Abbildungen der Seite

of Timbuctoo, and other parts of Sudan, is smaller, and is entered by a private door. The flowers are extremely odoriferous; the scent of the roses, which are the roses of Tafilelt, is unequalled. From this flower is distilled the celebrated attar of roses; one rose is sufficient to perfume a large apartment; and mattrasses for great men to recline upon are filled with the dried leaves.

• I was presented to the emperor as the physician of the prince Abd Salam. On this occasion, I was hurried with great precipitancy through the three outer courts, and in the fourth I found the sovereign waiting to receive me. The officer who introduced me prostrated himself, and exclaimed in Arabic, “ May God preserve the king !” The sultan ordered him to approach, and deliver what he had to say; and he informed his majesty that, in obedience to his orders, he had brought the English physician; he then made a very low bow, and retired. The sultan immediately ordered me to advance; but, when I had got within ten yards of him, two soldiers came up, and, pulling my coat, told me that I must not presume to approach


The emperor was sitting in a European postchaise, with a single mule in the shafts, and a man standing on each side, to guide itt. His dress was very plain, and his belt was fastened by an iron buckle u. Soldiers and attendants formed a half-moon around him. He asked me many questions. At first, his manner was haughty and severe; but he became more familiar, and, after a conversation of some length, he commanded



t Jackson.

u Lempriere,

[blocks in formation]


one of his attendants to conduct me home, adding that I was a good man, and Muley Abd Salam's physician.

"The Emperor of Marocco is the descendant of Muhamed and the interpreter of the law; he is inspired by the Prophet, and is as infallible as the Pope. If one of his subjects die by his hand, he is certain of enjoying eternal felicity.

Muley Soliman, the present Emperor of Ma. rocco, is a fakeer, or doctor of the law. He passes the greater part of the day in prayers, disdains every kind of luxury, is generally clad in a coarse hayk, and endeavours to inspire his subjects with the same devotional austerity. Notwithstanding his contempt for splendor, his household is expensive, on account of the number of his women and children. He repudiates his wives, and takes new ones, as often as he pleases, and sends the discarded ladies to Tafilelt, where they subsist on pensions. The inhabitants of Marocco often present him with their daughters, who are at first admitted into the horem as servants, and, if they please him, they are raised to the rank of concubines or wives, to be dismissed in their turi.

* No government can be more absolute than that of Marocco. It has no invariable principle which may restrain the will of the monarch, who makes, breaks, and changes the laws, according to his convenience or caprice. Throughout the empire, a subject cannot say of any thing, “ It is mine;" not even of his existence, for he is deprived of all at the will of the despot.

The Emperor of Marocco intrusts no one with

v Jackson.

Ali Bey.

* Chenier.



the administration of his affairs. He would

suppose his power were mutilated, if he were to delegate a portion of it to one of his slaves; and assuredly it would lead to his becoming the slave of his substitute, as may have been seen in the governments of many of the negro kings. All persons in the service of the Emperor of Marocco have only one duty to fulfil, which is to execute his commands, however variable, or contradictory, they may be.

“ Dost thou take me for an infidel," said an Emperor of Marocco to a stranger, “ that I must be the slave of my word! Is it not in my power to say and unsay, whenever I please ?"

y Muley Abd el Melk, Emperor of Marocco, crossed the Sahara, with an army, and invaded Timbuctoo and Guago about the year 1580. It must be owned that he lost some thousands of men in this expedition; but, in recompence for a loss so unheeded, he brought from Guago 75 quintals, and from Timbuctoo 60 quintals of gold; making, together, 16,0695 pounds weight, avoirdupoise.

Muley el Arsheed crossed the desert with a nu. merous army, about the year 1670; but proceeded no farther than the confines of Sudan, from whence he returned, after an amicable conference with a black sultan. A Seedy Ali, however, a Moorish refugee, of whom Arsheed was in pursuit, obtained the black sultan's permission to settle at Timbuctoo with his followers, and establish a garrison there. Hence come the Moorish dress and manners of this city.

Muley Ismael, who succeeded in 1672 to the dignity of Emperor of Marocco, sent fresh troops

y Jackson.

[blocks in formation]


to Timbuctoo, and laid the city under contribution. It is reported that the massive bolts of his palace, and the utensils of his kitchens were of pure gold. Of the purity of his gold, his coins, which are to be seen at this day at Timbuctoo, bear testimony.

Muley Hamed, surnamed Dehebby, or Rich in gold, succeeded his father Ismael in 1727. He marched with a numerous army to Timbuctoo, of which he took possession, and brought home immense quantities of gold.

Muley Abd Allah was raised to the imperial dignity in 1729; Muley Ali in 1734; and the deposed Abd Allah again in 1736. All these barbarians made murder their pastime.

An Alcaid in the reign of Arsheed, returning from a journey, boasted of the security of the roads, and said that he had seen a sack of walnuts, undisturbed, on the highway. " And how didst thou know they were walnuts?" demanded the emperor? “ I touched the sack with my foot,” replied the Alcaid. " Sever that foot from his body," commanded Muley Arsheed, “as a punishment for his curiosity.”

Ismael, wholly regardless of the lives of men, made it his amusement to destroy them with his own hand. The days set apart for prayer were distinguished by these massacres, and he estimated his devotions by the number of murders lie committed. Ismael was fond of building, and all his workmen were either fined, or they received some chastisement peculiar to their profession. If the bricks were too small, they were broken on the head of the brick-maker.

z Chenier.

Dehebby was frequently in a state of helpless intoxication; and he was so cruel when sober, that his wives and attendants had no other means of safety than by making him drunk.

Muley Abd Allah, on being remonstrated with by his mother, on his cruelty, said, “ My subjects have no other right to their lives than that which I think proper to leave them; and I have no pleasure so great as that of killing them myself.” Not a week passed in which he did not immolate some victim to his anger or caprice.

Abdallah, one day, presented a favourite domestic with 2,000 sequins, and bade him quit him wholly, lest he should, at one time or other, kill him in a passion. The servant's attachment to his master prevailed; he refused to leave him ; and, in one of his savage fits, Abdallah actually shot him; reproaching him, at the same time, with his folly, in disregarding his advice. Another time, in fording a river, Abdallah was in danger of being drowned, and was rescued by one of his negroes. The slave congratulated himself upon having saved his master; the emperor drew his sword, and cleft him down, exclaiming, “ What an infidel, to suppose that he had saved me! As if God stood in need of his intervention to save a Shereef !”

Abdallah was five times deposed, and as often replaced on the throne. Faction might replace him there; but one would almost renounce kindred with his subjects, as men, if they had submitted quietly to his authority.

One of these imperial savages, in a fit of inebriety, ordered all the teeth of one of his wives to be drawn. A week after, he desired to see her,

« ZurückWeiter »