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Travels in Morocco, Vol. 2. by James Richardson

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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.


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.


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 Elaeonderron
Argan.--Various trees and plants.--Mines.--The Sherb-Errech, or


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.--


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.


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.
Tagawost.--Tedsi Beneali.--Beni Sabih.--Tatta and Akka.--Mesah or
Assah.--Talent.--Shtouka.--General observations on the statistics of
population.--The Maroquine Sahara.


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.


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."


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.


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.




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 Kaed, 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, [1] 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

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 Misfuva. 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-a-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

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

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

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.


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, [2] 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) [3] 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

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; [4] 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
Graeberg de Hemso 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

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. [5]

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! [6]

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 beaute, grande princesse,
Porte les traits dont elle blesse
Jusques aux plus sauvages lieux:
L'Afrique avec vous capitule,
Et les conquetes 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. [7] 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

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

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 bona-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


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 Elaeonderron
Argan.--Various trees and plants.--Mines.--The Sherb-Errech, or

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

Another resident of this country gives the opposite or more favourable

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

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

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:" [8] 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 deg. and 40 deg. N. Latitude. Monsieur
Benou, in his "Description Geographique de l'Empire de Maroc" says
Morocco "comprend une superficie d'environ 5,775 myriametres carres, un
peu plus grande, par consequant, que celle de la France, qui equivaut a
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." [9]

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. [10]

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 Braber [11]), 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." [12] 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 Braber--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. [13] 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 Kaim 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 _bona-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 _bona-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

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 [14]
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 [15], 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

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. [16] 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.


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.--

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 [17]
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
(Draa), Tafilett, and a large portion of the Sahara, south-east of the

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 Graeberg, 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

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. [18] 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 [19].

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
Graeberg 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

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.

Penon 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, Penon 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 Sebat 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. [20] 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; [21] 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

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 Mamora, 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_
Graeberg 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 Lempriere, "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

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.

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