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and silver, more than a yard and a half in depth. Above these, was a crimson velvet curtain, with a broad gold fringe, drawn in folds to one side, and discovering the three gold and silver ends of the curtains underneath. The bed is laid on the floor, and fills the whole of the alcove. The carpet was of crimson satin, with a broad border of pale blue satin, quilted. This was laid over other carpets, and these were laid over mats. The sofa occupied three sides of the other alcove; the cushions which lay round it were of crimson velvet, the centre ones embroidered with a highly embossed sun of gold; the other cushions were of gold and silver tissue. This alcove had curtains like the other. A number of looking-glasses, and a great quantity of fine china and crystal, completed the furniture of this splendid apartment.
The curtains, and other articles, are often a part of the marriage portion; and are, together with a multitude of rich clothes, collected by the mother of the bride, from her infancy.
When a Moorish lady dresses, her slaves wait around her. One perfumes and plaits the hair behind in two large tresses, mixing in each two ounces of finely powdered cloves, and a quantity of black silk which has been strongly perfumed by other slaves ; another paints the eye-lashes with black, which is laid on with a gold bodkin ; another shapes the eye-brows by pulling out every superfluous hair. So much are the features of some of the Moorish ladies changed, when they have undergone the various operations necessary for full dress, that their most intimate friends, seeing them by accident, would scarcely know them. The fingers, from the bottom to the first joint, have
WIFE OF A MOORISH OFFICER.
the appearance of shining jet, over which are worn costly rings. Every lady wears a sash of cloves, strung in bunches, with a gold bead between each bunch; but it is frequently worn under the dress.
The Moorish ladies, accustomed to solid and splendid ornaments, have no idea of the value of lace. The costly lace worn by the English ladies, they called rags.
A Moorish officer who had been to protect his olive estates at Mesulata from the depredations of a tribe of neighbouring Arabs, brought from thence on his return to Tripoli, a rich wife of that country, and the English ladies were introduced to this stranger. She was tall and well made ; her features were handsome, and her skin was remarkably dark. Her hair was plaited in forty or fifty small tresses, on each side of her forehead, and each tress was fastened with a bead of glass or coral. Her cap was set with small gold and silver coins, and a number of silver ornaments, mingled with mother of pearl, hung from it over her forehead. Her barracan, or hayk, which was her sole garment, was of red and purple cotton and silver, of a very thick texture, with a broad fringe at the ends, which were curiously wrought. This drapery she folded most gracefully round her. Her face, neck, and arms, from the shoulder to the wrist, were adorned with a great variety of figures and flowers, minutely imprinted in the skin with gunpowder. Her ear-rings were of plain silver, and of these she had seven in each ear. Her necklace was composed of coral, mother of pearl, silver, and glass beads, intermixed, and consisted of so many rows, that it nearly covered her from the neck to the waist. On her arms and ancles she had excessively large silver rings. Her feet were dyed with henna. A sash of perfume, with shells instead of gold beads, and a ribband from which was suspended a number of charms, cased in silver, were both worn over the left shoulder, and completed the costume of the Mesulateen.
Another interesting stranger, whom the English ladies were so fortunate as to see at Tripoli, was a Prince of Bornoo, who took this city in his way from Tunis to his own country. This prince was black. He wore pearls of an uncommon size, and large gold ear-rings, set with the most valuable jewels. He was a well-informed man. He described the kingdom of Bornoo as a very fertile country, producing good fruit; particularly grapes, apricots, and pomegranates ; and he said, that, though some wild beasts were seen there, they were not so numerous as in the country between Tunis and Tripoli, where lions and leopards issue from the woods. He represented the government of Bornoo as extremely mild, and its subjects as very pacific. He said that, from the number of the people, and the goodness of the horses, powerful armies might soon be raised; but they were content with their present situation, and did not wish for conquest.
This prince reckoned the horses of his country superior to those of Arabia and Barbary ; being, he said, as serviceable as the former, and as beautiful as the latter.
The idea formed at Tripoli of the strength of the army of Bornoo is, that, when the king sends out his soldiers, the trunk of a large date-tree is laid before the gate of the city, and it is worn through by their stepping on it as they pass.
Among the strangers who visited Tripoli during
PRINCE OF FEZZAN.
the residence of the lady to whom we owe the foregoing particulars, were a son and a relative of the King of Fezzan. Their colour was nearly black, their persons were handsome and well made, and their features strong and interesting. Their dress resembled that of the Tripolines, except that the turbans, instead of being of white muslin, were shawls wound tight several times round the head. That of the prince was black and gold. His barracan was white, and perfectly transparent.
This young man said that the earth was traversed, during the night, by evil spirits, which occasioned such delays and misfortunes to those who travelled in the dark, that it was time saved to lie by till daylight. He said that his country was the most beautiful and fertile in the world; for though it never had rain, there were innumerable soft springs, which moistened the earth, and kept it in the state of a beautiful garden.
I have remarked that, by the especial favour of Providence, most people live in the best conntry in the world. I even remember a man who was born, and had lived fourscore years, in one of the worst streets of one of the worst towns in my own country; who firmly believed that his town was the best in England, and his street the best in the town. My reader will probably know how to estimate Fezzan from my former description of that country.
The prince was much amused at an evening party, at the house of the British Consul. He placed himself on a sofa, and listened attentively to a concert performed by European gentlemen and ladies, and expressed the highest satisfaction at the music; but when the company danced, he looked with astonishment at the gentlemen's touching the ladies' hands, and could not be reconciled to what he termed an improper liberty.
Caravans arrive from Fezzan and Gadames; the people who compose them are, in general, honest, simple, and unsuspecting. They have frequently deposited large quantities of gold-dust, in bags tied only with a small string, at the houses of the Euro
ARABS OF TRIPOLI.
JOURNEYS TO MESURATA
The country said to belong to Tripoli is inhabited by different tribes of Arabs, at some times tributary to, and at others at war with, the Bashaw. The taxes are often levied by force. In the spring, some of these people approach the city, and sow their grain ; they stay to reap it, and then disappear till the spring return. During their residence here, the women weave a dark brown cloth for barracans, and thick webs of goat's hair, which they sell to the Moors. They pitch their tents on the green places of the plain, very near the walls of the city, but may not enter it without leave. Each Arab family has a tent, and a family of distinction has four or five. The cattle are fastened with a rope of straw, in a row,