The Bible in Spain
George Borrow

Part 11 out of 12

was one, could have built up its crags or chiseled the enormous
mass to its present shape.

We dropped anchor not far from the mole. As we expected every
moment to hear the evening gun, after which no person is permitted
to enter the town, I was in trepidation lest I should be obliged to
pass the night on board the dirty Catalan steamer, which, as I had
no occasion to proceed farther in her, I was in great haste to
quit. A boat now drew nigh, with two individuals at the stern, one
of whom, standing up, demanded, in an authoritative voice, the name
of the vessel, her destination and cargo. Upon being answered,
they came on board. After some conversation with the captain, they
were about to depart, when I inquired whether I could accompany
them on shore. The person I addressed was a tall young man, with a
fustian frock coat. He had a long face, long nose, and wide mouth,
with large restless eyes. There was a grin on his countenance
which seemed permanent, and had it not been for his bronzed
complexion, I should have declared him to be a cockney, and nothing
else. He was, however, no such thing, but what is called a rock
lizard, that is, a person born at Gibraltar of English parents.
Upon hearing my question, which was in Spanish, he grinned more
than ever, and inquired, in a strange accent, whether I was a son
of Gibraltar. I replied that I had not that honour, but that I was
a British subject. Whereupon he said that he should make no
difficulty in taking me ashore. We entered the boat, which was
rapidly rowed towards the land by four Genoese sailors. My two
companions chattered in their strange Spanish, he of the fustian
occasionally turning his countenance full upon me, the last grin
appearing ever more hideous than the preceding ones. We soon
reached the quay, where my name was noted down by a person who
demanded my passport, and I was then permitted to advance.

It was now dusk, and I lost no time in crossing the drawbridge and
entering the long low archway which, passing under the rampart,
communicates with the town. Beneath this archway paced with
measured tread, tall red-coated sentinels with shouldered guns.
There was no stopping, no sauntering in these men. There was no
laughter, no exchange of light conversation with the passers by,
but their bearing was that of British soldiers, conscious of the
duties of their station. What a difference between them and the
listless loiterers who stand at guard at the gate of a Spanish
garrisoned town.

I now proceeded up the principal street, which runs with a gentle
ascent along the base of the hill. Accustomed for some months past
to the melancholy silence of Seville, I was almost deafened by the
noise and bustle which reigned around. It was Sunday night, and of
course no business was going on, but there were throngs of people
passing up and down. Here was a military guard proceeding along;
here walked a group of officers, there a knot of soldiers stood
talking and laughing. The greater part of the civilians appeared
to be Spaniards, but there was a large sprinkling of Jews in the
dress of those of Barbary, and here and there a turbaned Moor.
There were gangs of sailors likewise, Genoese, judging from the
patois which they were speaking, though I occasionally
distinguished the sound of "tou logou sas," by which I knew there
were Greeks at hand, and twice or thrice caught a glimpse of the
red cap and blue silken petticoats of the mariner from the Romaic
isles. On still I hurried, till I arrived at a well known
hostelry, close by a kind of square, in which stands the little
exchange of Gibraltar. Into this I ran and demanded lodging,
receiving a cheerful welcome from the genius of the place, who
stood behind the bar, and whom I shall perhaps have occasion
subsequently to describe. All the lower rooms were filled with men
of the rock, burly men in general, with swarthy complexions and
English features, with white hats, white jean jerkins, and white
jean pantaloons. They were smoking pipes and cigars, and drinking
porter, wine and various other fluids, and conversing in the rock
Spanish, or rock English as the fit took them. Dense was the smoke
of tobacco, and great the din of voices, and I was glad to hasten
up stairs to an unoccupied apartment, where I was served with some
refreshment, of which I stood much in need.

I was soon disturbed by the sound of martial music close below my
windows. I went down and stood at the door. A military band was
marshalled upon the little square before the exchange. It was
preparing to beat the retreat. After the prelude, which was
admirably executed, the tall leader gave a flourish with his stick,
and strode forward up the street, followed by the whole company of
noble looking fellows and a crowd of admiring listeners. The
cymbals clashed, the horns screamed, and the kettle-drum emitted
its deep awful note, till the old rock echoed again, and the
hanging terraces of the town rang with the stirring noise:

"Dub-a-dub, dub-a-dub--thus go the drums,
Tantara, tantara, the Englishman comes."

O England! long, long may it be ere the sun of thy glory sink
beneath the wave of darkness! Though gloomy and portentous clouds
are now gathering rapidly around thee, still, still may it please
the Almighty to disperse them, and to grant thee a futurity longer
in duration and still brighter in renown than thy past! Or if thy
doom be at hand, may that doom be a noble one, and worthy of her
who has been styled the Old Queen of the waters! May thou sink, if
thou dost sink, amidst blood and flame, with a mighty noise,
causing more than one nation to participate in thy downfall! Of
all fates, may it please the Lord to preserve thee from a
disgraceful and a slow decay; becoming, ere extinct, a scorn and a
mockery for those selfsame foes who now, though they envy and abhor
thee, still fear thee, nay, even against their will, honour and
respect thee.

Arouse thee, whilst yet there is time, and prepare thee for the
combat of life and death! Cast from thee the foul scurf which now
encrusts thy robust limbs, which deadens their force, and makes
them heavy and powerless! Cast from thee thy false philosophers,
who would fain decry what, next to the love of God, has hitherto
been deemed most sacred, the love of the mother land! Cast from
thee thy false patriots, who, under the. pretext of redressing the
wrongs of the poor and weak, seek to promote internal discord, so
that thou mayest become only terrible to thyself! And remove from
thee the false prophets, who have seen vanity and divined lies; who
have daubed thy wall with untempered mortar, that it may fall; who
see visions of peace where there is no peace; who have strengthened
the hands of the wicked, and made the heart of the righteous sad.
O, do this, and fear not the result, for either shall thy end be a
majestic and an enviable one, or God shall perpetuate thy reign
upon the waters, thou old Queen!

The above was part of a broken prayer for my native land, which,
after my usual thanksgiving, I breathed to the Almighty ere
retiring to rest that Sunday night at Gibraltar.


The Jolly Hosteler--Aspirants for Glory--A Portrait--Hamalos--
Solomons--An Expedition--The Yeoman Soldier--The Excavations--The
Pull by the Skirt--Judah and his Father--Judah's Pilgrimage--The
Bushy Beard--The False Moors--Judah and the King's Son--Premature
Old Age.

Perhaps it would have been impossible to have chosen a situation
more adapted for studying at my ease Gibraltar and its inhabitants,
than that which I found myself occupying about ten o'clock on the
following morning. Seated on a small bench just opposite the bar,
close by the door, in the passage of the hostelry at which I had
taken up my temporary abode, I enjoyed a view of the square of the
exchange and all that was going on there, and by merely raising my
eyes, could gaze at my leisure on the stupendous hill which towers
above the town to an altitude of some thousand feet. I could
likewise observe every person who entered or left the house, which
is one of great resort, being situated in the most-frequented place
of the principal thoroughfare of the town. My eyes were busy and
so were my ears. Close beside me stood my excellent friend
Griffiths, the jolly hosteler, of whom I take the present
opportunity of saying a few words, though I dare say he has been
frequently described before, and by far better pens. Let those who
know him not figure to themselves a man of about fifty, at least
six feet in height, and weighing some eighteen stone, an
exceedingly florid countenance and good features, eyes full of
quickness and shrewdness, but at the same time beaming with good
nature. He wears white pantaloons, white frock, and white hat, and
is, indeed, all white, with the exception of his polished
Wellingtons and rubicund face. He carries a whip beneath his arm,
which adds wonderfully to the knowingness of his appearance, which
is rather more that of a gentleman who keeps an inn on the
Newmarket road, "purely for the love of travellers, and the money
which they carry about them," than of a native of the rock.
Nevertheless, he will tell you himself that he is a rock lizard;
and you will scarcely doubt it when, besides his English, which is
broad and vernacular, you hear him speak Spanish, ay, and Genoese
too, when necessary, and it is no child's play to speak the latter,
which I myself could never master. He is a good judge of horse-
flesh, and occasionally sells a "bit of a blood," or a Barbary
steed to a young hand, though he has no objection to do business
with an old one; for there is not a thin, crouching, liver-faced
lynx-eyed Jew of Fez capable of outwitting him in a bargain: or
cheating him out of one single pound of the fifty thousand sterling
which he possesses; and yet ever bear in mind that he is a good-
natured fellow to those who are disposed to behave honourably to
him, and know likewise that he will lend you money, if you are a
gentleman, and are in need of it; but depend upon it, if he refuse
you, there is something not altogether right about you, for
Griffiths knows HIS WORLD, and is not to be made a fool of.

There was a prodigious quantity of porter consumed in my presence
during the short hour that I sat on the bench of that hostelry of
the rock. The passage before the bar was frequently filled with
officers, who lounged in for a refreshment which the sultry heat of
the weather rendered necessary, or at least inviting; whilst not a
few came galloping up to the door on small Barbary horses, which
are to be found in great abundance at Gibraltar. All seemed to be
on the best terms with the host, with whom they occasionally
discussed the merits of particular steeds, and whose jokes they
invariably received with unbounded approbation. There was much in
the demeanour and appearance of these young men, for the greater
part were quite young, which was highly interesting and agreeable.
Indeed, I believe it may be said of English officers in general,
that in personal appearance, and in polished manners, they bear the
palm from those of the same class over the world. True it is, that
the officers of the royal guard of Russia, especially of the three
noble regiments styled the Priberjensky, Simeonsky, and Finlansky
polks might fearlessly enter into competition in almost all points
with the flower of the British army; but it must be remembered,
that those regiments are officered by the choicest specimens of the
Sclavonian nobility, young men selected expressly for the splendour
of their persons, and for the superiority of their mental
endowments; whilst, probably, amongst all the fair-haired Angle-
Saxons youths whom I now saw gathered near me, there was not a
single one of noble ancestry, nor of proud and haughty name; and
certainly, so far from having been selected to flatter the pride
and add to the pomp of a despot, they had been taken
indiscriminately from a mass of ardent aspirants for military
glory, and sent on their country's service to a remote and
unhealthy colony. Nevertheless, they were such as their country
might be proud of, for gallant boys they looked, with courage on
their brows, beauty and health on their cheeks, and intelligence in
their hazel eyes.

Who is he who now stops before the door without entering, and
addresses a question to my host, who advances with a respectful
salute? He is no common man, or his appearance belies him
strangely. His dress is simple enough; a Spanish hat, with a
peaked crown and broad shadowy brim--the veritable sombrero--jean
pantaloons and blue hussar jacket;--but how well that dress becomes
one of the most noble-looking figures I ever beheld. I gazed upon
him with strange respect and admiration as he stood benignantly
smiling and joking in good Spanish with an impudent rock rascal,
who held in his hand a huge bogamante, or coarse carrion lobster,
which he would fain have persuaded him to purchase. He was almost
gigantically tall, towering nearly three inches above the burly
host himself, yet athletically symmetrical, and straight as the
pine tree of Dovrefeld. He must have counted eleven lustres, which
cast an air of mature dignity over a countenance which seemed to
have been chiseled by some Grecian sculptor, and yet his hair was
black as the plume of the Norwegian raven, and so was the moustache
which curled above his well-formed lip. In the garb of Greece, and
in the camp before Troy, I should have taken him for Agamemnon.
"Is that man a general?" said I to a short queer-looking personage,
who sat by my side, intently studying a newspaper. "That
gentleman," he whispered in a lisping accent, "is, sir, the
Lieutenant-Governor of Gibraltar."

On either side outside the door, squatting on the ground, or
leaning indolently against the walls, were some half dozen men of
very singular appearance. Their principal garment was a kind of
blue gown, something resembling the blouse worn by the peasants of
the north of France, but not so long; it was compressed around
their waists by a leathern girdle, and depended about half way down
their thighs. Their legs were bare, so that I had an opportunity
of observing the calves, which appeared unnaturally large. Upon
the head they wore small skull-caps of black wool. I asked the
most athletic of these men, a dark-visaged fellow of forty, who
they were. He answered, "hamalos." This word I knew to be Arabic,
in which tongue it signifies a porter; and, indeed, the next
moment, I saw a similar fellow staggering across the square under
an immense burden, almost sufficient to have broken the back of a
camel. On again addressing my swarthy friend, and enquiring whence
he came, he replied, that he was born at Mogadore, in Barbary, but
had passed the greatest part of his life at Gibraltar. He added,
that he was the "capitaz," or head man of the "hamalos" near the
door. I now addressed him in the Arabic of the East, though with
scarcely the hope of being understood, more especially as he had
been so long from his own country. He however answered very
pertinently, his lips quivering with eagerness, and his eyes
sparkling with joy, though it was easy to perceive that the Arabic,
or rather the Moorish, was not the language in which he was
accustomed either to think or speak. His companions all gathered
round and listened with avidity, occasionally exclaiming, when
anything was said which they approved of: "Wakhud rajil shereef
hada, min beled bel scharki." (A holy man this from the kingdoms
of the East.) At last I produced the shekel, which I invariably
carry about me as a pocket-piece, and asked the capitaz whether he
had ever seen that money before. He surveyed the censer and olive-
branch for a considerable time, and evidently knew not what to make
of it. At length he fell to inspecting the characters round about
it on both sides, and giving a cry, exclaimed to the other hamalos:
"Brothers, brothers, these are the letters of Solomon. This silver
is blessed. We must kiss this money." He then put it upon his
head, pressed it to his eyes, and finally kissed it with enthusiasm
as did successively all his brethren. Then regaining it, he
returned it to me, with a low reverence. Griffiths subsequently
informed me, that the fellow refused to work during all the rest of
the day, and did nothing but smile, laugh, and talk to himself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

"Que Dios remate tu nombre," exclaimed the Mulatto; "may Allah blot
out your name, Joanna, and may he likewise blot out that of your
maid Johar. It is more than fifteen minutes that I have been
seated here, after having poured out into the tinaja the water
which I brought from the fountain, and during all that time I have
waited in vain for one single word of civility from yourself or
from Johar. Usted no tiene modo, you have no manner with you, nor
more has Johar. This is the only house in Tangier where I am not
received with fitting love and respect, and yet I have done more
for you than for any other person. Have I not filled your tinaja
with water when other people have gone without a drop? When even
the consul and the interpreter of the consul had no water to slake
their thirst, have you not had enough to wash your wustuddur? And
what is my return? When I arrive in the heat of the day, I have
not one kind word spoken to me, nor so much as a glass of makhiah
offered to me; must I tell you all that I do for you, Joanna?
Truly I must, for you have no manner with you. Do I not come every
morning just at the third hour; and do I not knock at your door;
and do you not arise and let me in, and then do I not knead your
bread in your presence, whilst you lie in bed, and because I knead
it, is not yours the best bread in Tangier? For am I not the
strongest man in Tangier, and the most noble also?" Here he
brandished his barrel over his head, and his face looked almost
demoniacal. "Hear me, Joanna," he continued, "you know that I am
the strongest man in Tangier, and I tell you again, for the
thousandth time, that I am the most noble. Who are the consuls?
Who is the Pasha? They are pashas and consuls now, but who were
their fathers? I know not, nor do they. But do I not know who my
fathers were? Were they not Moors of Garnata (Granada), and is it
not on that account that I am the strongest man in Tangier? Yes, I
am of the old Moors of Garnata, and my family has lived here, as is
well known, since Garnata was lost to the Nazarenes, and now I am
the only one of my family of the blood of the old Moors in all this
land, and on that account I am of nobler blood than the sultan, for
the sultan is not of the blood of the Moors of Garnata. Do you
laugh, Joanna? Does your maid Johar laugh? Am I not Hammin
Widdir, el hombre mas valido de Tanger? And is it not true that I
am of the blood of the Moors of Garnata? Deny it, and I will kill
you both, you and your maid Johar."

"You have been eating hashish and majoon, Hammin," said Joanna
Correa, "and the Shaitan has entered into you, as he but too
frequently does. I have been busy, and so has Johar, or we should
have spoken to you before; however, mai doorshee (it does not
signify), I know how to pacify you now and at all times, will you
take some gin-bitters, or a glass of common makhiah?"

"May you burst, O Joanna," said the Mulatto, "and may Johar also
burst; I mean, may you both live many years, and know neither pain
nor sorrow. I will take the gin-bitters, O Joanna, because they
are stronger than the makhiah, which always appears to me like
water; and I like not water, though I carry it. Many thanks to
you, Joanna, here is health to you, Joanna, and to this good

She had handed him a large tumbler filled to the brim; he put it to
his nostrils, snuffled in the flavour, and then applying it to his
mouth, removed it not whilst one drop of the fluid remained. His
features gradually relaxed from their former angry expression, and
looking particularly amiable at Joanna, he at last said:

"I hope that within a little time, O Joanna, you will be persuaded
that I am the strongest man in Tangier, and that I am sprung from


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