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Travels in Morocco, Vol. 2. by James Richardson

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

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

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

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

Dar-el-Beida (or Casa-Blanco, "white house,") is a small town, formerly
in possession of the Portuguese, who built it upon the ruins of Anfa or
Anafa, [22] which they destroyed in 1468. They, however, scarcely
finished it when they abandoned it in 1515. Dar-el-Beida is situate on
the borders of the fertile plains of the province of Shawiya, and has a
small port, formed by a river and a spacious bay on the Atlantic. The
Romans are said to have built the ancient Anafa, in whose time it was a
considerable place, but now it scarcely contains above a thousand
inhabitants, and some reduce them to two hundred. Sidi Mohammed
attempted this place, and the present Sultan endeavoured to follow up
these efforts. A little commerce with Europe is carried on here. The bay
will admit of vessels of large burden anchoring in safety, except when
the wind blows strong from the north-west. Casa Blanco is two days
journey from Rabat, and two from Azamor, or Azemmour, which is an
ancient and fine city of the province of Dukaila, built by the Amazigh
Berbers, in whose language it signifies "olives." It is situate upon a
hill, about one hundred feet above the sea, and distant half a mile from
the shore, not far from the mouth of the Wad-Omm-er-Rbia (or Omm-Erbegh)
on its southern bank, and is everywhere surrounded by a most fertile
soil. Azamor contains now about eight or nine hundred inhabitants, but
formerly was much more populated. The Shebbel salmon is the principal
commerce, and a source of immense profit to the town. The river is very
deep and rapid, so that the passage with boats is both difficult and
dangerous. It is frequently of a red colour, and charged with slime like
the Nile at the period of its inundations. The tide is felt five or six
leagues up the river, according to Chenier. Formerly, vessels of every
size entered the river, but now its mouth has a most difficult bar of
sand, preventing large vessels going up, like nearly all the Maroquine
ports situate on the mouths, or within the rivers.

Azamor was taken by the Portuguese under the command of the Duke of
Braganza in 1513 who strengthened it by fortifications, the walls of
which are still standing; but it was abandoned a century afterwards, the
Indies having opened a more lucrative field of enterprise than these
barren though honourable conquests on the Maroquine coast. This place is
half a day's journey, or about fourteen miles from Mazagran, _i. e_. the
above Amayeeghs, an extremely ancient and strong castle, erected on a
peninsula at the bottom of a spacious and excellent bay. It was rebuilt
by the Portuguese in 1506, who gave it the name of Castillo Real. The
site has been a centre of population from the remotest period, chiefly
Berbers, whose name it still bears. The Arabs, however, call it
El-Bureeja, i.e., "the citadel." The Portuguese abandoned it in 1769;
Mazagran was the last stronghold which they possessed in Morocco. The
town is well constructed, and has a wall twelve feet thick, strengthened
with bastions. There is a small port, or dock, on the north side of the
town, capable of admitting small vessels, and the roadstead is good,
where large vessels can anchor about two miles off the shore. Its
traffic is principally with Rabat, but there is also some export trade
to foreign parts. Its population is two or three hundred. [23] After
proceeding two days south-west, you arrive at Saffee, or properly
Asafee, called by the natives Asfee, and anciently Soffia or Saffia, is
a city of great antiquity, belonging to the province of Abda, and was
built by the Carthaginians near Cape Pantin. Its site lies between two
hills, in a valley which is exposed to frequent inundations. The
roadstead of Saffee is good and safe during summer, and its shipping
once enabled it to be the centre of European commerce on the Atlantic
coast. The population amounts to about one thousand, including a number
of miserable Jews. The walls of Saffee are massy and high. The
Portuguese captured this city in 1508, voluntarily abandoning it in
1641. The country around is not much cultivated, and presents melancholy
deserts; but there is still a quantity of corn grown. About forty miles
distant, S.E., is a large salt lake. Saffee is one and a half day's
journey from Mogador.

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

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


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

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

El-Kesar, or Al-Kesar, [24] styled also El-Kesue-Kesar, is so named and
distinguished because it owes its enlargement to the famous Sultan of
Fez, Almansor, who improved and beautified it about the year 1180, and
designed this city as a magazine and rendezvous of troops for the great
preparations he was making at the time for the conquest of Granada.
El-Kesar is in the province of the Gharb, and situate on the southern
bank of the Luccos; here is a deep and rapid stream, flowing W. 1/4 N.W.
The town is nearly as large as Tetuan, but the streets are dirty and
narrow, and many of the houses in a ruinous condition, This fortified
place was once adorned by some fifteen mosques, but only two or three
are now fit for service. The population does not exceed four or five
thousand souls, and some think this number over-estimated.

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

"Floating in a purple tide."

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

Mequinez, [25] in Arabic, Miknas (or Miknasa), is a royal residence, and
city of the province of Fez, situate upon a hill in the midst of a
well-watered and most pleasant town, blessed with a pure and serene air.
The city of Miknas is both large and finely built, of considerable
interest and of great antiquity. It was founded by the tribe of Berbers
Meknasab, a fraction of the Zenatah, in the middle of the tenth century,
and called Miknasat, hence is derived its present name. The modern town
is surrounded with a triple wall thirteen feet high and three thick,
enclosing a spacious area. This wall is mounted with batteries to awe
the Berbers of the neighbouring mountains. The population amounts to
about twenty thousand souls, (some say forty or fifty thousand) in which
are included about nine thousand Negro troops, constituting the greater
portion of the Imperial guard. Two thousand of these black troops are in
charge of the royal treasures, estimated at some fifty millions of
dollars, and always increasing. These treasures consist of jewels, bars
of gold and silver, and money in the two precious metals, the greater
part being Spanish and Mexican dollars.

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

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

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

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

From that period, however, Fez [26] dates its modern celebrity and rank
among the Mahometan capitals of the world, and especially as being the
second city of Islamism, and the "palace of the Mussulmen Princes of the
West." That the Spanish philologists should make Fut, of the Prophet
Nahum, to be the ancient capital of Fez, is not remarkable, considering
the numerous bands of emigrants, who, emerging from the coast, wandered
as far as the pillars of Hercules; and, besides, in a country like North
Africa, the theatre of so many revolutions, almost every noted city of
the present period has had its ancient form, from which it has been
successively changed.

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

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

This appears to be mere conjecture. [27] But the mosque the more
frequented and venerated, is that dedicated to the founder of the city,
Muley Edris, whose ashes repose within its sacred enclosure. So
excessive is this "hero-worship" for this great sultan, that the people
constantly invoke his name in their prayers instead of that of the
Deity. The mausoleum of this sacro-santo prince is inviolable and
unapproachable. The university of Fez was formally much celebrated, but
little of its learning now remains. Its once high-minded orthodox mulahs
are now succeeded by a fanatic and ignorant race of marabouts.
Nevertheless, the few _hommes de lettres_ found in Morocco are
congregated here, and the literature of the empire is concentrated in
this city. Seven large public schools are in full activity, besides
numbers of private seminaries of instruction. The low humour of the
talebs, and the fanaticism of the people, are unitedly preserved and
developed in this notorious doggerel couplet, universally diffused
throughout Morocco:--

_Ensara fee Senara
Elhoud fee Sefoud_

"Christians on the hook
Jews on the spit," or

"Let Christians be hooked,
And let Jews be cooked."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

"Horrendum incultumque specus."

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

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

Morocco is placed in Lat. 31 deg. 37" 31' N. and Long. 7 deg. 35" 30', W.

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

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

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

Seisouan, or Sousan, is the capital of the Rif province, situate also on
the borders of the province of the Habat, and by the sources of a little
river which runs into the Mediterranean, near Cape Mazari. The town is
small, but full of artizans and merchants. The country around is
fertile, being well irrigated with streams. Sousan is the most
beautifully picturesque of all the Atlas range.

Sofou, or Sofron, is a fine walled city, southeast of Fez, situate upon
the river Guizo; in a vast and well-watered plain near, are rich mines
of fossil salt.

Wazen, or Wazein, in the province of Azgar, and the region of the Gharb,
is a small city without Walls, celebrated for being the residence of
the High Priest, or Grand Marabout of the Empire. This title is
hereditary, and is now (or up to lately) possessed by the famous
Sidi-el-Haj-el-Araby-Ben-Ali, who, in his district, lives in a state of
nearly absolute independence, besides exercising great influence over
public affairs. This saint, or priest, has, however, a rival at Tedda.
The two popes together pretend to decide the fate of the Empire. The
districts where these Grand Marabouts reside, are without governors,
and the inhabitants pay no tribute into the imperial coffers, they are
ruled by their two priests under a species of theocracy. The Emperor
never attempts or dares to contest their privileges. Occasionally they
appear abroad, exciting the people, and declaiming against the vices of
the times. His Moorish Majesty then feels himself ill at ease, until
they retire to their sanctuaries, and employs all his arts to effect
the object, protesting that he will be wholly guided by their councils
in the future administration of the Empire. With this humiliation of
the Shereefs, they are satisfied, and kennel themselves into their

Zawiat-Muley-Driss, which means, retirement of our master, Lord Edris
(Enoch) and sometimes called Muley Edris, is a far famed city of the
province of Fez, and placed at the foot of the lofty mountains of
Terhoun, about twenty-eight miles from Fez, north-west, amidst a most
beautiful country, producing all the necessaries and luxuries of human
life. The site anciently called Tuilet, was perhaps also the Volubilis
of the ancients. Here is a sanctuary dedicated to the memory of Edris,
progenitor and founder of the dynasty of Edrisiti.

The population, given by Graeberg, is nine thousand, but this is
evidently exaggerated. Not far off, towards the west, are some
magnificent ruins of an ancient city, called Kesar Faraoun, or "Castle
of Pharoah."

Dubdu, called also Doubouton, is an ancient, large city, of the district
of Shaous, and once the residence of an independent prince, but now
fallen into decay on account of the sterility of its site, which is upon
the sides of a barren mountain. Dubdu is three days' journey southeast
of Fez, and one day from Taza, in the region of the Mulweeah. Taza is
the capital of the well-watered district of Haiaina, and one of the
finest cities in Morocco, in a most romantic situation, placed on a rock
which is shaped like an island, and in presence of the lofty mountains
of Zibel Medghara, to the south-west. Perhaps it is the Babba of the
ancients; a river runs round the town. The houses and streets are
spacious, and there is a large mosque. The air is pure, and provisions
are excellent. The population is estimated at ten or twelve thousand,
who are hospitable, and carry on a good deal of commerce with Tlemsen
and Fez. Taza is two days from Fez, and four from Oushda.

Oushda is the well-known frontier town, on the north-east, which
acquired some celebrity during the late war. It is enclosed by the walls
of its gardens, and is protected by a large fortress. The place contains
a population of from six hundred to one thousand Moors and Arabs. There
is a mosque, as well as three chapels, dedicated to Santous. The houses,
built of clay, are low and of a wretched appearance; the streets are
winding, and covered with flints. The fortress, where the Kaed resides,
is guarded in ordinary times by a dozen soldiers; but, were this force
increased, it could not be defended, in consequence of its dilapidated
condition. A spring of excellent water, at a little distance from
Oushda, keeps up the whole year round freshness and verdure in the
gardens, by means of irrigation. Cattle hereabouts is of fine quality.
Oushda is a species of oasis of the Desert of Angad, and the aridity of
the surrounding country makes these gardens appear delicious, melons,
olives, and figs being produced in abundance.

The distance between Tlemsen and Oushda is sixteen leagues, or about
sixteen hours' march for troops; Oushda is also four or five days from
Oran, and six days from Fez. The Desert commences beyond the Mulweeah,
at more than forty leagues from Tlemsen. Like the Algerian Angad, which
extends to the south of Tlemsen, it is of frightful sterility,
particularly in summer. In this season, one may march for six or eight
hours without finding any water. It is impossible to carry on military
operations in such a country during summer. On this account, Marshal
Bugeaud soon excavated Oushda and returned to the Tlemsen territory.

Aghla is a town, or rather large village, of the district of Fez, where
the late Muley Suleiman occasionally resided. It is situated along the
river Wad Vergha, in a spacious and well-cultivated district. A great
market of cattle, wool, and bees'-wax, is held in the neighbourhood. The
country abounds in lions; but, it is pretended, of such a cowardly race,
that a child can frighten them away. Hence the proverb addressed to a
pusillanimous individual, "You are as brave as the lions of Aghla, whose
tails the calves eat." The Arabs certainly do occasionally run after
lions with sticks, or throw stones at them, as we are accustomed to
throw stones at dogs.

Nakhila, _i.e._, "little palm," is a little town of the province of
Temsna, placed in the river Gueer; very ancient, and formerly rich and
thickly populated. A great mart, or souk, is annually held at this
place. It is the site of the ancient Occath.

Meshru Khaluf, _i.e._, "ford, or watering-place of the wild-boar," in
the district of the Beni-Miskeen, is a populated village, and situated
on the right bank of the Ovad Omm-Erbergh, lying on the route of many of
the chief cities. Here is the ford of Meshra Khaluf, forty-five feet
wide, from which the village derives its name.

On the map will be seen many places called Souk. The interior tribes
resort thither to purchase and exchange commodities. The market-places
form groups of villages. It is not a part of my plan to give any
particular description of them.

Second, those places distinguished in the kingdom of Morocco, including
Sous, Draha, and Tafilett.

Tefza, a Berber name, which, according to some, signifies "sand," and to
others, "a bundle of straw," is the capital of the province of Todla,
built by the aborigines on the slope of the Atlas, who surrounded it
with a high wall of sandstone (called, also, Tefza.) At two miles east
of this is the smaller town of Efza, which is a species of suburb,
divided from Tefza by the river Derna. The latter place is inhabited
certainly by Berbers, whose women are famous for their woollen works and
weaving. Tefza is also celebrated for its native black and white woollen
manufactures. The population of the two places is stated at upwards of
10,000, including 2,000 Jews.

Pitideb, or Sitideb, is another fine town in the neighbourhood, built by
the Amazirghs on the top of a high mountain. The inhabitants are
esteemed the most civilized of their nation, and governed by their own
elders and chiefs, they live in a state of almost republican
independence. Some good native manufactures are produced, and a large
commerce with strangers is carried on. The women are reputed as being
extremely fair and fascinating.

Ghuer, or Gheu, (War, _i.e._, "difficult?") is a citadel, or rather a
strong, massive rock, and the most inaccessible of all in Morocco,
forming a portion of the mountains of Jedla, near the sources of the Wad
Omm-Erbegh. This rocky fort is the residence of the supreme Amrgar, or
chief of the Amazirghs, who rendered himself renowned through the empire
by fighting a pitch-battle with the Imperial troops in 1819. Such chiefs
and tribes occasion the weakness of the interior; for, whenever the
Sultan has been embroiled with European Powers, these aboriginal
Amazirghs invariably seized the opportunity of avenging their wrongs and
ancient grudges. The Shereefs always compound with them, if they can,
these primitive tribes being so many centres of an _imperium imperio_,
or of revolt and disaffection.

Tijijet in the province of Dukkalah, situate on the left bank of the
river Omm-Erbegh, along the route from Fez to Morocco, is a small town,
but was formerly of considerable importance.

A famous market for grain is held here, which is attended by the tribe
of the Atlas: the country abounds in grain and cattle of the finest

Bulawan or Bou-el-Awan, "father of commodious ways or journeys," is a
small town of 300 houses, with an old castle, formerly a place of
consequence; and lying on an arm of the river Omm-Erbegh _en route_ from
Morocco to Salee and Mequinez and commanding the passage of the river.
It is 80 miles from Morocco, and 110 from Salee. On the opposite side of
the river, is the village of Taboulaunt, peopled mostly with Jews and

Soubeit is a very ancient city on the left bank of the Omm-Erbegh,
surrounded with walls, and situate twenty miles from El-Medina in a
mountainous region abounding with hares; it is inhabited by a tribe of
the same name, or probably Sbeita, which is also the name of a tribe
south of Tangier.

Meramer is a city built by the Goths on a fertile plain, near Mount
Beni-Megher, about fourteen miles east of Saffee, in the province of
Dukkala, and carrying on a great commerce in oil and grain.

El-Medina is a large walled populous city of merchants and artizans, and
capital of the district of Haskowra; the men are seditious, turbulent
and inhospitable; the women are reputed to be fair and pretty, but
disposed, when opportunity offers, to confer their favours on strangers.

There is another place four miles distant of nearly the same name.

Tagodast is another equally large and rich city of the province of
Haskowra crowning the heights of a lofty mountain surrounded by four
other mountains, but near a plain of six miles in extent, covered with
rich vegetation producing an immense quantity of Argan oil, and the
finest fruits.

This place contains about 7,000 inhabitants, who are a noble and
hospitable race. Besides, Argan oil, Tagodast is celebrated for its red
grapes, which are said to be as large as hen's eggs--the honey of
Tagodast is the finest in Africa. The inhabitants trade mostly with the

Dimenet or Demnet is a considerable town, almost entirely populated by
the Shelouhs and Caraaite Jews; it is situate upon the slopes of a
mountain of the same name, or Adimmei, in the district of Damnat,
fifteen miles distant from Wad Tescout, which falls into the Tensift.
The inhabitants are reputed to be of a bad and malignant character, but,
nevertheless, learned in Mussulman theology, and fond of disputing with
foreigners. Orthodoxy and morality are frequently enemies of one
another, whilst good-hearted and honest people are often hetherodox in
their opinions.

Aghmat, formerly a great and flourishing city and capital of the
province of Rhamna, built by the Berbers, and well fortified--is now
fallen into decay, and consists only of a miserable village inhabited by
some sixty families, among which are a few Jews--Aghmat lies at the foot
of Mount Atlas, on the road which conducts to Tafilett, near a river of
the same name, and in the midst of a fine country abounding in orchards
and vine-yards; Aghmat was the first capital of the Marabout dynasty.

Fronga is a town densely populated almost entirely by Shelouhs and Jews,
lying about fifteen miles from the Atlas range upon an immense plain
which produces the finest grain in Morocco.

Tednest, the ancient capital of the province of Shedmah, and built by
the Berbers, is deliciously placed upon a paridisical plain, and was
once the residence of the Shereefs. It contains a population of four
thousand souls, one thousand eight hundred being Jews occupied with
commerce, whilst the rest cultivate the land. This is a division of
labour amongst Mahometans and Israelites not unfrequent in North Africa.
But, as in Europe, the Jew is the trader, not the husbandman.

Tekoulet is a small and pretty town, rising a short distance from the
sea, by the mouth of the stream Dwira, in the province of Hhaha. The
water is reckoned the best in the province, and the people are honest
and friendly; the Jews inhabit one hundred houses.

Tesegdelt, is another city of the province of Hhaha, very large and
rich, perched high upon a mountain, and that fortified by nature. The
principal mosque is one of the finest in the empire.

Tagawost is a city, perhaps the most ancient, and indeed the largest of
the province of Sous. It is distant ten miles from the great river Sous,
and fifty from the Atlas. The suburbs are surrounded with huge blocks of
stone. Togawost contains a number of shops and manufactories of good
workmen, who are divided into three distinct classes of people, all
engaged in continual hostilities with one another. The men are, however,
honest and laborious, while the women are pretty and coquettish. People
believe St. Augustine, whom the Mahometans have dubbed a Marabout, was
born in this city. Their trade is with the Sahara and Timbuctoo.

Fedsi is another considerable city, anciently the capital of Sous,
reclining upon a large arm of the river Sous, amidst a fruitful soil,
and contains about fourteen thousand inhabitants, who are governed by
republican institutions. It is twenty miles E.N.E. of Taroudant.

Beneali is a town placed near to the source of the river Draha, in the
Atlas. It is the residence of the chief of the Berbers of Hadrar, on the
southern Atlas.

Beni-Sabih, Moussabal, or Draha, is the capital of the province of
Draha, and a small place, but populated and commercial. On the river of
the same name, was the Draha of ancient geography.

Tatta and Akka, are two towns or villages of the province of Draha,
situate on the southern confines of Morocco, and points of rendezvous
for the caravans in their route over the Great Desert.

Tatta is four days direct east from Akka, and placed in 28 deg. 3' lat. and
90 deg. 20' long. west of Paris. Akka consists of two hundred houses,
inhabited by Mussulmen, and fifty by Jews. The environs are highly
cultivated. Akka is two days east of Wadnoun, situate on a plain at the
foot of Gibel-Tizintit, and is placed in 28 deg. 3' lat. and 10 deg. 51' long.
west of Paris.

Messah, or Assah. Messa is, according to Graeberg, a walled city, built
by the Berbers, not far from the river Sous, and divided like nearly all
the cities of Sous, into three parts, or quarters, each inhabited by
respective classes of Shelouhs, Moors, and Jews. Cities are also divided
in this manner in the provinces of Guzzala and Draha. The sea on the
coast of Sous throws up a very fine quantity of amber. Male whales are
occasionally visitors here. The population is three thousand, but Mr.
Davidson's account differs materially. The town is named Assah, and
distant about two miles from the sea, there being a few scattered houses
on each side of the river, to within half a mile of the sea. The place
is of no importance, famed only for having near it a market on Tuesday,
to which many people resort. The population may be one hundred. Assah is
also the name of the district though which the Sous river flows. The
Bas-el-wad (or head of the river) is very properly the name of the upper
part of the river; when passing through Taroudant it takes the name of
Sous. Fifteen miles from Assah is the town of Aghoulon, containing about
six hundred people.

Talent, or Tilin, the difference only is the adding of the Berber
termination. The other consonants are the same, perhaps, as Mr. Davidson
incidentally mentions. It is a strong city, and capital of the province
of Sous-el-Aksa, or the extreme part of Sous. This province is sometimes
called Tesset, or Tissert. A portion of it is also denominated
Blad-Sidi-Hasham, and forms a free and quasi-independant state, founded
in 1810 by the Emir Hasham, son of the Shereef Ahmed Ben Mousa. This
prince was the bug-bear of Captain Riley. The district contains upwards
of twenty-five thousand Shelouhs and industrious Arabs. Talent is the
residence of the prince, and is situate on the declivity of a hill, not
far from the river Wad-el-Mesah, or Messa, and a mile from Ilekh, or
Ilirgh, a populous village, where there is a famous sanctuary, resorted
to by the Mahometans of the surrounding regions, of the name of Sidi
Hamed-ou-Mousa, (probably Ben Mousa). The singularity of this sacred
village is, that Jews constitute the majority of the population. But
they seem absolutely necessary to the very existence of the Mussulmen of
North Africa, who cannot live without them, or make profitable exchange
of the products of the soil, or of native industry, for European
articles of use and luxury.

Shtouka, or Stuka, is, according to some, a large town or village; or,
as stated by Davidson, a _district_. The fact is, many African districts
are called by the name of a principal town or village in them, and _vice
versa_. This place stands on the banks of the Wad-el-Mesah, and is
inhabited by some fifteen hundred Shelouhs, who are governed by a
Sheikh, nearly independent of Morocco.

On Talent and Shtouka, Mr. Davidson remarks. "There is no town called
Stuka; it is a district; none that I can find called Talent; there is
Tilin. The Mesah flows through Stuka, in which district are twenty
settlements, or rather towns, some of which are large. They are known in
general by the names of the Sheikhs who inhabit them. I stopped at
Sheikh Hamed's. Tilin was distant from this spot a day's journey in the
mountains towards the source of the river. If by Talent, Tissert is
meant, Oferen (a town) is distant six miles."

On the province of Sous generally, Don J.A. Conde has this note:--

"In this region (Sous) near the sea, is the temple erected in honour of
the prophet Jonas; it was there he was cast out of the belly of the
whale." This temple, says Assed Ifriki, is made of the bones of whales
which perish on this coast. A little further on, he alludes to the
breaking of horses, and being skilful in bodily exercises, for the Moors
and Numidians have always been renowned in that respect.

In the lesser and more remote towns, I have followed generally the
enumeration of Count Graeberg, but there are many other places on the
maps, with varieties of names or differences of position. Our geography
of the interior of Morocco, especially in the South, is still very
obscure, and I have only selected those towns and places of whose
present existence there is no question. My object, in the above
enumeration, has been simply to give the reader a proximate estimate of
the population and resources of this country. Of the strength and number
of the tribes of the interior, we know scarcely anything. The names of
the towns and villages of the South, so frequently beginning and ending
with T., sufficiently indicate the preponderance of the Berber
population, under the names of Shelouh or Amazirgh, whilst the great
error of writers has been to represent the Arabs as more numerous than
this aboriginal population.

Monsieur E. Renou, in his geographical description of the Empire of
Morocco (Vol. VIII. of the "Exploration Scientifique," &c.) foolishly
observes that there is no way of arriving at correct statistics of this
empire, except by comparing it with Algeria; and then remarks, which is
true enough, "Malheureusement, la population de l'Algerie n'est pas
encore bien connue." When, however, he asserts that the numbers of
population given by Jackson and Graeberg are gross, and almost
unpardonable exaggerations, given at hazard, I am obliged to agree with
him from the personal experience I had in Morocco, and these Barbary
countries generally.

Jackson makes the whole of the population to amount to almost fifteen
millions, or nearly two thirds more than it probably amounts to. Graeberg
estimates it at eight millions and a half. But how, or why, or
wherefore, such estimates are made is not so easy to determine. Certain
it is, that the whole number of cities which I have enumerated, scarcely
represent one million of inhabitants. But for those who like to see
something more definite in statistics, however exaggerated may be the
estimate, I shall give the more moderate calculations of Graeberg, those
of Jackson being beyond all rhyme or reason. Graeberg thus classifies and
estimates the population.

Amazirghs, Berbers, and Touaricks 2,300,000
Amazirghs, Shelouhs and Arabs 1,450,000
Arabs, mixed Moors, &c. 3,550,000
Arabs pure, Bedouins, &c. 740,000
Israelites, Rabbinists, and Caraites 339,500
Negroes, Fullans, and Mandingoes 120,000
Europeans and Christians 300
Renegades 200
Total 8,500,000

If two millions are deducted from this amount, perhaps the reader will
have something like a probable estimate of the population of Morocco. It
is hardly correct to classify Moors as mixed Arabs, many of them being
simply descendants of the aboriginal Amazirghs. I am quite sure there
are no Touaricks in the Empire of Morocco.

Of the Maroquine Sahara, I have only space to mention the interesting
cluster of oases of Figheegh, or Figuiq. Shaw mentions them as "a knot
of villagers," noted for their plantations of palm-trees, supplying the
western province of Algeria with dates. We have now more ample
information of Figheegh, finding this Saharan district to consist of an
agglomeration of twelve villages, the more considerable of which are
Maiz, counting eight hundred houses, El-Wadghir five hundred, and Zenega
twelve hundred. The others vary from one or two hundred houses. The
villages are more or less connected together, never farther apart than a
quarter of a league, and placed on the descent of Wal-el-Khalouf ("river
of the wild boar") whence water is procured for the gardens, containing
varieties of fruit-trees and abundance of date-palms, all hedged round
with prickly-pears. Madder-root and tobacco are also cultivated, besides
barley sufficient for consumption. The wheat is brought from the Teli.
The Wad-el-Khalouf is dry, except in winter, but its bed is bored with
inexhaustible wells, whose waters are distributed among the gardens by
means of a _clepsydra_, or a vessel which drops so much water in an
hour. The ancients measured time by the dropping of water, like the
falling of sand in the hour-glass.

Some of the houses in these villages have two stories, and are well
built; each place has its mosque, its school, its kady, and its sheikh,
and the whole agglomeration of oases is governed by a Sheikh Kebir,
appointed by the Sultan of Morocco. These Saharan villages are eternally
in strife with one another, and sometimes take up arms. On this account,
they are surrounded by crenated walls, defended by towers solidly built.
The immediate cause of discord here is water, that precious element of
all life in the desert. But the imaginations of the people are not
satisfied with this simple reason, and they are right, for the cause
lies deeply in the human heart. They say, however, their ancestors were
cursed by a Marabout, to punish them for their laxity in religion, and
this was his anathema, "God make you, until the day of judgment, like
wool-comber's cards, the one gnawing the other!"

Their wars, in fact, are most cruel, for they destroy the noble and
fruitful palms, which, by a tacit convention, are spared in other parts
of the Sahara when these quarrels proceed to bloodshed. They have,
besides, great tact in mining, and their reputation as miners has been a
long time established. But, happily, they are addicted to commerce and
various branches of industry, as well as war, having commercial
relations with Fez, Tafilett and Touat, and the people are, therefore,
generally prosperous.


London Jew-boys.--Excursion to the Emperor's garden, and the Argan
Forests.--Another interview with the Governor of Mogador on the
Anti-Slavery Address.--Opinion of the Moors on the Abolition of Slavery.

We have at times imported into Mogador a stray London Jew or so, of the
lower lemon-selling sort. These lads from the Minories, are highly
exasperated against the Moors for treating them with so much contempt.
Indeed, a high-spirited London Jew-boy will not stop at Mogador, though
the adult merchant will, to get money, for mankind often learn baseness
with age, and pass to it through a golden door. One of these Jew-boys,
being cursed by a man, naturally cursed him again, "an eye for an eye, a
tooth for a tooth." Mr. Willshire did not think so; and, on the
complaint of the Moor, the British Consul threw the British Jew-boy into
a Moorish prison, where he remained for some days. This is one more
instance of the disadvantage of having commercial consuls, where
everything is sacrificed to keep on good terms with government

A fire happened the other night, breaking out in the house of one of the
rich Jewish merchants; but it was soon extinguished, the houses being
built chiefly of mortar and stone, with very little wood. The Governor
got up, and went to the scene of "conflagration;" he cracked a few jokes
with the people and went home to bed. The Moors were sorry the fire did
not extend itself, wanting to have an opportunity of appropriating a few
of the merchant's goods.

I accompanied Mr. and Mrs. Elton, with other friends, to spend the day
in the pleasant valley of the Saneeates-Sultan, (Garden of the Emperor)
sometimes called Gharset-es-Sultan, three or four hours' ride south from
Mogador. The small river of Wad-el-Kesab, (overlooked by the village of
Deeabat, where watch-dogs were barking apparently all day long as well
as night), lay in our way, and was with difficulty forded, heavy rain
having fallen up the country, though none on the coast. These Barbary
streams are very deceptive, illustrating the metaphor of the book of
Job, "deceitful as a brook." To-day, their beds are perfectly dry;
to-morrow, a sheet of turbid water dashing and foaming to the ocean,
covers them and the country round, whilst the immediate cause is
concealed. Abrupt and sudden overflowings occur in all rivers having
their source in mountains. The book of Job may also refer to the
disappointment of Saharan travellers, who, on arriving weary and
thirsty, dying for water, at the stream of the Desert, find it dried up,
and so perish.

The country in the valley of the Emperor's garden offers nothing
remarkable. Bushes of underwood covering sandy mounds, a few palmettos
and Argan trees, in which wild doves fluttered and flew about, were all
that broke the monotony of a perfect waste. There were no cultivated
lands hereabouts, and I was told that a great part of Morocco presents
this desolate aspect. We visited, however, the celebrated Argan tree,
which the people pretend was planted by the lieutenant of the Prophet,
the mighty Okba, who, having spurred his horse in the roaring rebellious
surge of the Atlantic, wept and wailed before Heaven that there were no
more nations in whose heart to plunge his awful scimitar--so teaching
them the mercy of God! Alas! the old hoary tree, with a most peaceful
patriarchal look, seemed to belie the honour, stretching out its broad
sinewy arm to shelter a hundred people from the darting fires of an
African sun. A more noble object of inanimate nature is not to be
contemplated than a large and lofty branching tree; in its boughs and
leaves, endlessly varying, matted together and intersecting each other,
we see the palpable image of infinity. But in the dry and hot climate of
Africa, this tree is a luxury which cannot be appreciated in Europe.

We sat under its fresh shade awhile, gazing with security at the bright
fires of the sun, radiating over and through all visible nature. To
check our enthusiasm, we had strewn at our feet old broken bottles and
crockery, the _debris_ and classic relics of former visitors, who were
equally attentive to creature-comforts as to the grandeur of the Argan
monarch of the surrounding forest.

The Emperor's garden contains a well of water and a few fruit-trees, on
the trunk of one of which, a fine fig-tree, were carved, in durable
bark, the names of European visitors. Among the rest, that of a famous
_belle_, whose gallant worshippers had cut her name over all its broad
trunk, though they may have failed to cut their own on the plastic and
india-rubber tablet of the fair one's heart. This carving on the
fig-tree is the sum of all that Europeans have done in Morocco during
several ages. We rather adopt Moorish habits, and descend to their
animal gratifications than inculcate our own, or the intellectual
pleasures of Christian nations. European females brought up in this
country, few excepted, adopt with gusto the lascivious dances of the
Mooresses; and if this may be said of them, what may we not think of the
male class, who frequently throw off all restraint in the indulgence of
their passions?

While reposing under the umbrageous shade of the Argan tree, a Moor
related to us wondrous sprite and elfin tales of the forests of of these
wilds. At one period, the Argan woods were full of enchantresses, who
prevented good Mussulmen from saying their prayers, by dancing before
them in all their natural charms, to the sounds of melodious and
voluptuous music; and if a poor son of the Prophet, perchance, passed
this way at the stated times of prayer, he found it impossible to attend
to his devotions, being pestered to death by these naughty houries.

On another occasion, when it was high summer and the sun burnt every
leaf of the black Argan foliage to a yellow red, and whilst the arid
earth opened her mouth in horrid gaps, crystal springs of water were
seen to bubble forth from the bowels of the earth, and run in rills
among _parterres_ of roses and jessamines. The boughs of the Argan tree
also suddenly changed into _jereeds_ of the date-palm burdened with
luscious fruit; but, on weary travellers descending to slake their
parching thirst and refresh themselves, they fell headlong into the
gaping holes of the ground, and disappeared in the abyss of the dark
entrails of the world.

These Argan forests continued under the fearful ban of the enchantress
and wicked jinns, until a holy man was brought from the farthest desert
upon the back of a flying camel, who set free the spell-bound wood by
tying on each bewitched tree a small piece of cork bark on which was
inscribed the sacred name of the Deity. The legends of these haunted
Argan forests remind us of the enchanted wood of Tasso, whose
enchantment was dissolved by the gallant knight, Rinaldo, and which
enabled the Crusaders to procure wood for the machines of war to assault
and capture the Holy City. Two quotations will shew the universality and
permanence of superstition, begotten of human hopes and fears. Such is
the beautiful imagery devoted to superstitious musings, by the
illustrious bard:--

"While, like the rest, the knight expects to hear
Loud peals of thunder breaking on his ear,
A dulcet symphony his sense invades,
Of nymphs, or dryads, warbling through the shades.
Soft sighs the breeze, soft purls the silver rill.
The feathered choir the woods with music fill;
The tuneful swan in dying notes complains;
The mourning nightingale repeats her strains,
Timbrels and harps and human voices join,
And in one concert all the sounds combine!"

Then for the streamlets and flowerets--

"Where'er he treads, the earth her tribute pours,
In gushing springs, or voluntary flowers.
Here blooms the lily; there the fragrant rose;
Here spouts a fountain; there a riv'let flows;
From every spray the liquid manna trills,
And honey from the softening bark distills.
Again the strange the pleasing sound he hears,
Of plaints and music mingling in his ears;
Yet naught appears that mortal voice can frame.
Nor harp, nor timbrel, whence the music came."

I had another interview with the Governor on Anti-Slavery subjects. Mr.
Treppass accompanied me, and assisted to interpret. His Excellency was
very condescending, and even joked about his own slaves, asking me how
much I would give him for them. He then continued:--"I am happy to see
you before your departure. Whilst you have been here, I have heard
nothing of your conduct but what was just and proper. You are a quiet
and prudent man, [28] and I am sorry I could not assist you in your
business (abolition). The Sultan will be glad that you and I have not
quarrelled, but are friends." I then asked His Excellency if a person
were to come direct from our Government, with larger powers and
presents, he would have a better chance of success. The Governor
replied, "Not the least whatever. You have done all that could have been
done. We look at the subject, not the persons. The Sultan will never
listen to anybody on this subject. You may cut off his head, but cannot
convince him. If all the Christians of the world were to come and take
this country, then, of course, the Mussulmen would yield the question to
superior force, to the decree of God, but not till then."

Myself.--"How is it, Sidi, that the Bey of Tunis, and the Imaum of
Muscat have entered into engagements with Christians for the suppression
of slavery, they being Mussulmen?"

The Governor.--"I'll tell you; we Mussulmen are as bad as you Christians.
We are full of divisions and sects. Some of our people go to one mosque,
and will not go to another. They are foolish (_mahboul_). So it is with
the subject of slaves. Some are with you, but most are with me. The Bey
of Tunis, and the Imaum have a different opinion from us. They think
they are right, and we think we are right; but we are as good as they."

Myself.--"Sidi, does not the Koran encourage the abolition of slavery,
and command it as a duty to all pious Mussulmen?"

The Governor.--"No, it does not command it, but those who voluntarily
liberate their slaves are therein commended, and have the blessing of
God on them." [29]

Myself.--"Sidi, is it in my power to do anything for you in London?"

The Governor.--"Speak well of me, that is all. Tell your friends I did
all I could for you."

I may mention the opinions of the more respectable Moors, as to the
mission. They said, "If you had managed your mission well, the Sultan
would have received your Address; your Consul is slack; the French
Consul is more active, because he is not the Sultan's merchant. Our
Sultan must receive every person, even a beggar, because God receives
all. You would not have obtained the liberation of our slaves, but the
Sultan would have promised you everything. All that emanates from the
English people is good this we are certain of; but it would have been
better had you come with letters from the Bey of Tunis, shewing what had
been done in that country." Mr. Treppass is also of the opinion, that a
deputation of several persons, accompanied with some presents for the
Emperor and his ministers, would have produced a better effect, by
making an appearance of shew and authority, suitable to the ideas of the
people. [30] If coming direct from Government, it would have greater

He thinks, besides, there are a good number of Moors who are favourable
to abolition. Of the connexion between the east and Morocco, he says,
all the Barbary States look up to the Sultan of Constantinople as to a
great authority, and during the last few years, an active
correspondence, on religious matters, has been carried on between
Morocco and Constantinople, chiefly through a celebrated doctor of the
name of Yousef. If the Turkish Sultan, therefore, would _bona-fide_
abolish the slave-markets, I have no doubt this would produce an
impression in Morocco favourable to abolition.

During the time I was in Morocco, I distributed some Arabic tracts,
translated from the English by Professor Lee of Cambridge, on the
abolition of slavery. A few Arabic Bibles and Hebrew New Testaments were
also placed at my disposal for circulation by the Societies. I also
wrote an Anti-slavery circular to the British merchants of Mogador, on
Lord Brougham's Act.


El-Jereed, the Country of Dates.--Its hard soil.--Salt Lake. Its vast
extent.--Beautiful Palm-trees.--The Dates, a staple article of Food.--
Some Account of the Date-Palm.--Made of Culture.--Delicious Beverage.--
Tapping the Palm.--Meal formed from the Dates.--Baskets made of the
Branches of the Tree.--Poetry of the Palm.--Its Irrigation.--
Palm-Groves.--Collection of Tribute by the "Bey of the Camp."

El-Jereed, or Belad-el-Jereed, the country of dates, or literally, the
country of the palm branches, is a part of the Sahara, or the hot dry
country lying in the immediate vicinity of the Great Desert. Its
principal features of soil and climate offer nothing different from
other portions of the Sahara, or the Saharan regions of Algeria and
Morocco. The Belad-el-Jereed, therefore, may be properly called the
Tunisian Sahara. Shaw observes generally of Jereed:--"This part of the
country, and indeed the whole tract of land which lies between the
Atlantic and Egypt, is by most of the modern geographers, called
Biledulgerid, a name which they seem to have borrowed from
Bloid-el-Jeridde, of the Arabians, who merely signify the dry country;
though, if we except the Jeridde, a small portion of it which is situate
on this side of Lesser Syrtis, and belongs to the Tunisians, all the
rest of it is known by no other general name than the Sahara or Sahra,
among those Arabs, at least, whom I have conversed with."

Besides the grand natural feature of innumerable lofty and branching
palms, whose dark depending slender leaves, are depicted by the Arabian
poet as hanging gracefully like the dishevelled ringlets of a beautiful
woman in distress, there is the vast salt lake, El-Sibhah, or literally
the "salt plain," and called by some modern geographers the
Sibhah-el-Soudeeat, or Lake of Marks, from having certain marks made of
the trunks of the palm, to assist the caravans in their marches across
its monotonous samelike surface.

This vast lake, or salt plain, was divided by the ancients into three
parts, and denominated respectively, Palus Tritonis, Palus Pallas, and
Palus Libya. The first is derived from the river Triton, which according
to Ptolemy and other ancient geographers, is made to pass through this
lake in its course to the sea, but which is the present river Ghobs,
where it falls into the Mediterranean. The name Pallas is derived from
the tradition of Pallas having accompanied Sesostris in his Asiatic
expeditions with the Lybian women, and she may have been a native of the
Jereed. The lake measures from north-east to south-west about seventy
English miles, with a third of the breadth, but it is not one collection
of water; there being several dry places, like so many islands,
interspersed over its surface, depending however, as to their number and
extent upon the season of the year, and upon the quantity of water in
the particular season.

"At first, on crossing it," says a tourist, "the grass and bushes become
gradually scarcer; then follows a tract of sand, which some way beyond,
becomes in parts covered with a thin layer of salt. This, as you
advance, is thicker and more united; then we find it a compact and
unbroken mass or sheet, which can, however, be penetrated by a sword, or
other sharp instrument, and here it was found to be eleven inches in
depth; and finally in the centre, it became so hard, deep, and
concentrated, as to baffle all attempts at breaking its surface except
with a pickaxe. The horse's shoe, in fact, makes no impression upon its
stone-like surface."

The salt of the lake is considerably weaker than that of the sea, and
not adapted for preserving provisions, though its flavour is very
agreeable; it is not exported, nor made in any way an article of

The Jereed, from the existence in it of a few antiquities, such as
pieces of granite and marble, and occasionally a name or a classic
inscription, is proved to have been in the possession of the Romans, and
undoubtedly of the Carthaginians before them, who could have had no
difficulty in holding this flat and exposed country.

The trade and resources of this country consist principally in dates.
The quantity exported to other parts of the Regency, as well as to
foreign countries, where their fine quality is well known, is in round
numbers on an average from three to four thousand quintals per annum.
But in Jereed itself, twenty thousand people live six months of the year
entirely on dates.

"A great number of poles," says Sir Grenville Temple, "are arranged
across the rooms at the height of eight or nine feet from the ground,
and from these are suspended rich and large bunches of dates, which
compose the winter store of the inhabitants; and in one corner of the
room is one or more large earthern jars about six or seven feet high,
also filled with dates pressed close together, and at the bottom of the
jar is a cock, from which is drawn the juice in the form of a thick
luscious syrup. It is scarcely possible to imagine anything more
palatable than this 'sweet of sweets.'"

As we are writing of the country of dates, _par excellence_, I must
needs give some description of the palm, but it will be understood that
the information is Tunisian, or collected in Tunis, and may differ in
some respects from details collected in other parts of North Africa. The
date-palm abounds in the maritime as well as in the inland districts of
North Africa. They are usually propagated from shoots of full grown
trees, which if transplanted and taken care of, will yield in six or
seven years, whilst those raised immediately from the stone require
sixteen years to produce fruit.

The date-palm is male and female, or _dioecious_, and requires
communication, otherwise the fruit is dry and insipid. The age of the
palm, in its greatest vigour, is about thirty years, according to the
Tunisians, after planting, and will continue in vigour for seventy
years, bearing anually fifteen or twenty clusters of dates, each of them
fifteen or twenty pounds in weight; after this long period, they begin
gradually to wither away. But the Saharan Tripolitans will tell you that
the date-palm does not attain its age of full vigour till it reaches a
hundred years, and then will flourish two or or three centuries before
it withers!

The only culture requisite, is to be well watered at the roots once in
four or five days, and to have the lower boughs cut off when they begin
to droop and wither. Much rain, however, injures the dates, and we know
that the countries in which they flourish, are mostly without rain. In
many localities in Africa, date-palms can never be watered in the dry
season; it is nevertheless observable that generally wherever a palm
grows and thrives water may usually be obtained by boring. The sap, or
honey of the palm is a delicious and wholesome beverage when drunk quite
fresh; but if allowed to remain for some hours, it acquires a sharp
taste, something like cider, and becomes very intoxicating. It is called
poetically _leghma_, "tears" of the dates. When a tree is found not to
produce much fruit, the head is cut off, and a bowl or cavity scooped
out of the summit, in which the rising sap is collected, and this is
drunk in its pure state without any other preparation. If the tree be
not exhausted by draining, in five or six months it grows afresh; and,
at the end of two or three years, may again be cut or tapped. The palm
is capable of undergoing this operation five or six times, and it may be
easily known how often a tree has been cut by the number of rings of a
narrow diameter which are seen towards its summit; but, if the sap is
allowed to flow too long, it will perish entirely at the end of a year.
This sap, by distillation, produces an agreeable spirit called _Araky_
or _Arak_: from the fruit also the Jews distil a spirit called _bokka_,
or what we should call _toddy_. It is usual for persons of distinction
to entertain their friends upon a marriage, or the birth of a child,
with this pure sap, and a tree is usually tapped for the purpose. It
would appear that tapping the palm was known to the ancients, for a
cornelian _intaglio_ of Roman antiquity, has been found in the Jereed,
representing a tree in this state, and the jars in which the juice was

Dates are likewise dried in the sun, and reduced into a kind of meal,
which will keep for any length of time, and which thus becomes a most
valuable resource for travellers crossing the deserts, who frequently
make it their only food, moistening a handful of it with a little water.
Certain preparations are made of the male plant, to which medicinal
virtues are attributed; the younger leaves, eaten with salt, vinegar,
and oil, make an excellent salad. The heart of the tree, which lies at
top between the fruit branches, and weighs from ten to twenty pounds, is
eaten only on grand occasions, as those already mentioned, and possesses
a delicious flavour between that of a banana and a pine-apple.

The palm, besides these valuable uses to which it is applied,
superseding or supplying the place of all other vegetables to the tribes
of the Jereed, is, nevertheless, still useful for a great variety of
other purposes. The most beautiful baskets, and a hundred other
nick-nackery of the wickery sort are made of its branches; ropes are
made and vestments wove from the long fibres, and its wood, also, when
hardened by age, is used for building. Indeed, we may say, it is the all
and everything of the Jereed, and, as it is said of the camel and the
desert, _the palm is made for the Jereed, and the Jereed is made for the

The Mussulmen make out a complete case of piety and superstition in the
palm, and pretend that _they are made for the palm, and the palm is made
for them_, alleging that, as soon as the Turks conquered Constantinople,
the palm raised its graceful flowing head over the domes of the former
infidel city, whilst when the Moors evacuated Spain, the palm pined
away, and died. "God," adds the pious Mussulman, "has given us the palm;
amongst the Christians, it will not grow!" But the poetry of the palm is
an inseparable appendage in the North African landscape, and even town
scenery. The Moor and the Arab, whose minds are naturally imbued with
the great images of nature, so glowingly represented also in the sacred
leaves of the Koran, cannot imagine a mosque or the dome-roof of a
hermitage, without the dark leaf of the palm overshadowing it; but the
serenest, loveliest object on the face of the landscape is _the lonely
palm_, either thrown by chance on the brow of some savage hill or
planted by design to adorn some sacred spot of mother-earth.

I must still give some other information which I have omitted respecting
this extraordinary tree. And, after this, I further refer the reader to
a Tour in the Jereed of which some details are given in succeeding
pages. A palm-grove is really a beautiful object, and requires scarcely
less attention than a vineyard. The trees are generally planted in a
_quincunx_, or at times without any regular order; but at distances from
each other of four or five yards. The situation selected is mostly on
the banks of some stream or rivulet, running from the neighbouring
hills, and the more abundant the supply of water, the healthier the
plants and the finer the fruit. For this tree, which loves a warm
climate, and a sandy soil, is yet wonderfully improved by frequent
irrigation, and, singularly, the _quality_ of the water appears of
little consequence, being salt or sweet, or impregnated with nitre, as
in the Jereed.

Irrigation is performed in the spring, and through the whole summer. The
water is drawn by small channels from the stream to each individual
tree, around the stalk and root of which a little basin is made and
fenced round with clay, so that the water, when received, is detained
there until it soaks into the earth. (All irrigation is, indeed,
effected in this way.) As to the abundance of the plantations, the fruit
of one plantation alone producing fifteen hundred camels' loads of
dates, or four thousand five hundred quintals, three quintals to the
load, is not unfrequently sold for one thousand dollars. Besides the
Jereed, Tafilett, in Morocco, is a great date-country. Mr. Jackson says,
"We found the country covered with most magnificent plantations, and
extensive forests of the lofty date, exhibiting the most elegant and
picturesque appearance that nature on a plain surface can present to the
admiring eye. In these forests, there is no underwood, so that a
horseman may gallop through them without impediment."

Our readers will see, when they come to the Tour, that this description
of the palm-groves agrees entirely with that of Mr. Reade and Captain
Balfour. I have already mentioned that the palm is male and female, or,
as botanists say, _dioecious_; the Moors, however, pretend that the palm
in this respect is just like the human being. The _female_ palm alone
produces fruit and is cultivated, but the presence or vicinity of the
_male_ is required, and in many oriental countries there is a law that
those who own a palm-wood must have a certain number of _male_ plants in
proportion. In Barbary they seem to trust to chance, relying on the male
plants which grow wild in the Desert. They hang and shake them over the
female plants, usually in February or March. Koempfe says, that the male
flowers, if plucked when ripe, and cautiously dried, will even, in this
state, perform their office, though kept to the following year.

The Jereed is a very important portion of the Tunisian territory,
Government deriving a large revenue from its inhabitants. It is visited
every year by the "Bey of the Camp," who administers affairs in this
country as a sovereign; and who, indeed, is heir-apparent to the
Tunisian throne. Immediately on the decease of the reigning Bey, the
"Bey of the Camp" occupies the hereditary beylick, and nominates his
successor to the camp and the throne, usually the eldest of the other
members of the royal family, the beylick not being transmitted from
father to son, only on the principle of age. At least, this has been the
general rule of succession for many years.

The duties of the "Bey of the Camp" is to visit with a "flying-camp,"
for the purpose of collecting tribute, the two circuits or divisions of
the Regency.

I now introduce to the reader the narrative of a Tour to the Jereed,
extracted from the notebooks of the tourists, together with various
observations of my own interspersed, and some additional account of
Toser, Nefta, and Ghafsa.


Tour in the Jereed of Captain Balfour and Mr. Reade.--Sidi Mohammed.--
Plain of Manouba.--Tunis.--Tfeefleeah.--The Bastinado.--Turkish
Infantry.--Kairwan.--Sidi Amour Abeda.--Saints.--A French Spy--
Administration of Justice.--The Bey's presents.--The Hobara.--Ghafsa.
Hot streams containing Fish.--Snakes.--Incantation.--Moorish Village.

The tourists were Captain Balfour, of the 88th Regiment, and Mr. Richard
Reade, eldest son of Sir Thomas Reade.

The morning before starting from Tunis they went to the Bardo to pay
their respects to Sidi Mohammed, "Bey of the Camp," and to thank him for
his condescending kindness in taking them with him to the Jereed. The
Bey told him to send their baggage to Giovanni, "Guarda-pipa," which
they did in the evening.

At nine A. M. Sidi Mohammed left the Bardo under a salute from the guns,
one of the wads of which nearly hit Captain Balfour on the head. The Bey
proceeded across the plain of Manouba, mounted on a beautiful bay
charger, in front of the colours, towards Beereen, the greater part of
the troops of the expedition following, whilst the entire plain was
covered with baggage-camels, horses, mules, and detached parties of
attendants, in glorious confusion.

The force of the camp consisted of--Mamelukes
of the Seraglio, superbly mounted 20

Mamelukes of the Skeefah, or those who
guard the entrance of the Bey's
palace, or tent, and are all Levantines 20

Boabs, another sort of guard of the Bey,
who are always about the Bey's
tent, and must be of this country 20

Turkish Infantry 300
Spahis, o. mounted Arab guards 300
Camp followers (Arabs) 2,000
Total 2,660

This is certainly not a large force, but in several places of the march
they were joined for a short time by additional Arab troops, a sort of
honorary welcome for the Bey. As they proceeded, the force of the
camp-followers increased; but, in returning, it gradually decreased, the
parties going home to their respective tribes. We may notice the total
absence of any of the new corps, the Nithalm. This may have been to
avoid exciting the prejudices of the people; however, the smallness of
the force shows that the districts of the Jereed are well-affected. The
summer camp to Beja has a somewhat larger force, the Arabs of that and
other neighbouring districts not being so loyal to the Government.

Besides the above-named troops, there were two pieces of artillery. The
band attendant on these troops consisted of two or three flageolets,
kettle-drums, and trumpets made of cow-horns, which, according to the
report of our tourists, when in full play produced the most diabolical

After a ride of about three hours, we pitched our tents at Beereen.
Through the whole of the route we marched on an average of about four
miles per hour, the horses, camels, &c., walking at a good pace. The
Turkish infantry always came up about two hours after the mounted
troops. Immediately on the tents being pitched, we went to pay our
respects to the Bey, accompanied by Giovanni, "Guardapipa," as
interpreter. His Highness received us very affably, and bade us ask for
anything we wanted. Afterwards, we took some luncheon with the Bey's
doctor, Signore Nunez Vaise, a Tuscan Jew, of whose kindness during our
whole tour it is impossible to speak too highly. The doctor had with him
an assistant, and tent to himself. Haj Kador, Sidi Shakeer, and several
other Moors, were of our luncheon-party, which was a very merry one.

About half-way to Beereen, the Bey stopped at a marabet, a small square
white house, with a dome roof, to pay his devotions to a great Marabout,
or saint, and to ask his parting blessing on the expedition. They told
us to go on, and joined us soon after. Two hours after us, the Turkish
Agha arrived, accompanied with colours, music, and some thirty men. The
Bey received the venerable old gentleman under an immense tent in the
shape of an umbrella, surrounded with his mamelukes and officers of
state. After their meeting and saluting, three guns were fired. The Agha
was saluted every day in the same manner, as he came up with his
infantry after us. We retired for the night at about eight o'clock.

The form of the whole camp, when pitched, consisting of about a dozen
very large tents, was as follows:--The Bey's tent in the centre, which
was surrounded at a distance of about forty feet with those of the
Bash-Hamba [31] of the Arabs, the Agha of the Arabs, the Sahab-el-Tabah,
Haznadar or treasurer, the Bash-Boab, and that of the English tourists;
then further off were the tents of the Katibs and Bash-Katib, the
Bash-Hamba of the Turks, the doctors, and the domestics of the Bey, with
the cookery establishment. Among the attendants of the Bey were the
"guarda-pipa," guard of the pipe, "guarda-fusile," guard of the gun,
"guarda-cafe," guard of the coffee, "guarda-scarpe," guard of the shoes,
[32] and "guarda-acqua," guard of water. A man followed the Bey about
holding in his hand a golden cup, and leading a mule, having two paniers
on its back full of water, which was brought from Tunis by camels. There
was also a story-teller, who entertained the Bey every night with the
most extraordinary stories, some of them frightfully absurd. The Bey did
not smoke--a thing extraordinary, as nearly all men smoke in Tunis. His
Highness always dined alone. None of his ladies ever accompany him in
these expeditions.

The tents had in them from twenty to fifty men each. Our tent consisted
of our two selves, a Boab to guard the baggage, two Arabs to tend the
horses and camels, and another Moor of all work, besides Captain
Balfour's Maltese, called Michael. We had three camels for our baggage.
The first night we found very cold; but having abundance of clothing, we
slept soundly, in spite of the perpetual wild shoutings of the Arab
sentries, stationed round the camp, the roaring and grumbling of the
camels, the neighing and coughing of the horses, all doing their utmost
to drive away slumber from our eyelids.

We halted on the morrow, which gave us an opportunity of getting a few
things from Tunis which we had neglected to bring. But before returning,
we ate some sweetmeats sent us by the guarda-pipa, with a cup of coffee.
The guarda-pipa is also a dragoman interpreter of his Highness, and a
Genoese by birth, but now a renegade. In this country they do not know
what a good breakfast is; they take a cup of coffee in the morning
early, and wait till twelve or one o'clock, when they take a hearty
meal, and then sup in the evening, late or early, according to the
season. Before returning to Tunis, we called upon his Highness, and told
him our object. We afterwards called to see the Bey every morning, to
pay our respects to him, as was befitting on these occasions. His
Highness entered into the most familiar conversation with us.

On coming back again from Tunis, it rained hard, which continued all
night. In the evening the welcome news was proclaimed that the tents
would not be struck until daylight: previously, the camp was always
struck at 3 o'clock, about three hours before daylight, which gave rise
to great confusion, besides being without shelter during the coldest
part of the night (three hours before sun-rise) was a very serious trial
for the health of the men. The reason, however, was, to enable the
camels to get up to the new encampment; their progress, though regular
and continual, is very slow.

Of a morning the music played off the _reveil_ an hour before sunrise.
The camp presented an animated appearance, with the striking of tents,
packing camels, mounting horses, &c. We paid our respects to his
Highness, who was sitting in an Arab tent, his own being down. The music
was incessantly grating upon our ears, but was in harmony with the
irregular marching and movements of the Arabs, one of them occasionally
rushing out of the line of march, charging, wheeling about, firing,
reloading, shouting furiously, and making the air ring with his cries.

The order of march was as follows:--The Bey mounts, and, going along
about one hundred yards from the spot, he salutes the Arab guards, who
follow behind him; then, about five or six miles further, overtaking the
Turkish soldiers, who, on his coming up, are drawn up on each side of
the road, his Highness salutes them; and then afterwards the
water-carriers are saluted, being most important personages in the dry
countries of this circuit, and last of all, the gunners; after all
which, the Bey sends forward a mameluke, who returns with the Commander,
or Agha of the Arabs, to his Highness. This done, the Bey gallops off to
the right or left from the line of march, on whichsoever side is most
game--the Bey going every day to shoot, whilst the Agha takes his place
and marches to the next halting-place.

One morning the Bey shot two partridges while on horseback. "In fact,"
says Mr. Rade, "he is the best shot on horseback I ever saw--he seldom
missed his game." As Captain B. was riding along with the doctor, they
remarked a cannon-ball among some ruins; but, being told a saint was
buried there, they got out of the way as quick as if a deadly serpent
had been discovered. Stretching away to the left, we saw a portion of
the remains of the Carthaginian aqueduct. The march was only from six to
eight miles, and the encampment at Tfeefleeah. At day-break, at noon, at
3 o'clock, P.M. and at sunset, the Muezzen called from outside and near
the door of the Bey's tent the hour of prayer. An aide-de-camp also
proclaimed, at the same place, whether we should halt, or march, on the
morrow, The Arabs consider fat dogs a great delicacy, and kill and eat
them whenever they can lay hands upon them. Captain B. was fortunate in
not bringing his fat pointer, otherwise he would have lost him. The
Arabs eat also foxes and wolves, and many animals of the chase not
partaken of by us. The French in Algiers kill all the fat cats, and turn
them into hares by dexterous cooking. The mornings and evenings we found
cold, but mid-day very hot and sultry.

We left Tfeefleeah early, and went in search of wild-boar; found only
their tracks, but saw plenty of partridges and hares; the ground being
covered with brushwood and heath, we soonae lost sight of them. The Arabs
were seen on a sudden running and galloping in all directions, shouting
and pointing to a hill, when a huge beast was put up, bristling and
bellowing, which turned out to be a hyaena. He was shot by a mameluke, Si
Smyle, and fell in a thicket, wallowing in his blood. He was a fine
fellow, and had an immense bead, like a bull-dog. They put him on a
mule, and carried him in triumph to the Bey. When R. arrived at the
camp, the Bey sent him the skin and the head as a present, begging that
he would not eat the brain. There is a superstitious belief among the
Moors that, if a person eats the brain of a hyaena he immediately becomes
mad. The hyaena is not the savage beast commonly represented; he rarely
attacks any person, and becomes untameably ferocious by being only
chained up. He is principally remarkable for his stupidity when at large
in the woods. The animal abounds in the forests of the Morocco Atlas.
Our tourists saw no lions _en route_, or in the Jereed; the lion does
not like the sandy and open country of the plain. Very thick brushwood,
and ground broken with rocks, like the ravines of the Atlas, are his

Several Arabs were flogged for having stolen the barley of which they
had charge. The bastinado was inflicted by two inferior mamelukes,
standing one on each side of the culprit, who had his hands and his feet
tied behind him. In general, it may be said that bastinadoing in Tunis
is a matter of form, many of the strokes ordered to be inflicted being
never performed, and those given being so many taps or scratches. It is
very rare to see a man bleeding from the bastinado; I (the author) never
did. It is merely threatened as a terror; whilst it is not to be
overlooked, that the soles of the feet of Arabs, and the lower classes
in this country, are like iron, from the constant habit of going
barefoot upon the sharpest stones. Severe punishments of any kind are
rarely inflicted in Tunis.

The country was nearly all flat desert, with scarcely an inhabitant to
dissipate its savage appearance. The women of a few Arab horsehair tents
(waterproof when in good repair) saluted us as we passed with their
shrill looloos. There appeared a great want of water. We passed the
ruins of several towns and other remains. The camels were always driven
into camp at sunset, and hobbled along, their two fore-legs being tied,
or one of them being tied up to the knee, by which the poor animals are
made to cut a more melancholy figure than with their usual awkward gait
and moody character.

We continued our march about ten miles in nearly a southern direction,
and encamped at a place called Heelet-el-Gazlen.

One morning shortly after starting, we came to a small stream with very
high and precipitous banks, over which one arch of a fine bridge
remained, but the other being wanting, we had to make a considerable
_detour_ before we could cross; the carriages had still greater
difficulty. Here we have an almost inexcusable instance of the
disinclination of the Moors to repairs, for had the stream been swollen,
the camp would have been obliged to make a round-about march by the way
of Hamman-el-Enf, of some thirty miles; and all for the want of an arch
which would scarcely cost a thousand piastres! This stream or river is
the same as that which passes near Hamman-el-Enf, and the extensive
plain through which it meanders is well cultivated, with douwars, or
circular villages of the Arabs dotted about. We saw hares, but, the
ground being difficult running for the dogs, we caught but few. Bevies
of partridges got up, but we were unprepared for them. In the evening,
the Bey sent a present of a very fine bay horse to R. Marched about ten
miles, and halted at Ben Sayden.

The following day after starting, we left the line of march to shoot;
saw one boar, plenty of foxes and wolves, and we put up another hyaena,
but the bag consisted principally of partridges, the red-legged
partridge or _perdix ruffa_, killed, by the Bey, who is a dead-shot. Our
ride lay among hills; there was very little water, which accounted for
the few inhabitants. After dinner, went out shooting near Jebanah, and
bagged a few partridges, but, not returning before the sun went down,
the Bey sent a dozen fellows bawling out our names, fearing some harm
had befallen us.

On leaving the hills, there lay stretched at our feet a boundless plain,
on which is situate Kairwan, extending also to Susa, and leagues around.
North Africa, is a country of hills and plains--such was the case along
our entire route. We saw a large herd of gazelles feeding, as well as
several single ones, but they have the speed of the greyhound, so we did
not grace our supper with any. Saw several birds called Kader, about the
size of a partridge, but we shot none. A good many hares and partridges
either crossed our path or whirred over our heads. Passed over a running
stream called Zebharah, where we saw the remains of an ancient bridge,
but in the place where the baggage went over there was a fine one in
good repair. Here was a small dome-topped chapel, called Sidi Farhat, in
which are laid the ashes of a saint. We had seen many such in the hills;
indeed these gubbah abound all over Barbary, and are placed more
frequently on elevations. We noticed particularly the 300 Turkish
infantry; they were irregulars with a vengeance, though regulars
compared to the Arabs. On overtaking them, they drew up on each side,
and some dozen of them kept up a running sham fight with their swords
and small wooden and metal shields before the Bey. The officers kissed
the hand of the Bey, and his treasurer tipped their band, for so we must
call their tumtums and squeaking-pipes. This ceremony took place every
morning, and they were received in the camp with all the honours. They
kept guard during the night, and did all they could to keep us awake by
their eternal cry of "Alleya," which means, "Be off," or "Keep your
distance!" These troops had not been recruited for eight years, and will
soon die off; and yet we see that the Bey treats these remnants of the
once formidable Turkish Tunisian Janissaries with great respect; of
course, in an affair with the Arabs, their fidelity to the Bey would be
most unshaken.

As we journeyed onward, we saw much less vegetation and very little
cultivation. An immense plain lay before and around us, in which,
however, there was some undulating ground. Passed a good stone bridge;
were supplied with water near a large Arab encampment, around which were
many droves of camels; turned up several hares, partridges, and
gazelles. One of the last gave us a good chase, but the greyhounds
caught him; in the first half mile, he certainly beat them by a good
half of the instance, but having taken a turn which enabled the dogs to
make a short cut, and being blown, they pulled the swift delicate
creature savagely down. There were several good courses after hares,
though her pursuers gave puss no fair play, firing at her before the
dogs and heading her in every possible way.

Rode to Kairwan. Few Christians arrive in this city. Prince Pueckler
Muskau was the fourth when he visited it in 1835. The town is clean, but
many houses are in ruins. The greater part of a regiment of the Nitham
are quartered here. The famous mosque, of course, we were not allowed to
enter, but many of its marble pillars and other ornaments, we heard from
Giovanni, were the spoils of Christian churches and Pagan temples. The
house of the Kaed was a good specimen of dwellings in this country.
Going along a street, we were greatly surprised at seeing our
attendants, among whom were Si Smyle (a very intelligent and learned
man, and who taught Mr. R. Arabic during the tour) and the Bash-Boab,
jumping off their horses, and, running up to an old-looking Moor, and
then seizing his hand, kissed it; and for some time they would not leave
the ragged ruffian-like saint.

At last, having joined us, they said he was Sidi Amour Abeda, a man of
exceeding sanctity, and that if the Bey had met the saint, his Highness
must have done the same. The saint accompanied us to the Kaed's house;
and, on entering, we saw the old Kaed himself, who was ill and weeping
on account of the arrival of his son, the commander of a portion of the
guards of the camp. We went up stairs, and sat down to some sweetmeats
which had been prepared for us, together with Si Smyle and Hamda, but,
as we were commencing, the saint, who was present, laid hold of the
sweets with his hands, and blessed them, mumbling _bismillas_ [33] and
other jargon. We afterwards saw a little house, in course of erection by
order of the Bey, where the remains of Sidi Amour Abeda are to be
deposited at his death, so that the old gentleman can have the pleasure
of visiting his future burial-place. In this city, a lineal descendant
of the Prophet, and a lucky guesser in the way of divining, are the
essential ingredients in the composition of a Moorish saint. Saints of
one order or another are as thick here as ordinary priests in Malta,
whom the late facetious Major Wright was accustomed to call
_crows_--from their black dress--but better, cormorants, as agreeing
with their habits of fleecing the poor people. Sidi Amour Abeda's hands
ought to be lily-white, for every one who meets him kisses them with
devout and slavering obeisance. The renegade doctor of the Bey told us
that the old dervish now in question would like nothing better than to
see us English infidels burnt alive. Fanaticism seems to be the native
growth of the human heart!

We afterwards visited the Jabeah, or well, which they show as a
curiosity, as also the camel which turns round the buckets and brings up
the water, being all sanctified, like the wells of Mecca, and the
drinking of the waters forming an indispensable part of the pilgrimage
to all holy Mohammedan cities.

We returned to the Kaed's, and sat down to a capital dinner. The old
Governor was a great fanatic, and when R. ran up to shake hands with
him, the mamelukes stopped R. for fear he might be insulted. We visited
the fortress, which was in course of repair, our _cicerone_ being Sidi
Reschid, an artillery-officer. We then returned to the camp, and found
Santa Maria, the French officer, had arrived, who, during the tour,
employed himself in taking sketches and making scientific observations.
He was evidently a French spy on the resources of the Bey. It was given
out, however, that he was employed to draw charts of Algiers, Tunis, and
Tripoli, by his Government. He endeavoured to make himself as unpopular
as some persons try to make themselves agreeable, being very jealous of
us, and every little thing that we had he used to cry for it and beg it
like a child, sometimes actually going to the Bey's tent in person, and
asking his Highness for the things which he saw had been given to us.

We went to see his Highness administer justice, which he always did,
morning and evening, whilst at Kairwan. There were many plaintiffs, but
no defendants brought up; most of them were turned out in a very summary
manner. To some, orders were given, which we supposed enabled them to
obtain redress; others were referred to the kadys and chiefs. The Bey,
being in want of camels, parties were sent out in search of them, who
drove in all the finest that they could find, which were then marked
("taba,") _a la Bey_, and immediately became the Bey's property. It was
a curious sight to see the poor animals thrown over, and the red-hot
iron put to their legs, amidst the cries and curses of their late
different owners--all which were not in the least attended to, the wants
of the Bey, or Government, being superior on such occasions of
necessity, or what not, to all complaint, law, or justice. About two
hundred changed hands in this way.

The Bey of Tunis has an immense number of camels which he farms out. He
has overseers in certain districts, to whom he gives so many camels;
these let them out to other persons for mills and agricultural labours,
at so much per head. The overseers annually render an account of them to
Government, and, when called upon, supply the number required. At this
time, owing to a disorder which had caused a great mortality, camels had
been very scarce, and this was the reason of the extensive seizure just
mentioned. If an Arab commits manslaughter, his tribe is mulcted
thirty-three camels; and, as the crime is rather common in the Bedouin
districts, the Bey's acquisition in this way is considerable. A few
years ago, a Sicilian nobleman exported from Tunis to Sicily some eighty
camels, the duty for which the Bey remitted. The camel, if ever so
healthy and thriving in the islands of the Mediterranean, could never
supersede the labour of mules. The camel is only useful where there are
vast plains to travel, as in North Africa, Arabia, Persia, Australasia,
and some parts of the East Indies.

A hundred more Arabs joined, who passed in a single file before the Bey
for inspection: they came rushing into the camp by twos and threes,
firing off their long guns.

We crossed large plains, over which ran troops of gazelles, and had many
gallops after them; but they go much faster than the greyhound, and,
unless headed and bullied, there is little chance of taking them, except
found asleep. On coming on a troop unawares, R. shot one, which the dogs
caught. R. went up afterwards to cut its throat _a la Moresque_, when he
was insulted by an Arab. R. noticed the fellow, and afterwards told the
Bey, who instantly ordered him to receive two hundred bastinadoes, and
to be put in chains; but, just as they had begun to whip him, R. went up
and generously begged him off. This is the end of most bastinados in the
country. We passed a stream which they said had swallowed up some
persons, and was very dangerous. A muddy stream, they add, is often very
fatal to travellers. The Bey surprised Captain B. by sending him a
handsome black horse as a present; he also sent a grey one to the
Frenchman, who, when complaining of it, saying that it was a bad one, to
the Bey's mamelukes, his Highness sent for it, and gave him another.
Under such circumstances, Saint Mary ought to have looked very foolish.
The Bey shot a kader, a handsome bird, rather larger than a partridge,
with black wings, and flies like a plover. We had a large
hawking-establishment with us, some twenty birds, very fine falconry,
which sometimes carried off hares, and even attacked young goat-kids.
Marched to a place called Gilma, near which the road passes through an
ancient town. Shaw says, "Gilma, the ancient Cilma, or Oppidum
Chilmanenense, is six leagues to the east-south-east of Spaitla. We have
here the remains of a large city, with the area of a temple, and some
other fragments of large buildings. According to the tradition of the
Arabs, this place received its name in consequence of a miracle
pretended to have been wrought by one of their marabouts, in bringing
hither the river of Spaitla, after it was lost underground. For Ja Elma
signifies, in their language, 'The water comes!' an expression we are to
imagine of surprise at the arrival of the stream."

During our tour, the mornings were generally cold. We proceeded about
twenty miles, and encamped near a place called Wady Tuckah. This river
comes from the hills about three or four miles off, and when the camp
arrives at Kairwan, the Bey sends an order to the Arabs of the district
to let the water run down to the place where the tents are pitched. When
we arrived, the water had just come. We saw warrens of hares, and caught
many with the dogs. Troops of gazelles were also surprised; one was
fired at, and went off scampering on three legs. The hawks caught a
beautiful bird called hobara, or habary, [34] about the size of the
small hen-turkey, lily white on the back, light brown brindle, tuft of
long white feathers on its head, and ruffle of long black feathers,
which they stretch out at pleasure, with a large grey eye. A curious
prickly plant grows about here, something like a dwarf broom, if its
leaves were sharp thorns, it is called Kardert. The Bey made R. a
present of the hobara.

One day three gazelles were caught, and also a fox, by R.'s greyhound,
which behaved extremely well, and left the other dogs in the rear, every
now and then attacking him in the hind-quarters. Saw seven or eight
hobaras, but too windy for the hawks to be flown. Captain B. chased a
gazelle himself, and had the good fortune to catch him. As soon as an
Arab secures an animal, he immediately cuts its throat, repeating
"Bismillah, Allah Akbar," "In the name (of God), God is great."

We marched seventeen miles to a place called Aly Ben Own, the name of
the saint buried close by. The plain we crossed must have been once
thickly inhabited, as there were many remains. We were joined by more
Arabs, and our force continued to augment. The Bey, being in want of
horses, the same system of seizing them was adopted as with the camels.

One splendid morning that broke over our encampment we had an
opportunity of witnessing Africa's most gorgeous scenery. [35] Plenty of
hobaras; they fly like a goose. The hawks took two or three of them,
also some hares. The poor hare does not know what to make of the hawks;
after a little running, it gives itself up for death, only first dodging
out of the bird's pounce, or hiding itself in a tuft of grass or a bush,
but which it is not long allowed to do, for the Arabs soon drive it out
from its vain retreat. The hawk, when he seizes the hare with one claw,
catches hold of any tuft of grass or irregularity of the ground with the
other; a strong leather strap is also fastened from one leg to the
other, to prevent them from being pulled open or strained. We came upon
a herd of small deer, called ebba, which are a little larger than the
gazelle, but they soon bounded beyond our pursuit, leaving us scarcely
time to admire their delicate make and unapproachable speed.

We crossed a range of hills into another plain, at the extremity of
which lies Ghafsa. The surface was naked, with the exception of tufts of
strong, rushy grass, almost a sure indication of hares, and of which we
started a great number. We saw another description of bird, called
rhaad, [36] with white wings, which flew like a pigeon, but more
swiftly. Near our tract were the remains of a large tank of ancient
Roman construction. The Bey shot a fox. Marched fourteen or fifteen
miles to Zwaneah, which means "little garden," though there is no sign
of such thing, unless it be the few oranges, dates, and pomegranates
which they find here. We had water from a tank of modern construction;
some remains were close to the camp, the ancient cistern and stone duct
leading from the hills. We had two thousand camels with the camp and
following it, for which not a single atom of provender is carried, the
camels subsisting scantily upon the coarse grass, weeds or thorns, which
the soil barely affords. The camel is very fond of sharp, prickly
thorns. You look upon the animal, with its apparently most tender mouth,
chopping the sharpest thorns it can find, full of amazement! Some of the
chiefs who have lately joined us, have brought their wives with them,
riding on camels in a sort of palanquin or shut-up machine. These
palanquins have a kind of mast and shrouds, from which a bell is slung,
tinkling with the swinging motion of the camel. This rude contrivance
makes the camel more than ever "the ship of the Desert." Several fine
horses were brought in as presents to the Bey, one a very fine mare.

Our next march was towards Ghafsa, about twenty miles off. We were
joined by a considerable number of fresh Arabs, who "played at powder,"
and kept firing and galloping before the Bey the whole day; some of them
managed themselves and their arms and horses with great address,
balancing the firelock on their heads, firing it, twisting it round,
throwing it into the air, and catching it again, and all without once
losing the command of their horses. An accident happened amidst the fun;
two of the parties came in contact, and one of them received a dreadful
gash on the forehead. The dresses of some of them were very rich, and
looked very graceful on horseback. A ride over sand-hills brought us in
view of the town, embedded in olive and date-trees, looking fresh and
green after our hot and dusty march; it lay stretched at the foot of a
range of hills, which formed the boundaries of another extensive plain.

We halted at Ghafsa, [37] which is almost a mass of rubbish filled with
dirty people, although there are plenty of springs about, principally
hot and mineral waters. Although the Moors, by their religion, are
enjoined the constant use of the bath, yet because they do not change
their linen and other clothes, they are always very dirty. They do not,
however, exceed the Maltese and Sicilians, and many other people of the
neighbourhood, in filth, and perhaps the Moors are cleaner in their
hahits than they. The Arabs are extremely disgusting, and their women
are often seen in a cold winter's evening, standing with their legs
extended over a smoky wood fire, holding up their petticoats, and
continuing in this indelicate position for hours together.

In these Thermae, or hot, sulphurous, and other mineral springs, is the
phenomenon of the existence of fish and small snakes. These were
observed by our tourists, but I shall give three other authorities
besides them. Shaw says: "'The Ouri-el-Nout,' _i.e_., 'Well of Fish,'
and the springs of Ghasa and Toser, nourish a number of small fishes of
the mullet and perch kind, and are of an easy digestion. Of the like
quality are the other waters of the Jereed, all of them, after they
become cold, being the common drink of the inhabitants." Sir Grenville
Temple remarks: "The thermometer in the water marked ninety-five
degrees; and, what is curious, a considerable number of fish is found in
this stream, which measure from four to six inches in length, and
resemble, in some degree, the gudgeon, having a delicate flavour. Bruce
mentions a similar fact, but he says he saw it in the springs of
Feriana. Part of the ancient structure of these baths still exists, and
pieces of inscriptions are observed in different places."

Mr. Honneger has made a sketch of this fish. The wood-cut represents it
one half the natural size:


The snake, not noticed by former tourists, has been observed by Mr.
Honneger, which nourishes itself entirely upon the fish. The wood-cut
represents the snake half its natural size:


The fish and the snake live together, though not very amicably, in the
hot-springs. Prince Puekler Muskau, who travelled in Tunis, narrates
that, "Near the ruins of Utica was a warm spring, in whose almost hot
waters we found several turtles, _which seemed to inhabit this basin_."

However, perhaps, there is no such extraordinary difficulty in the
apprehension of this phenomenon, for "The Gulf Stream," on leaving the
Gulf of Mexico, "has a temperature of more than 27 deg. (centigrade), or
80-6/10 degrees of Fahrenheit." [38]

Many a fish must pass through and live in this stream. And after all,
since water is the element of fish, and is hotter or colder in all
regions, like the air, the element of man, which he breathes, warmer or
cooler, according to clime and local circumstances--there appear to be
no physical objections in the way of giving implicit credence to our

Water is so abundant, that the adjoining plain might be easily
irrigated, and planted with ten thousand palms and forests of olives.
God is bountiful in the Desert, but man wilfully neglects these aqueous
riches springing up eternally to repair the ravages of the burning
simoum! In one of the groves we met a dervish, who immediately set about
charming our Boab. He began by an incantation, then seized him round the
middle, and, stooping a little, lifted him on his shoulders, continuing
the while the incantation. He then put him on his feet again, and, after

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