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the women are beautiful, and their complexions fair.
Shoes of the thinnest leather, yet impervious to water, are made at Mequinas. Indeed the
preparation of leather in Marocco surpasses every thing of the kind known in Europe. The skins of lions and leopards are rendered as soft as silk, and as white as snow.
From Mequinas I proceeded to Fas, which is only about thirty-six miles distant. Fas is situated in latitude 34° 6' north longitude, and 4° 50' west. It stands chiefly on gentle hills, except the centre which is low and dirty. It is divided into Old and New Fas; but they are contiguous, and both together do not form so large a city as Marocco; though, as the houses are more lofty, it contains a greater number of inhabitants. The streets are so narrow that two men on horseback can scarcely ride together; the houses are high, and the upper stories project. High walls, with arched
passages through them, run across the streets, and divide the city into several quarters. These passages are shut at night, and all communication between one part and another is prevented. The houses, like all the others, encompass a square court; but these have galleries above, as well as below, into which the doors of each apartment open.
The floors are of bricks, glazed tiles, or marble; the stairs are narrow. The roofs are flat, and covered with terras, on which carpets are spread in summer for the inhabitants to recline upon, and enjoy the cool breezes of evening; a small turret is built upon the roof for the females of the family.
There are about fifty sumptuous mosques in Fas; the principal of which has a covered place for such women as choose to pray in public; an appendage peculiar to this edifice; for, as the prophet did not assign to women a place in his paradise, his followers in general give them no place in their mosques.
The palace of the Sultan, according to the universal practice of these countries, is composed of a great number of courts, which serve as entrances into different apartments. Some of these are half finished; others half dilapidated; there are guards or closed gates, in all. In the third court is a pavilion, about fifteen feet square, with four steps leading to it. Here the Sultan receives those who are permitted to be presented to him; but none, except favourites, come within the door. The walls are covered with painted cloth, and the floor with a carpet; a bed, with curtains, is opposite the door; an elbow chair is on one side of the room, and a small mattrass on the other; the sultan oc. cupies the bed or the chair, and the favourite is allowed to sit upon the mattrass.
The number of shops is so great as to give Fas the appearance of a city with three or four hundred thousand inhabitants; and they have formerly been computed at 380,000; but they are much dimi. nished in number. The inhabitants of the coun. try and the mountains resort to the city, to purchase the articles of which they stand in need. Each street is occupied by persons of one trade. The Kasseria of Fas is a square space, walled round, and formed into twelve divisions : two of these are allotted to such shoemakers as work for the great, and the others are occupied by those persons who sell silks, cloths, and linens. The crowd assembled in the Kasseria is daily as nu
merous as at a fair. It is frequented by the Moorish beauties, wrapped in their hayks, which they are artful enough to open occasionally.
There are sixty criers, or walking auctioneers, at Fas, who are each commissioned by the shop-keepers to sell one article at a time. The crier goes along the street, exhibiting the article on sale, and cry. ing, “who bids more ?” till the last bidder be declared the buyer.
There are nearly two hundred caravanseras at Fas, which are three stories high, and each contains from fifty to a hundred apartments. The traveller pays a certain sum per day for his room, but all it affords him is a mat, and water by turning a cock. He brings his bed with him, and he purchases his food at a cook's shop, or he buys meat, and gets it dressed. Animals are not suffered to be slaughtered in the city. They are killed near the river, and the meat is sent to an officer who inspects its quality and fixes its price. His ticket is put on the meat, and it is sold by the butcher at the rate affixed.
Elegant silk and gold stuffs are manufactured at Fas; the gold thread is superior to that of France. Shawls are made of the wool of Tedla, which is finer than that of Merino. The gun-locks are so excellent that it is said an English barrel and a Fas lock make a complete piece.
On the morning of the first day of Easter, the people assembled without the city to perform their devotions; and, as the emperor was now at Fas, the solemnity was very grand. A square inclosure was formed, within which was the emperor, attended by about six hundred distinguished persons; without was an assemblage of 250,000 people.
Every time the Imaun prostrated himself and cried “ Allah û Kabeer !” God is Great, it was repeated by a great numberof Mueddens who were dispersed among the crowd, and all the people with their sovereign at their head, were seen prostrating themselves at once before their Creator. So large a body of men uniting to worship, at the same moment, the author of their existence was a spectacle I could not behold without emotion.
After prayers, one of the Sultan's Fakeers ascended a pulpit within the inclosure, and preached a sermon; and, after this, the religious part of the ceremony concluded with a short prayer. The Sultan then quitted the inclosure, and mounted his horse, and the different corps of the province passed in review before him. Each chief advanced a little before his troop, and made himself known to his sovereign, and all cried at once, “God bless the life of our Lord!" They then retired, at the command of their leader, to make room for another troop.
Most of the Arabs of Marocco are soldiers, or in case of need can soon become such. There are none who have not a horse, a sabre, and a musket, or who are not ready to march at the command of the Sultan. Each province, on his requisition, supplies and maintains a number of men proportioned to its population and wealth ; but these extraordinary levies are only kept in service when the tillage of the land does not require their presence; during seed time and harvest they are suffered to remain at home. It has been supposed that an Emperor of Marocco might, if he pleased, raise an army of from two to three hundred thousand men; but the supposition did not extend to the
manner in which they could be maintained, or the purpose for which they could be wanted. The Arabs are good horsemen; they can endure hunger, thirst, fatigue, and hardship; they have the qualities necessary to form good soldiers, but they are not so formed.
When an army is in motion, little care is taken for a supply of provisions. It is usually encamped near springs or a river, and the surrounding districts are commanded to fix their markets near the spot. Each soldier purchases and pays for what he wants; and if provisions or water be scarce, or pasturage insufficient, the enterprise is abandoned.
The Moors are equal by birth, and know no distinctions but those which are derived from official employments; on resigning these, they return to the common mass of citizens. The laws of Muhamed, like those of Moses, adhere strictly to retaliation. If a man were to knock out the tooth of another man, he would have one of his own teeth drawn as a punishment. A murderer suffers death, unless the relations of the murdered man choose to accept money as a compromise. The Sultan holds himself accountable for all robberies committed between the rising and setting of the sun; if a person travel before or after, it is at his own risk. Robberies are rare, because the bashaws of
provinces, or alkaids of douars, are obliged to pay double the value of the loss; one half to the
person robbed, the other to the imperial treasury, and are also severely reprimanded for their want of vigilance.
A debtor cannot be detained in prison after his inability to pay is ascertained ; but if he acquire