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moved, and the beauty destroyed; the Scripture phrase of sackcloth and ashes' describes almost literally the mourning habit of the Moors.
The female part of Mr. Tully's family visited Lilla Aisher, and they found her, as might be expected, very melancholy.
According to the custom of the East, her dress bespoke the state of her mind; deprived of all its lustre, by methods taken to deface every article before she put it on. She wore neither ear-rings, bracelets, nor halhals round the ancles, or ornaments of any kind, except the striug of charms round her neck. The moment she saw us she burst into tears, and one of the blacks was going to scream, (the woulliah-woo,) but Lilla Aisher had the presence of mind to prevent her, as such a circumstance would have thrown the whole harem into confusion.'
During this visit, Lilla Halluma, the unhappy mother of the murdered Bey, entered the apartment, with her mangled hand in a sling. The Moors, it seems, instead of endeavouring to lighten the heavy hand of affliction, are ingenious in finding out new means to keep alive the recollection of misfortunes, and resort to every method they can think of to nourish grief. One of the first requests of the mother was that the company might be taken into the very apartment where, in her presence, the Bey met his death.
• Dreadful as this favour appeared to us, we could not refuse to go for fear of offending her. We found the sight as strange as it was terrible; against the walls, on the outside of the apartment, had been thrown jars of soot and water mixed with ashes. The apartment was locked up, and is to remain in that state, except when opened for the Bey's friends to view it. All in it remained in exactly the same state as when Lilla Halluma received the Bey to make peace with his brother; and what was dreadful, it bore yet all the marks of the Bey's unhappy end. Not an article of any description had been suffered to be removed since the Bey's dissolution. All that the apartment contained was doomed, by Lilla Halluma, as she said, to perish with the Bey, and like him, to moulder away in darkness.'--p. 244.
This soiling, or defacing, whatever belonged to the deceased, is further instanced in the case of the unfortunate Bey.
Among the number of his horses that had never been mounted by any person but himself, he had one particular favourite; it was remarkably handsome, and perfectly white. During the obsequies performing for the Bey's death, when all was wretchedness, and nothing to be seen but mourning, this beautiful horse formed a painful contrast. It was the last object that appeared in the midst of this scene of horror, in the same state as when it belonged to his late master ; but soon its fine appearance was altered. Those who were mourning for the Bey's death sprinkled it with their blood, and strewed it with ashes, and it was led from the place covered with dismal tokens of its master's fate.'
During the period of mourning, all finery is put away, and all superfluous articles of furniture. Neither curtains, looking-glasses, tapestry, nor carpets are to be seen. The slaves wear their caps reversed, and they are stripped of all ornaments; the henna (Lawsonia inermis) ceases to stain the nails of the feet and hands; bracelets, ear-rings, necklaces, and every species of jewelry, disappear; and all perfumes and scented waters, of which the Moors are particularly fond, are dispensed with. A widow of rank when she puts on her weeds, goes to the sea-side, has her hair combed with a gold comb, and the tresses plaited with white silk instead of black; the golden bandage over the forehead set with jewels is exchanged for a white fillet, and every article of her dress soiled. At the expiration of four months and ten days she repairs again to the sea-side.
• The same gold comb she had used before is carried with her, and four fresh eggs: the eggs she gives to the first person she meets, who is obliged to receive them, were it even the Bashaw himself. With the eggs, it is imagined, she gives away all her misfortunes, consequently no person likes to receive them; but this custom is so established, that not any one thinks of refusing them. She then proceeds to the sea-side, where her hair is combed a second time, and the comb thrown into the sea by herself; and she is then, and not before, at liberty to marry again.'-p. 307.
The writer of the Narrative had an opportunity of being present at the marriage of Sidi Hamet, the Bashaw's second son, and also of a daughter of his. The wedding clothes of a Moorish lady are the accumulation of her whole life:
* Among the articles in the princess's wardrobe were two hundred pair of shoes, and one hundred pair of rich embroidered velvet boots, baracans, trowsers, chemises, jilecks, caps, and curtains for apartments, and many other articles in the same proportion. Each set of things was packed separately in square flat boxes of the same dimens sions; and were conveyed with great pomp and ceremony in a long procession out of one gate of the castle into another, escorted by guards, attendants, and a number of singing women, hired for the purpose of singing the festive song of Loo, loo, loo, which commences when the procession leaves the bride's father's house, and finishes when it enters the bridegroom's house.p. 175.
In general the bride is paraded round the streets at the head of the procession, shut up in a sort of cage, which is covered with fine linen and placed on the back of a horse, mule, or ass, according to the circumstances of the parties; and this strange custom prevails
among all true Mussulmans, from the shores of the Yellow Sea to those of the Atlantic. The procession ended, the bride received the visiters sitting on an elevated seat, with an embroidered veil thrown over her, almost covered with gold and silver ornaments; and having rings of gold around the ancles, of four or five pounds weight. Two slaves attended to support the two tresses of her bair behind, which were so much adorned with jewels, and gold and silver ornaments, that if she had risen from her seat she could not have supported the immense weight of them.'
To understand the nature of this mass of hair it will be necessary to take a peep into a Moorish lady's dressing-room,—there we shall find her attended by a number of black slaves, one to plait, another to perfume the hair, a third to arrange the eyebrows; a fourth to paint the face, a fifth to adjust the jewels, &c. The hair behind is divided into two tresses, into which a quantity of black silk is worked, prepared with perfumes and scented waters of various kinds, after which about a quarter of a pound of cloves reduced to the finest powder is worked into them; the fingers and feet are then stained black with henna ; her fingers are covered with rings, and lastly, a string of gold and silver beads are thrown over her shoulders, as a charm against witchcraft, or an evil or unfriendly eye. We confess we had no idea of the brilliant display of gold, silver, and jewels so lavishly exhibited within the dungeon walls of the castle of Tripoli : with the exception of Abul Kurreem's description of the peacock throne and the jewels which Nadir Shah carried away from Delhi, and exhibited to the astonished Affghans, Turcomans, and Tartars, we know of nothing to equal it in any part of the world. But all these tyrants are immensely rich in gold and silver ; their whole business is to collect, and they expend nothing; it is not unusual to employ the Jews in casting old brass guns into money, and buying with it gold sequins and Spanish dollars to hoard. Keatinge met with an English renegade, whose name in his own country was Thomas Myers, but in Morocco Boazzar, and his office that of Alcaide, a sort of high-constable. This man being questioned as to the pay of the soldiery, said, “it was all that they could rob and steal; and the establishment of the younger branches of the royal family was, by his account, supported pretty nearly from the same resources. The wealth of the sovereign is therefore constantly accumulating; and thus it is that, in the Bastile of Tripoli
, we read of “curds and whey served up on tables of mother-of-pearl and silver, and gold embossed waiters above three feet in diameter; coffee in gold chased cups, placed on gold trays,' &c.---p. 251. On a visit to Lilla Halluma,
• The coffee was served in very small cups of china, placed in gold
fillagree cups without saucers, on a solid gold salver of an uncommon size, richly embossed ; this massive waiter was brought in by two slaves, who bore it between them round to each of the company, and these two eunuchs were the richest habited slaves we had yet seen in the castle; they were entirely covered with gold and silver. Refreshments were afterwards served up on low beautiful inlaid tables, not higher than a foot from the ground. After the repast, slaves attended with silver fillagree censers, offering at the same time towels with gold ends wove in them near half a yard deep.'-p.31.
Yet amidst all this splendour, the wives and daughters of the Bashaw are by no means inattentive to domestic concerns; they knit, weave, and embroider, and even occupy themselves with spinning wool; they superintend the preparation of the victuals, and the married ladies wait on their husband,
at their meals; in return, the only privilege they seem to enjoy is that of having the power of preventing their tyrants from entering their apartment by placing their slippers outside the door. They are rarely pera mitted to go without the castle gates, and then only by night, surrounded by a numerous guard of soldiers, slaves, and attendants. Their approach is announced by vociferous shouting, lights, and burning perfumes, which cast a cloud of aromatic odour around them. The writer of the Narrative' tells us it would be death for any one to look at them, even from a window, Tripoli being the only Moorish town on the coast in which the houses have windows facing the street. Of so little concern, however, is the life of a female to society, that a father, husband, or brother can easily procure a teskerar, or permit, from the Bashaw or Bey to put the object of his anger or jealousy to death, in any way he pleases. The dishonour of a wife or daughter can only be avenged by her death. Several instances of this are recorded in the Narrative;' among others, that of a beautiful young woman, who, for her levi. ty of conduct, was shot in her bed by her cousin, in the absence of her father ; but the wound did not prove mortal. After her recovery she took a walk into the garden, in a corner of which she was discovered lying on the ground strangled : all present were interrogated about the dreadful deed, which every one denied. It was then declared and readily admitted by her uncle, who was present at this examination, that evil spirits only had murdered this young beauty.'--p. 148.
Macgill says, that the Moors of Tunis are less jealous of their women than the Turks; that they are not guarded in any way;
that eunuchs are unknown, and that the women make no ceremony of uncovering themselves in the presence of Christian slaves. He illustrates this remark by a story, which proves at least the good
nature of the present Bey. A Christian surgeon was suspected of an intrigue with one of his wives; being watched closely, the gallant one day narrowly escaped, leaving his slippers at the bedside: next day the Bey sent for him, put a purse of money in his hand, and told him to make the best of his way out of the country, as he could no longer be answerable for his life. The lady was punished by banishing her from bed and board.
The following custom in Tunis, of fattening up young ladies for marriage, is too curious to be omitted.
A girl, after she is betrothed, is cooped up in a small room, shackles of gold and silver are placed upon her ancles and wrists, as a piece of dress. If she is to be married to a man who has discharged, despatched, or lost a former wife, the shackles which the former wife wore are put upon the new þride's limbs, and she is fed until they are filled up to the proper thickness. The food used for this custom, worthy of barbarians, is a seed called drough, which is of an extraordinary fattening quality, and also famous for rendering the milk of nurses rich and abundant. With this seed, and their national dish cuscusoo, the bride is literally crammed; and may actually die under the spoon.'-p. 90.
The same idea of corpulency being a criterion of female beauty is prevalent in Morocco, where Lempriere tells us the women use a grain which they name el houba, which they eat with their çooscosoo; that they also swallow boluses of paste heated by the steam of boiling water; and we recollect some other author. Stating that it was a common practice for young ladies to cram themselves with rolls of bread soaked in warm water.
According to the Mussulman ritual, every man may take to. himself four ligitimate wives, and as many concubines as he has the inclination, or the means to keep. It would seem that the royal concubines are not very expensive. Lempriere, who had free admission to the imperial harem, says that the daily allowance to the favourite Sultana did not exceed half-a-crown a day; the rest is obtained from those, chiefly Jews, who have favours to solicit at court. The usual number of ladies kept by the Emperor is from sixty to a hundred, besides their slaves ; they live in small separate apartments, communicating with square courts, in the centre of each of which is generally a pool of water. Their time is occupied with the toilet, bathing, hearing stories, and a little needle work. Far * from being shy, they all wished to state their complaints to the English doctor, whom it seems they rather disconcerted by the free exhibition of their limbs; but they had great reluctance in showing him the tongue, which they considered to be very indecent. One of the Sultan's wives kept behind a curtain, and had her pulse felt by putting her arm under the bottom, but it was with the greatest dit,