdered by the jealousy of the Fez merchants.

“All the larger cities of Morocco are situate upon the coast, excepting three capitals of the interior — Fez, Miknas, and Morocco, to which El–Kesar-Kebir may be added. The other interior places are mostly large villages, where the tribes of the country collect together. The inhabitants of the cities make gain their only business, and debauchery their only pleasure. As to their learning, there is an immense difference between a Turkish ulema and a Moorish doctor.

“From the fall of Carthage and Rome, until the fourteenth century, the people of North Africa have had relations with Europe. The independence of the kingdoms of Fez and Morocco fell by internal dissensions like the Mussulman power in Spain. After expelling the Mahometans from Spain, the Christians (Spaniards and Portuguese) pursued them to Morocco, and built a line of forts on its coasts. Those have all now been abandoned except four, held by Spain. England destroyed the fortifications and abandoned Tangier, which she had obtained through Portugal. To blockade Tangier at the present time, would do more harm to England than Morocco, by cutting off the supply of provisions for Gibraltar.

“The navy of Morocco was never very great. It was the audacity and cruelty of its pirates which frightened Christendom. During the maritime wars of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, the Emperor of Morocco remained neutral, which was a great benefit to the Christian belligerent powers. Spain must be at peace with Morocco; she must either be an active friend, or an enemy. The policy of Morocco, in former times, was so well managed, that it made all the Christian powers pay a certain tribute to that country, to insure themselves against the piracy of its cruisers.

“The history of the diplomatic relations of Europe with Morocco, presents only a chronicle of shameful concessions made by the European powers to the Moorish princes. At the end of the eighteenth century, the Sultan of Morocco declared that, ‘Whoever was not his friend was his enemy,’ or, in other words, that ‘he would arm his cruisers against every flag which did not float upon a consular house at Tangier.’

“Muley Abd Errahman sent his corsairs to sea in 1828 to frighten the European powers into treaties. The plan succeeded, the first squabble being with Austria. From 1830, or, better to mark the period, since the capture of Algiers, the corsairs and their depredations have ceased. The progress of France in Africa has produced a profound impression in Morocco, but European powers have not taken their due advantage of this. Many humiliating acts have been performed by different governments. England possessed herself of all the commerce of importance since she has been established at Gibraltar. On the whole coast of Morocco, there are only two mercantile establishments under the French flag. French consular agents have no influence with the Moorish government. Morocco and Spain have shewn themselves neighbours. Mutual assistance has often been given by Morocco and Spain, in cases of national distress, particularly in seasons of famine.

“The Sultan of Morocco surveys from a distance the events of Europe, and endeavours to arrest their effect on his frontier. The residence of the foreign consuls was first at Rabat, then at Tangier. The object has constantly been to keep the consuls, as far as possible, from his capital and the transactions of his interior, in order that they may not see the continual revolts of his tribes, and so discover the weakness and disunion of the empire. Communications between Tangier and Morocco require at least forty days, a system shrewdly laid down by the Sultan, who is anxious to be as remote as possible from the consuls and their influence.

“The state of the army and navy, and particularly of the munitions of war, is very bad. All the coast of Morocco is difficult of access, and the only two ports which would have served for a naval station, are those which have been abandoned, viz., the Bay of Santa Cruz and the ancient Mamora, between El–Araish and Rabat; the rest are only roadsteads.”

M. Rey thus sums up his observations upon European diplomacy directed towards Morocco. “Voluntary humbling of European nations, always ready to pander to Moorish rapacity, even without reaping any advantage for it; and who submit themselves to be uselessly ransomed. As to the English, they show suppleness and prudence, and sacrificing national dignity to the prosperity of commerce; the Sultans are not backward in taking advantage adroitly of a situation so favourable and almost unique; such is the picture of the diplomatic relations we have sketched.”

He describes the personal character and habits of the Sultan, Muley Abd Errahman, and gives details of the court.

“A Jew is the master-cook of the Emperor, his Imperial Highness always eats alone. The Sultan receives European merchants in a very friendly manner, whilst he keeps ambassadors at a respectful distance. An interview with an ambassador does not last more than ten minutes. The Sultan replies in a phraseology which has not been varied for three centuries. The title of the present vizier is not minister, but sahab, “friend” or “companion.” The Sultan has the soundest judgment of any man in his empire, and great tact in the administration of affairs. He instructs himself by continual questions.

“His passion is avarice, and he has converted the whole empire into a commercial firm for the accumulation of his gains. Muley Tsmael left a treasury of 100 millions of ducats, 11 and at the death of Sidi Mohammed, this treasury was reduced to two millions. The constant occupation of Muley Abd Errahmnan is to replenish the imperial treasury. Commerce, which was neglected by his predecessors, has all his attention. The cruelty of the former sultans is exchanged for the avarice of the present. The history of these Shereefian princes is a chain of unheard-of atrocities. The present sultan keeps not a single promise when his interests interfere.”

M. Rey gives us this flattering tableau as a social picture of Morocco.

Covetous governors are continually succeeding one another, they are ever eager of enjoying the advantages of their position; their thirst for plunder is so much the more intense, as they are not allowed time to satisfy it, so they prey on the people. The inhabitants of towns and of the country live in rags in miserable hovels. What raiment! what food! mortality is dreadful, the children are invalids, and the women, especially in the country, are condemned to do the work of beasts of burden; such is the picture of society.

I have quoted these few passages from the “Mémoire” of M. Rey, because he was resident many years in Tangier, and his account of the country discovers talent and intelligence, but is, of course, coloured with a strong anti-English feeling. Mr. Hay wrote on the back of his Mémoire, — “All that is said in reference to Great Britain is false and malicious.” M. Rey’s opinions of the Moors and the present governors are still more bitter and unjust.

I had an interview with El–Martel-Warabah, government auctioneer of slaves, from whom I obtained details respecting the slave-trade in Tangier and Morocco generally. There is no market for slaves in Tangier. The poor creatures are led about the town as cattle, particularly in the main street, before the doors of the principal merchants, where they are usually disposed of. No Jew or Christian is permitted to buy or hold a slave in this country. Government possess many slaves, and people hire them out by the day from the authorities. The ordinary price of a good slave is eighty dollars. Boys, at the age of nine or ten years, sell the best; female slaves do hot fetch so much as male slaves, unless of extraordinary beauty. Slaves are imported from all the south.

The Sultan levies no duty on the sale or import of slaves. When one runs away from his master, and takes refuge with another, the new master usually writes to the former, offering to buy him; thus slaves are often enticed away. They are sometimes allowed to abscond without their owners troubling themselves about them, their master’s being unable either to feed or sell them.

In cases of punishment for all serious offences, slaves are brought before the judicial authorities, and suffer the same punishment as free men. In cases not deemed grave, they are flogged, or otherwise privately punished by their masters. Slaves went to war with Abd-el-Kader, against the French. The Arabs of Algeria had formerly many slaves. The chief depôt of slaves is Morocco, the southern capital. Ten thousand have been imported during one year; but the average number brought into Morocco is, perhaps, not more than half that amount. The Maroquine Moors, before departing for any country under the British flag, usually give liberty to their slaves. On their return, however, they sell them again as slaves, or get rid of them some way or other. A slave once having tasted of liberty, can never again be fully reconciled to thraldom. Moors resident in Gibraltar, have frequently slaves with them. A few days ago, a slave-boy, resident in Gibraltar, wished to turn Christian, and was immediately sent back to Tangier, and sold to another master.

Europeans, with whom I have conversed in Tangier, assure me that slaves are generally well treated, and that cases of cruelty are rare. Nevertheless, they eagerly seek their freedom when an opportunity offers. In 1833, a man of great power and influence in the Gharb (province of Morocco), named El–Haj Mohammed Ben El–Arab, on a remonstrance of his slaves, who stated that the English had abolished slavery, and that they ought to have their liberty, called all his slaves together, to the number of seventy-two, and actually took the bold and generous resolution of liberating them. But, before releasing them from bondage, he lectured them upon the difficulty of finding subsistence in their new state of freedom, and then wrote out their Atkas of liberty. As might have been expected, some returned voluntarily to servitude, not being able to get a living, whilst the greater part obtained an honourable livelihood, enjoying the fruits of independent freedom. It is mentioned, as an instance of fidelity, that a negress is the gaoler of the women in Tangier. 12

At every Moorish feast of consequence (four of which are celebrated here in a year), the slaves of Tangier perambulate the streets with music and dancing, dressed in their holiday clothes, to beg alms from all classes of the population, particularly Europeans. The money collected is deposited in the hands of their chief; to this is added the savings of the whole year. In the spring, all is spent in a feast, which lasts seven days. The slaves carry green ears of wheat, barley, and fresh dates about the town. The Moorish women kiss the new corn or fruit, and give the slaves a trifle of money. A slave, when he is dissatisfied with his master, sometimes will ask him to be allowed to go about begging until he gets money enough to buy his freedom. The slave puts the âtka in his mouth (which piece of written paper when signed, assures his freedom), and goes about the town, crying, “Fedeeak Allah, (Ransom of God!)” All depends on his luck. He may be months, or even years, before he accumulates enough to purchase his ransom.

Tangier Moors pretend that the negroes of Timbuctoo sacrifice annually a white man, the victim being preserved and fed for the occasion. When the time of immolation arrives, the white man is adorned with fair flowers, and clothes of silk and many colours, and led out and sacrificed at a grand “fiesta.” Slaves and blacks in Morocco keep the same feast, with the difference, that not being able to get a man to sacrifice, they kill a bullock. Such a barbarous rite may possibly be practised in some part of Negroland, but certainly not at Timbuctoo. All these tales about Negro cannibals I am inclined to believe inventions. There never yet has been published a well authenticated case of negro cannibalism.

The grand cicerone for the English at Tangier, is Benoliel. He is a man of about sixty years of age, and initiated into the sublimest mysteries of the consular politics of the Shereefs. Ben is full of anecdotes of everybody and everything from the emperor on the Shreefian throne, down to the mad and ragged dervish in the streets. Our cicerone keeps a book, in which the names of all his English guests have been from time to time inscribed. His visitors have been principally officers from Gibraltar, who come here for a few days sporting. On the bombardment of Tangier, Ben left the country with other fugitives. The Moorish rabble plundered his house; and many valuables which were there concealed, pledged by persons belonging to Tangier, were carried away; Ben was therefore ruined. Some foolish people at Gibraltar told Ben, that the streets of London were paved with gold, or, at any rate, that, inasmuch as he (Ben) had in his time entertained so many Englishmen at his hospitable establishment at Tangier (for which, however, he was well paid), he would be sure to make his fortune by a visit to England. I afterwards met Ben accidentally in the streets of London, in great distress. Some friends of the Anti–Slavery Society subscribed a small sum for him, and sent him back to his family in Gibraltar. Poor Ben was astonished to find as much misery in the streets of our own metropolis, as in any town of Morocco. Regarding his co-religionists in England, Ben observed with bitterness, “The Jews there are no good; they are very blackguards.” He was disappointed at their want of liberality, as well as their want of sympathy for Morocco Jews. Ben thought he knew everything, and the ways of this wicked world, but this visit to England convinced him he must begin the world over again. Our cicerone is very shrewd; withal is blessed with a good share of common sense; is by no means bigoted against Mahometans or Christians, and is one of the more respectable of the Barbary Jews. His information on Morocco, is, however, so mixed up with the marvellous, that only a person well acquainted with North Africa can distinguish the probable from the improbable, or separate the wheat from the chaff. Ben has a large family, like most of the Maroquine Jews; but the great attraction of his family is a most beautiful daughter, with a complexion of jasmine, and locks of the raven; a perfect Rachel in loveliness, proving fully the assertion of Ali Bey, and all other travellers in Morocco, that the fairest women in this country are the Jewesses. Ben is the type of many a Barbary Jew, who, to considerable intelligence, and a few grains of what may be called fair English honesty, unites the ordinarily deteriorated character of men, and especially Jews, bora and brought up under oppressive governments. Ben would sell you to the Emperor for a moderate price; and so would the Jewish consular agents of Morocco. A traveller in this country must, therefore, never trust a Maroquine Jew in a matter of vital importance.

Mr. Drummond Hay, our Consul at Tangier, advised me to return to Gibraltar, and to go by sea to Mogador, and thence to Morocco, where the Emperor was then residing. Adopting his advice, I left the same evening for Gibraltar. I took my passage in a very fine cutter, which had formerly been a yacht, and had since been engaged as a smuggler of Spanish goods. I confess, I was not sorry to hear that the Spanish custom-house was often duped. The cutter had been purchased for the Gibraltar secret service.

The Anti–Slavery Society had placed at my disposal a few yards of green cloth, for a present to the minister of the Emperor. At the custom-house of Havre-de-Grace, I paid a heavy duty on it. But, when I got to Irun, on the Spanish frontier, (having determined to come through Spain in order to see the country), the custom-house officers demanded a duty nearly double the cost of the cloth in London, so that there was no alternative but to leave it in their possession. The only satisfaction, or revenge which I had, was that of calling them ladrones in the presence of a mob of people, who, to do justice to the Spanish populace, all took my part.

When I complained of this conduct at Madrid, my friends laughed at my simplicity, and told me I was “green” in Spanish; and in travelling through “the land of chivalry,” and of “ingeniósos hildágos,” ought, on the contrary, to thank God that I had arrived safe at Madrid with a dollar in my pocket; whilst they kindly hinted, if I should really get through the province of Andalusia safe to Cadiz, without being stripped of everything, I must record it in my journal as a miracle of good luck. This was, however, exaggeration. I had no reason to complain of anything else during the time I was in Spain. My fellow travellers (all Spaniards), nevertheless, rebuked me for want of tact. “You ought,” they said, “to have given a few pesetas to the guard of the diligencia, who would have taken charge of your cloth, and kept it from going through the custom-house.”

On reaching Gibraltar, I made the acquaintance of Frenerry, who for thirty years has been a merchant in Morocco. Mr. Frenerry had frequent opportunities of personal intercourse with Muley Abd Errahman, and had more influence with him than the British Consul. Indeed, at all times, a merchant is always more welcome to his Imperial Highness than a diplomatic agent, who usually is charged with some disagreeable mission. Mr. Frenerry was called, par excellence, “the merchant of the West.” Of course, Mr. Frenerry’s opinions must be valuable on Maroquine affairs. He says:— “The Morocco Moors like the English very much, and better than any other Europeans, for they know the English to be their best friends. At the same time, the Moors feel their weakness. They know also, that a day might come when the English would be against them, or have disputes with them, as in days past. The Moors are, therefore, jealous of the English, though they consider them their friends; and do not like Englishmen more than any other Christians to travel in their country. In other respects, if well managed and occasionally coaxed or bribed with a present, the Moors are very good natured, and as tractable as children.”

However, I find since the murder of Mr. Davidson, both the people and government of Morocco have got a bad name in Gibraltar; and opinion begins to prevail that it is almost impossible for an Englishman to travel in the country. Mr. Frenerry recommends that a Moor should be treated not proudly, but with a certain degree of firmness, to shew him you will not be trifled with. In this way, he says, you will always continue friends.

With regard to the present Emperor, Mr. Frenerry is a great apologist of his system.

“The Emperor is obliged to exclude foreigners as much as possible from his country. He does not want to tempt the cupidity of Europeans, by showing them the resources of the empire. They are prying about for mines of iron and silver. He is obliged to forbid these geological wanderings. The subjects of his empire are divided in their feelings and interests, and have been driven there by every wave of human revolutions. The Emperor does not wish to discover his weakness abroad, by letting Europeans witness the bad faith and disloyalty of his heterogeneous tribes. The European consuls are much to blame; they always carry their heads too high, if not insolently. They then appoint Jewish consuls along the coast, a class of men whom the hereditary prejudices of his Mussulman subjects will not respect.”

There is certainly something, if not a good deal, to be said for the emperor as well as against him. I was obliged to wait some time at Gibraltar before I could get a vessel for Mogador. I missed one excellent opportunity from the want of a note from the Gibraltar government. A Moor offered to allow me to take a passage without any expense in his vessel, provided I could obtain a note from our government; but the Governor of Gibraltar required an introduction in form, and, before I could receive a letter from Mr. Hay to present to him, the vessel left for Mogador. I therefore lost money and time without any necessity.

9 Although Sultana, i.e., “Sultanness or Princess,” is a frequent name for a woman in this country, I hare never heard of a man being called Sultan; and, indeed, I imagine the jealousy of the reigning sovereign would never permit the use of such a name. But even in this country, where women are treated as so many household chattels, Moorish gallantry is sufficient to overlook these trivial or serious pretensions.

10 “Souvenir d’un Voyage du Maroc,” par M. Rey, Paris.

11 The value of this ducat is about half-a-crown English money.

12 Count Qrabert gives the following account of Maroquine Blacks: “The Blacks who form a very numerous part of the population are most of them slaves, and as it is customary in barbarous countries, become an object of trade, though not to be compared with that carried on in other parts of Barbary. The Black is generally of a soft and kind disposition, bears fatigue with patience, and shows a serene and lively temper, totally different in that respect from the Moor, who is taciturn and sullen. Some of them have become men of prosperity and note, after having recovered their liberty. They are renowned for their fidelity, and form the most numerous part of the body-guards of the Sultan; that body-guard makes about the half of the army, which on an average compose a total of ten thousand men. The greater part of those Blacks comes from Senegambia, Guinea, and the dominions of the Fellah or Fellani.” (Specchio geografico e Statistico dell’ Impero di Marocco. Geneva.)

Chapter 4

Departure from Gibraltar to Mogador. — The Straits. — Genoese Sailors. — Trade-wind Hurricanes en the Atlantic Coast of Morocco. — Difficulties of entering the Port of Mogador. — Bad provisioning of Foreign Merchantmen. — The present Representative of the once far-famed and dreaded Rovers. — Disembarkation at Mogador. — Mr. Phillips, Captain of the Port — Rumours amongst the People about my Mission. — Visit to the Cemeteries. — Maroquine Wreckers. — Health of the inhabitants of Mogador. — Moorish Cavaliers “playing at powder” composed of the ancient Nuraidians. — The Barb. — The Life Guards of the Moorish Emperor. — Martial character of the Negro. — Some account of the Black Corps of the Shereefs. — Orthodoxy of the Shereefs, and illustrative anecdotes of the various Emperors.

On leaving the Straits (commonly called “The Gut,”) a noble sight presented itself — a fleet of some hundred merchantmen, all smacking about before the rising wind, crowding every sail, lest it should change ere they got clear of the obstructive straits. Many weeks had they been detained by the westerly gales, and our vessel amongst the rest. I felt the poignant misery of “waiting for the wind.” I know nothing so wearisome when all things are made ready. It is worse than hope deferred, which sickens and saddens the heart.

I have lately seen some newspaper reports, that government is preparing a couple of steam-tugs, to be placed at the mouth of the straits, to tow ships in and out. We may trust it will be done. But if government do it not, I am sure it would answer the purpose of a private company, and I have no doubt such speculation will soon be taken up. Vessels freighted with perishable cargoes are often obliged to wait weeks, nay months, at the mouth of the Straits, to the great injury of commerce. In our days of steam and rapid communication, this cannot be tolerated. 13

After a voyage of four days, we found ourselves off the coast of Mogador. The wind had been pretty good, but we had suffered some delay from a south wind, which headed us for a short time. We prayed for a westerly breeze, of which we soon got enough from west and north-west. The first twelve hours it came gently on, but gradually increased till it blew a gale. The captain was suddenly called up in the night, as though the ship was going to sink, or could sink, whilst she was running as fast as we would let her before the wind. But the real danger lay in missing the coast of Mogador, or not being able to get within its port from the violence of the breakers near the shore. Our vessel was a small Genoese brig; and, though the Genoese are the best sailors in the Mediterranean — even superior to the Greeks, who rank next — our captain and his crew began to quake. At daylight, the coast-line loomed before us, immersed in fog, and two hours after, the tall minaret of the great mosque of Mogador, shooting erect, a dull lofty pyramid, stood over the thick haze lying on the lower part of the coast.

This phenomenon of the higher objects and mountains being visible over a dense fog on the shore, is frequent on this side of the Atlantic. Wind also prevails here. It scarcely ever rains, but wind the people have nine months out of the twelve. It is a species of trade-wind, which commences at the Straits, or the coasts of Spain and Portugal, and sweeps down north-west with fury, making the entire coast of Morocco a mountain-barrier of breakers, increasing in its course, and extending as far as Wadnoun, Cape Bajdor, Cape Blanco, even to the Senegal. It does not, however, extend far out at sea, being chiefly confined to the coast range. Our alarm now was lest we should get within the clutches of this fell swoop, for the port once past, it would have required us weeks to bear up again, whilst this wind lasted.

The Atlantic coast of Morocco is an indented or waving line, and there are only two or three ports deserving the name of harbours — harbours of refuge from these storms. Unlike the western coast of Ireland, so finely indented by the Atlantic wave, this portion of the Morocco coast is rounded off by the ocean.

Our excitement was great. The capitano began yelping like a cowardly school-boy, who has been well punched by a lesser and more courageous antagonist. Immediately I got on deck, I produced an English book, which mentioned the port of Mogador as a “good” port.

“Per Dio Santo!” exclaimed our capitano; “yes, for the English it is a good port — you dare devils at sea — for them it is a good port. The open sea, with a gale of wind, is a good port for the maladetti English.”

Irritated at this extreme politeness to our gallant tars, who have so long “braved the battle and the breeze,” I did not trouble farther the dauntless Genoese, who certainly was not destined to become a Columbus. Now the men began to snivel and yelp, following the example of their commander. “We won’t go into the port, Santa Virgine! We won’t go in to be shivered to pieces on the rocks.” At this moment our experienced capitano fancied we had got into shoal-water; the surf was seen running in foaming circles, as if in a whirlpool. Now, indeed, our capitano did yelp; now did the crew yelp, invoking all the saints of the Roman calendar, instead of attending to the ship. 14 Here was a scene of indescribable confusion. Our ship was suddenly put round and back.

My fellow passengers, a couple of Jews from Gibraltar, began swearing at the capitano and his brave men. One of them, whilst cursing, thought it just as well, at the same time, to call upon Father Abraham. Our little brig pitched her bows two or three times under water like a storm-bird, and did not ground. It was seen to be a false alarm. The capitano now took courage on seeing all the flags flying over the fortifications, it being Friday, the Mahometan Sabbath. The silly fellow had heard, that the port authorities always hauled down their colours, when the entrance to the harbour was unsafe by reason of bad weather. Seeing the colours, he imagined all was right.

There are two entrances to the port of Mogador; one from the south, which is quite open; the other from the north-west, which is only a narrow passage, with scarcely room to admit a ship-of-the-line. The ‘Suffren,’ in which the Prince de Joinville commanded the bombardment of the town, stood right over this entrance, on the northern channel, having south-east the Isle of Mogador, and north-west the coast of the Continent. The Prince took up a bold and critical position, exposed to violent currents, to grounding on a rocky bottom, and to many other serious accidents. 15

As we neared this difficult entrance, we were all in a state of the most feverish excitement, expecting, such was the fury of the breakers, to be thrown on the rock on either side. Thus, it was a veritable Scylla and Charybdis. A man from the rigging descried several small vessels moored snugly behind the isle. We ventured in with breathless agitation. A man from one of the fortifications, guessing or seeing, I suppose, our timidity and bad seamenship, cried out at the top of his lungs, “Salvo!” which being interpreted, meant, “The entrance is safe.”

But this was not enough; we were to have another trial of patience. The foolish captain — to terrify us to the last — had to cast his anchor, as a matter of course; and imagine, dear reader, our alarm, our terror, when we heard him scream out, “The chain is snapped!” We were now to be driven out southwards by the fury of the wind, which had become a hurricane, no very agreeable prospect! Happily, also this was a false alarm. The capitano then came up to me, to shake hands, apologize, and present congratulations on our safe harbouring. The perspiration of fever and a heated brain was coursing down his cheeks. The capitano lit an extra candle before the picture of the Virgin below, and observed to me, whilst the men were saying their prayers of gratitude for deliverance, “Per un miraculo della santissima Vergina; noi sciamo salvati!” — (we are saved by a miracle of the Most Holy Virgin!) which, of course, I did not or could not dispute, allowing, as I do, all men in such circumstances, to indulge freely in their peculiar faith, so long as it does not interfere with me or mine.

It is well that our merchant-vessels have never been reduced to the condition of Genoese craft, or been manned by such chicken-hearted crews. I believe the pusillanimity of the latter is traceable, in a great measure, to the miserable way in which the poor fellows are fed. These Genoese had no meat whilst I was with them. I sailed once in a Neapolitan vessel, a whole month, during which time the crew lived on horse-beans, coarse maccaroni, Sardinian fish, mouldy biscuit, and griping black wine. Meat they had none. How is it possible for men thus fed, to fight and wrestle with the billows and terrors of the deep?

We had no ordinary task to get on shore; the ocean was without, but a sea was within port. The wind increased with such fury, that we abandoned for the day the idea of landing. We had, however, specie on board, which it was necessary forthwith to land. Mr. Philips, captain of the port, and a merchant’s clerk, therefore, came alongside with great difficulty in a Moorish boat, to take on shore the specie; and in it I embarked. This said barque was the miserable but apt representation of the by-gone formidable Maroquine navy, which, not many centuries ago, pushed its audacity to such lengths, that the “rovers of Salee” cruised off the English coast, and defied the British fleets. Now the whole naval force of the once-dreaded piratic states of Barbary can hardly boast of two or three badly-manned brigs or frigates. As to Morocco, the Emperor has not a single captain who can conduct a vessel from Mogador to Gibraltar.

The most skilful rais his ports can furnish made an attempt lately, and was blown up and down for months on the coasts of Spain and Portugal, being at last driven into the Straits by almost miraculous interposition.

What was this Moorish boat in which I went on shore? A mere long shell of bad planks, and scarcely more ship-shape than the trunk of a tree hollowed into a canoe, leakily put together. It was filled with dirty, ragged, half-naked sailors, whose seamanship did not extend beyond coming and going from vessels lying in this little port. Each of these Mogadorian port sailors had a bit of straight pole for an oar; the way in which they rowed was equally characteristic. Struggling against wind and current with their Moorish rais at the helm, encouraging their labours by crying out first one thing, then another, as his fancy dictated, the crew repeated in chorus all he said:— “Khobsah!” (a loaf) cried the rais.

All the men echoed “Khobsah.”

“A loaf you shall have when you return!” cried the rais.

“A loaf we shall have when we return!” cried the men.

“Pull, pull; God hears and sees you!” cried the rais.

“We pull, we pull; God hears and sees us!” cried the men.

“Sweetmeats, sweetmeats, by G—; sweetmeats by G— you shall have, only pull away!” swore the rais.

“Sweetmeats we shall have, thank God! sweetmeats we shall have, thank God!” roared the men, all screaming and bawling. In this unique style, after struggling three hours to get three miles over the port, we landed, all of us completely exhausted and drowned in spray.

It is usual for Moors, particularly negroes, to sing certain choruses, and thus encourage one another in their work. What, however, is remarkable, these choruses are mostly on sacred subjects, being frequently the formula of their confession, “There is no God, but one God, and Mahomet is his Prophet,” &c. These clownish tars were deeply coloured, and some quite black. I found, in fact, the greatest part of the Moorish population of Mogador coloured persons. We may here easily trace the origin of the epithet “Black-a-Moor,” and we are not so surprised that Shakspeare made his Moor black; indeed, the present Emperor, Muley Abd Errahman, is of very dark complexion, though his features are not at all of the negro cast. But he has sons quite black, and with negro features, who, of course, are the children of negresses. One of these, is Governor of Rabat. In no country is the colour of the human skin so little thought of. This is a very important matter in the question of abolition. There is no objection to the skin and features of the negro; it is only the luxury of having slaves, or their usefulness for heavy work, which weighs in the scale against abolition.

As soon as we landed, we visited the lieutenant-governor, who congratulated us on not being carried down to the Canary Islands. Then his Excellency asked, in due studied form:

“Where do you come from?”

Traveller. — “Gibraltar.”

His Excellency. — “Where are you going?”

Traveller. — “To see the Sultan, Muley Abd Errahman.”

His Excellency. — “What’s your business?”

Traveller. — “I will let your Excellency know to-morrow.”

I then proceeded to the house of Mr. Phillips, where I took up my quarters. Mr. Willshire, our vice-consul, was absent, having gone up to Morocco with all the principal merchants of Mogador, to pay a visit to the Emperor.

The port of Mogador had to-day a most wild and desolate appearance, which was rendered still more dreary and hideous by a dark tempest sweeping over it. On the shore, there was no appearance of life, much less of trade and shipping. All had abandoned it, save a guard, who lay stretched at the gate of the waterport, like a grim watch-dog. From this place, we proceeded to the merchants’ quarter of the town, which was solitary and immersed in profound gloom. Altogether, my first impressions of Mogador were most unfavourable, I went to bed and dreamt of winds and seas, and struggled with tempests the greater part of the night. Then I was shipwrecked off the Canaries; thrown on the coast of Wadnoun, and made a slave by the wild Arabs wandering in the Desert — I awoke.

Mr. Phillips, mine host, soon became my right-hand man. His extraordinary character, and the adventures of his life are worth a brief notice. Phillips said he was descended from those York Jews, who, on refusing to pay a contribution levied on them by one of our most Christian kings, had a tooth drawn out every morning (without the aid of chloroform), until they satisfied the cruel avarice of the tyrant. In person, Phillips was a smart old gentleman, with the ordinary lineaments of his race stamped on his countenance. The greater part of his life has been spent in South America, where he attained the honours of aide-de-camp to Bolivar. In those sanguinary revolutions, heaving with the birth of the young republic, he had often been shut up in the capilla to be shot, and was rescued always by the Jesuit fathers, who pitied and saved the poor Jew, on his expressing himself favourable to Christianity. Returning to England, after twenty years’ absence, his mother did not fully recognize him, until he one day got up and admired, with youthful ardour, a china figure on the chimney-piece, which had been his toy in his boyhood. On the occurrence of this little domestic incident, the mother passionately embraced her lost prodigal, once dead, but now “alive again.” Phillips came to Mogador on a military speculation, and offered to take the command of the Emperor’s cavalry against all his enemies.

This audacity of a Jew filled the Moor with alarm. “How could a Jew, who was not a devil, propose such an insult to the Commander of the Faithful, as to presume to take the charge of his invincible warriors!” Nevertheless, the little fellow weathered the storm, and got appointed “captain of the port of Mogador,” with the liberal salary of about thirty shillings per month; but this did not prevent our aide-de-camp, now metamorphosed into a sea captain, from wearing an admiral’s uniform, which he obtained in a curious way on a visit to England. He met in the streets of London with an acquaintance, who pretended to patronize him. The gentleman jokingly said, “Well, Phillips, I must give you an uniform, since you are appointed captain of the port of Mogador.” The said gentleman received, a few months afterwards, when his quondam protégé was safe with his uniform strutting about Mogador, to the amazement of the Moors, and the delight of his co-religionists, a bill of thirty pounds or so, charged for “a suit of admiral’s uniform for Mr. Phillips, captain of the port of Mogador;” and found that a joke sometimes has a serious termination.

Phillips, on his first arrival in this country, entered into a diplomatic contest with the Moorish authorities, demanding the privileges of a native British-born Jew, and he determined to ride a horse, in order to vindicate the rights of British Jews, before the awful presence of the Shereefian Court! About this business, the Consul-general Hay is said to have written eleven long, and Mr. Willshire about twenty-one short and pithy despatches, but the affair ended in smoke. Phillips, with great magnanimity and self-denial, consented to relinquish the privilege, on the prayer of his brethren, natives of Mogador, who were very naturally afraid, lest the incensed Emperor might visit on them what he durst not inflict on the British-born Jew.

Of the achievements of Phillips in the way of science (for he assures he is born to the high destiny of enlightening both barbarians and civilized nations) I take the liberty, with his permission, of mentioning one. Phillips brought here a pair of horse-shoes belonging to a drayhorse of the firm of Truman, Hanbury, Buxton, and Co., to astonish the Moors by their size, who are great connoisseurs of horse-flesh. The Moors protested their unbelief, and swore it was a lie, — “such shoes never shod a horse.” Phillips then got a skeleton of a head from England. This they also scouted as an imposition, alleging that Phillips had got it purposely made to deceive them. “Although they believed in the Prophet, whom they never saw, they were still not such fools as to believe in everything which an Infidel might bring to their country.” Phillips now gave up, in despair, the attempt to propagate science among the Moors.

Our ancient aide-de-camp of Bolivar is a liberal English Jew, and boasts that, on Christmas-day, he always has his roast-beef and plum-pudding. I supped with him often on a sucking-pig, for the Christians breed pigs in this place, to the horror of pious Mussulmen. This amusing adventurer subsequently left Mogador and went to Lisbon, where he purposed writing a memorial to the Archbishop of Canterbury, containing the plan, of a New Unitarian system of religion, by which the Jews might be brought within the pale of the Christian Church!

For some time I felt the effects of my sea voyage; my apartment rocked in my brain. People speculated about the objects of my mission; the most absurd rumours were afloat. “The Christian has come to settle the affairs of Mr. Darman, whom the Emperor killed,” some said. Others remarked, “The Christian has come to buy all the slaves of the country, in order to liberate them.” The lieutenant-governor sent for Phillips, to know what I came for, who I was, and how I passed my time? Phillips told him all about my mission, and that I was a great taleb. When Phillips mentioned to the governor, that Great Britain had paid a hundred millions of dollars for the liberation of slaves belonging to Englishmen, his Excellency, struck with astonishment, exclaimed, “The English Sultan is inspired by God!”

I visited the burying-place of Christians, situate on the north-side of the town by the sea-shore. A fine tomb was erected here to the memory of Mrs. Willshire’s father. The ignorant country people coming to Mogador stopped to repeat prayers before it, believing it the tomb of some favourite saint. The government, hearing of this idolatry to a Christian, begged Mr. Willshire to have the tomb covered with cement. When this was done, so perverse are these people, that they partially divested it of covering, and chipped off pieces of marble for their women, who ground them into powder, and dusted their faces with it to make them fair. Every six months it is necessary to replaster the tomb. This cemetery is the most desolate place the mind of man can conceive. There is no green turf here to rest lightly on the bosom of the dead! No tree, no cypress of mourning; no shade or shelter for those who seek to indulge in grief. All is a sandy desolation, swept by the wild winds of the solitary shore of the ocean.

Farther on, is the Moorish cemetery, which I passed through. What a spectacle of human corruption! Here, indeed, we may learn to despise this world’s poor renown, and cease tormenting ourselves with vain and godless pursuits. It was then sunset, the moon had risen far up on the fading brow of the departing day, casting pale lights and fearful shadows over this house of the dead. It was time to return, or the gates of the city would shut me out amidst the wreck of poor human dust and bones. I saw, moving in the doubtful shadows of approaching night, the grave-digging hyaena!

It is an ill wind that blows nobody good. The wreckers of this coast boldly assert that a shipwreck is a blessing (berkah), sent to them by Providence. The port authorities have even the impudence to declare, that to erect lighthouses at the mouth of the ports would be thwarting the decrees of Divine Providence! In spite of all this, however, at the urgent request of Mr. Willshire, when, on one occasion, the weather was very bad, the governor of Mogador stationed guards on various parts of the coast to preserve the lives and property of shipwrecked vessels. But I do not think I have heard worse cases of Moorish wreckers, than those which have happened not very many years ago on the French and English coasts. Some of my readers will recollect the case of an Indiaman wrecked off the coast of France, when poor ladies in a state of suspended animation, had their fingers cut off to get possession of their diamond-rings. During my stay at Mogador, a courier arrived from Sous, bringing the news of some Christians being wrecked off the coast, A Jew had purchased one poor fellow from the Arabs for two camels. Two others were dead, their bodies cast upon the inhospitable beach by the Atlantic surge, where they lay unburied, to be mangled by the wild tribes, or to feed the hungry hyaena.

Some of the merchants came hither from the capital; amongst the rest, Mr. and Mrs. Elton, they, as well as others, brought a favourable account of the Emperor and his ministers, and lauded very much the commercial policy of the governor of Mogador. Moderation, it is said, is the characteristic of the court’s proceedings towards the merchants. Trade was not very brisk, it being the rainy season, when the Arabs are occupied with sowing the ground; the busy time is from September to January.

The produce sold at that time was simply that which is left of the past season, having been kept back with the object of getting a better price for it. Gum is brought in great quantities for exportation. An immense quantity of sugar is imported, a third of which is loaf beet-root sugar brought from Marseilles.

Mr. Phillips came to me, to beg ten thousand pardons for having only fowls for dinner. One morning two bullocks were killed by the Jews, but not “according to the Law,” and the greater part of the Jews that day would have to go without meat. On these occasions, the Jews sell their meat to the Moors and Christians at a reduced price. Phillips observed, “I am obliged to eat meat according to the Law, or I should have no peace of my life.”

A good many people were affected by colds, but the climate of Mogador is reckoned very good. All the year round there is not much variation; N.W. and N.E. winds bring cold in winter, and cool refreshing breezes in summer. There was not a single medical man in Mogador, although there were some fifty Europeans, including Jews. Some years ago a clever young man was practising here. For one year, each European paid his share of salary; but alas! those whom God blessed with good health, refused to pay their quota to the support of a physician for their sickly neighbours, consequently, every European’s life was in the greatest danger, should a serious accident occur to them. With regard to money, they would prefer a broken leg all their life time to paying five pounds to have it set. The consuls of Tangier subscribe for a resident physician.

One afternoon, I went to see the Moorish cavalry “playing at powder,” (Lab Elbaroud) being a stirring and novel scene. A troop of these haughty cavaliers assembled with their chiefs almost daily on the playa, or parade. Then they divided themselves into parties of twenty or thirty; proceeding with their manoeuvres, the cavaliers at first advance slowly in a single line, then canter, and then gallop, spurring on the horse to its last gasp, meantime standing up erect on their shovel-stirrups, and turning from one side to the other; looking round with an air of defiance, they fire off their matchlocks, throw themselves into various dexterous attitudes, sometimes letting fall the bridle. The pieces being discharged, the horses instantaneously stop. The most difficult lesson a barb learns, is to halt suddenly in mid career of a full gallop. To discharge his matchlock, standing on the stirrups while the horse is in full gallop, is the great lesson of perfection of the Maroquine soldiery. The cavaliers now wheel out of the way for the next file, returning reloading, and taking their places to gallop off and fire again. Crowds of people attend these equestrian exhibitions, of which they are passionately fond. They squat round the parade in double or treble rows, muffled up within their bournouses, in mute admiration. Occasionally women are present, but females here join in very few out-door amusements. When a whole troop of cavaliers are thus manoeuvering, galloping at the utmost stretch of the horses’ muscles, the men screaming and hallowing “hah! hah! hah!” the dust and sand rising in clouds before the foaming fiery barb, with the deafening noise and confusion of a simultaneous discharge of firelocks, the picture represents in vivid colours what might be conceived of the wild Nubian cavalry of ancient Africa. 16 Today there was a mishap; several cavaliers did not keep up the line. The chief leading the troops, cried out in a rage, and with the voice of a senator, “Fools! madmen! are you children, or are ye men?” Christians or Jews standing too near, are frequently pushed back with violence; and we were told “not to stand in the way of Mussulmen.”

These cavaliers are sometimes called spahis; they are composed of Moors, Arabs, Berbers, and all the native races in Morocco. They are usually plainly dressed, but, beneath the bournouse, many of them wear the Moorish dress, embroidered in the richest style. Some of the horses are magnificently caparisoned in superb harness, worked in silk and gold. Fine harness is one of the luxuries of North Africa, and is still much used, even in Tunis and Tripoli, where the new system of European military dress and tactics has been introduced. The horse is the sacred animal of Morocco, as well as the safeguard of the empire. The Sultan has no other military defence, except the natural difficulties of the country, or the hatred of his people to strangers. He does not permit the exportation of horses, nor of barley, on which they are often fed.17

But the defeat of the Emperor’s eldest son, Sidi Mahomed, at the Battle of Isly, who commanded upwards of forty thousand of these cavaliers, has thrown a shade over the ancient celebrity of this Moorish corps, and these proud horsemen have since become discouraged. On that fatal day, however, none of the black bodyguard of the Emperor was brought into action. These muster some thirty thousand strong. This corps, or the Abeed–Sidi-Bokhari, 18 are soldiers who possess the most cool and undaunted courage; retreat with them is never thought of. Unlike the Janissaries of old, their sole ambition is to obey, and not to rule their sovereign. This fidelity to the Shereefs remains unshaken through all the shocks of the empire, and to the person of the Emperor they are completely devoted. In a country like Morocco, of widely distinct races and hostile tribes, all naturally detesting each other, the Emperor finds in them his only safety. I cannot withhold the remark, that this body-guard places before us the character of the negro in a very favourable light. He is at once brave and faithful, the two essential ingredients in the formation and development of heroic natures.

It will, I trust, not be deemed out of place to consider for a moment the warlike propensities and qualities of the negro. Every European who has penetrated Africa, confesses to the bellicose disposition of the negro, having seen him engaged with others in perpetual conflict. The choice and retention of a body-guard of Blacks by the Moorish Emperor, also triumphantly prove the martial nature of the negro race. But the negro has signally displayed the military qualities of coolness and courage in many instances, two or three of which I shall here take the liberty of mentioning, in connexion with the affairs of Algeria.

Mr. Lord relates, on the authority of the French, that, when the invading army invested Fort de l’Empereur, and had silenced all its guns, the Dey ordered the Turkish General to retreat to the Kasbah, and leave three negroes to blow up the fort. It seemed, therefore, abandoned, but two red flags floated still on its outward line of defence, and a third on the angle towards the city. The French continued all their efforts towards effecting a practicable breach. Three negroes were now seen calmly walking on the ramparts, and from time to time looking over as if examining the progress of the breach. One of them, struck by a cannonball, fell; and the others, as if to avenge his death, ran to a cannon, pointed it, and fired three shots. At the third, the gun turned over, and they were unable to replace it. They tried another, and as they were in the act of raising it, a shot swept the legs from under one of them. The remaining negro gazed for a moment on his comrade, drew him a little aside, left him, and once more examined the breach. He then snatched one of the flags, and retired to the interior of the tower. In a few minutes, he re-appeared, took a second flag and descended. The French continued their cannonade, and the breach appeared almost practicable, when suddenly they were astounded by a terrific explosion, which shook the whole ground as with an earthquake. An immense column of smoke, mixed with streaks of flames, burst from the centre of the fortress; masses of solid masonry were hurled into the air to an amazing height, while cannon, stones, timbers, projectiles, and dead bodies were scattered in every direction. What was all this? The negro had done his duty — the fort was blown up!

In a skirmish near Mascara, one of Abd-el-Kader’s negro soldiers killed two Frenchmen with his own hand. The Emir, who was an eye-witness of his bravery, rewarded him on the field of battle by presenting him with his own sword and the Cross of the Crescent, the only military order in the service, and which is never awarded except fur a very distinguished action. Colonel Scott says the black was presented to him, and seemed as proud of the honour conferred on him as if he had been made a K.G.C.B.

In the strifes and disputes for succession that have characterized the history of the Barbary princes, and reddened their annals with blood, nothing has been more remarkable than the fidelity of the negroes to their respective masters, and the bravery with which they have defended them to the last hour of their reign or existence. When all his partisans have deserted a pretender, when the soldiers of the successful competitor to the throne have been in the act of pouncing upon the fallen or falling prince, a handful of brave followers has rushed to the rescue, and surrounded the person of their beloved leader, pouring out their life-blood in his defence — and these men were negroes! To use a vulgar metaphor, the negro will defend his master with the savage courage and tenacity of a bull-dog. And this is the principal reason which has induced the despotic princes of North Africa to cherish the negroes, of whom they have encouraged a continual supply from the interior.

The history of this Imperial Guard of Negroes is interesting, as showing the inconveniences as well as the advantage of such a corps, for these troops have not been always so well conducted as they are at present. At one time, the Shereefs claimed a species of sovereignty over the city of Timbuctbo and the adjacent countries. In the year 1727, Muley Ismail determined to re-people his wasted districts by a colony of negroes. His secret object was, however, to form a body guard to keep his own people in check, a sort of black Swiss regiment, so alike is the policy of all tyrants. In a few years, these troops exceeded 100,000 men. Finding their numbers so great, and their services so much needed by the Sultan, they became exigeant and rapacious, dictating to their royal master. Muley Abdallah was deposed six times by them. Finding their yoke intolerable, the Sultan decimated them by sending them to fight in the mountains. Others were disbanded for the same reasons by Sidi Mohammed. Still, the effect of this new colonization was beneficially experienced throughout the country. The Moors taking the black women as concubines, a mixed race of industrious people sprang up, and gave an impetus to the empire. It is questionable, however, if North Africa could he colonized by negroes. By mixing with the Caucasian race, this experiment partly succeeded. But in general, North Africa is too bleak and uncongenial for the negroes’ nature during winter. The negro race does not increase of itself on this coast. Their present number is kept up by a continual supply of slaves. When this is stopped, coloured people will begin gradually to disappear.

It is unnecessary to tell my readers that the Shereefs are very sensitive on matters of religion; but an anecdote or two may amuse them. A French writer expatiating in true Gallic style, calls Morocco the “arrière-garde en Afrique of Islamism,” and “une de ses armées de réserve.” Indeed, the coasts and cities of Morocco are inundated with saints of every description and degree of sanctity. Morocco, in fact, is not only the classic land of Marabouts, but their home and haunt, and sphere of agitation. There are ten thousand Abd-el-Kaders and Bou Mazas all disputing authority with the High Priest, who sits on the green throne of the Shereefs. Sometimes they assume the character of demagogues, and inveigh against the rapacity and corruption of the court and government. At others they appear as prophets, prophets of ill, by preaching boldly the Holy war.

The French in Africa now furnish them with an everlasting theme of denunciation. From Morocco they travel eastwards, filling the Sahara and the Atlas with the odours of their holy reputation. So that religious light, like that of civilization, is now moving from the west — eastwards, instead of, as in times past, from the east — eastwards. The Maroquine Mahometans may be cited as a case in point. They find too frequently only the form of religion in the east, as we do in the eastern churches. They are beginning to assault Mecca as we have assaulted Jerusalem.

Now for an anecdote or two illustrative of the high state of orthodoxy professed by the Shereefs. Some time ago, a number of handkerchiefs were brought, or rather smuggled into Mogador, having printed upon them passages from the Koran. One of them got into the hands of the Emperor, who thinking the Christians were ridiculing the Sacred Book, ordered instanter all the cities of the coast to be searched to discover the offender who introduced them. Happily for the merchant he was not found out. His Highness commanded that all the handkerchiefs which were collected should be destroyed. When Mr. Davidson was at Morocco, he prescribed some Seidlitz water for the use of the Sultan, and placed on the sides of two bottles, containing the beverage, Arabic verses from the Koran. The Sultan was exceedingly exasperated at this compliment to his religion, and had it privately intimated to Mr. Davidson not to desecrate the Holy Book in that abominable manner. The latter then very prudently gave up to the minister all the printed verses he had brought with him, which were concealed from public view. But if some of these emperors are so rigid and scrupulous, there are others more liberal and tolerant.

Muley Suleiman was a great admirer of the European character, and was much attached to a Mr. Leyton, an English merchant. This merchant was one day riding out of the city of Mogador, when an old woman rushed at him, seized the bridle of his horse, and demanded alms. The merchant pushed her away with his whip. The ancient dame seeing herself so rudely nonsuited, went off screaming revenge; and although she had not had a tooth in her head for twenty long years, she noised about town that Mr. Leyton had knocked two of her teeth out, and importuned the Governor to obtain her some pecuniary indemnification.

His Excellency advised Mr. Leyton to comply, and get rid of the annoyance of the old woman. He resolutely refused, and the Governor was obliged to report the case to the Emperor, as the old lady had made so many partisans in Mogador as to threaten a disturbance. His Imperial Highness wrote a letter to the merchant, condescendingly begging him to supply the old woman with “two silver teeth,” meaning thereby to give her a trifling present in money. Mr. Leyton, being as obstinate as ever, was ordered to appear before the Emperor at Morocco. Here the resolute merchant declared that he had not knocked the teeth out of the old woman’s head, she had had none for years, and he would not be maligned even in so small a matter.

The Emperor was at his wits’ end, and endeavoured to smooth down the contumacious Leyton, to save his capital from insurrection; imploring him to comply with the Lex talionis, 19 and have two of his teeth drawn if he was inflexibly determined not to pay. The poor Emperor was in hourly dread of a revolution about this tooth business, and at the same time he knew the merchant had spoken the truth. Strange to say, Mr. Leyton at last consented to lose his teeth rather than his money. However, on the merchant’s return from the capital to Mogador, to his surprise, and no doubt to his satisfaction, he found that two ship-loads of grain had been ordered to be delivered to him by the Emperor, in compensation for the two teeth which he had had punched out to satisfy the exigencies of the Empire.

13 Some time since, when the French Government were anxious to get supplies of grain from the Levant, for the north of France, they sent steamers to the Straits, to be ready to tow the vessels through, an example worthy of imitation, in other times besides seasons of famine.

14 This conduct of Roman Catholic sailors has often been noticed. Mahometans do the same, and resign themselves to fate, i.e., make no effort to save themselves; the only difference is, they are less noisy, and more sullen in their spiritless resignation.

15 The entrance to the port of Mogador, however, is difficult to all seamen. We were besides in the depth of winter. The Prince de Joinville describes his mishaps during the height of summer, or in August, when placing his vessels in position before the town. He says in his report of the bombardment: “New difficulties, and of more than one kind awaited us. For four days, the violence of the wind and the roughness of the sea prevented us from communicating with one another. Anchored upon a rocky bottom, our anchors and cables broke, and the loss of them deprived us of resources which were indispensable in order to obtain our object. Some vessels had only one chain and one anchor. We could not think of maintaining ourselves before Mogador under sail. The violence of the currents and of the gale, would probably have carried us too far, and we should have lost the opportunity of acting. Besides, in causing the steamers to get to proceed with us, they would have consumed their fuel, and in leaving them by themselves they would be exposed to run short of provisions and water. It was therefore necessary to remain at anchor. At last, the wind abated, and there remained of the hurricane of the preceding days, a considerable swell from N.N.W. Then the vessels were tormented by the swell, and became ungovernable.”

16 The Ancient Numidians rode without saddle or bridle They were celebrated as the “reinless” Numidians —

“Numidæ infraeni.” — (Ænaid, iv., 41.)

We are aware that another meaning to infraeni has been given, that of “indomitable;” but the peculiarity of these horsemen riding without reins is the usual rendering. But ordinarily, the modern Moorish cavalry is very comfortably mounted. Their saddles, with high backs, are as commodious as a chair. The large, broad, shovel-stirrups enable the rider to stand upright as on terra firma, whilst the sharp iron edges of the stirrups goring the ribs of the poor animal, serve as spurs. These lacerating stirrups are tied up short to the saddle, and the knees of the rider are bent forwards in a very ungainly manner. Nevertheless, the barb delights in the “powder play” as much as his master, and —

“Each generous steed to meet the play aspires,
And seconds, with his own, his master’s fires;
He neighs, he foams, he paws the ground beneath,
And smoke and flame his swelling nostrils breathe.”

17 The fire of the Barbary horse is generally known, but few reflect upon the power of endurance which this animal possesses. I have known them to go without water for two or three days when crossing the Desert, during which time they will only receive a small measure of corn or a few dates. On the coast, they are driven hard a long day, sweating, and covered with foam, their sides bleeding from the huge sharp-edged stirrups. Without the slightest covering, they are left out the whole night, and their only evening meal is a little chopped barley-straw.

Our European horses would perish under such circumstances, and the French have lost the greater part of the horses they imported from France for the cavalry. But this hard fare keeps down the fiery spirit of these stallion barbs, otherwise they would be unmanageable. When turned out to grass, they soon become wild. Crossing a field one day, mounted, I was set upon by a troop of these wild, grazing horses, and was instantly knocked to the ground, where I lay stunned. A cavalry officer, who was riding with me, had only just time to escape, and saved himself by dismounting, and letting his horse go.

It was some hours before we could rescue the horses of our party from their wild mates, sporting and bounding furiously over the plains. The barb horses being all stallions (for the Moors consider it a crime to geld so noble an animal), the fiercest and most terrific battles ensue on a stud breaking loose from their pickets. These battles are always between strangers, for the barb is the most affectionate of horses, and if he is known to another, and become his mate, he will, as the Arabs say, “die to be with him.”

18 These trained bands of negroes call themselves Abeed–Sidi-Bokhari, from the patron saint whom they adopted on settling in Morocco, the celebrated Sidi–Bokhari, commentator on the Koran, and a native of Bokhara, as his name implies. His commentary is almost as much venerated as the Koran itself.

19 The lex talion is frequently enforced in North Africa.

Chapter 5

Several visits from the Moors; their ideas on soldiers and payment of public functionaries. — Mr. Cohen and his opinion on Maroquine Affairs. — Phlebotomising of Governors, and Ministerial responsibility. — Border Travels of the Shedma and Hhaha tribes. — How the Emperor enriches himself by the quarrels of his subjects. — Message from the Emperor respecting the Anti–Slavery Address. — Difficulties of travelling through or residing in the Interior. — Use of Knives, and Forks, and Chairs are signs of Social Progress. — Account of the periodic visit of the Mogador Merchants to the Emperor in the Southern Capital.

I received several visits from the Moors. As a class of men, they are far superior in civility and kindness to the Moorish population of Tangier. So much for the foolish and absurd stories about the place, which tell us that it is the only city of the Empire in which Christians can live with safety and comparative comfort. These tales must have been invented to please the Tangier diplomatists. The contrary is the fact, for, whilst the Moors of Tangier consist of camel drivers and soldiers, there are a good number of very respectable native merchants in Mogador; nevertheless, a large portion of the population is in the pay of government as militia, to keep in check the tribes of the neighbouring provinces; but their pay is very small, and most of them do a little business; many are artizuns and common labourers. As a specimen of their ordinary conversation, take the following.

Moors. — “All the people of Morocco are soldiers; what can the foreigner do against them? Morocco is one camp, our Sultan is one, we have one Prophet, and one God.”

Traveller. — “In our country we do not care to have so many soldiers. We have fewer than France, and many other countries; but our soldiers do not work like yours; they are always soldiers, and fight bravely.”

Moors. — “We don’t understand; how wonderful! the French must conquer you with more soldiers.”

Traveller. — “We have more ships, and our principal country is an island; the sea surrounds us, and defends us.”

Moors. — “How much pay has the Governor of Gibraltar?”

Traveller. — “About 20,000 dollars per annum.”

Moors. — “Too much; why, the Koed of Mogador is obliged, instead of receiving money, to send the Emperor, at a day’s notice, 20, or 30,000 dollars! or if he does not pay, he is sent to prison at once; his head is not the value of a slave’s.”

It appears that the old governor (who is now in Morocco) positively refuses any salary or presents; his Excellency is a man of some small property, and finds this plan answers best. He will not be fattened and bled as the Emperor treats other governors. He politely hinted this to the Emperor when he accepted office; since then, he has resolutely refused all presents from the merchants, so that the Emperor has no excuse whatever for bleeding him under the pretext that he is afflicted with a plethora, from his exactions on the people. The moneys referred to by the Moors are the custom dues, which are collected by a separate department, and transmitted direct, to the Emperor.

Whilst residing at Mogador, Mr. Cohen arrived from Morocco, where he had been with the merchants. He is the English Jew who assisted Mr. Davidson in his travels through Morocco. His experience in Maroquine affairs is considerable, and I shall offer his conclusions concerning the present state of the Empire. I prefer, indeed, giving the opinion of various residents or natives of the country to our own. Mr. Cohen’s ideas will be found to differ exceedingly from that of the (Imperial) merchants, who, in point of fact, are not free men, and cannot be trustworthy witnesses. As Mr. Elton justly observed, the Europeans are so much involved with the Emperor, that they are almost obliged to consent publicly to the violent death of the unfortunate Jew, Dorman, although he was under the French protection, and likewise a kind of vice-consul.

Mr. Cohen says — “the people of Morocco are tired of their government, tired of being pillaged of their property, tired of the insecurity and uncertainty of their possessions; that is to say, of the few things which still remain in their hands.” Mr. Cohen goes so far as to say — that, were a strong European power to be established on the coast, the entire population would flock to its support. He gives the following instance of the style and manner in which the Emperor bleeds the governors of provinces.

A few years ago, a governor of Mogador presented himself to the Sultan of Fez. He was received with all due honours. The governor then begged leave to return to Morocco. He was dismissed with great demonstrations of friendship. He arrived at Morocco, and the governor of that city immediately informed him that he was his prisoner, the Sultan having a claim against him, of 40,000 dollars. At length, the poor dupe of royal favour obtained permission to go back to Mogador and to sell all he had, in order to make up the sum of 40,000 dollars.

This is the way in which things are managed there. Of Maroquine policy, Mr. Cohen says, “That when the Sultan finds himself in a scrape, he gives way, though slightly dilatory at first. So long as he sees that he does not commit himself, or is not detected, he does what he likes with his own and other people’s likewise, to the fullest extent of his power. But on any mishap befalling him, Muley Abd Errahman, whenever he can, always shifts the responsibility upon his ministers, and if one of them gives his advice, and the course taken therein does not succeed, woe be to the unhappy functionary!”

Some years ago, a number of troops rebelled against the Emperor. At the instance of the prime minister, Ben Dris, they were pardoned; but, instead of receiving gratefully this imperial mercy, the troops broke out afresh in rebellion, which, with great difficulty, was quelled by the Sultan. This, however, being accomplished, he called the prime minister before him, and thus addressed the amazed vizier.

“Now, Sir, receive four hundred bastinadoes for your pains, and pay me 30,000 ducats; you will then take care in future how you give me advice.” Nevertheless, Ben Dris still remained vizier, and continued so till his death. Bastinadoing a minister in Morocco is, however, much the same as a forced resignation, or the dismissal of a minister in Europe. Doubtless Ben Dris thought himself surprisingly lucky that the Emperor did not cut off his head.

It was the late Mr. Hay’s opinion, that Muley Abd Errahman was a good man, but surrounded with bad advisers. The probability seems rather, that he took all the credit of the good acts of his advisers, and flung on them the odium of all the bad acts committed by himself, as many other despotic sovereigns have often done before him.

With regard to the disaffection of the people, as alleged by Mr. Cohen, its verification is of great importance to us, and our appreciation of it equally so.

We might be counting upon the resistance of the Maroquines against an invasion of the French, and find, to our astonishment, the invaders received as deliverers from the exactions and tyrannies of the Shereefian oppressor. The fact is, Morocco will never be able to resist the progress of nations any more than China, especially since she has got the most restless people in the world for her neighbours. Besides, during the last thirty years, many of the Maroquines have visited Europe, and their eyes are becoming opened, the film of Moorish fanaticism has fallen off; even on their aggressive neighbours, they see the exercise of a government less rapacious than their own, and more security of life and property. Still, the Emperor will use every means to build up a barrier against innovation.

Just at this time, a rekos (courier) arrived from Mr. Willshire (now at Morocco), bringing letters in answer to those which I had addressed to him, touching my visit to the Emperor. He writes that he had “already received orders from His Imperial Majesty respecting the object of my mission,” which words give me uneasiness, as they are evidently unfavourable to it, and consequently to my journey to Morocco.

There is a misunderstanding between the provinces of Shed ma and Hhaha. These districts adjoin Mogador, the city belonging to Hhaha. Shedma is mostly lowland and plains, and Hhaha highlands and mountains, which form a portion of the south-western Atlas, and strike down into the sea at Santa Cruz. There seems to be no other reason for those frequent obstinate hostilities on both sides, except the nature of the country. It is lamentable to think, because “a narrow frith” divides two people, or because one lives in the mountains and the other in the plains, that therefore they should be enemies for ever! Strange infatuation of poor human nature.

Here the feud legend babbles of revenge, and says that, in the time of Muley Suleiman, one day when the Hhaha people were at prayers at Mogador, during broad day light, the Shedma people came down upon them and slaughtered them, and, whilst in the sacred and inviolable act of devotion, entered the mosques and pillaged their houses. This produced implacable hatred between them, which is likely to survive many generations; but the story was told me by a Hhaha man, and not improbably the people of Shedma had some plausible reason for making this barbarous attack.

Even before this piece of treachery of one Mussulman towards another at the hour of prayer, the feuds seemed to have existed. It is a remarkable circumstance in the history of Islamism, that many of the most treacherous and sanguinary actions of Mahometans have been committed within the sacred enclosures of the mosques, and at the hour of prayer. One of the caliphs having been assassinated in a mosque, seems to have been the precedent for all the murders of the kind which have followed, and indelibly disgrace the Mussulman annals.

These Hhaha and Shedma people are also borderers, and fight with the accustomed ferocity of border tribes.

Their conflicts are very desultory, being carried on by twos and threes, or sixes and sevens, and with sticks, and stones, and other weapons, if they cannot get knives, or matchlocks. Meanwhile, the Emperor folds his arms, and looks on superbly and serenely. When the two parties are exhausted, or have had enough of it for the present; his Imperial Highness then interferes, and punishes both by fine. Indeed, it pays him better to pursue this course; for, instead of spending money in the suppression of factious insurrections, he gains by mulcting both parties. The Sultan, in fact, not only aggrandizes himself by the quarrels of his own subjects, but he profits by the disputes between the foreign consuls and his governors.

The imbroglio which took place some years since, between the Governor of Mogador and the French Consul, M. Delaporte, is sufficiently characteristic. An Algerine Mussulman, who was of course a French subject, behaved himself very indecent, by setting all the usual rules of Mahometan worship at defiance. This was a great scandal to the Faithful. The Governor of Mogador, in defiance of religion, took upon himself to punish a French Mussulman. The French Consul remonstrated strongly in presence of the Governor, almost insulting him before his people. The Sultan approved the conduct of his governor. The Consul General decided that both parties ought to be removed, and the French Government recalled their vice-consul. The Sultan, promised, but did not dismiss his Governor, or rather the Governor himself would not be dismissed. The French reiterated their complaints, which were supported by a small squadron sent down to Mogador. The Governor was now cashiered, and was besides obliged to pay the Emperor a fine of thirteen thousand dollars, upon the pretext of appeasing the offended Majesty of his royal master. So the Sultan always makes money by the misadventures of his subjects. To indemnify the poor Governor for his fine, he received soon after another appointment. On his return from Morocco, having waited upon Mr Wiltshire regarding the presentation of the Petition of the Anti–Slavery Society, the Vice–Consul explained the great difficulty the Emperor had in receiving a petition which called for an organic change in the social condition of the country, and that, indeed, the abolition of slavery was “contrary to his religion.” I then represented to Mr. Willshire the propriety at least of waiting for the arrival of the Governor of Mogador from Morocco, in order to have a personal interview with him, to which the Vice–Consul acceded.

The difficulties of travelling through Morocco; and of residing in the inland towns have been already mentioned.

In further proof, Mr. Elton related that, whilst the merchants visited the Emperor in the, southern capital, a watch-maker, a European and a Christian, asked permission of the Minister to dwell in the quarter of the Moors, instead of that of the Jews, in which latter the Europeans usually reside.

The Minister replied, “you may live there if you like, but you must have ten soldiers to guard you.” Such a reply from the Minister, and whilst the merchants were protected by the presence of the Emperor himself, is all conclusive as to the insecurity attached to Europeans in the interior towns.

Morocco itself is a city of profound gloom, where the Moor indulges to the utmost his taciturn disposition, and melancholy fatalism. It is, therefore, not an enchanting abode for Europeans, who, whilst there waiting on the Emperor, are obliged constantly to ride about to preserve their health, or they would die of the suffocating stench in the Jew’s millah, or quarter. But, in taking this equestrian exercise, they are not unfrequently insulted. An ungallant cavalier deliberately stopped Mrs. Elton by riding up against her.

The lady spurred her horse and caught with her feet a portion of his light burnouse, dragging it away. He was only prevented riding after and cutting her down, by one of the Emperor’s secretaries, who was passing by at the time.

Mr. Elton had a fine black horse to ride upon. The populace were so savage at seeing an infidel mounted upon so splendid an animal, that they hooted: “Curse you, Infidel! dismount you dog!”

These instances shew the sauciness of the vulgar, and are a fair example of the conduct of the Moors. I am told by Barbary Jews, it would be next to impossible for a Christian to walk without disguise in broad daylight at Fez. Not so much from the hostility of the populace, as from their indecent and vehement curiosity. However, in these cases, I am obliged to give the testimony of others. Mr. Cohen, when travelling through the interior, assumes the character of a quack doctor, the best passport in all these countries. Practising as he goes, he manages to get enough to bear his charges on the way.

Oliver Goldsmith piped, but in Morocco the traveller and stranger physics his way. To Europeans, Mr. Cohen gives this advice — “Never to stay more than one night at any place.” “Mr. Davidson,” he says, “stopped so long at Wadnoun, that all the Desert, as far as Timbuctoo, heard of his projects and travels, and were determined to waylay and plunder him.”

But, on the contrary, with respect to my own experience in the Desert, the people appeared equally hostile or offended at my taking them by surprise. Desert travelling after all is mostly an affair of luck. Six travellers might be sent to Timbuctoo and three return, and three be murdered, and yet the three who were murdered might have been as prudent and as skilful as the three who were successful. The Maroquine Government often shew a perfect Chinese jealousy of Europeans travelling in the interior. When Doctor Willshire, brother of the Consul, returned from Morocco, the Government gave orders that “he should be taken directly to Mogador, and not be allowed to turn to the right hand or to the left, to collect old stones or herbs.” This lynx-eyed government imagined they saw in Doctor Willshire’s botanical and mineralogical rambles, a design of spying out the powers and resources of the country.

The consentaneous progress of Morocco in the universal movement of the age, is argued by the merchants from an increased use of chairs, and knives and forks. Some years ago, scarcely a knife and fork, or a chair was to be found in this part of Morocco. Now, almost every house in the Jewish quarter has them. The Jew of Barbary can use them with less scruple than the orthodox Tory Moor, who sets his face like flint against all changes, because his European brethren adopt them. Many innovations of this domestic sort are introduced from Europe into North Africa through the instrumentality of native Jews. Tea has become an article Of universal consumption. It is, indeed, the wine of the Maroquine Mussulmen. 20 Even in remote provinces, amongst Bebers and Bedouins, the most miserable looking and living of people the finest green tea is to be found.

You enter a miserable looking hut, when you are amazed by the hostess unlocking an old box, and taking out a choice tea service, cups, saucers, tea-pot, and tea-tray, often of white china with gilt edges. These, after use, are always kept locked up, as objects of most precious value. The sugar is put in the tea-pot, and the Moors and Jews usually drink their tea so sweet that it may be called syrup. But if any lady tries the plan of melting the sugar while the tea is brewing in the tea-pot, she will find the tea so prepared has acquired a different, and not disagreeable flavour.

Morocco has its fashions and manias as well as Europe. House building is now the rage. They say it is not so easy for the Sultan to fleece the people of their property when it consists of houses. Almost every distinguished Moor in the interior has built, or is building himself a spacious house. This mania is happily a useful one, and must advance the comfort and sanitary improvement of the people. It is as good as a Health of Towns Bill for them.

The merchants having all returned from Morocco, I shall give some account of their visit to the Emperor. The ancient rule of imperial residence was, that the Sultan should sojourn six months in Fez, and six months in Morocco, the former the northern, and the latter the southern capital. This is not adhered to strictly, the Emperor taking up his abode at one capital or the other, and sometimes at Micknos, according to his caprice. He never fails, however, to visit Morocco once a year, on account of its neighbourhood to Mogador, his much loved, and beautiful commercial city. The Emperor himself, before his accession to the throne, was the administrator of the customhouse of this city, where he has acquired his commercial tastes and habits of business, which he has cultivated from the very commencement of his reign. When the Emperor resides in the South, he receives visits from the merchants of Mogador. These visits are imperative on the merchants, if they are his imperial debtors, or even if they wish to maintain a friendly feeling with his government. Upon an average, the visits or deputations of merchants, take place every three or four years; more frequently they cannot well be, because they cost the merchants immense sums in presents, each often giving to the value of three or four thousand dollars. In return, they receive additional and prolonged credits.

The number of Imperial merchants is about twenty, three of whom are Englishmen, Messrs. Willshire, Elton, and Robertson. Most of the rest are Barbary Jews. 21

There is a Belgian merchant who did not go with these. This gentleman, owing nothing to the Emperor, preferred to pay duty on shipping his merchandize, on which by payment of ready money, he gets 25 per cent discount. This plan, however, does not enable him to compete with the Imperial merchants, whose duties accumulate till they are years and years in arrear. And when these arrears have gone on increasing till there is no chance of payment, the Emperor, in order to keep up his firms of enslaved merchants, will rather remit half or more of the debt, in consideration of a handsome present, than encourage merchants to make ready money payments. The largest debt owing by a single firm, is that of a native Jew, viz., 250,000 dollars. The amount of the debt of the united Mogador merchants is more than one million and a half of dollars. The usual course of the merchants is to pay the debt off by monthly instalments.

As an instance of the Emperor’s straining a point to keep solvent one of his mercantile firms, on the occasion of the visit of the merchants to Morocco, his Imperial Highness lent the house of Hasan Joseph (Jews) 10,000 dollars in hard cash, which, to my knowledge, were paid to them out of the coffers of the Mogador custom-house. This was certainly an instance of magnanimous generosity on the part of Muley Abd Errahman. But the Emperor’s genius is mercantile, and he is determined to support his Imperial traders; and his conduct, after all, is only the calculation of a raiser.

It must be mentioned, however, to the honour of Mr. Elton, that on the bombardment of Mogador, he and his lady were allowed to leave at once, having paid up all their government debt. Indeed, the governor of that place, was always accustomed to say to the collector of the returns of the monthly payment of instalments: “Now, go first to Mrs. Elton; she will be sure to have the money ready for you. And we must have money to-day from some of the merchants.” On another occasion, his Excellency called the lady of Mr. Elton, “the best man amongst the merchants.” Mrs. Elton, being a vivacious, energetic lady, was often called “the woman of the Christians.”

The following are the stations at which the merchants stop from Mogador to Morocco, to visit the Emperor.

1st. Emperor’s Gardens; five hours from Mcgador, where are some fine fig trees, and a spring.

2nd. Aïn Omas.

3rd. Seeshouar.

4th. Wad Enfes.

The country, for the first two days, is beautifully rural, scattered over with noble Argan forests, on the third and fourth days, the journey is through plains and an open country. On the second day, after leaving Mogador, you obtain a distinct view of the great Atlas range at the back of Morocco; on the fifth, as you approach the capital, the country is overspread with wild date-palms, palmettos, or dwarf palms. The view of

“Towering Atlas that supports the sky,”

now stands forth, vaster and more magnificent as you approach the capital, and is the only feature of surpassing interest on the journey; but it suffices to absorb all the attention of the traveller. As he gazes on the giant mountain, which seems to support with its huge rocky arms the frame-work of the skies, its head covered with everlasting snow, he forgets the fatigue of his painful route under an African sun; and, lost in pious musings, adores the Omnipotent being who laid the foundation of this solid buttress.

Halfway is called “the Neck of the Camel,” where there is a well in the midst of a scene extremely desert and dreary. Here all the donkeys of the party of merchants died from want of water. The water of this well is not permitted to be drunk by animals, in obedience to the solemn Testament of the Saint who dug it. The poor horses and mules were tied close up to the well, looking wistfully at the water when drawn for the biped animals, and snuffing the scent; but they were not allowed to taste a drop. Two horses broke loose and fought, their combat being aggravated by thirst, “See!” cried the Moors to the merchants, “the Saint is angry with you for having wished to give his water to horses.”

Our merchants, however, in defiance of the Saint (this invisible enemy of the lower creation) and of his supporters, got a supply of water, which during the night, and en marche the next day, they distributed to their steeds. The accommodation on the way, and at the capital is very bad, even the waiting-room near the palace, appropriated to the Christians, is but an old dilapidated shed, with one of its sides knocked out, or never filled in. “Everything,” say our merchants, “is going to rack and ruin in the capital. The Emperor will not even repair his palaces, or the jealousies in which he keeps his women; money is his only pursuit and his God.”

Their residence in the capital was very disagreeable, all being cooped up in the Jews’ quarter, and obliged to subsist on victuals cooked by these people, which made certain of them unwell, for some of the Barbary Jew’s food is very indigestible.

The presentation of the merchants to the Emperor was conducted as follows: At nine in the morning, they were admitted into a garden in presence of about two thousand imperial guards, all drawn up in file, looking extremely fierce. Passing these bearded warriors, they were conducted into a large square lined with buildings, where, after waiting about five minutes, the gate of the palace was suddenly thrown open, and the Emperor rode out superbly mounted on a white horse, followed on foot by a group of courtiers. His Imperial Highness was attended by the Governor of Mogador, who walked by his side.

The first persons presented to the Shereefian lord were the officials of Mogador, who were introduced by the Governor of that city; afterwards came some Moorish grandees; then the Christians were presented, and finally the Jewish merchants. The latter were introduced by the Governor of Mogador, the Jews taking off their shoes as they passed before the Emperor. One passed at a time, with his cadeau behind him, carried by an attendant Jew. As the merchants moved on, his Imperial Highness asked their names, and condescended to thank each of them separately for his offering.

The merchants carried in their hand, an invoice of their respective presents, and gave it to the Governor, for the articles on their delivery are not exposed before the eyes of the Sultan. To open the budget would be a breach of good breeding, and would shock the Imperial modesty.

Fifteen merchants were introduced, and the ceremony of presentation lasted about twenty minutes; this being concluded, the merchants were permitted to perambulate the gardens of the Emperor, and to pluck a little fruit. They were afterwards delayed a fortnight, waiting to present a cadeau to the Emperor’s eldest son. Such are the details of this journey, which I got from the merchants themselves. Mr. Willshire, being a consul and great customer of his Imperial Highness, also received a gift of a horse in exchange. The united value of the presents to the Emperor, on this occasion, was fifty thousand dollars, which amply indemnifies him for his money-lending, and the credit that he gives. They consisted principally of articles of European manufactures. His Imperial Highness afterwards sells them to his subjects on his own account. Of course, amongst this mass of presents, there are many nice things such as tea, sugar, spices, essences &c., for his personal comfort and luxury, as well as for his harem, besides articles of dress and ornament.

It will not be out of place here, to give a brief account of the commerce of Morocco. In doing so, we must take into consideration the prodigious quantity of imports and exports, of which there are no statistics in the Imperial custom-houses, and no consular returns. Let us estimate the population of Morocco at its general compensation of eight millions, and suppose that each spends a dollar per annum in the purchase of European manufactures. This will raise the value of imports at once to eight millions of dollars per annum. It is notorious that the contraband trade of Tangier, and Tetuan, and the northern coast generally doubles or trebles the commerce that passes through the customhouse; but the legal trade is not well ascertained.

Mr. Hay once sent, I believe, to the Agent of Mogador, a list of questions to be answered by the consular department. The gentleman, who was an unsalaried vice-consul, appalled at the number of interrogatories, immediately replied, “That he had his own business to attend to; he could not sit down to compose consular returns, which would require weeks of labour; and if it were considered part of his duties to answer such questions, he begged to resign at once his vice-consulship.”

As to the Barbary Jews, who have charge of some of the vice-consulates, they are necessarily incapacitated, by reason of their want of education, for such an employment. It is, therefore, hopeless to attempt to give any accurate account of the commerce of Morocco, I can only annex a few details of those things of which we are actually cognizant.

Whatever may be said of the indolent habits of the Moors, they were once, and still are, a commercial people. Spain, the neighbour of Morocco, still feels the loss of the Moors. They were the really industrious classes settled in Spain. The merchants, the artists, the operatives, and agriculturists unfortunately have left behind them few inheriting their habits of perseverance. Little, indeed, can be expected in Spain, where the maxim is adopted, that “nobility may lie dormant in a servant, but becomes extinct in a merchant.” Spain lost upwards of three millions of intelligent and industrious Moors, a shock she will never recover.

The bombardment of a commercial city of this country would not do the injury which is commonly imagined. The ports are numerous though not very good. A single house or shed on the beach of Mogador, or Tangier, is a sufficient custom-house for the Moors. There are no great deposits of goods on the coast, for as soon as the camels bring their loads of exports, these are shipped, and the camels immediately return to the interior, laden with imported goods or manufactures.

Mogador is the great commercial depôt of the Atlantic coast, and therefore “the beautiful Ishweira, the beloved town,” of Muley Abd Errahman. Its trade is principally, however, with the south, the provinces of Sous and Wadnoun, and the Western Sahara. Mogador is also the bona-fide port of the southern capital of Morocco. Two-thirds of the commerce of Mogador is carried on with England, the rest is divided among the other nations of Europe; but of this third, I should think France has one half. The port of Mogador has usually some half-a-dozen vessels lying in it, but from twenty to thirty have been seen there. They are usually sixty days discharging and taking in cargo. Each vessel pays forty dollars port-dues, which must press very heavily upon small vessels, but it is seldom that a vessel of less than one hundred tons is seen at Mogador. The grand staple exports are only two, gum and almonds; upon the sale of these, the commercial activity of this city entirely depends. English vessels come directly from London, the French from Marseilles; but so badly is this commerce managed that, at the present time, Morocco produce is higher in Mogador than it is in London or Marseilles; for instance, Morocco almonds are cheaper in London than Mogador.

Mazagan, and some few other ports, export produce direct to Europe, but Tangier is the next commercial port of the empire. There is an important trade in manufactures and provisions carried on between Tangier and Gibraltar. The Fez merchants have resident agents in Gibraltar. Curious stories are told of Maroquine adventurers leaving Tangier and Fez as camel-drivers and town-porters, and then assuming the character and style of merchants in Gibraltar, throwing over their shoulders a splendid woollen burnouse, and folding round their heads a thoroughly orthodox turban in large swelling folds of milk-white purity.

In this way, they will walk through the stores of Gibraltar, and obtain thousands of dollars’ worth of credit. The merchant-emperor found it necessary to put a stop to this, and promulgated a decree to the effect, that “he would not, for the future, be responsible for the debts of any of his subjects contracted out of his dominions.”

This was aimed at these trading adventurers, and the decree was transmitted to the British Consul, who had it published in the Gibraltar Gazette while I was staying in that city. Up to this time, the Emperor, singularly enough, had made himself responsible for all the debts of his subjects trading with Gibraltar.

The trade in provisions at Tangier is most active, bullocks, sheep, butcher’s meat, fowls, eggs, game and pigeons, grain and flour, &c., are daily shipped from Tangier to Gibraltar. The garrison and population of Gibraltar draw more than two-thirds of their provisions from this and other northern parts of Morocco.

This government speculates in and carries on commerce; and, like most African and Asiatic governments, has had its established monopolies from time immemorial, of some of which it disposes, whilst it reserves others for itself, as those of tobacco, sulphur, and cochineal. All the high functionaries engage in commerce, and this occupation of trade and barter is considered the most honourable in the empire, sanctioned as it is by the Emperor himself, who may be considered as the chief of merchants. The monopolies are sold by public auction at so much per annum. On its own monopolies, government, as a rule, exacts a profit of cent per cent.

The following is a list of the monopolies which the Emperor sells, either to his own employers or to native and foreign merchants.

1. Leeches. — This is one of the most recently established monopolies, dating only about twenty years back. The trade in leeches was set on foot by Mr. Frenerry; it brought, at first, but a few dollars per annum, and now the monopoly is sold for 50,000. Leeches are principally found in the lakes of the north-west districts, called the Gharb.

2. Wax. — This monopoly is confined almost exclusively to the markets of Tangier and El–Araish. It sold, while I was in the country, for three thousand dollars.

3. Bark. — This is a monopoly of the north, principally of the mountainous region of Rif. It is farmed for about sixteen thousand dollars.

4. The coining of copper money. — The right of coining money in the name of the Emperor, is sold for ten thousand dollars to each principal city. It is a dangerous privilege to be exercised; for, should the alloy be not of a quality which pleases the Emperor, or the particular governor of the city, the unfortunate coiner is forthwith degraded, and his property confiscated. Indeed, the coiner sometimes pays for his negligence, or dishonesty, with his head.

5. Millet, and other small seeds. — This monopoly at Tangier is sold for five hundred dollars. The price varies in other places according to circumstances.

6. Cattle. — The cattle exported from Tetuan, Tangier, and El–Araish, for the victualling of Gibraltar, is likewise a monopoly; it amounted during my stay to 7,500 dollars. In consequence of an alleged treaty, but which does not exist on paper, the Emperor of Morocco has bound himself to supply our garrison of Gibraltar with 2,000 head of cattle per annum, 1,500 of which must be shipped from Tangier, the rest from other parts of the Gharb, or north-west. British contractors pay five dollars per head export duty, the ordinary tax is ten. It is estimated, however, that some three or four thousand head of cattle are annually exported from Morocco for our garrison. The Gibraltar Commissariat contractors complain, and with reason, that the Maroquine monopolist supplies the British Government with “the very worst cattle of all Western Barbary.”

These monopolies do not interfere with the custom-house, which levies its duties irrespectively of them. Leeches pay an export duty of 2s. 9d. the thousand; wax pays an ad valorem duty of fifty per cent; bark pays a very small duty, and millet scarcely a penny per quintal.

Independently of these monopolies, there are exports of merchandise of a special character, and requiring a special permission from the Sultan, such as grains and beasts of burden; and, if we may be permitted, bipeds, or Jews and Jewesses.

His Imperial Highness has absolute need of Jews to carry on the commerce of the country. No male adult Jew, or child, can leave the ports of Morocco, without paying four dollars customs duty. A Jewess must pay a hundred dollars. The reason of there being such an excessive export-duty on women is to keep them in the country, as a sort of pledge for the return of their husbands, brothers or fathers, in the event of their leaving for commercial or other purposes. Slaves are not exported from Morocco. Besides the payment of special impost on exportation, wool pays a duty of three dollars per quintal, and two pounds of powder when dirty, and double when washed. A bullock pays export duty ten dollars, and a sheep one. Sheepskins eight dollars the hundred, bullock-skins three dollars per quintal, and goat-skins the same. Of grain, wheat pays an export duty of three-fourths of a dollar per fanega, or about a quintal. Barley is not exported, there being scarcely enough for home consumption.

Horses are exported in small numbers, by special permission from the Emperor, A few years since when Spain threatened the frontier of Portugal, the English Government found it necessary to come to the aid of the latter country, and Mr. Frenerry was commissioned by our Government to purchase of the Emperor five hundred horses for Portugal.

His Imperial Highness called together his governors of cities, and shieks of provinces, and after a long debate, it was unanimously decided that so large a number of horses could not be sold to the Christians without danger to the empire, whilst also, the transaction would be contrary to the principles of Islamism.

Should an individual wish to export a single horse, he would have to pay sixty dollars, a duty which entirely amounts to a prohibition, many of the boasted beasts not being worth twenty dollars. A mule pays forty, and an ass five dollars. Mules are much dearer in Morocco and in other parts of Barbary than horses. Camels are rarely exported, and have no fixed import.

The Queen of Spain, some time ago, solicited the Sultan for four camels, and his Imperial Highness had the gallantry to grant the export free of duty.

There are several exports which are not monopolies. These are principally from the south. The following are some of them.

Ostrich feathers. — These are of three qualities; the first of which pays three dollars per pound, the second quality one and a half dollars, and the third, three-quarters of a dollar. Many feather merchants are now in Mogador visiting at the feasts of the Jews, who reside in Sous and Wadnoun, and have communications with all the districts of the Sahara.

Elephants’ teeth. — Ivory pays an export duty of ten per cent. During late years, both ivory and ostrich feathers have lost much of their value as articles of commerce.

Gums. — Gum-arabic pays two dollars per quintal export duty, and gum sudanic an ad valorem duty of ten per cent. But now-a-days only the very best gum will sell in English markets; the inferior qualities, as of all other Barbary produce, are shipped to Marseilles. One looks with extreme interest at the beautiful pellucid drops of Sudanic gum, knowing that the Arabs bring some of it from the neighbourhood of Timbuctoo.

Almonds. — Both the sweet and the bitter, in the shell, or the oil of almonds, pay three dollars per quintal. Ship-loads at once are exported from Mogador direct for Soudan.

Red woollen sashes are exported at five dollars per dozen. The Spaniards take a great quantity. Tanned skins, especially the red, or Morocco, are exported at ten per cent, ad valorem. Slippers pay a dollar the hundred. The haik or barracan is exported in great numbers to the Levant by the pilgrims. The vessels, also, that carry pilgrims from Morocco, return laden with these and other native manufactures. Barbary dried peas are exported principally to Spain, paying a dollar the quintal. Fez flour pays one dollar and a half per fanega; dates pay five dollars the quintal; fowls and eggs, the former two dollars per dozen, the latter two dollars per thousand; oranges and lemons pay a dollar the thousand.

Gold is brought from Soudan over the Desert, and is sometimes exported. I have no account of it, and never heard it mentioned in Morocco as an article of any importance.

Olive-oil is exported from the north, but not in great quantities. The amount exported in a recent year was about the value of £6,000 sterling. The olive is not so much cultivated in Morocco as in Tunis and Tripoli.

Besides the articles above mentioned, antimony, euphorbium, horns, hemp, linseed, rice, maize, and dra, orchella weed, orris-root, pomegranate peel, sarsaparilla, snuff, sponges, walnuts, garbanyos, gasoul, and mineral soap, gingelane, and commin seeds, &c., are exported in various quantities. 22

It was reported in the mercantile circles, that representations would be made to the Emperor to place the trade of the country upon a regular, and more stable footing. All nations, indeed, would benefit by a change which could not but be for the better. But I question whether his Imperial Highness will give up his old and darling system of being the sovereign-merchant of the Empire. It is not the interest of Great Britain to annoy him, for we have always to look at Gibraltar. But it would be desirable if Christian merchants could be found to undertake the duty, to have all the vice-consuls of the coast Christians, in preference to Jews. By having Jewish consuls, we place ourselves in a false position with the Emperor, who is obliged to submit to the prejudices of his people against Hebrews. British merchants ought to be allowed to visit their own vessels whilst in port, to superintend, or what not, the stowing or landing of their goods, as they are entitled to do by treaty. Spanish dollars are the chief currency in Morocco; but there are also doubloons and smaller gold coins. This currency, the merchants manage very badly. A doubloon loses sixteen pence, or four Maroquine ounces in exchange at Mogador, whilst at the capital of Morocco, three days’ journey from this, it passes for the same value it bears in Spain and Gibraltar.

As to the revenues of the Government of Morocco, our means of information are still more uncertain and conjectural, than those we possess regarding commerce. A French writer asserts, that the tithes upon land assigned by the Koran and the capitation tax on the Jews, produce from twenty to thirty million francs (or say about one million pounds sterling) per annum. This, perhaps, is too large a sum.

About a century ago, the revenues of Moocco were estimated at only £200,000 sterling per annum. But if Muley Abd Errahman has fifty millions of dollars, or ten millions sterling in the vaults of Mequinez, he may be considered as the richest monarch in Africa, nay in all Europe. It is positively stated that Muley Ismail left this amount, or one hundred millions of ducats in the imperial treasury, which Sidi Mahommed reduced to two millions. It may have been the great object of the life of the present Sultan to restore this enormous hoard. No country is rich or safe without a vast capital in hand as a reserve for times of trouble, war, or famine. But it is not necessary that such reserve should be in the hands of a government.

This, a Maroquine prince cannot comprehend, and he decides as to the riches and poverty of his country by the amount he possesses in his royal vaults.

In treating of trade, and comparing its exports with the peculiar products and manufactures of the cities and towns, hereafter to be enumerated, we may approximate to an idea of the resources of the Maroquine Empire, but everything is more or less deteriorated in this naturally rich country.

Cattle and sheep, grain and fruits, are of inferior quality, owing to the want of proper culture. No spontaneous growth is equal to culture, for such is the ordinance of Divine Providence. Half of this country is desert. The iron hand of despotic government presses heavily upon all industry. If we add to this defective state of culture, the miserably moral condition of the people, we have the unpleasant picture of an inferiority civilized race of mankind scattered over a badly cultivated region. Not all the magnificence of the glorious Atlas can reconcile such a prospect to the imagination. But, unhappily, Morocco does not constitute a very striking exception to the progress of civilization along the shores and in the isles of the Mediterranean. Many countries in Southern Europe are in a state little superior, and the Moorish civilization is almost on a par with that of the Grecian, Sicilian, or Maltese, and quite equal to Turkish advancement in the arts and sciences of the nineteenth century. The only real advantage of the Turks over the Moors consists in the improvements the former have made in the organization of the army. Whoever travels through Morocco, and will but open his eyes to survey its rich valleys and fertile plains, will be impressed with the conviction that this country, cultivated by an industrious population, and fostered by a paternal government, is capable of producing all the agricultural wealth of the north and the south of Europe, as well as the Tropics, and of maintaining its inhabitants in happiness and plenty.

20 Maroquine Moors drench you with tea! they guzzle sweet tea all day long, as the Affghans gulp down their tea, with butter in it, from morning to night.

21 Native Jews manage most of the business of the interior, and farm the greater part of the monopolies. But the Emperor must have some European merchants connected with these Jews to maintain the commercial relations of his country with Europe. The Jewish High Priest of Mogador is a merchant, it being considered no interference with his sacred functions.

22 See Appendix at end of Vol. II.

Chapter 6

Influence of French Consuls. — Arrival of the Governor of Mogador from the Capital; he brings an order to imprison the late Governor; his character, and mode of administering affairs. — Statue of a Negress at the bottom of a well. — Spanish Renegades. — Various Wedding Festivals of Jews. — Frequent Fetes and Feastings amongst the Jewish population of Morocco. — Scripture Illustration, “Behold the Bridegroom cometh!” — Jewish Renegades. — How far women have souls. — Infrequency of Suicides.

Notwithstanding the sarcasm of a French journalist that the French and other Europeans consuls are “consuls des jusifs, et pour la protection des jusifs,” the French consuls both here and at Tangier, have real power and influence with the Government.

The Governor of Mogador, Sidi Haj El–Arby, arrived from Morocco. His Excellency feared an attack from the Shedma and the Hhaha people, and was obliged to have a strong escort. Not long ago, the Sultan himself had a narrow escape from falling into the hands of a band of insurgents; their object was to make their lord-paramount a prisoner, and extort concessions as the price of his liberty. This will help us to form an opinion of the want of sympathy between potentate and subjects in Morocco.

His Excellency brought an order from the Imperial despot to imprison the late governor, if the balance of 6,000 dollars was not instantly forthcoming, he having only paid nine out of the 15,000 demanded. The late governor was confined in his house, instead of in the common prison. It was said he was worth 30,000 dollars, but that he was afraid to make too prompt a payment of the demand of the Emperor, lest he should be called upon for more. However, his furniture, horses, and mules were sold in the public streets; a melancholy spectacle was the degradation of a former governor of this city. 23

The Moors look upon these things as matters of course, or with indifference, quietly ejaculating, “It is destiny! who can resist?” but the Moor, nevertheless, can clearly discern that wealth is a crime in the eyes of their sovereign. I am not surprised at the present governor absolutely rejecting all presents, and making the people call him by the soubriquet of “the Governor of no presents,”

A short time after his appointment, a merchant having left his Excellency a present during his absence from home, was immediately summoned before him, when the following dialogue ensued:—

His Excellency. — “Sir, how dare you leave a present at my house?”

The Merchant. — “Other governors before your Excellency have received presents.”

His Excellency. — “I am a governor of no presents! How much do you owe the Sultan, my master?”

The Merchant. — “I— I— I— don’t know,” (hesitating and trembling)

His Excellency. — “Very well, when you owe the Sultan nothing, bring me a present, and take this away, and make known to everybody, that Haj El–Arby receives no presents.”

The fact is, the Governor knows what he is about. Were his Excellency to receive 16,000 dollars per annum as presents from the merchants of Mogador, the Sultan would demand of him 15,999; besides, there is not a merchant who makes a present that does not demand its value, a quid pro quo in the remission of custom-duties. Sidi–El-Arby is also a thorough diplomatist, so far as report goes; he promises anybody anything; he keeps all on the tiptoe of most blessed expectation, and so makes friends of everybody. “To his friend, Cohen,” he says, “I’ll take you back to my country with me, and make you rich; we are of the same country.” To Phillips, “You shall have a ship of your own soon.” To the merchants, “The Sultan shall lend you money whenever you want it.” To the Moors in general, “You shall have your taxes reduced.” In this way, his Excellency promises and flatters all, but takes very good care to compromise himself with none.

The frequented as well as the unfrequented spots are centres of superstition. In the Sahara, by a lonely well, in the midst of boundless sterility, where the curse on earth seems to have burnt blackest, a camel passes every night groaning piteously, and wandering about in search of its murdered master, so the tale was told me. Now, about two day’s journey from Mogador, there is also a well, containing within its dank and dark hollow a perpetual apparition. At its bottom is seen the motionless statue of a negress, with a variety of wearing materials placed beside her, all made of fine burnished gold, and so bright, that the dreary cavern of the deep well is illuminated. Whoever presumes to look down the well at her, and covets her shining property, is instantaneously seized with thirst and fever; and, if he does not expire at once, he never recovers from the fatal effects of his combined curiosity and avarice. People draw water daily from this well, but no one dare look down it.

Truth may be in this well! since there is a sad want of it on this, as on other parts of the world.

I was introduced to a Spanish renegade, a great many make their escape from the presidios of the North. On getting away from these convict establishments, they adopt the Mahometan religion, are pretty well received by the Maroquines, and generally pass the rest of their days tranquilly among the Moors. I imagine the better sort of them remain Christians at heart, notwithstanding their public assumption of Islamism. This renegade was a stonemason, whom I found at work, and he was not at all distinguishable by strangers from the Moors, being dressed precisely in the same fashion. I had some conversation with him, which was characteristic of conceit, feeling and honour.

Traveller — “How long have you escaped?”

Renegade. — “More than twenty years.”

Traveller. — “Do you like this country and the Moors?”

Renegade. — “Better is Marruécos than Spain.”

Traveller. — “Shall you ever attempt to return to Spain?”

Renegade. — “Why? here I have all I want. Besides, they would stretch my neck for sending a fellow out of the world without his previously having had an interview with his confessor.”

Traveller. — “Are you not conscience-stricken? having committed such a crime, how can you mention it?”

Renegade. — “Pooh, conscience! pooh, corazor!”

Many of those wretched men have indeed lost their corazor, or it is seared with a red-hot iron.

Some hundreds of these Spanish convicts are scattered over the country, but they soon lose their nationality. It is probable that, from some knowledge of them, the Emperor presumed lately to call the Spaniards “the vilest of nations,” and yet at various times, the Maroquines have shown great sympathy for the Spaniards. Some of these renegades were found at the Battle of Isly in charge of field-pieces, where, according to the French reports, they displayed great devotion to the cause of the Emperor.

When the governors of the convict settlements find too many on his hands, or the prisons too full, they let a number of their best conducted escape to the interior. The presence of those cut-throats in Morocco may have something to do with such broils as the following, of which I was a witness. Two fellows quarrelled violently, and were on the point of sticking one another with their knives, when up stepped a third party and cried out, “What! do you intend to act like Christians and kill one another?” At the talismanic word of Eusara (“Christians, or Nazareens,”) they instantly desisted and became friends. The term “Christian or Nazareen,” is one of the most oppobrious names with which the people of Mogador can abuse one another.

The weddings and attendant feasts of the Jews are the more remarkable, when we consider the circumstance of the social state of this oppressed race in Morocco, their precarious condition, and the numberless insults and oppressions inflicted on them by both the government and the people; I was present at several of these weddings, and shall give the readers a glimpse of them. I had read and heard a great deal about the persecution of the Jews in Morocco, and was, therefore, not a little surprised to meet with these continual feasts and festivals among a people so much talked about as victims of Mussulman oppression.

I find two sentences in my notes containing the pith of the whole. “The Jews continued their feasts; about a third of their time is spent in feasting.” Again — “Amidst all their degradation, the Jew we saw to-day recreating themselves to the utmost extent of their capacities of enjoyment.” It appears that during the time I was at Mogador there was an unusual number of weddings, and then followed the feast of the Passover. I think, whilst I was at Tangier, weddings or celebration of weddings were going on every night. It may be safely asserted, that no people in Barbary enjoy themselves more than the Jews, or more pamper and gratify their appetites. What with weddings, feasts, and obligatory festivals, their existence is one round of eating and drinking. These feasts, besides, do not take place in a corner, nor are they barricaded from public, or envious, or inquisitorial view, but are open to all, being attended by Christians, Moors and Arabs.

These wedding-feasts are substantial things. Here is the entry in my journal of an account of them: “A bullock was killed at the house of the bridegroom, tea and cakes and spirits were freely, nay universally distributed there. The company afterwards went off with the bridegroom to the house of the bride, where another distribution of the same kind took place, whilst half of the bullock was brought for the bride’s friends. Here the bridegroom, in true oriental style, mounted upon a couch of damask and gold. The bride, laden with bridal ornaments of gold and jewels, and covered with a gauze veil, was led out by the women and placed by his side. She was then left alone to sit in state as queen of the feast, whilst the company regaled themselves with every imaginable luxury of eating and drinking. Her future husband now produced, as a present for his bride, a splendid pair of jewelled ear-rings, which were held up amidst the screaming approbation of the guests. The Jewesses present, were weighed down under the dead weight of a profusion of jewels and gold, tiaras of pearls, necklaces of coral and gems, armlets, wristlets and legets of silver gold and jet, with gold and silver braided gowns, skirts and petticoats.

This fiesta was kept up for seven days. Astonished at the profusion of jewels worn by the various guests, I received a solution by a question I asked, touching this mavellous circumstance. The greater part of the jewels, worn on these occasions, are borrowed from friends and neighbours; they must belong to some of the Jewish families, and their quantity shews the great wealth possessed by the Jews living under this despotic government,

I assisted at the celebration of the nuptials of a portion of the family of the feather merchants, a rich and powerful firm established in the south for the purchase of ostrich-feathers.

This was a wedding of great éclat; all the native Jewish aristocracy of Mogador being invited to it. The festivities, beginning at noon, I first entered the apartment where the bride was sitting in state. She was elevated on a radiant throne of gold and crimson cushions amidst a group of women, her hired flatterers, who kept singing and bawling out her praises. “As beautiful as the moon is Rachel!” said one. “Fairer than the jessamine!” exclaimed another. “Sweeter than honey in the honey-comb!” ejaculated a third. Her eyes were shut, it being deemed immodest to look on the company, and the features of her face motionless as death, which made her look like a painted corpse.

To describe the dresses of the bride would be tedious, as she was carried away every hour and redressed, going through and exhibiting to public view, with the greatest patience, the whole of her bridal wardrobe. Her face was artistically painted; cheeks vermillion; lips browned, with an odoriferous composition; eye-lashes blackened with antimony; and on the forehead and tips of the chin little blue stars. The palms of the hands and nails were stained with henna, or brown-red, and her feet were naked, with the toe-nails and soles henna-stained. She was very young, perhaps not more than thirteen, and hugely corpulent, having been fed on paste and oil these last six months for the occasion. The bridegroom, on the contrary, was a man of three times her age, tall, lank and bony, very thin, and of sinister aspect. The woman was a little lump of fat and flesh, apparently without intelligence, whilst the man was a Barbary type of Dickens’ Fagan.

The ladies had now arranged themselves in tiers, one above the other, and most gorgeous was the sight. Most of them wore tiaras, all flaming with gems and jewels. They were literally covered from head to foot with gold and precious stones. As each lady has but ten fingers, it was necessary to tie some scores of rings on their hair. The beauty of the female form, in these women, was quite destroyed by this excessive quantity of jewellery. These jewels were chiefly pearls, brilliants, rubies and emeralds.

They are amassed and descend as heir-looms in families, from mother to daughter. Some of the jewels being very ancient, they constitute the riches of many families. In reverses of fortune, they are pledged, or turned into money to relieve immediate necessity. The upper tiers of ladies were the youngest, and least adorned, and consequently the prettiest. The ancient dowagers sat below as so many queens enthroned, challenging scrutiny and admiration. They were mostly of enormous corpulency, spreading out their naked feet and trousered legs of an enormous expanse.

Several dowagers seemed scarcely to be able to breathe from heat, and the plethora of their own well-fed and pampered flesh. We had now music, and several attempts were made to get up the indecent Moorish dance, which, however, was forbidden as too vulgar for such fashionable Jews, and honoured by the presence of Europeans. Not much pleased with this spectacle, I looked out of the window into the patio, or court-yard, where I saw a couple of butchers’ boys slaughtering a bullock for the evening carousal. A number of boys were dipping their hands in the blood, and making with it the representation of an outspread hand on the doors, posts and walls, for the purpose of keeping off “the evil eye,” (el ojo maligno,) and so ensuring good luck to the new married couple.

I then mounted the house-top to see a game played by the young men. Here, on the flat roof, was assembled a court, with a sultan sitting in the midst. Various prisoners were tried and condemned. Two or three of the greatest culprits were then secured and dragged down to the ladies, the officers of justice informing them that, if no one stepped forward to rescue them, it was the sultan’s orders that they should be imprisoned. Several young Jewesses now clamourously demanded their release. It is understood that these compassionate maidens who, on such occasions, step forward to the rescue, and take one of the young men by the hand, are willing to accept of the same when it may hereafter be offered to them in marriage, so the contagion of wedding-feasts spreads, and one marriage makes many.

I now proceed to the supper-table of the men, where the party ate and drank to gluttonous satiety. Several rabbis were hired to chant, over the supper-table, prayers composed of portions of Scripture, and legends of the Talmud.

The dinning noise of bad music, and horrible screaming, called singing, with the surfeit of the feast, laid me up for two days afterwards. The men supped by themselves, and the women of course were also apart.

My host, anxious that I should see all, insisted upon my going to have a peep at the ladies whilst they were supping. Unlike us men, who sat up round a table, because there were several Europeans among us, the women lay sprawling and rolling on carpets and couches.

In their own allotted apartments, these gorgeous daughters of Israel looked still more huge and enormous, feasting almost to repletion, like so many princesses of the royal orgies of Belshazzar. But this was a native wedding, and, of course, when we consider the education of these Barbary women, we must expect, when they have drink like the men, white spirits for protracted hours until midnight, the proprieties of society are easily dispensed with. Happily the class of women, who so kept up the feast, were all said to be married, the maidens having gone home with the bride.

Very different, indeed, was another distinguished wedding at which I had the honour of assisting, and which all the European consuls and their families attended, with the élite of the society of Mogador; this was the marriage of M. Bittern, of Gibraltar, with Miss Amram Melek. The bridegroom was the Portuguese Consul, the bride, the daughter of the greatest Jewish merchant of the south, and consequently the Emperor’s greatest and most honoured debtor. The celebration of this wedding lasted fourteen days.

On the grand day, a ball and supper were given. All the Moors of the town came to see the Christians and their ladies dance. Our musician, or fiddler, kept away from some petty pique, and we were accordingly reduced to the hard necessity of making use of a drum and whistling, both to keep up our spirits and serve up the quadrilles. We had, however, some good singing to make up for the disappointment. His Excellency the Governor intended to have honoured us with his presence, but he gave way to the remonstrance of an inflexible marabout, who declared it a deadly sin to attend the marriages of Jews and Christians.

The marriage guests were of three or four several sets and sorts. There was the European coterie, the choicest and most select, graced by the presence of the bride; then the native aristocrats, and here were the gorgeous sultanas and Fezan spouses; then the lesser stars, and the still more diminished.

Finally, the “blind, the lame, and the halt,” surrounded the doors of the house in which the marriage-feast was held, receiving a portion of the good things of this life. The whole number of guests was not more than two hundred. Plenty of European Jewesses shone as bewitching stars at this wedding; but all param to us poor Christians. Indeed, there is as little as no lovemaking, and match-making amongst the isolated Nazarenes; for, out of a population of some fifty European families, there are only two marriageable Christian ladies.

The bride is frequently fetched by the bridegroom at midnight, when there is a cry made, “behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye forth to meet him!” (Matt xxv — 6). This ancient custom prevails most among the Moors. Once, whilst at Nabal, in Tunis, I was roused from my sleep at the dead of the night by wild cries, and the discharging of fire-arms, attended with a blaze of torches. The bridegroom was conveying his bride to his home. A crowd of the friends of the newly-married couple, followed the camel which carried the precious burden; all were admitted to the feast in the court-yard, and the doors were shut for the night.

At the wedding of the lower classes of the Jews, after dancing and music, there is always a collection made for the bride, or the musicians. On these occasions, the master of the ceremonies calls out the names of the donors as they contribute to the support of the festivities. I was somewhat taken by surprise to hear my name called out, Bashador Inglez (English ambassador) when I attended one of the weddings. But the fellow, making the announcement, attracted my attention more than his flattering compliment. He was dressed in Moorish costume with an immense white turban folded round his head. I could not conceive the reason of a Moor taking such interest in feasts of the Jews.

The secret soon transpired. He was a renegade, who had apostatized for the sake of marrying a pretty girl. His heart is always with his brethren, and the authorities good-naturedly allow him to be master of the ceremonies at these and other feasts, to preserve order, or rather to prevent the Jews from being insulted by the Mahometans.

There are always a few Jewish renegades in large Moorish towns, just enough, I imagine, to convince the Mahometans of the superiority of their religion to that of other nations; for whilst they obtain converts from both Jews and Christians, and make proselytes of scores of Blacks, they never hear of apostates from Islamism. The manner, however, in which these renegades abandon their religion, is no very evident proof of the divine authority of the Prophet of Mecca. Here is an instance.

A boy of this town ran away from his father, and prostrated himself before the Governor, imploring him to make him a Mussulman. The Governor, actuated by the most rational and proper feeling, remarked to the boy, “You are a child, you have not arrived at years of discretion, you have not intellect enough to make a choice between two religions.” The boy was kept confined one night, then beaten, and sent home in the morning.

Another case happened like this when the boy was admitted within the pale of Islamism. Jewish boys will often cry out when their fathers are correcting them, “I will turn Mussulman!” A respectable Jew, who related this to me, observed, “were I to hear any of my sons cry out in this manner, I would immediately give them a dose of poison, and finish them; I could not bear to see my children formed into Mussulman devils.”

It really seems the vulgar opinion among the Jews and Moors of this place, that females have no souls. I asked many women themselves about the matter; they replied, “We don’t care, if we have no souls.” A Rabbi observed, “If women bear children, make good wives, and live virtuously and chastely, they will go to heaven and enjoy an immortal existence; if not, after death, they will suffer annihilation.”

This appears to be the opinion of all the well-educated. But a Jewish lady who heard my conversation with the Rabbi, retorted with spirit: “Whether I bear children or not, if my husband, or any man has a soul, I have one likewise, for are not all men born of us women?”

All, however, are well satisfied with this life, whatever may happen in the next; male and female Jews and Mussulmen hold on their mutual career with the greatest tenacity. I made inquiries about suicides, and was told there were never any persons so foolish as to kill themselves.

“We leave it to the Emperor to take away a man’s life, if such be the will of God!” and yet the Moors are habitually a grave, dreamy and melancholy people. No doubt the light, buoyant atmosphere keeps them from falling into such a state of mental prostration as to induce suicide.

I now found that many people looked upon me, in the language of the Jewish renegade, as an ambassador, and some went so far as to say, “I can make war with the Emperor if I like;” others persisted in saying “I am going in search of the murdered Davidson.” A man took the liberty of telling Mr. Elton. “A very mysterious Christian has arrived from the Sultan of the English. The Governor hearing that he had ordered a pair of Moorish shoes, sent word to the shoemaker to be as long about them as possible. This Nazarene is going to disguise himself as one of us, in order to spy out our country.”

The Moors are certainly a timid and suspicious race. They feel their weakness, and they are frightened of any Christian who does not come to their country on commercial pursuits, as a sportsman, or in some directly intelligible character.

23 Muley Abd Errahman is averse to treating his governors with extreme rigour. Mr. Hay gives an appalling account of private individuals arrested on suspicion of possessing great wealth — “The most horrible tortures are freely resorted to for forcing confessions of hidden wealth. The victim is put in a slow oven, or kept standing for weeks in a wooden dress; splinters are forced between the flesh and the nail of the fingers; two fierce cats are put alive into his wide trousers, and the breasts of his women are twisted with pincers. Young children have sometimes been squeezed to death under the arms of a powerful man, before the eyes of their parents.”

A wealthy merchant at Tangier, whose auri sacra fames had led him to resist for a long time the cruel tortures that had been, employed against him, yielded at length to the following trial. “He was placed in a corner of the room, wherein a hungry lion was chained in such a manner as to be able to reach him with his claws, unless he held himself in a most unnatural position.” This reads very much like a description of the torments of the Inquisition. The Moors may have imported this system of torture from Spain. Similar barbarities were said to have been inflicted by King Otho on prisoners in Greece, even on British Ionian subjects! I recollect particularly the sewing up of fierce cats in the petticoats of women. My experience in Morocco does not permit me to authenticate Mr. Hay’s horrible picture.

Chapter 7

Interview with the Governor of Mogador, on the Address of the Anti–Slavery Society. — Day and night side of the Mission Adventure. — Phillips’ application to be allowed to stand with his “shoes on” before the Shereefian presence. — Case of the French Israelite, Dannon, who was killed by the Government. — Order of the Government against Europeans smoking in the streets. — Character of Haj Mousa, Governor of Mazagran. — Talmudical of a Sousee Jew. — False weights amongst the Mogador Merchants. — Rumours of war from the North, and levy of troops. — Bragadocio of the Governor. — Mr. Authoris’s opinion on the state of the Country. — Moorish opinions on English Abolition. — European Slavery in Southern Morocco. — Spanish Captives and the London Ironmongers Company. — Sentiments of Barbary Jews on Slavery.

I had an interview by special appointment with His Excellency the Governor of Mogador regarding the address to be presented to the Shereefian population from the Anti–Slavery Society. I may at once premise that from what I heard of Mr. Hay’s diplomatic powers and influence with the Sultan, as well as the peculiar situation in which Mr. Willshire was placed, encumbered with great liabilities to his Highness’ custom-house, I already abandoned all hopes of success, and even thought myself fortunate in being able to obtain an interview with the Governor of this commercial city. To have expected anything more, would have been extremely unreasonable on my part, under such circumstances.

It will be as well if I give the address in this place. 24 Friday was appointed, being a quiet day, and the Mussulman Sabbath, when His Excellency had little business on hand. The Moors usually devote the morning of their sabbath to prayer, and afternoon to business and amusement. Our party consisted of myself, Mr. Willshire, the British Vice–Consul, and Mr. Cohen as interpreter.

About four o’clock P.M. we found the Governor quite alone, telling his rosary of jet beads, squatting on his hams upon the floor of a little dirty shop, not more than eight feet by six in dimensions, with a ceiling of deep hanging cobwebs which had not been brushed away for a century.

A piece of coarse matting was spread over the ground floor, and a sheepskin lay on it for his Excellency to repose upon, but no furniture was to be seen. There was indeed an affectation of nakedness and desolation. Pen and ink were placed by his side, and a number of official papers were strewn about, with some letters bearing the seal of the Emperor. This shop (or reception room) was situate in an immense gloomy square; it was the only one open, and here were the only signs of life.

The Governor had forbidden any of his subjects to be present at the audience, unwilling and afraid lest any should hear a whisper of the question of abolition in the orthodox States of his Imperial Master. Sidi Hay Elarby was an elderly man, with a placid and intelligent countenance. His manners throughout the interview were those of a perfect Moorish gentleman. The Governor could not be distinguished from the people by his dress. He wore a plain white turban, plain burnouse and a pair of common slippers. In such state, we found the the highest functionary of this important city.

His Excellency began by asking me how I was, and welcoming me to his country. I then handed a written speech to the interpreter, who, being a Jew, pulled off his shoes, and crouching down before the Governor, read to him paragraph by paragraph. Each passage was further discussed and replied to by the Governor with energy, nay with vehemence. The interview lasted till dark — nearly two hours.

The following is a copy of the written speech, which was read for the purpose of introducing the Address, and supplying topics of conversation.

“May it please Your Excellency, the mission with which I am charged to this country is to persuade his Imperial Majesty, the Emperor of Morocco, to co-operate in any way which his Imperial Majesty may deem proper, with the people of England for the abolition of slavery. I am sent to the Court of Morocco by a Society of English gentlemen, whose object is to persuade all men, in all parts of the world, to abolish the traffic in human beings, as a traffic contrary to the rights of men and the laws of God.

“In undertaking this mission, these gentlemen applied to the government of our Sovereign Queen to furnish me with letters of recommendation to the British Consuls of this country, the representatives of her Majesty the Queen of England. Copies of these letters are in the possession of Mr. Willshire. Those letters express strong sympathy for the objects of the mission, and require the Consuls to give me their fullest protection; and so far, our gracious Queen, the government, and the English people, are all agreed that it is a good thing to address his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Morocco, to co-operate with and to assist them in putting down the traffic in slavery in every part of the world.

“If the government of the Queen had thought that they should recommend to your Excellency and your royal master anything contrary to your religion, they could not have given me letters of introduction to their consuls in this country. Rest assured that the English people believe it to be agreeable to the doctrines and precepts of all religions to abolish the traffic in human flesh and blood.

“I pray, therefore, your Excellency to receive the petition, of which I am the bearer, from the Society of English gentlemen. Our Government have already spent three hundred millions of dollars, the money of the people of England, to destroy the traffic in human beings; every day our government continues to spend vast sums, adding to this enormous amount for the same object of humanity. I am sure that, if your Imperial Master value the friendship of England and the British government, if it be a politic and good thing for Morocco to be allied with the most powerful Christian nation in the world, the most certain way to conciliate and found this alliance on a durable basis, is to cooperate with the people of England for the abolition of the traffic in slaves, and graciously to receive this address from the Society of Abolitionists in London.

“We come not to your Excellency with force of arms — this could not be just; we use only moral persuasion. Our religion disapproves of compulsion in all such affairs. But I can assure your Excellency that the English people will never cease, though all nations be against them, as long as God Almighty holds them up as a people, to endeavour in every possible way, to persuade and convince the world that the traffic in human beings is a great crime.”

The Governor replied in these terms: “Your mission is against our religion, I cannot entertain it or think of it, in any way whatever. If, in other countries, the traffic in slaves is contrary to the religion of those countries, in this it is not; here it is lawful for us to buy and sell slaves. Mahomet, our Prophet, has authorized us to do this; but, at the same time, our slaves must be fed and clothed like ourselves. If you wish a proof of this, you can go and look at my slaves,” (pointing to his house). “To be holders of slaves, is a merit with us.

“Your address ought to come directly from your Government, from your Queen to our Sultan. It is not enough that it is recommended by your Government. The European sovereigns are accustomed to act by the advice of their counsellors and ministers; but the Sultan of Morocco always acts without advice or councils. 25 If the address had come from the Queen, it would have been received, and an answer would have been returned accordingly. Then if your Government had been offended at the answer of my master not agreeing with their opinion, they could have taken their own satisfaction in any way they might have thought proper (or have made war on us).

“The money which you say the people of England have spent for the suppression of the Slave Trade, has been, according to our opinion and religion, misspent, and employed to destroy a system of which we approve, and consider lawful. Still, I hope God will give your country more money to spend, and in abundance.

“The English people and the people of Morocco have been, from time immemorial, great friends, proofs of which I can give you. The guns that we get from other Christian nations, are never so good as those we get from England. Besides, we always give the English whatever they ask for. When the French were at war with Spain and wished to take Ceutra from her, the English demanded from our Sultan, a small island near Ceutra, to prevent the French from landing and seizing Ceutra. To this request, my Sultan acceded; and to show you that the English are our particular friends, the English gave the island back to us when the war was at an end.”

Mr. Willshire now endeavoured to present the Address of the Anti–Slavery Society, praying his Excellency to accept it.

On which, the Governor continued with his usual vivacity, “No; I am sorry I cannot accept it; if I do, the Sultan must also, for now I act as the Sultan. Indeed, I dare not receive the address, nor write to our Lord 26 about it. Nor can I look at it, for in case the Sultan asks me about it, I must swear that I have not touched nor seen the Address. If I look at it, and then say I did not look at it, the Sultan will order my tongue to be cut off from the roof of my mouth.

“And further, O Consul! O Stranger! were our Lord to agree with your Society, and abolish the traffic in slaves throughout his dominions, all the people would rise up against him in revolt, and the Sultan would be the first to have his head cut off.

“Therefore, as a good and wise man, O Stranger — which you must be, or you would not be entrusted with this mission — comply with the orders of the Sultan’s message, given to you by me and your Consul.

“Any thing which you want for yourself or your private use, I will give it you, even to the whole of this city of Mogador. But for myself I cannot comply with the prayers of the address, or receive it from your own or the Consul’s hands.”

The message of the Sultan alluded to, was in substance to give up the attempt of abolishing slavery in Morocco, and not to think of going to the South, but to return at once to England.

The Governor was greatly pleased with the sound of his own voice, and the skill of his argumentations, and has the character of being a loquacious and reasoning diplomatist.

This was the public or day side of the mission; there was also the night side; for where the curiosity of the Moor is excited, it must be gratified, by fair or other means. It was not surprising, therefore, that the wily Shereef should wish to know what this Address of an English Society was, or could be; and if possible to obtain a copy, although for the sake of the people it was found necessary to repudiate altogether its acceptance. Accordingly, the next day, Cohen told me a friend of the Emperor’s was anxious to have some conversation with me, and he begged me to take with me the Address.

It was past ten at night, when alone, with my Moorish guide, I found myself treading the long narrow streets of Mogador.

The wind howled and the watch-dogs barked; it was so dark that we could scarcely grope our way, no human being was about; we went up one street and down another, stealing along our way; as if on some house-breaking expedition; and I began to feel suspicious, fearing a trap might be laid for me. Still, I had confidence in the honour of the Moors, I said to my guide.

“When shall we reach your master’s?”

Guide. — “God knows; be quiet!”

We continued going through street after street. It was now bitter cold, and a few drops of rain fell from the cutting wing of the north wind.

To my Guide again.

“Where is the house?”

Guide. — “Follow me, don’t talk!” After we had passed other streets, “Is this the street?”

Guide. — “Eskut! (hold your tongue).”

We now entered a low dilapidated gateway, with a broken panelled door, groaning on its hinges.

Again I questioned my guide. “Who lives here?”

Guide. — “Mahboul Ingleez (mad Englishman) hold your tongue! Do you think we Mussulmans will eat you?”

We passed through several court-yards, by the aid of a lantern, which the guide found in a corner, and then entered a corridor. Here he grasped me by the arm, in such wise as made me believe I was about to have my head thrust through a bowstring. I ejaculated; “Allah Akbar! Mercy upon us!” blending Arabic and English in my fright, and struggling, fell with the guide against the door at the end of the passage with a considerable crash. A voice was heard from within. “Ashbeek (what’s the matter?)” My guide returned, “Hale (open).”

A huge negro now laid hold of me, and pulled me up a pair of narrow stairs which led to a species of loft, in a detached portion of the house. The case containing the Address fell out of my hands, and was picked up by the guide. Another apartment within the loft was now opened, shewing, through a dim and indistinct light, a venerable old Moor, sitting in the midst of heaps of papers and books, like a midnight astrologer, or a secret magician. On our entrance, the solitary Moor raised his eyes, quietly, and said faintly, “Where is it?” My guide now rushed in, began talking volubly, and made this harangue, thinking, however, I could not understand him from the rapidity with which he declaimed.

“Sidi,” he said, “this Christian is a frightened fool — and a baheen (ass) — I had the greatest trouble to get him here — he was frightened out of himself — and now Allah! Allah! I have to take him back again.”

I received the compliment in silence, and endeavoured to recover my tranquillity. But I could not help remarking the contrast between my noisy and agitated guide, and the grave manner and immoveable quietness of the recluse. The guide then handed him “the Address,” and the Cid opened the box or case with extreme caution, as if it had contained some mysterious spell. The Cid now looked up for a moment at the big negro, who decamped instantly and returned with a teapot and two cups. The two cups were then filled with tea, one of which was presented to me, but I had some hesitation about drinking it. The Cid, looked up at me with a quiet smile, and gently muttered “Eshrub! (drink,”) I drank the tea and then waited anxiously to know what was coming next. The Cid continued to unroll the Address. When this was done, he rolled it up and again unrolled it, and stared at its Roman characters. He eyed the seal and ejaculated, “Haram!” to himself! alluding, I suppose, to the figure of the slave in chains, it being prohibited to make figures. The Cid now paused a moment, then looked at me again, and finally turning to the Guide said, “Imshee El–Ghudwah (go to-morrow, I’ll see.)”

The guide now grasped me again by the hand, scarcely allowing me to bow a good night to the Cid, and led me back to my lodgings, where I arrived at midnight. When I awoke in the morning, I really imagined I had been dreaming an ugly dream, until one of the English Jews called, and said he was making a translation of the Address to be dispatched to the Emperor at Morocco, and afterwards he would bring the Address back. The Address was returned to me about a week afterwards, but whether an Arabic translation was ever sent to the Sultan, I know no more than the reader.

Mr. Phillips has applied to the British Vice-consul to know whether, in case of his going up to Morocco to carry a present for the Belgium merchants, here, Phillips, being a Jew, will be obliged to pull off his shoes, which would be depriving him of the rights of British-born subjects, who stand with their shoes on in the Shereefian presence. The Consul says he cannot answer the question, and must send a dispatch to Mr. Hay. Mr. Willshire complimented Phillips: “Ah Phillips, you are always proposing to me some knotty question. You profoundly perplex the mind of Mr. Consul-general Hay.”

This leads me to notice the affecting case of the Israelite, Darmon, at one time the French Vice-consul at Mazagran. This young Darmon was fond of Moorish women, and always intriguing with them. Hay Mousa, Governor of Mazagran, reported him to the Emperor, and his Highness sent orders to have him decapitated. It was said afterwards by the Maroquine Government, that “The order was merely to bring him to Morocco, and that, when being conveyed as prisoner, and after attempting to run away, the soldiers of his escort shot him.” The Moorish Government also pretend that Darmon attempted first to shoot the guards who shot him, in self-defence.

With regard to his being a French Consul, it is said by the French Government, that he was not their consul at the time, having resigned. It appears besides that members of his family are French, and others Moorish subjects. Indeed, these Mauro–European Jews give great troubles to the consuls; the various persons of a single family being often under the protection of three or four consuls. It will thus be seen how full of difficulties was this Darmon affair, and what a door it opened to tedious Moorish diplomacy. The French Government arranged ultimately with the Sultan a compromise, a sum of money being paid to the murdered man’s family, and the Governor of Mazagran was dismissed.

When young Darmon fell into disgrace, his father, one of the Imperial merchants, was at Morocco. The father inquired of the Minister whether the Sultan would receive his present now his son had fallen into disgrace. The cruelly avaricious tyrant deigned to accept it of the father it is said, at the very moment when the order to decapitate his son had been sent to Mazagran. No doubt it was a barbarous action, but the extreme imprudence of the young man provoked the government to extremities. The court was so irritated at the time, that it even issued an order to place all Jews, natives, foreigners, or Europeans upon the same level of exposure to Moorish insult and oppression. Speaking to Mr. Willshire about this order, he smilingly observed: “Say nothing, it will soon be forgotten.” The government never intended to carry it out. Years ago, the Emperor gave orders that Jews coming from European countries should be placed on the same footing as native Jews, but the Imperial edicts were unnoticed.

A curious order was given about smoking some time ago in this city. It was represented to the Governor that during Ramadan, Kafer–Nazarenes went about smoking, occasioning the Faithful to sniff up the smoke, and so break the Holy Fast. The Christians were likewise accused of going near the mosques to fill them with filthy smoke.

The Governor, in a circular, begged of the Consuls to prohibit their countrymen, or “subjects,” from smoking in the streets. The French Consul considering this a police regulation, summoned together the French subjects, and begged of them to comply with the non-smoking order. Mr. Willshire took no notice of the affair, knowing it would soon pass over.

Mr, Willshire is a veteran in Morocco, and understands the genius of its government. He considers the laissez faire system the very best, and this is all very well, provided the Sultan respects the heads of Her Majesty’s subjects.

Haj Mousa, Governor of Mazagran, who was mixed up with the Darmon affair, deserves notice from his brutal ferocity towards Europeans. With great difficulty and damage to their lives, Europeans reside in Mazagran, and it is not therefore surprising that the imprudent Darmon fell into the clutches of this provincial tyrant, who probably ensnared him as a prey. Up to the time of this affair, Haj Mousa had been an irremoveable governor. The Sultan himself never attempted to displace him, although he had committed, from time to time, the greatest enormities. Other governors had been bled, fleeced, and impaled over and over again; but the caitiff, Haj, always remained in possession of the fruits of his tyranny.

The reason for this tolerant conduct of the Emperor towards him is, that when Muley Abd Errahman was in difficulties and obliged to fly for his life, in the convulsions previous to his reign, Haj Mousa sent the young prince a mule and thirty ducats; with this, the prince was enabled to escape, and he saved his life to be afterwards proclaimed Meer-el-Moumeneen. On receiving the mule and money, he exclaimed in a transport of gratitude to the Governor of Mazagran, “I will never forget you!” It is unfortunate the good faith of the Emperor’s word has been so deplorably abused by this tyrant, for it is considered certain, that though temporarily removed from Mazagran, he will return, or be made governor of another city.

A Sous Jew called upon me one day, who is well acquainted with the Shelouh or, Berber of the South. On asking if he would make a translation of the book of Genesis from Hebrew into Shelouh, he replied:

“No, I cannot. In the first place, the Emperor would cut off my head for doing such a thing; and, again, it would be a sin to convert the Holy Hebrew character into such a language of Infidels.”

We continued our discussion on a more practical subject.

Traveller (to the Jew) — “I am told that among you, Jews of Morocco, it is a merit to rob us Christians and the Moors. Your young children are even praised by their mothers if they commit a theft without being found out: 27 is this right?”

The Jew. — “You are all Goyeem 28 (Gentiles), but it is not true that we rob you, Christians. If we rob Mussulmen, it’s because they rob us first.”

The case really is, the Jews are literally being robbed every day by the Moors one way or the other, and, if the people do not rob them, the constituted authorities continue to make exactions under every pretence. I am inclined, nevertheless, to think, without prejudice, that it is a received maxim with all native Barbary Jews, “to rob unbelievers, Moors and Christians, when you can do so safely.” This was the opinion which a very respectable European Jew, resident in Tunis, entertained of his brethren. At the same time, Ihere are numerous exceptions.

Many of the lower classes of Moors likewise, think there is little or no harm in robbing Jews and Blacks, that is, all who are Infidels and Christians.

I may mention, in connection with the above, the system of False–Weights, which is an enormous scandal to this great commercial city. It appears that almost every tradesman, and every imperial merchant have two sets of weights, one to buy and another to sell with. A merchant once had the impudence to cry out to his clerk when weighing, “Oh, you are wrong, these are my selling weights; bring me my buying weights. Am I not buying?”

A Jew, once purchasing oil from a poor Arab, carried his villainy so far as actually to make his tare and tret weigh more than the skin-bag when full of oil, and coolly told the amazed Arab he had no money to give him for the value received. “Give me back my oil!” cried the Arab. At this the audacious Jew retorted, “There is none!” A European merchant interfered, and saved the Jew from the bastinado he so richly deserved. A Kady hearing of these abominations, took upon himself to begin a reform, and went about examining weights. For his honest pains, and, in the midst of his work of reform, the officious functionary received an order from the Sultan, enjoining him to cease his interference, and condemning him, as a punishment for his over-righteousness, “to teach twelve little boys to read every day, and not to sit at his own door for the space of one year.” So unthankful, so odious is the task of reforming in Morocco and many other countries.

This account of the abominable system of two kinds of weights, I derived from most unquestionable authority, otherwise I could not have given credit to the statement.

There were incessant rumours of war from the North. The Emperor had got himself into difficulties with Spain and France. Orders had been sent down to reinforce this garrison and that of Aghadir. The day before, the Governor, calling his troops before him, did not shew his usual good sense and prudence. He thus harangued them:— “Now, let those who want new arms come and take them, and bring back the old ones. Let all have courage, and fear not the Christians; fear not, women and children!” The movement of troops was part of a general measure, extending to all the coasts, and was, in fact, a review en masse of the disposable forces throughout the empire. Eighty thousand men were expected in this city or the suburbs. The Sultan was reported to be on the march towards the North with an army of 200,000 men.

The Sultan did not expect to make use of his new levies, but the policy of the thing was good. His Highness is evidently a pacific ruler, he has but few regular troops, and he pays them badly. His predecessor had a large army and paid them well.

Great discontent prevailed among the soldiers, and the Emperor never feels himself secure on his throne.

This apparent crusade against the Infidels has no doubt tended to make him popular, and to consolidate his power. True, it excited the tribes of the interior against the Christians, but it was better to inflame them against the Christians than to lose his own throne.

The French Consul waited upon the Governor for explanations about the movements of the troops. His Excellency observed, “I am ordered by my Sultan to defend this city against all assailants, and I shall do so till I am buried beneath its ruins. Though all the coast-cities were captured, Mogador should never be surrendered.”

Some of the credulous Moors said, “The Shereefs will come from Tafilet, led on by our Lord Mahomet, and destroy all the cursed Nazarenes. The Sheerefs will fire against the French leaden balls, and silver balls.” Another observed to me, “If a fleet should come here, it will be immediately sunk, because our Sultan has ordered every ball to hit, and none to miss.”

This is not unlike what a Turk of Tripoli once said to me about the Grand Signor and his late reforms. “The Turks will soon be civilized, because the Sultan has given an order for all the Turks to be civilized.” The large guns of the forts were practised, and the guns of the grand battery loaded. The infantry continued to practise on the beach of the port: their manoeuvres were very uncouth and disorderly, they merely moved backwards and forwards in lines of two deep. The French Consul, Monsieur Jorelle, discontinued his usual promenade, to prevent his being insulted, and so to avoid the the painful necessity of demanding satisfaction.

Mr. Willshire, being well known to the Mogador population, had not so much to fear. Here is the advantage of a long residence in a country. The French Government lose by the frequent changing of their consuls. Still, M. Jorelle was right in not exposing himself to the mob, or the wild levies who had come from their mountains. The fault of the Governor was, in exciting the warlike fanaticism of the tribes of the interior against the Christians, which he ought to have known the city authorities might have extreme difficulty in keeping within bounds. No European could pass the gates of the city without being spat upon, and cursed by the barbarous Berbers.

I paid a visit to M. Authoris, the Belgium merchant, and the only European trader carrying on business independently of the Emperor. He represented the commerce of the country to be in a most deplorable condition. “There is now nothing to buy or sell on which there is a gain of one per cent. The improvidence of the people is so great that, should one harvest fail, inevitable famine would be the result, there not being a single bushel of grain more in the country than is required for daily consumption. Nor will the people avail themselves of any opportunity of purchasing a thing cheap when it is cheap; they simply provide for their hourly wants. They act in the literal sense of ‘Take no thought for the morrow, but let the morrow take care of itself.’ As to the Jews, they feast one day and fast the next.” With regard to the excitement then existing, M. Authoris observed. “This Government, on hearing rumours of Spanish and French expeditions against the country, must naturally make use of what power it has, the Holy War power, to excite the people in their own defence. The Moors cannot discriminate Gazette intelligence. When a worthless newspaper mentions an expedition being fitted out against Morocco, the Emperor immediately sees a fleet of ships within sight of his ports, and hears the reports of bombarding cannon.” The raw levies of Shedmah and Hhaha continued to enter the town, but only a small number at a time, lest they should alarm the inhabitants. They went about, peeping into houses, and wherever a door was open they would walk in, staring with a wild curiosity.

I had some conversation with my Moorish friends respecting the abolition of slavery. An old doctor observed, “The English are not more humane than other nations, but God has decreed that they should destroy the slave-trade among the Christians. This, however, is no praise to them, for they could not resist acting according to the will and mind of God. As for the Mussulmen, what they do is for the benefit of slaves, especially females, who, one and all, are doomed to death; 29 but, when purchased by the slave-dealers, their lives are spared, and they are made True Believers. Still, the Mussulmen would assist the English in destroying the ships which carry slaves;” (as if the Moors had any fleet).

The number of slaves in this city is from eight hundred to one thousand. It is difficult to ascertain any thing like the exact number, the opulent Moors having many negress slaves, with whom they live in a state of concubinage. Young, rich, and fashionable Moors, I was told for the first time in a Mahommedan country, have become disgusted with the old habit of managing and taking a wife early, and adopt the immoral practice of buying female slaves, by which they avoid, as they say, the trouble and expense of marrying females of their own rank in Moorish society. A good Mussulman must however, marry once in his life. Slaves are imported viâ Wadnoun from Timbuctoo and Soudan, and even from the western coast. Negroes of the Timbuctoo market are more esteemed than those of Guinea, being a stronger and more laborious race. The common price of a slave in Mogador is from 60 to 90 ducats; one day a beautiful African girl, freshly exported from the interior, was sold for 160 ducats, or about £20 sterling. This is considered an extraordinary high price.

Slaves are sold by criers about the streets in Morocco, and most towns, and not in bazaars, as in the East. But the most remarkable feature of slavery in this part of the world, is the Christian or European slavery carried further south, in the regions extending on the line of coast below Wadnoun, and the adjacent Sahara. Something like a regular system of Christian slavery is there going on, whilst its head-quarters are not more than five or six days’ journey from this residence of the European Consuls. This white slavery consists in seizing shipwrecked sailors, numbers being fishermen from the Canary Islands. We know little about these poor captives, although we are so near Wadnoun, and are continually trading with Sous and this country. Mr. Davidson casually mentions them in his journal.

It is a settled and religious practice of merchants to keep Europeans ignorant of the south and the Desert; we only hear of these captives now and then, when one escapes, and after being bought and sold by a hundred different masters, is fortunate enough to be redeemed; of his companions in shipwreck, the escaped captive rarely knows anything. They are gone: they are either drowned near the coast, plundered and massacred, or carried far away into the Desert, and perhaps for ever. Formerly vessels navigated through the channel (if it may be so called) of the Canary Islands and the Wadnoun coast, by which they often got on shoal water, and were cast away; in this manner, whites were enslaved. Happily now, masters of vessels have become acquainted with this dangerous coast. They pass to the east of the Canaries, and fewer vessels are shipwrecked hereabouts.

The Spanish fishermen of the Canaries are chiefly now made captives. These poor people are either seized when becalmed near the coast, or captured on being cast on shore by the furious trade-winds, which sweep these desolate shores (often nine months out of twelve) and carry utter destruction with them. The wild and wandering Bedouins in bad weather, with the true storm scent of the wrecker, patiently watch the coasts, pouncing on their prey, with the voracity of the vulture, as it is thrown up from the deep, along the inhospitable shore. Having got the shipwrecked men in their possession, they act with the cunning and avarice of slave-dealers, and are aided by the still craftier Jews, who always render it very difficult for the consular agents to redeem these unhappy captives. For although a Jew, by the Mahometan law, cannot purchase slaves, yet by buying them-through Mussulmen, who share in the profits, from the Arabs who first seized the captives, the slaves are frequently kept back months in the Desert, being parted from one another before they can be ransomed.

Sometimes the Arabs alluringly question their captives to see if they understand any mechanical arts, which are greatly esteemed, being very useful in these almost tenantless regions; and should they discover that they do, they carry them away into hopeless captivity, through the wilds of the Desert, refusing to sell them at any price or offer of ransom. But those who cannot, or will not make themselves useful, are generally redeemed by the Mogador Consuls, should they escape being massacred in the quarrels of the Arabs for the booty when they are first captured.

There is, at the present time, a Spanish fisherman near Wadnoun, waiting to be redeemed. The Arab Sheikh who holds him, demands two hundred dollars for his redemption. Mr. Wiltshire objects to the price, as being too much. Besides this, he is afraid to advance any money for a Spanish captive’s release, lest it should never be refunded. The Spanish Government, representing a people so chivalrous in bygone times, and so proud of their ancient exploits over the Moors of this very country, are not now-a-days over zealous in redeeming their countrymen held in bondage by these people. Mr. Willshire ransomed a Spanish boy, and waited several years before he could get this imbecile Government to refund the money. Espartero at last, however, interfered authoritatively for the repayment to our generous consul.

In the present case of the poor fisherman, the captive Spaniard lingers between hope and fear, his only protection being the avarice of his master, who, like all slave-dealers, is willing to take care of him as he takes care of his horse. He is one out of four, the other three having been massacred by the Arabs, or perished on the coast. But, at present, we know nothing certain of this, although but a few days’ journey from the scene where the disaster took place — so miserable are our means of information for enabling us to put an end to this system of Christian slavery. Certainly some representations should be made to the Emperor, who pretends to have jurisdiction over Wadnoun, and the adjacent countries, that these captives may be delivered up to the Consuls of Mogador. A fair remuneration might be given to the persons bringing them safely to this town.

I am told, the Ironmongers’ Company of London have at their disposal funds for the liberation of such British captives as are enslaved in Southern Morocco. This money was left by a merchant who himself was made a slave there; and since that time, owing to the few British captives redeemed, it has increased to an enormous amount. Not knowing what to do with the money, the Company, it is said, are about to petition Parliament to build a school with a portion; but I should suggest that it would be more in accordance with the original object, and declared intention of the benevolent, donor, were this large surplus fund devoted to the redemption of all other Christian captives, of whatever nation or country. Because two hundred dollars are not forthcoming which could easily be supplied from the Ironmongers’ Company’s funds, a poor Spaniard is condemned to a cruel and hopeless slavery, wandering in the wilds of the great African wilderness. It is impossible to tell the number of Christian slaves who perish in the South of Morocco. Many of the Consular agents of this city are as ignorant of the country as persons residing in London. This subject absolutely demands the attention of the governments of Europe. Our humanity and civilization are in question.

The opinions of the Jews here, are the same as those of American slave-holders, with this slight difference, that they consider it right to make slaves of white men and Europeans, as well as of black men, negroes, and Africans, in which idea they are more consistent than their Yankee men-selling brethren.

As there are many Barbary Jews at Mogador, more or less under British protection, I took the liberty of reminding them of their liabilities as British subjects, by circulating among them copies of Lord Brougham’s Act.

I had some conversation with Rabbi–El Melek and other Jews about the question of abolition,

Traveller. — “What is the opinion of the Jews of this country on the matter of slavery?”

Rabbi–El-Melek. — “I will show you,” (taking the Hebrew Bible he read) “‘Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants shall he be unto his brethren.’”

Traveller. — “Admitting the curse pronounced here was right, that Ham and Canaan were the progenitors of the African negroes, and that the curse was to be extended to all generations of Africa — are these reasons why the all-Merciful Deity will hold man guiltless who enslaves and maltreats poor Africans? Now, the Jews have been dispersed all over the world, and maltreated, if not enslaved, by both Christians and Mahometans (as now) according to prophecy, but will God hold us guiltless for persecuting or maltreating you, Jews?”

The Rabbi. — “But we are the slaves of God, not of you Christians, and besides, we are commanded to treat well our slaves in the Scriptures.” Here he quoted many passages from the Pentateuch.

Then followed a desultory conversation, some asserting “that inasmuch as the slavery of the whites was permitted by God, how much more right had they to enslave blacks who were the servants of servants!” Others even added, “If we were Sovereigns of Morocco, we should make slaves of both Mahometans and Christians.” This indeed is the genuine feeling of Barbary Jews; oppression begets oppression, and wrong begets revenge. Another observed, “If you ask me what I think as a British subject, and not as a Jew, I will give you my opinion against slavery.”

Such distinctions in morals are not easily admissable, but the Jews there are acute enough to make them, and are as good Jesuits as those of Rome. Some cited the cavtivity of Joseph us, as a reason for carrying on the slave-trade.

On another occasion, I had a conversation with Hassan Yousef, the High Priest, or Archbishop, as Captain Phillips calls him. The Chief Priest acknowledged that he who stole a man, whether white or black, was condemned to death, according to the fair interpretation of the Mosaic law. He and all Jews were much astonished at the tenor of Lord Brougham’s Act, and got not a little frightened; for all the merchants of Mogador, Christians and Jews, more or less aid and abet the slave-trade, all having connections with slave-dealers. At length, our Jewish Archbishop opined. “Well, well, it is better now, since the Christians have put down slavery in most of their countries, that we Jews should follow their example.”

It would be useful, and might subserve the cause of civilization, were the Jews of Europe to take some means of enlightening their brethren of North Africa on the question of slavery. The Israelites, who have suffered so much from slavery and oppression, after becoming free themselves, should endeavour to emancipate those who are still in the chains of bondage.

The Hhaha levies were about to return to their country; the disposable force of this province is about 70,000. The troops from Shedma were to come in after the departure of those of Hhaha. Government were afraid to bring both together, lest they should fight among themselves. Alluding to the quarrel of their Sultan with the French, these hostile tribes mutter to each other, “We must kill our own French first;” that is to say their own “hereditary enemies.”

I went out to see the two levies. These tribes had a singularly wild and savage aspect, with only a blanket to cover them, which they wrap round and round their bodies, having neither caps on their heads, nor shoes on their feet. They were greatly excited against the Christians, owing to the foolish conduct of the Moorish authorities. The lawless bands spat at me, and every European passing by them, screaming with threatening gestures, “God curse you! Infidels.” These semi-savages, called out for the defence of the Empire, were merely armed with a bad gun or matchlock; some had only knives and clubs. Such levies are certainly more fit to pillage the Emperor’s coast-towns than to defend his territory against the foreign enemy.

These poor tribes bring their own provisions, a little barley meal, and olive or argan-oil, or liquid butter; on this being exhausted, they could stay no longer, for Government supplies them with nothing but bad matchlocks.

They were loud in their complaint on not receiving any nations, and threatened to join the French Nazarenes when they arrived. His Excellency the Governor was very anxious to get rid of them, which was not at all surprising. So avaricious is the Emperor, that when he can, he makes the rich Moors supply arms for their poorer brethren, instead of furnishing them from government depôts. And this he insists upon as a point of religion. The Governor called upon rich Moors to supply the poor with arms.

A friend of mine who understands Shelouh as well as Arabic, overheard a characteristic quarrel between a Shedma man and a Hhaha man. The Shedma people, or inhabitants of the plains, mostly speak Arabic, those of the mountains, Shelouh, which difference of language embitters their quarrels, and alienates them from one another.

Shedma man. — “Dog! you have put your hands of the devil into my bag of barley.”

Hhaha man. — “Dog and Jew, you lie!”

Shedma man. — “Jew and Frenchman! there’s some one now in your wife’s tent.”

Hhaha man. — “Religion of the Frenchman! your mother has been dishonoured a thousand times.”

The maternal honour is the dearest of things amongst these semi-barbarians. At the mention of this libel on his mother, the Shedma fellow rushed at the Hhaha man, seizing him by the throat, and unsheathed a dirk to plunge into his bowels. The scuffle fortunately excited the instant attention of a group of Arabs close by, who, securing both, carried them before the Shiekh; who, without hearing the subject of the quarrel, bastinadoed them both with his own hand. But he was the Hhaha Sheikh, and the Shedma Sheikh complained to the Governor of his man having been bastinadoed by the other Sheikh. The Governor dismissed them, each threatening the other with due vengeance.

It is time to give some account of Mogador. We sometimes spell the name with an e, Mogadore, the inhabitants call their town Shweerah. Square,30 in allusion to its beauty, for it is the only town constructed altogether on geometrical principles throughout Morocco. Its form, however, is really a triangle. Mogador is a modern city, having been built in the year 1760 of our era, by the Sultan Sidi Mohammed, under the direction of a French engineer of the name of Cornut, who was assisted by Spanish renegades.

The object of Sidi Mahommed was to found a central emporium of the commerce of the Empire, and a port for the southern capital (Morocco). This town belongs to the province of Hhaha, whose Berber tribes are its natural defenders.

The site is a sandy beach with a rocky foundation or a base on the sea, forming a peninsula, and is supposed to be the ancient Erythraea. The houses are regularly built, with streets in direct lines, extremely convenient though somewhat narrow. The residences of the consuls and European merchants are elegant and spacious. There is a large market-place, which, on days when the market is not held, furnishes a splendid parade, or “corso” for exercising cavalry.

The city is divided into two parts; one division contains the citadel, the public offices, the residence of the governor, and several houses occupied by European consuls and merchants, which are all the property of the Sultan; and the other is the space occupied by the houses of the Moors and Jews.

The Jews have a quarter or willah to themselves, which is locked up during the night, the key being kept by the police. Nevertheless, several Jews, especially Imperial traders, are allowed to occupy houses in the Moorish quarter or citadel portion of Mogador, with the Christian merchants.

Both quarters are surrounded by walls, not very thick or high, but which are a sufficient protection, against the depredations of the mountaineers, or Arabs of the plain. The port is formed by a curve in the land and the isle of Mogador, which is about two miles from the mainland.

This isle, on the verge of the ocean, contains some little forts and a mosque, and its marabout shrines sparkle in the sun. It is a place of exile for political offenders. When the French landed, at the bombardment of Mogador, they released fifty or sixty state prisoners, some of whom had been Bashaws, or ministers of this and former reigns. The isle, however, is finely situate off the Atlantic, fanned and swept by healthy gales, and the prisoners suffer only seclusion from the Continent. The exiles never attempt to escape, but quietly submit to their destiny.

In the port, there are only ten or twelve feet of water at ebb tide, so that large vessels cannot enter, but must lie at anchor a mile and a half off the Western battery, which extends along the north-western side of the port. Such vessels do not lie there except in the summer months, and then with extreme caution, being, as they are, right off in the Atlantic, on one of its most dangerous coasts. There are some tolerable batteries, but they cannot long resist a European bombardment, which was demonstrated by the French.

Colonel Keating says, “As far as parapets, ramparts, embrasures, cavaliers, batteries, and casemates constitute a fortress, this town is one; but the walls are flimsy, the cavaliers do not command, the batteries do not flash, and the casemates are not bomb-proof. The embrasures are so close that not one in three upon the ramparts could be worked, if they were mounted, which they are not. All their guns, which have been only twelve months here, are already in very bad order, from exposure to the climate and surf. The casemates are so damp, that their interior is covered constantly with a thick nitrous incrustation.” Nevertheless, the Moors have such a superstitious veneration for fortifications built by a parcel of renegades, that they will not permit Christians to walk on these ramparts. But what is most unfortunate for the defence of Mogador, the water could be instantly cut off by destroying its aqueduct.

The population is between thirteen and fifteen thousand souls, including four thousand Jews, and fifty Christians, who carry on an important commerce, principally with London and Marseilles. Excepting Tangier, it is now the only port which carries on uninterrupted commercial relations with Europe.

Mogador is situate in the midst of shifting sand-hills, that separate it from the cultivated parts of the country, which are distant from four to tweleve miles. These sands have an extraordinary appearance on returning from the interior; they look like huge pyramidal batteries raised round the suburbs of the city for its defence. The inhabitants are supplied with water by means of an aqueduct, fed by the little river, or rill of Wai Elghored, two miles distant south. The climate hereabouts is extremely salubrious, the rocky sandy site of the city being removed from all marshes or low lands, which produce pestiferous miasma or fever-exhaling vegetation. Rarely does it rain, but the whole tract of the adjoining country, between the Atlas and the sea, is tempered on the one side by the loftiest ranges of that mountain, and on the other, by the north-east trade winds, blowing continually. Mogador is in Lat. 31° 32’ 40” N., and Long. 9° 35’ 30” W.

The environs offer nothing but desolate sands, except some gardens for growing a few vegetables, and a sprinkling of flowers, which, by dint of perseverance, have been planted in the sand of the sea-shore. This is a remarkable instance of human culture turning the most hopelessly sterile portions of the world to account. These sands of Mogador are only a portion of a vast and almost interminable link, which girdles the north-western coast of the African continent, and is only broken in upon at short intervals, from Morocco to Senegal, like a shifting, heaving, and ever-varying rampart against the aggressions of the ocean. Both wind and sea have probably equally contributed to the formation of this vast belt of shifting sands.

The distance from Tangier to Mogador, by ordinary courier, is twelve days, but no traveller could be expected to perform the journey in less than twenty days.

Other courier distances are as follows:

Tangier to Rabat 4 days
Rabat to Fez 2 days
Fez to Mickas 12 hours
Rabat to Morocco 8 days
Mogador to Morocco 2½ days
Mogador to Santa Cruz 3 days
Mogador to Wadnoun 8 days
Santa Cruz to Teradant 1½ days

A notice of the interesting, though now abandoned part of Aghadir, may not be out place here. Aghadir, (called also Agheer and by the Portuguese, Santa Cruz) means in Berber “walls.” It is the Gurt Luessem of Leo Africanus. The town is small, but strong, and well fortified, and is situate upon the top of a high and abrupt rock, not far from the promontory of Gheer, which is the western termination of the Atlas, and where it dips into or strikes the ocean.

On the south, close by, is the river Sous, and formerly Aghadir was the capital of this province.

Aghadir has a spacious and most secure port, which is the last port southwards on the Atlantic. Indeed, this bay is the finest roadstead in the whole empire. Mr. Jackson says, that during his residence at Aghadir of three years, not a single ship was lost or injured. The principal battery of Aghadir, a place equally strong by nature and art, is half way down the western declivity of the mountain, and was originally intended to protect a fine spring of water close to the sea. This fort also commands the approaches to the town, both from the north and the south, and the shipping in the bay.

Santa Cruz was converted from a fisherman’s settlement into a city, and was fortified by the Portuguese in 1503. Muley Hamed el-Hassan besieged it in 1536 with an army of fifty thousand men, and owing to the accident of a powder-magazine blowing up and making a breach, the Sultan forced an entrance, to the astonishment of the Portuguese, who were all slaughtered.

In the reign of Muley Ismail, Santa Cruz was the centre of an extensive commerce carried on between Europe and the remotest regions of Africa, which obtained for it the name of Bab-el-Soudan, (Gate of Soudan.) The inhabitants became rich and powerful, and, as a consequence which so frequently happens to both the civilized and the barbarian, insolent and rebellious. In 1773, Sidi Mohammed was obliged to march out against the town to crush a rebellion; and this done with great slaughter, he ordered all the European merchants to quit the place and establish themselves at Mogador. The father of this prince had sworn vengeance against the haughty city, but died without accomplishing his sanguinary threats. The son, however, did the work of blood, so faithful to vows of evil and violence is man. Since that period, Aghadir has dwindled down to nothing, six hundred inhabitants, and others say only one hundred and fifty. The greater part of these are Jews, who have the finest women in all the country. Mr. Davidson says the population of Aghadir is forty-seven Mohammedans, and sixty-two Jews. At Fonte, the port, are about two hundred Moors. Were any European power to conquer Morocco, Aghadir would certainy be re-established as the centre of the commerce in the south. To a maritime nation like England, the repair and re-opening of its fine port would be the 6rst consideration, and doubtless a lucrative and extensive commerce could be established between Aghadir and Timbuctoo. The city is seven leagues south of Cape Gheer, in latitude 30° 35’.

I shall now give some further details illustrative of the state of negro slavery. The Fniperor has an entire quarter of the city of Morocco appropriated for his own slaves, the number of whom, in different parts of the empire, amounts to upwards of sixty thousand. This is his, the lion’s share. His Imperial Highness, who was accepting presents from various governors, lately received five hundred slaves from the Sheikh of Taradant. The trading Moors, believing me to be sent by the British Government to purchase and liberate all their slaves, have calculated the whole of the slaves in Morocco to be worth twenty-seven millions of dollars.

A Moor observed, “I hope to see any calamity befall the country rather than that of the slaves being liberated,” He observed: “God shews his approbation of slavery by not permitting slaves to rise against their masters, or the free negroes to invade Morocco, who are infinitely more numerous. The reason why the English abolished slavery is because the Queen of England has a good heart, but Mussulmen treat their slaves well, and do not fear the anger of God.” When I mentioned that the Bey of Tunis and the Imaum of Muscat had entered into treaties for the suppression of Slavery, the traders observed, “Amongst the Mohammetans are four sects, but the only orthodox sect is that of Morocco.”

There is, however, one class of abolitionists in this country — the women, or Mooresses. The rumour that a Christian had come to purchase all the slaves of Mogador soon penetrated the harems. The wife of one of the most distinguished Moors of Mogador informed a Jewess of her acquaintance, that she was very happy to hear a Christian was come to purchase all her husband’s slaves, for she was tired of her life with them. The truth is, respectable Moorish females detest this system of domestic slavery, and wish to see it abolished, notwithstanding that they are bred in it, and are themselves little better than slaves. They see themselves gradually abandoned by the husbands of their youth for the most ignorant and degraded negress slaves, whom their husbands purchase one after another as their caprice or passion excites them, until their houses are filled with these slaves.

The artful negress absorbs all the affection of her master, whilst the legitimate wife is left as a widow, and is obliged to wait upon these pampered slaves, whose insolence knows no bounds. The negress slaves besides, when they bear sons, are treated with great respect; their children are free by the law, and cannot be disposed of, although the Moors do sell them when hard pressed for money. Yet even these negresses are beginning to chatter and clatter about the Anti–Slavery mission, expressing their satisfaction to our Jewish neighbours. A negress slave on hearing that a person had come from England to liberate all the slaves, jumped up and called on God to bless the English nation.

This excitement in the domestic circles of Mogador raises the bile of the slave-dealers. A fellow of this sort beckoned me to come to him as I was passing in the street, and thus began: “Christian, if you dare attempt to go to the south, we shall cut you up into ten thousand little pieces.”

Traveller. — “You will not lay a finger upon me, nor throw a handful of sand in my face unless it please God.”

Slave-dealer. — (Taken aback at this reply, he drew in his horns), “Well, how much will you give us apiece for our slaves.”

Traveller. — “I shall give you nothing; you have no right to sell a man, a brother, like yourself.”

Slave-dealer. — “It’s our religion.”

Traveller. — “It’s not your religion to sell Mussulman; you sell the children of your own slaves, born in your houses, and who are Mussulmen?” The slave-dealer, puzzled and angry, was silent a few minutes, and then said, “Ah, well, all’s right, all’s from God.”

I received a visit from a Hajee under peculiar circumstances. Passing through Tunis on his return from Mecca last year, his slave, hearing that all the slaves were liberated in the country, ran away. In vain his master attempted to catch him. There were no Christians in the country of the Mecca impostor, who kept manhunting hounds. This is the peculiar glory of Christian lands. Tunis is not so “go a-head” as Yankee freedom-land. The consequence was the pilgrim left without his slave. He then, strange to say, applied to me to procure him back his slave. Thinking this a good opportunity to agitate the authorities here OR the question, I recommended him to apply to the Governor, who should write to the Emperor, and also to the Bey of Tunis, and so forth. I had visitors daily who asked me when I should be ready to purchase the slaves and liberate them. Arabs from the remotest districts came to me; and I was told that there is not a town or district of the empire, but has heard of the English going to liberate all the slaves of Morocco.

I have studiously avoided giving details of the cruelties and hard bondage of slavery in and around Morocco. On the contrary, I have stated it to be the opinion of the Europeans and Consuls in Tangier, that slaves are well treated in this country. Such an opinion ought to weigh with all. 31 At the same time, in self-defence, as an abolitionist, and occupied with a mission for the extinction of slavery in this country, I must partly uplift the veil, however disgusting it may be to my readers. A portion of the dark side of the picture must be exhibited. Of the march of slave-caravans over the Sahara, I shall say nothing — that is fully reported in my previous publication. When the slaves arrive in Morocco, they are inarched about in different directions of the country for sale. During their passage through a populous district like this, where the females are exposed to the brutal violence of ten thousand casual visitors, or agents of police and government, it is the ordinary and revolting practice to adopt means one cannot describe for the purpose of preserving their honour. Private punishments are frequent; to my certain knowledge, a female slave was tied up by the heela, head downwards, and, after being cruelly flagellated, was left for dead by her, pitiless master. She was at last cut down at the intercession of her mistress whose humanity got the better of her hatred and jealousy. While I was at Mogador, a negress had two of her children torn away from her to be sold at Morocco, to pay the debts of her master, who was a Moor. The children were sons of the man who sold them into bondage! The mother was inconsolable, ran about distracted, and probably will never recover from the blow. These facts are enough, and with any human man they will out-weigh all other instances, however numerous, of alleged good treatment on the part of Moorish slave masters. 32

I took a ride with Mr. Elton on the sandy beach. There is a fort in ruins, at about half an hour’s distance, illustrating most emphatically the parable of the man who built his house upon the sands.

This fort, which was to command the southern entrance of the harbour, is supposed to be of Spanish construction, and built about the same time as the city.

It was once of considerable size and height, but is now a fallen and ruined mass, its foundations “upon the sands” having given way. Storms along this shore are often terribly destructive, we passed a portion of the hulk of a vessel completely buried in the sand. 33

Notwithstanding the sober and taciturn character of the Moor, he can sometimes indulge himself in pleasantry and caricature. The Moors have made caricatures of the three last emperors, assisted by some Spanish renegade artist: these Princes are Yezid, Suleiman, and Abd Errahman. Yezid is represented as throwing away money with one hand, and cutting off heads with the other, depicting his ferocity in destroying his enemies, and his generosity in heaping favours on his friends. Suleiman is represented as reading the Koran, in the character of a devout and good man. The present Sultan is hit off capitally, with one hand holding a bag of money behind him, and with the other stretched out before him, begging for more.

H B could not have better caricatured the three Shereefian Sultans. The Moors affirmed that Muley Abd Errahman will keep faith with no one where his avarice is concerned, and, when he can, he will sell a monopoly twice or thrice, receiving money from each party. Of his meanness and avarice, I adduce two anecdotes. Four years ago, Muley–Abd Errahman ordered some blond for his Harem from Mr. Willshire. Just when I was leaving Mogador, his Imperial Highness graciously returned it to our merchant with the message — “It’s too dear.” Not long before, a man was murdered upon the neutral land of two adjacent provinces, and a thousand dollars were taken from his baggage. In such cases, the Governor of the district is mulcted both for the murder and robbery. The Emperor claimed two thousand dollars from one of the provinces, for the father of the murdered man. This province escaped upon the plea that the murder had not been committed within its territory. The other province refused to satisfy the demand for the same reason. His Imperial Highness then made both provinces pay 2,000 dollars each, keeping one two thousand for himself, for the trouble he had of enforcing payment.

The people of Sous not long ago had a quarrel, which the Emperor fomented. Its Sheikhs fought; his Imperial Highness sent troops to turn the balance of the fray, and to pacify the country. Then, he made the belligerents pay each 40,000 dollars, as pacification-money, the value of which he levied on slaves. In this politic way, the Imperial miser replenishes his coffers, and “eats up” his loving subjects.

I made the acquaintance of Mr. Treppass, the Austrian consul, and Chancellor of the French consulate. Mr. Treppass has been upwards of twenty years in this country, and was himself once an Imperial merchant, but sold his business, preferring a small stipend and his liberty, to being a vassal of the Emperor, fed in luxury and lodged in a fine house. We had a long conversation upon the various topics connected with this country.

Mr. Treppass says, the present system of the court is resistance to all innovation, to all strangers. But the pressure of the French on the Algerine frontier is agitating the internal state of this country. Money, which in other countries goes a long way, will almost do every thing with the Government of Morocco. It will also effect much with the people. Some fifty years ago, a Geneose merchant, resident in Mogador, had the two provinces of Hhaha and Shedma under his control, and could have made himself Sultan over them; this he effected solely by the distribution of money. The Sultan of the time was in open war with a pretender; his Imperial Highness begged for the assistance of the all-powerful merchant. The merchant bought the affections and allegiance of the people, and firmly established the Sultan on his throne.

The influence of the merchant was now prodigious, and the Sultan himself became alarmed. Not being able to rest, and being in hourly dread of the Genoese, the Sultan ordered his officers to seize the merchant secretly, and put him on board a vessel then weighing anchor for Europe. When the merchant was placed on board, this message was delivered to him — “Our Sultan is extremely obliged to you, sir, for the great services you rendered him, by establishing him on his throne! but our Sultan says, ‘If you could place him on the throne, you could also pull him off again.’ Therefore you must leave our country. Our Sultan graciously gives you a portion of your wealth to carry away with you!” The officers then shipped several chests of money, jewels, and other valuables to be placed to the account of the merchant, and the Sultan-making Genoese quitted Morocco for ever.

The Moors reported to me that the French were building some factories, with a fort, upon some unclaimed land along the coast, equidistant between Aghadir and Wadnoun. It is probably near Fort Hillsboro of the maps, and which Mr. Davidson calls Isgueder. A Moor was accused by the authorities of Mogador of being mixed up with the transaction, and immediately sent to the south, where he has not been heard of since. Another report is that the French are only building a factory. The spot of land has near it a small port and a good spring of water; quantities of bricks and lime have been deposited there; French vessels of war from the Senegal have been coasting and surveying up and down, touching at the place.

The new port is called Yedoueesai. I inquired particularly respecting this project; but Mr. Treppass stated positively, that the French had wholly abandoned the idea of establishing commercial relations with the Sheikh of Wadnoun, or any tribes thereabouts, whatever might have been their original intentions. Vessels of war have frequently visited the coast of Wadnoun, finding it the worst in all Africa. They, however, now maintain friendly relations with the Sheikh, in the event of shipwrecks or other disasters, happening to French vessels.

Nevertheless, it was at the particular request of the French Consul of Mogador, that his Government broke off all communications with the Sheikh, the Emperor having repeatedly complained to the Consul against this intercourse assuming a commercial or diplomatic character. 34 The whole coast, from the port of Mogador to the river Senegal, has been, within the last few years, surveyed by the French vessels of war, particularly by Captain E. Bouet; and there is sufficient evidence in the reports of the people, and the remonstrances of the Maroquine Government, to prove that the French did attempt a settlement on the part of the coast above stated, but that it failed.

The French took the idea of the undertaking from Davidson, who proposed to Lord Palmerston to enter into communication with the Sheikh of Wadnoun, and establish a factory on the coast, somewhere about the river Noun, just below Cape Noun. A British vessel of war was sent down with presents for the Sheikh, and to ascertain the whereabout of the fine harbour reported to exist there by the Sheikh and his people. This attempt of our government was as fruitless as that of the French afterwards. Indeed, at the very time an English brig of war was searching about for this port, and seeking an interview with the Sheikh of Wadnoun on the coast, Davidson was murdered on the southern frontier just as he was penetrating the Sahara.

It is not improbable, however, that the knowledge of this recommendation of Davidson, which, from the Sheikh’s people themselves, would naturally reach the court of Morocco, might have excited that jealous court to compass in some way his death, or at any rate thwart his expedition to Timbuctoo, for the Emperor is exceedingly jealous of any European holding communication with the south. The Sheikh Barook is, in spite of all this, very anxious to begin an intercourse with Europeans; and not long ago, a messenger arrived with a bag of money for the Jew, Cohen, telling him to take some out of it, and to go to the Sheikh who wished to see him. But Cohen would not expose himself to the displeasure of the Emperor, although he has English protection.

Wadnoun is a quasi-independent Sheikhdom of the empire. The Sheikh of Wadnoun pays no tithes nor other imposts, and only sends an annual present as a mark of vassal-homage to the Emperor. Sous, which adjoins this province, is more immediately under the power of the Sultan of the Shereefs, but the tithes are not so easily collected in the south as in the north. Much depends on the ability of the governor, who rules the whole of the district in the name of the Emperor. The imperial authority is maintained principally by prompting disunion amongst the Sheikhs; Sous being divided into numerous districts, each district having an independent Sheikh.

By confusion and divisions among themselves, the Emperor rules all as paramount-lord. When will people learn to be united, so that by union they may win their freedom and independence? Alas! never. Wadnoun is treated, however, very tenderly; for if the Emperor were to attempt the subjugation of this country, the malcontents of Sous would join the Sheikh, and his authority would probably be overthrown in all the south.

Sous is the richest of these provinces, and equal to any other of the northern districts. Its trade in dates, ostrich feathers, wax, wool, and hides, particularly in gums, almonds, and slaves, is very great. All the Saharan caravans must pass through this country, except those proceeding viâ Tafilett to Fez. Teroudant, its capital, is a very ancient city, and was built by the ancient Berbers. It has a circumference of walls capable of containing eighty thousand people, but the actual population does not exceed twenty thousand. Its inhabitants are very industrious, and the Moors excel in the art of dyeing.

Noun, or Wadnoun, as this country and its capital are sometimes called, Mr, Davidson briefly describes as a large district, having many clusters of inhabitants. The town where the Sheikh resides, is of good size, and has a millah, or Jew’s quarter, besides a good market. It stands on the river (such as it is) distant twenty two miles from the sea.

The river Noun rises in the mountains above Souk Aisa or Assa, and is there called Wad-el-Aisa; and, passing through the district of Wadnoun, it takes the name of Assaka. The ancient name of this river was Daradus. The territory around is not very fertile on account of the neighbourhood of the Desert, but produces gum, wax, and ostrich feathers in abundance. The inhabitants are mostly Arabs with a sprinkling of Shelouh, estimated by Gräberg 35 at 2,000. The population is somewhat thickly scattered; there are at least twenty villages between the district of Stuka and Wadnoun.

The annexed is a sketch of Wadnoun after the design left by Mr. Davidson.

Wadnoun is an important rendezvous of caravans. Many Timbuctoo caravans break up here, and some Saharan. Several Saharan merchants come no further north, disposing of their slaves and goods to Maroquine merchants, who meet them in this place.

It is safe travelling through these countries, provided no extraordinary plot be laid for taking away a traveller’s life, as in the case of European explorers attempting to penetrate the interior. Mr. Treppass thinks that, notwithstanding the ill-will of the Moorish Government, Davidson could have succeeded in his attempted journey to Timbuctoo had he been more circumspect. He gave out to all persons whom he met that he was going to Timbuctoo. This insured his being stopped and murdered en route by some party or other, more especially as he at last abandonod the idea of protecting himself by a caravan-party, and started alone. But I am not altogether of this opinion. Too much publicity is certainly injurious to a journey of discovery, and far and near awakens attention and suspicion; but a too sudden and unexpected appearance in the towns of the Desert, equally excites distrust and suspicion, if not hostile feelings.

Mr. Robertson, whilst at Morocco, heard one of the numerous versions of the death of Mr. Davidson. He is said to have been killed by the mere freak of a young Arab, who wished to have the pleasure of killing a Christian, and who called out to his companions, “Come, let us go and have a shot at the Christian.” The party of Arabs to whom this mischievous young man belonged, was afterwards extremely grieved at what had been done. One of the Arabs, in plundering the baggage, lost his hand by breaking a bottle containing aqua fortis. The glass cut a large gash, and the aqua fortis entering immediately, consumed the hand. The people cried out, “The devils of the Christian are in the water!” From all I have heard, the great fault of Davidson appears to have been his wishing to travel as like “a fine gentleman.” This prejudiced all his travelling-companions against him, and could not fail to render him unpopular wherever he went.

It is of no use for a man to cry out in the Desert, “I am an Englishman!” he must exclaim, “I am an Arab, and will do and suffer like an Arab.” If any one were to ask me, “What would carry a roan to Timbuctoo through the Desert? is it courage, or money, or prudence?” I would reply, “The first thing is suffering, the second is suffering, and the last is suffering.” 36 I consulted an old man on this journey to Timbuctoo. He could not undertake a voyage being too old. He mentioned names of places en route, and said they travelled by the stars, which star-travelling is all stuff. He recommended going by sea as much nearer. Very little satisfactory information can be obtained from Maroquine Moors, who would rather mislead than direct you.

I endeavoured to open a correspondence with the South on the Anti–Slavery question. At first, I thought of going to Wadnoun on receiving an invitation from the Sheikh, but when I proposed this to Mr. Wiltshire, he insisted on my relinquishing such a project, inasmuch as having placed myself at the direction of the Consul–General, as recommended by the Earl of Aberdeen, I was not at liberty to differ from the advice, which Mr. Hay and himself might tender me. I saw there was some reason in this, and submitted though with great reluctance. However, I wrote two letters to Sheikh Barook of Wadnoun, stating the views and objects of the Anti–Slavery Society.

I had some difficulty in finding a courier, who would undertake the delicate mission of conveying the letters. But Mr. Treppass and the French Consul, M. Jorelle, felt themselves more at liberty in the matter than our Consul, and determined to assist me, M. Jorelle very justly observing, “We will sow the seeds of liberty, if we can do nothing more.” Indeed, I am greatly obliged to that gentleman for the interest he took in my mission, and the assistance he rendered me on this and other occasions. After my return to England, I received two letters from the Sheikh in answer to those I had written to him. The Sheikh, afraid lest his letter might fall into the hands of Government, after many compliments, begs me to get the Emperor first to move in the question, adding, “what he makes free, we will make free;” for he says in another place, “We act as he acts, according to the treek (ordinance) of God and his Prophet.”

Sheikh Barook also protests that he has but little power in these matters, living as he does in the Desert. As I did not seek for any thing beyond an answer to my letters, and was only anxious that he should know the sentiments of the Anti–Slavery Society, I was not all disappointed. I knew too much of the pro-slavery feeling once existing in a strong party in England, and the mighty struggles which we had passed through to obtain British Abolition, to expect anything more than a respectful answer to antislavery letters from a Prince of the Desert, whose revenues were raised chiefly from the duties levied upon slave-caravans passing through his territory. I only attempted to scatter the seeds of liberty over the slave-tracks of the Desert, leaving the budding forth and the growth to the irrigating influences of that merciful and wise God, who has made all men of one flesh and blood.

I visited the families of Jewish merchants during the Passover, in company with Mr. and Mrs. Elton. Christians here visit the Jews twice a year, at the feast of the Passover and Tabernacles. In return, Jews visit Christians on New Year’s day. This laudable practice promotes social harmony between the Jews and Christians.

In the house of one of our Jewish friends (Mr. Levi’s) I assisted at the celebration of the evening of the Passover. There is nothing very particular in this ceremony, except a great deal of reading. The drinking of the four cups 37 of wine, and the eating of the bitter herbs, emblems of the joys and the sorrows attending the deliverance from Egyptian bondage, are the more difficult parts of the ceremony. The children naturally feel most the disagreeableness of eating the bitter herbs, and several times, as soon as they put them into their mouths, they spat them out again under the table. The drinking of an excessive quantity of wine, is also attended with not a little inconvenience, and one would think Bacchus was the deity worshipped, and not the God of the Jews and Christians. When will mankind learn that violation of the physical economy of their nature can never be acceptable to the Great Creator?

I do not say that European Israelites indulge so much in these excesses as Barbary Jews, but I imagine that the germ of the debauch is found in the Talmudical religion of both classes. But, since I should be very sorry were a Jew to hold up to me the mummeries of Popery or of the Greek Church, as the mirror of my own religion, I am not disposed to animadvert upon the generally decorous worship of European Israelites.

It requires three full days to get through this business of visiting. In truth, it is a very serious affair, for we were obliged to eat cake, and sip sherbet, or white brandy, at every house we went to, otherwise we should confer an affront upon our friends. At all times, a great quantity of white brandy, which the Jews distil themselves, is drunk, but especially on these occasions.

The Governor of Mogador gave orders, not long ago, that no Mussulman should enter the Jewish quarter, to prevent the faithful from being seduced into drinking this insidious spirit. I shall just mention what a Christian is obliged to conform to, whilst visiting the Barbary Jews on these high days and holidays.

1st. You must eat a piece of cake, at least of one sort, if not of several kinds, and drink a little brandy, wine somets, or boiled juice of the grape, or sherbet. In many of the houses, they give nothing but brandy, which is tastefully placed out on small round tables, as at a pastrycook’s shop.

2nd. You must admire the new dresses of the ladies, who are radiantly and sumptuously attired “in flaming purple and refulgent gold,” their ornaments likewise of gold, silver, and all manner of precious stones; for the daughters of Israel are, as on bridal days, all begemmed, bejewelled, and diamonded, stuck over with gems as thick as stars “seen in the galaxy or milky-way.” On these festivals, it is absolutely a matter of orthodox observance that the Jews and Jewesses should wear something new. Some have entirely new dresses.

3rd. Any thing new or remarkable in the house, or household furniture, must be noticed or admired.

4th. You must carry with you in your memorandum-book, or at the tip of your tongue, a good assortment of first-rate compliments of the season.

If these are spiced with a little scandal of your neighbours, or the party you have just left, so much the better; they are more relished.

Now you are obliged to visit twenty or thirty families per diem; and you are literally passing through doors, square-courts, and corridors, crossing patios and quadrangles, walking up and down stairs, getting up and sitting down from morning to night, during these three mortal days. It will be seen then, that these Passover and Tabernacle visits are tremendous affairs, and require Herculean strength to get through their polite duties. They may be days of jovial festivity to Jews, but certainly they are days of labour and annoyance to Gentiles.

But I must now give an account of one or two remarkable personages whom we visited. The first was Madame Bousac, a Jewess of this country. Her father was a grandee at Court in the days of former emperors, and the greatest merchant of his time, and she represented as an aristocrat among her people, a modern Esther, standing and pleading between the Sultan and her nation. This lady is the only native woman in the country, Mooress or Jewess, who has tact or courage enough to go and speak to the Emperor, and state her request with an unfaltering voice beneath the awful shadow of the Shereefian presence! Madame Bousac accompanied the merchants to Morocco, to pay her respects to the Emperor. Among other modest or confidential demands which the lady made on the Imperial benevolence, was that of an advance to her husband of ten thousand dollars. His Imperial Highness was immediately obliged to give a formal assent before his court.

She then visited the Harem, and felt herself quite at home. All the ladies, wives or concubines of the Emperor, waited upon her; and served her with tea and bread, and butter.

The presentation of bread and butter and cups of tea, is said to be the highest honour conferred on visitors, but why or wherefore I have not heard.

Madame Bousac gave us some account of the Morocco harem, which we may suppose is like that of Fez and Miknas. The number of these ladies was some two hundred. They are all attired alike, except the four wives, who dress a little more in the style of Sultanas. I am sorry to be obliged to disabuse the reader of the romance and oriental colouring attached to our ideas of the harem, by giving Madame Bousac’s simile of those angelic houries. This lady said, “they are like a string of charity-school girls going to church on a Sunday morning.”

Their penurious lord keeps down their pin-money to the lowest point, and is not more liberal to his ladies than to his other subjects. Former sultans were accustomed to allow their ladies half a dollar a day, but these have but twopence, or at least fourpence. Muley Abd Errahman even traffics in his beauties, and will now and then make a present of one to a governor, in consideration of receiving an adequate return of money, or presents. Sometimes, the Moors pay their Shereefian Sultan a similar compliment, by presenting him with slaves from their harem. 38

Madame Bousac is, of course, a perfect lady according to Moorish ideas, but her fascinations on the mind of the Emperor, arise more from her wit and ability than her feminine grace and delicacy. She is anything but a beauty, according to our ideas, being of a dark complexion, of middle height, of large and powerful muscular proportions, very upright, as if bending backwards, and with a hoarse and masculine voice. Like most women in this part of the world, she is married to a man old enough to be her father, or even grandfather, being even more than double her age.

She herself may be about thirty, at which age the beauty of Barbary women is gone for ever. Such is the court-dame who has courage enough to speak to the Emperor of Morocco in public. She conversed with us about her affairs, telling us the Emperor had not yet advanced to her husband the loan of 10,000 dollars as promised, nor did she expect it, for she knew his avarice. “Rather would he sell one of his Sultanas.” But he had sent her a present of four haiks, which she shewed us; they were extremely fine and white. “These,” she observed, “are the ten thousand dollars paid in private, but which the Sultan could not refuse me in public.”

Another character whom we visited, was the distinguished Rabbi, Coriante. The priest entertained us with dissertations upon various subjects. First of slavery. “It is unlawful to steal blacks, the Mosaic law denouncing such theft with the punishment of death. Nevertheless, if the Jews of this country had the power, they would enslave the Mussulman, and well castigate them.”

This latter remark, Coriante uttered with an emphasis, denoting the revenge which his countrymen would inflict upon their Mahometan oppressors, who had kept them in chains for a series of ages. He remarked, however, that the Sultan might give way on the question of negro slavery, after the first shock to his prejudices.

The Rabbi treated us with wine, but one of us, moved by curiosity, having touched the bottle, he remarked to his daughter in an under-tone; “It’s all gone,” (the rest of the wine is spoiled). Among these extremely superstitious Barbary rabbies, it is a pollution to their wine if a Christian touch even the bottle containing the juice of the grape, and they will not drink it afterwards.

We asked the reason of his not being able to drink, and found it was, first, because women work in the vineyards, and the second, because the Pope pronounces his blessing upon the vintage. After these Jews have eaten meat, they are obliged to wait some time before they can eat butter, or drink milk; in fact, their superstitions are numberless. The Rabbi read to us portions of the proverbs of Solomon, and told us Solomon was well acquainted with steam engines and railways, “Only they were of no use in the Holy Land when God was always with his people.” He then gave us his blessing, and me this solemn warning. “Take care the Emperor does not cut off your head, as he has cut off the head of our young Darmon.” 39

24 “To his Imperial Majesty the Emperor of Morocco, Sidi Muley Abd Errahman.

“May it please your Majesty,

“A Society in England, having for its object the Abolition of Slavery and the Slave Trade throughout the world, and denominated the British and Foreign Anti–Slavery Society, being informed of the pacific intentions and friendly disposition of your Majesty towards our Sovereign Queen and Government, and being informed likewise, that your Majesty, in diplomatic relations with other Foreign Princes and States, has universally manifested the greatest desire to preserve peace amongst nations, and, of necessary consequence, the happiness of the human race, are encouraged to approach your Majesty, and to plead on behalf of a numerous and important class of your subjects, the negro and other black slaves.

“These are a people always faithful to their friends and protectors (a most conspicuous and immediate proof of which is seen in your Majesty’s Imperial Guard, formed principally of this class of your faithful subjects,) and exhibiting under suffering and oppression the greatest patience and fortitude, yet, during the long course of bygone centuries, they have been subjected to horrid cruelties and barbarities, in order to pander to the vices and to satiate the avarice of their oppressors.

“Now we, the Society in England aforesaid, address your Majesty for the succour and protection of this cruelly oppressed portion of the human race, and in order that you may be graciously pleased to remove the chain of bondage from off these unfortunate victims of the violence and cupidity of wicked men, who, in defiance of all justice and mercy, claim them as their property, and buy and sell them as cattle.

“We further entreat that your Majesty would be graciously pleased to place the slaves in your Imperial dominions upon a footing of equality with the rest of your faithful subjects, and to make them free men, having the rightful possession of their own persons, and being at liberty to travel whithersoever they will.

“For your Majesty rightly understands and knows as well as we do, that God the Almighty Maker of us and you, has made all men equal, and has not permitted man to have property in his fellow man, which reduces them to the level of brutes; therefore, to make slaves of our fellows, our brothers and sisters, is to sin against the will and mind of God, and to provoke his wrath and indignation against us, and against our children after us.

“Consequently, we, the Society in England, aforesaid, in common with some of your own Mussulman sovereigns and people, hold Slavery, and the Slave Trade in extreme abhorrence, because it kills and destroys our brothers whom we ought to love and cherish, because it makes them like brutes, whom we ought to esteem as reasonable beings, because it hardens our own hearts and makes us cruel towards our fellows, whom we ought to treat with kindness and compassion, and because it deforms God’s creatures, in whom we ought to revere his spiritual likeness, man being made after the likeness of God, in possessing a spiritual reasoning soul; these evils, however, are the direct and inevitable consequences of the accursed Slave Trade, and for such reasons we, the people of England in general, abhor it, and seek, in every legitimate and righteous way, to persuade men of every nation in the world to abandon this inhuman and wicked traffic.

“Finally, we implore your Majesty to be pleased to follow out that great act of confidence which you have exercised towards the negro race, in appointing them the life-guards of your Imperial person, by graciously liberating them from the cruel yoke of slavery. From our hearts we believe that your Majesty will find such a spontaneous act of compassion towards the desolate African Slaves to be the wisest worldly policy, and most agreeable to the will of the Eternal Creator of us all. Your loyal subjects will love the goodness of your heart the more, and serve you the better, while all Africa, of which the immense dominions of your Majesty form so large a part, will catch new life and vigour, under the blessing of the Almighty, and grow happy and prosperous in the ages to come.

“Signed and sealed on behalf of the Society in England for abolishing Slavery and the Slave Trade throughout the world.

“(Signed) THOMAS CLARKSON. (L.S.)”

25 This is not exact. The vizier is often the author of certain lines of policy.

26 All the Moorish Sultans are spoken of by the people as Seedna, “Our Lord,” and departed Saints are addressed by the same title.

27 It is curious to see the Spartan principle of theft developing itself under such different circumstances.

28 [Transcriber’s Note: the text of this footnote was missing in the original print edition.]

29 This is the old story of the abettors of the slave-trade in all parts of the world; I very much doubt if there be any truth in it. None of the slave-dealers of the Desert whom I conversed with, had ever seen or heard of prisoners of war being put to death.

30 The European name of Mogador, is supposed to be derived from Mugdul, or Modogul, a Moorish Saiut.

31 The Governor of Mogador told me to go to look at his slaves, and see that they were well fed and well clothed. But every rich man’s horses and dogs are well-fed and well-housed.

32 Mr. Davidson did not visit Morocco as an abolitionist. Head what impression this Maroquine slavery made upon his mind. “My heart sickens at the sight of this horrid picture. In another lot of these unfortunate beings were six women, one of whom had given birth to a child on the road, which was thrown into the bargain. There was an old wretch who had come from Saweirah to purchase female slaves; his examination was carried on in the most disgusting manner, I could not refrain from calling down the curse of Heaven on these inhuman wretches. In many, but little feeling is shewn for the poor blacks; and they seemed to think less of their own fate than I did, who was merely a looker-on. One poor creature, however, who was a finer woman, and less black than the rest, shed tears. I could have given her my dagger to have plunged it in the breast of the villain who was examining her. And yet these people pray four times a day, and think themselves superior to all God’s creatures! More than ever do I wish to get away from, this den of hell-hounds. Each of the grown persons was in the prime of life, and had once a home, and was more to be pitied than the children, who had never known the liberty of thought and act. To each of the ten slaves was given a lunch of bread; while both the inhuman buyers and sellers, after chuckling over their bargains, went to offer up their prayers to Heaven, before they took their daily meal. Can such unhallowed doings be permitted to endure longer! Oh, Spirit of Civilization, hither turn your eyes, and punish the purchasers who ought to know better, for thus only will the sale be stopped.”

33 I asked a Moor, “Who built this castle on the sands?” He replied pertly, “Iskander!” Whenever the Moors see anything marvellous or ancient, they ascribe it to Alexander the Great, to Pharaoh, to Solomon, or even to Nimrod, as caprice leads them, believing that these three or four personages created all the wondrous and monstrous things in the world. But we have an instance here, how soon through ignorance, or the want of records, a modern thing may become ancient in the minds of the vulgar. This fort was built after Mogador, which town is not yet a century old.

34 Certainly, to establish relations with the Southern provinces of Morocco, that is, Sous and Wadnoun, would greatly injure the trade of Mogador, and, therefore, the Consuls, as well as the Moorish Authorities, set their faces against any direct intercourse being opened with the South.

35 Gräberg says Noun means the “river of eels,” Davidson derives the name from a Portuguese queen called Nounah; but his editor says the name is properly Nul, was so written when the Arabs possessed Portugal, and that Queen Nunah is a modern invention.

36 Whatever may have been Mr. Davidson’s faults, I scarcely doubt that the first impressions of Mr. Consul–General Hay were correct. He says, “I fear, however, that I am not to expect much assistance from him,” (Mr. Hay); and hints, in other parts of his Journal, that Mr. Hay was rather disposed to throw difficulties in his way, than to render him efficient aid. Mr. Hay’s son (which is very natural) attempts to exculpate his father in an appendix to his “Western Barbary,” and some will, perhaps, think he has done so successfully. My experience of the diplomatic skill of the late Consul, does not permit me to coincide with this favourable opinion. The greater probability is, that if Mr. Davidson had been left to his own “inspirations,” and allowed complete liberty of action, he would have succeeded in reaching Timbuctoo; but his health doss not appear to have been sufficiently robust, or himself acclimated, to have brought him back from his perilous adventure.

37 These cups hold at least a pint each, and every adult male is expected to empty four, if not six. Of course, they get beastly intoxicated, and suffer a day or two of illness afterwards, a very just punishment.

38 But I do not think it reaches the point of complaisance, noticed by Monsieur Chenier, when he was French Consul in 1767. He says, “The veneration of the Moors is so great for this Prince, that they deem themselves happy whenever one; of their daughters is admitted to share his couch.” On the other hand, many of the beauties presented by the Sultan to his ministers, although brought out of his harems, are virgins. The poor ladies in the royal harems are only so much stock, from which their Lord and tyrant picks and chooses.

39 Friend Phillips is always wrestling with these prejudices of Barbary Jews. When his wife was delivered of a daughter, he was determined to have as much “fuss” made of the child as if it had been a son, to spite the prejudices of his brethren. So, when he went out for a walk with his wife, he would walk always arm-in-arm with her, although she was a Jewess of this country, which caused great annoyance to his woman-oppressing brethren.

Volume 2

Chapter 1

The Mogador Jewesses. — Disputes between the Jew and the Moor. — Melancholy Scenes. — The Jews of the Atlas. — Their Religion. — Beautiful Women. — The Four Wives. — Statues discovered. — Discrepancy of age of married people. — Young and frail fair ones. — Superstition respecting Salt. — White Brandy. — Ludicrous Anecdote.

Notwithstanding the imbecile prejudices of the native Barbary Jews, such of them who adopt European habits, or who mix with European merchants, are tolerably good members of society, always endeavouring to restrain their own peculiarities. The European Jewesses settled in Mogador, are indeed the belles of society, and attend all the balls (such as they are). The Jewess sooner forgets religious differences than the Jew, and I was told by a Christian lady, it would be a dangerous matter for a Christian gentleman to make an offer of marriage to a Mogador Jewess, unless in downright earnest; as it would be sure to be accepted.

Monsieur Delaport, Consul of France, was the first official person who brought prominently forward the native and other Jews into the European society of this place, and since then, these Jews have improved in their manners, and increased their respectability. The principal European Jews are from London, Gibraltar, and Marseilles. Many native Jews have attempted to wear European clothes; and a European hat, or coat, is now the rage among native Jewesses, who all aspire to get a husband wearing either. Such are elements of the progress of the Jewess population in this part of the world, and there is no doubt their position has been greatly ameliorated within the last half century, or since the time of Ali Bey, who thus describes their wretched condition in his days.

“Continual disputes arise between the Jew and the Moor; when the Jew is wrong, the Moor takes his own satisfaction, and if the Jew be right, he lodges a complaint with the judge, who always decides in favour of the Mussulman. I have seen the Mahometan children amuse themselves by beating little Jews, who durst not defend themselves. When a Jew passes a mosque, he is obliged to take off his slippers, or shoes; he must do the same when he passes the house of the Kaëd, the Kady, or any Mussulman of distinction. At Fez, and in some other towns, they are obliged to walk barefooted.” Ali Bey mentions other vexations and oppressions, and adds, “When I saw the Jews were so ill-treated and vexed in every way, I asked them why they did not go to another country. They answered that they could not do so, because they were slaves of the Sultan.” Again he says, “As the Jews have a particular skill in thieving, they indemnify themselves for the ill-treatment they receive from the Moors, by cheating them daily.”

Jewesses are exempt from taking off their slippers, or sandals, when passing the mosques. The late Emperor, Muley Suleiman, 40 professed to be a rigidly exact Mussulman, and considered it very indecent, and a great scandal that Jewesses, some of them, like most women of this country, of enormous dimensions, should be allowed to disturb the decent frame of mind of pious Mussulmen, whilst entering the threshold of the house of prayer, by the sad exhibitions of these good ladies stooping down and shewing their tremendous calves, when in the act of taking off their shoes before passing the mosques. For such reasons, Jewesses are now privileged and exempted from the painful necessity of walking barefoot in the streets.

The policy of the Court in relation to the Jews continually fluctuates. Sometimes, the Emperor thinks they ought to be treated like the rest of his subjects; at other times, he seems anxious to renew in all its vigour the system described by Ali Bey. Hearing that the Jews of Tangier, on returning from Gibraltar, would often adopt the European dress, and so, by disguising themselves, be treated like Christians and Europeans, he ordered all these would-be Europeans forthwith to be undressed, and to resume their black turban.

Alas, how were all these Passover, Tabernacle and wedding festivals, these happy and joyous days of the Jewish society of Mogador, changed on the bombardment of that city! What became of the rich and powerful merchants, the imperial vassals of commerce with their gorgeous wives bending under the weight of diamonds, pearls, and precious gems, during that sad and unexpected period? The newspapers of the day recorded the melancholy story. Many of the Jews were massacred, or buried underneath the ruins of the city; their wives subjected to plunder; the rest were left wandering naked and starving on the desolate sandy coast of the Atlantic, or hidden in the mountains, obtaining a momentary respite from the rapacious fury of the savage Berbers and Arabs.

It is well known that, while the French bombarded Tangier and Mogador from without, the Berber and Arab tribes, aided by the canaille of the Moors, plundered the city from within. Several of the Moorish rabble declared publicly, and with the greatest cowardice and villainous effrontery, “When the French come to destroy Mogador, we shall go and pillage the Jews’ houses, strip the women of their ornaments, and then escape to the mountains from the pursuit of the Christians.” These threats they faithfully executed; but, by a just vengeance, they were pillaged in turn, for the Berbers not only plundered the Jews themselves, but the Moors who had escaped from the city laden with their booty.

It is to be hoped that a better day is dawning for North African Jews. The Governments of France and England can do much for them in Morocco.

The Jews of the Atlas formed the subject of some of Mr. Davidson’s literary labours; I have made further inquiries and shall give the reader some account of them, adding that portion of Mr. Davidson’s information which was borne out by further investigation. The Atlas Jews are physically, if not morally, superior to their brethren who reside among the Moors. They are dispersed over the Atlas ranges, and have all the characteristics of mountaineers. They enjoy, like their neighbours, the Berbers and Shelouhs, a species of quasi-independence of the Imperial authority, but they usually attach themselves to certain Berber chieftains who protect them, and whose standards they follow.

These are the only Jews in Mahometan countries of whom I have heard as bearing arms. They have, however, their own Sheiks, to whose jurisdiction all domestic matters are referred. They wear the same attire as the mountaineers, and are not distinguishable from them, they do not address the Moors by the term of respect and title “Sidi,” but in the same way as the Moors and Arabs when they accost each other. They speak the Shelouh language.

Mr. Davidson mentions some curious circumstances about these Jews, and of their having a city beyond the Atlas, where three or four thousand are living in perfect freedom, and cultivating the soil, which they have possessed since the time of Solomon. The probability is that Mr. Davidson’s informant refers to the Jews of the Oasis of Sahara, where there certainly are some families of Jews living in comparative freedom and independence.

As to the peculiarities of the religion of the Atlas Jews, they are said not to have the Pentateuch and the law in the same order as Jews generally. They are unacquainted with Ezra, or Christ; they did not go to Babylon at the captivity, but were dispersed over Africa at that period. They are a species of Caraaites, or Jewish Protestants. Shadai is the name which they apply to the Supreme Being, when speaking of him. Their written law begins by stating that the world was many thousand years old when the present race of men was formed, which, curiously enough, agrees with the researches of modern geology. The present race of men are the joint offspring of different and distinct human species. The deluge is not mentioned by them. God, it is said, appeared to Ishmael in a dream, and told him he must separate from Isaac, and go to the desert, where he would make him a great nation. There would ever after be enmity between the two races, as at this day there is the greatest animosity between the Jews and Mahometans.

The great nucleus of these Shelouh Jews is in Jebel Melge, or the vast ridge of the Atlas capped with eternal snows; and they hold communications with the Jews of Ait Mousa, Frouga or Misfuvâ. They rarely descend to the plains or cities of the empire, and look upon the rest of the Jews of this country as heretics. Isolation thus begets enmity and mistrust, as in other cases. A few years ago, a number came to Mogador, and were not at all pleased with their visit, finding fault with everything among their brethren. These Jewish mountaineers are supposed to be very numerous. In their homes, they are inaccessible. So they live in a wild independence, professing a creed as free as their own mountain airs. God, who made the hills, made likewise man’s freedom to abide therein. Before taking leave of the Maroquine Israelites, I must say something of their personal appearance. Both in Tangier and Mogador, I was fortunate enough to be acquainted with families, who could boast of the most perfect and classic types of Jewish female loveliness. Alas, that these beauties should be only charming animals, their minds and affections being left uncultivated, or converted into caves of unclean and tormenting passions. The Jewesses, in general, until they become enormously stout and weighed down with obesity, are of extreme beauty. Most of them have fair complexions; their rose and jasmine faces, their pure wax-like delicate features, and their exceedingly expressive and bewitching eyes, would fascinate the most fastidious of European connoisseurs of female beauty.

But these Israelitish ladies, recalling the fair image of Rachel in the Patriarchal times of Holy Writ, and worthy to serve as models for a Grecian sculptor, are treated with savage disdain by the churlish Moors, and sometimes are obliged to walk barefoot and prostrate themselves before their ugly negress concubines. The male infants of Jews are engaging and goodlooking when young; but, as they grow up, they become ordinary; and Jews of a certain age, are decidedly and most disgustingly ugly. It is possible that the degrading slavery in which they usually live, their continued habits of cringing servility, by which the countenance acquires a sinister air and fiendishly cunning smirk, may cause this change in their appearance. But what contrasts we had of the beauty of countenance and form in the Jewish society of Mogador! You frequently see a youthful woman, nay a girl of exquisite beauty and delicacy of features, married to an old wretched ill-looking fellow of some sixty or seventy years of age, tottering over the grave, or an incurable invalid. To render them worse-looking, whilst the women may dress in any and the gayest colours, the men wear a dark blue and black turban and dress, and though this is prescribed as a badge of oppression, they will often assume it when they may attire themselves in white and other livelier colours. However, men get used to their misery, and hug their chains.

The Jews, at times, though but very rarely, avail themselves of their privilege of four wives granted them in Mahometan countries, and a nice mess they make of it. I knew a Jew of this description in Tunis. He was a lively, jocose fellow, with a libidinous countenance, singing always some catch of a song. He was a silk-mercer, and pretty well off. His house was small, and besides a common salle-à-manger, divided into four compartments for his four wives, each defending her room with the ferocity of a tigress. Two of them were of his own age, about fifty, and two not more than twenty. The two elder ones, I was told by his neighbours, were entirely abandoned by the husband, and the two younger ones were always bickering and quarrelling, as to which of them should have the greater favour of their common tyrant; the house a scene of tumult, disorder and indecency. Amongst the whole of the wives, there was only one child, a boy, of course an immense pet, a little surly wretch; his growth smothered, his health nearly ruined, by the overattentions of the four women, whom he kicked and pelted when out of humour.

This little imp was the fit type, or interpretation of the presiding genius of polygamy. I once visited this happy family, this biting satire on domestic bliss and the beauty of the harem of the East. The women were all sour, and busy at work, weaving or spinning cotton, “Do you work for your husband?” I asked,

The women. — “Thank Rabbi, no.”

Traveller. — “What do you do with your money?”

The women. — “Spend it ourselves.”

Traveller. — “How do you like to have only one husband among you four?”

The women. — “Pooh! is it not the will of God?”

Traveller. — “Whose boy is that?”

The women. — “It belongs to us all.”

Traveller. — “Have you no other children?”

The women. — “Our husband is good for no more than that.”

Whilst I was talking to these angelic creatures, their beloved lord was quietly stuffing capons, without hearing our polite discourse. A European Jew who knew the native society of Jews well, represents domestic bliss to be a mere phantom, and scarcely ever thought of, or sought after. Poor human nature!

I took a walk round the suburbs one morning, whilst a strong wind was bringing the locusts towards the coast, which fell upon us like hailstones. Young locusts frequently crowd upon the neighbouring hills in thousands and tens of thousands. They are little green things. No one knows whence they come and whither they go. These are not destructive. Indeed, unless swarms of locusts appear darkening the sky, and full grown ones, they do not permanently damage the country. The wind usually disperses them; they rarely take a long flight, except impelled by a violent gale. Arabs attempt to destroy locusts by digging pits into which they may fall. This is merely playing with them. Jews fry them in oil and salt, and sell them as we sell shrimps, the taste of which they resemble.

On my return, I passed a Mooress, or rather a Mauritanian Venus, who was so stout that she had fallen down, and could not get up. A mule was fetched to carry her home. But the Moor highly relishes these enormous lumps of fat, according to the standard beauty laid down by the talebs — “Four things in a woman should be ample, the lower part of the back, the thighs, the calves of the legs and the knees.”

Some time ago, there were discovered at Malta various rude statues of women very ample in the lower part of the “back,” supposed to be of Libyan origin, so that stout ladies have been the choicest of the fashion for ages past; the fattening of women, like so many capons and turkeys, begins when they are betrothed.

They then swallow three times a day regular boluses of paste, and are not allowed to take exercise. By the time marriage takes place, they are in a tolerable good condition, not unlike Smithfield fattened heifers. The lady of one of the European merchants being very thin, the Moors frequently asked her husband how it was, and whether she had enough to eat, hinting broadly that he starved her.

On the other hand, two or three of the merchant’s wives were exceedingly stout, and of course great favourites with the men folks of this city.

The discrepancies of age, in married people, is most unnatural and disgusting; whilst the merchants were at Morocco, a little girl of nine years of age was married to a man upwards of fifty. Ten and eleven is a common age for girls to be married. Much has been said of the reverence of children for their parents in the East, and tribes of people migrating therefrom, and the fifth commandment embodies the sentiment of the Eastern world. But there is little of this in Mogador; a European Jewess, who knows all the respectable Jewish and many of the Moorish families, assured me that children make their aged parents work for them, as long as the poor creatures can. “Honour thy father and thy mother,” is quite as much neglected here as in Europe. However, there is some difference. The indigent Moors and Jews maintain their aged parents in their own homes, and we English Christian shut up ours in the Union Bastiles.

To continue this domestic picture, the marriage settlements, especially among the Jews, are ticklish and brittle things, as to money or other mercenary arrangements.

A match is often broken off, because a lamp of the value of four dollars has been substituted for one of the value of twenty dollars, which was first promised on the happy day of betrothal.

Indeed, nearly all marriages here are matters of sale and barter. Love is out of the question, he never flutters his purple wings over the bridal bed of Mogador. A Jewish or Moorish girl having placed before her a rich, old ugly man, of mean and villanous character, of three score years and upwards, and by his side, a handsome youth of blameless character and amiable manners, will not hesitate a moment to prefer the former. As affairs of intrigue and simple animal enjoyment are the great business of life, the ways and means, in spite of Moorish and Mahometan jealousy, as strong as death, by which these young and frail beauties indulge in forbidden conversations, are innumerable. Although the Moors frequently relate romantic legends of lovely innocent brides, who had never seen any other than the faces of their father, or of married ladies, who never raised the veil from off their faces, except to receive their own husbands, and seem to extol such chastity and seclusion; they are too frequently found indulging in obscene imaginations, tempting and seducing the weaker sex from the path of virtue and honour. So that, if women are unchaste here, or elsewhere, men are the more to blame: if woman goes one step wrong, men drag her two more. Men corrupt women, and then punish her for being corrupt, depriving them of their natural and unalienable rights.

Salt in Africa as in Europe is a domestic superstition. A Jewess, one morning, in bidding adieu to her friends, put her fingers into a salt-cellar, and took from it a large pinch of salt, which her friend told me afterwards was to preserve her from the evil one. Salt is also used for a similar important purpose, when, during the night, a person is obliged to pass from one room into another in the dark. It would be an entertaining task to collect the manifold superstitions in different parts of the world, respecting this essential ingredient of human food.

The habit of drinking white brandy, stimulates the immorality of this Maroquine society. The Jews are the great factors of this acqua ardiente, its Spanish and general name. Government frequently severely punishes them for making it; but they still persevere in producing this incentive to intoxication and crime. In all parts of the world, the most degraded classes are the factors of the means of vice for the higher orders of society. Moors drink it under protest, that it is not the juice of the grape. On the Sabbath, the Jewish families are all flushed, excited, and tormented by this evil spirit; but when the highest enjoyments of intellect are denied to men, they must and will seek the lower and beastly gratifications.

Friend Cohen came in one afternoon, and related several anecdotes of the Maroquine Court. When Dr. Brown was attending the Sultan, the Vizier managed to get hold of his cocked hat, and placing it upon his head, strutted about in the royal gardens. Whilst performing this feat before several attendants, the Sultan suddenly made his appearance in the midst of them. The minister seeing him, fell down in a fright and a fit. His Imperial Highness beckoned to the minister in such woful plight, to pacify himself, and put his cloak before his mouth to prevent any one from seeing him laugh at the minister, which he did most immoderately.

Cohen, who is a quack, was once consulted on a case of the harem. Cohen pleaded ignorance, God had not given him the wit; he could do nothing for the patient of his Imperial Highness. This was very politic of Cohen, for another quack, a Moor, had just been consulted, and had had his head taken off, for not being successful in the remedies he prescribed. There would not be quite so much medicine administered among us, weak, cracky, crazy mortals, in this cold damp clime, if such an alternative was proposed to our practitioners.

40 The predecessor of Muley Abd Errahman.

Chapter 2

The Maroquine dynasties. — Family of the Shereefian Monarchs. — Personal appearances and character of Muley Abd Errahman. — Refutation of the charge of human sacrifices against the Moorish Princes. — Genealogy of the reigning dynasty of Morocco. — The tyraufc Yezeed, (half Irish). — Muley Suleiman, the “The Shereeff of Shereefs.” — Diplomatic relations of the Emperor of Morocco with European Powers. — Muley Ismael enamoured with the French Princess de Conti. — Rival diplomacy of France and England near the Maroquine Court. — Mr. Hay’s correspondence with this Court on the Slave-trade. — Treaties between Great Britain and Morocco; how defective and requiring amendment. — Unwritten engagements.

Morocco, an immense and unwieldly remnant of the monarchies formed by the Saracens, or first Arabian conquerors of Africa, has had a series of dynasties terminating in that of the Shereefs.

1st. The Edristees (pure Saracens,) their capital was Fez, founded by their great progenitor, Edrio. The dynasty began in A.D. 789, and continued to 908.

2nd. The Fatamites (also Saracens.) These conquered Egypt, and were the faction of or lineal descendants of the daughter of the Prophet, the beautiful pearl-like Fatima, succeeding to the above: this dynasty continued to 972.

3rd. The Zuheirites (Zeirities, or Zereids) were usurpers of the former conquerors; their dynasty terminated in 1070.

4th. Moravedi (or Marabouteen,) that is to say, Marabouts, 41 who rose into consequence about 1050, and their first prince was Aberbekr Omer El Lamethounx, a native of Sous. Their dynasty terminated in 1149.

5th. The Almohades. These are supposed to be sprung from the Berber tribes. They conquered all North Western Morocco, and reigned about one hundred years, the dynasty terminated in 1269.

6th. The Merinites. These in 1250 subjugated the kingdoms of Fez and Morocco; and in 1480 their dynasty terminated with the Shereef.

7th. The Oatagi (or Ouatasi) 42 were a tribe of obscure origin. In their time, the Portuguese established themselves on the coast of Morocco; their dynasty ended in 1550.

8th. The Shereefs (Oulad Ali) of the present dynasty, whose founder was Hasein, have now occupied the Imperial throne more than three centuries. This family of Shereefs came from the neighbourhood of Medina in Arabia, and succeeded to the empire of Morocco by a series of usurpations. They are divided into two branches, the Sherfah Hoseinee, so named from the founder of the dynasty, who began to reign at Taroudant and Morocco in 1524, and over all the empire in 1550, and the Sherfah El Fileli, or Tafilett, whose ancestor was Muley Shereef Ben Ali-el-Hoseinee, and assumed sovereign power at Tafilett in 1648, from which country he extended his authority over all the provinces of that empire. Thus the Shereefs began their reign in the middle of the seventeenth century, and have now wielded the sword of the Prophet as Caliph of the West these last two hundred years. I have not heard that there is anywhere a dynasty of Shereefs except in this country. They are, therefore, profoundly venerated by all true Mussulmen. It was a great error to suppose that Abd-el-Kader could have succeeded in dethroning the Emperor during the hostilities of the Emir against the lineal representative of the Prophet. Abd-el-Kader is a marabout warrior, greatly revered and idolized by all enthusiastic Mussulmen throughout North Africa, more especially in Morocco, the terre classique of holy-fighting men; but though the Maroquines were disaffected, groaning under the avarice of their Shereefian Lord, and occasionally do revolt, nevertheless they would not deliberately set aside the dynasty of the Shereefs, the veritable root and branch of the Prophet of God, for an adventurer of other blood, however powerful in arms and in sanctity.

Morocco is the only independent Mussulman kingdom remaining, founded by the Saracens when they conquered North Africa. Tunis and Tripoli are regencies of the Port of Tunis, having an hereditary Bey, while Tripoli is a simple Pasha, removable at pleasure. Algeria has now become an integral portion of France by the Republic.

Muley Abd Errahman was nominated to the throne by the solemn and dying request of his uncle, Muley Suleiman, to the detriment of his own children.

He belonged to one of the most illustrious branches of the reigning dynasty. In the natural order of succession, he ought to have taken possession of the Shereefian crown at the end of the last age; but, being a child, his uncle was preferred; for Mahometan sovereigns and empire are exposed to convulsions enough, without the additional dangers and elements of strife attendant on regencies.

In transmitting the sceptre to him, Muley Suleiman, therefore, only performed an act of justice.

Muley Abd Errahman, during his long reign, rendered the imperial authority more solid than formerly, and established a species of conservative government in a semi-barbarous country, and exposed to continual commotions, like all Asiatic and African states. In governing the multitudinous and heterogeneous tribes of his empire, his grand maxim has ever been, like Austria, with her various states and hostile interests of different people, “Divide et empera.” When will sovereigns learn to govern their people upon principles of homogenity of interests, natural good will, and fraternal feeling? Alas! we have reason to fear, never. It seems nations are to be governed always by setting up one portion of the people against the other.

Muley Abd Errahman was chosen by his uncle, on account of his pacific and frugal habits, educated as he was by being made in early life the administrator of the customs in Mogador, and as a prince likely to preserve and consolidate the empire. The anticipations of the uncle have been abundantly realized by the nephew, for Muley Abd Errahman, with the exception of the short period of the French hostilities, (which was not his own work and happened in spite of him), has preserved the intact without, and quiet during the many years he has occupied the throne.

His Moorish Majesty, who is advanced in life, is a man of middle stature. He has dark and expressive eyes, and, as already observed, is a mulatto of a fifth caste. Colour excites no prejudices either in the sovereign or in the subject. This Emperor is so simple in his habits and dress, that he can only be distinguished from his officers and governors of provinces by the thall, or parasol, the Shereefian emblem of royalty. The Emperor’s son, when out on a military expedition, is also honoured by the presence of the Imperial parasol, which was found in Sidi Mohammed’s tent at the Battle of Isly. Muley Abd Errahman is not given to excesses of any kind, (unless avarice is so considered), though his three harems of Fas, Miknas, and Morocco may be stocked, or more politely, adorned, with a thousand ladies or so, and the treasures of the empire are at his disposal. He is not a man of blood; 43 he rarely decapitates a minister or a governor, notwithstanding that he frequently confiscates their property, and sometimes imprisons them to discover their treasures, and drain them of their last farthing. The Emperor lives on good terms with the rest of his family. He has one son, Governor of Fez (Sidi Mohammed), and another son, Governor of Rabat. The greater part of the royal family reside at Tafilett, the ancient country of the Sherfah, or Shereefs, and is still especially appropriated for their residence. Ali Bey reported as the information of his time, that there were at Tafilett no less than two thousand Shereefs, who all pretended to have a right to the throne of Morocco, and who, for that reasons enjoyed certain gratifications paid them by the reigning Sultan. He adds that, during an interregnum, many of them took up arms and threw the empire into anarchy. This state of things is happily past, and, as to the number of the Shereefs at Tafilett, all that we know is, there is a small fortified town, inhabited entirely by Shereefs, living in moderate, if not impoverished circumstances.

The Shereefian Sultans of Morocco are not only the successors of the Arabian Sovereigns of Spain, but may justly dispute the Caliphat with the Osmanlis, or Turkish Sultans. Their right to be the chiefs of Islamism is better founded than the pretended Apostolic successors at Rome, who, in matters of religion, they in some points resemble.

I introduce here, with some unimportant variations, a translation from Gräberg de Hëmso of the Imperial Shereefian pedigree, to correspond with the genealogical tableaux, which the reader will find in succeeding pages, of the Moorish dynasties of Tunis and Tripoli.


1. Ali–Ben-Abou–Thaleb; died in 661 of the Christian Era; surnamed “The accepted of God,” of the most ancient tribe of Hashem, and husband of Fatima, styled Ey–Zarah, or, “The Pearl,” only daughter of Mahomet.

2. Hosein, or El–Hosein-es-Sebet, i.e. “The Nephew;” died in 1680; from him was derived the patronymic El–Hoseinee, which all the Shereefs bear,

3. Hasan-el-Muthna, i.e. “The Striker;” died in 719; brother of Mohammed, from whom pretended to descend, in the 16th degree, Mohammed Ben Tumert, founder of the dynasty of the Almohadi, in 1120.

4. Abdullah-el-Kamel, i.e. “The Perfect;” in 752, father of Edris, the progenitor or founder of the dynasty of the Edristi in Morocco, and who had six brothers.

5. Mohammed, surnamed “The pious and just soul;” in 784, had five children who were the branches of a numerous family. (Between Mohammed and El–Hasem who follows, some assert that three gererations succeeded).

6. El–Kasem, in 852; brother of Abdullah, from whom it is said the Caliphs of Egypt and Morocco are descended.

7. Ismail; about 890.

8. Ahmed; in 901.

9. El–Hasan; in 943.

10. Ali; in 970, (excluded from the genealogy published by Ali Bey, but noted by several good authorities).

11. Abubekr; 996.

12. El–Husan, in 1012.

13. Abubekr El–Arfat, i.e. “The Knower,” in 1043.

14. Mohammed, in 1071.

15. Abdullah, in 1109.

16. Hasan, in 1132; brother of a Mohammed, who emigrated to Morocco.

17. Mohammed, in 1174.

18. Abou-el-Kasem Abd Errahman, in 1207.

19. Mohammed, in 1236.

20. El–Kaseru, in 1271, brother of Ahmed, who also emigrated into Africa, and was father of eight children, one of whom was:

21. El–Hasan, who, in 1266, upon the demand of a tribe of Berbers of Moghrawa, was sent by his father into the kingdom of Segelmesa (now Tafilett) and Draha, where, through his descendants, he became the common progenitor of the Maroquine Shereefs.

22. Mohammed, in 1367.

23. El–Hasan, in 1391, by his son, Mohammed, he became grandfather of Hosem, who, during 1507, founded the first dynasty of the Hoseinee Shereefs in Segelmesa, and the extreme south of Morocco, which dynasty, after twelve years, made itself master of the kingdom of Morocco.

24. Ali-es-Shereef, i.e. “The noble,” died in 1437, was the first to assume this name, and had, after forty years elapsed, two sons, the first, Muley Mahommed, by a concubine, and the second:

25. Yousef, by a legitimate wife; he retired into Arabia, where he died in 1485. It was said of Yousef, that no child was born to him until his eightieth year, when he had five children, the first born of which was,

26. Ali, who died in 1527, and had at least, eighty male children.

27. Mohammed, in 1691, brother of Muley Meherrez, a famous brigand, and afterwards a king of Tafilett: this Mohammed was father of many children, and among the rest —

28. Ali, who was called by his uncle from Zambo (?) into Moghrele-el-Aksa Morocco about the year 1620, and died in 1632, after having founded the second, and present, dynasty of the Hoseinee Shereefs, surnamed the Filei,

29. Muley Shereeff, died in 1652; he had eighty sons, and a hundred and twenty-four daughters.

30. Muley Ismail, in 1727.

31. Muley Abdullah, in 1757.

32. Sidi Mohammed, in 1789.

33. Muley Yezeed, who assumed the surname of El–Mahdee i.e. “the director,” in 1792.

34. Muley Hisham, in 1794.

35. Muley Suleiman, in 1822.

36. Muley Abd Errahman, nephew of Muley Suleiman and eldest son of Muley Hisham, the reigning Shereefian prince. 44

In the Shereefian lineage of Muley Suleiman, copied for Ali Bey by the Emperor himself, and which is very meagre and unsatisfactory, we miss the names of the two brothers, the Princes Yezeed and Hisham, who disputed the succession on the death of their father, Sidi Mohammed which happened in April 1790 or 1789, when the Emperor was on a military expedition to quell the rebellion of his son, Yezeed — the tyrant whose bad fame and detestable cruelties filled with horror all the North African world. The Emperor Suleiman evidently suppressed these names, as disfiguring the lustre of the holy pedigree; although Yezeed was the hereditary prince, and succeeded his father three days after his death, being proclaimed Sultan at Salee with accustomed pomp and magnificence. This monster in human shape, having excited a civil war against himself by his horrid barbarities, was mortally wounded by a poisoned arrow, shot from a secret hand, and died in February 1792, the 22nd month of his reign, and 44th year of his age.

On being struck with the fatal weapon, he was carried to his palace at Dar-el-Beida, where he only survived a single day; but yet during this brief period, and whilst in the agony of dissolution, it is said, the tyrant committed more crimes and outrages, and caused more people to be sacrificed, than in his whole lifetime, determining with the vengeance of a pure fiend, that if his people would not weep for his death they should mourn for the loss of their friends and relations, like the old tyrant Herod. How instinctively imitative is crime! Yezeed was of course, not buried at the cross-roads, (Heaven forefend!) or in a cemetery for criminals and infidels, for being a Shereef, and divine (not royal) blood running in his veins, he was interred with great solemnities at the mosque of Kobah Sherfah (tombs of the Shereefs), beside the mausoleums wherein repose the awful ashes of the princes and kings, who, in ages gone by, have devastated the Empire of Morocco, and inflicted incalculable miseries on its unfortunate inhabitants, whilst plenarily exercising their divine right, to do wrong as sovereigns, or as invested with inviolable Shereefian privileges as lineal successors of the Prophets of God! 45

A civil war still followed this monster’s death, and the empire was rent and partitioned into three portions, in each of which a pretender disputed for the possession of the Shereefian throne. The poor people had now three tyrants for one. The two grand competitors, however, were Muley Hisham, who was proclaimed Sultan in the south at Morrocco and Sous, and Muley Suleiman, who was saluted as Emperor in the north at Fez. In 1795, Hisham retired to a sanctuary where he soon died, and then Muley Suleimau was proclaimed in the southern provinces Emir-el-Monmeneen, and Sultan of the whole empire.

Muley Suleiman proved to be a good and patriotic prince, “the Shereef of Shereefs,” whilst he maintained, by a just administration, tranquility in his own state, and cultivated peace with Europe. During his long reign of a quarter of a century, at a period when all the Christian powers were convulsed with war, he wisely remained neutral, and his subjects were happy in the enjoyment of peace and prosperity. He died on the 28th March 1820, about the 50th year of his age, after having, with his last breath declared his nephew, Muley Abd Errahman, the legitimate and hereditary successor of the Shereefs, and so restoring the lineal descent of these celebrated Mussulman sovereigns. The most glorious as well as the most beneficent and acceptable act of the reign of Muley Suleiman, so far as European nations were concerned, was the abolition of Christian slavery in his States. In former times, the Maroquine Moors, smarting under the ills inflicted upon them by Spain and breathing revenge, subjected their Christian captives to more cruel bondage, than, ever were experienced by the same victims of the Corsairs in Algeria, the stronghold of this nefarious trade.

The Shereefs have been accustomed to wrap themselves up in their sublime indifference, as to the fate and fortunes of Europe. During late centuries, their diplomatic intercourse with European princes has been scarcely relieved by a single interesting event, beyond their piratical wars and our complaisant redemptions of their prisoners. But, in the reign of Louis XIV., Muley Ismail having heard an extremely seductive account of the Princesse de Conti (Mademoiselle de Blois), natural daughter of the Grand Monarch and Mademoiselle de la Valliere, by means of his ambassador, Abdullah Ben Aissa, had the chivalrous temerity to demand her in marriage. “Our Sultan,” said the ambassador, “will marry her according to the law of God and the Prophet, but she shall not be forced to abandon her religion, or manner of living; and she will be able to find all that her heart desires in the palace of my sovereign — if it please God.”

This request, of course, could not be granted, but the “king of Christian kings” replied very graciously, “that the difference alone of religion prevented the consummation of the happiness of the Shereef of Shereefs.” This humble demand of the hand of the princess mightily amused “the Court of Courts,” and its hireling poets taxed their wit to the utmost in chanting the praises of the royal virgin, who had attacked the regards (or the growls) of the Numidian Tiger, as Muley Ismail was politely designated. Take this as a specimen, —

“Votre beauté, grande princesse,
Porte les traits dont elle blesse
Jusques aux plus sauvages lieux:
L’Afrique avec vous capitule,
Et les conquêtes de vos yeux
Vont plus loin que celles d’Hercule.”

The Maroquine ambassador, who was also grand admiral of the Moorish navy, witnessing all the wonders of Paris at the epoch of the Great Monarch, was dazzled with its beauty and magnificence; nevertheless, he remained a good Mussulman. He was besides a grateful man, for he saw our James II. in exile, who had given the admiral liberty without ransom when he had been captured by English cruisers, and heartily thanked the fallen prince for his own freedom whilst he condoled with him in his misfortunes. But the Moorish envoy, in spite of his great influence, was unable to conclude the treaty of peace, which was desired by France. On his return to Morocco, the ambassador had so advanced in European ideas of convenience, or civilization, that he attempted to introduce a taste for Parisian luxury among his own countrymen.

As in many other parts of the Mediterranean, France and England have incessantly contended for influence at the Court of Morocco. Various irregular missions to this Court have been undertaken by European powers, from the first establishment of the Moorish empire of the West. The French entered regularly into relations with the western Moors shortly after us; their flag, indeed, began to appear at their ports in 1555, under Francis I. They succeeded in gaining the favour of the Moors whilst we occupied Tangier, and Louis XIV. encouraged them in their efforts to attack or harass our garrison. The nature of our struggles with the Moors of Morocco can be at once conjectured from the titles of the pamphlets published in those times, viz.

Great and bloody news of Tangier,” (London 1680), and “The Moors blasted, being a discourse concerning Tangier, especially when it was under the Earl of Teviot,” (London, 1681). But, after the peace of Utrecht, conceding Gibraltar to England, and which more than compensated us for the loss of Tangier, the influence of France in Morocco began to wane, and the trade of this empire was absorbed by the British during the 18th century. Then, in the beginning of our own age, the battle of Trafalgar, and the fall of Napoleon, established the supremacy of British influence over the minds of the Shereefs, which has not been yet entirely effaced.

Our diplomatic intercouse has been more frequent and interesting with the Western Moors since the French occupation of Algeria, and we have exerted our utmost to neutralize the spirit of the war party in Fez, seconding the naturally pacific mind of Muley Abd Errahman, in order to remove every pretext of the French for invading this country. How we succeeded in a critical period will be mentioned at the close of the present work. 46 But this port, and our influence receiving thereby a great shock, I am happy to state that the latest account from this most interesting Moorish country, represents Muley Abd Errahman as steadily pursuing, by the assistance of his new vizier, Bouseilam, the most pacific policy. This minister, being very rich, is enabled to consolidate his power by frequent presents to his royal master, thus gratifying the most darling passion of Muley Abd Errahman, and Vizier and Sultan amuse themselves by undertaking plundering expeditions against insurrectionary tribes, whose sedition they first stimulate, and then quell, that is to say, by receiving from the unlucky rebels a handsome gratification.

The late Mr. Hay entered into a correspondence with the Shereefian Court for the purpose of drawing its attention to the subject of the slave-trade, and I shall make an extract or two from the letters, bearing as they do on my present mission.

From three letters addressed by the Sultan to Mr. Hay, I extract the following passages. “Be it known to you, that the traffic in slaves is a matter on which all sects and nations have agreed from the time of the sons of Adam, (on whom be the peace of God up to this day). And we are not yet aware of its being prohibited by the laws of any sect, and no one need ask this question, the same being manifest to both high and low, and requires no more demonstration than the light of the day.”

The Apostle of God is quoted as enforcing upon the master to give his slave the same clothing as himself, and not to exact more labour from him than he can perform.

Another letter. “It has been prohibited to sell a Muslem, the sacred misshaf, and a young person to an unbeliever,” that is to any one who does not profess the faith of Islam, whether Christian, Jew, or Majousy. To make a present, or to give as in alms is held in the same light as a sale. The said Sheikh Khalil also says, “a slave is emancipated by the law if ill-treated, that is, whether he intends or does actually ill-treat him. But whether a slave can take with him what he possesses of property or no, is a matter yet undecided by the doctors of the law.”

Another. “Be it known to you, that the religion of Islam — may God exalt it! has a solid foundation, of which the corner stones are well secured, and the perfection whereof has been made known to us by God, to whom belongs all praise in his book, the Forkam (or Koran,) which admits neither of addition nor diminution. As regards the making of slaves and trading therewith, it is confirmed by our book, as also of the Sunnat (or traditions) of our Prophet. There is no controversy among the Oulamma (doctors) on the subject. No one can allow what is prohibited or prohibit that which is lawful.”

These extracts shew the animus of the Shereefian correspondence. To attack the Shereefs on this point of slavery, is to besiege the citadel of their religion, or that is the interpretation which they are pleased to put upon the matter; but all forms of bigotry and false principles will ultimately succumb to the force of truth.

It is necessary to persevere, to persevere always, and the end will be obtained.

I shall add a word or two on our treaties, or capitulations, as they are disgracefully called, with the Empire of Morocco, intimating, as they do, our former submission to the arrogant, piratical demands of the Barbary Powers in the days of their corsair glory. Our political relations with Morocco officially commenced in the times of Elizabeth, or Charles I; but the formal treaty of peace was not concluded until the last year of the reign of George I, which was ratified in 1729 by George II, and by the Sultan Muley Ahmed-elt-Thabceby “The golden.” Then followed various other treaties for the security of persons and trade, and against piracy. All, however, of any value, are embodied in the treaty between Great Britain and Morocco, signed at Fez, 14th June 1801, and confirmed, 19th January 1824 by the Sultan Muley Suleiman, which is considered as still in force, and from which I shall extract two or three articles, appending observations, for the purpose of shewing its spirit and bearing on European commerce and civilization. Common sense tells us that trade can only flourish where there is security for life and property. We have to examine, whether this security is fully guaranteed to British subjects, residing in and trading with the empire to Morocco, by the treaty of 1801 and 1824.

This treaty begins with consuls, and sufficiently provides for their honour and safety. It then states the privilege of British subjects, and more particulary of merchants, residing in, and wishing to engage in commercial speculations in Morocco. These privileges are, on the whole, also explicitly stated. Afterwards follows two articles on “disputes,” which clauses were amended and explained in January 1824, when the treaty was confirmed. These are:—

“VII. Disputes between Moorish subjects and English subjects, shall be decided in the presence of the English Consuls, provided the decision be comformable to the Moorish law, in which case the English subject shall not go before the Kady or Hakem, as the Consul’s decision shall suffice.

“VIII. Should any dispute occur between English subjects and Moors, and that dispute should occasion a complaint from either of the parties, the Emperor of Morocco shall only decide the matter. If the English subject be guilty, he shall not be punished with more severity than a Moor would be; should he escape, no other subject of the English nation shall be arrested in his stead, and if the escape be made after the decision, in order to avoid punishment, he shall be sentenced as a Moor would be who had committed the same crime. Should any dispute occur in the English territories, between a Moor and an English subject, it shall be decided by an equal number of the Moors residing there and of Christians, according to the custom of the place, if not contrary to the Moorish law.”

In the amended clause of Article VIII. We have for any complaint, substituted serious personal injury, and I cannot but observe that the making of the Emperor the final judge, in such case, is a stretch of too great confidence in Moorish justice.

Not that a Sultan of Morocco is necessarily bad or worse than an European Sovereign, but because a personage of such power and character, armed with unbounded attributes of despotism over his own subjects, who are considered his Abeed, or slaves, whilst feebly aided by the perception of the common rights of men, and imperfectly acquainted with European civilization, can never, unless, indeed by accident or miracle, justly decide upon the case of an Englishman, or upon a dispute between his own and a foreign subject; for besides the ideas and education of the Emperor, there is the necessity which his Imperial Highness feels, despot as he is, of exhibiting himself before his people as their undoubted friend and partial judge.

So strongly have Sultans of Morocco felt this, that many anecdotes might be cited where the Emperor has indemnified the foreigner for injury done to him by his own subjects, whilst he has represented to them that he has decided the case against the stranger. It is surprising how a British Government could surrender the settlement of the dispute of their subjects to the final appeal of the Court of Morocco in the nineteenth century, and, moreover, allow them to be decided, according to the maxims of the Mohammedan code, or comformable to the Moorish law! It is not long ago since, indeed just before my arrival in Morocco, that the Emperor decided a dispute in rather a summary manner, without even the usual Moorish forms of judicial proceedure by decapitating, a quasi — European Jew, under French protection, and who once acted as the Consul of France.

There is something singularly deficient and wrong, although to persons unacquainted with Barbary, it looks sufficiently fair and just, in the provision — “he (the English guilty subject) shall not be punished with more severity than a Moor could be,” fairly made? In the first place, although this does not come under the idea of “serious personal injury,” would the English people approve of their countrymen suffering the same punishment as the Moors for theft, by cutting off their right hand? Moors and Arabs have been so maimed for life, on being convicted of stealing property to the value of a single shilling! Who will take upon himself to enumerate the punishments, which may be, and are inflicted for grave offences? It may be replied that this stipulation of punishing British subjects, like Moorish, is only on paper, and we have no examples of its being put into execution. I rejoin, without attempting to cite proof, that, whilst such an article exists in a treaty, said to be binding on the Government of England as well as Morocco, there can be no real security for British subjects in this country; for in the event of the Maroquines acting strictly upon the articles of this treaty, what mode of inculpation, or what colour of right, can the British Government adopt or shew against them? and what are treaties made for, if they do not bind both parties?

In illustration of the way in which British subjects have their disputes sometimes settled, according to Articles VII and VIII, I take the liberty of introducing the case of Mr. Saferty, a respectable Gibraltar merchant, settled at Mogador. A few months before my arrival in that place, this gentleman was adjudged, in the presence of his Consul, Mr. Willshire, and the Governor of Mogador, for repelling an insult offered to him by a Moor, and sentenced to be imprisoned with felons and cut-throats in a horrible dungeon. However, Mr. Saferty was attended by a numerous body of his friends; so when the sentence was given, a cry of indignation arose, a scuffle ensued, and the prisoner was rescued from the Moorish police-officers. Mr. Willshire found the means of patching up the business with the Moorish authorities, and the case was soon forgotten. “All’s well that ends well.”

I do not say that the Moors are determinedly vindictive, or seek quarrels with Europeans; on the contrary, I believe the cause of the dispute frequently rests with the European, and the bonâ-fide agressor, some adventurer whose conduct was so bad in his own country, that he sought Barbary as a refuge from the pursuit of the minister of justice. What I wish to lay stress on is, the enormous power given to the Emperor, by a solemn treaty, in making him the final judge, and the imminent exposure of British subjects to the barbarous punishments of a semi-civilized people.

Article X is a most singular one. “Renegades from the English nation, or subjects who change their religion to embrace the Moorish, they being of unsound mind at the time of turning Moors, shall not be admitted as Moors, and may again return to their former religion; but if they afterwards resolve to be Moors, they must abide by their own decision, and their excuses will not be accepted.”

It was a wonderful discovery of our modern morale, that a renegade, being a madman, should not be considered a renegade in earnest, or responsible for his actions. Nevertheless, these unfortunate beings, should they have better thoughts, or as mad-doctors have it, “a lucid interval,” and leave the profession of the Mahometan faith, and afterwards again relapse into madness, and turn Mahometans once more, are doomed to irretrievable slavery, or if they relapse, to death itself; the Mahometan law, punishes relapsing renegades with death. This curious clause says, “that though being madmen, they must abide their decision (of unreason) and their excuses will not be accepted.” This said article was confirmed as late as the year 1824 by the plenipotentiary of a nation, which boasts of being the most free and civilized of Europe, and whose people spend annually millions for the conversion of the heathen, and the extinction of the slave-trade.

The last clause of Article IV also demands our attention, viz. “And if any English merchant should happen to have a vessel in or outside the port, he may go on board himself, or any of his people, without being liable to pay anything whatever.”

Now in spite of this (but of course forgotten) stipulation, the merchants of Mogador are not permitted to visit their own vessels, nor those of other persons which may happen to be in or outside the port. It is true, the authorities plead the reason of their refusal to be, “The merchants are indebted to the Emperor:” neither will the authorities take any security, and arbitrarily, and insolently prohibit, under any circumstances, the merchants from visiting their vessels. I have said enough to shew that our treaties (I beg the reader’s pardon, “capitulations”) with the Emperor of Morocco, require immediate revision, and to be amended with articles more suited to the spirit of the age, and European civilization, as likewise more consistent with the dignity of Great Britian.

The treaty for the supply of provisions, especially cattle, to the garrison of Gibraltar is either a verbal one, or a secret arrangement, for no mention is made of it in the published state paper documents. It is probably a mere verbal unwritten understanding, but, neverthelesss is more potent in its working than the written treaties. This is not the first time that the unwritten has proved stronger than the written engagement.

41 On account, of their once possessing the throne, the Shereefs have a peculiar jealousy of Marabouts, and which latter have not forgotten their once being sovereigns of Morocco. The Moravedi were “really a dynasty of priests,” as the celebrated Magi, who usurped the throne of Cyrus. The Shereefs, though descended from the Prophet, are not strictly priests, or, to make the distinction perfectly clear the Shereefs are to be considered a dynasty corresponding to the type of Melchizdek, uniting in themselves the regal and sacerdotal authority, whilst the Marabouteen were a family of priests like the sons of Aaron. Abd-el-Kader unites in himself the princely and sacerdotal authority like the Shereefs, though not of the family of the Prophet. Mankind have always been jealous of mere theocratic government, and dynasties of priests have always been failures in the arts of governing, and the Egyptian priests, though they struggled hard, and were the most accomplished of this class of men, could not make themselves the sovereigns of Egypt.

42 According to others the Sâdia reigned before the Shereefs.

43 I was greatly astonished to read in Mr. Hay’s “Western Barbary,” (p. 123), these words — “During one of the late rebellions, a beautiful young girl was offered up as a propitiatory sacrifice, her throat being cut before the tent of the Sultan, and in his presence!” This is an unmitigated libel on the Shereefian prince ruling Morocco. First of all, the sacrifice of human beings is repudiated by every class of inhabitants in Barbary. Such rites, indeed, are unheard of, nay, unthought of. If the Mahometan religion has been powerful in any one thing, it is in that of rooting out from the mind of man every notion of human sacrifice. It is this which makes the sacrifice of the Saviour such an obnoxious doctrine to Mussulmen. It is true enough, at times, oxen are immolated to God, but not to Moorish princes, “to appease an offended potentate.” One spring, when there was a great drought, the people led up to the hill of Ghamart, near Carthage, a red heifer to be slaughtered, in order to appease the displeasure of Deity; and when the Bey’s frigate, which, a short time ago, carried a present to her Britannic Majesty, from Tunis to Malta, put back by stress of weather, two sheep were sacrificed to some tutelar saints, and two guns were fired in their honour. The companions of Abd-el-Kader in a storm, during his passage from Oran to Toulon, threw handsful of salt to the raging deep to appease its wild fury. But as to sacrificing human victims, either to an incensed Deity, or to man, impiously putting himself in the place of God, the Moors of Barbary have not the least conception of such an enormity.

It would seem, unfortunately, that the practice of the gentleman, who travelled a few miles into the interior of Morocco on a horse-mission, had been to exaggerate everything, and, where effect was wanting, not to have scrupled to have recourse to unadulterated invention. But this style of writing cannot be defended on any principle, when so serious a case is brought forward as that of sacrificing a human victim to appease the wrath of an incensed sovereign, and that prince now living in amicable relations with ourselves.

44 Gräberg de Hemso, whilst consul-general for Sweden and Sardinia (at Morocco!) concludes the genealogy of these Mussulman sovereigns with this strange, but Catholic-spirited rhapsody:—

“Muley Abd-ur-Bakliman, who is now gloriously and happily reigning, whom we pray Almighty God, all Goodness and Power, to protect and exalt by prolonging his life, glory, and reign in this world and in the next; and giving him, during eternity, the heavenly beatitude, in order that his soul, in the same manner as flame to flame, river to sea, may be united with his sweetest, most perfect and ineffable Creator. Amen.”

45 Yezeed was half-Irish, born of the renegade widow of an Irish sergeant of the corps of Sappers and Miners, who was placed at the disposition of this government by England, and who died in Morocco. On his death, the facile, buxom widow was admitted, “nothing loath,” into the harem of Sidi–Mohammed, who boasted of having within its sacred enclosure of love and bliss, a woman from every clime.

Here the daughter of Erin brought forth this ferocious tyrant, whose maxim of carnage, and of inflicting suffering on humanity was, “My empire can never be well governed, unless a stream of blood flows from the gate of the palace to the gate of the city.” To do Yezeed justice, he followed out the instincts of his birth, and made war on all the world except the English (or Irish). Tully’s Letters on Tripoli give a graphic account of the exploits of Yezeed, who, to his inherent cruelty, added a fondness for practical (Hibernian) jokes.

His father sent him several times on a pilgrimage to Mecca to expiate his crimes, when he amused, or alarmed, all the people whose countries he passed through, by his terrific vagaries. One day he would cut off the heads of a couple of his domestics, and play at bowls with them; another day, he would ride across the path of an European, or a consul, and singe his whiskers with the discharge of a pistol-shot; another day, he would collect all the poor of a district, and gorge them with a razzia he had made on the effects of some rich over-fed Bashaw. The multitude sometimes implored heaven’s blessing on the head of Yezeed. at other times trembled for their own heads. Meanwhile, our European consuls made profound obeisance to this son of the Shereef, enthroned in the West. So the tyrant passed the innocent days of his pilgrimage. So the godless herd of mankind acquiesced in the divine rights of royalty.

46 See Appendix at the end of this volume.

Chapter 3

The two different aspects by which the strength and resources of the Empire of Morocco may be viewed or estimated. — Native appellation of Morocco. — Geographical limits of this country. — Historical review of the inhabitants of North Africa, and the manner in which this region was successively peopled and conquered. — The distinct varieties of the human race, as found in Morocco. — Nature of the soil and climate of this country. — Derem, or the Atlas chain of mountains. — Natural products. — The Shebbel, or Barbary salmon; different characters of exports of the Northern and Southern provinces. — The Elæonderron Argan. — Various trees and plants. — Mines. — The Sherb–Errech, or Desert-horse.

The empire of Morocco may be considered under two aspects, as to its extent, and as to its influence. It may be greatly circumscribed or expanded to an almost indefinite extent, according to the feelings, or imagination, of the writer, or speaker. A resident here gave me a meagre tableau, something like this,

The city of Morocco 50,000 souls.
“ Fez 40,000 ”
“ Mequinez 25,000 ”

115,000 ”

The maritime cities contain little more than 100,000 inhabitants, making altogether about 220,000. Over the provinces of the south, Sous and Wadnoun, the Sultan has no real power; so the south is cut off as an integral portion of the empire. Over the Rif, or the northern Berber provinces, the Sultan exercises a precarious sovereignty, every man’s gun or knife is there his law and authority. Fez contains a disaffected population, teeming some years since with the adherents of Abd-el-Kader. Then the Atlas is full of quasi-independent Berber tribes, who detest equally the Arabs and the Moorish government; finally, Tafilett and the provinces on the eastern side of the Atlas, are too remote to feel the influence of the central government.

As to military force, the Emperor’s standing army does not amount to more than 20 or 30,000 Nigritian troops, and all cavalry. The irregular and contingent cavalry and infantry can never be depended upon, even under such a chief as Abd-el-Kader was. They must always be fed, but they will not, at any summons, leave the cultivation of their fields, or their wives and children defenceless.

As to the commerce of the Empire, with fifty ships visiting Mogador and other maritime cities, the amount, per annum, does not exceed forty millions of francs, or about a million and a half sterling including imports and exports. Such is the view of the Empire on the depreciating side.

Another resident of this country gives the opposite or more favourable view.

The Sultan is the head of the orthodox religion of the Mussulmen of the West, and more firmly established on his throne than the Sultan of the Ottomans. His influence, as a sovereign Shereef, spreads throughout Western Barbary and Central Africa, wherever there is a Mussulman to be found. In the event of an enemy appearing in the shape of a Christian, or Infidel, all would unite, including the most disjointed and hostile tribes against the common foe of Islamism.

The Sultan, upon an emergency or insurrection in his own empire, by the politic distribution of titles of Marabout (often used as a species of degree of D.D.) and other honours attached to the Shereefian Parasol, can likewise easily excite one chief against another, and consolidate his power over their intestine divisions. His Moorish Majesty, at any rate, has always actual possession in his favour; and, whether he really governs the whole Empire or not, or to the extent which he has presumed to mark out its boundaries, he can always proclaim to his disjointed provinces that he does so govern it and exercise authority; and, in general, he does succeed in making both his own people and foreign nations believe in his pretensions, and acknowledge his power.

The truth lies, perhaps, between these extremes. The Shereefs once pretended to exercise authority over all Western Sahara as far as Timbuctoo, that is to say, all that region of the great desert lying west of the Touaricks.

The account of the expedition of the Shereef Mohammed, who penetrated as far as Wadnoun, and which took place more than three centuries ago, as related by Marmol, leaves no doubt of the ancient ambition of the sovereign of Morocco. And although this pretension has now been given up, they still claim sovereignty over the oases of Touat, a month’s journey in the Sahara. Formerly, indeed, the authority of the Maroquine Sultans over Touat and the south appears to have been more real and effective.

Diego de Torres relates that, in his time, the Shereefs maintained a force of ten thousand cavalry in the provinces of Draha, Tafilett and Jaguriri, and Monsieur Mouette counts Touat as one of the provinces of the Empire. The Sheikh Haj Kasem, in the itinerary which he dictated to Monsieur Delaporte, says that, about forty years ago, Agobli and Taoudeni depended on Morocco. This, however, is what the people of Ghadames told me, whilst they admitted that the oases neither did contain a single officer of the Emperor, nor did the people pay his Shereefian Highness the smallest impost. The Sultan’s authority is now indeed purely nominal, and the French look forward to the time when these fine and centrally placed oases will form “une dependance de l’Algérie.”

The only countries in the South which now pay a regular impost to the Emperor, are Tafilett, limited to the valley of Fez, Wad–Draha as far as the lake Ed–Debaia, and Sous. The countries of Sidi, Hashem, and Wadnoun nominally acknowledge the Emperor, and occasionally send a present; but the most mountainous, between Sous and Wad–Draha, which has been called Guezoula or Gouzoula, and is said to be peopled by a Berber race, sprang from the ancient Gelulir, is entirely independent. In the north and west are also many quasi-independent tribes, but still the Emperor keeps up a sort of authority over them; and, if nothing more, is content simply with being called their Sultan.

Maroquine Moors call their country El–Gharb, “The West,” and sometimes Mogrel-el-Aksa, that is “The far West:” 47 the name seems to have originated something in the same way among the Saracenic conquerors, as the “Far West” with the Anglo–Americans, arising from an apprehensive feeling of indefinite extent of unexplored country. Among the Moors generally, Morocco is now often called, “Blad Muley Abd Errahman”, or “Country of the Sultan Muley Abd Errahman.” The northwestern portion of Morocco was first conquered; Morocco Proper, Sous and Tafilett were added with the progress of conquest. But scarcely a century has elapsed since their union under one common Sultan, whilst the diverse population of the four States are solely kept together by the interests and feelings of a common religion.

The Maroquine Empire, with its present limits, is bounded on the north by the Mediterranean Sea and the Straits of Gibraltar, on the west by the Atlantic Ocean and the Canary and Madeira Islands, on the south by the deserts of Noun Draha and the Sahara, on the east by Algeria, the Atlas, and Tafilett, on the borders of Sahara beyond their eastern slopes. The greatest length from north to south is about five hundred miles, with a breadth from east to west varying considerably at an average of two hundred, containing an available or really dependent territory of some 137,400 square miles, or nearly as large as Spain; and the whole is situate between the 28° and 40° N. Latitude. Monsieur Benou, in his “Description Géographique de l’Empire de Maroc” says Morocco “comprend une superficie d’environ 5,775 myriamètres carrés, un peu plus grande, par conséquant, que celle de la France, qui équivaut à 5,300.” This then is the available and immediate territory of Morocco, not comprising distant dependencies, where the Shereefs exercise a precarious or nominal sovereignty.

Previously to particularizing the population of Morocco, I shall take the liberty of introducing some general observations on the whole of the inhabitants of North Africa, and the manner in which this country was successively peopled and conquered. Greek and Roman classics contain only meagre and confused notions of the aborigines of North Africa, although they have left us a mass of details on the Punic wars, and the struggles which ensued between the Romans and the ancient Libyans, before the domination of the Latin Republic could be firmly established. Herodotus cites the names of a number of people who inhabited North Africa, mostly confining himself to repeat the fables or the more interesting facts, of which they were the object.

The nomenclature of Strabo is neither so extensive, nor does it contain more precise or correct information. He mentions the celebrated oasis of Ammonium and the nation of the Nasamones. Farther west, behind Carthage and the Numidians, he also notices the Getulians, and after them the Garamantes, a people who appear to have colonized both the oasis of Ghadames and the oases of Fezzan. Ptolemy makes the whole of the Mauritania, including Algeria and Morocco, to be bounded on the south by tribes, called Gaetuliae and Melanogaeluti, on the south the latter evidently having contracted alliance of blood with the negroes.

According to Sallust, who supports himself upon the authority of Heimpsal, the Carthaginian historian, “North Africa was first occupied by Libyans and Getulians, who were a barbarous people, a heterogeneous mass, or agglomeration of people of different races, without any form of religion or government, nourishing themselves on herbs, or devouring the raw flesh of animals killed in the chase; for first amongst these were found Blacks, probably some from the interior of Africa, and belonging to the great negro family; then whites, issue of the Semitic stock, who apparently constituted, even at that early period, the dominant race or caste. Later, but at an epoch absolutely unknown, a new horde of Asiatics,” says Sallust, “of Medes, Persians, and Armenians, invaded the countries of the Atlas, and, led on by Hercules, pushed their conquests as far as Spain.” 48

The Persians, mixing themselves with the former inhabitants of the coast, formed the tribes called Numides, or Numidians (which embrace the provinces of Tunis and Constantina), whilst the Medes and the Armenians, allying themselves with the Libyans, nearer to Spain, it is pretended, gave existence to a race of Moors, the term Medes being changed into that of Moors. 49

As to the Getulians confined in the valleys of the Atlas, they resisted all alliance with the new immigrants, and formed the principal nucleus of those tribes who have ever remained in North Africa, rebels to a foreign civilization, or rather determined champions of national freedom, and whom, imitating the Romans and Arabs, we are pleased to call Barbarians or Berbers (Barbari Brâber 50), and whence is derived the name of the Barbary States. But the Romans likewise called the aboriginal tribes of North Africa, Moors, or Mauri, and some contend that Moors and Berbers are but two different names for the aboriginal tribes, the former being of Greek and the latter of African origin. The Romans might, however, confound the African term berber with barbari, which latter they applied, like the Greeks, to all strangers and foreigners. The revolutions of Africa cast a new tribe of emigrants upon the North African coast, who, if we are to believe the Byzantine historian, Procopius, of the sixth century, were no other than Canaanites, expelled from Palestine by the victorious arms of Joshua, when he established the Israelites in that country. Procopius affirms that, in his time, there was a column standing at Tigisis, on which was this inscription:— “We are those who fled from the robber Joshua, son of Nun.” 51 Now whether Tigisis was in Algeria, or was modern Tangier, as some suppose, it is certain there are several traditions among the Berber tribes of Morocco, which relate that their ancestors were driven out of Palestine. Also, the Berber historian, Ebn–Khal-Doun, who flourished in the fourteenth century, makes all the Berbers descend from one Bar, the son of Mayigh, son of Canaan. However, what may be the truths of these traditions of Sallust or Procopius, there is no difficulty in believing that North Africa was peopled by fugitive and roving tribes, and that the first settlers should be exposed to be plundered by succeeding hordes; for such has been the history of the migrations of all the tribes of the human race.

But the most ancient historical fact on which we can depend is, the invasion, or more properly, the successive invasions of North Africa by the Phoenicians. Their definite establishment on these shores took place towards the foundation of Carthage, about 820 years before our era. Yet we know little of their intercourse or relations with the aboriginal tribes. When the Romans, a century and a half before Christ, received, or wrested, the rule of Africa from the Phoenicians, or Carthaginians, they found before them an indigenous people, whom they indifferently called Moors, Berbers, or Barbarians. A part of these people were called also Nudides, which is perhaps considered the same term as nomades.

Some ages later, the Romans, too weak to resist a vigorous invasion of other conquerors, were subjugated by the Vandals, who, during a century, held possession of North Africa; but, after this time, the Romans again raised their heads, and completely expelled or extirpated the Vandals, so that, as before, there were found only two people or races in Africa: the Romans and the Moors, or aborigines.

Towards the middle of the seventh century after Christ, and a few years after the death of Mahomet, the Romans, in the decline of their power, had to meet the shock of the victorious arms of the Arabians, who poured in upon them triumphant from the East; but, too weak to resist this new tide of invasion, they opposed to them the aborigines, which latter were soon obliged to continue alone the struggle.

The Arabian historians, who recount these wars, speak of Roumi or Romans (of the Byzantine empire) and the Brâber — evidently the aboriginal tribes — who promptly submitted to the Arabs to rid themselves of the yoke of the Romans; but, after the retreat of their ancient masters, they revolted and remained a long time in arms against their new conquerors — a rule of action which all subjugated nations have been wont to follow. Were we English now to attempt to expel the French from Algeria, we, undoubtedly, should be joined by the Arabs; but who would, most probably, soon also revolt against us, were we to attempt to consolidate our dominion over them.

In the first years of the eighth century, and at the end of the first century of the Hegira, the conquering Arabs passed over to Spain, and, inasmuch as they came from Mauritania, the people of Spain gave them the name of Moors (that of the aborigines of North Africa), although they had, perhaps, nothing in common with them, if we except their Asiatic origin. Another and most singular name was also given to these Arab warriors in France and other parts of Europe — that of Saracens — whose etymology is extremely obscure. 52 From this time the Spaniards have always given the names of Moors (los Moros), not only to the Arabs of Spain, but to all the Arabs; and, confounding farther these two denominations, they have bestowed the name of Moros upon the Arabs of Morocco and those in the environs of Senegal.

The Arabs who invaded Northern Africa about 650, were all natives of Asia, belonging to various provinces of Arabia, and were divided into Ismaelites, Amalekites, Koushites, &c. They were all warriors; and it is considered a title of nobility to have belonged to their first irruption of the enthusiastic sons of the Prophet.

A second invasion took place towards the end of the ninth century — an epoch full of wars — during which, the Caliph Kaïm transported the seat of his government from Kairwan to Cairo, ending in the complete submission of Morocco to the power of Yousef Ben Tashfin. One cannnot now distinguish which tribe of Arabs belong to the first or the second invasion, but all who can shew the slightest proof, claim to belong to the first, as ranking among a band of noble and triumphant warriors.

After eight centuries of rule, the Arabs being expelled from Spain, took refuge in Barbary, but instead of finding the hospitality and protection of their brethren, the greater part of them were pillaged or massacred. The remnant of these wretched fugitives settled along the coast; and it is to their industry and intelligence that we owe the increase, or the foundation of many of the maritime cities. Here, considered as strangers and enemies by the natives, whom they detested, the new colonists sought for, and formed relations with Turks and renegades of all nations, whilst they kept themselves separate from the Arabs and Berbers. This, then, is the bonâ-fide origin of the people whom we now generally call Moors. History furnishes us with a striking example of how the expelled Arabs of Spain united with various adventurers against the Berber and North African Arabs. In the year 1500, a thousand Andalusian cavaliers, who had emigrated to Algiers, formed an alliance with the Barbarossas and their fleet of pirates; and, after expelling the native prince, built the modern city of Algiers. And such was the origin of the Algerine Corsairs.

The general result of these observations would, therefore, lead us to consider the Moors of the Romans, as the Berbers or aborigines of North Africa, and the Moors of the Spaniards, as pure Arabians; and if, indeed, these Arabian cavaliers marshalled with them Berbers, as auxiliaries, for the conquest of Spain, this fact does not militate against the broad assumption.

The so-called Moors of Senegal and the Sahara, as well as those of Morocco, are chiefly a mixture of Berbers, Arabs and Negroes; but the present Moors located in the northern coast of Africa, are rather the descendants from the various conquering nations, and especially from renegades and Christian slaves.

The term Moors is not known to the natives themselves. The people speak definitely enough of Arabs and of various Berber tribes. The population of the towns and cities are called generally after the names of these towns and cities, whilst Tuniseen and Tripoline is applied to all the inhabitants of the great towns of Tunis and Tripoli. Europeans resident in Barbary, as a general rule, call all the inhabitants of towns — Moors, and the peasants or people residents in tents — Arabs. But, in Tripoli, I found whole villages inhabited by Arabs, and these I thought might be distinguished as town Arabs. Then the mountains of Tripoli are covered with Arab villages, and some few considerable towns are inhabited by people who are bonâ-fide Arabs. Finally, the capitals of North Africa are filled with every class of people found in the country.

The question is then where shall we draw the line of distinction in the case of nationalities? or can we, with any degree of precision, define the limits which distinguish the various races in North Africa? With regard to the Blacks or negro tribes, there can be no great difficulty. The Jews are also easily distinguished from the rest of the people as well by their national features as by their dress and habits or customs of living. But, when we come to the Berbers, Arabs, Moors and Turks, we can only distinguish them in their usual and ordinary occupations and manners of life. Whenever they are intermixed, or whenever they change their position, that is to say, whenever the Arab or Berber comes to dwell in a town, or a Moor or a Turk goes to reside in the country, adopting the Arab or Berber dress and mode of living, it is no longer possible to distinguish the one from the other, or mark the limitation of races.

And since it is seen that the aborigines of Northern Africa consisted, with the exception of the Negro tribes, of the Asiatics of the Caucasian race or variety, many of whom, like the Phoenicians, have peopled various cities and provinces of Europe, it is therefore not astonishing we should find all the large towns and cities of North Africa, where the human being becomes policed, refined and civilized sooner than in remote and thinly-inhabited districts, teeming with a population, which at once challenges an European type, and a corresponding origin with the great European family of nations.

North Africa is wonderfully homogeneous in the matter of religion. The people, indeed, have but one religion. Even the extraneous Judaism is the same in its Deism — depression of the female — circumcision and many of the religious customs, festivals and traditions. And this has a surprising effect in assimilating the opposite character and sharpest peculiarities of various races of otherwise distinct and independant origin.

The population of Morocco presents five distant races and classes of people; Berbers, Arabs, Moors, Jews and Negroes. Turks are not found in Morocco, and do not come so far west; but sons of Turks by Moorish women in Kouroglies are included among the Moors, that have emigrated from Algeria. Maroquine Berbers, include the varieties of the Amayeegh 53 and the Shelouh, who mostly are located in the mountains, while the Arabs are settled on the plains.

The Moors are the inhabitants of towns and cities, consisting of a mixture of nearly all races, a great proportion of them being of the descendants of the Moors expelled from Spain. All these races have been, and will still be, farther noticed in the progress of the work. The proximate amount of this population is six millions. The greater number of the towns and cities are situate on the coast, excepting the three or four capitals, or imperial cities. The other towns of the interior should be considered rather as forts to awe neighbouring tribes, or as market villages (souks), where the people collect together for the disposal and exchange of their produce. Numerous tribes, located in the Atlas, escape the notice of the imposts of imperial authority. Their varieties and amount of population are equally unknown. In the immense group of Gibel Thelge (snowy mountains), some of the tribes are said to have their faces shaved, like Christians, and to wear boots. We can understand why a people inhabiting a cold region of rain and mists and perpetual snow should wear boots; but as to their shaving like Christians, this is rather vague. But it is not impossible the Atlas contains the descendants of some European refugees.

The nature of the soil and climate of Morocco are not unlike those of Spain and Portugal; and though Morocco does not materially differ from other parts of Barbary, its greater extent of coast on the Atlantic, along which the tradewind of the north coast blows nine months out of twelve, and its loftier ridges of the Atlas, so temper its varied surface of hill and plain and vast declivities that, together with the absence of those marshy districts which in hot climates engender fatal disease, this country may be pronounced, excepting perhaps Tunis, the most healthy in all Africa.

In the northern provinces, the climate is nearly the same as that of Spain; in the southern there is less rain and more of the desert heat, but this is compensated for by the greater fertility in the production of valuable staple articles of commerce. Nevertheless, Morocco has its extremes of heat and cold, like all the North African coast.

The most striking object of this portion of the crust of the globe, is the vast Atlas chain of mountains 54, which traverses Morocco from north-east to south-west, whose present ascertained culminating point, Miltsin, is upwards of 15,000 feet above the level of the sea, or equal to the highest peaks of the Pyrenees. The Maroquine portion of the Atlas contains its highest peaks, which stretch from the east of Tripoli to the Atlantic Ocean, at Santa Cruz; and we find no mountains of equal height, except in the tenth degree of North latitude, or 18,000 miles south, or 30,000 south, south-east. The Rif coast has a mountainous chain of some considerable height, but the Atlantic coast offers chiefly ridges of hills. The coasts of Morocco are not much indented, and consequently have few ports, and these offer poor protection from the ocean.

The general surface of Morocco presents a large ridge or lock, with two immense declivities, one sloping N.W. to the ocean, with various rivers and streams descending from this enormous back-bone of the Atlas, and the other fulling towards the Sahara, S.E., feeding the streams and affluents of Wad Draha, and other rivers, which are lost in the sands of the Desert. This shape of the country prevents the formation of those vast Sebhahas, or salt lakes, so frequent in Algeria and the south of Tunis. We are acquainted only with two lakes of fresh or sweet water — that of Debaia, traversed by Wad Draha, — and that of Gibel–Akhder, which Leo compares to Lake Bolsena. The height of the mountains, and the uniformity of their slopes, produce large and numerous rivers; indeed, the most considerable of all North Africa. These rivers of the North are shortest, but have the largest volume of water; those of the South are larger, but are nearly dry the greater part of the year. None of them are navigable far inland. Some abound with fish, particularly the Shebbel, or Barbary salmon. It is neither so rich nor so large as our salmon, and is whitefleshed; it tastes something like herring, but is of a finer and more delicate flavour. They are abundant in the market of Mogudor. The Shebbel, converted by the Spaniards Sabalo, is found in the Guadalquivir.

The products of the soil are nearly the same as in other parts of Barbary. On the plains, or in the open country, the great cultivation is wheat and barley; in suburban districts, vegetables and fruits are propagated. In a commercial point of view, the North exports cattle, grain, bark, leeches, and skins; and the South exports gums, almonds, ostrich-feathers, wax, wool, and skins, as principle staple produce. When the rains cease or fail, the cultivation is kept up by irrigation, and an excellent variety of fruits and esculent vegetables are produced; indeed, nearly all the vegetables and fruit-trees of Southern Europe are here abundantly and successfully cultivated, besides those peculiar to an African clime and soil. In the south, grows a tree peculiar to this country, the Eloeondenron Argan, so called from its Arabic name Argan. This tree produces fruit resembling the olive, whose egg-shaped, brown, smooth and very hard stone, encloses a flat almond, of a white colour, and of a very disagreeable taste, which, when crushed, produces a rancid oil, used commonly as a substitute for olive-oil. The tree itself is bushy and large, and sometimes grows of the size to a wide-spreading oak. Not far from Mogador are several Argan forests. The level country of the north is covered with forests of dwarfish oak; some bear sweet, and others bitter acorns, and also the cork-tree, whose bark is a considerable object of commerce. In the Atlas, has been found the magnificent cedar of Lebanon. This tree has also been met with in Algeria, but only on the mountains, some forty thousand feet above the level of the sea.

In the South there is, of course, growing in all its Saharan vigour, the noble date-palm, and by its side, squats the palmetto, or dwarf-palm (in Arabic dauma). Of trees and plants, the usual tinzah, and snouber or pine of Aleppo, are used for preparing the fine leathers of Morocco. Many plants are also deleteriously employed for exciting intoxication, or inflaming the passions.

Morocco has its mines of gold, silver, lead, iron, tin, sulphur, mineral, salt, and antimony; but nearly all are neglected, or unworked. Government will not encourage the industry of the people, for fear of exciting the cupidity of foreigners. A Frenchman, a short time ago, reported a silver mine in the south, and Government immediately bribed him to make another statement that there was no such mine. At Elala and Stouka, in the province of Sous, are several rich silver mines. Gold is found in the Atlas and the Lower Sous. But this country is especially rich in copper mines. A great number of ancient and modern authors speak of these mines, which are situate in the mountainous country comprised between Aghadir, Morocco, Talda, Tamkrout, and Akka. The mines most worked, are those of Tedsi and Afran. At the foot of the Atlas, near Taroudant, is a great quantity of sulphur. In the neighbourhood of Morocco, saltpetre is found. In the province of Abda is an extensive salt lake, and salt has been exported from this country to Timbuctoo. Of precious stones, some fine specimens of amethyst have been discovered.

There are scarcely any animals peculiar to Morocco, or which are not found in other parts of North Africa. Davidson mentions some curious facts relative to the desert horse; “sherb-errech, wind-bibber, or drinker of the wind,” a variety of this animal, which is not to be met with in the Saharan regions of Tunis, or Tripoli.

This horse is fed only on camel’s milk, and is principally used for hunting ostriches, which are run down by it, and then captured. 55 The sherb-errech will continue running three or four days together without any food. It is a slight and spare-formed animal, mostly in wretched condition, with ugly thick legs, and devoid of beauty as a horse.

47 The middle Western Region consists of Algiers and part of Tunis.

48 Pliny, the Elder, confirms this tradition mentioned by Pliny. Marcus Yarron reports, “that in all Spain there are spread Iberians, Persians, Phoenicians, Celts, and Carthaginians.” (Lib. iii. chap. 2).

49 In Latin, Mauri, Maurice, Maurici, Maurusci, and it is supposed, so called by the Greeks from their dark complexions.

50 The more probable derivation of this word is from bar, signifying land, or earth, in contradistinction from the sea, or desert, beyond the cultivable lands to the South. To give the term more force it is doubled, after the style of the Semitic reduplication. De Haedo de la Captividad gives a characteristic derivation, like a genuine hidalgo, who proclaimed eternal war against Los Moros. He says — “Moors, Alartes, Cabayles, and some Turks, form all of them a dirty, lazy, inhuman, indomitable nation of beasts, and it is for this reason that, for the last few years, I have accustomed myself to call that land the land of Barbary.”

51 Procopius, de Bello Vandilico, lib. ii. cap. 10.

52 Some derive it from Sarak, an Arabic word which signifies to steal, and hence, call the conquerors thieves. Others, and with more probability, derive it from Sharak, the east, and make them Orientals, and others say there is an Arabic word Saracini, which means a pastoral people, and assert that Saracine is a corruption from it, the new Arabian immigrants being supposed to have been pastoral tribes.

53 Some suppose that Amayeegh means “great,” and the tribes thus distinguished themselves, as our neighbours are wont to do by the phrase “la grande nation.” The Shoulah are vulgarly considered to be descended from the Philistines, and to have fled before Joshua on the conquest of Palestine.

In his translation of the Description of Spain, by the Shereef El–Edris (Madrid, 1799), Don Josef Antonio Conde speaks of the Berbers in a note —

“Masmuda, one of the five principal tribes of Barbaria; the others are Zeneta, called Zenetes in our novels and histories, Sanhagha which we name Zenagas; Gomêsa is spelt in our histories Gomares and Gomeles. Huroara, some of these were originally from Arabia; there were others, but not so distinguished. La de Ketâma was, according to tradition, African, one of the most ancient, for having come with Afrikio.

“Ben Kis Ben Taifi Ben Tebâ, the younger, who came from the king of the Assyrians, to the land of the west.

“None of these primitive tribes appear to have been known to the Romans, their historians, however, have transmitted to us many names of other aboriginal tribes, some of which resemble fractions now existing, as the Getules are probably the present Geudala or Geuzoula. But the present Berbers do not correspond with the names of the five original people just mentioned. In Morocco, there are Amayeegh and Shelouh, in Algeria the Kabyles, in Tunis the Aoures, sometimes the Shouwiah, and in Sahara the Touarichs. There are, besides, numerous subdivisions and admixtures of these tribes.”

54 Monsieur Balbi is decidedly the most recent, as well as the best authority to apply to for a short and definite description of this most celebrated mountain system, called by him “Système Atlantique,” and I shall therefore annex what he says on this interesting subject, “Orographie.” He says — “Of the ‘Système Atlantique,’ which derives its name from the Mount Atlas, renowned for so many centuries, and still so little known; we include in this vast system, all the heights of the region of Maghreb — we mean the mountain of the Barbary States — as well as the elevations scattered in the immense Sahara or Desert. It appears that the most important ridge extends from the neighbourhood of Cape Noun, or the Atlantic, as far as the east of the Great Syrte in the State of Tripoli. In this vast space it crosses the new State of Sidi–Hesdham, the Empire of Morocco, the former State of Algiers, as well as the State of Tripoli and the Regency of Tunis. It is in the Empire of Morocco, and especially in the east of the town of Morocco, and in the south-east of Fez, that that ridge presents the greatest heights of the whole system. It goes on diminishing afterwards in height as it extends towards the east, so that it appears the summits of the territory of Algiers are higher than those on the territory of Tunis, and the latter are less high than those to be found in the State of Tripoli. Several secondary ridges diverge in different directions from the principal chain; we shall name among them the one which ends at the Strait of Gibraltar in the Empire of Morocco. Several intermediary mountains seem to connect with one another the secondary chains which intersect the territories of Algiers and Tunis. Geographers call Little Atlas the secondary mountains of the land of Sous, in opposition to the name of Great Atlas, they give to the high mountains of the Empire of Morocco. In that part of the principal chain called Mount Gharian, in the south of Tripoli, several low branches branch off and under the names of Mounts Maray, Black Mount Haroudje, Mount Liberty, Mount Tiggerandoumma and others less known, furrow the great solitudes of the Desert of Lybia and Sahara Proper. From observations made on the spot by Mr. Bruguière in the former state of Algiers, the great chain which several geographers traced beyond the Little Atlas under the name of Great Atlas does not exist. The inhabitants of Mediah who were questioned on the subject by this traveller, told him positively, that the way from that town to the Sahara was through a ground more or less elevated, and slopes more or less steep, and without having any chain of mountains to cross. The Pass of Teniah which leads from Algiers to Mediah is, therefore, included in the principal chain of that part of the Regency.

55 Xenophon, in his Anabasis, speaks of ostriches in Mesopotamia being run down by fleet horses.

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.

Chapter 5

Description of the Imperial Cities or Capitals of the Empire. — El–Kesar. — Mequinez. — Fez. — Morocco. — The province of Tafilett, the birth-place of the present dynasty of the Shereefs.

The royal or capitals of the interior now demand our attention, which are El–Kesar, Mequinez, Fez, and Morocco.

El–Kesar, or Al–Kesar, 63 styled also El–Kesue-Kesar, is so named and distinguished because it owes its enlargement to the famous Sultan of Fez, Almansor, who improved and beautified it about the year 1180, and designed this city as a magazine and rendezvous of troops for the great preparations he was making at the time for the conquest of Granada. El–Kesar is in the province of the Gharb, and situate on the southern bank of the Luccos; here is a deep and rapid stream, flowing W. 1/4 N.W. The town is nearly as large as Tetuan, but the streets are dirty and narrow, and many of the houses in a ruinous condition, This fortified place was once adorned by some fifteen mosques, but only two or three are now fit for service. The population does not exceed four or five thousand souls, and some think this number over-estimated.

The surrounding country is flat meadowland, but flooded after the rains, and producing fatal fevers, though dry and hot enough in summer. The suburban fields are covered with gardens and orchards. It was at El–Kesar, where, in A.D. 1578, the great battle of The Three Kings came off, because, besides the Portuguese King, Don Sebastian, two Moorish princes perished on this fatal day. But one of them, Muley Moluc, died very ill in a litter, and was not killed in the fight; his death, however, was kept a secret till the close of the battle, in order that the Moors might not be discouraged. With their prince, Don Sebastian, perished the flower of the Portuguese nobility and chivalry of that time. War, indeed, was found “a dangerous game” on that woeful day: both for princes and nobles, and many a poor soul was swept away

“Floating in a purple tide.”

But the “trade of war” has been carried on ever since, and these lessons, written in blood, are as useless to mankind as those dashed off by the harmless pen of the sentimental moralist. El–Kesar is placed in Latitude, 35° 1 10” N.; Longitude, 5° 49’ 30” W.

Mequinez, 64 in Arabic, Miknas (or Miknasa), is a royal residence, and city of the province of Fez, situate upon a hill in the midst of a well-watered and most pleasant town, blessed with a pure and serene air. The city of Miknas is both large and finely built, of considerable interest and of great antiquity. It was founded by the tribe of Berbers Meknâsab, a fraction of the Zenatah, in the middle of the tenth century, and called Miknasat, hence is derived its present name. The modern town is surrounded with a triple wall thirteen feet high and three thick, enclosing a spacious area. This wall is mounted with batteries to awe the Berbers of the neighbouring mountains. The population amounts to about twenty thousand souls, (some say forty or fifty thousand) in which are included about nine thousand Negro troops, constituting the greater portion of the Imperial guard. Two thousand of these black troops are in charge of the royal treasures, estimated at some fifty millions of dollars, and always increasing. These treasures consist of jewels, bars of gold and silver, and money in the two precious metals, the greater part being Spanish and Mexican dollars.

The inhabitants are represented as being the most polished of the Moors, kind and hospitable to strangers. The palace of the Emperor is extremely simple and elegant, all the walls of which are embroidered with the beautiful stucco-work of Arabesque patterns, as pure and chaste as the finest lace. The marble for the pillars was furnished from the ruins adjacent, called Kesar Farâoun, “Castle of Pharoah” (a name given to most of the old ruins of Morocco, of whose origin there is any doubt).

During the times of piracy, there was here, as also at Morocco, a Spanish hospitium for the ransom and recovery of Christian slaves. Even before Mequinez was constituted a royal city, it was a place of considerable trade and riches. Nothing of any peculiar value has been discovered among the extensive and ancient ruins about a mile distant, and which have furnished materials for the building of several royal cities; they are, however, supposed to be Roman. Scarcely a day’s journey separates Mequinez from Fez. It is not usual for two royal cities to be placed so near together, but which must render their fortunes inseparable.

Fez, or Fas. According to some, the name Fas, which signifies in Arabia a pickaxe, was given to it because one was found in digging its foundations. Others derive it from Fetha, silver. It is no longer the marvellous city described by Leo Africanus, yet its learning, wealth, and industry place it in the first rank of the cities of Morocco. During the eighth century, the Arabs, masters of Tunis, of all Algeria, and the maritime cities of Morocco, seemed to think only of invading Europe and consolidating their power in Spain; but at this epoch, a descendant of Ali and Fatima, Edris Ben Abdalluh, quitted Arabia, passed into Morocco, and established himself at Oualili, the capital, where he remained till his death, and where he was buried. His character was generally known and venerated for its sanctity, and drew upon him the affectionate regard of the people, and all instinctively placed themselves near him as a leader of the Faithful, likely to put an end to anarchy, and establish order in the Mussulman world. His son, Edris–Ben-Edris, who inherited his virtues and influence, offering a species of ancient prototype to Abd-el Kader and his venerable father, Mahadin, was the first bona-fide Mussulman sovereign of the Maroquine empire, and founded Fez.

Fez is a most ancient centre of population, and had long been a famed city, before Muley Edris, in the year A.D. 807 (others in 793), gave it its present form and character.

From that period, however, Fez 65 dates its modern celebrity and rank among the Mahometan capitals of the world, and especially as being the second city of Islamism, and the “palace of the Mussulmen Princes of the West.” That the Spanish philologists should make Fut, of the Prophet Nahum, to be the ancient capital of Fez, is not remarkable, considering the numerous bands of emigrants, who, emerging from the coast, wandered as far as the pillars of Hercules; and, besides, in a country like North Africa, the theatre of so many revolutions, almost every noted city of the present period has had its ancient form, from which it has been successively changed.

The modern capital is placed in a valley upon the gentle slope of several hills by which it is surrounded, and whose heights are crowned with lovely gardens breathing odoriferous sweets. Close by is a little river, or a branch of the Tebou, named Wad-el-Juhor, or “streamlet,” which supplies the city with excellent water.

The present buildings are divided into old and new Fez. The streets are so narrow that two men on horseback could scarcely ride abreast; they are, besides, very dark, and often arched over. Colonel Scott represents some of the streets, however, as a mile in length. The houses are high, but not handsome. The shops are numerous and much frequented, though not very fine in appearance. Fez contains no less than seven hundred mosques, fifty of which are superb, and ornamented with fine columns of marble; there is, besides, a hundred or more of very small and ill-built mosques, or rather, houses of prayer. The most famous of these temples of worship is El–Karoubin (or El–Karouïin), supported by three hundred pillars. In this is preserved the celebrated library of antiquity, where, it is pretended, ancient Greek and Latin authors are to be found in abundance with the lost books of Titus Livy.

This appears to be mere conjecture. 66 But the mosque the more frequented and venerated, is that dedicated to the founder of the city, Muley Edris, whose ashes repose within its sacred enclosure. So excessive is this “hero-worship” for this great sultan, that the people constantly invoke his name in their prayers instead of that of the Deity. The mausoleum of this sacro-santo prince is inviolable and unapproachable. The university of Fez was formally much celebrated, but little of its learning now remains. Its once high-minded orthodox mulahs are now succeeded by a fanatic and ignorant race of marabouts. Nevertheless, the few hommes de lettres found in Morocco are congregated here, and the literature of the empire is concentrated in this city. Seven large public schools are in full activity, besides numbers of private seminaries of instruction. The low humour of the talebs, and the fanaticism of the people, are unitedly preserved and developed in this notorious doggerel couplet, universally diffused throughout Morocco:—

Ensara fee Senara
Elhoud fee Sefoud

“Christians on the hook
Jews on the spit,” or

“Let Christians be hooked,
And let Jews be cooked.”

The great division of the Arabic into eastern and western dialects makes little real difference in a practical point of view. The Mogrebbin, or western, is well understood by all travellers, and, of course, by all scholars from the East.

The palace of the Sultan is not large, but is handsome. There are numerous baths, and an hospital for the mad or incurable. The population was estimated, not long ago, at 88,000 souls, of which there were 60,000 Moors and Arabs (the Moors being chiefly immigrants from Spain), 10,000 Berbers, 8,000 Jews, and 10,000 Negroes. But this amount has been reduced to 40,000, or even 30,000; and the probability is, the present population of Fez does not by any means, exceed 50,000, if it reaches that number. Nearly all the Jews reside in the new city, which, by its position, dominates the old one. The inhabitants of Fez, in spite of their learning and commerce, are distinguished for their fanaticism; and an European, without an escort of troops, cannot walk in the streets unless disguised. It was lately the head-quarters of the fanatics who preached “the holy war,” and involved the Emperor in hostilities with the French.

The immense trade of every kind carried on at Fez gives it almost the air of an European city. In the great square, called Al–Kaisseriah, is exhibited all the commerce of Europe and Africa — nay, even of the whole world. The crowd of traffickers here assemble every day as at a fair. Fez has two annual caravans; one leaves for Central Africa, or Timbuctoo; and another for Mecca, or the caravan of pilgrims. The two great stations and rendezvous points of the African caravan are Tafilett and Touat. The journey from Fez to Timbuctoo occupies about ninety days. The Mecca caravan proceeds the same route as far as Touat, and then turns bank north-east to Ghadames, Fezzan, and Angelah, and thence to Alexandria, which it accomplishes in four or five, to six months. All depends on the inclination of the Shereef, or Commandant, of the caravan; but the journey from Fez to Alexandria cannot, by the quickest caravan, be accomplished in much less time than three months and a half, or one hundred days. The value of the investments in this caravan has been estimated at a million of dollars; for the faithful followers of the Prophet believe, with us, that godliness is profitable in the life that now is, as well as in that which is to come.

Fez is surrounded with a vast wall, but which is in decay. What is this decay! It applies almost to every Moorish city and public building in North Africa. And yet the faith of the false prophet is as strong as ever, and with time and hoary age seems to strike its roots deeper into the hearts of its simple, but enthusiastic and duped devotees!

The city has seven gates, and two castles, at the east and west, form its main defence. These castles are very ancient, and are formed and supported by square walls about sixty feet in front, Ali Bey says, subterraneous passages are reported to exist between these castles and the city; and, whenever the people revolt against the Sultan, cannon are planted on the castles with a few soldiers as their guard. The fortifications, or Bastiles, of Paris, we see, therefore, were no new invention of Louis Philippe to awe the populace. The maxims of a subtle policy are instructive in despotism of every description.

The constituted authorities of Fez are like those of every city of Morocco. The Governor is the lieutenant of the sovereign, exercising the executive power; the Kady, or supreme judge, is charged with the administration of the law, and the Al–Motassen fixes the price of provisions, and decides all the questions of trade and customs. There are but few troops at Fez, for it is not a strong military possession; on the contrary, it is commanded by accessible heights and is exposed to a coup-de-main.

Fez, indeed, could make no bonâ-fide resistance to an European army. The manufactures are principally woollen haiks, silk handkerchiefs, slippers and shoes of excellent leather, and red caps of felt, commonly called the fez; the first fabrication of these red caps appears to have been in this city. The Spanish Moorish immigrants introduced the mode of dressing goat and sheep-skins, at first known by the name of Cordovan from Cordova; but, since the Moorish forced immigration, they have acquired the celebrated name of Morocco. The chief food of the people is the national Moorish dish of cuscasou, a fine grained paste, cooked by steam, with melted fat, oil, or other liquids poured upon the dish, and sometimes garnished with pieces of fowl and other meat. A good deal of animal food is consumed, but few vegetables. The climate is mild in the winter, but suffocating with heat in the summer. This city is placed in latittude 34° 6’ 3” N. longitude 4° 38” 15’W.

Morocco, or strictly in Arabic, Maraksh, which signifies “adorned,” is the capital of the South, and frequently denominated the capital of the Empire, but it is only a triste shadow of its former greatness. It is sometimes honoured with the title of “the great city,” or “country.” Morocco occupies an immense area of ground, being seven miles in circumference, the interior of which is covered with heaps of ruins or more pleasantly converted into gardens. Morocco was built in 1072 or 1073 by the famous Yousel–Ben-Tashfin, King of Samtuna, and of the dynasty of the Almoravedi, or Marabouts. Its site is that of an ancient city, Martok, founded in the remotest periods of the primitive Africans, or aboriginal Berbers, in whose language it signifies a place where everything good and pleasant was to be found in abundance.

Bocanum Hermerum of the Ancients was also near the site of this capital, Morocco attained its greatest prosperity shortly after its foundation, and since then it has only declined. In the twelfth century, under the reign of Jâkoub Almanzor, there were 10,000 houses and 700,000 souls, (if indeed we can trust their statistics); but, at the present time, there are only some forty to fifty thousand inhabitants, including 4,000 Shelouhs and 5,000 Jews. Ali Bey, in 1804, estimates its population at only 30,000, and Captain Washington in 1830 at 80, or 100,000. This vast city lies at the foot of the Atlas, or about fourteen miles distant, spread over a wide and most lovely plain of the province of Rhamma, watered by the river Tensift, six miles from the gates of the capital.

The mosques are numerous and rich, the principal of which are El–Kirtubeeah, of elegant architecture with an extremely lofty minaret; El–Maazin, which is three hundred years old, and a magnificent building; and Benious, built nearly seven hundred years ago of singular construction, uniting modern and ancient architecture. The mosque of the patron saint is Sidi Belabbess. Nine gates open in the city-walls; these are strong and high, and flanked with towers, except on the south east where the Sultan’s palace stands. The streets are crooked, of uneven width, unpaved, and dirty in winter, and full of dust in summer.

There are several public squares and marketplaces. The Kaessaria, or commercial quarter, is extensive, exhibiting every species of manufacture and natural product.

The manufactures of this, as of other large places, are principally, silks, embroidery, and leather. The merchants of Mogador have magazines here; this capital has also its caravans, which trade to the interior, passing through Wadnoun to the south.

The Imperial palace is without the city and fortified with strong walls. There are large gardens attached, in one of which the Emperor receives his merchants and the diplomatic agents. The air of the country, at the foot of the Atlas, is pure and salubrious. The city is well supplied with water from an aqueduct, connecting it with the river Tensift, which flows from the gorges of the Atlas. But the inhabitants, although they enjoy this inestimable blessing in an African climate, are not famous for their cleanliness; Morocco, if possessing any particular character, still must be considered as a commercial city, for its learning is at a very low ebb. Its interior wears a deeply dejected, nay a profoundly gloomy aspect.

“Horrendum incultumque specus.”

and the European merchants, when they come up here are glad to get away as soon as possible.

Outside the city, there is a suburb appropriated to lepers, a Lazar-house of leprosy, which afflicting and loathsome disease descends from father to son through unbroken generations; the afflicted cannot enter the city, and no one dare approach their habitations. The Emperor usually resides for a third portion of his time at Morocco the rest at Fez and Mequinez. Whenever his Imperial Highness has anything disagreeable with foreign European powers, he comes down from Fez to Morocco, to get out of the way. Occasionally, he travels from town to town of the interior, to awe by his presence the ever restless disaflfection of the tribes, or excite their loyalty for the Shereefian throne.

Morocco is placed in Lat. 31° 37” 31’ N. and Long. 7° 35” 30’, W.

Tafilett consists of a group of towns or villages, situate on the south-eastern side of the Atlas, which may he added to the royal cities, being inhabited in part by the Imperial family, and is the birth-place of their sovereign power — emphatically called Beladesh–Sherfa, “country of the Shereefs.” The country was anciently called Sedjelmasa, and retained this name up to 1530 A.D., when the principal city acquired the apellation of Tafilett, said to be derived from an Arab immigrant, called Filal, who improved the culture of dates, and whose name on this account, under the Berber form of Tafilett, was given to a plantation of dates cultivated by him, and then passed to the surrounding districts.

At the present time, Tafilett consists of a group of fortified or castle-built villages, environed by walls mounted with square towers, which extend on both sides of the river Zig. There is also a castle, or rather small town, upon the left side of the river, called by the ordinary name of Kesar, which is in the hands of the Shereefs, and inhabited entirely by the family of the Prophet. The principal and most flourishing place was a long time called Tafilett, but is now according to Callie, Ghourlan, and the residence of the Governor of the province of Ressant, a town distinguished by a magnificent gateway surrounded with various coloured Dutch tiles, symmetrically arranged in a diamond pattern. This traveller calls the district of Tafilett, Afile or Afilel.

It is probable that from the rains of the ancient Sedjelmasa, some of the modern villages have been constructed. The towns and districts of Tafilett once formed an independent kingdom. The present population has been estimated at some ten thousand, but this is entirely conjectural. Callié mentions the four towns of Ghourlan, L’Eksebi, Sosso and Boheim as containing eleven or twelve thousand souls. The soil of Tafilett is level, composed of sand of an ashy grey, productive of corn, and all sorts of European fruits and vegetables. The natives have fine sheep, with remarkably white wool. The manufactures, which are in woollen and silk, are called Tafiletes.

Besides being a rendezvous of caravans, radiating through all parts of the Sahara, Tafilett is a great mart of traffic in the natural products of the surrounding countries. A fine bridge spans the Zig, built by a Spaniard. When the Sultan of Morocco finds any portion of his family inclined to be naughty, he sends them to Tafilett, as we are wont to send troublesome people to “Jericho.” This, at any rate, is better than cutting off their heads, which, from time immemorial, has been the invariable practice of African and Oriental despots. The Maroquine princes may be thankful they have Tafilett as a place of exile. The Emperors never visit Tafilett except as dethroned exiles. A journey to such a place is always attended with danger; and were the Sultan to escape, he would find, on his return, the whole country in revolt.

Regarding these royal cities, we sum up our observations. The destinies of Fez and Mequinez are inseparable. United, they contain one hundred thousand inhabitants, the most polished and learned in the Empire. Fez is the city of arts and learning, that is of what remains of the once famous and profound Moorish doctors of Spain. Mequinez is the strong place of the Empire, an emporium of arms and imperial Cretsures. Fez is the rival of Morocco. The two cities are the capitals of two kingdoms, never yet amalgamated. The present dynasty belongs not to Fez, but to Morocco; though a dynasty of Shereefs, they are Shereefs of the south, and African blood flows in their veins.

The Sultan generally is obliged to give a preference to Fez for a residence, because his presence is necessary to maintain the allegiance of the north country, and to curb its powerful warparty, his son in the meanwhile being left Governor during his absence. But all these royal cities are on the decline, the “sere and yellow leaf” of a well nigh defunct civilization. Morocco is a huge shell of its former greatness, a monster of Moresque dilapidations. France may awaken the slumbering energies of the population of these once flourishing and august cities, but left to themselves they are powerless, sinking under their own weight and uncouth encumbrances, and will rise no more till reconstructed by European hands.

63 El–Kesar is a very common name of a fortified town, and is usually written by the Spaniards Alcazar, being the name of the celebrated royal palace at Seville.

64 Marmol makes this city to have succeeded the ancient Roman town of Silda or Gilda. Mequinez has been called Ez–Zetounah, from the immense quantities of olives in its immediate vicinity.

65 Don J. A. Conde says — “Fes or sea Fez, the capital of the realm of that name; the fables of its origin, and the grandeur of the Moors, who always speak of their cities as foundations of heroes, or lords of the whole world, &c., a foible of which our historians are guilty. Nasir–Eddin and the same Ullug Beig say, for certain, that Fez is the court of the king in the west. I must observe here, that nothing is less authentic than the opinions given by Casiri in his Library of the Escurial, that by the word Algarb, they always mean the west of Spain, and by the word Almagreb, the west of Africa; one of these appellations is generally used for the other. The same Casiri says, with regard to Fez, that it was founded by Edno Ben Abdallah, under the reign of Almansor Abu Giafar; he is quite satisfied with that assertion, but does not perceive that it contains a glaring anachronism. Fez was already a very ancient city before the Mohammed Anuabi of the Mussulmen, and Joseph, in his A. J., mentions a city of Mauritania; the prophet Nahum speaks of it also, when he addresses Ninive, he presents it as an example for No Ammon. He enumerates its districts and cities, and says, Fut and Lubim, Fez and Lybia, &c.

66 I imagine we shall never know the truth of this until the French march an army into Fez, and sack the library.

Chapter 6

Description of the towns and cities of the Interior, and those of the Kingdom of Fez. — Seisouan. — Wazen. — Zawiat. — Muley Dris. — Sofru. — Dubdu. — Taza. — Oushdah. — Agla. — Nakbila. — Meshra. — Khaluf. — The Places distinguished in. Morocco, including Sous, Draka, and Tafilett. — Tefza. — Pitideb. — Ghuer. — Tyijet. — Bulawan. — Soubeit — Meramer. — El–Medina. — Tagodast. — Dimenet. — Aghmat. — Fronga. — Tedmest. — Tekonlet. — Tesegdelt. — Tagawost. — Tedsi Beneali. — Beni Sabih. — Tatta and Akka. — Mesah or Assah. — Talent. — Shtouka. — General observations on the statistics of population. — The Maroquine Sahara.

We have briefly to notice the remaining towns and cities of the interior, with some other remarkable places.

First, these distinguished and well ascertained places in the kingdom of Fez.

Seisouan, or Sousan, is the capital of the Rif province, situate also on the borders of the province of the Habat, and by the sources of a little river which runs into the Mediterranean, near Cape Mazari. The town is small, but full of artizans and merchants. The country around is fertile, being well irrigated with streams. Sousan is the most beautifully picturesque of all the Atlas range.

Sofou, or Sofron, is a fine walled city, southeast of Fez, situate upon the river Guizo; in a vast and well-watered plain near, are rich mines of fossil salt.

Wazen, or Wazein, in the province of Azgar, and the region of the Gharb, is a small city without Walls, celebrated for being the residence of the High Priest, or Grand Marabout of the Empire. This title is hereditary, and is now (or up to lately) possessed by the famous Sidi-el-Haj-el-Araby–Ben-Ali, who, in his district, lives in a state of nearly absolute independence, besides exercising great influence over public affairs. This saint, or priest, has, however, a rival at Tedda. The two popes together pretend to decide the fate of the Empire. The districts where these Grand Marabouts reside, are without governors, and the inhabitants pay no tribute into the imperial coffers, they are ruled by their two priests under a species of theocracy. The Emperor never attempts or dares to contest their privileges. Occasionally they appear abroad, exciting the people, and declaiming against the vices of the times. His Moorish Majesty then feels himself ill at ease, until they retire to their sanctuaries, and employs all his arts to effect the object, protesting that he will be wholly guided by their councils in the future administration of the Empire. With this humiliation of the Shereefs, they are satisfied, and kennel themselves into their sanctum-sanctorums.

Zawiat–Muley-Driss, which means, retirement of our master, Lord Edris (Enoch) and sometimes called Muley Edris, is a far famed city of the province of Fez, and placed at the foot of the lofty mountains of Terhoun, about twenty-eight miles from Fez, north-west, amidst a most beautiful country, producing all the necessaries and luxuries of human life. The site anciently called Tuilet, was perhaps also the Volubilis of the ancients. Here is a sanctuary dedicated to the memory of Edris, progenitor and founder of the dynasty of Edrisiti.

The population, given by Gräberg, is nine thousand, but this is evidently exaggerated. Not far off, towards the west, are some magnificent ruins of an ancient city, called Kesar Farâoun, or “Castle of Pharoah.”

Dubdu, called also Doubouton, is an ancient, large city, of the district of Shaous, and once the residence of an independent prince, but now fallen into decay on account of the sterility of its site, which is upon the sides of a barren mountain. Dubdu is three days’ journey southeast of Fez, and one day from Taza, in the region of the Mulweeah. Taza is the capital of the well-watered district of Haiaina, and one of the finest cities in Morocco, in a most romantic situation, placed on a rock which is shaped like an island, and in presence of the lofty mountains of Zibel Medghara, to the south-west. Perhaps it is the Babba of the ancients; a river runs round the town. The houses and streets are spacious, and there is a large mosque. The air is pure, and provisions are excellent. The population is estimated at ten or twelve thousand, who are hospitable, and carry on a good deal of commerce with Tlemsen and Fez. Taza is two days from Fez, and four from Oushda.

Oushda is the well-known frontier town, on the north-east, which acquired some celebrity during the late war. It is enclosed by the walls of its gardens, and is protected by a large fortress. The place contains a population of from six hundred to one thousand Moors and Arabs. There is a mosque, as well as three chapels, dedicated to Santous. The houses, built of clay, are low and of a wretched appearance; the streets are winding, and covered with flints. The fortress, where the Kaed resides, is guarded in ordinary times by a dozen soldiers; but, were this force increased, it could not be defended, in consequence of its dilapidated condition. A spring of excellent water, at a little distance from Oushda, keeps up the whole year round freshness and verdure in the gardens, by means of irrigation. Cattle hereabouts is of fine quality. Oushda is a species of oasis of the Desert of Angad, and the aridity of the surrounding country makes these gardens appear delicious, melons, olives, and figs being produced in abundance.

The distance between Tlemsen and Oushda is sixteen leagues, or about sixteen hours’ march for troops; Oushda is also four or five days from Oran, and six days from Fez. The Desert commences beyond the Mulweeah, at more than forty leagues from Tlemsen. Like the Algerian Angad, which extends to the south of Tlemsen, it is of frightful sterility, particularly in summer. In this season, one may march for six or eight hours without finding any water. It is impossible to carry on military operations in such a country during summer. On this account, Marshal Bugeaud soon excavated Oushda and returned to the Tlemsen territory.

Aghla is a town, or rather large village, of the district of Fez, where the late Muley Suleiman occasionally resided. It is situated along the river Wad Vergha, in a spacious and well-cultivated district. A great market of cattle, wool, and bees’-wax, is held in the neighbourhood. The country abounds in lions; but, it is pretended, of such a cowardly race, that a child can frighten them away. Hence the proverb addressed to a pusillanimous individual, “You are as brave as the lions of Aghla, whose tails the calves eat.” The Arabs certainly do occasionally run after lions with sticks, or throw stones at them, as we are accustomed to throw stones at dogs.

Nakhila, i.e., “little palm,” is a little town of the province of Temsna, placed in the river Gueer; very ancient, and formerly rich and thickly populated. A great mart, or souk, is annually held at this place. It is the site of the ancient Occath.

Meshru Khaluf, i.e., “ford, or watering-place of the wild-boar,” in the district of the Beni–Miskeen, is a populated village, and situated on the right bank of the Ovad Omm–Erbergh, lying on the route of many of the chief cities. Here is the ford of Meshra Khaluf, forty-five feet wide, from which the village derives its name.

On the map will be seen many places called Souk. The interior tribes resort thither to purchase and exchange commodities. The market-places form groups of villages. It is not a part of my plan to give any particular description of them.

Second, those places distinguished in the kingdom of Morocco, including Sous, Draha, and Tafilett.

Tefza, a Berber name, which, according to some, signifies “sand,” and to others, “a bundle of straw,” is the capital of the province of Todla, built by the aborigines on the slope of the Atlas, who surrounded it with a high wall of sandstone (called, also, Tefza.) At two miles east of this is the smaller town of Efza, which is a species of suburb, divided from Tefza by the river Derna. The latter place is inhabited certainly by Berbers, whose women are famous for their woollen works and weaving. Tefza is also celebrated for its native black and white woollen manufactures. The population of the two places is stated at upwards of 10,000, including 2,000 Jews.

Pitideb, or Sitideb, is another fine town in the neighbourhood, built by the Amazirghs on the top of a high mountain. The inhabitants are esteemed the most civilized of their nation, and governed by their own elders and chiefs, they live in a state of almost republican independence. Some good native manufactures are produced, and a large commerce with strangers is carried on. The women are reputed as being extremely fair and fascinating.

Ghuer, or Gheu, (War, i.e., “difficult?”) is a citadel, or rather a strong, massive rock, and the most inaccessible of all in Morocco, forming a portion of the mountains of Jedla, near the sources of the Wad Omm–Erbegh. This rocky fort is the residence of the supreme Amrgar, or chief of the Amazirghs, who rendered himself renowned through the empire by fighting a pitch-battle with the Imperial troops in 1819. Such chiefs and tribes occasion the weakness of the interior; for, whenever the Sultan has been embroiled with European Powers, these aboriginal Amazirghs invariably seized the opportunity of avenging their wrongs and ancient grudges. The Shereefs always compound with them, if they can, these primitive tribes being so many centres of an imperium imperio, or of revolt and disaffection.

Tijijet in the province of Dukkalah, situate on the left bank of the river Omm–Erbegh, along the route from Fez to Morocco, is a small town, but was formerly of considerable importance.

A famous market for grain is held here, which is attended by the tribe of the Atlas: the country abounds in grain and cattle of the finest breed.

Bulawan or Bou-el-Awan, “father of commodious ways or journeys,” is a small town of 300 houses, with an old castle, formerly a place of consequence; and lying on an arm of the river Omm–Erbegh en route from Morocco to Salee and Mequinez and commanding the passage of the river. It is 80 miles from Morocco, and 110 from Salee. On the opposite side of the river, is the village of Taboulaunt, peopled mostly with Jews and ferrymen.

Soubeit is a very ancient city on the left bank of the Omm–Erbegh, surrounded with walls, and situate twenty miles from El–Medina in a mountainous region abounding with hares; it is inhabited by a tribe of the same name, or probably Sbeita, which is also the name of a tribe south of Tangier.

Meramer is a city built by the Goths on a fertile plain, near Mount Beni–Megher, about fourteen miles east of Saffee, in the province of Dukkala, and carrying on a great commerce in oil and grain.

El–Medina is a large walled populous city of merchants and artizans, and capital of the district of Haskowra; the men are seditious, turbulent and inhospitable; the women are reputed to be fair and pretty, but disposed, when opportunity offers, to confer their favours on strangers.

There is another place four miles distant of nearly the same name.

Tagodast is another equally large and rich city of the province of Haskowra crowning the heights of a lofty mountain surrounded by four other mountains, but near a plain of six miles in extent, covered with rich vegetation producing an immense quantity of Argan oil, and the finest fruits.

This place contains about 7,000 inhabitants, who are a noble and hospitable race. Besides, Argan oil, Tagodast is celebrated for its red grapes, which are said to be as large as hen’s eggs — the honey of Tagodast is the finest in Africa. The inhabitants trade mostly with the south.

Dimenet or Demnet is a considerable town, almost entirely populated by the Shelouhs and Caraaite Jews; it is situate upon the slopes of a mountain of the same name, or Adimmei, in the district of Damnat, fifteen miles distant from Wad Tescout, which falls into the Tensift. The inhabitants are reputed to be of a bad and malignant character, but, nevertheless, learned in Mussulman theology, and fond of disputing with foreigners. Orthodoxy and morality are frequently enemies of one another, whilst good-hearted and honest people are often hetherodox in their opinions.

Aghmat, formerly a great and flourishing city and capital of the province of Rhamna, built by the Berbers, and well fortified — is now fallen into decay, and consists only of a miserable village inhabited by some sixty families, among which are a few Jews — Aghmat lies at the foot of Mount Atlas, on the road which conducts to Tafilett, near a river of the same name, and in the midst of a fine country abounding in orchards and vine-yards; Aghmat was the first capital of the Marabout dynasty.

Fronga is a town densely populated almost entirely by Shelouhs and Jews, lying about fifteen miles from the Atlas range upon an immense plain which produces the finest grain in Morocco.

Tednest, the ancient capital of the province of Shedmah, and built by the Berbers, is deliciously placed upon a paridisical plain, and was once the residence of the Shereefs. It contains a population of four thousand souls, one thousand eight hundred being Jews occupied with commerce, whilst the rest cultivate the land. This is a division of labour amongst Mahometans and Israelites not unfrequent in North Africa. But, as in Europe, the Jew is the trader, not the husbandman.

Tekoulet is a small and pretty town, rising a short distance from the sea, by the mouth of the stream Dwira, in the province of Hhaha. The water is reckoned the best in the province, and the people are honest and friendly; the Jews inhabit one hundred houses.

Tesegdelt, is another city of the province of Hhaha, very large and rich, perched high upon a mountain, and that fortified by nature. The principal mosque is one of the finest in the empire.

Tagawost is a city, perhaps the most ancient, and indeed the largest of the province of Sous. It is distant ten miles from the great river Sous, and fifty from the Atlas. The suburbs are surrounded with huge blocks of stone. Togawost contains a number of shops and manufactories of good workmen, who are divided into three distinct classes of people, all engaged in continual hostilities with one another. The men are, however, honest and laborious, while the women are pretty and coquettish. People believe St. Augustine, whom the Mahometans have dubbed a Marabout, was born in this city. Their trade is with the Sahara and Timbuctoo.

Fedsi is another considerable city, anciently the capital of Sous, reclining upon a large arm of the river Sous, amidst a fruitful soil, and contains about fourteen thousand inhabitants, who are governed by republican institutions. It is twenty miles E.N.E. of Taroudant.

Beneali is a town placed near to the source of the river Draha, in the Atlas. It is the residence of the chief of the Berbers of Hadrar, on the southern Atlas.

Beni–Sabih, Moussabal, or Draha, is the capital of the province of Draha, and a small place, but populated and commercial. On the river of the same name, was the Draha of ancient geography.

Tatta and Akka, are two towns or villages of the province of Draha, situate on the southern confines of Morocco, and points of rendezvous for the caravans in their route over the Great Desert.

Tatta is four days direct east from Akka, and placed in 28° 3’ lat. and 90° 20’ long. west of Paris. Akka consists of two hundred houses, inhabited by Mussulmen, and fifty by Jews. The environs are highly cultivated. Akka is two days east of Wadnoun, situate on a plain at the foot of Gibel–Tizintit, and is placed in 28° 3’ lat. and 10° 51’ long. west of Paris.

Messah, or Assah. Messa is, according to Gräberg, a walled city, built by the Berbers, not far from the river Sous, and divided like nearly all the cities of Sous, into three parts, or quarters, each inhabited by respective classes of Shelouhs, Moors, and Jews. Cities are also divided in this manner in the provinces of Guzzala and Draha. The sea on the coast of Sous throws up a very fine quantity of amber. Male whales are occasionally visitors here. The population is three thousand, but Mr. Davidson’s account differs materially. The town is named Assah, and distant about two miles from the sea, there being a few scattered houses on each side of the river, to within half a mile of the sea. The place is of no importance, famed only for having near it a market on Tuesday, to which many people resort. The population may be one hundred. Assah is also the name of the district though which the Sous river flows. The Bas-el-wad (or head of the river) is very properly the name of the upper part of the river; when passing through Taroudant it takes the name of Sous. Fifteen miles from Assah is the town of Aghoulon, containing about six hundred people.

Talent, or Tilin, the difference only is the adding of the Berber termination. The other consonants are the same, perhaps, as Mr. Davidson incidentally mentions. It is a strong city, and capital of the province of Sous-el-Aksa, or the extreme part of Sous. This province is sometimes called Tesset, or Tissert. A portion of it is also denominated Blad–Sidi-Hasham, and forms a free and quasi-independant state, founded in 1810 by the Emir Hasham, son of the Shereef Ahmed Ben Mousa. This prince was the bug-bear of Captain Riley. The district contains upwards of twenty-five thousand Shelouhs and industrious Arabs. Talent is the residence of the prince, and is situate on the declivity of a hill, not far from the river Wad-el-Mesah, or Messa, and a mile from Ilekh, or Ilirgh, a populous village, where there is a famous sanctuary, resorted to by the Mahometans of the surrounding regions, of the name of Sidi Hamed-ou-Mousa, (probably Ben Mousa). The singularity of this sacred village is, that Jews constitute the majority of the population. But they seem absolutely necessary to the very existence of the Mussulmen of North Africa, who cannot live without them, or make profitable exchange of the products of the soil, or of native industry, for European articles of use and luxury.

Shtouka, or Stuka, is, according to some, a large town or village; or, as stated by Davidson, a district. The fact is, many African districts are called by the name of a principal town or village in them, and vice versâ. This place stands on the banks of the Wad-el-Mesah, and is inhabited by some fifteen hundred Shelouhs, who are governed by a Sheikh, nearly independent of Morocco.

On Talent and Shtouka, Mr. Davidson remarks. “There is no town called Stuka; it is a district; none that I can find called Talent; there is Tilin. The Mesah flows through Stuka, in which district are twenty settlements, or rather towns, some of which are large. They are known in general by the names of the Sheikhs who inhabit them. I stopped at Sheikh Hamed’s. Tilin was distant from this spot a day’s journey in the mountains towards the source of the river. If by Talent, Tissert is meant, Oferen (a town) is distant six miles.”

On the province of Sous generally, Don J.A. Conde has this note:—

“In this region (Sous) near the sea, is the temple erected in honour of the prophet Jonas; it was there he was cast out of the belly of the whale.” This temple, says Assed Ifriki, is made of the bones of whales which perish on this coast. A little further on, he alludes to the breaking of horses, and being skilful in bodily exercises, for the Moors and Numidians have always been renowned in that respect.

In the lesser and more remote towns, I have followed generally the enumeration of Count Gräberg, but there are many other places on the maps, with varieties of names or differences of position. Our geography of the interior of Morocco, especially in the South, is still very obscure, and I have only selected those towns and places of whose present existence there is no question. My object, in the above enumeration, has been simply to give the reader a proximate estimate of the population and resources of this country. Of the strength and number of the tribes of the interior, we know scarcely anything. The names of the towns and villages of the South, so frequently beginning and ending with T., sufficiently indicate the preponderance of the Berber population, under the names of Shelouh or Amazirgh, whilst the great error of writers has been to represent the Arabs as more numerous than this aboriginal population.

Monsieur E. Renou, in his geographical description of the Empire of Morocco (Vol. VIII. of the “Exploration Scientifique,” &c.) foolishly observes that there is no way of arriving at correct statistics of this empire, except by comparing it with Algeria; and then remarks, which is true enough, “Malheureusement, la population de l’Algérie n’est pas encore bien connue.” When, however, he asserts that the numbers of population given by Jackson and Gräberg are gross, and almost unpardonable exaggerations, given at hazard, I am obliged to agree with him from the personal experience I had in Morocco, and these Barbary countries generally.

Jackson makes the whole of the population to amount to almost fifteen millions, or nearly two thirds more than it probably amounts to. Gräberg estimates it at eight millions and a half. But how, or why, or wherefore, such estimates are made is not so easy to determine. Certain it is, that the whole number of cities which I have enumerated, scarcely represent one million of inhabitants. But for those who like to see something more definite in statistics, however exaggerated may be the estimate, I shall give the more moderate calculations of Gräberg, those of Jackson being beyond all rhyme or reason. Gräberg thus classifies and estimates the population.

Amazirghs, Berbers, and Touaricks 2,300,000
Amazirghs, Shelouhs and Arabs 1,450,000
Arabs, mixed Moors, &c. 3,550,000
Arabs pure, Bedouins, &c. 740,000
Israelites, Rabbinists, and Caraites 339,500
Negroes, Fullans, and Mandingoes 120,000
Europeans and Christians 300
Renegades 200

Total 8,500,000

If two millions are deducted from this amount, perhaps the reader will have something like a probable estimate of the population of Morocco. It is hardly correct to classify Moors as mixed Arabs, many of them being simply descendants of the aboriginal Amazirghs. I am quite sure there are no Touaricks in the Empire of Morocco.

Of the Maroquine Sahara, I have only space to mention the interesting cluster of oases of Figheegh, or Figuiq. Shaw mentions them as “a knot of villagers,” noted for their plantations of palm-trees, supplying the western province of Algeria with dates. We have now more ample information of Figheegh, finding this Saharan district to consist of an agglomeration of twelve villages, the more considerable of which are Maiz, counting eight hundred houses, El–Wadghir five hundred, and Zenega twelve hundred. The others vary from one or two hundred houses. The villages are more or less connected together, never farther apart than a quarter of a league, and placed on the descent of Wal-el-Khalouf (“river of the wild boar”) whence water is procured for the gardens, containing varieties of fruit-trees and abundance of date-palms, all hedged round with prickly-pears. Madder-root and tobacco are also cultivated, besides barley sufficient for consumption. The wheat is brought from the Teli. The Wad-el-Khalouf is dry, except in winter, but its bed is bored with inexhaustible wells, whose waters are distributed among the gardens by means of a clepsydra, or a vessel which drops so much water in an hour. The ancients measured time by the dropping of water, like the falling of sand in the hour-glass.

Some of the houses in these villages have two stories, and are well built; each place has its mosque, its school, its kady, and its sheikh, and the whole agglomeration of oases is governed by a Sheikh Kebir, appointed by the Sultan of Morocco. These Saharan villages are eternally in strife with one another, and sometimes take up arms. On this account, they are surrounded by crenated walls, defended by towers solidly built. The immediate cause of discord here is water, that precious element of all life in the desert. But the imaginations of the people are not satisfied with this simple reason, and they are right, for the cause lies deeply in the human heart. They say, however, their ancestors were cursed by a Marabout, to punish them for their laxity in religion, and this was his anathema, “God make you, until the day of judgment, like wool-comber’s cards, the one gnawing the other!”

Their wars, in fact, are most cruel, for they destroy the noble and fruitful palms, which, by a tacit convention, are spared in other parts of the Sahara when these quarrels proceed to bloodshed. They have, besides, great tact in mining, and their reputation as miners has been a long time established. But, happily, they are addicted to commerce and various branches of industry, as well as war, having commercial relations with Fez, Tafilett and Touat, and the people are, therefore, generally prosperous.

Chapter 7

London Jew-boys. — Excursion to the Emperor’s garden, and the Argan Forests. — Another interview with the Governor of Mogador on the Anti–Slavery Address. — Opinion of the Moors on the Abolition of Slavery.

We have at times imported into Mogador a stray London Jew or so, of the lower lemon-selling sort. These lads from the Minories, are highly exasperated against the Moors for treating them with so much contempt. Indeed, a high-spirited London Jew-boy will not stop at Mogador, though the adult merchant will, to get money, for mankind often learn baseness with age, and pass to it through a golden door. One of these Jew-boys, being cursed by a man, naturally cursed him again, “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth.” Mr. Willshire did not think so; and, on the complaint of the Moor, the British Consul threw the British Jew-boy into a Moorish prison, where he remained for some days. This is one more instance of the disadvantage of having commercial consuls, where everything is sacrificed to keep on good terms with government authorities.

A fire happened the other night, breaking out in the house of one of the rich Jewish merchants; but it was soon extinguished, the houses being built chiefly of mortar and stone, with very little wood. The Governor got up, and went to the scene of “conflagration;” he cracked a few jokes with the people and went home to bed. The Moors were sorry the fire did not extend itself, wanting to have an opportunity of appropriating a few of the merchant’s goods.

I accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Elton, with other friends, to spend the day in the pleasant valley of the Saneeates–Sultan, (Garden of the Emperor) sometimes called Gharset-es-Sultan, three or four hours’ ride south from Mogador. The small river of Wad-el-Kesab, (overlooked by the village of Deeabat, where watch-dogs were barking apparently all day long as well as night), lay in our way, and was with difficulty forded, heavy rain having fallen up the country, though none on the coast. These Barbary streams are very deceptive, illustrating the metaphor of the book of Job, “deceitful as a brook.” To-day, their beds are perfectly dry; to-morrow, a sheet of turbid water dashing and foaming to the ocean, covers them and the country round, whilst the immediate cause is concealed. Abrupt and sudden overflowings occur in all rivers having their source in mountains. The book of Job may also refer to the disappointment of Saharan travellers, who, on arriving weary and thirsty, dying for water, at the stream of the Desert, find it dried up, and so perish.

The country in the valley of the Emperor’s garden offers nothing remarkable. Bushes of underwood covering sandy mounds, a few palmettos and Argan trees, in which wild doves fluttered and flew about, were all that broke the monotony of a perfect waste. There were no cultivated lands hereabouts, and I was told that a great part of Morocco presents this desolate aspect. We visited, however, the celebrated Argan tree, which the people pretend was planted by the lieutenant of the Prophet, the mighty Okba, who, having spurred his horse in the roaring rebellious surge of the Atlantic, wept and wailed before Heaven that there were no more nations in whose heart to plunge his awful scimitar — so teaching them the mercy of God! Alas! the old hoary tree, with a most peaceful patriarchal look, seemed to belie the honour, stretching out its broad sinewy arm to shelter a hundred people from the darting fires of an African sun. A more noble object of inanimate nature is not to be contemplated than a large and lofty branching tree; in its boughs and leaves, endlessly varying, matted together and intersecting each other, we see the palpable image of infinity. But in the dry and hot climate of Africa, this tree is a luxury which cannot be appreciated in Europe.

We sat under its fresh shade awhile, gazing with security at the bright fires of the sun, radiating over and through all visible nature. To check our enthusiasm, we had strewn at our feet old broken bottles and crockery, the débris and classic relics of former visitors, who were equally attentive to creature-comforts as to the grandeur of the Argan monarch of the surrounding forest.

The Emperor’s garden contains a well of water and a few fruit-trees, on the trunk of one of which, a fine fig-tree, were carved, in durable bark, the names of European visitors. Among the rest, that of a famous belle, whose gallant worshippers had cut her name over all its broad trunk, though they may have failed to cut their own on the plastic and india-rubber tablet of the fair one’s heart. This carving on the fig-tree is the sum of all that Europeans have done in Morocco during several ages. We rather adopt Moorish habits, and descend to their animal gratifications than inculcate our own, or the intellectual pleasures of Christian nations. European females brought up in this country, few excepted, adopt with gusto the lascivious dances of the Mooresses; and if this may be said of them, what may we not think of the male class, who frequently throw off all restraint in the indulgence of their passions?

While reposing under the umbrageous shade of the Argan tree, a Moor related to us wondrous sprite and elfin tales of the forests of of these wilds. At one period, the Argan woods were full of enchantresses, who prevented good Mussulmen from saying their prayers, by dancing before them in all their natural charms, to the sounds of melodious and voluptuous music; and if a poor son of the Prophet, perchance, passed this way at the stated times of prayer, he found it impossible to attend to his devotions, being pestered to death by these naughty houries.

On another occasion, when it was high summer and the sun burnt every leaf of the black Argan foliage to a yellow red, and whilst the arid earth opened her mouth in horrid gaps, crystal springs of water were seen to bubble forth from the bowels of the earth, and run in rills among parterres of roses and jessamines. The boughs of the Argan tree also suddenly changed into jereeds of the date-palm burdened with luscious fruit; but, on weary travellers descending to slake their parching thirst and refresh themselves, they fell headlong into the gaping holes of the ground, and disappeared in the abyss of the dark entrails of the world.

These Argan forests continued under the fearful ban of the enchantress and wicked jinns, until a holy man was brought from the farthest desert upon the back of a flying camel, who set free the spell-bound wood by tying on each bewitched tree a small piece of cork bark on which was inscribed the sacred name of the Deity. The legends of these haunted Argan forests remind us of the enchanted wood of Tasso, whose enchantment was dissolved by the gallant knight, Rinaldo, and which enabled the Crusaders to procure wood for the machines of war to assault and capture the Holy City. Two quotations will shew the universality and permanence of superstition, begotten of human hopes and fears. Such is the beautiful imagery devoted to superstitious musings, by the illustrious bard:—

“While, like the rest, the knight expects to hear
Loud peals of thunder breaking on his ear,
A dulcet symphony his sense invades,
Of nymphs, or dryads, warbling through the shades.
Soft sighs the breeze, soft purls the silver rill.
The feathered choir the woods with music fill;
The tuneful swan in dying notes complains;
The mourning nightingale repeats her strains,
Timbrels and harps and human voices join,
And in one concert all the sounds combine!”

Then for the streamlets and flowerets —

“Where’er he treads, the earth her tribute pours,
In gushing springs, or voluntary flowers.
Here blooms the lily; there the fragrant rose;
Here spouts a fountain; there a riv’let flows;
From every spray the liquid manna trills,
And honey from the softening bark distills.
Again the strange the pleasing sound he hears,
Of plaints and music mingling in his ears;
Yet naught appears that mortal voice can frame.
Nor harp, nor timbrel, whence the music came.”

I had another interview with the Governor on Anti–Slavery subjects. Mr. Treppass accompanied me, and assisted to interpret. His Excellency was very condescending, and even joked about his own slaves, asking me how much I would give him for them. He then continued:— “I am happy to see you before your departure. Whilst you have been here, I have heard nothing of your conduct but what was just and proper. You are a quiet and prudent man, 67 and I am sorry I could not assist you in your business (abolition). The Sultan will be glad that you and I have not quarrelled, but are friends.” I then asked His Excellency if a person were to come direct from our Government, with larger powers and presents, he would have a better chance of success. The Governor replied, “Not the least whatever. You have done all that could have been done. We look at the subject, not the persons. The Sultan will never listen to anybody on this subject. You may cut off his head, but cannot convince him. If all the Christians of the world were to come and take this country, then, of course, the Mussulmen would yield the question to superior force, to the decree of God, but not till then.”

Myself. — “How is it, Sidi, that the Bey of Tunis, and the Imaum of Muscat have entered into engagements with Christians for the suppression of slavery, they being Mussulmen?”

The Governor. — “I’ll tell you; we Mussulmen are as bad as you Christians. We are full of divisions and sects. Some of our people go to one mosque, and will not go to another. They are foolish (mahboul). So it is with the subject of slaves. Some are with you, but most are with me. The Bey of Tunis, and the Imaum have a different opinion from us. They think they are right, and we think we are right; but we are as good as they.”

Myself. — “Sidi, does not the Koran encourage the abolition of slavery, and command it as a duty to all pious Mussulmen?”

The Governor. — “No, it does not command it, but those who voluntarily liberate their slaves are therein commended, and have the blessing of God on them.” 68

Myself. — “Sidi, is it in my power to do anything for you in London?”

The Governor. — “Speak well of me, that is all. Tell your friends I did all I could for you.”

I may mention the opinions of the more respectable Moors, as to the mission. They said, “If you had managed your mission well, the Sultan would have received your Address; your Consul is slack; the French Consul is more active, because he is not the Sultan’s merchant. Our Sultan must receive every person, even a beggar, because God receives all. You would not have obtained the liberation of our slaves, but the Sultan would have promised you everything. All that emanates from the English people is good this we are certain of; but it would have been better had you come with letters from the Bey of Tunis, shewing what had been done in that country.” Mr. Treppass is also of the opinion, that a deputation of several persons, accompanied with some presents for the Emperor and his ministers, would have produced a better effect, by making an appearance of shew and authority, suitable to the ideas of the people. 69 If coming direct from Government, it would have greater weight.

He thinks, besides, there are a good number of Moors who are favourable to abolition. Of the connexion between the east and Morocco, he says, all the Barbary States look up to the Sultan of Constantinople as to a great authority, and during the last few years, an active correspondence, on religious matters, has been carried on between Morocco and Constantinople, chiefly through a celebrated doctor of the name of Yousef. If the Turkish Sultan, therefore, would bonâ-fide abolish the slave-markets, I have no doubt this would produce an impression in Morocco favourable to abolition.

During the time I was in Morocco, I distributed some Arabic tracts, translated from the English by Professor Lee of Cambridge, on the abolition of slavery. A few Arabic Bibles and Hebrew New Testaments were also placed at my disposal for circulation by the Societies. I also wrote an Anti-slavery circular to the British merchants of Mogador, on Lord Brougham’s Act.

67 It is true enough what the governor says about quietness, but the novelty of the mission turned the heads of the people, and made a great noise among them. The slave-dealers of Sous vowed vengeance against me, and threatened to “rip open my bowels” if I went down there.

68 The Sultan’s Minister, Ben Oris, addressing our government on the question says, “Whosoever sets any person free God will set his soul free from the fire,” (hell), quoting the Koran.

69 A person going to the Emperor without a present, is like a menace at court, for a present corresponds to our “good morning.”

Chapter 8

El–Jereed, the Country of Dates. — Its hard soil. — Salt Lake. Its vast extent. — Beautiful Palm-trees. — The Dates, a staple article of Food. — Some Account of the Date–Palm. — Made of Culture. — Delicious Beverage. — Tapping the Palm. — Meal formed from the Dates. — Baskets made of the Branches of the Tree. — Poetry of the Palm. — Its Irrigation. — Palm–Groves. — Collection of Tribute by the “Bey of the Camp.”

El–Jereed, or Belad-el-Jereed, the country of dates, or literally, the country of the palm branches, is a part of the Sahara, or the hot dry country lying in the immediate vicinity of the Great Desert. Its principal features of soil and climate offer nothing different from other portions of the Sahara, or the Saharan regions of Algeria and Morocco. The Belad-el-Jereed, therefore, may be properly called the Tunisian Sahara. Shaw observes generally of Jereed:— “This part of the country, and indeed the whole tract of land which lies between the Atlantic and Egypt, is by most of the modern geographers, called Biledulgerid, a name which they seem to have borrowed from Bloid-el-Jeridde, of the Arabians, who merely signify the dry country; though, if we except the Jeridde, a small portion of it which is situate on this side of Lesser Syrtis, and belongs to the Tunisians, all the rest of it is known by no other general name than the Sahara or Sahra, among those Arabs, at least, whom I have conversed with.”

Besides the grand natural feature of innumerable lofty and branching palms, whose dark depending slender leaves, are depicted by the Arabian poet as hanging gracefully like the dishevelled ringlets of a beautiful woman in distress, there is the vast salt lake, El–Sibhah, or literally the “salt plain,” and called by some modern geographers the Sibhah-el-Soudeeat, or Lake of Marks, from having certain marks made of the trunks of the palm, to assist the caravans in their marches across its monotonous samelike surface.

This vast lake, or salt plain, was divided by the ancients into three parts, and denominated respectively, Palus Tritonis, Palus Pallas, and Palus Libya. The first is derived from the river Triton, which according to Ptolemy and other ancient geographers, is made to pass through this lake in its course to the sea, but which is the present river Ghobs, where it falls into the Mediterranean. The name Pallas is derived from the tradition of Pallas having accompanied Sesostris in his Asiatic expeditions with the Lybian women, and she may have been a native of the Jereed. The lake measures from north-east to south-west about seventy English miles, with a third of the breadth, but it is not one collection of water; there being several dry places, like so many islands, interspersed over its surface, depending however, as to their number and extent upon the season of the year, and upon the quantity of water in the particular season.

“At first, on crossing it,” says a tourist, “the grass and bushes become gradually scarcer; then follows a tract of sand, which some way beyond, becomes in parts covered with a thin layer of salt. This, as you advance, is thicker and more united; then we find it a compact and unbroken mass or sheet, which can, however, be penetrated by a sword, or other sharp instrument, and here it was found to be eleven inches in depth; and finally in the centre, it became so hard, deep, and concentrated, as to baffle all attempts at breaking its surface except with a pickaxe. The horse’s shoe, in fact, makes no impression upon its stone-like surface.”

The salt of the lake is considerably weaker than that of the sea, and not adapted for preserving provisions, though its flavour is very agreeable; it is not exported, nor made in any way an article of commerce.

The Jereed, from the existence in it of a few antiquities, such as pieces of granite and marble, and occasionally a name or a classic inscription, is proved to have been in the possession of the Romans, and undoubtedly of the Carthaginians before them, who could have had no difficulty in holding this flat and exposed country.

The trade and resources of this country consist principally in dates. The quantity exported to other parts of the Regency, as well as to foreign countries, where their fine quality is well known, is in round numbers on an average from three to four thousand quintals per annum. But in Jereed itself, twenty thousand people live six months of the year entirely on dates.

“A great number of poles,” says Sir Grenville Temple, “are arranged across the rooms at the height of eight or nine feet from the ground, and from these are suspended rich and large bunches of dates, which compose the winter store of the inhabitants; and in one corner of the room is one or more large earthern jars about six or seven feet high, also filled with dates pressed close together, and at the bottom of the jar is a cock, from which is drawn the juice in the form of a thick luscious syrup. It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more palatable than this ‘sweet of sweets.’”

As we are writing of the country of dates, par excellence, I must needs give some description of the palm, but it will be understood that the information is Tunisian, or collected in Tunis, and may differ in some respects from details collected in other parts of North Africa. The date-palm abounds in the maritime as well as in the inland districts of North Africa. They are usually propagated from shoots of full grown trees, which if transplanted and taken care of, will yield in six or seven years, whilst those raised immediately from the stone require sixteen years to produce fruit.

The date-palm is male and female, or dioecious, and requires communication, otherwise the fruit is dry and insipid. The age of the palm, in its greatest vigour, is about thirty years, according to the Tunisians, after planting, and will continue in vigour for seventy years, bearing anually fifteen or twenty clusters of dates, each of them fifteen or twenty pounds in weight; after this long period, they begin gradually to wither away. But the Saharan Tripolitans will tell you that the date-palm does not attain its age of full vigour till it reaches a hundred years, and then will flourish two or or three centuries before it withers!

The only culture requisite, is to be well watered at the roots once in four or five days, and to have the lower boughs cut off when they begin to droop and wither. Much rain, however, injures the dates, and we know that the countries in which they flourish, are mostly without rain. In many localities in Africa, date-palms can never be watered in the dry season; it is nevertheless observable that generally wherever a palm grows and thrives water may usually be obtained by boring. The sap, or honey of the palm is a delicious and wholesome beverage when drunk quite fresh; but if allowed to remain for some hours, it acquires a sharp taste, something like cider, and becomes very intoxicating. It is called poetically leghma, “tears” of the dates. When a tree is found not to produce much fruit, the head is cut off, and a bowl or cavity scooped out of the summit, in which the rising sap is collected, and this is drunk in its pure state without any other preparation. If the tree be not exhausted by draining, in five or six months it grows afresh; and, at the end of two or three years, may again be cut or tapped. The palm is capable of undergoing this operation five or six times, and it may be easily known how often a tree has been cut by the number of rings of a narrow diameter which are seen towards its summit; but, if the sap is allowed to flow too long, it will perish entirely at the end of a year. This sap, by distillation, produces an agreeable spirit called Arâky or Arâk: from the fruit also the Jews distil a spirit called bokka, or what we should call toddy. It is usual for persons of distinction to entertain their friends upon a marriage, or the birth of a child, with this pure sap, and a tree is usually tapped for the purpose. It would appear that tapping the palm was known to the ancients, for a cornelian intaglio of Roman antiquity, has been found in the Jereed, representing a tree in this state, and the jars in which the juice was placed.

Dates are likewise dried in the sun, and reduced into a kind of meal, which will keep for any length of time, and which thus becomes a most valuable resource for travellers crossing the deserts, who frequently make it their only food, moistening a handful of it with a little water. Certain preparations are made of the male plant, to which medicinal virtues are attributed; the younger leaves, eaten with salt, vinegar, and oil, make an excellent salad. The heart of the tree, which lies at top between the fruit branches, and weighs from ten to twenty pounds, is eaten only on grand occasions, as those already mentioned, and possesses a delicious flavour between that of a banana and a pine-apple.

The palm, besides these valuable uses to which it is applied, superseding or supplying the place of all other vegetables to the tribes of the Jereed, is, nevertheless, still useful for a great variety of other purposes. The most beautiful baskets, and a hundred other nick-nackery of the wickery sort are made of its branches; ropes are made and vestments wove from the long fibres, and its wood, also, when hardened by age, is used for building. Indeed, we may say, it is the all and everything of the Jereed, and, as it is said of the camel and the desert, the palm is made for the Jereed, and the Jereed is made for the palm.

The Mussulmen make out a complete case of piety and superstition in the palm, and pretend that they are made for the palm, and the palm is made for them, alleging that, as soon as the Turks conquered Constantinople, the palm raised its graceful flowing head over the domes of the former infidel city, whilst when the Moors evacuated Spain, the palm pined away, and died. “God,” adds the pious Mussulman, “has given us the palm; amongst the Christians, it will not grow!” But the poetry of the palm is an inseparable appendage in the North African landscape, and even town scenery. The Moor and the Arab, whose minds are naturally imbued with the great images of nature, so glowingly represented also in the sacred leaves of the Koran, cannot imagine a mosque or the dome-roof of a hermitage, without the dark leaf of the palm overshadowing it; but the serenest, loveliest object on the face of the landscape is the lonely palm, either thrown by chance on the brow of some savage hill or planted by design to adorn some sacred spot of mother-earth.

I must still give some other information which I have omitted respecting this extraordinary tree. And, after this, I further refer the reader to a Tour in the Jereed of which some details are given in succeeding pages. A palm-grove is really a beautiful object, and requires scarcely less attention than a vineyard. The trees are generally planted in a quincunx, or at times without any regular order; but at distances from each other of four or five yards. The situation selected is mostly on the banks of some stream or rivulet, running from the neighbouring hills, and the more abundant the supply of water, the healthier the plants and the finer the fruit. For this tree, which loves a warm climate, and a sandy soil, is yet wonderfully improved by frequent irrigation, and, singularly, the quality of the water appears of little consequence, being salt or sweet, or impregnated with nitre, as in the Jereed.

Irrigation is performed in the spring, and through the whole summer. The water is drawn by small channels from the stream to each individual tree, around the stalk and root of which a little basin is made and fenced round with clay, so that the water, when received, is detained there until it soaks into the earth. (All irrigation is, indeed, effected in this way.) As to the abundance of the plantations, the fruit of one plantation alone producing fifteen hundred camels’ loads of dates, or four thousand five hundred quintals, three quintals to the load, is not unfrequently sold for one thousand dollars. Besides the Jereed, Tafilett, in Morocco, is a great date-country. Mr. Jackson says, “We found the country covered with most magnificent plantations, and extensive forests of the lofty date, exhibiting the most elegant and picturesque appearance that nature on a plain surface can present to the admiring eye. In these forests, there is no underwood, so that a horseman may gallop through them without impediment.”

Our readers will see, when they come to the Tour, that this description of the palm-groves agrees entirely with that of Mr. Reade and Captain Balfour. I have already mentioned that the palm is male and female, or, as botanists say, dioecious; the Moors, however, pretend that the palm in this respect is just like the human being. The female palm alone produces fruit and is cultivated, but the presence or vicinity of the male is required, and in many oriental countries there is a law that those who own a palm-wood must have a certain number of male plants in proportion. In Barbary they seem to trust to chance, relying on the male plants which grow wild in the Desert. They hang and shake them over the female plants, usually in February or March. Koempfe says, that the male flowers, if plucked when ripe, and cautiously dried, will even, in this state, perform their office, though kept to the following year.

The Jereed is a very important portion of the Tunisian territory, Government deriving a large revenue from its inhabitants. It is visited every year by the “Bey of the Camp,” who administers affairs in this country as a sovereign; and who, indeed, is heir-apparent to the Tunisian throne. Immediately on the decease of the reigning Bey, the “Bey of the Camp” occupies the hereditary beylick, and nominates his successor to the camp and the throne, usually the eldest of the other members of the royal family, the beylick not being transmitted from father to son, only on the principle of age. At least, this has been the general rule of succession for many years.

The duties of the “Bey of the Camp” is to visit with a “flying-camp,” for the purpose of collecting tribute, the two circuits or divisions of the Regency.

I now introduce to the reader the narrative of a Tour to the Jereed, extracted from the notebooks of the tourists, together with various observations of my own interspersed, and some additional account of Toser, Nefta, and Ghafsa.

Chapter 9

Tour in the Jereed of Captain Balfour and Mr. Reade. — Sidi Mohammed. — Plain of Manouba. — Tunis. — Tfeefleeah. — The Bastinado. — Turkish Infantry. — Kairwan. — Sidi Amour Abeda. — Saints. — A French Spy — Administration of Justice. — The Bey’s presents. — The Hobara. — Ghafsa. Hot streams containing Fish. — Snakes. — Incantation. — Moorish Village.

The tourists were Captain Balfour, of the 88th Regiment, and Mr. Richard Reade, eldest son of Sir Thomas Reade.

The morning before starting from Tunis they went to the Bardo to pay their respects to Sidi Mohammed, “Bey of the Camp,” and to thank him for his condescending kindness in taking them with him to the Jereed. The Bey told him to send their baggage to Giovanni, “Guarda-pipa,” which they did in the evening.

At nine A. M. Sidi Mohammed left the Bardo under a salute from the guns, one of the wads of which nearly hit Captain Balfour on the head. The Bey proceeded across the plain of Manouba, mounted on a beautiful bay charger, in front of the colours, towards Beereen, the greater part of the troops of the expedition following, whilst the entire plain was covered with baggage-camels, horses, mules, and detached parties of attendants, in glorious confusion.

The force of the camp consisted of — Mamelukes
of the Seraglio, superbly mounted 20

Mamelukes of the Skeefah, or those who
guard the entrance of the Bey’s
palace, or tent, and are all Levantines 20

Boabs, another sort of guard of the Bey,
who are always about the Bey’s
tent, and must be of this country 20

Turkish Infantry 300
Spahis, o. mounted Arab guards 300
Camp followers (Arabs) 2,000

Total 2,660

This is certainly not a large force, but in several places of the march they were joined for a short time by additional Arab troops, a sort of honorary welcome for the Bey. As they proceeded, the force of the camp-followers increased; but, in returning, it gradually decreased, the parties going home to their respective tribes. We may notice the total absence of any of the new corps, the Nithàlm. This may have been to avoid exciting the prejudices of the people; however, the smallness of the force shows that the districts of the Jereed are well-affected. The summer camp to Beja has a somewhat larger force, the Arabs of that and other neighbouring districts not being so loyal to the Government.

Besides the above-named troops, there were two pieces of artillery. The band attendant on these troops consisted of two or three flageolets, kettle-drums, and trumpets made of cow-horns, which, according to the report of our tourists, when in full play produced the most diabolical discord.

After a ride of about three hours, we pitched our tents at Beereen. Through the whole of the route we marched on an average of about four miles per hour, the horses, camels, &c., walking at a good pace. The Turkish infantry always came up about two hours after the mounted troops. Immediately on the tents being pitched, we went to pay our respects to the Bey, accompanied by Giovanni, “Guardapipa,” as interpreter. His Highness received us very affably, and bade us ask for anything we wanted. Afterwards, we took some luncheon with the Bey’s doctor, Signore Nunez Vaise, a Tuscan Jew, of whose kindness during our whole tour it is impossible to speak too highly. The doctor had with him an assistant, and tent to himself. Haj Kador, Sidi Shakeer, and several other Moors, were of our luncheon-party, which was a very merry one.

About half-way to Beereen, the Bey stopped at a marabet, a small square white house, with a dome roof, to pay his devotions to a great Marabout, or saint, and to ask his parting blessing on the expedition. They told us to go on, and joined us soon after. Two hours after us, the Turkish Agha arrived, accompanied with colours, music, and some thirty men. The Bey received the venerable old gentleman under an immense tent in the shape of an umbrella, surrounded with his mamelukes and officers of state. After their meeting and saluting, three guns were fired. The Agha was saluted every day in the same manner, as he came up with his infantry after us. We retired for the night at about eight o’clock.

The form of the whole camp, when pitched, consisting of about a dozen very large tents, was as follows:— The Bey’s tent in the centre, which was surrounded at a distance of about forty feet with those of the Bash–Hamba 70 of the Arabs, the Agha of the Arabs, the Sahab-el-Tabah, Haznadar or treasurer, the Bash–Boab, and that of the English tourists; then further off were the tents of the Katibs and Bash–Katib, the Bash–Hamba of the Turks, the doctors, and the domestics of the Bey, with the cookery establishment. Among the attendants of the Bey were the “guarda-pipa,” guard of the pipe, “guarda-fusile,” guard of the gun, “guarda-café,” guard of the coffee, “guarda-scarpe,” guard of the shoes,71 and “guarda-acqua,” guard of water. A man followed the Bey about holding in his hand a golden cup, and leading a mule, having two paniers on its back full of water, which was brought from Tunis by camels. There was also a story-teller, who entertained the Bey every night with the most extraordinary stories, some of them frightfully absurd. The Bey did not smoke — a thing extraordinary, as nearly all men smoke in Tunis. His Highness always dined alone. None of his ladies ever accompany him in these expeditions.

The tents had in them from twenty to fifty men each. Our tent consisted of our two selves, a Boab to guard the baggage, two Arabs to tend the horses and camels, and another Moor of all work, besides Captain Balfour’s Maltese, called Michael. We had three camels for our baggage. The first night we found very cold; but having abundance of clothing, we slept soundly, in spite of the perpetual wild shoutings of the Arab sentries, stationed round the camp, the roaring and grumbling of the camels, the neighing and coughing of the horses, all doing their utmost to drive away slumber from our eyelids.

We halted on the morrow, which gave us an opportunity of getting a few things from Tunis which we had neglected to bring. But before returning, we ate some sweetmeats sent us by the guarda-pipa, with a cup of coffee. The guarda-pipa is also a dragoman interpreter of his Highness, and a Genoese by birth, but now a renegade. In this country they do not know what a good breakfast is; they take a cup of coffee in the morning early, and wait till twelve or one o’clock, when they take a hearty meal, and then sup in the evening, late or early, according to the season. Before returning to Tunis, we called upon his Highness, and told him our object. We afterwards called to see the Bey every morning, to pay our respects to him, as was befitting on these occasions. His Highness entered into the most familiar conversation with us.

On coming back again from Tunis, it rained hard, which continued all night. In the evening the welcome news was proclaimed that the tents would not be struck until daylight: previously, the camp was always struck at 3 o’clock, about three hours before daylight, which gave rise to great confusion, besides being without shelter during the coldest part of the night (three hours before sun-rise) was a very serious trial for the health of the men. The reason, however, was, to enable the camels to get up to the new encampment; their progress, though regular and continual, is very slow.

Of a morning the music played off the réveil an hour before sunrise. The camp presented an animated appearance, with the striking of tents, packing camels, mounting horses, &c. We paid our respects to his Highness, who was sitting in an Arab tent, his own being down. The music was incessantly grating upon our ears, but was in harmony with the irregular marching and movements of the Arabs, one of them occasionally rushing out of the line of march, charging, wheeling about, firing, reloading, shouting furiously, and making the air ring with his cries.

The order of march was as follows:— The Bey mounts, and, going along about one hundred yards from the spot, he salutes the Arab guards, who follow behind him; then, about five or six miles further, overtaking the Turkish soldiers, who, on his coming up, are drawn up on each side of the road, his Highness salutes them; and then afterwards the water-carriers are saluted, being most important personages in the dry countries of this circuit, and last of all, the gunners; after all which, the Bey sends forward a mameluke, who returns with the Commander, or Agha of the Arabs, to his Highness. This done, the Bey gallops off to the right or left from the line of march, on whichsoever side is most game — the Bey going every day to shoot, whilst the Agha takes his place and marches to the next halting-place.

One morning the Bey shot two partridges while on horseback. “In fact,” says Mr. Rade, “he is the best shot on horseback I ever saw — he seldom missed his game.” As Captain B. was riding along with the doctor, they remarked a cannon-ball among some ruins; but, being told a saint was buried there, they got out of the way as quick as if a deadly serpent had been discovered. Stretching away to the left, we saw a portion of the remains of the Carthaginian aqueduct. The march was only from six to eight miles, and the encampment at Tfeefleeah. At day-break, at noon, at 3 o’clock, P.M. and at sunset, the Muezzen called from outside and near the door of the Bey’s tent the hour of prayer. An aide-de-camp also proclaimed, at the same place, whether we should halt, or march, on the morrow, The Arabs consider fat dogs a great delicacy, and kill and eat them whenever they can lay hands upon them. Captain B. was fortunate in not bringing his fat pointer, otherwise he would have lost him. The Arabs eat also foxes and wolves, and many animals of the chase not partaken of by us. The French in Algiers kill all the fat cats, and turn them into hares by dexterous cooking. The mornings and evenings we found cold, but mid-day very hot and sultry.

We left Tfeefleeah early, and went in search of wild-boar; found only their tracks, but saw plenty of partridges and hares; the ground being covered with brushwood and heath, we soonæ lost sight of them. The Arabs were seen on a sudden running and galloping in all directions, shouting and pointing to a hill, when a huge beast was put up, bristling and bellowing, which turned out to be a hyæna. He was shot by a mameluke, Si Smyle, and fell in a thicket, wallowing in his blood. He was a fine fellow, and had an immense bead, like a bull-dog. They put him on a mule, and carried him in triumph to the Bey. When R. arrived at the camp, the Bey sent him the skin and the head as a present, begging that he would not eat the brain. There is a superstitious belief among the Moors that, if a person eats the brain of a hyæna he immediately becomes mad. The hyæna is not the savage beast commonly represented; he rarely attacks any person, and becomes untameably ferocious by being only chained up. He is principally remarkable for his stupidity when at large in the woods. The animal abounds in the forests of the Morocco Atlas. Our tourists saw no lions en route, or in the Jereed; the lion does not like the sandy and open country of the plain. Very thick brushwood, and ground broken with rocks, like the ravines of the Atlas, are his haunts.

Several Arabs were flogged for having stolen the barley of which they had charge. The bastinado was inflicted by two inferior mamelukes, standing one on each side of the culprit, who had his hands and his feet tied behind him. In general, it may be said that bastinadoing in Tunis is a matter of form, many of the strokes ordered to be inflicted being never performed, and those given being so many taps or scratches. It is very rare to see a man bleeding from the bastinado; I (the author) never did. It is merely threatened as a terror; whilst it is not to be overlooked, that the soles of the feet of Arabs, and the lower classes in this country, are like iron, from the constant habit of going barefoot upon the sharpest stones. Severe punishments of any kind are rarely inflicted in Tunis.

The country was nearly all flat desert, with scarcely an inhabitant to dissipate its savage appearance. The women of a few Arab horsehair tents (waterproof when in good repair) saluted us as we passed with their shrill looloos. There appeared a great want of water. We passed the ruins of several towns and other remains. The camels were always driven into camp at sunset, and hobbled along, their two fore-legs being tied, or one of them being tied up to the knee, by which the poor animals are made to cut a more melancholy figure than with their usual awkward gait and moody character.

We continued our march about ten miles in nearly a southern direction, and encamped at a place called Heelet-el-Gazlen.

One morning shortly after starting, we came to a small stream with very high and precipitous banks, over which one arch of a fine bridge remained, but the other being wanting, we had to make a considerable détour before we could cross; the carriages had still greater difficulty. Here we have an almost inexcusable instance of the disinclination of the Moors to repairs, for had the stream been swollen, the camp would have been obliged to make a round-about march by the way of Hamman-el-Enf, of some thirty miles; and all for the want of an arch which would scarcely cost a thousand piastres! This stream or river is the same as that which passes near Hamman-el-Enf, and the extensive plain through which it meanders is well cultivated, with douwars, or circular villages of the Arabs dotted about. We saw hares, but, the ground being difficult running for the dogs, we caught but few. Bevies of partridges got up, but we were unprepared for them. In the evening, the Bey sent a present of a very fine bay horse to R. Marched about ten miles, and halted at Ben Sayden.

The following day after starting, we left the line of march to shoot; saw one boar, plenty of foxes and wolves, and we put up another hyæna, but the bag consisted principally of partridges, the red-legged partridge or perdix ruffa, killed, by the Bey, who is a dead-shot. Our ride lay among hills; there was very little water, which accounted for the few inhabitants. After dinner, went out shooting near Jebanah, and bagged a few partridges, but, not returning before the sun went down, the Bey sent a dozen fellows bawling out our names, fearing some harm had befallen us.

On leaving the hills, there lay stretched at our feet a boundless plain, on which is situate Kairwan, extending also to Susa, and leagues around. North Africa, is a country of hills and plains — such was the case along our entire route. We saw a large herd of gazelles feeding, as well as several single ones, but they have the speed of the greyhound, so we did not grace our supper with any. Saw several birds called Kader, about the size of a partridge, but we shot none. A good many hares and partridges either crossed our path or whirred over our heads. Passed over a running stream called Zebharah, where we saw the remains of an ancient bridge, but in the place where the baggage went over there was a fine one in good repair. Here was a small dome-topped chapel, called Sidi Farhat, in which are laid the ashes of a saint. We had seen many such in the hills; indeed these gubbah abound all over Barbary, and are placed more frequently on elevations. We noticed particularly the 300 Turkish infantry; they were irregulars with a vengeance, though regulars compared to the Arabs. On overtaking them, they drew up on each side, and some dozen of them kept up a running sham fight with their swords and small wooden and metal shields before the Bey. The officers kissed the hand of the Bey, and his treasurer tipped their band, for so we must call their tumtums and squeaking-pipes. This ceremony took place every morning, and they were received in the camp with all the honours. They kept guard during the night, and did all they could to keep us awake by their eternal cry of “Alleya,” which means, “Be off,” or “Keep your distance!” These troops had not been recruited for eight years, and will soon die off; and yet we see that the Bey treats these remnants of the once formidable Turkish Tunisian Janissaries with great respect; of course, in an affair with the Arabs, their fidelity to the Bey would be most unshaken.

As we journeyed onward, we saw much less vegetation and very little cultivation. An immense plain lay before and around us, in which, however, there was some undulating ground. Passed a good stone bridge; were supplied with water near a large Arab encampment, around which were many droves of camels; turned up several hares, partridges, and gazelles. One of the last gave us a good chase, but the greyhounds caught him; in the first half mile, he certainly beat them by a good half of the instance, but having taken a turn which enabled the dogs to make a short cut, and being blown, they pulled the swift delicate creature savagely down. There were several good courses after hares, though her pursuers gave puss no fair play, firing at her before the dogs and heading her in every possible way.

Rode to Kairwan. Few Christians arrive in this city. Prince Pückler Muskau was the fourth when he visited it in 1835. The town is clean, but many houses are in ruins. The greater part of a regiment of the Nitham are quartered here. The famous mosque, of course, we were not allowed to enter, but many of its marble pillars and other ornaments, we heard from Giovanni, were the spoils of Christian churches and Pagan temples. The house of the Kaëd was a good specimen of dwellings in this country. Going along a street, we were greatly surprised at seeing our attendants, among whom were Si Smyle (a very intelligent and learned man, and who taught Mr. R. Arabic during the tour) and the Bash–Boab, jumping off their horses, and, running up to an old-looking Moor, and then seizing his hand, kissed it; and for some time they would not leave the ragged ruffian-like saint.

At last, having joined us, they said he was Sidi Amour Abeda, a man of exceeding sanctity, and that if the Bey had met the saint, his Highness must have done the same. The saint accompanied us to the Kaëd’s house; and, on entering, we saw the old Kaëd himself, who was ill and weeping on account of the arrival of his son, the commander of a portion of the guards of the camp. We went up stairs, and sat down to some sweetmeats which had been prepared for us, together with Si Smyle and Hamda, but, as we were commencing, the saint, who was present, laid hold of the sweets with his hands, and blessed them, mumbling bismillas 72 and other jargon. We afterwards saw a little house, in course of erection by order of the Bey, where the remains of Sidi Amour Abeda are to be deposited at his death, so that the old gentleman can have the pleasure of visiting his future burial-place. In this city, a lineal descendant of the Prophet, and a lucky guesser in the way of divining, are the essential ingredients in the composition of a Moorish saint. Saints of one order or another are as thick here as ordinary priests in Malta, whom the late facetious Major Wright was accustomed to call crows — from their black dress — but better, cormorants, as agreeing with their habits of fleecing the poor people. Sidi Amour Abeda’s hands ought to be lily-white, for every one who meets him kisses them with devout and slavering obeisance. The renegade doctor of the Bey told us that the old dervish now in question would like nothing better than to see us English infidels burnt alive. Fanaticism seems to be the native growth of the human heart!

We afterwards visited the Jabeah, or well, which they show as a curiosity, as also the camel which turns round the buckets and brings up the water, being all sanctified, like the wells of Mecca, and the drinking of the waters forming an indispensable part of the pilgrimage to all holy Mohammedan cities.

We returned to the Kaëd’s, and sat down to a capital dinner. The old Governor was a great fanatic, and when R. ran up to shake hands with him, the mamelukes stopped R. for fear he might be insulted. We visited the fortress, which was in course of repair, our cicerone being Sidi Reschid, an artillery-officer. We then returned to the camp, and found Santa Maria, the French officer, had arrived, who, during the tour, employed himself in taking sketches and making scientific observations. He was evidently a French spy on the resources of the Bey. It was given out, however, that he was employed to draw charts of Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli, by his Government. He endeavoured to make himself as unpopular as some persons try to make themselves agreeable, being very jealous of us, and every little thing that we had he used to cry for it and beg it like a child, sometimes actually going to the Bey’s tent in person, and asking his Highness for the things which he saw had been given to us.

We went to see his Highness administer justice, which he always did, morning and evening, whilst at Kairwan. There were many plaintiffs, but no defendants brought up; most of them were turned out in a very summary manner. To some, orders were given, which we supposed enabled them to obtain redress; others were referred to the kadys and chiefs. The Bey, being in want of camels, parties were sent out in search of them, who drove in all the finest that they could find, which were then marked (“tabâ,”) à la Bey, and immediately became the Bey’s property. It was a curious sight to see the poor animals thrown over, and the red-hot iron put to their legs, amidst the cries and curses of their late different owners — all which were not in the least attended to, the wants of the Bey, or Government, being superior on such occasions of necessity, or what not, to all complaint, law, or justice. About two hundred changed hands in this way.

The Bey of Tunis has an immense number of camels which he farms out. He has overseers in certain districts, to whom he gives so many camels; these let them out to other persons for mills and agricultural labours, at so much per head. The overseers annually render an account of them to Government, and, when called upon, supply the number required. At this time, owing to a disorder which had caused a great mortality, camels had been very scarce, and this was the reason of the extensive seizure just mentioned. If an Arab commits manslaughter, his tribe is mulcted thirty-three camels; and, as the crime is rather common in the Bedouin districts, the Bey’s acquisition in this way is considerable. A few years ago, a Sicilian nobleman exported from Tunis to Sicily some eighty camels, the duty for which the Bey remitted. The camel, if ever so healthy and thriving in the islands of the Mediterranean, could never supersede the labour of mules. The camel is only useful where there are vast plains to travel, as in North Africa, Arabia, Persia, Australasia, and some parts of the East Indies.

A hundred more Arabs joined, who passed in a single file before the Bey for inspection: they came rushing into the camp by twos and threes, firing off their long guns.

We crossed large plains, over which ran troops of gazelles, and had many gallops after them; but they go much faster than the greyhound, and, unless headed and bullied, there is little chance of taking them, except found asleep. On coming on a troop unawares, R. shot one, which the dogs caught. R. went up afterwards to cut its throat à la Moresque, when he was insulted by an Arab. R. noticed the fellow, and afterwards told the Bey, who instantly ordered him to receive two hundred bastinadoes, and to be put in chains; but, just as they had begun to whip him, R. went up and generously begged him off. This is the end of most bastinados in the country. We passed a stream which they said had swallowed up some persons, and was very dangerous. A muddy stream, they add, is often very fatal to travellers. The Bey surprised Captain B. by sending him a handsome black horse as a present; he also sent a grey one to the Frenchman, who, when complaining of it, saying that it was a bad one, to the Bey’s mamelukes, his Highness sent for it, and gave him another. Under such circumstances, Saint Mary ought to have looked very foolish. The Bey shot a kader, a handsome bird, rather larger than a partridge, with black wings, and flies like a plover. We had a large hawking-establishment with us, some twenty birds, very fine falconry, which sometimes carried off hares, and even attacked young goat-kids. Marched to a place called Gilma, near which the road passes through an ancient town. Shaw says, “Gilma, the ancient Cilma, or Oppidum Chilmanenense, is six leagues to the east-south-east of Spaitla. We have here the remains of a large city, with the area of a temple, and some other fragments of large buildings. According to the tradition of the Arabs, this place received its name in consequence of a miracle pretended to have been wrought by one of their marabouts, in bringing hither the river of Spaitla, after it was lost underground. For Ja Elma signifies, in their language, ‘The water comes!’ an expression we are to imagine of surprise at the arrival of the stream.”

During our tour, the mornings were generally cold. We proceeded about twenty miles, and encamped near a place called Wady Tuckah. This river comes from the hills about three or four miles off, and when the camp arrives at Kairwan, the Bey sends an order to the Arabs of the district to let the water run down to the place where the tents are pitched. When we arrived, the water had just come. We saw warrens of hares, and caught many with the dogs. Troops of gazelles were also surprised; one was fired at, and went off scampering on three legs. The hawks caught a beautiful bird called hobara, or habary, 73 about the size of the small hen-turkey, lily white on the back, light brown brindle, tuft of long white feathers on its head, and ruffle of long black feathers, which they stretch out at pleasure, with a large grey eye. A curious prickly plant grows about here, something like a dwarf broom, if its leaves were sharp thorns, it is called Kardert. The Bey made R. a present of the hobara.

One day three gazelles were caught, and also a fox, by R.‘s greyhound, which behaved extremely well, and left the other dogs in the rear, every now and then attacking him in the hind-quarters. Saw seven or eight hobaras, but too windy for the hawks to be flown. Captain B. chased a gazelle himself, and had the good fortune to catch him. As soon as an Arab secures an animal, he immediately cuts its throat, repeating “Bismillah, Allah Akbar,” “In the name (of God), God is great.”

We marched seventeen miles to a place called Aly Ben Own, the name of the saint buried close by. The plain we crossed must have been once thickly inhabited, as there were many remains. We were joined by more Arabs, and our force continued to augment. The Bey, being in want of horses, the same system of seizing them was adopted as with the camels.

One splendid morning that broke over our encampment we had an opportunity of witnessing Africa’s most gorgeous scenery. 74 Plenty of hobaras; they fly like a goose. The hawks took two or three of them, also some hares. The poor hare does not know what to make of the hawks; after a little running, it gives itself up for death, only first dodging out of the bird’s pounce, or hiding itself in a tuft of grass or a bush, but which it is not long allowed to do, for the Arabs soon drive it out from its vain retreat. The hawk, when he seizes the hare with one claw, catches hold of any tuft of grass or irregularity of the ground with the other; a strong leather strap is also fastened from one leg to the other, to prevent them from being pulled open or strained. We came upon a herd of small deer, called ebba, which are a little larger than the gazelle, but they soon bounded beyond our pursuit, leaving us scarcely time to admire their delicate make and unapproachable speed.

We crossed a range of hills into another plain, at the extremity of which lies Ghafsa. The surface was naked, with the exception of tufts of strong, rushy grass, almost a sure indication of hares, and of which we started a great number. We saw another description of bird, called rhaad, 75 with white wings, which flew like a pigeon, but more swiftly. Near our tract were the remains of a large tank of ancient Roman construction. The Bey shot a fox. Marched fourteen or fifteen miles to Zwaneah, which means “little garden,” though there is no sign of such thing, unless it be the few oranges, dates, and pomegranates which they find here. We had water from a tank of modern construction; some remains were close to the camp, the ancient cistern and stone duct leading from the hills. We had two thousand camels with the camp and following it, for which not a single atom of provender is carried, the camels subsisting scantily upon the coarse grass, weeds or thorns, which the soil barely affords. The camel is very fond of sharp, prickly thorns. You look upon the animal, with its apparently most tender mouth, chopping the sharpest thorns it can find, full of amazement! Some of the chiefs who have lately joined us, have brought their wives with them, riding on camels in a sort of palanquin or shut-up machine. These palanquins have a kind of mast and shrouds, from which a bell is slung, tinkling with the swinging motion of the camel. This rude contrivance makes the camel more than ever “the ship of the Desert.” Several fine horses were brought in as presents to the Bey, one a very fine mare.

Our next march was towards Ghafsa, about twenty miles off. We were joined by a considerable number of fresh Arabs, who “played at powder,” and kept firing and galloping before the Bey the whole day; some of them managed themselves and their arms and horses with great address, balancing the firelock on their heads, firing it, twisting it round, throwing it into the air, and catching it again, and all without once losing the command of their horses. An accident happened amidst the fun; two of the parties came in contact, and one of them received a dreadful gash on the forehead. The dresses of some of them were very rich, and looked very graceful on horseback. A ride over sand-hills brought us in view of the town, embedded in olive and date-trees, looking fresh and green after our hot and dusty march; it lay stretched at the foot of a range of hills, which formed the boundaries of another extensive plain.

We halted at Ghafsa, 76 which is almost a mass of rubbish filled with dirty people, although there are plenty of springs about, principally hot and mineral waters. Although the Moors, by their religion, are enjoined the constant use of the bath, yet because they do not change their linen and other clothes, they are always very dirty. They do not, however, exceed the Maltese and Sicilians, and many other people of the neighbourhood, in filth, and perhaps the Moors are cleaner in their hahits than they. The Arabs are extremely disgusting, and their women are often seen in a cold winter’s evening, standing with their legs extended over a smoky wood fire, holding up their petticoats, and continuing in this indelicate position for hours together.

In these Thermæ, or hot, sulphurous, and other mineral springs, is the phenomenon of the existence of fish and small snakes. These were observed by our tourists, but I shall give three other authorities besides them. Shaw says: “‘The Ouri-el-Nout,’ i.e., ‘Well of Fish,’ and the springs of Ghasa and Toser, nourish a number of small fishes of the mullet and perch kind, and are of an easy digestion. Of the like quality are the other waters of the Jereed, all of them, after they become cold, being the common drink of the inhabitants.” Sir Grenville Temple remarks: “The thermometer in the water marked ninety-five degrees; and, what is curious, a considerable number of fish is found in this stream, which measure from four to six inches in length, and resemble, in some degree, the gudgeon, having a delicate flavour. Bruce mentions a similar fact, but he says he saw it in the springs of Feriana. Part of the ancient structure of these baths still exists, and pieces of inscriptions are observed in different places.”

Mr. Honneger has made a sketch of this fish. The wood-cut represents it one half the natural size:

The snake, not noticed by former tourists, has been observed by Mr. Honneger, which nourishes itself entirely upon the fish. The wood-cut represents the snake half its natural size:

The fish and the snake live together, though not very amicably, in the hot-springs. Prince Pükler Muskau, who travelled in Tunis, narrates that, “Near the ruins of Utica was a warm spring, in whose almost hot waters we found several turtles, which seemed to inhabit this basin.”

However, perhaps, there is no such extraordinary difficulty in the apprehension of this phenomenon, for “The Gulf Stream,” on leaving the Gulf of Mexico, “has a temperature of more than 27° (centigrade), or 80–6/10 degrees of Fahrenheit.” 77

Many a fish must pass through and live in this stream. And after all, since water is the element of fish, and is hotter or colder in all regions, like the air, the element of man, which he breathes, warmer or cooler, according to clime and local circumstances — there appear to be no physical objections in the way of giving implicit credence to our tourists.

Water is so abundant, that the adjoining plain might be easily irrigated, and planted with ten thousand palms and forests of olives. God is bountiful in the Desert, but man wilfully neglects these aqueous riches springing up eternally to repair the ravages of the burning simoum! In one of the groves we met a dervish, who immediately set about charming our Boab. He began by an incantation, then seized him round the middle, and, stooping a little, lifted him on his shoulders, continuing the while the incantation. He then put him on his feet again, and, after several attempts, appeared to succeed in bringing off his stomach something in the shape of leaden bullets, which he then, with an air of holy swagger, presented to the astonished guard of the Bey. The dervish next spat on his patient’s hands, closed them in his own, then smoothed him down the back like a mountebank smooths his pony, and stroked also his head and beard; and, after further gentle and comely ceremonies of this sort, the charming of the charmer finished, and the Boab presented the holy man with his fee. We dined at the Kaëd’s house; this functionary was a very venerable man, a perfect picture of a patriarch of the olden Scriptural times of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. There was not a single article of furniture in the room, except a humble sofa, upon which he sat.

We inspected the old Kasbah at Ghafsa, which is in nearly a state of ruin, and looked as if it would soon be down about our ears. It is an irregular square, and built chiefly of the remains of ancient edifices. It was guarded by fifty Turks, whose broken-down appearance was in perfect harmony with the citadel they inhabited. The square in a building is the favourite form of the Moors and Mohammedans generally; the Kaaba of Mecca, the sanctum sanctorum, is a square. The Moors endeavour to imitate the sacred objects of their religion in every way, even in the commonest affairs of human existence, whilst likewise their troops of wives and concubines are only an earthly foretaste and an earnest of the celestial ladies they expect to meet hereafter.

We saw them making oil, which was in a very primitive fashion. The oil-makers were nearly all women. The olives were first ground between stones worked by the hands, until they became of the consistence of paste, which was then taken down to the stream and put into a wooden tub with water. On being stirred up, the oil rises to the top, which they skim off with their hands and put into skins or jars; when thus skimmed, they pass the grounds or refuse through a sieve, the water running off; the stones and pulp are then saved for firing. But in this way much of the oil is lost, as may be seen by the greasy surface of the water below where this rude process is going on. Among the oil-women, we noticed a girl who would have been very pretty and fascinating had she washed herself instead of the olives. We entered an Arab house inhabited by some twenty persons, chiefly women, who forthwith unceremoniously took off our caps, examined very minutely all our clothes with an excited curiosity, laughed heartily when we put our hands in our pockets, and wished to do the same, and then pulled our hair, looking under our faces with amorous glances. On the hill overlooking the town, we also met two women screaming frightfully and tearing their faces; we learned that one of them had lost her child. The women make the best blankets here with handlooms, and do the principal heavy work.

We saw some hobaras, also a bird called getah, smaller than a partridge, something like a ptarmigan, with its summer feathers, and head shaped like a quail. The Bey sent two live ones to R., besides a couple of large jerboahs of this part, called here, gundy. They are much like the guinea-pig, but of a sandy colour, and very soft and fine, like a young hare. The jerboahs in the neighbourhood of Tunis are certainly more like the rat. The other day, near the south-west gates, we fell in with a whole colony of them — which, however, were the lesser animal, or Jerd species — who occupied an entire eminence to themselves, the sovereignty of which seemed to have been conceded to them by the Bey of Tunis. They looked upon us as intruders, and came very near to us, as if asking us why we had the audacity to disturb the tranquillity of their republic. The ground here in many places was covered with a substance like the rime of a frosty morning; it tastes like salt, and from it they get nitre. Captain B. thinks it was salt. The water which we drank was brought from Ghafsa: the Bey drinks water brought from Tunis. We marched across a vast plain, covered with the salt just mentioned, which was congealed in shining heaps around bushes or tufts of grass, and among which also scampered a few hares. We encamped at a place called Ghorbatah. Close to the camp was a small shallow stream, on each side of which grew many canes; we bathed in the stream, and felt much refreshed. The evening was pleasantly cool, like a summer evening in England, and reminded us of the dear land of our birth. Numerous plains in North Africa are covered with saline and nitrous efflorescence; to the presence of these minerals is owing the inexhaustible fertility of the soil, which hardly ever receives any manure, only a little stubble being occasionally burnt.

We saw flights of the getah, and of another bird called the gedur, nearly the same, but rather lighter in colour. When they rise from the ground, they make a curious noise, something like a partridge. We were unusually surprised by a flight of locusts, not unlike grasshoppers, of about two inches long, and of a reddish colour. Saw also gazelles. Halted by the dry bed of a river, called Furfouwy. A pool supplied the camp: in the mountains, at a distance, there was, however, a delicious spring, a stream of liquid pearls in these thirsty lands! A bird called mokha appeared now and then; it is about the size of a nightingale, and of a white light-brown colour. We seldom heard such sweet notes as this bird possesses. Its flying is beautifully novel and curious; it runs on the ground, and now and then stops and rises about fifteen feet from the surface, giving, as it ascends, two or three short slow whistles, when it opens its graceful tail and darts down to the ground, uttering another series of melodious whistles, but much quicker than when it rises.

We continued our march over nearly the same sort of country, but all was now flat as far as the eye could see, the hills being left behind us. About eight miles from Furfouwy, we came to a large patch of date-trees, watered by many springs, but all of them hot. Under the grateful shade of the lofty palm were flowers and fruits in commingled sweetness and beauty. Here was the village of Dra-el-Hammah, surrounded, like all the towns of the Jereed, with date-groves and gardens. The houses were most humbly built of mud and bricks. After a scorching march, we encamped just beyond, having made only ten miles. Saw quantities of bright soft spar, called talc. Here also the ground was covered with a saline effloresence. Near us were put up about a dozen blue cranes, the only birds seen to-day. A gazelle was caught, and others chased. We particularly observed huge patches of ground covered with salt, which, at a distance, appeared just like water.

70 Bash, means chief, as Bash–Mameluke, chief of the Mamelukes. It is a Turkish term.

71 This office answers vulgarly to our Boots at English inns.

72 Bismilla, Arabic for “In the name of God!” the Mohammedan grace before meat, and also drink.

73 Shaw says. — “The hobara is of the bigness of a capon, it feeds upon the little grubs or insects, and frequents the confines of the Desert. The body is of a light dun or yellowish colour, and marked over with little brown touches, whilst the larger feathers of the wing are black, with each of them a white spot near the middle; those of the neck are whitish with black streaks, and are long and erected when the bird is attacked. The bill is flat like the starling’s, nearly an inch and a half long, and the legs agree in shape and in the want of the hinder toe with the bustard’s, but it is not, as Golins says, the bustard, that bird being twice as big as the hobara. Nothing can be more entertaining than to see this bird pursued by the hawk, and what a variety of flights and stratagems it makes use of to escape.” The French call the hobara, a little bustard, poule de Carthage, or Carthage-fowl. They are frequently sold in the market of Tunis, as ordinary fowls, but eat something like pheasant, and their flesh is red.

74 The most grandly beautiful view in Tunis is that from the Belvidere, about a mile north-west from the capital, looking immediately over the Marsa road. Here, on a hill of very moderate elevation, you have the most beautiful as well as the most magnificent panoramic view of sea and lake, mountain and plain, town and village, in the whole Regency, or perhaps in any other part of North Africa. There are besides many lovely walks around the capital, particularly among and around the craggy heights of the south-east. But these are little frequented by the European residents, the women especially, who are so stay-at-homeative that the greater part of them never walked round the suburbs once in their lives. Europeans generally prefer the Marina, lined on each side, not with pleasant trees, but dead animals, sending forth a most offensive smell.

75 Shaw says: “The rhaad, or safsaf, is a granivorous and gregarious bird, which wanteth the hinder toe. There are two species, and both about and a little larger than the ordinary pullet. The belly of both is white, back and wings of a buff colour spotted with brown, tail lighter and marked all along with black transverse streaks, beak and legs stronger than the partridge. The name rhaad, “thunder,” is given to it from the noise it makes on the ground when it rises, safsaf, from its beating the air, a sound imitating the motion.”

76 Ghafsa, whose name Bochart derives from the Hebrew “comprimere,” is an ancient city, claiming as its august founder, the Libyan Hercules. It was one of the principal towns in the dominions of Jugurtha, and well-fortified, rendered secure by being placed in the midst of immense deserts, fabled to have been inhabited solely by snakes and serpents. Marius took it by a coup-de-main, and put all the inhabitants to the sword. The modern city is built on a gentle eminence, between two arid mountains, and, in a great part, with the materials of the ancient one. Ghafsa has no wall of enceinte, or rather a ruined wall surrounds it, and is defended by a kasbah, containing a small garrison. This place may be called the gate of the Tunisian Sahara; it is the limit of Blad-el-Jereed; the sands begin now to disappear, and the land becomes better, and more suited to the cultivation of corn. Three villages are situated in the environs, Sala, El–Kesir, and El–Ghetar. A fraction of the tribe of Hammand deposit their grain in Ghafsa. This town is famous for its manufactories of baraeans and blankets ornamented with pretty coloured flowers. There is also a nitre and powder-manufactory, the former obtained from the earth by a very rude process.

The environs are beautifully laid out in plantations of the fig, the pomegranate, and the orange, and especially the datepalm, and the olive-tree. The oil made here is of peculiarly good quality, and is exported to Tugurt, and other oases of the Desert.

77 Kaemtz’s Meteorology, p. 191.

Chapter 10

Toser. — The Bey’s Palace. — Blue Doves. — The town described. — Industry of the People. — Sheikh Tahid imprisoned and punished. — Leghorn. — The Boo-habeeba. — A Domestic Picture. — The Bey’s Diversions. — The Bastinado. — Concealed Treasure. — Nefta. — The Two Saints. — Departure of Santa Maria. — Snake-charmers. — Wedyen. — Deer Stalking. — Splendid view of the Sahara. — Revolting Acts. — Qhortabah. — Ghafsa. — Byrlafee. — Mortality among the Camels — Aqueduct. — Remains of Udina. — Arrival at Tunis. — The Boab’s Wives. — Curiosities. — Tribute Collected. — Author takes leave of the Governor of Mogador, and embarks for England. — Rough Weather. — Arrival in London.

Leaving Dra-el-Hammah, after a hot march of five or six miles, we arrived at the top of a rising ground, at the base of which was situate the famous Toser, the head-quarters of the camp in the Jereed, and as far as it goes. Behind the city was a forest of date-trees, and beyond these and all around, as far as the eye could wander, was an immeasurable waste — an ocean of sand — a great part of which we could have sworn was water, unless told to the contrary. We were met, before entering Toser, with some five or six hundred Arabs, who galloped before the Bey, and fired as usual. The people stared at us Christians with open mouths; our dress apparently astonished them. At Toser, the Bey left his tent and entered his palace, so called in courtesy to his Highness, but a large barn of a house, without any pretensions. We had also a room allotted to us in this palace, which was the best to be found in the town, though a small dark affair. Toser is a miserable assemblage of mud and brick huts, of very small dimensions, the beams and the doors being all of date-wood. The gardens, however, under the date-trees are beautiful, and abundantly watered with copious streams, all of which are warm, and in one of which we bathed ourselves and felt new vigour run through our veins. We took a walk in the gardens, and were surprised at the quantities of doves fluttering among the date-trees; they were the common blue or Barbary doves. In the environs of Mogador, these doves are the principal birds shot.

Toser, or Touzer, the Tisurus of ancient geography, is a considerable town of about six thousand souls, with several villages in its neighbourhood.

The impression of Toser made upon our tourists agrees with that of the traveller, Desfontaines, who writes of it in 1784:— “The Bey pitched his tent on the right side of the city, if such can be called a mass of mud-houses.” The description corresponds also with that of Dr. Shaw, who says that “the villages of the Jereed are built of mud-walls and rafters of palm-trees.” Evidently, however, some improvement has been made of late years. The Arabs of Toser, on the contrary, and which very natural, protested to the French scientific commission that Toser was the finest city in El–Jereed. They pretend that it has an area as large as Algiers, surrounded with a mud wall, twelve or fifteen feet high, and crenated. In the centre is a vast open space, which serves for a market-place. Toser has mosques, schools, Moorish baths — a luxury rare on the confines of the Desert, fondouks or inns, &c. The houses have flat terraces, and are generally well-constructed, the greater part built from the ruins of a Roman town; but many are now dilapidated from the common superstitious cause of not repairing or rebuilding old houses. The choice material for building is brick, mostly unbaked or sun-dried.

Most of these houses stand detached.

Toser, situate in a plain, is commanded from the north-west by a little rocky mountain, whence an abundant spring takes its source, called Meshra, running along the walls of the city southward, divides itself afterwards in three branches, waters the gardens, and, after having irrigated the plantations of several other villages, loses itself in the sand at a short distance. The wells within the city of Toser are insufficient for the consumption of the inhabitants, who fetch water from Wad Meshra. The neighbouring villages are Belad-el-Ader, Zin, Abbus; and the sacred villages are Zaouweeat, of Tounseea, Sidi Ali Bou Lifu, and Taliraouee. The Arabs of the open country, and who deposit their grain in and trade with these villages, are Oulad Sidi Sheikh, Oulad Sidi Abeed, and Hammania. The dates of Toser are esteemed of the finest quality.

Walked about the town; several of the inhabitants are very wealthy. The dead saints are, however, here, and perhaps everywhere else in Tunis, more decently lodged, and their marabets are real “whitewashed sepulchres.” They make many burnouses at Toser, and every house presents the industrious sight of the needle or shuttle quickly moving. We tasted the leghma, or “tears of the date,” for the first time, and rather liked it. On going to shoot doves, we, to our astonishment, put up a snipe. The weather was very hot; went to shoot doves in the cool of the evening. The Bey administers justice, morning and evening, whilst in the Jereed. An Arab made a present of a fine young ostrich to the Bey, which his Highness, after his arrival in Tunis, sent to R. The great man here is the Sheikh Tahid, who was imprisoned for not having the tribute ready for the Bey. The tax imposed is equivalent to two bunches for each date-tree. The Sheikh has to collect them, paying a certain yearly sum when the Bey arrives, a species of farming-out. It was said that he is very rich, and could well find the money. The dates are almost the only food here, and the streets are literally gravelled with their stones. Santa Maria again returned his horse to the Bey, and got another in its stead. He is certainly a man of delicate feeling. This gentleman carried his impudence so far that he even threatened some of the Bey’s officers with the supreme wrath of the French Government, unless they attended better to his orders. A new Sheikh was installed, a good thing for the Bey’s officers, as many of them got presents on the occasion.

We blessed our stars that a roof was over our heads to shield us from the burning sun. We blew an ostrich-egg, had the contents cooked, and found it very good eating. They are sold for fourpence each, and it is pretended that one makes an ample meal for twelve persons. We are supplied with leghma every morning; it tastes not unlike cocoa-nut milk, but with more body and flavour. R. very unwell, attributed it to his taking copious draughts of the leghma. Rode out of an evening; there was a large encampment of Arabs outside the town, thoroughly sun-burnt, hardy-looking fellows, some of them as black as negroes. Many people in Toser have sore eyes, and several with the loss of one eye, or nearly so; opthalmia, indeed, is the most prevalent disease in all Barbary. The neighbourhood of the Desert, where the greater part of the year the air is filled with hot particles of sand, is very unfavourable to the sight; the dazzling whiteness of the whitewashed houses also greatly injures the eyes. But the Moors pretend that lime-washing is necessary to the preservation of the houses from the weather, as well as from filth of all sorts. We think really it is useful, by preventing dirty people in many cases from being eaten up by their own filth and vermin, particularly the Jews, the Tunisian Jews being the dirtiest persons in the Regency. The lime-wash is the grand sanitary instrument in North Africa.

There are little birds that frequent the houses, that might be called Jereed sparrows, and which the Arabs name boo-habeeba, or “friend of my father;” but their dress and language are very different, having reddish breasts, being of a small size, and singing prettily. Shaw mentions them under the name of the Capsa-sparrow, but he is quite wrong in making them as large as the common house-sparrow. He adds: “It is all over of a lark-colour, excepting the breast, which is somewhat lighter, and shineth like that of a pigeon. The boo-habeeba has a note infinitely preferable to that of the canary, or nightingale.” He says that all attempts to preserve them alive out of the districts of the Jereed have failed. R. has brought several home from that country, which were alive whilst I was in Tunis. There are also many at the Bardo in cages, that live in this way as long as other birds.

Went to see the houses of the inhabitants: they were nearly all the same, the furniture consisting of a burnouse-loom, a couple of millstones, and a quantity of basins, plates, and dishes, hung upon the walls for effect, seldom being used; there were also some skins of grain. The beams across the rooms, which are very high, are hung with onions, dates, and pomegranates; the houses are nearly all of one story. Some of the women are pretty, with large long black eyes and lashes; they colour the lower lid black, which does not add to their beauty, though it shows the bewitching orb more fully and boldly. They were exceedingly dirty and ragged, wearing, nevertheless, a profusion of ear-rings, armlets, anclets, bracelets, and all sorts of lets, with a thousand talismanic charms hanging from their necks upon their ample bosoms, which latter, from the habit of not wearing stays, reach as low down as their waists. They wrap up the children in swaddling-clothes, and carry them behind their backs when they go out.

Two men were bastinadoed for stealing a horse, and not telling where they put him; every morning they were to be flogged until they divulged their hiding-place.

A man brought in about a foot of horse’s skin, on which was the Bey’s mark, for which he received another horse. This is always done when any animal dies belonging to the Beys, the man in whose hands the animal is, receiving a new one on producing the part of the skin marked. The Bey and his ministers and mamelukes amused themselves with shooting at a mark. The Bey made some good hits.

The Bey and his mamelukes also took diversion in spoiling the appearance of a very nice young horse; they daubed hieroglyphics upon his shoulders and loins, and dyed the back where the saddle is placed, and the three legs below the knee with henna, making the other leg look as white as possible. Another grey horse, a very fine one, was also cribbed. We may remark here, that there were very few fine horses to be met with, all the animals looking poor and miserable, whilst these few fine ones fell into the hands of the Bey. It is probable, however, that the Arabs kept their best and most beautiful horses out of the way, while the camp was moving among them.

The old Sheikh still continued in prison. The bastinadoes with which he had been treated were inflicted on his bare person, cold water being applied thereto, which made the punishment more severe. After receiving one hundred, he said he would shew his hiding-place; and some people being sent with him, dug a hole where he pointed out, but without coming to anything. This was done several times, but with the same effect. He was then locked up in chains till the following morning. Millions of dollars lie buried by the Arabs at this moment in different parts of Barbary, especially in Morocco, perhaps the half of which will never be found, the owners of them having died before they could point out their hoarded treasures to their relatives, as but a single person is usually in the secret. Money is in this way buried by tribes, who have nothing whatever to fear from their sovereigns and their sheikhs; they do it from immemorial custom. It is for this reason the Arabs consider that under all ancient ruins heaps of money are buried, placed there by men or demons, who hold the shining hoards under their invincible spell. They cannot comprehend how European tourists can undertake such long journeys, merely for the purpose of examining old heaps of stones, and making plans and pictures of such rubbish. When any person attempts to convince the Arabs that this is the sole object, they only laugh with incredulity.

Went to Nefta, a ride of about fourteen miles, lying somewhat nearer the Sahara than Toser. The country on the right was undulating sand, on the left an apparently boundless ocean, where lies, as a vast sheet of liquid fire, when the sun shines on it, the now long celebrated Palus Libya. In this so-called lake no water is visible, except a small marsh like the one near Toser, where we went duck-shooting. Our party was very respectable, consisting of the Agha of the Arabs, two or three of the Bey’s mamelukes, the Kaëd of the Jereed, whose name is Braun, and fifty or sixty Arab guards, besides ourselves. On entering Nefta, the escort immediately entered, according to custom, a marabet (that of Sidi Bou Aly), Captain B. and R. meanwhile standing outside.

There were two famous saints here, one of whom was a hundred years of age. The other, Sidi Mustapha Azouz, had the character of being a very clever and good man, which also his intelligent and benevolent appearance betokened, and not a fanatic, like Amour Abeda of Kairwan. There were at the time of our visit to him about two hundred people in his courtyard, who all subsisted on his charities. We were offered dates, kouskousou, 78 and a seed which they call sgougou, and which has the appearance of dried apple-seed. The Arabs eat it with honey, first dipping their fingers into the honey, and then into the seed, which deliciously sticks to the honey. The Sheikh’s saint also distributed beads and rosaries. He gave R. a bag of sgougou-seed, as well as some beads. These two Sheikhs are objects of most religious veneration amongst all true believers, and there is nothing which would not be done at their bidding.

Nefta, the Negeta of the ancients, is the frontier town of the Tunisian territories from the south, being five days’ journey, or about thirty-five or forty leagues from the oases of Souf, and fifteen days’ from Ghadumes. Nefta is not so much a town as an agglomeration of villages, separated from one another by gardens, and occupying an extent of surface twice the size that of the city of Algiers. These villages are Hal Guema, Mesâba, Zebda Ouled, Sherif, Beni Zeid, Beni Ali, Sherfa, and Zaouweeah Sidi Ahmed.

The position of Nefta and its environs is very picturesque. Water is here abundant. The principal source, which, under the name of Wad Nefta, takes its rise at the north of the city, in the midst of a movement of earth, enters the villages of Sherfa and Sidi Ahmed; divides them in two, and fecundates its gardens planted with orange-trees, pomegranates, and fig-trees. The same spring, by the means of ducts of earth, waters a forest of date-trees which extends some leagues. A regulator of the water (kaëd-el-ma) distributes it to each proprietor of the plantation.

The houses of Nefta are built generally of brick; some with taste and luxury; the interior is ornamented with Dutch tiles brought from Tunis. Each quarter has its mosque and school, and in the centre of the group of villages is a place called Rebot, on the banks of Wad Nefta, which serves for a common market. Here are quarters specially devoted to the aristocratic landed proprietors, and others to the busy merchants. The Shereefs are the genuine nobles, or seigneurs of Nefta, from among whom the Bey is wont to choose the Governors of the city. The complexion of the population is dark, from its alliance with Negress slaves, like most towns advanced in the Desert. The manners of the people are pure. They are strict observers of the law, and very hospitable to strangers. Captain B., however, thought that, had he not been under the protection of the Bey, his head would not have been worth much in these districts. Every traveller almost forms a different opinion, and frequently the very opposite estimate, respecting the strangers amongst whom he is sojourning. A few Jewish artizans have always been tolerated here, on condition of wearing a black handkerchief round their heads, and not mount a horse, &c. Recently the Bey, however, by solemn decrees, has placed the Jews exactly on the same footing of rights and privileges as the rest of his subjects.

Nefta is the intermediate entrepôt of commerce which Tunis pours towards the Sahara, and for this reason is called by the Arabs, “the gate of Tunis;” but the restrictive system established by the Turks during late years at Ghadumes, has greatly damaged the trade between the Jereed and the Desert. The movement of the markets and caravans takes place at the beginning of spring, and at the end of summer. Only a portion of the inhabitants is devoted to commerce, the rich landed proprietory and the Shereefs representing the aristocracy, lead the tranquil life of nobles, the most void of care, and, perhaps, the happiest of which contemplative philosophy ever dreamed. The oasis of Nefta, indeed, is said to be the most poetic of the Desert; its gardens are delicious; its oranges and lemons sweet; its dates the finest fruit in the “land of dates.” Nearly all the women are pretty, of that beauty peculiar to the Oriental race; and the ladies who do not expose themselves to the fierce sun of the day, are as fair as Mooresses.

Santa Maria left for Ghabs, to which place there is not a correct route laid down in any chart. There are three routes, but the wells of one are only known to travellers, a knowledge which cannot be dispensed with in these dry regions. The wells of the other two routes are known to the bordering tribes alone, who, when they have taken a supply of water, cover them up with sand, previously laying a camel-skin over the well-mouth, to prevent the sand falling into the water, so that, while dying with thirst, you might be standing on a well and be none the wiser. The Frenchman has taken with him an escort of twelve men. The weather is cooler, with a great deal of wind, raising and darkening the sky with sand; even among the dategroves our eyes and noses were like so many sand-quarries.

Sheikh Tahib has been twice subjected to corporal punishment in the same way as before mentioned, with the addition of fifty, but they cannot make him bleed as they wish. He declares he has not got the money, and that he cannot pay them, though they cut him to pieces. As he has collected a great portion of the tribute of the people, one cannot much pity the lying rogue.

We were amused with the snake-charmers. These gentry are a company under the protection of their great saint Sidi Aysa, who has long gone upwards, but also is now profitably employed in helping the juggling of these snake-mountebanks. These fellows take their snakes about in small bags or boxes, which are perfectly harmless, their teeth and poison-bags being extracted. They carry them in their bosoms, put them in their mouths, stuffing a long one in of some feet in length, twist them around their arms, use them as a whip to frighten the people, in the meanwhile screaming out and crying unto their Heavenly protector for help, the bystanders devoutly joining in their prayers. The snake-charmers usually perform other tricks, such as swallowing nails and sticking an iron bar in their eyes; and they wear their hair long like women, which gives them a very wild maniacal look.

Three of the mamelukes and ourselves went to Wedyen, a town and date-wood about eight miles from Toser, to the left. The date-grove is extensive, and there are seven villages in it of the same name. We slept in the house of the Sheikh, who complained that the Frenchman, in passing that way, had allowed his escort to plunder, and actually bound the poor Sheikh, threatening him on his remonstrating. What conduct for Christians to teach these people!

One morning before daylight, we were on horseback, and en route towards the hills, for the purpose of shooting loted, as they call a species of deer found here. The ground in the neighbourhood of Wedyen is tossed about like a hay-field, and volcanic looking. About four miles off we struck into the rocks, on each side of our path, rising perpendicularly in fantastic shapes. On reaching the highest ground, the view was exceedingly wild. Much of the rock appeared as if it had only just been cooled from a state of fusion; there was also a quantity of tuffo rock, similar to that in the neighbourhood of Naples. The first animal we saw was a wolf, which, standing on the sky-line of the opposite hill, looked gigantic. The deep valley between, however, prevented our nearer approach.

We soon after came on a loted, who took to his heels, turning round a mass of rock; but, soon after, he almost met as, and we had a view of him within forty yards. Several shots were fired at him without effect, and he at last made his escape, with a speed which defied all our attempts at following him. Dismounting, the Sheikh Ali, of the Arab tribe Hammama, who was with us, and who is the greatest deer-stalker in the country, preceded us a little distance to look out for deer, the marks of which were here very numerous. After a short time, an Arab brought information of a herd of some thirty, with a good many young ones; but our endeavours to have a shot at them were fruitless, though one of the Arabs got near enough to loose the dogs at them, and a greyhound was kicked over for his pains. We saw no more of them; but our want of success was not surprising, silence not being in the least attended to, and our party was far too large. The Arabs have such a horrible habit of vociferation, that it is a wonder they ever take any game at all. About the hills was scattered a great variety of aromatic plants, quantities of shells, and whole oyster-beds, looking almost as fresh as if they had been found by the sea-side.

On our return from Toser, we had an extensive view of the Sahara, an ocean as far as the eye could see, of what one would have taken his oath was water, the shores, inlets, and bays being clearly defined, but, in reality, nothing but salt scattered on the surface. Several islets were apparently breaking its watery expanse, but these also were only heaps of sand raised from the surrounding flat. The whole country, hills, plains and deserts, gave us an idea as if the materials had been thrown together for manufacture, and had never been completed. Nevertheless these savage deserts of boundless extent are as complete in their kind as the smiling meadows and fertile corn-fields of England, each being perfect in itself, necessary to the grand whole of creation, and forming an essential portion of the works of Divine Providence.

The Sheikh Tahib’s gardens were sold for 15,000 piastres, his wife also added to this 1,000, and he was set at liberty. The dates have been coming in to a great amount. There are many different kinds. The principal are:— Degalah, the most esteemed, which are very sweet and almost transparent. Captain B. preferred the Trungah, another first-rate sort, which are plum-shaped, and taste something like a plum. There are also the Monachah, which are larger than the other two, dryer and more mealy, and not so sweet as Degalah, and other sorts. The dates were very fine, though in no very great abundance, the superior state of ripeness being attributed to there only being a single day of rain during the past year in the Jereed. Rain is bad for the dates, but the roots of the tree cannot have too much water.

The tent-pitchers of the camp went round and performed, in mask, actions of the most revolting description, some being dressed as women, and dancing in the most lascivious and indecent manner. One fellow went up to R., who was just on the point of knocking him down, when, seeing the Treasurer of the Bey cracking his sides with laughter, he allowed the brute to go off under such high patronage. It was even said that these fellows were patronized by his Highness. But, on all Moorish feastdays, lascivious actions of men and women are an indispensable part of their entertainment. This is the worst side of the character of the Moors. The Moorish women were never so profligate as since the arrival of the French in Algeria.

One of the greatest chiefs, Sultan Kaëd, of the Hammama has just died. He was an extremely old man, and it is certain that people live to a good old age in this burning clime. During his life, he had often distinguished himself, and lastly against the French, before Constantina. Whilst in the hills one day, we came suddenly upon a set of Arabs, about nine in number, who took to their heels on seeing us. A man has just been killed near this place, probably by the same gang. For robbery and murder, no hills could be better fitted, the passes being so intricate, and the winds and turns so sudden and sharp. The Sheikh Ali brought in two loteds, a female and its young one, which he had shot. The head of the loted is like a deer’s, but the eye is further up: it is about a fallowdeer’s size. The female has not the beard like a goat, but long hair, reaching from the head to the bottom of the chest, and over the fore-legs. These loteds were taken in consequence of an order from the Bey, that they should not return without some.

On our march back to Tunis, we encamped for two days by the foot of a range of hills at Sheesheeah, about ten miles off. The water, brought from some distance, was bad and salt.

We proceeded to Ghortabah, our old place. Two of the prisoners (about twelve of whom we had with us), and one of the Turks, died from the excessive heat. The two couriers that were sent with despatches for the Government were attacked near this place by the Arabs, and the horse of one was so injured, that it was necessary to kill him; the man who rode the horse was also shot through the leg. This was probably in revenge for the exactions of the Bey of the Camp on the tribes.

On our return to Ghafsa, we had rain, hail, and high wind, and exceedingly cold — a Siberian winter’s day on the verge of the scorching desert. The ground, where there was clay, very slippery; the camels reeled about as if intoxicated. The consequence was, it was long before the tents came up, and we endured much from this sudden change of the weather. Our sufferings were, however, nothing as compared to others, for during the day, ten men were brought in dead, from the cold (three died four days before from heat), principally Turks; and, had there been no change in the temperature, we cannot tell how many would have shared the same fate. Many of the camels, struggling against the clayey soil, could not come up.

Eight more men were shortly buried, and three were missing. The sudden transition from the intense heat of the one day to the freezing cold of the next, probably gave the latter a treble power, producing these disastrous effects, the poor people being sadly ill-clad, and quite unprepared for such extreme rigour. Besides, on our arrival at the camp, all the money in Europe could not have purchased us the required comforts, or rather necessaries, to preserve our health. Cold makes everybody very selfish. We were exceedingly touched on hearing of the death of a little girl, whom we saw driven out of a kitchen, in which the poor helpless little thing had taken refuge from the inclemency of the weather.

Santa Maria arrived from Ghabs without accident, having scarcely seen a soul the whole of the way. He certainly was an enterprizing fellow, worthy of imitation. He calculated the distance from Ghabs to Toser at 200 miles. There are a number of towns in the districts of Ghabs better built than those of Nefta and Toser; Ghabs river is also full of water and the soil of the country is very fertile. The dates are not so good as those of the Jereed. Ghabs is about 130 miles from Ghafsa. We here took our farewell of Santa Maria; he went to Beja, the head-quarters of the summer-camp: thence, of course, he would proceed to Algiers, to give an account of his espionage. Next season, he said, he would go to Tripoli and Ghadames; he had been many years in North Africa, and spoke Arabic fluently.

We next marched to Byrlafee, about twenty miles, and ninety-one from Toser, where there are the ruins of an old town. The weather continued cold and most wintry. Here is a very ancient well still in use. Fragments of cornices and pillars are strewn about. The foundations of houses, and some massive stone towers, which from their having a pipe up the centre, must have had something to do with regulating the water, are all that remain.

We had now much wind, but no rain. A great many camels and horses perished. Altogether, the number of camels that died on the return of the camp, was 550. The price of a camel varies from 60 to 200 piastres. Many good ones were sold at the camp for eighty piastres each, or about two pounds ten shillings, English money. A good sheep was disposed of for four or five piastres, or about three shillings. There were also some ludicrous sales. A horse in the extremities of nature, or near to the articulo mortis, was sold for a piastre, eight pence; a camel, in a like situation, was sold for a piastre and a half. A tolerably good horse in Tunis sells at from 800 to 1000 piastres.

There are the remains of an aqueduct at Gilma, and several other buildings, the capitals of the pillars being elaborately worked. It is seen that nearly the entire surface of Tunis is covered with remains of aqueducts, Roman, Christian, and Moorish. If railways be applied to this country — the French, are already talking about forming one from Algiers to Blidah, across the Mitidjah — unquestionably along the lines will be constructed ducts for water, which could thus be distributed over the whole country. Instead of the camels of the “Bey of the Camp” carrying water from Tunis to the Jereed, the railway would take from Zazwan, the best and most delicious water in the Regency, to the dry deserts of the Jereed, with the greatest facility. As to railways paying in this country, the resources of Tunis, if developed, could pay anything.

Marching onwards about eighteen miles, we encamped two or three beyond an old place called Sidi–Ben-Habeeba. A man murdered a woman from jealousy in the camp, but made his escape. Almost every eminence we passed was occupied with the remains of some ancient fort, or temple. There was a good deal of corn in small detached patches, but it must be remembered, the north-western provinces are the corn-districts.

In the course of the following three days, we reached Sidi–Mahammedeah, where are the magnificent remains of Udina. After about an hour’s halt, and when all the tents had been comfortably pitched, the Bey astonished us with an order to continue our march, and we pursued our way to Momakeeah, about thirty miles, which we did not reach until after dark. We passed, for some three or four hours, through a flight of locusts, the air being darkened, and the ground loaded with them. At a little distance, a flight of locusts has the appearance of a heavy snow-storm. These insects rarely visit the capital; but, since the appearance of those near Momakeeah, they have been collected in the neighbourhood of the city, cooked, and sold among the people. Momakeeah is a countryhouse belonging to the Bey, to whom, also, belongs a great portion of the land around. There is a large garden, laid out in the Italian style attached to this country-seat.

On arriving at Tunis, we called at the Bardo as we passed, and saw the guard mounting. There was rather a fine band of military music; Moorish musicians, but playing, after the European style, Italian and Moorish airs.

We must give here some account of our Boab’s domestic concerns. He boasted that he had had twenty-seven wives, his religion allowing four at once, which he had bad several times; he was himself of somewhat advanced years. According to him, if a man quarrels with his wife, he can put her in prison, but must, at the same time, support her. A certain quantity of provision is laid down by law, and he must give her two suits, or changes, of clothes a year. But he must also visit her once a week, and the day fixed is Friday. If the wife wishes to be separated, and to return to her parents, she must first pay the money which he may demand, and must also have his permission, although he himself may send her to her parents whenever he chooses, without assigning any reason. He retains the children, and he may marry again. The woman is generally expected to bring her husband a considerable sum in the way of dowry, but, on separation, she gets nothing back. This was the Boab’s account, but I think he has overdone the harshness and injustice of the Mohammedan law of marriage in relating it to our tourists. It may be observed that the strict law is rarely acted upon, and many respectable Moors have told me that they have but one wife, and find that quite enough. It is true that many Moors, especially learned men, divorce their wives when they get old, feeling the women an embarrassment to them, and no wonder, when we consider these poor creatures have no education, and, in their old age, neither afford connubial pleasure nor society to their husbands. With respect to divorce, a woman can demand by law and right to be separated from her husband, or divorced, whenever he ill-treats her, or estranges himself from her. Eunuchs, who have the charge of the women, are allowed to marry, although they cannot have any family. The chief eunuch of the Bardo has the most revolting countenance.

Our tourists brought home a variety of curious Jereed things: small date-baskets full of dates, woollen articles, skins of all sorts, and a few live animals. Sidi Mohammed also made them many handsome presents. Some deer, Jereed goats, an ostrich, &c., were sent to Mr. R. after his return, and both Captain B. and Mr. R. have had every reason to be extremely gratified with the hospitality and kind attentions of the “Bey of the Camp.”

It is very difficult to ascertain the amount of tribute collected in the Jereed, some of which, however, was not got in, owing to various impediments. Our tourists say generally:—

Camel-loads. 79
Money, dollars, and piastres, (chiefly I
imagine, the latter.) 23

Burnouses, blankets, and quilts, &c. 6

Dates (these were collected at Toser,
and brought from Nefta and the surrounding
districts) 500

Total 529

It is impossible, with this statement
before us, to make out any exact
calculation of the amount of tribute.
A cantar of dates varies from fifteen
to twenty-five shillings, say on an
average a pound sterling; this will
make the amount of the 500 camel-loads
at five cantars per load £2,500

Six camel-loads of woollen manufactures,
&c., at sixty pound per load, value 360

Total £2,860

The money, chiefly piastres, must be left to conjecture. However, Mr. Levy, a large merchant at Tunis, thinks the amount might be from 150 to 200,000 piastres, or, taking the largest sum, £6,250 sterling:

Total amount of the tribute of the Jereed:
in goods £2,860
Ditto, in money: 6,250

Total £9,110

To this sum may be added the smaller presents of horses, camels, and other beasts of burden.

Before leaving Mogador, in company with Mr. Willshire, I saw his Excellency, the Governor again, when I took formal leave of him. He accompanied me down to the port with several of the authorities, waiting until I embarked for the Renshaw schooner. Several of the Consuls, and nearly all the Europeans, were also present. On the whole, I was satisfied with the civilities of the Moorish authorities, and offer my cordial thanks to the Europeans of Mogador for their attentions during my residence in that city.

A little circumstance shews the subjection of our merchants, the Consul not excepted, to the Moorish Government. One of the merchants wished to accompany me on board, but was not permitted, on account of his engagements with the Sultan.

A merchant cannot even go off the harbour to superintend the stowing of his goods. Never were prisoners of war, or political offenders, so closely watched as the boasted imperial merchants of this city.

After setting sail, we were soon out of sight of Mogador; and, on the following day, land disappeared altogether. During the next month, we were at sea, and out of view of the shore. I find an entry in my journal, when off the Isle of Wight. We had had most tremendous weather, successive gales of foul wind, from north and north-east. Our schooner was a beautiful vessel, a fine sailer with a flat bottom, drawing little water, made purposely for Barbary ports. She had her bows completely under water, and pitched her way for twenty-five succeeding days, through huge rising waves of sea and foam. During the whole of this time, I never got up, and lived on bread and water with a little biscuit. Captain Taylor, who was a capital seaman, and took the most accurate observations, lost all patience, and, though a good methodist, would now and then rush on deck, and swear at the perverse gale and wrathful sea. We took on board a fine barb for Mr. Elton, which died after a few days at sea, in these tempests. I had a young vulture that died a day before the horse, or we should have fed him on the carcase.

An aoudad which we conveyed on account of Mr. Willshire to London, for the Zoological Society, outlived these violent gales, and was safely and comfortably lodged in the Regent’s Park. After my return from Africa, I paid my brave and hardy fellow-passenger a visit, and find the air of smoky London agrees with him as well as the cloudless region of the Morocco Desert.

78 This is the national dish of Barbary, and is a preparation of wheat-flour granulated, boiled by the steam of meat. It is most nutritive, and is eaten with or without meat and vegetables. When the grains are large, it is called hamza.

79 A camel-load is about five cantars, and a cantar is a hundred weight.


The following account of the bombardment of Mogador by the French, written at the period by an English Resident may be of interest at the present time.

Mogador was bombarded on the 13th of August, 1844. Hostilities began at 9 o’clock A.M., by the Moors firing twenty-one guns before the French had taken up their position, but the fire was not returned until 2 P.M. The ‘Gemappes,’ 100; ‘Suffren,’ 99; ‘Triton,’ 80; ships of the line. ‘Belle Poule,’ 60, frigate; ‘Asmodée’ and ‘Pluton,’ steamers, and some brigs, constituted the bombarding squadron. The batteries were silenced, and the Moorish authorities with many of the inhabitants fled, leaving the city unprotected against the wild tribes, who this evening and the next morning, sacked and fired the city. On the 16th, nine hundred French were landed on the isle of Mogador. After a rude encounter with the garrison, they took possession of it and its forts. Their loss was, after twenty-eight hours’ bombarding, trifling, some twenty killed and as many more wounded; the Moors lost some five hundred on the isle killed, besides the casualties in the city.

The British Consul and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Robertson, with others, were obliged to remain in the town during the bombardment on account of their liabilities to the Emperor. The escape of these people from destruction was most miraculous.

The bombarding squadron reached on the 10th, the English frigate, ‘Warspite,’ on the 13th, and the wind blowing strong from N.E., and preventing the commencement of hostilities, afforded opportunity to save, if possible, the British Consul’s family and other detained Europeans; but, notwithstanding the strenuous remonstrances of the captain of the ‘Warspite’, nothing whatever could prevail upon the Moorish Deputy–Governor in command, Sidi Abdallah Deleero, to allow the British and other Europeans to take their departure. The Governor even peremptorily refused permission for the wife of the Consul to leave, upon the cruel sophism that, “The Christian religion asserts the husband and wife to be one, consequently,” added the Governor, “as it is my duty, which I owe to my Emperor, to prevent the Consul from leaving Mogador, I must also keep his wife.”

The fact is the Moors, in their stupidity, and perhaps in their revenge, thought the retaining of the British Consul and the Europeans might, in some way or other, contribute to the defence of themselves, save the city, or mitigate the havoc of the bombardment. At any rate, they would say, “Let the Christians share the same fate and dangers as ourselves.” During the bombardment, the Moors for two hours fought well, but their best gunner, a Spanish renegade, Omar Ei–Haj, being killed, they became dispirited and abandoned the batteries. The Governor and his troops, about sunset, disgracefully and precipitately fled, followed by nearly all the Moorish population, thereby abandoning Mogador to pillage, and the European Jews to the merciless wild tribes, who, though levied to defend the town, had, for some hours past, hovered round it like droves of famished wolves.

As the Governor fled out, terrified as much at the wild tribes as of the French, in rushed these hordes, led on by their desperate chiefs. These wretches undismayed, unmoved by the terrors of the bombarding ravages around, strove and vied with each other in the committal of every act of the most unlicensed ferocity and depredation, breaking open houses, assaulting the inmates, murdering such as shewed resistance, denuding the more submissive of their clothing, abusing women — particularly in the Jewish quarter — to all which atrocities the Europeans were likewise exposed.

At the most imminent hazard of their lives, the British Consul and his wife, with a few others, escaped from these ruffians. Truly providential was their flight through streets, resounding with the most turbulent confusion and sanguinary violence. It was late when the plunderers appeared before the Consulates, where, without any ceremony, by hundreds, they fell to work, breaking open bales of goods, ransacking places for money and other treasures; and, thus unsatisfied in their rapacity, they tore and burnt all the account-books and Consular documents.

Other gangs fought over the spoil; some carrying off their booty, and others setting it on fire. It was a real pandemonium of discord and licentiousness. During the darkness, and in the midst of such scenes, it was that the Consul and his wife threaded their precarious flight through the streets, and in their way were intercepted by a marauding band, who attacked them; tore off his coat; and, seizing his wife, insisted upon denuding her, four or five daggers being raised to her throat, expecting to find money concealed about their persons; nor would the ruffians desist until they ascertained they had none, the Consul having prudently resolved to take no money with them. Fortunately, at this juncture, his wife was able to speak, and in Arabic (being born here, and daughter of a former Consul), therefore she could give force to her entreaties by appealing to them not to imbue their hands in the blood of their countrywomen. This had the desired effect. The chief of the party undertook to conduct them to the water-port, when, coming in contact with another party, a conflict about booty ensued, during which the Consul’s family got out of the town to a place of comparative security.

Incidents of a similar alarming nature attended the escape of Mr. Robertson, his wife, and four children; one, a baby in arms. In the crowd, Mr. Robertson, with a child in each hand, lost sight of Mrs. Robertson, with her infant and another child. Distracted by sad forebodings, poor Mr. Robertson forced his way to the water-port, but not before a savage mountainer — riding furiously by him — aimed a sabre-blow at him to cut him down; but, as the murderous arm was poised above, Mr. Robertson stooped, and, raising his arm at the time, warded it off; the miscreant then rode off, being satisfied at this cut at the detested Nazarene.

Another ruffian seized one of his little girls, a pretty child of nine years old, and scratched her arm several times with his dagger, calling out flous (money) at each stroke. At the water-port, Mr. Robertson joined his fainting wife, and the British Consul and his wife, with Mr. Lucas and Mr. Allnut. An old Moor never deserted the Consul’s family, “faithful among the faithless;” and a Jewess, much attached to the family, abandoned them only to return to those allied to her by the ties of blood.

Their situation was now still perilous, for, should they be discovered by the wild Berbers, they all might be murdered. This night, the 15th, was a most anxious one, and their apprehensions were dreadful. Dawn of day was fast approaching, and every hour’s delay rendered their condition more precarious. In this emergency, Mr. Lucas, who never once failed or lost his accustomed suavity and presence of mind amidst these imminent dangers, resolved upon communicating with the fleet by a most hazardous experiment. On his way from the town-gate to the water-port, he noticed some deal planks near the beach. The idea struck him of turning these into a raft, which, supporting him, could enable their party to communicate with the squadron. Mr. Lucas fetched the planks, and resolutely set to work. Taking three of them, and luckily finding a quantity of strong grass cordage, he arranged them in the water, and with some cross-pieces, bound the whole together; and, besides, having found two small pieces of board to serve him as paddles, he gallantly launched forth alone, and, in about an hour, effected his object, for he excited the attention of the French brig, ‘Canard,’ from which a boat came and took him on board.

The officers, being assured there were no Moors on guard at the batteries, and that the Berbers were wholly occupied in plundering the city, promptly and generously sent off a boat with Mr. Lucas to the rescue of the alarmed and trembling fugitives. The Prince de Joinville afterwards ordered them to be conveyed on board the ‘Warspite.’ The self-devotedness, sagacity, and indefatigable exertions of the excellent young man, Mr. Lucas, were above all encomiums, and, at the hands of the British Government, he deserved some especial mark of favour.

Poor Mrs. Levy (an English Jewess, married to a Maroquine Jew), and her family were left behind, and accompanied the rest of the miserable Jews and natives, to be maltreated, stripped naked, and, perhaps, murdered, like many poor Jews. Mr. Amrem Elmelek, the greatest native merchant and a Jew, died from fright. Carlos Bolelli, a Roman, perished during the sack of the city.

Mogador was left a heap of ruins, scarcely one house standing entire, and all tenantless. In the fine elegiac bulletin of the bombarding Prince, “Alas! for thee, Mogador! thy walls are riddled with bullets, and thy mosques of prayer blackened with fire!” (or something like these words.)



Tangier trades almost exclusively with Gibraltar, between which place and this, an active intercourse is constantly kept up.

The principal articles of importation into Tangier are, cotton goods of all kinds, cloth, silk-stuffs, velvets, copper, iron, steel, and hardware of every description; cochineal, indigo, and other dyes; tea, coffee, sulphur, paper, planks, looking-glasses, tin, thread, glass-beads, alum, playing-cards, incense, sarsaparilla, and rum.

The exports consist in hides, wax, wool, leeches, dates, almonds, oranges, and other fruit, bark, flax, durra, chick-peas, bird-seed, oxen and sheep, henna, and other dyes, woollen sashes, haicks, Moorish slippers, poultry, eggs, flour, &c.

The value of British and foreign goods imported into Tangier in 1856 was: British goods, £101,773 6s., foreign goods, £33,793.

The goods exported from Tangier during the same year was: For British ports, £63,580 10s., for foreign ports, £13,683.

The following is a statement of the number of British and foreign ships that entered and cleared from this port during the same year. Entered: British ships 203, the united tonnage of which was 10,883; foreign ships 110, the total tonnage of which was 4,780.

Cleared: British ships 207, the united tonnage of which was 10,934; foreign ships 110, the total tonnage of which was 4,780.

Three thousand head of cattle are annually exported, at a fixed duty of five dollars per head, to Gibraltar, for the use of that garrison, in conformity with the terms of special grants that have, from time to time, been made by the present Sultan and some of his predecessors. In addition to the above, about 2,000 head are, likewise, exported annually, for the same destination, at a higher rate of duty, varying from eight dollars to ten dollars per head. Gibraltar, also, draws from this place large supplies of poultry, eggs, flour, and other kinds of provisions.


From the port of Mogador are exported the richest articles the country produces, viz., almonds, sweet and bitter gums, wool, olive-oil, seeds of various kinds, as cummin, gingelen, aniseed; sheep-skins, calf, and goat-skins, ostrich-feathers, and occasionally maize.

The amount of exports in 1855 was: For British ports, £228,112 3s. 2d., for foreign ports, £55,965 13s. 1d.

The imports are Manchester cotton goods, which have entirely superseded the East India long cloths, formerly in universal use, blue salampores, prints, sugar, tea, coffee, Buenos Ayres slides, iron, steel, spices, drugs, nails, beads and deals, woollen cloth, cotton wool, and mirrors of small value, partly for consumption in the town, but chiefly for that of the interior, from Morocco and its environs, as far as Timbuctoo.

The amount of imports in 1855 was: British goods, £136,496 7s. 6d., foreign goods £31,222 11s. 5d.

The trade last year was greatly increased by the unusually large demand for olive-oil from all parts, and there is no doubt that, under a more liberal Government, the commerce might be developed to a vast extent.


The principal goods imported at Rabat are, alum, calico of different qualities, cinnamon, fine cloth, army cloth, cloves, copperas, cotton prints, raw cotton, sewing cotton, cutlery, dimity, domestics, earthenware, ginger, glass, handkerchiefs (silk and cotton), hardware, indigo, iron, linen, madder root, muslin, sugar (refined and raw), tea, and tin plate.

The before-mentioned articles are imported partly for consumption in Rabat and Sallee, and partly for transmission into the interior.

The value of different articles of produce exported at Rabat during the last five years amounts to £34,860 1s.

There can be no doubt that the imports and exports at Rabat would greatly increase, if the present high duties were reduced, and Government monopolies abolished. Large quantities of hides were exported before they were a Government monopoly: now the quantity exported is very inconsiderable.


Goods Imported. — Brown Domestics, called American White, muslins, raw cotton, cotton-bales, silk and cotton pocket-handkerchiefs; tea, coffee, sugars, iron, copperas, alum; many other articles imported, but in very small quantities.

A small portion of the importations is consumed at Mazagan and Azimore, but the major portions in the interior.

The amount of the leading goods exported in 1855 was:— Bales of wool, 6,410; almonds, 200 serons; grain, 642,930 fanegas.

No doubt the commerce of this port would be increased under better fiscal laws than those now established.

But the primary and immediate thing to be looked after is the wilful casting into the anchorage-ground of stone-ballast by foreigners. British masters are under control, but foreigners will persist, chiefly Sardinian masters.

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