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to doubt the authenticity of the events and transactions, however extraordinary, related therein. Whether, as they now stand, they are genuine letters, actually written by the author to her friends, may perhaps admit of some doubt; but the inartificial manner in which they are composed, the many faults in grammar, the constant recurrence of the lady-like vulgarism, lay for lie, and other defects which we could mention, strongly mark them as original. All that seems to have been added is a few unimportant notes phich might just as well have been omitted.
Col. Keatinge's book refers to 1785, the year next to that in which the Narrative commences. In that year Mr. Payne was sent in the capacity of consul-general on a diplomatic mission to the Emperor of Morocco, and Colonel Keatinge was of his suite ; why he has delayed his publication for thirty years, he fairly warns his reader not to inquire he won't condescend (he says) to gratify his curiosity; and he may rest satisfied with the certain advantage he has obtained from procrastination-reduction !' Thirty years, however, have not sweated him down even to a moderate size. His portly quarto of 620 pages, besides some thirty plates, (we shall not call them engravings,) may still maintain a competition with the learned Dutchman's book-dik as alle dis sheese. We suspect, indeed, very strongly, from some nibblings upon the French revolution, the war in Spain, and the learned disquisition about the Neptunean and Huttonian theories, that, instead of wasting, it has swelled under his hands, during the last thirty years. We have only examined that part (perhaps about one third) which relates to Morocco, and we were heartily tired of wading through it: long periods of half a page filled with antecedents which relate to nothing; irrelevant parentheses; words that are neither English, Scotch, nor Irish; broken sentences ; mysterious allusions; and an affected, paraphrastical mode of expressing the most simple ideas--make this strange production nearly as unintelligible as the Sibylline leaves. In the midst of digressions, disputations, and dogmata, we now and then, however, get at a fact--for instance, the small river, we are told, which divides Sallee from Mogadore, is also the boundary . between the hares and rabbits, both of which are very plentiful upon its banks,-but no hares on the north side, no rabbits on the south.--(vol. ii. p. 39.)--A dromedary, we are informed, is the offspring of two camels; when first dropped, it is not known whether it be a camel or a dromedary; but if it sleep without waking nine days, then it is sure to be a dromedary.--(p. 17.) We should like to know what sort of an animal the offspring of two dromedaries is.-Another phenomenon in natural history, equally new, and if possible more curious, is, that of three whelps which
the lioness litters, two always die :' nor is this all; after some sage reflections on the balances of Providence,' and the harmony of nature, it is observed, that such is the force of instinctive veneration, a flea will not trespass on a lion's skin:' there is a great deal more about the lion and the horse, for which we must refer the reader to p. 45, vol. ii.
Mr. Macgill happened to go from Malta to Tunis on a mercantile speculation ; and having picked up a little chit-chat respecting the country, among the consuls, merchants, and brokers, it appeared to him to be a duty incumbent on the subject of his Majesty' to write a book for the general benefit. Mr. Macgill is a plain spoken man, who having faithfully, no doubt, 'set down what he heard, has made up the rest from what he read in the Universal History,' or the Scotch · Encyclopædia.'
The pleasure which a scholar derives from ireading the classic ground of Greece and Rome, is associated with the painful recol. lection of what they once were, and embittered by the degraded condition of the people, and the mutilated state of the public edifices. Yet degraded and dilapidated as they are, Athens and Rome still remain, Greeks and Romans still exist, and those noble monuments of arts and literature which have escaped destruction, will continue to attest their renown to the end of time. Far otherwise has been the fate of a city perhaps as ancient, as wealthy, and as populous as either of them. Not a trace of Carthage, its inhabitants, its government so highly extolled by Aristotle ; not a vestige of its former splendour, nor even a remnant of its own records, or its language, has survived the common wreck; their reproach alone adheres to their miserable successors, to whom the Punica fides is, perhaps with far more justice, still applied. The dreadful imprecations of their eternal enemy, the Romans, have been strictly fulfilled against this devoted city. In vain does the inquisitive traveller seek, in the neighbourhood of Tunis, for the triple wall with its lofty towers, whose capacious chambers contained stalls for three hundred elephants, and stables for four thousand horses, with lodgings for a numerous army--in vain does he look for those safe harbours and sheltered receptacles—for those two thousand ships of war and three thousand transports which carried Hamilcar and his warriors against Syracuse; a few remains of the public cisterns and the common sewers, are all that is left to point out where Carthage, with its 700,000 inhabitants, once stood. That commerce, which raised them to a pitch of wealth and glory unequalled in their day, is now dwindled to a few armed vessels and rowboats employed solely in rapine and plunder; and that manly "republican freedom, which so successfully resisted every attempt
at the establishment of tyranny, is now sunk into the lowest and most abject state of slavery.
The Romans, who established their colonies on the ruins of Carthage, were, in their turn, overthrown by the Vandals, the Vandals by the Greeks of the Eastern empire, the Greeks by the Arabs or Saracens, whose rapid and irresistible arms under the Caliphs had completed the conquest of Africa about the end of the seventh century. The spirit of enthusiasm which guided the sword of the disciples of Mahomet, was a volcano whose fiery torrent destroyed what it could not change. In Africa it seems to have changed every thing :--Romans, Vandals, Greeks, Goths-- with their several languages, laws, religion, and literature-- have all disappeared; and the recollection of the most powerful of them is preserved only by their descendants under the name of Romi, as a term of reproach for Christians of all nations.
From Tunis westward to the Strait of Gibraltar, and throughout the whole of the Morocco empire, scarcely a trace of the Roman colonies remains : but at Tripoli, and from thence to the eastward, along the coast of the Greater Syrtes, and particularly at Lebida, the ancient Leptis Magna, are many splendid and magnificent remains of aqueducts and amphitheatres. Large shafts of columns, each of a single piece from eighteen inches to four feet in diameter, immense remains of frizes andarchitraves of porphyry, granite, and marble, lie strewed on the sandy plains of Lebida. Fragments of statuary have also been discovered, but it is doubtful if any work of art worth the digging out, can be expected. Our knowledge of this interesting coast from Cape Bon to Alexandria is very imper. fect, still more so that of the interior. Not even the latitudes and longitudes of a single cape or headland have been determined with any degree of accuracy.
From the little which is known of the interior, we collect that the general face of the country, the climate and natural productions, are pretty nearly the same as those of Southern Africa, with the addition of many valuable articles that have been introduced from Egypt and the East—as the camel, the dromedary, the horse, in the animal--the date, the fig, the olive, and the argan (eleodendron), in the vegetable kingdom. The inhabitants have black cattle and broad tailed sheep in great plenty: wheat and barley, yielding, without manure, most abundant crops : poultry and pigeons very numerous, and bees producing the finest honey. All the fruits of Europe and Asia, of the temperate and tropical climates, thrive equally well. Forest trees are the only species of the vegetable world that do not obtain their usual growth, and these are chiefly confined to the quercus suber and ilex, thuia, mimosa, cedar, walnut,
and chesnut; but the shrubby, the herbaceous, and the bulbous plants, are unrivalled even in Southern Africa. Atlas, with its numerous streams sent forth in every direction, fertilizes the soil, and the perpetual snow on its summit tempers the summer heat, and gives a freshness to the climate unknown in most parts of the world. The highest peak of Atlas, which is behind the city of Morocco, has been estimated, from the point at which perpetual snow lies, at 12,000 feet. The resources of such a country, in the hands of an intelligent and industrious people, would be incalculable; the Roman colonies of Africa were in fact considered as the granaries of the empire.
The inhabitants are principally composed of two great and distinct classes, the Berebbers and the Arabs, from the latter of whom and their descendants, occasionally mixed with Europeans and Negroes, is formed the great mass of the population generally, but improperly, known by the name of Moors. ‘Add to these the Jews and the Negroes, the Christian slaves and renegadoes, and we have all the component parts of the present population of the Barbary states. Whether this population may amount to fifty or fifteen millions is not at all known; but the latter is probably nearest the mark.* It is with them, a sin against God to number the people.
The Berebbers, Braebers, or Barbars, are unquestionably the descendants either of the Carthaginian colonists, or of the people who preceded them, who having opposed but a feeble resistance to the Romans, retired to the fastnesses of the mountains, from which they kept up a desultory warfare upon the successors of Mahomet: thus secluded, they have preserveda language totally different either from the Roman or the Arabic. Their name, borrowed, as Gibbon has observed, from the Latin provincials by Arabian conquerors, has justly settled as a local denomination (Barbary) along the northern coast of Africa, and is found in the Barabras who dwell on the confines of Upper Egypt. This original people inhabit all the mountainous tracts branching from the lofty chains of Atlas, from its most eastern limits, down to the river Suz. Jackson has
Jackson, 'from authentic information,' makes the empire of Morocco to contain fifteen millions! The following comparison of population, as given by two travellers, is no bad specimen of statistical accuracy: Jackson. Morocco 270,000. Fez 380,000. Mequinez 110,000. Of all the towns 895,000. Jardine. 20,000. 30,000.
120,600. But Doctor Buffa beats them all : he has no doubt that the city of Morocco, not long ago, contained 650,000 inhabitants! The Doctor we suspect wore multiplying as well as magnifying glasses-he saw on the plain of Fez, the Emperor review 80,000 cavalry, and every man had an additional suit of clothes and six ducats given to him. Bravo!
+ Gibbon has committed a great error in confounding the Moors with the Brebers; the former are Arabs pure or mixed ; the latter are from a stock a thousand years at least antecedent to the Arabian conquest.
supposed the Shilluhs of Suse to be a distinct race, having a lan: guage peculiar to themselves; but Mr. Dupuis, the British viceconsul at Mogadore, says, and his authority is more to be depended on, that they are a branch of Berebbers, and their language a dialect of that spoken by that race. The Guanches, who peopled the Canary Islands, were Berebbers, and spoke the same language. They are described as an athletic, hardy, and enterprising people, very patient of hunger and fatigue, of regular and handsome features, but of a ferocious expression. One remarkable feature which characterizes all the Berebber tribes is a scantiness of beard, consisting of a few straggling hairs on the upper lip, and a small tuft on the chin : their whole dress consists of a woollen jacket without sleeves, leaving the arms naked and free, and a pair of trowsers. They are almost universally robbers, and commit all manner of excesses on the unhappy traveller who falls into their clutches, unrestrained by any feelings of religion or humanity. Tenacious of liberty, they are under little or no control of the sovereign to whom they are nominally subjects, and one or other of the tribes is generally at war with the troops sent to collect the taxes, or with the Arabs of the plains. But, ferocious and faithless as they are described to be, they are no less eminently distinguished for hospitality than the Arabs. A traveller, furnished with their protection, which, however, must be purchased, may pass unmolested through every part of their country; but without such protection from some of their chiefs, he will be betrayed, plundered, and murdered without the smallest scruple.
This extraordinary race of men is divided into a great number of petty'tribes or clans, distinguished by the names of their several patriarchs or founders, who are generally celebrated for some particular act of devotion, or some extraordinary exploit; for though the sword of the successors of Mahomet failed to conquer them, they made a show of submitting to the precepts of the koran, and to the commander of the faithful. They cultivate the. ground and feed cattle ; reside in mud huts, and sometimes, towards the upper parts of the mountains, in caverns like the ancient Troglodytes; but lower down they build houses or hovels of stone and timber, which are generally situated on some rising ground, or the summits of hills difficult of access, sometimes surrounded with walls, in which are loop-holes for defending their habitations with musketry; they make their own fire-arms, and are accounted excellent marksmen.
The Shilluh Berebbers are represented as implacable in their enmities and insatiable in their revenge. Mr. Dupuis mentions a remarkable instance of this to which he was an eye-witness. A Shilluh, having murdered a Shilluh in a quarrel, fled to the