The Bible in Spain
by George Borrow
Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse

"Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters, sir," said the queer- looking personage before mentioned; he was a corpulent man, very short, and his legs particularly so. His dress consisted of a greasy snuff-coloured coat, dirty white trousers, and dirtier stockings. On his head he wore a rusty silk hat, the eaves of which had a tendency to turn up before and behind. I had observed that, during my conversation with the hamalos, he had several times uplifted his eyes from the newspaper, and on the production of the shekel had grinned very significantly, and had inspected it when in the hand of the capitaz. "Allow me to offer you a glass of bitters," said he; "I guessed you was one of our people before you spoke to the hamalos. Sir, it does my heart good to see a gentleman of your appearance not above speaking to his poor brethren. It is what I do myself not unfrequently, and I hope God will blot out my name, and that is Solomons, when I despise them. I do not pretend to much Arabic myself, yet I understood you tolerably well, and I liked your discourse much. You must have a great deal of shillam eidri, nevertheless you startled me when you asked the hamalo if he ever read the Torah; of course you meant with the meforshim; poor as he is, I do not believe him becoresh enough to read the Torah without the commentators. So help me, sir, I believe you to be a Salamancan Jew; I am told there are still some of the old families to be found there. Ever at Tudela, sir? not very far from Salamanca, I believe; one of my own kindred once lived there: a great traveller, sir, like yourself; went over all the world to look for the Jews,—went to the top of Sinai. Anything that I can do for you at Gibraltar, sir? Any commission; will execute it as reasonably, and more expeditiously than any one else. My name is Solomons. I am tolerably well known at Gibraltar; yes, sir, and in the Crooked Friars, and, for that matter, in the Neuen Stein Steg, at Hamburgh; so help me, sir, I think I once saw your face at the fair at Bremen. Speak German, sir? though of course you do. Allow me, sir, to offer you a glass of bitters. I wish, sir, they were mayim, hayim for your sake, I do indeed, sir, I wish they were living waters. Now, sir, do give me your opinion as to this matter (lowering his voice and striking the newspaper). Do you not think it is very hard that one Yudken should betray the other? When I put my little secret beyad peluni,—you understand me, sir?—when I entrust my poor secret to the custody of an individual, and that individual a Jew, a Yudken, sir, I do not wish to be blown, indeed, I do not expect it. In a word, what do you think of the GOLD DUST ROBBERY, and what will be done to those unfortunate people, who I see are convicted?"

That same day I made enquiry respecting the means of transferring myself to Tangier, having no wish to prolong my stay at Gibraltar, where, though it is an exceedingly interesting place to an observant traveller, I had no particular business to detain me. In the evening I was visited by a Jew, a native of Barbary, who informed me that he was secretary to the master of a small Genoese bark which plied between Tangier and Gibraltar. Upon his assuring me that the vessel would infallibly start for the former place on the following evening, I agreed with him for my passage. He said that as the wind was blowing from the Levant quarter, the voyage would be a speedy one. Being desirous now of disposing to the most advantage of the short time which I expected to remain at Gibraltar, I determined upon visiting the excavations, which I had as yet never seen, on the following morning, and accordingly sent for and easily obtained the necessary permission.

About six on Tuesday morning, I started on this expedition, attended by a very intelligent good-looking lad of the Jewish persuasion, one of two brothers who officiated at the inn in the capacity of valets de place.

The morning was dim and hazy, yet sultry to a degree. We ascended a precipitous street, and proceeding in an easterly direction, soon arrived in the vicinity of what is generally known by the name of the Moorish Castle, a large tower, but so battered by the cannon balls discharged against it in the famous siege, that it is at present little better than a ruin; hundreds of round holes are to be seen in its sides, in which, as it is said, the shot are still imbedded; here, at a species of hut, we were joined by an artillery sergeant, who was to be our guide. After saluting us, he led the way to a huge rock, where he unlocked a gate at the entrance of a dark vaulted passage which passed under it, emerging from which passage we found ourselves in a steep path, or rather staircase, with walls on either side.

We proceeded very leisurely, for hurry in such a situation would have been of little avail, as we should have lost our breath in a minute's time. The soldier, perfectly well acquainted with the locality, stalked along with measured steps, his eyes turned to the ground.

I looked fully as much at that man as at the strange place where we now were, and which was every moment becoming stranger. He was a fine specimen of the yeoman turned soldier; indeed, the corps to which he belonged consists almost entirely of that class. There he paces along, tall, strong, ruddy, and chestnut-haired, an Englishman every inch; behold him pacing along, sober, silent, and civil, a genuine English soldier. I prize the sturdy Scot, I love the daring and impetuous Irishman; I admire all the various races which constitute the population of the British isles; yet I must say that, upon the whole, none are so well adapted to ply the soldier's hardy trade as the rural sons of old England, so strong, so cool, yet, at the same time, animated with so much hidden fire. Turn to the history of England and you will at once perceive of what such men are capable; even at Hastings, in the grey old time, under almost every disadvantage, weakened by a recent and terrible conflict, without discipline, comparatively speaking, and uncouthly armed, they all but vanquished the Norman chivalry. Trace their deeds in France, which they twice subdued; and even follow them to Spain, where they twanged the yew and raised the battle-axe, and left behind them a name of glory at Inglis Mendi, a name that shall last till fire consumes the Cantabrian hills. And, oh, in modern times, trace the deeds of these gallant men all over the world, and especially in France and Spain, and admire them, even as I did that sober, silent, soldier-like man who was showing me the wonders of a foreign mountain fortress, wrested by his countrymen from a powerful and proud nation more than a century before, and of which he was now a trusty and efficient guardian.

We arrived close to the stupendous precipice, which rises abruptly above the isthmus called the neutral ground, staring gauntly and horridly at Spain, and immediately entered the excavations. They consist of galleries scooped in the living rock at the distance of some twelve feet from the outside, behind which they run the whole breadth of the hill in this direction. In these galleries, at short distances, are ragged yawning apertures, all formed by the hand of man, where stand the cannon upon neat slightly-raised pavements of small flint stones, each with its pyramid of bullets on one side, and on the other a box, in which is stowed the gear which the gunner requires in the exercise of his craft. Everything was in its place, everything in the nicest English order, everything ready to scathe and overwhelm in a few moments the proudest and most numerous host which might appear marching in hostile array against this singular fortress on the land side.

There is not much variety in these places, one cavern and one gun resembling the other. As for the guns, they are not of large calibre, indeed, such are not needed here, where a pebble discharged from so great an altitude would be fraught with death. On descending a shaft, however, I observed, in one cave of special importance, two enormous carronades looking with peculiar wickedness and malignity down a shelving rock, which perhaps, although not without tremendous difficulty, might be scaled. The mere wind of one of these huge guns would be sufficient to topple over a thousand men. What sensations of dread and horror must be awakened in the breast of a foe when this hollow rock, in the day of siege, emits its flame, smoke, and thundering wind from a thousand yawning holes; horror not inferior to that felt by the peasant of the neighbourhood when Mongibello belches forth from all its orifices its sulphureous fires.

Emerging from the excavations, we proceeded to view various batteries. I asked the sergeant whether his companions and himself were dexterous at the use of the guns. He replied that these cannons were to them what the fowling-piece is to the fowler, that they handled them as easily, and, he believed, pointed them with more precision, as they seldom or never missed an object within range of the shot. This man never spoke until he was addressed, and then the answers which he gave were replete with good sense, and in general well worded. After our excursion, which lasted at least two hours, I made him a small present, and took leave with a hearty shake of the hand.

In the evening I prepared to go on board the vessel bound for Tangier, trusting in what the Jewish secretary had told me as to its sailing. Meeting him, however, accidentally in the street, he informed me that it would not start until the following morning, advising me at the same time to be on board at an early hour. I now roamed about the streets until night was beginning to set in, and becoming weary, I was just about to direct my steps to the inn, when I felt myself gently pulled by the skirt. I was amidst a concourse of people who were gathered around some Irish soldiers who were disputing, and I paid no attention; but I was pulled again more forcibly than before, and I heard myself addressed in a language which I had half forgotten, and which I scarcely expected ever to hear again. I looked round, and lo! a tall figure stood close to me and gazed in my face with anxious inquiring eyes. On its head was the kauk or furred cap of Jerusalem; depending from its shoulders, and almost trailing on the ground, was a broad blue mantle, whilst kandrisa or Turkish trousers enveloped its nether limbs. I gazed on the figure as wistfully as it gazed upon me. At first the features appeared perfectly strange, and I was about to exclaim, I know you not, when one or two lineaments struck me, and I cried, though somewhat hesitatingly, "Surely this is Judah Lib."

I was in a steamer in the Baltic in the year '34, if I mistake not. There was a drizzling rain and a high sea, when I observed a young man of about two and twenty leaning in a melancholy attitude against the side of the vessel. By his countenance I knew him to be one of the Hebrew race, nevertheless there was something very singular in his appearance, something which is rarely found amongst that people, a certain air of nobleness which highly interested me. I approached him, and in a few minutes we were in earnest conversation. He spoke Polish and Jewish German indiscriminately. The story which he related to me was highly extraordinary, yet I yielded implicit credit to all his words, which came from his mouth with an air of sincerity which precluded doubt; and, moreover, he could have no motive for deceiving me. One idea, one object, engrossed him entirely: "My father," said he, in language which strongly marked his race, "was a native of Galatia, a Jew of high caste, a learned man, for he knew Zohar, {22} and he was likewise skilled in medicine. When I was a child of some eight years, he left Galatia, and taking his wife, who was my mother, and myself with him, he bent his way unto the East, even to Jerusalem; there he established himself as a merchant, for he was acquainted with trade and the arts of getting money. He was much respected by the Rabbins of Jerusalem, for he was a Polish man, and he knew more Zohar and more secrets than the wisest of them. He made frequent journeys, and was absent for weeks and for months, but he never exceeded six moons. My father loved me, and he taught me part of what he knew in the moments of his leisure. I assisted him in his trade, but he took me not with him in his journeys. We had a shop at Jerusalem, even a shop of commerce, where we sold the goods of the Nazarene, and my mother and myself, and even a little sister who was born shortly after our arrival at Jerusalem, all assisted my father in his commerce. At length it came to pass, that on a particular time he told us that he was going on a journey, and he embraced us and bade us farewell, and he departed, whilst we continued at Jerusalem attending to the business. We awaited his return, but months passed, even six months, and he came not, and we wondered; and months passed, even other six passed, but still he came not, nor did we hear any tidings of him, and our hearts were filled with heaviness and sorrow. But when years, even two years, were expired, I said to my mother, 'I will go and seek my father'; and she said, 'Do so,' and she gave me her blessing, and I kissed my little sister, and I went forth as far as Egypt, and there I heard tidings of my father, for people told me he had been there, and they named the time, and they said that he had passed from thence to the land of the Turk; so I myself followed to the land of the Turk, even unto Constantinople. And when I arrived there I again heard of my father, for he was well known amongst the Jews, and they told me the time of his being there, and they added that he had speculated and prospered, and departed from Constantinople, but whither he went they knew not. So I reasoned within myself and said, perhaps he may have gone to the land of his fathers, even unto Galatia, to visit his kindred; so I determined to go there myself, and I went, and I found our kindred, and I made myself known to them, and they rejoiced to see me; but when I asked them for my father, they shook their heads and could give me no intelligence; and they would fain have had me tarry with them, but I would not, for the thought of my father was working strong within me, and I could not rest. So I departed and went to another country, even unto Russia, and I went deep into that country, even as far as Kazan, and of all I met, whether Jew, or Russ, or Tartar, I inquired for my father; but no one knew him, nor had heard of him. So I turned back and here thou seest me; and I now purpose going through all Germany and France, nay, through all the world, until I have received intelligence of my father, for I cannot rest until I know what is become of my father, for the thought of him burneth in my brain like fire, even like the fire of Jehinnim."

Such was the individual whom I now saw again, after a lapse of five years, in the streets of Gibraltar, in the dusk of the evening. "Yes," he replied, "I am Judah, surnamed the Lib. Thou didst not recognise me, but I knew thee at once. I should have known thee amongst a million, and not a day has passed since I last saw thee, but I have thought on thee." I was about to reply, but he pulled me out of the crowd and led me into a shop where, squatted on the floor, sat six or seven Jews cutting leather; he said something to them which I did not understand, whereupon they bowed their heads and followed their occupation, without taking any notice of us. A singular figure had followed us to the door; it was a man dressed in exceedingly shabby European garments, which exhibited nevertheless the cut of a fashionable tailor. He seemed about fifty; his face, which was very broad, was of a deep bronze colour; the features were rugged, but exceedingly manly, and, notwithstanding they were those of a Jew, exhibited no marks of cunning, but, on the contrary, much simplicity and good nature. His form was about the middle height, and tremendously athletic, the arms and back were literally those of a Hercules squeezed into a modern surtout; the lower part of his face was covered with a bushy beard, which depended half way down his breast. This figure remained at the door, his eyes fixed upon myself and Judah.

The first inquiry which I now addressed was "Have you heard of your father?"

"I have," he replied. "When we parted, I proceeded through many lands, and wherever I went I inquired of the people respecting my father, but still they shook their heads, until I arrived at the land of Tunis; and there I went to the head rabbi, and he told me that he knew my father well, and that he had been there, even at Tunis, and he named the time, and he said that from thence he departed for the land of Fez; and he spoke much of my father and of his learning, and he mentioned the Zohar, even that dark book which my father loved so well; and he spoke yet more of my father's wealth and his speculations, in all of which it seems he had thriven. So I departed and I mounted a ship, and I went into the land of Barbary, even unto Fez, and when I arrived there I heard much intelligence of my father, but it was intelligence which perhaps was worse than ignorance. For the Jews told me that my father had been there, and had speculated and had thriven, and that from thence he departed for Tafilaltz, which is the country of which the Emperor, even Muley Abderrahman, is a native; and there he was still prosperous, and his wealth in gold and silver was very great; and he wished to go to a not far distant town, and he engaged certain Moors, two in number, to accompany him and defend him and his treasures: and the Moors were strong men, even makhasniah or soldiers; and they made a covenant with my father, and they gave him their right hands, and they swore to spill their blood rather than his should be shed. And my father was encouraged and he waxed bold, and he departed with them, even with the two false Moors. And when they arrived in the uninhabited place, they smote my father, and they prevailed against him, and they poured out his blood in the way, and they robbed him of all he had, of his silks and his merchandise, and of the gold and silver which he had made in his speculations, and they went to their own villages, and there they sat themselves down and bought lands and houses, and they rejoiced and they triumphed, and they made a merit of their deed, saying, 'We have killed an infidel, even an accursed Jew'; and these things were notorious in Fez. And when I heard these tidings my heart was sad, and I became like a child, and I wept; but the fire of Jehinnim burned no longer in my brain, for I now knew what was become of my father. At last I took comfort and I reasoned with myself, saying, 'Would it not be wise to go unto the Moorish king and demand of him vengeance for my father's death, and that the spoilers be despoiled, and the treasure, even my father's treasure, be wrested from their hands and delivered up to me who am his son?' And the king of the Moors was not at that time in Fez, but was absent in his wars; and I arose and followed him, even unto Arbat, which is a seaport, and when I arrived there, lo! I found him not, but his son was there, and men said unto me that to speak unto the son was to speak unto the king, even Muley Abderrahman; so I went in unto the king's son, and I kneeled before him, and I lifted up my voice and I said unto him what I had to say, and he looked courteously upon me and said, 'Truly thy tale is a sorrowful one, and it maketh me sad; and what thou asketh, that will I grant, and thy father's death shall be avenged and the spoilers shall be despoiled; and I will write thee a letter with my own hand unto the Pasha, even the Pasha of Tafilaltz, and I will enjoin him to make inquiry into thy matter, and that letter thou shalt thyself carry and deliver unto him.' And when I heard these words, my heart died within my bosom for very fear, and I replied, 'Not so, my lord; it is good that thou write a letter unto the Pasha, even unto the Pasha of Tafilaltz, but that letter will I not take, neither will I go to Tafilaltz, for no sooner should I arrive there, and my errand be known, than the Moors would arise and put me to death, either privily or publicly, for are not the murderers of my father Moors; and am I aught but a Jew, though I be a Polish man?' And he looked benignantly, and he said, 'Truly, thou speakest wisely; I will write the letter, but thou shalt not take it, for I will send it by other hands; therefore set thy heart at rest, and doubt not that, if thy tale be true, thy father's death shall be avenged, and the treasure, or the value thereof, be recovered and given up to thee; tell me, therefore, where wilt thou abide till then?' And I said unto him, 'My lord, I will go into the land of Suz and will tarry there.' And he replied: 'Do so, and thou shalt hear speedily from me.' So I arose and departed and went into the land of Suz, even unto Sweerah, which the Nazarenes call Mogadore; and waited with a troubled heart for intelligence from the son of the Moorish king, but no intelligence came, and never since that day have I heard from him, and it is now three years since I was in his presence. And I sat me down at Mogadore, and I married a wife, a daughter of our nation, and I wrote to my mother, even to Jerusalem, and she sent me money, and with that I entered into commerce, even as my father had done, and I speculated, and I was not successful in my speculations, and I speedily lost all I had. And now I am come to Gibraltar to speculate on the account of another, a merchant of Mogadore, but I like not my occupation, he has deceived me; I am going back, when I shall again seek the presence of the Moorish king and demand that the treasure of my father be taken from the spoilers and delivered up to me, even to me his son."

I listened with mute attention to the singular tale of this singular man, and when he had concluded I remained a considerable time without saying a word; at last he inquired what had brought me to Gibraltar. I told him that I was merely a passer through on my way to Tangier, for which place I expected to sail the following morning. Whereupon he observed, that in the course of a week or two he expected to be there also, when he hoped that we should meet, as he had much more to tell me. "And peradventure," he added, "you can afford me counsel which will be profitable, for you are a person of experience, versed in the ways of many nations; and when I look in your countenance, heaven seems to open to me, for I think I see the countenance of a friend, even of a brother." He then bade me farewell, and departed; the strange bearded man, who during our conversation had remained patiently waiting at the door, following him. I remarked that there was less wildness in his look than on the former occasion, but at the same time, more melancholy, and his features were wrinkled like those of an aged man, though he had not yet passed the prime of youth.


Genoese Mariners—St. Michael's Cave—Midnight Abysses—Young American—A Slave Proprietor—The Fairy Man—Infidelity.

Throughout the whole of that night it blew very hard, but as the wind was in the Levant quarter, I had no apprehension of being detained longer at Gibraltar on that account. I went on board the vessel at an early hour, when I found the crew engaged in hauling the anchor close, and making other preparations for sailing. They informed me that we should probably start in an hour. That time however passed, and we still remained where we were, and the captain continued on shore. We formed one of a small flotilla of Genoese barks, the crews of which seemed in their leisure moments to have no better means of amusing themselves than the exchange of abusive language; a furious fusillade of this kind presently commenced, in which the mate of our vessel particularly distinguished himself; he was a grey-haired Genoese of sixty. Though not able to speak their patois, I understood much of what was said; it was truly shocking, and as they shouted it forth, judging from their violent gestures and distorted features, you would have concluded them to be bitter enemies; they were, however, nothing of the kind, but excellent friends all the time, and indeed very good-humoured fellows at bottom. Oh, the infirmities of human nature! When will man learn to become truly Christian?

I am upon the whole very fond of the Genoese; they have, it is true, much ribaldry and many vices, but they are a brave and chivalrous people, and have ever been so, and from them I have never experienced aught but kindness and hospitality.

After the lapse of another two hours, the Jew secretary arrived and said something to the old mate, who grumbled much; then coming up to me, he took off his hat and informed me that we were not to start that day, saying at the same time that it was a shame to lose such a noble wind, which would carry us to Tangier in three hours. "Patience," said I, and went on shore.

I now strolled towards Saint Michael's cave, in company with the Jewish lad whom I have before mentioned.

The way thither does not lie in the same direction as that which leads to the excavations; these confront Spain, whilst the cave yawns in the face of Africa. It lies nearly at the top of the mountain, several hundred yards above the sea. We passed by the public walks, where there are noble trees, and also by many small houses, situated delightfully in gardens, and occupied by the officers of the garrison. It is wrong to suppose Gibraltar a mere naked barren rock; it is not without its beautiful spots—spots such as these, looking cool and refreshing, with bright green foliage. The path soon became very steep, and we left behind us the dwellings of man. The gale of the preceding night had entirely ceased, and not a breath of air was stirring; the midday sun shone in all its fierce glory, and the crags up which we clambered were not unfrequently watered with the perspiration drops which rained from our temples: at length we arrived at the cavern.

The mouth is a yawning cleft in the side of the mountain, about twelve feet high and as many wide; within there is a very rapid precipitous descent for some fifty yards, where the cavern terminates in an abyss which leads to unknown depths. The most remarkable object is a natural column, which rises up something like the trunk of an enormous oak, as if for the purpose of supporting the roof; it stands at a short distance from the entrance, and gives a certain air of wildness and singularity to that part of the cavern which is visible, which it would otherwise not possess. The floor is exceedingly slippery, consisting of soil which the continual drippings from the roof have saturated, so that no slight precaution is necessary for him who treads it. It is very dangerous to enter this place without a guide well acquainted with it, as, besides the black pit at the extremity, holes which have never been fathomed present themselves here and there, falling into which the adventurer would be dashed to pieces. Whatever men may please to say of this cave, one thing it seems to tell to all who approach it, namely, that the hand of man has never been busy about it; there is many a cave of nature's forming, old as the earth on which we exist, which nevertheless exhibits indications that man has turned it to some account, and that it has been subjected more or less to his modifying power; not so this cave of Gibraltar, for, judging from its appearance, there is not the slightest reason for supposing that it ever served for aught else than a den for foul night birds, reptiles, and beasts of prey. It has been stated by some to have been used in the days of paganism as a temple to the god Hercules, who, according to the ancient tradition, raised the singular mass of crags now called Gibraltar, and the mountain which confronts it on the African shores, as columns which should say to all succeeding times that he had been there, and had advanced no farther. Sufficient to observe, that there is nothing within the cave which would authorize the adoption of such an opinion, not even a platform on which an altar could have stood, whilst a narrow path passes before it, leading to the summit of the mountain. As I have myself never penetrated into its depths, I can of course not pretend to describe them. Numerous have been the individuals who, instigated by curiosity, have ventured down to immense depths, hoping to discover an end, and indeed scarcely a week passes without similar attempts being made either by the officers or soldiers of the garrison, all of which have proved perfectly abortive. No termination has ever been reached, nor any discoveries made to repay the labour and frightful danger incurred; precipice succeeds precipice, and abyss succeeds abyss, in apparently endless succession, with ledges at intervals, which afford the adventurers opportunities for resting themselves and affixing their rope-ladders for the purpose of descending yet farther. What is, however, most mortifying and perplexing is to observe that these abysses are not only before, but behind you, and on every side; indeed, close within the entrance of the cave, on the right, there is a gulf almost equally dark and full as threatening as that which exists at the nether end, and perhaps contains within itself as many gulfs and horrid caverns branching off in all directions. Indeed, from what I have heard, I have come to the opinion, that the whole hill of Gibraltar is honeycombed, and I have little doubt that, were it cleft asunder, its interior would be found full of such abysses of Erebus as those to which Saint Michael's cave conducts. Many valuable lives are lost every year in these horrible places; and only a few weeks before my visit, two sergeants, brothers, had perished in the gulf on the right hand side of the cave, having, when at a great depth, slipped down a precipice. The body of one of these adventurous men is even now rotting in the bowels of the mountain, preyed upon by its blind and noisome worms; that of his brother was extricated. Immediately after this horrible accident, a gate was placed before the mouth of the cave, to prevent individuals, and especially the reckless soldiers, from indulging in their extravagant curiosity. The lock, however, was speedily forced, and at the period of my arrival the gate swung idly upon its hinges.

As I left the place, I thought that perhaps similar to this was the cave of Horeb, where dwelt Elijah, when he heard the still small voice, after the great and strong wind which rent the mountains and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; the cave to the entrance of which he went out and stood with his face wrapped in his mantle, when he heard the voice say unto him, "What doest thou here, Elijah?" (1 Kings xix. 11-13.)

And what am I doing here, I inquired of myself as, vexed at my detention, I descended into the town.

That afternoon I dined in the company of a young American, a native of South Carolina. I had frequently seen him before, as he had been staying for some time at the inn previous to my arrival at Gibraltar. His appearance was remarkable: he was low of stature, and exceedingly slightly made; his features were pale but very well formed; he had a magnificent head of crispy black hair, and as superb a pair of whiskers of the same colour as I ever beheld. He wore a white hat, with broad brim and particularly shallow crown, and was dressed in a light yellow gingham frock striped with black, and ample trousers of calico, in a word, his appearance was altogether queer and singular. On my return from my ramble to the cave, I found that he had himself just descended from the mountain, having since a very early hour been absent exploring its wonders.

A man of the rock asked him how he liked the excavations. "Liked them," said he; "you might just as well ask a person who has just seen the Niagara Falls how he liked them—like is not the word, mister." The heat was suffocating, as it almost invariably is in the town of Gibraltar, where rarely a breath of air is to be felt, as it is sheltered from all winds. This led another individual to inquire of him whether he did not think it exceedingly hot? "Hot, sir," he replied, "not at all: fine cotton gathering weather as a man could wish for. We couldn't beat it in South Carolina, sir." "You live in South Carolina, sir—I hope, sir, you are not a slave proprietor," said the short fat Jewish personage in the snuff- coloured coat, who had offered me the bitters on a previous occasion; "it is a terrible thing to make slaves of poor people, simply because they happen to be black; don't you think so, sir?" "Think so, sir—no, sir, I don't think so—I glory in being a slave proprietor; have four hundred black niggers on my estate—own estate, sir, near Charleston—flog half a dozen of them before breakfast, merely for exercise. Niggers only made to be flogged, sir: try to escape sometimes; set the blood-hounds in their trail, catch them in a twinkling; used to hang themselves formerly: the niggers thought that a sure way to return to their own country and get clear of me: soon put a stop to that: told them that if any more hanged themselves I'd hang myself too, follow close behind them, and flog them in their own country ten times worse than in mine. What do you think of that, friend?" It was easy to perceive that there was more of fun than malice in this eccentric little fellow, for his large grey eyes were sparkling with good humour whilst he poured out these wild things. He was exceedingly free of his money; and a dirty Irish woman, a soldier's wife, having entered with a basketful of small boxes and trinkets, made of portions of the rock of Gibraltar, he purchased the greatest part of her ware, giving her for every article the price (by no means inconsiderable) which she demanded. He had glanced at me several times, and at last I saw him stoop down and whisper something to the Jew, who replied in an undertone, though with considerable earnestness "O dear no, sir; perfectly mistaken, sir: is no American, sir:- from Salamanca, sir; the gentleman is a Salamancan Spaniard." The waiter at length informed us that he had laid the table, and that perhaps it would be agreeable to us to dine together: we instantly assented. I found my new acquaintance in many respects a most agreeable companion: he soon told me his history. He was a planter, and, from what he hinted, just come to his property. He was part owner of a large vessel which traded between Charleston and Gibraltar, and the yellow fever having just broken out at the former place, he had determined to take a trip (his first) to Europe in this ship; having, as he said, already visited every state in the Union, and seen all that was to be seen there. He described to me, in a very naive and original manner, his sensations on passing by Tarifa, which was the first walled town he had ever seen. I related to him the history of that place, to which he listened with great attention. He made divers attempts to learn from me who I was; all of which I evaded, though he seemed fully convinced that I was an American; and amongst other things asked me whether my father had not been American consul at Seville. What, however, most perplexed him was my understanding Moorish and Gaelic, which he had heard me speak respectively to the hamalos and the Irish woman, the latter of whom, as he said, had told him that I was a fairy man. At last he introduced the subject of religion, and spoke with much contempt of revelation, avowing himself a deist; he was evidently very anxious to hear my opinion, but here again I evaded him, and contented myself with asking him, whether he had ever read the Bible. He said he had not; but that he was well acquainted with the writings of Volney and Mirabeau. I made no answer; whereupon he added, that it was by no means his habit to introduce such subjects, and that there were very few persons to whom he would speak so unreservedly, but that I had very much interested him, though our acquaintance had been short. I replied, that he would scarcely have spoken at Boston in the manner that I had just heard him, and that it was easy to perceive that he was not a New Englander. "I assure you," said he, "I should as little have thought of speaking so at Charleston, for if I held such conversation there, I should soon have had to speak to myself."

Had I known less of deists than it has been my fortune to know, I should perhaps have endeavoured to convince this young man of the erroneousness of the ideas which he had adopted; but I was aware of all that he would have urged in reply, and as the believer has no carnal arguments to address to carnal reason upon this subject, I thought it best to avoid disputation, which I felt sure would lead to no profitable result. Faith is the free gift of God, and I do not believe that ever yet was an infidel converted by means of after-dinner polemics. This was the last evening of my sojourn in Gibraltar.


Again on Board—The Strange Visage—The Hadji—Setting Sail—The Two Jews—American Vessel—Tangier—Adun Oulem—The Struggle—The Forbidden Thing.

On Thursday, the 8th of August, I was again on board the Genoese bark, at as early an hour as on the previous morning. After waiting, however, two or three hours without any preparation being made for departing, I was about to return to the shore once more, but the old Genoese mate advised me to stay, assuring me that he had no doubt of our sailing speedily, as all the cargo was on board, and we had nothing further to detain us. I was reposing myself in the little cabin, when I heard a boat strike against the side of the vessel, and some people come on board. Presently a face peered in at the opening, strange and wild. I was half asleep, and at first imagined I was dreaming, for the face seemed more like that of a goat or an orge than of a human being; its long beard almost touching my face as I lay extended in a kind of berth. Starting up, however, I recognised the singular-looking Jew whom I had seen in the company of Judah Lib. He recognised me also, and nodding, bent his huge features into a smile. I arose and went upon deck, where I found him in company with another Jew, a young man in the dress of Barbary. They had just arrived in the boat. I asked my friend of the beard who he was, from whence he came, and where he was going? He answered, in broken Portuguese, that he was returning from Lisbon, where he had been on business, to Mogadore, of which place he was a native. He then looked me in the face and smiled, and taking out a book from his pocket, in Hebrew characters, fell to reading it; whereupon a Spanish sailor on board observed that with such a beard and book he must needs be a sabio, or sage. His companion was from Mequinez, and spoke only Arabic.

A large boat now drew nigh, the stern of which was filled with Moors; there might be about twelve, and the greater part evidently consisted of persons of distinction, as they were dressed in all the pomp and gallantry of the East, with snow-white turbans, jabadores of green silk or scarlet cloth, and bedeyas rich with gold galloon. Some of them were exceedingly fine men, and two amongst them, youths, were strikingly handsome, and so far from exhibiting the dark swarthy countenance of Moors in general, their complexions were of a delicate red and white. The principal personage, and to whom all the rest paid much deference, was a tall athletic man of about forty. He wore a vest of white quilted cotton, and white kandrisa, whilst gracefully wound round his body, and swathing the upper part of his head, was the balk, or white flannel wrapping plaid always held in so much estimation by the Moors from the earliest period of their history. His legs were bare and his feet only protected from the ground by yellow slippers. He displayed no farther ornament than one large gold ear-ring, from which depended a pearl, evidently of great price. A noble black beard, about a foot in length, touched his muscular breast. His features were good, with the exception of the eyes, which were somewhat small; their expression, however, was, evil; their glances were sullen; and malignity and ill-nature were painted in every lineament of his countenance, which seemed never to have been brightened with a smile. The Spanish sailor, of whom I have already had occasion to speak, informed me in a whisper, that he was a santuron, or big saint, and was so far back on his way from Mecca; adding, that he was a merchant of immense wealth. It soon appeared that the other Moors had merely attended him on board through friendly politeness, as they all successively came to bid him adieu, with the exception of two blacks, who were his attendants. I observed that these blacks, when the Moors presented them their hands at departing, invariably made an effort to press them to their lips, which effort was as uniformly foiled, the Moors in every instance, by a speedy and graceful movement, drawing back their hand locked in that of the black, which they pressed against their own heart; as much as to say, "though a negro and a slave you are a Moslem, and being so, you art our brother—Allah knows no distinctions." The boatman now went up to the hadji, demanding payment, stating, at the same time, that he had been on board three times on his account, conveying his luggage. The sum which he demanded appeared exorbitant to the hadji, who, forgetting that he was a saint, and fresh from Mecca, fumed outrageously, and in broken Spanish called the boatman thief. If there be any term of reproach which stings a Spaniard (and such was the boatman) more than another, it is that one; and the fellow no sooner heard it applied to himself, than with eyes sparkling with fury, he put his fist to the hadji's nose, and repaid the one opprobrious name by at least ten others equally bad or worse. He would perhaps have proceeded to acts of violence had he not been pulled away by the other Moors, who led him aside, and I suppose either said or gave him something which pacified him, as he soon got into his boat, and returned with them on shore. The captain now arrived with his Jewish secretary, and orders were given for setting sail.

At a little past twelve we were steering out of the bay of Gibraltar; the wind was in the right quarter, but for some time we did not make much progress, lying almost becalmed beneath the lee of the hill; by degrees, however, our progress became brisker, and in about an hour we found ourselves careering smartly towards Tarifa.

The Jew secretary stood at the helm, and indeed appeared to be the person who commanded the vessel, and who issued out all the necessary orders, which were executed under the superintendence of the old Genoese mate. I now put some questions to the hadji, but he looked at me askance with his sullen eye, pouted with his lip, and remained silent; as much as to say, "Speak not to me, I am holier than thou." I found his negroes, however, far more conversable. One of them was old and ugly, the other about twenty, and as well looking as it is possible for a negro to be. His colour was perfect ebony, his features exceedingly well formed and delicate, with the exception of the lips, which were too full. The shape of his eyes was peculiar; they were rather oblong than round, like those of an Egyptian figure. Their expression was thoughtful and meditative. In every respect he differed from his companion, even in colour, (though both were negroes,) and was evidently a scion of some little known and superior race. As he sat beneath the mast gazing at the sea, I thought he was misplaced, and that he would have appeared to more advantage amidst boundless sands, and beneath a date tree, and then he might have well represented a Jhin. I asked him from whence he came, he replied that he was a native of Fez, but that he had never known his parents. He had been brought up, he added, in the family of his present master, whom he had followed in the greater part of his travels, and with whom he had thrice visited Mecca. I asked him if he liked being a slave? Whereupon he replied, that he was a slave no longer, having been made free for some time past, on account of his faithful services, as had likewise his companion. He would have told me much more, but the hadji called him away, and otherwise employed him, probably to prevent his being contaminated by me.

Thus avoided by the Moslems, I betook myself to the Jews, whom I found nowise backward in cultivating an intimacy. The sage of the beard told me his history, which in some respects reminded me of that of Judah Lib, as it seemed that, a year or two previous, he had quitted Mogadore in pursuit of his son, who had betaken himself to Portugal. On the arrival, however, of the father at Lisbon, he discovered that the fugitive had, a few days before, shipped himself for the Brazils. Unlike Judah in quest of his father, he now became weary, and discontinued the pursuit. The younger Jew from Mequinez was exceedingly gay and lively as soon as he perceived that I was capable of understanding him, and made me smile by his humorous account of Christian life, as he had observed it at Gibraltar, where he had made a stay of about a month. He then spoke of Mequinez, which, he said, was a Jennut, or Paradise, compared with which Gibraltar was a sty of hogs. So great, so universal is the love of country. I soon saw that both these people believed me to be of their own nation; indeed, the young one, who was much the most familiar, taxed me with being so, and spoke of the infamy of denying my own blood. Shortly before our arrival off Tarifa, universal hunger seemed to prevail amongst us. The hadji and his negroes produced their store, and feasted on roast fowls, the Jews ate grapes and bread, myself bread and cheese, whilst the crew prepared a mess of anchovies. Two of them speedily came, with a large portion, which they presented to me with the kindness of brothers: I made no hesitation in accepting their present, and found the anchovies delicious. As I sat between the Jews, I offered them some, but they turned away their heads with disgust, and cried haloof (hogsflesh). They at the same time, however, shook me by the hand, and, uninvited, took a small portion of my bread. I had a bottle of Cognac, which I had brought with me as a preventive to sea sickness, and I presented it to them; but this they also refused, exclaiming, Haram (it is forbidden). I said nothing.

We were now close to the lighthouse of Tarifa, and turning the head of the bark towards the west, we made directly for the coast of Africa. The wind was now blowing very fresh, and as we had it almost in our poop, we sprang along at a tremendous rate, the huge lateen sails threatening every moment to drive us beneath the billows, which an adverse tide raised up against us. Whilst scudding along in this manner, we passed close under the stern of a large vessel bearing American colours; she was tacking up the straits, and slowly winning her way against the impetuous Levanter. As we passed under her, I observed the poop crowded with people gazing at us; indeed, we must have offered a singular spectacle to those on board, who, like my young American friend at Gibraltar, were visiting the Old World for the first time. At the helm stood the Jew; his whole figure enveloped in a gabardine, the cowl of which, raised above his head, gave him almost the appearance of a spectre in its shroud; whilst upon the deck, mixed with Europeans in various kinds of dresses, all of them picturesque with the exception of my own, trod the turbaned Moors, the haik of the hadji flapping loosely in the wind. The view they obtained of us, however, could have been but momentary, as we bounded past them literally with the speed of a racehorses so that in about an hour's time we were not more than a mile's distance from the foreland on which stands the fortress Alminar, and which constitutes the boundary point of the bay of Tangier towards the east. There the wind dropped and our progress was again slow.

For a considerable time Tangier had appeared in sight. Shortly after standing away from Tarifa, we had descried it in the far distance, when it showed like a white dove brooding on its nest. The sun was setting behind the town when we dropped anchor in its harbour, amidst half a dozen barks and felouks about the size of our own, the only vessels which we saw. There stood Tangier before us, and a picturesque town it was, occupying the sides and top of two hills, one of which, bold and bluff, projects into the sea where the coast takes a sudden and abrupt turn. Frowning and battlemented were its walls, either perched on the top of precipitous rocks, whose base was washed by the salt billows, or rising from the narrow strand which separates the hill from the ocean.

Yonder are two or three tiers of batteries, displaying heavy guns which command the harbour; above them you see the terraces of the town rising in succession like steps for giants. But all is white, perfectly white, so that the whole seems cut out of an immense chalk rock, though true it is that you behold here and there tall green trees springing up from amidst the whiteness: perhaps they belong to Moorish gardens, and beneath them even now peradventure is reclining many a dark-eyed Leila, akin to the houries. Right before you is a high tower or minaret, not white but curiously painted, which belongs to the principal mosque of Tangier; a black banner waves upon it, for it is the feast of Ashor. A noble beach of white sand fringes the bay from the town to the foreland of Alminar. To the east rise prodigious hills and mountains; they are Gibil Muza and his chain; and yon tall fellow is the peak of Tetuan; the grey mists of evening are enveloping their sides. Such was Tangier, such its vicinity, as it appeared to me whilst gazing from the Genoese bark.

A boat was now lowered from the vessel, in which the captain, who was charged with the mail from Gibraltar, the Jew secretary, and the hadji and his attendant negroes departed for the shore. I would have gone with them, but I was told that I could not land that night, as ere my passport and bill of health could be examined, the gates would be closed; so I remained on board with the crew and the two Jews. The former prepared their supper, which consisted simply of pickled tomatoes, the other provisions having been consumed. The old Genoese brought me a portion, apologizing at the same time, for the plainness of the fare. I accepted it with thanks, and told him that a million better men than myself had a worse super. I never ate with more appetite. As the night advanced, the Jews sang Hebrew hymns, and when they had concluded, demanded of me why I was silent, so I lifted up my voice and chanted Adun Oulem:-

"Reigned the Universe's Master, ere were earthly things begun; When His mandate all created, Ruler was the name He won; And alone He'll rule tremendous when all things are past and gone, He no equal has, nor consort, He, the singular and lone, Has no end and no beginning; His the sceptre, might and throne. He's my God and living Saviour, rock to whom in need I run; He's my banner and my refuge, fount of weal when called upon; In His hand I place my spirit at nightfall and rise of sun, And therewith my body also; God's my God—I fear no one."

Darkness had now fallen over land and sea; not a sound was heard save occasionally the distant barking of a dog from the shore, or some plaintive Genoese ditty, which arose from a neighbouring bark. The town seemed buried in silence and gloom, no light, not even that of a taper, could be descried. Turning our eyes in the direction of Spain, however, we perceived a magnificent conflagration seemingly enveloping the side and head of one of the lofty mountains northward of Tarifa; the blaze was redly reflected in the waters of the strait; either the brushwood was burning or the Carboneros were plying their dusky toil. The Jews now complained, of weariness, and the younger, uncording a small mattress, spread it on the deck and sought repose. The sage descended into the cabin, but he had scarcely time to lie down ere the old mate, darting forward, dived in after him, and pulled him out by the heels, for it was very shallow, and the descent was effected by not more than two or three steps. After accomplishing this, he called him many opprobrious names, and threatened him with his foot, as he lay sprawling on the deck. "Think you," said he, "who are a dog and a Jew, and pay as a dog and a Jew; think you to sleep in the cabin? Undeceive yourself, beast; that cabin shall be slept in by none to-night but this Christian Cavallero." The sage made no reply, but arose from the deck and stroked his beard, whilst the old Genoese proceeded in his philippic. Had the Jew been disposed, he could have strangled the insulter in a moment, or crushed him to death in his brawny arms, as I never remember to have seen a figure so powerful and muscular; but he was evidently slow to anger, and long-suffering; not a resentful word escaped him, and his features retained their usual expression of benignant placidity.

I now assured the mate that I had not the slightest objection to the Jew's sharing the cabin with me, but rather wished it, as there was room for us both and for more. "Excuse me, Sir Cavalier," replied the Genoese, "but I swear to permit no such thing; you are young and do not know this canaille as I do, who have been backward and forward to this coast for twenty years; if the beast is cold, let him sleep below the hatches as I and the rest shall, but that cabin he shall not enter." Observing that he was obstinate I retired, and in a few minutes was in a sound sleep which lasted till daybreak. Twice or thrice, indeed, I thought that a struggle was taking place near me, but I was so overpowered with weariness, or "sleep drunken," as the Germans call it, that I was unable to arouse myself sufficiently to discover what was going on; the truth is, that three times during the night, the sage feeling himself uncomfortable in the open air by the side of his companion, penetrated into the cabin, and was as many times dragged out by his relentless old enemy, who, suspecting his intentions, kept his eye upon him throughout the night.

About five I arose; the sun was shining brightly and gloriously upon town, bay, and mountain; the crew were already employed upon deck repairing a sail which had been shivered in the wind of the preceding day. The Jews sat disconsolate on the poop; they complained much of the cold they had suffered in their exposed situation. Over the left eye of the sage I observed a bloody cut, which he informed me he had received from the old Genoese after he had dragged him out of the cabin for the last time. I now produced my bottle of Cognac, begging that the crew would partake of it as a slight return for their hospitality. They thanked me, and the bottle went its round; it was last in the hands of the old mate, who, after looking for a moment at the sage, raised it to his mouth, where he kept it a considerable time longer than any of his companions, after which he returned it to me with a low bow. The sage now inquired what the bottle contained: I told him Cognac or aguardiente, whereupon with some eagerness he begged that I would allow him to take a draught. "How is this?" said I; "yesterday you told me that it was a forbidden thing, an abomination." "Yesterday," said he, "I was not aware that it was brandy; I thought it wine, which assuredly is an abomination, and a forbidden thing." "Is it forbidden in the Torah?" I inquired. "Is it forbidden in the law of God?" "I know not," said he, "but one thing I know, that the sages have forbidden it." "Sages like yourself," cried I with warmth; "sages like yourself, with long beards and short understandings: the use of both drinks is permitted, but more danger lurks in this bottle than in a tun of wine. Well said my Lord the Nazarene, 'ye strain at a gnat, and swallow a camel'; but as you are cold and shivering, take the bottle and revive yourself with a small portion of its contents." He put it to his lips and found not a single drop. The old Genoese grinned.

"Bestia," said he, "I saw by your looks that you wished to drink of that bottle, and I said within me, even though I suffocate, yet will I not leave one drop of the aguardiente of the Christian Cavalier to be wasted on that Jew, on whose head may evil lightnings fall."

"Now, Sir Cavalier," he continued, "you can go ashore; these two sailors shall row you to the Mole, and convey your baggage where you think proper; may the Virgin bless you wherever you go."


The Mole—The Two Moors—Djmah of Tangier—House of God—British Consul—Curious Spectacle—The Moorish House—Joanna Correa—Ave Maria.

So we rode to the Mole and landed. This Mole consists at present of nothing more than an immense number of large loose stones, which run about five hundred yards into the bay; they are part of the ruins of a magnificent pier which the English, who were the last foreign nation which held Tangier, destroyed when they evacuated the place. The Moors have never attempted to repair it; the surf at high water breaks over it with great fury. I found it a difficult task to pick my way over the slippery stones, and should once or twice have fallen but for the kindness of the Genoese mariners. At last we reached the beach, and were proceeding towards the gate of the town, when two persons, Moors, came up to us. I almost started at sight of the first; he was a huge old barbarian with a white uncombed beard, dirty turban, haik, and trousers, naked legs, and immense splay feet, the heels of which stood out a couple of inches at least behind his rusty black slippers.

"That is the captain of the port," said one of the Genoese; "pay him respect." I accordingly doffed my hat and cried, "Sba alkheir a sidi" (Good-morning, my lord). "Are you Englishmans?" shouted the old grisly giant. "Englishmans, my lord," I replied, and, advancing, presented him my hand, which he nearly wrung off with his tremendous gripe. The other Moor now addressed me in a jargon composed of English, Spanish, and Arabic. A queer-looking personage was he also, but very different in most respects from his companion, being shorter by a head at least, and less complete by one eye, for the left orb of vision was closed, leaving him, as the Spaniards style it, tuerto; he, however, far outshone the other in cleanliness of turban, haik, and trousers. From what he jabbered to me, I collected that he was the English consul's mahasni or soldier; that the consul, being aware of my arrival, had dispatched him to conduct me to his house. He then motioned me to follow him, which I did, the old port captain attending us to the gate, when he turned aside into a building, which I judged to be a kind of custom-house from the bales and boxes of every description piled up before it. We passed the gate and proceeded up a steep and winding ascent; on our left was a battery full of guns, pointing to the sea, and on our right a massive wall, seemingly in part cut out of the hill; a little higher up we arrived at an opening where stood the mosque which I have already mentioned. As I gazed upon the tower I said to myself, "Surely we have here a younger sister of the Giralda of Seville."

I know not whether the resemblance between the two edifices has been observed by any other individual; and perhaps there are those who would assert that no resemblance exists, especially if, in forming an opinion, they were much swayed by size and colour: the hue of the Giralda is red, or rather vermilion, whilst that which predominates in the Djmah of Tangier is green, the bricks of which it is built being of that colour; though between them, at certain intervals, are placed others of a light red tinge, so that the tower is beautifully variegated. With respect to size, standing beside the giant witch of Seville, the Tangerine Djmah would show like a ten-year sapling in the vicinity of the cedar of Lebanon, whose trunk the tempests of five hundred years have worn. And yet I will assert that the towers in other respects are one and the same, and that the same mind and the same design are manifested in both; the same shape do they exhibit, and the same marks have they on their walls, even those mysterious arches graven on the superficies of the bricks, emblematic of I know not what. The two structures may, without any violence, be said to stand in the same relation to each other as the ancient and modern Moors. The Giralda is the world's wonder, and the old Moor was all but the world's conqueror. The modern Moor is scarcely known, and who ever heard of the Tower of Tangier? Yet examine it attentively, and you will find in that tower much, very much, to admire, and certainly, if opportunity enable you to consider the modern Moor as minutely, you will discover in him, and in his actions, amongst much that is wild, uncouth, and barbarous, not a little capable of amply rewarding laborious investigation.

As we passed the mosque I stopped for a moment before the door, and looked in upon the interior: I saw nothing but a quadrangular court paved with painted tiles and exposed to the sky; on all sides were arched piazzas, and in the middle was a fountain, at which several Moors were performing their ablutions. I looked around for the abominable thing, and found it not; no scarlet strumpet with a crown of false gold sat nursing an ugly changeling in a niche. "Come here," said I, "papist, and take a lesson; here is a house of God, in externals at least, such as a house of God should be: four walls, a fountain, and the eternal firmament above, which mirrors his glory. Dost thou build such houses to the God who hast said, 'Thou shalt make to thyself no graven image'? Fool, thy walls are stuck with idols; thou callest a stone thy Father, and a piece of rotting wood the Queen of Heaven. Fool, thou knowest not even the Ancient of Days, and the very Moor can instruct thee. He at least knows the Ancient of Days who has said, 'Thou shalt have no other gods but me.'"

And as I said these words, I heard a cry like the roaring of a lion, and an awful voice in the distance exclaim, "Kapul Udbagh" (there is no god but one).

We now turned to the left through a passage which passed under the tower, and had scarcely proceeded a few steps, when I heard a prodigious hubbub of infantine voices: I listened for a moment, and distinguished verses of the Koran; it was a school. Another lesson for thee, papist. Thou callest thyself a Christian, yet the book of Christ thou persecutest; thou huntest it even to the sea- shore, compelling it to seek refuge upon the billows of the sea. Fool, learn a lesson from the Moor, who teaches his child to repeat with its first accents the most important portions of the book of his law, and considers himself wise or foolish, according as he is versed in or ignorant of that book; whilst thou, blind slave, knowest not what the book of thy own law contains, nor wishest to know: yet art thou not to be judged by thy own law? Idolmonger, learn consistency from the Moor: he says that he shall be judged after his own law, and therefore he prizes and gets by heart the entire book of his law.

We were now at the consul's house, a large roomy habitation, built in the English style. The soldier led me through a court into a large hall hung with the skins of all kinds of ferocious animals, from the kingly lion to the snarling jackal. Here I was received by a Jew domestic, who conducted me at once to the consul, who was in his library. He received me with the utmost frankness and genuine kindness, and informed me that, having received a letter from his excellent friend Mr. B., in which I was strongly recommended, he had already engaged me a lodging in the house of a Spanish woman, who was, however, a British subject, and with whom he believed that I should find myself as comfortable as it was possible to be in such a place as Tangier. He then inquired if I had any particular motive for visiting the place, and I informed him without any hesitation that I came with the intention of distributing a certain number of copies of the New Testament in the Spanish language amongst the Christian residents of the place. He smiled, and advised me to proceed with considerable caution, which I promised to do. We then discoursed on other subjects, and it was not long before I perceived that I was in the company of a most accomplished scholar, especially in the Greek and Latin classics; he appeared likewise to be thoroughly acquainted with the Barbary empire and with the Moorish character.

After half an hour's conversation, exceedingly agreeable and instructive to myself, I expressed a wish to proceed to my lodging: whereupon he rang the bell, and the same Jewish domestic entering who had introduced me, he said to him in the English language, "Take this gentleman to the house of Joanna Correa, the Mahonese widow, and enjoin her, in my name, to take care of him and attend to his comforts; by doing which she will confirm me in the good opinion which I at present entertain of her, and will increase my disposition to befriend her."

So, attended by the Jew, I now bent my steps to the lodging prepared for me. Having ascended the street in which the house of the consul was situated, we entered a small square which stands about half way up the hill. This, my companion informed me, was the soc, or market-place. A curious spectacle here presented itself. All round the square were small wooden booths, which very much resembled large boxes turned on their sides, the lid being supported above by a string. Before each of these boxes was a species of counter, or rather one long counter ran in front of the whole line, upon which were raisins, dates, and small barrels of sugar, soap, and butter, and various other articles. Within each box, in front of the counter, and about three feet from the ground, sat a human being, with a blanket on its shoulders, a dirty turban on its head, and ragged trousers, which descended as far as the knee, though in some instances, I believe, these were entirely dispensed with. In its hand it held a stick, to the end of which was affixed a bunch of palm leaves, which it waved incessantly as a fan, for the purpose of scaring from its goods the million flies which, engendered by the Barbary sun, endeavoured to settle upon them. Behind it, and on either side, were piles of the same kind of goods. Shrit hinai, shrit hinai, (buy here, buy here), was continually proceeding from its mouth. Such are the grocers of Tangier, such their shops.

In the middle of the soc, upon the stones, were pyramids of melons and sandias, (the water species), and also baskets filled with other kinds of fruit, exposed for sale, whilst round cakes of bread were lying here and there upon the stones, beside which sat on their hams the wildest-looking beings that the most extravagant imagination ever conceived, the head covered with an enormous straw hat, at least two yards in circumference, the eaves of which, flapping down, completely concealed the face, whilst the form was swathed in a blanket, from which occasionally were thrust skinny arms and fingers. These were Moorish women, who were, I believe, in all instances, old and ugly, judging from the countenances of which I caught a glimpse as they lifted the eaves of their hats to gaze on me as I passed, or to curse me for stamping on their bread. The whole soc was full of peoples and there was abundance of bustle, screaming, and vociferation, and as the sun, though the hour was still early, was shining with the greatest brilliancy, I thought that I had scarcely ever witnessed a livelier scene.

Crossing the soc we entered a narrow street with the same kind of box-shops on each side, some of which, however, were either unoccupied or not yet opened, the lid being closed. We almost immediately turned to the left, up a street somewhat similar, and my guide presently entered the door of a low house, which stood at the corner of a little alley, and which he informed me was the abode of Joanna Correa. We soon stood in the midst of this habitation. I say the midst, as all the Moorish houses are built with a small court in the middle. This one was not more than ten feet square. It was open at the top, and around it on three sides were apartments; on the fourth a small staircase, which communicated with the upper story, half of which consisted of a terrace looking down into the court, over the low walls of which you enjoyed a prospect of the sea and a considerable part of the town. The rest of the story was taken up by a long room, destined for myself, and which opened upon the terrace by a pair of folding- doors. At either end of this apartment stood a bed, extending transversely from wall to wall, the canopy touching the ceiling. A table and two or three chairs completed the furniture.

I was so occupied in inspecting the house of Joanna Correa, that at first I paid little attention to that lady herself. She now, however, came up upon the terrace where my guide and myself were standing. She was a woman about five and forty, with regular features, which had once been handsome, but had received considerable injury from time, and perhaps more from trouble. Two of her front teeth had disappeared, but she still had fine black hair. As I looked upon her countenance, I said within myself, if there be truth in physiognomy, thou art good and gentle, O Joanna; and, indeed, the kindness I experienced from her during the six weeks which I spent beneath her roof would have made me a convert to that science had I doubted in it before. I believe no warmer and more affectionate heart ever beat in human bosom than in that of Joanna Correa, the Mahonese widow, and it was indexed by features beaming with benevolence and good nature, though somewhat clouded with melancholy.

She informed me that she had been married to a Genoese, the master of a felouk which passed between Gibraltar and Tangier, who had been dead about four years, leaving her with a family of four children, the eldest of which was a lad of thirteen; that she had experienced great difficulty in providing for her family and herself since the death of her husband, but that Providence had raised her up a few excellent friends, especially the British consul; that besides letting lodgings to such travellers as myself, she made bread which was in high esteem with the Moors, and that she was likewise in partnership in the sale of liquors with an old Genoese. She added, that this last person lived below in one of the apartments; that he was a man of great ability and much learning, but that she believed he was occasionally somewhat touched here, pointing with her finger to her forehead, and she therefore hoped that I would not be offended at anything extraordinary in his language or behaviour. She then left me, as she said, to give orders for my breakfast; whereupon the Jewish domestic, who had accompanied me from the consul, finding that I was established in the house, departed.

I speedily sat down to breakfast in an apartment on the left side of the little wustuddur, the fare was excellent; tea, fried fish, eggs, and grapes, not forgetting the celebrated bread of Joanna Correa. I was waited upon by a tall Jewish youth of about twenty years, who informed me that his name was Haim Ben Atar, that he was a native of Fez, from whence his parents brought him at a very early age to Tangier, where he had passed the greater part of his life principally in the service of Joanna Correa, waiting upon those who, like myself, lodged in the house. I had completed my meal, and was seated in the little court, when I heard in the apartment opposite to that in which I had breakfasted several sighs, which were succeeded by as many groans, and then came "Ave Maria, gratia plena, ora pro me," and finally a croaking voice chanted:-

"Gentem auferte perfidam Credentium de finibus, Ut Christo laudes debitas Persolvamus alacriter."

"That is the old Genoese," whispered Haim Ben Atar, "praying to his God, which he always does with particular devotion when he happens to have gone to bed the preceding evening rather in liquor. He has in his room a picture of Maria Buckra, before which he generally burns a taper, and on her account he will never permit me to enter his apartment. He once caught me looking at her, and I thought he would have killed me, and since then he always keeps his chamber locked, and carries the key in his pocket when he goes out. He hates both Jew and Moor, and says that he is now living amongst them for his sins."

"They do not place tapers before pictures," said I, and strolled forth to see the wonders of the land.


The Mahasni—Sin Samani—The Bazaar—Moorish Saints—See the Ayana!—The Prickly Fig—Jewish Graves—The Place of Carcases—The Stable Boy—Horses of the Moslem—Dar Dwag.

I was standing in the market-place, a spectator of much the same scene as I have already described, when a Moor came up to me and attempted to utter a few words in Spanish. He was a tall elderly man, with sharp but rather whimsical features, and might have been called good-looking, had he not been one-eyed, a very common deformity in this country. His body was swathed in an immense haik. Finding that I could understand Moorish, he instantly began talking with immense volubility, and I soon learned that he was a Mahasni. He expatiated diffusely on the beauties of Tangier, of which he said he was a native, and at last exclaimed, "Come, my sultan, come, my lord, and I will show you many things which will gladden your eyes, and fill your heart with sunshine; it were a shame in me, who have the advantage of being a son of Tangier, to permit a stranger who comes from an island in the great sea, as you tell me you do, for the purpose of seeing this blessed land, to stand here in the soc with no one to guide him. By Allah, it shall not be so. Make room for my sultan, make room for my lord," he continued, pushing his way through a crowd of men and children who had gathered round us; "it is his highness' pleasure to go with me. This way, my lord, this way"; and he led the way up the hill, walking at a tremendous rate and talking still faster. "This street," said he, "is the Siarrin, and its like is not to be found in Tangier; observe how broad it is, even half the breadth of the soc itself; here are the shops of the most considerable merchants, where are sold precious articles of all kinds. Observe those two men, they are Algerines and good Moslems; they fled from Zair (Algiers) when the Nazarenes conquered it, not by force of fighting, not by valour, as you may well suppose, but by gold; the Nazarenes only conquer by gold. The Moor is good, the Moor is strong, who so good and strong? but he fights not with gold, and therefore he lost Zair.

"Observe you those men seated on the benches by those portals: they are Mahasniah, they are my brethren. See their haiks how white, see their turbans how white. O that you could see their swords in the day of war, for bright, bright are their swords. Now they bear no swords. Wherefore should they? Is there not peace in the land? See you him in the shop opposite? That is the Pasha of Tangier, that is the Hamed Sin Samani, the under Pasha of Tangier; the elder Pasha, my lord, is away on a journey; may Allah send him a safe return. Yes, that is Hamed; he sits in his hanutz as were he nought more than a merchant, yet life and death are in his hands. There he dispenses justice, even as he dispenses the essence of the rose and cochineal, and powder of cannon and sulphur; and these two last he sells on the account of Abderrahman, my lord and sultan, for none can sell powder and the sulphur dust in his land but the sultan. Should you wish to purchase atar del nuar, should you wish to purchase the essence of the rose, you must go to the hanutz of Sin Samani, for there only you will get it pure; you must receive it from no common Moor, but only from Hamed. May Allah bless Hamed. The Mahasniah, my brethren, wait to do his orders, for wherever sits the Pasha, there is a hall of judgment. See, now we are opposite the bazaar; beneath yon gate is the court of the bazaar; what will you not find in that bazaar? Silks from Fez you will find there; and if you wish for sibat, if you wish for slippers for your feet, you must seek them there, and there also are sold curious things from the towns of the Nazarenes. Those large houses on our left are habitations of Nazarene consuls; you have seen many such in your own land, therefore why should you stay to look at them? Do you not admire this street of the Siarrin? Whatever enters or goes out of Tangier by the land passes through this street. Oh, the riches that pass through this street! Behold those camels, what a long train; twenty, thirty, a whole cafila descending the street. Wullah! I know those camels, I know the driver. Good day, O Sidi Hassim, in how many days from Fez? And now we are arrived at the wall, and we must pass under this gate. This gate is called Bab del Faz; we are now in the Soc de Barra."

The Soc de Barra is an open place beyond the upper wall of Tangier, on the side of the hill. The ground is irregular and steep; there are, however, some tolerably level spots. In this place, every Thursday and Sunday morning, a species of mart is held, on which account it is called Soc de Barra, or the outward market-place. Here and there, near the town ditch, are subterranean pits with small orifices, about the circumference of a chimney, which are generally covered with a large stone, or stuffed with straw. These pits are granaries, in which wheat, barley, and other species of grain intended for sale are stored. On one side are two or three rude huts, or rather sheds, beneath which keep watch the guardians of the corn. It is very dangerous to pass over this hill at night, after the town gates are closed, as at that time numerous large and ferocious dogs are let loose, who would to a certainty pull down, and perhaps destroy, any stranger who should draw nigh. Half way up the hill are seen four white walls, inclosing a spot about ten feet square, where rest the bones of Sidi Mokhfidh, a saint of celebrity, who died some fifteen years ago. Here terminates the soc; the remainder of the hill is called El Kawar, or the place of graves, being the common burying ground of Tangier; the resting places of the dead are severally distinguished by a few stones arranged so as to form an oblong circle. Near Mokhfidh sleeps Sidi Gali; but the principal saint of Tangier lies interred on the top of the hill, in the centre of a small plain. A beautiful chapel or mosque, with vaulted roof, is erected there in his honour, which is in general adorned with banners of various dyes. The name of this saint is Mohammed el Hadge, and his memory is held in the utmost veneration in Tangier and its vicinity. His death occurred at the commencement of the present century.

These details I either gathered at the time or on subsequent occasions. On the north side of the soc, close by the town, is a wall with a gate. "Come," said the old Mahasni, giving a flourish with his hand; "Come, and I will show you the garden of a Nazarene consul." I followed him through the gate, and found myself in a spacious garden laid out in the European taste, and planted with lemon and pear trees, and various kinds of aromatic shrubs. It was, however, evident that the owner chiefly prided himself on his flowers, of which there were numerous beds. There was a handsome summerhouse, and art seemed to have exhausted itself in making the place complete.

One thing was wanting, and its absence was strangely remarkable in a garden at this time of the year; scarcely a leaf was to be seen. The direst of all the plagues which devastated Egypt was now busy in this part of Africa—the locust was at work, and in no place more fiercely than in the particular spot where I was now standing. All around looked blasted. The trees were brown and bald as in winter. Nothing green save the fruits, especially the grapes, huge clusters of which were depending from the "parras"; for the locust touches not the fruit whilst a single leaf remains to be devoured. As we passed along the walks these horrible insects flew against us in every direction, and perished by hundreds beneath our feet. "See the ayanas," said the old Mahasni, "and hear them eating. Powerful is the ayana, more powerful than the sultan or the consul. Should the sultan send all his Mahasniah against the ayana, should he send me with them, the ayana would say, 'Ha! ha!' Powerful is the ayana! He fears not the consul. A few weeks ago the consul said, 'I am stronger than the ayana, and I will extirpate him from the land.' So he shouted through the city, 'O Tangerines! speed forth to fight the ayana,—destroy him in the egg; for know that whosoever shall bring me one pound weight of the eggs of the ayana, unto him will I give five reals of Spain; there shall be no ayanas this year.' So all Tangier rushed forth to fight the ayana, and to collect the eggs which the ayana had laid to hatch beneath the sand on the sides of the hills, and in the roads, and in the plains. And my own child, who is seven years old, went forth to fight the ayana, and he alone collected eggs to the weight of five pounds, eggs which the ayana had placed beneath the sand, and he carried them to the consul, and the consul paid the price. And hundreds carried eggs to the consul, more or less, and the consul paid them the price, and in less than three days the treasure chest of the consul was exhausted. And then he cried, 'Desist, O Tangerines! perhaps we have destroyed the ayana, perhaps we have destroyed them all.' Ha! ha! Look around you, and beneath you, and above you, and tell me whether the consul has destroyed the ayana. Oh, powerful is the ayana! More powerful than the consul, more powerful than the sultan and all his armies."

It will be as well to observe here, that within a week from this time all the locusts had disappeared, no one knew how, only a few stragglers remained. But for this providential deliverance, the fields and gardens in the vicinity of Tangier would have been totally devastated. These insects were of an immense size, and of a loathly aspect.

We now passed over the see to the opposite side, where stand the huts of the guardians. Here a species of lane presents itself, which descends to the sea-shore; it is deep and precipitous, and resembles a gully or ravine. The banks on either side are covered with the tree which bears the prickly fig, called in Moorish, Kermous del Inde. There is something wild and grotesque in the appearance of this tree or plant, for I know not which to call it. Its stem, though frequently of the thickness of a man's body, has no head, but divides itself, at a short distance from the ground, into many crooked branches, which shoot in all directions, and bear green and uncouth leaves, about half an inch in thickness, and which, if they resemble anything, present the appearance of the fore fins of a seal, and consist of multitudinous fibres. The fruit, which somewhat resembles a pear, has a rough tegument covered with minute prickles, which instantly enter the hand which touches them, however slightly, and are very difficult to extract. I never remember to have seen vegetation in ranker luxuriance than that which these fig-trees exhibited, nor upon the whole a more singular spot. "Follow me," said the Mahasni, "and I will show you something which you will like to see." So he turned to the left, leading the way by a narrow path up the steep bank, till we reached the summit of a hillock, separated by a deep ditch from the wall of Tangier. The ground was thickly covered with the trees already described, which spread their strange arms along the surface, and whose thick leaves crushed beneath our feet as we walked along. Amongst them I observed a large number of stone slabs lying horizontally; they were rudely scrawled over with odd characters, which I stooped down to inspect. "Are you Talib enough to read those signs?" exclaimed the old Moor. "They are letters of the accursed Jews; this is their mearrah, as they call it, and here they inter their dead. Fools, they trust in Muza, when they might believe in Mohammed, and therefore their dead shall burn everlastingly in Jehinnim. See, my sultan, how fat is the soil of this mearrah of the Jews; see what kermous grow here. When I was a boy I often came to the mearrah of the Jews to eat kermous in the season of their ripeness. The Moslem boys of Tangier love the kermous of the mearrah of the Jews; but the Jews will not gather them. They say that the waters of the springs which nourish the roots of these trees, pass among the bodies of their dead, and for that reason it is an abomination to taste of these fruits. Be this true, or be it not, one thing is certain, in whatever manner nourished, good are the kermous which grow in the mearrah of the Jews."

We returned to the lane by the same path by which we had come: as we were descending it he said, "Know, my sultan, that the name of the place where we now are, and which you say you like much, is Dar Sinah (the house of the trades). You will ask me why it bears that name, as you see neither house nor man, neither Moslem, Nazarene, nor Jew, only our two selves; I will tell you, my sultan, for who can tell you better than myself? Learn, I pray you, that Tangier was not always what it is now, nor did it occupy always the place which it does now. It stood yonder (pointing to the east) on those hills above the shore, and ruins of houses are still to be seen there, and the spot is called Old Tangier. So in the old time, as I have heard say, this Dar Sinah was a street, whether without or within the wall matters not, and there resided men of all trades; smiths of gold and silver, and iron, and tin, and artificers of all kinds: you had only to go to the Dar Sinah if you wished for anything wrought, and there instantly you would find a master of the particular craft. My sultan tells me he likes the look of Dar Sinah at the present day; truly I know not why, especially as the kermous are not yet in their ripeness nor fit to eat. If he likes Dar Sinah now, how would my sultan have liked it in the olden time, when it was filled with gold and silver, and iron and tin, and was noisy with the hammers, and the masters and the cunning men? We are now arrived at the Chali del Bahar (sea-shore). Take care, my sultan, we tread upon bones."

We had emerged from the Dar Sinah, and the sea-shore was before us; on a sudden we found ourselves amongst a multitude of bones of all kinds of animals, and seemingly of all dates; some being blanched with time and exposure to sun and wind, whilst to others the flesh still partly clung; whole carcases were here, horses, asses, and even the uncouth remains of a camel. Gaunt dogs were busy here, growling, tearing, and gnawing; amongst whom, unintimidated, stalked the carrion vulture, fiercely battening and even disputing with the brutes the garbage; whilst the crow hovered overhead and croaked wistfully, or occasionally perched upon some upturned rib bone. "See," said the Mahasni, "the kawar of the animals. My sultan has seen the kawar of the Moslems and the mearrah of the Jews; and he sees here the kawar of the animals. All the animals which die in Tangier by the hand of God, horse, dog, or camel, are brought to this spot, and here they putrefy or are devoured by the birds of the heaven or the wild creatures that prowl on the chali. Come, my sultan, it is not good to remain long in this place."

We were preparing to leave the spot, when we heard a galloping down the Dar Sinah, and presently a horse and rider darted at full speed from the mouth of the lane and appeared upon the strand; the horseman, when he saw us, pulled up his steed with much difficulty, and joined us. The horse was small but beautiful, a sorrel with long mane and tail; had he been hoodwinked he might perhaps have been mistaken for a Cordovese jaca; he was broad-chested, and rotund in his hind quarters, and possessed much of the plumpness and sleekness which distinguish that breed, but looking in his eyes you would have been undeceived in a moment; a wild savage fire darted from the restless orbs, and so far from exhibiting the docility of the other noble and loyal animal, he occasionally plunged desperately, and could scarcely be restrained by a strong curb and powerful arm from resuming his former headlong course. The rider was a youth, apparently about eighteen, dressed as a European, with a Montero cap on his head: he was athletically built, but with lengthy limbs, his feet, for he rode without stirrups or saddle, reaching almost to the ground; his complexion was almost as dark as that of a Mulatto; his features very handsome, the eyes particularly so, but filled with an expression which was bold and bad; and there was a disgusting look of sensuality about the mouth. He addressed a few words to the Mahasni, with whom he seemed to be well acquainted, inquiring who I was. The old man answered, "O Jew, my sultan understands our speech, thou hadst better address thyself to him." The lad then spoke to me in Arabic, but almost instantly dropping that language proceeded to discourse in tolerable French. "I suppose you are French," said he with much familiarity, "shall you stay long in Tangier?" Having received an answer, he proceeded, "as you are an Englishman, you are doubtless fond of horses, know, therefore, whenever you are disposed for a ride, I will accompany you, and procure you horses. My name is Ephraim Fragey: I am stable-boy to the Neapolitan consul, who prizes himself upon possessing the best horses in Tangier; you shall mount any you please. Would you like to try this little aoud (stallion)?" I thanked him, but declined his offer for the present, asking him at the same time how he had acquired the French language, and why he, a Jew, did not appear in the dress of his brethren? "I am in the service of a consul," said he, "and my master obtained permission that I might dress myself in this manner; and as to speaking French, I have been to Marseilles and Naples, to which last place I conveyed horses, presents from the Sultan. Besides French, I can speak Italian." He then dismounted, and holding the horse firmly by the bridle with one hand, proceeded to undress himself, which having accomplished, he mounted the animal and rode into the water. The skin of his body was much akin in colour to that of a frog or toad, but the frame was that of a young Titan. The horse took to the water with great unwillingness, and at a small distance from the shore commenced struggling with his rider, whom he twice dashed from his back; the lad, however, clung to the bridle, and detained the animal. All his efforts, however, being unavailing to ride him deeper in, he fell to washing him strenuously with his hands, then leading him out, he dressed himself and returned by the way he came.

"Good are the horses of the Moslems," said my old friend, "where will you find such? They will descend rocky mountains at full speed and neither trip nor fall, but you must be cautious with the horses of the Moslems, and treat them with kindness, for the horses of the Moslems are proud, and they like not being slaves. When they are young and first mounted, jerk not their mouths with your bit, for be sure if you do they will kill you; sooner or later, you will perish beneath their feet. Good are our horses; and good our riders, yea, very good are the Moslems at mounting the horse; who are like them? I once saw a Frank rider compete with a Moslem on this beach, and at first the Frank rider had it all his own way, and he passed the Moslem, but the course was long, very long, and the horse of the Frank rider, which was a Frank also, panted; but the horse of the Moslem panted not, for he was a Moslem also, and the Moslem rider at last gave a cry and the horse sprang forward and he overtook the Frank horse, and then the Moslem rider stood up in his saddle. How did he stand? Truly he stood on his head, and these eyes saw him; he stood on his head in the saddle as he passed the Frank rider; and he cried ha! ha! as he passed the Frank rider; and the Moslem horse cried ha! ha! as he passed the Frank breed, and the Frank lost by a far distance. Good are the Franks; good their horses; but better are the Moslems, and better the horses of the Moslems."

We now directed our steps towards the town, but not by the path we came: turning to the left under the hill of the mearrah, and along the strand, we soon came to a rudely paved way with a steep ascent, which wound beneath the wall of the town to a gate, before which, on one side, were various little pits like graves, filled with water or lime. "This is Dar Dwag," said the Mahasni; "this is the house of the bark, and to this house are brought the hides; all those which are prepared for use in Tangier are brought to this house, and here they are cured with lime, and bran, and bark, and herbs. And in this Dar Dwag there are one hundred and forty pits; I have counted them myself; and there were more which have now ceased to be, for the place is very ancient. And these pits are hired not by one, nor by two, but by many people, and whosoever list can rent one of these pits and cure the hides which he may need; but the owner of all is one man, and his name is Cado Ableque. And now my sultan has seen the house of the bark, and I will show him nothing more this day; for to-day is Youm al Jumal (Friday), and the gates will be presently shut whilst the Moslems perform their devotions. So I will accompany my sultan to the guest house, and there I will leave him for the present."

We accordingly passed through a gate, and ascending a street found ourselves before the mosque where I had stood in the morning; in another minute or two we were at the door of Joanna Correa. I now offered my kind guide a piece of silver as a remuneration for his trouble, whereupon he drew himself up and said:-

"The silver of my sultan I will not take, for I consider that I have done nothing to deserve it. We have not yet visited all the wonderful things of this blessed town. On a future day I will conduct my sultan to the castle of the governor, and to other places which my sultan will be glad to see; and when we have seen all we can, and my sultan is content with me, if at any time he see me in the soc of a morning, with my basket in my hand, and he see nothing in that basket, then is my sultan at liberty as a friend to put grapes in my basket, or bread in my basket, or fish or meat in my basket. That will I not refuse of my sultan, when I shall have done more for him than I have now. But the silver of my sultan will I not take now nor at any time." He then waved his hand gently and departed.


Strange Trio—The Mulatto—The Peace-offering—Moors of Granada— Vive la Guadeloupo—The Moors—Pascual Fava—Blind Algerine—The Retreat.

Three men were seated in the wustuddur of Joanna Correa, when I entered; singular-looking men they all were, though perhaps three were never gathered together more unlike to each other in all points. The first on whom I cast my eye was a man about sixty, dressed in a grey kerseymere coat with short lappets, yellow waistcoat, and wide coarse canvas trousers; upon his head was a very broad dirty straw hat, and in his hand he held a thick cane with ivory handle; his eyes were bleared and squinting, his face rubicund, and his nose much carbuncled. Beside him sat a good- looking black, who perhaps appeared more negro than he really was, from the circumstance of his being dressed in spotless white jean— jerkin, waistcoat, and pantaloons being all of that material: his head gear consisted of a blue Montero cap. His eyes sparkled like diamonds, and there was an indescribable expression of good humour and fun upon his countenance. The third man was a Mulatto, and by far the most remarkable personage of the group: he might be between thirty and forty; his body was very long, and though uncouthly put together, exhibited every mark of strength and vigour; it was cased in a ferioul of red wool, a kind of garment which descends below the hips. His long muscular and hairy arms were naked from the elbow, where the sleeves of the ferioul terminate; his under limbs were short in comparison with his body and arms; his legs were bare, but he wore blue kandrisa as far as the knee; every features of his face was ugly, exceedingly and bitterly ugly, and one of his eyes was sightless, being covered with a white film. By his side on the ground was a large barrel, seemingly a water-cask, which he occasionally seized with a finger and thumb, and waved over his head as if it had been a quart pot. Such was the trio who now occupied the wustuddur of Joanna Correa: and I had scarcely time to remark what I have just recorded, when that good lady entered from a back court with her handmaid Johar, or the pearl, an ugly fat Jewish girl with an immense mole on her cheek.

Previous Part     1  2  3  4  5  6  7  8  9  10  11  12  13  14     Next Part
Home - Random Browse