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God most great! it was repeated by a great number of Muedden, who were dispersed among the crowd ; and upon this cry, two hundred and fifty thousand people, with their sovereign at their head, were seen prostrating themselves before the Deity, having all nature for their temple. This ceremony is really imposing ; it is impossible to witness it without being moved.
“The simplicity of this feast, the creed pronounced by an immense crowd, the steadiness and fervour with which it was uttered, the extent of the temple, and the immensity of the space which formed the superambient canopy, being the atmosphere with the animating planet of the world for its illuminating centre, formed the most imposing picture of the homage which men united into society can offer to the Almighty.'vol. i. p. 101, 102.
The fast of Ramadan, which precedes this ceremony, is observed with such severity, that a great number of the lower classes lose their senses in consequence. Some are thus affected by the repeated prayers, and the continual reading of the Koran; the mind being stimulated while the bodily powers are weakened by inanition. The
criers from the minaret make a horrible and dismal noise with trumpets, at various hours of the day and night; and before dawn men from the mosques run through the streets striking furiously at the doors of the houses with heavy clubs, that the inhabi. tants may rise and take some refreshment before the day break shall render it unlawful. Ali Bey assures us that the importance of discovering the new moon with which these months begin, has in a remarkable degree quickened the sight of the Mahommedans, and that they very often showed him the spot where they saw it, when he could distinguish nothing, till by looking through his telescope he discovered that they were not mistaken. There is a rich hospital at Fez, where a great part of the funds have been bequeathed for the purpose of assisting and nursing sick cranes and storks, and of burying them when dead. This may arise from their belief that the storks are human beings in that form; for they hold that storks are men from some distant islands, who at certain seasons of the year assume the shape of these birds that they may visit Barbary, and return at a certain time to their own country, where they resume their human form. Upon this fable the German Musæus framed one of his tales,--borrowing it perhaps from one of the stories in Mr. Scott's Supplement to the Arabian Nights. Where such a notion prevails, it would of course be considered criminal to kill one of these birds, and an act of piety to relieve them and bury their remains. But it is not impossible that the practice may originally have been derived front Egypt,
Ali Bey was in high favour at Fez. Morocco being a country where the heat of the sun is excessive, shade is considered as too great a luxury for a subject, and the emperor suffers none but his sons and brothers to use an umbrella ; but Ali Bey had the high honour of being permitted to use one. A design was entertained of making him hold daily conference with the doctors, regulate the clocks, and give the hours for the canonical prayers; he resented this is an injury, and found, as Bruce, a more adventurous traveller, had done in a more barbarous country, that in such countries strangers are estimated according to their pretensions, and that the way to obtain respect was to demand it. Prince Muley Abdşulem was one of his friends,-he calls him illustrious and respectable, but the justice of these epithets will not be acknowledged by those who remember how vilely this prince behaved to Lempriere. His conduct may possibly have brought with it its due punishment, for Muley Abdsulem has had no second European surgeon to attend him, and the disease, in the cure of which Lempriere had made such progress, has since terminated in total blindness. With all advantages of court favour, and the best society of the Athens of Africa,' Ali Bey sometimes found the hours hang heavily in their course. During three days which he spent on a party of pleasure with Hadj Edris (a descendant from the founder of Fez) at one of his country seats, they knew not how to get rid of their time. Drinking was forbidden by the law; music and dancing by the gravity of their characters; the guests were utterly incapable of conversing with the Spaniard upon scientific subjects; and in the want of correspondence, couriers, and newspapers, there was no news to relieve them.
• We were reduced to the necessity of eating five or six tiines a day like Heliogabali, and to fill up the remainder of our time with drinking tea, saying prayers, playing like children, electing among us pasbas, hhaliphes and každs, charged with the command of every dinner, tea, collation, or walk.
· The only game, which offered some interest consisted of placing on a large dish about a dozen of cups upside down. The company then divides into two bands, and after one of them had put a ring or a piece. of coin under one of the cups, the other band is to discover it in the first or last of the cups which they may list up. If the ring should bappen to be in one of the intermediate cups, be that has lifted up the wrong cup is punished with receiving from every member of the opposite band, some blows on his hand with a knotted handkerchief. But if the ring be found in the first or last cup lifted up, the party takes the same revenge. This game is, for want of a better, amusing enough, as it gives rise to many curious scenes in the disputes about lifting up the cups, and the struggle between the weak and the strong produces some droll exhibitions.
Such are the amusements that occupied us for three days and two nights, which we spent in the garden.'—-vol. i. p. 111.
Absorbed by the enjoyments of the mind, Ali Bey tells us, he
had forgotten those of the body ;-a happy mind it must have been that could have been absorbed in its own enjoyments at Fez! A Mussulman is thought ill of if he has no wives,-his friends remonstrated with him upon his state of single blessedness,'—he had resolved not to marry till he should return from his intended pilgrimage to Mecca ;-but this was no reason why he should not have concubines, it was indecorous in a Mahommedan country to live without them;—he was obliged to give way, and his obliging friends presented him with a young negress, who, having been bathed, cleansed, and perfumed for some days, was attired like a bride, and conducted to his house. Unlike Bruce, Ali Bey has told us, that his sable Vanessa met with no success; he could not overcome his repugnance to thick lips, a flat nose, and the tincture of her skin. Towards the end of February he left Fez for MorocCo, with his vestal concubine and his caravan. The want of timber in this country has been remarked by all former travellers : the elder Addison observes, that what wood there is, is fitter to warm the house than to build it; but even these stunted trees are not found for some days journey beyond Fez; and Ali Bey notices as a consequence, that there were no birds but those which flew by in great flocks in their migrations. The country improved as he approached the coast, and bore such marks of productive powers as to satisfy him that part of Europe might be supplied from thence with provisions, if pernicious institutions and an oppressive government did not combine to render the people wretched, and counteract the bounty of nature.
At Rabat, which Chenier supposes to have been the metropolis. of the Carthaginians, and where the existing town according to the present traveller was intended for the capital of Jacob Almanzor, he found gardens which delighted him more than any he had seen in Europe. There are families here who boast of their Spanish descent, and retain their Spanish names. Soon after he arrived at Morocco, the sultan sent him milk from his table as a mark of affection, and shortly afterwards conferred upon him a more substantial grant of some considerable estates, which, independently of his own funds, enabled him to support the expenses of his rank; a fac simile is given of the title deed, and no European lawyer will question its validity; whatever opinion may be entertained of its worth. Of his rank, indeed, Ali Bey talks somewhat largely. Being invited to a party of pleasure at Mogador, he says that he left all his carriages at Morocco. We had not heard of them before,-neither did we know that there is a carriage road from Tangiers to that city. But we are more inclined to apprehend a mistranslation than so suspect the author of any mis-statement. On the way to Mogador, he saw great numbers of a tree called
Argan (the Rhamnus Siculus, or Siderocilus spinosus of Linnæus, the Rhamnus Pentaphylus of Dryander, and as the present writer thinks, more properly, the Elaiodendron Argan of Ratz and Wildenow.) It multiplies by itself, and requires no culture; the fruit affords a resinous glutin in great quantity, and oil which is proper for all uses; and after the oil has been expressed, there'remains a pulp which is good food for cattle. The acquisition of this tree, he thinks, would be worth more in the southern parts of Europe, than the addition of a province. The forest of these trees which he passed extends ten or twelve days' journey, as its skirts are within a mile of Mogador; the seeds, or the young plants might easily be procured. The amusements which he had been invited or ordered to partake consisted of horse races or sham fights,-in which he found as little gratification as the reader will derive from his graphic representation of them. After ten dull days consumed in these wearisome pastimes, he returned to the capital. His name and reputation were now preceding him ; the umbrella which he carried made known his high privileges, and the inhabitants of all the neighbouring douars along the road waited to receive him in ceremony; the armed men on horseback bowed and saluted him with a cry of God bless the days of our lord !--the old men and children repeated the same salutation, and offered him sour milk, which it would have been discourteous not to have tasted; and the women who were hidden behind the tents or rocks made them echo with their shrill shouts of applause. He in return lifted up
his hands and prayed for them, and they concluded by firing off guns to the praise and glory of Ali Bey the Abbassi.
Morocco, where he now took up his abode, is much more depopulated than Fez. It is not likely that it should ever have contained 700,000 souls, as Ali Bey affirms. Leo, indeed, calls it amplissimum atque inauditæ magnitudinis oppidum, and says that it is usually enumerated inter maximas totius mundi urbes; but Leo speaks only from the report of what it had been; and if we recollect when it was founded, and the history of Morocco from the time of its foundation, it will appear utterly incredible that the city should ever have contained half that number of inhabitants. There is proof that it has not, deducible from Ali Bey's statement, that the ancient walls which have survived the ravages of time and of man, include a circumference of about seven miles. We have towns in England of this circumference; they contain fewer open spaces than a Mahommedan city, and in no instance does the population amount to one hundred thousand. In its present state, Morocco hardly contains 30,000. It is characteristic of the deplorable insecurity in which they exist, that the houses of the principal persons are built so as to afford facilities for defending them; the entrance being by a lane so narrow and crowded, that a horse can with difficulty pass; and four or five men can repel a multitude. : The houses also are like forts, in case this precaution should be unavailing.
Superstition, which in this traveller's native country allies itself with despotism, mitigates in Morocco the evils of a tyrannical government, and affords the only protection against it. The mosque of the patron saint, Sidi Belabbess, serves as an asylum for those who are threatened by the ruling despot;there they may negotiate for a pardon, and wait safely till they obtain it, for although the asylum is not established by any positive law, it is sanctioned by public opinion, and any attempt to violate it would occasion a revolution. Thus an institution which in Spain and Italy tends to multiply crimes by holding out immunity to the perpetrators, becomes useful in a country where the most enormous crimes are committed, not against the laws, but by those from whom the laws proceed. The living saints form a kind of estate in the empire of Morocco: two of these personages, by name Sidi Ali Benhamet, and Sidi Alarbi Benmaté, are believed to attract the blessings of heaven on the country; and Ali Bey says that they almost decide upon its fate. This circumcised philosopher tells us that, 'as the productive power is the gift of heaven, these saints enjoy it in a most distinguished manner;' one of them keeping eighteen negro girls, besides his lawful wives and his common concubines. He tells us too, that he had the honour of an interview with Sidi Ali, and that the saint' quieted some scruples in his too delicate conscience. It is not difficult to imagine that Ali Bey, as a subject of the Inquisition who has escaped from its territories, may delight in wearing his Moorish costume, but it would be better if he wore it with a graver face; his irony suits ill with his beard. These saints were sole rulers in the departments which they inhabited ;no governor resided there, the people paid no kind of tribute, and when they visited other provinces, the governors took their advice and their orders. They preach submission to the sultan, domestic peace; and the practice of virtue. Hitherto this sort of hagiocracy, or vice-royalty of the saints, which they have established, has produced good to the people, and the sultan seems to acquiesce quietly in the loss of his revenues ;-but saintship is hereditary in MoTOCCO,--and in Mahommedan countries dynasties have as frequently been founded by saints as by robbers. There is an evident apprehension on their part lest the sultan should remember this: the money which they raise under the denomination of alms, they appropriate to the purchase of guns and other weapons; and they are continually attended by a number of armed followers.
Finding it more adviseable to reside upon his estate at Sşmelalia
VOL. XV, NO. XXX.