Home
  By Author [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Title [ A  B  C  D  E  F  G  H  I  J  K  L  M  N  O  P  Q  R  S  T  U  V  W  X  Y  Z |  Other Symbols ]
  By Language
all Classics books content using ISYS

Download this book: [ ASCII | HTML | PDF ]

Look for this book on Amazon


We have new books nearly every day.
If you would like a news letter once a week or once a month
fill out this form and we will give you a summary of the books for that week or month by email.

Title: Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond
Author: Meakin, Budgett, 1866-1906
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



LIFE IN MOROCCO



BY THE SAME AUTHOR

In uniform style. Demy 8vo, 15s. each.

THE MOORS: an Account of People and Customs. With 132 Illustrations.

    CONTENTS:--"The Madding Crowd"--Within the Gates--Where the Moors
    Live--How the Moors Dress--Moorish Courtesy and Etiquette--What
    the Moors Eat and Drink--Everyday Life--Slavery and
    Servitude--Country Life--Trade--Arts and Manufactures--Matters
    Medical.

    Some Moorish Characteristics--The Mohammedan Year (Feasts
    and Fasts)--Places of Worship--Alms, Hospitality, and
    Pilgrimage--Education--Saints and Superstitions--Marriage--Funeral
    Rites.

    The Morocco Berbers--The Jews of Morocco--The Jewish Year.

THE LAND OF THE MOORS: A Comprehensive Description. With a New Map and
83 Illustrations.

    CONTENTS:--Physical Features--Natural Resources--Vegetable
    Products--Animal Life.

    Descriptions and Histories of Tangier, Tetuan, Laraiche,
    Salli-Rabat, Dar el Baida, Mazagan, Saffi and Mogador; Azîla,
    Fedála, Mehedia, Mansûrîya, Azammûr and Waladîya; Fez, Mequinez
    and Marrákesh; Zarhôn, Wazzán and Shesháwan; El Kasar, Sifrû,
    Tadla, Damnát, Táza, Dibdû and Oojda; Ceuta, Velez, Alhucemas,
    Melilla and the Zaffarines; Sûs, the Draa, Tafilált, Fîgîg, and
    Tûát.

    Reminiscences of Travel--In the Guise of a Moor--To Marrákesh on a
    Bicycle--In Search of Miltsin.

THE MOORISH EMPIRE: A Historical Epitome. With Maps, 118
Illustrations, and a unique Chronological, Geographical, and
Genealogical Chart.

    CONTENTS:--Mauretania--The Mohammedan Invasion--Foundation of
    Empire--Consolidation of Empire--Extension of Empire--Contraction
    of Empire--Stagnation of Empire--Personification of Empire--The
    Reigning Shareefs--The Moorish Government--Present Administration.

    Europeans in the Moorish Service--The Salli Rovers--Record of
    the Christian Slaves--Christian Influences in Morocco--Foreign
    Relations--Moorish Diplomatic Usages--Foreign Rights and
    Privileges--Commercial Intercourse--The Fate of the Empire.

    Works on Morocco reviewed (213 vols. in 11 languages)--The
    Place of Morocco in Fiction--Journalism in Morocco--Works
    Recommended--Classical Authorities on Morocco.

LONDON: SWAN SONNENSCHEIN, LTD.

       *       *       *       *       *

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE ARABIC OF MOROCCO: VOCABULARY, GRAMMAR NOTES,
ETC., IN ROMAN CHARACTERS. Specially prepared for Visitors and
Beginners on a new and eminently practical system.

Crown 8vo, Cloth, Round Corners for Pocket, _6s._

Also, Uniform with this, in English or Spanish, Price _4s._

_IN ARABIC CHARACTERS_

MOROCCO-ARABIC DIALOGUES,

OR

DIÁLOGOS EN ARABE MAROQUÍ.

By C.W. BALDWIN.

       *       *       *       *       *

LONDON: BERNARD QUARITCH, PICCADILLY.

TANGIER: BRITISH AND FOREIGN BIBLE SOCIETY'S DEPÔT.


[Illustration: _Photograph by Edward Lee, Esq., Saffi._

A MOORISH THOROUGHFARE.]

       *       *       *       *       *



  =LIFE IN MOROCCO=

  AND GLIMPSES BEYOND


  BY

  BUDGETT MEAKIN

  AUTHOR OF

  "THE MOORS," "THE LAND OF THE MOORS," "THE MOORISH EMPIRE,"
  "MODEL FACTORIES AND VILLAGES," ETC.


  [Illustration]

  WITH TWENTY-FOUR ILLUSTRATIONS

  LONDON
  CHATTO & WINDUS
  1905



  PRINTED BY
  WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED,
  LONDON AND BECCLES.



=FOREWORD=


Which of us has yet forgotten that first day when we set foot in
Barbary? Those first impressions, as the gorgeous East with all its
countless sounds and colours, forms and odours, burst upon us; mingled
pleasures and disgusts, all new, undreamed-of, or our wildest dreams
enhanced! Those yelling, struggling crowds of boatmen, porters,
donkey-boys; guides, thieves, and busy-bodies; clad in mingled finery
and tatters; European, native, nondescript; a weird, incongruous
medley--such as is always produced when East meets West--how they did
astonish and amuse us! How we laughed (some trembling inwardly) and
then, what letters we wrote home!

One-and-twenty years have passed since that experience entranced the
present writer, and although he has repeated it as far as possible in
practically every other oriental country, each fresh visit to Morocco
brings back somewhat of the glamour of that maiden plunge, and
somewhat of that youthful ardour, as the old associations are renewed.
Nothing he has seen elsewhere excels Morocco in point of life and
colour save Bokhára; and only in certain parts of India or in China is
it rivalled. Algeria, Tunisia and Tripoli have lost much of that charm
under Turkish or western rule; Egypt still more markedly so, while
Palestine is of a population altogether mixed and heterogeneous. The
bazaars of Damascus, even, and Constantinople, have given way to
plate-glass, and nothing remains in the nearer East to rival Morocco.

Notwithstanding the disturbed condition of much of the country,
nothing has occurred to interfere with the pleasure certain to be
afforded by a visit to Morocco at any time, and all who can do so
are strongly recommended to include it in an early holiday. The best
months are from September to May, though the heat on the coast
is never too great for an enjoyable trip. The simplest way of
accomplishing this is by one of Messrs. Forwood's regular steamers
from London, calling at most of the Morocco ports and returning by the
Canaries, the tour occupying about a month, though it may be broken
and resumed at any point. Tangier may be reached direct from Liverpool
by the Papayanni Line, or indirectly _viâ_ Gibraltar, subsequent
movements being decided by weather and local sailings. British
consular officials, missionaries, and merchants will be found at the
various ports, who always welcome considerate strangers.

Comparatively few, even of the ever-increasing number of visitors who
year after year bring this only remaining independent Barbary State
within the scope of their pilgrimage, are aware of the interest with
which it teems for the scientist, the explorer, the historian, and
students of human nature in general. One needs to dive beneath the
surface, to live on the spot in touch with the people, to fathom the
real Morocco, and in this it is doubtful whether any foreigners not
connected by ties of creed or marriage ever completely succeed. What
can be done short of this the writer attempted to do, mingling with
the people as one of themselves whenever this was possible. Inspired
by the example of Lane in his description of the "Modern Egyptians,"
he essayed to do as much for the Moors, and during eighteen years he
laboured to that end.

The present volume gathers together from many quarters sketches drawn
under those circumstances, supplemented by a _resumé_ of recent events
and the political outlook, together with three chapters--viii., xi.,
and xiv.--contributed by his wife, whose assistance throughout its
preparation he has once more to acknowledge with pleasure. To many
correspondents in Morocco he is also indebted for much valuable
up-to-date information on current affairs, but as most for various
reasons prefer to remain unmentioned, it would be invidious to name
any. For most of the illustrations, too, he desires to express his
hearty thanks to the gentlemen who have permitted him to reproduce
their photographs.

Much of the material used has already appeared in more fugitive form
in the _Times of Morocco_, the _London Quarterly Review_, the _Forum_,
the _Westminster Review_, _Harper's Magazine_, the _Humanitarian_,
the _Gentleman's Magazine_, the _Independent_ (New York), the
_Modern Church_, the _Jewish Chronicle_, _Good Health_, the _Medical
Missionary_, the _Pall Mall Gazette_, the _Westminster Gazette_, the
_Outlook_, etc., while Chapters ix., xix., and xxv. to xxix. have been
extracted from a still unpublished picture of Moorish country life,
"Sons of Ishmael."

  B.M.

  HAMPSTEAD,
  _November 1905._



CONTENTS


  PART I

     CHAPTER                                 PAGE

     I. RETROSPECTIVE                           1

    II. THE PRESENT DAY                        14

   III. BEHIND THE SCENES                      36

    IV. THE BERBER RACE                        47

     V. THE WANDERING ARAB                     57

    VI. CITY LIFE                              63

   VII. THE WOMEN-FOLK                         71

  VIII. SOCIAL VISITS                          82

    IX. A COUNTRY WEDDING                      88

     X. THE BAIRNS                             94

    XI. "DINING OUT"                          102

   XII. DOMESTIC ECONOMY                      107

  XIII. THE NATIVE "MERCHANT"                 113

   XIV. SHOPPING                              118

    XV. A SUNDAY MARKET                       125

   XVI. PLAY-TIME                             133

  XVII. THE STORY-TELLER                      138

 XVIII. SNAKE-CHARMING                        151

   XIX.  IN A MOORISH CAFÉ                    159

    XX.  THE MEDICINE-MAN                     166

   XXI.  THE HUMAN MART                       179

  XXII.  A SLAVE-GIRL'S STORY                 185

 XXIII.  THE PILGRIM CAMP                     191

  XXIV.  RETURNING HOME                       201


  PART II

   XXV.  DIPLOMACY IN MOROCCO                 205

  XXVI.  PRISONERS AND CAPTIVES               233

 XXVII.  THE PROTECTION SYSTEM                242

XXVIII.  JUSTICE FOR THE JEW                  252

  XXIX.  CIVIL WAR IN MOROCCO                 261

   XXX.  THE POLITICAL SITUATION              267

  XXXI.  FRANCE IN MOROCCO                    292


  PART III

 XXXII. ALGERIA VIEWED FROM MOROCCO           307

XXXIII. TUNISIA VIEWED FROM MOROCCO           318

 XXXIV. TRIPOLI VIEWED FROM MOROCCO           326

  XXXV. FOOT-PRINTS OF THE MOORS IN SPAIN     332


  APPENDIX

        "MOROCCO NEWS"                        381

        INDEX                                 395



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS


                                        TO FACE PAGE

A MOORISH THOROUGHFARE           _Frontispiece_

GATE OF THE SEVEN VIRGINS, SALLI                1

CROSSING A MOROCCO RIVER                       26

A BERBER VILLAGE IN THE ATLAS                  47

AN ARAB TENT IN MOROCCO                        57

ROOFS OF TANGIER FROM THE BRITISH CONSULATE    71

A MOORISH CARAVAN                              91

FRUIT-SELLERS                                 107

A TUNISIAN SHOPKEEPER                         118

THE SUNDAY MARKET, TANGIER                    128

GROUP AROUND PERFORMERS, MARRÁKESH            141

A MOROCCO FANDAK (CARAVANSARAI)               159

RABHAH, NARRATOR OF THE SLAVE-GIRL'S STORY    185

WAITING FOR THE STEAMER                       201

A CITY GATEWAY IN MOROCCO                     211

CENTRAL MOROCCO HOMESTEAD                     242

JEWESSES OF THE ATLAS                         256

A MOORISH KAÏD AND ATTENDANTS                 275

TUNISIA UNDER THE FRENCH--AN EXECUTION        299

TENT OF AN ALGERIAN SHEÏKH                    313

A TUNISIAN JEWESS IN STREET DRESS             325

OUTSIDE TRIPOLI                               330

A SHRINE IN CORDOVA MOSQUE                    340

THE MARKET-PLACE, TETUAN                      375



    NOTE.--_The system of transliterating Arabic adopted by the Author
    in his previous works has here been followed only so far as it is
    likely to be adopted by others than specialists, all signs being
    omitted which are not essential to approximate pronunciation._



=LIFE IN MOROCCO=


PART I


I

RETROSPECTIVE

  "The firmament turns, and times are changing."

  _Moorish Proverb._


By the western gate of the Mediterranean, where the narrowed sea has
so often tempted invaders, the decrepit Moorish Empire has become
itself a bait for those who once feared it. Yet so far Morocco remains
untouched, save where a fringe of Europeans on the coast purvey the
luxuries from other lands that Moorish tastes demand, and in exchange
take produce that would otherwise be hardly worth the raising. Even
here the foreign influence is purely superficial, failing to affect
the lives of the people; while the towns in which Europeans reside are
so few in number that whatever influence they do possess is limited
in area. Moreover, Morocco has never known foreign dominion, not even
that of the Turks, who have left their impress on the neighbouring
Algeria and Tunisia. None but the Arabs have succeeded in obtaining a
foothold among its Berbers, and they, restricted to the plains, have
long become part of the nation. Thus Morocco, of all the North African
kingdoms, has always maintained its independence, and in spite of
changes all round, continues to live its own picturesque life.

Picturesque it certainly is, with its flowing costumes and primitive
homes, both of which vary in style from district to district, but all
of which seem as though they must have been unchanged for thousands
of years. Without security for life or property, the mountaineers go
armed, they dwell in fortresses or walled-in villages, and are at
constant war with one another. On the plains, except in the vicinity
of towns, the country people group their huts around the fortress of
their governor, within which they can shelter themselves and their
possessions in time of war. No other permanent erection is to be seen
on the plains, unless it be some wayside shrine which has outlived
the ruin fallen on the settlement to which it once belonged, and is
respected by the conquerors as holy ground. Here and there gaunt
ruins rise, vast crumbling walls of concrete which have once been
fortresses, lending an air of desolation to the scene, but offering no
attraction to historian or antiquary. No one even knows their names,
and they contain no monuments. If ever more solid remains are
encountered, they are invariably set down as the work of the Romans.

[Illustration: _Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._

GATE OF THE SEVEN VIRGINS, SALLI.]

Yet Morocco has a history, an interesting history indeed, one
linked with ours in many curious ways, as is recorded in scores of
little-known volumes. It has a literature amazingly voluminous, but
there were days when the relations with other lands were much closer,
if less cordial, the days of the crusades and the Barbary pirates,
the days of European tribute to the Moors, and the days of Christian
slavery in Morocco. Constantly appearing brochures in many tongues
made Europe of those days acquainted with the horrors of that dreadful
land. All these only served to augment the fear in which its people
were held, and to deter the victimized nations from taking action
which would speedily have put an end to it all, by demonstrating the
inherent weakness of the Moorish Empire.

But for those whose study is only the Moors as they exist to-day, the
story of Morocco stretches back only a thousand years, as until then
its scattered tribes of Berber mountaineers had acknowledged no head,
and knew no common interests; they were not a nation. War was their
pastime; it is so now to a great extent. Every man for himself, every
tribe for itself. Idolatry, of which abundant traces still remain,
had in places been tinged with the name and some of the forms of
Christianity, but to what extent it is now impossible to discover. In
the Roman Church there still exist titular bishops of North Africa,
one, in particular, derives his title from the district of Morocco of
which Fez is now the capital, Mauretania Tingitana.

It was among these tribes that a pioneer mission of Islám penetrated
in the eighth of our centuries. Arabs were then greater strangers in
Barbary than we are now, but they were by no means the first strange
faces seen there. Ph[oe]nicians, Romans and Vandals had preceded them,
but none had stayed, none had succeeded in amalgamating with the
Berbers, among whom those individuals who did remain were absorbed.
These hardy clansmen, exhibiting the characteristics of hill-folk
the world round, still inhabited the uplands and retained their
independence. In this they have indeed succeeded to a great extent
until the present day, but between that time and this they have given
of their life-blood to build up by their side a less pure nation of
the plains, whose language as well as its creed is that of Arabia.

To imagine that Morocco was invaded by a Muslim host who carried
all before them is a great mistake, although a common one. Mulai
Idrees--"My Lord Enoch" in English--a direct descendant of Mohammed,
was among the first of the Arabian missionaries to arrive, with one or
two faithful adherents, exiles fleeing from the Khalîfa of Mekka. So
soon as he had induced one tribe to accept his doctrines, he assisted
them with his advice and prestige in their combats with hereditary
enemies, to whom, however, the novel terms were offered of fraternal
union with the victors, if they would accept the creed of which they
had become the champions. Thus a new element was introduced into the
Berber polity, the element of combination, for the lack of which
they had always been weak before. Each additional ally meant an
augmentation of the strength of the new party out of all proportion to
the losses from occasional defeats.

In course of time the Mohammedan coalition became so strong that it
was in a position to dictate terms and to impose governors upon the
most obstinate of its neighbours. The effect of this was to divide the
allies into two important sections, the older of which founded Fez
in the days of the son of Idrees, accounted the second ameer of that
name, who there lies buried in the most important mosque of the
Empire, the very approaches of which are closed to the Jew and the
Nazarene. The only spot which excels it in sanctity is that at Zarhôn,
a day's journey off, in which the first Idrees lies buried. There the
whole town is forbidden to the foreigner, and an attempt made by the
writer to gain admittance in disguise was frustrated by discovery
at the very gate, though later on he visited the shrine in Fez. The
dynasty thus formed, the Shurfà Idreeseeïn, is represented to-day by
the Shareef of Wazzán.

In southern Morocco, with its capital at Aghmát, on the Atlas slopes,
was formed what later grew to be the kingdom of Marrákesh, the city of
that name being founded in the middle of the eleventh century. Towards
the close of the thirteenth, the kingdoms of Fez and Marrákesh became
united under one ruler, whose successor, after numerous dynastic
changes, is the Sultan of Morocco now.[1]

  [1: For a complete outline of Moorish history, see the writer's
      "Moorish Empire."]

But from the time that the united Berbers had become a nation, to
prevent them falling out among themselves again it was necessary to
find some one else to fight, to occupy the martial instinct nursed in
fighting one another. So long as there were ancient scores to be wiped
out at home, so long as under cover of a missionary zeal they could
continue intertribal feuds, things went well for the victors; but as
soon as excuses for this grew scarce, it was needful to fare afield.
The pretty story--told, by the way, of other warriors as well--of the
Arab leader charging the Atlantic surf, and weeping that the world
should end there, and his conquests too, may be but fiction, but it
illustrates a fact. Had Europe lain further off, the very causes which
had conspired to raise a central power in Morocco would have sufficed
to split it up again. This, however, was not to be. In full view of
the most northern strip of Morocco, from Ceuta to Cape Spartel, the
north-west corner of Africa, stretches the coast of sunny Spain.
Between El K'sar es-Sagheer, "The Little Castle," and Tarifa Point is
only a distance of nine or ten miles, and in that southern atmosphere
the glinting houses may be seen across the straits.

History has it that internal dissensions at the Court of Spain led to
the Moors being actually invited over; but that inducement was hardly
needed. Here was a country of infidels yet to be conquered; here was
indeed a land of promise. Soon the Berbers swarmed across, and in
spite of reverses, carried all before them. Spain was then almost as
much divided into petty states as their land had been till the Arabs
taught them better, and little by little they made their way in
a country destined to be theirs for five hundred years. Córdova,
Sevílle, Granáda, each in turn became their capital, and rivalled Fez
across the sea.

The successes they achieved attracted from the East adventurers and
merchants, while by wise administration literature and science were
encouraged, till the Berber Empire of Spain and Morocco took a
foremost rank among the nations of the day. Judged from the standpoint
of their time, they seem to us a prodigy; judged from our standpoint,
they were but little in advance of their descendants of the twentieth
century, who, after all, have by no means retrograded, as they are
supposed to have done, though they certainly came to a standstill,
and have suffered all the evils of four centuries of torpor and
stagnation. Civilization wrought on them the effects that it too often
produces, and with refinement came weakness. The sole remaining state
of those which the invaders, finding independent, conquered one by
one, is the little Pyrenean Republic of Andorra, still enjoying
privileges granted to it for its brave defence against the Moors,
which made it the high-water mark of their dominion. As peace once
more split up the Berbers, the subjected Spaniards became strong
by union, till at length the death-knell of Moorish rule in Europe
sounded at the nuptials of the famous Ferdinand and Isabella, linking
Aragon with proud Castile.

Expelled from Spain, the Moor long cherished plans for the recovery of
what had been lost, preparing fleets and armies for the purpose, but
in vain. Though nominally still united, his people lacked that zeal in
a common cause which had carried them across the straits before, and
by degrees the attempts to recover a kingdom dwindled into continued
attacks upon shipping and coast towns. Thus arose that piracy which
was for several centuries the scourge of Christendom. Further east a
distinct race of pirates flourished, including Turks and Greeks and
ruffians from every shore, but they were not Moors, of whom the Salli
rover was the type. Many thousands of Europeans were carried off by
Moorish corsairs into slavery, including not a few from England. Those
who renounced their own religion and nationality, accepting those of
their captors, became all but free, only being prevented from leaving
the country, and often rose to important positions. Those who had the
courage of their convictions suffered much, being treated like
cattle, or worse, but they could be ransomed when their price was
forthcoming--a privilege abandoned by the renegades--so that the
principal object of every European embassy in those days was the
redemption of captives. Now and then escapes would be accomplished,
but such strict watch was kept when foreign merchantmen were in
port, or when foreign ambassadors came and went, that few attempts
succeeded, though many were made.

Sympathies are stirred by pictures of the martyrdom of Englishmen and
Irishmen, Franciscan missionaries to the Moors; and side by side with
them the foreign mercenaries in the native service, Englishmen among
them, who would fight in any cause for pay and plunder, even though
their masters held their countrymen in thrall. And thrall it was, as
that of Israel in Egypt, when our sailors were chained to galley seats
beneath the lash of a Moor, or when they toiled beneath a broiling
sun erecting the grim palace walls of concrete which still stand as
witnesses of those fell days. Bought and sold in the market like
cattle, Europeans were more despised than Negroes, who at least
acknowledged Mohammed as their prophet, and accepted their lot without
attempt to escape.

Dark days were those for the honour of Europe, when the Moors inspired
terror from the Balearics to the Scilly Isles, and when their rovers
swept the seas with such effect that all the powers of Christendom
were fain to pay them tribute. Large sums of money, too, collected
at church doors and by the sale of indulgences, were conveyed by the
hands of intrepid friars, noble men who risked all to relieve those
slaves who had maintained their faith, having scorned to accept a
measure of freedom as the reward of apostasy. Thousands of English
and other European slaves were liberated through the assistance of
friendly letters from Royal hands, as when the proud Queen Bess
addressed Ahmad II., surnamed "the Golden," as "Our Brother after the
Law of Crown and Sceptre," or when Queen Anne exchanged compliments
with the bloodthirsty Ismáïl, who ventured to ask for the hand of a
daughter of Louis XIV.

In the midst of it all, when that wonderful man, with a household
exceeding Solomon's, and several hundred children, had reigned
forty-three of his fifty-five years, the English, in 1684, ceded to
him their possession of Tangier. For twenty-two years the "Castle in
the streights' mouth," as General Monk had described it, had been the
scene of as disastrous an attempt at colonization as we have ever
known: misunderstanding of the circumstances and mismanagement
throughout; oppression, peculation and terror within as well as
without; a constant warfare with incompetent or corrupt officials
within as with besieging Moors without; till at last the place had to
be abandoned in disgust, and the expensive mole and fortifications
were destroyed lest others might seize what we could not hold.

Such events could only lower the prestige of Europeans, if, indeed,
they possessed any, in the eyes of the Moors, and the slaves up
country received worse treatment than before. Even the ambassadors
and consuls of friendly powers were treated with indignities beyond
belief. Some were imprisoned on the flimsiest pretexts, all had to
appear before the monarch in the most abject manner, and many were
constrained to bribe the favourite wives of the ameers to secure their
requests. It is still the custom for the state reception to take place
in an open courtyard, the ambassador standing bareheaded before the
mounted Sultan under his Imperial parasol. As late as 1790 the brutal
Sultan El Yazeed, who emulated Ismáïl the Bloodthirsty, did not
hesitate to declare war on all Christendom except England, agreeing to
terms of peace on the basis of tribute. Cooperation between the Powers
was not then thought of, and one by one they struck their bargains as
they are doing again to-day.

Yet even at the most violent period of Moorish misrule it is a
remarkable fact that Europeans were allowed to settle and trade in the
Empire, in all probability as little molested there as they would
have been had they remained at home, by varying religious tests and
changing governments. It is almost impossible to conceive, without
a perusal of the literature of the period, the incongruity of the
position. Foreign slaves would be employed in gangs outside the
dwellings of free fellow-countrymen with whom they were forbidden to
communicate, while every returning pirate captain added to the number
of the captives, sometimes bringing friends and relatives of those
who lived in freedom as the Sultan's "guests," though he considered
himself "at war" with their Governments. So little did the Moors
understand the position of things abroad, that at one time they made
war upon Gibraltar, while expressing the warmest friendship for
England, who then possessed it. This was done by Mulai Abd Allah V.,
in 1756, because, he said, the Governor had helped his rebel uncle at
Arzîla, so that the English, his so-called friends, did more harm than
his enemies--the Portuguese and Spaniards. "My father and I believe,"
wrote his son, Sidi Mohammed, to Admiral Pawkers, "that the king your
master has no knowledge of the behaviour towards us of the Governor of
Gibraltar, ... so Gibraltar shall be excluded from the peace to which
I am willing to consent between England and us, and with the aid of
the Almighty God, I will know how to avenge myself as I may on the
English of Gibraltar."

Previously Spain and Portugal had held the principal Moroccan
seaports, the twin towns of Rabat and Salli alone remaining always
Moorish, but these two in their turn set up a sort of independent
republic, nourished from the Berber tribes in the mountains to the
south of them. No Europeans live in Salli yet, for here the old
fanaticism slumbers still. So long as a port remained in foreign hands
it was completely cut off from the surrounding country, and played no
part in Moorish history, save as a base for periodical incursions.
One by one most of them fell again into the hands of their rightful
owners, till they had recovered all their Atlantic sea-board. On the
Mediterranean, Ceuta, which had belonged to Portugal, came under the
rule of Spain when those countries were united, and the Spaniards hold
it still, as they do less important positions further east.

The piracy days of the Moors have long passed, but they only ceased at
the last moment they could do so with grace, before the introduction
of steamships. There was not, at the best of times, much of the noble
or heroic in their raids, which generally took the nature of lying
in wait with well-armed, many-oared vessels, for unarmed, unwieldy
merchantmen which were becalmed, or were outpaced by sail and oar
together.

Early in the nineteenth century Algiers was forced to abandon piracy
before Lord Exmouth's guns, and soon after the Moors were given to
understand that it could no longer be permitted to them either, since
the Moorish "fleets"--if worthy the name--had grown so weak, and those
of the Nazarenes so strong, that the tables were turned. Yet for many
years more the nations of Europe continued the tribute wherewith the
rapacity of the Moors was appeased, and to the United States belongs
the honour of first refusing this disgraceful payment.

The manner in which the rovers of Salli and other ports were permitted
to flourish so long can be explained in no other way than by the
supposition that they were regarded as a sort of necessary nuisance,
just a hornet's-nest by the wayside, which it would be hopeless to
destroy, as they would merely swarm elsewhere. And then we must
remember that the Moors were not the only pirates of those days, and
that Europeans have to answer for the most terrible deeds of the
Mediterranean corsairs. News did not travel then as it does now.
Though students of Morocco history are amazed at the frequent captures
and the thousands of Christian slaves so imported, abroad it was only
here and there that one was heard of at a time.

To-day the plunder of an Italian sailing vessel aground on their
shore, or the fate of too-confident Spanish smugglers running close in
with arms, is heard of the world round. And in the majority of cases
there is at least a question: What were the victims doing there? Not
that this in any way excuses the so-called "piracy," but it must not
be forgotten in considering the question. Almost all these tribes
in the troublous districts carry European arms, instead of the more
picturesque native flint-lock: and as not a single gun is legally
permitted to pass the customs, there must be a considerable inlet
somewhere, for prices are not high.



II

THE PRESENT DAY

  "What has passed has gone, and what is to come is distant;
  Thou hast only the hour in which thou art."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Far from being, as Hood described them, "poor rejected Moors who
raised our childish fears," the people of Morocco consist of fine,
open races, capable of anything, but literally rotting in one of the
finest countries of the world. The Moorish remains in Spain, as well
as the pages of history, testify to the manner in which they once
flourished, but to-day their appearance is that of a nation asleep.
Yet great strides towards reform have been made during the past
century, and each decade sees steps taken more important than the
last. For the present decade is promised complete transformation.

But how little do we know of this people! The very name "Moor" is
a European invention, unknown in Morocco, where no more precise
definition of the inhabitants can be given than that of
"Westerners"--Maghribîn, while the land itself is known as "The
Further West"--El Moghreb el Aksa. The name we give to the country is
but a corruption of that of the southern capital, Marrákesh ("Morocco
City") through the Spanish version, Marueccos.

The genuine Moroccans are the Berbers among whom the Arabs introduced
Islám and its civilization, later bringing Negroes from their raids
across the Atlas to the Sudán and Guinea. The remaining important
section of the people are Jews of two classes--those settled in the
country from prehistoric times, and those driven to it when expelled
from Spain. With the exception of the Arabs and the Blacks, none of
these pull together, and in that case it is only because the latter
are either subservient to the former, or incorporated with them.

First in importance come the earliest known possessors of the land,
the Berbers. These are not confined to Morocco, but still hold the
rocky fastnesses which stretch from the Atlantic, opposite the
Canaries, to the borders of Egypt; from the sands of the Mediterranean
to those of the Sáhara, that vast extent of territory to which we have
given their name, Barbary. Of these but a small proportion really
amalgamated with their Muslim victors, and it is only to this mixed
race which occupies the cities of Morocco that the name "Moor" is
strictly applicable.

On the plains are to be found the Arabs, their tents scattered in
every direction. From the Atlantic to the Atlas, from Tangier to
Mogador, and then away through the fertile province of Sûs, one of
the chief features of Morocco is the series of wide alluvial treeless
plains, often apparently as flat as a table, but here and there cut up
by winding rivers and crossed by low ridges. The fertility of these
districts is remarkable; but owing to the misgovernment of the
country, which renders native property so insecure, only a small
portion is cultivated. The untilled slopes which border the plains
are generally selected by the Arabs for their encampments, circles or
ovals of low goat-hair tents, each covering a large area in proportion
to the number of its inhabitants.

The third section of the people of Morocco--by no means the least
important--has still to be glanced at; these are the ubiquitous,
persecuted and persecuting Jews. Everywhere that money changes hands
and there is business to be done they are to be found. In the towns
and among the thatched huts of the plains, even in the Berber villages
on the slopes of the Atlas, they have their colonies. With the
exception of a few ports wherein European rule in past centuries
has destroyed the boundaries, they are obliged to live in their own
restricted quarters, and in most instances are only permitted to cross
the town barefooted and on foot, never to ride a horse. In the Atlas
they live in separate villages adjoining or close to those belonging
to the Berbers, and sometimes even larger than they. Always clad
in black or dark-coloured cloaks, with hideous black skull-caps or
white-spotted blue kerchiefs on their heads, they are conspicuous
everywhere. They address the Moors with a villainous, cringing look
which makes the sons of Ishmael savage, for they know it is only
feigned. In return they are treated like dogs, and cordial hatred
exists on both sides. So they live, together yet divided; the Jew
despised but indispensable, bullied but thriving. He only wins at
law when richer than his opponent; against a Muslim he can bear no
testimony; there is scant pretence at justice. He dares not lift his
hand to strike a Moor, however ill-treated, but he finds revenge in
sucking his life's blood by usury. Receiving no mercy, he shows none,
and once in his clutches, his prey is fortunate to escape with his
life.

The happy influence of more enlightened European Jews is, however,
making itself felt in the chief towns, through excellent schools
supported from London and Paris, which are turning out a class
of highly respectable citizens. While the Moors fear the tide of
advancing westernization, the town Jews court it, and in them centres
one of the chief prospects of the country's welfare. Into their hands
has already been gathered much of the trade of Morocco, and there can
be little doubt that, by the end of the thirty years' grace afforded
to other merchants than the French, they will have practically
absorbed it all, even the Frenchmen trading through them. They have
at least the intimate knowledge of the people and local conditions to
which so few foreigners ever attain.

When the Moorish Empire comes to be pacifically penetrated and
systematically explored, it will probably be found that little more
is known of it than of China, notwithstanding its proximity, and
its comparatively insignificant size. A map honestly drawn, from
observations only, would astonish most people by its vast
blank spaces.[2] It would be noted that the limit of European
exploration--with the exception of the work of two or three hardy
travellers in disguise--is less than two hundred miles from the coast,
and that this limit is reached at two points only--south of Fez and
Marrákesh respectively,--which form the apices of two well-known
triangular districts, the contiguous bases of which form part of the
Atlantic coast line, under four hundred miles in length. Beyond these
limits all is practically unknown, the language, customs and beliefs
of the people providing abundant ground for speculation, and
permitting theorists free play. So much is this the case, that a few
years ago an enthusiastic "savant" was able to imagine that he had
discovered a hidden race of dwarfs beyond the Atlas, and to obtain
credence for his "find" among the best-informed students of Europe.

  [2: An approximation to this is given in the writer's
      "Land of the Moors."]

But there is also another point of view from which Morocco is unknown,
that of native thought and feeling, penetrated by extremely few
Europeans, even when they mingle freely with the people, and converse
with them in Arabic. The real Moor is little known by foreigners,
a very small number of whom mix with the better classes. Some, as
officials, meet officials, but get little below the official exterior.
Those who know most seldom speak, their positions or their occupations
preventing the expression of their opinions. Sweeping statements
about Morocco may therefore be received with reserve, and dogmatic
assertions with caution. This Empire is in no worse condition now than
it has been for centuries; indeed, it is much better off than ever
since its palmy days, and there is no occasion whatever to fear its
collapse.

Few facts are more striking in the study of Morocco than the absolute
stagnation of its people, except in so far as they have been to a very
limited extent affected by outside influences. Of what European--or
even oriental--land could descriptions of life and manners written in
the sixteenth century apply as fully in the twentieth as do those
of Morocco by Leo Africanus? Or even to come later, compare the
transitions England has undergone since Höst and Jackson wrote a
hundred years ago, with the changes discoverable in Morocco since that
time. The people of Morocco remain the same, and their more primitive
customs are those of far earlier ages, of the time when their
ancestors lived upon the plain of Palestine and North Arabia, and when
"in the loins of Abraham" the now unfriendly Jew and Arab were yet
one. It is the position of Europeans among them which has changed.

In the time of Höst and Jackson piracy was dying hard, restrained by
tribute from all the Powers of Europe. The foreign merchant was not
only tolerated, but was at times supplied with capital by the Moorish
sultans, to whom he was allowed to go deeply in debt for custom's
dues, and half a century later the British Consul at Mogador was not
permitted to embark to escape a bombardment of the town, because of
his debt to the Sultan. Many of the restrictions complained of to-day
are the outcome of the almost enslaved condition of the merchants of
those times in consequence of such customs. Indeed, the position of
the European in Morocco is still a series of anomalies, and so it is
likely to continue until it passes under foreign rule.

The same old spirit of independence reigns in the Berber breast to-day
as when he conquered Spain, and though he has forgotten his past and
cares naught for his future, he still considers himself a superior
being, and feels that no country can rival his home. In his eyes the
embassies from Europe and America come only to pay the tribute which
is the price of peace with his lord, and when he sees a foreign
minister in all his black and gold stand in the sun bareheaded to
address the mounted Sultan beneath his parasol, he feels more proud
than ever of his greatness, and is more decided to be pleasant to the
stranger, but to keep him out.

Instead of increased relations between Moors and foreigners tending to
friendship, the average foreign settler or tourist is far too bigoted
and narrow-minded to see any good in the native, much less to
acknowledge his superiority on certain points. Wherever the Sultan's
authority is recognized the European is free to travel and live,
though past experience has led officials not to welcome him. At the
same time, he remains entirely under the jurisdiction of his own
authorities, except in cases of murder or grave crime, when he must be
at once handed over to the nearest consul of his country. Not only are
he and his household thus protected, but also his native employees,
and, to a certain extent, his commercial and agricultural agents.

Thus foreigners in Morocco enjoy within the limits of the central
power the security of their own lands, and the justice of their own
laws. They do not even find in Morocco that immunity from justice
which some ignorant writers of fiction have supposed; for unless a
foreigner abandons his own nationality and creed, and buries himself
in the interior under a native name, he cannot escape the writs of
foreign courts. In any case, the Moorish authorities will arrest him
on demand, and hand him over to his consul to be dealt with according
to law. The colony of refugees which has been pictured by imaginative
raconteurs is therefore non-existent. Instead there are growing
colonies of business men, officials, missionaries, and a few retired
residents, quite above the average of such colonies in the Levant, for
instance.

For many years past, though the actual business done has shown a
fairly steady increase, the commercial outlook in Morocco has gone
from bad to worse. Yet more of its products are now exported, and
there are more European articles in demand, than were thought of
twenty years ago. This anomalous and almost paradoxical condition is
due to the increase of competition and the increasing weakness of the
Government. Men who had hope a few years ago, now struggle on because
they have staked too much to be able to leave for more promising
fields. This has been especially the case since the late Sultan's
death. The disturbances which followed that event impoverished many
tribes, and left behind a sense of uncertainty and dread. No European
Bourse is more readily or lastingly affected by local political
troubles than the general trade of a land like Morocco, in which men
live so much from hand to mouth.

It is a noteworthy feature of Moorish diplomatic history that to the
Moors' love of foreign trade we owe almost every step that has led to
our present relations with the Empire. Even while their rovers were
the terror of our merchantmen, as has been pointed out, foreign
traders were permitted to reside in their ports, the facilities
granted to them forming the basis of all subsequent negotiations. Now
that concession after concession has been wrung from their unwilling
Government, and in spite of freedom of residence, travel, and trade in
the most important parts of the Empire, it is disheartening to see the
foreign merchant in a worse condition than ever.

The previous generation, fewer in number, enjoying far less
privileges, and subjected to restrictions and indignities that would
not be suffered to-day, were able to make their fortunes and retire,
while their successors find it hard to hold their own. The "hundred
tonners" who, in the palmy days of Mogador, were wont to boast that
they shipped no smaller quantities at once, are a dream of the past.
The ostrich feathers and elephants' tusks no longer find their way out
by that port, and little gold now passes in or out. Merchant princes
will never be seen here again; commercial travellers from Germany are
found in the interior, and quality, as well as price, has been reduced
to its lowest ebb.

A crowd of petty trading agents has arisen with no capital to speak
of, yet claiming and abusing credit, of which a most ruinous system
prevails, and that in a land in which the collection of debts is
proverbially difficult, and oftentimes impossible. The native Jews,
who were interpreters and brokers years ago, have now learned the
business and entered the lists. These new competitors content
themselves with infinitesimal profits, or none at all in cases where
the desideratum is cash to lend out at so many hundreds per cent. per
annum. Indeed, it is no uncommon practice for goods bought on long
credit to be sold below cost price for this purpose. Against such
methods who can compete?

Yet this is a rich, undeveloped land--not exactly an El Dorado, though
certainly as full of promise as any so styled has proved to be when
reached--favoured physically and geographically, but politically
stagnant, cursed with an effete administration, fettered by a decrepit
creed. In view of this situation, it is no wonder that from time to
time specious schemes appear and disappear with clockwork regularity.
Now it is in England, now in France, that a gambling public is found
to hazard the cost of proving the impossibility of opening the country
with a rush, and the worthlessness of so-called concessions and
monopolies granted by sheïkhs in the south, who, however they may
chafe under existing rule which forbids them ports of their own,
possess none of the powers required to treat with foreigners.

As normal trade has waned in Morocco, busy minds have not been slow in
devising illicit, or at least unusual, methods of making money,
even, one regrets to say, of making false money. Among the drawbacks
suffered by the commerce which pines under the shade of the shareefian
umbrella, one--and that far from the least--is the unsatisfactory
coinage, which till a few years ago was almost entirely foreign. To
have to depend in so important a matter on any mint abroad is bad
enough, but for that mint to be Spanish means much. Centuries ago
the Moors coined more, but with the exception of a horrible token of
infinitesimal value called "floos," the products of their extinct
mints are only to be found in the hands of collectors, in buried
hoards, or among the jewellery displayed at home by Mooresses and
Jewesses, whose fortunes, so invested, may not be seized for debt.
Some of the older issues are thin and square, with well-preserved
inscriptions, and of these a fine collection--mostly gold--may be seen
at the British Museum; but the majority, closely resembling those of
India and Persia, are rudely stamped and unmilled, not even round,
but thick, and of fairly good metal. The "floos" referred to (_sing._
"fils") are of three sizes, coarsely struck in zinc rendered hard and
yellow by the addition of a little copper. The smallest, now rarely
met with, runs about 19,500 to £1 when this is worth 32-1/2 Spanish
pesetas; the other two, still the only small change of the country,
are respectively double and quadruple its value. The next coin in
general circulation is worth 2_d._, so the inconvenience is great.
A few years ago, however, Europeans resident in Tangier resolutely
introduced among themselves the Spanish ten and five céntimo pieces,
corresponding to our 1_d._ and 1/2_d._, which are now in free local
use, but are not accepted up-country.

What passes as Moorish money to-day has been coined in France for many
years, more recently also in Germany; the former is especially neat,
but the latter lacks style. The denominations coincide with those of
Spain, whose fluctuations in value they closely follow at a respectful
distance. This autumn the "Hasáni" coin--that of Mulai el Hasan, the
late Sultan--has fallen to fifty per cent. discount on Spanish. With
the usual perversity also, the common standard "peseta," in which
small bargains are struck on the coast, was omitted, the nearest coin,
the quarter-dollar, being nominally worth ptas. 1.25. It was only
after a decade, too, that the Government put in circulation the
dollars struck in France, which had hitherto been laid up in the
treasury as a reserve. And side by side with the German issue came
abundant counterfeit coins, against which Government warnings were
published, to the serious disadvantage of the legal issue. Even the
Spanish copper has its rival, and a Frenchman was once detected trying
to bring in a nominal four hundred dollars' worth of an imitation,
which he promptly threw overboard when the port guards raised
objections to its quality.

The increasing need of silver currency inland, owing to its free use
in the manufacture of trinkets, necessitates a constant importation,
and till recently all sorts of coins, discarded elsewhere, were in
circulation. This was the case especially with French, Swiss, Belgian,
Italian, Greek, Roumanian, and other pieces of the value of twenty
céntimos, known here by the Turkish name "gursh," which were accepted
freely in Central Morocco, but not in the north. Twenty years ago
Spanish Carolus, Isabella and Philippine shillings and kindred coins
were in use all over the country, and when they were withdrawn from
circulation in Spain they were freely shipped here, till the country
was flooded with them. When the merchants and customs at last refused
them, their astute importers took them back at a discount, putting
them into circulation later at what they could, only to repeat the
transaction. In Morocco everything a man can be induced to take is
legal tender, and for bribes and religious offerings all things pass,
this practice being an easier matter than at first sight appears; so
in the course of a few years one saw a whole series of coins in vogue,
one after the other, the main transactions taking place on the coast
with country Moors, than whom, though none more suspicious, none are
more easily gulled.

A much more serious obstacle to inland trade is the periodically
disturbed state of the country, not so much the local struggles and
uprisings which serve to free superfluous energy, as the regular
administrative expeditions of the Moorish Court, or of considerable
bodies of troops. These used to take place in some direction every
year, "the time when kings go forth to war" being early summer, just
when agricultural operations are in full swing, and every man is
needed on his fields. In one district the ranks of the workers are
depleted by a form of conscription or "harka," and in another these
unfortunates are employed preventing others doing what they should
be doing at home. Thus all suffer, and those who are not themselves
engaged in the campaign are forced to contribute cash, if only to find
substitutes to take their places in the ranks.

The movement of the Moorish Court means the transportation of a
numerous host at tremendous expense, which has eventually to be
recouped in the shape of regular contributions, arrears of taxes and
fines, collected _en route_, so the pace is abnormally slow. Not
only is there an absolute absence of roads, and, with one or two
exceptions, of bridges, but the Sultan himself, with all his army,
cannot take the direct route between his most important inland cities
without fighting his way. The configuration of the empire explains its
previous sub-division into the kingdoms of Fez, Marrákesh, Tafilált
and Sûs, and the Reef, for between the plains of each run mountain
ranges which have never known absolute "foreign" rulers.

[Illustration: CROSSING A MOROCCO RIVER. _Molinari, Photo., Tangier._]

To European engineers the passes through these closed districts would
offer no great obstacles in the construction of roads such as thread
the Himalayas, but the Moors do not wish for the roads; for, while
what the Government fears to promote thereby is combination, the
actual occupants of the mountains, the native Berbers, desire not to
see the Arab tax-gatherers, only tolerating their presence as long as
they cannot help it, and then rising against them.

Often a tribe will be left for several years to enjoy independence,
while the slip-shod army of the Sultan is engaged elsewhere. When
its turn comes it holds out for terms, since it has no hope of
successfully confronting such an overwhelming force as is sooner
or later brought against it. The usual custom is to send small
detachments of soldiers to the support of the over-grasping
functionaries, and when they have been worsted, to send down an
army to "eat up" the province, burning villages, deporting cattle,
ill-treating the women, and often carrying home children as slaves.
The men of the district probably flee and leave their homes to be
ransacked. They content themselves with hiding behind crags which seem
to the plainsmen inaccessible, whence they can in safety harass the
troops on the march. After more or less protracted skirmishing, the
country having been devastated by the troops, who care only for the
booty, women will be sent into the camp to make terms, or one of the
shareefs or religious nobles who accompany the army is sent out to
treat with the rebels. The terms are usually hard--so much arrears
of tribute in cash and kind, so much as a fine for expenses, so many
hostages. Then hostages and prisoners are driven to the capital in
chains, and pickled heads are exposed on the gateways, imperial
letters being read in the chief mosques throughout the country,
telling of a glorious victory, and calling for rejoicings. To any
other people the short spell of freedom would have been too dearly
bought for the experiment to be repeated, but as soon as they begin to
chafe again beneath the lawless rule of Moorish officials, the Berbers
rebel once more. It has been going on thus for hundreds of years, and
will continue till put an end to by France.

In Morocco each official preys upon the one below him, and on all
others within his reach, till the poor oppressed and helpless villager
lives in terror of them all, not daring to display signs of prosperity
for fear of tempting plunder. Merit is no key to positions of trust
and authority, and few have such sufficient salary attached to render
them attractive to honest men. The holders are expected in most cases
to make a living out of the pickings, and are allowed an unquestioned
run of office till they are presumed to have amassed enough to make it
worth while treating them as they have treated others, when they are
called to account and relentlessly "squeezed." The only means of
staving off the fatal day is by frequent presents to those above them,
wrung from those below. A large proportion of Moorish officials end
their days in disgrace, if not in dungeons, and some meet their end
by being invited to corrosive sublimate tea, a favourite beverage in
Morocco--for others. Yet there is always a demand for office, and
large prices are paid for posts affording opportunities for plunder.

The Moorish financial system is of a piece with this method. When the
budget is made out, each tribe or district is assessed at the utmost
it is believed capable of yielding, and the candidate for its
governorship who undertakes to get most out of it probably has the
task allotted to him. His first duty is to repeat on a small scale
the operation of the Government, informing himself minutely as to the
resources under his jurisdiction, and assessing the sub-divisions
so as to bring in enough for himself, and to provide against
contingencies, in addition to the sum for which he is responsible. The
local sheïkhs or head-men similarly apportion their demands among the
individuals entrusted to their tender mercy. A fool is said to have
once presented the Sultan with a bowl of skimmed and watered milk, and
on being remonstrated with, to have declared that His Majesty received
no more from any one, as his wazeers and governors ate half the
revenue cream each, and the sheïkhs drank half the revenue milk. The
fool was right.

The richer a man is, the less proportion he will have to pay, for he
can make it so agreeable--or disagreeable--for those entrusted with a
little brief authority. It is the struggling poor who have to pay
or go to prison, even if to pay they have to sell their means of
subsistence. Three courses lie before this final victim--to obtain
the protection of some influential name, native or foreign, to buy a
"friend at court," or to enter Nazarene service. But native friends
are uncertain and hard to find, and, above all, they may be alienated
by a higher bid from a rival or from a rapacious official. Such
affairs are of common occurrence, and harrowing tales might be told of
homes broken up in this way, of tortures inflicted, and of lives
spent in dungeons because display has been indulged in, or because an
independent position has been assumed under cover of a protection that
has failed. But what can one expect with such a standard of honour?

Foreigners, on the other hand, seldom betray their
_protégés_--although, to their shame be it mentioned, some in high
places have done so,--wherefore their protection is in greater demand;
besides which it is more effectual, as coming from outside, while no
Moor, however well placed, is absolutely secure in his own position.
Thus it is that the down-trodden natives desire and are willing to pay
for protection in proportion to their means; and it is this power
of dispensing protection which, though often abused, does more than
anything else to raise the prestige of the foreigner, and in turn to
protect him.

The claims most frequently made against Moors by foreign countries are
for debt, claims which afford the greatest scope for controversy
and the widest loophole for abuse. Although, unfortunately, for the
greater part usurious, a fair proportion are for goods delivered, but
to evade the laws even loan receipts are made out as for goods to be
delivered, a form in which discrimination is extremely difficult. The
condition of the country, in which every man is liable to be arrested,
thrashed, imprisoned, if not tortured, to extort from him his wealth,
is such as furnishes the usurer with crowding clients; and the
condition of things among the Indian cultivators, bad as it is, since
they can at least turn to a fair-handed Government, is not to be
compared to that of the down-trodden Moorish farmer.

The assumption by the Government of responsibility for the debts of
its subjects, or at all events its undertaking to see that they pay,
is part of the patriarchal system in force, by which the family is
made responsible for individuals, the tribe for families, and so on.
No other system would bring offenders to justice without police; but
it transforms each man into his brother's keeper. This, however, does
not apply only to debts the collection of which is urged upon the
Government, for whom it is sufficient to produce the debtor and let
him prove absolute poverty for him to be released, with the claim
cancelled. This in theory: but in practice, to appease these claims,
however just, innocent men are often thrown into prison, and untold
horrors are suffered, in spite of all the efforts of foreign ministers
to counteract the injustice.

A mere recital of tales which have come under my own observation would
but harrow my readers' feelings to no purpose, and many would appear
incredible. With the harpies of the Government at their heels, men
borrow wildly for a month or two at cent. per cent., and as the
Moorish law prohibits interest, a document is sworn to before notaries
by which the borrower declares that he has that day taken in hard cash
the full amount to be repaid, the value of certain crops or produce of
which he undertakes delivery upon a certain date. Very seldom,
indeed, does it happen that by that date the money can be repaid, and
generally the only terms offered for an extension of time for another
three or six months are the addition of another fifty or one hundred
per cent. to the debt, always fully secured on property, or by the
bonds of property holders. Were not this thing of everyday occurrence
in Morocco, and had I not examined scores of such papers, the way in
which the ignorant Moors fall into such traps would seem incredible.
It is usual to blame the Jews for it all, and though the business lies
mostly in their hands, it must not be overlooked that many foreigners
engage in it, and, though indirectly, some Moors also.

But besides such claims, there is a large proportion of just business
debts which need to be enforced. It does not matter how fair a claim
may be, or how legitimate, it is very rarely that trouble is not
experienced in pressing it. The Moorish Courts are so venal, so
degraded, that it is more often the unscrupulous usurer who wins his
case and applies the screw, than the honest trader. Here lies the
rub. Another class of claims is for damage done, loss suffered, or
compensation for imaginary wrongs. All these together mount up, and a
newly appointed minister or consul-general is aghast at the list which
awaits him. He probably contents himself at first with asking for the
appointment of a commission to examine and report on the legality of
all these claims, and for the immediate settlement of those approved.
But he asks and is promised in vain, till at last he obtains the moral
support of war-ships, in view of which the Moorish Government most
likely pays much more than it would have got off with at first, and
then proceeds to victimize the debtors.

It is with expressed threats of bombardment that the ships come, but
experience has taught the Moorish Government that it is well not to
let things go that length, and they now invariably settle amicably. To
our western notions it may seem strange that whatever questions have
to be attended to should not be put out of hand without requiring
such a demonstration; but while there is sleep there is hope for an
Oriental, and the rulers of Morocco would hardly be Moors if they
resisted the temptation to procrastinate, for who knows what may
happen while they delay? And then there is always the chance of
driving a bargain, so dear to the Moorish heart, for the wazeer knows
full well that although the Nazarene may be prepared to bombard, as
he has done from time to time, he is no more desirous than the Sultan
that such an extreme measure should be necessary.

So, even when things come to the pinch, and the exasperated
representative of Christendom talks hotly of withdrawing, hauling down
his flag and giving hostile orders, there is time at least to make an
offer, or to promise everything in words. And when all is over, claims
paid, ships gone, compliments and presents passed, nothing really
serious has happened, just the everyday scene on the market applied to
the nation, while the Moorish Government has once more given proof of
worldly wisdom, and endorsed the proverb that discretion is the better
part of valour.

An illustration of the high-handed way in which things are done
in Morocco has but recently been afforded by the action of France
regarding an alleged Algerian subject arrested by the Moorish
authorities for conspiracy. The man, Boo Zîan Miliáni by name, was the
son of one of those Algerians who, when their country was conquered by
the French, preferred exile to submission, and migrated to Morocco,
where they became naturalized. He was charged with supporting the
so-called "pretender" in the Reef province, where he was arrested with
two others early in August last. His particular offence appears to
have been the reading of the "Rogi's" proclamations to the public, and
inciting them to rebel against the Sultan. But when brought a
prisoner to Tangier, and thence despatched to Fez, he claimed French
citizenship, and the Minister of France, then at Court, demanded his
release.

This being refused, a peremptory note followed, with a threat to break
off diplomatic negotiations if the demand were not forthwith complied
with. The usual _communiqués_ were made to the Press, whereby a chorus
was produced setting forth the insult to France, the imminence of war,
and the general gravity of the situation. Many alarming head-lines
were provided for the evening papers, and extra copies were doubtless
sold. In Morocco, however, not only the English and Spanish papers,
but also the French one, admitted that the action of France was wrong,
though the ultimate issue was never in doubt, and the man's release
was a foregone conclusion. Elsewhere the rights of the matter would
have been sifted, and submitted at least to the law-courts, if not to
arbitration.

While the infliction of this indignity was stirring up northern
Morocco, the south was greatly exercised by the presence on the
coast of a French vessel, _L'Aigle_, officers from which proceeded
ostentatiously to survey the fortifications of Mogador and its island,
and then effected a landing on the latter by night. Naturally the
coastguards fired at them, fortunately without causing damage, but
had any been killed, Europe would have rung with the "outrage." From
Mogador the vessel proceeded after a stay of a month to Agadir, the
first port of Sûs, closed to Europeans.

Here its landing-party was met on the beach by some hundreds of armed
men, whose commander resolutely forbade them to land, so they had to
retire. Had they not done so, who would answer for the consequences?
As it was, the natives, eager to attack the "invaders," were with
difficulty kept in hand, and one false step would undoubtedly have
led to serious bloodshed. Of course this was a dreadful rebuff for
"pacific penetration," but the matter was kept quiet as a little
premature, since in Europe the coast is not quite clear enough yet for
retributory measures. The effect, however, on the Moors, among whom
the affair grew more grave each time it was recited, was out of all
proportion to the real importance of the incident, which otherwise
might have passed unnoticed.



III

BEHIND THE SCENES

  "He knows of every vice an ounce."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Though most eastern lands may be described as slip-shod, with
reference both to the feet of their inhabitants and to the way in
which things are done, there can be no country in the world more aptly
described by that epithet than Morocco. One of the first things which
strikes the visitor to this country is the universality of the slipper
as foot-gear, at least, so far as the Moors are concerned. In the
majority of cases the men wear the heels of their slippers folded down
under the feet, only putting them up when necessity compels them to
run, which they take care shall not be too often, as they much prefer
a sort of ambling gait, best compared to that of their mules, or to
that of an English tramp.

Nothing delights them better as a means of agreeably spending an
hour or two, than squatting on their heels in the streets or on some
door-stoop, gazing at the passers-by, exchanging compliments with
their acquaintances. Native "swells" consequently promenade with a
piece of felt under their arms on which to sit when they wish, in
addition to its doing duty as a carpet for prayer. The most public
places, and usually the cool of the afternoon, are preferred for this
pastime.

The ladies of their Jewish neighbours also like to sit at their doors
in groups at the same hour, or in the doorways of main thoroughfares
on moonlight evenings, while the gentlemen, who prefer to do their
gossiping afoot, roam up and down. But this is somewhat apart from the
point of the lazy tendencies of the Moors. With them--since they have
no trains to catch, and disdain punctuality--all hurry is undignified,
and one could as easily imagine an elegantly dressed Moorish scribe
literally flying as running, even on the most urgent errand. "Why
run," they ask, "when you might just as well walk? Why walk, when
standing would do? Why stand, when sitting is so much less fatiguing?
Why sit, when lying down gives so much more rest? And why, lying down,
keep your eyes open?"

In truth, this is a country in which things are left pretty much to
look after themselves. Nothing is done that can be left undone, and
everything is postponed until "to-morrow." Slipper-slapper go the
people, and slipper-slapper goes their policy. If you can get through
a duty by only half doing it, by all means do so, is the generally
accepted rule of life. In anything you have done for you by a Moor,
you are almost sure to discover that he has "scamped" some part;
perhaps the most important. This, of course, means doing a good
deal yourself, if you like things done well, a maxim holding good
everywhere, indeed, but especially here.

The Moorish Government's way of doing things--or rather, of not doing
them if it can find an excuse--is eminently slip-shod. The only point
in which they show themselves astute is in seeing that their Rubicon
has a safe bridge by which they may retreat, if that suits their plans
after crossing it. To deceive the enemy they hide this as best
they can, for the most part successfully, causing the greatest
consternation in the opposite camp, which, at the moment when it
thinks it has driven them into a corner, sees their ranks gradually
thinning from behind, dribbling away by an outlet hitherto invisible.
Thus, in accepting a Moor's promise, one must always consider the
conditions or rider annexed.

This can be well illustrated by the reluctant permission to transport
grain from one Moorish port to another, granted from time to time,
but so hampered by restrictions as to be only available to a few, the
Moorish Government itself deriving the greatest advantage from it.
Then, too, there is the property clause in the Convention of Madrid,
which has been described as the sop by means of which the Powers were
induced to accept other less favourable stipulations. Instead of being
the step in advance which it appeared to be, it was, in reality, a
backward step, the conditions attached making matters worse than
before.

In this way only do the Moors shine as politicians, unless
prevarication and procrastination be included, Machiavellian arts in
which they easily excel. Otherwise they are content to jog along in
the same slip-shod manner as their fathers did centuries ago, as soon
as prosperity had removed the incentive to exert the energy they once
possessed. The same carelessness marks their conduct in everything,
and the same unsatisfactory results inevitably follow.

But to get at the root of the matter it is necessary to go a step
further. The absolute lack of morals among the people is the real
cause of the trouble. Morocco is so deeply sunk in the degradation of
vice, and so given up to lust, that it is impossible to lay bare its
deplorable condition. In most countries, with a fair proportion of
the pure and virtuous, some attempt is made to gloss over and conceal
one's failings; but in this country the only vice which public opinion
seriously condemns is drunkenness, and it is only before foreigners
that any sense of shame or desire for secrecy about others is
observable. The Moors have not yet attained to that state of
hypocritical sanctimoniousness in which modern society in civilized
lands delights to parade itself.

The taste for strong drink, though still indulged comparatively in
secret, is steadily increasing, the practice spreading from force
of example among the Moors themselves, as a result of the strenuous
efforts of foreigners to inculcate this vice. European consular
reports not infrequently note with congratulation the growing imports
of wines and liqueurs into Morocco, nominally for the sole use of
foreigners, although manifestly far in excess of their requirements.
As yet, it is chiefly among the higher and lower classes that the
victims are found, the former indulging in the privacy of their own
homes, and the latter at the low drinking-dens kept by the scum of
foreign settlers in the open ports. Among the country people of
the plains and lower hills there are hardly any who would touch
intoxicating liquor, though among the mountaineers the use of alcohol
has ever been more common.

Tobacco smoking is very general on the coast, owing to contact with
Europeans, but still comparatively rare in the interior, although the
native preparations of hemp (keef), and also to some extent opium,
have a large army of devotees, more or less victims. The latter,
however, being an expensive import, is less known in the interior.
Snuff-taking is fairly general among men and women, chiefly the
elderly. What they take is very strong, being a composition of
tobacco, walnut shells, and charcoal ash. The writer once saw a young
Englishman, who thought he could stand a good pinch of snuff, fairly
"knocked over" by a quarter as much as the owner of the nut from which
it came took with the utmost complacency.

The feeling of the Moorish Government about smoking has long been so
strong that in every treaty with Europe is inserted a clause reserving
the right of prohibiting the importation of all narcotics, or articles
used in their manufacture or consumption. Till a few years ago the
right to deal in these was granted yearly as a monopoly; but in 1887
the late Sultan, Mulai el Hasan, and his aoláma, or councillors,
decided to abolish the business altogether, so, purchasing the
existing stocks at a valuation, they had the whole burned. But first
the foreign officials and then private foreigners demanded the right
to import whatever they needed "for their own consumption," and the
abuse of this courtesy has enabled several tobacco factories to spring
up in the country. The position with regard to the liquor traffic is
almost the same. If the Moors were free to legislate as they wished,
they would at once prohibit the importation of intoxicants.

Of late years, however, a great change has come over the Moors of the
ports, more especially so in Tangier, where the number of taverns and
_cafés_ has increased most rapidly. During many years' residence there
the cases of drunkenness met with could be counted on the fingers, and
were then confined to guides or servants of foreigners; on the last
visit paid to the country more were observed in a month than then in
years. In those days to be seen with a cigarette was almost a crime,
and those who indulged in a whiff at home took care to deodorize their
mouths with powdered coffee; now Moors sit with Europeans, smoking and
drinking, unabashed, at tables in the streets, but not those of the
better sort. Thus Morocco is becoming civilized!

However ashamed a Moor may be of drunkenness, no one thinks of making
a pretence of being chaste or moral. On the contrary, no worse is
thought of a man who is wholly given up to the pleasures of the flesh
than of one who is addicted to the most innocent amusements. If a
Moor is remonstrated with, he declares he is not half so bad as the
"Nazarenes" he has come across, who, in addition to practising most of
his vices, indulge in drunkenness. It is not surprising, therefore,
that the diseases which come as a penalty for these vices are
fearfully prevalent in Morocco. Everywhere one comes across the
ravages of such plagues, and is sickened at the sight of their
victims. Without going further into details, it will suffice to
mention that one out of every five patients (mostly males) who attend
at the dispensary of the North Africa Mission at Tangier are direct,
or indirect, sufferers from these complaints.

The Moors believe in "sowing wild oats" when young, till their energy
is extinguished, leaving them incapable of accomplishing anything.
Then they think the pardon of God worth invoking, if only in the vain
hope of having their youth renewed as the eagle's. Yet if this could
happen, they would be quite ready to commence a fresh series of
follies more outrageous than before. This is a sad picture, but
nevertheless true, and, far from being exaggerated, does not even hint
at much that exists in Morocco to-day.

The words of the Korán about such matters are never considered, though
nominally the sole guide for life. The fact that God is "the Pitying,
the Pitiful, King of the Day of Judgement," is considered sufficient
warrant for the devotees of Islám to lightly indulge in breaches of
laws which they hold to be His, confident that if they only perform
enough "vain repetitions," fast at the appointed times, and give alms,
visiting Mekka, if possible, or if not, making pilgrimages to shrines
of lesser note nearer home, God, in His infinite mercy, will overlook
all.

An anonymous writer has aptly remarked--"Every good Mohammedan has
a perpetual free pass over that line, which not only secures to him
personally a safe transportation to Paradise, but provides for him
upon his arrival there so luxuriously that he can leave all the
cumbersome baggage of his earthly harem behind him, and begin his
celestial house-keeping with an entirely new outfit."

Here lies the whole secret of Morocco's backward state. Her people,
having outstepped even the ample limits of licentiousness laid down in
the Korán, and having long ceased to be even true Mohammedans, by
the time they arrive at manhood have no energy left to promote her
welfare, and sink into an indolent, procrastinating race, capable of
little in the way of progress till a radical change takes place in
their morals.

Nothing betrays their moral condition more clearly than their
unrestrained conversation, a reeking vapour arising from a mass of
corruption. The foul ejaculations of an angry Moor are unreproducible,
only serving to show extreme familiarity with vice of every sort. The
tales to which they delight to listen, the monotonous chants rehearsed
by hired musicians at public feasts or private entertainments, and the
voluptuous dances they delight to have performed before them as they
lie sipping forbidden liquors, are all of one class, recounting and
suggesting evil deeds to hearers or observers.

The constant use made of the name of God, mostly in stock phrases
uttered without a thought as to their real meaning, is counterbalanced
in some measure by cursing of a most elaborate kind, and the frequent
mention of the "Father of Lies," called by them "The Liar" _par
excellence_. The term "elaborate" is the only one wherewith to
describe a curse so carefully worded that, if executed, it would
leave no hope of Paradise either for the unfortunate addressee or his
ancestors for several generations. On the slightest provocation,
or without that excuse, the Moor can roll forth the most intricate
genealogical objurgations, or rap out an oath. In ordinary cases of
displeasure he is satisfied with showering expletives on the parents
and grand-parents of the object of his wrath, with derogatory
allusions to the morals of those worthies' "better halves." "May God
have mercy on thy relatives, O my Lord," is a common way of addressing
a stranger respectfully, and the contrary expression is used to
produce a reverse effect.

I am often asked, "What would a Moor think of this?" Probably some
great invention will be referred to, or some manifest improvement in
our eyes over Moorish methods or manufactures. If it was something
he could see, unless above the average, he would look at it as a cow
looks at a new gate, without intelligence, realizing only the change,
not the cause or effect. By this time the Moors are becoming familiar,
at least by exaggerated descriptions, with most of the foreigner's
freaks, and are beginning to refuse to believe that the Devil assists
us, as they used to, taking it for granted that we should be more
ingenious, and they more wise! The few who think are apt to pity the
rush of our lives, and write us down, from what they have themselves
observed in Europe as in Morocco, as grossly immoral beside even their
acknowledged failings. The faults of our civilization they quickly
detect, the advantages are mostly beyond their comprehension.

Some years ago a friend of mine showed two Moors some of the sights
of London. When they saw St. Paul's they told of the glories of the
Karûeeïn mosque at Fez; with the towers of Westminster before them
they sang the praises of the Kûtûbîya at Marrákesh. Whatever they saw
had its match in Morocco. But at last, as a huge dray-horse passed
along the highway with its heavy load, one grasped the other's arm
convulsively, exclaiming, "M'bark Allah! Aoûd hadhá!"--"Blessed be
God! That's a horse!" Here at least was something that did appeal to
the heart of the Arab. For once he saw a creature he could understand,
the like of which was never bred in Barbary, and his wonder knew no
bounds.

An equally good story is told of an Englishman who endeavoured to
convince a Moor at home of the size of these horses. With his stick he
drew on the ground one of their full-sized shoes. "But we have horses
beyond the mountains with shoes _this_ size," was the ready reply, as
the native drew another twice as big. Annoyed at not being able to
convince him, the Englishman sent home for a specimen shoe. When he
showed it to the Moor, the only remark he elicited was that a native
smith could make one twice the size. Exasperated now, and not to be
outdone, the Englishman sent home for a cart-horse skull. "Now you've
beaten me!" at last acknowledged the Moor. "You Christians can make
anything, but _we can't make bones!_"

Bigoted and fanatical as the Moors may show themselves at times,
they are generally willing enough to be friends with those who show
themselves friendly. And notwithstanding the way in which the strong
oppress the weak, as a nation they are by no means treacherous or
cruel; on the contrary, the average Moor is genial and hospitable,
does not forget a kindness, and is a man whom one can respect. Yet it
is strange how soon a little power, and the need for satisfying the
demands of his superiors, will corrupt the mildest of them; and the
worst are to be found among families which have inherited office. The
best officials are those chosen from among retired merchants whose
palms no longer itch, and who, by intercourse with Europeans, have had
their ideas of life broadened.

The greatest obstacle to progress in Morocco is the blind prejudice
of ignorance. It is hard for the Moors to realize that their presumed
hereditary foes can wish them well, and it is suspicion, rather than
hostility, which induces them to crawl within their shell and ask to
be left alone. Too often subsequent events have shown what good ground
they have had for suspicion. It is a pleasure for me to be able to
state that during all the years that I have lived among them, often in
the closest intercourse, I have never received the least insult, but
have been well repaid in my own coin. What more could be wished?

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._

A BERBER VILLAGE IN THE ATLAS]



IV

THE BERBER RACE

  "Every lion in his own forest roars."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Few who glibly use the word "Barbarian" pause to consider whether the
present meaning attached to the name is justified or not, or whether
the people of Barbary are indeed the uncivilized, uncouth, incapable
lot their name would seem to imply to-day. In fact, the popular
ignorance regarding the nearest point of Africa is even greater than
of the actually less known central portions, where the white man
penetrates with every risk. To declare that the inhabitants of the
four Barbary States--Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, and Tripoli--are not
"Blackamoors" at all, but white like ourselves, is to astonish most
folk at the outset.

Of course in lands where the enslavement of neighbouring negro races
has been an institution for a thousand years or more, there is a
goodly proportion of mulattoes; and among those whose lives have been
spent for generations in field work there are many whose skins are
bronzed and darkened, but they are white by nature, nevertheless, and
town life soon restores the original hue. The student class of Fez,
drawn from all sections of the population of Morocco, actually makes
a boast of the pale and pasty complexions attained by life amid the
shaded cloisters and covered streets of the intellectual capital. Then
again those who are sunburned and bronzed are more of the Arab stock
than of the Berber.

These Berbers, the original Barbarians, known to the Romans and Greeks
as such before the Arab was heard of outside Arabia, are at once the
greatest and the most interesting nation, or rather race, of the whole
of Africa. Had such a coalition as "the United States of North Africa"
been possible, Europe would long ago have learned to fear and respect
the title "Barbarian" too much to put it to its present use. But the
weak point of the Berber race has been its lack of homogeneity; it
has ever been split up into independent states and tribes, constantly
indulging in internecine warfare. This is a principle which has its
origin in the relations of the units whereof they are composed, of
whom it may be said as of the sons of Ishmael, that every man's hand
is against his neighbour. The vendetta, a result of the _lex talionis_
of "eye for eye and tooth for tooth," flourishes still. No youth is
supposed to have attained full manhood until he has slain his man, and
excuses are seldom lacking. The greatest insult that can be offered to
an enemy is to tell him that his father died in bed--even greater than
the imputation of evil character to his maternal relatives.

Some years ago I had in my service a lad of about thirteen, one
of several Reefians whom I had about me for the practice of their
language. Two or three years later, on returning to Morocco, I met him
one day on the market.

"I am so glad to see you," he said; "I want you to help me buy some
guns."

"What for?"

"Well, my father's dead; may God have mercy on him!"

"How did he die?"

"God knows."

"But what has that to do with the gun?"

"You see, we must kill my three uncles, I and my two brothers, and we
want three guns."

"What! Did they kill your father?"

"God knows."

"May He deliver you from such a deed. Come round to the house for some
food."

"But I've got married since you saw me, and expect an heir, yet they
chaff me and call me a boy because I have never yet killed a man."

I asked an old servant who had been to England, and seemed "almost
a Christian," to try and dissuade him, but only to meet with an
appreciative, "Well done! I always thought there was something in that
lad."

So I tried a second, but with worse results, for he patted the boy
on the back with an assurance that he could not dissuade him from so
sacred a duty; and at last I had to do what I could myself. I extorted
a promise that he would try and arrange to take blood-money, but as he
left the door his eye fell on a broken walking-stick.

"Oh, do give me that! It's no use to you, and it _would_ make such a
nice prop for my gun, as I am a very bad shot, and we mean to wait
outside for them in the dark."

The sequel I have never heard.

Up in those mountains every one lives in fortified dwellings--big men
in citadels, others in wall-girt villages, all from time to time
at war with one another, or with the dwellers in some neighbouring
valley. Fighting is their element; as soon as "the powder speaks"
there are plenty to answer, for every one carries his gun, and it is
wonderful how soon upon these barren hills an armed crowd can muster.
Their life is a hard fight with Nature; all they ask is to be left
alone to fight it out among themselves. Even on the plains among the
Arabs and the mixed tribes described as Moors, things are not much
better, for there, too, vendettas and cattle lifting keep them at
loggerheads, and there is nothing the clansmen like so well as a raid
on the Governor's kasbah or castle. These kasbahs are great walled
strongholds dotted about the country; in times of peace surrounded by
groups of huts and tents, whose inhabitants take refuge inside when
their neighbours appear. The high walls and towers are built of mud
concrete, often red like the Alhambra, the surface of which stands the
weather ill, but which, when kept in repair, lasts for centuries.

The Reefian Berbers are among the finest men in Morocco--warlike and
fierce, it is true, from long habit and training; but they have many
excellent qualities, in addition to stalwart frames. "If you don't
want to be robbed," say they, "don't come our way. We only care to see
men who can fight, with whom we may try our luck." They will come and
work for Europeans, forming friendships among them, and if it were
not for the suspicion of those who have not done so, who always fear
political agents and spies, they would often be willing to take
Europeans through their land. I have more than once been invited to
go as a Moor. But the ideas they get of Europeans in Tangier do not
predispose to friendship, and they will not allow them to enter their
territories if they can help it. Only those who are in subjection to
the Sultan permit them to do so freely.

The men are a hardy, sturdy race, wiry and lithe, inured to toil and
cold, fonder far of the gun and sword than of the ploughshare, and
steady riders of an equally wiry race of mountain ponies. Their
dwellings are of stone and mud, often of two floors, flat-topped, with
rugged, projecting eaves, the roofs being made of poles covered with
the same material as the walls, stamped and smoothed. These houses are
seldom whitewashed, and present a ruinous appearance. Their ovens are
domes about three feet or less in height outside; they are heated by
a fire inside, then emptied, and the bread put in. Similar ovens are
employed in camp to bake for the Court.

Instead of that forced seclusion and concealment of the features to
which the followers of Islám elsewhere doom their women, in these
mountain homes they enjoy almost as perfect liberty as their sisters
in Europe. I have been greatly struck with their intelligence and
generally superior appearance to such Arab women as I have by chance
been able to see. Once, when supping with the son of a powerful
governor from above Fez, his mother, wife, and wife's sister sat
composedly to eat with us, which could never have occurred in the
dwelling of a Moor. No attempt at covering their faces was made,
though male attendants were present at times, but the little daughter
shrieked at the sight of a Nazarene. The grandmother, a fine,
buxom dame, could read and write--which would be an astonishing
accomplishment for a Moorish woman--and she could converse better than
many men who would in this country pass for educated.

The Berber dress has either borrowed from or lent much to the Moor,
but a few articles stamp it wherever worn. One of these is a large
black cloak of goat's-hair, impervious to rain, made of one piece,
with no arm-holes. At the point of the cowl hangs a black tassel,
and right across the back, about the level of the knees, runs an
assagai-shaped patch, often with a centre of red. It has been opined
that this remarkable feature represents the All-seeing Eye, so often
used as a charm, but from the scanty information I could gather from
the people themselves, I believe that they have lost sight of the
original idea, though some have told me that variations in the
pattern mark clan distinctions. I have ridden--when in the guise of a
native--for days together in one of these cloaks, during pelting rain
which never penetrated it. In more remote districts, seldom visited by
Europeans, the garments are ruder far, entirely of undyed wool, and
unsewn, mere blankets with slits cut in the centre for the head. This
is, however, in every respect, a great difference between the various
districts. The turban is little used by these people, skull-caps
being preferred, while their red cloth gun-cases are commonly twisted
turban-wise as head-gear, though often a camel's-hair cord is deemed
sufficient protection for the head.

Every successive ruler of North Africa has had to do with the problem
of subduing the Berbers and has failed. In the wars between Rome and
Carthage it was among her sturdy Berber soldiers that the southern
rival of the great queen city of the world found actual sinews enough
to hold the Roman legions so long at bay, and often to overcome her
vaunted cohorts and carry the war across into Europe. Where else did
Rome find so near a match, and what wars cost her more than did those
of Africa? Carthage indeed has fallen, and from her once famed Byrsa
the writer has been able to count on his fingers the local remains of
her greatness, yet the people who made her what she was remain--the
Berbers of Tunisia. The Ph[oe]nician settlers, though bringing with
them wealth and learning and arts, could never have done alone what
they did without the hardy fighting men supplied by the hills around.

When Rome herself had fallen, and the fames of Carthage and Utica were
forgotten, there came across North Africa a very different race from
those who had preceded them, the desert Arabs, introducing the creed
of Islám. In the course of a century or two, North Africa became
Mohammedan, pagan and Christian institutions being swept away before
that onward wave. It is not probable that at any time Christianity
had any real hold upon the Berbers themselves, and Islám itself sits
lightly on their easy consciences.

The Arabs had for the moment solved the Berber problem. They were the
amalgam which, by coalescing with the scattered factions of their
race, had bound them up together and had formed for once a nation of
them. Thus it was that the Muslim armies obtained force to carry all
before them, and thus was provided the new blood and the active
temper to which alone are due the conquest of Spain, and subsequent
achievements there. The popular description of the Mohammedan rulers
of Spain as "Saracens"--Easterners--is as erroneous as the supposition
that they were Arabs. The people who conquered Spain were Berbers,
although their leaders often adopted Arabic names with an Arab
religion and Arab culture. The Arabic language, although official, was
by no means general, nor is it otherwise to-day. The men who fought
and the men who ruled were Berbers out and out, though the latter were
often the sons of Arab fathers or mothers, and the great religious
chiefs were purely Arab on the father's side at least, the majority
claiming descent from Mohammed himself, and as such forming a class
apart of shareefs or nobles.

Though nominal Mohammedans, and in Morocco acknowledging the religious
supremacy of the reigning shareefian family, the Moorish Berbers still
retain a semi-independence. The mountains of the Atlas chain have
always been their home and refuge, where the plainsmen find it
difficult and dangerous to follow them. The history of the conquest
of Algeria and Tunisia by the French has shown that they are no mean
opponents even to modern weapons and modern warfare. The Kabyles,[3]
as they are erroneously styled in those countries, have still to be
kept in check by the fear of arms, and their prowess no one disputes.
These are the people the French propose to subdue by "pacific
penetration." The awe with which these mountaineers have inspired the
plainsmen and townsfolk is remarkable; as good an illustration of it
as I know was the effect produced on a Moor by my explanation that a
Highland friend to whom I had introduced him was not an Englishman,
but what I might call a "British Berber." The man was absolutely
awe-struck.

  [3: _I.e._ "Provincials," so misnamed from Kabîlah (_pl._
      Kabáïl), a province.]

Separated from the Arab as well as from the European by a totally
distinct, unwritten language, with numerous dialects, these people
still exist as a mine of raw material, full of possibilities. In
habits and style of life they may be considered uncivilized even in
contrast to the mingled dwellers on the lowlands; but they are far
from being savages. Their stalwart frames and sturdy independence fit
them for anything, although the latter quality keeps them aloof, and
has so far prevented intercourse with the outside world.

Many have their own pet theories as to the origin of the Berbers and
their language, not a few believing them to have once been altogether
Christians, while others, following native authors, attribute to them
Canaanitish ancestors, and ethnologists dispute as to the branch of
Noah's family in which to class them. It is more than probable that
they are one with the ancient Egyptians, who, at least, were no
barbarians, if Berbers. But all are agreed that some of the finest
stocks of southern and western Europe are of kindred origin, if not
identical with them, and even if this be uncertain, enough has been
said to show that they have played no unimportant part in European
history, though it has ever been their lot to play behind the
scenes--scene-shifters rather than actors.

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._

AN ARAB TENT IN MOROCCO.]



V

THE WANDERING ARAB

  "I am loving, not lustful."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Some strange fascination attaches itself to the simple nomad life of
the Arab, in whatever country he be found, and here, in the far west
of his peregrinations, he is encountered living almost in the same
style as on the other side of Suez; his only roof a cloth, his country
the wide world. Sometimes the tents are arranged as many as thirty
or more in a circle, and at other times they are grouped hap-hazard,
intermingled with round huts of thatch, and oblong ones of sun-dried
bricks, thatched also; but in the latter cases the occupants are
unlikely to be pure Arabs, for that race seldom so nearly approaches
to settling anywhere. When the tents are arranged in a circle, the
animals are generally picketed in the centre, but more often some are
to be found sharing the homes of their owners.

The tent itself is of an oval shape, with a wooden ridge on two poles
across the middle third of the centre, from front to back, with a
couple of strong bands of the same material as the tent fixed on
either side, whence cords lead to pegs in the ground, passing over two
low stakes leaning outwards. A rude camel's hair canvas is stretched
over this frame, being kept up at the edges by more leaning stakes,
and fastened by cords to pegs all round. The door space is left on
the side which faces the centre of the encampment, and the walls or
"curtains" are formed of high thistles lashed together in sheaves.
Surrounding the tent is a yard, a simple bog in winter, the boundary
of which is a ring formed by bundles of prickly branches, which
compose a really formidable barrier, being too much for a jump, and
too tenacious to one another and to visitors for penetration. The
break left for an entrance is stopped at night by another bundle which
makes the circle complete.

The interior of the tent is often more or less divided by the pole
supporting the roof, and by a pile of household goods, such as they
are. Sometimes a rude loom is fastened to the poles, and at it a woman
sits working on the floor. The framework--made of canes--is kept in
place by rigging to pegs in the ground. The woman's hand is her only
shuttle, and she threads the wool through with her fingers, a span at
a time, afterwards knocking it down tightly into place with a heavy
wrought-iron comb about two inches wide, with a dozen prongs. She
seems but half-dressed, and makes no effort to conceal either face or
breast, as a filthy child lies feeding in her lap. Her seat is a piece
of matting, but the principal covering for the floor of trodden mud is
a layer of palmetto leaves. Round the "walls" are several hens with
chicks nestling under their wings, and on one side a donkey is
tethered, while a calf sports at large.

The furniture of this humble dwelling consists of two or three large,
upright, mud-plastered, split-cane baskets, containing corn, partially
sunk in the ground, and a few dirty bags. On one side is the mill, a
couple of stones about eighteen inches across, the upper one convex,
with a handle at one side. Three stones above a small hole in the
ground serve as a cooking-range, while the fuel is abundant in the
form of sun-dried thistles and other weeds, or palmetto leaves and
sticks. Fire is obtained by borrowing from one another, but should it
happen that no one in the encampment had any, the laborious operation
of lighting dry straw from the flash in the pan of a flint-lock would
have to be performed. To light the rude lamp--merely a bit of cotton
protruding from anything with olive-oil in it--it is necessary to blow
some smoking straw or weed till it bursts into a flame.

Little else except the omnipresent dirt is to be found in the average
Arab tent. A tin or two for cooking operations, a large earthen
water-jar, and a pan or two to match, in which the butter-milk is
kept, a sieve for the flour, and a few rough baskets, usually complete
the list, and all are remarkable only for the prevailing grime. Making
a virtue of necessity, the Arab prefers sour milk to fresh, for with
this almost total lack of cleanliness, no milk would long keep sweet.
Their food is of the simplest, chiefly the flour of wheat, barley, or
Indian millet prepared in various ways, for the most part made up into
flat, heavy cakes of bread, or as kesk'soo. Milk, from which butter is
made direct by tossing it in a goat-skin turned inside out, eggs and
fowls form the chief animal food, butcher's meat being but seldom
indulged in. Vegetables do not enter into their diet, as they have no
gardens, and beyond possessing flocks and herds, those Arabs met with
in Barbary are wretchedly poor and miserably squalid. The patriarchal
display of Arabia is here unknown.

Of children and dogs there is no lack. Both abound, and wallow in the
mud together. Often the latter seem to have the better time of it. Two
families by one father will sometimes share one tent between them, but
generally each "household" is distinct, though all sleep together
in the one apartment of their abode. As one approaches a dûár, or
encampment, an early warning is given by the hungry dogs, and soon the
half-clad children rush out to see who comes, followed leisurely by
their elders. Hospitality has ever been an Arab trait, and these poor
creatures, in their humble way, sustain the best traditions of their
race. A native visitor of their own class is entertained and fed by
the first he comes across, while the foreign traveller or native of
means with his own tent is accommodated on the rubbish in the midst
of the encampment, and can purchase all he wishes--all that they
have--for a trifle, though sometimes they turn disagreeable and "pile
it on." A present of milk and eggs, perhaps fowls, may be brought, for
which, however, a _quid pro quo_ is expected.

Luxuries they have not. Whatever they need to do in the way of
shopping, is done at the nearest market once a week, and nothing but
the produce already mentioned is to be obtained from them. In the
evenings they stuff themselves to repletion, if they can afford it,
with a wholesome dish of prepared barley or wheat meal, sometimes
crowned with beans; then, after a gossip round the crackling fire, or,
on state occasions, three cups of syrupy green tea apiece, they roll
themselves in their long blankets and sleep on the ground.

The first blush of dawn sees them stirring, and soon all is life and
excitement. The men go off to their various labours, as do many of the
stronger women, while the remainder attend to their scanty household
duties, later on basking in the sun. But the moment the stranger
arrives the scene changes, and the incessant din of dogs, hags and
babies commences, to which the visitor is doomed till late at
night, with the addition then of neighs and brays and occasional
cock-crowing.

It never seemed to me that these poor folk enjoyed life, but rather
that they took things sadly. How could it be otherwise? No security
of life and property tempts them to make a show of wealth; on the
contrary, they bury what little they may save, if any, and lead lives
of misery for fear of tempting the authorities. Their work is hard;
their comforts are few. The wild wind howls through their humble
dwellings, and the rain splashes in at the door. In sickness, for lack
of medical skill, they lie and perish. In health their only pleasures
are animal. Their women, once they are past the prime of life, which
means soon after thirty with this desert race, go unveiled, and work
often harder than the men, carrying burdens, binding sheaves, or even
perhaps helping a donkey to haul a plough. Female features are never
so jealously guarded here as in the towns.

Yet they are a jolly, good-tempered, simple folk. Often have I spent a
merry evening round the fire with them, squatted on a bit of matting,
telling of the wonders of "That Country," the name which alternates in
their vocabulary with "Nazarene Land," as descriptive of all the world
but Morocco and such portions of North Africa or Arabia as they may
have heard of. Many an honest laugh have we enjoyed over their wordy
tales, or perchance some witty sally; but in my heart I have pitied
these down-trodden people in their ignorance and want. Home they do
not know. When the pasture in Shechem is short, they remove to Dothan;
next month they may be somewhere else. But they are always ready to
share their scanty portion with the wayfarer, wherever they are.

When the time comes for changing quarters these wanderers find the
move but little trouble. Their few belongings are soon collected and
packed, and the tent itself made ready for transportation. Their
animals are got together, and ere long the cavalcade is on the road.
Often one poor beast will carry a fair proportion of the family--the
mother and a child or two, for instance--in addition to a load of
household goods, and bundles of fowls slung by their feet. At the side
men and boys drive the flocks and herds, while as often as not the
elder women-folk take a full share in the porterage of their property.
To meet such a caravan is to feel one's self transported to Bible
times, and to fancy Jacob going home from Padan Aram.



VI

CITY LIFE

  "Seek the neighbour before the house,
  And the companion before the road."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Few countries afford a better insight into typical Mohammedan life, or
boast a more primitive civilization, than Morocco, preserved as it
has been so long from western contamination. The patriarchal system,
rendered more or less familiar to us by our Bibles, still exists in
the homes of its people, especially those of the country-side; but
Moorish city life is no less interesting or instructive. If an
Englishman's house is his castle, the Mohammedan's house is a
prison--not for himself, but for his women. Here is the radical
difference between their life and ours. No one who has not mixed
intimately with the people as one of themselves, lodging in their
houses and holding constant intercourse with them, can form an
adequate idea of the lack of home feeling, even in the happiest
families.

The moment you enter a town, however, the main facts are brought
vividly before you on every hand. You pass along a narrow
thoroughfare--maybe six, maybe sixteen feet in width--bounded by
almost blank walls, in some towns whitewashed, in others bare mud, in
which are no windows, lest their inmates might see or be seen. Even
above the roofs of the majority of two-storied houses (for very many
in the East consist but of ground floor), the wall is continued to
form a parapet round the terrace. If you meet a woman in the street,
she is enveloped from head to ankle in close disguise, with only a
peep-hole for one or both eyes, unless too ugly and withered for such
precautions to be needful.

You arrive at the door of your friend's abode, a huge massive barrier
painted brown or green--if not left entirely uncoloured--and studded
all over with nails. A very prison entrance it appears, for the only
other breaks in the wall above are slits for ventilation, all placed
so high in the room as to be out of reach. In the warmer parts of
the country you would see latticed boxes protruding from the
walls--meshrabîyahs or drinking-places--shelves on which porous
earthen jars may be placed to catch the slightest breeze, that the
God-sent beverage to which Mohammedans are wisely restricted may be at
all times cool. You are terrified, if a stranger, by the resonance of
this great door, as you let the huge iron ring which serves as knocker
fall on the miniature anvil beneath it. Presently your scattered
thoughts are recalled by a chirping voice from within--

"Who's that?"

You recognize the tones as those of a tiny negress slave, mayhap a
dozen years of age, and as you give your name you hear a patter of
bare feet on the tiles within, but if you are a male, you are left
standing out in the street. In a few moments the latch of the inner
door is sedately lifted, and with measured tread you hear the slippers
of your friend advancing.

"Is that So-and-so?" he asks, pausing on the other side of the door.

"It is, my Lord."

"Welcome, then."

The heavy bolt is drawn, and the door swings on its hinges during a
volley and counter-volley of inquiries, congratulations, and thanks to
God, accompanied by the most graceful bows, the mutual touching and
kissing of finger-tips, and the placing of hands on hearts. As these
exercises slacken, your host advances to the inner door, and possibly
disappears through it, closing it carefully behind him. You hear his
stentorian voice commanding, "_Amel trek!_"--"Make way!"--and this is
followed by a scuffle of feet which tells you he is being obeyed. Not
a female form will be in sight by the time your host returns to lead
you in by the hand with a thousand welcomes, entreating you to make
yourself at home.

The passage is constructed with a double turn, so that you could not
look, if you would, from the roadway into the courtyard which you now
enter. If one of the better-class houses, the floor will be paved with
marble or glazed mosaics, and in the centre will stand a bubbling
fountain. Round the sides is a colonnade supporting the first-floor
landing, reached by a narrow stairway in the corner. Above is the
deep-blue sky, obscured, perhaps, by the grateful shade of fig or
orange boughs, or a vine on a trellis, under which the people live.
The walls, if not tiled, are whitewashed, and often beautifully
decorated in plaster mauresques. In the centre of three of the four
sides are huge horseshoe-arched doorways, two of which will probably
be closed by cotton curtains. These suffice to ensure the strictest
privacy within, as no one would dream of approaching within a couple
of yards of a room with the curtain down, till leave had been asked
and obtained.

You are led into the remaining room, the guest-chamber, and the
curtain over the entrance is lowered. You may not now venture to rise
from your seat on the mattress facing the door till the women whom you
hear emerging from their retreats have been admonished to withdraw
again. The long, narrow apartment, some eight feet by twenty, in
which you find yourself has a double bed at each end, for it is
sleeping-room and sitting-room combined, as in Barbary no distinction
is known between the two. However long you may remain, you see no
female face but that of the cheery slave-girl, who kisses your hand so
demurely as she enters with refreshments.

Thus the husband receives his friends--perforce all males unless he be
"on the spree,"--in apartments from which all women-folk are banished.
Likewise the ladies of the establishment hold their festive gatherings
apart. Most Moors, however, are too strict to allow much visiting
among their women, especially if they be wealthy and have a good
complexion, when they are very closely confined, except when allowed
to visit the bath at certain hours set apart for the fair sex, or on
Fridays to lay myrtle branches on the tombs of saints and departed
relatives. Most of the ladies' calls are roof-to-roof visitations, and
very nimble they are in getting over the low partition walls, even
dragging a ladder up and down with them if there are high ones to
be crossed. The reason is that the roofs, or rather terraces, are
especially reserved for women-folk, and men are not even allowed to go
up except to do repairs, when the neighbouring houses are duly warned;
it is illegal to have a window overlooking another's roof. David's
temptation doubtless arose from his exercise of a Royal exemption from
this all-prevailing custom.

But for their exceedingly substantial build, the Moorish women in the
streets might pass for ghosts, for with the exception of their red
Morocco slippers, their costume is white--wool-white. A long and heavy
blanket of coarse homespun effectually conceals all features but
the eyes, which are touched up with antimony on the lids, and are
sufficiently expressive. Sometimes a wide-brimmed straw hat is
jauntily clapped on; but here ends the plate of Moorish out-door
fashions. In-doors all is colour, light and glitter.

In matters of colour and flowing robes the men are not far behind, and
they make up abroad for what they lack at home. No garment is more
artistic, and no drapery more graceful, than that in which the wealthy
Moor takes his daily airing, either on foot or on mule back. Beneath
a gauze-like woollen toga--relic of ancient art--glimpses of luscious
hue are caught--crimson and purple; deep greens and "afternoon sun
colour" (the native name for a rich orange); salmons, and pale, clear
blues. A dark-blue cloak, when it is cold, negligently but gracefully
thrown across the shoulders, or a blue-green prayer-carpet folded
beneath the arm, helps to set off the whole.

_Chez lui_ our friend of the flowing garments is a king, with slaves
to wait upon him, wives to obey him, and servants to fear his wrath.
But his everyday reception-room is the lobby of his stables, where he
sits behind the door in rather shabby garments attending to business
matters, unless he is a merchant or shopkeeper, when his store serves
as office instead.

If all that the Teuton considers essential to home-life is really a
_sine quâ non_, then Orientals have no home-life. That is our way
of looking upon it, judging in the most natural way, by our own
standards. The Eastern, from his point of view, forms an equally poor
idea of the customs which familiarity has rendered most dear to us.
It is as difficult for us to set aside prejudice and to consider his
systems impartially, as for him to do so with regard to our peculiar
style. There are but two criteria by which the various forms of
civilization so far developed by man may be fairly judged. The first
is the suitability of any given form to the surroundings and exterior
conditions of life of the nation adopting it, and the second is the
moral or social effect on the community at large.

Under the first head the unbiassed student of mankind will approve in
the main of most systems adopted by peoples who have attained that
artificiality which we call civilization. An exchange among Westerners
of their time-honoured habits for those of the East would not be less
beneficial or more incongruous than a corresponding exchange on the
part of orientals. Those who are ignorant of life towards the sunrise
commonly suppose that they can confer no greater benefit upon the
natives of these climes than chairs, top-hats, and so on. Hardly could
they be more mistaken. The Easterner despises the man who cannot eat
his dinner without a fork or other implement, and who cannot tuck his
legs beneath him, infinitely more than ill-informed Westerners despise
petticoated men and shrouded women. Under the second head, however,
a very different issue is reached, and one which involves not only
social, but religious life, and consequently the creed on which this
last is based. It is in this that Moorish civilization fails.

       *       *       *       *       *

But list! what is that weird, low sound which strikes upon our ear and
interrupts our musings? It is the call to prayer. For the fifth time
to-day that cry is sounding--a warning to the faithful that the hour
for evening devotions has come. See! yonder Moor has heard it too, and
is already spreading his felt on the ground for the performance of his
nightly orisons. Standing Mekka-wards, and bowing to the ground, he
goes through the set forms used throughout the Mohammedan world. The
majority satisfy their consciences by working off the whole five sets
at once. But that cry! I hear it still; as one voice fails another
carries on the strain in ever varying cadence, each repeating it to
the four quarters of the heavens.

It was yet early in the morning when the first call of the day burst
on the stilly air; the sun had not then risen o'er the hill tops, nor
had his first, soft rays dispelled the shadows of the night. Only the
rustling of the wind was heard as it died among the tree tops--that
wind which was a gale last night. The hurried tread of the night guard
going on his last--perhaps his only--round before returning home, had
awakened me from dreaming slumbers, and I was about to doze away into
that sweetest of sleeps, the morning nap, when the distant cry broke
forth. Pitched in a high, clear key, the Muslim confession of faith
was heard; "Lá iláha il' Al-lah; wa Mohammed er-rasool Al-l-a-h!"
Could ever bell send thrill like that? I wot not.

[Illustration: _Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._

ROOFS OF TANGIER FROM THE BRITISH CONSULATE, SHOWING FLAGSTAFFS OF
FOREIGN LEGATIONS.]



VII

THE WOMEN-FOLK

  "Teach not thy daughter letters; let her not live on the roof."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Of no country in the world can it more truly be said than of the
Moorish Empire that the social condition of the people may be measured
by that of its women. Holding its women in absolute subjection, the
Moorish nation is itself held in subjection, morally, politically,
socially. The proverb heading this chapter, implying that women should
not enjoy the least education or liberty, expresses the universal
treatment of the weaker sex among Mohammedans. It is the subservient
position of women which strikes the visitor from Europe more than all
the oriental strangeness of the local customs or the local art and
colour. Advocates of the restriction of the rights of women in our own
land, and of the retention of disabilities unknown to men, who fail to
recognize the justice and invariability of the principle of absolute
equality in rights and liberty between the sexes, should investigate
the state of things existing in Morocco, where the natural results of
a fallacious principle have had free course.

No welcome awaits the infant daughter, and few care to bear the evil
news to the father, who will sometimes be left uninformed as to the
sex of his child till the time comes to name her. It is rarely that
girls are taught to read, or even to understand the rudiments of their
religious system. Here and there a father who ranks in Morocco as
scholarly, takes the trouble to teach his children at home, including
his daughters in the class, but this is very seldom the case. Only
those women succeed in obtaining even an average education in whom
a thirst for knowledge is combined with opportunities in every way
exceptional. In the country considerably more liberty is permitted
than in the towns, and the condition of the Berber women has already
been noted.

Nevertheless, in certain circumstances, women attain a power quite
abnormal under such conditions, usually the result of natural
astuteness, combined--at the outset, at least--with a reasonable share
of good looks, for when a woman is fairly astute she is a match for a
man anywhere. A Mohammedan woman's place in life depends entirely on
her personal attractions. If she lacks good looks, or is thin--which
in Barbary, as in other Muslim countries, amounts to much the
same thing--her future is practically hopeless. The chances being
less--almost _nil_--of getting her easily off their hands by marriage,
the parents feel they must make the best they can of her by setting
her to work about the house, and she becomes a general drudge. If the
home is a wealthy one, she may be relieved from this lot, and steadily
ply her needle at minutely fine silk embroidery, or deck and paint
herself in style, but, despised by her more fortunate sisters, she is
even then hardly better off.

If, on the other hand, a daughter is the beauty of the family, every
one pays court to her in some degree, for there is no telling to what
she may arrive. Perhaps, in Morocco, she is even thought good enough
for the Sultan--plump, clear-skinned, bright-eyed. Could she but get a
place in the Royal hareem, it would be in the hands of God to make her
the mother of the coming sultan. But good looks alone will not suffice
to take her there. Influence--a word translatable in the Orient by a
shorter one, cash--must be brought to bear. The interest of a wazeer
or two must be secured, and finally an interview must take place with
one of the "wise women" who are in charge of the Imperial ladies. She,
too, must be convinced by the eloquence of dollars, that His Majesty
could not find another so graceful a creature in all his dominions.

When permission is given to send her to Court, what joy there is,
what bedecking, what congratulation! At last she is taken away with
a palpitating heart, as she thinks of the possibilities before her,
bundled up in her blanket and mounted on an ambling mule under
strictest guard. On arrival at her new home her very beauty will make
enemies, especially among those who have been there longest, and who
feel their chances grow less as each new-comer appears. Perhaps one
Friday the Sultan notices her as he walks in his grounds in the
afternoon, and taking a fancy to her, decides to make her his wife. At
once all jealousies are hidden, and each vies with the other to render
her service, and assist the preparations for the coming event. For a
while she will remain supreme--a very queen indeed--but only till her
place is taken by another. If she has sons her chances are better; but
unless she maintains her influence over her husband till her offspring
are old enough to find a lasting place in his affections, she will
probably one day be despatched to Tafilált, beyond the Atlas by the
Sáharah, whence come those luscious dates. There every other man is a
direct descendant of some Moorish king, as for centuries it has served
as a sort of overflow for the prolific Royal house.

As Islám knows no right of primogeniture, each sultan appoints his
heir; so each wife strives to obtain this favour for her son, and
often enough the story of Ishmael and Isaac repeats itself among these
reputed descendants of Hagar. The usual way is for the pet son to
be placed in some command, even before really able to discharge the
duties of the post, which shall secure him supreme control on his
father's death. The treasury and the army are the two great means
to this end. Those possible rivals who have not been sent away to
Tafilált are as often as not imprisoned or put to death on some slight
charge, as used to be the custom in England a few hundred years ago.

This method of bequeathing rights which do not come under the strict
scale for the division of property contained in the Korán is not
confined to Royalty. It applies also to religious sanctity. An
instance is that of the late Shareef, or Noble, of Wazzán, a feudal
"saint" of great influence. His father, on his deathbed, appointed
as successor to his title, his holiness, and the estates connected
therewith, the son who should be found playing with a certain stick,
a common toy of his favourite. But a black woman by whom he had a son
was present, and ran out to place the stick in the hands of her own
child, who thus inherited his father's honours. Some of the queens of
Morocco have arrived at such power through their influence over their
husbands that they have virtually ruled the Empire.

Supposing, however, that the damsel who has at last found admittance
to the hareem does not, after all, prove attractive to her lord, she
will in all probability be sent away to make room for some one else.
She will be bestowed upon some country governor when he comes
to Court. Sometimes it is an especially astute one who is thus
transferred, that she may thereafter serve as a spy on his actions.

Though those before whom lies such a career as has been described will
be comparatively few, none who can be considered beautiful are without
their chances, however poor. Many well-to-do men prefer a poor wife
to a rich one, because they can divorce her when tired of her without
incurring the enmity of powerful relatives. Marriage is enjoined
upon every Muslim as a religious duty, and, if able to afford it, he
usually takes to himself his first wife before he is out of his teens.
He is relieved of the choice of a partner which troubles some of us so
much, for the ladies of his family undertake this for him: if they do
not happen to know of a likely individual they employ a professional
go-between, a woman who follows also the callings of pedlar and
scandal-monger. It is the duty of this personage, on receipt of a
present from his friends, to sing his praises and those of his family
in the house of some beautiful girl, whose friends are thereby induced
to give her a present to go and do likewise on their behalf in the
house of so promising a youth. Personal negotiations will then
probably take place between the lady friends, and all things proving
satisfactory, the fathers or brothers of the might-be pair discuss the
dowry and marriage-settlement from a strictly business point of view.

At this stage the bride-elect will perhaps be thought not fat enough,
and will have to submit to a course of stuffing. This consists in
swallowing after each full meal a few small sausage-shaped boluses
of flour, honey and butter, flavoured with anise-seed or something
similar. A few months of this treatment give a marvellous rotundity to
the figure, thus greatly increasing her charms in the native eye. But
of these the bridegroom will see nothing, if not surreptitiously, till
after the wedding, when she is brought to his house.

By that time formal documents of marriage will have been drawn up,
and signed by notaries before the kádi or judge, setting forth the
contract--with nothing in it about love or honour,--detailing every
article which the wife brings with her, including in many instances a
considerable portion of the household utensils. Notwithstanding all
this, she may be divorced by her husband simply saying, "I divorce
thee!" and though she may claim the return of all she brought, she
has no option but to go home again. He may repent and take her back a
first and a second time, but after he has put her away three times he
may not marry her again till after she has been wedded to some one
else and divorced. Theoretically she may get a divorce from him, but
practically this is a matter of great difficulty.

The legal expression employed for the nuptial tie is one which conveys
the idea of purchasing a field, to be put to what use the owner will,
according him complete control. This idea is borne out to the full,
and henceforward the woman lives for her lord, with no thought of
independence or self-assertion. If he is poor, all work too hard for
him that is not considered unwomanly falls to her share, hewing of
wood and drawing of water, grinding of corn and making of bread,
weaving and washing; but, strange to us, little sewing. When decidedly
_passée_, she saves him a donkey in carrying wood and charcoal and
grass to market, often bent nearly double under a load which she
cannot lift, which has to be bound on her back. Her feet are bare,
but her sturdy legs are at times encased in leather to ward off the
wayside thorns. No longer jealously covered, she and her unmarried
daughters trudge for many weary miles at dawn, her decidedly
better-off half and a son or two riding the family mule. From this it
is but a short step to helping the cow or donkey draw the plough, and
this step is sometimes taken.

Until a woman's good looks have quite disappeared, which
generally occurs about the time they become grandmothers--say
thirty,--intercourse of any sort with men other than her relatives
of the first degree is strictly prohibited, and no one dare salute a
woman in the street, even if her attendant or mount shows her to be
a privileged relative. The slightest recognition of a man
out-of-doors--or indeed anywhere--would be to proclaim herself one of
that degraded outcaste class as common in Moorish towns as in Europe.

Of companionship in wedlock the Moor has no conception, and his ideas
of love are those of lust. Though matrimony is considered by the
Muslim doctors as "half of Islám," its value in their eyes is purely
as a legalization of license by the substitution of polygamy for
polyandry. Slavishly bound to the observance of wearisome customs,
immured in a windowless house with only the roof for a promenade,
seldom permitted outside the door, and then most carefully wrapped in
a blanket till quite unrecognizable, the life of a Moorish woman, from
the time she has first been caught admiring herself in a mirror, is
that of a bird encaged. Lest she might grow content with such a lot,
she has before her eyes from infancy the jealousies and rivalries of
her father's wives and concubines, and is early initiated into the
disgusting and unutterable practices employed to gain the favour of
their lord. Her one thought from childhood is man, and distance lends
enchantment. A word, the interchange of a look, with a man is sought
for by the Moorish maiden more than are the sighs and glances of a
coy brunette by a Spaniard. Nothing short of the unexpurgated Arabian
Nights' Entertainments can convey an adequate idea of what goes on
within those whited sepulchres, the broad, blank walls of Moorish
towns. A word with the mason who comes to repair the roof, or even a
peep at the men at work on the building over the way, on whose account
the roof promenade is forbidden, is eagerly related and expatiated
on. In short, all the training a Moorish woman receives is sensual,
a training which of itself necessitates most rigorous, though often
unavailing, seclusion.

Both in town and country intrigues are common, but intrigues which
have not even the excuse of the blindness of love, whose only motive
is animal passion. The husband who, on returning home, finds a pair
of red slippers before the door of his wife's apartment, is bound to
understand thereby that somebody else's wife or daughter is within,
and he dare not approach. If he has suspicions, all he can do is
to bide his time and follow the visitor home, should the route lie
through the streets, or despatch a faithful slave-girl or jealous
concubine on a like errand, should the way selected be over
the roof-tops. In the country, under a very different set of
conventionalities, much the same takes place.

In a land where woman holds the degraded position which she does under
Islám, such family circles as the Briton loves can never exist. The
foundation of the home system is love, which seldom links the members
of these families, most seldom of all man and wife. Anything else is
not to be expected when they meet for the first time on their wedding
night. To begin with, no one's pleasure is studied save that of
the despotic master of the house. All the inmates, from the poor
imprisoned wives down to the lively slave-girl who opens the door, all
are there to serve his pleasure, and woe betide those who fail.

The first wife may have a fairly happy time of it for a season, if her
looks are good, and her ways pleasing, but when a second usurps her
place, she is generally cast aside as a useless piece of furniture,
unless set to do servile work. Although four legal wives are allowed
by the Korán, it is only among the rich that so many are found, on
account of the expense of their maintenance in appropriate style. The
facility of divorce renders it much cheaper to change from time to
time, and slaves are more economical. To the number of such women that
a man may keep no limit is set; he may have "as many as his right hand
can possess." Then, too, these do the work of the house, and if
they bear their master no children, they may be sold like any other
chattels.

The consequence of such a system is that she reigns who for the time
stands highest in her lord's favour, so that the strife and jealousies
which disturb the peace of the household are continual. This rivalry
is naturally inherited by the children, who side with their several
mothers, which is especially the case with the boys. Very often the
legal wife has no children, or only daughters, while quite a little
troop of step-children play about her house. In these cases it is
not uncommon for at least the best-looking of these youngsters to be
taught to call her "mother," and their real parent "Dadda M'barkah,"
or whatever her name may be. The offspring of wives and bondwomen
stand on an equal footing before the law, in which Islám is still
ahead of us.

Such is the sad lot of women in Morocco. Religion itself being all but
denied them in practice, whatever precept provides, it is with blank
astonishment that the majority of them hear the message of those noble
foreign sisters of theirs who have devoted their lives to showing them
a better way. The greatest difficulty is experienced in arousing
in them any sense of individuality, any feeling of personal
responsibility, or any aspiration after good. They are so accustomed
to be treated as cattle, that their higher powers are altogether
dormant, all possibilities of character repressed. The welfare of
their souls is supposed to be assured by union with a Muslim, and few
know even how to pray. Instead of religion, their minds are saturated
with the grossest superstition. If this be the condition of the free
woman, how much worse that of the slave!

The present socially degraded state in which the people live,
and their apparent, though not real, incapacity for progress and
development, is to a great extent the curse entailed by this
brutalization of women. No race can ever rise above the level of its
weaker sex, and till Morocco learns this lesson it will never rise.
The boy may be the father of the man, but the woman is the mother of
the boy, and so controls the destiny of the nation. Nothing can indeed
be hoped for in this country in the way of social progress till the
minds of the men have been raised, and their estimation of women
entirely changed. Though Turkey was so long much in the position in
which Morocco remains to-day, it is a noteworthy fact that as she
steadily progresses in the way of civilization, one of the most
apparent features of this progress is the growing respect for women,
and the increasing liberty which is allowed them, both in public and
private.



VIII

SOCIAL VISITS[4]
[4: Contributed by my wife.--B. M.]

  "Every country its customs."

  _Moorish Proverb._


"Calling" is not the common, every-day event in Barbary which it has
grown to be in European society. The narrowed-in life of the Moorish
woman of the higher classes, and the strict watch which is kept lest
some other man than her husband should see her, makes a regular
interchange of visits practically impossible. No doubt the Moorish
woman would find them quite as great a burden as her western sister,
and in this particular her ignorance may be greater bliss than her
knowledge. In spite of the paucity of the "calls" she receives or
pays, she is by no means ignorant of the life and character of her
neighbours, thanks to certain old women (amongst them the professional
match-makers) who go about as veritable gossip-mongers, and preserve
their more cloistered sisters at least from dying of inanition. Thus
the veriest trifles of house arrangement or management are thoroughly
canvassed.

Nor is it a privilege commonly extended to European women to be
received into the hareems of the high-class and wealthy Moors,
although lady missionaries have abundant opportunities for making
the acquaintance of the women of the poorer classes, especially when
medical knowledge and skill afford a key. But the wives of the rich
are shut away to themselves, and if you are fortunate enough to be
invited to call upon them, do not neglect your opportunity.

You will find that the time named for calling is not limited to the
afternoon. Thus it may be when the morning air is blowing fresh from
the sea, and the sun is mounting in the heavens, that you are ushered,
perhaps by the master of the house, through winding passages to the
quarters of the women. If there is a garden, this is frequently
reserved for their use, and jealously protected from view, and as in
all cases they are supposed to have the monopoly of the flat roof, the
courteous male foreigner will keep his gaze from wandering thither too
frequently, or resting there too long.

Do not be surprised if you are ushered into an apparently empty room,
furnished after the Moorish manner with a strip of richly coloured
carpet down the centre, and mattresses round the edge. If there is a
musical box in the room, it will doubtless be set going as a pleasant
accompaniment to conversation, and the same applies to striking or
chiming clocks, for which the Moors have a strong predilection as
_objets d'art_, rather than to mark the march of time.

Of course you will not have forgotten to remove your shoes at the
door, and will be sitting cross-legged and quite at ease on one of
the immaculate mattresses, when the ladies begin to arrive from their
retreats. As they step forward to greet you, you may notice their
henna-stained feet, a means of decoration which is repeated on their
hands, where it is sometimes used in conjunction with harkos, a black
pigment with which is applied a delicate tracery giving the effect of
black silk mittens. The dark eyes are made to appear more lustrous
and almond-shaped by the application of antimony, and the brows are
extended till they meet in a black line above the nose. The hair
is arranged under a head-dress frequently composed of two
bright-coloured, short-fringed silk handkerchiefs, knotted together
above the ears, sometimes with the addition of an artificial flower:
heavy ear-rings are worn, and from some of them there are suspended
large silver hands, charms against the "evil eye." But undoubtedly the
main feature of the whole costume is the kaftán or tunic of lustrous
satin or silk, embroidered richly in gold and silver, of a colour
showing to advantage beneath a white lace garment of similar shape.

The women themselves realize that such fine feathers must be guarded
from spot or stain, for they are in many cases family heir-looms, so
after they have greeted you with a slight pressure of their finger
tips laid upon yours, and taken their seats, tailor fashion, you will
notice that each sedulously protects her knees with a rough Turkish
towel, quite possibly the worse for wear. In spite of her love for
personal decoration, evidenced by the strings of pearls with which her
neck is entwined, and the heavy silver armlets, the well-bred Moorish
woman evinces no more curiosity than her European sister about the
small adornments of her visitor, and this is the more remarkable when
you remember how destitute of higher interests is her life. She will
make kindly and very interested inquiries about your relatives, and
even about your life, though naturally, in spite of your explanations,
it remains a sealed book to her. The average Moorish woman, however,
shows herself as inquisitive as the Chinese.

It is quite possible that you may see some of the children,
fascinating, dark-eyed, soft-skinned morsels of humanity, with
henna-dyed hair, which may be plaited in a pig-tail, the length of
which is augmented by a strange device of coloured wool with which the
ends of the hair are interwoven. But children of the better class in
Morocco are accustomed to keep in the background, and unless invited,
do not venture farther than the door of the reception room, and then
with a becoming modesty. If any of the slave-wives enter, you will
have an opportunity of noticing their somewhat quaint greeting of
those whom they desire to honour, a kiss bestowed on each hand, which
they raise to meet their lips, and upon each shoulder, before they,
too, take their seats upon the mattresses.

Probably you will not have long to wait before a slave-girl enters
with the preparations for tea, orange-flower water, incense, a
well-filled tray, a samovar, and two or three dishes piled high with
cakes. If you are wise, you will most assuredly try the "gazelle's
hoofs," so-called from their shape, for they are a most delicious
compound of almond paste, with a spiciness so skilfully blended as to
be almost elusive. If you have a sweet tooth, the honey cakes will be
eminently satisfactory, but if your taste is plainer, you will enjoy
the f'kákis, or dry biscuit. Three cups of their most fragrant tea is
the orthodox allowance, but a Moorish host or hostess is not slow to
perceive any disinclination, however slight, and will sometimes of his
or her own accord pave your way to a courteous refusal, by appearing
not over anxious either for the last cup.

If you have already had an experience of dining in Morocco, the whole
process of the tea-making will be familiar; if not, you will be
interested to notice how the tea ("gunpowder") is measured in the
hand, then emptied into the pot, washed, thoroughly sweetened, made
with boiling water from the samovar, and flavoured with mint or
verbena. If the master of the house is present, he is apt to keep the
tea-making in his own hands, although he may delegate it to one of his
wives, who thus becomes the hostess of the occasion.

After general inquiries as to the purpose of your visit to Morocco,
you may be asked if you are a tabeebah or lady doctor, the one
profession which they know, by hearsay at least, is open to women. If
you can claim ever so little knowledge, you will probably be asked for
a prescription to promote an increase of adipose tissue, which they
consider their greatest charm; perhaps a still harder riddle may be
propounded, with the hope that its satisfactory solution may secure to
them the wavering affection of their lord, and prevent alienation
and, perhaps, divorce. Yet all you can say is, "In shá Allah" (If God
will!)

When you bid them farewell it will be with a keen realization of their
narrow, cramped lives, and an appreciation of your own opportunities.
Did you but know it, they too are full of sympathy for that poor,
over-strained Nazarene woman, who is obliged to leave the shelter of
her four walls, and face the world unveiled, unprotected, unabashed.

And thus our proverb is proved true.



IX

A COUNTRY WEDDING

  "Silence is at the door of consent."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Thursday was chosen as auspicious for the wedding, but the ceremonies
commenced on the Sunday before. The first item on an extensive
programme was the visit of the bride with her immediate female
relatives and friends to the steam bath at the kasbah, a rarity in
country villages, in this case used only by special favour. At the
close of an afternoon of fun and frolic in the bath-house, Zóharah,
the bride, was escorted to her home closely muffled, to keep her bed
till the following day.

Next morning it was the duty of Mokhtar, the bridegroom, to send his
betrothed a bullock, with oil, butter and onions; pepper, salt and
spices; charcoal and wood; figs, raisins, dates and almonds; candles
and henna, wherewith to prepare the marriage feast. He had already,
according to the custom of the country, presented the members of her
family with slippers and ornaments. As soon as the bullock arrived it
was killed amid great rejoicings and plenty of "tom-tom," especially
as in the villages a sheep is usually considered sufficient provision.
On this day Mokhtar's male friends enjoyed a feast in the afternoon,
while in the evening the bride had to undergo the process of
re-staining with henna to the accompaniment of music. The usual effect
of this was somewhat counteracted, however, by the wails of those who
had lost relatives during the year. On each successive night, when the
drumming began, the same sad scene was repeated--a strange alloy in
all the merriment of the wedding.

On the Tuesday Zóharah received her maiden friends, children attending
the reception in the afternoon, till the none too roomy hut was
crowded to suffocation, and the bride exhausted, although custom
prescribed that she should lie all day on the bed, closely wrapped
up, and seen by none of her guests, from whom she was separated by a
curtain. Every visitor had brought with her some little gift, such
as handkerchiefs, candles, sugar, tea, spices and dried fruits, the
inspection of which, when all were gone, was her only diversion that
day. Throughout that afternoon and the next the neighbouring villages
rivalled one another in peaceful sport and ear-splitting ululation, as
though, within the memory of man, no other state of things had ever
existed between them.

Meanwhile Mokhtar had a more enlivening time with his bachelor
friends, who, after feasting with him in the evening, escorted him,
wrapped in a háïk or shawl, to the house of his betrothed, outside
which they danced and played for three or four hours by the light of
lanterns. On returning home, much fun ensued round the supper-basin
on the floor, while the palms of the whole company were stained with
henna. Then their exuberant spirits found relief in dancing round
with basins on their heads, till one of them dropped his basin, and
snatching off Mokhtar's cloak as if for protection, was immediately
chased by the others till supper was ready. After supper all lay back
to sleep. For four days the bridegroom's family had thus to feast and
amuse his male friends, while the ladies were entertained by that of
the bride.

On Wednesday came the turn of the married women visitors, whose
bulky forms crowded the hut, if possible more closely than had their
children. Gossip and scandal were now retailed with a zest and
minuteness of detail not permissible in England, while rival belles
waged wordy war in shouts which sounded like whispers amid the din.
The walls of the hut were hung with the brightest coloured garments
that could be borrowed, and the gorgeous finery of the guests made
up a scene of dazzling colour. Green tea and cakes were first passed
round, and then a tray for offerings for the musicians, which, when
collected, were placed on the floor beneath a rich silk handkerchief.
Presents were also made by all to the bride's mother, on behalf of her
daughter, who sat in weary state on the bed at one end of the room. As
each coin was put down for the players, or for the hostess, a portly
female who acted as crier announced the sum contributed, with a prayer
for blessing in return, which was in due course echoed by the chief
musician. At the bridegroom's house a similar entertainment was held,
the party promenading the lanes at dusk with torches and lanterns,
after which they received from the bridegroom the powder for next
day's play.

[Illustration: A MOORISH CARAVAN.]

Thursday opened with much-needed rest for Zóharah and her mother till
the time came for the final decking; but Mokhtar had to go to the bath
with his bachelor friends, and on returning to his newly prepared
dwelling, to present many of them with small coins, receiving in
return cotton handkerchiefs and towels, big candles and matches. Then
all sat down to a modest repast, for which he had provided raisins and
other dried fruits, some additional fun being provided by a number of
the married neighbours, who tried in vain to gain admission, and in
revenge made off with other people's shoes, ultimately returning them
full of dried fruits and nuts. Then Mokhtar's head was shaved to the
accompaniment of music, and the barber was feasted, while the box in
which the bride was to be fetched was brought in, and decked with
muslin curtains, surmounted by a woman's head-gear, handkerchiefs, and
a sash. The box was about two and a half feet square, and somewhat
more in height, including its pointed top.

After three drummings to assemble the friends, a procession was formed
about a couple of hours after sunset, lit by torches, lanterns
and candles, led by the powder-players, followed by the mounted
bridegroom, and behind him the bridal box lashed on the back of a
horse; surrounded by more excited powder-players, and closed by the
musicians. As they proceeded by a circuitous route the women shrieked,
the powder spoke, till all were roused to a fitting pitch of fervour,
and so reached the house of the bride. "Behold, the bridegroom
cometh!"

Presently the "litter" was deposited at the door, Mokhtar remaining a
short distance off, while the huge old negress, who had officiated so
far as mistress of the ceremonies, lifted Zóharah bodily off the
bed, and placed her, crying, in the cage. In this a loaf of bread, a
candle, some sugar and salt had been laid by way of securing good luck
in her new establishment. Her valuables, packed in another box, were
entrusted to the negress, who was to walk by her side, while strong
arms mounted her, and lashed the "amariah" in its place. As soon as
the procession had reformed, the music ceased, and a Fátihah[5] was
solemnly recited. Then they started slowly, as they had come, Mokhtar
leaving his bride as she was ushered, closely veiled, from her box
into her new home, contenting himself with standing by the side and
letting her pass beneath his arm in token of submission. The door was
then closed, and the bridegroom took a turn with his friends while
the bride should compose herself, and all things be made ready by the
negress. Later on he returned, and being admitted, the newly married
couple met at last.

  [5: The beautiful opening prayer of the Korán.]

Next day they were afforded a respite, but on Saturday the bride had
once more to hold a reception, and on the succeeding Thursday came the
ceremony of donning the belt, a long, stiff band of embroidered silk,
folded to some six inches in width, wound many times round. Standing
over a dish containing almonds, raisins, figs, dates, and a couple of
eggs, in the presence of a gathering of married women, one of whom
assisted in the winding, two small boys adjusted the sash with all due
state, after which a procession was formed round the house, and the
actual wedding was over. Thus commenced a year's imprisonment for
the bride, as it was not till she was herself a mother that she was
permitted to revisit her old home.



X

THE BAIRNS

  "Every monkey is a gazelle to its mother."

  _Moorish Proverb._


If there is one point in the character of the Moor which commends
itself above others to the mind of the European it is his love for his
children. But when it is observed that in too many cases this love
is unequally divided, and that the father prefers his sons to his
daughters, our admiration is apt to wane. Though by no means an
invariable rule, this is the most common outcome of the pride felt in
being the father of a son who may be a credit to the house, and
the feeling that a daughter who has to be provided for is an added
responsibility.

All is well when the two tiny children play together on the floor, and
quarrel on equal terms, but it is another thing when little Hamed goes
daily to school, and as soon as he has learned to read is brought home
in triumph on a gaily dressed horse, heading a procession of shouting
schoolfellows, while his pretty sister Fátimah is fast developing into
a maid-of-all-work whom nobody thinks of noticing. And the distinction
widens when Hamed rides in the "powder-play," or is trusted to keep
shop by himself, while Fátimah is closely veiled and kept a prisoner
indoors, body and mind unexercised, distinguishable by colour and
dress alone from Habîbah, the ebony slave-girl, who was sold like a
calf from her mother's side. Yes, indeed, far different paths lie
before the two play-mates, but while they are treated alike, let us
take a peep at them in their innocent sweetness.

Their mother, Ayeshah, went out as usual one morning to glean in the
fields, and in the evening returned with two bundles upon her back;
the upper one was to replace crowing Hamed in his primitive cradle: it
was Fátimah. Next day, as Ayeshah set off to work again, she left her
son kicking up his heels on a pile of blankets, howling till he should
become acquainted with his new surroundings, and a little skinny mite
lay peacefully sleeping where he had hitherto lived. No mechanical
bassinette ever swung more evenly, and no soft draperies made a better
cot than the sheet tied up by the corners to a couple of ropes, and
swung across the room like a hammock. The beauty of it was that,
roll as he would, even active Hamed had been safe in it, and all his
energies only served to rock him off to sleep again, for the sides
almost met at the top. Yet he was by no means dull, for through a hole
opposite his eye he could watch the cows and goats and sheep as they
wandered about the yard, not to speak of the cocks and hens that
roamed all over the place.

At last the time came when both the wee ones could toddle, and Ayeshah
carried them no more to the fields astride her hips or slung over her
shoulders in a towel. They were then left to disport themselves
as they pleased--which, of course, meant rolling about on the
ground,--their garments tied up under their arms, leaving them bare
from the waist. No wonder that sitting on cold and wet stones had
threatened to shrivel up their thin legs, which looked wonderfully
shaky at best.

It seems to be a maxim among the Moors that neither head, arms nor
legs suffer in any way from exposure to cold or heat, and the mothers
of the poorer classes think nothing of carrying their children slung
across their backs with their little bare pates exposed to the sun and
rain, or of allowing their lower limbs to become numbed with cold as
just described. The sole recommendation of such a system is that only
the fittest--in a certain sense--survive. Of the attention supposed to
be bestowed in a greater or less degree upon all babes in our own land
they get little. One result, however, is satisfactory, for they early
give up yelling, as an amusement which does not pay, and no one is
troubled to march them up and down for hours when teething. Yet it is
hardly surprising that under such conditions infant mortality is
very great, and, indeed, all through life in this doctorless land
astonishing numbers are carried off by diseases we should hardly
consider dangerous.

Beyond the much-enjoyed dandle on Father's knee, or the cuddle with
Mother, delights are few in Moorish child-life, and of toys such as we
have they know nothing, whatever they may find to take their place.
But when a boy is old enough to amuse himself, there is no end to the
mischief and fun he will contrive, and the lads of Barbary are as fond
of their games as we of ours. You may see them racing about after
school hours at a species of "catch-as-catch-can," or playing football
with their heels, or spinning tops, sometimes of European make. Or,
dearest sport of all, racing a donkey while seated on its far hind
quarters, with all the noise and enjoyment we threw into such pastimes
a few years ago. To look at the merry faces of these lively youths,
and to hear their cheery voices, is sufficient to convince anyone of
their inherent capabilities, which might make them easily a match for
English lads if they had their chances.

But what chances have they? At the age of four or five they are
drafted off to school, not to be educated, but to be taught to read
by rote, and to repeat long chapters of the Korán, if not the whole
volume, by heart, hardly understanding what they read. Beyond this
little is taught but the four great rules of arithmetic in the figures
which we have borrowed from them, but worked out in the most primitive
style. In "long" multiplication, for instance, they write every figure
down, and "carry" nothing, so that a much more formidable addition
than need be has to conclude the calculation. But they have a quaint
system of learning their multiplication tables by mnemonics, in which
every number is represented by a letter, and these being made up into
words, are committed to memory in place of the figures.

A Moorish school is a simple affair. No forms, no desks, few books.
A number of boards about the size of foolscap, painted white on both
sides, on which the various lessons--from the alphabet to portions of
the Korán--are plainly written in large black letters; a switch or
two, a pen and ink and a book, complete the furnishings. The dominie,
squatted tailor-fashion on the ground, like his pupils, who may number
from ten to thirty, repeats the lesson in a sonorous sing-song voice,
and is imitated by the little urchins, who accompany their voices by
a rocking to and fro, which occasionally enables them to keep time. A
sharp application of the switch is wonderfully effectual in re-calling
wandering attention. Lazy boys are speedily expelled.

On the admission of a pupil the parents pay some small sum,
varying according to their means, and every Wednesday, which is a
half-holiday, a payment is made from a farthing to twopence. New
moons and feasts are made occasions for larger payments, and count
as holidays, which last ten days on the occasion of the greater
festivals. Thursday is a whole holiday, and no work is done on Friday
morning, that being the Mohammedan Sabbath, or at least "meeting day,"
as it is called.

At each successive stage of the scholastic career the schoolmaster
parades the pupils one by one, if at all well-to-do, in the style
already alluded to, collecting gifts from the grateful parents to
supplement the few coppers the boys bring to school week by week. If
they intend to become notaries or judges, they go on to study at Fez,
where they purchase the key of a room at one of the colleges, and read
to little purpose for several years. In everything the Korán is the
standard work. The chapters therein being arranged without any idea
of sequence, only according to length,--with the exception of the
Fátihah,--the longest at the beginning and the shortest at the end,
after the first the last is learned, and so backwards to the second.

Most of the lads are expected to do something to earn their bread at
quite an early age, in one way or another, even if not called on to
assist their parents in something which requires an old head on young
shoulders. Such youths being so early independent, at least in a
measure, mix with older lads, who soon teach them all the vices they
have not already learned, in which they speedily become as adept as
their parents.

Those intended for a mercantile career are put into the shop at twelve
or fourteen, and after some experience in weighing-out and bargaining
by the side of a father or elder brother, they are left entirely to
themselves, being supplied with goods from the main shop as they need
them.

It is by this means that the multitudinous little box-shops which
are a feature of the towns are enabled to pay their way, this being
rendered possible by an expensive minutely retail trade. The average
English tradesman is a wholesale dealer compared to these petty
retailers, and very many middle-class English households take in
sufficient supplies at a time to stock one of their shops. One reason
for this is the hand-to-mouth manner in which the bulk of the people
live, with no notion of thrift. They earn their day's wage, and if
anything remains above the expense of living, it is invested in gay
clothing or jimcracks. Another reason is that those who could afford
it have seldom any member of their household whom they can trust as
housekeeper, of which more anon.

It seems ridiculous to send for sugar, tea, etc., by the ounce or
less; candles, boxes of matches, etc., one by one; needles, thread,
silk, in like proportion, even when cash is available, but such is the
practice here, and there is as much haggling over the price of one
candle as over that of an expensive article of clothing. Often quite
little children, who elsewhere would be considered babes, are sent out
to do the shopping, and these cheapen and bargain like the sharpest
old folk, with what seems an inherent talent.

Very little care is taken of even the children of the rich, and they
get no careful training. The little sons and daughters of quite
important personages are allowed to run about as neglected and dirty
as those of the very poor. Hence the practice of shaving the head
cannot be too highly praised in a country where so much filth abounds,
and where cutaneous diseases of the worst type are so frequent. It is,
however, noteworthy that while the Moors do not seem to consider it
any disgrace to be scarred and covered with disgusting sores, the
result of their own sins and those of their fathers, they are greatly
ashamed of any ordinary skin disease on the head. But though the
shaven skulls are the distinguishing feature of the boys in the house,
where their dress closely resembles that of their sisters, the girls
may be recognized by their ample locks, often dyed to a fashionable
red with henna; yet they, too, are often partially shaved, sometimes
in a fantastic style. It may be the hair in front is cut to a fringe
an inch long over the forehead, and a strip a quarter of an inch wide
is shaved just where the visible part of a child's comb would come,
while behind this the natural frizzy or straight hair is left, cut
short, while the head is shaved again round the ears and at the back
of the neck. To perform these operations a barber is called in, who
attends the family regularly. Little boys of certain tribes have long
tufts left hanging behind their ears, and occasionally they also have
their heads shaved in strange devices.

Since no attempt is made to bring the children up as useful members
of the community at the age when they are most susceptible, they are
allowed to run wild. Thus, bright and tractable as they are naturally,
no sooner do the lads approach the end of their 'teens, than a marked
change comes over them, a change which even the most casual observer
cannot fail to notice. The hitherto agreeable youths appear washed-out
and worthless. All their energy has disappeared, and from this time
till a second change takes place for the worse, large numbers drag out
a weary existence, victims of vices which hold them in their grip,
till as if burned up by a fierce but short-lived fire, they ultimately
become seared and shattered wrecks. From this time every effort is
made to fan the flickering or extinguished flame, till death relieves
the weary mortal of the burden of his life.



XI

"DINING OUT"[6]
  [6: Contributed by my wife.--B. M.]

  "A good supper is known by its odour."

  _Moorish Proverb._


There are no more important qualifications for the diner-out in
Morocco than an open mind and a teachable spirit. Then start with a
determination to forget European table manners, except in so far as
they are based upon consideration for the feelings of others, setting
yourself to do in Morocco as the Moors do, and you cannot fail to gain
profit and pleasure from your experience.

One slight difficulty arises from the fact that it is somewhat hard to
be sure at any time that you have been definitely invited to partake
of a Moorish meal. A request that you would call at three o'clock in
the afternoon, mid-way between luncheon and dinner, would seem an
unusual hour for a heavy repast, yet that is no guarantee that you may
not be expected to partake freely of an elaborate feast.

If you are a member of the frail, fair sex, the absence of all other
women will speedily arouse you to the fact that you are in an oriental
country, for in Morocco the sons and chief servants, though they
eat after the master of the house, take precedence of the wives and
women-folk, who eat what remains of the various dishes, or have
specially prepared meals in their own apartments. For the same reason
you need not be surprised if you are waited upon after the men of
the party, though this order is sometimes reversed where the host
is familiar with European etiquette with regard to women. If a man,
perhaps a son will wait upon you.

The well-bred Moor is quite as great a stickler for the proprieties as
the most conservative Anglo-Saxon, and you will do well if you show
consideration at the outset by removing your shoes at the door of the
room, turning a deaf ear to his assurance that such a proceeding is
quite unnecessary on your part. A glance round the room will make it
clear that your courtesy will be appreciated, for the carpet on the
floor is bright and unmarked by muddy or dusty shoes (in spite of the
condition of the streets outside), and the mattresses upon which you
are invited to sit are immaculate in their whiteness.

Having made yourself comfortable, you will admire the arrangements
for the first item upon the programme. The slave-girl appears with a
handsome tray, brass or silver, upon which there are a goodly number
of cups or tiny glass tumblers, frequently both, of delicate pattern
and artistic colouring, a silver tea-pot, a caddy of green tea, a
silver or glass bowl filled with large, uneven lumps of sugar, which
have been previously broken off from the loaf, and a glass containing
sprigs of mint and verbena. The brass samovar comes next, and having
measured the tea in the palm of his right hand, and put it into the
pot, the host proceeds to pour a small amount of boiling water upon
it, which he straightway pours off, a precaution lest the Nazarenes
should have mingled some colouring matter therewith. He then adds
enough sugar to ensure a semi-syrupy result, with some sprigs of
peppermint, and fills the pot from the samovar. A few minutes later he
pours out a little, which he tastes himself, frequently returning the
remainder to the pot, although the more Europeanized consume the whole
draught. If the test has been satisfactory, he proceeds to fill the
cups or glasses, passing them in turn to the guests in order of
distinction. To make a perceptible noise in drawing it from the glass
to the mouth is esteemed a delicate token of appreciation.

The tray is then removed; the slave in attendance brings a chased
brass basin and ewer of water, and before the serious portion of the
meal begins you are expected to hold out your right hand just to
cleanse it from any impurities which may have been contracted in
coming. Orange-flower water in a silver sprinkler is then brought in,
followed by a brass incense burner filled with live charcoal, on which
a small quantity of sandal-wood or other incense is placed, and the
result is a delicious fragrance which you are invited to waft by a
circular motion of your hands into your hair, your ribbons and your
laces, while your Moorish host finds the folds of his loose garments
invaluable for the retention of the spicy perfume.

A circular table about eight inches high is then placed in the centre
of the guests; on this is placed a tray with the first course of the
dinner, frequently puffs of delicate pastry fried in butter over a
charcoal fire, and containing sometimes meat, sometimes a delicious
compound of almond paste and cinnamon. This, being removed, is
followed by a succession of savoury stews with rich, well-flavoured
gravies, each with its own distinctive spiciness, but all excellently
cooked. The host first dips a fragment of bread into the gravy, saying
as he does so, "B'ísm Illah!" ("In the name of God!"), which the
guests repeat, as each follows suit with a sop from the dish.

There is abundant scope for elegance of gesture in the eating of the
stews, but still greater opportunity when the _pièce de résistance_ of
a Moorish dinner, the dish of kesk'soo, is brought on. This kesk'soo
is a small round granule prepared from semolina, which, having been
steamed, is served like rice beneath and round an excellent stew,
which is heaped up in the centre of the dish. With the thumb and
two first fingers of the right hand you are expected to secure some
succulent morsel from the stew,--meat, raisins, onions, or vegetable
marrow,--and with it a small quantity of the kesk'soo. By a skilful
motion of the palm the whole is formed into a round ball, which is
thrown with a graceful curve of hand and wrist into the mouth. Woe
betide you if your host is possessed by the hospitable desire to make
one of these boluses for you, for he is apt to measure the cubic
content of your mouth by that of his own, and for a moment your
feelings will be too deep for words; but this is only a brief
discomfort, and you will find the dish an excellent one, for Moorish
cooks never serve tough meat.

If your fingers have suffered from contact with the kesk'soo, it is
permitted to you to apply your tongue to each digit in turn in the
following order; fourth (or little finger), second, thumb, third,
first; but a few moments later the slave appears, and after bearing
away the table with the remains of the feast gives the opportunity for
a most satisfactory ablution. In this case you are expected to use
soap, and to wash both hands, over which water is poured three times.
If you are at all acquainted with Moorish ways, you will not fail at
the same time to apply soap and water to your mouth both outwardly and
inwardly, being careful to rinse it three times with plenty of noise,
ejecting the water behind your hand into the basin which is held
before you.

Orange-flower water and incense now again appear, and you may be
required to drink three more glasses of refreshing tea, though this is
sometimes omitted at the close of a repast. Of course "the feast of
reason and the flow of soul" have not been lacking, and you have been
repeatedly assured of your welcome, and invited to partake beyond
the limit of human possibility, for the Moor believes you can pay
no higher compliment to the dainties he has provided than by their
consumption.

For a while you linger, reclining upon the mattress as gracefully as
may be possible for a tyro, with your arm upon a pile of many-coloured
cushions of embroidered leather or cloth. Then, after a thousand
mutual thanks and blessings, accompanied by graceful bowings and
bendings, you say farewell and step to the door, where your slippers
await you, and usher yourself out, not ill-satisfied with your
initiation into the art of dining-out in Barbary.

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._

FRUIT-SELLERS.]



XII

DOMESTIC ECONOMY

  "Manage with bread and butter till God sends the jam."

  _Moorish Proverb._


If the ordinary regulations of social life among the Moors differ
materially from those in force among ourselves, how much more so must
the minor details of the housekeeping when, to begin with, the husband
does the marketing and keeps the keys! And the consequential Moor
does, indeed, keep the keys, not only of the stores, but also often of
the house. What would an English lady think of being coolly locked
in a windowless house while her husband went for a journey, the
provisions for the family being meanwhile handed in each morning
through a loophole by a trusty slave left as gaoler? That no surprise
whatever would be elicited in Barbary by such an arrangement speaks
volumes. Woman has no voice under Mohammed's creed.

Early in the morning let us take a stroll into the market, and see how
things are managed there. Round the inside of a high-walled enclosure
is a row of the rudest of booths. Over portions of the pathway,
stretching across to other booths in the centre--if the market is a
wide one--are pieces of cloth, vines on trellis, or canes interwoven
with brushwood. As the sun gains strength these afford a most grateful
shade, and during the heat of the day there is no more pleasant place
for a stroll, and none more full of characteristic life. In the wider
parts, on the ground, lie heaps two or three feet high of mint,
verbena and lemon thyme, the much-esteemed flavourings for the
national drink--green-tea syrup--exhaling a most delicious fragrance.
It is early summer: the luscious oranges are not yet over, and in
tempting piles they lie upon the stalls made of old packing-cases,
many with still legible familiar English and French inscriptions.
Apricots are selling at a halfpenny or less the pound, and plums and
damsons, not to speak of greengages, keep good pace with them in price
and sales. The bright tints of the lettuces and other fresh green
vegetables serve to set off the rich colours of the God-made
delicacies, but the prevailing hue of the scene is a restful
earth-brown, an autumnal leaf-tint; the trodden ground, the sun-dried
brush-wood of the booths and awnings, and the wet-stained wood-work.
No glamour of paint or gleam of glass destroys the harmony of the
surroundings.

But with all the feeling of cool and repose, rest there is not, or
idleness, for there is not a brisker scene in an oriental town than
its market-place. Thronging those narrow pathways come the rich and
poor--the portly merchant in his morning cloak, a spotless white wool
jelláb, with a turban and girth which bespeak easy circumstances; the
labourer in just such a cloak with the hood up, but one which was
always brown, and is now much mended; the slave in shirt and drawers,
with a string round his shaven pate; the keen little Jew boy pushing
and bargaining as no other could; the bearded son of Israel, with
piercing eyes, and his daughter with streaming hair; lastly, the widow
or time-worn wife of the poor Mohammedan, who must needs market for
herself. Her wrinkled face and care-worn look tell a different tale
from the pompous self-content of the merchant by her side, who drives
as hard a bargain as she does. In his hand he carries a palmetto-leaf
basket, already half full, as with slippered feet he carefully picks
his way among puddles and garbage.

"Good morning, O my master; God bless thee!" exclaims the stall-keeper
as his customer comes in sight.

Sáïd el Faráji has to buy cloth of the merchant time and time again,
so makes a point of pleasing one who can return a kindness.

"No ill, praise God; and thyself, O Sáïd?" comes the cheery reply;
then, after five minutes' mutual inquiry after one another's
household, horses and other interests, health and general welfare,
friend Sáïd points out the daintiest articles on his stall, and in the
most persuasive of tones names his "lowest price."

All the while he is sitting cross-legged on an old box, with his
scales before him.

"What? Now, come, I'll give you _so_ much," says the merchant, naming
a price slightly less than that asked.

"Make it _so_ much," exclaims Sáïd, even more persuasively than
before, as he "splits the difference."

"Well, I'll give you _so_ much," offering just a little less than this
sum. "I can't go above that, you know."

"All right, but you always get the better of me, you know. That is
just what I paid. Anyhow, don't forget that when I want a new cloak,"
and he proceeds to measure out the purchases, using as weights two or
three bits of old iron, a small cannon-ball, some bullets, screws,
coins, etc. "Go with prosperity, my friend; and may God bless thee!"

"And may God increase thy prosperity, and grant to thee a blessing!"
rejoins the successful man, as he proceeds to another stall.

By the time he reaches home his basket will contain meat, fish,
vegetables, fruit and herbs, besides, perhaps, a loaf of sugar, and a
quarter of a pound of tea, with supplies of spices and some candles.
Bread they make at home.

The absurdly minute quantities of what we should call "stores," which
a man will purchase who could well afford to lay in a supply, seem
very strange to the foreigner; but it is part of his domestic
economy--or lack of that quality. He will not trust his wife with more
than one day's supply at a time, and to weigh things out himself each
morning would be trouble not to be dreamed of; besides which it would
deprive him of the pleasure of all that bargaining, not to speak of
the appetite-promoting stroll, and the opportunities for gossip with
acquaintances which it affords. In consequence, wives and slaves are
generally kept on short allowances, if these are granted at all.

An amusing incident which came under my notice in Tangier shows how
little the English idea of the community of interest of husband and
wife is appreciated here. A Moorish woman who used to furnish milk to
an English family being met by the lady of the house one morning, when
she had brought short measure, said, pointing to the husband in the
distance, "_You_ be my friend; take this" (slipping a few coppers
worth half a farthing into her hand), "don't tell _him_ anything about
it. I'll share the profit with you!" She probably knew from experience
that the veriest trifle would suffice to buy over the wife of a Moor.

Instructions having been given to his wife or wives as to what is to
be prepared, and how--he probably pretends to know more of the art
culinary than he does--the husband will start off to attend to his
shop till lunch, which will be about noon. Then a few more hours in
the shop, and before the sun sets a ride out to his garden by the
river, returning in time for dinner at seven, after which come talk,
prayers, and bed, completing what is more or less his daily round. His
wives will probably be assisted in the house-work--or perhaps entirely
relieved of it--by a slave-girl or two, and the water required will be
brought in on the shoulders of a stalwart negro in skins or
barrels filled from some fountain of good repute, but of certain
contamination.

In cooking the Moorish women excel, as their first-rate productions
afford testimony. It is the custom of some Europeans to systematically
disparage native preparations, but such judges have been the victims
either of their own indiscretion in eating too many rich things
without the large proportion of bread or other digestible nutriment
which should have accompanied them, or of the essays of their own
servants, usually men without any more knowledge of how their mothers
prepare the dishes they attempt to imitate than an ordinary English
working man would have of similar matters. Of course there are certain
flavourings which to many are really objectionable, but none can be
worse to us than any preparation of pig would be to a Moor. Prominent
among such is the ancient butter which forms the basis of much
of their spicings, butter made from milk, which has been
preserved--usually buried a year or two--till it has acquired the
taste, and somewhat the appearance, of ripe Gorgonzola. Those who
commence by trying a very slight flavour of this will find the fancy
grow upon them, and there is no smell so absolutely appetizing as the
faintest whiff of anything being cooked in this butter, called "smin."

Another point, much misunderstood, which enables them to cook the
toughest old rooster or plough-ox joint till it can be eaten readily
with the fingers, is the stewing in oil or butter. When the oil itself
is pure and fresh, it imparts no more taste to anything cooked in it
than does the fresh butter used by the rich. Articles plunged into
either at their high boiling point are immediately browned and
enclosed in a kind of case, with a result which can be achieved in
no other manner than by rolling in paste or clay, and cooking amid
embers. Moorish pastry thus cooked in oil is excellent, flaky and
light.



XIII

THE NATIVE "MERCHANT"

  "A turban without a beard shows lack of modesty."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Háj Mohammed Et-Tájir, a grey-bearded worthy, who looks like a prince
when he walks abroad, and dwells in a magnificent house, sits during
business hours on a diminutive tick and wool mattress, on the floor
of a cob-webbed room on one side of an ill-paved, uncovered, dirty
court-yard. Light and air are admitted by the door in front of which
he sits, while the long side behind him, the two ends, and much of the
floor, are packed with valuable cloths, Manchester goods, silk, etc.
Two other sides of the court-yard consist of similar stores, one
occupied by a couple of Jews, and the other by another fine-looking
Háj, his partner.

Enters a Moor, in common clothing, market basket in hand. He
advances to the entrance of the store, and salutes the owner
respectfully--"Peace be with thee, Uncle Pilgrim!"

"With thee be peace, O my master," is the reply, and the new-comer is
handed a cushion, and motioned to sit on it at the door. "How doest
thou?" "How fares thy house?" "How dost thou find thyself this
morning?" "Is nothing wrong with thee?" These and similar inquiries
are showered by each on the other, and an equal abundance is returned
of such replies as, "Nothing wrong;" "Praise be to God;" "All is
well."

When both cease for lack of breath, after a brief pause the new
arrival asks, "Have you any of that 'Merican?" (unbleached calico).
The dealer puts on an indignant air, as if astonished at being asked
such a question. "_Have_ I? There is no counting what I have of it,"
and he commences to tell his beads, trying to appear indifferent as to
whether his visitor buys or not. Presently the latter, also anxious
not to appear too eager, exclaims, "Let's look at it." A piece is
leisurely handed down, and the customer inquires in a disparaging
tone, "How much?"

"Six and a half," and the speaker again appears absorbed in
meditation.

"Give thee six," says the customer, rising as if to go.

"Wait, thou art very dear to us; to thee alone will I give a special
price, six and a quarter."

"No, no," replies the customer, shaking his finger before his face, as
though to emphasize his refusal of even such special terms.

"Al-l-láh!" piously breathes the dealer, as he gazes abstractedly out
of the door, presently adding in the same devout tone, "There is no
god but God! God curse the infidels!"

"Come, I'll give thee six and an okea"--of which latter six and a half
go to the 'quarter' peseta or franc of which six were offered.

"No, six and five is the lowest I can take."

The might-be purchaser made his last offer in a half-rising posture,
and is now nearly erect as he says, "Then I can't buy; give it me for
six and three," sitting down as though the bargain were struck.

"No, I never sell that quality for less than six and four, and it's a
thing I make no profit on; you know that."

The customer doesn't look as though he did, and rising, turns to go.

"Send a man to carry it away," says the dealer.

"At six and three!"

"No, at six and four!" and the customer goes away.

"Send the man, it is thine," is hastily called after him, and in a few
moments he returns with a Jewish porter, and pays his "six and three."

So our worthy trader does business all day, and seems to thrive on it.
Occasionally a friend drops in to chat and not to buy, and now and
then there is a beggar; here is one.

An aged crone she is, of most forbidding countenance, swathed in rags,
it is a wonder she can keep together. She leans on a formidable staff,
and in a piteous voice, "For the face of the Lord," and "In the name
of my Lord Slave-of-the-Able" (Mulai Abd el Káder, a favourite saint),
she begs something "For God." One copper suffices to induce her to
call down untold blessings on the head of the donor, and she trudges
away in the mud, barefooted, repeating her entreaties till they sound
almost a wail, as she turns the next corner. But beggars who can be
so easily disposed of at the rate of a hundred and ninety-five for a
shilling can hardly be considered troublesome.

A respectable-looking man next walks in with measured tread, and
leaning towards us, says almost in a whisper--

"O Friend of the Prophet, is there anything to-day?"

"Nothing, O my master," is the courteously toned reply, for the
beggar appears to be a shareef or noble, and with a "God bless thee,"
disappears.

A miserable wretch now turns up, and halfway across the yard begins to
utter a whine which is speedily cut short by a curt "God help thee!"
whereat the visitor turns on his heel and is gone.

With a confident bearing an untidy looking figure enters a moment
later, and after due salaams inquires for a special kind of cloth.

"Call to-morrow morning," he is told, for he has not the air of a
purchaser, and he takes his departure meekly.

A creaky voice here breaks in from round the corner--

"Hast thou not a copper for the sake of the Lord?"

"No, O my brother."

After a few minutes another female comes on the scene, exhibiting
enough of her face to show that it is a mass of sores.

"Only a trifle, in the name of my lord Idrees," she cries, and turns
away on being told, "God bring it!"

Then comes a policeman, a makházni, who seats himself amid a shower of
salutations--

"Hast thou any more of those selháms" (hooded cloaks)?

"Come on the morrow, and thou shalt see."

The explanation of this answer given by the "merchant" is that he sees
such folk only mean to bother him for nothing.

And this appears to be the daily routine of "business," though a good
bargain must surely be made some time to have enabled our friend to
acquire all the property he has, but so far as an outsider can judge,
it must be a slow process. Anyhow, it has heartily tired the writer,
who has whiled away the morning penning this account on a cushion on
one side of the shop described. Yet it is a fair specimen of what has
been observed by him on many a morning in this sleepy land.



XIV

SHOPPING[7]
  [7: Contributed by my wife.--B. M.]

  "Debt destroys religion."

  _Moorish Proverb._


If any should imagine that time is money in Morocco, let them
undertake a shopping expedition in Tangier, the town on which, if
anywhere in Morocco, occidental energy has set its seal. Not that one
such excursion will suffice, unless, indeed, the purchaser be of the
class who have more money than wit, or who are absolutely at the mercy
of the guide and interpreter who pockets a commission upon every
bargain he brings about. For the ordinary mortal, who wants to spread
his dollars as far as it is possible for dollars to go, a tour of
inspection, if not two or three, will be necessary before such a feat
can be accomplished. To be sure, there is always the risk that between
one visit and another some coveted article may find its way into the
hands of a more reckless, or at least less thrifty, purchaser, but
that risk may be safely taken.

[Illustration: _Albert, Photo., Tunis._

A TUNISIAN SHOPKEEPER.]

There is something very attractive in the small cupboard-like shops
of the main street. Their owners sit cross-legged ready for a chat,
looking wonderfully picturesque in cream-coloured jelláb, or in
semi-transparent white farrajîyah, or tunic, allowing at the throat
a glimpse of saffron, cerise, or green from the garment beneath. The
white turban, beneath which shows a line of red Fez cap, serves as a
foil to the clear olive complexion and the dark eyes and brows, while
the faces are in general goodly to look upon, except where the lines
have grown coarse and sensuous.

So strong is the impression of elegant leisure, that it is difficult
to imagine that these men expect to make a living from their trade,
but they are more than willing to display their goods, and will
doubtless invite you to a seat upon the shop ledge--where your feet
dangle gracefully above a rough cobble-stone pavement--and sometimes
even to a cup of tea. One after another, in quick succession, carpets
of different dimensions (but all oblong, for Moorish rooms are narrow
in comparison with their length) are spread out in the street, and the
shop-owners' satellite, by reiterated cries of "Bálak! Bálak!" (Mind
out! Mind out!) accompanied by persuasive pushes, keeps off the
passing donkeys. A miniature crowd of interested spectators will
doubtless gather round you, making remarks upon you and your
purchases. Charmed by the artistic colourings, rich but never garish,
you ask the price, and if you are wise you will immediately offer just
half of that named. It is quite probable that the carpets will be
folded up and returned to their places upon the shelf at the back of
the shop, but it is equally probable that by slow and tactful yielding
upon either side, interspersed with curses upon your ancestors and
upon yourself, the bargain will be struck about halfway between the
two extremes.

The same method must be adopted with every article bought, and if you
purpose making many purchases in the same shop, you will be wise to
obtain and write down the price quoted in each case as "the _very_
lowest," and make your bid for the whole at once, lest, made cunning
by one experience of your tactics, the shopman should put on a wider
marginal profit in every other instance to circumvent you. It is also
well for the purchaser to express ardent admiration in tones of calm
indifference, for the Moor has quick perceptions, and though he may
not understand English, when enthusiasm is apparent, he has the key to
the situation, and refuses to lower his prices.

Nevertheless, it is sometimes difficult to avoid a warm expression of
admiration at the handsome brass trays, the Morocco leather bags into
which such charming designs of contrasting colours are skilfully
introduced, or the graceful utensils of copper and brass with which
a closer acquaintance was made when you were the guest at a Moorish
dinner. Many and interesting are the curious trifles which may be
purchased, but they will be found in the greatest profusion in the
bazaars established for the convenience of Nazarene tourists, where
prices will frequently be named in English money, for an English
"yellow-boy" is nowhere better appreciated than in Tangier.

In the shops in the sôk, or market-place, prices are sometimes more
moderate, and there you may discover some of the more distinctively
Moorish articles, which are brought in from the country; nor can there
be purchased a more interesting memento than a flint-lock, a pistol,
or a carved dagger, all more or less elaborately decorated, such as
are carried by town or country Moor, the former satisfied with a
dagger in its chased sheath, except at the time of "powder-play," when
flint-locks are in evidence everywhere.

But in the market-place there are exposed for sale the more perishable
things of Moorish living. Some of the small cupboards are grocers'
shops, where semolina for the preparation of kesk'soo, the national
dish, may be purchased, as well as candles for burning at the saints'
shrines, and a multitude of small necessaries for the Moorish
housewives. In the centre of the market sit the bread-sellers, for the
most part women whose faces are supposed to be religiously kept veiled
from the gaze of man, but who are apt to let their háïks fall back
quite carelessly when only Europeans are near. An occasional glimpse
may sometimes be thus obtained of a really pretty face of some lass on
the verge of womanhood.

Look at that girl in front of us, stooping over the stall of a vendor
of what some one has dubbed "sticky nastinesses," her háïk lightly
thrown back; her bent form and the tiny hand protruding at her side
show that she is not alone, her little baby brother proving almost
as much as she can carry. Her teeth are pearly white; her hair and
eyebrows are jet black; her nut-brown cheeks bear a pleasant smile,
and as she stretches out one hand to give the "confectioner" a few
coppers, with the other clutching at her escaping garment, and moves
on amongst the crowd, we come to the conclusion that if not fair, she
is at least comely.

The country women seated on the ground with their wares form a nucleus
for a dense crowd. They have carried in upon their backs heavy loads
of grass for provender, or firewood and charcoal which they sell in
wholesale quantities to the smaller shopkeepers, who purchase from
other countryfolk donkey loads of ripe melons and luscious black figs.

There is a glorious inconsequence in the arrangement of the wares.
Here you may see a pile of women's garments exposed for sale, and not
far away are sweet-sellers with honey-cakes and other unattractive
but toothsome delicacies. If you can catch a glimpse of the native
brass-workers busily beating out artistic designs upon trays of
different sizes and shapes, do not fail to seize the opportunity
of watching them. You may form one in the ring gathered round the
snake-charmer, or join the circle which listens open-mouthed and with
breathless attention to that story-teller, who breaks off at a most
critical juncture in his narrative to shake his tambourine, declaring
that so close-fisted an audience does not deserve to hear another
word, much less the conclusion of his fascinating tale.

But before you join either party, indeed before you mingle at all
freely in the crowd upon a Moorish market-place, it is well to
remember that the flea is a common domestic insect, impartial in the
distribution of his favours to Moor, Jew and Nazarene, and is in fact
not averse to "fresh fields and pastures new."

If you are clad in perishable garments, beware of the water-carrier
with his goat-skin, his tinkling bell, his brass cup, and his strange
cry. Beware, too, of the strings of donkeys with heavily laden packs,
and do not scruple to give them a forcible push out of your way.
If you are mounted upon a donkey yourself, so much the better; by
watching the methods of your donkey-boy to ensure a clear passage for
his beast, you will realize that dwellers in Barbary are not strangers
to the spirit of the saying, "Each man for himself, and the de'il take
the hindmost."

Yet they are a pleasant crowd to be amongst, in spite of insect-life,
water-carriers, and bulky pack-saddles, and there is an exhaustless
store of interest, not alone in the wares they have for sale, and in
the trades they ply, but more than all in the faces, so often keen and
alert, and still more often bright and smiling.

One typical example of Moorish methods of shopping, and I have done.
Among those who make their money by trade, you may find a man who
spends his time in bringing the would-be purchaser into intimate
relations with the article he desires to obtain. He has no shop of his
own, but may often be recognized as an interested spectator of some
uncompleted bargain. Having discovered your dwelling-place, he
proceeds to "bring the mountain to Mohammed," and you will doubtless
be confronted in the court-yard of your hotel by the very article for
which you have been seeking in vain. Of course he expects a good price
which shall ensure him a profit of at least fifty per cent. upon his
expenditure, but he too is open to a bargain, and a little skilful
pointing out of flaws in the article which he has brought for
purchase, in a tone of calm and supreme indifference, is apt to ensure
a very satisfactory reduction of price in favour of the shopper in
Barbary.



XV

A SUNDAY MARKET

  "A climb with a friend is a descent."

  _Moorish Proverb._


One of the sights of Tangier is its market. Sundays and Thursdays,
when the weather is fine, see the disused portion of the Mohammedan
graveyard outside _Báb el Fahs_ (called by the English Port St.
Catherine, and now known commonly as the Sôk Gate) crowded with buyers
and sellers of most quaint appearance to the foreign eye, not to
mention camels, horses, mules, and donkeys, or the goods they have
brought. Hither come the sellers from long distances, trudging all the
way on foot, laden or not, according to means, all eager to exchange
their goods for European manufacturers, or to carry home a few more
dollars to be buried with their store.

Sunday is no Sabbath for the sons of Israel, so the money-changers are
doing a brisk trade from baskets of filthy native bronze coin, the
smallest of which go five hundred to the shilling, and the largest
three hundred and thirty-three! Hard by a venerable rabbi is leisurely
cutting the throats of fowls brought to him for the purpose by the
servants or children of Jews, after the careful inspection enjoined
by the Mosaic law. The old gentleman has the coolest way of doing it
imaginable; he might be only peeling an orange for the little girl who
stands waiting. After apparently all but turning the victim inside
out, he twists back its head under its wings, folding these across its
breast as a handle, and with his free hand removing his razor-like
knife from his mouth, nearly severs its neck and hands it to the
child, who can scarcely restrain its struggles except by putting her
foot on it, while he mechanically wipes his blade and prepares to
despatch another.

Eggs and milk are being sold a few yards off by country women squatted
on the ground, the former in baskets or heaps on the stones, the
latter in uninviting red jars, with a round of prickly-pear leaf for a
stopper, and a bit of palmetto rope for a handle.

By this time we are in the midst of a perfect Babel--a human
maëlstrom. In a European crowd one is but crushed by human beings;
here all sorts of heavily laden quadrupeds, with packs often four feet
across, come jostling past, sometimes with the most unsavoury loads.
We have just time to observe that more country women are selling
walnuts, vegetables, and fruits, on our left, at the door of what used
to be the tobacco and hemp fandak, and that native sweets, German
knick-knacks and Spanish fruit are being sold on our right, as amid
the din of forges on either side we find ourselves in the midst of the
crush to get through the narrow gate.

Here an exciting scene ensues. Continuous streams of people and beasts
of burden are pushing both ways; a drove of donkeys laden with rough
bundles of cork-wood for the ovens approaches, the projecting ends
prodding the passers-by; another drove laden with stones tries to pass
them, while half a dozen mules and horses vainly endeavour to pass
out. A European horseman trots up and makes the people fly, but not so
the beasts, till he gets wedged in the midst, and must bide his time
after all. Meanwhile one is almost deafened by the noise of
shouting, most of it good-humoured. "Zeed! Arrah!" vociferates
the donkey-driver. "Bálak!" shouts the horseman. "Bálak! Guarda!"
(pronounced warda) in a louder key comes from a man who is trying to
pilot a Minister Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary through the
gate, with Her Excellency on his arm.

At last we seize a favourable opportunity and are through. Now we can
breathe. In front of us, underneath an arch said to have been built
to shelter the English guard two hundred years ago (which is very
unlikely, since the English destroyed the fortifications of this
gate), we see the native shoeing-smiths hacking at the hoofs of
horses, mules, and donkeys, in a manner most extraordinary to us, and
nailing on triangular plates with holes in the centre--though most
keep a stock of English imported shoes and nails for the fastidious
Nazarenes. Spanish and Jewish butchers are driving a roaring trade at
movable stalls made of old boxes, and the din is here worse than ever.

Now we turn aside into the vegetable market, as it is called, though
as we enter we are almost sickened by the sight of more butchers'
stalls, and further on by putrid fish. This market is typical. Low
thatched booths of branches and canes are the only shops but those of
the butchers, the arcade which surrounds the interior of the building
being chiefly used for stores. Here and there a filthy rag is
stretched across the crowded way to keep the sun off, and anon we have
to stop to avoid some drooping branch. Fruit and vegetables of all
descriptions in season are sold amid the most good-humoured haggling.

Emerging from this interesting scene by a gate leading to the outer
sôk, we come to one quite different in character. A large open space
is packed with country people, their beasts and their goods, and
towns-people come out to purchase. Women seem to far outnumber
the men, doubtless on account of their size and their conspicuous
head-dress. They are almost entirely enveloped in white háïks,
over the majority of which are thrown huge native sun-hats made of
palmetto, with four coloured cords by way of rigging to keep the brim
extended. When the sun goes down these are to be seen slung across the
shoulders instead. Very many of the women have children slung on their
backs, or squatting on their hips if big enough. This causes them to
stoop, especially if some other burden is carried on their shoulders
as well.

[Illustration: THE SUNDAY MARKET, TANGIER.

_Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._]

On our right are typical Moorish shops,--grocers', if you please,--in
which are exposed to view an assortment of dried fruits, such as nuts,
raisins, figs, etc., with olive and argan oil, candles, tea, sugar,
and native soap and butter. Certainly of all the goods that butter is
the least inviting; the soap, though the purest of "soft," looks a
horribly repulsive mass, but the butter which, like it, is streaked
all over with finger marks, is in addition full of hairs. Similar
shops are perched on our left, where old English biscuit-boxes are
conspicuous.

Beyond these come slipper- and clothes-menders. The former are at work
on native slippers of such age that they would long ago have been
thrown away in any less poverty-stricken land, transforming them into
wearable if unsightly articles, after well soaking them in earthen
pans. Just here a native "medicine man" dispenses nostrums of doubtful
efficacy, and in front a quantity of red Moorish pottery is exposed
for sale. This consists chiefly of braziers for charcoal and kesk'soo
steamers for stewing meat and vegetables as well.

A native _café_ here attracts our attention. Under the shade of a
covered way the káhwajî has a brazier on which he keeps a large kettle
of water boiling. A few steps further on we light upon the sellers of
native salt. This is in very large crystals, heaped in mule panniers,
from which the dealers mete it out in wooden measures. It comes from
along the beach near Old Tangier, where the heaps can be seen from the
town, glistening in the sunlight. Ponds are dug along the shore, in
which sea water is enclosed by miniature dykes, and on evaporating
leaves the salt.

Pressing on with difficulty through a crowd of horses, mules and
donkeys, mostly tethered by their forefeet, we reach some huts in
front of which are the most gorgeous native waistcoats exposed for
sale, together with Manchester goods, by fat, ugly old women of
a forbidding aspect. Further on we come upon "confectioners." A
remarkable peculiarity of the tables on which the sweets are being
sold in front of us is the total absence of flies, though bees
abound, in spite of the lazy whisking of the sweet-seller. The sweets
themselves consist of red, yellow and white sticks of what Cousin
Jonathan calls "candy;" almond and gingelly rock, all frizzling in the
sun. A small basin, whose contents resemble a dark plum-pudding full
of seeds, contains a paste of the much-lauded hasheesh, the opiate of
Morocco, which, though contraband, and strictly prohibited by Imperial
decrees, is being freely purchased in small doses.

On the opposite side of the way some old Spaniards are selling a kind
of coiled-up fritter by the yard, swimming in oil. Then we come to a
native restaurant. Trade does not appear very brisk, so we shall not
interrupt it by pausing for a few moments to watch the cooking. In a
tiny lean-to of sticks and thatch two men are at work. One is cutting
up liver and what would be flead if the Moors ate pigs, into pieces
about the size of a filbert. These the other threads on skewers in
alternate layers, three or four of each. Having rolled them in a basin
of pepper and salt, they are laid across an earthen pot resembling a
log scooped out, like some primæval boat. In the bottom of the hollow
is a charcoal fire, which causes the khotbán, as they are called, to
give forth a most appetizing odour--the only thing tempting about them
after seeing them made. Half loaves of native bread lie ready to hand,
and the hungry passer-by is invited to take an _al fresco_ meal for
the veriest trifle. Another sort of kabáb--for such is the name of
the preparation--is being made from a large wash-basin full of ready
seasoned minced meat, small handfuls of which the jovial _chef_
adroitly plasters on more skewers, cooking them like the others.

Squatted on the ground by the side of this "bar" is a retailer of
ripened native butter, "warranted five years old." This one can
readily smell without stooping; it is in an earthenware pan, and looks
very dirty, but is weighed out by the ounce as very precious after
being kept so long underground.

Opposite is the spot where the camels from and for the interior load
and unload. Some forty of these ungainly but useful animals are here
congregated in groups. At feeding-time a cloth is spread on the
ground, on which a quantity of barley is poured in a heap. Each animal
lies with its legs doubled up beneath it in a manner only possible to
camels, with its head over the food, munching contentedly. In one of
the groups we notice the driver beating his beast to make it kneel
down preparatory to the removal of its pack, some two hundred-weight
and a half. After sundry unpleasant sounds, and tramping backwards and
forwards to find a comfortable spot, the gawky creature settles down
in a stately fashion, packing up his stilt-like legs in regular
order, limb after limb, till he attains the desired position. A short
distance off one of them is making hideous noises by way of protest
against the weight of the load being piled upon him, threatening to
lose his temper, and throw a little red bladder out of his mouth,
which, hanging there as he breathes excitedly, makes a most unpleasing
sound.

Here one of the many water-carriers who have crossed our path does so
again, tinkling his little bell of European manufacture, and we turn
to watch him as he gives a poor lad to drink. Slung across his back is
the "bottle" of the East--a goat-skin with the legs sewn up. A long
metal spout is tied into the neck, and on this he holds his left
thumb, which he uses as a tap by removing it to aim a long stream of
water into the tin mug in his right hand. Two bright brass cups cast
and engraved in Fez hang from a chain round his neck, but these are
reserved for purchasers, the urchin who is now enjoying a drink
receiving it as charity. Tinkle, tinkle, goes the bell again, as
the weary man moves on with his ever-lightening burden, till he is
confronted by another wayfarer who turns to him to quench his thirst.
As these skins are filled indiscriminately from wells and tanks, and
cleaned inside with pitch, the taste must not be expected to satisfy
all palates; but if hunger is the best sauce for food, thirst is an
equal recommendation for drink.

A few minutes' walk across a cattle-market brings us at last to the
English church, a tasteful modern construction in pure Moorish style,
and banishing the thoughts of our stroll, we join the approaching
group of fellow-worshippers, for after all it is Sunday.



XVI

PLAY-TIME

  "According to thy shawl stretch thy leg."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Few of us realize to what an extent our amusements, pastimes,
and recreations enter into the formation of our individual, and
consequently of our national, character. It is therefore well worth
our while to take a glance at the Moor at play, or as near play as he
ever gets. The stately father of a family must content himself, as his
years and flesh increase, with such amusements as shall not entail
exertion. By way of house game, since cards and all amusements
involving chance are strictly forbidden, chess reigns supreme, and
even draughts--with which the denizens of the coffee-house, where he
would not be seen, disport themselves--are despised by him. In Shiráz,
however, the Sheïkh ul Islám, or chief religious authority, declared
himself shocked when I told him how often I had played this game with
Moorish theologians, whereupon ensued a warm discussion as to whether
it was a game of chance. At last I brought this to a satisfactory
close by remarking that as his reverence was ignorant even of the
rules of the game,--and therefore no judge, since he had imagined it
to be based on hazard,--he at least was manifestly innocent of it.

The connection between chess and Arabdom should not be forgotten,
especially as the very word with which it culminates, "checkmate," is
but a corruption of the Arabic "sheïkh mát"--"chief dead." The king of
games is, however, rare on the whole, requiring too much concentration
for a weary or lazy official, or a merchant after a busy day. Their
method of playing does not materially differ from ours, but they
play draughts with very much more excitement and fun. The jocular
vituperation which follows a successful sally, and the almost
unintelligible rapidity with which the moves are made, are as novel to
the European as appreciated by the natives.

Gossip, the effervescence of an idle brain, is the prevailing pastime,
and at no afternoon tea-table in Great Britain is more aimless talk
indulged in than while the cup goes round among the Moors. The ladies,
with a more limited scope, are not far behind their lords in this
respect. Otherwise their spare time is devoted to minutely fine
embroidery. This is done in silk on a piece of calico or linen tightly
stretched on a frame, and is the same on both sides; in this way
are ornamented curtains, pillow-cases, mattress-covers, etc. It is,
nevertheless, considered so far a superfluity that few who have not
abundant time to spare trouble about it, and the material decorated is
seldom worth the labour bestowed thereon.

The fact is that in these southern latitudes as little time as
possible is passed within doors, and for this reason we must seek the
real amusements of the people outside. When at home they seem to
think it sufficient to loll about all the day long if not at work,
especially if they have an enclosed flower-garden, beautifully wild
and full of green and flowers, with trickling, splashing water. I
exclude, of course, all feasts and times when the musicians come,
but I must not omit mention of dancing. Easterns think their western
friends mad to dance themselves, when they can so easily get others
to do it for them, so they hire a number of women to go through all
manner of quaint--too often indecent--posings and wrigglings before
them, to the tune of a nasal chant, which, aided by fiddles, banjos,
and tambourines, is being drawled out by the musicians. Some of these
seemingly inharmonious productions are really enjoyable when one gets
into the spirit of the thing.

At times the Moors are themselves full of life and vigour, especially
in the enjoyment of what may be called the national sport of
"powder-play," not to speak of boar-hunting, hawking, rabbit-chasing,
and kindred pastimes. Just as in the days of yore their forefathers
excelled in the use of the spear, brandishing and twirling it as
easily as an Indian club or singlestick, so they excel to-day in the
exercise of their five-foot flint-locks, performing the most dexterous
feats on horseback at full gallop.

Here is such a display about to commence. It is the feast of
Mohammed's birthday, and the market-place outside the gate, so changed
since yesterday, is crowded with spectators; men and boys in gay, but
still harmonious, colours, decked out for the day, and women shrouded
in their blankets, plain wool-white. An open space is left right
through the centre, up a gentle slope, and a dozen horsemen are
spurring and holding in their prancing steeds at yonder lower end.
At some unnoticed signal they have started towards us. They gallop
wildly, the beat of their horses' hoofs sounding as iron hail on the
stony way. A cloud of dust flies upward, and before we are aware of it
they are abreast of us--a waving, indistinguishable mass of flowing
robes, of brandished muskets, and of straining, foaming steeds. We can
just see them tossing their guns in the air, and then a rider, bolder
than the rest, stands on his saddle, whirling round his firearm aloft
without stopping, while another swings his long weapon underneath his
horse, and seizes it upon the other side. But now they are in line
again, and every gun is pointed over the right, behind the back, the
butt grasped by the twisted left arm, and the lock by the right
under the left armpit. In this constrained position they fire at an
imaginary foe who is supposed to have appeared from ambush as they
pass. Immediately the reins--which have hitherto been held in the
mouth, the steed guided by the feet against his gory flanks--are
pulled up tight, throwing the animal upon his haunches, and wheeling
him round for a sober walk back.

This is, in truth, a practice or drill for war, for such is the method
of fighting in these parts. A sortie is made to seek the hidden foe,
who may start up anywhere from the ravines or boulders, and who must
be aimed at instanter, before he regains his cover, while those who
have observed him must as quickly as possible get beyond his range to
reload and procure reinforcements.

The only other active sports of moment, apart from occasional horse
races, are football and fencing, indulged in by boys. The former is
played with a stuffed leather ball some six or eight inches across,
which is kicked into the air with the back of the heel, and caught
in the hands, the object being to drive it as high as possible. The
fencing is only remarkable for its free and easy style, and the
absence of hilts and guards.

Yet there are milder pastimes in equal favour, and far more in
accordance with the fancy of southerners in warm weather, such as
watching a group of jugglers or snake-charmers, or listening to a
story-teller. These are to be met with in the market-place towards
the close of hot and busy days, when the wearied bargainers gather in
groups to rest before commencing the homeward trudge. The jugglers are
usually poor, the production of fire from the mouth, of water from an
empty jar, and so on, forming stock items. But often fearful realities
are to be seen--men who in a frenzied state catch cannon balls upon
their heads, blood spurting out on every side; or, who stick skewers
through their legs. These are religious devotees who live by such
performances. From the public _raconteur_ the Moor derives the
excitement the European finds in his novel, or the tale "to be
continued in our next," and it probably does him less harm.



XVII

THE STORY-TELLER

  "Gentleman without reading, dog without scent."

  _Moorish Proverb._


The story-teller is, _par excellence_, the prince of Moorish
performers. Even to the stranger unacquainted with the language the
sight of the Arab bard and his attentive audience on some erstwhile
bustling market at the ebbing day is full of interest--to the student
of human nature a continual attraction. After a long trudge from home,
commenced before dawn, and a weary haggling over the most worthless of
"coppers" during the heat of the day, the poor folk are quite ready
for a quiet resting-time, with something to distract their minds and
fill them with thoughts for the homeward way. Here have been fanned
and fed the great religious and political movements which from time
to time have convulsed the Empire, and here the pulse of the nation
throbs. In the cities men lead a different life, and though
the townsfolk appreciate tales as well as any, it is on these
market-places that the wandering troubadour gathers the largest
crowds.

Like public performers everywhere, a story-teller of note always
goes about with regular assistants, who act as summoners to his
entertainment, and as chorus to his songs. They consist usually of a
player on the native fiddle, another who keeps time on a tambourine,
and a third who beats a kind of earthenware drum with his fingers.
Less pretentious "professors" are content with themselves manipulating
a round or square tambourine or a two-stringed fiddle, and to many
this style has a peculiar charm of its own. Each pause, however
slight, is marked by two or three sharp beats on the tightly stretched
skin, or twangs with a palmetto leaf plectrum, loud or soft, according
to the subject of the discourse at that point. The dress of this
class--the one most frequently met with--is usually of the plainest,
if not of the scantiest; a tattered brown jelláb (a hooded woollen
cloak) and a camel's-hair cord round the tanned and shaven skull are
the garments which strike the eye. Waving bare arms and sinewy legs,
with a wild, keen-featured face, lit up by flashing eyes, complete the
picture.

This is the man from whom to learn of love and fighting, of beautiful
women and hairbreadth escapes, the whole on the model of the "Thousand
Nights and a Night," of which versions more or less recognizable
may now and again be heard from his lips. Commencing with plenty
of tambourine, and a few suggestive hints of what is to follow, he
gathers around him a motley audience, the first comers squatting in a
circle, and later arrivals standing behind. Gradually their excitement
is aroused, and as their interest grows, the realistic semi-acting and
the earnest mien of the performer rivet every eye upon him. Suddenly
his wild gesticulations cease at the entrancing point. One step
more for liberty, one blow, and the charming prize would be in the
possession of her adorer. Now is the time to "cash up." With a pious
reference to "our lord Mohammed--the prayer of God be on him, and
peace,"--and an invocation of a local patron saint or other equally
revered defunct, an appeal is made to the pockets of the Faithful "for
the sake of Mulai Abd el Káder"--"Lord Slave-of-the-Able." Arousing as
from a trance, the eager listeners instinctively commence to feel in
their pockets for the balance from the day's bargaining; and as every
blessing from the legion of saints who would fill the Mohammedan
calendar if there were one is invoked on the cheerful giver, one
by one throws down his hard-earned coppers--one or two--and as if
realizing what he has parted with, turns away with a long-drawn breath
to untether his beasts, and set off home.

But exciting as are these acknowledged fictions, specimens are so
familiar to most readers from the pages of the collection referred to
that much more interest will be felt in an attempt to reproduce one
of a higher type, pseudo-historical, and alleged to be true. Such
narratives exhibit much of native character, and shades of thought
unencountered save in daily intercourse with the people. Let us,
therefore, seize the opportunity of a visit from a noted _raconteur_
and reputed poet to hear his story. Tame, indeed, would be the result
of an endeavour to transfer to black and white the animated tones and
gestures of the narrator, which the imagination of the reader must
supply.

[Illustration: _Photograph by A. Lennox, Esq._

GROUP AROUND PERFORMERS, MARRÁKESH.]

The initial "voluntary" by the "orchestra" has ended; every eye is
directed towards the central figure, this time arrayed in ample
turban, white jelláb and yellow slippers, with a face betokening
a lucrative profession. After a moment's silence he commences the
history of--

  "MULAI ABD EL KÁDER AND THE MONK OF MONKS."

"The thrones of the Nazarenes were once in number sixty, but the star
of the Prophet of God--the prayer of God be on him, and peace--was in
the ascendant, and the religion of Resignation [Islám] was everywhere
victorious. Many of the occupiers of those thrones had either
submitted to the Lieutenant ['Caliph'] of our Lord, and become
Muslimeen, or had been vanquished by force of arms. The others were
terrified, and a general assembly was convoked to see what was to be
done. As the rulers saw they were helpless against the decree of
God, they called for their monks to advise them. The result of the
conference was that it was decided to invite the Resigned Ones
(Muslimeen) to a discussion on their religious differences, on the
understanding that whichever was victorious should be thenceforth
supreme.

"The Leader of the Faithful having summoned his wise men, their
opinion was asked. 'O victorious of God,' they with one voice replied,
'since God, the High and Blessed, is our King, what have we to fear?
Having on our side the truth revealed in the "Book to be Read" [the
Korán] by the hand of the Messenger of God--the prayer of God be on
him, and peace--we _must_ prevail. Let us willingly accept their
proposal.' An early day was accordingly fixed for the decisive
contest, and each party marshalled its forces. At the appointed time
they met, a great crowd on either side, and it was asked which should
begin. Knowing that victory was on his side, the Lieutenant of the
Prophet--the prayer of God be on him, and peace--replied, 'Since ye
have desired this meeting, open ye the discussion.'

"Then the chief of the Nazarene kings made answer, 'But we are here so
many gathered together, that if we commence to dispute all round we
shall not finish by the Judgement Day. Let each party therefore choose
its wisest man, and let the two debate before us, the remainder
judging the result.'

"'Well hast thou spoken,' said the Leader of the Faithful; 'be it even
so.' Then the learned among the Resigned selected our lord Abd el
Káder of Baghdad,[8] a man renowned the world over for piety and for
the depth of his learning. Now a prayer [Fátihah] for Mulai Abd el
Káder!"

  [8: So called because buried near that city. For an account of his
      life, and view of his mausoleum, see "The Moors," pp. 337-339.]

Here the speaker, extending his open palms side by side before him, as
if to receive a blessing thereon, is copied by the by-standers.[9] "In
the name of God, the Pitying, the Pitiful!" All draw their hands down
their faces, and, if they boast beards, end by stroking them out.

  [9: "The hands are raised in order to catch a blessing in
       them, and are afterwards drawn over the face to transfer it to
       every part of the body."--HUGHES, "Dictionary of Islám."]

  [10: A term applied by Mohammedans to Christians on account of
       a mistaken conception of the doctrine of the Trinity.]

"Then the polytheists[10] likewise chose their man, one held among them
in the highest esteem, well read and wise, a monk of monks. Between
these two, then, the controversy commenced. As already agreed, the
Nazarene was the first to question:

"'How far is it from the Earth to the first heaven?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'And thence to the second heaven?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'Thence to the third?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'Thence to the fourth?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'Thence to the fifth?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'Thence to the sixth?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'Thence to the seventh?'

"'Five hundred years.'

"'And from Mekka to Jerusalem?'

"'Forty days.'

"'Add up the whole.'

"'Three thousand, five hundred years, and forty days.'

"'In his famous ride on El Borak [Lightning] where did Mohammed go?'

"'From the Sacred Temple [of Mekka] to the Further Temple [of
Jerusalem], and from the Holy House [Jerusalem] to the seventh heaven,
and the presence of God.'[11]

  [11: This was the occasion on which Mohammed visited the seven
       heavens under the care of Gabriel, riding on an ass so restive
       that he had to be bribed with a promise of Paradise.]

"'How long did this take?'

"'The tenth of one night.'

"'Did he find his bed still warm on his return?'

"'Yes.'

"'Dost thou think such a thing possible; to travel three thousand five
hundred years and back, and find one's bed still warm on returning?'

"'Canst thou play chess?' then asked Mulai Abd el Káder.

"'Of course I can,' said the monk, surprised.

"'Then, wilt thou play with me?'

"'Certainly not,' replied the monk, indignantly. 'Dost thou think me a
fool, to come here to discuss the science of religion, and to be put
off with a game of chess?'

"'Then thou acknowledgest thyself beaten; thou hast said thou couldst
play chess, yet thou darest not measure thy skill at it with me. Thy
refusal proves thy lie.'

"'Nay, then, since thou takest it that way, I will consent to a match,
but under protest.'

"So the board was brought, and the players seated themselves. Move,
move, move, went the pieces; kings and queens, elephants, rooks, and
knights, with the soldiers everywhere. One by one they disappeared, as
the fight grew fast and furious. But Mulai Abd el Káder had another
object in view than the routing of his antagonist at a game of chess.
By the exercise of his superhuman power he transported the monk to
'the empty third' [of the world], while his image remained before him
at the board, to all appearances still absorbed in the contest.

"Meanwhile the monk could not tell where he was, but being oppressed
with a sense of severe thirst, rose from where he sat, and made for a
rising ground near by, whence he hoped to be able to descry some signs
of vegetation, which should denote the presence of water. Giddy and
tired out, he approached the top, when what was his joy to see a city
surrounded by palms but a short way off! With a cry of delight he
quickened his steps and approached the gate. As he did so, a party of
seven men in gorgeous apparel of wool and silk came out of the gate,
each with a staff in his hand.

"On meeting him they offered him the salutation of the Faithful, but
he did not return it. 'Who mayest _thou_ be,' they asked, 'who dost
not wish peace to the Resigned?' [Muslimeen]. 'My Lords,' he made
answer, 'I am a monk of the Nazarenes, I merely seek water to quench
my thirst.'

"'But he who comes here must resign himself [to Mohammedanism] or
suffer the consequences. Testify that 'There is no god but God, and
Mohammed is His Messenger!' 'Never,' he replied; and immediately they
threw him on the ground and flogged him with their staves till he
cried for mercy. 'Stop!' he implored. 'I will testify.' No sooner had
he done so than they ceased their blows, and raising him up gave
him water to drink. Then, tearing his monkish robe to shreds, each
deprived himself of a garment to dress him becomingly. Having
re-entered the city they repaired to the judge.

"'My Lord,' they said, 'we bring before thee a brother Resigned, once
a monk of the monks, now a follower of the Prophet, our lord--the
prayer of God be on him, and peace. We pray thee to accept his
testimony and record it in due form.'

"'Welcome to thee; testify!' exclaimed the kádi, turning to the
convert. Then, holding up his forefinger, the quondam monk witnessed
to the truth of the Unity [of God]. 'Call for a barber!' cried the
kádi; and a barber was brought. Seven Believers of repute stood
round while the deed was done, and the convert rose a circumcised
Muslim--blessed be God.

"Then came forward a notable man of that town, pious, worthy, and
rich, respected of all, who said, addressing the kádi: 'My Lord--may
God bless thy days,--thou knowest, all these worthy ones know, who and
what I am. In the interests of religion and to the honour of God, I
ask leave to adopt this brother newly resigned. What is mine shall be
his to share with my own sons, and the care I bestow on them and their
education shall be bestowed equally on him. God is witness.' 'Well
said; so be it,' replied the learned judge; 'henceforth he is a member
of thy family.'

"So to the hospitable roof of this pious one went the convert. A tutor
was obtained for him, and he commenced to taste the riches of the
wisdom of the Arab. Day after day he sat and studied, toiling
faithfully, till teacher after teacher had to be procured, as he
exhausted the stores of each in succession. So he read: first the Book
'To be Read' [the Korán], till he could repeat it faultlessly, then
the works of the poets, Kálûn, el Mikki, el Bisri, and Sîdi Hamzah;
then the 'Lesser' and 'Greater Ten.'[12] Then he commenced at Sîdi íbnu
Ashîr, following on through the Ajrûmiyah,[13] and the Alfîyah,[14] to
the commentaries of Sîdi Khalîl, of the Sheïkh el Bokhári, and of Ibnu
Asîm, till there was nothing left to learn.

  [12: Grammarians and commentators of the Korán.]

  [13: A preliminary work on rhetoric.]

  [14: The "Thousand Verses" of grammar.]

"Thus he continued growing in wisdom and honour, the first year, the
second year, the third year, even to the twentieth year, till no one
could compete with him. Then the Judge of Judges of that country died,
and a successor was sought for, but all allowed that no one's claims
equalled those of the erstwhile monk. So he was summoned to fill the
post, but was disqualified as unmarried. When they inquired if he was
willing to do his duty in this respect, and he replied that he was,
the father of the most beautiful girl in the city bestowed her on him,
and that she might not be portionless, the chief men of the place vied
one with another in heaping riches upon him. So he became Judge of
Judges, rich, happy, revered.

"And there was born unto him one son, then a second son, and even
a third son. And there was born unto him a daughter, then a second
daughter, and even a third daughter. So he prospered and increased.
And to his sons were born sons, one, two, three, and four, and
daughters withal. And his daughters were given in marriage to the
elders of that country, and with them it was likewise.

"Now there came a day, a great feast day, when all his descendants
came before him with their compliments and offerings, some small, some
great, each receiving tenfold in return, garments of fine spun wool
and silk, and other articles of value.

"When the ceremony was over he went outside the town to walk alone,
and approached the spot whence he had first descried what had so long
since been his home. As he sat again upon that well-remembered spot,
and glanced back at the many years which had elapsed since last he was
there, a party of the Faithful drew near. He offered the customary
salute of 'Peace be on you,' but they simply stared in return.
Presently one of them brusquely asked what he was doing there, and
he explained who he was. But they laughed incredulously, and then he
noticed that once again he was clad in robe and cowl, with a cord
round his waist. They taunted him as a liar, but he re-affirmed his
statements, and related his history. He counted up the years since he
had resigned himself, telling of his children and children's children.

"'Wouldst thou know them if you sawst them?' asked the strangers.
'Indeed I would,' was the reply, 'but they would know me first.'

"'And you are really circumcised? We'll see!' was their next
exclamation. Just then a caravan appeared, wending its way across the
plain, and the travellers hailed it. As he looked up at the shout, he
saw Mulai Abd el Káder still sitting opposite him at the chess-board,
reminding him that it was his move. He had been recounting his
experiences for the last half century to Mulai Abd el Káder himself,
and to the wise ones of both creeds who surrounded them!

"Indeed it was too true, and he had to acknowledge that the events of
a life-time had been crowded into a period undefinably minute, by the
God-sent power of my lord Slave-of-the-Able [Mulai Abd el Káder].

"Now, where is the good man and true who reveres the name of this holy
one? Who will say a prayer to Mulai Abd el Káder?" Here the narrator
extends his palms as before, and all follow him in the motion of
drawing them down his face. "In the name of the Pitying and Pitiful!
Now another!" The performance is repeated.

"Who is willing to yield himself wholly and entirely to Mulai Abd el
Káder? Who will dedicate himself from the soles of his feet to
the crown of his head? Another prayer!" Another repetition of the
performance.

"Now let those devoted men earn the effectual prayers of that holy one
by offering their silver in his name. Nothing less than a peseta[15]
will do. That's right," as one of the bystanders throws down the coin
specified.

  [15: About eightpence, a labourer's daily wage in Tangier.]

"Now let us implore the blessing of God and Mulai Abd el Káder on the
head of this liberal Believer." The palm performance is once more gone
through. The earnestness with which he does it this time induces more
to follow suit, and blessings on them also are besought in the same
fashion.

"Now, my friends, which among you will do business with the palms of
all these faithful ones? Pay a peseta and buy the prayers of them all.
Now then, deal them out, and purchase happiness."

So the appeal goes wearisomely on. As no more pesetas are seen to
be forthcoming, a shift is made with reals--nominally 2-1/2_d._
pieces--the story-teller asking those who cannot afford more to make
up first one dollar and then another, turning naïvely to his assistant
to ask if they haven't obtained enough yet, as though it were all for
them. As they reply that more is needed, he redoubles his appeals and
prayers, threading his way in and out among the crowd, making direct
for each well-dressed individual with a confidence which renders
flight or refusal a shame. Meanwhile the "orchestra" has struck up,
and only pauses when the "professor" returns to the centre of the
circle to call on all present to unite in prayers for the givers.
A few coppers which have been tossed to his feet are distributed
scornfully amongst half a dozen beggars, in various stages of filthy
wretchedness and deformity, who have collected on the ground at one
side.

Here a water-carrier makes his appearance, with his goat-skin "bottle"
and tinkling bell--a swarthy Soudanese in most tattered garb. The
players and many listeners having been duly refreshed for the veriest
trifle, the performance continues. A prayer is even said for the
solitary European among the crowd, on his being successfully solicited
for his quota, and another for his father at the request of some of
the crowd, who style him the "Friend of the Moors."

At last a resort is made to coppers, and when the story-teller
condescendingly consents to receive even such trifles in return for
prayers, from those who cannot afford more, quite a pattering shower
falls at his feet, which is supplemented by a further hand-to-hand
collection. In all, between four and five dollars must have been
received--not a bad remuneration for an hour's work! Already the ring
has been thinning; now there is a general uprising, and in a few
moments the scene is completely changed, the entertainer lost among
the entertained, for the sun has disappeared below yon hill, and in a
few moments night will fall.



XVIII

SNAKE-CHARMING

  "Whom a snake has bitten starts from a rope."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Descriptions of this art remembered in a book for boys read years
before had prepared me for the most wonderful scenes, and when I first
watched the performance with snakes which delights the Moors I was
disappointed. Yet often as I might look on, there was nothing else to
see, save in the faces and gestures of the crowd, who with child-like
simplicity followed every step as though for the first time. These
have for me a never-ending fascination. Thus it is that the familiar
sounds of rapid and spasmodic beating on a tambourine, which tell that
the charmer is collecting an audience, still prove an irresistible
attraction for me as well. The ring in which I find myself is just a
reproduction of that surrounding the story-teller of yester-e'en, but
where his musicians sat there is a wilder group, more striking still
in their appearance.

This time, also, the instruments are of another class, two or three of
the plainest sheep-skin tambourines with two gut strings across the
centre under the parchment, which gives them a peculiar twanging
sound; and a couple of reeds, mere canes pierced with holes, each
provided with a mouthpiece made of half an inch of flattened reed.
Nothing is needed to add to the discord as all three are vigorously
plied with cheek and palm.

The principal actor has an appearance of studied weirdness as he
gesticulates wildly and calls on God to protect him against the venom
of his pets. Contrary to the general custom of the country, he has
let his black hair grow till it streams over his shoulders in matted
locks. His garb is of the simplest, a dirty white shirt over drawers
of similar hue completing his outfit.

Selecting a convenient stone as a seat, notebook in hand, I make up my
mind to see the thing through. The "music" having continued five
or ten minutes with the desired result of attracting a circle of
passers-by, the actual performance is now to commence. On the ground
in the centre lies a spare tambourine, and on one side are the two
cloth-covered bottle-shaped baskets containing the snakes.

The chief charmer now advances, commencing to step round the ring
with occasional beats on his tambourine, rolling his eyes and looking
demented. Presently, having reached a climax of rapid beating and
pacing, he suddenly stops in the centre with an extra "bang!"

"Now, every man who believes in our lord Mohammed ben Aïsa,[16] say
with me a Fátihah."

  [16: For the history of this man and his snake-charming
       followers see "The Moors," p. 331.]

Each of the onlookers extending his palms side by side before his
face, they repeat the prayer in a sing-song voice, and as it concludes
with a loud "Ameen," the charmer gives an agonized cry, as though
deeply wrought upon. "Ah Rijál el Blád" ("Oh Saints of the Town!"),
he shouts, as he recommences his tambourining, this time even with
increased vigour, beating the ground with his feet, and working his
body up and down in a most extraordinary manner. The two others are
also playing, and the noise is deafening. The chief figure appears to
be raving mad; his starting eyes, his lithe and supple figure, and
his streaming hair, give him the air of one possessed. His face is a
study, a combination of fierceness and madness, yet of good-nature.

At last he sinks down exhausted, but after a moment rises and advances
to the centre of the circle, picking up a tambourine.

"Now, Sîdi Aïsa"--turning to one of the musicians, whom he motions to
cease their din--"what do you think happens to the man who puts a coin
in there? Why, the holy saint, our lord Mohammed ben Aïsa, puts a ring
round him like that," drawing a ring round a stone on the ground. "Is
it not so?"

"It is, Ameen," from Sidi Aïsa.

"And what happens to him in the day time?"

"He is in the hands of God, and his people too."

"And in the night time?"

"He is in the hands of God, and his people too."

"And when at home?"

"He is in the hands of God, and his people too."

"And when abroad?"

"He is in the hands of God, and his people too."

At this a copper coin is thrown into the ring, and the charmer
replies, "Now he who is master of sea and land, my lord Abd el Káder
el Jîláni,[17] bless the giver of that coin! Now, for the love of God
and of His blessed prophet, I offer a prayer for that generous
one." Here the operation of passing their hands down their faces is
performed by all.

  [17: The surname of the Baghdád saint.]

"Now, there's another,"--as a coin falls--"and from a child, too! God
bless thee now, my son. May my lord Ben Aïsa, my lord Abd es-Slám, and
my lord Abd el Káder, protect and keep thee!"

Then, as more coppers fall, similar blessings are invoked upon the
donors, interspersed with catechising of the musicians with a view to
making known the advantages to be reaped by giving something. At last,
as nothing more seems to be forthcoming, the performance proper is
proceeded with, and the charmer commences to dance on one leg, to
a terrible din from the tambourines. Then he pauses, and summons a
little boy from the audience, seating him in the midst, adjuring him
to behave himself, to do as he is bid, and to have faith in "our lord
Ben Aïsa." Then, seating himself behind the boy, he places his lips
against his skull, and blows repeatedly, coming round to the front to
look at the lad, to see if he is sufficiently affected, and returning
to puff again. Finally he bites off a piece of the boy's cloak, and
chews it. Now he wets his finger in his mouth, and after putting it
into the dust makes lines across his legs and arms, all the time
calling on his patron saint; next holding the piece of cloth in his
hands and walking round the ring for all to see it.

"Come hither," he says to a bystander; "search my mouth and see if
there be anything there."

The search is conducted as a farmer would examine a horse's mouth,
with the result that it is declared empty.

"Now I call on the prophet to witness that there is no deception," as
he once more restores the piece of cloth to his mouth, and pokes his
fingers into his neck, drawing them now up his face.

"Enough!"

The voices of the musicians, who have for the latter part of the
time been giving forth a drawling chorus, cease, but the din of the
tambourines continues, while the performer dances wildly, till he
stops before the lad on the ground, and takes from his mouth first one
date and then another, which the lad is told to eat, and does so, the
on-lookers fully convinced that they were transformed from the rag.

Now it is the turn of one of the musicians to come forward, his place
being taken by the retiring performer, after he has made another
collection in the manner already described.

"He who believes in God and in the power of our lord Mohammed ben
Aïsa, say with me a Fátihah," cries the new man, extending his palms
turned upwards before him to receive the blessings he asks, and then
brings one of the snake-baskets forward, plunging his hand into its
sack-like mouth, and sharply drawing it out a time or two, as if
afraid of being bitten.

Finally he pulls the head of one of the reptiles through, and leaves
it there, darting out its fangs, while he snatches up and wildly beats
the tambourine by his side. He now seizes the snake by the neck, and
pulls it right out, the people starting back as it coils round in the
ring, or uncoils and makes a plunge towards someone. Now he pulls out
another, and hangs it round his neck, saying, "I take refuge with the
saint who was dead and is alive, with our lord Mohammed son of Aïsa,
and with the most holy Abd el Káder el Jîláni, king of land and
sea. Now, let every one who believes bear witness with me and say a
Fátihah!"

"Say a Fátihah!" echoes one of the still noisy musicians, by way of
chorus.

"Now may our lord Abd el Káder see the man who makes a contribution
with his eyes."

_Chorus:_ "With his eyes!"

"And may his heart find rest, and our lord Abd er-Rahmán protect him!"

_Chorus:_ "Protect him!"

"Now, I call you to witness, I bargain with our lord Abd el Káder for
a forfeit!"

_Chorus:_ "For a forfeit!"

A copper is thrown into the ring, and as he picks it up and hands it
to the musician, the performer exclaims--

"Take this, see, and at the last day may the giver of it see our lord
Abd el Káder before him!"

_Chorus:_ "Before him!"

"May he ever be blessed, whether present or absent!"

_Chorus:_ "Present or absent!"

"Who wishes to have a good conscience and a clean heart? Oh, ye
beloved of the Lord! See, take from that dear one" (who has thrown
down a copper).

The contributions now apparently sufficing for the present, the
performance proceeds, but the crowd having edged a little too close,
it is first necessary to increase the space in the centre by swinging
one of the reptiles round by the tail, whereat all start back.

"Ah! you may well be afraid!" exclaims the charmer. "Their fangs mean
death, if you only knew it, but for the mercies of my lord, the son of
Aïsa."

"Ameen!" responds the chorus.

Hereupon he proceeds to direct the head of the snake to his mouth, and
caressingly invites it to enter. Darting from side to side, it finally
makes a plunge down his throat, whereon the strangers shudder, and the
_habitués_ look with triumphant awe. Wildly he spins on one foot that
all may see, still holding the creature by the neck with one hand, and
by the tail with the other. At length, having allowed the greater part
of its length to disappear in this uncanny manner, he proceeds to
withdraw it, the head emerging with the sound of a cork from a bottle.
The sight has not been pleasant, but the audience, transfixed, gives a
sigh of relief as the tambourines strike up again, and the reed chimes
in deafeningly.

"Who says they are harmless? Who says their fangs are extracted?"
challenges the performer. "Look here!"

The seemingly angry snake has now fastened on his arm, and is
permitted to draw blood, as though in reward for its recent treatment.

"Is any incredulous here? Shall I try it on thee?"

The individual addressed, a poverty-stricken youth whose place was
doubtless required for some more promising customer behind, flees in
terror, as the gaping jaws approach him. One and another having been
similarly dismissed from points of vantage, and a redistribution
of front seats effected, the incredulous are once more tauntingly
addressed and challenged. This time the challenge is accepted by a
foreigner, who hands in a chicken held by its wings.

"So? Blessed be God! Its doom is sealed if it comes within reach of
the snake. See here!"

All eagerly press forward, many rising to their feet, and it is
difficult to see over their shoulders the next gruesome act. The
reptile, held by the neck in the performer's right hand, is shown the
chicken in the other, and annoyed by having it poked in its face, too
frightened to perceive what is happening. In a moment the fangs are
shot out, and a wound inflicted in the exposed part under the wing.
Blood appears, and the bird is thrown down, being held in place by
the performer's foot till in a few minutes its struggles cease. Then,
picking the victim up, he holds it aloft by one wing to show its
condition, and exultingly calls for a Fátihah.

It is enough: my patience is exhausted, and I rise to make off with
stiff knees, content at last with what I have seen and heard of the
"charming" of snakes in Morocco.

[Illustration: _Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._

A MOROCCO FANDAK (CARAVANSARAI).]



XIX

IN A MOORISH CAFÉ

  "A little from a friend is much."

  _Moorish Proverb._


To the passer-by, least of all to the European, there is nothing in
its external appearance to recommend old Hashmi's _café_. From the
street, indeed, it is hardly visible, for it lies within the threshold
of a caravansarai or fandak, in which beasts are tethered, goods
accumulated and travellers housed, and of which the general appearance
is that of a neglected farm-yard. Round an open court a colonnade
supports the balcony by which rooms on the upper story are approached,
a narrow staircase in the corner leading right up to the terraced
roof. In the daytime the sole occupants of the rooms are women whose
partners for the time being have securely locked them in before going
to work.

Beside the lofty archway forming the gate of this strange hostelry, is
Hashmi's stall, at which green tea or a sweet, pea-soupy preparation
of coffee may be had at all hours of the day, but the _café_ proper,
gloomy by daylight, lies through the door behind. Here, of an evening,
the candles lit, his regular customers gather with tiny pipes,
indulging in flowing talk. Each has before him his harmless glass, as
he squats or reclines on the rush-matted floor. Nothing of importance
occurs in the city but is within a little made known here with as much
certainty as if the proprietor subscribed to an evening paper. Any
man who has something fresh to tell, who can interest or amuse the
company, and by his frequent visits give the house a name, is always
welcome, and will find a glass awaiting him whenever he chooses to
come.

Old Hashmi knows his business, and if the evening that I was there may
be taken as a sample, he deserves success. That night he was in the
best of humours. His house was full and trade brisk. Fattah, a negro,
was keeping the house merry, so in view of coming demands, he brewed a
fresh pot of real "Mekkan." The surroundings were grimy, and outside
the rain came down in torrents: but that was a decided advantage,
since it not only drove men indoors, but helped to keep them there.
Mesaôd, the one-eyed, had finished an elaborate tuning of his
two-stringed banjo, his ginbri--a home-made instrument--and was
proceeding to arrive at a convenient pitch of voice for his song. With
a strong nasal accent he commenced reciting the loves of Si Marzak and
his fair Azîzah: how he addressed her in the fondest of language,
and how she replied by caresses. When he came to the chorus they all
chimed in, for the most part to their own tune and time, as they
rocked to and fro, some clapping, some beating their thighs, and all
applauding at the end.

The whole ballad would not bear translation--for English ears,--and
the scanty portion which may be given has lost its rhythm and cadence
by the change, for Arabic is very soft and beautiful to those who
understand it. The time has come when Azîzah, having quarrelled with
Si Marzak in a fit of perhaps too well-founded jealousy, desires to
"make it up again," and thus addresses her beloved--

  "Oh, how I have followed thy attractiveness,
  And halted between give and take!
  Oh, how I'd from evil have protected thee
  By my advice, hadst thou but heeded it!
      Yet to-day taste, O my master,
      Of the love that thou hast taught to me!

  "Oh, how I have longed for the pleasure of thy visits,
  And poured out bitter tears for thee;
  Until at last the sad truth dawned on me
  That of thy choice thou didst put me aside!
      Yet to-day taste, O my master,
      Of the love that thou hast taught to me!

  "Thou wast sweeter than honey to me,
  But thou hast become more bitter than gall.
  Is it thus thou beginnest the world?
  Beware lest thou make me thy foe!
      Yet to-day taste, O my master,
      Of the love that thou hast taught to me!

  "I have hitherto been but a name to thee,
  And thou took'st to thy bosom a snake,
  But to-day I perceive thou'st a fancy for me:
  O God, I will not be deceived!
      Yes, to-day taste, O my master,
      Of the love that thou hast taught to me!

  "Thou know'st my complaint and my only cure:
  Why, then, wilt thou heal me not?
  Thou canst do so to-day, O my master,
  And save me from all further woe.
      Yes, to-day taste, O my master,
      Of the love that thou hast taught to me!"

To which the hard-pressed swain replies--

  "Of a truth thine eyes have bewitched me,
  For Death itself is in fear of them:
  And thine eyebrows, like two logs of wood,
  Have battered me each in its turn.
      So if thou sayest die, I'll die;
      And for God shall my sacrifice be!

  "I have neither yet died nor abandoned hope,
  Though slumber at night I ne'er know.
  With the staff of deliverance still afar off,
  So that all the world knows of my woe.
      And if thou sayest die, I'll die,
      But for God shall my sacrifice be!"

While the singing was proceeding Sáïd and Drees had been indulging in
a game of draughts, and as it ceased their voices could be heard in
eager play. "Call thyself a Mallem (master). There, thy father was
bewitched by a hyena; there, and there again!" shouted Sáïd, as he
swept a first, a second and a third of his opponent's pieces from the
board.

But Drees was equal with him in another move.

"So, verily, thou art my master! Let us, then, praise God for thy
wisdom: thou art like indeed unto him who verily shot the fox, but who
killed his own cow with the second shot! See, thus I teach thee to
boast before thy betters: ha, I laugh at thee, I ride the donkey on
thy head. I shave that beard of thine!" he ejaculated, taking one
piece after another from his adversary, as the result of an incautious
move. The board had the appearance of a well-kicked footstool, and the
"men"--called "dogs" in Barbary--were more like baseless chess pawns.
The play was as unlike that of Europeans as possible; the moves from
"room" to "room" were of lightning swiftness, and accompanied by a
running fire of slang ejaculations, chiefly sarcastic, but, on the
whole, enlivened with a vein of playful humour not to be Englished
politely. Just as the onlookers would become interested in the
progress of one or the other, a too rapid advance by either would
result in an incomprehensible wholesale clearing of the board by his
opponent's sleeve. Yet without a stop the pieces would be replaced
in order, and a new game commenced, the vanquished too proud to
acknowledge that he did not quite see how the victor had won.

Then Fattah, whose _forte_ was mimicry, attracted the attention of the
company by a representation of a fat wazeer at prayers. Amid roars of
laughter he succeeded in rising to his feet with the help of those
beside him, who had still to lend occasional support, as his knees
threatened to give way under his apparently ponderous carcase. Before
and behind, his shirt was well stuffed with cushions, and the sides
were not forgotten. His cheeks were puffed out to the utmost, and his
eyes rolled superbly. At last the moment came for him to go on his
knees, when he had to be let gently down by those near him, but his
efforts to bow his head, now top-heavy with a couple of shirts for a
turban, were most ludicrous, as he fell on one side in apparently vain
endeavours. The spectators roared with laughter till the tears coursed
down their cheeks; but that black and solemn face remained unmoved,
and at the end of the prescribed motions the pseudo-great man
apparently fell into slumber as heavy as himself, and snored in a
style that a prize pig might have envied.

"Áfuk! Áfuk!" the deafening bravos resounded, for Fattah had excelled
himself, and was amply rewarded by the collection which followed.

A tale was next demanded from a jovial man of Fez, who, nothing loth,
began at once--

"Evening was falling as across the plain of Háhá trudged a weary
traveller. The cold wind whistled through his tattered garments. The
path grew dim before his eyes. The stars came out one by one, but no
star of hope shone for him. He was faint and hungry. His feet were
sore. His head ached. He shivered.

"'May God have pity on me!' he muttered.

"God heard him. A few minutes later he descried an earthly star--a
solitary light was twinkling on the distant hillside. Thitherward he
turned his steps.

"Hope rose within him. His step grew brisk. The way seemed clear.
Onward he pushed.

"Presently he could make out the huts of a village.

"'Thank God!' he cried; but still he had no supper.

"His empty stomach clamoured. His purse was empty also. The fiendish
dogs of the village yelped at him. He paused discomfited. He called.

"Widow Záïdah stood before her light.

"'Who's there?'

"'A God-guest'

"'In God's name, then, welcome! Silence there, curs!'

"Abd el Hakk approached.

"'God bless thee, my mother, and repay thee a thousand-fold!'

"But Záïdah herself was poor. Her property consisted only of a hut and
some fowls. She set before him eggs--two, hard-boiled,--bread also. He
thanked God. He ate.

"'Yes, God will repay,' she said.

"Next day Abd el Hakk passed on to Marrákesh. There God blessed him.
Years passed on; one, two, three, four, five, six, seven. Abd el Hakk
was rich. Melûdi the lawyer disliked him. Said he to Widow Záïdah--

"'Abd el Hakk, whom once thou succouredst, is rich. The two eggs were
never yet paid for. Hadst thou not given them to him they would have
become two chickens. These would each have laid hundreds. Those
hundreds, when hatched, would have laid their thousands. In seven
years, think to what amount Abd el Hakk is indebted to thee. Sue him.'

"Widow Záïdah listened. What is more, she acted. Abd el Hakk failed to
appear to rebut the claim. He was worth no more.

"'Why is the defendant not here?' asked the judge.

"'My lord,' said his attorney, 'he is gone to sow boiled beans.'

"'Boiled beans!'

"'Boiled beans, my lord.'

"'Is he mad?'

"'He is very wise, my lord.'

"'Thou mockest.'

"'My lord, if boiled eggs can be hatched, sure boiled beans will
grow!'

"'Dismissed with costs!'

"The tree that bends with every wind that blows will seldom stand
upright."

       *       *       *       *       *

A round of applause greeted the clever tale, of which the speaker's
gestures had told even more than his words. But the merriment of
the company only began there, for forthwith a babel of tongues was
occupied in the discussion of all the points of the case, in imagining
every impossible or humorous alternative, and laughter resounded on
every side, as the glasses were quickly refilled with an innocent
drink.



XX

THE MEDICINE-MAN

  "Wine is a key to all evil."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Under the glare of an African sun, its rays, however, tempered by a
fresh Atlantic breeze; no roof to his consulting-room save the sky, no
walls surrounding him to keep off idle starers like ourselves; by the
roadside sits a native doctor of repute. His costume is that of half
the crowd around, outwardly consisting of a well-worn brown woollen
cloak with a hood pulled over his head, from beneath the skirts of
which protrude his muddy feet. By his side lies the basket containing
his supplies and less delicate instruments; the finer ones we see him
draw from a capacious wallet of leather beneath his cloak.

Though personally somewhat gaunt, he is nevertheless a jolly-looking
character, totally free from that would-be professional air assumed
by some of our medical students to hide lack of experience; for he,
empiric though he be, has no idea of any of his own shortcomings, and
greets us with an easy smile. He is seated on the ground, hugging his
knees till his attention is drawn to us, when, observing our gaze at
his lancets on the ground, he picks one up to show it. Both are of
rude construction, merely pieces of flat steel filed to double-edged
points, and protected by two flaps slightly bigger, in the one case of
bone, in the other of brass. A loose rivet holding all together at one
end completes the instrument. The brass one he says was made by a Jew
in Fez out of an old clock; the other by a Jew in Marrákesh. For the
purpose of making scratches for cupping he has a piece of flat steel
about half an inch wide, sharpened across the end chisel-fashion. Then
he has a piece of an old razor-blade tied to a stick with a string.
That this is sharp he soon demonstrates by skilfully shaving an old
man's head, after only damping the eighth of an inch stub with which
it is covered. A stone and a bit of leather, supplemented by the
calves of his legs, or his biceps, serve to keep the edges in
condition.

From a finger-shaped leather bag in his satchel he produces an
antiquated pair of tooth extractors, a small pair of forceps for
pulling out thorns, and a stiletto. The first-named article, he
informs us, came from France to Tafilált, his home, _viâ_ Tlemçen; it
is of the design known as "Fox's claw," and he explains to us that the
difference between the French and the English article is that the one
has no spring to keep the jaws open, while the other has. A far more
formidable instrument is the genuine native contrivance, a sort of
exaggerated corkscrew without a point.

But here comes a patient to be treated. He troubles the doctor with
no diagnosis, asking only to be bled. He is a youth of medium height,
bronzed by the sun. Telling him to sit down and bare his right arm,
the operator feels it well up and down, and then places the tips of
the patient's fingers on the ground, bidding him not to move. Pouring
out a little water into a metal dish, he washes the arm on the inside
of the elbow, drying it with his cloak. Next he ties a piece of list
round the upper arm as tightly as he can, and selecting one of the
lancets, makes an incision into the vein which the washing has
rendered visible. A bright stream issues, squirting into the air some
fifteen inches; it is soon, however, directed into a tin soup-plate
holding fourteen ounces, as we ascertained by measurement. The
operator washes and dries his lancet, wraps the two in a white rag,
and puts them into a piece of cane which forms an excellent case.
Meanwhile the plate has filled, and he turns his attention once more
to the patient. One or two passers-by have stopped, like ourselves, to
look on.

"I knew a man," says one, "who was being bled like that, and kept on
saying, 'take a little more,' till he fell back dead in our arms."

"Yes," chimes in another, "I have heard of such cases; it is very
dangerous."

Although the patient is evidently growing very nervous, our surgical
friend affects supreme indifference to all this tittle-tattle, and
after a while removes the bandage, bending the forearm inward, with
the effect of somewhat checking the flow of blood. When he has bound
up with list the cane that holds the lancets, he closes the forearm
back entirely, so that the flow is stopped. Opening it again a little,
he wipes a sponge over the aperture a few times, and closes it with
his thumb. Then he binds a bit of filthy rag round the arm, twisting
it above and below the elbow alternately, and crossing over the
incision each time. When this is done, he sends the patient to throw
away the blood and wash the plate, receiving for the whole operation
the sum of three half-pence.

Another patient is waiting his turn, an old man desiring to be bled
behind the ears for headache. After shaving two patches for the
purpose, the "bleeder," as he is justly called, makes eighteen
scratches close together, about half an inch long. Over these he
places a brass cup of the shape of a high Italian hat without the
brim. From near the edge of this protrudes a long brass tube with a
piece of leather round and over the end. This the operator sucks to
create a vacuum, the moistened leather closing like a valve, which
leaves the cup hanging _in situ_. Repeating this on the other side, he
empties the first cup of the blood which has by this time accumulated
in it, and so on alternately, till he has drawn off what appears to
him to be sufficient. All that remains to be done is to wipe the
wounds and receive the fee.

Some years ago such a worthy as this earned quite a reputation for
exorcising devils in Southern Morocco. His mode of procedure was
brief, but as a rule effective. The patient was laid on the ground
before the wise man's tent, face downward, and after reading certain
mystic and unintelligible passages, selected from one of the ponderous
tomes which form a prominent part of the "doctor's" stock-in-trade, he
solemnly ordered two or three men to hold the sufferer down while two
more thrashed him till they were tired. If, when released, the patient
showed the least sign of returning violence, or complained that the
whole affair was a fraud, it was taken as a sure sign that he had not
had enough, and he was forthwith seized again and the dose repeated
till he had learned that discretion was the better part of valour, and
slunk off, perhaps a wiser, certainly a sadder man. It is said, and I
do not doubt it--though it is more than most medical men can say of
their patients--that no one was ever known to return in quest of
further treatment.

All this, however, is nothing compared with the Moor's love of fire as
a universal panacea. Not only for his mules and his horses, but
also for himself and his family, cauterization is in high repute,
especially as he estimates the value of a remedy as much by its
immediate and visible action as by its ultimate effects. The
"fire-doctor" is therefore even a greater character in his way than
the "bleeder," whom we have just visited. His outfit includes a
collection of queer-shaped irons designed to cauterize different parts
of the body, a portable brazier, and bellows made from a goat-skin
with a piece of board at one side wherewith to press and expel the air
through a tube on the other side. He, too, sits by the roadside, and
disposes of his groaning though wonderfully enduring "patients" much
as did his rival of the lancet. Rohlfs, a German doctor who explored
parts of Morocco in the garb of a native, exercising what he could of
his profession for a livelihood, tells how he earned a considerable
reputation by the introduction of "cold fire" (lunar caustic) as a
rival to the original style; and Pellow, an English slave who made
his escape in 1735, found cayenne pepper of great assistance in
ingratiating himself with the Moors in this way, and even in delaying
a pursuer suffering from ophthalmia by blowing a little into his eyes
before his identity was discovered. In extenuation of this trick,
however, it must be borne in mind that cayenne pepper is an accredited
Moorish remedy for ophthalmia, being placed on the eyelids, though it
is only a mixture of canary seed and sugar that is blown in.

Every European traveller in Morocco is supposed to know something
about medicine, and many have been my own amusing experiences in this
direction. Nothing that I used gave me greater fame than a bottle of
oil of cantharides, the contents of which I applied freely behind the
ears or upon the temples of such victims of ophthalmia as submitted
themselves to my tender mercies. Only I found that when my first
patient began to dance with the joy and pain of the noble blister
which shortly arose, so many people fancied they needed like treatment
that I was obliged to restrict the use of so popular a cure to special
cases.

One branch of Moroccan medicine consists in exorcising devils, of
which a most amusing instance once came under my notice. An English
gentleman gave one of his servants who complained of being troubled
with these unwelcome guests two good-sized doses of tartaric acid and
carbonate of soda a second apart. The immediate exit of the devil was
so apparent that the fame of the prescriber as a medical man was made
at once. But many of the cases which the amateur is called upon to
treat are much more difficult to satisfy than this. Superstition is
so strongly mingled with the native ideas of disease,--of being
possessed,--that the two can hardly be separated. During an epidemic
of cholera, for instance, the people keep as close as possible to
walls, and avoid sand-hills, for fear of "catching devils." All
disease is indeed more or less ascribed to satanic agency, and in
Morocco that practitioner is most in repute who claims to attack this
cause of the malady rather than its effect.

Although the Moors have a certain rudimentary acquaintance with simple
medicinal agents--and how rudimentary that acquaintance is, will
better appear from what is to follow,--in all their pharmacop[oe]ia
no remedy is so often recommended or so implicitly relied on as the
"writing" of a man of reputed sanctity. Such a writing may consist
merely of a piece of paper scribbled over with the name of God, or
with some sentence from the Korán, such as, "And only God is the
Healer," repeated many times, or in special cases it may contain a
whole series of pious expressions and meaningless incantations. For an
ordinary external complaint, such as general debility arising from
the evil eye of a neighbour or a jealous wife, or as a preventative
against bewitchment, or as a love philtre, it is usually considered
sufficient to wear this in a leather bag around the neck or forehead;
but in case of unfathomable internal disease, such as indigestion, the
"writing" is prescribed to be divided into so many equal portions, and
taken in a little water night and morning.

The author of these potent documents is sometimes a hereditary saint
descended from Mohammed, sometimes a saint whose sanctity arises from
real or assumed insanity--for to be mad in Barbary is to have one's
thoughts so occupied with things of heaven as to have no time left
for things of earth,--and often they are written by ordinary public
scribes, or schoolmasters, for among the Moors reading and religion
are almost synonymous terms. There are, however, a few professional
gentlemen who dispense these writings among their drugs. Such alone of
all their quacks aspire to the title of "doctor." Most of these spend
their time wandering about the country from fair to fair, setting up
their tents wherever there are patients to be found in sufficient
numbers.

Attired as natives, let us visit one. Arrived at the tent door, we
salute the learned occupant with the prescribed "Salám oo alaïkum"
("To you be peace"), to which, on noting our superior costumes, he
replies with a volley of complimentary inquiries and welcomes. These
we acknowledge with dignity, and with as sedate an air as possible.
We leisurely seat ourselves on the ground in orthodox style, like
tailors. As it would not be good form to mention our business at once,
we defer professional consultation till we have inquired successfully
after his health, his travels, and the latest news at home and from
abroad. In the course of conversation he gives us to understand that
he is one of the Sultan's uncles, which is by no means impossible in a
country where it has not been an unknown thing for an imperial father
to lose count of his numerous progeny.

Feeling at last that we have broken the ice, we turn the conversation
to the subject of our supposed ailments. My own complaint is a general
internal disorder resulting in occasional feverishness, griping pains,
and loss of sleep. After asking a number of really sensible questions,
such as would seem to place him above the ordinary rank of native
practitioners, he gravely announces that he has "the very thing" in
the form of a powder, which, from its high virtues, and the exceeding
number of its ingredients, some of them costly, is rather expensive.
We remember the deference with which our costumes were noted, and
understand. But, after all, the price of a supply is announced to be
only seven-pence halfpenny. The contents of some of the canisters he
shows us include respectively, according to his account, from twenty
to fifty drugs. For our own part, we strongly suspect that all are
spices to be procured from any Moorish grocer.

Together with the prescription I receive instructions to drink the
soup from a fat chicken in the morning, and to eat its flesh in the
evening; to eat hot bread and drink sweet tea, and to do as little
work as possible, the powder to be taken daily for a fortnight in a
little honey. Whatever else he may not know, it is evident that our
doctor knows full well how to humour his patients.

The next case is even more easy of treatment than mine, a "writing"
only being required. On a piece of very common paper two or three
inches square, the doctor writes something of which the only legible
part is the first line: "In the name of God, the Pitying, the
Pitiful," followed, we subsequently learn, by repetitions of "Only God
is the Healer." For this the patient is to get his wife to make a felt
bag sewed with coloured silk, into which the charm is to be put, along
with a little salt and a few parings of garlic, after which it is to
be worn round his neck for ever.

Sometimes, in wandering through Morocco, one comes across much more
curious remedies than these, for the worthy we have just visited is
but a commonplace type in this country. A medical friend once met a
professional brother in the interior who had a truly original method
of proving his skill. By pressing his finger on the side of his
nose close to his eye, he could send a jet of liquid right into his
interlocutor's face, a proceeding sufficient to satisfy all doubts as
to his alleged marvellous powers. On examination it was found that
he had a small orifice near the corner of the eye, through which the
pressure forced the lachrymal fluid, pure tears, in fact. This is just
an instance of the way in which any natural defect or peculiarity
is made the most of by these wandering empirics, to impose on their
ignorant and credulous victims.

Even such of them as do give any variety of remedies are hardly more
to be trusted. Whatever they give, their patients like big doses, and
are not content without corresponding visible effects. Epsom salts,
which are in great repute, are never given to a man in less quantities
than two tablespoonfuls. On one occasion a poor woman came to me
suffering from ague, and looking very dejected. I mixed this quantity
of salts in a tumblerful of water, with a good dose of quinine,
bidding her drink two-thirds of it, and give the remainder to her
daughter, who evidently needed it as much as she did. Her share was
soon disposed of with hardly more than a grimace, to the infinite
enjoyment of a fat, black slave-girl who was standing by, and who knew
from personal experience what a tumblerful meant. But to induce the
child to take hers was quite another matter. "What! not drink it?"
the mother cried, as she held the potion to her lips. "The devil take
thee, thou cursed offspring of an abandoned woman! May God burn thy
ancestors!" But though the child, accustomed to such mild and motherly
invectives, budged not, it had proved altogether too much for the
jovial slave, who was by this time convulsed with laughter, and so, I
may as well confess, was I. At last the woman's powers of persuasion
were exhausted, and she drained the glass herself.

When in Fez some years ago, a dog I had with me needed dosing, so I
got three drops of croton oil on sugar made ready for him. Mine host,
a man of fifty or more, came in meanwhile, and having ascertained the
action of the drug from my servant, thought it might possibly do him
good, and forthwith swallowed it. Of this the first intimation I had
was from the agonizing screams of the old man, who loudly proclaimed
that his last hour was come, and from the terrified wails of the
females of his household, who thought so too. When I saw him he was
rolling on the tiles of the courtyard, his heels in the air, bellowing
frantically. I need hardly dilate upon the relief I felt when at last
we succeeded in alleviating his pain, and knew that he was out of
danger.

Among the favourite remedies of Morocco, hyena's head powder ranks
high as a purge, and the dried bones and flesh may often be seen in
the native spice-shops, coated with dust as they hang. Some of the
prescriptions given are too filthy to repeat, almost to be believed.
As a specimen, by no means the worst, I may mention a recipe at one
time in favour among the Jewesses of Mogador, according to one writer.
This was to drink seven draughts from the town drain where it entered
the sea, beaten up with seven eggs. For diseases of the "heart," by
which they mean the stomach and liver, and of eyes, joints, etc., a
stone, which is found in an animal called the horreh, the size of a
small walnut, and valued as high as twelve dollars, is ground up and
swallowed, the patient thereafter remaining indoors a week. Ants,
prepared in various ways, are recommended for lethargy, and lion's
flesh for cowardice. Privet or mallow leaves, fresh honey, and
chameleons split open alive, are considered good for wounds and sores,
while the fumes from the burning of the dried body of this animal are
often inhaled. Among more ordinary remedies are saraparilla, senna,
and a number of other well-known herbs and roots, whose action is more
or less understood. Roasted pomegranate rind in powder is found really
effectual in dysentery and diarrh[oe]a.

Men and women continually apply for philtres, and women for means to
prevent their husbands from liking rival wives, or for poison to
put them out of the way. As arsenic, corrosive sublimate, and other
poisons are sold freely to children in every spice-shop, the number of
unaccounted-for deaths is extremely large, but inquiry is seldom or
never made. When it is openly averred that So-and-so died from "a cup
of tea," the only mental comment seems to be that she was very foolish
not to be more careful what she drank, and to see that whoever
prepared it took the first sip according to custom. The highest
recommendation of any particular dish or spice is that it is
"heating." Great faith is also placed in certain sacred rocks,
tree-stumps, etc., which are visited in the hope of obtaining relief
from all sorts of ailments. Visitors often leave rags torn from their
garments by which to be remembered by the guardian of the place.
Others repair to the famous sulphur springs of Zarhôn, supposed to
derive their benefit from the interment close by of a certain St.
Jacob--and dance in the waters, yelling without intermission, "Cold
and hot, O my lord Yakoob! Cold and hot!" fearful lest any cessation
of the cry might permit the temperature to be increased or diminished
beyond the bearable point.



XXI

THE HUMAN MART

  "Who digs a pit for his brother will fall into it."

  _Moorish Proverb._


The slave-market differs in no respect from any other in Morocco, save
in the nature of the "goods" exposed. In most cases the same place is
used for other things at other times, and the same auctioneers are
employed to sell cattle. The buyers seat themselves round an open
courtyard, in the closed pens of which are the slaves for sale. These
are brought out singly or in lots, inspected precisely as cattle would
be, and expatiated upon in much the same manner.

For instance, here comes a middle-aged man, led slowly round by the
salesman, who is describing his "points" and noting bids. He has
first-class muscles, although he is somewhat thin. He is made to lift
a weight to prove his strength. His thighs are patted, and his lips
are turned to show the gums, which at merrier moments would have been
visible without such a performance. With a shame-faced, hang-dog air
he trudges round, wondering what will be his lot, though a sad one it
is already. At last he is knocked down for so many score of dollars,
and after a good deal of further bargaining he changes hands.

The next brought forward are three little girls--a "job lot," maybe
ten, thirteen, and sixteen years of age--two of them evidently
sisters. They are declared to be already proficient in Arabic, and
ready for anything. Their muscles are felt, their mouths examined, and
their bodies scrutinized in general, while the little one begins
to cry, and the others look as though they would like to keep her
company. Round and round again they are marched, but the bids do not
rise high enough to effect a sale, and they are locked up again for a
future occasion. It is indeed a sad, sad sight.

The sources of supply for the slave-market are various, but the chief
is direct from Guinea and the Sáhara, where the raids of the traders
are too well understood to need description. Usually some inter-tribal
jealousy is fostered and fanned into a flame, and the one which loses
is plundered of men and goods. Able-bodied lads and young girls are
in most demand, and fetch high prices when brought to the north. The
unfortunate prisoners are marched with great hardship and privation
to depôts over the Atlas, where they pick up Arabic and are initiated
into Mohammedanism. To a missionary who once asked one of the dealers
how they found their way across the desert, the terribly significant
reply was, "There are many bones along the way!" After a while the
survivors are either exposed for sale in the markets of Marrákesh
or Fez, or hawked round from door to door in the coast towns, where
public auctions are prohibited. Some have even found their way to
Egypt and Constantinople, having been transported in British vessels,
and landed at Gibraltar as members of the dealer's family!

Another source of supply is the constant series of quarrels between
the tribes of Morocco itself, during which many children are carried
off who are white or nearly so. In this case the victims are almost
all girls, for whom good prices are to be obtained. This opens a door
for illegal supplies, children born of slaves and others kidnapped
being thus disposed of for hareems. For this purpose the demand
for white girls is much in excess of that for black, so that great
temptation is offered. I knew a man who had seventeen such in his
house, and of nearly a dozen whom I saw there, none were too dark to
have passed for English brunettes.

Though nothing whatever can be said in defence of this practice of
tearing our fellow-men from their homes, and selling them as slaves,
our natural feelings of horror abate considerably when we become
acquainted with its results under the rule of Islám. Instead of the
fearful state of things which occurred under English or American rule,
it is a pleasure to find that, whatever may be the shortcomings of the
Moors, in this case, at any rate, they have set us a good example.
Even their barbarous treatment of Christian slaves till within a
century was certainly no worse than our treatment of black slaves.

To begin with, Mohammedans make no distinction in civil or religious
rights between a black skin and a white. So long as a man avows belief
in no god but God, and in Mohammed as the prophet of God, complying
with certain outward forms of his religion, he is held to be as good a
Muslim as anyone else; and as the whole social and civil fabrics
are built upon religion and the teachings of the Korán, the social
position of every well-behaved Mohammedan is practically equal. The
possession of authority of any kind will naturally command a certain
amount of respectful attention, and he who has any reason for seeking
a favour from another is sure to adopt a more subservient mien; but
beyond this, few such class distinctions are known as those common in
Europe. The slave who, away from home, can behave as a gentleman, will
be received as such, irrespective of his colour, and when freed he
may aspire to any position under the Sultan. There are, indeed, many
instances of black men having been ministers, governors, and even
ambassadors to Europe, and such appointments are too common to excite
astonishment. They have even, in the past, assisted in giving rise to
the misconception that the people of Morocco were "Black-a-Moors."

In many households the slave becomes the trusted steward of his owner,
and receives a sufficient allowance to live in comfort. He will
possess a paper giving him his freedom on his master's death, and
altogether he will have a very good time of it. The liberation
of slaves is enjoined upon those who follow Mohammed as a most
praiseworthy act, and as one which cannot fail to bring its own
reward. But, like too many in our own land, they more often prefer to
make use of what they possess till they start on that journey on
which they can take nothing with them, and then affect generosity by
bestowing upon others that over which they lose control.

One poor fellow whom I knew very well, who had been liberated on the
death of his master, having lost his papers, was re-kidnapped and sold
again to a man who was subsequently imprisoned for fraud, when he
got free and worked for some years as porter; but he was eventually
denounced and put in irons in a dungeon as part of the property of his
_soi-disant_ master.

The ordinary place of the slave is much that of the average servant,
but receiving only board, lodging, and scanty clothing, without pay,
and being unable to change masters. Sometimes, however, they are
permitted to beg or work for money to buy their own freedom, when
they become, as it were, their own masters. On the whole, a jollier,
harder-working, or better-tempered lot than these Negroes it would
be hard to desire, and they are as light-hearted, fortunately, as
true-hearted, even in the midst of cruel adversities.

The condition of a woman slave--to which, also, most of what has been
said refers--is as much behind that of a man-slave as is that of a
free-woman behind that of her lord. If she becomes her master's wife,
the mother of a child, she is thereby freed, though she must remain in
his service until his death, and she is only treated as an animal, not
as a human being.

After all, there is a dark side--one sufficiently dark to need no
intensifying. The fact of one man being the possessor of another,
just as much as he could be of a horse or cow, places him in the same
position with regard to his "chattel" as to such a four-footed animal.
"The merciful man is merciful to his beast," but "the tender mercies
of the wicked are cruel," and just as one man will ill-treat his
beast, while another treats his well, so will one man persecute his
slave. Instances of this are quite common enough, and here and there
cases could be brought forward of revolting brutality, as in the story
which follows, but the great thing is that agricultural slavery is
practically unknown, and that what exists is chiefly domestic. "Know
the slave," says an Arab proverb, "and you know the master."

[Illustration: _Freyonne, Photo., Gibraltar._

RABBAH, NARRATOR OF THE SLAVE-GIRL'S STORY.]



XXII

A SLAVE-GIRL'S STORY

  "After many adversities, joy."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Outside the walls of Mazagan an English traveller had pitched his
camp. Night had fallen when one of his men, returning from the town,
besought admission to the tent.

"Well, how now?"

"Sir, I have a woman here, by thy leave, yes, a woman, a slave, whom
I found at the door of thy consulate, where she had taken refuge, but
the police guard drove her away, so I brought her to thee for justice.
Have pity on her, and God will reward thee! See, here! Rabhah!"

At this bidding there approached a truly pitiable object, a
dark-skinned woman, not quite black, though of decidedly negroid
appearance--whose tattered garments scarcely served to hide a
half-starved form. Throwing herself on the ground before the
foreigner, she begged his pity, his assistance, for the sake of the
Pitiful God.

"Oh, Bashador," she pleaded, addressing him as though a foreign envoy,
"I take refuge with God and with thee! I have no one else. I have fled
from my master, who has cruelly used me. See my back!"

Suiting action to word, she slipped aside the coverings from her
shoulder and revealed the weals of many a stripe, tears streaming down
her face the while. Her tones were such as none but a heart of stone
could ignore.

"I bore it ten days, sir, till I could do so no longer, and then I
escaped. It was all to make me give false witness--from which God
deliver me--for that I will never do. My present master is the Sheïkh
bin Záharah, Lieutenant Kaïd of the Boo Azeezi, but I was once the
slave-wife of the English agent, who sold me again, though they said
that he dare not, because of his English protection. That was why I
fled for justice to the English consul, and now come to thee. For
God's sake, succour me!"

With a sob her head fell forward on her breast, as again she crouched
at the foreigner's feet, till made to rise and told to relate her
whole story quietly. When she was calmer, aided by questions, she
unfolded a tale which could, alas! be often paralleled in Morocco.

"My home? How can I tell thee where that was, when I was brought away
so early? All I know is that it was in the Sûdán" (_i.e._ Land of
the Blacks), "and that I came to Mogador on my mother's back. In my
country the slave-dealers lie in wait outside the villages to catch
the children when they play. They put them in bags like those used for
grain, with their heads left outside the necks for air. So they are
carried off, and travel all the way to this country slung on mules,
being set down from time to time to be fed. But I, though born free,
was brought by my mother, who had been carried off as a slave. The
lines cut on my cheek show that, for every free-born child in our
country is marked so by its mother. That is our sultan's order. In
Mogador my mother's master sold me to a man who took me from her,
and brought me to Dár el Baïda. They took away my mother first; they
dragged her off crying, and I never saw or heard of her again. When
she was gone I cried for her, and could not eat till they gave me
sugar and sweet dates. At Dár el Baïda I was sold in the market
auction to a shareefa named Lálla Moïna, wife of the mountain scribe
who taught the kádi's children. With her I was very happy, for she
treated me well, and when she went to Mekka on the pilgrimage she let
me go out to work on my own account, promising to make me free if God
brought her back safely. She was good to me, Bashador, but though she
returned safely she always put off making me free; but I had laid by
fifteen dollars, and had bought a boxful of clothes as well. And that
was where my trouble began. For God's sake succour me!

"One day the agent saw me in the street, and eyed me so that I was
frightened of him. He followed me home, and then sent a letter
offering to buy me, but my mistress refused. Then the agent often came
to the house, and I had to wait upon him. He told me that he wanted to
buy me, and that if he did I should be better off than if I were free,
but I refused to listen. When the agent was away his man Sarghîni used
to come and try to buy me, but in vain; and when the agent returned he
threatened to bring my mistress into trouble if she refused. At last
she had to yield, and I cried when I had to go. 'Thou art sold to that
man,' she said; 'but as thou art a daughter to me, he has promised to
take care of thee and bring thee back whenever I wish.'

"Sarghîni took me out by one gate with the servants of the agent, who
took care to go out with a big fat Jew by another, that the English
consul should not see him go out with a woman. We rode on mules, and I
wore a white cloak; I had not then begun to fast" (_i.e._ was not yet
twelve years of age). "After two days on the road the agent asked for
the key of my box, in which he found my fifteen dollars, tied up in
a rag, and took them, but gave me back my clothes. We were five days
travelling to Marrákesh, staying each night with a kaïd who treated us
very well. So I came to the agent's house.

"There I found many other slave girls, besides men slaves in the
garden. These were Ruby, bought in Saffi, by whom the agent had a
daughter; and Star, a white girl stolen from her home in Sûs, who
had no children; Jessamine the Less, another white girl bought in
Marrákesh, mother of one daughter; Jessamine the Greater, whose
daughter was her father's favourite, loaded with jewels; and others
who cooked or served, not having children, though one had a son who
died. There were thirteen of us under an older slave who clothed and
fed us.

"When the bashador came to the house the agent shut all but five or
six of us in a room, the others waiting on him. I used to have to cook
for the bashador, for whom they had great receptions with music and
dancing-women. Next door there was a larger house, a fandak, where the
agent kept public women and boys, and men at the door took money from
the Muslims and Nazarenes who went there. The missionaries who lived
close by know the truth of what I say.

"A few days after I arrived I was bathed and dressed in fresh clothes,
and taken to my master's room, as he used to call for one or another
according to fancy. But I had no child, because he struck me, and I
was sick. When one girl, named Amber, refused to go to him because she
was ill, he dragged her off to another part of the house. Presently we
heard the report of a pistol, and he came back to say she was dead. He
had a pistol in his hand as long as my forearm. We found the girl in a
pool of blood in agonies, and tried to flee, but had nowhere to go. So
when she was quite dead he made us wash her. Then he brought in four
men to dig a pit, in which he said he would bury butter. When they had
gone we buried her there, and I can show you the spot.

"One day he took two men slaves and me on a journey. One of them ran
away, the other was sold by the way. I was sold at the Tuesday market
of Sîdi bin Nûr to a dealer in slaves, whom I heard promise my master
to keep me close for three months, and not to sell me in that place
lest the Nazarenes should get word of it. Some time after I was bought
by a tax-collector, with whom I remained till he died, and then lived
in the house of his son. This man sold me to my present master, who
has ill-treated me as I told thee. Oh, Bashador, when I fled from him,
I came to the English consul because I was told that the agent had had
no right to hold or sell me, since he had English protection. Thou
knowest what has happened since. Here I am, at thy feet, imploring
assistance. I beseech thee, turn me not away. I speak truth before
God."

No one could hear such a tale unmoved, and after due inquiry the
Englishman thus appealed to secured her liberty on depositing at the
British Consulate the $140 paid for her by her owner, who claimed her
or the money. Rabhah's story, taken down by independent persons at
different times, was afterwards told by her without variation in a
British Court of Law. Subsequently a pronouncement as to her freedom
having been made by the British Legation at Tangier, the $140 was
refunded, and she lives free to-day. The last time the writer saw her,
in the service of a European in Morocco, he was somewhat taken aback
to find her arms about his neck, and to have kisses showered on his
shoulders for the unimportant part that he had played in securing her
freedom.



XXIII

THE PILGRIM CAMP

  "Work for the children is better than pilgrimage or holy war."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Year by year the month succeeding the fast of Ramadán sees a motley
assemblage of pilgrims bound for Mekka, gathered at most of the North
African ports from all parts of Barbary and even beyond, awaiting
vessels bound for Alexandria or Jedda. This comparatively easy means
of covering the distance, which includes the whole length of the
Mediterranean when the pilgrims from Morocco are concerned--not
to mention some two-thirds of the Red Sea,--has almost entirely
superseded the original method of travelling all the way by land, in
the once imposing caravans.

These historic institutions owed their importance no less to the
facilities they offered for trade, than to the opportunity they
afforded for accomplishing the pilgrimage which is enjoined on every
follower of Mohammed. Although caravans still cross the deserts of
North Africa in considerable force from west to east, as well as from
south to north, to carry on the trade of the countries to the south
of the Barbary States, the former are steadily dwindling down to mere
local affairs, and the number of travellers who select the modern
route by steamer is yearly increasing, as its advantages become better
known. For the accommodation of the large number of passengers special
vessels are chartered by speculators, and are fitted up for the
occasion. Only some £3 are charged for the whole journey from Tangier,
a thousand pilgrims being crowded on a medium-sized merchant vessel,
making the horrors of the voyage indescribable.

But the troubles of the pilgrims do not begin here. Before they could
even reach the sea some of them will have travelled on foot for a
month from remote parts of the interior, and at the coast they may
have to endure a wearisome time of waiting for a steamer. It is while
they are thus learning a lesson of patience at one of the Moorish
ports that I will invite you for a stroll round their encampment on
the market-place.

This consists of scores of low, makeshift tents, with here and there
a better-class round one dotted amongst them. The prevailing shape of
the majority is a modified edition of the dwelling of the nomad Arab,
to which class doubtless belongs a fair proportion of their occupants.
Across the top of two poles about five feet high, before and behind,
a ridge-piece is placed, and over this is stretched to the ground on
either side a long piece of palmetto or goat-hair cloth, or perhaps
one of the long woollen blankets worn by men and women alike, called
haïks, which will again be used for its original purpose on board the
vessel. The back is formed of another piece of some sort of cloth
stretched out at the bottom to form a semi-circle, and so give more
room inside. Those who have a bit of rug or a light mattress, spread
it on the floor, and pile their various other belongings around its
edge.

The straits to which many of these poor people are put to get a
covering of any kind to shelter them from sun, rain, and wind, are
often very severe, to judge from some of the specimens of tents--if
they deserve the name--constructed of all sorts of odds and ends,
almost anything, it would seem, that will cover a few square inches.
There is one such to be seen on this busy market which deserves
special attention as a remarkable example of this style of
architecture. Let us examine it. The materials of which it is composed
include hair-cloth, woollen-cloth, a cotton shirt, a woollen cloak,
and some sacking; goat skin, sheep's fleece, straw, and palmetto cord;
rush mats, a palmetto mat, split-cane baskets and wicker baskets; bits
of wood, a piece of cork, bark and sticks; petroleum tins flattened
out, sheet iron, zinc, and jam and other tins; an earthenware dish and
a stone bottle, with bits of crockery, stones, and a cow's horn to
weight some of the other items down. Now, if any one can make anything
of this, which is an exact inventory of such of the materials as are
visible on the outside, he must be a born architect. Yet here this
extraordinary construction stands, as it has stood for several months,
and its occupant looks the jolliest fellow out. Let us pay him a
visit.

Stooping down to look under the flap which serves as a door, and
raising it with my stick, I greet him with the customary salutation
of "Peace be with you." "With you be peace," is the cheery reply, to
which is added, "Welcome to thee; make thyself at home." Although
invited to enter, I feel quite enough at home on the outside of his
dwelling, so reply that I have no time to stay, as I only "looked in"
to have the pleasure of making his acquaintance and examining his
"palace." At the last word one or two bystanders who have gathered
round indulge in a little chuckle to themselves, overhearing which I
turn round and make the most flattering remarks I can think of as to
its beauty, elegance, comfort, and admirable system of ventilation,
which sets the whole company, tenant included, into a roar of
laughter. Mine host is busy cleaning fish, and now presses us to stay
and share his evening meal with him, but our appetites are not quite
equal to _that_ yet, though it is beyond doubt that the morsel he
would offer us would be as savoury and well cooked as could be
supplied by any restaurant in Piccadilly.

Inquiries elicit the fact that our friend is hoping to leave for Mekka
by the first steamer, and that meanwhile he supports himself as a
water-carrier, proudly showing us his goat-skin "bottle" lying on
the floor, with the leather flap he wears between it and his side to
protect him from the damp. Here, too, are his chain and bell, with the
bright brass and tin cups. In fact, he is quite a "swell" in his way,
and, in spite of his uncouth-looking surroundings, manages to enjoy
life by looking on the bright side of things.

"What will you do with your palace when you leave it?" we ask, seeing
that it could not be moved unless the whole were jumbled up in a sack,
when it would be impossible to reconstruct it.

"Oh, I'd let it to some one else."

"For how much?"

"Well, that I'd leave to God."

A glance round the interior of this strange abode shows that there are
still many materials employed in its construction which might have
been enumerated. One or two bundles, a box and a basket round the
sides, serve to support the roof, and from the ridge-pole hangs a
bundle which we are informed contains semolina. I once saw such a
bundle suspended from a beam in a village mosque in which I had passed
the night in the guise of a pious Muslim, and, observing its dusty
condition, inquired how it came there.

"A traveller left it there about a year and a half ago, and has not
yet come for it," was the reply; to judge from which it might remain
till Doomsday--a fact which spoke well for the honesty of the country
folk in that respect at least, although I learned that they were
notorious highwaymen.

Though the roof admits daylight every few inches, the occupier remarks
that it keeps the sun and rain off fairly well, and seems to think
none the worse of it for its transparent faults. A sick woman lying in
a native hut with a thatched roof hardly in better condition than this
one, remarked when a visitor observed a big hole just above her pallet
bed--

"Oh, it's so nice in the summer time; it lets the breeze in so
delightfully!"

It was then the depth of winter, and she had had to shift her position
once or twice to avoid the rain which came through that hole. What
a lesson in making the best of things did not that ignorant invalid
teach!

Having bid the amiable water-carrier "à Dieu,"--literally as well as
figuratively--we turn towards a group of tents further up, whence a
white-robed form has been beckoning us. After the usual salutations
have been exchanged, the eager inquiry is made, "Is there a steamer
yet?"

"No; I've nothing to do with steamers--but there's sure to be one
soon."

A man who evidently disbelieves me calls out, "I've got my money for
the passage, and I'll hire a place with you, only bring the ship
quickly."

Since their arrival in Tangier they have learnt to call a steamer,
which they have never seen before,--or even the sea,--a "bábor," a
corruption of the Spanish "vapor," for Arabic knows neither "v" nor
"p."

Another now comes forward to know if there is an eye-doctor in the
place, for there is a mist before his eyes, as he is well-advanced in
the decline of life. The sound of the word "doctor" brings up a few
more of the bystanders, who ask if I am one, and as I reply in the
negative, they ask who can cure their ears, legs, stomachs, and what
not. I explain where they may find an excellent doctor, who will be
glad to do all he can for them gratis--whereat they open their eyes
incredulously,--and that for God's sake, in the name of Seyïdná Aïsa
("Our Lord Jesus"), which they appreciate at once with murmurs of
satisfaction, though they are not quite satisfied until they have
ascertained by further questioning that he receives no support from
his own or any other government. Hearing the name of Seyïdná Aïsa,
one of the group breaks out into "El hamdu l'Illah, el hamdu l'Illah"
("Praise be to God"), a snatch of a missionary hymn to a "Moody and
Sankey" tune, barely recognizable as he renders it. He has only been
here a fortnight, and disclaims all further knowledge of the hymn or
where he heard it.

Before another tent hard by sits a native barber, bleeding a youth
from a vein in the arm, for which the fee is about five farthings.
As one or two come round to look on, he remarks, in an off-hand
way--probably with a view to increasing his practice--that "all the
pilgrims are having this done; it's good for the internals."

As we turn round to pass between two of the tents to the row beyond,
our progress is stayed by a cord from the ridge of one to that of
another, on which are strung strips of what appear at first sight to
be leather, but on a closer inspection are found to be pieces of
meat, tripe, and apparently chitterlings, hung out to dry in a sun
temperature of from 90° to 100° Fahrenheit. Thus is prepared a staple
article of diet for winter consumption when fresh meat is dear, or for
use on journeys, and this is all the meat these pilgrims will taste
till they reach Mekka, or perhaps till they return. Big jars of it,
with the interstices filled up with butter, are stowed away in the
tents "among the stuff." It is called "khalia," and is much esteemed
for its tasty and reputed aphrodisiac qualities--two ideals in Morocco
cookery,--so that it commands a relatively good price in the market.

The inmates of the next tent we look into are a woman and two men,
lying down curled up asleep in their blankets, while a couple more of
the latter squat at the door. Having noticed our curious glances at
their khalia, they, with the expressive motion of the closed fist
which in native gesture-parlance signifies first-rate, endeavour
to impress us with a sense of its excellence, which we do not feel
inclined to dispute after all we have eaten on former occasions. This
brings us to inquire what else these wanderers provide for the journey
of thirteen or fourteen days one way. As bread is not to be obtained
on board, at the door of the tent a tray-full of pieces are being
converted into sun-dried rusks. Others are provided with a kind of
very hard doughnut called "fikáks." These are flavoured with anise and
carraway seeds, and are very acceptable to a hungry traveller when
bread is scarce, though fearfully searching to hollow teeth.

Then there is a goodly supply of the national food, kesk'soo or
siksoo, better known by its Spanish name of couscoussoo. This forms
an appetizing and lordly dish, provocative of abundant eructations--a
sign of good breeding in these parts, wound up with a long-drawn
"Praise be to God"--at the close of a regular "tuck in" with Nature's
spoon, the fist. A similar preparation is hand-rolled vermicelli,
cooked in broth or milk, if obtainable. A bag of semolina and another
of zummeetah--parched flour--which only needs enough moisture to
form it into a paste to prepare it for consumption, are two other
well-patronized items.

A quaint story comes to mind _à propos_ of the latter, which formed
part of our stock of provisions during a journey through the province
of Dukkála when the incident in question occurred. A tin of insect
powder was also among our goods, and by an odd coincidence both were
relegated to the pail hanging from one of our packs. Under a spreading
fig-tree near the village of Smeerah, at lunch, some travelling
companions offered us a cup of tea, and among other dainties placed
at their disposal in return was the bag of zummeetah, of which one of
them made a good meal. Later on in the day, as we rested again, he
complained of fearful internal gripings, which were easily explained
by the discovery of the fact that the lid of the "flea's zummeetah,"
as one of our men styled it, had been left open, and a hole in the
sack of "man's zummeetah" had allowed the two to mix in the bottom of
the pail in nearly equal proportions. When this had been explained, no
one entered more heartily into the joke than its victim, which spoke
very well for his good temper, considering how seriously he had been
affected.

But this is rather a digression from our catalogue of the pilgrim's
stock of provisions. Rancid butter melted down in pots, honey, dates,
figs, raisins, and one or two similar items form the remainder. Water
is carried in goat-skins or in pots made of the dried rind of a gourd,
by far the most convenient for a journey, owing to their light weight
and the absence of the prevailing taste of pitch imparted by the
leather contrivances. Several of these latter are to be seen before
the tents hanging on tripods. One of the Moors informs us that for the
first day on board they have to provide their own water, after which
it is found for them, but everything else they take with them. An
ebony-hued son of Ham, seated by a neighbouring tent, replies to
our query as to what he is providing, "I take nothing," pointing
heavenward to indicate his reliance on Divine providence.

And so they travel. The group before us has come from the Sáhara, a
month's long journey overland, on foot! Yet their travels have only
commenced. Can they have realized what it all means?

[Illustration: _Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._

WAITING FOR THE STEAMER.]



XXIV

RETURNING HOME

  "He lengthened absence, and returned unwelcomed."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Evening is about to fall--for fall it does in these south latitudes,
with hardly any twilight--and the setting sun has lit the sky with
a refulgent glow that must be gazed at to be understood--the arc of
heaven overspread with glorious colour, in its turn reflected by the
heaving sea. One sound alone is heard as I wend my way along the sandy
shore; it is the heavy thud and aftersplash of each gigantic wave,
as it breaks on the beach, and hurls itself on its retreating
predecessor, each climbing one step higher than the last.

There, in the distance, stands a motley group--men, women,
children--straining wearied eyes to recognize the forms which crowd
a cargo lighter slowly nearing land. Away in the direction of their
looks I dimly see the outline of the pilgrim ship, a Cardiff coaler,
which has brought close on a thousand Hájes from Port Saïd or
Alexandria--men chiefly, but among them wives and children--who have
paid that toilsome pilgrimage to Mekka.

The last rays of the sun alone remain as the boat strikes the shore,
and as the darkness falls apace a score of dusky forms make a wild
rush into the surging waters, while an equal number rise up eager in
the boat to greet their friends. So soon as they are near enough to be
distinguished one from another, each watcher on the beach shouts the
name of the friend he is awaiting, proud to affix, for the first time,
the title Háj--Pilgrim--to his name. As only some twenty or
thirty have yet landed from among so many hundreds, the number of
disappointed ones who have to turn back and bide their time is
proportionately large.

"Háj Mohammed! Háj Abd es-Slám! Háj el Arbi! Háj boo Sháïb! Ah, Háj
Drees!" and many such ejaculations burst from their lips, together
with inquiries as to whether So-and-so may be on board. One by one the
weary travellers once more step upon the land which is their home, and
with assistance from their friends unload their luggage.

Now a touching scene ensues. Strong men fall on one another's necks
like girls, kissing and embracing with true joy, each uttering
a perfect volley of inquiries, compliments, congratulations, or
condolence. Then, with child-like simplicity, the stayer-at-home leads
his welcome relative or friend by the hand to the spot where his
luggage has been deposited, and seating themselves thereon they soon
get deep into a conversation which renders them oblivious to all
around, as the one relates the wonders of his journeyings, the other
the news of home.

Poor creatures! Some months ago they started, full of hope, on an
especially trying voyage of several weeks, cramped more closely than
emigrants, exposed both to sun and rain, with hardly a change of
clothing, and only the food they had brought with them. Arrived
at their destination, a weary march across country began, and was
repeated after they had visited the various points, and performed the
various rites prescribed by the Korán or custom, finally returning as
they went, but not all, as the sorrow-stricken faces of some among the
waiters on the beach had told, and the muttered exclamation, "It is
written--_Mektoob_."

Meanwhile the night has come. The Creator's loving Hand has caused
a myriad stars to shine forth from the darkness, in some measure to
replace the light of day, while as each new boat-load is set down the
same scenes are enacted, and the crowd grows greater and greater, the
din of voices keeping pace therewith.

Donkey-men having appeared on the scene with their patient beasts,
they clamour for employment, and those who can afford it avail
themselves of their services to get their goods transported to the
city. What goods they are, too! All sorts of products of the East done
up in boxes of the most varied forms and colours, bundles, rolls, and
bales. The owners are apparently mere bundles of rags themselves, but
they seem no less happy for that.

Seated on an eminence at one side are several customs officers who
have been delegated to inspect these goods; their flowing garments and
generally superior attire afford a striking contrast to the state of
the returning pilgrims, or even to that of the friends come to meet
them. These officials have their guards marching up and down between
and round about the groups, to see that nothing is carried off without
inspection.

Little by little the crowd disperses; those whose friends have landed
escort them to their homes, leaving those who will have to continue
their journey overland alone, making hasty preparations for their
evening meal. The better class speedily have tents erected, but the
majority will have to spend the night in the open air, probably in the
rain, for it is beginning to spatter already. Fires are lit in all
directions, throwing a lurid light upon the interesting picture, and
I turn my horse's head towards home with a feeling of sadness, but
at the same time one of thankfulness that my lot was not cast where
theirs is.



PART II


XXV

DIPLOMACY IN MOROCCO

  "The Beheaded was abusing the Flayed:
  One with her throat cut passed by, and exclaimed,
  'God deliver us from such folk!'"

  _Moorish Proverb._


Instead of residing at the Court of the Sultan, as might be expected,
the ministers accredited to the ruler of Morocco take up their abode
in Tangier, where they are more in touch with Europe, and where there
is greater freedom for pig-sticking. The reason for this is that the
Court is not permanently settled anywhere, wintering successively at
one of the three capitals, Fez, Marrákesh, or Mequinez. Every few
years, when anything of note arises; when there is an accumulation of
matters to be discussed with the Emperor, or when a new representative
has been appointed, an embassy to Court is undertaken, usually in
spring or autumn, the best times to travel in this roadless land.

What happens on these embassies has often enough been related from the
point of view of the performers, but seldom from that of residents in
the country who know what happens, and the following peep behind the
scenes, though fortunately not typical of all, is not exaggerated.
Even more might have been told under some heads. As strictly
applicable to no Power at present represented in Morocco, the record
is that of an imaginary embassy from Greece some sixty or more years
ago. To prevent misconception, it may be as well to add that it was
written previous to the failure of the mission of Sir Charles Euan
Smith.


  I. THE RECEPTION

In a sloop-of-war sent all the way from the Ægean, the Ambassador
and his suite sailed from Tangier to Saffi, where His Excellency was
received on landing by a Royal salute from the crumbling batteries.
The local governor and the Greek vice-consul awaited him on leaving
the surf boat, with an escort which sadly upset the operations of
women washing wool by the water-port. Outside the land-gate, beside
the ancient palace, was pitched a Moorish camp awaiting his arrival,
and European additions were soon erected beside it. At daybreak next
morning a luncheon-party rode forward, whose duty it was to prepare
the midday meal for the embassy, and to pitch the awning under which
they should partake of it.

Arrived at the spot selected, Drees, the "native agent," found the
village sheïkh awaiting him with ample supplies, enough for every one
for a couple of days. This he carefully packed on his mules, and by
the time the embassy came up, having started some time later than he,
after a good breakfast, he was ready to go on again with the remainder
of the muleteers and the camel-drivers to prepare the evening meal and
pitch for the night a camp over which waved the flag of Greece.

Here the offerings of provisions or money were made with equal
profusion. There were bushels of kesk'soo; there were several live
sheep, which were speedily despatched and put into pots to cook; there
were jars of honey, of oil, and of butter; there were camel-loads of
barley for the beasts of burden, and trusses of hay for their dessert;
there were packets of candles by the dozen, and loaves of sugar and
pounds of tea; not to speak of fowls, of charcoal, of sweet herbs, of
fruits, and of minor odds and ends.

By the time the Europeans arrived, their French _chef_ had prepared an
excellent dinner, the native escort and servants squatting in groups
round steaming dishes provided ready cooked by half-starved villagers.
When the feasting was over, and all seemed quiet, a busy scene was in
reality being enacted in the background. At a little distance from
the camp, Háj Marti, the right-hand man of the agent, was holding a
veritable market with the surplus mona of the day, re-selling to
the miserable country folk what had been wrung from them by the
authorities. The Moorish Government declared that what they paid thus
in kind would be deducted from their taxes, and this was what the
Minister assured his questioning wife, for though he knew better, he
found it best to wink at the proceedings of his unpaid henchman.

As they proceeded inland, on the border of each local jurisdiction the
escort was changed with an exhibition of "powder-play," the old one
retiring as the new one advanced with the governor at its head. Thus
they journeyed for about a week, till they reached the crumbling walls
of palm-begirt Marrákesh.

The official _personnel_ of the embassy consisted of the Minister
and his secretary Nikolaki Glymenopoulos, with Ayush ben Lezrá, the
interpreter. The secretary was a self-confident dandy with a head like
a pumpkin and a scrawl like the footprints of a wandering hen; reputed
a judge of ladies and horse-flesh; supercilious, condescending to
inferiors, and the plague of his tailor. The consul, Paolo Komnenos, a
man of middle age with a kindly heart, yet without force of character
to withstand the evils around him, had been left in Tangier as _Chargé
d'Affaires_, to the great satisfaction of his wife and family, who
considered themselves of the _crême de la crême_ of Tangier society,
such as it was, because, however much the wife of the Minister
despised the bumptiousness of Madame Komnenos, she could not omit her
from her invitations, unless of the most private nature, on account
of her husband's official position. Now, as Madame Mavrogordato
accompanied her husband with her little son and a lady friend, the
consul's wife reigned supreme.

Then there were the official _attachés_ for the occasion, the
representative of the army, a colonel of Roman nose, and eyes which
required but one glass between them, a man to whom death would have
been preferable to going one morning unshaved, or to failing one jot
in military etiquette; and the representative of the navy, in cocked
hat and gold-striped pantaloons, who found it more difficult to avoid
tripping over his sword than most landsmen do to keep from stumbling
over coils of rope on ship-board; beyond his costume there was little
of note about him; his genial character made it easy to say "Ay, ay,"
to any one, but the yarns he could spin round the camp-fire made him
a general favourite. The least consequential of the party was the
doctor, an army man of honest parts, who wished well to all the world.
Undoubtedly he was the hardest worked of the lot, for no one else did
anything but enjoy himself.

Finally there were the "officious" _attachés_. Every dabbler in
politics abroad knows the fine distinctions between "official" and
"officious" action, and how subtle are the changes which can be rung
upon the two, but there was nothing of that description here. The
officious _attachés_ were simply a party of the Minister's personal
friends, and two or three strangers whose influence might in after
times be useful to him. One was of course a journalist, to supply the
special correspondence of the _Acropolis_ and the _Hellenike Salpinx_.
These would afterwards be worked up into a handy illustrated volume of
experiences and impressions calculated to further deceive the public
with regard to Morocco and the Moors, and to secure for the Minister
his patron, the longed-for promotion to a European Court. Another was
necessarily the artist of the party, while the remainder engaged in
sport of one kind or another.

Si Drees, the "native agent," was employed as master of horse, and
superintended the native arrangements generally. With him rested every
detail of camping out, and the supply of food and labour. Right and
left he was the indispensable factotum, shouting himself hoarse from
before dawn till after sunset, when he joined the gay blades of the
Embassy in private pulls at forbidden liquors. No one worked as hard
as he, and he seemed omnipresent. The foreigners were justly thankful
to have such a man, for without him all felt at sea. He appeared to
know everything and to be available for every one's assistance. The
only draw-back was his ignorance of Greek, or of any language but his
own, yet being sharp-witted he made himself wonderfully understood by
signs and a few words of the strange coast jargon, a mixture of half a
dozen tongues.

The early morning was fixed for the solemn entry of the Embassy into
the city, yet the road had to be lined on both sides with soldiers
to keep back the thronging crowds. Amid the din of multitudes, the
clashing of barbarous music, and shrill ululations of delight from
native women; surrounded by an eastern blaze of sun and blended
colours, rode incongruous the Envoy from Greece. His stiff, grim
figure, the embodiment of officialism, in full Court dress, was
supported on either hand by his secretary and interpreter, almost as
resplendent as himself. Behind His Excellency rode the _attachés_ and
other officials, then the ladies; newspaper correspondents, artists,
and other non-official guests, bringing up the rear. In this order
the party crossed the red-flowing Tansift by its low bridge of many
arches, and drew near to the gate of Marrákesh called that of the
Thursday [market], Báb el Khamees.

[Illustration: _Molinari, Photo., Tangier._

A CITY GATEWAY IN MOROCCO.]

At last they commenced to thread the narrow winding streets, their
bordering roofs close packed with shrouded figures only showing an
eye, who greeted them after their fashion with a piercing, long-drawn,
"Yoo-yoo, yoo-yoo; yoo-yoo, yoo-yoo; yoo-yoo, yoo-yoo--oo," so novel
to the strangers, and so typical. Then they crossed the wide-open
space before the Kûtûbîyah on their way to the garden which had been
prepared for them, the Mamûnîyah, with its handsome residence and
shady walks.

Three days had to elapse from the time of their arrival before they
could see the Sultan, for they were now under native etiquette, but
they had much to occupy them, much to see and think about, though
supposed to remain at home and rest till the audience. On the morning
of the fourth day all was bustle. Each had to array himself in such
official garb as he could muster, with every decoration he could
borrow, for the imposing ceremony of the presentation to the Emperor.
What a business it was! what a coming and going; what noise and what
excitement! It was like living in the thick of a whirling pantomime.

At length they were under way, and making towards the kasbah gate in a
style surpassing that of their entry, the populace still more excited
at the sight of the gold lace and cocked hats which showed what great
men had come to pay their homage to their lord the Sultan. On arrival
at the inmost courtyard with whitewashed, battlemented walls, and
green-tiled roofs beyond, they found it thickly lined with soldiers,
a clear space being left for them in the centre. Here they were all
ranged on foot, the presents from King Otho placed on one side, and
covered with rich silk cloths. Presently a blast of trumpets silenced
the hum of voices, and the soldiers made a show of "attention" in
their undrilled way, for the Sultan approached.

In a moment the great doors on the other side flew open, and a
number of gaily dressed natives in peaked red caps--the Royal
body-guard--emerged, followed by five prancing steeds, magnificent
barbs of different colours, richly caparisoned, led by gold-worked
bridles. Then came the Master of the Ceremonies in his flowing robes
and monster turban, a giant in becoming dress, and--as they soon
discovered--of stentorian voice. Behind him rode the Emperor himself
in stately majesty, clothed in pure white, wool-white, distinct amid
the mass of colours worn by those surrounding him, his ministers. The
gorgeous trappings of his white steed glittered as the proud beast
arched his neck and champed his gilded bit, or tried in vain to
prance. Over his head was held by a slave at his side the only sign of
Royalty, a huge red-silk umbrella with a fringe to match, and a golden
knob on the point, while others of the household servants flicked the
flies away, or held the spurs, the cushion, the carpet, and other
things which might be called for by their lord.

On his appearance deafening shouts broke forth, "God bless our Lord,
and give him victory!" The rows of soldiers bowed their heads and
repeated the cry with still an increase of vigour, "God bless our
Lord, and give him victory!" At a motion from the Master of the
Ceremonies the members of the Embassy took off their hats or helmets,
and the representative of modern Greece stood there bareheaded in a
broiling sun before the figure-head of ancient Barbary. As the Sultan
approached the place where he stood, he drew near and offered a few
stereotyped words in explanation of his errand, learned by heart, to
which the Emperor replied by bidding him welcome. The Minister then
handed to him an engrossed address in a silk embroided case, which
an attendant was motioned to take, the Sultan acknowledging it
graciously. One by one the Minister next introduced the members of his
suite, their names and qualities being shouted in awful tones by the
Master of the Ceremonies, and after once more bidding them welcome,
but with a scowl at the sight of Drees, His Majesty turned his horse's
head, leaving them to re-mount as their steeds were brought to
them. Again the music struck up with a deafening din, and the state
reception was over.

But this was not to be the only interview between the Ambassador and
the Sultan, for several so-called private conferences followed, at
which an attendant or two and the interpreter Ayush were present.
Kyrios Mavrogordato's stock of polite workable Arabic had been
exhausted at the public function, and for business matters he had to
rely implicitly on the services of his handy Jew. Such other notions
of the language as he boasted could only be addressed to inferiors,
and that but to convey the most simple of crude instructions or
curses.

At the first private audience there were many matters of importance to
be brought before the Sultan's notice, afterwards to be relegated to
the consideration of his wazeers. This time no fuss was made, and the
affair again came off in the early morning, for His Majesty rose at
three, and after devotions and study transacted official business from
five to nine, then breakfasting and reserving the rest of the day for
recreation and further religious study.


  II. THE INTERVIEW

At the appointed time an escort waited on the Ambassador[18] to convey
him to the palace, arrived at which he was led into one of the many
gardens in the interior, full of luxuriant semi-wild vegetation. In
a room opening on to one side of the garden sat the Emperor,
tailor-fashion, on a European sofa, elevated by a sort of daïs
opposite the door. With the exception of an armchair on the lower
level, to which the Ambassador was motioned after the usual formal
obeisances and expressions of respect, the chamber was absolutely bare
of furniture, though not lacking in beauty of decoration. The floor
was of plain cut but elegant tiles, and the dado was a more intricate
pattern of the same in shades of blue, green, and yellow, interspersed
with black, but relieved by an abundance of greeny white. Above this,
to the stalactite cornice, the walls were decorated with intricate
Mauresque designs in carved white plaster, while the rich stalactite
roofing of deep-red tone, just tipped with purple and gilt, made a
perfect whole, and gave a feeling of repose to the design. Through the
huge open horse-shoe arch of the door the light streamed between the
branches of graceful creepers waving in the breeze, adding to the
impression of coolness caused by the bubbling fountain outside.

  [18: Strictly speaking, only "Minister Plenipotentiary and
       Envoy Extraordinary."]

"May God bless our Lord, and prolong his days!" said Ayush, bowing
profoundly towards the Sultan, as the Minister concluded the
repetition of his stock phrases, and seated himself.

"May it please Your Majesty," began the Minister, in Greek, "I cannot
express the honour I feel in again being commissioned to approach Your
Majesty in the capacity of Ambassador from my Sovereign, King Otho of
Greece."

This little speech was rendered into Arabic by Ayush to this effect--

"May God pour blessings on our Lord. The Ambassador rejoices greatly,
and is honoured above measure in being sent once more by his king to
approach the presence of our Lord, the high and mighty Sovereign: yes,
my Lord."

"He is welcome," answered the Sultan, graciously; "we love no nation
better than the Greeks. They have always been our friends."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty is delighted to see Your Excellency, whom
he loves from his heart, as also your mighty nation, than which none
is more dear to him, and whose friendship he is ready to maintain at
any cost."

_Minister._ "It pleases me greatly to hear Your Majesty's noble
sentiments, which I, and I am sure my Government, reciprocate."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister is highly complimented by the gracious
words of our Lord, and declares that the Greeks love no other nation
on earth beside the Moors: yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "Is there anything I can do for such good friends?"

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty says he is ready to do anything for so
good a friend as Your Excellency."

_Minister._ "I am deeply grateful to His Majesty. Yes, there are one
or two matters which my Government would like to have settled."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister is simply overwhelmed at the thought of
the consideration of our Lord, and he has some trifling matters for
which perhaps he may beg our Lord's attention: yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "He has only to make them known."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty will do all Your Excellency desires."

_Minister._ "First then, Your Majesty, there is the little affair of
the Greek who was murdered last year at Azîla. I am sure that I can
rely on an indemnity for his widow."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister speaks of the Greek who was murdered--by
your leave, yes, my Lord--at Azîla last year: yes, my Lord. The
Ambassador wishes him to be paid for."

_Sultan._ "How much does he ask?"

This being duly interpreted, the Minister replied--

"Thirty thousand dollars."

_Sultan._ "Half that sum would do, but we will see. What next?"

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty thinks that too much, but as Your
Excellency says, so be it."

_Minister._ "I thank His Majesty, and beg to bring to his notice the
imprisonment of a Greek _protégé_, Mesaûd bin Aûdah, at Mazagan some
months ago, and to ask for his liberation and for damages. This is a
most important case."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister wants that thief Mesaûd bin Aûdah, whom
the Báshá of Mazagan has in gaol, to be let out, and he asks also for
damages: yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "The man was no lawful _protégé_. I can do nothing in the
case. Bin Aûdah is a criminal, and cannot be protected."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty fears that this is a matter in which he
cannot oblige Your Excellency, much as he would like to, since the man
in question is a thief. It is no use saying anything further about
this."

_Minister._ "Then ask about that Jew Botbol, who was thrashed. Though
not a _protégé_, His Majesty might be able to do something."

_Interpreter._ "His Excellency brings before our Lord a most serious
matter indeed; yes, my Lord. It is absolutely necessary that redress
should be granted to Maimon Botbol, the eminent merchant of Mogador
whom the kaïd of that place most brutally treated last year: yes, my
Lord. And this is most important, for Botbol is a great friend of His
Excellency, who has taken the treatment that the poor man received
very much to heart. He is sure that our Lord will not hesitate to
order the payment of the damages demanded, only fifty thousand
dollars."

_Sultan._ "In consideration of the stress the Minister lays upon this
case, he shall have ten thousand dollars."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty will pay Your Excellency ten thousand
dollars damages."

_Minister._ "As that is more than I had even hoped to ask, you will
duly thank His Majesty most heartily for this spontaneous generosity."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister says that is not sufficient from our
Lord, but he will not oppose his will: yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "I cannot do more."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty says it gives him great pleasure to pay
it."

_Minister._ "Now there is the question of slavery. I have here a
petition from a great society at Athens requesting His Majesty to
consider whether he cannot abolish the system throughout his realm,"
handing the Sultan an elaborate Arabic scroll in Syrian characters
hard to be deciphered even by the secretary to whom it is consigned
for perusal; the Sultan, though an Arabic scholar, not taking
sufficient interest in the matter to think of it again.

_Interpreter._ "There are some fanatics in the land of Greece, yes, my
Lord, who want to see slavery abolished here, by thy leave, yes, my
Lord, but I will explain to the Bashador that this is impossible."

_Sultan._ "Certainly. It is an unalterable institution. Those who
think otherwise are fools. Besides, your agent Drees deals in slaves!"

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty will give the petition his best attention,
and if possible grant it with pleasure."

_Minister._ "You will thank His Majesty very much. It will rejoice
my fellow-countrymen to hear it. Next, a Greek firm has offered to
construct the much-needed port at Tangier, if His Majesty will grant
us the concession till the work be paid for by the tolls. Such a
measure would tend to greatly increase the Moorish revenues."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister wishes to build a port at Tangier, yes,
my Lord, and to hold it till the tolls have paid for it."

_Sultan._ "Which may not be till Doomsday. Nevertheless, I
will consent to any one making the port whom all the European
representatives shall agree to appoint"--a very safe promise to make,
since the Emperor knew that this agreement was not likely to be
brought about till the said Domesday.

_Interpreter._ "Your Excellency's request is granted. You have only to
obtain the approval of your colleagues."

_Minister._ "His Majesty is exceedingly gracious, and I am
correspondingly obliged to him. Inform His Majesty that the same firm
is willing to build him bridges over his rivers, and to make roads
between the provinces, which would increase friendly communications,
and consequently tend to reduce inter-tribal feuds."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister thanks our Lord, and wants also to build
bridges and roads in the interior to make the tribes friendly by
intercourse."

_Sultan._ "That would never do. The more I keep the tribes apart the
better for me. If I did not shake up my rats in the sack pretty often,
they would gnaw their way out. Besides, where my people could travel
more easily, so could foreign invaders. No, I cannot think of such a
thing. God created the world without bridges."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty is full of regret that in this matter he
is unable to please Your Excellency, but he thinks his country better
as it is."

_Minister._ "Although I beg to differ from His Majesty, so be it. Next
there is the question of our commerce with Morocco. This is greatly
hampered by the present lack of a fixed customs tariff. There are
several articles of which the exportation is now prohibited, which it
would be really very much in the interest of his people to allow us to
purchase."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister requests of our Lord a new customs
tariff, and the right to export wheat and barley."

_Sultan._ "The tariff he may discuss with the Wazeer of the Interior;
I will give instructions. As for the cereals, the bread of the
Faithful cannot be given to infidels."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty accedes to your Excellency's request.
You have only to make known the details to the Minister for Internal
Affairs."

_Minister._ "Again I humbly render thanks to his Majesty. Since he is
so particularly good to me, perhaps he would add one kindness more, in
abandoning to me the old house and garden on the Marshan at Tangier,
in which the Foreign Minister used to live. It is good for nothing,
and would be useful to me."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister asks our Lord for a couple of houses
in Tangier. Yes, my Lord, the one formerly occupied by the Foreign
Minister on the Marshan at Tangier for himself; and the other
adjoining the New Mosque in town, just an old tumble-down place for
stores, to be bestowed upon me; yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "What sort of place is that on the Marshan?"

_Interpreter._ "I will not lie unto my lord. It is a fine big house
in a large garden, with wells and fruit trees: yes, my Lord. But the
other is a mere nothing: yes, my Lord."

_Sultan._ "I will do as he wishes--if it please God." (The latter
expression showing the reverse of an intention to carry out the
former.)

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty gives you the house."

_Minister._ "His Majesty is indeed too kind to me. I therefore regret
exceedingly having to bring forward a number of claims which have been
pending for a long time, but with the details of which I will not
of course trouble His Majesty personally. I merely desire his
instructions to the Treasury to discharge them on their being admitted
by the competent authorities."

_Interpreter._ "The Minister brings before our Lord a number of
claims, on the settlement of which he insists: yes, my Lord. He feels
it a disgrace that they should have remained unpaid so long: yes, my
Lord. And he asks for orders to be given to discharge them at once."

_Sultan._ "There is neither force nor power save in God, the High, the
Mighty. Glory to Him! There is no telling what these Nazarenes won't
demand next. I will pay all just claims, of course, but many of these
are usurers' frauds, with which I will have nothing to do."

_Interpreter._ "His Majesty will give the necessary instructions; but
the claims will have to be examined, as Your Excellency has already
suggested. His Majesty makes the sign of the conclusion of our
interview."

_Minister._ "Assure His Majesty how deeply indebted I am to him
for these favours he has shown me, but allow me to in some measure
acknowledge them by giving information of importance. I am entirely
_au courant_, through private channels, with the unworthy tactics of
the British Minister, as also those of his two-faced colleagues, the
representatives of France and Spain, and can disclose them to His
Majesty whenever he desires."

_Interpreter._ "His Excellency does not know how to express
his gratitude to our Lord for his undeserved and unprecedented
condescension, and feels himself bound the slave of our Lord, willing
to do all our Lord requires of his hands; yes, my lord. But he trusts
that our Lord will not forget the houses--and the one in town is only
a little one,--or the payment of the indemnity to Maimon Botbol, yes,
my Lord, or the discharging of the claims. God bless our Lord, and
give him victory! And also, pardon me, my Lord, the Minister says that
all the other ministers are rogues, and he knows all about them that
our Lord may wish to learn: yes, my Lord."

"God is omniscient. He can talk of those matters to the Foreign
Minister to-morrow. In peace!"

Once more a few of his stock phrases were man[oe]uvred by Kyrios
Mavrogordato, as with the most profound of rear-steering bows the
representatives of civilization retreated, and the potentate of
Barbary turned with an air of relief to give instructions to his
secretary.


  III. THE RESULT

A few weeks after this interview the _Hellenike Salpinx_, a leading
journal of Athens, contained an article of which the following is a
translation:--

    "OUR INTERESTS IN MOROCCO

    "(_From our Special Correspondent_)

    "Marrákesh, October 20.

    "The success of our Embassy to Morocco is already assured, and
    that in a remarkable degree. The Sultan has once more shown most
    unequivocally his strong partiality for the Greek nation, and
    especially for their distinguished representative, Kyrios Dimitri
    Mavrogordato, whose personal tact and influence have so largely
    contributed to this most thankworthy result. It is very many years
    since such a number of requests have been granted by the Emperor
    of Morocco to one ambassador, and it is probable that under the
    most favourable circumstances no other Power could have hoped for
    such an exhibition of favour.

    "The importance of the concessions is sufficient to mark this
    embassy in the history of European relations with Morocco,
    independently of the amount of ordinary business transacted,
    and the way in which the Sultan has promised to satisfy our
    outstanding claims. Among other favours, permission has been
    granted to a Greek firm to construct a port at Tangier, the chief
    seat of foreign trade in the Empire, which is a matter of national
    importance, and there is every likelihood of equally valuable
    concessions for the building of roads and bridges being made to
    the same company.

    "Our merchants will be rejoiced to learn that at last the
    vexatious customs regulations, or rather the absence of them,
    will be replaced by a regular tariff, which our minister has
    practically only to draw up for it to be sanctioned by the
    Moorish Government. The question of slavery, too, is under the
    consideration of the Sultan with a view to its restriction, if
    not to its abolition, a distinct and unexpected triumph for the
    friends of universal freedom. There can be no question that, under
    its present enlightened ruler, Morocco is at last on the high-road
    to civilization.

    "Only those who have had experience in dealing with
    procrastinating politicians of the eastern school can appreciate
    in any degree the consummate skill and patience which is requisite
    to overcome the sinuosities of oriental minds, and it is only such
    a signal victory as has just been won for Greece and for progress
    in Morocco, as can enable us to realize the value to the State of
    such diplomatists as His Excellency, Kyrios Mavrogordato."

This article had not appeared in print before affairs on the spot wore
a very different complexion. At the interview with the Minister for
the Interior a most elaborate customs tariff had been presented and
discussed, some trifling alterations being made, and the whole being
left to be submitted to the Sultan for his final approval, with the
assurance that this was only a matter of form. The Minister of Finance
had promised most blandly the payment of the damages demanded for the
murder of the Greek and for the thrashing of the Jew. It was true that
as yet no written document had been handed to the Greek Ambassador,
but then he had the word of the Ministers themselves, and promises
from the Sultan's lips as well. The only _fait accompli_ was the
despatch of a courier to Tangier with orders to deliver up the keys
of two specified properties to the Ambassador and his interpreter
respectively, a matter which, strange to say, found no place in the
messages to the Press, and in which the spontaneous present to the
interpreter struck His Excellency as a most generous act on the part
of the Sultan.

Quite a number of state banquets had been given, in which the members
of the Embassy had obtained an insight into stylish native cooking,
writing home that half the dishes were prepared with pomatum and the
other half with rancid oil and butter. The _littérateur_ of the party
had nearly completed his work on Morocco, and was seriously thinking
of a second volume. The young _attachés_ could swear right roundly in
Arabic, and were becoming perfect connoisseurs of native beauty. In
the palatial residence of Drees, as well as in a private residence
which that worthy had placed at their disposal, they had enjoyed a
selection of native female society, and had such good times under the
wing of that "rare old cock," as they dubbed him, that one or two
began to feel as though they had lighted among the lotus eaters, and
had little desire to return.

But to Kyrios Mavrogordato and Glymenopoulos his secretary, the delay
at Court began to grow irksome, and they heartily wished themselves
back in Tangier. Notwithstanding the useful "tips" which he had given
to the Foreign Minister regarding the base designs of his various
colleagues accredited to that Court, his own affairs seemed to hang
fire. He had shown how France was determined to make war upon Morocco
sooner or later, with a view to adding its fair plains to those it
was acquiring in Algeria, and had warned him that if the Sultan lent
assistance to the Ameer Abd el Káder he would certainly bring this
trouble upon himself. He had also shown how England pretended
friendship because at any cost she must maintain at least the
neutrality of that part of his country bordering on the Straits of
Gibraltar, and that with all her professions of esteem, she really
cared not a straw for the Moors. He had shown too that puny Spain held
it as an article of faith that Morocco should one day become hers in
return for the rule of the Moors upon her own soil. He had, in fact,
shown that Greece alone cared for the real interests of the Sultan.


  IV. DIAMOND CUT DIAMOND

Yet things did not move. The treaty of commerce remained unsigned, and
slaves were still bought and sold. The numerous claims which he had
to enforce had only been passed in part, and the Moorish authorities
seemed inclined to dispute the others stoutly. At last, at a private
conference with the Wazeer el Kiddáb, the Ambassador broached a
proposal to cut the Gordian knot. He would abandon all disputed claims
for a lump sum paid privately to himself, and asked what the Moorish
Government might feel inclined to offer.

The Wazeer el Kiddáb received this proposal with great complacency. He
was accustomed to such overtures. Every day of his life that style of
bargain was part of his business. But this was the first time that a
European ambassador had made such a suggestion in its nakedness, and
he was somewhat taken aback, though his studied indifference of manner
did not allow the foreigner to suspect such a thing for a moment. The
usual style had been for him to offer present after present to the
ambassadors till he had reached their price, and then, when his master
had overloaded them with personal favours--many of which existed but
in promise--they had been unable to press too hard the claims they had
come to enforce, for fear of possible disclosures. So this was a novel
proceeding, though quite comprehensible on the part of a man who had
been bribed on a less extensive scale on each previous visit to Court.
Once, however, such a proposition had been made, it was evident that
his Government could not be much in earnest regarding demands which he
could so easily afford to set aside.

As soon, therefore, as Kyrios Mavrogordato had left, the Wazeer
ordered his mule, that he might wait upon His Majesty before the hours
of business were over. His errand being stated as urgent and private,
he was admitted without delay to his sovereign's presence.

"May God prolong the days of our Lord! I come to say that the way to
rid ourselves of the importunity of this ambassador from Greece is
plain. He has made it so himself by offering to abandon all disputed
claims for a round sum down for his own use. What is the pleasure of
my Lord?"

"God is great!" exclaimed the Sultan, "that is well. You may inform
the Minister from me that a positive refusal is given to every demand
not already allowed in writing. What _he_ can afford to abandon, _I_
can't afford to pay."

"The will of our Lord shall be done."

"But stay! I have had my eye upon that Greek ambassador this long
while, and am getting tired of him. The abuses he commits are
atrocious, and his man Drees is a devil. Háj Taïb el Ghassál writes
that the number of his _protégés_ is legion, and that by far the
greater number of them are illegal. Inform him when you see him that
henceforth the provisions of our treaties shall be strictly adhered
to, and moreover that no protection certificates shall be valid unless
countersigned by our Foreign Commissioner El Ghassál. If I rule here,
I will put an end to this man's doings."

"On my head and eyes be the words of my Lord."

"And remind him further that the permits for the free passage of
goods at the customs are granted only for his personal use, for the
necessities of his household, and that the way Háj Taïb writes he has
been selling them is a disgrace. The man is a regular swindler, and
the less we have to do with him the better. As for his pretended
information about his colleagues, there may be a good deal of truth
in it, but I have the word of the English minister, who is about as
honest as any of them, that this Mavrogordato is a born villain,
and that if his Government is not greedy for my country on its own
account, it wants to sell me to some more powerful neighbour in
exchange for its protection. Greece is only a miserable fag-end of
Europe."

"Our Lord knows: may God give him victory," and the Wazeer bowed
himself out to consider how best he might obey his instructions, not
exactly liking the task. On returning home he despatched a messenger
to the quarters of the Embassy, appointing an hour on the morrow for a
conference, and when this came the Ambassador found himself in for a
stormy interview. The Wazeer, with his snuff-box in constant use,
sat cool and collected on his mattress on the floor, the Ambassador
sitting uneasily on a chair before him. Though the language used
was considerably modified in filtering through the brain of the
interpreter, the increasing violence of tone and gesture could not be
concealed, and were all but sufficiently comprehensible in themselves.
The Ambassador protested that if the remainder of the demands were
to be refused, he was entitled to at least as much as the French
representative had had to shut his mouth last time he came to Court,
and affected overwhelming indignation at the treatment he had
received.

"Besides," he added, "I have the promise of His Majesty the Sultan
himself that certain of them should be paid in full, and I cannot
abandon those. I have informed my Government of the Sultan's words."

"Dost suppose that my master is a dog of a Nazarene, that he should
keep his word to thee? Nothing thou may'st say can alter his decision.
The claims that have been allowed in writing shall be paid by the
Customs Administrators on thy return to Tangier. Here are orders for
the money."

"I absolutely refuse to accept a portion of what my Government
demands. I will either receive the whole, or I will return
empty-handed, and report on the treacherous way in which I have been
treated. I am thoroughly sick of the procrastinating and prevaricating
ways of this country--a disgrace to the age."

"And we are infinitely more sick of thy behaviour and thine abuse of
the favours we have granted thee. Our lord has expressly instructed
me to tell thee that in future no excess of the rights guaranteed to
foreigners by treaty will be permitted on any account. Thy protection
certificates to be valid must be endorsed by our Foreign Commissioner,
and the nature of the goods thou importest free of duty as for thyself
shall be strictly examined, as we have the right to do, that no more
defrauding of our revenue be permitted."

"Your words are an insult to my nation," exclaimed the Ambassador,
rising, "and shall be duly reported to my Government. I cannot sit
here and listen to vile impeachments like these; you know them to be
false!"

"That is no affair of mine; I have delivered the decision of our lord,
and have no more to say. The claims we refuse are all of them unjust,
the demands of usurers, on whom be the curse of God; and demands for
money which has never been stolen, or has already been paid; every one
of them is a shameful fraud, God knows. Leeches are only fit to be
trodden on when they have done their work; we want none of them."

"Your language is disgraceful, such as was never addressed to me in my
life before; if I do not receive an apology by noon to-morrow, I will
at once set out for Tangier, if not for Greece, and warn you of the
possible consequences."

       *       *       *       *       *

The excitement in certain circles in Athens on the receipt of the
intelligence that the Embassy to Morocco had failed, after all the
flourish of trumpets with which its presumed successes had been
hailed, was great indeed. One might have thought that once more the
brave Hellenes were thirsting for the conquest of another Sicily, to
read the columns of the _Palingenesia_, some of the milder paragraphs
of which, translated, ran thus:--

    "A solemn duty has been imposed upon our nation by the studied
    indignities heaped upon our representative at the Court of
    Morocco. Greece has been challenged, Europe defied, and the whole
    civilized world insulted. The duty now before us is none other
    than to wipe from the earth that nest of erstwhile pirates
    flattered by the name of the Moorish Government....

    "As though it were insufficient to have refused the just demands
    presented by Kyrios Mavrogordato for the payment of business debts
    due to Greek merchants, and for damages acknowledged to be due to
    others for property stolen by lawless bandits, His Excellency has
    been practically dismissed from the Court in a manner which has
    disgraced our flag in the eyes of all Morocco.

    "Here are two counts which need no exaggeration. Unless the
    payment of just business debts is duly enforced by the Moorish
    Government, as it would be in any other country, and unless the
    native agents of our merchants are protected fully by the local
    authorities, it is hopeless to think of maintaining commercial
    relations with such a nation, so that insistence on these demands
    is of vital necessity to our trade, and a duty to our growing
    manufactories.

    "The second count is of the simplest: such treatment as has been
    meted out to our Minister Plenipotentiary in Morocco, especially
    after the bland way in which he was met at first with empty
    promises and smiles, is worthy only of savages or of a people
    intent on war."

The _Hellenike Salpinx_ was hardly less vehement in the language in
which it chronicled the course of events in Morocco:--

    "Notwithstanding the unprecedented manner in which the requests
    of His Excellency, Kyrios Dimitri Mavrogordato, our Minister
    Plenipotentiary and Envoy Extraordinary at the Court of Morocco,
    were acceded to on the recent Embassy to Mulai Abd er-Rahmán, the
    Moors have shown their true colours at last by equally marked, but
    less astonishing, insults.

    "The unrivalled diplomatic talents of our ambassador proved,
    in fact, too much for the Moorish Government, and though the
    discovery of the way in which a Nazarene was obtaining his desires
    from the Sultan may have aroused the inherent obstinacy of the
    wazeers, and thus produced the recoil which we have described, it
    is far more likely that this was brought about by the officious
    interference of one or two other foreign representatives at
    Tangier. It has been for some time notorious that the Sardinian
    consul-general--who at the same time represents Portugal--loses no
    opportunity of undermining Grecian influence in Morocco, and in
    this certain of his colleagues have undoubtedly not been far
    behind him.

    "Nevertheless, whatever causes may have been at work in bringing
    about this crisis, it is one which cannot be tided over, but which
    must be fairly faced. Greece has but one course before her."



XXVI

PRISONERS AND CAPTIVES

  "Misfortune is misfortune's heir."
  _Moorish Proverb._


Externally the gaol of Tangier does not differ greatly in appearance
from an ordinary Moorish house, and even internally it is of the
plan which prevails throughout the native buildings from fandaks to
palaces. A door-way in a blank wall, once whitewashed, gives access to
a kind of lobby, such as might precede the entrance to some grandee's
house, but instead of being neat and clean, it is filthy and dank, and
an unwholesome odour pervades the air. On a low bench at the far end
lie a guard or two in dirty garments, fitting ornaments for such a
place. By them is the low-barred entrance to the prison, with a hole
in the centre the size of such a face as often fills it, wan and
hopeless. A clanking of chains, a confused din of voices, and an
occasional moan are borne through the opening on the stench-laden
atmosphere. "All hope abandon, ye who enter here!" could never have
been written on portal more appropriate than this, unless he who
entered had friends and money. Here are forgotten good and bad, the
tried and the untried, just and unjust together, sunk in a night of
blank despair, a living grave.

Around an open courtyard, protected by an iron grating at the top, is
a row of dirty columns, and behind them a kind of arcade, on to which
open a number of doorless chambers. Filth is apparent everywhere, and
to the stifling odour of that unwashed horde is added that caused by
insanitary drainage. To some of the pillars are chained poor wretches
little more than skeletons, while a cable of considerable length
secures others. It is locked at one end to a staple outside the door
under which it passes, and is threaded through rings on the iron
collars of half a dozen prisoners who have been brought in as rebels
from a distant province. For thirteen days they have tramped thus,
carrying that chain, holding it up by their hands to save their
shoulders, and two empty rings still threaded on show that when they
started they numbered eight. Since the end rings are riveted to the
chain, it has been impossible to remove them, so when two fell sick by
the way the drivers cut off their heads to effect the release of their
bodies, and to prove, by presenting those ghastly trophies at their
journey's end, that none had escaped.

Many of the prisoners are busy about the floor, where they squat in
groups, plaiting baskets and satchels of palmetto leaves, while many
appear too weak and disheartened even to earn a subsistence in this
way. One poor fellow, who has been a courier, was employed one day
twenty-five years since to carry a despatch to Court, complaining of
the misdeeds of a governor. That official himself intercepted the
letter, and promptly despatched the bearer to Tangier as a Sultan's
prisoner. He then arrested the writer of the letter, who, on paying
a heavy fine, regained his liberty, but the courier remained unasked
for. In course of time the kaïd was called to his account, and his
son, who succeeded him in office, having died too, a stranger ruled in
their stead. The forgotten courier had by this time lost his reason,
fancying himself once more in his goat-hair tent on the southern
plains, and with unconscious irony he still gives every new arrival
the Arab greeting, "Welcome to thee, a thousand welcomes! Make thyself
at home and comfortable. All before thee is thine, and what thou seest
not, be sure we don't possess."

Some few, in better garments, hold themselves aloof from the others,
and converse together with all the nonchalance of gossip in the
streets, for they are well-to-do, arrested on some trivial charge
which a few dollars apiece will soon dispose of, but they are
exceptions. A quieter group occupies one corner, members of a party
of no less than sixty-two brought in together from Fez, on claims
made against them by a European Power. A sympathetic inquiry soon
elicits their histories.[19] The first man to speak is hoary and
bent with years; he was arrested several years ago, on the death of
a brother who had owed some $50 to a European. The second had
borrowed $900 in exchange for a bond for twice that amount; he had
paid off half of this, and having been unable to do more, had been
arrested eighteen months before. The third had similarly received
$80 for a promise to pay $160; he had been in prison five years and
three months. Another had borrowed $100, and knew not the sum which
stood yet against him. Another had been in prison five years for a
debt alleged to have been contracted by an uncle long dead. Another
had borrowed $50 on a bond for $100. Another had languished eighteen
months in gaol on a claim for $120; the amount originally advanced
to him was about $30, but the acknowledgment was for $60, which had
been renewed for $120 on its falling due and being dishonoured.
Another had borrowed $15 on agreeing to refund $30, which was
afterwards increased to $60 and then to $105. He has been imprisoned
three years. The debt of another, originally $16 for a loan of half
that amount, has since been doubled twice, and now stands at $64,
less $17 paid on account, while for forty-two measures of wheat
delivered on account he can get no allowance, though that was three
years ago, and four months afterwards he was sent to prison. Another
had paid off the $50 he owed for an advance of $25, but on some
claim for expenses the creditor had withheld the bond, and is now
suing for the whole amount again. He has been in prison two years
and six months. Another has paid twenty measures of barley on
account of a bond for $100, for which he has received $50, and he
was imprisoned at the same time as the last speaker, his debt being
due to the same man. Another had borrowed $90 on the usual terms,
and has paid the whole in cash or wheat, but cannot get back the
bond. He has previously been imprisoned for a year, but two years
after his release he was re-arrested, fourteen months ago. Another
has been two months in gaol on a claim for $25 for a loan of $12.
The last one has a bitter tale to tell, if any could be worse than
the wearisome similarity of those who have preceded him.

  [19: All these statements were taken down from the lips of the
       victims at the prison door, and most, if not all of them, were
       supported by documentary evidence.]

"Some years ago," he says, "I and my two brothers, Drees and Ali,
borrowed $200 from a Jew of Mequinez, for which we gave him a notarial
bond for $400. We paid him a small sum on account every month, as we
could get it--a few dollars at a time--besides presents of butter,
fowls, and eggs. At the end of the first year he threatened to
imprison us, and made us change the bond for one for $800, and year
by year he raised the debt this way till it reached $3000, even after
allowing for what we had paid off. I saw no hope of ever meeting his
claim, so I ran away, and my brother Drees was imprisoned for six
years. He died last winter, leaving a wife and three children, the
youngest, a daughter, being born a few months after her father was
taken away. He never saw her. By strenuous efforts our family paid off
the $3000, selling all their land, and borrowing small sums. But the
Jew would not give up the bond. He died about two years ago, and we do
not know who is claiming now, but we are told that the sum demanded
is $560. We have nothing now left to sell, and, being in prison, we
cannot work. When my brother Drees died, I and my brother Ali were
seized to take his place. My kaïd was very sorry for me, and became
surety that I would not escape, so that my irons were removed; but my
brother remains still in fetters, as poor Drees did all through the
six years. We have no hope of our friends raising any money, so we
must wait for death to release us."

Here he covers his face with his hands, and several of his companions,
in spite of their own dire troubles, have to draw their shrivelled
arms across their eyes, as silence falls upon the group.

As we turn away heartsick a more horrible sight than any confronts us
before the lieutenant-governor's court. A man is suspended by the arms
and legs, face downwards, by a party of police, who grasp his writhing
limbs. With leather thongs a stalwart policeman on either side is
striking his bare back in turn. Already blood is flowing freely, but
the victim does not shriek. He only winces and groans, or gives an
almost involuntary cry as the cruel blows fall on some previously
harrowed spot. He is already unable to move his limbs, but the blows
fall thick and fast. Will they never cease?

By the side stands a young European counting them one by one, and when
the strikers slow down from exhaustion he orders them to stop, that
others may relieve them. The victim is by this time swooning, so the
European directs that he shall be put on the ground and deluged with
water till he revives. When sufficiently restored the count begins
again. Presently the European stays them a second time; the man is
once again insensible, yet he has only received six hundred lashes of
the thousand which have been ordered.

"Well," he exclaims, "it's no use going on with him to-day. Put him in
the gaol now, and I'll come and see him have the rest to-morrow."

"God bless thee, but surely he has had enough!" exclaims the
lieutenant-governor, in sympathetic tones.

"Enough? He deserves double! The consul has only ordered a thousand,
and I am here to see that he has every one. We'll teach these villains
to rob our houses!"

"There is neither force nor power save in God, the High, the Mighty!
As thou sayest; it is written," and the powerless official turns away
disgusted. "God burn these Nazarenes, their wives and families, and
all their ancestors! They were never fit for aught but hell!" he may
be heard muttering as he enters his house, and well may he feel as he
does.

The policemen carry the victim off to the gaol hard by, depositing him
on the ground, after once more restoring him with cold water.

"God burn their fathers and their grandfathers, and the whole cursed
race of them!" they murmur, for their thoughts still run upon the
consul and the clerk.

Leaving him sorrowfully, they return to the yard, where we still wait
to obtain some information as to the cause of such treatment.

"Why, that dog of a Nazarene, the Greek consul, says that his house
was robbed a month ago, though we don't believe him, for it wasn't
worth it. The sinner says that a thousand dollars were stolen, and he
has sent in a claim for it to the Sultan. The minister's now at court
for the money, the Satan! God rid our country of them all!"

"But how does this poor fellow come in for it?"

"He! He never touched the money! Only he had some quarrel with the
clerk, so they accused him of the theft, as he was the native living
nearest to the house, just over the fence. He's nothing but a poor
donkey-man, and an honest one at that. The consul sent his clerk up
here to say he was the thief, and that he must receive a thousand
lashes. The governor refused till the man should be tried and
convicted, but the Greek wouldn't hear of it, and said that if he
wasn't punished at once he would send a courier to his minister at
Marrákesh, and have a complaint made to the Sultan. The governor knew
that if he escaped it would most likely cost him his post to fight the
consul, so he gave instructions for the order to be carried out, and
went indoors so as not to be present."

"God is supreme!" ejaculates a bystander.

"But these infidels of Nazarenes know nothing of Him. His curse be on
them!" answers the policeman. "They made us ride the poor man round
the town on a bare-backed donkey, with his face to the tail, and all
the way two of us had to thrash him, crying, 'Thus shall be done to
the man who robs a consul!' He was ready to faint before we got him up
here. God knows _we_ don't want to lash him again!"

       *       *       *       *       *

Next day as we pass the gaol we stop to inquire after the prisoner,
but the poor fellow is still too weak to receive the balance due, and
so it is for several days. Then they tell us that he has been freed
from them by God, who has summoned his spirit, though meanwhile the
kindly attentions of a doctor have been secured, and everything
possible under the circumstances has been done to relieve his
sufferings. After all, he was "only a Moor!"

       *       *       *       *       *

The Greek consul reported that the condition of the Moorish prisons
was a disgrace to the age, and that he had himself known prisoners who
had succumbed to their evil state after receiving a few strokes from
the lash.

A statement of claim for a thousand dollars, alleged to have been
robbed from his house, was forwarded by courier to his chief, then at
Court, and was promptly added to the demands that it was part of His
Excellency's errand to enforce.



XXVII

THE PROTECTION SYSTEM

  "My heart burns, but my lips will not give utterance."

  _Moorish Proverb._


  I. THE NEED

Crouched at the foreigner's feet lay what appeared but a bundle of
rags, in reality a suppliant Moor, once a man of wealth and position.
Hugging a pot of butter brought as an offering, clutching convulsively
at the leg of the chair, his furrowed face bespoke past suffering and
present earnestness.

"God bless thee, Bashador, and all the Christians, and give me grace
in thy sight!"

"Oh, indeed, so you like the Christians?"

"Yes, Bashador, I must love the Christians; they have justice, we have
none. I wish they had rule over the country."

"Then you are not a good Muslim!"

"Oh yes, I am, I am a háj (pilgrim to Mekka), and I love my own
religion, certainly I do, but none of our officials follow our
religion nowadays: they have no religion. They forget God and worship
money; their delight is in plunder and oppression."

"You appear to have known better days. What is your trouble?"

"Trouble enough," replies the Moor, with a sigh. "I am Hamed Zirári.
I was rich once, and powerful in my tribe, but now I have only this
sheep and two goats. I and my wife live alone with our children in a
nuállah (hut), but after all we are happier now when they leave us
alone, than when we were rich. I have plenty of land left, it is true,
but we dare not for our lives cultivate more than a small patch around
our nuállah, lest we should be pounced upon again."

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._

A CENTRAL MOROCCO HOMESTEAD (NUÁLLAS).]

"How did you lose your property?"

"I will tell you, Bashador, and then you will see whether I am
justified in speaking of our Government as I do. It is a sad story,
but I will tell you all.[20] A few years ago I possessed more than six
hundred cows and bullocks, more than twelve hundred sheep, a hundred
good camels, fifty mules, twenty horses, and twenty-four mares. I had
also four wives and many slaves. I had plenty of guns and abundance of
grain in my stores; in fact, I was rich and powerful among my people,
by whom I was held in great honour; but alas! alas! our new kaïd is
worse than the old one; he is insatiable, a pit without a bottom!
There is no possibility of satisfying his greed!

  [20: This story is reproduced from notes taken of the man's
       narrative by my father.--B. M.]

"I felt that although by continually making him valuable presents
I succeeded in keeping on friendly terms with him, he was always
coveting my wealth. We have in our district two markets a week, and at
last I had to present him with from $50 to $80 every market-day. I
was nevertheless in constant dread of his eyes--they are such greedy
eyes--and I saw that it would be necessary to look out for protection.
I was too loyal a subject of the Sultan then, and too good a Muslim,
to think of Nazarene protection, so I applied for help to Si Mohammed
boo Aálam, commander-in-chief of our lord (whom may God send
victorious), and to enter the Sultan's service.

"We prepared a grand present with which to approach him, and when it
was ready I started with it, accompanied by two of my cousins. We took
four splendid horses, four mares with their foals, four she-camels
with their young, four picked cows, two pairs of our best bullocks,
four fine young male slaves, each with a silver-mounted gun, and four
well-dressed female slaves, each carrying a new bucket in her hand,
many jars containing fresh and salted butter and honey, beside other
things, and a thousand dollars in cash. It was a fine present, was it
not, Bashador?

"Well, on arrival at Si Mohammed's place, we slaughtered two bullocks
at his door, and humbly begged his gracious acceptance of our
offering, which we told him we regretted was not greater, but that as
we were his brethren, we trusted to find favour in his sight. We said
we wished to honour him, and to become his fortunate slaves, whose
chief delight it would be to do his bidding. We reminded him that
although he was so rich and powerful he was still our brother, and
that we desired nothing better than to live in continual friendship
with him.

"He received and feasted us very kindly, and gave us appointments
as mounted guards to the marshal of the Sultan, as which we served
happily for seven months. We were already thinking about sending for
some of our family to come and relieve us, that we might return home
ourselves, when one day Si Mohammed sent for us to say that he was
going away for a time, having received commands from the Sultan to
visit a distant tribe with the effects of Royal displeasure. After
mutual compliments and blessings he set off with his soldiers.

"Five days later a party of soldiers came to our house. To our utter
astonishment and dismay, without a word of explanation, they put
chains on our necks and wrists, and placing us on mules, bore us away.
Remonstrance and resistance were equally vain. We were in Mequinez.
It was already night, and though the gates were shut, and are never
opened again except in obedience to high authority, they were silently
opened for us to pass through. Once outside, our eyes were bandaged,
and we were lashed to our uncomfortable seats. Thus we travelled on as
rapidly as possible, in silence all night long. It was a long night,
that, indeed, Bashador, a weary night, but we felt sure some worse
fate awaited us; what, we could not imagine, for we had committed no
crime. Finally, after three days we halted, and the bandages were
removed from our eyes. We found ourselves in a market-place in
Rahámna, within the jurisdiction of our cursëd kaïd. All around
us were our flocks and herds, camels, and horses, all our movable
property, which we soon learnt had been brought there for public sale.
A great gathering was there to purchase.

"The kaïd was there, and when he saw us he exclaimed, 'There you are,
are you? You can't escape from me now, you children of dogs!' Then he
turned to a brutal policeman, crying, 'Put the bastards on the ground,
and give them a thousand lashes.' Those words ring in my ears still.
I felt as in a dream. I was too utterly in his power to think of
answering, and after a very few strokes the power of doing so was
taken from me, for I lost consciousness. How many blows we received I
know not, but we must have been very nearly killed. When I revived
we were in a filthy matmorah, where we existed for seven months in
misery, being kept alive on a scanty supply of barley loaves and
water. At last I pretended to have lost my reason, as I should have
done in truth had I stayed there much longer. When they told the kaïd
this, he gave permission for me to be let out. I found my wife and
children still living, thank God, though they had had very hard times.
What has become of my cousins I do not know, and do not dare to ask,
but thou couldst, O Bashador, if once I were under thy protection.

"All I know is that, after receiving our present, Si Mohammed sold us
to the kaïd for twelve hundred dollars. He was a fool, Bashador, a
great fool; had he demanded of us we would have given him twelve
hundred dollars to save ourselves what we have had to suffer.

"Wonderest thou still, O Bashador, that I prefer the Nazarenes, and
wish there were more of them in the country? I respect the dust off
their shoes more than a whole nation of miscalled Muslims who could
treat me as I have been treated; but God is just, and 'there is
neither force nor power save in God,' yes, 'all is written.' He gives
to men according to their hearts. We had bad hearts, and he gave us a
Government like them."


  II. THE SEARCH

The day was already far spent when at last Abd Allah led his animal
into one of the caravansarais outside the gate of Mazagan, so, after
saying his evening prayers and eating his evening meal, he lay down
to rest on a heap of straw in one of the little rooms of the fandak,
undisturbed either by anxious dreams, or by the multitude of lively
creatures about him.

Ere the sun had risen the voice of the muédhdhin awoke him with the
call to early prayer. Shrill and clear the notes rang out on the calm
morning air in that perfect silence--

"G-o-d is gr-ea--t! G-o-d is gr-ea--t! G-o-d is grea--t! I witness
that there is no God but God, and Mohammed is the messenger of God.
Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Come to prayer! Prayer is better than
sleep! Come to prayer!"

Quickly rising, Abd Allah repaired to the water-tap, and seating
himself on the stone seat before it, rapidly performed the prescribed
religious ablutions, this member three times, then the other as
often, and so on, all in order, right first, left to follow as less
honourable, finishing up with the pious ejaculation, "God greatest!"
Thence to the mosque was but a step, and in a few minutes he stood
barefooted in those dimly-lighted, vaulted aisles, in which the
glimmering oil lamps and the early streaks of daylight struggled for
the mastery. His shoes were on the ground before him at the foot of
the pillar behind which he had placed himself, and his hands were
raised before his face in the attitude of prayer. Then, at the
long-drawn cry of the leader, in company with his fellow-worshippers,
he bowed himself, and again with them rose once more, in a moment to
kneel down and bow his forehead to the earth in humble adoration.

Having performed the usual series of prayers, he was ready for coffee
and bread. This he took at the door of the fandak, seated on the
ground by the coffee-stall, inquiring meanwhile the prospects of
protection in Mazagan.

There was Tájir[21] Pépé, always ready to appoint a new agent for a
consideration, but then he bore almost as bad a name for tyrannizing
over his _protégés_ as did the kaïds themselves. There was Tájir Yûsef
the Jew, but then he asked such tremendous prices, because he was a
vice-consul. There was Tájir Juan, but then he was not on good enough
terms with his consul to protect efficiently those whom he appointed,
so he could not be thought of either. But there was Tájir Vecchio, a
new man from Gibraltar, fast friends with his minister, and who must
therefore be strong, yet a man who did not name too high a figure. To
him, therefore, Abd Allah determined to apply, and when his store was
opened presented himself.

  [21: "Merchant," used much as "Mr." is with us.]

Under his cloak he carried three pots of butter in one hand, and as
many of honey in the other, while a ragged urchin tramped behind with
half a dozen fowls tied in a bunch by the legs, and a basket of eggs.
The first thing was to get a word with the head-man at the store; so,
slipping a few of the eggs into his hands, Abd Allah requested an
interview with the Tájir, with whom he had come to make friends. This
being promised, he squatted on his heels by the door, where he was
left to wait an hour or two, remarking to himself at intervals that
God was great, till summoned by one of the servants to enter.

The merchant was seated behind his desk, and Abd Allah, having
deposited his burden on the floor, was making round the table to throw
himself at his feet, when he was stopped and allowed but to kiss his
hand.

"Well, what dost thou want?"

"I have come to make friends, O Merchant."

"Who art thou?"

"I am Abd Allah bin Boo Shaïb es-Sálih, O Merchant, of Aïn Haloo in
Rahámna. I have a family there, and cattle, and very much land. I
wish to place all in thy hands, and to become thy friend," again
endeavouring to throw himself at the feet of the European.

"All right, all right, that will do. I will see about it; come to me
again to-morrow."

"May God bless thee, O Merchant, and fill thee with prosperity, and
may He prolong thy days in peace!"

As Tájir Vecchio went on with his writing, Abd Allah made off with
a hopeful heart to spend the next twenty-four anxious hours in the
fandak, while his offerings were carried away to the private house by
a servant.

Next morning saw him there again, when much the same scene was
repeated. This time, however, they got to business.

"How can I befriend you?" asked the European, after yesterday's
conversation had been practically repeated.

"Thou canst very greatly befriend me by making me thy agent in Aïn
Haloo. I will work for thee, and bring thee of the produce of my land
as others do, if I may only enjoy thy protection. May God have mercy
on thee, O Merchant. I take refuge with thee."

"I can't be always appointing agents and protecting people for
nothing. What can you give me?"

"Whatever is just, O Merchant, but the Lord knows that I am not rich,
though He has bestowed sufficient on me to live, praise be to Him."

"Well, I should want two hundred dollars down, and something when the
certificate is renewed next year, besides which you would of course
report yourself each quarter, and not come empty-handed. Animals and
corn I can do best with, but I don't want any of your poultry."

"God bless thee, Merchant, and make thee prosperous, but two hundred
dollars is a heavy sum for me, and this last harvest has not been so
plentiful as the one before, as thou knowest. Grant me this protection
for one hundred and fifty dollars, and I can manage it, but do not
make it an impossibility."

"I can't go any lower: there are scores of Moors who would give me
that price. Do as you like. Good morning."

"Thou knowest, O Merchant, I could not give more than I have offered,"
replied Abd Allah as he rose and left the place.

But as no one else could be found in the town to protect him on better
terms, he had at last to return, and in exchange for the sum demanded
received a paper inscribed on one side in Arabic, and on the other in
English, as follows:--

  "VICE-CONSULATE FOR GREAT BRITAIN,
  "MAZAGAN, _Oct. 5, 1838_.

    "_This is to certify that Abd Allah bin Boo Shaïb es-Sálih,
    resident at Aïn Haloo in the province of Rahámna, has been duly
    appointed agent of Edward Vecchio, a British subject, residing in
    Mazagan: all authorities will respect him according to existing
    treaties, not molesting him without proper notice to this
    Vice-Consulate._[22]

  "_Gratis_  Seal. [Signed] "JOHN SMITH.
  "_H.B.M.'s Vice-Consul, Mazagan._"


  [22: A genuine "patent of protection," as prescribed by treaty,
       supposed to be granted only to wholesale traders, whereas
       every beggar can obtain "certificates of partnership." The
       native in question has then only to appear before the notaries
       and state that he has in his possession so much grain, or so
       many oxen or cattle, belonging to a certain European, who takes
       them as his remuneration for presenting the notarial document at
       his Legation, and obtaining the desired certificate. Moreover,
       he receives half the produce of the property thus made over to
       him. This is popularly known as "farming in Morocco."]



XXVIII

JUSTICE FOR THE JEW

  "Sleep on anger, and thou wilt not rise repentant."

  _Moorish Proverb._


The kaïd sat in his seat of office, or one might rather say reclined,
for Moorish officials have a habit of lying in two ways at once when
they are supposed to be doing justice. Strictly speaking, his position
was a sort of halfway one, his back being raised by a pile of
cushions, with his right leg drawn up before him, as he leant on his
left elbow. His judgement seat was a veritable wool-sack, or rather
mattress, placed across the left end of a long narrow room, some eight
feet by twenty, with a big door in the centre of one side. The only
other apertures in the whitewashed but dirty walls were a number of
ventilating loop-holes, splayed on the inside, ten feet out of the
twelve above the floor. This was of worn octagonal tiles, in parts
covered with a yellow rush mat in an advanced state of consumption.
Notwithstanding the fact that the ceiling was of some dark colour,
hard to be defined at its present age, the audience-chamber was
amply lighted from the lofty horse-shoe archway of the entrance, for
sunshine is reflection in Morocco to a degree unknown in northern
climes.

On the wall above the head of the kaïd hung a couple of huge and
antiquated horse-pistols, while on a small round table at his feet,
some six inches high, lay a collection of cartridges and gunsmith's
tools. Behind him, on a rack, were half a dozen long flint-lock
muskets, and on the wall by his feet a number of Moorish daggers and
swords. In his hand the governor fondled a European revolver, poking
out and replacing the charges occasionally, just to show that it was
loaded.

His personal attire, though rich in quality, ill became his gawky
figure, and there was that about his badly folded turban which bespoke
the parvenu. Like the muzzle of some wolf, his pock-marked visage
glowered on a couple of prostrated litigants before him, as they
fiercely strove to prove each other wrong. Near his feet was squatted
his private secretary, and at the door stood policemen awaiting
instructions to imprison one or both of the contending parties. The
dispute was over the straying of some cattle, a paltry claim for
damages. The plaintiff having presented the kaïd with a loaf of sugar
and a pound of candles, was in a fair way to win his case, when a
suggestive sign on the part of the defendant, comprehended by
the judge as a promise of a greater bribe, somewhat upset his
calculations, for he was summarily fined a couple of dollars, and
ordered to pay another half dollar costs for having allowed the gate
of his garden to stand open, thereby inviting his neighbour's cattle
to enter. Without a word he was carried off to gaol pending payment,
while the defendant settled with the judge and left the court.

Into the midst of this scene came another policeman, gripping by the
arm a poor Jewish seamstress named Mesaôdah, who had had the temerity
to use insulting language to her captor when that functionary was
upbraiding her for not having completed some garment when ordered,
though he insisted on paying only half-price, declaring that it was
for the governor. The Jewess had hardly spoken when she lay sprawling
on the ground from a blow which she dare not, under any provocation,
return, but her temper had so far gained the mastery over her, that as
she rose she cursed her tormentor roundly. That was enough; without
more ado the man had laid his powerful arm upon her, and was dragging
her to his master's presence, knowing how welcome any such case would
be, even though it was not one out of which he might hope to make
money.

Reckless of the governor's well-known character, Mesaôdah at once
opened her mouth to complain against Mahmood, pitching her voice in
the terrible key of her kind.

"My Lord, may God bless thee and lengthen...."

A fierce shake from her captor interrupted the sentence, but did not
keep her quiet, for immediately she continued, in pleading tones, as
best she could, struggling the while to keep her mouth free from the
wretch's hand.

"Protect me, I pray thee, from this cruel man; he has struck me: yes,
my Lord."

"Strike her again if she doesn't stop that noise," cried the kaïd, and
as the man raised his hand to threaten her she saw there was no hope,
and her legs giving way beneath her, she sank to the ground in tears.

"For God's sake, yes, my Lord, have mercy on thine handmaid." It was
pitiful to hear the altered tones, and it needed the heart of a brute
to reply as did the governor, unmoved, by harshly asking what she had
been up to.

"She's a thief, my Lord, a liar, like all her people; God burn their
religion; I gave her a waistcoat to make a week ago, and I purposed it
for a present to thee, my Lord, but she has made away with the stuff,
and when I went for it she abused me, and, by thy leave, thee also, my
Lord; here she is to be punished."

"It's a lie, my Lord; the stuff is in my hut, and the waistcoat's half
done, but I knew I should never get paid for it, so had to get some
other work done to keep my children from starving, for I am a widow.
Have mercy on me!"

"God curse the liar! I have spoken the truth," broke in the policeman.

"Fetch a basket for her!" ordered the kaïd, and in another moment a
second attendant was assisting Mahmood to force the struggling woman
to sit in a large and pliable basket of palmetto, the handles of which
were quickly lashed across her stomach. She was then thrown shrieking
on her back, her bare legs lifted high, and tied to a short piece of
pole just in front of the ankles; one man seized each end of this, a
third awaiting the governor's orders to strike the soles. In his hand
he had a short-handled lash made of twisted thongs from Tafilált, well
soaked in water. The efforts of the victim to attack the men on either
side becoming violent, a delay was caused by having to tie her hands
together, her loud shrieks rending the air the while.

"Give her a hundred," said the kaïd, beginning to count as the blows
descended, giving fresh edge to the piercing yells, interspersed with
piteous cries for mercy, and ribbing the skin in long red lines, which
were soon lost in one raw mass of bleeding flesh. As the arm of one
wearied, another took his place, and a bucket of cold water was thrown
over the victim's legs. At first her face had been ashy pale, it was
now livid from the blood descending to it, as her legs grew white all
but the soles, which were already turning purple under the cruel lash.
Then merciful unconsciousness stepped in, and silence supervened.

"That will do," said the governor, having counted eighty-nine. "Take
her away; she'll know better next time!" and he proceeded with the
cases before him, fining this one, imprisoning that, and bastinadoing
a third, with as little concern as an English registrar would sign an
order to pay a guinea fine. Indeed, why should he do otherwise. This
was his regular morning's work. It was a month before Mesaôdah could
touch the ground with her feet, and more than three before she could
totter along with two sticks. Her children were kept alive by her
neighbours till she could sit up and "stitch, stitch, stitch," but
there was no one to hear her bitter complaint, and no one to dry her
tears.

One day his faithful henchman dragged before the kaïd a Jewish broker,
whose crime of having bid against that functionary on the market, when
purchasing supplies for his master, had to be expiated by a fine of
twenty dollars, or a hundred lashes. The misguided wretch chose the
latter, loving his coins too well; but after the first half-dozen had
descended on his naked soles, he cried for mercy and agreed to pay.

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._

JEWESSES OF THE ATLAS.]

Another day it was a more wealthy member of the community who was
summoned on a serious charge. The kaïd produced a letter addressed
to the prisoner, which he said had been intercepted, couched in the
woefully corrupted Arabic of the Moorish Jews, but in the cursive
Hebrew character.

"Canst read, O Moses?" asked the kaïd, in a surly tone.

"Certainly, yes, my Lord, may God protect thee, when the writing is in
the sacred script."

"Read that aloud, then," handing him the missive.

Moses commenced by rapidly glancing his eye down the page, and as he
did so his face grew pale, his hand shook, and he muttered something
in the Hebrew tongue as the kaïd sharply ordered him to proceed.

"My Lord, yes, my Lord; it is false, it is a fraud," he stammered.

"The Devil take thee, thou son of a dog; read what is set before thee,
and let us have none of thy impudence. The gaol is handy."

With a trembling voice Moses the usurer read the letter, purporting to
have been written by an intimate friend in Mogador, and implying
by its contents that Moses had, when in that town some years ago,
embraced the faith of Islám, from which he was therefore now a
pervert, and consequently under pain of death. He was already crouched
upon the ground, as is the custom before a great man, but as he
spelled out slowly the damnatory words, he had to stretch forth his
hands to keep from falling over. He knew that there was nothing to be
gained by denial, by assurances that the letter was a forgery; the
kaïd's manner indicated plainly enough that _he_ meant to be satisfied
with it, and there was no appeal.

"Moses," said the kaïd, in a mock confidential tone, as he took back
the letter, "thou'rt in my power. All that thou hast is mine. With
such evidence against thee as this thy very head is in my hands. If
thou art wise, and wilt share thy fortune with me, all shall go well;
if not, thou knowest what to expect. I am to-day in need of a hundred
dollars. Now go!"

An hour had not elapsed before, with a heart still heavier than the
bag he carried, Moses crossed the courtyard again, and deposited the
sum required in the hands of the kaïd, with fresh assurances of his
innocence, imploring the destruction of that fatal document, which
was readily promised, though with no intention of complying with the
request, notwithstanding that to procure another as that had been
procured would cost but a trifle.

These are only instances which could be multiplied of how the Jews
of Morocco suffer at the hands of brutal officials. As metal which
attracts the electricity from a thunder-cloud, so they invariably
suffer first when a newly appointed, conscienceless governor comes to
rule.

With all his faults the previous kaïd had recognized how closely bound
up with that of the Moors under his jurisdiction was the welfare of
Jews similarly situated, so that, favoured by his wise administration,
their numbers and their wealth had increased till, though in outward
appearance beggarly, they formed an important section of the
community. The new kaïd, however, saw in them but a possible mine, a
goose that laid golden eggs, so, like the fool of the story, he set
about destroying it when the supply of eggs fell off, for there was of
necessity a limit to the repeated offerings which, on one pretext or
another, he extorted from these luckless "tributaries," as they are
described in Moorish legal documents.

When he found that ordinary means of persuasion failed, he had resort
to more drastic measures. He could not imagine fresh feasts and public
occasions, auspicious or otherwise, on which to collect "presents"
from them, so he satisfied himself by bringing specious charges
against the more wealthy Jews and fining them, as well as by
encouraging Moors to accuse them in various ways. Many of the payments
to the governor being in small and mutilated coin, every Friday he
sent to the Jews what he had received during the week, demanding a
round sum in Spanish dollars, far more than their fair value.
Then when he had forced upon them a considerable quantity of this
depreciated stuff, he would send a crier round notifying the public
that it was out of circulation and no longer legal tender, moreover
giving warning that the "Jew's money" was not to be trusted, as it was
known that they had counterfeit coins in their possession. It was then
time to offer them half price for it, which they had no option but
to accept, though some while later he would re-issue it at its full
value, and having permitted its circulation, would force it upon them
again.

The repairs which it was found necessary to effect in the kasbah, the
equipment of troops, the contributions to the expenses of the Sultan's
expeditions, or the payment of indemnities to foreign nations, were
constantly recurring pretexts for levying fresh sums from the Jews as
well as from the Moors, and these were the legal ones. The illegal
were too harrowing for description. Young children and old men were
brutally thrashed and then imprisoned till they or their friends paid
heavy ransoms, and even the women occasionally suffered in this
way. On Sabbaths and fast days orders would be issued to the Jews,
irrespective of age or rank, to perform heavy work for the governor,
perhaps to drag some heavy load or block of stone. Those who could
buy themselves off were fortunate: those who could not do so were
harnessed and driven like cattle under the lashes of yard-long whips,
being compelled when their work was done to pay their taskmasters.
Indeed, it was Egypt over again, but there was no Moses. Men or women
found with shoes on were bastinadoed and heavily fined, and on more
than one occasion the sons of the best-off Israelites were arrested in
school on the charge of having used disrespectful language regarding
the Sultan, and thrown into prison chained head and feet, in such a
manner that it was impossible to stretch their bodies. Thus they were
left for days without food, all but dead, in spite of the desire of
their relatives to support them, till ransoms of two hundred dollars
apiece could be raised to obtain their release, in some cases three
months after their incarceration.



XXIX

CIVIL WAR IN MOROCCO

  "Wound of speech is worse than wound of sword."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Spies were already afield when the sun rose this morning, and while
their return with the required information was eagerly expected, those
of Asni who would be warriors took a hasty breakfast and looked to
their horses and guns.

Directly intelligence as to the whereabouts of the Aït Mîzán arrived,
the cavalcade set forth, perforce in Indian file, on account of the
narrow single track, but wherever it was possible those behind pressed
forward and passed their comrades in their eagerness to reach the
scene of action. No idea of order or military display crossed their
minds, and but for the skirmishers who scoured the country round as
they advanced, it would have been easy for a concealed foe to have
picked them off one by one. Nevertheless they made a gallant show in
the morning sun, which glinted on their ornamented stirrups and their
flint-locks, held like lances, with the butts upon the pummels before
them. The varied colours of their trappings, though old and worn,
looked gay by the side of the red cloth-covered saddles and the
gun-cases of similar material used by many as turbans. But for the
serious expression on the faces of the majority, and the eager
scanning of each knoll and shrub, the party might have been intent on
powder-play instead of powder-business.

For a mile or two no sign of human being was seen, and the ride was
already growing wearisome when a sudden report on their right was
followed by the heavy fall of one of their number, his well-trained
horse standing still for him to re-mount, though he would never more
do so. Nothing but a puff of smoke showed whence the shot had come,
some way up the face of a hill. The first impulse was to make a charge
in that direction, and to fire a volley; but the experience of the
leader reminded him that if there were only one man there it would not
be worth while, and if there were more they might fall into an ambush.
So their file passed on while the scouts rode towards the hill slope.
A few moments later one of these had his horse shot under him, and
then a volley was fired which took little effect on the advancing
horsemen, still too far away for successful aim.

They had been carefully skirting a wooded patch which might give
shelter to their foes, whom they soon discovered to be lying in
trenches behind the first hill-crests. Unless they were dislodged,
it would be almost impossible to proceed, so, making a rapid flank
movement, the Asni party spurred their horses and galloped round to
gain the hills above the hidden enemy. As they did so random shots
were discharged, and when they approached the level of the trenches,
they commenced a series of rushes forward, till they came within
range. In doing so they followed zig-zag routes to baffle aim, firing
directly they made out the whereabouts of their assailants, and
beating a hasty retreat. What success they were achieving they could
not tell, but their own losses were not heavy.

Soon, as their firing increased, that from the trenches which they
were gradually approaching grew less, and fresh shots from behind
awoke them to the fact that the enemy was making a rear attack. By
this time they were in great disorder, scattered over a wide area; the
majority had gained the slight cover of the brushwood to their rear,
and a wide space separated them from the new arrivals, who were
performing towards them the same wild rushes that they themselves had
made towards the trenches. They were therefore divided roughly into
two divisions, the footmen in the shelter of the shrubs, the horsemen
engaging the mounted enemy.

Among the brushwood hardly was the figure of friend or foe
discernible, for all lay down behind any available shelter, crawling
from point to point like so many caterpillars, but firing quickly
enough when an enemy was sighted. This style of warfare has its
advantages, for it greatly diminishes losses on either side. For the
horsemen, deprived of such shelter, safety lay in rapid movements and
unexpected evolutions, each man acting for himself, and keeping as far
away from his comrades as possible. So easily were captures made that
it almost seemed as if many preferred surrender and safety to the
chances of war, for they knew that they were sure of honourable
treatment on both sides. The prisoners were not even bound, but
merely disarmed and marched to the rear, to be conveyed at night in a
peaceful manner to their captors' tents and huts, there to be treated
as guests till peace should result in exchange.

By this time the combatants were scattered over a square mile or so,
and though the horsemen of Asni had driven the Aït Mîzán from the
foremost trenches by the bold rushes described, and their footmen had
engaged them, no further advantage seemed likely to accrue, while they
were terribly harassed by those who still remained under cover. The
signal was therefore given for a preconcerted retreat, which at once
began. Loud shouts of an expected victory now arose from the Aït
Mîzán, who were gradually drawn from their hiding-places by their
desire to secure nearer shots at the men of Asni as they slowly
descended the hill.

At length the Aït Mîzán began to draw somewhat to one side, as they
discovered that they were being led too far into the open, but this
movement was outwitted by the Asni horsemen, who were now pouring down
on the scene. The wildest confusion supervened; many fell on every
hand. Victory was now assured to Asni, which the enemy were quick to
recognize, and as the sun was by this time at blazing noon, and energy
grew slack on both sides, none was loth to call a conference. This
resulted in an agreement by the vanquished to return the stolen cattle
which had formed the _casus belli_, for indeed they were no longer
able to protect them from their real owners. As many more were
forfeited by way of damages, and messages were despatched to the women
left in charge to hand them over to a party of the victors. Prisoners
were meantime exchanged, while through the medium of the local "holy
man" a peace was formally ratified, after which each party returned to
its dead, who were quickly consigned to their shallow graves.

Such of the Asni men as were not mourners, now assembled in the open
space of their village to be feasted by their women as victors.
Basins, some two feet across, were placed on the ground filled with
steaming kesk'soo. Round each of these portions sat cross-legged some
eight or ten of the men, and a metal bowl of water was handed from one
to the other to rinse the fingers of the right hand. They sat upon
rude blankets spread on mats, the scene lit by Roman-like olive-oil
lamps, and a few French candles round the board of the sheïkh and
allied leaders.

A striking picture, indeed, they presented, there in the still night
air, thousands of heaven-lights gleaming from the dark blue vault
above, outrivalling the flicker of those simple earth-flames on their
lined and sun-burnt faces. The women who waited on them, all of middle
age, alone remained erect, as they glided about on their bare feet,
carrying bowl and towel from man to man. From the huts and the tents
around came many strange sounds of bird, beast, and baby, for the
cocks were already crowing, as it was growing late,[23] while the
dogs bayed at the shadow of the cactus and the weird shriek of the
night-bird.

  [23: A way they have in Barbary.]

"B'ism Illah!" exclaimed the host at each basin ("In the Name of
God!")--as he would ask a blessing--when he finished breaking bread
for his circle, and plunged his first sop in the gravy. "B'ism Illah!"
they all replied, and followed suit in a startlingly sudden silence
wherein naught but the stowing away of food could be heard, till one
of them burnt his fingers by an injudiciously deep dive into the
centre after a toothsome morsel.

In the midst of a sea of broth rose mountains of steamed and buttered
kesk'soo, in the craters of which had been placed the contents of the
stew-pot, the disjointed bones of chickens with onions and abundant
broad beans. The gravy was eaten daintily with sops of bread, conveyed
to the mouth in a masterly manner without spilling a drop, while the
kesk'soo was moulded in the palm of the right hand into convenient
sized balls and shot into the mouth by the thumb. The meat was divided
with the thumb and fingers of the right hand alone, since the left may
touch no food.

At last one by one sat back, his greasy hand outstretched, and after
taking a sip of cold water from the common jug with his left, and
licking his right to prevent the waste of one precious grain, each
washed his hands, rinsed his mouth thrice, polished his teeth with his
right forefinger, and felt ready to begin again, all agreeing that "he
who is not first at the powder, should not be last at the dish."



XXX

THE POLITICAL SITUATION

  "A guess of the informed is better than the assurance of the ignorant."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Ever since the accession of the present Sultan, Mulai Abd el Azîz IV.,
on his attaining the age of twenty in 1900, Morocco has been more than
ever the focus of foreign designs, both public and private, which have
brought about a much more disturbed condition than under his
father, or even under the subsequent Wazeer Regent. The manifest
friendlessness of the youth, his lack of training for so important a
part, and the venality of his entourage, at once attracted birds of
prey, and they have worked their will.

Since the death of El Hasan III., in 1894, the administration had been
controlled by the former Lord High Chamberlain, or "Curtain" of the
shareefian throne, whose rule was severe, though good, and it seemed
doubtful whether he would relinquish the reins of authority. The other
wazeers whom his former master had left in office had been imprisoned
on various charges, and he stood supreme. He was, however, old and
enfeebled by illness, so when in 1900 his end came instead of his
resignation, few were surprised. What they were not quite prepared
for, however, was the clearing of the board within a week or two by
the death of his two brothers and a cousin, whom he had promoted to
be respectively Commander-in-chief, Chamberlain, and Master of the
Ceremonies--all of them, it was declared, by influenza. Another
brother had died but a short while before, and the commissioner sent
to Tangier to arrange matters with the French was found dead in his
room--from asphyxia caused by burning charcoal. Thus was the Cabinet
dissolved, and the only remaining member resigned. There then rose
suddenly to power a hitherto unheard of Arab of the South, El Menébhi,
who essayed too much in acting as Ambassador to London while still
Minister of War, and returned to find his position undermined; he has
since emigrated to Egypt. It was freely asserted that the depletion
of the Moorish exchequer was due to his peculation, resulting in his
shipping a large fortune to England in specie, with the assistance
of British officials who were supposed to have received a handsome
"consideration" in addition to an enormous price paid for British
protection. Thus, amid a typically Moorish cloud, he left the scene.
From that time the Court has been the centre of kaleidoscopic
intrigues, which have seriously hampered administration, but which
were not in themselves sufficient to disturb the country.

What was of infinitely greater moment was the eagerness with which the
young ruler, urged by his Circassian mother, sought advice and counsel
from Europe, and endeavoured to act up to it. One disinterested and
trusted friend at that juncture would have meant the regeneration of
the Empire, provided that interference from outside were stayed. But
this was not to be. The few impartial individuals who had access to
the Sultan were outnumbered by the horde of politicians, diplomats,
adventurers, and schemers who surrounded him, the latter at least
freely bribing wazeers to obtain their ends. In spite of an
unquestionable desire to do what was best for his country, and to act
upon the good among the proffered advice, wild extravagance resulted
both in action and expenditure.

Thus Mulai Abd el Azîz became the laughing-stock of Europe, and the
butt of his people's scorn. His heart was with the foreigners--with
dancing women and photographers,--he had been seen in trousers, even
on a bicycle! What might he not do next? A man so implicated with
unbelievers could hardly be a faithful Muslim, said the discontented.
No more efficacious text could have been found to rouse fanaticism
and create dissatisfaction throughout his dominions. Black looks
accompanied the mention of his name, and it was whispered that the
Leader of the Faithful was selling himself and his Empire, if not to
the Devil, at least to the Nazarenes, which was just as bad. Any other
country would have been ripe for rebellion, as Europe supposed that
Morocco was, but scattered and conflicting interests defeated all
attempts to induce a general rising.

One of the wisest measures of the new reign was the attempt to
reorganize finances in accordance with English advice, by the
systematic levy of taxes hitherto imposed in the arbitrary fashion
described in Chapter II. This was hailed with delight, and had it
been maintained by a strong Government, would have worked wonders
in restoring prosperity. But foreign _protégés_ refused to pay, and
objections of all sorts were raised, till at last the "terteeb," as it
was called, became impossible of collection without recourse to arms.
Fearing this, the money in hand to pay the tax was expended on guns
and cartridges, which the increasing demand led foreigners to smuggle
in by the thousand.

It is estimated that some millions of fire-arms--a large proportion of
them repeating rifles with a large supply of ammunition--are now in
the hands of the people, while the Government has never been worse
supplied than at present. Ship-load after ship-load has been landed on
the coast in defiance of all authority, and large consignments have
been introduced over the Algerian frontier, the state of which has
in consequence become more than ever unsettled. In short, the benign
intentions of Mulai Abd el Azîz have been interpreted as weakness, and
once again the Nazarenes are accused--to quote a recent remark of an
Atlas scribe--of having "spoiled the Sultan," and of being about to
"spoil the country."

Active among the promoters of dissatisfaction have been throughout the
Idreesi Shareefs, representatives of the original Muslim dynasty in
Morocco; venerated for their ancestry and adherence to all that is
retrogressive or bigoted, and on principle opposed to the reigning
dynasty. These leaders of discontent find able allies in the Algerians
in Morocco, some of whom settled there years ago because sharing their
feelings and determined not to submit to the French; but of whom
others, while expressing equal devotion to the old order, can from
personal experience recommend the advantages of French administration,
to which even their exiled brethren or their descendants no longer
feel equal objection.

The summary punishment inflicted a few years ago on the murderer of
an Englishman in the streets of Fez was, like everything else,
persistently misinterpreted through the country. In the distant
provinces the story--as reported by natives therefrom--ran that the
Nazarene had been shot by a saint while attempting to enter and
desecrate the sacred shrine of Mulai Idrees, and that by executing him
the Sultan showed himself an Unbeliever. When British engineers were
employed to survey the route for a railway between Fez and Mequinez
this was reported as indicating an absolute sale of the country, and
the people were again stirred up, though not to actual strife.

Only in the semi-independent district of the Ghaïáta Berbers between
Fez and Táza, which had never been entirely subjugated, did a flame
break out. A successful writer of amulets, hitherto unknown, one
Jelálli Zarhôni, who had acquired a great local reputation, began to
denounce the Sultan's behaviour with religious fervour. Calling on the
neighbouring tribesmen to refuse allegiance to so unworthy a monarch,
he ultimately raised the standard of revolt in the name of the
Sultan's imprisoned elder brother, M'hammed. Finally, the rumour
ran that this prince had escaped and joined Jelálli, who, from his
habitual prophet's mount, is better known throughout the country
as Boo Hamára--"Father of the She-ass." According to the official
statement, Jelálli Zarhôni was originally a policeman (makházni),
whose bitterness and subsequent sedition arose from ill-treatment then
received. Although exalted in newspaper reports to the dignity of a
"pretender," in Morocco he is best known as the "Rogi" or "Common
One."

Fez clamoured to see M'hammed, that the story might be disproved, and
after much delay, during which he was supposed to be conveyed from
Mequinez, a veiled and guarded rider arrived, preceded by criers who
proclaimed him to be the Sultan's brother. But as no one could be sure
if this were the case or not, each party believed what it wished, and
Jelálli's hands were strengthened. Boldly announcing the presence
with him of Mulai M'hammed, in his name he sought and obtained the
allegiance of tribe after tribe. Although the Sultan effected a
reconciliation with his presumed brother--whose movements, however,
still remain restricted--serious men believe him to be in the rebel
camp, and few know the truth.

At first success attended the rebellion, but it never spread
beyond the unsettled eastern provinces, and after three years it
ineffectually smoulders on, the leader cooped up by the Sultan's
forces near the coast, though the Sultan is not strong enough to stamp
it out.

By those whose knowledge of the country is limited to newspaper news a
much more serious state of affairs is supposed to exist, a "pretender"
collecting his forces for a final coup, etc. Something of truth there
may be in this, but the situation is grossly exaggerated. The local
rising of a few tribes in eastern Morocco never affected the rest of
the Empire, save by that feeling of unrest which, in the absence of
complete information, jumps at all tales. Even the so-called "rout"
of an "imperial army" three years ago was only a stampede without
fighting, brought about by a clever ruse, and there has never been
a serious conflict throughout the affair, though the "Rogi" is well
supplied with arms from Algeria, and his "forces" are led by a
Frenchman, M. Delbrel. Meanwhile comparative order reigns in the
disaffected district, though in the north, usually the most peaceful
portion of the Empire, all is disturbed.

There a leader has arisen, Raïsûli by name, who obtained redress for
the wrongs of tribes south of Tangier, and his own appointment as
their kaïd, by the astute device of carrying off as hostages an
American and an Englishman, so that the pressure certain to be brought
to bear by their Governments would compel the Sultan to grant his
demands. All turned out as he had hoped, and the condign punishment
which he deserves is yet far off, though a local struggle continues
between him and a small imperial force, complicated by feuds between
his sometime supporters, who, however, fight half-heartedly, for fear
of killing relatives pressed into service on the other side. Those
who once looked to Raïsûli as a champion have found his little finger
thicker than the Sultan's loins, and the country round Tangier is
ruined by taxation, so that every one is discontented, and the
district is unsafe, a species of civil war raging.

The full name of this redoubtable leader is Mulai Ahmad bin Mohammed
bin Abd Allah er-Raïsûli, and he is a shareef of Beni Arôs, connected
therefore with the Wazzán shareefs; but his prestige as such is low,
both on account of his past career, and because of his acceptance of a
civil post. His mother belonged to Anjera, near Tangier, where he was
born about thirty-six years ago at the village of Zeenát, being well
educated, as education goes in Morocco, with the Beni M'sawah. But
falling into bad company, he first took to cattle-lifting, afterwards
turning highwayman, as which he was eventually caught by the Abd
es-Sadok family--various members of which were kaïds from Ceuta to
Azîla--and consigned to prison in Mogador. After three or four years
his release was obtained by Háj Torres, the Foreign Commissioner in
Tangier, but when he found that the Abd es-Sadoks had sequestrated
his property, he vowed not to cut his hair till he had secured their
disgrace. Hence, with locks that many a woman might envy, he has
plotted and harassed till his present position has been achieved. But
as this is only a means to an end, who can tell what that may be?

Raïsûli is allowed on all hands to be a peculiarly able and well-bred
man, full of resource and determination. Though his foes have
succeeded in kidnapping even his mother, it will certainly be a
miracle if he is taken alive. Should all fail him, he is prepared to
blow his brains out, or make use of a small phial of poison always to
hand. It is interesting to remember that just such a character, Abd
Allah Ghaïlán, held a similar position in this district when Tangier
was occupied by the English, who knew him as "Guyland," and paid him
tribute. The more recent imitation of Raïsûli's tactics by a native
free-booter of the Ceuta frontier, in arresting two English officers
as hostages wherewith to secure the release of his brother and others
from prison, has proved equally successful, but as matters stand at
present, it is more than doubtful whether the Moorish Government is in
a position to bring either of these offenders to book, and the outlook
in the north is decidedly stormy. It is, indeed, quite in accordance
with the traditions of Moorish history, throughout which these periods
of local disorganization have been of constant recurrence without
danger to the State.

[Illustration: _Photograph by Dr. Rudduck._ THE KAÏD.

A MOORISH KAÏD AND ATTENDANTS.]

In the south things are quiet, though a spirit of unrest pervades the
people, especially since it has been seen that the Sultan no longer
either collects the regular taxes or maintains the regular army. There
the immediate result of the failure to collect the taxes for a year or
two was that the people had more to spend on cattle and other stock,
which rapidly rose in price, no one needing to sell unless he wished.
Within the last two years, however, the kaïds have recommenced their
oppressive treatment, under the pretext of a levy to put down the
rising in the eastern provinces. Men and money were several times
furnished, but though now more difficult to raise, the demands
continue. The wonder is that the people remain so quiet, but they are
of a more peaceable nature than the Berbers of the north.

Three of the Sultan's brothers have been for some time camped in as
many centres, engaged in collecting funds, but tribe after tribe has
refused to pay, declaring that they have been exempted by their lord,
and until he returns they will submit to no kaïd and pay no dues. It
is only in certain districts that some of the funds demanded have
been forthcoming, and the kaïds have full authority, but these are
officials of long standing and great repute, whose jurisdiction has
been much extended in consequence. Changes among the less important
kaïds have been continual of late. One man would buy the office and
struggle to establish himself, only to find a new man installed over
his head before he was settled, which has frequently led to local
disorders, fighting and plundering. In this way the Government has
quite lost prestige, and a strong hand is awaited.

The Moors would have preferred another Ismáïl the Bloodthirsty, who
could compel his will, and awe all other rascals in his dominions, to
the mild and well-intentioned youth now at the helm. Some would even
welcome any change that would put an end to present insecurity, but
only the French _protégés_ desire to see that change effected by
France, and only those under the German flag already would hail that
with joy. The Jews alone would welcome any, as they have good cause to
do.

Such was already the condition of things when the long-threatening
clouds burst, and the Anglo-French Agreement was published in April,
1904. Rumours of negotiations for the sale of British interests in
Morocco to France had for some time filled the air, but in face of
official denials, and the great esteem in which England was held by
the Moors, few gave credence to them. Mulai Abd el Azîz had relied
especially on Great Britain, and had confidently looked to it for
protection against the French; the announcement of the bargain between
them broke him down.

It may have been inevitable; and since an agreement among all the
Powers concerned was so remote a possibility, an understanding between
the three most interested may have been the wisest course, in view of
pending internal troubles which would certainly afford excuses for
interference. It was undoubtedly good policy on their part to decide
who should inherit the vineyard, and on what terms, that conflict
between them might be avoided. But on the unconsulted victim it came a
cruel blow, unexpected and indefensible. It is important not to forget
this.

But the one absorbing thought of all for nearly a year past has
been the drought and consequent famine. Between November, 1904, and
October, 1905, there was practically no rainfall over a large portion
of the country, and agriculture being interfered with, grain rose to
five times its normal price. Although relief has now come, it will be
months before the cattle are in proper condition again, and not till
after next year's harvest in May and June, should it prove a good one,
will contentment be restored. Under such conditions, though more ready
than ever to grumble, the people have had no heart to fight, which
has, to some degree, assisted in keeping them quiet. The famine has,
however, tried them sore, and only increased their exasperation.

Added to this, the general feeling of dissatisfaction regarding the
Sultan's foreign predilections, and the slumbering fanaticism of the
"learned" class, there is now a chronic lack of funds. The money which
should have been raised by taxation has been borrowed abroad and
ruthlessly scattered. Fortunes have been made by foreigners and
natives alike, but the Sultan is all but bankrupt. Yet never was his
entourage so rich, though many who to-day hold houses and lands were a
few years ago penniless.

As for the future, for many years the only answer possible to
tediously frequent inquiries as to what was going to happen in Morocco
has been that the future of the Shareefian Empire depended entirely
on what might happen in Europe, not to any degree on its own internal
condition. The only way in which this could affect the issue was by
affording an excuse for outside interference, as in the present case.

Corrupt as the native administration may be, it is but the expression
of a corrupt population, and no native government, even in Europe, is
ever far in advance of those over whom it rules. In spite, too, of the
pressure of injustice on the individual here and there, the victim of
to-day becomes the oppressor of to-morrow, and such opportunities
are not to be surrendered without a protest. The vast majority is,
therefore, always in favour of present conditions, and would rather
the chances of internecine strife than an exotic peace. No foreign
ruler, however benign, would be welcome, and no "penetration," however
"pacific," but will be endured and resented as a hostile wound. Even
the announcement of the Anglo-French Agreement was sufficient to
gravely accentuate the disorders of the country, and threaten
immediate complications with Europe, by provoking attacks on Europeans
who had hitherto been safe from interference save under exceptional
circumstances. A good deal of the present unrest is attributable to
this cause alone.

It is, therefore, a matter of deep regret that the one possible
remedy--joint action of the Powers in policing the Moors, as it were,
by demanding essential reforms in return for a united guarantee of
territorial integrity--was rendered impossible by the rivalries
between those Powers, especially on the part of France. Great
Britain's step aside has made possible the only alternative, the
surrender of the coveted task to one of their number, in return for
such _quid pro quo_ as each could obtain. Had the second-class
Powers been bargained with first, not only would they have secured
substantial terms, which now it is no use their asking, but the
leading Powers could have held out for terms yet undreamed of.

France did well to begin with Great Britain, but it was an egregious
diplomatic error to overlook Germany, which was thereby promoted to
the hitherto unhoped-for position of "next friend" and trusted adviser
of Morocco. Up to that point Germany had played a waiting game so
patiently that France fell into the trap, and gave her all she wanted.
It is inconceivable how the astute politicians of the Quai d'Orsay
committed such a blunder, save on the assumption that they were so
carried away by the ease with which they had settled with Great
Britain, that they forgot all other precautions--unless it was that
they feared to jeopardize the conclusion of the main bargain by delay
in discussing any subsidiary point.

When the Agreement was made known, the writer pointed out in the
_Westminster Review_, that, "Portugal, Italy and Austria have but to
acquiesce and rest assured of the 'most favoured nation' treatment, as
will all the other Powers save one. That one, of course, is Germany,
_whose sole interest in Morocco is the possibility of placing a
drag on France_. She will have to be dealt with. Having disposed of
England, which had real interests at stake, in the command of the
straits and the maintenance of Gibraltar, France should be able to
accomplish this as well. Five and twenty years ago Germany had not
even a commercial interest in Morocco. Great Britain did three-fourths
of the trade, or more, France about a tenth, Spain and others dividing
the crumbs between them. But an active commercial policy--by the
encouragement and support of young firms in a way that made Britishers
envious, and abusive of their own Foreign Office--has secured for
Germany a growing share of the trade, till now she stands next to
Great Britain, whose share is reduced to one-half."[24]

  [24: It is curious, indeed, how little the German Empire or its
       component States figure in the history of diplomatic relations
       with Morocco. One has to go back to the time of Rudolf II., in
       1604, to find an active policy in force with regard to Moroccan
       affairs, when that remarkable adventurer or international
       diplomatist, Sir Anthony Sherley, was accredited to Abd el Azîz
       III., the last of the Moorish rulers to bear the same name as
       the present one. This intrepid soldier, a man after the Kaiser's
       own heart, had been accredited to Germany by the great Shah of
       Persia, Abbás, whose confidence he had won to a marvellous
       degree, and he appears to have made as great an impression on
       Rudolf, who sent him as his envoy to Morocco. Arrived there,
       he astonished the natives by coolly riding into the court of
       audience--a privilege still reserved to the Sultan alone. But
       the Ameer, as he was called in those days, was too politic or
       too polite to raise the question, only taking care that the
       next time the "dog of a Christian" should find a chain stretched
       across the gateway. This Sir Anthony could not brook, so rode
       back threatening to break off negotiations, and it affords a
       striking lesson as to the right way of dealing with orientals,
       that even in those days the Moors should have yielded and
       imprisoned the porter, permitting Sir Anthony's entrance on
       horseback thereafter. The treaty he came to negotiate was
       concluded, and relations with the Germans were established on
       a right footing, but they have been little in evidence till
       recent years.]

After all, the interests of Germany in Morocco were but a trifling
consideration, meaning much less to her than ours do to us, and it was
evident that whatever position she might assume, however she might
bluster, she, too, had her price. This not being perceived by the
ill-informed Press of this country, the prey of political journalists
in Paris, Cologne and Madrid--more recently even of Washington,
whence the delusive reports are now re-echoed with alarming
reverberations--there was heated talk of war, and everything that
newspapers could do to bring it about was done. Even a private visit
of the Kaiser to Tangier, the only important feature of which was the
stir made about it, was utilized to fan the flame. However theatrical
some of the political actions of Wilhelm II. may have been, here was
a case in which, directly he perceived the capital being made of
his visit, he curtailed it to express his disapprobation. It was in
Tangier Bay that he received the newspaper cuttings on the subject,
and although the visit was to have extended in any case but to a few
hours, he at once decided not to land. It was only when it was urged
upon him what disappointment this would cause to its thirty thousand
inhabitants and visitors for the occasion, that he consented to pay
one short visit to his Legation, abandoning the more important part
of the programme, which included a climb to the citadel and an
interchange of visits with a kinsman of the Sultan. Nothing more
could have been done to emphasize the private nature of the visit,
in reality of no greater moment than that of King Edward to Algeria
almost at the same time.

Neither such a personal visit, nor any other action should have been
required to remind Great Britain and France that they and Spain
alone were affected by their agreements, and that not even official
notification to Morocco or the other Powers could restrict their
perfect liberty of action. When, therefore, the distracted Sultan
turned to Germany as the most influential Power still faithful to its
undertakings, the response of Germany was perfectly correct, as was
his own action. But Germany, although prepared to meet him with a
smile, and not averse to receiving crumbs in the form of concessions,
had no more intention of embroiling herself on his behalf than Great
Britain. Extraordinary rumours, however, pervaded the country, and
the idea of German intervention was hailed with delight; now general
disappointment is felt, and Germany is classed with England among the
traitors.

Mulai Abd el Azîz had but one resource, to propose another conference
of the Powers, assured that France and Germany would never come to an
understanding, and that this would at least ward off the fatal day
indefinitely. Yet now that France and Germany have agreed, it is
probable that this step is regretted, and that, since the two have
acted in concert, the Moorish Court has been at its wits' ends; it
would now regard as a God-send anything which might prevent the
conference from being held, lest it should strengthen the accord among
its enemies, and weaken its own position.

The diplomatic negotiations between Fez, Berlin, and Paris have been
of a character normal under the circumstances; and as the bickerings
and insinuations which accompanied them were foreign to Morocco, the
Sultan's invitation only serving as an opportunity for arriving at an
understanding, they need not be dwelt on here. It is the French Press
which has stirred up the commotion, and has misled the British Public
into the belief that there has been some "Morocco Tangle." The facts
are simply these: since 1880, the date of the Madrid Convention
regarding the vexed question of foreign rights of protecting natives
and holding property in Morocco, all nations concerned have been
placed on an equal footing in their dealings with that country. The
"most favoured nation" clause has secured for all the advantages
gained by any in its special treaties. Nothing has since occurred
to destroy this situation. In asking his "friends" to meet again in
conference now, the Sultan acted wisely and within his rights. The
fact that any two or three of them may have agreed to give one of
their number a "free hand," should it suit her purposes to upset the
_status quo_, does not theoretically affect the position, though it
has suggested the advisability of further discussion. It is only in
virtue of their combined might that the Powers in question are enabled
to assume the position they do.

Spain, the only power with interests in Morocco other than commercial,
had been settled with by a subsequent agreement in October, 1904,
for she had been consulted in time. Special clauses dealing with her
claims to consideration had even been inserted in the Anglo-French
Agreement--

    Art. VII. "This arrangement does not apply to the points now
    occupied by Spain on the Moorish shore of the Mediterranean.

    Art. VIII. "The two Governments, animated by their sincerely
    friendly sentiments for Spain, take into particular consideration
    the interests she possesses, owing to her geographical position
    and to her territorial possessions on the Moorish shore of the
    Mediterranean, in regard to which the French Government will make
    some arrangement with the Spanish Government ... (which) will be
    communicated to the Government of His Britannic Majesty."

These Articles apply to Ceuta, which Spain withheld from the
Portuguese after the brief union of the crowns in the sixteenth
century; to Veléz, an absolutely worthless rock, captured in 1564 by
Garcia de Toledo with fifteen thousand men, the abandonment of which
has more than once been seriously urged in Spain; to Alhucemas, a
small island occupied in 1673; to Melilla, a huge rock peninsula
captured, on his own account, by Medina Sidonia in 1497; and to the
Zaffarine (or Saffron) Islands, only one of which is used, in the
seizure of which the French were cleverly forestalled in 1848. All are
convict stations; unless heavily fortified in a manner that at present
they are not, they would not be of sufficient value to tempt even a
foe of Spain. Ceuta and Melilla alone are worthy of consideration, and
the former is the only one it might ever pay to fortify.

So far have matters gone. The conference asked for by Morocco--the
flesh thrown to the wolves--is to form the next Act. To this
conference the unfortunate Sultan would like to appeal for protection
against the now "free hand" of France, but in consenting to discuss
matters at all, she and her ally have, of course, stipulated that what
has been done without reference to treaty shall not be treated of, if
they are to take part, and as an act of courtesy to us, the United
States has followed suit. Other matters of importance which Mulai Abd
el Azîz desired to discuss have also been ruled out beforehand, so
that only minor questions are to be dealt with, hardly worth the
trouble of meeting.

Foremost among these is the replenishing of the Moorish exchequer by
further loans, which might more easily have been arranged without a
conference. Indeed, there are so many money-lenders anxious to finance
Morocco on satisfactory terms, that the competition among them has
almost degenerated into a scramble. But all want some direct guarantee
through their Governments, which introduces the political element,
as in return for such guarantee each Power desires to increase its
interests or privileges. Thus, while each financier holds out his
gold-bags temptingly before the Sultan, elbowing aside his rival, each
demands as surety the endorsement of his Government, the price of
which the Sultan is hardly prepared to pay. He probably hopes that by
appealing to them all in conference, he will obtain a joint guarantee
on less onerous terms, without affording any one of them a foothold in
his country, should he be unable to discharge his obligations. He is
wise, and but for the difficulties caused by the defection of England
and France from the political circle, this request for money might
alone have sufficed to introduce a reformed _régime_ under the joint
auspices of all. As it is, attempts to raise funds elsewhere, even to
discharge the current interest, having failed, his French creditors,
who do possess the support of their Government, have obligingly added
interest to capital, and with official sanction continue to roll the
snowball destined one day to overwhelm the State. In the eyes of the
Moors this is nothing less than a bill-of-sale on the Empire.

A second point named by the Sultan for submission to the conference
is the urgency of submitting all inhabitants of the country without
distinction to the reformed taxation; a reasonable demand if the taxes
were reasonable and justly assessed, but who can say at present that
they are either? The exchequer is undoubtedly defrauded of large sums
by the exemptions enjoyed by foreigners and their _protégés_, on
account of the way in which these privileges are abused, while, to
begin with, the system itself is unfair to the native. Here again
is an excellent lever for securing reforms by co-operation. Let the
Sultan understand that the sole condition on which such a privilege
can be abandoned is the reform of his whole fiscal and judicial
systems, and that this effected to the satisfaction of the Powers,
these privileges will be abandoned. Nothing could do more to promote
the internal peace and welfare of Morocco than this point rightly
handled.

A third demand, the abolition of foreign postal services in his
country, may appear to many curious and insignificant, but the
circumstances are peculiar. Twenty years ago, when I first knew
Morocco, there were no means of transmitting correspondence up country
save by intermittent couriers despatched by merchants, whom one had to
hunt up at the _cafés_ in which they reposed. On arrival the bundle
of letters was carried round to likely recipients for them to select
their own in the most hap-hazard way. Things were hardly more formal
at the ports at which eagerly awaited letters and papers arrived
by sea. These were carried free from Gibraltar, and delivered on
application at the various consular offices.

At one time the Moorish Government maintained unsatisfactory courier
services between two or three of the towns, but issued no stamps, the
receipt for the courier's payment being of the nature of a postmark,
stamped at the office, which, though little known to collectors, is
the only genuine and really valuable Moorish postage stamp obtainable.
All other so-called Morocco stamps were issued by private individuals,
who later on ran couriers between some two Moorish towns, their income
being chiefly derived from the sale of stamps to collectors. Some were
either entirely bogus services, or only a few couriers were run
to save appearances. Stamps of all kinds were sold at face value,
postmarked or not to order, and as the issues were from time to time
changed, the profits were steady and good. The case was in some ways
analogous to that of the Yangtse and other treaty ports of China,
where I found every consul's wife engaged in designing local issues,
sometimes of not inconsiderable merit. In Morocco quite a circle of
stamp-dealers sprang up, mostly sharp Jewish lads--though not a few
foreign officials contracted the fever, and some time ago a stamp
journal began to be issued in Tangier to promote the sale of issues
which otherwise would not have been heard of.

Now all is changed; Great Britain, France, Spain and Germany maintain
head postal offices in Tangier, the British being subject to that of
Gibraltar, whose stamps are used. All have courier services down the
coast, as well as despatching by steamer, and some maintain inland
mails conveyed by runners. The distance from Tangier to Fez, some
hundred and fifty miles, is covered by one man on foot in about three
days and a half, and the forty miles' run from Tangier to Tetuan is
done in a night for a dollar, now less than three shillings.

But a more enlightened Sultan sees the advantage it would be to him,
if not to all parties, to control the distribution of the growing
correspondence of both Europeans and natives, the latter of whom
prefer to register their letters, having very little faith in their
despatch without a receipt. And as Mulai Abd el Azîz is willing
to join the Postal Union, provided that the service is placed in
efficient European hands there is no reason why it should not be
united in one office, and facilities thereby increased.

France, however, in joining the conference, has quite another end in
view than helping others to bolster up the present administration, and
that is to obtain a formal recognition by all concerned, including
Morocco, of the new position created by her agreement with Great
Britain. That is to say, without permitting her action to be
questioned in any way, she hopes to secure some show of right to what
at present she possesses only by the might of herself and her friends.
She has already agreed with Germany to recognize her special claim for
permission to "police" the Morocco-Algerian frontier, and those who
recall the appropriation of Tunisia will remember that it originated
in "policing" the Khomaïr--known to the French as "Kroumirs"--on the
Tunisian frontier of Algeria.

It is, indeed, a curious spectacle, a group of butchers around the
unfortunate victim, talking philanthropy, practising guile: two of the
strongest have at last agreed between themselves which is to have the
carcase, but preparations for the "pacific" death-thrust are delayed
by frantic appeals for further consultation, and by the refusal of
one of their number who had been ignored to recognize the bargain.
Consultation is only agreed to on conditions which must defeat its
object, and terms are arranged with the intervener. Everything,
therefore, is clear for the operation; the tender-hearted are soothed
by promises that though the "penetration" cannot but be painful, it
shall at least not be hostile; while in order that the contumacious
may hereafter hold their peace, the consultation is to result in a
formal but carefully worded death-warrant.

Meanwhile it is worth while recalling the essential features of the
Madrid Convention of 1880, mainly due to French claims for special
privileges in protecting natives, or in giving them the rights of
French citizens. This was summoned by Spain at the suggestion of Great
Britain, with the concurrence of Morocco. Holland, Sweden and Norway,
Denmark, Belgium, Portugal, France, Germany, the United States, Italy,
Brazil, and Austria-Hungary accepted the invitation in the order
named, but Brazil was ultimately unrepresented. Russia was also
invited as an after-thought, but did not consider it worth while
accepting. The scope of the conference was limited to the subject of
foreign protection, though the question of property was by mutual
consent included.

The representatives of the conferring Powers accredited to the Spanish
Court were nominated as members--the English Plenipotentiary acting
for Denmark--as it was felt that those accredited to Morocco already
held too decided views of the matter. The Moorish Foreign Minister
attended on behalf of Morocco, and Señor Canovas, President of the
Council, represented Spain. Seventeen meetings were held, under the
presidency of Señor Canovas, between May 19 and July 3, the last being
purely formal. The Convention then signed contained little that was
new, but it re-stated clearly and harmonized with satisfactory results
rights previously granted to one and another. In several particulars,
however, its provisions are faulty, and experience of their working
has long led to demands for revision, but conflicting interests, and
fears of opening up larger issues, have caused this to be postponed.

Now that the time has arrived for a re-definition of the whole
position and rights of foreigners and their Governments in Morocco,
it is earnestly to be hoped that the opportunity may not be lost. The
great fault of the Madrid Convention is that while it recognizes the
right of foreigners to acquire land in Morocco, it stipulates for
the previous consent of the native authorities, which is only to be
obtained, if at all, by liberal "presents." But the most pressing need
is the establishment of an international tribunal for the trial of
cases involving more than one nationality, to replace the present
anarchy, resulting from the conflict in one case of any of the
thirteen independent jurisdictions at present in force in Morocco.
Such a measure would be an outcome of more value than all possible
agreements to respect the independence and integrity of Morocco till
it suited the purpose of one party or another to encroach thereon.

In lands knowing but one jurisdiction it is hard to conceive the
abuses and defeats of justice which result from the confusion
reigning in Morocco, or those which existed in Egypt previous to
the establishment of international tribunals there. For instance,
plaintiff, of nationality A., sues defendants, of nationalities B.,
C., and D., for the return of goods which they have forcibly carried
off, on the ground that they were pledged to them by a party of
nationality E., who disputes their claim, and declares the goods sold
to original plaintiff. Here are five jurisdictions involved, each with
a different set of laws, so that during the three separate actions
necessitated, although the three defendants have all acted alike and
together, the judgment in the case of each may be different, _e.g._
case under law B. dismissed, that under law C. won by plaintiff, while
law D. might recognize the defendants' claim, but condemn his action.
Needless to follow such intricacies further, though this is by no
means an extreme case, for disputes are constantly occurring--to say
nothing of criminal actions--involving the several consular courts,
for the most part presided over by men unequipped by legal training,
in which it is a practical impossibility for justice to be done to
all, and time and money are needlessly wasted.



XXXI

FRANCE IN MOROCCO

  "Who stands long enough at the door is sure to enter at last."

  _Moorish Proverb._


In a previous work on this country, "The Land of the Moors," published
in 1901, the present writer concluded with this passage: "France alone
is to be feared in the Land of the Moors, which, as things trend
to-day, must in time form part of her colony. There is no use
disguising the fact, and, as England certainly would not be prepared
to go to war with her neighbour to prevent her repeating in Morocco
what she has done in Tunis, it were better not to grumble at her
action. All England cares about is the mouth of the Mediterranean, and
if this were secured to her, or even guaranteed neutral--were that
possible--she could have no cause to object to the French extension.
Our Moorish friends will not listen to our advice; they keep their
country closed, as far as they can, refusing administrative reforms
which would prevent excuses for annexation. Why should we trouble
them? It were better far to come to an agreement with France, and
acknowledge what will prove itself one day--that France is the normal
heir to Morocco whenever the present Empire breaks up."

Unpopular as this opinion was among the British and other foreign
subjects in the country, and especially among the Moors, so that it
had at first no other advocate, it has since been adopted in Downing
Street, and what is of more moment, acted upon. Nay more, Great
Britain has, in return for the mere recognition of a _fait accompli_
in Egypt, agreed to stand aside in Morocco, and to grant France a free
hand in any attempt to create there a similar state of things. Though
the principle was good, the bargain was bad, for the positions of the
two contracting Powers, in Egypt and Morocco respectively, were by no
means analogous. France could never have driven us out of Egypt save
with her sword at our throat; England had but to unite with other
Powers in blocking the way of France in Morocco to stultify all her
plans. Had England stood out for terms, whether as regarding her
commercial interests in Morocco, which have been disgracefully
sacrificed, or in the form of concessions elsewhere, a very much more
equal-handed bargain might have been secured.

The main provisions of the agreement between the two countries,
concluded April 8, 1904, are--

    Art. II. "The British Government recognizes that it appertains
    to France, more especially as being the Power in contiguity with
    Morocco, to control the peace of the country, and to lend its
    assistance in all administrative, economical, financial, and
    military reforms. The British Government declares that it will not
    interfere with the action of France in this regard, provided that
    this action will leave intact the rights which, in virtue of
    treaties, conventions, and usages, Great Britain enjoys in
    Morocco, including the right of coasting between the Morocco
    ports, of which English vessels have had the benefit since 1901."

    Art. VII. "In order to secure the free passage of the Straits of
    Gibraltar, both Governments agree not to allow fortifications or
    any strategic works to be erected on that part of the Moorish
    coast between Melilla and the heights which dominate the right
    bank of the Sebu exclusively."

France has secured all that she wanted, or rather that her aggressive
colonial party wanted, for opinions on that point are by no means
identical, even in France, and the Agreement at once called forth the
condemnation of the more moderate party. What appears to be permissive
means much more. Now that Great Britain has drawn back--the Power to
which the late Sir John Drummond Hay taught the Moors to look with an
implicit confidence to champion them against all foes, as it did in
the case of the wars with France and Spain, vetoing the retention of
a foot of Moorish soil--Morocco lies at the feet of France. France,
indeed, has become responsible for carrying out a task its eager
spirits have been boiling over for a chance of undertaking. Morocco
has been made the ward of the hand that gripped it, which but recently
filched two outlying provinces, Figig and Tûát.

Englishmen who know and care little about Morocco are quite incapable
of understanding the hold that France already had upon this land.
Separated from it only by an unprotected boundary, much better defined
on paper than in fact, over which there is always a "rectification"
dispute in pickle, her province of Algeria affords a prospective
base already furnished with lines of rail from her ports of Oran and
Algiers. From Oojda, an insignificant town across the border from
Lalla Maghnîa (Marnia), there runs a valley route which lays Fez in
her power, with Táza by the way to fortify and keep the mountaineers
in check. At any time the frontier forays in which the tribes on both
sides indulge may be fomented or exaggerated, as in the case of Tunis,
to afford a like excuse for a similar occupation, which beyond a doubt
would be a good thing for Morocco. Fez captured, and the seaports kept
in awe or bombarded by the navy, Mequinez would fall, and an army
landed in Mazagan would seize Marrákesh.

All this could be accomplished with a minimum of loss, for only the
lowlands would have to be crossed, and the mountaineers have no army.
But their "pacification" would be the lingering task in which lives,
time, and money would be lost beyond all recompense. Against a
European army that of the Sultan need not be feared; only a few
battalions drilled by European officers might give trouble, but they
would see former instructors among the foe, and without them they
would soon become demoralized. It would be the tribal skirmishers, of
whom half would fall before the others yielded to the Nazarenes, who
would give the trouble.

The military mission which France has for many years imposed on the
Sultan at his expense, though under her control, which follows him in
his expeditions and spies out the land, has afforded a training-ground
for a series of future invading leaders. Her Algerian Mohammedan
agents are able to pass and repass where foreigners never go, and
besides collecting topographical and other information, they have lost
no opportunity of making known the privileges and advantages of French
rule. In case it may be found advisable to set up a dummy sultan under
a protectorate, the French have an able and powerful man to hand in
the young Idreesi Shareef of Wazzán, whom the English refused to
protect, and who, with his brother, received a French education.

But while we, as a nation, have been unable to comprehend the French
determination to possess Morocco, they have been unable to comprehend
our calm indifference, and by the way in which they betray their
suspicions of us, they betray their own methods. Protestant
missionaries in Algeria and Tunisia, of whatever nationality, are
supposed to be the emissaries of the British Government, and in
consequence are harassed and maligned, while tourists outside the
regular beat are watched. When visiting Oojda some years ago, I myself
was twice arrested in Algeria, at Tlemçen and Lalla Maghnîa, because
mingling with natives, and it was with difficulty that I could
persuade the _juges d'instruction_ of my peaceful motives.

Determined and successful efforts to become acquainted with the
remotest provinces of Morocco, the distribution of its population, and
whatever could be of use to an invading or "pacifying" force have long
been made by France, but the most valuable portion of this knowledge
remains pigeon-holed, or circulates only in strictly official
_mémoires_. Many of the officials engaged here, however, have amused
themselves and the public by publishing pretty books of the average
class, telling little new, while one even took the trouble to write
his in English, in order to put us off the scent!

If ever means could justify an end, France deserves to enjoy the fruit
of her labours. No longer need she foment strife on the Algerian
frontier, or wink at arms being smuggled across it; no longer need the
mis-named "pretender" be supplied with French gold, or intrigues be
carried on at Court. Abd el Azîz must take the advice and "assistance"
of France, whether he will or no, and curse the British to whom he
formerly looked. This need not necessarily involve such drastic
changes as would rouse the people to rebellion, and precipitate a
costly conquest. There are many reforms urgently required in the
interests of the people themselves, and these can now be gradually
enforced. Such reforms had been set on foot already by the young
Sultan, mainly under British advice; but to his chagrin, his advisers
did not render the financial and moral support he needed to carry them
out. France is now free to do this, and to strengthen his position, so
that all wise reforms may be possible. These will naturally commence
with civil and judicial functions, but must soon embrace the more
pressing public works, such as roads, bridges, and port improvements.
Railways are likely to be the first roads in most parts, and Mulai Abd
el Azîz will welcome their introduction. The western ideas which he
has imbibed during the last few years are scoffed at only by those who
know little of him. What France will have to be prepared for is Court
intrigue, and she will have to give the Moors plainly to understand
that "Whatsoever king shall reign, she'll still be 'boss of the show,'
sir."

As one of the first steps needed, but one requiring the co-operation
of all other Powers on treaty terms with the Moors, the establishment
of tribunals to which all should be amenable, has already been touched
upon. These must necessarily be presided over by specially qualified
Europeans in receipt of sufficient salary to remove them from
temptation. A clear distinction should then be made between a civil
code administered by such tribunals and the jurisdiction of the Muslim
law in matters of religion and all dependent upon it. But of even more
pressing importance is the reform of the currency, and the admission
of Morocco to the Latin Union. This could well be insisted on when the
financial question is discussed at the Algeciras Conference, as well
as the equally important establishment in competent hands of a State
Bank. This and the reform of the whole fiscal system must precede
every other measure, as they form the ground-work of the whole.

Whatever public works may be eventually undertaken, the first should
be, as far as possible, such as the Moors themselves can execute under
European direction, and as they can appreciate. Irrigation would
command enthusiasm where railways would only provoke opposition, and
the French could find no surer way of winning the hearts of the people
than by coping at once with the agricultural water supply, in order to
provide against such years of famine as the present, and worse that
are well remembered. That would be a form of "pacific penetration," to
which none could object.

Education, too, when attempted, should be gradually introduced as a
means of personal advancement, the requirements of the public
service being raised year by year, as the younger generation has had
opportunities of better qualifying themselves. Above all, every post
should be in theory at least thrown open to the native, and in
practice as soon as the right man turned up. Better retain or instal
more of the able Moors of to-day as figureheads with European
advisers, than attempt a new set to start with. But a clean sweep
should be made of the foreigners at present in the Moorish service,
all of whom should be adequately pensioned off, that with the new
order might come new men, adequately paid and independent of
"commissions." It is essential that the people learn to feel that
they are not being exploited, but that their true welfare is sought.
Every reform should be carried out along native lines, and in
conformity with native thought.

[Illustration: _Albert, Photo., Tunis._

TUNISIA UNDER THE FRENCH--AN EXECUTION.]

The costly lesson of Algeria, where native rights and interests were
overthrown, and a complete detested foreign rule set up, has taught
the French the folly of such a system, however glorious it may appear
on paper. They have been wiser in Tunisia, where a nominally native
government is directed by Frenchmen, whom it pays, and sooner or later
Morocco is almost certain to become a second Tunisia. This will not
only prove the best working system, but it will enable opposition to
be dealt with by Moorish forces, instead of by an invading army, which
would unite the Berber tribes under the Moorish flag. This was what
prolonged the conquest of Algeria for so many years, and the Berbers
of Morocco are more independent and better armed than were those of
Algeria seventy years ago. What France will gain by the change beyond
openings for Frenchmen and the glory of an extended colonial empire,
it is hard to imagine, but empty glory seems to satisfy most countries
greedy of conquest. So far the only outward evidences of the new
position are the over-running of the ports, especially of Tangier, by
Frenchmen of an undesirable class, and by an attempt to establish a
French colony at the closed port of Mehedîya by doubtful means, to say
nothing of the increased smuggling of arms.

How the welfare of the Moors will be affected by the change is a much
more important question, though one often held quite unworthy of
consideration, the accepted axiom being that, whether they like it or
not, what is good for us is good for them. Needless to say that
most of the reforms required will be objected to, and that serious
obstacles will be opposed to some; the mere fact that the foreigner,
contemptuously called a "Nazarene," is their author, is sufficient to
prejudice them in native eyes, and the more prominent the part played
by him, the more difficult to follow his advice. But if the Sultan and
his new advisers will consent to a wise course of quiet co-operation,
much may be effected without causing trouble. It is astonishing
how readily the Moors submit to the most radical changes when
unostentatiously but forcibly carried out. Never was there a greater
call for the _suaviter in modo, fortiter in re_. Power which makes
itself felt by unwavering action has always had their respect, and
if the Sultan is prepared not to act till with gold in his coffers,
disciplined troops at his command, and loyal officials to do his
behest, he can do so with unquestioned finality, all will go well.

Then will the prosperity of the people revive--indeed, achieve a
condition hitherto unknown save in two or three reigns of the distant
past, perhaps not then. The poor will not fear to sow their barren
fields, or the rich to display their wealth; hidden treasure will come
to light, and the groan of the oppressed will cease. Individual cases
of gross injustice will doubtless arise; but they will be as nothing
compared with what occurs in Morocco to-day, even with that wrought by
Europeans who avail themselves of existing evils. So that if France is
wise, and restrains her hot-heads, she may perform a magnificent work
for the Moors, as the British have done in Egypt; at least, it is to
be hoped she may do as well in Morocco as in Tunisia.

But it would be idle to ignore the deep dissatisfaction with which the
Anglo-French Agreement has been received by others than the Moors.[25]
Most British residents in Morocco, probably every tourist who has been
conducted along the coast, or sniffed at the capital cities; those
firms of ours who share the bulk of the Moorish trade, and others who
yearned to open up possible mines, and undertake the public works
so urgently needed; ay, and the concession-prospectors and
company-mongers who see the prey eluding their grasp; even the
would-be heroes across the straits who have dreamed in vain of great
deeds to be done on those hills before them; all unite in deploring
what appears to them a gross blunder. After all, this is but natural.
So few of us can see beyond our own domains, so many hunger after
anything--in their particular line--that belongs to a weaker
neighbour, that it is well we have disinterested statesmen who take a
wider view. Else had we long since attempted to possess ourselves
of the whole earth, like the conquering hordes of Asia, and in
consequence we should have been dispossessed ourselves.

  [25: See Appendix.]

Even to have been driven to undertake in Morocco a task such as we
were in Egypt, would have been a calamity, for our hands are too full
already of similar tasks. It is all very well in these times of peace,
but in the case of war, when we might be attacked by more than one
antagonist, we should have all our work cut out to hold what we
have. The policy of "grab," and dabbing the world with red, may be
satisfactory up to a certain point, but it will be well for us as a
nation when we realize that we have had enough. In Morocco, what is
easy for France with her contiguous province, with her plans
for trans-Sáharan traffic, and her thirst to copy our colonial
expansion--though without men to spare--would have been for us costly
and unremunerative. We are well quit of the temptation.

Moreover, we have freed ourselves of a possible, almost certain, cause
of friction with France, of itself a most important gain. Just as
France would never have acquiesced in our establishing a protectorate
in Morocco without something more than words, so the rag-fed British
public, always capable of being goaded to madness by the newspapers,
would have bitterly objected to French action, if overt, while
powerless to prevent the insidious grasp from closing on Morocco by
degrees. The first war engaging at once British attention and forces
was like to see France installed in Morocco without our leave. The
early reverses of the Transvaal War induced her to appropriate Tûát
and Figig, and had the fortune of war been against us, Morocco would
have been French already. These facts must not be overlooked in
discussing what was our wisest course. We were unprepared to do
what France was straining to do: we occupied the manger to no one's
good--practically the position later assumed by Germany. Surely we
were wiser to come to terms while we could, not as in the case of
Tunisia, when too late.

But among the objecting critics one class has a right to be heard,
those who have invested life and fortune in the Morocco trade; the men
who have toiled for years against the discouraging odds involved, who
have wondered whether Moorish corruption or British apathy were their
worst foe, in whom such feeling is not only natural but excusable.
Only those who have experienced it know what it means to be defrauded
by complacent Orientals, and to be refused the redress they see
officials of other nations obtaining for rivals. Yet now they find all
capped by the instructions given to our consuls not to act without
conferring with the local representatives of France, which leads
to the taunt that Great Britain has not only sold her interests in
Morocco to the French, but also her subjects!

The British policy has all along been to maintain the _status quo_ in
spite of individual interests, deprecating interference which might
seem high-handed, or create a precedent from which retraction would be
difficult. In the collection of debts, in enforcing the performance of
contracts, or in securing justice of any kind where the policy is to
promise all and evade all till pressure is brought to bear, British
subjects in Morocco have therefore always found themselves at a
disadvantage in competition with others whose Governments openly
supported them. The hope that buoyed them up was that one day the tide
might turn, and that Great Britain might feel it incumbent on her to
"protect" Morocco against all comers. Now hope has fled. What avails
it that grace of a generation's span is allowed them, that they may
not individually suffer from the change? It is the dream of years that
lies shattered.

Here are the provisions for their protection:

    Art. IV. "The two Governments, equally attached to the principle
    of commercial liberty, both in Egypt and Morocco, declare that
    they will not lend themselves to any inequality either in the
    establishment of customs rights or other taxes, or in the
    establishment of tariffs for transport on the railways.... This
    mutual agreement is valid for a period of thirty years" (subject
    to extensions of five years).

    Art. V. secures the maintenance in their posts of British
    officials in the Moorish service, but while it is specially
    stipulated that French missionaries and schools in Egypt shall not
    be molested, British missionaries in Morocco are committed to the
    tender mercies of the French.

Thus there can be no immediate exhibition of favouritism beyond the
inevitable placing of all concessions in French hands, and there is
really not much ground of complaint, while there is a hope of cause
for thankfulness. Released from its former bugbears, no longer open to
suspicion of secret designs, our Foreign Office can afford to impart a
little more backbone into its dealings with Moorish officials; a much
more acceptable policy should, therefore, be forthwith inaugurated,
that the Morocco traders may see that what they have lost in
possibilities they have gained in actualities. Still more! the French,
now that their hands are free, are in a position to "advise" reforms
which will benefit all. Thus out of the ashes of one hope another
rises.



PART III


XXXII

ALGERIA VIEWED FROM MOROCCO

  "One does not become a horseman till one has fallen."

  _Moorish Proverb._


A journey through Algeria shows what a stable and enlightened
Government has been able to do in a land by no means so highly
favoured by Nature as Morocco, and peopled by races on the whole
inferior. The far greater proportion of land there under cultivation
emphasizes the backward state of Morocco, although much of it still
remains untouched; while the superior quality of the produce,
especially of the fruits, shows what might be accomplished in the
adjoining country were its condition improved. The hillsides of
Algeria are in many districts clothed with vines which prosper
exceedingly, often almost superseding cereals as objects of
cultivation by Europeans.

The European colonists are of all nationalities, and the proportion
which is not French is astonishingly large, but every inducement is
held out for naturalization as Algerians, and all legitimate obstacles
are thrown in the way of those who maintain fidelity to their
fatherlands. Every effort is made to render Algeria virtually part of
France, as politically it is already considered to be. It is the case
of the old days of slavery revived under a new form, when the renegade
was received with open arms, and the man who remained steadfast was
seldom released from slavery. Of course, in these days there is
nothing approaching such treatment, and it is only the natives who
suffer to any extent.

These are despised, if not hated, and despise and hate in return. The
conquerors have repeated in Algeria the old mistake which has brought
about such dire results in other lands, of always retaining the
position of conquerors, and never unbending to the conquered, or
encouraging friendship with them. This attitude nullifies whatever
good may result from the mixed schools in which Muslim, Jew, and
European are brought in contact, in the hope of turning out a sort of
social amalgam. Most of the French settlers are too conceited and too
ignorant to learn Arabic, though this is by no means the fault of the
Government, which provides free public classes for instruction in that
language in the chief towns of Algeria and Tunisia. The result is
that the natives who meet most with foreigners have, without the most
ordinary facilities enjoyed by the Europeans, to pick up a jargon
which often does much more credit to them than the usual light
acquaintance of the foreigner with Arabic does to him. Those who make
any pretence at it, usually speak it with an accent, a pronunciation
and a nonchalance which show that they have taken no pains whatever to
acquire it. Evidently it pays better to spend money educating natives
in French than Frenchmen in Arabic. It is an amusing fact that most of
the teachers have produced their own text-books, few of which possess
special merit.

As a colony Algeria has proved a failure. Foreign settlers hold most
of the desirable land, and till it with native labour. The native may
have safety and justice now, but he has suffered terribly in the past,
as the reports of the Bureau Arabe, established for his protection,
abundantly prove, and bitterly he resents his fate. No love is lost
between French and natives in Tunisia, but there is actual hatred in
Algeria, fostered by the foreigner far more than by the smouldering
bigotry of Islám. They do not seem to intermingle even as oil and
water, but to follow each a separate, independent course.

Among the foreign colonists it is a noteworthy fact that the most
successful are not the French, who want too much comfort, but almost
any of the nationalities settled there, chiefly Spaniards and
Italians. The former are to be found principally in the neighbourhood
of Óran, and the latter further east; they abound in Tunisia.
Englishmen and others of more independent nature have not been made
welcome in either country, and year by year their interests have
dwindled. Even in Tunisia, under a different system, the same result
has been achieved, and every restriction reconcilable with paper
rights has been placed on other than French imports. There may be an
"open door," but it is too closely guarded for us. The English houses
that once existed have disappeared, and what business is done with
this country has had to take refuge with agents, for the most part
Jews.

In studying the life of Algerian towns, the almost entire absence of
well-to-do Arabs or Berbers is striking. I never came across one who
might be judged from his appearance to be a man of means or position,
unless in military or official garb, though there are doubtless many
independent natives among the Berber and Arab tribes. The few whom I
encountered making any pretence of dressing well were evidently of no
social rank, and the complaint on every hand is that the natives are
being gradually ousted from what little is left to them.

As for European law, they consider this to have no connection
with justice, and think themselves very heavily taxed to support
innovations with which they have no concern, and which they would
rather dispense with. One can, indeed, feel for them, though there
is no doubt much to be said on both sides, especially when it is the
other side which boasts the power, if not the superior intelligence.
The Jews, however, thrive, and in many ways have the upper hand,
especially so since the wise move which accorded them the rights
of French citizenship. It is remarkable, however, how much less
conspicuous they are in the groups about the streets than in Morocco,
notwithstanding that their dress is quite as distinctive as there,
though different.

The new-comer who arrives at the fine port of Algiers finds it
as greatly transformed as its name has been from the town which
originally bore it, El Jazîrah. The fine appearance of the rising
tiers of houses gives an impression of a still larger city than it
really is, for very little is hidden from view except the suburbs.
From a short way out to sea the panorama is grand, but it cannot be
as chaste as when the native city clustered in the hollow with its
whitewashed houses and its many minarets, completely surrounded by
green which has long since disappeared under the advancing tide of
bricks and mortar. One can hardly realize that this fine French city
has replaced the den of pirates of such fearful histories. Yet there
is the original light-house, the depôt for European slaves, and away
on the top of yonder hill are remains of the ancient citadel. It was
there, indeed, that those dreadful cruelties were perpetrated, where
so many Christians suffered martyrdom. Yes, this is where once stood
the "famous and war-like city, El Jazîrah," which was in its time "the
scourge of Christendom."

Whether the visitor be pleased or disappointed with the modern city
depends entirely on what he seeks. If he seeks Europe in Africa, with
perhaps just a dash of something oriental, he will be amply satisfied
with Algiers, which is no longer a native city at all. It is as French
as if it had risen from the soil entirely under French hands, and only
the slums of the Arab town remain. The seeker after native life will
therefore meet with complete disappointment, unless he comes straight
from Europe, with no idea what he ought to expect. All the best parts
of the town, the commercial and the residential quarters, have long
since been replaced by European substitutes, leaving hardly a trace of
the picturesque originals, while every day sees a further encroachment
on the erstwhile African portion, the interest of which is almost
entirely removed by the presence of crowds of poor Europeans and
European-dressed Jews. The visitor to Algiers would therefore do well
to avoid everything native, unless he has some opportunity of also
seeing something genuine elsewhere. The only specimens he meets in
the towns are miserable half-caste fellows--by habit, if not by
birth,--for their dress, their speech, their manners, their homes,
their customs, their religion--or rather their lack of religion,--have
all suffered from contact with Europeans. But even before the
Frenchmen came, it is notorious how the Algerines had sunk under the
bane of Turkish rule, as is well illustrated by their own saying, that
where the foot of the Turk had trod, grass refused to grow. Of all the
Barbary States, perhaps none has suffered more from successive outside
influences than the people of Algeria.

The porter who seizes one's luggage does not know when he is using
French words or Arabic, or when he introduces Italian, Turkish, or
Spanish, and cannot be induced to make an attempt at Arabic to a
European unless the latter absolutely refuses to reply to his jargon.
Then comes a hideous corruption of his mother tongue, in which the
foreign expressions are adorned with native inflexions in the most
comical way. His dress is barbarous, an ancient and badly fitting pair
of trousers, and stockingless feet in untidy boots, on the heels of
which he stamps along the streets with a most unpleasant noise. The
collection of garments which complete his attire are mostly European,
though the "Fez" cap remains the distinctive feature of the Muslim's
dress, and a selhám--that cloak of cloaks, there called a "bûrnûs"--is
slung across his shoulder. Some few countrymen are to be seen who
still retain the more graceful native costume, with the typical
camel-hair or cotton cord bound round the head-dress, but the old
inhabitants are being steadily driven out of town.

[Illustration: TENT OF AN ALGERIAN SHEÏKH.]

The characteristic feature of Algerian costumes is the head-cord
referred to, which pervades a great part of Arabdom, in Syria and
Arabia being composed of two twists of black camel hair perhaps an
inch thick. In Algeria it is about an eighth of an inch thick, and
brown. The slippers are also characteristic, but ugly, being of black
leather, excellently made, and cut very far open, till it becomes an
art to keep them on, and the heels have to be worn up. The use of the
white selhám is almost universal, unhemmed at the edges, as in Tunis
also; and over it is loosely tied a short haïk fastened on the head by
the cord.

There is, however, even in Algiers itself, one class of men who remain
unaffected by their European surroundings, passive amid much change,
a model for their neighbours. These are the Beni M'záb, a tribe of
Mohammedan Protestants from southern Algeria, where they settled long
ago, as the Puritans did in New England, that they might there worship
God in freedom. They were the Abadîya, gathered from many districts,
who have taken their modern name from the tribe whose country they now
inhabit. They speak a dialect of Berber, and dress in a manner which
is as distinctive as their short stature, small, dark, oily features,
jet-black twinkling eyes, and scanty beard. They come to the towns to
make money, and return home to spend it, after a few years of busy
shop-keeping. A butcher whom I met said that he and a friend had the
business year and year about, so as not to be too long away from home
at a time. They are very hard-working, and have a great reputation for
honesty; they keep their shops open from about five in the morning
till nine at night. As the Beni M'záb do not bring their wives with
them, they usually live together in a large house, and have their
own mosque, where they worship alone, resenting the visits of all
outsiders, even of other Muslims. Admission to their mosque is
therefore practically refused to Europeans, but in Moorish dress I was
made welcome as some distinguished visitor from saintly Fez, and found
it very plain, more like the kûbbah of a saint-house than an ordinary
mosque.

There are also many Moors in Algeria, especially towards the west.
These, being better workmen than the Algerines, find ready employment
as labourers on the railways. Great numbers also annually visit Óran
and the neighbourhood to assist at harvest time. Those Moors who live
there usually disport themselves in trousers, strange to stay, and,
when they can afford it, carry umbrellas. They still adhere to the
turban, however, instead of adopting the head cord. At Blidah I found
that all the sellers of sfinges--yeast fritters--were Moors, and those
whom I came across were enthusiastic to find one who knew and liked
their country. The Algerines affect to despise them and their home,
which they declare is too poor to support them, thus accounting for
their coming over to work.

The specimens of native architecture to be met with in Algeria are
seldom, if ever, pure in style, and are generally extremely corrupt.
The country never knew prosperity as an independent kingdom, such as
Morocco did, and it is only in Tlemçen, on the borders of that Empire,
that real architectural wealth is found, but then this was once the
capital of an independent kingdom. The palace at Constantine is not
Moorish at all, except in plan, being adorned with a hap-hazard
collection of odds and ends from all parts. It is worse than even the
Bardo at Tunis, where there is some good plaster carving--naksh el
hadeed--done by Moorish or Andalucian workmen. In the palaces of the
Governor and the Archbishop of Algiers, which are also very composite,
though not without taste, there is more of this work, some of it very
fine, though much of it is merely modern moulded imitation.

Of more than a hundred mosques and shrines found in Algiers when it
was taken by the French, only four of the former and a small number
of the latter remain, the rest having been ruthlessly turned into
churches. The Mosque of Hasan, built just over a century ago, is now
the cathedral, though for this transformation it has been considerably
distorted, and a mock-Moorish façade erected in the very worst taste.
Inside things are better, having been less interfered with, but what
is now a church was never a good specimen of a mosque, having been
originally partly European in design, the work of renegades. The same
may be said of the Mosque of the Fisheries, a couple of centuries old,
built in the form of a Greek cross! One can well understand how
the Dey, according to the story, had the architect put to death on
discovering this anomaly. These incongruities mar all that is supposed
in Algeria to be Arabesque. The Great Mosque, nevertheless, is more
ancient and in better style, more simple, more chaste, and more
awe-inspiring. The Zawîah of Sîdi Abd er-Rahmán, outside the walls,
is as well worth a visit as anything in Algiers, being purely and
typically native. It is for the opportunities given for such peeps
as this that one is glad to wander in Algeria after tasting the real
thing in Morocco, where places of worship and baths are closed to
Europeans. These latter I found all along North Africa to be much what
they are in Morocco, excepting only the presence of the foreigners.

The tile work of Algeria is ugly, but many of the older Italian and
other foreign specimens are exceptionally good, both in design and
colour. Some of the Tunisian tiles are also noteworthy, but it is
probable that none of any real artistic value were ever produced in
what is now conveniently called Algeria. There is nothing whatever in
either country to compare with the exquisite Fez work found in the
Alhambra, hardly to rival the inferior productions of Tetuan. A
curious custom in Algeria is to use all descriptions of patterns
together "higgledy-piggledy," upside down or side-ways, as though
the idea were to cover so much surface with tiling, irrespective of
design. Of course this is comparatively modern, and marks a period
since what art Algeria ever knew had died out. It is noticeable, too,
how poor the native manufacturers are compared with those of Morocco,
themselves of small account beside those of the East. The wave of
civilization which swept over North Africa in the Middle Ages failed
to produce much effect till it recoiled upon itself in the far, far
west, and then turned northward into Spain.

Notwithstanding all this, Algeria affords an ample field for study for
the scientist, especially the mountain regions to the south, where
Berber clans and desert tribes may be reached in a manner impossible
yet in Morocco, but the student of oriental life should not visit them
till he has learnt to distinguish true from false among the still
behind-hand Moors.



XXXIII

TUNISIA VIEWED FROM MOROCCO

  "The slave toils, but the Lord completes."

  _Moorish Proverb._


Fortunately for the French, the lesson learned in Algeria was not
neglected when the time came for their "pacific penetration" of
Tunisia. Their first experience had been as conquerors of anything but
pacific intent, and for a generation they waged war with the Berber
tribes. Everywhere, even on the plains, where conquest was easy, the
native was dispossessed. The land was allotted to Frenchmen or to
natives who took the oath of allegiance to France, and became French
subjects. Those who fought for their fatherland were driven off, the
villages depopulated, and the country laid waste. In the cities the
mosques were desecrated or appropriated to what the native considered
idolatrous worship. They have never been restored to their owners.
Those Algerines only have flourished who entered the French army or
Government service, and affected manners which all but cut them off
from their fellow-countrymen.

In Tunisia the French succeeded, under cover of specious assurances to
the contrary, in overthrowing the Turkish beys, rehabilitating them in
name as their puppets, with hardly more opposition than the British
met with in Burma. The result is a nominally native administration
which takes the blame for failures, and French direction which takes
the credit for successes. All that was best in Algeria has been
repeated, but native rights have been respected, and the cities, with
their mosques and shrines, left undisturbed as far as possible. The
desecration of the sacred mosque of Kaïrwán as a stable was a notable
exception.

The difference between the administration of Algeria and that of
Tunisia makes itself felt at every step. In the one country it is the
ruling of a conquered people for the good of the conquerors alone, and
in the other it is the ruling of an unconquered people by bolstering
up and improving their own institutions under the pretence of seeking
their welfare. The immense advantage of the Tunisian system is
apparent on all sides. The expense is less, the excuses for
irregularities are greater, and the natives still remain a nominal
power in the land, instead of being considered as near serfs as is
permissible in this twentieth century.

The results of the French occupation were summed up to me by a
Tunisian as the making of roads, the introduction of more money and
much drunkenness, and the institution of laws which no native could
ever hope to understand. But France has done more than that in Tunis,
even for the native. He has the benefit of protection for life and
property, with means of education and facilities for travel, and an
outlet for his produce. He might do well--and there are many instances
of commercial success--but while he is jibbing against the foreign
yoke, the expatriated Jews, whom he treated so badly when he had the
upper hand, are outstripping him every day. The net result of the
foreigners' presence is good for him, but it would be much better had
he the sense to take advantage of his chances as the Jew does. Many of
the younger generation, indeed, learn French, and enter the great army
of functionaries, but they are rigidly restricted to the lowest posts,
and here again the Jew stands first.

In business or agriculture there is sure to come a time when cash is
needed, so that French and Jewish money-lenders flourish, and when the
Tunisian cannot pay, the merciless hand of foreign law irresistibly
sells him up. In the courts the complicated procedure, the intricate
code, and the swarm of lawyers, bewilder him, and he sighs for the
time when a bribe would have settled the question, and one did at
least know beforehand which would win--the one with the longer purse.
Now, who knows? But the Tunisian's principal occasions for discontent
are the compulsory military service, and the multiplication and weight
of the taxes. From the former only those are exempt who can pass
certain examinations in French, and stiff ones at that, so that Arabic
studies are elbowed out; the unremitted military duties during the
Ramadán fast are regarded as a peculiar hardship. To the taxes there
seems no end, and from them no way of escape. Even the milkman
complains, for example, that though his goats themselves are taxed,
he cannot bring their food into town from his garden without an
additional charge being paid!

With the superficial differences to be accounted for by this new state
of things, there still remains much more in Tunisia to remind one of
Morocco than in Algeria. What deeper distinctions there are result in
both countries from Turkish influence, and Turkish blood introduced in
the past, but even these do not go very deep. Beneath it all there are
the foundations of race and creed common to all, and the untouched
countryman of Tunisia is closely akin to his fellow of Morocco. Even
in the towns the underlying likeness is strong.

The old city of Tunis is wonderfully like that of Fez; the streets,
the shops, the paving, being identical; but in the former a
picturesque feature is sometimes introduced, stone columns forming
arcades in front of the shops, painted in spiral bands of green and
red, separated by a band of white. The various trades are grouped
there as further west, and the streets are named after them. The
Mellah, or Jewish Quarter, has lost its boundary, as at Tangier, and
the gates dividing the various wards have disappeared too. Hardly
anything remains of the city walls, new ones having arisen to enclose
the one European and two native suburbs. But under a modern arcade in
the main street, the Avenue de France, there is between the shops the
barred gate leading to a mosque behind, which does not look as if it
were often opened.

Tramways run round the line of the old walls, and it is strange to see
the natives jumping on and off without stopping the car, in the most
approved western style. There, as in the trains, European and African
sit side by side, though it is to be observed that as a rule, should
another seat be free, neither gets in where the other is. As for hopes
of encouraging any degree of amalgamation, these are vain indeed.
A mechanical mixture is all that can be hoped for: nothing more is
possible. A few French people have embraced Islám for worldly aims,
and it is popularly believed by the natives that in England thousands
are accepting Mohammed.

The mosques of Tunis are less numerous than those of Fez, but do
not differ greatly from them except in the inferior quality of the
tile-work, and in the greater use of stone for the arches and towers.
The latter are of the Moorish square shape, but some, if not all, are
ascended by steps, instead of by inclined planes. The mosques, with
the exception of that at Kaïrwán--the most holy, strange to say--are
as strictly forbidden to Europeans and Jews as in Morocco, and screens
are put up before the doors as in Tangier.

The Moors are very well known in Tunis, so many of them, passing
through from Mekka on the Hajj, have been prevented from getting
home by quarantine or lack of funds. Clad as a Moor myself, I was
everywhere recognized as from that country, and was treated with every
respect, being addressed as "Amm el Háj" ("Uncle Pilgrim"), having
my shoulders and hands kissed in orthodox fashion. There are several
_cafés_ where Morocco men are to be met with by the score. One feature
of this cosmopolitan city is that there are distinct _cafés_ for
almost every nation represented here except the English.

The Arabs of Morocco are looked upon as great thieves, but the
Sûsis have the highest reputation for honesty. Not only are all the
gate-keepers of the city from that distant province, but also those
of the most important stores and houses, as well as of the
railway-stations, and many are residents in the town. The chief
snake-charmers and story-tellers also hail from Sûs.

The veneration for Mulai Táïb of Wazzán, from whom the shareefs of
that place are descended, is great, and the Aïsáwa, hailing from
Mequinez, are to be met with all along this coast; they are especially
strong at Kaïrwán. In Tunis, as also in Algeria and Tripoli, the
comparative absence of any objection to having pictures taken of human
beings, which is an almost insurmountable hindrance in Morocco, again
allowed me to use my kodak frequently, but I found that the Jews had a
strong prejudice against portraits.

The points in which the domestic usages of Tunisia differ from those
of Morocco are the more striking on account of the remarkably minute
resemblance, if not absolute identity, of so very many others, and as
the novelty of the innovations wears off, it is hard to realize that
one is not still in the "Far West."

In a native household of which I found myself temporarily a member,
it was the wholesale assimilation of comparatively trivial foreign
matters which struck me. Thus, for instance, as one of the sons of
my host remarked--though he was dressed in a manner which to most
travellers would have appeared exclusively oriental--there was not a
thing upon him which was not French. Doubtless a closer examination of
his costume would have shown that some of the articles only reached
him through French hands, but the broad fact remained that they were
all foreign. It is in this way that the more civilized countries
show a strong and increasing tendency to develop into nations of
manufacturers, with their gigantic workshops forcing the more
backward, _nolens volens_, to relapse to the more primitive condition
of producers of raw material only.

There was, of course, a time when every garment such a man would have
worn would have been of native manufacture, without having been in
any feature less complete, less convenient, or less artistic than his
present dress. In many points, indeed, there is a distinct loss in the
more modern style, especially in the blending of colours, while it is
certain that in no point has improvement been made. My friend, for
instance, had the addition, common there, of a pair of striped merino
socks, thrust into a pair of rubber-soled tennis shoes. Underneath he
wore a second pair of socks, and said that in winter he added a third.
Above them was not much bare leg, for the pantaloons are cut there so
as often to reach right down to the ankles. This is necessitated by
the custom of raising the mattresses used for seats on divans, and
by sitting at table on European chairs with the legs dangling in
the cold. The turban has nothing of the gracefulness of its Moorish
counterpart, being often of a dirty-green silk twisted into a rope,
and then bound round the head in the most inelegant fashion, sometimes
showing the head between the coils; they are not folds. Heads are by
no means kept so carefully shaved as in Morocco, and I have seen hair
which looked as though only treated with scissors, and that rarely.

The fashion for all connected with the Government to wear European
dress, supplemented by the "Fez" (fortunately not the Turkish style),
brings about most absurd anomalies. This is especially observable in
the case of the many very stout individuals who waddle about like
ducks in their ungainly breeches. I was glad to find on visiting the
brother of the late Bey that he retained the correct costume, though
the younger members of his family and all his attendants were in
foreign guise. The Bey himself received me in the frock-coat with
pleated skirt, favoured by his countrymen the Turks.

[Illustration: _Albert, Photo., Tunis._

A TUNISIAN JEWESS IN STREET DRESS.]

The Mohammedan women seen in the streets generally wear an elegant
fine silk and wool haïk over a costume culminating in a peaked cap,
the face being covered--all but the eyes--by two black handkerchiefs,
awful to behold, like the mask of a stage villain. More stylish women
wear a larger veil, which they stretch out on either side in front
of them with their hands. They seem to think nothing of sitting in a
railway carriage opposite a man and chatting gaily with him. I learn
from an English lady resident in Tunis that the indoor costume of the
women is much that of the Jewesses out of doors--extraordinary indeed.
It is not every day that one meets ladies in the street in long white
drawers, often tight, and short jackets, black or white, but this is
the actual walking dress of the Jewish ladies of Tunis.



XXXIV

TRIPOLI VIEWED FROM MOROCCO

  "Every sheep hangs by her own legs."

  _Moorish Proverb._


When, after an absence of twenty months, I found myself in Tripoli,
although far enough from Morocco, I was still amid familiar sights and
sounds which made it hard to realize that I was not in some hitherto
unvisited town of that Empire. The petty differences sank to naught
amid the wonderful resemblances. It was the Turkish element alone
which was novel, and that seemed altogether out of place, foreign as
it is to Africa. There was something quite incongruous in the sight of
those ungainly figures in their badly fitting, quasi-European black
coats and breeches, crowned with tall and still more ungainly red
caps. The Turks are such an inferior race to the Berbers and Arabs
that it is no wonder that they are despised by the natives. They
appear much more out of place than do the Europeans, who remain, as
in Morocco, a class by themselves. To see a Turk side by side with a
white-robed native at prayer in a mosque is too ridiculous, and to see
him eating like a wild man of the woods! Even the governor, a benign
old gentleman, looked very undignified in his shabby European
surroundings, after the important appearance of the Moorish
functionaries in their flowing robes. The sentinels at the door seemed
to have been taught to imitate the wooden salute of the Germans, which
removes any particle of grace which might have remained in spite of
their clumsy dress. It is a strange sight to see them selling their
rations of uninviting bread in the market to buy something more
stimulating. They squat behind a sack on the ground as the old women
do in Tangier. These are the little things reminding one that Tripoli
is but a Turkish dependency.

We may complain of the Moorish customs arrangements, but from my own
experience, and from what others tell me, I should say that here is
worse still. Not only were our things carefully overhauled, but the
books had to be examined, as a result of which process Arabic works
are often confiscated, either going in or out. The confusing lack of
a monetary system equals anything even in southern Morocco, between
which and this place the poor despised "gursh" turns up as a familiar
link, not to be met with between Casablanca and Tripoli.

Perhaps the best idea of the town for those readers acquainted with
Morocco will be to call it a large edition of Casablanca. The country
round is flat, the streets are on the whole fairly regular, and wider
than the average in this part of the world. Indeed, carriages are
possible, though not throughout the town. A great many more flying
arches are thrown across the streets than we are accustomed to further
west, but upper storeys are rare. The paving is of the orthodox
Barbary style.

The Tripolitan mosques are of a very different style from those of
Morocco, the people belonging to a different sect--the Hánafis--Moors,
Algerines and Tunisians being of the more rigorous Málikis. Instead
of the open courtyard surrounded by a colonnade, here they have a
perfectly closed interior roofed with little domes, and lighted by
barred windows. The walls are adorned with inferior tiles, mostly
European, and the floors are carpeted. Round the walls hang cheap
glazed texts from the Korán, and there is a general appearance of
tawdry display which is disappointing after the chaste adornment of
the finer Moorish mosques, or even the rude simplicity of the poorer
ones. Orders may be obtained to view these buildings, of which it is
hardly necessary to say I availed myself, in one case ascending also
the minaret. These minarets are much less substantial than those
of Morocco, being octangular, with protruding stone balconies in
something of the Florentine style, reached by winding stairs. The
exteriors are whitewashed, the balconies being tiled, and the cupolas
painted green. Lamps are hung out at certain feasts. As for the voice
of the muédhdhin, it must be fairly faint, since during the week I
was there I never heard it. In Morocco this would have been an
impossibility.

The language, though differing in many minor details from that
employed in Morocco, presents no difficulty to conversation, but it
was sometimes necessary to try a second word to explain myself. The
differences are chiefly in the names of common things in daily use,
and in common adjectives. The music was identical with what we know in
the "Far West." Religious strictness is much less than in Morocco,
the use of intoxicants being fairly general in the town, the hours
of prayer less strictly kept, and the objection to portraits having
vanished. There seemed fewer women in the streets than in Morocco, but
those who did appear were for the most part less covered up; there
was nothing new in the way the native women were veiled, only one eye
being shown--I do not now take the foreign Turks into account.

In the streets the absence of the better-class natives is most
noticeable; one sees at once that Tripoli is not an aristocratic town
like Fez, Tetuan, or Rabat. The differences which exist between the
costumes observed and those of Morocco are almost entirely confined
to the upper classes. The poor and the country people would be
undistinguishable in a Moorish crowd. Among the townsfolk stockings
and European shoes are common, but there are no native slippers to
equal those of Morocco, and yellow ones are rare. I saw no natives
riding in the town; though in the country it must be more common.
The scarcity of four-footed beasts of burden is noticeable after the
crowded Moorish thoroughfares.

On the whole there is a great lack of the picturesque in the Tripoli
streets, and also of noise. The street cries are poor, being chiefly
those of vegetable hawkers, and one misses the striking figure of the
water-seller, with his tinkling bell and his cry.

The houses and shops are much like those of Morocco, so far as
exteriors go, and so are the interiors of houses occupied by
Europeans. The only native house to which I was able to gain access
was furnished in the worst possible mixture of European and native
styles to be found in many Jewish houses in Morocco, but from what I
gleaned from others this was no exception to the rule.

Unfortunately the number of grog-shops is unduly large, with all
their attendant evils. The wheeled vehicles being foreign, claim
no description, though the quaintness of the public ones is great.
Palmetto being unknown, the all-pervading halfah fibre takes its place
for baskets, ropes, etc. The public ovens are very numerous, and do
not differ greatly from the Moorish, except in being more open to the
street. The bread is much less tempting; baked in small round cakes,
varnished, made yellow with saffron, and sprinkled with gingelly seed.
Most of the beef going alive to Malta, mutton is the staple animal
food; vegetables are much the same as in Morocco.

The great drawback to Tripoli is its proximity to the desert, which,
after walking through a belt of palms on the land side of the
town--itself built on a peninsula--one may see rolling away to the
horizon. The gardens and palm groves are watered by a peculiar system,
the precious liquid being drawn up from the wells by ropes over
pulleys, in huge leather funnels of which the lower orifice is slung
on a level with the upper, thus forming a bag. The discharge is
ingeniously accomplished automatically by a second rope over a lower
pulley, the two being pulled by a bullock walking down an incline. The
lower lip being drawn over the lower pulley, releases the water when
the funnel reaches the top.

The weekly market, Sôk et-Thláthah, held on the sands, is much as it
would be in the Gharb el Jawáni, as Morocco is called in Tripoli. The
greater number of Blacks is only natural, especially when it is noted
that hard by they have a large settlement.

[Illustration: _Photograph by G. Michell, Esq._

OUTSIDE TRIPOLI.]

It would, of course, be possible to enter into a much more minute
comparison, but sufficient has been said to give a general idea of
Tripoli to those who know something of Morocco, without having entered
upon a general description of the place. From what I saw of the
country people, I have no doubt that further afield the similarity
between them and the people of central and southern Morocco, to whom
they are most akin, would even be increased.



XXXV

FOOT-PRINTS OF THE MOORS IN SPAIN

  "Every one buries his mother as he likes."

  _Moorish Proverb._


  I. FIRST IMPRESSIONS.

Much as I had been prepared by the accounts of others to observe the
prevalence of Moorish remains in the Peninsula, I was still forcibly
struck at every turn by traces of their influence upon the country,
especially in what was their chief home there, Andalucia. Though
unconnected with these traces, an important item in strengthening this
impression is the remarkable similarity between the natural features
of the two countries. The general contour of the surface is the same
on either side of the straits for a couple of hundred miles; the
same broad plains, separated by low ranges of hills, and crossed by
sluggish, winding streams, fed from distant snow-capped mountains, and
subject to sudden floods. The very colours of the earth are the same
in several regions, the soil being of that peculiar red which gives
its name to the Blád Hamrá ("Red Country") near Marrákesh. This is
especially observable in the vicinity of Jeréz, and again at Granáda,
where one feels almost in Morocco again. Even the colour of the rugged
hills and rocks is the same, but more of the soil is cultivated than
in any save the grain districts of Morocco.

The vegetation is strikingly similar, the aloe and the prickly pear,
the olive and the myrtle abounding, while from the slight glimpses
I was able to obtain of the flora, the identity seems also to be
continued there. Yet all this, though interesting to the observer, is
not to be wondered at. It is our habit of considering the two lands as
if far apart, because belonging to separate continents, which leads us
to expect a difference between countries divided only by a narrow gap
of fourteen miles or less, but one from whose formation have resulted
most important factors in the world's history.

The first striking reminders of the Moorish dominion are the names of
Arabic origin. Some of the most noteworthy are Granáda (Gharnátah),
Alcazar (El Kasar), Arjona (R'honah), Gibraltar (Gibel Tárik),
Trafalgár (Tarf el Gharb, "West Point"), Medinah (Madînah, "Town"),
Algeciras (El Jazîrah, "The Island"), Guadalquivir (Wád el Kebeer--so
pronounced in Spain--"The Great River"), Mulahacen (Mulai el Hasan),
Alhama (El Hama, "The Hot Springs"), and numberless others which might
be mentioned, including almost every name beginning with "Al."

The rendering of these old Arabic words into Spanish presents a
curious proof of the changes which the pronunciation of the Spanish
alphabet has undergone during the last four centuries. To obtain
anything like the Arabic sound it is necessary to give the letters
precisely the same value as in English, with the exception of
pronouncing "x" as "sh." Thus the word "alhaja," in everyday
use--though unrecognizable as heard from the lips of the modern
Castilian, "aláha,"--is nothing but the Arabic "el hájah," with
practically the same meaning in the plural, "things" or "goods." To
cite more is unnecessary. The genuine pronunciation is still often
met with among Jews of Morocco who have come little in contact with
Spaniards, and retain the language of their ancestors when expelled
from the Peninsula, as also in Spanish America.

The Spanish language is saturated with corrupted Arabic, at all
events so far as nouns are concerned. The names of families also
are frequently of Arabic origin, as, for instance, Alarcos
(Er-Rakkás--"the courier"), Alhama, etc., most of which are to be met
with more in the country than in the towns, while very many others,
little suspected as such, are Jewish. Although when the most
remarkable of nations was persecuted and finally expelled from Spain,
a far larger proportion nobly sacrificed their all rather than accept
the bauble religion offered them by "The Catholic Kings" (King and
Queen), they also have left their mark, and many a noble family could,
if it would, trace its descent from the Jews. Some of their synagogues
are yet standing, notably at Toledo--whence the many Toledános,--built
by Samuel Levy, who was secretary to Don Pedro the Cruel. This was in
1336, a century and a half before the Moors were even conquered, much
less expelled, and if the sons of Ishmael have left their mark
upon that sunny land, so have the sons of Israel, though in a
far different manner. Morocco has ever since been the home of the
descendants of a large proportion of the exiles.

The Spanish physiognomy, not so much of the lower as of the upper
classes, is strikingly similar to that of the mountaineers of Morocco,
and these include some of the finest specimens. The Moors of to-day
are of too mingled a descent to present any one distinct type of
countenance, and it is the same with the Spaniards. So much of the
blood of each flows in the veins of the other, that comparison is
rendered more difficult. It is a well-known fact that several of the
most ancient families in the kingdom can trace their descent from
Mohammedans. A leading instance of this is the house of Mondéjar,
lords of Granáda from the time of its conquest, as the then head of
the house, Sidi Yahia, otherwise Don Pedro de Granáda, had become a
Christian. In the Generalife at that town, still in the custody of the
same family, is a genealogical tree tracing its origin right back to
the Goths![26]

  [26: Andalucia is but a corruption of Vandalucia.]

Next to physiognomy come habits and customs, and of these there are
many which have been borrowed, or rather retained, from the Moors,
especially in the country. The ploughs, the water-mills, the
water-wheels, the irrigation, the treading out of the corn, the
weaving of coarse cloth, and many other daily sights, from their
almost complete similarity, remind one of Morocco. The bread-shops
they call "tahônas," unaware that this is the Arabic for a flour-mill;
their water-wheels they still call by their Arabic name, "naôrahs,"
and it is the same with their pack-saddles, "albardas" (bardah). The
list might be extended indefinitely, even from such common names as
these.

The salutations of the people seem literal translations of those
imported from the Orient, such as I am not aware of among other
Europeans. What, for instance, is "Dios guarda Vd." ("God keep you"),
said at parting, but the "Allah îhannak" of Morocco, or "se lo passe
bien," but "B'is-salámah" ("in peace!"). More might be cited, but to
those unacquainted with Arabic they would be of little interest.

Then, again, the singing of the country-folk in southern Spain has
little to distinguish it from that indulged in by most Orientals.
The same sing-song drawl with numerous variations is noticeable
throughout. Once a more civilized tune gets among these people for
a few months, its very composer would be unlikely to recognize its
prolongations and lazy twists.

The narrow, tortuous streets of the old towns once occupied by the
invaders take one back across the straits, and the whole country
is covered with spots which, apart from any remains of note, are
associated by record or legend with anecdotes from that page of
Spanish history. Here it is the "Sigh of the Moor," the spot from
which the last Ameer of Andalucia gazed in sorrow on the capital that
he had lost; there it is a cave (at Criptana) where the Moors found
refuge when their power in Castile was broken; elsewhere are the
chains (in Toledo) with which the devotees of Islám chained their
Christian captives.

In addition to this, the hills of a great part of Spain are dotted
with fortresses of "tabia" (rammed earth concrete) precisely such as
are occupied still by the country kaïds of Morocco; and by the wayside
are traces of the skill exercised in bringing water underground from
the hills beyond Marrákesh. How many church towers in Spain were
built for the call of the muédhdhin, and how many houses had their
foundations laid for hareems! In the south especially such are
conspicuous from their design. To crown all stand the palaces and
mosques of Córdova, Sevílle, and Granáda, not to mention minor
specimens.

When we talk of the Moors in Spain, we often forget how nearly we were
enabled to speak also of the Moors in France. Their brave attempts to
pass that natural barrier, the Pyrenees, find a suitable monument
in the perpetual independence of the wee republic of Andorra, whose
inhabitants so successfully stemmed the tide of invasion. The story of
Charles Martel, too, the "Hammer" who broke the Muslim power in that
direction, is one of the most important in the history of Europe.
What if the people who were already levying taxes in the districts of
Narbonne and Nîmes had found as easy a victory over the vineyards of
southern France, as they had over those of Spain? Where would they
have stopped? Would they ever have been driven out, or would St.
Paul's have been a second Kûtûbîya, and Westminster a Karûeeïn? God
knows!


  II. CÓRDOVA

The earliest notable monument of Moorish dominion in Andalucia
still existing is the famous mosque of Córdova, now deformed into a
cathedral. Its erection occupied the period from 786 to 796 of the
Christian era, and it is said that it stands on the site of a Gothic
church erected on the ruins of a still earlier temple dedicated
to Janus. Portions, however, have been added since that date, as
inscriptions on the walls record, and the European additions date from
1521, when, notwithstanding the protests of the people of Córdova,
the bishops obtained permission from Charles V. to rear the present
quasi-Gothic structure in its central court. The disgust and anger
which the lover of Moorish architecture--or art of any sort--feels
for the name of "_Carlos quinto_," as at point after point hideous
additions to the Moorish remains are ascribed to that conceited
monarch, are somewhat tempered for once by the record that even he
repented when he saw the result of his permission in this instance.
"You have built here," he said, "what you might have built anywhere,
and in doing so you have spoiled what was unique in the world!" In
each of the three great centres of Moorish rule, Sevílle, Granáda and
Córdova, the same hand is responsible for outrageous modern erections
in the midst of hoary monuments of eastern art, carefully inscribed
with their author's name, as "Cæsar the Emperor, Charles the Fifth."

The Córdova Mosque, antedated only by those of Old Cairo and Kaïrwán,
is a forest of marble pillars, with a fine court to the west,
surrounded by an arcade, and planted with orange trees and palms,
interspersed with fountains. Nothing in Morocco can compare with it
save the Karûeeïn mosque at Fez, built a century later, but that
building is too low, and the pillars are for the most part mere brick
erections, too short to afford the elegance which here delights. This
is grand in its simplicity; nineteen aisles of slightly tapering
columns of beautiful marbles, jasper or porphyry, about nine feet in
height, supporting long vistas of flying horse-shoe arches, of which
the stones are now coloured alternately yellow and red, though
probably intended to be all pure white. Other still more elegant
scolloped arches, exquisitely decorated by carving the plaster, spring
between alternate pillars, and from arch to arch, presumably more
modern work.

The aisles are rather over twenty feet in width, and the thirty-three
cross vaultings about half as much, while the height of the roof is
from thirty to forty feet. In all, the pillars number about 500,
though frequently stated to total 850 out of an original 1419, but it
is difficult to say where all these can be, since the sum of 33 by 19
is only 627, and a deduction has to be made for the central court,
in which stands the church or choir. Since these notes were
first published, in 1890, I have seen it disputed between modern
impressionist writers which of them first described the wonderful
scene as a palm grove, a comparison of which I had never heard when
I wrote, but the wonder to me would be if any one could attempt to
picture the scene without making use of it.

Who but a nation of nomads, accustomed to obey the call to prayer
beneath the waving branches of African and Arabian palm-groves, would
have dreamed of raising such a House of God? Unless for the purpose of
supporting a wide and solid roof, or of dividing the centre into the
form of a cross, what other ecclesiastical architects would have
conceived the idea of filling a place of worship with pillars or
columns? No one who has walked in a palm-grove can fail to be struck
by the resemblance to it of this remarkable mosque. The very tufted
heads with their out-curving leaves are here reproduced in the
interlacing arches, and with the light originally admitted by the
central court and the great doors, the present somewhat gloomy area
would have been bright and pleasant as a real grove, with its bubbling
fountains, and the soothing sound of trickling streams. I take the
present skylights to be of modern construction, as I never saw such a
device in a Moorish building.

Most of the marble columns are the remains of earlier erections,
chiefly Roman, like the bridge over the Guadalquivir close by,
restored by the builder of the mosque. Some, indeed, came from
Constantinople, and others were brought from the south of France. They
are neither uniform in height nor girth--some having been pieced at
the bottom, and others partly buried;--so also with the capitals,
certain of which are evidently from the same source as the pillars,
while the remainder are but rude imitations, mostly Corinthian in
style. The original expenses of the building were furnished by a fifth
of the booty taken from the Spaniards, with the subsidies raised in
Catalonia and Narbonne. The Moors supplied voluntary, and European
captives forced labour.

[Illustration: A SHRINE IN CORDOVA MOSQUE.]

On Fridays, when the Faithful met in thousands for the noon-day
prayer, what a sight and what a melody! The deep, rich tones of the
organ may add impressiveness to a service of worship, but there is
nothing in the world so grand, so awe-inspiring as the human voice.
When a vast body of males repeats the formulæ of praise, together, but
just slightly out of time, the effect once heard is never forgotten. I
have heard it often, and as I walk these aisles I hear it ringing in
my ears, and can picture to myself a close-packed row of white-robed
figures between each pillar, and rows from end to end between, all
standing, stooping, or forehead on earth, as they follow the motions
of the leader before them. A grand sight it is, whatever may be one's
opinion of their religion. In the manner they sit on the matted floors
of their mosques there would be room here for thirteen thousand
without using the Orange Court, and there is little doubt that on days
when the Court attended it used to be filled to its utmost.

To the south end of the cathedral the floor of two wide aisles is
raised on arches, exactly opposite the niche which marks the direction
of Mekka, and the space above is more richly decorated than any other
portion of the edifice except the niche itself. This doubtless formed
the spot reserved for the Ameer and his Court, screened off on three
sides to prevent the curiosity of the worshippers overcoming their
devotion, as is still arranged in the mosques which the Sultan of
Morocco attends in his capitals. Until a few years ago this rich work
in arabesque and tiles was hidden by plaster.

The kiblah niche is a gem of its kind. It consists of a horse-shoe
arch, the face of which is ornamented with gilded glass mosaic,
forming the entrance to a semi-circular recess beautifully adorned
with arabesques and inscriptions, the top of the dome being a large
white marble slab hollowed out in the form of a pecten shell. The wall
over the entrance is covered with texts from the Korán, forming an
elegant design, and on either side are niches of lesser merit, but
serving to set off the central one which formed the kiblah. Eleven
centuries have elapsed since the hands of the workmen left it, and
still it stands a witness of the pitch of art attained by the Berbers
in Spain.

It is said that here was deposited a copy of the Korán written by
Othmán himself, and stained with his blood, of such a size that two
men could hardly lift it. When, for a brief period, the town fell into
the hands of Alfonso VII., his soldiers used the mosque as a stable,
and tore up this valuable manuscript. When a Moorish Embassy was sent
to Madrid some years ago, the members paid a visit to this relic of
the greatness of their forefathers, and to the astonishment of the
custodians, having returned to the court-yard to perform the required
ablutions, re-entered, slippers in hand, to go through the acts
of worship as naturally as if at home. What a strange sight for a
Christian cathedral! Right in front of the niche is a plain marble
tomb with no sign but a plain bar dexter. Evidently supposing this to
be the resting-place of some saint of their own persuasion, they made
the customary number of revolutions around it. It would be interesting
to learn from their lips what their impressions were.

Of the tower which once added to the imposing appearance of the
building, it is recorded that it had no rival in height known to the
builders. It was of stone, and, like one still standing in Baghdád
from the days of Harûn el Rasheed, had two ways to the top, winding
one above the other, so that those who ascended by the one never met
those descending by the other. According to custom it was crowned
by three gilded balls, and it had fourteen windows. This was of
considerably later date than the mosque itself, but has long been a
thing of the past.

The European additions to the Córdova mosque are the choir, high
altar, etc., which by themselves would make a fine church, occupying
what must have been originally a charming court, paved with white
marble and enlivened by fountains; the tower, built over the main
entrance, opening into the Court of Oranges; and a score or two of
shrines with iron railings in front round the sides, containing
altars, images, and other fantastic baubles to awe the ignorant. An
inscription in the tower records that it was nearly destroyed by
the earth-quake of 1755, and though it is the least objectionable
addition, it is a pity that it did not fall on that or some subsequent
occasion. It was raised on the ruins of its Moorish predecessor in
1593. The chief entrance, like that of Sevílle, is a curious attempt
to blend Roman architecture with Mauresque, having been restored in
1377, but the result is not bad. Recent "restorations" are observable
in some parts of the mosque, hideous with colour, but a few of the
original beams are still visible. I am inclined to consider the
greater part of the roof modern, but could not inspect it closely
enough to be certain. Though vaulted inside, it is tiled in ridges in
the usual Moorish style, but very few green tiles are to be seen.

From the tower the view reminds one strongly of Morocco. The hills to
the north and south, with the river winding close to the town across
the fertile plain, give the scene a striking resemblance to that from
the tower of the Spanish consulate at Tetuan. All around are the still
tortuous streets of a Moorish town, though the roofs of the houses
are tiled in ridges of Moorish pattern, as those of Tangier were when
occupied by the English two hundred years ago, and as those of El
K'sar are now.

The otherwise Moorish-looking building at one's feet is marred by the
unsightly erection in the centre, and its court-yard seems to have
degenerated into a play-ground, where the neighbours saunter or fill
pitchers from the fountains.

After enduring the apparently unceasing din of the bells in those
erstwhile stations of the muédhdhin, one ceases to wonder that the
lazy Moors have such a detestation for them, and make use instead of
the stirring tones of the human voice. Rest and quiet seem impossible
in their vicinity, for their jarring is simply head-splitting. And as
if they were not excruciating enough, during "Holy Week" they conspire
against the ear-drums of their victims by revolving a sort of infernal
machine made of wood in the form of a hollow cross, with four swinging
hammers on each arm which strike against iron plates as the thing goes
round. The keeper's remark that the noise was awful was superfluous.

The history of the town of Córdova has been as chequered as that of
most Andalucian cities. Its foundation is shrouded in obscurity. The
Romans and Vandals had in turn been its masters before the Moors
wrested it from the Spaniards in the year 710 A.D. Though the
Spaniards regained possession of it in 1075, it was not for long, as
it soon fell into the hands of the invaders once more. The Spanish
victors only left a Moorish viceroy in charge, who proved too true a
Berber to serve against his countrymen, so he betrayed his trust. In
1236 it was finally recovered by the Spaniards, after five hundred and
twenty-four years of Moorish rule. Since that time the traces of that
epoch of its history have been gradually disappearing, till there only
remain the mutilated mosque, and portions of the ancient palace, or of
saint-houses (as the side-chapel of the Church of St. Miguel), and of
a few dwellings. Since the first train steamed to this ancient city,
in 1859, the railway has probably brought as many pilgrims to the
mosque as ever visited it from other motives in its greatest days.

The industry founded here by the Moors--that of tanning--which has
given its name to a trade in several countries,[27] seems to have gone
with them to Morocco, for though many of the old tan-pits still exist
by the river side, no leather of any repute is now produced here. The
Moorish water-mills are yet at work though, having been repaired and
renewed on the original model. These, as at Granáda and other places,
are horizontal wheels worked from a small spout above, directly under
the mill-stone, such as is met with in Fez and Tetuan.

  [27: Sp. _cordován_, Fr. _cordonnier_, Eng. _cordwainer_, etc.]


  III. SEVÍLLE

In the Girálda tower of Sevílle I expected to find a veritable
Moorish trophy in the best state of preservation, open to that minute
inspection which was impossible in the only complete specimen of such
a tower, the Kutûbîya, part of a mosque still in use. Imagine, then,
my regret on arriving at the foot of that venerable monument, to find
it "spick and span," as if just completed, looking new and tawdry
by the side of the cathedral which has replaced the mosque it once
adorned. Instead of the hoary antiquity to which the rich deep colour
of the stone of the sister towers in Morocco bears witness in their
weather-beaten glory, this one, built, above the first few stone
courses, of inch pan-tiles, separated by a like thickness of mortar,
has the appearance of having been newly pointed and rubbed down, while
faded frescoes on the walls testify to the barbarity of the conquerors
of the "barbarians."

The delicate tracery in hewn stone which adds so greatly to the beauty
of the Morocco and Tlemçen examples, is almost entirely lacking, while
the once tasteful horse-shoe windows are now pricked out in red and
yellow, with a hideous modern balcony of white stone before each. The
quasi-Moorish belfry is the most pardonable addition, but to crown
all is an exhibition of incongruity which has no excuse. The original
tile-faced turret of the Moors, with its gilded balls, has actually
been replaced by a structure of several storeys, the first of which
is Doric, the second Ionic, and the third Corinthian. Imagine this
crowning the comely severity of the solid Moorish structure without a
projecting ornament! But this is not all. Swinging in gaunt uneasiness
over the whole, stands a huge revolving statue, supposed to represent
Faith, holding out in one hand a shield which catches the wind, and
causes it to act as a weather-vane.

Such is the Girálda of the twentieth century, and the guide-books are
full of praises for the restorer, who doubtless deserves great credit
for his skill in repairing the tower after it had suffered severely
from lightning, but who might have done more towards restoring the
original design, at all events in the original portion. We read in
"Raôd el Kártás" that the mosque was finished and the tower commenced
in 1197, during the reign of Mulai Yakûb el Mansûr, who commenced its
sisters at Marrákesh and Rabat in the same year. One architect is
recorded to have designed all three--indeed, they have little uncommon
in their design, and have been once almost alike. Some assert that
this man was a Christian, but there is nothing in the style of
building to favour such a supposition.

The plan is that of all the mosque towers of Morocco, and the only
tower of a mosque in actual use which I have ascended in that
country--one at Mogador--was just a miniature of this. It is,
therefore, in little else than point of size that these three are
remarkable. The similarity between these and the recently fallen tower
of St. Mark's at Venice is most striking, both in design and in the
method of ascent by an inclined plane; while around the Italian lakes
are to be seen others of less size, but strongly resembling these.

All three are square, and consist of six to eight storeys in the
centre, with thick walls and vaulted roof, surrounded by an inclined
plane from base to summit, at an angle which makes it easy walking,
and horses have been ridden up. The unfinished Hassan Tower at Rabat
having at one time become a place of evil resort, the reigning ameer
ordered the way up to be destroyed, but it was found so hard that only
the first round was cut away, and the door bricked up. Each ramp of
the Girálda, if I remember rightly, has its window, but in the Hassan
many are without light, though at least every alternate one has a
window, some of these being placed at the corner to serve for two,
while here they are always in the centre. The Girálda proper contains
seven of these storeys, with thirty-five ramps. To the top of the
eighth storey, which is the first addition, dating from the sixteenth
century, now used as a belfry, the height is about 220 feet. The
present total height is a little over 300 feet.

The original turret of the Girálda, similar to that at Marrákesh, was
destroyed in 1396 by a hurricane. The additions were finished in
1598. An old view, still in existence, and dating from the
thirteenth century, shows it in its pristine glory, and there is
another--Moorish--as old as the tower itself.

After all that I had read and heard of the palace at Sevílle, I was
more disappointed than even in the case of the Girálda. Not only does
it present nothing imposing in the way of Moorish architecture, but it
has evidently been so much altered by subsequent occupants as to have
lost much of its original charm. To begin with the outside, instead
of wearing the fine crumbling appearance of the palaces of Morocco or
Granáda, this also had been all newly plastered till it looks like a
work of yesterday, and coloured a not unbecoming red. Even the main
entrance has a Gothic inscription half way up, and though its general
aspect is that of Moorish work, on a closer inspection, the lower part
at least is seen to be an imitation, as in many ways the unwritten
laws of that style have been widely departed from. The Gothic
inscription states that Don Pedro I. built it in 1364.

Inside, the general ground plan remains much as built, but connecting
doorways have been opened where Moors never put them, and with the
exception of the big raised tank in the corner, there is nothing
African about the garden. Even the plan has been in places destroyed
to obtain rooms of a more suitable width for the conveniences of
European life. The property is a portion of the Royal patrimony, and
is from time to time occupied by the reigning sovereign when visiting
Sevílle. A marble tablet in one of these rooms tells of a queen having
been born there during the last century.

Much of the ornamentation on the walls is of course original, as well
as some of the ceilings and doors, but the "restorations" effected at
various epochs have greatly altered the face of things. Gaudy colours
show up both walls and ceilings, but at the same time greatly detract
from their value, besides which there are coarse imitations of the
genuine tile-work, made in squares, with lines in relief to represent
the joints, as well as patterns painted on the plaster to fill up
gaps in the designs. Then, too, the most prominent parts of the
ornamentation have been disfigured by the interposition of Spanish
shields and coats-of-arms on tiles. The border round the top of the
dado is alternated with these all the way round some of the rooms.
To crown all, certain of the fine old doors, resembling a wooden
patchwork, have been "restored" with plaster-of-Paris. Some of the
arabesques which now figure on these walls were actually pillaged from
the Alhambra.

Many of the Arabic inscriptions have been pieced so as to render them
illegible, and some have been replaced upside down, while others
tell their own tale, for they ascribe glory and might to a Spanish
sovereign, Don Pedro the Cruel, instead of to a "Leader of the
Faithful." A reference to the history of the country tells us that
this ruler "reconstructed" the palace of the Moors, while later it was
repaired by Don Juan II., before Ferdinand and Isabella built their
oratories within its precincts, or Charles V., with his mania for
"improving" these monuments of a foreign dominion, doubled it in
size. For six centuries this work, literally of spoliation, has been
proceeding in the hands of successive owners; what other result than
that arrived at, could be hoped for?

When this is realized, the greater portion of the historic value of
this palace vanishes, and its original character as a Moorish palace
is seen to have almost disappeared. There still, however, remains the
indisputable fact, apparent from what does remain of the work of its
builders, that it was always a work of art and a trophy of the skill
of its designers, those who have interfered with it subsequently
having far from improved it.

According to Arab historians, the foundations of this palace were laid
in 1171 A.D. and it was reconstructed between 1353 and 1364. In 1762
a fire did considerable damage, which was not repaired till 1805. The
inscriptions are of no great historical interest. "Wa lá ghálib ílá
Allah"--"there is none victorious but God"--abounds here, as at
the Alhambra, and there are some very neat specimens of the Kufic
character.

Of Moorish Sevílle, apart from the Girálda and the Palace--El Kasar,
corrupted into Alcazar--the only remains of importance are the Torre
del Oro--Borj ed-Daheb--built in 1220 at the riverside, close to where
the Moors had their bridge of boats, and the towers of the churches
of SS. Marcos and Marina. Others there are, built in imitation of the
older erections, often by Moorish architects, as those of the churches
of Omnium Sanctorum, San Nicolas, Ermita de la Virgen, and Santa
Catalina. Many private houses contain arches, pillars, and other
portions of Moorish buildings which have preceded them, such as are
also to be found in almost every town of southern Spain. As late as
1565 the town had thirteen gates more or less of Moorish origin, but
these have all long since disappeared.

Sevílle was one of the first cities to surrender to the Moors after
the battle of Guadalete, A.D. 711, and remained in their hands till
taken by St. Ferdinand after fifteen months' siege in 1248, six years
after its inhabitants had thrown off their allegiance to the Emperor
of Morocco, and formed themselves into a sort of republic, and ten
years after the Moorish Kingdom of Granáda was founded. It then became
the capital of Spain till Charles V. removed the Court to Valladolid.


  IV. GRANÁDA

"O Palace Red! From distant lands I have come to see thee, believing
thee to be a garden in spring, but I have found thee as a tree in
autumn. I thought to see thee with my heart full of joy, but instead
my eyes have filled with tears."

So wrote in the visitors' album of the Alhambra, in 1876, an Arab poet
in his native tongue, and another inscription in the same volume,
written by a Moor some years before, remarks, "Peace be on thee, O
Granáda! We have seen thee and admired thee, and have said, 'Praised
be he who constructed thee, and may they who destroyed thee receive
mercy.'"

As the sentiments of members of the race of its builders, these
expressions are especially interesting; but they can hardly fail to
be shared to some extent by visitors from eastern lands, of whatever
nationality. Although the loveliest monument of Moorish art in Spain,
and a specimen of their highest architectural skill, destructions,
mutilations, and restorations have wrought so much damage to it that
it now stands, indeed, "as a tree in autumn." It was not those
who conquered the Moors on whom mercy was implored by the writer
quoted--for they, Ferdinand and Isabella, did their best to preserve
their trophy--but on such of their successors as Charles V., who
actually planted a still unfinished palace right among the buildings
of this venerable spot, adjoining the remains of the Alhambra, part of
which it has doubtless replaced.

This unartistic Austrian styled these remains "the ugly abominations
of the Moors," and forthwith proceeded to erect really ugly
structures. But the most unpardonable destroyers of all that the Moors
left beautiful were, perhaps, the French, who in 1810 entered Granáda
with hardly a blow, and under Sebastian practically desolated the
palace. They turned it into barracks and storehouses, as inscriptions
on its walls still testify--notably on the sills of the "Miranda de
la Reina." Ere they left in 1812, they even went so far as to blow
up eight of the towers, the remainder only escaping through the
negligence of an employee, and the fuses were put out by an old
Spanish soldier.

The Spaniards having thus regained possession, the commissioners
appointed to look after it "sold everything for themselves, and then,
like good patriots, reported that the invaders had left nothing."
After a brief respite in the care of an old woman, who exhibited more
sense in the matter than all the generals who had perpetrated such
outrages upon it, the Alhambra was again desecrated by a new Governor,
who used it as a store of salt fish for the galley slaves.

While the old woman--Washington Irving's "Tia Antonia"--was in
possession, that famous writer did more than any one to restore the
ancient fame of the palace by coming to stay there, and writing
his well-known account of his visit. Mr. Forde, and his friend Mr.
Addington, the British Ambassador, helped to remind people of its
existence, and saved what was left. Subsequent civil wars have,
however, afforded fresh opportunities of injury to its hoary walls,
and to-day it stands a mere wreck of what it once was.

The name by which these buildings are now known is but the adjective
by which the Arabs described it, "El Hamra," meaning "The Red,"
because of its colour outside. When occupied it was known only as
either "The Palace of Granáda," or "The Red Palace." The colour of the
earth here is precisely that of the plains of Dukála and Marrákesh,
and the buildings, being all constructed of tabia, are naturally of
that colour. In no part of Spain could one so readily imagine one's
self in Morocco; indeed, it is hard to realize that one is not there
till the new European streets are reached. In the palace grounds,
apart from the fine carriage-drive, with its seats and lamp-posts,
when out of sight of the big hotels and other modern erections, the
delusion is complete. Even in the town the running water and the
wayside fountains take one back to Fez; and the channels underneath
the pavements with their plugs at intervals are only Moorish ones
repaired. On walking the crooked streets of the part which formed the
town of four centuries ago, on every hand the names are Moorish. Here
is the Kaisarîya, restored after a fire in 1843; there is the street
of the grain fandaks, and beyond is a hammám, now a dwelling-house.

The site of the chief mosque is now the cathedral, in the chief chapel
of which are buried the conquerors of Granáda. There lie Ferdinand
and Isabella in plain iron-bound leaden coffins--far from the least
interesting sights of the place--in a spot full of memories of that
contest which they considered the event of their lives, and which was
indeed of such vital importance to the country. The inscription on
their marble tomb in the church above tells how that the Moors having
been conquered and heresy stamped out (?), that worthy couple took
their rest. The very atmosphere of the place seems charged with
reminiscences of the Moors and their successful foes, and here the
spirits of Prescott and Gayangos, the historians, seem to linger
still.

On either side of the high altar are extremely interesting painted
carvings. On one is figured the delivering up of the Alhambra.
Ferdinand, Isabella and Mendoza ride in a line, and the latter
receives the key in his gloved hand as the conquered king offers him
the ring end, followed by a long row of captives. Behind the victors
ride their knights and dames. On the other the Moors and Mooresses are
seen being christened wholesale by the monks, their dresses being in
some respects remarkably correct in detail, but with glaring defects
in others, just what might be expected from one whose acquaintance
with them was recent but brief.

Before these carvings kneel real likenesses of the royal couple
in wood, and on the massive square tomb in front they repose in
alabaster. A fellow-tomb by their side has been raised to the memory
of their immediate successors. In the sacristry are to be seen the
very robes of Cardinal Mendoza, and his missal, with the sceptre and
jewel-case of Isabella, and the sword of Ferdinand, while that of
the conquered Bû Abd Allah is on view elsewhere. Here, too, are the
standards unfurled on the day of the recapture, January 2, 1492, and
a picture full of interest, recording the adieux of "Boabdil" and
Ferdinand, who, after their bitter contest, have shaken hands and are
here falling on each other's necks.

As a model of Moorish art, the palace of Granáda, commenced in 1248,
is a monument of its latest and most refined period. The heavy and
comparatively simple styles of Córdova and Sevílle are here amplified
and refined, the result being the acme of elegance and oriental taste.
This I say from personal acquaintance with the temples of the far
East, although those present a much more gorgeous appearance, and are
much more costly erections, evincing a degree of architectural ability
and the possession of hoards of wealth beside which what the builders
of the Alhambra could boast of was insignificant; nor do I attempt to
compare these interesting relics with the equally familiar immensity
of ancient masonry, or with the magnificent work of the Middle Ages
still existing in Europe. These monuments hold a place of their own,
unique and unassailable. They are the mementoes of an era in the
history of Europe, not only of the Peninsula, and the interest which
attaches itself to them even on this score alone is very great. As
relics on a foreign soil, they have stood the storms of five centuries
under the most trying circumstances, and the simplicity of their
components lends an additional charm to the fabric. They are to
a great extent composed of what are apparently the weakest
materials--mud, gypsum, and wood; the marble and tiles are but
adornments.

From without the appearance of the palace has been well described as
that of "reddish cork models rising out of a girdle of trees." On
a closer inspection the "cork" appears like red sandstone, and one
wonders how it has stood even one good storm. There is none of that
facing of stone which gives most other styles of architecture an
appearance of durability, and whatever facing of plaster it may
once have possessed has long since disappeared. But inside all is
different. Instead of crumbling red walls, the courts and apartments
are highly ornamented with what we now call plaster-of-Paris, but
which the Moors have long prepared by roasting the gypsum in rude
kilns, calling it "gibs."

A full description of each room or court-yard would better become a
guide-book, and to those who have the opportunity of visiting the
spot, I would recommend Ford's incomparable "Handbook to Spain,"
published by Murray, the older the edition the better. To those who
can read Spanish, the "Estudio descriptivo de los Monumentos arabes,"
by the late Sr. Contreras (Government restorer of the Moorish remains
in Spain), to be obtained in Granáda, is well worth reading.
Such information as a visitor would need to correct the mistaken
impressions of these and other writers ignorant of Moorish usages as
to the original purpose of the various apartments, I have embodied in
Macmillan's "Guide to the Western Mediterranean."

Certain points, however, either for their architectural merit or
historic interest, cannot be passed over. Such is the Court of the
Lions, of part of which a model disfigured by garish painting may be
seen at the Crystal Palace. In some points it is resembled by the
chief court of the mosque of the Karûeeïn at Fez. In the centre is
that strange departure from the injunctions of the Korán which has
given its name to the spot, the alabaster fountain resting on the
loins of twelve beasts, called, by courtesy, "lions." They remind one
rather of cats. "Their faces barbecued, and their manes cut like the
scales of a griffin, and the legs like bed-posts; a water-pipe stuck
in their mouths does not add to their dignity." In the inscription
round the basin above, among flowery phrases belauding the fountain,
and suggesting that the work is so fine that it is difficult to
distinguish the water from the alabaster, the spectator is comforted
with the assurance that they cannot bite!

The court is surrounded by the usual tiled verandah, supported by one
hundred and twenty-two light and elegant white marble pillars, the
arches between which show some eleven different forms. At each end is
a portico jutting out from the verandahs, and four cupolas add to the
appearance of the roofs. The length of the court is twice its width,
which is sixty feet, and on each side lies a beautiful decorated
apartment with the unusual additions of jets of water from the floor
in the centre of each, as also before each of the three doors apiece
of the long narrow Moorish rooms, and under the two porticoes. The
overflows, instead of being hidden pipes, are channels in the marble
pavement, for the Moors were too great lovers of rippling water to
lose the opportunity as we cold-blooded northerners would.

To fully realize the delights of such a place one must imagine it
carpeted with the products of Rabat, surrounded by soft mattresses
piled with cushions, and with its walls hung with a dado of
dark-coloured felt cloths of various colours, interworked to represent
pillars and arches such as surround the gallery, and showing up the
beautiful white of the marble by contrast. Thus furnished--in true
Moorish style--the place should be visited on a hot summer's day,
after a wearisome toil up the hill from the town. Then, lolling among
the cushions, and listening to the splashing water, if strong sympathy
is not felt with the builders of the palace, who thought it a
paradise, the visitor ought never to have left his armchair by the
fire-side at home.

If, instead of wasting money on re-plastering the walls until they
look ready for papering, and then scratching geometrical designs upon
them in a style no Moor ever dreamed of, the Spanish Government would
entrust a Moor of taste to decorate it in his own native style,
without the modern European additions, they would do far better and
spend less. One step further, and the introduction of Moorish guides
and caretakers who spoke Spanish--easy to obtain--would add fifty
per cent. to the interest of the place. Then fancy the Christian and
Muslim knights meeting in single combat on the plains beneath those
walls. People once more the knolls and pastures with the turban and
the helm, fill in the colours of robe and plume; oh, what a picture it
would make!

Doubtless similar apartments for the hareem exist in the recesses of
the palaces of Fez, Mequinez, Marrákesh and Rabat. Some very fine work
is to be seen in the comparatively public parts, in many respects
equalling this, and certainly better than that of the palace of
Sevílle. Various alterations and "restorations" have been effected
from time to time in this as in other parts of the palace, notably in
the fountain, the top part of which is modern. It is probable that
originally there was only one basin, resting immediately on the
"lions" below. Its date is given as 1477 A.D.

The room known for disputed reasons as the Hall of the Two Sisters was
originally a bedroom. The entrance is one of the most elaborate in the
palace, and its wooden ceiling, pieced to resemble stalactites, is a
charming piece of work, as also are those of the other important rooms
of the palace.

Another apartment opening out of the Court of Lions, known as the Hall
of Justice--most likely in error--contains one of the most curious
remains in the palace, another departure from the precepts of the
religion professed by its builders. This is no less than a series of
pictures painted on skins sewn together, glued and fastened to the
wooden dome with tinned tacks, and covered with a fine coating of
gypsum, the gilt parts being in relief. Though the date of their
execution must have been in the fourteenth century, the colours are
still clear and fresh. The picture in the centre of the three domes is
supposed by some to represent ten Moorish kings of Granáda, though it
is more likely meant for ten wise men in council. On the other two
ceilings are pictures, one of a lady holding a chained lion, on the
point of being delivered from a man in skins by a European, who is
afterwards slain by a mounted Moor. The other is of a boar-hunt and
people drinking at a fountain, with a man up a tree in a dress which
looks remarkably like that of the eighteenth century in England, wig
and all. This work must have been that of some Christian renegade,
though considerable discussion has taken place over the authorship.
It is most likely that the lions are of similar origin, sculptured by
some one who had but a remote idea of the king of the forest.

After the group of apartments surrounding the Court of the Lions, the
most valuable specimen of Moorish architecture is that known as the
Hall of the Ambassadors, probably once devoted to official interviews,
as its name denotes. This is the largest room in the palace, occupying
the upper floor in one of the massive towers which defended the
citadel, overlooking the Vega and the remains of the camp-town
of Santa Fé, built during the siege by the "Catholic Kings." The
thickness of its walls is therefore immense, and the windows look like
little tunnels; under it are dungeons. The hall is thirty-seven feet
square, and no less than seventy-five feet high in the centre of the
roof, which is not the original one. Some of the finest stucco wall
decoration in the place is to be seen here, with elegant Arabic
inscriptions, in the ancient style of ornamental writing known as
Kufic, most of the instances of the latter meaning, "O God, to Thee be
endless praise, and thanks ascending." Over the windows are lines in
cursive Arabic, ascribing victory and glory to the "leader of the
resigned, our lord the father of the pilgrims" (Yûsef I.), with a
prayer for his welfare, while everywhere is to be seen here, as in
other parts, the motto, "and there is none victorious but God."

Between the two blocks already described lie the baths, the
undressing-room of which has been very creditably restored by the late
Sr. Contreras, and looks splendid. It is, in fact, a covered patio
with the gallery of the next floor running round, and as no cloth
hangings or carpets could be used here, the walls and floor are fully
decorated with stucco and tiles. The inner rooms are now in fair
condition, and are fitted with marble, though the boiler and pipes
were sold long ago by a former "keeper" of the palace. The general
arrangement is just the same as that of the baths in Morocco.

One room of the palace was fitted up by Ferdinand and Isabella as a
chapel, the gilt ornaments of which look very gaudy by the side of
the original Moorish work. Opening out of this is a little gem of a
mosque, doubtless intended for the royal devotions alone, as it is too
small for a company.

Surrounding the palace proper are several other buildings forming part
of the Alhambra, which must not be overlooked. Among them are the two
towers of the Princesses and the Captives, both of which have been
ably repaired. In the latter are to be seen tiles of a peculiar
rosy tint, not met with elsewhere. In the Dar Aïshah ("Gabinete de
Lindaraxa"--"x" pronounced as "sh") are excellent specimens of
those with a metallic hue, resembling the colours on the surface of
tar-water. Ford points out that it was only in these tiles that the
Moors employed any but the primary colours, with gold for yellow. This
is evident, and holds good to the present day. Both these towers give
a perfect idea of a Moorish house of the better class in miniature.
Outside the walls are of the rough red of the mud concrete, while
inside they are nearly all white, and beautifully decorated. The
thickness of the walls keeps them delightfully cool, and the crooked
passages render the courts in the centre quite private.

Of the other towers and gates, the only notable one is that of
Justice, a genuine Moorish erection with a turning under it to stay
the onrush of an enemy, and render it easier of defence. The hand
carved on the outer arch and the key on the inner one have given rise
to many explanations, but their only significance was probably that
this gate was the key of the castle, while the hand was to protect
the key from the effects of the evil eye. This superstition is still
popular, and its practice is to be seen to-day on thousands of doors
in Morocco, in rudely painted hands on the doorposts.

The Watch Tower (de la Vela) is chiefly noteworthy as one of the
points from which the Spanish flag was unfurled on the memorable day
of the entry into Granáda. The anniversary of that date, January 2nd,
is a high time for the young ladies, who flock here to toll the bell
in the hopes of being provided with a husband during the new-begun
year.

At a short distance from the Alhambra itself is a group known as the
Torres Bermejas (Vermilion Towers), probably the most ancient of the
Moorish reign, if part did not exist before their settlement here, but
they present no remarkable architectural features.

Across a little valley is the Generalife, a charming summer residence
built about 1320, styled by its builder the "Paradise of the
Wise,"--Jinah el Arîf--which the Spaniards have corrupted to its
present designation, pronouncing it Kheneraliffy. Truly this is a spot
after the Moor's own heart: a luxuriant garden with plenty of dark
greens against white walls and pale-blue trellis-work, harmonious
at every turn with the rippling and splashing of nature's choicest
liquid. Of architectural beauty the buildings in this garden have but
little, yet as specimens of Moorish style--though they have suffered
with the rest--they form a complement to the Alhambra. That is the
typical fortress-palace, the abode of a martial Court; this is the
pleasant resting-place, the cool retreat for love and luxury. Nature
is here predominant, and Art has but a secondary place, for once
retaining her true position as great Nature's handmaid. Light arched
porticoes and rooms behind serve but as shelter from the noonday
glare, while roomy turrets treat the occupier to delightful views.
Superfluous ornament within is not allowed to interfere with the
contemplation of beauty without.

Between the lower and upper terrace is a remarkable arrangement of
steps, a Moorish ideal, for at equal distances from top to bottom,
between each flight, are fountains playing in the centre, round which
one must walk, while a stream runs down the top of each side wall in
a channel made of tiles. What a pleasant sight and sound to those
to whom stair climbing in a broiling sun is too much exercise! The
cypresses in the garden are very fine, but they give none too much
shade. The present owner's agent has Bû Abd Allah's sword on view at
his house in the town, and this is a gem worth asking to see when a
ticket is obtained for the Generalife. It is of a totally different
pattern and style of ornament from the modern Moorish weapons, being
inlaid in a very clever and tasteful manner.

To the antiquary the most interesting part of Granáda is the Albaycin,
the quarter lying highest up the valley of the Darro, originally
peopled by refugees from the town of Baeza--away to the north, beyond
Jaen--the Baïseeïn. As the last stronghold of Moorish rule in the
Peninsula, when one by one the other cities, once its rivals, fell
into the hands of the Christians again, Granáda became a centre
of refuge from all parts, and to this owed much of its ultimate
importance.

Unfortunately no attempt has been made to preserve the many relics of
that time which still exist in this quarter, probably the worst in the
town. Many owners of property in the neighbourhood can still display
the original Arabic title deeds, their estates having been purchased
by Spanish grandees from the expelled Moors, or later from the
expelled Jews. A morning's tour will reveal much of interest in back
alleys and ruined courts. One visitor alone is hardly safe among the
wild half-gipsy lot who dwell there now, but a few copper coins are
all the keys needed to gain admission to some fine old patios with
marble columns, crumbling fandaks, and ruined baths. By the roadside
may be seen the identical style of water-mill still used in Morocco,
and the presence of the Spaniard seems a dream.


  V. HITHER AND THITHER

Having now made pilgrimages to the more famous homes of the Moor in
Europe, let us in fancy take an aërial flight over sunny Spain, and
glance here and there at the scattered traces of Muslim rule in less
noted quarters. Everything we cannot hope to spy, but we may still
surprise ourselves and others by the number of our finds. Even this
task accomplished, a volume on the subject might well be written by a
second Borrow or a Ford, whose residence among the modern Moors had
sharpened his scent for relics of that ilk.[28] Let not the reader
think that with these wayside jottings all has been disclosed, for the
Moor yet lives in Spain, and there is far more truth in the saying
that "Barbary begins at the Pyrenees" than is generally imagined.

  [28: To the latter I am indebted for particulars regarding the many
       places mentioned in this final survey which it was impossible
       for me to visit.]

We will start from Tarifa, perhaps the most ancient town of Andalucia.
The Moors named this ancient Punic city after T'arîf ibn Málek ("The
Wise, son of King"), a Berber chief. They beleaguered it about 1292,
and it is still enclosed by Moorish walls. The citadel, a genuine
Moorish castle, lies just within these walls, and was not so long
ago the abode of galley-slaves. Close to Sevílle, where the river
Guadalquivir branches off, it forms two islands--Islas Mayor y Menor.
The former was the Kaptal of the Moors. At Coria the river winds under
the Moorish "Castle of the Cleft" (El Faraj), now called St. Juan
de Alfarache, and passes near the Torre del Oro, a monument of
the invader already referred to. Old Xeres, of sherry fame, is a
straggling, ill-built, ill-drained Moorish city. It was taken from the
Moors in 1264. Part of the original walls and gates remain in the
old town. The Moorish citadel is well preserved, and offers a good
specimen of those turreted and walled palatial fortresses.

But it is not till we reach Sevílle that we come to a museum of
Moorish antiquities. Here we see Arabesque ceilings, marqueterie
woodwork, stucco panelling, and the elegant horse-shoe arches. There
are beautiful specimens in the citadel, in Calle Pajaritos No. 15, in
the Casa Prieto and elsewhere. The Moors possessed the city for five
hundred years, during which time they entirely rebuilt it, using the
Roman buildings as materials. Many Moorish houses still exist, the
windows of which are barricaded with iron gratings. On each side of
the patios, or courts, are corridors supported by marble pillars,
whilst a fountain plays in the centre. These houses are rich
in Moorish porcelain tilings, called azulejos--from the Arabic
ez-zulaïj--but the best of these are in the patio of the citadel.
Carmona is not far off, with its oriental walls and castle, famous as
ever for its grateful springs. The tower of San Pedro transports us
again to Tangier, as do the massy walls and arched gate.

Some eight leagues on the way to Badajos from Sevílle rises a Moorish
tower, giving to the adjoining village the name of Castillo de las
Guardias. Five leagues beyond are the mines of the "Inky River"--Rio
Tinto--a name sufficiently expressive and appropriate, for it issues
from the mountain-side impregnated with copper, and is consequently
corrosive. The Moors seem to have followed the Romans in their
workings on the north side of the hill. Further on are more mines,
still proclaiming the use the Moors made of them by their present name
Almádin--"the Mine"--a name which has almost become Spanish; it is
still so generally used. Five leagues from Rio Tinto, at Aracena, is
another Moorish castle, commanding a fine panorama, and the belfry of
the church hard by is Arabesque.

Many more of these ruined kasbahs are to be seen upon the heights
of Andalucia, and even much further north; but the majority must go
unmentioned. One, in an equally fine position, is to be seen eleven
leagues along the road from Sevílle to Badajos, above Santa Olalla--a
name essentially Moorish, denoting the resting-place of some female
Mohammedan saint, whose name has been lost sight of. (Lallah, or
"Lady," is the term always prefixed to the names of canonized ladies
in Morocco.) Three leagues from Sevílle on the Granáda road, at
Gandul, lies another of these castles, picturesquely situated amid
palms and orange groves; four leagues beyond, the name Arahal
(er-rahálah--"the day's journey") reminds the Arabicist that it is
time to encamp; a dozen leagues further on the name of Roda recalls
its origin, raôdah, "the cemetery." Riding into Jaen on the top of the
diligence from Granáda, I was struck with the familiar appearance of
two brown tabia fortresses above the town, giving the hillside the
appearance of one of the lower slopes of the Atlas. This was a place
after the Moors' own heart, for abundant springs gush everywhere
from the rocks. In their days it was for a time the capital of an
independent kingdom.

At Ronda, a town originally built by the Moors--for Old Ronda is two
leagues away to the north,--their once extensive remains have been all
but destroyed. Its tortuous streets and small houses, however, testify
as to its origin, and its Moorish castle still appears to guard the
narrow ascent by which alone it can be reached from the land, for it
crowns a river-girt rock. Down below, this river, the Guadalvin, still
turns the same rude class of corn-mills that we have seen at Fez and
Granáda. Other remnants are another Moorish tower in the Calle del
Puente Viejo, and the "House of the Moorish King" in Calle San Pedro,
dating from about 1042. Descending to the river's edge by a flight
of stairs cut in the solid rock, there is a grotto dug by Christian
slaves three centuries later. Some five leagues on the road thence to
Granáda are the remains of the ancient Teba, at the siege of which in
1328, when it was taken from the Moors, Lord James Douglas fought in
obedience to the dying wish of the Bruce his master, whose heart he
wore in a silver case hung from his neck, throwing it among the enemy
as he rushed in and fell.

On the way from Ronda to Gibraltar are a number of villages whose Arab
names are startling even in this land of Ishmaelitish memories. Among
these are Atajate, Gaucin, Benahali, Benarraba, Benadalid, Benalaurin.
At Gaucin an excellent view of Gibraltar and Jibel Mûsa is obtainable
from its Moorish citadel. This brings us to old "Gib," whose relics of
Tárîk and his successors are much better known to travellers than most
of those minor remains. An inscription over the gate of the castle,
now a prison, tells of its erection over eleven centuries ago, for
this was naturally one of the early captures of the invaders. Yet the
mud-concrete walls stand firm and sound, though scarred by many a
shot. Algeciras--El Jazîrah--"the Island" has passed through too many
vicissitudes to have much more than the name left.

Malaga, though seldom heard of in connection with the history of
Mohammedan rule in the Peninsula, played a considerable part in that
drama. It and Cadiz date far back to the time of the Carthaginians,
so that, after all, their origin is African. If its name is not of an
earlier origin, it may be from Málekah, "the Queen." Every year on
August 18, at 3 p.m. the great bell of the cathedral is struck thrice,
for that is the anniversary of its recovery from the Aliens in 1487.
The flag of Ferdinand then hoisted is (or was recently) still to be
seen, together with a Moorish one, probably that of the vanquished
city, over the tomb of the Conde de Buena Vista in the convent of La
Victoria. Though odd bits of Moorish architecture may still be met
with in places, the only remains of note are the castle, built in
1279, with its fine horse-shoe gate--sadly disfigured by modern
barbarism--and what was the dockyard of the Moors, now left high and
dry by the receding sea.

The name Alhama, met with in several parts of Spain, merely denotes
"the hot," alluding to springs of that character which are in most
instances still active. This is the case at the Alhama between Malaga
and Granáda, where the baths are worth a visit. The Moorish bath is
called the strong one, being nearer the spring.

At Antequera the castle is Moorish, though built on Roman foundations,
and it is only of recent years that the mosque has disappeared under
the "protection" of an impecunious governor.

Leaving the much-sung Andalûs, the first name striking us in Murcia is
that of Guadíx (pronounced Wadish), a corruption of Wád Aïsh, "River
of Life." Its Moorish castle still stands. Some ten leagues further
on, at Cullar de Baza is another Moorish ruin, and the next of note, a
fine specimen, is fifteen leagues away at Lorca, whose streets are in
the genuine intricate style. The city of Murcia, though founded by the
Moors, contains little calling them to remembrance. In the post-office
and prison, however, and in the public granary, mementoes are to be
found.

Orihuela, on the road from Carthagena to Alicante, still looks
oriental with its palm-trees, square towers and domes, and Elche is
just another such, with flat roofs and the orthodox kasbah, now a
prison. The enormous number of palms which surround the town recall
Marrákesh, but they are sadly neglected. Monte Alegre is a small place
with a ruined Moorish castle, about fifteen leagues from Elche on the
road to Madrid. Between Alicante and Xativa is the Moorish castle of
Tibi, close to a large reservoir, and there is a square Moorish tower
at Concentaina. Xativa has a hermitage, San Felin, adorned with
horse-shoe arches, having a Moorish cistern hard by.

Valencia the Moors considered a Paradise, and their skill in
irrigation has been retained, so that of the Guadalaviar (Wad el
Abîad--"River of the Whites") the fullest use is made in agriculture,
and the familiar water-wheels and conduits go by the corruptions of
their Arabic names, naôrahs and sakkáïahs. The city itself is very
Moorish in appearance, with its narrow tortuous streets and gloomy
buildings, but I know of no remarkable legacy of the Moors there.
There are the remains of a Moorish aqueduct at Chestalgár--a very
Arabic sounding name, of which the last two syllables are corrupted
from El Ghárb ("the West") as in the case of Trafalgár (Terf el
Ghárb--"West Point"). All this district was inhabited by the Moriscos
or Christianized Moors as late as the beginning of the seventeenth
century, and there must their descendants live still, although no
longer distinguished from true sons of the soil.

Whatever may remain of the ancient Saguntum, what is visible is mostly
Moorish, as, for instance, cisterns on the site of a Roman temple. Not
far from Valencia is Burjasot, where are yet to be seen specimens of
matmôrahs or underground granaries. Morella is a scrambling town with
Moorish walls and towers, coroneted by a castle.

Entering Catalonia, Tortosa, at the mouth of the Ebro, is reached,
once a stronghold of the Moors, and a nest of pirates till recovered
by Templars, Pisans and Genoese together. It was only withheld from
the Moors next year by the valour of the women besieged. The tower of
the cathedral still bears the title of Almudena, a reminder of the
muédhdhin who once summoned Muslims to prayer from its summit.
Here, too, are sundry remnants of Moorish masonry, and some ancient
matmôrahs.

Tarragona and Barcelona, if containing no Moorish ruins of note, have
all, in common with other neighbouring places, retained the Arabic
name Rambla (rimlah, "sand") for the quondam sandy river beds which of
late years have been transformed into fashionable promenades. In the
cathedral of Tarragona an elegant Moorish arch is noticeable, with a
Kufic inscription giving the date as 960 A.D. For four centuries after
this city was destroyed by Tarîf it remained unoccupied, so that
much cannot be expected to call to mind his dynasty. Of a bridge at
Martorell over the Llobregat, Ford says it is "attributed to Hannibal
by the learned, and to the devil, as usual, by the vulgar. The pointed
centre arch, which is very steep and narrow to pass, is 133 feet wide
in the span, and is unquestionably a work of the Moors." Not far away
is a place whose name, Mequineza, is strongly suggestive of Moorish
origin, but I know nothing further about it.

Now let us retrace our flight, and wing our way once more to the north
of Sevílle, to the inland province of Estremadura. Here we start from
Mérida, where the Roman-Moorish "alcazar" towers proudly yet. The
Moors repaired the old Roman bridge over the Guadiana, and the gateway
near the river has a marble tablet with an Arabic inscription. The
Muslims observed towards the people of this place good faith such as
was never shown to them in return, inasmuch as they allowed them to
retain their temples, creed, and bishops. They built the citadel in
835, and the city dates its decline from the time that Alonzo el Sabio
took it from them in 1229. Zámora is another ancient place. It was
taken from the Moors in 939, when 40,000 of them are said to have been
killed. The Moorish designs in the remarkable circular arches of La
Magdalena are worthy of note.

In Toledo the church of Santo Tomé has a brick tower of Moorish
character; near it is the Moorish bridge of San Martin, and in the
neighbourhood, by a stream leading to the Tagus, Moorish mills and the
ruins of a villa with Moorish arches, now a farm hovel, may still
be seen. The ceiling of the chapel of the church of San Juan de la
Penetencia is in the Moorish style, much dilapidated (1511 A.D.). The
Toledan Moors were first-rate hydraulists. One of their kings had a
lake in his palace, and in the middle a kiosk, whence water descended
on each side, thus enclosing him in the coolest of summer-houses.
It was in Toledo that Ez-Zarkal made water-clocks for astronomical
calculations, but now this city obtains its water only by the
primitive machinery of donkeys, which are driven up and down by
water-carriers as in Barbary itself. The citadel was once the kasbah
of the Moors.

The Cathedral of Toledo is one of the most remarkable in Spain. The
arches of the transept are semi-Moorish, Xamete, who wrought it
in Arcos stone in 1546-50, having been a Moor. The very ancient
manufactory of arms for which Toledo has a world-wide fame dates from
the time of the Goths; into this the Moors introduced their Damascene
system of ornamenting and tempering, and as early as 852 this
identical "fabrica" was at work under Abd er-Rahman ibn El Hákim. The
Moors treasured and named their swords like children. These were the
weapons which Othello, the Moor, "kept in his chamber."

[Illustration: _Cavilla, Photo., Tangier._

THE MARKET-PLACE, TETUAN.]

At Alcazar de San Juan, in La Mancha, I found a few remnants of the
Moorish town, as in the church tower, but the name is now almost the
only Moorish thing about it. Hence we pass to Alarcon, a truly Moorish
city, built like a miniature Toledo, on a craggy peninsula hemmed in
by the river Jucar. The land approach is still guarded by Moorish
towers and citadel.

In Zocodovar--which takes its name from the word sôk,
"market-place"--we find a very Moorish "plaza," with its irregular
windows and balconies, and in San Eugenio are some remains of an
old mosque with Kufic inscriptions, as well as an arch and tomb of
elaborate design. In the Calle de las Tornarías there used to be a
dilapidated Moorish house with one still handsome room, but it is
doubtful whether this now survives the wreck of time. It was called El
Taller del Moro, because Ambron, the Moorish governor of Huesca, is
said to have invited four hundred of the refractory chiefs of Toledo
to dine here, and to have cut off the head of each as he arrived.
There is a curious mosque in the Calle del Cristo de la Luz, the roof
is supported by four low square pillars, each having a different
capital, from which spring double arches like those at Córdova. The
ceiling is divided into nine compartments with domes.

Madrid has passed through such various fortunes, and has been so much
re-built, that it now contains few traces of the Moors. The only relic
which I saw in 1890 was a large piece of tabia, forming a substantial
wall near to the new cathedral, which might have belonged to the city
wall or only to a fortress. The Museum of the Capital contains a good
collection of Moorish coins. In the Armoury are Moorish guns, swords,
saddles, and leather shields, the last named made of two hides
cemented with a mortar composed of herbs and camel-hair.

In Old Castile the footprints grow rare and faint, although the
name of Valladolid--Blád Walîd, "Town of Walîd," a Moorish
ameer--sufficiently proclaims its origin, but I am not aware of any
Moorish remains there. In Burgos one old gate near the triumphal arch,
erected by Philip II., still retains its Moorish opening, and on the
opposite hill stands the castle in which was celebrated the bridal
of our Edward I. with Eleanor of Castile. It was then a true Moorish
kasar, but part has since been destroyed by fire. On the road from
Burgos to Vittoria we pass between the mountains of Oca and the
Pyrenean spurs, in which narrow defile the old Spaniards defied the
advancing Moors. Moorish caverns or cisterns are still to be seen.

Turning southward again, we come to Medinaceli, or "the city of
Selim," once the strong frontier hold of a Moor of that name, the
scene of many conflicts among the Moors themselves, and against
the Christians. Here, on August 7, 1002, died the celebrated El
Mansûr--"The Victorious"--the "Cid" (Seyyid) of the Moors, and the
most terrible enemy of the Christians. He was born in 938 near
Algeciras, and by a series of intrigues, treacheries and murders, rose
in importance till he became in reality master of the puppet ameer. He
proclaimed a holy crusade against the Christians each year, and was
buried in the dust of fifty campaigns, for after every battle he used
to shake off the soil from his garments into a chest which he carried
about with him for that purpose.

In Aragon the situation of Daroca, in the fertile basin of the Jiloca,
is very picturesque. The little town lies in a hill-girt valley around
which rise eminences defended by Moorish walls and towers, which,
following the irregular declivities, command charming views from
above. The palace of the Mendozas at Guadalajara, in the same
district, boasts of an elegant row of Moorish windows, though these
appear to have been constructed after Guadalajara was reconquered
from the Moors by the Spaniards. Near this place is a Moorish brick
building, turned into a battery by the invaders, and afterwards used
as a prison. Before leaving this town it will be worth while to visit
San Miguel, once a mosque, with its colonnaded entrance, horse-shoe
arches, machiolations, and herring-bone patterns under the roof.

Calatayud, the second town of Aragon, is of Moorish origin. Its
Moorish name means the "Castle of Ayûb"--or Job--the nephew of Mûsa,
who used the ancient Bilbilis as a quarry whence to obtain stones for
its construction. The Dominican convent of Calatayud has a glorious
patio with three galleries rising one above another, and a portion of
the exterior is enriched with pseudo-Moorish work like the prisons at
Guadalajara.

Saragossa gave me more the impression of Moorish origin than any
town I saw in Spain, except Sevílle and Córdova. The streets of the
original settlement are just those of Mequinez on a small scale. The
only object of genuinely Moorish origin that I could find, however,
was the Aljaferia, once a palace-citadel, now a barrack, so named
after Jáfer, a Muslim king of this province. Since his times Ferdinand
and Isabella used it, and then handed it over to the Inquisition. Some
of the rooms still retain Moorish decorations, but most of the latter
are of the period of their conquerors. On one ceiling is pointed out
the first gold brought from the New World. The only genuine Moorish
remnant is the private mosque, with beautiful inscriptions. The
building has been incorporated in a huge fort-like modern brick
structure, which would lead no one to seek inside for Arab traces.

Passing from Saragossa northwards, we arrive at Jaca, the railway
terminus, which to this day quarters on her shield the heads of four
sheïkhs who were left behind when their fellow-countrymen fled from
the city in 795, after a desperate battle in which the Spanish women
fought like men. The site of the battle, called Las Tiendas, is still
visited on the first Friday in May, when the daughters of these
Amazons go gloriously "a-shopping." The municipal charter of Jaca
dates from the Moorish expulsion, and is reckoned among the earliest
in Spain.

Gerona, almost within sight of France, played an important part, too,
in those days, siding alternately with that country and with Spain
when in the possession of the Moors. The Ameer Sulaïmán, in 759 A.D.,
entered into an alliance with Pepin, and in 785 Charlemagne took the
town, which the Moors re-captured ten years later. It became their
headquarters for raids upon Narbonne and Nîsmes. Castellon de
Ampurias, once on the coast, which has receded, was strong enough to
resist the Moors for a time, but after they had dismantled it, the
Normans appeared and finally destroyed it. Now it is but a hamlet.

We are now in the extreme north-west of the Peninsula, where the
relics we seek grow scanty, and, in consequence, of more importance.
Instead of buildings in stone or concrete, we find here a monument of
independence, perhaps more interesting in its way than any other. When
the Pyrenees and their hardy mountaineers checked the onward rush of
Islám, several independent states arose, recognized by both France and
Spain on account of their bravery in opposing a common foe. The only
one of these retaining a semi-independence is the republic of
Andorra, a name corrupted from the Arabic el (al) darra, "a plenteous
rainfall," showing how the Moors appreciated this feature of so well
wooded and hilly a district after the arid plains of the south. The
old Moorish castle of the chief town bears the name of Carol, derived
from that of Charlemagne, who granted it the privileges it still
enjoys, so that it is a memento of the meeting of Arab and Teuton.
At Planes is a church said to be of Moorish origin, and earlier than
Charlemagne; it certainly dates from no later than the tenth century.
These "foot-prints" show that the Moor got a fairly good footing here,
before he was driven back, and his progress stayed.



APPENDIX


"MOROCCO NEWS"

  "A lie is not worth the lying, nor is truth worth repeating."

  _Moorish Proverb._


So unanimous have been the uninformed reiteration of the Press in
contravention of much that has been stated in the foregoing pages,
that it will not be out of place to quote a few extracts from men on
the spot who do know the facts. The first three are from leaders in
_Al-moghreb Al-aksa_, the present English paper in Morocco, which
accurately voices the opinion of the British Colony in that
country, opinions shared by most disinterested residents of other
nationalities.

    "However we look upon the situation as it stands to-day, and
    wherever our sympathies may lie, it is impossible to over-estimate
    the danger attending the unfortunate Anglo-French Agreement. We
    have always--as our readers will acknowledge--advocated the simple
    doctrine of the _status quo_, and in this have received the
    support of every disinterested person in and out of Morocco. Our
    policy has at times thrown us into antagonism with the exponents
    of the French colonial schemes; but we at least have the
    satisfaction of knowing that, however we may have fallen short of
    our duty, it has been one which we have persevered in, prompted by
    earnest conviction, by love of the country and its people, and by
    admiration for its Sultan. The simplicity of our aim has helped us
    in our uphill fight, and will, no doubt, continue to do so in the
    future.

    "Needless to say we look forward with no little anxiety to the
    result of the conference. This needs no explanation. In the
    discussion of such a question it is absolutely imperative that the
    individual members of the conference should be selected from those
    who know their Morocco, and who are acquainted with the causes
    which led up to the present dead-lock. Only the keenest, shrewdest
    men should be selected, for it must be borne in mind that France
    will spare no pains to uphold the recent Anglo-French Convention.
    Her most astute diplomats will figure largely, for her dignity is
    at stake. Indeed, her very position, diplomatic and political, is
    in effect challenged. Taking this into consideration, it is more
    than necessary to see that the representatives of Great Britain
    are not chosen for their family influence or for the perfection
    they may have attained in the French language.

    "The task is hard and perilous. England is waking to the fact that
    she has blundered, and, as usual, she is unwilling to admit the
    fact. Circumstances, however, will sooner or later force her to
    modify her terms. Germany, Spain, the United States, and other
    nations, to say nothing of Morocco, must point out the absurdity
    of the situation. If the agreement is inoperative with regard to
    Morocco, it may as well be openly admitted to be useless. This is
    not all. Should English statesmanship direct that this injudicious
    arrangement be adhered to, France and Great Britain will stand as
    self-confessed violators of the Convention of Madrid.

    "Fortunately the Moorish cause has some excellent champions. For
    many years she has been dumb. Now, however, that she is assailed,
    we find a small but influential band of writers coming forward
    with their pens to do battle for her.

    "This is the great consolation we have. Moorish interests will no
    longer be the sport of European political expediency. These men
    will, no doubt, protest against the land-grabbing propensities of
    the French colonial party, and they may find time to point out
    that after a thousand years of not ignoble independence, the
    Moorish race deserves a little more consideration than has
    hitherto been granted.

    "Even those people who are responsible for this deplorable state
    of affairs must now stand more or less amazed at their handiwork.
    No diplomatic subterfuge can efface the humiliation that underlies
    the situation; and no one can possibly exaggerate the danger that
    lies ahead of us."

           *       *       *       *       *

    "Two centuries ago Great Britain abandoned Tangier, and it is
    only the present generation that has realized the huge mistake. A
    maudlin sentimentalism, to avoid displeasing the French King,
    prevented us from handing the city back to Portugal; an act which
    would have been wise, either strategically, commercially, or with
    a view to the suppression of the famous Salee rovers, who were
    for long a scourge to ships entering the Straits. A Commission of
    experts was appointed to consider the question of the abandonment,
    one of them being Mr. Pepys....

    "Whatever the opinion may have been of the experts consulted
    by the Government on the present agreement with France, we are
    strongly disposed to believe that if they have been endowed with
    greater sense than those of 1683, there is probably more, as we
    must hope there is, in favour of British interests, than appears
    to the public eye. Time alone will tell what reservation, mental
    or otherwise, may be locked up in the British Foreign Office. It
    is difficult to believe that any British statesman would wantonly
    give away any national interest, but too lofty a policy has often
    been wanting in practical sense which, had that policy descended
    from principles to facts, would have saved the nation thousands of
    lives, millions of money, and sacrifices of its best interests."

           *       *       *       *       *

    "The events that have been fully before the eyes of British
    subjects in Morocco in the abnormal condition of the country
    during the past two years, seem to have been ignored by our
    Foreign Office. In short, it fully appears that our Foreign
    Office policy has been designed to lead the Sultan to political
    destruction, and to sacrifice every British interest.

    "About two years ago our Foreign Office began well in starting the
    Sultan on the path of progress: in carrying out its aims it
    has done nothing but blunders. Had it but acted with a little
    firmness, the opening up of this country would have already begun,
    and there would have been no 'Declaration' which will assuredly
    give future Foreign Secretaries matter for some anxiety. The
    declaration is only a display of political fireworks that will
    dazzle the eyes of the British public for a while, delighting our
    Little Englanders, but only making the future hazy and possibly
    more dangerous to deal with. It seems only a way of putting off
    the real settlement, which may not wait for thirty years to be
    dealt with, on the points still at issue, and for which a splendid
    opportunity has been thrown away at Downing Street, and could
    have been availed of to maintain British interests, prestige, and
    influence in this country. Briefly, we fear that the attainment of
    the end in view may yet cost millions to the British nation.

    "That Morocco will progress under French guidance there can be
    no question, and France may be congratulated on her superior
    diplomacy and the working of her Foreign Office system."

With regard to the Moorish position, a contributor observes in a later
issue--

    "The attitude of the Sultan and his Cabinet may be summed up in
    a few words. 'You nations have made your agreements about our
    country without consulting us. We owe you nothing that we are
    unable to pay on the conditions arranged between us. We did not
    ask your subjects to reside and trade on Moorish soil. In fact,
    we have invariably discouraged their so doing. Troubles exist in
    Morocco, it is true, but we are far greater sufferers than
    you--our unbidden guests. And but for the wholesale smuggling of
    repeating rifles by _your_ people, our tribes would not be able to
    cause the disorders of which you complain. As to your intention to
    intervene in our affairs, we agree to no interference. If you are
    resolved to try force, we believe that the Faith of the Prophet
    will conquer. We still believe there is a God stronger than man.
    And should the fight go against us, we believe that it is better
    to earn Paradise in a holy war for the defence of our soil, than
    to submit tamely to Christian rule.'

    "The position, however lamentable, is intelligible; but on the
    other hand it is incredible that France--her mind made up long ago
    that she is to inherit the Promised Land of Sunset--will sit down
    meekly and allow herself to be flouted by the monarch and people
    of a crumbling power like Morocco. And this is what she has to
    face. Not indeed a nation, as we understand the term, but a
    gathering of units differing widely in character and race--Arabs,
    Berbers, mulattoes, and negroes--unable to agree together on any
    subject under the sun but one, and that one the defence of Islám
    from foreign intervention. Under the standard of the invincible
    Prophet they will join shoulder to shoulder. And hopeless and
    pathetic as it may seem, they will defy the disciplined ranks and
    magazine guns of Europe. Thus, wherever our sympathies may lie,
    the possibilities of a peaceful settlement of the Morocco question
    appear to be dwindling day by day. The anarchy paramount in
    three-quarters of the sultanate is not only an ever-increasing
    peril to European lives and property, but a direct encouragement
    to intervention. Of one thing we in Morocco have no kind of doubt.
    The landing of foreign troops, even for protective service, in any
    one part of the coast would infallibly be the signal for a general
    rising in every part of the Empire. No sea-port would be safe for
    foreigners or for friendly natives until protected by a strong
    European force. And, once begun, the task of 'pacifying' the
    interior must entail an expenditure of lives and treasure which
    will amply satisfy French demands for colonial extension for many
    a year to come."

One more quotation from an editorial--

    "And so it would appear, that, with the smiling approval of the
    world's Press, the wolf is to take over the affairs of the lamb.
    We use the phrase advisedly. We have never hesitated to criticize
    the action, and to condemn the errors, of the Makhzen where such a
    course has been needful in the public interest. We can, therefore,
    with all the more justice, call attention to the real issues of
    the compact embodied in the Morocco clauses of the Anglo-French
    Agreement of April, 1904. How long the leading journals of England
    may continue to ignore the facts of the case it is impossible
    to say; but that there will come a startling awakening seems
    inevitable. Every merely casual observer on this side of the
    Mediterranean knows only too well that the most trifling pretext
    may be at any hour seized for the next move in the development
    of French intervention. Evidence is piling up to show that the
    forward party in France, and still more in Algeria, is burning to
    strike while yet the frantic enthusiasm of the Entente lasts, and
    while they can rely upon the support--we had almost written, the
    moral support--of Great Britain. Can we shut our eyes to the
    deliberate provocations they are giving the Makhzen in almost
    every part of the sultanate?

    "These things are not reported to Europe, naturally. In spite of
    all our comfortable cant about justice to less powerful races, who
    in England cares about justice to Morocco and her Sultan? We owe
    it to Germany that the thing was not rushed through a few months
    ago. Who has heard, who wants to hear, the Moorish side of the
    question? Morocco is mute. The Sultan pulls no journalistic wires.
    He has no advocate in the Press, or in Parliament, or in Society.
    Hardly a public man opens his mouth in England to refer to
    Morocco, without talking absolute twaddle. The only member of
    either House of Parliament who has shown a real grasp of the
    tremendous issues of the question is Lord Rosebery, in the
    memorable words--

    "'No more one-sided agreement was ever concluded between two
    Powers at peace with each other. I hope and trust, but I hope and
    trust rather than believe, that the Power which holds Gibraltar
    may never have cause to regret having handed Morocco over to a
    great military Power.'

    "Had that true statesman, and true Englishman, been in power
    eighteen months ago, England would never have been pledged to
    sacrifice her commercial interests in Morocco, to abandon her
    wholesome, traditional policy in the Mediterranean, and to revoke
    her solemn engagement to uphold the integrity of the Sultan's
    dominions."

An excellent idea of the discrepancies between the alarmist reports
with which the Press is from time to time deluged, and the facts
as known on the spot, is afforded by the following extracts from
_Al-moghreb Al-aksa_ of January 7, 1905, when the London papers
had been almost daily victimized by their correspondents regarding
Morocco:--

    "The dismissal of the military _attachés_ at the Moorish Court
    threatened to raise a terrible conflagration in Europe, and great
    indignation among foreign residents in this country--according to
    certain Press reports. This fiery disposition of some offered a
    remarkable contrast with the coolness of the others. For instance,
    the British took almost no interest in the matter, for the simple
    reason that there has never been any British official military
    mission in the Moorish Court. It is true there are a few British
    subjects in Moorish military service, but they are privately
    employed by the Sultan's Government, and their service is simply
    voluntary. Even personally, they actually show no great concern in
    remaining here or not.

    "The Italian military mission is composed of very few persons. The
    chief, Col. Ferrara, is on leave in Italy, and the Mission is now
    represented by Captain Campini, who lives at Fez with his family.
    They report having received all kind attentions from the Sultan
    quite recently, and that they know nothing about the dismissal
    which has so noisily sounded in Europe. According to the same
    Press reports, great fears were entertained of a general rising
    against the foreign residents in Fez and other places in the
    interior, and while it is reported that the military _attachés_,
    consular officers and residents of all nations were notified to
    leave Fez and come to Tangier or the coast ports as a matter of
    precaution, we find that nobody moves from the Court, because,
    they say, they have seen nothing to induce them to leave that
    residence. And what has Mulai Abd El Azîz replied to French
    complaints and demands respecting the now historical dismissal of
    the military _attachés_? A very simple thing--that H.S.M. did
    not think that the dismissal could resent any of the civilized
    nations, because it was decided as an economic measure, there
    being no money to pay even other more pressing liabilities.
    However, the Sultan, wishing to be on friendly terms with France
    and all other nations, immediately withdrew the dismissal and
    promised to pay the _attachés_ as long as it is possible to do so.
    The missions, consuls, etc., have now no need to leave Fez, and
    everything remains stationary as before. The only thing steadily
    progressing is the insecurity of life and property in the
    outskirts and district of Tangier, where murders and robberies
    proceed unabated, and this state of affairs has caused the British
    and German residents in this town to send petitions to their
    respective Governments, through their legations, soliciting that
    some measure may be adopted to do away with the present state
    of insecurity which has already paralysed all overland traffic
    between this city and the neighbouring towns.

    "The contrasts of the situation are as remarkable as they are
    comic, and while the whole country is perfectly quiet, those
    places more in contact with the civilized world, like Tangier and
    the Algerian frontier, are the only spots which are seriously
    troubled with disturbances."

So much for northern Morocco. The same issue contains the following
report from its Mogador correspondent regarding the "disturbed state"
of southern Morocco.

    "It would puzzle even the trained imagination of certain
    journalists we wot of to evolve anything alarmist out of the
    condition of the great tribes between Mogador and the Atlas.
    During the recent tribal differences not one single highway
    robbery, even of a native, was, I believe, committed. The roads
    are open everywhere; the rival chieftains have, figuratively,
    exchanged the kiss of peace, and the tribes have confessed that it
    was a mistake to leave their farms and farm-work simply to please
    an ambitious and utterly thankless governor.

    "As for Europeans, they have been rambling all over the country
    with their wonted freedom from interference. A Frenchman,
    travelling almost alone, has just returned from Imintanoot.
    Another has twice crossed the Atlas. Needless to say the route to
    Marrákesh is almost as devoid of other than pleasurable novelty as
    a stroll on the Embankment or down the shady side of Pall Mall.
    When, indeed, will folks at home grasp the fact that the Berber
    clans of southern Morocco belong to a race differing utterly in
    character and largely in customs from the ruffians infesting the
    northern half of the sultanate?

    "'Nothing but the unpleasant prospect of being held up by
    brigands,' writes a friend, 'prevents me from revisiting your
    beautiful country.' How convince such people that brigandage is an
    art unknown south of the Oom Rabya? That the prayer of the Shluh,
    when a Nazarene visits their land, is that nothing may happen to
    bring trouble on the clan? They may inwardly hate the _Rûmi_, or
    they may regard him merely as an uncouth blot on the scenery; but
    should actual unpleasantness arise, he will, in almost every case,
    have himself to thank for it. (London papers please copy!)"

This letter was dated two days after the Paris correspondent of the
_Times_ had telegraphed--

    "Events would seem likely to be coming to a head in consequence of
    the anarchy prevailing in the Shereefian Empire. The Pretender is
    just now concentrating his troops in the plain of Angad, and is
    preparing to take an energetic offensive against Ujda. The camp of
    the Pretender is imposing in its warlike display. All the caids
    and the sons of Bu Amema surround Mulai Mahomed. The men are armed
    with French _chassepots_, and are well dressed in new uniforms
    supplied by an Oran firm. All the war material was embarked on
    board the French yacht _Zut_, which landed it last month on
    the shores of Rastenga between Cape Eau and Melilla under the
    direction of the Pretender's troops."

Towards Christmas, 1902, circumstantial reports began to appear in the
newspapers of an overwhelming defeat of the imperial army by rebels
who were marching on Fez, who had besieged it, and had cut off the
aqueduct bringing its water, the Sultan retreating to the palace,
Europeans being ordered to the coast, etc., etc. These statements
I promptly and categorically denied in an interview for the London
_Echo_; there was no real "pretender," only a religious fanatic
supported by two disaffected tribes, the imperial army had not been
defeated, as only a small body had been despatched to quell the
disturbance; the "rebels" were not besieging Fez, as they had no army,
and only the guns captured by the clever midnight surprise of sleeping
troops, of which the "battle"--really a panic--consisted; they had not
cut the "aqueduct," as Fez is built on the banks of a river from which
it drinks; the Sultan's palace was his normal abode; the Europeans
had not fled, seeing no danger, but that _on account of the alarming
telegrams from Europe_, their Ministers in Tangier had advised them to
withdraw, much against their will.

So sweeping a contradiction of statements receiving daily confirmation
from Tangier, heightened colour from Oran, and intensification from
Madrid, must have been regarded as the ravings of a madman, for
the interview was held over for a week for confirmation. Had not
thirty-four correspondents descended on Tangier alone, each with
expenses to meet? Something had to be said, though the correspondent
nearest to the scene, in Fez, was two days' journey from it, and six
from Tangier, the nearest telegraph station. It is true that some
years ago an American boldly did the journey "From Fez to Fleet Street
in Eight Days," by forgetting most of the journey to Tangier, but this
was quite out-done now. Meanwhile every rumour was remodelled in Oran
or Madrid, and served up afresh with confirmatory _sauce piquante_, _à
la française_ or _à l'espagnol_, as the case might be. It was not till
Reuter had obtained an independent, common-sense report, that the
interview was published, my statements having been all confirmed,
but by that time interest had flagged, and the British public still
believes that a tremendous upheaval took place in Morocco just then.

Yet, notwithstanding the detailed accounts of battles and reverses--a
collation of which shows the "Father of the She-ass" fighting in
several places at once, captured or slain to-day and fighting
to-morrow, and so on--the Government of Morocco was never in real
danger from the "Rogi's" rising, and the ultimate issue was never in
doubt. The late Sultan, El Hasan, more than once suffered in person
at the hands of the same tribes, defeats more serious than those
experienced by the inadequate forces sent by his son.

The moral of all this is that any news from Morocco, save that
concerning Europeans or events on the coast, must be received with
caution, and confirmation awaited. The most reliable accounts at
present available are those of the _Times_ correspondent at Tangier,
while the _Manchester Guardian_ is well informed from Mogador.
Whatever emanates from Paris or Algeria, not referring directly to
frontier events; or from Madrid, not referring to events near the
Spanish "presidios," should be refused altogether, as at best it is
second-hand, more often fabricated. How the London Press can seriously
publish telegrams about Morocco from New York and Washington passes
comprehension. The low ebb reached by American journals with one or
two notable exceptions in their competitive sensationalism would of
itself suffice to discredit much that appears, even were the countries
in touch with each other.

The fact is that very few men in Morocco itself are in a position
to form adequate judgements on current affairs, or even to collect
reliable news from all parts. So few have direct relations with the
authorities, native and foreign; so many can only rely on and amplify
rumour or information from interested sources. So many, too, of the
latter _must_ make money somehow! The soundest judgements are to be
formed by those who, being well-informed as to the conditions and
persons concerned, and Moorish affairs in general, are best acquainted
with the origin of the reports collected by others, and can therefore
rightly appraise them.



INDEX


A

Abbas, Shah of Persia, 280 _note_

Abd Allah bin Boo Shaïb es-Sálih,
  story of: protection system, 247-251

Abd Allah Ghaïlán, former rebel leader, 274

Abd el Hakk and the Widow Záïdah, story of the, 164, 165

Addington, Mr., British Ambassador at Granáda, 354

Aghmát, capital of Southern Morocco, 5

Ahmad II., "the Golden," addressed by Queen Elizabeth, 9

Algeria, 281;
  the French in, 294-296, 299;
  viewed from Morocco, 307-317;
  under French rule, 308-315;
  failure as a colony, 309;
  Arabs in, 313;
  Moors in, 314;
  mosques, 315;
  tilework, 316;
  field for scientist, 317

Algiers (El Jazîrah), the city and people, 310-316

Alhambra, the, at Granáda (_q.v._)

_Al-moghreb Al-aksa_ on the political situation, 381-394

Andorra, the Pyrenean republic of, 7, 337, 379;
  its privileges granted by Charlemagne, 379

Anglo-French Agreement, 276, 279, 301, 304, 381;
  clauses in, 283, 293

Anne, Queen, 9

Arabs, the wandering, 57-62;
  tent-life, 57-62;
  food, 59;
  hospitality, 60;
  in Algeria, 313;
  in Tunisia, 322


B

Beggars, native, 115, 116

Berber race, 3, 6, 47-56;
  pirates, 3;
  men brave and warlike, 48, 49;
  Reefian, 48, 50;
  women often very intelligent, 51;
  they, not Saracens or Arabs, real conquerors of Spain, 6, 54;
  origin still a problem, 55;
  Ghaïátà Berbers in revolt, 271-273

Boabdil, 356, 365

Boo Ziaro Miliáni, arrest and release of, 34


C

Café, Moorish, 159-165

Carthage, 53;
  Christian and Mohammedan, 53

Charlemagne, 379

Charles Martel, the "Hammer," 337

Charles V., "improver" of Spanish monuments of Moorish art, 338,
      350, 353

Chess, 133, 144;
  an Arab game, 134

Child-life, Moorish, 94-101;
  infancy, 95;
  school days, 97;
  youth, 99;
  early vices, 101

"Cid," the, El Mansûr, 376

City life in Morocco, 63-70

Civil war in Morocco: Asni and the Aït Mîzán, 261-266

Coinage, Moorish, 23-25, 125

Córdova, 337, 338-346, 375;
  its famous mosque (cathedral), 338-345;
  aisles, columns, arches, 339, 340;
  the kiblah niche, 342;
  Moorish worshippers in, 342;
  European additions to, 343-345;
  history of the town, 345

Corrosive sublimate tea--for disgraced officials, 28


D

Debts in Morocco, how settled, 30-34

Delbrel, M., leader of the "Rogi's" forces, 273

Dining out in Morocco, 102-106

Diplomacy in Morocco. _See_ Embassy

Draughts, game of, 162


E

Edward I. and Eleanor of Castile, 376

Edward VII. in Algeria, 281

Elizabeth, Queen, 9

El K'sar es-Sagheer, 6

El Menébhi, ambassador to London and Minister of War, 268

El Moghreb el Aksa, native name of Morocco, 14

El Yazeed, Sultan in 1790, declares war on all Christendom, 10

Embassy to court of Sultan, a typical, 206-232;
  requisitioning provisions, 206, 207;
  _personnel_ and _attachés_, 208, 209;
  native agent, 209;
  arrival at Marrákesh, 210;
  reception, 212, 213;
  the diplomatic interview:
    ambassador, interpreter, and Sultan, 214-222;
  the result:
    as it appeared in the Press, 223;
    as it was in reality, 224, 225;
  diamond cut diamond, 226-230;
  failure, and its causes, 227-230

England and Morocco, 276, 293, 294, 381-394;
  British trade, 280;
  British policy in, 301-304;
  Anglo-French Agreement (_q.v._);
  "Morocco news," 381-394


F

Ferdinand and Isabella of Spain, 3, 334, 350, 353, 362, 378;
  their nuptials the death-knell of Moorish rule in Europe, 7;
  tomb of, 355

Fez, founded by son of Mulai Idrees, 5;
  Karûeeïn mosque at, 44, 337, 339, 358

Football, Moorish, 97, 137

Ford's "Handbook to Spain," 357, 366, 373

France in Morocco, 288, 292-305;
  "policing" the frontier, 288;
  her rule inevitable and desirable, 294-300;
  hope for the Moors, 301, 305, 385;
  Anglo-French Agreement (_q.v._);
  in Algeria, 308-315;
  in Tunisia, 318-320;
  _see_ Political situation, the, and Appendix, 381-394


G

German interests in Morocco, 279-282

Gerona: Sulaïmán, Pepin, and Charlemagne, 378, 379

Gibraltar, Moorish castle, 370

Granáda, 337, 352-365;
  the Alhambra Palace, loveliest monument of Moorish art in Spain,
      352-354, 356-362;
  despoiled by Charles V. and the French, 353;
  "Tia Antonia," 353, 354;
  Morocco-like surroundings, 354;
  mosques, 355;
  tomb of Ferdinand and Isabella, 355;
  remains of Cardinal Mendoza, 356, 377;
  Bu Abd Allah's sword, 356, 365;
  courts and halls of the Alhambra, 358-362;
  other Moorish remains, 362-365


H

Hamed Zirári, story of: protection system, 242-246

Hareems, royal, 73-75;
  and other, 82-87

Hasheesh, opium of Morocco, 130

Hay, Sir John Drummond, 294

Herbs, fragrant, use of, 86, 108, 122


I

Infant mortality in Morocco high, 96

Irving, Washington, at Granáda, 354;
  his "Tia Antonia," 354

Ismaïl the Bloodthirsty exchanges compliments with Queen Anne, 9


J

Jaca, site of desperate battle between Spaniards and Moors, 378

Jelálli Zarhôni, the "Rogi," head of the revolt of the Ghaïátà Berbers,
    271-273

Jewish interpreter, astute, 214-222

Jews in Morocco, 16-17;
  justice for, 252-260;
  in Spain, traces of, 334


K

Kabyles, 54

Kaïd, the, and his court, 252-259

Kesk'soo, the national dish, 59, 105, 121, 198, 266

Khalia, staple article of winter diet, 197

Korán, the, at schools, 97;
  the standard work at colleges, 98

Kufic inscriptions, 351, 361, 373, 375


L

_L'Aigle_ at Mogador and Agadir, 35

"Land of the Moors, The," 292

_Lex talionis_, 48


M

Machiavellian arts, Moors excel in, 38

Madrid Convention of 1880 ... 282, 382;
  essential features of, 289, 290

Madrid, Moorish remains in, 376

Malaga, Moorish dockyard, 370

Market-place, Moorish, 107-110, 121-123, 125-132;
  and marketing, 109, 113-115, 118-124

Marrákesh, founded in the middle of the 11th century, 5;
  kingdom of, 5, 14;
  the Kûtûbîya at, 44, 337, 346

Marriage in Morocco, 75, 77;
  country wedding, 88-93;
  feastings, presents, and rejoicings, 88-91

Mauretania Tingitana, titular North African bishopric still, 3

Mavrogordato, Kyrios Dimitri: typical embassy, 206-232

Medicine-men, 166-178;
  cupping, 167-169, 197;
  exorcising, 169, 171;
  cauterizing, 170;
  charms, 172;
  curious remedies, 174-177;
  philtres and poisons, 177

Mekka, pilgrimage to. _See_ Pilgrimage

Mendoza, Cardinal, 355, 356;
  remains of the Mendozas, 377

Merchants, Moorish, 109, 113-115

Mérida, Muslim toleration at, 373

Mokhtar and Zóharah, wedding of, 88-93

Monk, General, 9

Moors in Spain, traces of. _See_ Spain

Morals, Moorish, lax, 39-44, 101

Morocco: retrospect, 1-13;
  of present day, 14-65;
  races: Berbers, Arabs, Moors, 15-17, 47-62;
  life of the people--society, business, pastime, religion, 63-204;
  diplomacy (_q.v._);
  law and justice, 233-260;
  the political situation (_q.v._);
  her neighbours, 307-331;
  Moors in Spain (_q.v._);
  "Morocco news," _Al-moghreb Al-aksa_, 381-394

Morocco-Algerian frontier, France "policing" the, 288

Mosques, French treatment of, 315, 319

Mulai Abd Allah V., 1756, makes war upon Gibraltar, 11

Mulai Abd el Azîz IV., present Sultan, 267-291

Mulai Abd el Káder, a favourite saint, 115

Mulai el Hasan III., late Sultan, 24, 40, 267

Mulai Idrees, direct descendant of Mohammed, and early Arabian
      missionary to Morocco, 4;
  founded the Shurfà Idreeseeïn dynasty, 5

Mulai Yakûb el Mansûr, builder of mosque towers at Sevílle, Marrákesh,
      and Rabat, 347

Musical instruments, 135, 139, 151, 160


O

Official rapacity, 28, 242-251, 252-260

Orihuela, palms at, 371


P

Pawkers, Admiral, 11

Pepys, Samuel, once on a Moorish Commission, 383

Pilgrims to Mekka, 191-204;
  sea-route preferred to-day, 191;
  camp at Tangier, 192-200;
  comforts and discomforts, 192-200;
  a novel tent, 193-195;
  food, 197-199;
  returning home, 201-204

Piracy of Moors, 7-9;
  tribute extorted from European Powers, 9, 10, 12;
  abandoned by Algiers, 12;
  not wholly unknown to-day, 13

Political situation, the, 267-291;
  the Sultan and reforms, 268-270;
  unsettled state of the empire, 270-275;
  a change welcome, 276;
  agreement among the three great Powers remote, 276;
  Anglo-French Agreement (_q.v._);
  famine and unrest, 277;
  German interests, 280;
  Spanish interests, 283;
  conference proposed, 282, 284;
  points for discussion, 285-288;
  "Morocco news" must be received with caution, 381-394

Postal reform needed, 286

Powder play, 91, 94, 121, 135

Prayer, Moslem, 69, 142, 152;
  call to, 69, 70

Prisons and prisoners, miserable, 233-241;
  long terms, 234-237;
  the lash, 238, 246;
  the bastinado, 255;
  Jews in, 260

Protection system, the, 29, 242-251;
  the need: story of Hamed Zirári, 242-246;
  the search: story of Abd Allah bin Boo Shaïb es-Sálih, 247-251;
  patent of, 251;
  "farming," 251 _note_


R

Rabat, Hassan tower at, 347, 348

Railways would be welcomed by the Sultan, 297

Raïsûli, rebel leader in the disaffected north, 273-275

Rio Tinto copper-mines, 368

Ronda, corn-mills at, 369

Rosebery, Lord, on Morocco, 387

Rudolf II., 1604: his active policy respecting Moroccan affairs, 280 _note_


S

Saragossa, the Aljaferia at, 378

School, Moorish, 97, 98

Sevílle, 337, 346-352, 367;
  Girálda tower, 346-348;
  palace, El Kasar, 349-351;
  royal "improvers" of Moorish work, 350;
  capital of Charles V., 352;
  Moorish remains at, 367

Sherley, Sir Anthony, 1604, adventurer and diplomatist, 280 _note_

Shurfà Idreeseeïn dynasty founded by Mulai Idrees, 5

Sidi Mohammed, son of Mulai Abd Allah V., 11

Si Marzak and his fair Azîzah, the loves of, 160-162

Slave-markets, Marrákesh and Fez, 179-181

Slavery in Morocco, 8, 17, _et passim_, 179-190;
  sources of supply, 180;
  girls for hareems, 181;
  treatment fairly kind, 181, 182;
  men have risen to high positions, 182;
  use chiefly domestic, 183;
  a slave-girl's cruel story, 185-190

Smeerah, quaint incident at, 198

Smin, use of, 112, 131

Smith, Sir Chas. Euan, 206

Snake-charming, 137, 151-158

Social life, Moorish, 82-87

Spain, Moorish empire in, founded by Berbers, 6, 54;
  footprints of Moors in, 332-379;
  place-names and words of Arabic origin, 333, 369;
  physiognomy of the people, 335;
  habits and customs, 335;
  salutations, 336;
  narrow streets, 336;
  forts and mosques (churches), 337;
  the mosque at Córdova (_q.v._);
  Girálda and El Kasar at Sevílle (_q.v._);
  the Alhambra at Granáda (_q.v._);
  other Moorish towns, villages, castles, and remains, 366-379;
  women of, at the battle of Jaca, 378

Sports and pastimes, Moorish:
  active, 96, 133-137;
  passive, 138-150, 151-158, 159-165

Stamps and stamp-dealers, 287

Story-teller, the, 122, 137, 138-150;
  Mulai Abd el Káder and the Monk of Monks, 141-148


T

Tafilált, home for discarded Sultanas, 73

Tangier, English cede possession of, 9, 383;
  drunkenness and vice, 41;
  North African Mission, 42;
  shopping in, 118-124;
  market-place, 121-123;
  Sunday market, 125-132;
  salt-pans, 129;
  English Church at, 132;
  starting-place for Mekka pilgrims, 192, 196;
  residence of ambassadors, 205;
  gaol at, 233;
  many Frenchmen at, 300

Tarifa, Moorish remains at, 366

Tarragona, cathedral of, 373

Tea, making, 86, 103

Tilework of Algeria, 316

Toledo, 336, 373;
  Moorish hydraulists, 374;
  Ez-Zarkal's water-clocks, 374;
  cathedral, 374;
  sword-manufacture, 375

Tortosa, ancient pirate stronghold, 372

Tripoli, city and people, 326-331;
  the Turkish element in, 326;
  viewed from Morocco, 326-331;
  mosques, 328;
  irrigation, 330

Tunis, city, 321, 322

Tunisia, 299, 308;
  viewed from Morocco, 318-325;
  under French rule, 318-320;
  Jews in, 319;
  Arabs in, 322;
  Moors in, 322;
  women in, 325


V

Valencia, ancient Moorish paradise, 372


W

Water-carriers, Moorish, 132, 149

Water-clocks, Ez-Zarkal's, 374

Wazzân, Shareef of, present representative of Shurfá Idreeseeïn dynasty,
        5, 296

Wilhelm II. in Tangier Bay, 281

Women of Morocco, occupations, 58, 62, 77, 111, 134;
  seclusion, 64, 77, 83, 103, 107;
  subservient position, 71-81, 107;
  possibilities of influence, 73;
  marriages, 75, 77, 88-93;
  divorce, 76;
  social visits, 82-87;
  wearing apparel, 84;
  excellent cooks, 85, 105, 111, 112;
  slaves, 181, 183, 185, 190;
  women in Tunisia, 325;
  in Tripoli, 329


X

Xeres, Old, Moorish citadel, 367


Z

Zarhôn, most sacred town, 5

Zawîah of Sîdi Abd er-Rahmán, 316

Zummeetah, "mixed," quaint story of, 198



THE END



PRINTED BY WILLIAM CLOWES AND SONS, LIMITED, LONDON AND BECCLES.



Transcriber's Note:

Page 6:   Missing accent added to Seville (Sevílle).
Page 36:  corrected mis-matched quotes.
Page 44:  restored missing ^ accent to Karûeeïn
Page 104: 'whch' corrected to 'which'.
Page 128: 'beats' changed to 'beasts', to fit context.
Page 130: 'flead' [sic]
Page 153: corrected mis-matched quotes. ("And when at home? ')
Page 185: 'Rabhah' is spelled 'Rabbah' in previous illustration.
Page 198: sic: carraway/caraway
Page 263: changed comma for period at sentence end. (sighted, This)
Page 273: 'through' changed to 'though', to fit context.
Page 274: 'accetpance' changed to 'acceptance'.
Page 284: 'territoral' changed to 'territorial'.
Page 289: carcase/carcass, both are correct: Oxford Dictionary.
Page 299: sic: instal/install.
Page 346: added missing accent to III SEVILLE (SEVÍLLE), for conformity.
           (II CÓRDOVA is accented).
Page 349: added missing accent to Giralda (Girálda), for conformity.
Page 353: corrected 'architectual' to 'architectural'.
Page 372: comma corrected to period. (a Moorish cistern hard by.)
Page 296: colon corrected to semicolon. (Moorish worshippers in, 342;).
Page 296: added comma (Debts in Morocco, how settled, 30-34).
Page 377: added closing quote to "Castle of Ayûb.
Page 395: 'Bobadil' changed to 'Boabdil'.
Page 395: removed extraneous '378' reference for Charlemagne.
Page 396: removed extraneous '3' reference for Ferdinand and Isabella.
Page 397: removed extraneous entry (368) for 'kufic inscriptions';
          changed '575' to '375'.
Page 398,399: Missing accent added to Seville (Sevílle).
Page 399: missing accent added to Cordova (Córdova).
Page 399: comma added after 'remains' (other Moorish towns, villages,
          castles, and remains, 366-379;).
Page 400: comma added after 'occupations' (Women of Morocco,
          occupations, 58, 62, 77, 111, 134;).

oe ligatures are indicated with [oe]

I also removed the partial square brackets before or after the
photographer's names accompanying Illustration titles.





*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Life in Morocco and Glimpses Beyond" ***

Doctrine Publishing Corporation provides digitized public domain materials.
Public domain books belong to the public and we are merely their custodians.
This effort is time consuming and expensive, so in order to keep providing
this resource, we have taken steps to prevent abuse by commercial parties,
including placing technical restrictions on automated querying.

We also ask that you:

+ Make non-commercial use of the files We designed Doctrine Publishing
Corporation's ISYS search for use by individuals, and we request that you
use these files for personal, non-commercial purposes.

+ Refrain from automated querying Do not send automated queries of any sort
to Doctrine Publishing's system: If you are conducting research on machine
translation, optical character recognition or other areas where access to a
large amount of text is helpful, please contact us. We encourage the use of
public domain materials for these purposes and may be able to help.

+ Keep it legal -  Whatever your use, remember that you are responsible for
ensuring that what you are doing is legal. Do not assume that just because
we believe a book is in the public domain for users in the United States,
that the work is also in the public domain for users in other countries.
Whether a book is still in copyright varies from country to country, and we
can't offer guidance on whether any specific use of any specific book is
allowed. Please do not assume that a book's appearance in Doctrine Publishing
ISYS search  means it can be used in any manner anywhere in the world.
Copyright infringement liability can be quite severe.

About ISYS® Search Software
Established in 1988, ISYS Search Software is a global supplier of enterprise
search solutions for business and government.  The company's award-winning
software suite offers a broad range of search, navigation and discovery
solutions for desktop search, intranet search, SharePoint search and embedded
search applications.  ISYS has been deployed by thousands of organizations
operating in a variety of industries, including government, legal, law
enforcement, financial services, healthcare and recruitment.



Home