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Title: Notes in North Africa - Being a Guide to the Sportsman and Tourist in Algeria and Tunisia
Author: Windham, W. G.
Language: English
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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.

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[Illustration: R. Pheney, lith. M. & N. Hanhart, Impt.









Two great faults have been found with my first edition. The first
was, that I had offended many people by personal allusions. To
this, I reply, that offence was very far from my mind; and to those
offended (if any there be), I say, consider the expressions unsaid.
For the rest, they are omitted in this edition. The second alleged
defect is, that, while I call my book, to a certain extent, sporting,
so little allusion is made to sport. I grant there is some reason in
this, and accordingly I have added matter which I think will be
useful to future sporting tourists. I would, however, not advise
the man who seeks sport alone and solely to go to Algeria, as I am
sure he will be disappointed, as I most decidedly was. With regard to
the illustrations, I have taken the greatest pains that they may
faithfully represent, not only the particular localities alluded
to, but also give a fair idea of the country and climate of these

    W. G. WINDHAM.

    _Hull, April, 1861._


                                                TO FACE PAGE


      GREESHE                                             20

      CONSTANTINE, ALGERIA                                44

      IN TUNISIA                                          60



 THE VOYAGE OUT:--Paris in 1860--Notre Dame--Our
 Hotel--Nero and the Groom--The Steamer for
 Algeria--Gallic Peculiarities--Life on Board                   7


 DESCRIPTION OF ALGIERS:--Arrival in Algeria--Murray's
 Guide-books, and their Amenities--Disembarkation in
 the Port of Algiers--Our Fellow-travellers--Algiers and
 its Inhabitants--The Dey's Palace--Cause of the French
 Invasion                                                      13


 LIFE IN ALGIERS:--Algerian Society--A Soirée at
 General Martinprez's--The Sirocco--My Maltese
 Companion--The Theatre--General Youssouf and his Career       19


 "UP THE COUNTRY:"--Departure from Algiers--Blidah--The
 Zouave Officers and their Companions--Government
 Establishment of Horses--Joseph, the Horse-dealer--To
 Arbah--The Caravanserai--Journey towards Oued-el-Massin       25


 FURTHER EXPERIENCES:--Abd-el-Kader (but not the
 Emir)--Difficult Road--Perils of the Way--Prospect of
 Sport--The First Boar--The Chasseurs d'Afrique--Mine
 Hostess of the "Scorpion"--Teniet                             30


 Weather--Milianah--Vezoul--The Aubergiste--El
 Afroun--The Rhamazan--Dancing Dervishes                       36


 BONA AND ITS VICINITY:--Passage to Bona--State of
 Affairs on Board--Bona--The Lake Metitza--Ain
 Mokra--Wild Duck Shooting on the Lake                         41


 ON TO TUNIS:--Algeria in General--The Arabs and their
 Conquerors--Antagonism between the Two Races--Social
 Condition of the Arabs--The _Oasis_ Steamer--Arrival
 at Tunis                                                      46


 MARSA:--Angelo's Horsemanship--The Bey's Palace at
 Marsa--The Arabs and their Love of Tobacco--The
 Friendly Moor at Camatte                                      52


 ABOUT BOAR SHOOTING:--Sleeman--the Oued el Ahwena--Its
 Scenery, and its Dangers--Beauty of the Landscape on
 its Banks                                                     55


 SPORTING EXPERIENCES:--El Greesh--Shooting Hyenas--An
 Expedition with the Arabs--The Caid and his
 Family--Another Wild Boar                                     59


 TUNIS AND ITS GOVERNMENT:--Picturesque Situation of
 Tunis--The Horse Market--Effects of Race--The
 Bazaars--Mohamed Medea--The Bardo--The Bey of
 Tunis--His Mode of administering Justice--Prince
 Puckler Muskau's Account of his Interview                     62


 THE RUINS OF CARTHAGE:--Reflections on Ancient
 Carthage--Hannibal and his Career--An Arab
 Domicile--Picturesque Appearance of the Ruins                 69


 THE RUINS AGAIN:--Great Extent of the Ancient City
 Marsa, on the Sea-shore--Carthaginian Catacombs near
 Camatte--Quail Shooting--Trait of Honesty in the
 Arabs--The Arab Character--Anecdotes concerning them          76


 HOME:--My Fellow-passenger, the Sportsman--Passage from
 Tunis to Malta in a Sailing Vessel--Disagreeables of
 the Passage--Home Overland--Conclusion                        83





  Paris in 1860.--Notre Dame.--Our Hotel.--Nero and the Groom.--The
  Steamer for Algeria.--Gallic Peculiarities.--Life on Board.

_In medias res._ I will not stop to describe my journey to Paris, _viâ_
Folkestone, nor to chronicle the glasses of pale ale--valedictory
libations to _perfide_ Albion, quaffed at the Pavilion--nor to
portray the sea-sickness of "mossoo," nor the withering indignation of
the British female when her wardrobe was searched. Briefly, kind reader,
be pleased to understand that we arrived in safety--guns, rifles,
"and all"--at the Hôtel du Louvre, in Paris, at about eleven o'clock
on a certain day in February, 1860.

The next day was Sunday, and I went to hear vespers at Notre Dame. How
I love the old gothic cathedrals, that seem to remove one at once from
this work-day world--the fanes wherein the very air seems redolent of
devotion, and peopled with phantoms of the past! 'Spite of all
disparagement, there is something grand and solemn about them. After
service, I ascended one of the towers to the gallery immortalised by
Victor Hugo's wonderful romance. The day was declining, and sunset had
already commenced. The galleries were crowded with students and
respectable operatives and _bourgeois_, with their wives and children.
Every face was bathed in the purple light of the departing sun, and
many eyes lifted up in silent meditation.

I was aroused from the reverie into which the contemplation of this
glorious sight had thrown me, by hearing a female voice exclaim, "How
beautiful is Nature--how magnificent!" I turned, and saw two ladies,
evidently mother and daughter, of sufficiently pleasing appearance. It
was from the elder that the exclamation had come, which brought me
back from my dream to this nether world. Conquering the shyness which
appears to be the Englishman's birthright, I made some remark on the
beauties of sunset. Like the earth, we revolved round the sun; but,
unlike that planet, we quickly diverged into other orbits. I dimly
remember that we talked of Angola cats, Dresden china, Turkish
chibouques, maccaroni, and Lord Byron, with whose poems this lady
seemed sufficiently familiar. I improved the occasion, as the right
thing to do, when talking with ladies about Byron, to find fault with
his impiety, his blasphemous scepticism, his cutting sarcasm, and the
unhappy frivolity which defaces the works of the man, who, with all
his faults, was undoubtedly the greatest poet the nineteenth century
has yet produced.

A pleasant walk along the quays brought me back to my hotel, in the
courtyard of which establishment I found an admiring circle of idlers
surrounding my English groom, who had just arrived with my dog Nero;
or rather Nero, who seemed by far the most popular character of the
two, had just arrived with him; and both appeared to know about as
much French one as the other, and to make themselves equally
understood or misunderstood. That evening, my friend and travelling
companion, B---- and I dined at Dotesio's, in the Rue Castiglione,
where we had an excellent dinner, washed down by more excellent wine.
The next day found us at Marseilles, at the Hôtel D'Orient, concerning
which hostelry I have merely to place on record the fact, that B----
was mulcted in the sum of five francs for the matutinal cold tub in
which it was his custom to indulge.

The steamer which was to convey us to Algeria was well fitted up in
every way. We were the only Englishmen on board. The fore part of the
deck was crowded with Zouaves and French soldiers of various
denominations, with whom Nero soon made himself perfectly at home,
though the exclamation of a Zouave on his first appearance seemed to
forbode but an indifferent reception for the four-footed intruder.
"_Cré nom d'un chien_" cried the shaven, fez-capped warrior, "_mais
je ne t'aimerais pas pour mon camarade du lit!_"

Breakfast was served in French fashion on board at ten o'clock, and
dinner at five. With one or two exceptions, the company consisted of
French commercial travellers, and they were split up into the usual
hostile factions of north against south. North, of course, commenced
the conversation with Paris, _Paris_, and again PAR-RRI; the
southerners every now and then throwing in a doubt of the universal
superiority of the metropolis over the known world. One disputant
stood out for Marseilles, another broke a lance for Bordeaux, and the
war of words waxed so fierce that I began to tremble for the
consequences. One young man in company had been some time at Bordeaux,
and had much to say thereon; but all his remarks were on one
subject--the theatre. On its beauty, its luxury, and its actresses, he
held forth at unwearied but wearisome length.

While this conversation was going on, the inner man was by no
means neglected. Stewed pullets, potatoes, salad, and etceteras,
disappeared with marvellous celerity. The cheer was by no means
bad, though decidedly Provençal, as I remarked to my next neighbour,
a dark-looking Marsellais; which observation, by the way, brought
down upon me the anger of the Gods, as impersonated by a large, fat,
dirty Calaisien, sitting opposite. He was a big man, this champion,
and, according to Cervantes, should, by consequence, have been a
good-natured one. Giving himself a sounding blow on the chest for
emphasis, he declared the Calaisiens to be an infinitely more moral
people than the Marseillais--and washed down his own dictum with an
enormous glass of _bière blanche_. I am rather fond of going to sleep
after dinner; so I secured my nap on cheap terms, by feigning an
interest in the Picard virtues, and accordingly enjoyed a profound
rest, disturbed only at intervals by a monotonous and expostulatory
"_allons donc!_" thrown in by another dissentient southerner. He
was an enormously fat man, the new disputant, and wore a mass of very
greasy hair, hanging down over his shoulders. His flannel shirt, an
exceedingly dingy specimen of British manufacture, did duty for a
waistcoat also; but he was _decoré_, though it was very doubtful to
what order the medal on his breast may have belonged.

Our captain merits a word of description. He was a short, red-faced
individual, of such ineffable seediness, as regarded costume, that I
should never have suspected his station but for the fact that he
sported a gold band "_bien usité_" round his cap, and sat at the head
of the table. For the credit of French politeness be it, however,
added, he was a perfect gentleman in his behaviour throughout the
voyage. There was also a young French naval officer, whom I afterwards
got to know much better in Algeria. He, too, like all the Legitimists,
was a most finished gentleman, and spoke English well--a common
accomplishment among the officers of the French navy. Though quite a
young fellow, he had been in the Russian and Chinese wars, and
imparted some very amusing and instructive intelligence on both these

As the noise and the intimacy at the table increased, and the punch
and cognac had already "chased" the wine, I adjourned with B---- and
the French sailor to the after-deck, and, in company with two young
Dutch travellers, smoked our Havanas in a climate that was already
African in its heat, while Majorca and Minorca faded away in the
distance, and the pale moon rose silently over the quiet sea.



  Arrival in Algeria.--Murray's Guide-books, and their
  Amenities.--Disembarkation in the Port of Algiers.--Our
  Fellow-travellers.--Algiers and its Inhabitants.--The Dey's
  Palace.--Cause of the French Invasion.

Next morning, at eight o'clock, came the waiter with the
intelligence--"_Nous sommes dans la baie d'Alger, monsieur, à une
heure de la ville._" My desire to see Algiers was vehement indeed; but
scarcely less strong was the craving of the inner man for bread and
coffee. With the nectar of Arabia, however, the inspiration of the
Orient seemed to percolate my veins; but when a fragrant glass of
cognac crowned the meal, the aroma of the East enveloped me, the
delicious strains of Bulbul rang in my ears, the Calaisien and the
Marseillais, sitting stolidly before me, became straightway
transformed into camels, the stewardess into a houri, and the noses of
the passengers were as masques in my enraptured sight.

But the book at my side was not the Koran, though it might have been,
for the strange farrago it contained.

It was a celebrated traveller's manual in the English language, and
in red binding. The king of the Cannibal Islands has not in his
library a more absurd volume than this manual; for in its pages
pathetic bagmen give vent to their ludicrous ebullitions concerning
the Alhambra, or the Rhine, or any foreign lion you please to name;
and young boys just escaped from school dish up their first
impressions of the Continent in a style as savoury as the flavour of a
Spanish olla podrida. And yet, ascend the Rhine, go to Venice or to
St. Petersburg, and ten to one for the chance, that when you meet an
Englishman he will have that eternal manual clutched in his British

Oh, my dear and well-beloved countrymen, what creatures of fashion and
precedent we all are, from high to low! What one does, the rest must
do; and in the self-same manner. I verily believe, if the late Albert
Smith had left it on record that, in ascending Mont Blanc, he planted
his foot in a certain hole in the snow, every one of his successors in
that glorious undertaking would have paid their guides an extra dollar
for indicating to them the identical cavity, that they might go and do
likewise. Thank goodness, Algeria is as yet encumbered by no manual or
"Hand-book," as our modern Germanised phraseology elects to call the
egregious productions; so shall we travellers be at liberty to follow
our own noses, to go exactly where we like, and to do what we please,
even to dressing like Arabs, should the whim seize us. Moreover, we
may do in Rome as Rome does, and enjoy a French breakfast washed down
with good wine in lieu of bad tea, without having ourselves or our
proceedings stigmatised as "shocking," as would undoubtedly be our lot
at Paris, or Brussels, or Berlin.

Behold us, then, in happy hour, ready to disembark in Algiers, with
the children of the desert thronging on board to act as porters. Their
appearance pleases me much, as they come forward, with their tall,
striking figures, dark eyes, and distinguished mien. "Perfect
gentlemen, these," said I to myself; but beneath the outside crust
little remains that can be called gratifying. These men are like the
apple of Sodom; at least, so I thought on landing, after a long
squabble with them respecting the passage money, carried on in bad
Italian and French. A nearer acquaintance with them may, perhaps,
modify my views on this subject.

"Well, it has been a pleasant time on board the packet," is my parting
reflection as I step ashore; nor shall I lightly forget the captain,
so different in his politeness and urbanity from the sea-bear with
whom I sailed in the North Sea; nor the honest Hamburgher, who
appeared to have an equally beloved wife in every land and in every
place we came to; nor the would-be dandy, who lit cigars innumerable,
and invariably flung them overboard after the first puff; nor the
priests, who seemed to possess the gift of invisibility, so rarely did
they show themselves; nor the hundred thousand events and personages
that flash upon our path for a moment on our journey through life, and
then linger in the memory only as the dim phantoms of a dream that has
passed away.

Algiers, seen from the sea, presents the appearance of a vast
triangular cone, situated on the slope of a mountain. Like all the
inhabitants of Northern Africa, the Algerians were at an early period
Christians, and it was only after several battles that the Mahometan
religion was finally established all over the coast of Barbary. Before
the French occupation, the Algerian ladies, like the females in all
Mussulmen countries, were kept in the strictest seclusion. The wife of
a rich Moor never left her home except to go to the baths, and even
that expedition was undertaken only at night. When it became
absolutely necessary that ladies should go abroad in daylight, their
faces were covered, and the whole figure so concealed by a redundancy
of wrappings, that a stranger would be puzzled to find out what the
moving bundles were. The luxury of the bath is greatly used by them.
There are public as well as private baths. They consist of three
apartments. The first is a large hall, for dressing and undressing; in
the second, the visitors perspire; and the third is for bathing
proper, or otherwise, as tastes and opinions somewhat differ. After
the bath, those of the male sex repair to the first room for lemonade
or coffee, or for a pipe. The modern Mahometan ladies of Algiers have
almost abandoned this seclusion. They are seen gadding about
everywhere, and are reported as being by no means particular or
difficult in their conquests. French ideas and morals have percolated
them considerably. Excessive obesity is regarded among Mahometans as
the perfection of beauty; so that, instead of using powders and other
nostrums to reduce themselves, like some of my friends at home, they
devour seeds and _couscous_, the national dish, especially employed
for fattening people. Some young ladies are crammed to such a degree
that they die under the operation.

On a fine, hot day in February, 1860, I mounted the conical hill on
which Algiers is built. The weather was magnificent. The sun of Africa
already made his approach felt, and the mountains in the far horizon
stood out like _bas-reliefs_ against the azure sky. Here stood the
palace of the Dey before the French occupation. The building is now
called the _casbah_, and used as a large barrack; outside are the
Moorish houses, and the chief part of the Moorish population.

The cause of quarrel between France and Algeria, which resulted in the
conquest of the country by the Gallic legions was as follows:--The
Dey, a pasha of the old Turkish school, was, it appears, a potentate
of extravagant disposition, and owed the French Government a
considerable sum of money. The creditors, being in a hurry for their
cash, dunned the Dey incessantly, through the agency of their consul.
Unaccustomed to the eagerness of French importunity, the Dey, on one
unlucky occasion, made a gesture of impatience with his fan, as a man
might do with his riding-whip, if his tailor became too pressing for
the settlement of his account. It proved an expensive gesture,
however; for within a few weeks it brought 10,000 French soldiers to
the shores of the Dey, and cost him his entire realm. The bulk of the
Mauresque and Turkish population quitted Algeria with their families
on the arrival of the French. Those who remain are the poorer classes,
and now live, if report speaks true, in an immoral state. These events
took place in the reign of that peaceful monarch, Louis Philippe.



  Algerian Society.--A _Soirée_ at General Martinprez's.--The
  Sirocco.--My Maltese Companion.--The Theatre.--General Youssouf
  and Career.

I have described Algiers as being built on the side of a mountain.
The city possesses a commodious and safe harbour, where flutter
the colours of every nation, from the red flag of the Swede to
the Spaniard's yellow ensign. Economy of space being a primary
consideration in the laying out of the city, the houses have been
built very high, and the streets made very narrow, so that there
is no room for carriages. The Consul has a very fine Mauresque
house in the old Turkish quarter, where he invited me to dinner and
a _soirée_ the day after my arrival; and the next day I was invited
to the reception of the Governor, General Martinprez.

The General received me and my companions most graciously, and, after
keeping me in conversation for about five minutes, introduced me to
his lady, a very pleasing person. My friend A---- and I were then
introduced to two or three other fashionable ladies of Algiers; and,
engrossed in conversation with these; we strangers were unconscious
of a general movement of the gentlemen towards the farther end of the
room, as a preliminary to the amateur concert. I was quite ignorant of
this Algerian regulation, by which the gentlemen and ladies are
separated as effectually as in a Lutheran church (a fashion,
by-the-bye, we appear to be adopting). Accordingly, on looking up, I
observed, to my infinite chagrin, that I was the "observed of all
observers," and probably was set down as a _bête Anglais_, who knew no
better. The extensive crinoline of the ladies effectually prevented a
retreat in any direction, and I was unpleasantly conscious of the
suppressed titter the fair ones tried to conceal behind their fans. I
endeavoured to summon up all the resources of my London phlegm, to
support me in this ridiculous position; but, unfortunately, I possess
very little of that desirable quality. The fair one with whom I was
conversing evidently felt for the unpleasantness of my situation, and
very good-naturedly kept me talking till the end of the first piece,
when I succeeded in making my escape.

How I inwardly abused the opera they were performing! It was called
"_Le Diable_;" and to me it appeared as though the fiend in question
had no tail--or rather, _no end_--to that appendage, so long did the
time seem. Far be it from me to despise the arts; I admire them in
every shape, except in the compound form of speech: _exempli gratiâ_,
art-union, art-school, &c. Why, in the name of common sense, can we
not talk English instead of German, and say school of arts, union of
arts, &c.? I suppose we shall soon go a step farther in imitation of
our Germanic neighbours, and call poetry by the appellation of
poet-art. In the last century, it seemed likely, as Johnson said, that
we should babble a dialect of France; in this, there is more danger of
our talking a Teutonic jargon. Let us stick to the middle course--for
our language is essentially half way between the German and the
French, the Teutonic and Romance tongues, and any attempt to
approximate too much to either extreme is simply preposterous.

The next day we had the sirocco; and, to quote the expression with
which I once heard a popular preacher commence a sermon, it was
"d----d hot." Start not, ladies of Belgravia, for the preacher in
question belonged not to the Anglican communion; he held forth to mere
vulgar audiences, at least, in a remote locality. Thrice he repeated
the expression (which I will not), and then improved the occasion by
describing a place hotter than the crowded chapel in which he was
officiating, in the month of July. He was evidently in his element. He
was especially hot against those modern spirits, who are not such
faithful believers in the burning flames of the lower regions, and
even begin to imagine they may have cooled down, if they have not been
quite extinguished. "And if"--he cried, in his ardour--"if they were
on the point of being extinguished, I would with my own breath
rekindle the expiring flame!" And his voice, which sounded like a gale
of wind, and his face, red as a furnace, and his enormous fists
fiercely clenched, made it appear to the congregation, for the moment,
that this terrifying assertion was no exaggeration. But to return to
the sirocco.

In spite, or rather by reason of the heat, I went for a stroll on the
sea-shore with Nero, that we might cool our wearied limbs in the azure
wave of the Mediterranean. We had been walking along the shore for
about a mile, when about twenty Arab dogs rushed out most ferociously
at Nero, and would, I believe, have torn him to pieces, but for the
large hunting-whip with which I managed to keep them at bay. There was
with me a young Maltese boy, of Irish parentage--a most amusing
character this urchin was. He wanted me to take him into the interior
as my interpreter. "Take me wid you, sir," was his eloquent appeal;
"give me pound a month, sir; tell Arabs you brother of Queen Victoria,
sir; Arabs great fools, sir; know no better, sir;" but I was proof
against the voice of the charmer.

In returning, I met General Martinprez on horseback, and saluted; of
course, he returned my greeting most graciously. But I was not a
little amused, and could hardly help laughing, when the young
Hiberno-Maltese tatterdemalion took off his dirty cap with a flourish
to the General, simultaneously with my salute, as if he had been my
confidential friend, taking a promenade with me.

That evening I went to the theatre. The piece performed was "_Les
Femmes Terribles_"--and a terribly Gallic flavour there was diffused
over the whole performance--a kind of _haut goût_, for which we stolid
islanders have, happily, no relish.

General Youssouf was at the theatre this evening. He is rather a
fine-looking man, and not too stout. His is a curious history.
Originally a Christian slave at Tunis, supposed to be the son of
Italian parents, he received the name of Youssouf (Joseph) from his
Mussulman masters at Tunis, where he was employed in the Bey's palace.
Of fine stature and handsome appearance, the Christian slave soon
attracted the notice of the Bey's daughter, an honour to which he was
not insensible. The Bey was soon informed of what was going on, and
Joseph would have been caged, if not racked, had not some kind friend
apprised him of the discovery, and of his own consequent danger. A
French man-of-war happened to be in the harbour at La Goeletta, off
Tunis, and young Youssouf, then about twenty years of age, managed to
effect his escape on board. The Franks, of course, gladly received him
as an escaped Christian slave. The Bey sent to demand him back; but
the French commander gave him politely to understand that he would see
the Bey experiencing the reverse of the joys of Paradise before he
would comply with such a request. The vessel set sail next day for
Algiers, where the Gallic occupation had just commenced. Young
Youssouf--who, in addition to his knowledge of French and Italian,
could, of course, speak Arabic perfectly--was here landed, and became
interpreter to a foot regiment. Quick and clever, he was soon
promoted, till he attained an officer's rank. He is now a general in
the service. Entertaining--perhaps naturally--a mortal hatred of the
Arabs, he has generally been selected to enforce those stern acts of
reprisal against the native population, which, though perhaps
justified by necessity, still bear the impress of great severity, and
are unpalatable to officers of French birth and education. These
measures he has always carried out with strict fidelity and
unrelenting harshness. He was the centre of attraction this
evening--every battery of eyes was turned upon him. He had fought a
duel with the editor of a newspaper, only that morning, for abusing
him or his wife, and had succeeded in running the journalist through
the shoulder.

The next few days I was engaged in making purchases, chiefly of shot
and necessary travelling articles, for the interior. I was swimming my
dog in the water of the port, according to my daily custom, when I
stumbled on my servant, Angelo, whom I determined to take with me into
the interior. Besides English, which he spoke very well, he could talk
Arabic quite fluently, and I found him very useful.



  Departure from Algiers.--Blidah.--The Zouave Officers and their
  Companions.--Government Establishment of Horses.--Joseph, the
  Horse-dealer.--To Arbah.--The Caravanserai.--Journey towards

On Thursday, March 8th, after seeing A---- start, by diligence, with
innumerable bags of cheviotine (deer-shot), I and Angelo left Algiers
with my newly-purchased horses, and, passing through some very pretty
country, stopped at the first village, where De Warn, a French
officer, came up on horseback, with his groom. He admired my horses
very much, and announced his destination to be the Maison Carrée,
where he was going to shoot quails, a friend of his having bagged
forty there in one afternoon. It came on to rain very hard as we
passed through the plain of the Medidja, and arrived at Bouffaseh,
where there is a column raised to the memory of twenty-three men
killed there during the war. We galloped in to Blidah, the rain
pouring down on us. At dinner, I met A---- in a _café_, with Count
L'Esparre and three or four officers of the 1st Regiment of Zouaves.
They were a very pleasant set of fellows, but did not appear to admire
their remote quarters at Blidah by any means. The heat, during the
height of summer, they informed me, was terrific, and the private
soldiers are not allowed to quit their quarters between 10 A.M. and 5
P.M. during the four hottest months of the year. We drank unlimited
punch to the "Alliance," and, on returning to the hotel, after a
mutual exchange of good wishes, we found familiar faces--belonging to
the Dutchmen who had travelled with us from Marseilles to Algiers.

I went with Count L'Esparre to see the Government establishment of
horses. There were some very fine creatures of Arab breed; also some
Persian horses which had been presented by the Shah of Persia. We then
started on horseback for Medea, and on my way passed the "Grotto of
Monkeys," but none of the animals from which the grotto takes its name
met my inquiring gaze. The Rocher Pourri, which I also passed on my
way, had just acquired an additional but a lugubrious celebrity, an
Arab having killed a Frenchman there the day before. We rode on to
Medea through a rattling snow-storm, and arrived properly powdered at
the Hôtel du Gastronome, where they made us comfortable enough. Medea
is built in a very elevated situation, among the mountains, and must
be a very cold place.

On the next day, Saturday, it was still snowing hard. A---- had to
provide himself with a horse, and we were afterwards both engaged,
with Angelo, my Maltese servant, looking for mules to carry our
baggage to Teniet. At the hotel, there was a very celebrated picture
by Horace Vernet, for which one of the Dutchmen offered a thousand
francs, but the offer was declined by Madame Gerard. In my opinion,
the picture was far from being a masterpiece.

Rising early on Sunday, I was immediately pounced upon by a set of
Arabs, who had engaged to take our luggage, and to whom we had paid a
deposit in advance. They now refused to take our luggage at five
francs per day, the sum agreed upon, unless we retained their valuable
services all the time we remained at Teniet, which, of course, we
never contemplated doing. I demanded back the deposit, but they would
not give it up. On going to the Bureau Arabe, we found it closed, and
the Commandant de Ville, to whom some officers recommended us to
apply, was gone to Blidah, so there was nothing for it but to invoke
the aid of Joseph, a French horse-dealer, who engaged to take our
effects on two mules to Teniet at seven and a half francs per mule per
day, we paying the return journey. After all, we could not manage to
get off until one o'clock in the day. Joseph accompanied us as far as
Lodi, to indicate the route to the caravanserai of Arbah, where we
were to stay for the night. The good horse-dealer insisted on our
taking two or three _petits verres_ on the road. A terrible fellow he
was for "nips," that Joseph.

The road to Arbah lay across a very barren, desert, mountainous
country, with splendid views over the whole Atlas range, as far as
Mostaganem, now covered with snow. We passed one or two Arab villages,
and had great difficulty in finding our way, on account of the number
of roads that branched off right and left. On the journey we passed a
very fine house belonging to a rich Arab chief. We were sorely tempted
to turn in here, but refrained, and arriving at the caravanserai at
about seven o'clock, found a party of French officers just sitting
down to dinner. They very politely invited us to join them.

The caravanserai is a Government establishment. In form it resembles a
large farm yard, entirely walled in and crenellated. It has stalls for
horses, and good accommodation for European travellers. A large fair
is held here every Wednesday, chiefly for the sale of native horses.
We had a long and interesting talk with the officers, and then retired
to bed, but not to sleep, for our baggage had not arrived, and the
bitter cold kept us in a state of enforced watchfulness.

Before breakfast, next day, I walked out on a tour of inspection
through the neighbourhood. The caravanserai is situated almost in the
desert; and very cold and barren are its surroundings. During
breakfast, we were rejoiced by the arrival of our baggage, and at once
started for Ouad-el-Massin. There is a very grand sensation of
solitude and silence in riding through these vast plains. The weather
was still tremendously cold and rainy. I managed to shoot two
partridges as we came along.

A chapter of accidents now began. My Maltese servant had been mistaken
concerning the capacity of our mules; for they broke down, and we were
obliged to leave them behind. Then my horse, an exceedingly vicious
brute, nearly succeeded in appropriating a piece of Angelo's shoulder,
as the latter stooped to tighten the girths. I found afterwards that
my steed had a very bad character all over the country; his ill fame,
however, was slightly redeemed by the fact that he was a good goer.
Then we missed our way among the mountains, and with difficulty
succeeded, just as it was getting dark, in reaching a small house at
Guebla, kept by a Frenchman. The proprietor received us very
hospitably, and gave us all the accommodation he could: it was of
rather a limited character, inasmuch as we all slept together in the
small room where we dined and breakfasted. Our host informed us that
there were a great number of lions in the neighbourhood. He had
himself been surprised by one, just after dusk, on the road from
Milianca, and offered to induce the Caid of the adjoining tribe to get
up a battue on our return. He also spoke of the great number of wild
boars in a way that would make a hunter's heart leap within him. We
retired to rest, and, sheltered for the nonce from the searching cold,
I slept as only a weary traveller can.



  Abd-el-Kader (but not the Emir).--Difficult Road.--Perils of the
  Way.--Prospect of Sport.--The First Boar.--The Chasseurs
  d'Afrique.--Mine Hostess of the "Scorpion."--Teniet.

In the hope of obtaining some reliable information as to hunting
prospects, I had in the Caid's lieutenant a fine-looking fellow,
rejoicing in the famous name of Abd-el-Kader, though he was no
relation to the renowned chief. He gave a long description of the
capture of a boar, that had been wounded by some Arabs; how he caught
the brute by the hoofs, gagged it, and brought it home alive. Mr.
----, he also informed us, had been surprised, about a month before,
by a lion, as he was returning at dusk from Milianah. There were many
lions in the vicinity, he added; and promised that his friend the Caid
should treat us to a lion-hunt on our return, if we came back this

Then we started, Abd-el-Kader accompanying us to show us a short
way over the mountains to the caravanserai of Oued-el-Massin, where
we were to pass the night, and expected to find our luggage. We
were prepared to find the river very high, and our anticipations were
not deceived. Abd-el-Kader admonished me to wait on the bank while
he went in to try if there was any getting through. He returned and
asked if my horse was good, and if I was willing to follow him. On
receiving my affirmative answer, he told me to fix my eyes on the
opposite shore, and, above all things, to abstain from looking at
the water, which was tearing along at a tremendous rate; if I
neglected his instructions, I should infallibly be carried away and
drowned. I started, and, by dint of spurring, managed to get
across, though my horse plunged up to his shoulder, and at one
moment I thought I was a "gone coon." Abd-el-Kader, the undaunted,
then went back once more for the second horse, which he dragged
across in due time by the bridle. Then he pointed out to us the road
over the mountain to Oued-el-Massin; nor did he think it derogatory to
his dignity to accept a reward for the trouble he had taken on our

In spite of the valiant lieutenant's directions, the road was a very
difficult one to find. After wandering about in the forest through a
number of out-of-the-way paths, we managed at last to stumble on an
Arab house or two, where the promise of a supply of powder prevailed
with an Arab, and he piloted us down to the caravanserai, where we
arrived at about six P.M., wet to the skin, and weary with a most
fatiguing day's march. We found our luggage had preceded us by about
half an hour; so we had a change of clothes, and sat down gleefully to
a capital dinner in very comfortable quarters. These caravanserais are
a famous institution. They are built by the French Government for the
convenience of travellers, and are very well organised. Each one is
under the superintendence of a Frenchman, and has one part devoted to
Europeans and another to Arabs. We had an excellent sitting-room and
bed-room to ourselves, and, as may be supposed, were exceedingly

Wednesday, the 14th of March, was ushered in by a pouring rain; and we
received the agreeable intelligence that the river between this and
our next station was perfectly impassable; so we made up our minds to
stay where we were. There was some consolation in the thought that
Joseph, the exceedingly keen horse-dealer at Medea, will not be
entitled to charge extra for the delay to his mules, he having bound
himself, by solemn covenant, to deliver the baggage safely at Teniet
for a certain stipulated sum.

After breakfast I walked into the forest which surrounds the
caravanserai on all sides, and shot two or three brace of red-legged
partridges and a woodcock. I saw the traces of several wild boars;
they were evidently quite recent; also a wretched porcupine the Arabs
had killed.

In the course of the day the Arabs brought in a boar which they had
killed in the morning. They threw the entrails outside the house, and,
during the night, quite an army of jackals came down to devour them.
It was so dark that we could not get a shot at these African
scavengers, though I sallied out once or twice after them.

It rained all night, so that going on was out of the question, from
the swollen state of the river; so I walked off before breakfast, with
Angelo, to an Arab village, about a mile and a half distant, to
inquire about boars. The promise of some powder brought out the
inhabitants; and, after a little banter and chaffing, they agreed to
meet me after breakfast, and to show me one of those animals. So I
returned to the caravanserai to breakfast, and then, with my friend,
rode back to the Arab huts. We left our horses at the village, and
proceeded to climb a horribly steep hill in company with some of the
natives, to whom I had promised tobacco-money, on condition of being
brought face to face with a boar. After some tremendously steep
climbing, we came upon a number of recent tracks, one of which B----
followed with his Arab, while I remained in another gorge. Presently I
heard a shot fired, about a mile off; and, on returning to where the
horses were tethered, I found that B---- and his Arab had succeeded in
discovering a boar. The Arab had fired at the brute at twenty paces,
but missed his aim. It was now past five o'clock, so we returned to
the caravanserai to dinner. Some Chasseurs d'Afrique had arrived in
the interim. Their captain joined us in our room, and promised us an
escort for the morrow. He was from Boulogne-sur-Mer, and spoke English
pretty well. He told us we should have to start at six in the morning
to cross the river.

Accordingly, next morning the Frenchman set out at six o'clock with
his troops and traps, leaving a dragoon behind as an escort for us,
but with the important qualification that the man might only stay one
hour behind the rest, as he must be present on the arrival of the
troop at Teniet. "_Et maintenant_," quoth this bold warrior, "_je vais
me servir d'un peu de votre tabac, s'il vous plait, car je vois que
votre blague est bien garni;_" and, filling his pipe, he vanished,
with a polite "_Au revoir, messieurs_!"

Feeling too tired to rise at seven for the sake of escort, especially
as we had not a very long journey before us, I remained comfortably
for breakfast, and B---- started alone. After a good meal, I set out
with Angelo, and we forced our way through a densely-wooded country,
till we came upon the obstacle which had lost us two days--the river
Klebah. This stream we managed with some difficulty to cross; a
Frenchman, who emerged from the auberge on the other side, assisting
us, by his advice, as to the best spot to choose for our passage.
B---- and the trooper had just finished breakfast in the auberge, and
departed. The landlady of the "Scorpion," a very chatty and amusing
personage, insisted upon it that I was a German. She favoured me with
a sporting anecdote, setting forth how she had killed three rabbits
during an expedition to pick some rose laurier on the hills. As the
bunnies popped their noses out of their holes, she had managed to pop
them off with the branches. As this was the only house to be met with
on that day's journey, I halted there for half an hour. Mine hostess
related how an "English milord" had stayed there for six months with
his wife, in a tent, without even a servant--"_Qu'ils sont drôles ces
Anglais!_" was the landlady's final comment; and it was not for me to
contradict the oft-repeated sentiment.

Through a mountainous and most barren country, amid a pelting
snow-storm, we wended onwards to Teniet. In my way from El Massin to
the "Scorpion," I might almost have knocked over several partridges
with my whip, so close did they come; but here there were none to be
seen, nor was there any cover that might shelter them. At a miserable
auberge called "_les Cèdres_," I found B----.

The fort at Teniet is a fine edifice, in a commanding position. I went
up and left my letter of introduction for Captain Camatte, who gave us
very small hope of sport. He did not seem very keen on the subject,
and advised us to try some other place, offering to give us
recommendations, &c. I returned to a most miserable room, where we
could hardly sit, so much were we annoyed by the smoke from the fire;
we could scarcely decide which was hardest to bear, the smoke within,
or the cold without. With a hearty laugh at the absurdity of coming to
such a place as Teniet in search of game, and with a determination to
set out on our return the next day, we betook ourselves to an early



  Cold Weather.--Milianah.--Vezoul.--The Aubergiste.--El Afroun.--The
  Rhamazan.--Dancing Dervishes.

In order to avoid the trouble of carrying our ammunition back with us,
we sold the greater portion of it. The snow lay four or five inches
deep in the road; we sent to the commandant to procure us mules and
other necessaries, and set out, with a snow-storm beating down upon
us, and the cold as sharp as it well could be. At the "Scorpion" we
refreshed ourselves with coffee, and then re-crossed the river, which
was scarcely fordable; we got to El Massin about six o'clock; the
brigadier told us he had shot a hyena. Some capital wild boar they
gave us for dinner, seemed to be an earnest of our return to sporting
latitudes. At half-past seven next morning, we emerged from the
caravanserai. The weather seemed at last, after a long season of
inclemency, to have set in for heat. "_Le temps s'est remis a neuf_,"
observed Mr. Ball; and it had changed with a vengeance, so far as the
temperature was concerned. Terribly hot we found it, marching across
the Milianah plain. We crossed the Djelish in a bac, or flying
bridge, and reached Afreville about ten o'clock. Leaving B---- and
Angelo to proceed to Medea, I went on to Milianah, where I arrived at
about twelve o'clock. While waiting there for my baggage, I noticed
some Arab boys playing at a game closely resembling hockey. Milianah
is a very strong fort, with a splendid view over the Atlas mountains
and the plain of the Djelish. I stopped at the Cat or Du-chat stables,
appropriately kept by Mr. Duchat-_el_, and found that it was too late
to stop at any place on the road to Blidah.

I took a walk through the town, and on the Grande Place found a number
of soldiers singing a chorus very creditably, without instrumental
accompaniment. They perform in this manner every Sunday. The view over
the plain of the Djelish is one of the most splendid I ever beheld,
not excepting that from the Alhambra itself. I was told I could easily
get to Blidah in a day on horseback, from Milianah, so I determined to
stay at the Hôtel d'Iffly, a very comfortable place. At dinner I met
Mostyn and Captain Ross, just arrived from Algiers, per diligence.
Captain R----, who is in the Bengal Artillery, told me he thought the
French used the natives much better than we do those of India. I
differ from him. One of the French officers with whom I dined told me
the only way to manage the "Indigènes" was by that vigorous measure,
"_un coup de fouet_," and, from what I saw, I believe it to be the

On Monday, the 19th, I left Milianah at about half-past seven, and
rode through splendid Pyreneean scenery to Vezoul, a French village.
The aubergiste took me for a German, and announced that he had two
German workmen staying with him, who spoke with the same accent I
used. When I repudiated my Teutonic nationality, he met me with the
remark: "_Enfin, c'est le même sang rouge qui coule dans nos veines,
que nous soyons Anglais, Français, ou Allemands;_" to which undeniable
proposition I rejoined, "_Oui, c'est vrai nous sommes tous Européens
ici._" I fed my horse here, and came on, over the mountains, under a
very hot sun, to Bourkikah, where I entered the Medidja plain. On
entering this plain, the traveller enjoys a magnificent view right
onward to sea, gleaming miles away in the sunny haze. At Bourkikah, my
horse was so tired, that I was obliged to take off the saddle-bags,
and leave them at the "Bureau des Diligences," to be forwarded. Some
French officers at the hotel assured me I should not be able to get to
Blidah, and recommended me strongly to stay at El Afroun, "_chez les
Petits Frères_," if I found my horse too tired to proceed. I rode
determinedly on through the plain, but could scarcely get my horse to
move by dint of whip or spur. By the time I had crossed the river into
El Afroun, I found my horse so entirely knocked up, that it was
clearly impossible to proceed. So, of necessity, I turned into the
auberge, and had a very good dinner, enlivened by a serenade from a
legion of frogs, croaking dolefully in the neighbouring marshes.

Getting away from El Afroun by six o'clock next morning, I found
myself at Blidah by half-past seven. The cavalry horses were just
turning out on the plains, and looked very handsome as I rode into the
town. At Blidah, where I breakfasted, the sun was hot enough to burn
my face in a most unequivocal manner, and to necessitate the purchase
of a new hat. On arriving at Bouffanieh, I got off my horse, which by
this time had fairly fallen lame, and took the diligence into Algiers.
At Bouffanieh I was much amused at the proceedings of a group of
Arabs, who were squatting on the ground, selling oranges. Their first
customer was a drunken Frenchman, who came staggering up, and began
chaffing the vendors; but they evidently got the better of him in no
time, and he retired in confusion. Next came a grave, steady-looking
Spaniard, who, after much bargaining, marched off with _one_ orange.
He was followed by a little girl, who very quickly got hold of three.
I thought Algiers improved on a second view.

Next day I went for a ride to the Maison Carrée, with De Warne and
Captain Thouars, of the _Euphrates_. We had a most magnificent view
over the plain of the Metidja. This was the first night of the
Rhamazan. I visited the mosques, which have been thrown open to
Europeans since the French occupation. Thence I proceeded to view a
strange religious or fanatic ceremony of the Mussulmans; some Swedish
naval officers were with us. The whole affair reminded me of a meeting
of Jumpers, or Ranters. There are no priests to take part in it. The
men stand round in a circle, reciting prayers to Allah, and calling on
Mahomet, while they work their bodies violently backwards and
forwards, till they lash themselves into a state of perfect frenzy.
One fanatic more zealous than the rest then rushes forward, cuts
himself with a knife, and stands on the sharp edge of the weapon,
which is held by another. The chaunt or psalm is then renewed, and
another devotee comes forward howling; snatches a portion of prickly
pear, and actually devours it ravenously. Then another exceedingly
zealous performer--whose face, by the way, reminded me strangely of
the portraits of Disraeli in _Punch_--seized some red-hot coals, and
held them in his mouth for a time, afterwards proceeding to swallow
lighted pipes, and execute other salamandrine feats. After witnessing
this spectacle of degradation for some time, we retired, somewhat
disgusted at the buffooneries perpetrated in this country, as
elsewhere, in the name of religion.



  Passage to Bona.--State of Affairs on Board.--Bona.--The Lake
  Metitza.--Ain Mokra.--Wild Duck Shooting on the Lake.

We bade adieu to B----, who had given us letters of recommendation to
the Admiral, for a first-class cabin to Bona--a thing difficult to
achieve on board the steamers here, as civilians are only allowed
second-class accommodation, the state cabin being reserved for the use
of naval and military officers, as the steamers on this line rank as
men of war. The boat was much crowded with soldiers, sailors, and
Arabs, and we had to share a most miserable berth with eight other
occupants. We had arrived too late to procure cabin places, and were
obliged to dine in an unsavoury den, reeking with pestilential odours.
Most of the Frenchmen grumbled loudly at the miserable accommodation
afforded in return for their money. Steaming along past a fine coast,
we reached Dellis about eight o'clock. I got Angelo to bring me my
sheepskin and cloak, and preferred sleeping on deck to passing the
night in a locality which, for the horrors it contained, might have
figured as a scene in Dante's "Inferno."

The gentle music of the sailors, swabbing the deck, awoke me next
morning. I found we were off Bougie, a most beautifully-situated
place, entirely surrounded by snow-covered mountains. Here are
distinctly to be seen the ruins of the old wall supposed to have been
built by the Vandals. A rather tedious day on board, but the
occupation of watching the coast, which is very fine, varied the
monotony of the voyage. We passed Djigelli at about twelve, and
Philippeville at nine in the evening, when I retired to rest, and, the
Fates be thanked, it was in a fresh cabin.

There was a Jewess on board, a rather pretty personage, who slept in
the same cabin with six men, most of them French officers, with a
coolness that astonished me. Her husband was in the berth opposite
her; she did not appear to feel the discomforts of her position, but
chatted away gaily in Arabic and French throughout the whole passage.
I don't think she quitted her berth once.

At half-past six on Saturday, the 25th of March, came Angelo to
announce to me that we were off Bona. This is a very strongly
fortified place. We were rowed ashore by Maltese boatmen, and, amid a
great crowd and bustle on the quay, landed, and went to the Hôtel de
France. The proprietors were very civil, and assigned us a room at the
top of the house, looking out on the place. We sallied forth in quest
of horses to take us to the market-place. An Arab, who spoke some
very broken and dilapidated Italian, took us round the market and
through the streets, shouting "Reel Ain Mokra!" Several Arabs came up
and offered us their horses, but the steeds had such a forlorn look,
that we declined the accommodation, and settled to start by carriage
next morning.

Accordingly, on Monday, the 26th of March, we set out at five o'clock,
on a most wretched morning. The vehicle was the most miserable
locomotive contrivance I ever saw. Drawn by two horses, it pounded and
churned along a most detestable road. We were obliged to get out
several times, and in one place we stuck in the mud for twenty
minutes. It was only by dint of putting our united shoulders to the
wheel, that we succeeded in extricating our unhappy chariot from its
stationary position. At length our eyes were gladdened by the sight of
the defile which opens on the lake Metitza, where Count Z----'s
property is situated. Though of Polish origin, the Count is an
Englishman, and has, I believe, been an officer. Right gladly we
alighted from the carriage, and, loading our guns, prevailed on some
Italian fishermen to take us out in a boat for a pop at the wild ducks
which we saw flying about by hundreds, bagged a few, and then returned
to find that the Count's keeper had come down, under the impression
that we were poachers, with a firm determination to take us into
custody there and then. The production of our letter of recommendation
brought him back to civility, and produced an offer to take us out
shooting; Count Z---- himself was absent in London.

There is an establishment here for the manufacture of oil from putrid
fish, which agreeable occupation announced itself in the shape of such
an overpowering odour, that I seized a glass of cognac, and fled
precipitately, taking my way towards the caravanserai of Ain Mokra.
Poor old Nero, whom I had brought with me, got into a scrape here, and
narrowly escaped being drowned. It appears that the putrid entrails of
the fish are thrown into a kind of pond, which is thus filled with a
slimy mixture resembling clay, and exhaling a most horrible odour when
exposed to the sun's rays. Nero contrived, in some way or other, to
slip into this delectable compound, and there he would have remained,
had I not laid hold of him and pulled him out by main force. I at once
had him washed and scrubbed, and even emptied some scent on him, but
in vain; for days afterwards, poor Nero carried about with him a
reminiscence of his odoriferous adventure, which rendered his absence
most desirable to the comfort and well-being of his friends. I sallied
forth about four miles from Ain Mokra, and lay in ambush for boars,
but none appeared, and only shot some jackals--a very poor substitute
for the nobler game I had missed.

[Illustration: R. Pheney, lith.

M. & N. Hanhart, Impt.


At five, next morning, I went out to shoot on the lake. I got Angelo
to row a boat slowly among the reeds, and soon saw hundreds of wild
ducks, teals, and large white birds of whose name I am ignorant; they
looked to me like flamingoes. I could only succeed in bagging a few,
as they were exceedingly shy, and made off as soon as the boat
approached; moreover, the rushes were not thick enough to afford us an
effectual concealment. As the miasma from the lake was sufficiently
powerful to threaten fever, we returned to the caravanserai, where we
breakfasted, and, after shooting a few quails, returned in our
carriage, at one o'clock, to Bona. My driver, who sat beside me, was a
very loquacious old soldier, who had served in the campaigns against
the Arabs under Baraguay d'Hilliers and Youssouf, and been present at
the capture of Milianah and Medeah. The Arabs, he said, never met the
French fairly _en bataille rangée_, but always fired from ambush at
the rear-guard, and in this way killed a great number of men. He
described the conduct of the Arabs to their prisoners as very
merciless. They never gave quarter, and frequently mutilated their
captives; the women, in this particular, being more cruel than the
men. I was informed, on my return, that the party who came out last
year to shoot, had only killed four lions in as many months, though
they had "all appliances and means to boot," and always kept several
Arabs in their pay.



  Algeria in general.--The Arabs and their Conquerors.--Antagonism
  between the Two Races.--Social Condition of the Arabs.--The Oasis
  steamer.--Arrival at Tunis.

On the 28th of March I left Bona in the steamer _Oasis_. The engine
broke down shortly after leaving the port, and, as the sails were
absolutely useless, we had the pleasant consciousness of drifting
towards a lee shore; but in a short time the damage was luckily
repaired, and we proceeded on our voyage.

The accounts I had heard of Algeria had not prepared me to find such a
flourishing state of affairs as I really found to exist in the
community. The colony possesses fine harbours, a magnificent soil, and
a glorious climate; numerous towns, with good hotels, are springing up
in the interior. It is true that many of the immigrants are not
French, but the majority are of that nation; and all the inhabitants,
after a few years, adopt the French manners and language. The
non-Gallic population are chiefly Spaniards, Italians, Maltese, and
Germans. I met only one party of English at Bona, where a community of
eighteen souls have been brought over by a Mr. Vincent; they appear
to thrive very well. I was told that Count Z---- intended establishing
an English village near Bona.

From the general prosperity, I, of course, except the Moors and Arabs,
who will never, I believe, adopt European civilisation; they seem to
recoil from before it, like the wild beasts of their native deserts.

The French people certainly pointed out to me in the towns one or
two _Europeanised_ Arabs, and laughed at the idea of their ever
becoming "_Français_." From what I saw, the natives merely adopted
the vices without the good qualities of the dominant race. If to be
civilised consists in sitting in the _cafés_, drinking absinthe,
playing cards, and speaking bad French, I certainly saw one or two
most unquestionable specimens of the Arab adaptability to Gallic
impressions; but, with the exception of these brilliant results, I
never saw the least token of intercourse between the Moors and
their conquerors; indeed, each nation may be said entirely to ignore
the existence of the other. The peculiarity of Mussulman habits,
with regard to women, entirely precludes all prospect of a future
mixture of the two races--such an amalgamation, for instance, as
occurred in our own country between the Norman-French conquerors
and the conquered Saxons. So well are the French aware of this
impossibility, that I have seen the question of the expediency of
utterly expelling the Mussulmans from Algeria gravely discussed in
the French journals.

Another method proposed was, that the young Arabs who had attained the
military age of from eighteen to twenty-two years, should be
transferred to France, there to pass their period of service as
infantry soldiers only, that opportunities might be found, during
their "soldiering years," for instructing them in agriculture, and the
rudiments of civilised education. This appears to me a sufficiently
feasible plan; but I suspect that the Arab converts to civilisation
would, on their return to their native land, quickly relapse into
their old idle, roving habits, their primitive mode of life, and their
inborn hatred of the infidel, whom they now regard as an instrument
sent by Providence to inflict vengeance on the true believer for his
apathy, and culpable neglect of his religious duties, including the
propagation of his faith by fire and sword. Still, they believe the
time to be approaching when every true son of the prophet shall "hae
his ain" again; and it is past the power of mortal man to shake a
Mahometan's trust and reliance on Destiny.

For the rest, the French behave with the greatest toleration towards
all members of the Moorish faith, who are allowed to perform every
rite of their religion, and polygamy even is permitted to prevail
among the Mussulman population. At Bona, a very handsome mosque is
being erected on the Grand Place by the Government. Tolerant
themselves, the French refuse, with perfect justice, to suffer any
display of bigotry or fanaticism on the part of the Mahometans towards
the Christian community; the consequence is, that the mosques and
other resorts of Mahometans are all thrown open to European visitors.

My dog Nero was a most decided favourite on board the French steamer,
_Oasis_. Everybody was caressing and patting him, from the captain to
the stewardess, rather a nice young female, from Germany, who took him
under her especial protection, and looked after his creature-comforts
in a way that must have aroused the most lively gratitude in the
canine bosom of the said Nero. Poor old dog! he seemed quite
bewildered at the attention he received, not only here, but also on
board the French man-of-war, the _Tartar_, where the French soldiers
and sailors were crowding around him all day long, and overwhelming
him with favours, in the shape of bits of meat, when they took their
meals. A number of Arabs were sleeping about the deck. These children
of the desert used to excite Nero's especial wonder. Whenever he was
let loose, he was sure to be sniffing about among the prostrate
figures, examining their faces and _bournouses_, and often waking them
up with a start, to the intense delight of the French tars.

On our arrival off La Goulette, the only anchorage for ships, situated
about eight miles from Tunis, by sea, and nine miles by land, we were
greeted by a scene of the most tremendous confusion. All the feluccas
were rowed by Arabs, and their shouting, swearing, and gesticulation
exceeded all my former experiences of the kind, Stamboul not
excepted. A little patience, and a good deal of backsheesh, enabled us
to pass our baggage through the Douane; and we sent it on by boat to
Tunis, whither we proceeded by land in a carriage, and a drizzling
rain. Once on the way we stopped, at what the inhabitants term the
"Carthaginian cistern," to take in some exceedingly dirty water, from
a fountain of old-fashioned appearance. The carriage windows were
closed on account of the rain--an arrangement which interfered a good
deal with my view of the surrounding country. Twice only, before we
arrived at Tunis, my companion, a Russian, opened the window--to spit!
On the first of these occasions, I got a glimpse of a large heap of
immense stones, which were pointed out to me as the ruins of Carthage,
and a grove of olives, looking dismal exceedingly in the drizzling
rain. On the second occasion, I saw the lakes, and a solitary Tunisian
sentinel. This soldier was dressed much in the Turkish costume, and I
should scarcely have known him from an Osmanli, but that he wore the
brass plaque in the front of his scarlet fez, instead of at the top.

As we approached Tunis, we became involved in an increasing crowd of
loaded asses and mules; and, amid a great deal of screeching and
shouting, we made our entry into the city, and drove to the Hôtel
de France, where we obtained such a complete view of an old wall,
that it effectually prevented us from seeing anything else. The
rooms, or rather holes, assigned to us, were so miserable, that we
tried the solitary opposition shop the place can boast--the Hôtel
de Provençe--but found that here we should fare rather worse than in
the Hôtel de France. There was a third establishment--a tavern,
rejoicing in the magniloquent title of "Hotel of the Britannic
Isles"--but as this hostelry was entirely occupied by sailors and
Maltese skippers, we declined to avail ourselves of the "Britannic"
accommodation. There was a great crowd of rather miscellaneous
company at the _table-d'hôte_. One French female, whom, without
offence to gallantry, I may be permitted to describe as the ugliest
woman I met in my travels, excited my especial horror. This charming
person actually amused herself, and disgusted her neighbours, by
indulging, _across the table_, in an amusement generally associated
in men's minds with the chewing of tobacco! I discovered, however,
that she was only a servant maid.



  Angelo's Horsemanship.--The Bey's Palace at Marsa.--The Arabs and
  their Love of Tobacco.--The Friendly Moor at Camatte.

On the first of April I rode to Marsa, a little town on the seashore.
Angelo's horse seemed rather fresh, and my servant was evidently no
Centaur. He came up to me in an olive wood, where I made a halt for
about five minutes. He was holding on hard by the mane, his trousers
were up to his knees, and his face was horribly pale. On my asking him
why he loitered behind so, he owned, with a dismal sigh, that he was
half afraid of the horse. "Afraid of the horse, sir!" was poor
Angelo's lament: "Very wicked horse, sir--fell from a horse, sir--at
Scutari, sir--broke three ribs, sir--and in hospital five weeks,

I told him to be of good cheer, for the horse would soon be quiet
after a good gallop; and, tying the horses to some olive trees, I bade
Angelo wait for me by the side of a little hillock in the plain, where
I could readily find him on my return, and went away into the forest
with my gun. The ground was covered with long, thick, pointed grass,
very wet with the dew. I saw some quails, and shot a few; then
returned to where Angelo was waiting, and galloped on to Marsa. At
this place, the Bey, and the principal inhabitants of Tunis, have
summer residences, to which they resort for the sake of sea-bathing.
On the way, I encountered a number of Arabs, mounted on mules. The
foremost shouted out to me in Arabic, as I passed, asking me to stop
and give him some tobacco. I understood the word "tobacco," which
seems to have nearly the same sound in all languages, and knowing this
request to be often a "dodge" on the part of the Arabs, who want an
opportunity to rob, if not to murder, the traveller, I pointed to
Angelo, who was following, about fifty paces behind me, with my gun,
and shouted out that _he_ would find tobacco for them. They evidently
understood my meaning; for they all set up a loud laugh, and my friend
the tobacconist--or rather the tobacco-less--looked exceedingly

I found Marsa very prettily situated, opposite to the bay of Tunis,
near the ruins of old Carthage. The Bey's palace is a handsome
building. The English and French consulates are also well built. I
proceeded to a small Italian _locanda_, to get breakfast; but the old
lady, who seemed the presiding genius of the place, obstinately
refused to let us have anything. "_Io han niente_," was her
unanswerable argument. But I rather ostentatiously pulled out my
watch, whose golden blink somewhat softened the old lady's mood, and
caused her to remember that she might have certain eggs, and some
bread, and salad, though a moment before she had been protesting that
she had not even such a thing as bread in the house. Her son, a
handsome young Italian, returned at this juncture, and we soon had an
excellent _déjeûner_ of sausages, salad, spinach, omelette, and
cheese, with very good wine and coffee. I went down to the seaside and
bathed, first burying my watch and purse in the sand; for the Arabs
have a weakness for occasionally coming down under such circumstances,
and stealing one's clothes.

Past a ruined temple, down an avenue into Camatte, where I got an Arab
to show me the way to a house formerly occupied by an Englishman.
Here, for a wonder, I met a Moor, who spoke very good French, and was
very civil. He asked me how I liked Africa, and laughed cordially at
my open avowal, that it was "_un peu bizarre_." After gathering a few
delicious oranges for me in the garden, he took me into the interior
of the house. I found it a most charming residence, with a deliciously
cool marble reservoir in the centre, full of gold and silver fish.

I rode back by the margin of the lake, but saw only small game till I
got to a large olive forest, where a jackal made his appearance. I
gave chase, and, after a rattling gallop, lodged him among some cactus
bushes, where I could get near enough to shoot him; and so back to



  Sleeman.--The Oued el Ahwena.--Its Scenery and its Dangers.--Beauty
  of the Landscape on its Banks.

I started next day with the Umbra, who was remarkable for a long
scimitar, and spurs nearly as long. Each time I put my horse to a
gallop, he was under the impression that I wanted to ride a race with
him, and went on at full speed, till I restrained his ardour. We
arrived duly at Sleeman, where the Caid had everything prepared very
comfortably for us. My friends B---- and F---- arrived later, in a
carriage. We had a good Arab dinner, with the national kouskous,
followed by a chibouk.

There was a river about six miles off, where boars were rumoured to
make their abode. I rose early next morning, and, proceeding to this
stream, hid in the thicket on the banks, while the Arabs beat the
bushes. After waiting a long time, I managed to "pot" a wild boar,
which came rushing past me at full speed. After this, the Arabs
refused to beat the bushes any more, declaring that the dogs were
tired, though the real reason was that they wanted their own dinners,
so I was obliged to give up the sport and return. The wild boar was
dispatched as a present to the consul.

[Illustration: R. Pheney, lith.

M. & N. Hanhart, Impt.


The river which we visited to-day is called the Oued el Ahwena. It
runs through a rich valley, bordered on both sides by mountains which
rise up gradually, and are covered to their very foot with trees of
various descriptions. The plain itself is fragrant with myrtles,
orange trees, and olives. The beauty of the scene amid which this
river falls into the sea is beyond description. Here the water is
hissing wildly among osiers and furze bushes; there it skips along
like a young goat over the small pebbles; and yonder, again, it winds
like a serpent among the sand hills on the sea-shore. The dark
olive-trees on the bank seem to look seriously on, like a father
watching the pranks of a favourite child. The large ash-trees shake
and quiver, like old aunts, all in a tremble at the dangerous hops and
vagaries of a lively niece; while the gay-plumaged birds of the air
ring out their wild applause, and the flowers on the bankside murmur
tenderly, "Oh, take us with you, dear sister!" But the joyous,
sparkling river rushes on like a coquette, bounding and skipping
towards its goal.

Such is the river Ahwena in the glorious month of April: fair without,
like many a gay flirt, she can yet inflict wounds incurable, if not
death, upon those whom her wiles entrap. Woe to the traveller or
hunter who, oppressed by thirst in this burning climate, ventures to
taste the sparkling water that bubbles up like champagne, invitingly
at his feet! Cholera and death would be the probable result. The
waters are redolent of cholera, and the banks of fever. No man may
pitch his tent in safety for a single night on the banks of this
death-dealing water; not even the Bedouins, who avoid the locality as
if it were plague-stricken, for fever is in the very air. Strange that
so fair an exterior should veil so baneful a mystery. Those bright,
sweet-smelling flowers conceal snakes and reptiles whose bite is
almost instantaneously fatal, and the place might be appropriately
termed the Valley of Death. Among yonder fair trees lurk the
treacherous panther and the slinking hyena.

Yet, in this world, amid present impressions of pleasure, we have
little time to think of the danger veiled beneath the smiling outward
shape. So, at least, it was with me, as I reclined on the carpet of
soft grass, after slaying the boar, placidly discussing my breakfast,
and enjoying the beauty of the scene around, with the azure-rippling
sea about two miles off, the magnificent mountains around me, the
sparkling river at my feet, and, across the bay in the far distance,
the ruins of the once mighty city of Carthage, with the birds singing
merrily overhead in the bright sunshine. There is exquisite pleasure
in the sensation of the external world thus melting away, as it were,
into a little world of our own, and when the green trees, the azure
sky, the perfumed plants, all take their places in an exquisite
picture of Nature's own painting. Women, perhaps, most indulge this
feeling; hence they often smile with an amiable incredulity when they
hear the "lords of the creation," proud of their scholastic lore,
discussing and settling everything, priding themselves upon having
divided all things so cleverly into _subjective_ and _objective_, and
boasting that they have furnished their wise heads with so many
drawers (like a chemist's shop, forsooth), with reason located in one,
good sense in another, understanding in a third, and so on to the end
of the chapter.



  El Greesh.--Shooting Hyenas.--An Expedition with the Arabs.--The
  Caid and his Family.--Another Wild Boar.

The next day I rode on to a place called El Greesh, about twenty miles
from Sleeman. I wanted to pitch my tent at the base of the purple
mountain, outside the village, where I was sure we should have got a
great deal of game, as the mountains were covered with thick
underwood. A----, however, and the rest were opposed to it, so I
yielded, and pitched my tent in the village itself, where I soon had
the entire tribe around me, examining me and my arms, my gestures, and
everything, as if I was an event. After a cup of coffee, I determined
to start in search of game, and, with a little backsheesh, got an Arab
to accompany us to one of the neighbouring defiles, where, after
waiting about an hour and a half, I managed to bag a very fine hyena.
He was just sneaking out of his hole, and was about 150 yards off. On
my return, the natives manifested great joy, shook my hands, made a
circle round me, tapped me on the back, &c., to my chagrin. As I was
tremendously fatigued, I retired to my sheepskin in my tent with
great satisfaction. The natives all slept around our tents on the
ground, and some of them kicked up a most infernal noise till about
two in the morning, singing a sort of chorus. The following morning
the whole tribe collected around our tents and watched _our toilette
du matin_ with the most intense eagerness.

[Illustration: R. Pheney, lith.

M. & N. Hanhart, Impt.


The greater part of them had brought their matchlocks, as the day was
to be a grand field-day, and they were all in the highest spirits,
laughing, and cracking jokes to an extraordinary amount. We started
about seven A.M., and I remained till eleven A.M., till which time
they had not succeeded in driving anything out of cover. Here I
sprained my ankle in descending a broken gully, and was obliged to
return to the tent. I came back about four P.M., with only small game.
After sun-down we went out a second time in ambush after hyena. A lion
or panther came, a little after sunset, and frightened the horses so
that they broke loose, and we returned to the tents about eleven P.M.

The next day we started early, in order to return to Sleeman. We
stopped an hour on the banks of our old friend, the river Oued el
Ahwenah, for luncheon, where I shot several quail and snipes, and a
large bird, whose name I ignore, also a hare, the only one I saw in
Tunisia. About four P.M., I reached the Caid's house; a woman, for a
wonder, opened the door. As the Caid was there, I looked anywhere but
at her. The next day we went out all day, after boar, to the river,
with an Italian and some Arabs. I stood up to my knees in the river
for about an hour in the brush-wood, when one rushed by; I fired, and
he rushed forward badly damaged. The rest fired, and he was found dead
a few yards off. The Italian's steed broke loose, and he left us in
search of it. I broke from my _corps de garde_. My horse lost a shoe,
and then broke loose, and I had to follow him for more than a mile. I
had a kind of dumbshow conversation with the Caid's son on my return,
a very fine, handsome lad, about seventeen. I hear his sister is most
beautiful, and I promised to send him a present, on getting to Tunis,
and he is to write to me and tell me if he receives it. After dinner
the Caid came and smoked two or three pipes, drank coffee, and wished
us adieu in a most gracious manner.

We had considerable difficulty in bringing home the boar, as our Arabs
all deserted us on account of its being the Ramadhan; but Angelo and
B---- managed to carry it back between them. I returned to Tunis next



  Picturesque Situation of Tunis.--The Horse Market.--Effects of
  Race.--The Bazaars.--Mohamed Medea.--The Bardo.--The Bey of
  Tunis.--His Mode of administering Justice.--Prince Puckler
  Muskau's Account of his Interview.

Tunis is situated on the borders of a lake, or rather inlet of the
sea. It is surrounded by a crenelated wall, which resembles very much
that of Constantinople. Like that city, too, Tunis, from the exterior,
presents a very imposing aspect; but enter the city, and the illusion
vanishes; there is the same dirt, the same narrow and filthy streets,
as in the Turkish capital. The dogs alone are wanting to make the
comparison perfect. An ancient historian has called this place _Tunis
the white_; but, like other whited sepulchres, it is very foul within.
The horses, the really thorough-bred ones, are the finest objects in
Tunis. As in the canine and human, so in every other race, blood will
tell. The Arab horse, though by no means so swift for a short distance
as his English cousin, has a most marvellous power of endurance. He is
also extremely sure footed, and scarcely ever comes down. I weigh over
thirteen stone, yet have frequently ridden the same horse forty
English miles per diem, over country that would infallibly cut up your
English two hundred guinea hunter. They also, so to speak, live on
air. Their chief drawback is that they are, with few exceptions,
stallions, and, consequently, when tethered or standing near each
other, are very apt to fight most desperately, or else break loose
from their tetherings, when a long and wearisome pursuit is the
necessary result. It is very difficult to come across the best _pur
sang_ horses, as the Arabs are afraid of the Bey's taking a fancy to
them, and taking them by force; and, consequently, they often
purposely mutilate them, lest he should seize them to himself. There
are also some very fine bazaars at Tunis, and the otto of roses there
is especially excellent. Our Consul has a very fine, large house, and
dispenses his hospitalities, &c., very generously to his compatriots.
His lady is also a most amiable person. Tunis is, I hear, celebrated
for the manufacture of the red cap, usually termed "fez," which is
worn generally throughout Mussulman countries, and universally by the
military. The Tunisian soldiers wear the plaque in front of the fez,
in lieu of on the top, like the Turkish. As soon as I had selected my
horse, a fine black thorough-bred Arab (whose price was four hundred
francs only), I used to make excursions every day into the country,
sometimes alone, sometimes attended, always armed, as the Francs of
Tunis told me many stories of the dangers arising from going out in
the country unarmed, among the Arabs. I think a great number of them
were very much exaggerated. One of the places I was fond of riding to
was Mohamed Medea, about twelve miles from Tunis, very prettily
situated, where there was a very fine ruin of a Roman aqueduct, and
eke a French restaurant, where a _déjeûner_, made more agreeable by a
twelve miles' ride, was served in quite Parisian style. The reason of
there being a French restaurant is this:--The present Bey, on his
accession, determined to build a fresh palace at this place; and,
being under a sort of douce compulsion, employs nothing but French
architects and operatives, who make the hotel their head-quarters, it
being about the only Christian house in the entire place. Quail
abounded in this vicinity, and there were _pas mal de sangliers_. To
escape from the _ennui_ of the _table d'hôte déjeûner_ at Tunis,
occupied by French bagmen and milliners, and served in a stuffy hole
of a back kitchen, I used frequently to make Angelo put my breakfast
in my _sacoche_ (saddle-bag), consisting of a piece of cold meat and
some _vin du pays_, and then ride out, dismount, and breakfast _al
fresco_, or rather _al bosco_; sometimes I am sorry to confess to
breaking the eighth commandment, as I helped myself to my dessert of
oranges, from the trees near or under which I sat. The Arabs, _malgré_
the ogre histories I had heard of murder and robbery, were always most
civil, and would accept, in spite of the prophet, a glass of wine from
my hands though our conversation was of course of the most limited
description, unless Angelo was present to interpret. It is true I
always was armed.

The Bardo is one of the lions of Tunis. It is the country residence of
the Bey, and, besides the harem, contains a hall of justice and
barracks. It is at Bardo that the Bey holds his court of justice, in
which the cases are decided very quickly, and with great precision.
The interior of the harem, according to a French traveller, who had
visited it, is fitted up very gracefully. There is a magnificent _jet
d'eau_ in the marble court of the interior. The gallery running round
this court on the second storey is furnished with a very artistically
elaborated railing, or grating, part of which is painted green, part
gilt. Behind this railing the ladies of the harem get a sly peep at
those who visit his highness. The vast saloon in which the Bey
receives his visitors is hung with crimson velvet, embroidered with
gold, and the ceiling is also gilt and painted over in brilliant
colours. From the two sides of the wall are suspended different
descriptions of arms, richly manufactured; on the right, they consist
of swords and poniards; on the left, of various kinds of muskets and
pistols. Gold, silver, and precious stones sparkle out from these
arms. Under these weapons are ranged three rows of divans, covered
with a thick sort of red silk. The centre of the apartment is
furnished with magnificent Persian carpets. On the lowest of the
divans, the principal courtiers seat themselves, on solemn days of
reception, in double file; while at the extremity, the Bey reclines on
an ottoman placed crossways, and covered with white satin. In Europe,
we might, with great advantage, take a wrinkle or two from this
semi-barbarian prince as regards the administration of justice with
expedition. The Bey of Tunis is, at one and the same time, the chief
governor of the realm, the administrator of the public revenues, and
the final judge of all grand cases. From his immediate authority
depends the administration of the police, the imposition of taxes, the
various diplomatic relations, and the superintendence of the army and

We Europeans can scarcely comprehend how one man can look after so
many different details, or direct them with order and precision. But
in this country, mark, oh! red-tapeists, everything relating to
interior administration is reduced to the greatest simplicity, and
from this simplicity, freed from the complicated system of European
red-tapeism and bureaucracy, results, it is to be hoped, a strict
economy in public expenses, and a rapid process in the courts of
justice and other Government affairs. Where a European prince would
require a hundred different _employés_, here five or six clerks
suffice. Besides the celerity and economy resulting from such a
system, a third no less important advantage is derived, viz., the
facility with which the Bey is able to superintend the conduct of the
ministers, being so few in number, and immediately detect and punish
those in whom any act of embezzlement or fraud has been detected; and
punishment in this country immediately follows detection. Verily,
there are advantages in autocratic as well as in constitutional

In the administration of justice, too, the Bey is supreme judge, from
whom there is no appeal. The celerity with which causes are tried and
judged, is, I am told, perfectly astounding. The case merely consists
in a simple exposition of the facts, and such is the wonderful power
of discernment of the merits of the case which the Bey thinks he has
obtained from long habit, that it is said he rarely deliberates. The
court is open to the public--even to Christians! I did not go; but
Prince Puckler Muskau has left an account of his presence there. After
giving a description of the room, &c., and the Bey's entry, the Prince
proceeds:--"The Bey was now presented with a magnificent pipe, which
was at least ten feet long. After a few puffs, the audience commenced.
The civil and criminal procedure is so summary, that a great majority
of cases were decided in as many minutes as they would have taken
years in Europe. The subject of the causes was frequently very
trivial, yet the patience of the sovereign was by no means exhausted.
I thought, in general, that the pleaders were satisfied with the Bey's
decision. One sees, by this, that the Bey's place is no sinecure; and
I am told that few monarchs in Christian countries have so much
personally to do. The Bey sits every day in the court, from eight in
summer, and from nine in winter, till mid-day; and illness, or absence
from town, is his only excuse for non-attendance. His other
governmental duties occupy pretty well the rest of his day."

Each country has an "idea," I suppose, that its own Government is
best, and perhaps it is as well it should be so. The man who travels
much sees the defects and the advantages of each. Our Parliament would
certainly not easily be acclimatised in Barbary, nor would a Bey
exactly do to grace the British throne. What, for instance, would we
think of such a proclamation as this in the _London Gazette_, on a
king's accession? It was issued by Mustapha, the father of the present
Bey, to the consuls of Christian powers:--"Glory to princes of the
religion of Messiah. To the chosen by the great of the nation of
Jesus, our most honoured, most longed for, most magnificent, and most
powerful friend, the King of ----, we make known, friendly, the
following: On Wednesday, 23rd of the month of Moharrem the sacred, of
the present year 1251, at the moment when the sun illumined the
horizon, the hour marked by destiny having struck for my most honoured
brother, Hassein Basha, he emigrated towards the mansion of eternity,"
&c. &c.



  Reflections on Ancient Carthage.--Hannibal and his Career.--An
  Arab Domicile.--Picturesque appearance of the Ruins.

I went three times to the "Ruins," and therefore should have been
lucky. I was, however, the reverse, both as to seeing anything of the
ruins, and also the particular object which brought me there. I think,
myself, proverbs are very deceitful, and should, like dreams, be read
by contrary; some are utterly unintelligible; as, for instance--will
any one tell me what this one signifies?--"Sweet words butter no
parsnips." I thought parsnips (and, being fond of vegetables, I should
like to know) were generally seasoned with pepper or vinegar. I am,
perhaps, too stupid to comprehend it, and, like stupid people, abuse
what I don't understand. Therefore, don't let any one expect a long
description of how this part is Phoenician, and is supposed to be
where the Carthaginian parliament was held; or their dandies and
"fast" of both sexes met to polka of a night, or drink Punic punch; or
a "_cabinet de lecture_," or club, where the _Times_ or the _Globe_
gave the latest telegram from Italy; as how Hannibal obtained a
glorious victory over the Roman troops at Thrasymene, or that the
commissariat was bad; then, perhaps, old grumblers decried the
dissipation at Cannæ, and the expense of the war; and ancient
merchants on 'Change complained of the rising importance of the Roman
navy, whose ships had just captured the large Phoenician brigantine
_Argo_, from Sidon, laden with a valuable freight, otto of roses, and
bound for Carthage--_apropos_ of which I will remark, there is a
military Rome and a mercantile Carthage in modern times. Take care we
be not the Carthage; let us remember that it was from a stranded Punic
vessel the Romans learnt the maritime art, in which, at last, they
excelled their enemies. Hannibal appears to me always the greatest man
of any age, ancient or modern--Napoleon not excepted--and perhaps the
most unfortunate. His character comes to us, as his exploits, from
foreign and hostile sources; for I believe there exist no Phoenician
records; so that there remains a great deal of discount to take off in
the way of disparagement, depreciation, &c. &c. It is as if the future
Australian, standing on the ruins of a city mightier than Carthage,
could obtain no account of Napoleon, but through partial and
depreciatory fragments from the pages of Sir Walter Scott's life of
that extraordinary meteor. Napoleon, it is true, crossed the Alps, but
Hannibal traversed the Alps and Pyrenees too, and I fancy the last are
the more impassable of the two. It is true I have not copied Albert
Smith, or our other heroic youths, but I have climbed the Malodetta,
which well becomes its appellation. Then, Napoleon had a friendly
population at any rate behind him, to bring supplies, &c. Hannibal was
everywhere surrounded by hostile tribes, besides having had the
disadvantage of a march through enemies' countries of several hundred,
if not thousand miles. I hope the living in Spain, for his sake, did
not then consist of _olla podrida_, with a variation of garlic and
acid wine.

Perhaps there existed in these days some machine, or some marvellous
powder, by which real mountains might be removed (as spiritual ones by
faith) at pleasure, and replaced in their original position; but as
history makes no mention thereof, it is but fair to conclude not. No,
the only machine used, the only mine, was the invincible and iron will
of the Carthaginian hero. He, too, if I mistake not, lived under
parliamentary _régime_, in the shape of a senate, a great hamper on
military manoeuvres, where all should be done quickly, secretly, and
unanimously. Napoleon was his own master, with a devoted people. I
wonder if parliamentary debates, in Punic days, were as long and
insipid as in modern; that is, I have not been to them, but judge by
what one reads in that modern tyrant, the _Times_. Oh, mighty _Times_!
how we abuse you, and yet how should we relish our breakfast without
you? who ever comes up to all we look for when great occasions call
for your wonderful pen, stirring us to the quick; or whether, in an
idle mood, we seek to while away the passing hour by a description of
the last new folly, or the latest odour of the Thames, or anything
else instructive and amusing. By the way, if the senate of Carthage
took quarter as long sending supplies to their general as the Commons
discussing the way to purify the Thames, I fancy he would not have
crossed the Pyrenees.

I said I went three times to Carthage; the first time, an English
friend was leaving that day by a sailing ship, and I had promised to
lunch with him at Goulette, and then see him on board, the first of
which I did in a small house dignified by the name of _locanda_, or
_Hôtel Français_, where some Maltese captains were breakfasting, who
had a strong odour of onions and garlic, and at another table a
Savoyard was discussing the question of annexation with a Provençal,
in what I may term _moitié Français moitié Italien_. They gave us soup
made of, I don't know what, but the pepper was very strong, or rather,
I may say, would have been, if it were not for the strong taste of the
water, and _vice versâ_; after that, some dried fish, called sardines,
which they said had just been caught. For second course, we had a sort
of _gigot de mouton_, which, in form, resembled the temple of Neptune
at the "ruins," and you might almost have sworn they had cut it into
that shape on purpose; and quails, very excellent; and we finished
with cheese, which might have been manufactured from goat's milk, or
cow's milk, or camel's milk, or all three, or any other milk, but was
dignified by the appellation of _Chesterrre_, and was decidedly not
Stilton, and eke delicious oranges. In this dinner we meet, as in
life, with much good to counteract the evil, as the delicious quails
made up for rancid flesh of sheep or horse; so, when next Lady Julia
Plantagenet jilts me, I will remember Jessie Jones; or, again, as
these fragrant oranges, redolent of the East, caused me to forget the
nauseous _fromage_, so shall the friendship and good opinion of Brown
console me for the putty eye and freezing regard of the fashionable
Fitznoodle, when next we meet, not at Philippi, but in the park! After
lunch, and adieux, I mounted my horse for the ruins, as my friend's
vessel did not start as expected that day, owing to the calm.

On passing the gate of Goulette, several Arab convicts, in chains,
shouted at me for something; what it was, I ignore; perhaps they asked
for backsheesh, or tobacco, or powder, fine or coarse; or, may be,
they called me a dog of a Giaour, and cursed my relations and their
limbs. This Goulette appears to be the chief place for the Arab
malefactors, and they are mainly employed in improving the high road
between Goulette and Tunis, and also in repairing the fortifications.

The afternoon was beautiful, though hot. As it wanted some time to
dinner at Tunis, I made a _détour_ on my return to the ruins, and it
requires a fine air to make you enjoy fine scenery. There was
scarcely a ripple on the blue Mediterranean. Beautiful trees of every
description, olive and orange trees, oleanders, and others, grew to
the very base of the mountain, and sent up a delicious perfume. I
visited the chapel of St. Louis, from which one enjoys a most
delicious prospect. It is built over some god's temple--whose, I
forget, or even whether a Roman or Punic one; but this is dedicated to
the true God and Christian worship, in remembrance of that venerable
French king, who is said to have perished here, while on his way to
Palestine, to fight the Moslem. Peace to his ashes! However, I
soon left the hill to re-descend, for I was very thirsty; all of a
sudden, behind an olive bush, I saw a head, black as ink, pop out;
I hallooed to it first in English, then in Italian. No effect. I saw
a female figure disappear behind a cottage, and out rushed a fine
tall Arab, with menacing gesture, and more menacing language. I was
in his garden. "A glass of water, please," said I, in Italian. Still
no effect. I thought he was going to be savage, when, from behind
the house popped, or rather rolled out, another little naked,
curly-headed, black ball--a triennial by his looks--the Arab's only
boy, no doubt. He was so irresistibly comic in appearance, that I
burst into a fit of laughter. The man's face changed in a moment. I
suppose he thought I was admiring the child. He immediately
understood what I required, which he brought in such a large cup,
that I thought it was intended for a pail. I nearly emptied it,
however. He then volunteered bread and olives, which, however, I
declined, to spoil my dinner. We then made mutual signs of greeting,
and parted. Had I been able to talk, I would have stopped longer.
There was a sudden friendship sprung up between me and that poor
unlettered infant of the desert.



  Great Extent of the Ancient City.--Marsa, on the
  Sea-shore.--Carthaginian Catacombs near Camatte.--Quail
  Shooting.--Trait of Honesty in the Arabs.--The Arab
  Character.--Anecdotes concerning them.

The second time I went to the ruins I went, like Scipio, to weep, not
over Carthage, but the loss of my breakfast; and the more so that
it was to have been a very good one--a regular pic-nic, or _fête
champêtre_--under olive-trees, or orange-trees, or palms, shaded
from the scorching rays of Phoebus. Champagne, Burgundy (my
favourite wine), were to crown the repast. Nor was the food to be
only corporal, but eke mental, as the great explorer--the great
excavator--was to be there, to have explained that this was a
theatre, that an aqueduct; the god to whom this temple or that
altar was dedicated; and how many four-in-hands, driven by fast
young Phoenician guardsmen, would have been able to pass each other
down that "_via longa_." How many stones made up that house; and that
this was a bath, and not a harem; and that a certain statue of some
celebrity--whose name I had never heard, and never shall--was, by
some, supposed to lie 100 feet under this marble pillar, though,
according to others, he might be 102 feet deep interred--for all of
which, I daresay, I should have been the wiser and the better; but I
was sufficiently mundane to regret my _déjeûner_ the most. The fact
is, A----, whose back was not sufficiently recovered to accompany me
riding, and the American Consul and Davies, had gone with the edibles
and beverages in a carriage, and were to have met me at the temple
of some god. But, unfortunately, I mistook the deity's name, and
afterwards found that their shrine lay ten miles off from the one I
worshipped at. This will give one a good idea of the vastness of
the ancient city, and struck me more than all the lectures and
description in the world. Where people were crowded like bees, as
in our London, buying and selling, and riding and driving, some 2,000
years past--occupied then, as now, in all the frivolities of this
empty world--to find a complete solitude--a desert nearly--where
wander the jackal and hyena! A very clever people, no doubt, these
same Phoenicians were, to judge by their edifices; yet they had not
discovered the theory of water finding its own level, as the
peculiar construction of an aqueduct proves, the remains of which
still exist, and which was to convey water some forty miles from the
interior. There was a Roman city built over the Punic one, and the
latter alone, of course, interests, as the former is seen any day, at
Pompeii, in better perfection. Besides Angelo and myself, there was
not a human being in view--yes, there are three Arab youths
reclining behind that ruin of a wall, motionless as statues; I thought
they were statues at first. Two have long flint guns, perhaps to
keep crows off the corn, or shoot quails; or, perhaps, to shoot me
if they can; for I have a fine gold chain, not to mention a ring,
which would maintain them till they died of old age--which could
keep them in ease and elegance for a couple of years, at the least.
You have yet to learn, if you know it not, that ten Arabs, fine
men though they be, with such rusty weapons as yours, are barely a
match for one European with an arm such as mine. But, my poor boys,
there is no chance for you. I have, you see, a revolver with six
barrels. When you see that, your brow droops as much as your eyes
sparkled when you saw the chain. It is fancy, on my part, most
probably; so, off my horse, and off with my clothes. The sun was
scorching, and I took a delicious swim in the sea, and then rode on to
Marsa, where is a ruin (everything is in ruins here) of modern
date--the late Bey's palace--a most superb edifice. I said a ruin,
yet it is scarcely a ruin, though fast becoming so. Marsa is a sort
of watering-place for the Christians of Tunis during the heat of
summer. A----'s description of the part he visited I will give: "I
went with Davies and the Yankee Consul to see the catacombs of
Carthage, near Camatte, which completely undermined a large mountain
by the sea coast. They contain rows of niches for the coffins, and
each chamber communicates with others. They hold some twenty coffins
each. Some skeletons have been found, and nails; the former crumbled
to pieces immediately, on being exposed to the air. These catacombs
are now inhabited by hyenas and jackals, and had a strong odour of
those animals." It is supposed they extend for miles, but the impurity
of the atmosphere precludes entrance to any distance.

My third visit was to shoot quails on ground where, centuries ago,
Hannibal had passed at the head of his bronzed legions, amid admiring
groups of citizens, the bands playing, perhaps, "_Partant pour
l'Italie_." The migration of quails takes place at this season, and,
with a good retrieving spaniel, hundreds may be shot. But they lie
very close, and require a dog to put them up. They are by no means
easy to shoot, and require snipe shot. They lie in the young corn,
which is very thick and thriving here as on the field of Waterloo. As
I had put up No. 6 shot by mistake, and had no spaniel, I bagged but
few comparatively, some twenty. A great number of these quails are
sent alive to England, and on board the Italian steamer from Sicily
there were about twenty large cages, containing about fifty live
quails each, which they told me were going to Britain; they had been
caught like larks by the net.

By the way, I had here a proof of Arab honesty, refreshing as an
oasis in the desert. Riding back through a village to Goutelle (where
I was staying, previously to embarking for Malta), I dropped my
powder-flask, unawares to myself. I had not passed two minutes when
I heard a loud halloo, and turning, perceived an Arab running at full
speed to me with my powder-flask. Now, powder is what Arabs prize
more than gold even, precious stones, or tobacco, yet they might
easily have taken this without my knowing anything. On my offering
him coin worth about sixpence, the Arab, in broken _lingua Franca_,
made me comprehend he preferred a few charges of powder, which I
immediately gave, and which he carefully wrapped up in some old
paper. I record this, because at Tunis and elsewhere, we hear of
nothing but Arab dishonesty and thieving propensities. Is it true,
and this exception a proof of the rule? or are all these stories
false? It is hard to say.

They are a curious race, apparently a mass of contradictions. One
thing is certain; you must not treat them in the _du haut en bas_
style. They are very proud, and naturally regard every Christian _ipso
facto_ as individually inferior to the Mussulman, more specially in
the far interior, where Christians have not as yet penetrated. A----
and his party had started for Kef, _malgré_ my dissuasions. The fact
of a man going to explore Punic ruins with one going to discover
Mauritanian lions, was, to my mind, like mixing oil and vinegar, or
fire and water, or eating meat with your knife, or soup with a fork,
or taking two helpings of soup, or anything else incongruous. D----
was to be their interpreter. The Arabs there told them that a lion
can carry away a camel on his back, but not lift a sheep. This they
firmly believe. The reason assigned is, that in former times (when
animals spoke), the lion said, "I will carry off this sheep, with or
without the consent of Allah;" and Allah said to the lion, "You shall
not;" and from that time the monarch has never been able to lift a
sheep. At one time the man and the lion were great friends, and the
lion did not know he was stronger than the man. One day, as they were
out walking together, a thorn ran into the lion's foot; he limped, and
stopped to pull it out, when the man, in derision, said, "What! so
strong a creature hurt with a thorn?" Then the lion in anger ran the
thorn into the man's eye, who cried out with pain. This proved to the
lion the man's inferiority, and ever after they were declared enemies.
At a place called Tibursok, where A----'s party passed on their road
to Keff, not a Christian, or even a Jew, were to be seen, consequently
the Arabs were very intolerant. D---- walked into this town alone, in
front of the party, and, speaking Arabic well, questioned one of the
Arabs about some ruin, when another came up and said, "Why do you
attend to that dog of a Christian?" D---- took no notice, when the
other shouted out, "Cursed be your father, your mother, and all the
members of your house." D---- then collared him; the Arab inquired,
"What for?" "Because you cursed my relatives," said D----, seeing the
rest of the party with the Bey's escort coming up, "and now, just
show me the Caid's residence, and I will have you bastinadoed."
However, as some of the other Arabs crowded round and begged for
mercy, D---- thought it better to let him off.



  My fellow-passenger, the Sportsman.--Passage from Tunis to Malta
  in a Sailing Vessel.--Disagreeables of the Passage.--Home,

On the steamer _Meludiah_, for Malta, I found a sporting Frenchman
on deck. He had been my fellow-passenger from Bona to Tunis, and
carried a revolver and a gun; the first for porpoises, the second
for gulls, &c. He recounted to me, with great glee, how he had shot a
grosbeak, and some other small birds, near Tunis, and given them to
the cook on board for our dinner. It was a Mussulman steamer, and,
being Rhamazan, they did not serve dinner till after sunset. I was
nearly famished. The first course was salad served with rancid oil,
which immediately brought me and the Frenchman on deck. During the
rest of the passage I made Angelo serve my repasts. The Frenchman was
a character. "_Je viens de perdre ma femme_," he said; "_il y a
des femmes mechantes vous savez, Monsieur, et des femmes bonnes; la
mienne était bonne! mais bonne! Tenez, je l'ai mis dans le cercueil
moi même, et maintenant je suis ici pour me distraire, car je n'en
trouverai pas une comme celle-là, allez. Je ferai le voyage, j'irai
en Alexandrie--n'importe où, travailler j'irai à l'Isthme de
Suez._" At last we arrived in Malta. It is a pity for officers and
others there is no regular communication by steam between Malta and
Tunis; for the _désagrémens_ of a sailing-vessel are by no means
despicable. Witness a friend of mine's report thereon:--

"25th.--Came on board the _Gemo_ at seven A.M.; went on shore again at
nine, and stopped all day. Dined and slept on board; rough living
here, but no cattle, which is a great thing.--26th. Set sail at eleven
A.M.; fair wind; fine day, and very hot.--27th. Rain all night; wind
light and variable, and one made but little progress. Cape Bona still
close to us this morning. We are only going at three and three-quarter
knots per hour. A fine breeze got up at twelve, and at seven we passed
Panteleria Isle, going at seven knots.--28th. Wind fell away early
this morning, and about eleven blew strong from the east: the worst
quarter it could for us.--29th. This accursed wind has lasted all
night, and blows harder this morning; the sea, too, is very high. It
is intensely miserable; rough sea, bad grub, no one to talk to, no
books, and no idea when we shall reach Malta.--30th. East wind still;
an almighty swell on; one can neither sit, lie, nor stand with
comfort. The coast of Sicily is very plain this morning. We are about
forty-five miles from Malta, but no one can say when we shall reach
it. Fresh provisions have nearly come to an end. Let any one ever
catch me on board a sailing-ship again, unless I am forced.--1st. Half
a gale, and a heavy sea last night; got no sleep, as the ship jumped
so; and the mattress--fancy now!--is stuffed with sticks, and is so
cursedly hard, that, after five days of it, one's bones ache all over.
A very fine day; but this awful wind still east. At eleven A.M. we
were off Gozo, only twenty miles from our destination; but it was
impossible to get there. The diet and food on board are awful; I am
nearly starved. There was only one thing amusing. A Maltese, who slept
in the other berth near me, sneezed nine times in as many minutes;
and, after each sternutation, he went through a short formula of
prayer, beginning 'Santo Something,' to keep the devil to leeward, I
suppose; and, egad, I think he must have been on board _in propriâ
personâ_, under some disguise, to have caused us so bad a passage.
This afternoon, to vary the programme pleasantly, we had a dead calm.
Our miseries seem to have no end. I begin to think I shall rival the
'Flying Dutchman,' and never make my port, but sail on for ever.--2nd.
A north-west wind sprang up at five P.M., and we reached Malta at

Thus, the sailing-vessel took seven days to do what I did in thirty
hours on the steamer. After the usual amount of driving, dining, &c.,
at Malta, in the words of the poet I bid

    Adieu to joys of La Valette,
    Adieu, sirocco, sun, and sweat;
    Adieu, ye females without graces,
    Adieu, red coats and redder faces;
    Adieu, the supercilious air
    Of those that strut _en militaire_.

And now the word is "homeward;" and across a track well known to the
English tourist, we journey onward, till

    The mountains of Trieste afar are seen,
    And farther yet, the Alps, whose highest peak
    Now glitters with a gay and snowy sheen
    In the bright sun; as quick our sailors seek
    An anchorage in the port, where Turk and Greek,
    Swede and Levantine, and full many more,
    The haughty Spaniard, and the German sleek,
    All races, from the Nile unto the Nore,
    Into Trieste, in many a varied costume pour.

    Along thy silent streets I wander now,
    Venice, once queen, aye, empress of the sea!
    Fairest in art as clime, yet sunk so low
    Beneath the despot Teuton's rule, I see
    Thy halls deserted, fallen, yet in thee
    Much splendour to admire there still exists.
    Well could I quit my native land, and flee
    The rugged northern clime, the vapid mists,
    With thee to dwell, did I that only what me lists.

    The fiery car speeds on her iron way,
    Through hill, o'er valley quickly do we fly.
    There lies the grot of Adelberg, and day
    Sees us past Gratze's fortress hasten by
    Like lightning's flash, nor stop until we spy
    St. Stephen's dome from out the darkness peer.
    Like _bas reliefs_ her turrets in the sky
    O'ertop Vienna, great the pious fear
    Of holy men, who such vast beauteous structures rear.

    There Coeur de Lion lived and almost died,
    In yonder ruin gray o'erbent by time,
    But that a troubadour, a servant tried,
    His well-loved master sought through every clime;
    Nor sought in vain, for by a simple rhyme,
    A soft tuned sonnet, in a dungeon cold,
    Imprisoned here he found him for no crime,
    And saved. The ruins past, I now behold
    Prague's lofty palaces arise, and turrets old.

    The scene is changed by many a lovely vale:
    Upon the Elbe my rapid way I went,
    Where Nature reigns supreme, nor aught avail
    'Gainst her the charms a Raphael's touch can lend
    To Art's supremest works; these all depend
    On light, on colour, on the master's hand;
    Nature's own work, so thought I, as I bend
    My steps through Dresden's galleries, and stand
    Before Art's fairest deeds in this fair Saxon land!

    Swift be my verse, and swifter still my pace
    (Oh, pardon me, for I'll be sworn I bore)
    By Berlin's quays, past oft a plain, I race
    To Hamburg's crowded port, until the roar
    Of ocean's wave is heard again once more.
    Once more upon the deck I stand and view
    Behind that cloud arise old Albion's shore--
    Shore that I love, roast beef, plum-pudding too,
    Pale ale, the _Times_, and scandal, like a Briton true.


The best time to go to Algeria or Tunis is October, when the heats of
summer begin to become cooler. By all means, let the traveller, if he
wish to be independent, travel on horseback. In Algeria he will meet
with accommodation everywhere, and proceed as safely as in London, or
any part of England.

He can go to Boussada or Laghouat, about six days' journey from
Algiers, staying every night at caravanserais _en route_. Boussada I
did not visit myself, but from rumour, I believe, there is excellent
gazelle shooting in the neighbourhood. By the plains of Boussada, the
tourist can pass into Tunisia over the French frontier. At Algiers,
the best hotels are the Hôtel d'Orient and the Hôtel de la Régence, on
the Grande Place. For ammunition, I recommend Huèt, armourer, near the
English Consul's; and for horses--François or Francisco, a Maltese,
who speaks French and English. The grand thing to be considered is
economy of space. Let every necessary for clothing, if possible, be
crammed into the saddle-bags attached to one's saddle, as ammunition,
guns, &c. &c., must be placed on the other horses. Well did the
Romans call baggage by the appellation of _impedimenta_. In this
country it is so literally, not figuratively. It is absolutely
necessary to have an interpreter who can talk Arabic; for though in
Algeria there are many natives who jabber broken French or Italian,
even this _lingua Franca_ is so disguised that it is almost impossible
to comprehend them; and in the interior there are very few "indigènes"
who understand anything but Arabic. In Tunisia nothing but Arabic is
of any use whatever.

To travel in the interior of Tunis, it is necessary to have a mounted
escort, and also a letter of recommendation to the "Caids" (mayors) of
the different towns through which you pass. Here you must expect a
great want of comfort, as there are no beds, and you generally have to
sleep on the floor. On the Lake of Tunis, close to the city, there is
very good flamingo shooting. The flamingoes sit on the water in rows
like a regiment, and the method I employed in shooting them was as
follows:--I used to take a boat with my gun loaded with buckshot
(chevrotine), and my rifle. I fired my rifle at the line of flamingoes
when about 400 yards off, which used to bring them flying over the
boat for curiosity, when I managed, generally with my gun, to bring
down one or two. This is, I am sure, the best way of shooting them,
though several Europeans told me at Tunis I could shoot them with the

The shortest way direct to Tunis is by Malta; and, in passing, let the
sporting tourist visit Gozo, where, in April and September, there is
excellent quail shooting.

The inhabitants of this isle are a simple, primitive race of people,
very lively and intelligent; they speak nearly a pure Arabic. They
live chiefly by fishing, and also serve as sailors in foreign vessels,
where they remain sometimes entire years without being heard of by
their families. In this way they often find a watery grave; and in the
isle I met some females, whose male relations had all perished in this

Navigation appears to have a great charm for these simple islanders;
and when they sail along these southern waters, where the sun shines
with a brilliant lustre, and the moon with a fairy splendour, they
forget not the simple home where the members of their family are
crouched side by side, enveloped in a sort of bournouse, and drinking
perhaps tea which differs only nominally from the tepid waters of the
surrounding ocean, and gabbling a jargon which one can scarcely
believe that they understand themselves. The charm which binds these
poor people together in their sober and modest existence is less the
_penchant_ of natural and intimate affection, than the chain of habit,
the necessity of a life of fraternal community and sentiment. A
certain equality of position and social development gives them the
same desires, the same ends of existence, and like ideas produce an
easy mutual understanding. Each one reads, as it were, in the eye of
the other; and when they talk, each knows what the other will say
almost before he has opened his lips. All the ordinary relations of
life are thus present to their memory; and so, by a simple intonation
of the voice, by the expression of the visage, by a mute gesture, they
excite, _inter se_, as many smiles or tears, more joy or vexation,
than we, among our equals, could perhaps evoke by the longest
demonstrations or declarations. For we civilised ones live, on an
average, in intellectual solitude; each of us, thanks to our
particular form of mind or education, has received a different bias of
character; each of us, morally weighed, thinks, acts, and believes
differently from his neighbour; and hence misunderstandings arise so
frequently among us, that, even in the largest families, life in
common becomes difficult, and we are often, as it were, apart, utterly
unknown one to another, and everywhere feel ourselves as on strange

Races, indeed, have lived--aye, for centuries--in a state of community
of ideas and sentiments such as I have described in the Isle of Gozo.
Perhaps, but only perhaps, the Roman Church of the Middle Ages wished
to establish among the nations of Catholic Europe such a state of
equality and uniformity of spirit. Hence, no doubt, the reason why she
took under her guardianship all the social relations, all the force
and manifestations of this life--in fine, man himself, moral and
physical man. I will not deny, nor will any one else, that much
peaceful happiness, much piety has been established by these means;
that human existence in the Middle Ages took an expression of greater
fervour and intimacy; that the arts, like flowers, mysteriously
developed, unfolded then, and showed to the day a beauty we now admire
and deplore, and that the rash and unquiet spirit of modern days
cannot imitate. But mind has its rights from all eternity; mind will
not be fettered by dogmas, or lulled to sleep by the ringing of a
bell; mind has cast aside his swaddling-clothes, and broken the string
by which his nurse (the Roman Church) held him, and, in the madness
and intoxication of his holiday, has rounded the globe, has traversed
all nations, has scaled the Himalayas, and, returning again to Mother
Earth, has begun to meditate over the wonders of creation by day, and
the stars of heaven by night. We know not, indeed, nor ever shall,
perhaps, the number of the stars that shine in the canopy of heaven;
we have not yet unveiled the dread mysteries of earth or of sea.
Enough: many enigmas are resolved; we know much--we guess at still
more. There remains one question unsolved--it is this: Is there more
real felicity in our minds now than there was in ancient times? I will
confess that if we look at the many, now-a-days, we could scarcely
answer this question in the affirmative; yet, it must also be
remembered that happiness, which is in part due to mental tyranny, is
scarcely true happiness, and that in the few moments of real
intellectual dignity some educated man can enjoy more real felicity
than the uneducated coal-heaver during many years of uninquiring

But while, with a certain benevolence, I was dilating on the
intentions of the Roman Church, I find myself all of a sudden seized
with a zeal worthy of Exeter Hall. So I return to my Gozo friends.
Living among these simple, Christian islanders, of Moorish descent,
one is apt to meditate on the mighty transformations which have swept
over Europe and left them untouched.

The reason I recommend the route _viâ_ Malta and Tunis, instead of
passing by Algiers, as I did, is the miserable accommodation on board
the steamers between Tunis and Algiers. The passengers on these boats
are chiefly bagmen and colonists of different nations. We had a
Savoyard, a Spaniard, and two or three Frenchmen and Italians at one
table; and the noise, and row, and heat after dinner were very
edifying. Bottles were quickly emptied, and heads as quickly filled.
One of the guests sung songs; another neighed; a third shouted in
tragic verse; a fourth spoke Latin; and a fifth preached temperance; a
sixth gave himself out for a professor, and his lecture was nearly as
follows:--"The earth, my friends, is a cylinder, and men are but
little diminutive dots spread over its surface, apparently at hazard;
but _voilà_, the cylinder takes a fancy to turn, the little dots are
hustled about, some here, others there, and so emit a sort of
vibratory sound, some frequently, others more rarely; and this is the
marvellous, complicated music that men call universal history," &c.
&c. A fat-looking German, who kept his nose continually dipped in a
glass of punch, inhaling the steam with a very gratified look,
observed that he felt as though he was in the refreshment saloon of
the Berlin theatre; while the Savoyard kept looking at us through his
glass, as though it were a _lorgnette_, and the red wine streamed down
his purple cheeks into his gaping jaws.

And now to proceed to matters of sport. With regard to small game,
partridges, ducks, quails, rabbits, &c., there is abundance to be
found in Algeria. Near Algiers there is hawking of partridges and hares
among the Arab tribes; and, before the French occupation, falconry was
the especial amusement of the Arab aristocracy. For shooting of small
game I would more especially recommend a caravanserai called Oued el
Massin, about half way between Milianah and Teniet. Partridges and
woodcock abound there; the quarters, moreover, are remarkably good,
and the _cuisine_, superintended by my friend, Mr. Ball, is by no means
despicable. From Oued el Massin, a day's journey beyond Milianah, I
am convinced excellent shooting may be obtained with a couple of good
pointers. Quails are also very numerous. Aquatic birds abound in
Algeria, more especially on the lake Fetzara, near Bona, in the
province of Constantine. Nothing is more beautiful than the lake
Fetzara at sunrise; on its banks are a thousand plants and flowers
of every colour and hue, and on its waters repose birds of every
description and plumage. As yet it is dusk; everything animal and
vegetable is in repose; but with the first ray of the sun come sounds
and cries of every imaginable description, and thousands, aye,
myriads, of birds are everywhere on the wing. In the impetuosity of
their flight, they shake, as it were, the plants and flowers on the
border of the lake, who thus pay their morning salute to the sun of
Africa. A small barque, however, advances (_vide_ picture), and from
this frail skiff suddenly appears the flash of a gun. In a moment the
whole air is in motion; grebes with their beautiful plumage,
flamingoes with flaming wings, wild swans, and ducks, and teals, by
thousands whirl through the air.

Is it really to be believed that Nature has affixed (so to speak) some
danger to everything charming? One is almost tempted to say so, after
examining the enchanting borders of this lake, whose azure waters flow
from the mountainous frontier of Tunisia to the opulent plains of
Bona. You botanists, who are attracted by the singular colour or
strange beauty of some plant or flower here, beware how you approach.
Under this magnificent vegetation a trap--a mortal trap--is laid: the
banks are of quick-sand! One step, and you meet death--a horrible
death. The earth gives way, and you disappear without a trace, for
those delicious flowers and plants close up their ranks again, like
immortelles over your sepulchre. Listen:--A French cavalry officer
came from Bona to shoot flamingoes on this lake. He was accompanied by
his servant, also on horseback. He shot a flamingo, who tumbled just
on the border of the lake, and dispatched his servant to fetch the
bird. At three or four yards from the bird, the soldier disappeared
with his horse; and some Arabs, coming up, at the cries of the officer
(for the Mussulman believes that the genius of the lake, propitious to
Mahometans, devours the profane European), with difficulty saved his
servant. As soon as the soldier was out of danger, he cried out, with
all the gasconade of a Frenchman, "_Je ne laisserai pas là ce maudit
oiseau, cause de ma mésaventure!_" In spite of the energetic
dissuasions of the natives, whom, by the way, he could not understand,
he advanced on foot; but the earth opened again--he disappeared. One
moment his head remained above this liquid ground, one moment he cried
for aid, and the abyss had swallowed its prey. However, at certain
points, this lake is quite approachable; and, there being several
barques, excellent sport may be had. I would, however, recommend
sportsmen to procure a letter of introduction to some neighbouring
grandee. There is an excellent caravanserai close by, at Ain Mokra.
For gazelles one must go quite into the interior of the desert--to
Boussada and Laghouat--in the great Sahara desert. Ghazella is, in
the Arab language, the synonym for beauty and velocity.

Those persons who really desire sport, however, I would recommend to
travel from Algiers to Tunisia by land, and, if possible, let them
pass by Kef, which is the frontier town. In the vicinity of this town
there are, no doubt, plenty of lions; and my friend (who visited it
with Dr. Davies, the celebrated explorer and excavator at Carthage)
heard of several there, though his stay was so short that he did not
succeed in bagging one. For lion-hunting, as for many other things,
"_il faut bien de la patience_." Thus it very frequently happens that
a man may search without success for months and months for the
whereabouts of a lion, and then, suddenly, when your hunter is least
prepared for it, and perhaps unarmed, the monarch of the desert will
present himself to his astonished gaze. Notwithstanding the formidable
character attributed to the lion, he will rarely attack any man unless
previously molested. There are three sorts of lions in North
Africa--the black, the tawny, and the grey, though the latter is by
some supposed to be the same genus as the tawny, only grizzled by age.
There are two ways of hunting the lion, by day and by night. That by
day is by battue, when a whole tribe turns out to "beard the lion in
his den" and make him break cover. Those who are well armed are posted
at the outlets of the cover or beaten tracks by which the lion
generally passes; any Europeans who assist are usually so stationed;
they, however, need have but little fear, for the monarch almost
always attacks the _tawny_ native by preference. Is it from sympathy
of colour, _similia similibus gaudent_, or from a sort of instinct
that the European is better armed, or because he supposes the Arab
will make a better repast? The other way of killing the lion is in
ambuscade, of which there are two or three kinds. Sometimes the
hunters dig a hole in the ground near the spot where the lion is in
the habit of passing by night; over this hole they throw branches of
trees, which they cover with stones and mortar; they then place some
bait near, which can be commanded through holes made in the covering,
and when the lion approaches to examine the carcase, he is immediately
brought down. Another way of shooting is from a tree. My friend, Count
Zamoyski, who has a residence at the Lake Fetzara, shot several in
this way. I will, however, refer the reader to Jules Gérard's book for
a description of this kind of sport. I did not stay long enough in
North Africa to be able to judge of it myself. What I recount now with
regard to lion hunting is from hearsay, not from personal experience.

The panther is a more dangerous animal than the lion, and much more
cunning. Like his relative, the cat, he is very difficult to kill, and
it must be a well-directed ball through the head or heart that will
prevent him from avenging his wound. For the rest, he is hunted much
as the lion. I will not mention the jackal and hyena, both of which
animals can be shot after dusk from the tent or hut, by throwing out
some carcase or bait before sunset to attract them. Let us pass to
that animal which, in my opinion, of all creatures presents by far the
best sport on the coast of Barbary--I mean, of course, the wild boar,
or halouf, as he is called in the Arabic language.

I had long had a desire to hunt the halouf. On my arrival at the
Caid's house at Solyman (about twenty miles from Tunis), an old Arab
named Mahmoud was sent for, who was reported to be, like Nimrod, a
mighty hunter before the Lord and before the tribes.

The next day we started before sunrise to the river, where the boar
was supposed to be.

_En route_ I questioned my Arab by interpreter. "The halouf," he
replied, "when wounded, is as dangerous as the lion. I have," he
continued, "myself seen a boar repulse the attack of a young lion."

Of boars there are no doubt plenty in Tunisia. They are fond of lying
in the thickest brushwood, what the French call _broussailles_, and
the main difficulty is to drive them out. It requires some one
perfectly conversant with Arabic, and having some authority over the
natives, to make them beat properly; otherwise, in a short time they
will give over, and pretend that there is nothing there. The best
localities for boar are near Solyman, in Tunisia, and Biserta, about
fifty miles from Tunis. As for Algeria, the country is now so much
frequented by Europeans of all nations, who frighten, if they do not
kill, the game, that one has to go a long way into the interior before
any sport can be met with.

The French talk a great deal about "_la chasseaux panthères_" and "_la
chasse aux lions_," &c. &c.; but, in my humble opinion, their forte is
"_la chasse aux dames_" or, in plain Saxon English, the success of the
"_salon_." Let me conclude with a few words regarding regimen. In this
burning climate, above all things observe temperance. I do not mean by
that expression that you must be a teetotaller, but the more you can
abstain from heating liquids or solids, the better. The other extreme,
too, is bad; too much lemonade, or water, or sherbet, is apt to
produce diarrhoea. Nature seems to have indicated to the Arabs the
best beverage in this zone, both to quench thirst and to preserve
health, viz., coffee; but as on a march or out shooting you cannot
always stop to have a fire lit, the next best drink is a little weak
brandy and water, which you should carry from where you start in the
morning, as the water of the rivers is pestiferous. To avoid fever or
malaria, I would always take a small quantity of bark of quinine.
During the time I was in Africa I enjoyed most excellent health, as I
believe everybody may who takes the commonest precautions, and does
not indulge, as he may with impunity in more northern climes.

Finally, let me give one piece of advice to the sportsman. If he
comes to these countries with the expectation that he can, as in
England, go out with his gun of a morning and return with his bag full
in the evening to a capital dinner, he had better stay at home. To do
anything in this country, a man must make his mind up to long and
fatiguing marches in the heat of the day, with miserable quarters
often at night, in places infested by vermin of every description; in
a word, he must be content to rough it. I will also candidly own that,
from the accounts I had previously received, I was very much
disappointed as regards the quantity of large game to be found in
these parts; still, I was, to a certain extent, indemnified for this
by the pleasure of visiting a beautiful country, a remarkable people,
and magnificent scenery, the entire appearance of which is utterly
unlike what one is accustomed to see in the hackneyed countries of
modern continental Europe.


ROUTE--from London to Marseilles, about forty-eight hours. Marseilles,
Hôtel d'Orient.

Marseilles to Algiers, average passage, three days. Hotels--Hôtel de
la Régence and Hôtel de Paris, both good.

Algiers to Blidah--horse or diligence--about five hours; Blidah to
Medeah--horse or diligence--about eight hours; Blidah to Milianah,
about fourteen hours. Blidah--Hôtel de la Régence; Medeah--Hôtel du
Gastronome; Milianah--Hôtel d'Iffly.

Milianah to Teniet, two days, staying at Oued el Massin, caravanserai;
Teniet to Boghar, two days; Boghar to Laghouat, extremity of French
frontier in Great Sahara Desert, three days.

From there visit Boussada for Gargelles, thence to Constantine, five
days; Constantine to Lake Fetzara and Bona, one day. Bona--Hôtel de

Another way, is to return to Algiers and proceed by sea to Bona,
passing Boujie, and Djidjelli, and Philippeville, about forty-eight

From Bona to Tunis, by sea, about eighteen hours; or by land, _viâ_
Keff, the frontier town of Tunisia and Algeria, about six days; an
escort required. Tunis--Hôtel de France.

Tunis to Solyman, four hours; Tunis to Biserta, fourteen hours.

On horseback, take two flannel shirts, one change of boots, and
bournouse, &c. Average expense per diem, with horse and servant,
twenty-five francs. I had three horses and one interpreter, and my
expenses averaged £1 10s. _par jour_.



                  *       *       *       *       *

Transcriber's Notes:

  Illustrations have been moved closer to their relevant paragraphs.
  The page numbers in the List of Illustrations do not reflect the new
  placement of the illustrations, but are as in the original.

  Author's archaic and variable spelling and hyphenation is

  Author's punctuation style is preserved.

  Passages in italics indicated by _underscores_.

  Passages in bold indicated by =equal signs=.

  Typographical problems have been changed and are listed below.

Transcriber's Changes:

  Page 5: Original Table of Contents lists Chapter III as page 17.

  Page 8: Was 'unhapy' (his cutting sarcasm, and the =unhappy=
          frivolity which defaces the works of the man)

  Page 30: Was 'Kadir' (FURTHER EXPERIENCES:--Abd-el-=Kader= (but not
           the Emir)--Difficult Road)

  Page 33: Was 'twent' (The Arab had fired at the brute at =twenty=
           paces, but missed his aim.)

  Page 85: Was 'mattrass' (and the =mattress=--fancy now!--is stuffed
           with sticks, and is so cursedly hard)

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