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To the Bashaw, to the Bey, and to the Court, no doubt these were of great importance—and to those who lived upon the spot, and shared in the dangers, they acquired an artificial magnitude; but they had little or no influence beyond the district to which they were confined, and have now lost even the temporary interest they might formerly have excited. Excepting, therefore, as these are illustrative of the peculiarities of the inhabitants of Tripoli, we shall pass them over; and in our extracts (of which we shall, perhaps, be more liberal than usual) we shall select such matter of curiosity and novelty, relating to the customs of the place, and the manners of the people, as will be most striking and useful at the present moment, and under present impressions. · Some readers will, no doubt, feel disappointment at not finding in this volume so inuch minute intelligence as they could wish, upon the treatment and condition of the Christian slaves at Algiers, Tunis, and Tripoli; but the truth seems to be, that, of all the Barbary powers, that where the author resided was most remarkable for its kindness to its prisoners, and for the regularity of its conducts towards European governments :-it is expressly stated, that but few Christian slaves were kept at Tripoli; that their numbers were not likely to be increased; and that piracy and plunder were little known. It must be admitted, from all we can learn, that the state of Tripoli has to our own day preserved its distinction in this respect. We will quote two parts of this work upon the subject-the first relates more especially to the Christian slaves at Algiers.
“ The Bey's Rais, or captains, are much displeased at the Bashaw having made peace with Spain, as it deprives them of the treasures they were used to make by Spanish prizes and Christian slaves; but indeed this peace raises a particular sensation of joy in the mind of those acquainted with the sufferings of the Christians at Algiers. The captains of the Algerine cruisers, if they are not the sole owners, have always a share in the vessels they command; they cruise where they please; but are obliged, when summoned, to attend the service of the state, in transporting men and provisions at their own expense. They always have on board an experienced officer, appointed by the Dey, without whose consent they can neither give chase, return to Algiers, nor punish the sailors.
« On their return, this officer reports to the Dey the conduct of the captain of the cruiser and his crew, and the captain must deliver immediately an account of his success to the government, which claims an eighth part of the prizes, slaves or merchandize, he bas
Crit. Rev. VOL. IV. August, 1816.
taken. The Christian prisoners are brought to the Dey's palace, where the European consuls repair, in order to examine whether any of them belong to their respective nations: if they do, and are only passengers, they can reclaim them; but if it is proved they have served any nation for pay, who are at war with Algiers, they cannot be released without paying such ransom as the government may set on them. The Dey bas his choice of every eighth, and generally prefers those who are good mechanics to others. The rest, who are left to the owners and captors, are directly led to the besistan, or slave-market, where they are appraised, and a price is fixed upon each person; from whence they are brought back to the court before the Dey's palace, where they are sold by auction, and whatever is bid above the price set upon them belongs to the government. On the spot where they are sold, these unhappy people have an iron ring fastened on their ancle, with a long or short chain, according as they are supposed to be more or less inclined to escape. Instances do happen of their voluntarily, after a time, becoming renegadoes. If any of them can procure money, they are allowed to trade, by paying a high tribute to the Dey; and some in this way subsist, and yet remain in slavery. Those who cannot do this, and know no trade, are used with great severity: they fare ill, and work hard all day, and at night are locked up in public prisons without roofs, where they sleep on the bare ground, exposed to the inclemency of the weather, and they are sometimes almost stifled in mud and water. All slaves must go to the public baguio at night to sleep, unless permitted by favour of the Dev to do otherwise. In town, the slaves are seen at the lowest and hardest kind of work; while, in the coun. try, they are sometimes obliged to draw the plough, instead of horses, and in all other respects treated with such inhumanity as would, even there, be severely punished if exercised on brutes. The Christians at Algiers are permitted to apply for slaves, and hire them as servants; but then they must be answerable for returning them to the government when called for, or pay such a ransom as the Dey may choose to demand for them. Leave is sometimes obtained for the slaves to sleep at the house of their employers, if the Algerines have not been too inuch exasperated agzinst the nation to which the slave belongs.” (p. 75.)
The author some time afterwards mentions an insult offered to the French Vice-consul, by Muli Ysied, son to the Emperor of Morocco, then at Tripoli, which excited the resentment of the Bashaw; and then takes occasion to advert thus to the treatment of the Christians there :
“ You must perceive, by this account, how much better the Christians are treated here than at Algiers ;* and though you are
“ The kingdom of Algiers is bounded on the east by Tunis, on the south by Mount Atias, and on the west by the kingdom of Morocco and Tafilet, This country extends in length 480 miles along the coast of the Mediterra. nean, and is between 40 and 100 miles in breadth.
told, in descriptions given of this place, that it is a piratical state, and the inhabitants live by plundering on the seas, and making great numbers of slaves, I am happy to inform you there are but few Christian slaves at present, who have been here for many years; nor is the number likely to increase. To maintain peace with the different powers of Europe is at present the Bashaw's policy; and the few slaves who were here before the late peace concluded between Spain and Tripoli, did not at all agree with the numbers reported in Europe. The title of the sovereign here is Bashaw; nor are any tributes paid to the Porte, as it is said, by thé sovereign of this place; on the contrary, the Bashaw is seldom called upon by the Grand Sig. nior. No piratical vessels are at present sent to sea against the Christians, and the few slaves here, belonging to nations who are not at peace with the Bashaw, are decently clothed: they walk about the town, on their master's business or their own, with only the restriction of returning within the castle walls, to the bagnio, at sunset, where they are well fed, and are often considerably more in the confidence of their owners than any other dependents.
« I cannot better describe to you the Algerine manners, than from an instance that occurred there not long since, and which shews their treatment of the Christians. At the last peace concluded between France and Algiers, it was agreed that no Algerine corsair should be taken on the coast of France. Previous to the peace made with Spain in 1785, the Neapolitans sunk an Algerine corsair on the coast of France. The moment the news arrived at Algiers, the Dey dispatched his emissaries to the Consulary House, and without giving any notice, or time for defence or explanation, he had the French consul dragged away to tbe common bagnio of slaves. The French sent twenty-one ships to Algiers on this occasion; and the Algerines demanded of the French forty thousand sequins for the injury done them, by the Neapolitans being permitted to take the corsair on their coast. The French dispatched two ships from Algiers to France, for instructions to settle this matter; and sent, according to the Dey's desire, the rest of their ships to Malta, after
« Gezair, or Kessair, is an Arabian word, corrupted from the Latin Cæsaria ; for the city of Algiers is the Julius Cæsaria, formerly the capital of that part of Mauritania called by the Romans Cæsariensis, in order to distinguish it from two other provinces of the same name, which they distingaished by the surnames of Tingatina and Sitifensis.
“ Algiers, the capital of the kingdom, is built on the declivity of a moun. tain, rising in the form of an amphitheatre from the harbour; so that the houses appearing one above another, make a very fine appearance from the sea. The streets are narrow, and serve to keep off the extreme heat of the sun. The mole of the harbour is 500 paces in length, extending from the continent to a small island, where there is a castle and large battery. On the land side, the city is surrounded by rocks, at the foot of which are vast plains, fertile in corn and pasturage. This city is now the richest in all Africa. The number of inhabitants is said to be 100,000 Mahometans, 15,000 Jews, and 4,000 Christian slaves.-D'Herbelot, Biblioth. Oriental. Moreri, Dict. Hist., Le Sage Atlas Hist., Shaw's Travols."
having had their consul liberated, and their trade declared safe from the Algerine corsairs.” (p. 169.)
This is nearly the whole of the separate information upon this interesting subject; and we shall now proceed to other parts of the work, which refer to the nature of the place and of its inhabitants, and to their public and domestic employments-remarking, in the words of the preface, that, & notwithstanding the length of time which has elapsed since the events occurred that are here narrated, yet, as in the parts of Africa to which they refer, the natives neither admit, nor even know of innovations - their manners remaining from age to age invariably the same—this circumstance cannot affect what is related or described.” We are also ussured, and the work contains much internal evidence of the truth of the assertion, that a close intimacy subsisted between the families of Mr. Tully and of the Bashaw Ali Coromali; so that the sister of the former had the best opportunities of detailing with minuteness and accuracy those things of which she was an eye-witness. We will first subjoin an account of Tripoli itself, before we speak of its inhabitants.
“ The houses of the principal people at Tripoli differ from those of Egypt, which, according to the customs of the East, are mostly built three and four stories bigh; here they never exceed one story. You first pass through a sort of hall, or lodge, (called by the Moors a skiffer,) with benches of stone on each side ; from this a staircase leads to a single grand apartment, termed a gulphur, which has (what is not permitted in any other part of the building) windows facing the street. This apartment is sacred to the master of the mansion : here he holds his levy, transacts business, and enjoys convivial parties : none even of his own family dare enter this gulpbor, without his particular leave; and though ihis seems arbitrary, yet a Moorish lady may, in this one instance, be said to equal her lord in power; as he cannot enter his wife's apartments, if he find a pair of lady's slippers on the outside of the door, but must wait till they are removed. Beyond this hall, or lodge, is the court-yard, paved in proportion to the fortune of the owner: some are of a brown cement, resembling finely polished marble; others are of black or white marble, and the poorer houses only stone or earth. The houses, either small or large, in town or country, are built exactly on the same plan. The court-yard is made use of to receive large female companies, entertained by the mistress of the house, upon the celebration of a marriage, or any other great feast; and in cases of death, for funeral ceremonies performed before the deceased is moved to the grave. On these occasions, the floor is covered with mats
and Turkey carpets, and is sheltered from the inclemency or heat of the weather by an awning, covering the whole yard, for which the Moors sometimes incur great expense. Rich silk cushions are laid round for seats, the walls are hung with tapestry, and the whole is converted into a grand sala. This court-yard is surrounded by a cloister, supported by pillars, over which a gallery is erected of the same dimensions, enclosed with a lattice-work of wood. From the cloisters and gallery, doors open into large chambers not communicating with each other, which receive light only from this yard. The windows have no glass, but are furnished with jalousies of wood, curiously cut: these windows produce a gloomy light, being admitted through spaces a quarter of an inch wide, crossed with heavy bars of iron; and looking into an inward court-yard, are well calculated to calm the pertubated mind of the jealous Moor. The tops of the houses, which are all flat, are covered witir plaster or cement, and surrounded by a parapet about a fout high, to prevent any thing from immediately falling into the street. Upon these terraces the Moors dry and prepare their figs, raisins, and dates and date paste. They enjoy on them the refreshing inbat, or sea-breeze, so luxurious after a parching day, and are here seen constantly at sunset offering their devotions to Mahomet; for let a Moor be where he may, when he hears the marabut announce the prayer for sunset, nothing induces him to pass that moment without prostrating himself to the ground; a circumstance singular to Europeans, if they happen to be in company with Moors, or walking through the streets just at that hour. From the terraces the rain-water falis into cisterns beneath the court-yard, which preserves the water from year to year in the highest perfection. No other soft water is to be had in this country. There are ingumerable wells. Fresh water is every where found near the surface of the earth, but all brackish and ill-flavoured.” (p. 25.)
The earlier part of the volume is occupied very much with descriptions of the persons and characters of Lilla, or lady, Kebbeera, the Queen her daughters, the Bashaw, and of other persons about the court, which we omit, be'cause the individuals are now probably all dead, and they do not tend much to the illustration of manners. The subsequent account of the mother of the Queen lying in state, is curious.
“ The mother of Lilla Kebeerra died yesterday at lazero, that is at four o'clock in the afternoon, and was buried at the Moors' high mass or namuz of noon to-day. The account of her demise affected ber daughter so much, that the death of this afflicted sovereign was reported for a short time; which report evidently displayed the high place she possesses in the affections of the Bashaw's subjects.
“ She was this morning escorted from the castle with three of