An Account of Timbuctoo and Housa Territories in the Interior of Africa
by Abd Salam Shabeeny
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"L'Univers est une espece de livre, dont on n'a lu que la premiere page, quand on n'a vu que son pays." LE COSMOPOLITE.




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The person who communicated the following intelligence respecting Timbuctoo and Housa, is a Muselman, and a native of Tetuan, whose father and mother are personally known to Mr. Lucas, the British Consul. His name is Asseed El Hage Abd Salam Shabeeny. His account of himself is, that at the age of fourteen years he accompanied his father to Timbuctoo, from which town, after a residence of three years, he proceeded to Housa; and after residing at the latter two years, he returned to Timbuctoo, where he continued seven years, and then came back to Tetuan.

Being now in the twenty-seventh year of his age, he proceeded from Tetuan as a pilgrim and merchant, with the caravan for Egypt to Mecca and Medina, and on his return, established himself as a merchant at Tetuan, his native place, from whence he embarked on board a vessel bound for Hamburgh, in order to purchase linens and other merchandize that were requisite for his commerce.

On his return from Hamburgh in an English vessel, he was captured, and carried prisoner to Ostend, by a ship manned by Englishmen, but under Russian colours, the captain of which pretended that his Imperial mistress was at war with all Muselmen. There he was released by the good offices of the British consul, Sir John Peters[a], and embarked once more in the same vessel, which, by the same mediation, was also released; but as the captain either was or pretended to be afraid of a second capture, El Hage Abd Salam was sent ashore at Dover, and is now[b], by the orders of government, to take his passage on board a king's ship that will sail in a few days.

In the following communications, Mr. Beaufoy proposed the questions, and Mr. Lucas was the interpreter.

Shabeeny was two years on his journey from Tetuan to Mekka, before he returned to Fas. He made some profit on his merchandise, which consisted of haiks[c], red caps, and slippers, cochineal and saffron; the returns were, fine Indian muslins[d] for turbans, raw silk, musk, and gebalia[e], a fine perfume that resembles black paste.

He made a great profit by his traffic at Timbuctoo and Housa; but, he says, money gained among the Negroes[f] has not the blessing of God on it, but vanishes away without benefit to the owner; but, acquired in a journey to Mecca, proves fortunate, and becomes a permanent acquisition.

On his return with his father from Mecca, they settled at Tetuan, and often carried cattle, poultry, &c. to Gibraltar; his father passed the last fifteen years of his life at Gibraltar, and died there about the year 1793. He was born at Mequinas; his family is descended from the tribe of Shabban[g], which possesses the country between Santa Cruz and Wedinoon. They were entitled to the office of pitching the Emperor's tent, and attending his person. They can raise 40,000 men, and they were the first who accompanied Muley Hamed Dehebby[h] in his march to Timbuctoo.

[Footnote a: Confirmed by Sir John Peters.]

[Footnote b: In the year 1795.]

[Footnote c: The haiks are light cotton, woollen, or silk garments, about five feet wide and four yards long, manufactured at Fas, as are also the red caps which are generally made of the finest Tedla wool, which is equal to the Spanish, and is the produce of the province of that name, (for the situation of which see the map of the empire of Marocco, facing page 55.) The slippers are also manufactured from leather made from goat-skins, at Fas and at Mequinas. The cochineal is imported from Spain, although the opuntia, or the tree that nourishes the cochineal-fly, abounds in many of the provinces of West Barbary, particularly in the province of Suse. The saffron abounds in the Atlas mountains in Lower Suse, and is used in most articles of food by the Muhamedans.]

[Footnote d: Muls.]

[Footnote e: Gebalia resembles frankincense, or Gum Benjamin, and is used for fumigations by the Africans.]

[Footnote f: Being idolaters.]

[Footnote g: Shaban is (probably) a tribe of the Howara Arabs, who possess the beautiful plains and fine country situated between the city of Terodant and the port of Santa Cruz. There is an emigration of the Mograffra Arabs, who are in possession of the country between Terodant and the port of Messa. The encampments of an emigration of the Woled Abusebah (vulgarly called, in the maps, Labdessebas) Arabs of Sahara, occupy a considerable district between Tomie, on the coast, and Terodant. The coast from Messa to Wedinoon is occupied by a trading race of Arabs and Shelluhs, who have inter-married, called Ait Bamaran. These people are very anxious to have a port opened in their country, and some sheiks among them have assured me, that there is a peninsula on their coast conveniently situated for a port. This circumstance is well deserving the attention of the maritime and commercial nations of the world.]

[Footnote h: The youngest son of the Emperor Muley Ismael conducted the expedition here alluded to, about the year of Christ 1727. For an account of which see the Appendix, page 523.]

He considers himself now as settled at Tetuan, where he has a wife and children. He left it about twelve months ago, with three friends, to go to Hamburg (as before mentioned.) They were confined forty-seven days at Ostend, were taken the second day of their voyage; the English captain put them ashore at Dover against their inclination, and proceeded to Gibraltar with their goods: this was in December, 1789.


The continent of Africa, the discovery of which has baffled the enterprise of Europe, (unlike every other part of the habitable world,) still remains, as it were, a sealed book, at least, if the book has been opened, we have scarcely got beyond the title-page.

Great merit is due to the enterprise of travellers. The good intention of the African Association, in promoting scientific researches in this continent, cannot (by the liberal) be doubted. But something more than this is necessary to embark successfully in this gigantic undertaking. I never thought that the system of solitary travellers would produce any beneficial result. The plan of the expedition of Major Peddie and Captain Tuckie was still more objectionable than the solitary plan, and I have reason to think, that no man possessing any personal knowledge of Africa, ever entertained hopes of the success of those expeditions. Twenty years ago I declared it as MY decided opinion, that the only way to obtain a knowledge of this interesting continent, is through the medium of commercial intercourse. The more our experience of the successive failure of our African expeditions advances, the more strongly am I confirmed in this opinion. If we are to succeed in this great enterprise, we must step out of the beaten path—the road of error, that leads to disappointment—the road that has been so fatal to all our ill-concerted enterprises; we must shake off the rust of precedent, and strike into a new path altogether.

Do we not lack that spirit of union so expedient and necessary to all great enterprises? Is not the public good sacrificed to self-aggrandisement and individual interest.—Let the African Institution unite its funds to those of the African Association, and co-operate with the efforts of that society! Let the African Company also throw in their share of intelligence. The separated and sometimes discordant interests of all these societies, if united, might effect much. The united efforts of such societies would do more in a year towards the civilization of Africa, and the abolition of slavery, than they will do in ten, unconnected as they now are. Concordia parva res crescunt.—When each looks to particular interests, we cannot expect the result to be the general good.

It is probable that the magnificent enterprises of the Portuguese and Spaniards, would, ere this, have colonised and converted to Christianity, all the eligible spots of idolatrous Africa, if their attention to this grand object had not been diverted by the discovery of America, and their establishments in Brazil, Mexico, &c.

I was established upwards of sixteen years in West and South Barbary; territories that maintain an uninterrupted intercourse with all those countries that Major Houghton, Hornemann, Park, Rontgen, Burckhardt, Ritchie, and others have attempted to explore. I was diplomatic agent to several maritime nations of Europe, which familiarised me with all ranks of society in those countries. I had a perfect knowledge of the commercial and travelling language of Africa, (the Arabic.) I corresponded myself with the Emperors, Princes, and Bashaws in this language; my commercial connections were very extensive, amongst all the most respectable merchants who traded with Timbuctoo and other countries of Sudan. My residence at Agadeer, or Santa Cruz, in Suse, afforded me eligible opportunities of procuring information respecting the trade with Sudan, and the interior of Africa. A long residence in the country, and extensive connections, enabled me to discriminate, and to ascertain who were competent and who were not competent to give me the information I required. I had opportunities at my leisure of investigating the motives that any might have to deceive me; I had time and leisure also to investigate their moral character, and to ascertain the principles that regulated their respective conduct. Possessed of all these sources of information, how could I fail of procuring correct and authentic intelligence of the interior of Africa; yet my account of the two Niles has been doubted by our fire-side critics, and the desultory intelligence of other travellers, who certainly did not possess those opportunities of procuring information that I did, has been substituted: but, notwithstanding this unaccountable scepticism, my uncredited account of the connection of the two Niles of Africa, continues daily to receive additional confirmation from all the African travellers themselves. And thus, TIME, (to use the words of a [j]learned and most intelligent writer), "which is more obscure in its course than the Nile, and in its termination than the Niger," is disclosing all these things: so that I now begin to think that the before-mentioned critics will not be able much longer to maintain their theoretical hypothesis.[k]

[Footnote j: Vide the Rev. C. C. Colton's Lacon, sect. 587. p. 260, 261.]

[Footnote k: See various letters on Africa, in this work, p. 443.]

The talents, the extraordinary prudence and forbearance, the knowledge of the Arabic language, and other essential qualifications in an African traveller, which the ever-to-be-lamented Burckhardt so eminently possessed, gave me the greatest hopes of his success in his arduous enterprise, until I discovered, when reading his Travels, that he was poor and despised, though a Muselman.

There is too much reason to apprehend that he was suspected, if not discovered by the Muselmen, or he would not have been secluded from their meals and society: the Muselmen never (sherik taam) eat or divide food with those they suspect of deception, nor do they ever refuse to partake of food with a Muselman, unless they do suspect him of treachery or deception; this principle prevails so universally among them, that artful and designing people have practised as many deceptions on the Bedouin under the cloak of hospitality, as are practised in Christian countries under the cloak of religion! I cannot but suspect, therefore, from the circumstance before recited, that the Muselmism of Burckhardt was seriously suspected, and that his companions only waited a convenient opportunity in the Sahara for executing their revenge on him for the deception.

The very favourable reception that my account of Marocco met with from the British public; the many things therein stated, which are daily gaining confirmation, although they were doubted at the period of their publication, have contributed in no small degree, to the production of the following sheets, in which I can conscientiously declare, that truth has been my guide; I have never sacrificed it to ambition, vanity, avarice, or any other passion.

The learned, I am flattered to see, are now beginning to adopt my orthography of African names; they have lately adopted Timbuctoo for the old and barbarous orthography of Timbuctoo; they have, however, been upwards of ten years about it. In ten years more, I anticipate that Fez will be changed into Fas, and Morocco into Marocco, for this plain and uncontrovertible reason,—because they are so spelled in the original language of the countries, of which they are the chief cities. Since the publication of my account of Marocco, I have seen Arabic words spelled various ways by the same author (I have committed the same error myself); but in the following work I have adopted a plan to correct this prevailing error in Oriental orthography, which, I think, ought to be followed by every Oriental scholar, as the only correct way of transcribing them in English; viz. by writing them exactly according to the original Arabic orthography, substituting gr (not gh, as Richardson directs) for the Arabic guttural [Arabic] grain, and kh for the guttural k or [Arabic]—

Note. We should be careful not to copy the orthography of Oriental or African names from the French, which has too often been done, although their pronunciation of European letters is very dissimilar from our own.


An Account of a Journey from Fas to Timbuctoo, performed about the year 1787, by El Hage Abd Salam Shabeeny. Page 1

Route to Timbuctoo.—Situation of the City.—Population.—Inns or Caravanseras, called Fondaks.—Houses.—Government.—Revenue.—Army. Administration of Justice.—Succession to Property.—Marriage.—Trade. Manufactures.—Husbandry.—Provisions.—Animals.—Birds.—Fish.—Prices of different Articles.—Dress.—Time.—Religion.—Diseases.—Manners and Customs.—Neighbouring Nations.

Journey from Timbuctoo to Housa 37

The River Neel or Nile.—Housa.—Government.—Administration of Justice—Landed Property,—Revenues.—Army.—Trade.—Climate. Zoology.—Diseases.—Religion.—Persons.—Dress.—Buildings.—Manners. Gold.—Limits of the Empire.

Letters, containing an Account of Journies through various Parts of West and South Barbary, at different Periods, personally performed by J.G. Jackson. 55

LETTER I. (To James Willis, Esq., late British Consul for Senegambia.) On the Opening of the Port of Agadeer, or Santa Cruz, in the Province of Suse; and of its Cession by the Emperor Muley Yezzid to the Dutch. ibid.

LETTER II. (To the same.) The Author's Arrival at Agadeer or Santa Cruz.—He opens the Port to European Commerce.—His favourable Reception on landing there.—Is saluted by the Battery.—Abolishes the degrading Custom that had been exacted of the Christians, of descending from on Horseback, and entering the Town on Foot, like the Jews.—Of a Sanctuary at the Entrance of the Town, which had ever been considered Holy Ground, and none but Muhamedans had ever before been permitted to enter the Gates on Horseback. 58

LETTER III. (To the same.) The Author makes a Commercial Road down the Mountain, to facilitate the Shipment of Goods.—The Energy and Liberality of the Natives, in working gratuitously at it.—Description of the Portuguese Tower at Tildie.—Arab Repast there.—Natural Strength of Santa Cruz, of the Town of Agurem, and the Portuguese Spring and Tank there.—Attempt of the Danes to land and build a Fort.—Eligibility of the Situation of Santa Cruz, for a Commercial Depot to supply the whole of the Interior of North Africa with East India and European Manufactures.—Propensity of the Natives to Commerce and Industry, if Opportunity offered. 62

LETTER IV. (To the same.) Command of the Commerce of Sudan. 67

LETTER V. From Mr. Willis to Mr. Jackson 69

LETTER VI. From the same to the same 71

LETTER VII. (To James Willis, Esq.) Emperor's March to Marocco.—Doubles the Customs' Duties of Mogodor.—The Governor, Prince Abdelmelk, with the Garrison and Merchants of Santa Cruz, ordered to go to the Court at Marocco.—They cross the Atlas Mountains.—Description of the Country and Produce.—Dangerous Defile in the Mountains through which the Author passed.—Chasm in the Mountain.—Security of Suse from Marocco, originating in the narrow Defile in the Mountains of Atlas.—Extensive Plantations of Olives.—Village of Ait Musie.—Fruga Plains.—Marocco Plains.—Fine Corn.—Reception at Marocco, and Audience with the Emperor.—Imperial Gardens at Marocco.—Prince Abdelmelk's magnificent Apparel reprobated by the Sultan.—The Port of Santa Cruz shut to the Commerce of Europe, and the Merchants ordered to Marocco.—The Prince banished to the Bled Shereef, or Country of Princes; viz. Tafilelt, of the Palace at Tafilelt.—Abundance of Dates.—Face of the Country.—Magnificent Groves of Palm or Date-trees.—Faith and Integrity of the Inhabitants of Tafilelt.—Imperial Gardens at Marocco.—Mode of Irrigation.—Attar of Roses, vulgarly called Otto of Roses (Attar being the Word signifying a Distillation.).—State of Oister Shells on the Top of the Mountains of Sheshawa, between Mogodor and Marocco, being a Branch of the Atlas.—Description of the Author's Reception on the Road from Marocco to Mogodor.—Of the Elgrored, or Sahara of Mogodor. 73

LETTER VIII. From Mr. Willis to Mr. Jackson 84

Extract of a Letter from His Excellency J.M. Matra, British Envoy to Marocco, &c. to Mr. Jackson. 85

LETTER IX. (To James Willis, Esq.) Custom of visiting the Emperor on his Arrival at Marocco.—Journey of the Merchants thither on that Occasion.—No one enters the Imperial Presence without a Present.—Mode of travelling.—The Commercio.—Imperial Gardens at Marocco.—Audience of the Sultan.—Amusements at Marocco.—Visit to the Town of Lepers.—Badge of Distinction worn by the Lepers.—Ophthalmia at Marocco.—Its probable Cause.—Immense Height of the Atlas, East and South of Marocco.—Mode of visiting at Marocco.—Mode of Eating.—Trades or Handicrafts at Marocco.—Audience of Business of the Sultan.—Present received from the Sultan. 86

LETTER X. From Mr. Willis to Mr. Jackson 99

LETTER XI. From the same to the same 101

LETTER XII. From the same to the same 103

LETTER XIII. (To James Willis, Esq.) Journey from Mogodor to Rabat, to Mequinas, to the Sanctuary of Muley Dris Zerone in the Atlas Mountains, to the Ruins of Pharaoh, and thence through the Amorite Country to L'Araich and Tangier.—Started from Mogodor with Bel Hage as (Tabuk) Cook, and Deeb as (Mule Lukkerzana) Tent-Master.—Exportation of Wool granted by the Emperor.—Akkermute depopulated by the Plague.—Arabs, their Mode of hunting the Partridge.—Observations respecting the River Tansift.—Jerf El Eudie, or the Jews' Pass.—Description of Saffy, and its Port or Road.—Woladia calculated to make a safe harbour.—Growth of Tobacco.—Mazagan described.—Azamor the Abode of Storks.—Saneet Urtemma a dangerous Country.—Dar El Beida, Fedalla, and Rabat described.—Mausoleum of the Sultan Muhamed ben Abd Allah at Rabat.—Of Sheila, a Roman Town.—Of the Tower of Hassan.—Road of Rabat.—Productive Country about Rabat.—Salee.—The People inimical to Christians.—The Dungeon where they confined Christian Slaves.—Ait Zimurh, notorious Thieves.—Their Mode of Robbing.—Their Country disturbed with Lions.—Arrival at Mequinas.—Some Account of that City and its Imperial Palace.—Ladies of Mequinas extremely beautiful.—Arrival at the renowned Sanctuary of Muley Dris or Idris Zerone.—Extraordinary and favourable Reception there by the Fakeers of the Sanctuary.—Slept in the Adytum.—Succour expected from the English in the Event of an Invasion by Bonaparte.—Prostration and Prayer of Benediction by the Fakeers at my Departure from the Sanctuary.—Ruins of Pharaoh near the Sanctuary.—Treasures found there.—Ite Amor.—

The Descendants of the Ancient Amorites.—Character of these People.—Various Tribes of the Berebbers of Atlas.—El Kassar Kabeer.—Its Environs, a beautiful Country.—Forest of L'Araich.—Superior Manufacture of Gold Thread made at Fas, as well as Imitations of Amber.—Grand Entry of the British Ambassador into Tangier.—Our Ignorance of African Matters.—The Sultan's Comparison of the Provinces of his Empire to the various Kingdoms of Europe. 105

LETTER XIV. (From His Excellency James M. Matra to Mr. Jackson.) Respecting the Result of the British Embassy to the Emperor of Marocco at Old Fas. 128

LETTER XV. (To James Willis, Esq.) European Society at Tangier.—Sects and Divisions among Christians in Muhamedan Countries counteracts the Propagation of Christianity, and casts a Contempt upon Christians themselves.—The Cause of it.—The Conversion of Africa should be preceded by an Imitation of the divine Doctrine of Christ among Christians themselves. 129

LETTER XVI. (To the same.) Diary of a Journey from Tangier to Mogodor, showing the Distances from Town to Town, along the Coast of the Atlantic Ocean; useful to Persons travelling in that Country. 132

LETTER XVII. (To the same.) An Account of a Journey from Mogodor to Saffy, during a Civil War, in a Moorish Dress, when a Courier could not pass, owing to the Warfare between the two Provinces of Haha and Shedma.—Stratagem adopted by the Author to prevent Detection.—Danger of being discovered.—Satisfaction expressed by the Bashaw of Abda, Abdrahaman ben Nassar, on the Author's safe Arrival, and Compliments received from him on his having accomplished this perilous Journey. 134

LETTER XVIII. (To the same.) Journey to the Prince Abd Salam, and the Khalif Delemy in Shtuka.—Encamped in his Garden.—Mode of living in Shtuka.—Audience of the Prince.—Expedition to the Port of Tomie, in Suse.—Country infested with Rats.—Situation of Tomie.—Entertainment at a Douar of the Arabs of Woled Abbusebah.—Exertions of Delemy to entertain his guests.—Arabian Dance and Music.—Manner and Style of Dancing.—Eulogium of the Viceroys and Captains to the Ladies.—Manners of the latter.—Their personal Beauty.—Dress.—Desire of the Arabs to have a Commercial Establishment in their Country.—Report to the Prince respecting Tomie.—Its Contiguity to the Place of the Growth of various Articles of Commerce.—Viceroy's Offer to build a House, and the Duties.—Visit to Messa.—Nature of the Country.—Gold and Silver Mines.—Garden of Delemy.—Immense Water-melons and Grapes.—Mode of Irrigation.—Extraordinary People from Sudan at Delemy's.—Elegant Sword.—Extensive Plantations.—The Prince prepares to depart for Tafilelt. 137

LETTER XIX. (To the same.) Journey from Santa Cruz to Mogodor, when no Travellers ventured to pass, owing to Civil War and Contention among the Kabyles.—Moorish Philanthropy in digging Wells for the Use of Travellers.—Travelled with a trusty Guide without Provisions, Tents, Baggage, or Incumbrances.—Nature of the Warfare in the Land.—Bitter Effects of Revenge and Retaliation on the happiness of Society.—Origin of these civil Wars between the Families and Kabyles.—Presented with Honey and Butter for Breakfast.—Patriarchal Manner of living among the Shelluhs compared to that of Abraham.—Aromatic Honey.—Ceremony at Meals, and Mode of Eating.—Travelled all Night, and slept in the open Air;—Method of avoiding the Night-dew, as practised by the Natives.—Arrival at Mogodor. 150

An Account of the Rise, Progress, and Decrease of the Plague that ravaged West and South Barbary, in 1799, faithfully extracted, from Letters written before and during its Existence, by the House of James Jackson & Co., or by James G. Jackson, at Mogodor, to their Correspondents in Europe. 156

Letter from His Excellency James M. Matra to Mr. Jackson. 163

An Account of a peculiar Species of Plague which depopulated West and South Barbary in 1799 and 1800, to the Effects of which the Author was an eye-witness. 166

Cases of Plague. 180

Observations respecting the Plague that prevailed last Year in West Barbary, which was imported from Egypt; communicated by the Author to the Editor of the Quarterly Journal of Literature, Science, and the Arts, edited at the Royal Institution of Great Britain, No. 15, published October, 1819. 186

Journey from Tangier to Rabat, through the Plains of Seboo, in Company with Doctor Bell and the Prince Muley Teib and an Army of Cavalry. 191

Officiated as Interpreter between the Prince and Dr. Bell.—Description of Food sent to us by the Prince.—The Plains of M'sharrah Rummellah, an incomparably fine and productive Country.—The Cavalry of the Amorites;—their unique Observations on Dr. Bell: their mean opinion of his Art, because he could not cure Death.—Passage of the River Seboo on Rafts of inflated Skins.—Spacious tent of Goat's Hair erected for the Sheik, and appropriated to the Use of the Prince.—Description of the magnificent Plains of M'sharrah Rummellah and Seboo.—Arabian Royalty.—Prodigious Quantity of Corn grown in these Plains.—Matamores, what they are.—Mode of Reaping.—

The Prince presents the Doctor with a Horse, and approves of his Medicines.—The Prince and the Doctor depart south-eastwardly, and the Author pursues his Journey to Rabat and Mogodor. 191

Of the excavated Residences of the Inhabitants of Atlas: the Acephali, Hel Shoual, and Hel el Kitteb. 198

The Discovery of Africa not to be effected by the present System of solitary Travellers; but by a grand Plan, with a numerous Company; beginning with Commerce, as the natural Prelude to Discovery, the Fore-runner of Civilization, and a preliminary Step, indispensable to the Conversion of the native Negroes to Christianity.

Cautions to be used in Travelling. 202

Danger of Travelling after Sun-set.—The Emperor holds himself accountable for Thefts committed on Travellers, whilst travelling between the rising and the setting Sun.—Emigration of Arabs.—Patriarchal Style of Living among the Arabs; Food, Clothing, domestic Looms, and Manufactures.—Riches of the Arabs calculated by the Number of Camels they possess.—Arabian Women are good Figures, and have personal Beauty; delicate in their Food; poetical Geniuses; Dancing and Amusements; Musical Instruments; their Manners are courteous.

Abundance of Corn produced in West Barbary. 208

Costly Presents made by Spain to the Emperor.—Bashaw of Duquella's Weekly Present of a Bar of Gold.—Mitferes or Subterranneous Depositaries for Corn.

Domestic Serpents of Marocco 213

Manufactures of Fas. 214

Superior Manufactory of Gold Thread.—Imitation of precious Stones.—Manufactory of Gun-barrels in Suse.—Silver-mine.

On the State of Slavery in Muhamedan Africa. 219

The Plague of Locusts. 221

Their incredible Destruction.—Used as Food.—Remarkable Instance of their destroying every Green Herb on one Side of a River, and not on the other.

On the Influence of the great Principle of Christianity on the Moors. 224

Of the Propagation of Christianity in Africa.—Causes that prevent it.—The Mode of promoting it is through a friendly and commercial Intercourse with the Natives.—Exhortation to Great Britain to attend to the Intercourse with Africa.—Danger of the French colonizing Senegal, and supplanting us, and thereby depreciating the Value of our West-India Islands.

Interest of Money. 237

Application of the Superflux of Property or Capital.

Plan for the gradual Civilisation of Africa. 247

On the Commercial Intercourse with Africa, through the Sahara and Ashantee.

Prospectus of a Plan for forming a North African or Sudan Company: to be instituted for the Purpose of establishing an extensive Commerce with, and laying open to British Enterprise, all the Interior Regions of North Africa. 251

Appendix to the foregoing Prospectus, being an Epitome of the Trade carried on by Great Britain and the European States in the Mediterranean, indirectly with Timbuctoo, the Commercial Depot of North Africa, and with other States of Sudan. 254

Letter from Vasco de Gama, in Elucidation of this Plan. 258

Letter on the Commercial Intercourse with Africa, in further Elucidation of this Plan. 264

Impediments to our Intercourse with Africa. 266

Architecture of the Mosques.—Funeral Ceremonies of the Moors,—Gardens at Fas. 271

Fragments, Notes, and Anecdotes, illustrating the Nature and Character of the Country. 276

Introduction,—Trade with Sudan.—Wrecked Ships on the Coast, 278.—Wrecked Sailors.—Timbuctoo Coffee.—Sand Baths.—Civil War common in West Barbary, 279.—Policy of the Servants of the Emperor.—El Wah El Grarbee, or the Western Oasis, 280.—Prostration, the Etiquette of the Court of Marocco, 281.—Massacre of the Jews, and Attack on Algiers.—Treaties with Muhamedan Princes, 283.—Berebbers of Zimurh Shelleh—The European Merchants at Mogodor escape from Decapitation, 284.—The Body of the Emperor Muley Yezzid disinterred, 286. Shelluhs; their Revenge and Retaliation, 291.—Travelling in Barbary.—Anecdote displaying the African Character, and showing them to be now what they were anciently, under Jugurtha, 293.—Every Nation is required to use its own Costume, 296.—Ali Bey (El Abassi), Author of the Travels under that Name, 297.—The Emperor's Attack on Dimenet, in the Atlas, 305.—Moral Justice, 306.—Contest between the Emperor and the Berebbers of Atlas.—Characteristic Trait of Muhamedans, 308.—Political Deception, 309.—Etiquette of the Court of Marocco, 310.—Customs of the Shelluhs of the Southern Atlas.—Connubial Customs, 313.—Political Duplicity, 314.—Etiquette of Language at the Court of Marocco, 315.—Food, viz. Kuscasoe, Hassua, El Hasseeda, 317—The Woled Abbusebah, a whole Clan of Arabs, banished from the Plains of Marocco, 317.—The Koran called the Beloved Book.—Arabian Music, 318.—Sigilmessa.—Mungo Park at Timbuctoo.—Troglodyte, 319,—Police of West Barbary, 320.—Muley Abdrahaman ben Muhamed, an Anecdote of, 322,—Anecdote of Muley Ismael, 323.—Library at Fas, 324.—Deism, 325—Muhamedan Loyalty.—Cairo, 326.—Races of Men constituting the Inhabitants of West and South Barbary, and that part of Bled el Jereed, called Tafilelt and Sejin Messa, east of the Atlas, forming the territories of the present Emperor of Marocco: the Moors—the Berebbers—the Shelluhs, 327.—The Arabs—the Jews—Douars, 328.—Various Modes of Intoxication, 329.—Division of Agricultural Property, 331.—Mines.—Nyctalopia, Hemeralopia, or Night-blindness, called by the Arabs Butelleese; and its Remedy, 332.—Vaccination, 336.—Game, 338.—Agriculture.—Mitferes, 339.—Laws of Hospitality, 340.—Punishment for Murder.—Insolvency Laws, 343.—Dances, 344.—Circumcision.—Invoice from Timbuctoo to Santa Cruz, 345.—Translation of a Letter from Timbuctoo, 346.—Invoice from Timbuctoo to Fas, 347.—Translation of its accompanying Letter from Timbuctoo, 348.—Food of the Desert,—Antithesis, a favourite Figure with the Arabs, 349.—Arabian Modes of Writing, 350.—Decay of Science and of Arts among the Arabs, 352.—Extraordinary Abstinence experienced in the Sahara. 353

Languages of Africa. 355

Various Dialects of the Arabic Language.—Difference between the Berebber and Shelluh Languages.—Specimen of the Mandinga Language.—Comparison of the Shelluh Language with that of the Wah el Grarbie, or Oasis of Ammon, and with the original Language of the Canary Islands, and similitude of Customs.

Titles of the Emperor of Marocco. 382

Style of addressing him. 383

Specimens of Muhamedan Epistolatory Correspondence. 384

LETTER I. Translation of a Letter from Muley Ismael, Emperor of Marocco, to Captain Kirke, at Tangier, Ambassador from King Charles the Second, A.D. 1684. ibid

LETTER II. From the same to Sir Cloudesley Shovel, on board the Charles Galley, off Sallee, A.D. 1684. 387

LETTER III, Captain Shovel's Answer, September 1684. 389

LETTER IV. Translation of Muley Ismael, Emperor of Marocco's Letter to Queen Anne, A.D. 1710, from the Harl. MSS. 7525. 392

LETTER V. Translation of a Letter from the Sultan Seedi Muhamed ben Abdallah, Emperor of Marocco, to the European Consuls resident at Tangier, delivered to each of them by the Bashaw of the Province of El Grarb, A.D. 1788. 394

LETTER VI. From Muley Soliman ben Muhamed, Emperor of Marocco, &c. &c. to His Majesty George the Third, literally translated by J.G. Jackson, at the Request of the Right Hon. Spencer Perceval, after lying in the Secretary of State's Office here for several Months, and being sent ineffectually to the Universities, and after various Enquiries had been made on Behalf of the Emperor to the Governor of Gibraltar, the Bashaw of El Grarb, and the Alkaid of Tangier, to ascertain if any Answer had been returned to His Imperial Majesty. 395

LETTER VII. Translation of a Firman of Departure, literally translated from the original Arabic, by J.G. Jackson. 398

LETTER VIII. From Hulaku the Tartar, Conqueror of the East, to Al Malek Annasar, Sultan of Aleppo, A.D. 1259. 399

LETTER IX. Translation of a Letter from the Emperor Muley Yezzid, to Webster Blount, Esq. Consul General to the Empire of Marocco, from their High Mightinesses, the States General of the Seven United Provinces, written soon after the Emperor's Proclamation, and previous to the Negociation for the opening of the Port of Agadeer or Santa Cruz to Dutch Commerce. 402

LETTER X. Translation of a Letter from the Emperor Yezzid to the Governor of Mogodor, Aumer ben Daudy, to give the Port of Agadeer to the Dutch, and to send there the Merchants of that Nation. 402

LETTER XI. Epistolary Diction used by the Muhamedans of Africa in their Correspondence with all their Friends who are not of the Muhamedan Faith, A.D. 1797. 404

LETTER XII. Translation of a Letter from the Sultan Seedi Muhamed, Emperor of Marocco, to the Governor of Mogodor, A.D. 1791, A.H. 1203. 405

Doubts having been made, in the Daily Papers, concerning the Accuracy of the two following Translations of the Shereef Ibrahim's Account of Mungo Park's Death, the following Observations by the Author are laid before the Public, in Elucidation of those Translations. 406

The Shereef Ibrahim's Account of Mungo Park's Death (The Author's Translation). 409

Observation. 410

Extract from the Times, May 3, 1819.—Mungo Park. 412

The Shereef Ibrahim's Account of Mungo Park's Death (Mr. Abraham Saleme's Translation). 413

Letter to the Editor of the British Statesman, on the Errors in Mr. Saleme's Translation of the Shereef Ibrahim's Account of the Death of Mungo Park. 415

Letters respecting Africa, from J.G. Jackson and other. 419

On the Plague. To James Willis, Esq. late Consul to Senegambia. 419

Death of Mungo Park. 424

Death of Mr. Rontgen, in an Attempt to explore the Interior of Africa. 425

Of the Venomous Spider.—Charmers of Serpents.—Disease called Nyctalopia, or Night-blindness.—Remedy for Consumption in Africa.—Western Branch of the Nile, and Water Communication between Timbuctoo and Egypt. 429

Offer to discover the African Remedy for Nyctalopia or Night-blindness, in a Letter addressed to the Editor of the Literary Panorama. 432

Letter to the same. 433

Critical Observations on Extracts from the Travels of Ali Bey and Robert Adams, in the Quarterly Journal of Literature, Science, and the Arts, edited at the Royal Institution of Great Britain. Vol. I. No. 2, p. 264. 435

On the Junction of the Nile of Egypt with the Nile of Timbuctoo, or of Sudan. 443

Strictures respecting the Interior of Africa, and Confirmation of Jackson's Account of Sudan, annexed to his Account of the Empire of Marocco, &c. 446

Animadversions on the Orthography of African Names (by Catherine Hutton). 455

Hints for the Civilization of Barbary, and Diffusion of Commerce, by Vasco de Gama. 457

Plan for the Conquest of Algiers, by Vasco de Gama. 461

Letter from El Hage Hamed El Wangary, respecting a Review of Ali Bey's Travels, in the "Portfolio," an American Periodical Work. 464

On the Negroes (by Vasco de Gama). 465

Cursory Observations on Lieutenant Colonel Fitzclarence's Journal of a Route across India, through Egypt, to England. 467

On the Arabic Language, as now spoken in Europe, Asia, and Africa. 471

Cursory Observations on the Geography of Africa, inserted in an Account of a Mission to Ashantee, by T. Edward Bowdich, Esq. showing the Errors that have been committed by European travellers on that Continent, from their Ignorance of the Arabic Language, the learned and the general travelling Language of that interesting Part of the World. 474

Commercial Intercourse with the Interior of Africa. 493

The Embassage of Mr. Edmund Hogan, one of the sworne Esquires of Queen Elizabeth, from Her Highness, to Muley Abdelmelech, Emperour of Marocco, and King of Fez and Sus, in the Yeare 1577. Written by Himselfe. 494

Letter from the Author to Macvey Napier, Esq. F.R.S.L., and E. 505

Observations on an Historical Account of Discoveries and Travels in Africa, by the late John Leyden, M.D. by Hugh Murray, Esq. F.R.S.E. 508

Cursory Observations on African Names. 509

Letter to the Author from Hugh Murray, Esq. F.R.S.E. 513

On the Two Niles of Africa, or the Niger and the Nile. 514


Historical Fragments in Elucidation of the foregoing pages. 519

First Expedition on Record to Timbuctoo—Timbuctoo and Guago captured by Muley Hamed (Son of Muley Abdelmelk, commonly called Muley Melk, or Muley Moluck) in the Sixteenth Century (about the Year 1580). 519

A Library of 3000 Arabic Manuscripts taken by the Spaniards.—Contests among Christians reprimanded. 520

Muley El Arsheed (a Second Expedition to Timbuctoo and Sudan). 521

Third Expedition to Timbuctoo and Sudan. 523

* * * * *


Map of the Tracks across the Sahara to Timbuctoo, to face. 1

Map of the Empire of Marocco. 55



The Moors always prefer the spring and summer for travelling, because they suffer very much from the severe cold of the mornings in winter. They generally leave Fas in the beginning of April to proceed to Timbuctoo, and they leave Timbuctoo to return to Fas in the month of January.

The Mecca caravan takes its departure from Fas the beginning of March.

In travelling, the Moors hire their camels from stage to stage. Shabeeny's first stage was from Fas[1] to Tafilelt, which is generally performed in about twenty days.

[Footnote 1: This is a journey of crooked and rugged roads across the Atlas mountains, where they often sojourn in spots which invite the traveller, so that it takes a longer time to perform it than the distance would indicate.] 2 The hire of every camel was from ten to twelve ducats, at five shillings sterling per ducat; as this route is through a very mountainous country, and the travelling is very bad, the charges were proportionally high; the weight which every camel carried was between four and five quintals, the camels in this country being strong and very large.[2]

Tafilelt is the place of general meeting of all the merchants who go to Timbuctoo.[3]

The territory of Tafilelt contains no towns, but abounds in fortresses with mud-walls[4], which the natives call El Kassar, and which contain from three to four hundred families; in these fortresses there is a public market (in Arabic, soke) every week, where the inhabitants purchase provisions, &c.

The natives of Tafilelt are descendants of the shereefs[5] or princes of Marocco, and are therefore of the Imperial family.

[Footnote 2: This charge of carriage by the camels from Fas to Tafilelt, is equal to 55s., sterling per camel; to 1-1/2d. per mile for each camel, and to one farthing and one third per quintal of merchandise per mile.]

[Footnote 3: That is for all who go from the Emperor of Marocco's dominions, north of the river Morbeya, which is called El Garb, or the North Western Division.]

[Footnote 4: These mud walls are made in cases, and the mode of erecting them is called tabia. See Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, &c. &c. 2d or 3d edition, page 298.]

[Footnote 5: Hence it is called Bled Shereef, i.e. the Country of Princes.] 3 Shabeeny's next stage was to Draha[6], which he reached in six days. The expense per camel was about six ducats, or thirty shillings sterling. The district of Draha abounds in the small hard date[7], which is very fine; from four to six drahems[8] (equal to two to three shillings sterling) is the price of a camel load of these dates.

The province of Draha is larger than that of Tafilelt, its circumference being about four or five days' journey. The natives[9] of Draha are very dark, approaching to black, in their complexion: this province abounds in fortresses, like those of Tafilelt.

[Footnote 6: A province at the foot of the mountains of Atlas, south of Marocco, for which see the Map of West Barbary, in Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, &c. &c. p. 1.]

[Footnote 7: This date is called by the natives bouskree: it contains a larger quantity of saccharine juice than any other date. This province also produces a date called butube, which is the best that grows, and is called sultan de timmar, i.e. the king of dates. It is not used as an article of commerce, but is sent as presents to the great, and costs nearly double the price of those of any other quality: the quality mostly used for foreign commerce, is the Tafilelt date, called timmar adamoh, which is sold by the grocers in London. This species is, however, considered very unwholesome food, and accordingly is never eaten by the Filellies, or inhabitants of Tafilelt, but is food for the camels. The district of Tafilelt abounds in dates of all kinds: there are not less than thirty different kinds; and the plantations of dates belonging to the princes of Tafilelt are very extensive, insomuch that the annual produce of one plantation is often sold for a thousand dollars, or 220L sterling. Half a dollar, or five drahems per camel load of three quintals.]

[Footnote 8: A drahem is a silver coin, ten of which are equal to a Mexico dollar.]

[Footnote 9: Their colour is darker than new copper, but not black, It may be compared to the colour of old mahogany, with a black hue. The natives of Draha are proverbially stupid.] 4 The caravans have not, as in the journey to Mecca, their sheiks[10] or commanders. From Fas to Tafilelt they had no chief, but as there are generally a few old, rich, and respectable men in the caravan, its direction and government are committed to their care.

[Footnote 10: The sheik akkabar, or chief of the accumulated caravan, is generally a shereef or prince.]

From Tafilelt, which, as before observed, is the country of the shereefs, they are guided by such of the trading shereefs as accompany the caravan, and who have always great respect paid them, till they arrive at Timbuctoo. The caravan increases as it proceeds in its journey: at Fas it consisted of about thirty or forty; at Draha, of from 300 to 400 camels. From Draha, at the distance of three days' travelling, they found water by digging, and on the next morning they entered the Sahara, which, for the first twenty days is a plain sandy desert resembling the sea. In this desert, when they pitch their tents at night, they are obliged frequently to shake the sand from their tops, as they would otherwise be overwhelmed before the morning.

Some part of this desert is hard, and the camels do not sink deep into it; in others the sand is very loose, which fatigues the 5 camels exceedingly. In travelling, the caravan is directed by the stars at night, and by the sun in the day, and occasionally by the smell of the earth, which they take up in their hands. For the first twenty days after they enter this wilderness they have no water; during this period, the caravan is obliged to carry water in goat-skins[11], as not a drop is to be found by digging. On this account, about a third part of the camels are employed in carrying water, and even with this quantity the camels are often left for three or four days without any. They never use mules in this part of the journey; they neither find the sheh[12], nor the thorny plant so common in the deserts of Africa.

The country on the borders of this desert, to the right and left, is inhabited by roving Arabs, at the distance of three or four days from the track which the caravan pursues; and is said to be partly plain, and in part hilly, with a little grass, and a few shrubs; when the cattle of these Arabs have consumed what grows in one spot, their owners remove to another. The caravan, though it generally consisted of about 400 men well armed, seeks its route through the most unfrequented part of the desert, from a dread of the attacks of the Arabs. The hottest wind is that from the east-south-east, and is called Esshume[13]; the coldest is that which blows from the west-north-west. To alleviate the great drought which travellers feel in the desert, they have recourse to melted butter.[14]

[Footnote 11: These goat-skins, when containing water, are called by the Arabs kereb, or ghireb, plur. kerba, or ghirba, sing.]

[Footnote 12: The sheh is the wormseed plant, the thorny plant here alluded to is the wild myrtle.]

[Footnote 13: Esshume, or the hot wind. For a particular description of this extraordinary wind, see Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, &c. &c. 2d or 3d edition, page 283 and 284.]

[Footnote 14: This is old butter kept several years in a matamore, or subterraneous cavern. It is called by the Arabs of the desert, budra; and much virtue is ascribed to it when it has attained a certain age: a small quantity swallowed, quickly diffuses itself through the system.]

6 After passing this desert of twenty days, they enter a country which varies in its appearance, particular spots being fertile[15] (called El Wah). Here they meet with sederah[16], a kind of wild myrtle, in great quantities. This plant is called by the natives, gylan: its height is about that of a man; the camels feed upon it. Between these shrubs there is a very small quantity of grass in particular spots. In this part of the desert they meet with extensive strata of stones: though the surface is generally sand, yet at the depth of eight or ten inches, they meet with a yellow or reddish earth; and about four feet deeper, with another kind of earth of various colours, but most commonly of a brownish cast; 7 about five or six feet under this they find water, which springs up very slowly, and at the bottom of this water you meet with a light sand. Sometimes the water is sweetish, frequently brackish, and generally warm. This last desert is about twenty days' journey, and is a vast plain without any mountains. They meet with no Arabs in this part, but the country on the right and left of their route, at the distance of from three to eight days' journey, is inhabited by Arabs, who are governed by their own (sheiks) chiefs, and are perfectly independent.

[Footnote 15: El Wah. For a full explanation of this term, see Jackson's Account of the Empire of Marocco, 3d edition, p. 283.]

[Footnote 16: Sederah, thorny shrubs of all kinds are so called.]

From Akka to Timbuctoo, a journey of forty-three days, they meet with no trees, except the sederah, no rivers, towns, or huts. From Draha, which is a country abounding in camels, to Timbuctoo, the charge per camel is from sixteen to twenty-one ducats.[17] That so long a journey is performed at so small[18] an expense, is owing to the abundance of camels in Draha. The caravan generally contains from 300 to 400 men, of whom a great part prefer walking to the uneasy motion of the camels.

[Footnote 17: From Fas to Tafilelt, 20 days, for 11 ducats per camel.

Tafilelt to Draha, 6 do. 6 do. do.

Draha to Timbuctoo, 48 do. 18-1/2 do. do.

—- ——

69 days, for 35-1/2 ducats per camel load, which is about the rate of one farthing per quintal per mile. This does not include the expense of camels for the conveyance of merchants, servants, &c. or of provisions or water, but merely of those carrying goods. A full account of these caravans, and their mode of crossing the Sahara, will be found in Jackson's Marocco, ch. 13.]

[Footnote 18: The expense is now (A.C. 1818) smaller, as the ducat, by a coinage which is depreciated, has fallen to 3s. 6d. sterling.] 8 SITUATION OF THE CITY OF TIMBUCTOO.

On the east side of the city of Timbuctoo, there is a large forest, in which are a great many elephants. The timber here is very large. The trees on the outside of the forest are remarkable for having two different colours; that side which is exposed to the morning sun is black, and the opposite side is yellow. The body of the tree has neither branches nor leaves, but the leaves, which are remarkably large, grow upon the top only: so that one of these trees appears, at a distance, like the mast and round top of a ship. Shabeeny has seen trees in England much taller than these: within the forest the trees are smaller than on its skirts. There are no trees resembling these in the Emperor of Marocco's dominions. They are of such a size that the largest cannot be girded by two men. They bear a kind of berry about the size of a walnut, in clusters consisting of from ten to twenty berries. Shabeeny cannot say what is the extent of this forest, but it is very large. Close to the town of Timbuctoo, on the south, is a small rivulet in which the inhabitants wash their clothes, and which is about two feet deep. It runs in the great forest on the east, and does not communicate with the Nile, but is lost in the sands west of the town. Its water is brackish; that of the Nile is 9 good and pleasant. The town of Timbuctoo is surrounded by a mud-wall: the walls are built tabia-wise[19] as in Barbary, viz. they make large wooden cases, which they fill with mud, and when that dries they remove the cases higher up till they have finished the wall. They never use stone or brick; they do not know how to make bricks. The wall is about twelve feet high, and sufficiently strong to defend the town against the wild Arabs, who come frequently to demand money from them. It has three gates; one called Bab Sahara, or the gate of the desert, on the north: opposite to this, on the other side of the town, a second, called Bab Neel, or the gate of the Nile: the third gate leads to the forest on the east, and is called Beb El Kibla.[20] The gates are hung on very large hinges, and when shut at night, are locked, as in Barbary; and are farther secured by a large prop of wood placed in the inside slopingly against them. There is a dry ditch, or excavation, which circumscribes the town, (except at those places which are opposite the gates,) about twelve feet deep, and too wide 10 for any man to leap it. The three gates of the town are shut every evening soon after sun-set: they are made of folding doors, of which there is only one pair. The doors are lined on the outside with untanned hides of camels, and are so full of nails that no hatchet can penetrate them; the front appears like one piece of iron.

[Footnote 19: The tabia walls are thus built: They put boards on each side of the wall supported by stakes driven in the ground, or attached to other stakes laid transversely across the wall; the intermediate space is then filled with sand and mud, and beat down with large wooden mallets, (as they beat the terraces) till it becomes hard and compact; the cases are left on for a day or two; they then take them off, and move them higher up, repeating this operation till the wall is finished.]

[Footnote 20: El Kibla signifies the tomb of Muhamed: in most African towns there is a Kibla-gate, which faces Medina in Arabia.]


The town is once and a half the size of Tetuan[21], and contains, besides natives, about 10,000[22] of the people of Fas and Marocco. The native inhabitants of the town of Timbuctoo may be computed at 40,000, exclusive of slaves and foreigners. Many of the merchants who visit Timbuctoo are so much attached to the place that they cannot leave it, but continue there for life. The natives are all blacks: almost every stranger marries a female of the town, who are so beautiful that travellers often fall in love with them at first sight.

[Footnote 21: That is about four miles in circumference. Tetuan contains 16,000 inhabitants; but, according to this account, Timbuctoo contains 50,000, besides slaves, a population above three times that of Tetuan: now, as the houses of Timbuctoo are more spacious than those of Tetuan, it is to be apprehended that Shabeeny has committed an error in describing the size of Timbuctoo.]

[Footnote 22: Who go there for the purposes of trade.]


When strangers arrive they deposit their merchandise in large warehouses called fondacs; and hire as many rooms as they choose, 11 having stables for their camels, &c. in the same place. These fondacs[23] are private property, and are called either by the owner's name, or by that of the person who built them. The fondac, in which Shabeeny and his father lived, had forty apartments for men, exclusive of stables; twenty below and twenty above, the place having two stories. The staircase was within the inclosure, and was composed of rough boards; while he staid, the rooms were constantly occupied by natives and strangers; they hired rooms for three months, for which they paid thirty okiat, or fifteen shillings sterling per month. These fondacs are called Woal[24] by the negroes. The money was paid to the owner's agent, who always lives in the fondac for this purpose, and to accommodate strangers with provisions, &c. At their arrival, porters assisted them and procured every thing they wanted; but when they were settled they hired a man and a woman slave to cook and to clean their rooms, and to do every menial office. Slaves are to be bought at all hours: the slave-merchants keep a great number ready for sale.

[Footnote 23: It is probable that Adams, the American sailor, (if he ever was at Timbuctoo,) saw one of these fondacs that belonged to the king, and mistook it for his palace.]

[Footnote 24: Ten okiat, or drahems, make a Mexico dollar. The name of the king of Timbuctoo, in 1800 A.C. was Woolo. Many of the fondacs are rented of him.]


In the houses little furniture is seen; the principal articles 12 (those of the kitchen excepted) are beds, mats on the floor, and the carpets; which cover the whole room. The rooms are about fourteen feet by ten; the kitchen and wash-house are generally to the right and to the left of the passage; the necessary is next the wash-house.[25]

[Footnote 25: Being more convenient for the Muhamedan ablutions.]


Timbuctoo is governed by a native black, who has the title of sultan. He is tributary to the sultan of Housa, and is chosen by the inhabitants of Timbuctoo, who write to the king of Housa for his approbation. Upon the death of a sultan, his eldest son is most commonly chosen. The son of a concubine cannot inherit the throne; if the king has no lawful son (son of his wife) at his decease, the people choose his successor from among his relations. The sultan has only one lawful wife, but keeps many concubines: the wife has a separate house for herself, children, and slaves. He has no particular establishment for his concubines, but takes any girl he likes from among his slaves. His wife has the principal management of his house. The sultan's palace is built in a corner of the city, on the east; it occupies a large extent of ground within an inclosure, which has a gate. Within this square are many buildings; some for the officers of state. The king often sits in the gate to administer justice, and to converse with his friends. There is a 13 small garden within it, furnishing a few flowers and vegetables for his table; there is also a well, from which the water is drawn by a wheel.[26] Many female slaves are musicians. The king has several sons, who are appointed to administer justice to the natives. Except the king's relations, there are no nobles nor any privileged class of men as in Barbary[27]: those of the blood-royal are much respected. The officers of state are distinguished by titles like those of Marocco; one that answers to an Alkaid, i. e. a captain of 700, of 500, or of 100 men; another like that of Bashaw. The king, if he does not choose to marry one of his own relations, takes a wife from the family of the chiefs of his council; his daughters marry among the great men. The queen-dowager has generally an independent provision, but cannot marry. The concubines of a deceased king cannot marry, but are handsomely provided for by his successor.

[Footnote 26: A wheel similar to the Persian wheel, worked by a mule or an ass, having pots, which throw the water into a trough as they pass round, which trough discharges the water into the garden, and immerges the plants.]

[Footnote 27: The privileged class of men in Barbary, are the Fakeers; but no one in Barbary is noble but the King's relations, who are denominated shereefs.]


The revenue arises partly from land and partly from duties upon all articles exposed to sale. The king has lands cultivated by farmers 14 who are obliged to supply his household and troops; the surplus after the support of their own families is deposited in matamores[28], these are stores to be used in time of scarcity: the matamores are about six feet deep. The king often gives gold-dust, slaves, &c. to his favorites, but the royal domains are never given. Lands not very fruitful are common pastures. Moors pay no duties; they say they will not bring goods if compelled to pay duty, but the natives must pay; the duties are collected by the king's officers, they are four per cent. upon each article ad valorem. At the gate of the desert, goods brought by foreigners pay nothing, but goods brought in by the gate of the Nile, (which is the gate of the Negroes,) pay a tax: another part of the revenue is two per cent, in kind on the produce of the land; but the people of Barbary do not pay even this for what land they cultivate. The property of those who die without heirs goes to the king, but when a foreigner dies the king takes no part of his property; it is kept for his relations. Timbuctoo being a frontier town remits no revenue to Housa; the king of Housa sends money to Timbuctoo to pay the garrison.

[Footnote 28: Subterraneous excavations, or rooms in the form of a cone, which have a small opening like a trap-door; when these matamores are full of grain, they are shut, and the air being excluded, the grain deposited in them will keep sound twenty or thirty years. I have been in matamores in West and in South Barbary, that would contain 1000 saas of wheat, or nearly 2000 bushels Winchester measure. They are from six to sixteen feet deep, and of various conical forms.] 15 ARMY.

The troops are paid by the king of Housa, and are armed with pikes, swords, cutlasses, sabres, and muskets; the other natives use the bow and arrow. At Timbuctoo, in time of war, there are about 12,000 or 15,000 troops, 5000 of which receive constant daily pay in time of peace, and are clothed every year; they are all infantry except a few of the king's household. Sometimes he subsidises the friendly Arabs, and makes occasional presents to their chiefs[29]; these Arabs can furnish him with from 80,000 to 40,000 men.

[Footnote 29: Of the Brabeesh clan; see the Map.]


Punishments are the bastinado, imprisonment, and fine. He recollects but one prison. If a native stabs another, he is obliged to attend the wounded man until he recovers; if he dies, the offender is put to death. The offender must pay a daily allowance to the wounded man for his support; if the wound appears dangerous, the culprit is immediately imprisoned; if the wounded man recovers, the offender must pay a fine and suffer the bastinado. There are four capital punishments: beheading, hanging, strangling and bastinadoing to death. Beheading is preferred; it is thus performed: the criminal sits down, and a person behind gives him a blow or push on the back or shoulder, which makes him turn his head, and while his attention is thus employed, the executioner 16 strikes it off. Hanging and strangling are seldom used; and bastinadoing to death, is only inflicted when the crime is highly aggravated. Capital crimes are murder, robbery with violence, and stealing cattle. Small offences, as stealing slaves and other articles, are punished by the bastinado. The landed estates of criminals are never forfeited.[30] The police is so good, that merchants reside there in perfect safety. There are no exactions or extortions practised by government, as in Barbary, nor even any presents asked for the king. A debtor proving his inability, cannot be molested[31]; but to the extent of his means he is always liable; on refusing to pay, he may be imprisoned; but upon proving his insolvency before the judge, he is discharged, though always liable if he should have means at any future time. Watchmen patrole 17 in the night with their dogs; others are stationed in particular places, as the market-place and the kasserea, or square, where the merchants have their shops. Guards are placed at the king's palace. Capital crimes are tried by the king: smaller offences by inferior magistrates. The council sit with the king, every man according to his rank; it consists of the principal officers of his household; he asks their opinion, but unless they are unanimous, decides according to his own. There are always five or six judges sitting in the king's court for the general administration of justice. The king is understood to have no power of altering the laws: if the council are unanimous, the king never decides against them.[32]

[Footnote 30: But go to the next heir.]

[Footnote 31: This is the written Muhamedan law: the insolvent is always liable, but cannot be arrested or imprisoned whilst he remains insolvent, but continues always liable for the debt if he afterwards becomes solvent. The present Emperor of Marocco has lately published an edict. Hearing that his Jew subjects in London frequently became bankrupts, or made compositions with their creditors, has enacted, that all, persons in his dominions who live by buying and selling, shall pay their just debts; but if unable, their brethren, or relations shall pay their creditors for them. If they are unable, the insolvent is to receive a beating every morning at sunrise, to remind him of his defalcation. This law was enacted at Fas in 1817, and since then, I am informed, no bankruptcy has happened in that great commercial city.]

[Footnote 32: This is a custom derived from Muhamedan governments.]

A slave is entirely at his master's disposal, who may put him to death without trial; yet the slave may complain to the council of ill-usage, and if the complaint be well-founded, his master is ordered to sell him. The slaves are always foreign; a native cannot be made a slave. There are three reasons for which a slave may be entitled to freedom: want of food, want of clothes, and want of shoes: an old slave is frequently set at liberty, and returns to his own country. The children of slaves are the property of their master. Slaves cannot marry without the consent of their masters. The master of the female slave generally endeavours to buy the male to whom she is attached.[33]

[Footnote 33: Many conscientious Muhamedans, in purchasing slaves, calculate how many years' service their purchase money is equal to. Thus, if a man pays a servant twenty dollars a-year for wages, and he gives 100 dollars for a slave, he retains the slave five years, when, if his conduct has been approved, he often discharges him from servitude. The period for liberating slaves in this manner is however quite optional, and admits of great latitude; neither is there any compulsion in the master. I have known instances of a slave being liberated after a few years of servitude; and his master's confidence has been such that he has advanced him money to trade with, and has allowed him to cross the desert to Timbuctoo, waiting for the repayment of his money till his return. This is often the treatment of Muhamedans to slaves! how different from that practised by the Planters in the West India Islands!!!] 18 SUCCESSION TO PROPERTY.

Upon the decease of a native, the first claim is that of his creditors; the next is that of his widow, who is entitled to the dower[34] promised by her husband to her father, if, not already paid, and to one-eighth of the remainder; the rest is divided among the children. A son's share is double that of a daughter. If they agree, the land may be sold, if not, it must be divided as above. Of lands and houses, nothing is sold till the children arrive at the age of discretion; when each is entitled to his share, the rest being unsold till the others are of age in turn. This age is not 19 fixed at so many years, but the period of discretion is determined by the relations, upon oath, before a magistrate: there is hardly any man that knows his own age. The father may dispose of his property by will, as far as regards the property of his children, but he cannot divest his wife of her rights; if a wife dies without a will, her children succeed. Wills are not written; the guardian appointed by the father takes care of the property of the deceased, and employs in trade, and lends out the money for the benefit of his children. Relations succeed if there are no children; and if there are no relations, the king takes all but the wife's share. The wife's relations are not considered as the husband's relations. Children of concubines inherit equally with those of the wife. If a man have two children by a concubine, she becomes free at his death, otherwise she remains a slave. She is entitled, having children, to an eighth of the property.

[Footnote 34: The husband always stipulates to pay the father of his wife a certain sum: this is the Muhamedan dower.]


A man agrees to pay a certain price to the father of his wife, and witnesses are called to support the proof of the contract: the girl is sent home, and at night a feast is made by the husband for his male friends; by the wife for her female friends.

Rape is punished by death. Adultery is not punishable by the law, nor is it a ground for divorce. A husband may always put away his 20 wife, but if without sufficient legal ground, he must pay her stipulated dower. Abusive language is a sufficient ground of divorce, but adultery is not. The dower is the price originally agreed upon with the father; and if it has been already paid (which it seldom is), she has no further claim upon the husband, though put away without sufficient ground. Her clothes, jewels, &c. given to her by her relations are her own property. A father generally gives the daughter in jewels, &c. a present double the value of that given him by the husband. A man can have but one wife, but may keep concubines. Seduction and adultery are not cognisable by law. The law says, "a woman's flesh is her own, she may do with it what she pleases." Prostitutes are common. A man may marry his niece, but not his daughter.

The people of Timbuctoo are not circumcised.


Timbuctoo is the great emporium for all the country of the blacks, and even for Marocco and Alexandria.

The principal articles of merchandise are tobacco, kameemas[35], beads of all colours for necklaces, and cowries, which are bought 21 at Fas by the pound.[36] Small Dutch looking glasses, some of which are convex, set in gilt paper frames. They carry neither swords, muskets, nor knives, except such as are wanted in the caravan. At the entrance of the desert they buy rock-salt[37] of the Arabs, who bring it to them in loads ready packed, which they carry as an article of trade. In their caravan there were about 500 camels, of which about 150 or 200 were laden with salt. The camels carry less of salt than of any other article, because (being rock-salt) it wears their sides. They pay these Arabs from twenty to fifteen ounces[38] of Barbary money per load. An ounce of Barbary is worth about 6d., and a ducat is worth about 5s. sterling. They sell this salt at Timbuctoo upon an average at 50 per cent. profit; it is more profitable than linen. They take no oil from Barbary to Timbuctoo as they are supplied from other places with fish-oil used for lamps but not for food; they make soap with the oil. The returns are made in gold-dust, slaves, ivory, and pepper; gold-dust is preferred and is brought to Timbuctoo from Housa in small leather bags. He bought one of these bags of gold-dust and pieces of rings for 90 Mexican dollars, and sold it at Fas for 150. The merchants bring their gold from Timbuctoo in the saddle-bags, in 22 small purses of different sizes one within the other. The bag which Shabeeny purchased was bought at Housa, where it sells for seven or eight ducats cheaper than at Timbuctoo. On articles from Marocco they make from thirty to fifty per cent. clear profit. Cowries and gold-dust are the medium of traffic. The shereefs and other merchants generally sell their goods to some of the principal native merchants, and immediately send off the slaves, taking their gold-dust with them into other countries. The merchants residing at Timbuctoo have agents or correspondents in other countries; and are themselves agents in return. Timbuctoo is visited by merchants from all the neighbouring black countries. Some of its inhabitants are amazingly rich. The dress of common women has been often worth 1000 dollars. A principal source of their wealth is lending gold-dust and slaves at high interest to foreign merchants, which is repaid by goods from Marocco and other countries, to which the gold-dust and slaves are carried. They commonly trade in the public market, but often send to the merchant or go to his house. Cowries in the least damaged are bad coin, and go for less than those that are perfect. There are no particular market days; the public market for provisions is an open place fifty feet square, and is surrounded by shops.[39] The Arabs sit down on their goods in the middle, till 23 they have sold them. The pound weight of Timbuctoo is about two ounces heavier than the small pound of Barbary, which weighs twenty Spanish dollars; they have also half and quarter pounds; by these weights is sold milk, rice, butter, &c. as well as by the measure. The weights are of wood or iron under the inspection of a magistrate called in Barbary m'tasseb, i.e. inspector of weights and measures, and if the weights are found deficient, he punishes the offender immediately; they have also a quintal or cwt. They have a wooden measure called a m'hoad[40], equal to the small m'hoad of Barbary, where a m'hoad of wheat weighs about 24 lb. Both the weights and measures are divided into 1/2, 1/4, 1/8 and 1/16.

[Footnote 35: Kameema is the Arabic word for the linen called plattilias. They are worth 50 Mexico dollars each, at Timbuctoo.]

[Footnote 36: Called, in Amsterdam, Velt Spiegels, and in Timbuctoo, Murraih de juah.]

[Footnote 37: This salt is bought at Tishet, at Shangareen, and at Arawan, in the south part of Sahara; for which see the Map of Northern and Central Africa, in the new Supplement to the Encyclopaedia Britannica, Article Africa.]

[Footnote 38: Okia is the Arabic name for this piece of money.]

[Footnote 39: Similar to the corn-market at Mogodor.]

[Footnote 40: The m'hoad is no longer used in Barbary. There is a krube, of which sixteen are equal to a saa, which, when filled with good wheat, weighs 100 lbs. equal to 119 lbs. English weight.]


The black natives are smiths, carpenters, shoemakers, tailors, and masons, but not weavers. The Arabs in the neighbourhood are weavers, and make carpets resembling those of Fas and of Mesurata, where they are called telisse[41]; they are of wool, from their own sheep, and camels' hair. The bags for goods, and the tents, are of goats' and camels' hair; there are no palmetto trees in that country. Their thread[42], needles, scissors, &c. come from Fas: 24 most of their ploughs they buy of the Arabs near the town, who are subject to it. Some are made in the town. These Arabs manufacture iron from ore found in the country, and are good smiths. They make iron bars of an excellent quality. They tan leather for soles of shoes very well, but know nothing of dressing leather in oil: the upper leather comes from Fas[43]; their wooden combs[44] and spoons come from Barbary; they have none of ivory or horn. No lead is brought from Barbary; he thinks they have lead of their own. The best shoes are brought from Fas.

[Footnote 41: Telissa, sing.; Telisse, plur.]

[Footnote 42: To Fas they are brought from England through Gibraltar and Mogodor.]

[Footnote 43: Leather is also imported from Marocco, and from Terodant in South Barbary.]

[Footnote 44: Wooden combs are imported from Marseilles to Mogodor.]


The country is well cultivated, except on the side of the desert. They have rice, el bishna[45], and a corn which they call allila[46], but in Barbary it is called drah: this requires very rich ground. They make bread of el bishna: they have no wheat or barley. Property is fenced by a bank and a ditch. Dews are very heavy. Lands are watered by canals cut from the Nile; high lands by wells, the water of which is raised by wheels[47] worked 25 by cattle, as in Egypt. They have violent thunder-storms in summer, but no rains: the mornings and evenings, during winter, are cold; the coldest wind is from the west, when it is as cold as at Fas. The winter lasts about two months, though the weather is cool from September to April. They begin to sow rice in August and September, but they can sow it at any time, having water at hand: he saw some sowing rice while others were reaping it. El bishna and other corn is sown before December. El bishna is ripe in June and July; as are beans. Allila may be sown at all seasons; it requires water only every eight or ten days. Their beans are like the small Mazagan beans, and are sown in March; the stalk is short, but full of pods. The allila produces a small, white, flattish grain.

[Footnote 45: El Bishna. This is the Arabic name for Indian corn.]

[Footnote 46: Allila, a species of millet.]

[Footnote 47: A wheel similar to the Persian wheel, as before described in the note, page 13.]


Rice is their principal food, but the rich have wheaten flour from Fas[48], and make very fine bread, which is considered a luxury. Bread is also made from the allila. They roast, boil, bake, and stew, but make no cuscasoe. Their meals are breakfast, dinner, and supper. They commonly breakfast about eight, dine about three, and sup soon after sunset. They drink only water or milk with their meals, have no palm wine or any fermented liquor; when they wish to 26 be exhilarated after dinner, they provide a plant of an intoxicating quality called el hashisha[49], of which they take a handful before a draught of water.

[Footnote 48: And also from Marocco.]

[Footnote 49: El Hashisha. This is the African hemp plant: it is esteemed for the extraordinary and pleasing voluptuous vacuity of mind which it produces on those who smoke it: unlike the intoxication from wine, a fascinating stupor pervades the mind, and the dreams are agreeable. The kief is the flower and seeds of the plant: it is a strong narcotic, so that those who use it cannot do without it. For a further description of this plant, see Jackson's Marocco, 2d or 3d edit. p. 131 & 132.]


Goats are very large, as big as the calves in England, and very plentiful; sheep are also very large. Cattle are small; many are oxen. Milk of camels and goats is preferred to that of cows. Horses are small, and are principally fed upon camels' milk; they are of the greyhound[50] shape, and will travel three days without rest. They have dromedaries[51] which travel from Timbuctoo[52] to Tafilelt in the short period of five or six days.

[Footnote 50: These horses are the desert horse, or the shrubat er'reeh. See Jackson's Marocco, 2d or 3d edition, p. 94. to 96.]

[Footnote 51: These are El Heirie, (or Erragual), for a particular description of which see Jackson's Marocco, p. 91. to 93.]

[Footnote 52: A distance of upwards of 1200 British miles.] 27 BIRDS.

They have common fowls, ostriches, and a bird larger than our blackbird[53]; also storks, which latter are birds of passage, and arrive in the spring and disappear at the approach of winter; swallows, &c.

[Footnote 53: The starling.]


They have many extremely good in the Nile; one of the shape and size of our salmon[54]; the largest of these are about four feet long. They use lines and hooks brought from Barbary, and nets, like our casting nets, made by themselves. They strike large fish with spears and fish-gigs.

[Footnote 54: The shebbel, a species of salmon, a very delicate fish, but so rich that it is best roasted, which the Arabs do in a superior manner.]


Sheep from ten to sixteen cowries. Cowries[55] are much valued, and form an ornament of head-dress even for the richest women; they are highly valued as ornaments. Goats are cheaper than sheep; the best from eight to twelve cowries. Fowls from four to six cowries each. Antelopes are very scarce and dear. Camels from thirty to sixty cowries, according to their size and condition. Ostriches, of which vast numbers are brought to market, are very cheap; the fore-feathers[56] are often carried to Tafilelt and Marocco, the 28 inferiors are thrown away. A good slave is worth ten, fifteen, or twenty ducats of five shillings each; at Fas, they are worth from sixty to a hundred ducats: females are the dearest. Slaves are most valuable about twelve years old. They have fish-oil for lamps, but use neither wax nor tallow for candles. The fish-oil is a great article of trade, and is brought from the neighbourhood[57] of the sea by Genawa[58] to Housa, and thence to Timbuctoo; dearer at Timbuctoo than at Housa, and dearer at Housa than at Genawa.

[Footnote 55: Cowries are called El Uda, and are sold in Santa Cruz and in South Barbary, at twenty Mexico dollars per quintal.]

[Footnote 56: Called Ujuh.]

[Footnote 57: Probably from the coast of Guinea, with which Housa carries on an extensive trade.]

[Footnote 58: i.e. Guinea; Genawa being the Arabic name for the coast of Guinea.]


The sultan wears a white turban of very fine muslin, the ends of which are embroidered with gold, and brought to the front; this 29 turban comes from Bengala.[59] He wears a loose white cotton shirt, with sleeves long and wide, open at the breast; unlike that of the Arabs, it reaches to the small of the leg; over this a caftan[60] of red woollen cloth, of the same length; red is generally esteemed. The shirt (kumja) is made at Timbuctoo, but the caftan comes from Fas, ready made; over the caftan is worn a short cotton waistcoat, striped white, red, and blue; this comes from Bengala, and is called juliba.[61] The sleeves of the caftan are as wide as those of the shirt; the breast of it is fastened with buttons, in the Moorish style, but larger. The juliba has sleeves as wide as the caftan. When he is seated, all the sleeves are turned up over the shoulder[62], so that his arms are bare, and the air is admitted to his body.

[Footnote 59: i.e. Bengal.]

[Footnote 60: A caftan, or coat, with wide sleeves, no collar, but that buttons all down before.]

[Footnote 61: It is not the cotton cloth which comes from Bengal that is named Juliba, but the fashion or the cut of it.]

[Footnote 62: The Moorish fashion.]

Upon his turban, on the forehead, is a ball of silk, like a pear; one of the distinctions of royalty. He wears, also, a close red skull-cap, like the Moors of Tetuan, and two sashes, one over each shoulder, such as the Moors wear round the waist; they are rather cords than sashes, and are very large; half a pound of silk is used in one of them. The subjects wear but one; they are either red, yellow, or blue, made at Fas. He wears, like his subjects, a sash round the waist, also made at Fas; of these there are two kinds,—one of leather, with a gold buckle in front, like those of the soldiers in Barbary; the other of silk, like those of the Moorish merchants. He wears (as do the subjects) breeches made in the Moorish fashion, of cotton in summer, made at Timbuctoo, and of woollen in winter, brought ready made from Fas. His shoes are distinguished by a piece of red leather, in front of the leg, about three inches wide, and eight long, embroidered with silk and gold. 30 When he sits in his apartment, he wears a dagger with a gold hilt, which hangs on his right side: when he goes out, his attendants carry his musket, bow, arrows, and lance.

His subjects dress in the same manner, excepting the distinctions of royalty; viz. the pear, the sashes on the shoulders, and the embroidered leather on the shoes.

The sultana wears a caftan, open in front from top to bottom, under this a slip of cotton like the kings, an Indian shawl over the shoulders, which ties behind, and a silk handkerchief about her head. Other women dress in the same manner. They wear no drawers. The poorest women are always clothed. They never show their bosom. The men and women wear ear-rings. The general expense of a woman's dress is from two ducats to thirty.[63] Their shoes are red, and are brought from Marocco.[64] Their arms and ankles are adorned with bracelets. The poor have them of brass; the rich, of gold. The rich ornament their heads with cowries. The poor have but one bracelet on the leg, and one on the arm; the rich, two. They also wear gold rings upon their fingers. They have no pearls or precious stones. The women do not wear veils.

[Footnote 63: Equal to from two to thirty Mexico dollars.]

[Footnote 64: They are manufactured at Marocco.] 31 DIVERSIONS.

The king has 500 or 600 horses; his stables are in the inclosure; the saddles have a peak before, but none behind. He frequently hunts the antelope, wild ass, ostrich, and an animal, which, from Shabeeny's description, appears to be the wild cow[65] of Africa. The wild ass is very fleet, and when closely pursued kicks back the earth and sand in the eyes of his pursuers. They have the finest greyhounds in the world, with which they hunt only the antelope[66]; for the dogs are not able to overtake the ostrich. Shabeeny has often hunted with the king; any person may accompany him. Sometimes he does not return for three or four days: he sets out always after sunrise. Whatever is killed in the chace is divided among the strangers and other company present; but those animals which are taken alive are sent to the king's palace. He goes to hunt towards the desert, and does not begin till distant ten miles from the town. The antelopes are found in herds of from thirty to sixty. He never saw an antelope, wild ass, or ostrich alone, but generally in large droves. The ostriches, like the storks, place centinels upon the watch: thirty yards are reckoned a distance for a secure shot with the bow. The king always shoots on 32 horseback, as do many of his courtiers, sometimes with muskets, but oftener with bows. The king takes a great many tents with him. There are no lions, tigers, or wild boars near Timbuctoo. They play at chess and draughts, and are very expert at those games: they have no cards; but they have tumblers, jugglers, and ventriloquists, whose voice appears to come from under the armpits. He was much pleased with their music, of which they have twenty-four different sorts. They have dances of different kinds, some of which are very indecent.

[Footnote 65: The Aoudad; for a particular description of which, see Jackson's Marocco, Chapter V., Zoology, p. 84.]

[Footnote 66: The Gazel, or Antelope, outruns at first the greyhound; but after running about an hour the greyhound gains on him.]


They measure time[67] by days, weeks, lunar months, and lunar years; yet few can ascertain their age.

[Footnote 67: The hour is an indefinite term, and assimilates to our expression of a good while; it is from half an hour by the dial to six hours, and the difference is expressed by the word wahad saa kabeer, a long hour; and wahad saa sereer, a little hour; also by the elongation of the last syllable of the last word.]


They have no temples, churches, or mosques, no regular worship or sabbath; but once in three months they have a great festival, which lasts two or three days, sometimes a week, and is spent in eating and drinking. He does not know the cause; but thinks it, perhaps, a commemoration of the king's birth-day; no work is done. They 33 believe in a Supreme Being and another state of existence, and have saints and men whom they revere as holy. Some of them are sorcerers, and some ideots, as in Barbary and Turkey; and though physicians are numerous, they expect more effectual aid in sickness from the prayers of the saints, especially in the rheumatism. Music is employed to excite ecstasy in the saint, who, when in a state of inspiration, tells (on the authority of some departed saint, generally of Seedy Muhamed Seef,) what animal must be sacrificed for the recovery of the patient: a white cock, a red cock, a hen, an ostrich, an antelope, or a goat. The animal is then killed in the presence of the sick, and dressed; the blood, feathers, and bones are preserved in a shell and carried to some retired spot, where they are covered and marked as a sacrifice. No salt or seasoning is used in the meat, but incense is used previous to its preparation. The sick man eats as much as he can of the meat, and all present partake; the rice, or what else is dressed with it, must be the produce of charitable contributions from others, not of the house or family; and every contributor prays for the patient.

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