My Life Story by Emily Keene Shareefa of Wazan












(All rights reserved)

. .v






No one can know the Shareefa of Wazan and fail to
be impressed by her. Those who have known her
long, and are acquainted with the way in which she
acted, in a position somewhat difficult, during the first
years of her married life, are filled with admiration for
her tact.

All her friends know her kindliness ; but few of
them suspected that she had the power to have
produced so interesting a book.

Some one has said (Jcul baz, the Arabs have it)
that every one has a good book in the recesses of his
heart, if he will only but sit down and write. The
production of the one good book does not of course
constitute its producer a writer in the strict sense of
the word. Two things are necessary to him who has
the one good book in his stomach, as the French say
humour and simpleness of heart. The Shareefa cer-
tainly has both, together with a power of observation
quite beyond the common run.

Our countrymen and countrywomen seldom are
natural either in writing or in speech.

In fact, so rare is perfect naturalness to English-
men, that it is commonly considered to be affectation,
by those who have been affected all their lives.

In what part of the world is to be heard the high,
throaty voice, that makes all foreigners turn round
and smile, except amongst ourselves ?



Where does the pen weary itself with strings of
adjectives more than in English current literature ?

Luckily, from all these tricks the Shareefa of
Wazan is free. She writes just as she speaks, quite
naturally, and is not troubled with any fine-spun
theories about the people amongst whom she has
passed the best years of her life.

Wonderful to relate, she does not patronise the
x Creator of the Moors and herself by setting forth
the difference between them and his own Englishmen.
Neither does she seem to consider that she was sent
into the world to remedy God’s faults. She writes
about the Moors as of her fellow human beings, and
treats them as of a similar nature, essence, tempera-
ment, and being as herself.

Would to Allah that all would do the same. Most
people must have been struck, at one time or another,
by the superficiality of the majority of books upon the

Even those who, it might be thought, would have
known better, say little but of their exterior, their
clothes, type, bearing, and their religious bigotry,
unconscious that the latter quality so much resembles
that of those who write about them.

That kind of narrative produces the so-called
” picturesque ” book of travels, and can be written just
as well after a week as after twenty years of residence.

At the first sight you see that the Shareefa writes
upon a higher plane. Married in her youth to a Moorish
gentleman of high and sacred * rank, all her book is
devoted to the interior aspects of Moorish life, seen
by a woman, and therefore much more intimate than
any such work could be if written by a man. Even

1 A direct descendant of the Prophet in the Eddrisi line.


Doughty’ s great epic of Arabia has to yield in some
respects to this plain narrative of daily life written so
simply and in such good faith, by the Shareefa of
Wazan. Doughty, with all his genius, fortitude and
literary skill, gives us at best only one side of life
amongst Mohammedans. It may be said the same
applies to the Shareefa’s book. That of course is so :
but it is just the side so few non-Moslems ever pene-
trate, that she lays bare.

We see her a young wife, timid amongst the Euro-
peans of the place, only at home (at that time) with
the Moors, of whose language she hardly knew a word,
and we are lost in admiration, both of her confidence
adaptability, and of their real kindness of heart.

Not once in all her book does she touch on the
difference of faith in her own house, but seems to feel,
like a good wife, a proper pride in the great estimation
in which she saw her husband held by his compatriots.

The position that he occupied was similar to that
held by the Popes when they enjoyed the temporal
power, but with an added sanctity derived from his
descent as a Shareef.

All these Shareefian families in Morocco are held
in much respect, but as a general rule their material
position adds to the esteem felt for them, and for long
ages the Shorfa of Wazan had all been very rich.

The position in which the Shareefa found herself
was difficult enough.

On one side were the Moors, naturally jealous at
the entrance of a foreigner into the native life. Upon
the other were the Europeans, all striving to enlist her
husband on their side, for in those days the French
were working by degrees towards that position in
Morocco which they have since attained.


Young, and with few to help, and none to guide her
steps, she steered her course with admirable tact, avoid-
ing every shoal. Perhaps her youth was her best ally,
for she appears to have had few prejudices of race or
education, much charm of manner, and an unfailing
fund of spirit and of health.

Withal, she had a special power of observation,
and either must have kept exhaustive diaries, or must
possess a memory of most unusual accuracy.

All the events of her innumerable journeys are set
down with a vividness quite photographic, and her re-
marks on what she saw are accurate and just. Inevit-
ably, as must occur to every person of imagination, we
see her as her narrative proceeds becoming influenced
in some respects by those she lived with, though her
strong native sense never deserts her in the affairs of
life. She talks about a vision that she had or thinks
she had, for all is one, so that the impression made
upon the mind be keen enough. Yet a few pages
further on, after conversing with some educated Moors,
she remarks, had there been but a young Turkish Party
in those days, we might have had its counterpart
amongst the Moors.

This shows that she saw further than did the dip-
lomatic body in Tangier, a thing not wonderful, for
by the exercise of that profession, calling, pastime, or
what you choose to call it, men’s eyes become like those
of fish born in a subterranean river, prominent and to
appearance perfectly well formed, but not designed for

Through the whole book we see, although she never
tells us of it directly, the evidences of her patience and
her tact. Now, without patience, nothing can be done
amongst the Moors.


Any one who has known them or any other Orientals,
know this is a truism. Hurry is the devil, is a saying
that Orientals both understand and act upon. Even in
Spain, where, as the Shareefa truly says, there have re-
mained so many Oriental traits, to hurry any one is the
worst of insults you can give. I almost think, keen
as most Spaniards are at a bargain, that they prefer to
lose it, than to have their terms acceded with a per-
emptory ” all right.” The mania for explanation is
extraordinary both in Spain and the East. It has re-
mained in Europe only amongst diplomats and kings.
To be as tedious as a king, most people think was a
bad joke of Shakespeare’s, but I believe it was a simple
fact that he enunciated. You cannot contradict a
king, or cut him short when he advances something
that he knows to be untrue, hence he becomes so
tedious, as that wag Shakespeare says.

All Orientals seem tedious to us, and without doubt
we all seem rude and barbarous to them.

Hence the great need for patience, and the Shareefa
must have possessed it to an extraordinary degree.
When we read of the hardships that she underwent,
the journeys, that an ordinary man does in three days,
spun out to eight or ten, and even then protracted by
the multitudes of tribesmen who used to congregate
to welcome her husband and herself, one guesses what
she underwent. We Occidentals, whose minds are
occupied with fifty things all of the first importance,
as polo, aviation, the Polar expedition (always in pro-
gress with the best advertisement), the size of ladies’
hats, some new religion or divorce case and the like,
are always anxious to arrive at some place or another,
so as not to lose our grip on any of the matters to
which I have referred. The Oriental, on the other


hand, is only occupied with life : the sun, the rain, the
stars (how many of us gaze upon the stars, except a
Government official now and then), love, and the con-
dition of his horse, his petty bargains, prayers, hatreds,
and jealousies, are what take up his thoughts. He
lives for life, and we for things exterior, sometimes
superfluous and always rather of the body than the
mind. The Oriental thinks for the sake of thinking ;
we to apply our thoughts to something that we call

Each way is best for those who use it, but our
method has resulted in making us dependent on a
million external things, of which the Oriental takes
no count.

Into this careless, metaphysical, but at the same
time material world, the Shareefa of Wazan, then a
young and attractive girl, was flung or flung herself,
at twenty years of age.

She found herself amongst a people who, when
they hate, kill if they can ; of women, who when they
quarrel, poison each other if they get a chance ; and
a society in which the vices that we in Europe prac-
tise secretly, are hardly covered with a veil. How
many times she must have gone in danger of her life,
she does not tell us, although we feel her danger in
the pages of her book.

A European woman, say in Wazan, or in some far-
off zowia, 1 even in her own house in Tangier, crammed
full with native women and with slaves, what would
have been more easy than to murder her, and throw
her body down a well? We must remember that
she entered into Oriental life, having made three

1 A zowia is the house of a Shareef. Sometimes a mosque is
attached to it.


determined enemies of the ladies her husband had

Still, by degrees she made friends of them all,
and of their families, though in a measure her children
enjoyed most of the father’s love.

The wealth of folk-lore scattered up and down the
book, indicates not only her perfect knowledge of the
people with whom she passed her life, but what is
more than that, her sympathy.

In no one instance does she comment on or diagnose
any one of the proverbs, saws, or adages she quotes,
but uses them exactly as she would have done had she
been born a Moor.

In fact her sympathy is the most striking of her
qualities. Her collection, in the Appendix, of cookery
recipes, folk medicine, and such lore, shows perhaps
a more extended knowledge of the subject than is
displayed in any book with which I am acquainted,
dealing with Moorish life. Her many friends for
years have urged her to set down all she has seen and
learned in her long residence amongst the Moors, and
now that she has done so, she has produced a book
which for simplicity and truth is bound to take high

She finishes as naturally as she begins, and leaves
us wondering what she might have written had it
been possible for one in her position, placed as she
is with one foot in each camp, to set down all she
knows, both of the worst and of the best of the strange
life that she has lived for the last thirty years.



THANKS to my good friend Mr. Cunninghame Graham,
there is no occasion for me to comment in the cus-
tomary editorial fashion upon the strange story it has
been my privilege to introduce to the reading public.
He has undertaken the task, and fulfilled it as he
alone can. But I feel it is necessary in justice to the
Shareefa of Wazan to explain the circumstances under
which this story of her career in Morocco has been
published. A year or more has passed since she wrote
to ask if I would prepare for the press the story of her
strange life ; her circle is a very large one, and many
friends had urged her to give a permanent form to the
stories she has told so often in her own house. With
delightful frankness and a measure of confidence no
less engaging, she placed in my hands a very complete
record, asking me so to deal with it that nothing
might hurt the living or throw any shadow upon the
memory of the dead. The peculiar delicacy of her
situation, together with the kindness and affection of
the Moors towards one who came to them as a stranger
in a strange land, had to be taken into account and
were an effective bar to any revelation of a sensational

Reading the manuscript, it seemed to me that there
was little to do save to cancel all that was better left
unsaid, and to leave the rest substantially as Madame
de Wazan had written it. She was prompt to admit


that her pen is absolutely untrained, but this defect
has its qualities. Hers is a human document, the
partial record of a woman who has seen and suffered
much. No literary polish would improve this simple
earnestness so rarely to be found in an age of universal
bookmaking, and the plain unsophisticated narrative
of a life that stands by itself in the annals of our time
should not fail to appeal beyond the circle of Madame
de Wazan’s personal friends. She has expressed her-
self fully satisfied with my rather stringent application
of the blue pencil, which, while it has excised much
that was intimate and personal, has left, I hope, enough
to enable the book to claim a place, however modest,
in the record of remarkable lives.


September 1911.




















HEBA 125





*vii b






















A FAMILY GROUP IN 1911 . . . . Frontispiece
POWDER-PLAY AT TANGIER . . . .To face page 18


COUNTRY . . /. .











WAZAN (1898) 260



(1904) To face page 276








” WOULD the marriage take place ? ” was a question
asked by many in Tangier during the early part of
the winter of 1872-73. All doubts were set at rest by
a notice posted at the British Consulate the publica-
tion of the banns, in fact. My father and mother had
accompanied me from England, also my future hus-
band’s friend and secretary, who went with me to
London to obtain my parents’ consent to my marriage
with the Shareef of Wazan. It was a difficult matter,
and family opposition was strong on all sides. On
15th January 1873, two public notaries (natives)
waited on my father at the Hotel. Most unwillingly
he gave his final consent, and the contract, which I
had drawn up, was accepted by the notaries on behalf
of the Shareef: the only question put to me was
whether my father was my representative in the
present instance. I replied in the affirmative, and
the deed being executed, I was now the Shareef s wife
in Mohammedan law. He was much amused when I
told him that such might be the case, but I had not
yet obtained a husband.

The 17th January 1873 was a lovely morning.

Very early my father came into my room, and made a



last appeal to me, telling me that, if I wished to
retract even then, many friends were ready to help
me to get on board a vessel then in the Bay, and a
disguise could be easily obtained. His arguments,
however, were futile ; I said that I had made a promise
and was quite prepared to fulfil it, let the issue be for
my future happiness or otherwise. I put on my
riding habit of dark blue cloth, a hat of semi-brigand
shape, with a long white ostrich feather. The feather
rested on my hair, which by the Shareefs express
desire was allowed to fall loose down my back and was
tied with a knot of red ribbon, the Moorish national
colour. The ribbon, had been sent to me by my future
husband. I had told him it was not customary to wear
the hair dressed in that way, but I had to give way,
and after all what did it matter, if I pleased him ? At
the door of the Hotel, a handsome chestnut horse,
with three ” white stockings ” and a white face, awaited
me, also a bran new saddle and bridle d, I’Anglaise, a
red saddle-cloth edged with two-inch gold lace, a
riding-whip mounted in silver, and a spur, gifts from
the Shareef. Two retainers were there to attend me.
My mother and father walked the short distance to
the British Legation, for at that time no carriages were
used in Tangier, I did not look about me, though I
heard afterwards that crowds followed the little pro-
cession, and the roofs of the neighbouring houses were
covered with spectators. The Shareef had already
arrived, and Sir John Hay Drummond Hay immedi-
ately put the usual questions to the contracting parties
in a civil marriage. In less than five minutes we
were pronounced man and wife. One of the witnesses
who signed the register was a high officer of the
British fleet (Rear-Admiral R. J. MacDonald), the


other was H.B.M’s. Consul at Tangier, my friend
Mr. H. P. White.

After receiving the congratulations of the company,
my husband escorted me to the Hotel, and, leaving
me to change into the costume I should wear at the
wedding breakfast, went off to mosque for his devo-
tions, as it happened to be Friday, the Mohammedan
Sabbath. He told me he would return in half-an-
hour. I believe that over sixty guests were present,
and the huge wedding cake, a present from my god-
father, was cut with due ceremony. A few toasts
were proposed and responded to by my father. After
this I retired once more to don my habit, and accom-
pany my husband to his house. In the hall of the
Hotel the soldiers of the different Legations were
drawn up, and it was a pretty sight to see them, in
their uniforms of various colours, saluting as we
passed. No small addition to the picturesqueness of
the scene were the British sailors from the man-of-
war then in the Bay. They cheered lustily, and
also assisted in the avalanche of rice and slippers
with which we were pelted at the start, much to the
amusement of the crowds assembled in front of the
Hotel. The Moors were puzzled to know the meaning
of this, and the Shareef remarked that he had sufficient
rice in the hood of his cloak to make a meal of!

Next day all the Moorish notables were invited
to luncheon, the Sultan’s representative, the Basha
of the town, the Administrators of Customs, and others
were invited. Introduction to all these was more
than trying, for it was the first time that a Moslem’s
wife had been presented to the public. I could not
reply to their salutations except by a smile ; for not
a word of Arabic did I know. Imagination supplied


what they might be saying. Later on a Frenchman,
a friend of my husband’s, arrived, and helped me to
a little conversation, for he spoke the dialect fluently.

When I rode out for the first time after my
marriage, people crowded round the mounting- stone
to kiss my husband’s hand or garments, pushing by
me to do so, whereupon the Shareef said, through
his secretary, that whoever ignored me must ignore
him. For thirty-seven years that remonstrance has
been effective.

Who, then, was this man who has fascinated me ?
I used to meet him coming from town, or returning
to the mountain, where I was staying with friends, and
at length I learnt that it was the Grand Shareef of
Wazan, but that did not convey much to me. 1 made
a closer acquaintance at some musical soirees, which
he attended. I certainly thought I liked him, he
was so different from the few other Moors I had met,
but the idea of marriage never crossed my mind ; in
fact, until he proposed, I did not realise that he con-
templated doing so. Thanking him for the honour,
I refused on the ground of religion, and also because
although I admired him, admiration was not love of
the kind that should end in partnership for life. He
gave me a month to reconsider my decision, and started
for Wazan to attend the marriage of his two sons.
His absence taught me that I really cared for him
more than I had thought, and such being the case
I made further inquiries. A Consul-General, a great
friend of the Shareef’s, told me who he was and of
his European predilections; how he was determined
to marry a European, and had even divorced his
Mohammedan wives to attain that end. I learned
that the Shareef was a lineal descendant of the Prophet


Mohammed in fact in a more direct line than the
reigning Sultan of Morocco, and that his social position
admitted his taking a European wife, to which may
be added that the Koran acknowledged such unions.
It was not until I had persuaded myself that life would
be impossible without him, that I made these personal
inquiries, for I had no one to make them for me. On
receiving a third letter from the Shareef from Wazan,
I decided to accept him, whereupon, in order to
communicate with my family in England, he returned
to Tangier before his sons’ wedding festivities were


AFTER the first few days of married life, I took courage,
and thought to put a little European order into my
new home. My private apartments were not difficult to
rearrange, but the gaudiness of the furniture, though of
the best, was trying. However, I subdued the effect
with some antimacassars, and when I had made some
necessary changes, such as turning a wardrobe out of
the drawing-room, and other little innovations of the
kind, I made what I thought a cosier room. The
Shareef always seconded me in my reforms. My
household consisted of an English maid I had brought
from England, a Spanish cook, and two Moorish
women for my personal service, and as many more as
I liked to requisition, for the house was full of women
of all kinds.

To a Shareef s house, which is a Sanctuary, rich and
poor flock to be assisted in their different troubles.
These refugees and suitors would remain for varying
periods, from a few hours to some months, according to
the time their affairs take to arrange. A mother or
wife might be pleading for a son or husband in prison,
another might be seeking redress for cruelty from some
member of the family, another might have been un-
justly imprisoned by Government officials. There we
saw the litigant, the deserted wife, the sick, the barren
woman, all seeking consolation by blessings. Once the


suppliants have taken Sanctuary, all these matters have
to be taken in hand by the head of the house, and
inquiries must be made as to the authenticity of the
several clients’ demands. Letters to the Sultan for in-
tercession seldom failed to ameliorate the condition
of the person concerned, and interviews by proxy
with local authorities, European and Mohammedan,
were of daily occurrence. Food and lodging had to
be supplied to all those who sought Sanctuary pending
the solution of their grievances. Offerings generally
in kind are brought by some people. There may or
not be a surplus, consequently one’s banking account
is always at the mercy of sudden applicants for some
form of assistance. This custom has existed from time
immemorial, and to ignore it would be death to the
prestige of the Wazan Shareefs, whose influence is
so powerful from one end of the Moorish Empire to
the other. To-day the problem is a difficult one ; there
is no diminution in the several Shareefs’ prestige, their
personal influence is as great as ever, the people
still crowd for assistance, but few bring the substantial
offerings of the past to maintain themselves during
their temporary residence at the Sanctuary. A Sha-
reef travelling in this direction may dump himself
down on you with his retainers, whether he has come
on business or pleasure. In any case the Sanctuary
is bound to supply him with food and lodging accord-
ing to his rank. Three days is supposed to be the
limit of these visits, and the only method of giving
them a hint that you are embarrassed by their
presence is to diminish the quantity and quality of
their food. Even then there are some too dense to
take the hint. In the Shareefs lifetime barley was
supplied to the animals of notables, but since his


death I gradually omitted that, and now only in very
extreme cases do I give sufficient for saddle-horses or
mules as the case may be. But for the unsolicited
offerings, it would be impossible to keep up a custom
extending over thirteen hundred years.

The foregoing has been rather a digression, but the
inner workings of a Zowia, or Sanctuary, belonging to
the religious community, is so little understood, that I
considered a short explanation necessary, especially as
some not over-generous comments have been made on
the subject.

During the first few weeks of my marriage almost
daily excursions were made. The Shareef had a large
orange garden near the town’of Tangier, and thither we
proceeded, lunch being sent on after us. I admired
the gardener’s baby son, and the mother made me
understand that it belonged to the Shareef. I was so
taken aback that I hastily returned the child to its
parent, and went and sat under an orange tree and
wept. At first I did not reply to the Shareef s inquiries
for the reason of my tears ; on second thoughts, I put
on rather an injured air and told him what I had dis-
covered. He was much amused, and told me I had
much to learn regarding the little episode. Forthwith
he explained to me how barren women, or those wish-
ing for a son, came to the Zowia or Sanctuary for his
prayers and intercession with God to grant the wishes
of the supplicant. Faith, he said, was a powerful force
in the Mohammedan religion, and that for that reason
the Shorfa (plural for Shareef) were approached on
divers requests, the sanctity of their lineage making
them Saints. The gardener’s wife had five daughters,
and, by wearing an amulet the Shareef had directed to
be given to her, she had, for her sixth child, borne a


son ; consequently he belonged to the Zowia or Sanc-
tuary. I don’t think I was convinced just then. My
complete ignorance of the inner workings of my sur-
roundings started me thinking, and gave me an
impetus to learn Arabic; for I fully recognised that
unless I could master that language, the manners and
customs would be a closed book to me for ever. I was
to live in the midst of Moors for the term of my natural
life, and the sooner I could understand all that was
being said around me, the better for me. The Shareef
helped, and in a few months words became distinguish-
able ; at the end of the year small sentences could be
used by me, and then there seemed no progress. I was
in despair of ever acquiring the language until a woman
related tales to me, in the style of the ” Thousand and
One Nights and a Night,” and helped me considerably
in attaining the different modes of expression. A note-
book in which I jotted down unfamiliar words, after-
wards explained by my husband, was of great assistance.
As for writing, I acquired that in a slight degree, but
am afraid I neglected to devote myself seriously to the
art. A secretary, ever at my command for whatever
little correspondence I might have in Arabic, caused me
to be rather careless in that respect. To-day I speak
fluently the Tangerine dialect, but the purity of my
accent leaves much to be desired, and caused amuse-
ment to my grandchildren. I am sometimes guilty of
grammatical errors, but I must know the language pretty
thoroughly, or I should not find myself thinking uncon-
sciously in the same, and my dreams are often in that
direction too.

I knew the Shareef had a little daughter of some
six summers named Lalla Heba (the Lady Hebe), who
was motherless. Before my marriage my husband had


promised to bring me this child, but as she did not
come from Wazan as soon as I thought she ought, I
found her father thought she was better where she
was, as he did not want me to be troubled with the
care of her. Still, when he saw I was really anxious
to have the little girl, she was sent for. Arriving in
a closed litter with numerous attendants, I went to
the door to meet her. I was shocked to see such a
frail piece of humanity, and thought she would not
remain with us long. I took her in my arms and
carried her upstairs ; she was practically unconscious,
and in high fever. I learned she had been suffering
from malarial fever for three months, and was so
emaciated that her bones seemed almost to come
through her skin.

With my mother’s aid the little girl was nursed
back to health and strength, and at the Shareef s
instigation I procured her some European clothing.
This was a mistake, and was much resented by the
household, though at the time I was ignorant of the
offence, for no one dared to show their objections to
the innovations in the child’s wardrobe. In surpris-
ingly quick time she mastered her letters, took a
decided interest in the piano. Suddenly the child’s
intelligence seemed to disappear ; she became exceed-
ingly dense. I was disappointed and hurt, and could
obtain no satisfaction from her father as to the cause
of the change. It must be known that his daughter
was practically a stranger to him and to me ; there
seemed no real parental interest such as I understood
should be ; nevertheless he was kind and affectionate
to her in his way. The lessons gradually fell through,
and the Shareef advised me to discontinue them for
a time at least. I know he was disappointed, Years


after I learned from Lalla Heba herself what she
suffered from her entourage. They taunted her, say-
ing she was being converted to Christianity, for her
adoption of European customs was interpreted by her
ignorant attendants as the first steps towards changing
her religion. At this time my complete unfamiliarity
with the Arabic language prohibited such a course, and
since becoming in a way proficient, I have never
attempted to force my views on the Mohammedans,
have always replied guardedly to queries put at various
periods on religious subjects, and to this day avoid all
controversies of a religious nature, though I have often
rebuked those who were not keeping the tenets of the
faith they professed. My remonstrances, I ought to say,
have always been taken kindly.

Soon after I was established in my new home the
Shareef’s two sons, by a former wife, came from Wazan
to offer their congratulations to their father on his
marriage. They had an enormous retinue, and kept
the town lively for a few days. The elder, Muley Alarbi,
did not prepossess me at all in his favour. He looked
things unutterable, and I know was rebuked by his
father for the attitude he had taken up. He was no
favourite of his father’s at that time, and was in no small
way responsible for the great unpleasantness experienced
by the Shareef from the Court of Morocco. Muley
Mohammed was just the opposite, a remarkably in-
telligent-looking lad of about seventeen summers, adored
by all, and his father’s favourite. His demeanour
towards me was the most cordial, and continued ever
the same up to his death, which took place three years
after his father’s demise (Oct. 19, 1895). My visits to
Wazan were always a pleasure, for Muley Mohammed
did his utmost to make me as comfortable as possible.


Visiting Wazan on private business almost immediately
after becoming a widow, I was quite overcome by the
kindness and consideration this step-son showed me,
even to the extent of offering to build me a European
house and furnish it to suit my taste, if I would consent
to reside some months in the year with them. He
assured me that during my residence all would be sub-
servient to my will. It was kindly meant, but at the
same time I thought it more prudent to remain in
Tangier. The hostile attitude of Muley Alarbi sub-
sided to a great extent as years went on, and we were
good friends, especially as I did him some real service
on more than one occasion.



AT that period there was not much distraction in
Tangier society, and the evenings were generally de-
voted by us to music. The Shareef loved his violin,
and although he held the instrument like a ‘cello he
played well, and taught me many Moorish and Spanish
airs, which I accompanied on the piano. He had a
lovely tenor voice which would have made a fortune
if it could have been cultivated. On Sundays the
English Church service was read at the British Lega-
tion. Chairs were placed in rows in the hall, a
harmonium was upstairs in the gallery, and here the
Shareef sat while I was at my devotions.

I had scarcely been married a month when the
Shareef told me that we must repair to the French
Legation, as, from certain letters he had received, the
Sultan, Sidi Mohammed ben Abdurhaman, was making
himself more than objectionable in consequence of
our marriage. We remained at the Legation for some
time, four or five days. A series of indirect persecutions
had been going on, and the question of the marriage
was really only a pretext to add insult to injury. For
some time the Shareef had contemplated living in
Europe, and for that reason had divorced his Moslem
wives, and decided as already stated to take a Euro-
pean, the Koran permitting the union. The Sultan



wished the Shareef to attach himself to the Court
permanently, as his father had always accompanied
Sidi Abdurhaman, the former Sultan and great-grand-
father to the present one, in his progresses from one
chief town to another, such as from Fez to Rabat or
Morocco city. The influence of the Wazan Shareefs
was second to none among the tribes in those days,
and had always assured a peaceful journey for the
Sultan and his army.

The Shareef continued these good offices for some
time after his father’s death, and on the last occasion
he was detained for many months against his will,
and became aware of a plot to constitute him a State
prisoner, his European tendencies being looked upon
as dangerous to the welfare of the Empire.

The Shareef accordingly left Morocco city without
taking leave of the Sultan, and was soon followed
by dignitaries of the Court with inquiries as to what
had offended him. They offered large sums of money
and grants of land to bribe him to return, but all to
no purpose. The Shareef pleaded ill-health, and re-
turned to Wazan. Muley Alarbi, his eldest son, then
replaced him, and eventually the Shareefs nephew, Sidi
Mohammed ben Miki, took up the post permanently.
Nevertheless, although on apparently good terms, the
spark of suspicion of ulterior motives never died out
on either side, and to this day no particular affection
is felt between the reigning family of the Filali
Shareefs and the Shareefs of Wazan. Consequent
on these patched-up relations, the necessity for migra-
tion to Europe ceased.

To my mother the shock was very great when this
decision was arrived at ; for she had remained with us
to accompany me to my new home in Europe and


assist me in arranging it. As for myself, it was a
matter of perfect indifference. I had a husband who
seemed to worship the ground I walked upon, affec-
tionate and attentive to all my wishes, and I enjoyed
the prospects of a happy life with him. The choice
of residence seemed quite a secondary consideration,
for I was very much in love with my handsome

“Ought we to visit her?” this was a question
mooted in Tangier, and many held back, but Sir
John Drummond Hay and his family, though perfect
strangers to me before my marriage, proved the truest
of friends after. To one lady in particular, then Mrs.
Blott, I am indebted for her efforts in establishing my
status in European society. She introduced herself
after the marriage ceremony, coming to the Hotel for
that purpose. The fact that I was a complete stranger
to Tangier, made me feel all the more grateful for the
unexpected visit. Her promises of support and advice
on that memorable morning were more than faithfully
carried out, during the time she remained in Tangier.
To th-is day she counts as one of my dearest friends,
together with Sir John Hay Drummond Hay’s sur-
viving daughter. Later on I knew Sir John Hay
Drummond Hay’s daughters, and the intimacy gra-
dually increased with succeeding years. His wife’s
delicate health prohibited any great intimacy in the
early years, but the last fifteen years of her life she, in
conjunction with her daughters, became the truest and
staunchest of friends.

On the first anniversary of my wedding day a
dance was given in our house, and under the greatest
difficulties ; for I had but two European servants, and
more Moslem ones than I knew what to do with ; in


fact, they were an encumbrance rather than otherwise,
but with the aid of this new-found friend my diffi-
culties were much smoothed and my eighty guests
seemed satisfied with the entertainment offered them.

Once it had been decided that my permanent home
was to be in Tangier, I proceeded to set my house in
order, or rather my private apartments. The re-
mainder of the house was practically beyond the
question of arrangement, as that had to be given up
to retainers and refugees, though even out of that
chaos I did effect a more systematic arrangement of
affairs than that which existed. It took time, and
proved most up-hill work. The daily cold bath
caused much amusement, being practically unknown
in a Moslem household, where the steam bath is in
general use. The Shareef, ever fond of little jokes,
said to me one day, ” I had no idea my wife was
a fish.” As time went on, a layette had to be thought
of. Being a fairly good needlewoman, I preferred
making all the little needful things myself, to the
great amusement of those surrounding or visiting me.
The Moors make no preparations whatever for the
little stranger expected in a household, except the
new hangings for the mother’s room, so that she may be
resplendent when her friends commence to call upon
her to offer their congratulations the first day after
her accouchement. A friend or perhaps a near relation
receives the guests, who are offered tea and cakes.
The baby is invisible as a general rule, and not seen
until the name-day, when it takes its first bath before
an admiring crowd of female friends and acquaintances.
I have used the word bath, but in reality it is only a
wipe down with little water and less soap. The infant
is then dressed in new clothes, its hands put down by


its side, a woollen, or perhaps cotton kind of shawl is
put on over the clothes, and the little thing is wound
up like a mummy. On the day of birth, khol is fully
applied to the eyes, and the eyebrows marked with
the same cosmetic. After the child has been well
wiped, the little body is rubbed all over with a mixture
of henna and oil, a linen cloth is rolled round, and
after that a woollen one, a band across the forehead
keeps a handkerchief over the head in place, which in
turn passes under the chin. The real idea is to pre-
vent the brain being displaced ! The first time I saw
a Moorish baby in this rig-out I was horrified, and
longed to take it out and make it comfortable accord-
ing to my ideas, but it was early days even to make
a suggestion. In spite of most primitive arrangements
mother and child seem to thrive, and I have known
many a woman up and about her household duties
within the week. An old Shareef, a great friend of my
husband’s, was much exercised about the bringing up
of the future baby Shareef. Among suggestions of the
most undesirable kind was one that immediately after
birth the child should be despatched to Wazan, fail-
ing that, a native wet-nurse must be provided. The
Shareef used to tell me Sid Mohammed’s latest, but
at last he lost patience with the man, and told him to
mind his own business, saying that as the child would
have a mother, she would have to be consulted, and
that her wishes would be paramount. A close friend-
ship was marred by this incident, though no open
rupture took place.

My mother arrived in May 1874, and on 6th June
my first-born came into the world. The rejoicings on
the birth of my son were unprecedented ; people came
from all parts of the country, and for three months a


constant flow of presents in money and kind came
pouring in daily. My husband expressed a wish that
I should name the child, as he knew English mothers
always had a voice in the matter. He had asked me
to name his first grandson, six months previously, and
Muley Ali, the name I gave the child, sounded such
a pretty one that I suggested our own should be
named likewise. I am sure many a hundredweight
of gunpowder was spent in powder-play, for it was
a case of bang bang from morning to night, while
musicians and dancers never seemed to rest. Not
finding a regular nurse available, my mother and the
midwife attended to the baby, and with the help of
my maid all went on well. Mother always washed
and dressed the child, and a few days after his birth
she invited an old retainer, a Moorish woman over
eighty years of age, a woman whose mother and grand-
mother had also been in the service of the Wazan
family, to be present at baby’s bath. She squatted
down, and seemed to be interested in the undressing
process, seemed to perk up when soap and sponge were
applied, but when the child was placed in a bath, she
rushed suddenly from the room, down the stairs with
the] agility of a girl of fifteen, and without any cere-
mony into my husband’s bedroom. Though he was
fast asleep she shook him vigorously, saying, ” Oh,
Sidi, Sidi, do come at once ; the Christians are killing
your son ! ” A few minutes later the Shareef entered
my room, breathless almost, and sat or rather fell into
an easy-chair; he looked at me, then at my mother,
who, like myself, knew nothing of the old woman’s visit
to him. Mother was dressing the baby by this time,
and handed the child to him to be kissed. He began
to smile, then to laugh, finally he fairly shook from


head to foot with the exertion, the tears rolling down
his face. We wondered what had happened to the
Shareef, who at last found his voice and related the
scene that had taken place downstairs. Then we all
joined in the merriment.

Meanwhile I heard a scuffling outside my door ;
what was it ? The household had been roused to such
a pitch of curiosity as to what was really going on
in my room, that the whole of the staif and many
others who were there to assist in making the cakes,
&c., for the name-day had gathered to the doors.
They went off to their different departments quicker
than they came, when they found a tragedy was not
being enacted the other side of the door. Nothing
less than the dead baby was expected, and I hope
they were not too disappointed.

After this many mothers came to see me, request-
ing me to instruct them how to bathe new-born infants,
and there is many a man in Tangier who had his
first bath from my hands. I will not say the custom
is in general use at the present period, though soap
and water are much more appreciated to-day than at
the time of which I am writing. Even at Fez and
Wazan I have instilled a little hygienic reform into
the people on behalf of infants.

The name is given to a Moslem child on the eighth
day of its birth, though I believe the seventh is the
right date. On the morning of the ceremony a large
ram is sacrificed, and this is generally slaughtered by
a near relative, who pronounces the child’s name when
cutting the animal’s throat, in presence of invited
guests. After, the male guests assemble in a large
room, where tea and cakes form the first portion of
the feast. A sumptuous luncheon follows. When


the guests are numerous, as in the case of Muley
All’s fete, they are served by relays, and I was told
that it was late in the afternoon before all were sup-
plied. Their number amounted to several hundreds,
and the poor were not forgotten. Inside the house
the lady guests assembled ; a few were brought to my
room to congratulate me personally. Although I did
not see the densely packed rooms and the ladies in
their gorgeous dresses, decked with jewels, I heard
the noise, for the female musicians were seated in the
centre of the house. The continual din can well be
imagined, for Moorish instruments are untunefal and
primitive. My mother, taking advantage of a lull
in the rejoicings, carried the baby down to show to
the guests. She little expected such an ovation as she
received from the people, who started the music and
“zahrits,” or joy-cry, to their hearts’ content. Fearing
to startle the child, my mother beat a hasty retreat,
which was no easy matter. Never had a Shareef been
exposed to the public gaze so early in his life, for fear
of the evil eye. The women especially are very super-
stitious ; the Shareef was not so at all, though I know
many men who believe most implicitly in this influ-
ence, attributing to it sickness and other disasters.

For a fte of any description in Morocco special
invitations are necessary, and the same formula is
used on all occasions. There are women whose pro-
fession it is to invite people^and when an event is
to be celebrated, the future hostess sends for one of
them and names the people she wishes to receive.
This functionary is usually accompanied on her rounds
by one of the household slaves or a menial; if not,
the woman herself provides a substitute. New shoes
are given to each, and a new silk handkerchief of


variegated colours pinned round the shoulders over
the outdoor garments. When they arrive at the
various domiciles, the reason of their mission is ap-
parent, and they are ushered into the presence of the
lady of the house. After exchange of compliments
on both sides, the professional inviter delivers her
invitation something in this style: ” Lady so-and-so,
wife of Sidi so-and-so, requests the pleasure of your
company, dressed in your best, on such and such a
day, being the occasion, with God’s blessing, of a
fete.” The cause is then stated. The invited guest
replies that if it is written 1 she will attend, or send
a representative, at the same time invoking bene-
dictions on the family who have thought of her and
her family. Two male friends are generally requisi-
tioned to invite the male guests, but they have no
symbol of office. It took four days to summon the
guests to my son’s name-day fete. Exclusiveness does
not exist in Moslem society, and your washerwoman
may receive an invitation, and accept the same. The
people are wonderfully generous in lending clothes
and jewels to their poorer sisters. I know rich women
who take a pride in dressing up really poor girls to
enable them to have an outing at some function or
other. Abuse of confidence in the loan of jewels
and garments seldom occurs, though cases, sometimes
serious, are not unknown, but really it is wonderful
how careful they are with one another’s property
on these occasions.

The baby Shareef went out for his daily airing,
accompanied by an excellent Spanish nurse and a Moor
in attendance. The regulation cloak and hood was
worn, and in no time the Moor became an adept in

1 i.e. in the book of Fate.


manipulating the long clothes, and very proud he was,
too, of the honour. I always bathed and dressed my
child, his father often sitting by and watching the
proceeding. He was a fairly good pupil and handed
me the things as wanted, when he happened to be
present. He simply adored his little son. His sons
by his former wives were seldom seen by him, and
then perhaps only for a few minutes at a time. At
first the little bundle was not recognised, but when
his status dawned upon the faithful, the child came
in for his share of public adoration like the rest of
the family.



I HAD longed to have the experience of living under
canvas, but the Shareef had during the first two years
of our wedded life only taken me out for a day’s
shooting, and at last, however, it was proposed that an
excursion should be made through the Angera Hills,
near Tangier, and on to Ceuta. How excited I was,
and what a lot of unnecessary things I took ; in fact I
might have taken more, if sufficient mules had been
available. My sister, being on a visit, was included in
the party ; baby had an English nurse, and his faithful
Moorish attendant Mohar carried my bonnie boy, now
sixteen months old, on a mule, with attendants on
either side.

The Shareef s secretary, one or two friends, a long
line of baggage – mules, servants, retainers, slaves,
and camp – followers made an imposing cavalcade.
Tents were pitched some three hours’ journey from
Tangier. We were met on the confines of the village
by the headmen, and, as we drew near our camp, women
came bearing basins of milk, which were handed to my
husband. I noticed he dipped a finger into the basin, and
to my surprise they came to me, so I did as the Shareef
had done. Then the basins went among the retinue,
and were returned empty to their several owners. This
occurred at every village where we halted for the night,
and chickens’ eggs and milk were brought in abundance.



The women, always more excited than the men, crowded
us out sometimes, but a word from the attendants in-
duced them to retire to a respectful distance.

We were met at a short distance from Tetuan by
the Khalifa and other officials of the town, and con-
ducted to a large house in an orange-garden. The
entrance was not attractive ; much primitive stabling
was the first thing we noticed by the door, then up
a small flight of steps, tiled once upon a time with
blue and white tiles about two inches square, we
reached the garden proper. All the paths were of the
same pattern as the steps ; overhead was trellis-work
on which jasmine and roses were running riot with
each other for supremacy. Everywhere were orange
trees laden with fruit just turning to a golden hue.
Watercourses ran on either side of the pathways, and
about the garden were one or two large tanks contain-
ing gold-fish. From the garden to the house of two
storeys the way was by more steps, broad and per-
pendicular, and to arrive at the guests 7 apartments was
no small effort. The rooms were very long and lofty,
with divans all round, and multi-coloured silk and
cloth cushions in profusion. The walls were covered
about a yard and a half up from the floor with red,
blue, green, and yellow cloth, formed into dados, called
by Moors “El Huiti,” used generally only in winter.
In a large recess the divans and cushions were re-
peated, and on a slightly raised platform stood two
gilt double bedsteads, ornamented with a huge crown,
from which depended voluminous silk curtains, these
in turn covered with embroidered net. Three woollen
mattresses went to” each bed, over the top one a sheet
was stretched, and the sides of the mattresses towards
the room were draped in embroidered silk of Tetuan


work. Each mattress had silk of a different hue one
wasyellow,and the embroidery was of variegated colours;
another was pale blue, and another green. The pattern
was carried out exactly the same in each piece of
coloured silk. Pillows were also of different-coloured
silks, some with a muslin cover in addition, and two
heavy, coarse woollen blankets called “haiks” were
doubled up at the foot of the bed. These are to cover
oneself up with at night. Eound the bedstead on
the outside, and at part of the foot of the ‘same, was
a white valance embroidered for about a foot up with
white silk and gold and silver thread. The general
effect was gorgeous, and the other bedstead was dressed
in practically the same way, only the colours varied in
some respects. The floor of the room was of blue and
white tiles, and the pillars going down the centre of
the room were decorated with Tetuan mosaic, the
colours of which were dark blue, ochre or yellow,
black and white ; the arches were also outlined with
the same.

The whole of the room for about two yards from
the ground was decorated with mosaic ; there was also
about a foot of the same round the eight windows that
looked on to the garden. The windows were small,
and each had a recess wherein a teacup could be
placed. Though so high up, these windows were pro-
tected outside by strong iron trellis-work. Water
was everywhere, for even on the upper landing there
were tanks and taps. There were four other rooms on
this storey, all well furnished, and close at hand a
steam bath with good appointments. All the notables
of the town came to do homage to the Shareef, and the
baby boy came in for his share of affection. He was
an attractive child, and, though only sixteen months old,


could speak baby English well, and was not a bit shy.
He never seemed to tire of roaming from room to room,
nor did he resent the number of caresses expended on
him. Wearing European dress did not seem to be
regarded by the Moors as a disadvantage. I suppose
the Fez cap and burnous counteracted the innovations.

On the morning of the third day in Tetuan we
started for Ceuta, a day’s journey only which merged
into three, the villagers en route begging the Shareef
to rest at their places, so we halted for the night twice.
At the frontier the Shareef was received with military
honours; a salute from the batteries announced his entry
into the town. The first part of the route was lined
with the military, and towards the Governor’s residence
the marines continued the line. Our cavalcade was
preceded by the officers of the Governor’s household,
who in turn met us at the gates of the city and con-
ducted us to his residence. A guard of honour was
drawn up. Nothing was left undone by the Governor’s
wife and family to make our visit pleasant and agree-
able, and we were honoured with a round of fetes from
morning to night.

The only thing that upset my equilibrium was the
bull-fight. The opening was a pretty sight, and the
Governor’s loge was beautifully decorated. In it were
seated the Governor, his wife and daughter, the latter
in Andalusian costume, and a brilliant staff, some of
the members being accompanied by their wives. All
the ladies wore mantillas, some black, and others
white, and all carried fans. A flourish of trumpets
announced our entrance with the Governmental party,
and a handsome bouquet was presented to me. The
band struck up, and a parade of the toreros and richly
caparisoned mules opened the proceedings by march-


ing round the arena. The chief torero then walked up
to the front of the loge, and asked permission to give
a performance. Thereupon the .Governor’s daughter
came to the front and handed the key, giving the order
for the sports to commence. Loud applause followed
from the two thousand people of all classes assembled,
redoubled when the first bull made his appearance.
Some clever and pretty play commenced with flags, and
it was a marvel to see how very neatly the toreros
extricated themselves from what appeared most difficult
positions. Then there was a performance with the
cloak, or capa. By this time the beast began to be in-
furiated, especially when squibs were hooked into his
hide. The excitement of the public was beyond descrip-
tion as the performances went on. I felt I had had
enough, and turned my head away for the remainder of
the entertainment, so that I do not know how all ended,
except when the key was returned to the Governor’s
daughter by the chief torero who headed a procession
formed for the purpose. I watched the pretty sight, at
the same time longing to retire, for my nerves were

That evening there was a ball, and the town was
illuminated, an excellent band performed, and the small
hours of the morning found us in our rooms. A whole
suite had been placed at our disposal in the Residency,
so we had not far to go to seek the much-needed rest.
Next day the town was visited. The military portion
naturally interested the Shareef, who remarked that it
was altered since his first visit some years previously,
when General Prim came expressly from Madrid to re-
ceive him. It was then an exchange of swords took
place. I have General Prim’s in my possession. The
words used were, ” De un valiente a otro valiente ”


(from one hero to another) each buckling on the
other’s sword.

In 1859-60, at the time of the Espano-Moro War,
the Shareef commanded the Shareefian army for six
months. No success was obtained by either side ; the
Shareef was commanded to take Ceuta, which he
found rather a big order and one involving useless loss
of life. The apparent inactivity of the Shareef annoyed
the Sultan, Sidi Mohammed ben Abdurhaman, who
sent his brother, Muley Abbas ben Abdurhaman, to
take over the command. In ten days or a fortnight
the Spaniards entered Tetuan.

Ceuta is a Spanish penal settlement and faces
Gibraltar, which is some three and a half hours distant
by sea. The prisons were visited, and in several in-
stances the Governor kindly remitted some sentences
passed upon prisoners for neglecting orders. I also
bought a collection of articles carved in bone by
prisoners. There was a Chinese there who made
matchboxes ornamented with most delicate carving.

The good Spaniards certainly know how to enter-
tain, and all the townspeople vied with one another
to see that we should not have a dull moment.

At the end of three days a Government steamer
arrived to take us to Gibraltar. The horses and
baggage animals returned overland to Tangier. The
Governor and staff accompanied us to the pier. The
route was lined with military and marines as before.
Some officers went on board with us, and a salute of
nineteen guns boomed forth as we pushed off from
the pier. The vessel was decorated with flags. The
captain received us, presentations took place, and we
bade adieu to our escorts and started in a choppy sea,
which was not conducive to our comfort.


The visit to Gibraltar was not a brilliant success,
though the Shareef expected great attention, being
his first visit to the Rock. The only honours were
an exchange of visits with the Governor and the use
of a gunboat for our return to Tangier. In less
than forty-eight hours we were once more at home. I
suppose it was tame after the Ceuta visit. I was more
pleased than otherwise, for I felt shy with the English.
To this the impression left on me by the Press com-
ments on my marriage contributed, and at that time
they still influenced me when I met a compatriot
who was a stranger to me. As time went on, how-
ever, the feeling died out. Some time afterwards the
Shareef was going on a shooting expedition and asked
me to accompany him. I was keen to go as I had
never seen a wild boar except at the Zoo. The baby’s
presence would not be advisable under the circum-
stances, and it was rather a cold December into the
bargain, so my sister, who was on a visit, and the
English nurse were to be entrusted with the precious
boy. I was leaving him for the first time. At the
last moment even the Shareef was inclined to throw up
the little expedition, and the special injunctions he
gave over and over again for the welfare of the baby
during our absence were numerous. A courier was
despatched daily during our ten days’ absence to bring
news of the child. Despite natural anxiety, I enjoyed
the sport immensely, and the Shareef being a good shot
brought down several boars. There was also plenty of
partridges. When we arrived at Djebel el Habib the
cold was intense. At this place a stray bullet passed
over my head, and if I had not been stooping at that
particular moment these lines would never have
been written. On inquiry, a beater was found to be


the culprit; the hunt was stopped, and a return to
Tangier ordered at once. The Shareef s wrath knew
no bounds at the infringement of hunting rules. Con-
sternation among the villagers made them come with
their wives and children to beg the Shareef to remain,
and they were loud in their promises that they would
punish the unfortunate man, even to shooting him,
if my husband would not send him to prison. The
end of the affair was that we remained one night,
the man was pardoned, and we started for Tangier
next day.



FOR some time previous to January 1876 proposals
were afoot for the Shareef’ s good offices to be solicited
with regard to an Algerian Chief named Si Sliman
ben Kaddour of the powerful tribe of the Oulad Sidi
Sheik. The incursions into Algerian territory made
by different members of the Chiefs family had cost
the Government many precious lives, to say nothing
of enormous pecuniary expense. Si Sliman ben
Kaddour belonged to the younger branch of the family
which counted as ancestor Sid Boubekir, father-in-law
to the Prophet Mohammed. His daughter was the
childless Christian wife, named Aisha, though she
afterwards became, with her father, a convert to
Mohammedanism, and also the most staunch supporter
of the Faith, both devoting their large fortunes to
the cause. The tribe is classed among the Moham-
medan nobility. Though most of the tribes follow
the teachings of several sects, principally the Senussi
Brotherhood, Si Sliman was a Tiabian and acknow-
ledged Sid Hadj Abdeslam, Grand Shareef of Wazan,
as his spiritual chief. Letters from the Shareef,
my husband, having had a salutary though not perma-
nent effect on this turbulent frontier chief, the
Emperor of Morocco and the French Government,

through the intermediation of Sir John Hay Drum-


mond Hay, decided to request the personal good
offices of my husband to induce Si Sliman to reside
permanently in Morocco, when a subvention for him-
self and followers would be given, and, in addition,
land and seed for agricultural purposes.

This end was attained, but the Emperor of Morocco
soon broke faith, and reduced the chief to almost
absolute penury. Consequently Si Sliman with a
few followers decamped, and again began raiding the
frontier. Some years after he, together with twelve
friends and relations, was assassinated by one of his
own retainers, while taking lunch with some friendly
tribe. His head was taken to the Emperor of Morocco,
Muley el Hassan, by his slayer, to claim the two
thousand dollars reward, but whether he obtained the
sum history relates not, and the inference is rather to
the contrary. I certainly have my doubts. Si Sli-
man was alternately friend and foe of the Algerian
Government, and held at one time a high position
in the service, with a good salary, but his warlike
propensity and love of nomadic life kept him from
abandoning his love of roving and pillage. The
Algerian Government certainly displayed an immense
amount of patience with the whole of this most power-
ful tribe. To-day they are all practically subservient
to the French, and the acknowledged chiefs enjoy
from the Algerian Government a subvention worthy
of their high position.

I have digressed considerably from my narrative,
but, having accompanied the Shareef on this first deli-
cate mission, I have thought it worth while to explain
who the personage was whom he was asked to ap-
proach on the question of surrender. Years after,
the Shareef went on a second mission to other


members of the same tribe, and would have been
equally successful but for the bungling of some autho-
rities, which caused the disaffection to recommence
when all arrangements were being completed. Natu-
rally the Shareef was blamed, but he vindicated him-
self in a most satisfactory manner, and enjoyed the
full confidence of the French Government until his
death in 1892.

In January 1876, negotiations commenced with
regard to the Shareef’s proposed mission to Algeria ;
he was to proceed to South Oran, to negotiate on
behalf of the Emperor of Morocco and the French
Government for the surrender of Si Sliman ben
Kaddour. On the 17th of February we embarked
on board a French man-of-war named, I think, Le
Cassard. She had been the ex – Empress Eugenie’s
yacht when her Majesty attended the Cairo fetes.
A luxurious boat the vessel was. We landed at Oran
some thirty-six hours after quitting Tangier, and were
received by Government officials and conducted to
a very good hotel in the centre of the town. There
we found most comfortable and luxurious apartments
reserved for us, and an appropriate suite. Here too I
had an insight into the great veneration in which my
husband was held by his co-religionists out of his
own country.

The people worked themselves up into a perfect
frenzy of delight at his arrival among them, and the
hotel proprietor was put quite beside himself by the
overwhelming crowds that invaded his premises. As
a last resource the doors were locked. The police
drove away the crowds only to find them entering by
another route. At length the excitement subsided,

when it was announced that the Shareef would receive



the faithful in batches, and that one and all should
have the benefit of his personal benedictions. Until
now I had not fully realised what his exact position
was in the Mohammedan world. I knew he was of
noble birth, a lineal descendant of the Prophets, but
that did not appeal to me in any extraordinary sense.
Now it came home to me with a rush, and I found
myself wedded to a man with an influence I never
dreamed he possessed. I had then been married two
years, and was only just beginning to express myself in
a few Arabic words. Before then I had never met any
Moors from whom I might gather any knowledge of
their manners and customs or, the most necessary of
all, of their language. Spanish was spoken all round
me, and in three months I acquired sufficient know-
ledge to converse with the people, so it is not to be
wondered at how completely I was taken by surprise
at all these demonstrations out of Morocco.

The scenes I witnessed were extraordinary : strong
men with tears rolling down their cheeks came for
the Shareefs blessing. Some carried mysterious little
bundles, at the contents of which I made wondering
guesses; some of these contained a little flour, others
wheat. This person would have a handkerchief, that
some garment, and what for? To be touched by the
Shareef, and thereby convey a blessing to the owner,
who perhaps was prevented from coming personally.
The flour might be to mix in the soup of a sick person,
the wheat to be mixed with seed so that a good crop
might be expected at the next sowing. With some-
thing akin to fascination I watched from a window this
motley crowd all was so new, all so different from any-
thing I had ever seen or read of. Soon it was known
that the Shareefs wife and little son were also in the


hotel, and I had to lock my door, for the people
poured in without any ceremony, in spite of the door-
keeper. They were respectful to a degree, but I knew
not a word they said, for the Algerian dialect, and
especially that used by the Arabs, differs very much
from that used in Morocco. Money and other presents
were thrust upon us, and there was no chance of re-
fusing or returning the gifts, which were thrown into
my lap or anywhere. His offering made, the donor
hurried off.

A noted Kaid came, by my husband’s permission, to
see the child. He kissed the little hands, and, press-
ing them to his heart, asked for the child’s blessing,
but the infant knew no Arabic and told the man to
go away. But merely to hear him speak pleased the
Kaid, who gave him some money. The boy rushed
to me with it, saying, ” Mama, sweeties.” This called
the man’s attention to me, and he immediately put a
packet into my hand containing twenty-five louis, and
was gone. My indignation knew no bounds. I went
to my husband and told him I considered myself in-
sulted by this monetary present. The Shareef was
highly amused, and told me to take his advice and not
reject the food the gods had sent me. For a long time
he loved to tease me about my first ” Yiasa ” from the
faithful, and years after he used to ask me, when an
expedition had been completed, how much I had
returned to the donors.

It was the custom and I had to recognise it, for the
people would have been hurt indeed if I had rejected
their unsolicited offerings. A very rich Kaid from
Blidah presented me with a handsome ring set with
brilliants. I felt shy, but a look from the Shareef
caused me to thank the man in French, for he spoke


that language, and then the Shareef congratulated me
on being reasonable for once. It took me, however, a
long time to get accustomed to the gifts, and I suppose
that no less a sum than 600 might have augmented
my banking account but for my diffidence.

The Shareef s wardrobe was minus more than half
its complement before we returned to Tangier ; people
begged a garment to keep in their homes for good luck,
and my baby boy too had to make presents of his
garments for the same purpose. The women used to
beg my handkerchiefs. We remained some days at
Oran, during which the Shareef had several interviews
with the French authorities on the object of his
mission to Si Sliman ben Kaddour. At that time
there was no railway to Tlemcen, and the journey was
accomplished by diligence. The Shareef, myself, with
my sister, the baby boy and English nurse were inside,
in the coupe’ two secretaries and the valet, the rest of
the suite clambered outside, and closely packed they
were. Several additions to those from Tangier had
been made in men, considered necessary for the latter
part of the journey, which would have to be made on
horseback and baggage animals.

Large crowds witnessed our departure, and the
first hour or two passed very pleasantly, but with night-
fall it became rather monotonous, especially as the
only illumination was a tiny oil lamp badly trimmed.
And how cold it was, how cramped we were ! The
first change of animals was at Ain Temouchents, and
dinner, which had to be bolted, was ready for us. Then
we thought to get five minutes’ walk before remounting
the diligence, but, in spite of gendarmes, the curious
so pressed upon us that we had no choice but to
take our places. There was another halt a few hours


later, and a concoction supposed to be coffee was
offered us. It was hot and gave us a little internal
glow, for, in spite of numerous rugs and plenty of
warm clothing, we were half frozen. This time we
were able to run up and down to exercise ourselves.

Off again, and we were as cold as ever. Fortunately
the child slept the whole night, the jingling of the
bells attached to the mules’ harness having, I suppose,
a soothing effect, and I managed to keep him warm.
We reached Hammam Bougrarah about dawn, and
here hot coffee, milk, cakes, and many other things
were brought by the Arabs of the district, which
appeared rather a wild one. A strong smell of sulphur
was in the air, and I learnt that not twenty yards
from the hostelry were hot springs impregnated with
the mineral. Little did I imagine that in twelve
years’ time that hostelry would become the Shareef’s
property, with many acres of arable ground. He
wished to purchase the baths as well, but they are
the property of the Algerian Government, and are
leased every three or four years to the highest bidder.
We were delayed here far beyond the scheduled time,
in consequence of the enormous concourse of Arabs
that had collected, and I do not know how the Shareef
reached the diligence without having his clothes torn
off his back. The coachman and his assistants, storm-
ing and raging all to no purpose, threatened to leave
us behind, but he was practically powerless to move.

At last we got away, and after three hours’ journey
arrived at Lalla Maghnia. Here another halt was
called, to leave the post-bags; there were further
demonstrations, and more struggling to get on! From
this last-named place the journey takes about six hours,
but this day the post for Tlemcen was quite three hours


late. If the driver did get a start for a distance, he
vrould suddenly find the leaders held up. The Arabs
in their frenzy of delight at having their spiritual
chief amongst them became reckless, and on more
than one occasion nearly overturned the ponder-
ous vehicle. It was the time of almond blossom,
which together with roses and other flowers was
showered upon us ; money too, tied up in rags, and
other articles were thrown at us ; one risked a blow
at every turn. A window was smashed, so we let
down the others to avoid further broken glass. Some
European ladies and gentlemen in a dogcart drove
up to the diligence and handed me a lovely bouquet,
but I have never been able to trace the donors. Baby
was hard to keep out of sight, for he was a determined
little fellow though so young, and a man nearly suc-
ceeded in kissing him. Failing in his object, he
pitched in fifty francs in a yellow silk handkerchief,
which caught me on the forehead, and just escaped
the child. One poor fellow had his foot crushed. I
heard this after my arrival in Tlemcen. There were also
several minor accidents, and my wonder is there were
not more. At last the belated diligence reached
Tlemcen, and to this day I do not know how we got
into the hotel, but, once in the rooms, the Shareef
locked the doors, hoping to get a little quiet, for we
were all thoroughly tired out.

Baths there were none, and the washing-basins
were more like thimbles. We took off what dust we
could, and at night the Turkish bath, not very far
from the hotel, was at our disposal. A concert went
on during ablutions, in a room the other side of the
bath-house. Again we had a scramble to get back to
the hotel. I became anxious as the Shareef did not


appear at once, then I learned that he had remained
to give benedictions in the hall of the hotel, so that
the masses could be dispersed. The approach to the
hotel was practically impassable. We now considered
it more feasible to migrate to the Zowia (Sanctuary)
of Muley Taib, which we found furnished in semi-Euro-
pean mode. It was a medium-sized Moorish house,
all windows facing a patio, open to the skies, a foun-
tain in the centre, and an ancient grape vine trained
on the walls, and on overhead trellis-work. Being in
winter garb it did not look ornamental, though in
later visits I found the produce of the vine excellent.
We remained at the Zowia several days, during which
time preparations were being completed to send us on
our journey.

The time passed in being fted day and night by
the Moslem inhabitants. The Shareef generally ac-
companied me, but if business prevented him, I went
with the baby, my sister, and Moorish attendants.
The French authorities were also most attentive ; we
dined with the General commanding, and at other
houses the ladies I met were particularly charming
and courteous. At the Zowia the musicians suc-
ceeded, I thought, in making plenty of noise ; but
then my ear was not educated to this style of music,
and the different tunes were impossible to distinguish,
except one or two the Shareef had taught me in
Tangier, and even they seemed different. Among the
men were some really good voices, but oh, the gri-
maces ! It did not do to study their distorted features.
One man, the leader of a Jewish band, really played
well, and performed intricate passages with a masterly
skill. I cannot compliment the female band, and they
are not worth describing. Companies of different sects


came to do homage, such as Aissowas, Hamatchas,
Derhowis, and many others. All these sects have
their spiritual chief; at the same time they recognise
the Grand Share ef of Wazan as the head of all in
fact a Pope would be the nearest designation of the
post my husband held.

A Moorish luncheon or dinner is a real trial to
one’s digestive organs, and if four or five families are
visited in the course of the day, it becomes an ordeal.
Ten to fifteen courses are the number prepared. You
must touch a dish when placed on the table, even if
you don’t partake of it. It offends the host to see
the dish untouched, so I soon learned the trick: take
a piece of bread and dip into the gravy, breaking the
symmetry of the food, and then request the dish to be
removed. It is quickly replaced by another.

From our table the courses go to other guests. No
one but the Shareef s family eat at his table, and the
host becomes one of the waiters for the time being,
in conjunction with his brothers or relations as the
case may be. Then the host’s family partake of the
dishes, and they go from one set to another until
the remains are distributed to those assembled at the
street-door, when a regular scramble takes place to
get a mouthful, if only of bread. The food is con-
sidered as blessed from the fact of the Shareef ‘s having
eaten in the house. Grace is always said before a
meal ; the word Bismillah, ” in the name of God,” must
be pronounced before taking the first mouthful, and
“El Hamdoulillah,” or ” thanks be to God,” at the
termination of a meal. A glass of water taken at any
time is always preceded and followed by praise to
God in fact a Moslem never eats or drinks without
uttering the foregoing formulae.


During the Shareef s stay at Tlemcen, he was busy
despatching couriers with letters to locate Si Sliman ben
Kaddour, whose nomadic life made the task somewhat
difficult. At last a mission did come from him, and
the final preparations were pushed on with great
rapidity, in view of the arduous journey to be under-
taken. Military transport waggons were the mode of
conveyance as far as Sebdou a very uncomfortable
arrangement in spite of rugs and cushions. The roads
were bad, and the diligences that plied between Tlemcen
and Sebdou could not take half our numerous retinue,
to say nothing of the baggage such a journey involves.
However, after much thumping and bumping over un-
dulating ground, and the usual demonstrations en route,
we arrived at the residence of Captain ben Daoud,
member of a noted family living in Oran, and one of
the strongest supporters of the French Government in

When we were in Oran, Captain ben Daoud’ s father,
Kaid Abdullah, entertained us right royally. At one
semi-European dinner thirty-two courses were served.
We were over three hours at table, and they were
rather hurt because my baby of eighteen months old
was not brought to table. They could not understand
that an eight – o’clock dinner was rather beyond his

Captain ben Daoud conducted us into his house
and placed a suite of four rooms at our disposal, the
retainers being accommodated with tents in the sur-
rounding property. At Sebdou it was very cold in the
morning and evening, and some rain fell. Good wood-
fires were available, so we were very comfortably lodged.
Heavy meals were the order of the day, and plenty of
them. I don’t think I cared for the Arab cooking here.


I wondered where it all came from, and learnt that the
Arab families, some really at quite a distance, sent
several dishes daily. These were all passed in review
before my husband, the name of the donor being
mentioned ; to these he sent his thanks and blessing.
Captain ben Daoud was married to his cousin, a
charming woman who spoke a little French ; conse-
quently my visit to her was very pleasant. I saw her
first in Algerian native costume, of ruby velvet richly
embroidered with gold thread, and plenty of gold lace.
It resembled somewhat the upper part of a pinafore
dress, the short tight sleeves, from which escaped flowing
gauze sleeves, of the angel-wing pattern. The neck
was slightly bare, but so much covered with rows of
pearls and other jewels as to be scarcely perceptible.
On her head was a jewelled cap, much like a fez, only
more pointed and coloured, with handkerchiefs folded
and wound round the head. On her arms were several
gold bangles and bracelets, French and native work;
her fingers were covered with handsome rings, mostly
of French manufacture. She wore silk stockings and
velvet slippers embroidered with gold thread. She
changed her toilette several times in the course of the
day, and I saw her once or twice in a Paris toilette,
which so altered her general appearance that I failed
to recognise her. The day we left she wore a very
chic dressing-gown, and on saying adieu she unclasped
a pair of Algerian gold bracelets and put them on my
wrist as a souvenir of our meeting. I am wearing
them to the present day. I saw much of her years
later, when her husband had become a colonel, and
they resided in Orar*.


WE jogged along on horseback when leaving Sebdou,
and every now and again came to a full stop, for the
Arabs were at powder-play in front of us, and the
usual crowds were to the fore to get a blessing or
glimpse of the Shareef. On the top of a hill, half-way
to El Arisha, luncheon was brought ; it consisted of
whole roasted sheep, French and native bread, couscous,
and many dishes of meat mutton, I think chickens,
and plenty of hard-boiled eggs, milk in pails, fresh and
sour. The natives drink large quantities of the latter ;
it is really butter-milk made in skins. Milk is put
into large jars, and, after standing four days or more,
shaken well up in a skin, the butter is extracted, and
this butter-milk, with a slightly acid taste, often serves,
together with a hunch of bread, for a meal to many of
the poorer classes. When I saw the sheep coming,
and plumped down on to a large round table about a
foot from the ground, I wondered how we were to
tackle it, especially as no knives or forks were forth-
coming ; but I was not long left in doubt, for a tall
Arab, in a brown burnous, came forward with a for-
midable knife, off went the head, and he cut from neck
to tail and then crossways, saying Bismillah at each
cut. The meat was steaming hot and had a most
savoury odour. The man attacked the prime pieces,



and we sat round the table to have them handed to us,
a hunch of bread held in the left hand.

The Shareef preferred to help himself, and asked
me to do the same, which I did. I never wish to eat a
better dish, especially when the sheep has grazed upon
a certain herb called Shehh, which imparts a most deli-
cate flavour to the meat, and the fat can be eaten
without fear of indigestion, no matter how much you
take. Shehh is very much like wild thyme. It per-
fumes the air wherever it grows, and the Arabs say it
gives both health and strength. There were some two
hundred people to be fed, and every one was fully satis-
fied. The meal was provided by the different tribes
en route, so that accounted for the large quantity pre-

We arrived at El Arisha, which was at that time
a French military station. The place where we lodged
was not much to boast of, but we made ourselves com-
fortable, and the kindness and attention of the officers
there contributed much to our enjoyment. There
was only one street and a few native shops. I do not
remember any Europeans, except the military staff.
Here also a stay of some days was made ; the exact
direction in which to find Si Sliman ben Kaddour and
his camp was not known, but we were on his track.
We had a great fright here, as the baby was taken
suddenly ill with slight convulsions. I thought the
Shareef would have gone mad ; he cried like a woman
over his little son. Somehow the child had obtained
a hard-boiled egg, and had evidently bolted it, for,
when vomiting commenced, pieces of unmasticated egg
showed the cause of the disaster. The doctor on the
station was very attentive and stayed all night. Next
day the child seemed nearly himself, though naturally


a little pale. I fancy the Moor in charge gave him
the egg when the nurse went to have a rest, not with
any evil intention but from sheer ignorance. This man
had care of my two sons from their birth, taught them
to ride, and accompanied them in later life on several
expeditions. He lived to carry my grandsons out in
their long clothes as he had done for their fathers, but
died before he could teach them to ride, which he had
hoped to do, although he was over eighty years of age
when he passed away in 1905. At last the long-
expected courier arrived, and preparations were made
for our journey to Ain Beni Matha, where Si Sliman
ben Kaddour and the tribe were to meet us.

The excitement was great, and many were sceptical
even at this stage. They doubted that the Shareef s
mission would be crowned with success ; even he him-
self had his doubts at times, as he knew what a wily
customer he had to deal with. The route was practi-
cally treeless, and, I may say, almost waterless, though
Alfa grew in abundance on every side. We had the
usual demonstrations en route, and plenty of mutton ;
beef is seldom eaten, except when the cattle are too
old to plough. The continual rush of the Arabs some-
what impeded our progress ; nevertheless our caravan
always stopped, so that the poor creatures, some
coming from many miles away, might receive the
blessing of their spiritual chief. Among the people
were to be found many sick, some with loathsome
diseases, many blind, the little children with hip
disease, ophthalmia in all stages. One’s heart ached
to see so much physical suffering and misery.

At last we reached the district mentioned by Si
Sliman as a possible place for a rendezvous. He was
nowhere to be seen or heard of, nor did he give any


sign that he was or even had been in the neighbour-
hood with his followers. Emissaries were sent hither
and thither, all returning with the same reply, or that he
was in Figuig or some other remote region.

Naturally the Shareef was annoyed at what he
considered a great want of faith, to say nothing of
obedience to the spiritual chiefs commands. It was
a bad time for every one all round, and we were further
troubled by the question of where night quarters were
to be procured ; for the place was very, very lonely and
offered no protection whatever. As far as the eye
could see it was sand and nothing but sand, with
a patch of scrub here and there. Some one had the
good luck to descry a horseman on the horizon (what
long sight the Arabs have, and how acute their hearing
is !), so we still went forward, and came to some spring.
The horseman caught us up, and then we learned we
were on the wrong track, not so very much, but
sufficient to give us another extra hour or two’s
journey. Then we saw Ain Beni Matha in the near
distance, and pressed our tired animals on, for a sand
track is more than trying to man and beast.

Ain Beni Matha was picturesque; large boulders
gleamed like pure marble in the sunlight ; the track
curved rather at this spot, so it was impossible to see
far ahead, and there was no Si Sliman here. While
the Shareef was debating in his mind what the next
step should be, we heard a tramp of horses, a jingling
of what proved to be arms of all descriptions, and, above
all, the chant ” There is no God but one God, and
Mohammed is his Prophet.” This was taken up by the
people on our side. Anything more grand it it impos-
sible to imagine ; the wildest of wild surroundings lent
much impressiveness to the scene. The Shareef and I




moved slowly forward, and, without a moment’s warn-
ing, a white – robed figure, on a magnificent horse
adorned with green and gold trappings, appeared. He
carried a long curved sword at his side, a gun slung
over his shoulder, and on his head he wore a large
turban, covered with the hood of his burnous, which
was bound down to his temples with yards and yards
of camel-hair cord, in which was woven a little green
silk and gold thread. Inside his numerous burnouses,
when thrown back, gleamed a thick, green silk cord
across his breast, falling under the left arm, the Koran
was attached, wrapped in a silk handkerchief, and
in his belt gleamed the heads of a couple of pistols.
He came full gallop towards the Shareef, and for a
moment I thought we should either be scattered or
possibly unseated, but no, the horse reared till he
was straight on his hind legs a few yards from the
Shareef. We had found our man.

Si Sliman dismounted, threw himself in front of
the Shareef s horse, and kissed the horse’s forelegs ; then
the Shareef’s slaves raised him, and he came to my
husband’s side, caught his hand and covered it with
kisses ; tears streamed down his face, and his whole
frame shook with sobs. Profound silence reigned on
both sides for some seconds, but to me it was a long
time. I felt a little out of place in my European
dress ; but Si Sliman came and shook hands, and
said a few words of welcome in French, remounted
his gallant steed, which had not moved from the
spot where his master dismounted, and led us into
a valley where quite an encampment was pitched.
It had not been observed by any of our party, so well
was it hidden from view by the tall brushwood and
the many boulders in the vicinity.


His seven hundred followers remained like statues
while their chief made his submission to the Shareef,
and, when on the move, both foot and horse scrambled
to touch the spiritual Head. Powder-play on a grand
scale commenced immediately, and continued almost
to the doors of the large marquee prepared for our
reception. The marquee contained comfortable mat-
tresses and cushions, arranged most invitingly for
tired travellers, for one and all, except the baby boy,
felt we could move no further. The tea-tray appeared
by magic, so to speak, boiling water was on the spot,
and a welcome cup was soon brewed, and revived us
considerably. Si Sliman was requested to join us,
and in he came, a man of about 5 feet 10 inches, rather
swarthy complexion, and the sharpest of beady black
eyes. You almost imagined he could interpret your
innermost thought, so piercing was his look. He was
still in white, and must have put on everything new,
for there was not a stain or speck of dust on his
garments. He prostrated himself before the Shareef,
his head touching the ground and his hands behind
him; he was helped to rise by one of the Shareef’s
retainers. After kissing my husband’s hand, he then
shuffled on his knees to me and saluted me in the same
fashion ; ultimately he squatted in front of the Shareef,
who had requested him to be seated on a mattress.
He took a cup of tea, but so overcome was he with
emotion that his hand trembled as he lifted the cup.
The Shareef asked me to pass him two letters, one
from the Emperor of Morocco, Muley el Hassan, and
the other, I believe, from the Governor-General of
Algeria. Si Sliman took the former, and with a pen-
knife opened the missive; he then kissed it, pressed the
seal to his forehead, and proceeded to read.


I wondered what was passing in his mind ; he read
and re-read. Meanwhile the Shareef chatted to me or
his secretary. Si Sliman frowned, looked pleased,
then doubtful; at last he handed the letter to my
husband, and, prostrating himself before him, said,
” I am your slave ; do what you think best.” He then
read the Governor- General’s epistle, and said he con-
formed to all the terms mentioned therein. Here I
was able to study my man more. In addition to
the beady eyes that spoke volumes, he had a short
black beard, which he was fond of stroking, a scrubby-
looking moustache and an apology for whiskers,
decidedly untrimmed. His usual pose was dignified ;
he looked every inch a chieftain who was accustomed
to be obeyed in every particular. The mouth spoilt him,
as it was a cruel one, and yet when the face was lit
up in some animated conversation there lurked a very
kindly look. The man was attractive and certainly
fascinating. It was difficult to realise that he was the
author of many cruel deeds, had sent a bullet through
a general’s brain, and had routed an army of superior
force to his own followers.

He told me some time after, I think in Tangier,
that he never intended to pose as an opponent to
Algerian government. One of his lieutenants had
disobeyed his orders, and he, Si Sliman, was not
credited with the truth of his statement. So as all
blame was to fall upon him, he determined to harass
the Algerian Government, so that, if a punishment was
to be his lot, he would merit it on his own account at
any rate. He had therefore departed into the wilds
without obtaining the regulation permission to move
from the post he held.

The telegraph had failed to arrest him, though


worked day and night. He left Tlemcen with an arm-
oury consisting of bullets in his turban, different parts
of his body were encased in cartridges, and he eluded
his would-be captives on a very swift -horse. ” Poor
horse ! ” I exclaimed. ” No animal could carry such a
load and gallop for dear life as you describe.” ” I
called on God,” he replied, “and MuleyAbdallah Shareef
(patron saint of Wazan) and Dar de Man a (the house
of protection such is the appellation to all sanctu-
aries belonging to the House of Wazan), and obtained
spiritual aid.”

Such were Si Sliman’s words to me. The fact that
he was a fearless horseman and an excellent marksman
served him many a good turn. On one occasion he
was in one room, and some officers were in the next,
but even then he was able to escape : at another time
he put on female garb.

Having had all these details from Si Sliman, I
just mention them, without vouching for the truth of
his communication to me. Another pretty speech of
his was when I asked him why he had decided to
accept the terms to reside in Morocco : ” How could I
do otherwise when Sidi Hadj Abdeslam came to fetch
me, and brought his wife and child so far from their
homes for a humble slave such as I am. I am but
clay, mould me as you desire.”

How I have digressed from my subject ! But these
little episodes have interested many in years gone by,
and perhaps may in the present instance interest a
wider circle.

Once the tea-tray was removed, the regulation
roast sheep appeared in a huge flat basket, placed on
a low wooden table before us. We had no chairs but
divans, and were very comfortably seated. This time


I had to hack pieces out with a penknife ; nevertheless
a good meal was obtained. Then followed many dishes.
I wondered where all had been prepared ; I had seen no
smoke from fires, nor had any culinary odours reached
me. My Arabic was limited, so I felt reticent about
making inquiries. Curiosity made me ask my husband.
The kitchen, I learned later, was in a hollow half a
mile away! My husband found this out by sending
a slave on a voyage of discovery to please me. As far
as my memory serves me, I think we rested the next
day, during which there were several interviews with
Si Sliman. Many of his chief followers took part in
these. The Shareef told me all had been arranged to
the complete satisfaction of both sides, and packing up
commenced immediately.

Next morning a memorable scene took place. The
baggage animals were being loaded and the tents had
been struck, when suddenly, from somewhere, hordes
of Arabs appeared, some mounted, some on foot.
They arranged themselves in a semicircle on the
green sward, those directly in front squatted and those
behind took up poses as they felt inclined. The horse-
men completed the outer ring. A rush towards the
Shareef followed upon a prolonged roar as from one
throat ; it was the usual salutation when new-comers
arrive. The crowd controlled by our retainers
approached by dozens to receive the benediction.
When that ceremony was over, there was a dead silence
for a second or two ; then Si Sliman stepped forward.
The Shareef and I remained a little way behind him.
He looked a grand figure as he stood there wrapped
in his burnous. In his hand he carried a long staff,
which he placed in front of him as support. He held
the end of the burnous wrapped round the staff, and


leaning slightly forward he harangued the people.
Some wept bitterly their sobs were distinctly audible
and all the while they kept swaying their bodies
after the Arab custom, one that is followed particu-
larly by the women, of whom there were some in this
gathering. I think Si Sliman addressed them for
some twenty minutes, in a rich, clear, and sonorous
voice. At the conclusion of the parting speech one
and all came up to Si Sliman, and but for the timely
interference of his retainers I don’t think much
clothing would have been left on him. As it was, his
turban tipped on one side and gave him rather a
grotesque appearance for the moment. We mounted
at once, and put our horses at a sharp canter to avoid
further demonstrations, but many followed for miles,
keeping up with our animals, and the Arabs can run.
I turned several times to see the majority of this
little army going from us across the plains, and knew
that many took an aching heart with them, for they
really adored their Shareef. I believe telegrams were
despatched from El Arisha, announcing to the Algerian
Government the success of the Shareef’s mission. At
Sebdou, Commander Ben Daoud was more than elated,
and showed us more deference, if that were possible,
than on our former visit. People had been so pessimistic
as to the issue in fact many openly declared that it
would end in failure that the accomplishment of the
mission in a successful manner came as a surprise.

Si Sliman had nice apartments allotted to him,
but I noted there were many more spahis (Algerian
native soldiers) than on our former visit, and my
husband was treated as an honoured guest. From
here, if my memory serves me, we went to Lalla
Maghnia, in order to settle some tribal disputes on the


frontier, which had been in process for several years
between Angad, Beni Snassen, and Mehia, and the
inhabitants of the town of Oujhda, the latter having
been almost in a state of siege for two years. It was
preferred that the Shareef should have taken his charge
direct to Tangier; at the same time he felt that his
prestige compelled him to accede to the prayers of his
co-religionists, and perhaps put a stop to the enormous
amount of useless bloodshed going on almost without
intermission for so long a period.

Long before we reached Lalla Maghnia (now called
Marnia) deputation after deputation accosted us en route.
We went to a hotel and found everything in readiness
for us. The Commander of the troops garrisoned there
met us not far from the town, and naturally a large
concourse of natives. The uniforms of the French
officers and the red burnouses of the spahis made a
brilliant scene. The day was very hot, and all were
glad to find shelter within hospitable walls. Here, too,
extra precautions seemed to be in process, whether on
account of Si Sliman’s presence or the number of
Arabs massed in the town I do not know ; but soldiers
seemed {to be everywhere, no matter which way you

Marnia is an important military station about three
hours and a half from the frontier. The road from there
to Oujhda at that time was very unpleasant ; to-day it
permits of motors and other modes of conveyance.
Luncheon was announced, and as we were to have
some visitors, I went into our private dining-room to
see that there were seats for all. To my great amuse-
ment I found in the centre of the table a huge ham,
most profusely decorated a real work of art. I man-
aged to whisk it off in time to my own sitting-room,


where I and my sister and the nurse testified to its
excellence in private. The Shareef was amused at our
making sandwiches for our tea, and as he never objected
to my partaking of food which his religion prohibited
him from joining me, I never had to procure anything
clandestinely. He was far too liberal a man to object.
You never heard him scoff at a person because his re-
ligious tenets were different to his own. His principle
was to ” live and let live,” and this being misunderstood
gained him many enemies. In the early days of my
marriage a surprise dish of bacon and eggs would be
put on the table, for my husband thought I was too
shy to order it. These little attentions meant much
more to me than Europeans can realise.

After a few days spent at Marnia in interviewing
the chiefs of the several tribes with regard to peace
conditions, it was decided we should proceed to Oujhda,
which is about a three hours’ ride. Our escort arrived.
Oh, the rabble, the chatter ! I thought they must fly
at one another’s throats sooner or later ; but no, it was
only the excitement of the moment, and all calmed
down when once we were on the march. Powder-play
commenced outside the town and continued to the
gates of Oujhda.

From a short distance this town appeared nothing
but a heap of ruins, and I wondered where the houses
could be. We seemed to wind round and round an
ill-kept road, on either side of which were tumble-
down walls built of mud and stone. Water seemed
abundant, and the olive groves were numerous. There
was a constant scream of ” Balak ! balak ! ” (get out of
the way). As we drew near our destination the
crowd became more dense, and the people did not
seem to care if the animals trampled them under foot ;


they would die for the sight of their religious chief.
If it was written, such was their destiny. My habit
gave way at last with the continual tuggings ; how I
kept my seat I don’t know. The horse became restive,
and his poor tail was completely spoilt by people
plucking out hairs to carry away as souvenirs, or amu-
lets perhaps. Between them all I had much difficulty
in preserving some remnants of my clothing. The
Shareef, too, lost much of his jelab, a kind of overcoat
always worn out of doors, and people gathered the
earth where his horse’s hoofs had left the impress, some
actually ate it, others smeared it over their bodies,
the face and hands for choice. At last we reached
a house, but the scramble to do so passes all belief.
Skulls must have been cracked and bones made very
sore, for cudgels had to be used. The frenzy of the
populace can be better imagined than described. The
outside of our temporary habitation was not inviting,
but the inside was better than I anticipated. But where
were my baby boy and my sister? I was told they
had gone ahead with the English nurse and Mohar,
the child’s Moorish attendant, also an escort. I was
distracted for some minutes, but they soon appeared
and told me that in consequence of the tumult they
had taken another route to the town, and arrived
almost unperceived. I set to work to make our rooms
comfortable, with the aid of my sister and nurse and
plenty too many perhaps of willing hands. We had
been warned that all would be in a most primitive
style, but good carpets were forthcoming, and really it
was better than I expected. With the addition of
our camp furniture and plenty of multi-coloured
cushions, we made quite a respectable room. Some
others were turned into bedrooms, and a large landing


opening on to a long verandah, one side of the house,
was enclosed, by using tents as screens, to serve us for
a kitchen. The view from this apology for a verandah
was superb over hill and dale. A little further off
were mountains and olive groves, also fruit-trees in
bloom as far as the eye could reach, interspersed with
waving green corn. The moonlight was glorious, and
cast weird shadows’^ over the town. In the evening
desultory firing was heard. The people of the town
thought it might be feasting in our honour, but the
noise increased, and then we realised that a fight was
in progress on the route we^ had traversed a few hours
earlier, half a mile or less from the town. The firing
increased further, and then it was apparent that a
really serious combat was afoot in and near the olive
groves. Thinking themselves protected by the great
saint within their walls, some Oujhda men had ven-
tured out to the cafes beyond the walls, where they
met some new arrivals from the interior belonging
to the tribes at variance with them. The men of
Oujhda were the aggressors and picked a^quarrel, which
passed from words to blows, and gunpowder was
freely spent. Others mixed in the m^e, and friend
or foe was not recognised in the tumult. The town
gates were barricaded, and when the inhabitants who
had remained outside sought admittance they were

Then arose tremendous commotion inside. The
women shrieked, the children cried, some men wished
to force the gates open to let in a son or relation to
seek shelter from butchery outside. The authorities
were almost powerless, but were in the long-run able
to assert themselves. The Shareef sent to say that
the safety of the whole town depended upon the


barricading of the doors. Some men climbed on the
ramparts, but were pretty quickly hauled down, for if
they had fired from there the outsiders would cer-
tainly have returned their fire. It was impossible to
tell the number of combatants, and if they had
been minded to rush the town, those ramshackle old
doors would not have afforded much protection. The
Shareef was disgusted at the turn of events, and
threatened to leave there and then if they did not
cease firing. How Mahmoud (a chief slave) reached
them with a letter and came back skin whole he
never knew himself. Next morning the several chiefs
came land said it was the work of the shepherds, the
keepers of the flocks of sheep, and herds of camels
and cattle.

The wailings of the Arab woman once heard can
never be forgotten. At the outset you think she is
going to sing some melancholy song ; then she begins
to sway her body backwards and forwards, uttering
most heart-rending shrieks, calling upon the relative
whose death is mourned, at the same time scratching
her face until the blood trickles down; or she will
roll in the dust, knock her head on the ground, bite
herself, and do herself serious injury unless prevented
by persons near. I have seen a woman in deep grief
suddenly jump two feet off the ground perpendicularly
and throw herself forward full length, and this with-
out any apparent bodily harm. Hysteria in its worst
form must account for the convulsions and twisting
of bodies and limbs on such occasions.

In Oujhda on that memorable night the wailings
kept on till nearly daylight. When the Shareef sent
out to reconnoitre, our men returned. There were
still excited groups about seeking for the dead and


wounded. Later, when things grew quieter, the
Shareef and his suite were able to receive the chiefs
who composed the mission of peace. Many apologies
were offered for the disturbances which arose from
misunderstandings between the lower members of the
tribes in question. A truce was concluded and kept
for some years by the masses. It was curious to
see those who were mortal enemies an hour before
giving their hands in form of salutation, the younger
men kissing the heads of the older ones. After a
hasty cup of coffee we started on our return journey,
glad to be away from such unhappy surroundings.
The burial of the dead was in process as we passed
the cemetery, and we saw many a corpse uncovered,
though the majority were decently obscured from view
among the palmettos. These were shrouded in their
jelabs (overcoats) or under a haik (blanket). It was
sad to encounter such scenes, but there was no avoiding
them ; the only course open was to steady our nerves
and get along as fast as possible. Nevertheless I was
haunted by the memory for some time. ^

Our camp was situated almost in the thick of the
fight, but not a man or baggage animal was even
grazed. It proved most difficult to restrain the horses
from stampeding. Plenty of grooms and camp-
followers prevented a catastrophe, and the belligerents
evidently respected our property.

The day after our arrival at Marnia we went to
Hammam Bougrarah to see the sulphur springs.
Every shrub and tree in the vicinity appeared to have
a faint tinge of yellow, and near the baths the sulphur-
eous odour was very strong. At the source an egg
could be boiled easily. Naturally I tried the experi-
ment. The springs and baths are Algerian Govern-


ment property, and, as I have already remarked, are
every year or three years leased to the highest bidder
at an auction held for the purpose. I believe a light
of some kind is held while the bidding is in process,
and the property falls to the highest figure when the
light is exhausted.

The lessee reaps a benefit from the Arabs who
come from all parts to cure real or imaginary diseases.
Some come to request the saint who is buried there,
named Sidi Bou Grarah, to help them in their diffi-
culties, whatever they may be, and pray at his tomb
with that object. The men’s bath is much better con-
structed than the one for the women. There is also
a private tank, which is used by the officers and
officials of the Algerian Government. We brought
our luncheon and took it in a garden, the scent of
orange blossom pervading the air. There were plenty
of Arabs, many having followed us from Marnia, all
with the object of obtaining the Shareef s blessing for
the ills of the flesh and others. The return journey
was very pleasant, and the lights and shades of a
spring evening were magnificent; the snow was
apparent on the distant Atlas Mountains, and another
range much lower and including the fastnesses of the
Beni Snassen tribes stood well out.

We spent another day or two at Marnia, where I
received a shock. A man of some importance was sup-
posed to have been killed in the Oujhda fight, as he
was missing and mourned for accordingly. I was play-
ing with my baby boy when this man appeared in the
doorway. I thought it was an apparition, especially as
the man did not speak. He was, I suppose, absorbed in
the child’s frolics and did not wish to disturb us. At this
moment the Shareef came out on the balcony, and after


replying to his astonishment at seeing him there, the
man, Sahalli by name, explained that he was suddenly
called on business to another part of the country,
thinking to be away a few hours when he had been
detained some days. My white face was remarked by
the Shareef, but he did not seem to be affected in the
least. Sahalli had been much with our suite, so that I
knew more of him than many others who had attached
themselves to us to render what services they could,
particularly at Tlemcen.

A private carriage and the diligence took us back
to Tlemcen. We had a noisy send-off as usual from
Marnia, men and women crying hysterically and
following us, but once beyond the crowds they were
outstripped, and we reached Tlemcen after a tiring but
pleasant drive of some hours in lovely spring weather,
the air laden with the scent of many flowers, orange
blossom then in perfection predominating. I need not
repeat the reception, which was the same as on former
occasions, an ordeal certainly, but by this time I was
quite accustomed to the repetitions of these demon-
strations usual among the Arabs. The only exciting
incident was when a woman thrust herself half-way
through the diligence window with a baby on her
back. The infant might have been crushed, if my
sister had not come promptly to the rescue as the
mother was pulled back by those in the road. Si
Slim an went from Tlemcen, with one of our secretaries
and the attendants, to embark at Oran for Tangier to
await the Shareef s arrival, our party going to Algiers
to report to the Governor- General.

We left Tlemcen, and en route several accidents
occurred. One man thrust his head through the
window, and though badly cut clung on until he


had touched the Shareef ; another had his foot crushed.
But enough of these horrors. I simply mention them
to show that the frenzied state of the people will make
them run all kinds of risks to get near their wor-
shipped spiritual chief, in order to obtain the blessing
or only to touch his garments. At one place where
luncheon was served the military were requisitioned
to enable us to return to the diligence. There were
always Arabs running along en route for miles, and
many fell down from exhaustion. Reaching Oran, I
think we remained twenty-four hours, but my memory
fails me sometimes, recounting events of thirty-five
years ago. The journey from Oran to Algiers took
at that time nearly fourteen hours, and it was nearly
11 P.M. when we reached the hotel where apartments
had been retained for the Shareef and his suite by the
Algerian Government, by whom some officials were
sent to receive us at the terminus.

Next morning the Shareef called on the Governor-
General, General Chanzy, who was then in office.
On his return I saw the Shareef was not over-elated.
He sat thinking, then he marched up and down the
room, but did not communicate to me then what
was troubling him. Knowing his objection to be
questioned, I bided my time, for I knew I should hear
the reason later. General Chanzy and staff returned
the Shareef’s visit. I knew official business was to
be discussed. I made excuses about my child, and
retired discreetly after receiving an invitation to call
on Madame Chanzy. The Shareef was most anxious
to proceed to Paris and also London, and it appears
that the French Government considered he should
complete the mission undertaken first, viz. to return
to Tangier at once and then take Si Slim an to the


Emperor of Morocco ; for it was feared that the
individual in question might repent, make good his
escape, and recommence the troubles on the Algerian
frontier. The sacredness of Si Sliman’s oath where-
by he had made himself a voluntary state prisoner
removed all doubt from the Shareef s mind that where
he had ordered Si Sliman to remain there he would
be found even if he waited months. He was lodged
in our town house, and roamed about the town at
will, in company of one of our secretaries and attend-
ants of his own. A polite request to postpone] his
European visits irritated the Shareef considerably;
in all his life he had been accustomed to have the
most trivial desire indulged, even before the wish was
uttered, if that were in any way possible. We went
together to call on Madame Chanzy, who, surrounded
by quite a small Court, received us most graciously.
On leaving, the Shareef was told that Le Cassard,
the man-of-war we came in from Tangier to Oran,
was at his disposition, and at the same time a request
was made that a few days should be spent in Algiers,
an invitation he declined with many thanks, re-
membering pressing business at home which recalled
him immediately. He was more than anxious to visit
Europe, and, above all, to give me amusement.

Early next morning, accompanied by members of
the Government staff, we went on board Le Cassard.
Somewhere between Algiers and Oran a champagne
luncheon was given, at which the Shareef was deco-
rated with the Order of Grand Officier de la Legion
d’Honneur, by the Commander of Le Cassard, in the
name of the French Government. This being un-
expected somewhat soothed his wounded feelings,
though if it had been presented by General Chanzy


or, better still, by Marshal Macmahon in Paris, would
have had much more value in his eyes than it had
at that moment.

When we arrived in Tangier, after a fairly good
passage, and had disembarked amidst the boom of
cannon from Le Cassard, by whose officers we had
received the most courteous attention on board, the
first person to greet us among the crowds awaiting at
the apology for a pier which existed in those days was
Si Sliman, all smiles and bows. He wanted to carry
the child, but the little man objected to leave his
manservant Mohar. He was so alarmed by the noise
of cannon and flint-locks that he had to be hurried
away as quickly as the crowds at the Custom House
permitted. Then came a series of f6tes of welcome
home, which lasted for another ten days or a fortnight.
I longed for a little peace and quiet, for I was really
worn out by the excitement of the last three months
or more.



WHEN Muley Ali was born, I told the Sliareef that it
was necessary to have a private residence. I felt that
all the coming and going of sanctuarists, often diseased,
would expose the child to many things to be avoided,
for in Morocco contagious maladies are thought
nothing of. The Shareef agreed with me, and a house
not far from the sanctuary was hired for the time. On
our return from Algeria, a house on the Marshan that
we had often looked at was put up for sale, and the
Shareef immediately purchased it for me. There were
several alterations to be made, which delayed my taking
possession until after the Shareef s return from Court.
He was supposed to leave immediately on arrival from
Algeria with his charge. Muley Hassan, the then
reigning Sultan, became impatient and wrote to the
British and French Ministers to use their good offices
to induce the Shareef to complete his mission. Excuses
were made on various pretexts certainly the prelimin-
aries took some time and when all was really finished
he would not hurry us. The fact was an event in our
family was near at hand, and he did not wish to leave
me until the little affair was over. I was not so well
as I should have been; the fatigue of the Algerian
journey had told on me, and the Shareef was over-
anxious. Evidently I was the principal excuse for the
continual postponement of the journey. Nevertheless



I was unaware of all that until I received a letter beg-
ging me not to place any impediment in the way.
This kind but rather severe missive rather perplexed
me, for I had been using all my influence to induce
the Shareef to finish off the business, especially as I
was getting the blame, which annoyed him extremely.
It had, however, a beneficial effect, and in a week or
ten days he started for Mequinez, extracting from me a
promise that I would send a special courier when he
had been a fortnight at Court. Whilst there he knew
his good offices would be requisitioned in whatever
tribal dispute might have occurred, and a visit of
perhaps months incurred, so that was the reason some
prearrangement was made and this time really legiti-
mately. Good terms were obtained for Si Sliman, a
pension of fifteen posetas per day, a house rent free,
arable land and seed, and also leave that those of his
followers who wished to reside in Morocco should be
invited to do so at the Government expense until such
time as they could provide for themselves.

Some months after, a large number came, and my
house was inundated with Arab women inside and men
outside awaiting transportation to their new homes.
Practically they were all relations by blood or marriage,
and there were plenty of children, who, I should
imagine, were complete strangers to soap and water.

The Shareef reached Court, and the Sultan received
him in a manner worthy of the occasion. Commands
were issued from Court that nothing was to be left
undone that would conduce to the Shareef’s comfort,
and also that of his personnel. Negotiations dragged
on like everything else in Morocco, where everything
is postponed until ” to-morrow, if God wills it.” But
an end was precipitated by the arrival of my courier.



Naturally the Sultan, Muley Hassan, was not parti-
cularly well pleased, but under the circumstances he
was gracious enough to cause some firmans to be
handed to the Shareef during his farewell audience.

For a time Muley Hassan kept faith with Si
Sliman and the Oulad Sidi Sheik, who had followed him
into exile. But intrigue followed intrigue, concessions
were gradually withdrawn, and life for the exiles
became practically unbearable. It led to Si Sliman
making good his escape about five years later with a
few adherents, and ultimately ended in his assassina-
tion, as I have related in a former page.

The Shareef was back in August; he travelled
quickly and by night on account of the oppressive
weather which is particularly trying in the interior
during the months of July and August. However, he
was in plenty of time, as my second son, Muley Ahmed,
was not born, nor his twin- sister still-born, until
6th September 1876. The f6tes in honour of this
second son’s birth were almost identical with those
given on the occasion of his brother’s birth, though
not of so long duration. I continued English methods
in my nursery. The baby went out daily in his long
clothes, and the elder boy was promoted to an infant’s
chair- saddle on a donkey. The latter innovation was
much commented upon at first, poor Mike not being
considered worthy of carrying such a precious burden ;
nevertheless I continued to mount him thus, dressed
as an English child, except for the embroidered fez
cap. The Shareef as usual acquiesced in all I did,
more especially where the children were concerned.
He was the same in that respect up to the time of his
death. For a long time I think the Moors wondered
what the bundle of lace and muslin contained, for

Taken in Ceuta*



Mohar carried the child more often than the English
nurse. It was better so ; for the man was more cap-
able of warding off the people, who in their anxiety to
kiss the little mite’s hand might not be so gentle as
the necessity required. Many were the inquiries as to
the method of bathing new-born infants, and now that
my knowledge of Arabic was increasing I could comply
with the requests for information with greater facility.
A detailed account of native customs perhaps would
not be misplaced at this juncture. They are curious,
and the wonder is that many infants survive the ordeal ;
and yet one sees innumerable fine specimens of hu-
manity especially among the lower classes, where the
ignorance of the women is beyond conception.

Being anxious to learn the customs in use before
and after the birth of a child, I attended personally.
My presence was considered a strong proof that all
would go well with expectant mother and child,
especially as a male child was much desired. Three
girls had come in succession ; now, as luck would have
it, a boy was born. The usual demonstrations of wel-
come took place when I went to visit a Moorish family,
and I was ushered into the mother’s room, accompanied
by musicians, women holding lighted candles. I found
the room full of women, relatives and friends of the
invalid, who was seated on a low stool, 1 covered with a
blanket. One woman sat on the ground in front of
her and another behind; her business was to support
the invalid’s back. The woman on the floor, I learned,
was the midwife. During a rigour the assembly sing
songs of invocation to saints to implore their assistance
in the present emergency, or dirge-like chants, and
incense is continually burnt. Inquiring the contents

1 Cf. Exodus i. 16.


of a basin which I noticed were now and again given
in a spoon to the woman, I was informed that it con-
tained a mixture of oil, cummin seed, and honey, with
the idea that this mixture accelerated the birth. I
also saw some broth given. A basin of water which a
living saint had blessed and dipped his finger in was
also exhibited, and oil from a sanctuary was used to
anoint the woman. The room was dreadfully stuffy,
and the buzz of conversation from surrounding friends
more than trying ; but I was determined to see every-
thing, and put up with the personal inconvenience.
Amid silence, except for the poor woman’s wailings
as she asks every one to forgive her, especially Allah,
and assures every one that death would release her, the
midwife announces the birth of a son.

“Zahrits,” the joy-cry of the women, springs from
every throat. The news is communicated to the father,
who may possibly be with friends in a neighbour’s
house, or in an office, if he possesses one. In high
families the announcement in those days was signalised
by the firing of many flint-locks ; to-day that custom is
abolished to a very great extent. The child is wrapped
up immediately and handed to a woman, and all
attention is given to the mother. Should no compli-
cations arise, she is lifted on to her bed, and a basin
of broth or whipped egg is given to her. In case of
twins, the advent of the second child is hidden as long
as possible, fearing the evil eye. In very rare cases of
triplets the woman is regarded almost with sanctity.

Considering the primitive methods used in compli-
cations, also rare, it is a wonder so few lives are sacri-
ficed. The child is now taken by the midwife and
thoroughly cleansed with cloths, then smeared over
with a concoction of henna and oil. It is next rolled


in old linen, over which is put a piece of native blanket
(haik) ; over that a cord of linen or silk is wound round
from shoulders to feet. On the head is put first a strip
of linen, coming across the temples and fastened low
behind the head, to keep the brain from being dis-
lodged ! Over that comes a cotton handkerchief tied
under the chin, and a piece of blanket that has been
left loose for the purpose completes the covering of
the head. Next, the eyes receive attention, cleansed
first of all with rags, and then khol is freely applied
with a native pencil to the eyelids. Eyebrows are
simulated in the same manner, the mouth is cleansed
with oil, and walnut juice in which a copper coin is
placed is applied several times, and the grotesque little
image is placed at its mother’s side after receiving the
homage of the assembled company. Soiled linen is
removed as becomes necessary, but the cloths put
on at birth were not removed, in those days, until the
eighth or name day. To-day more attention is paid
to cleanliness in and about Tangier, but no doubt these
conditions exist in many places in the interior from
sheer ignorance. Infant mortality is very high there,
but much less in Tangier than it was over thirty years

Next day the room is dressed in readiness to receive
visitors who come to offer congratulations. The bed
is draped in silk and net or muslin curtains ; a piece
of net or muslin is drawn across the lower part of the
bedstead from head to foot to screen the new mother
from view, as sometimes she does not feel equal to the
strain. The honours of the tea-tray are presided over
by a near relative or personal friend. The tea-tray is
quite an institution in rich and poor families alike, and
no visit is complete until the sweet, much-scented


beverage is tasted. These visits continue for a period
of seven days. On the evening of the seventh the
mother is taken to the hammam (vapour bath). If
one is installed in the house, then no necessity arises
for hiring a public one. To the accompaniment of
derbouga or tom-toms, a kind of drum, incense, and
many lighted candles, the young mother and specially
invited friends reach the bath, and all the time she
is there the musicians entertain whatever other guests
may be present.

Purification terminated, the return journey is made
with the same ceremonies. During the mother’s
absence the bed has been arranged with clean linen,
and in some houses even the curtains of the bedstead
and doorways are replaced by new ones, the mother
being also attired in everything new. A supper is
offered to all, and the cook remains at work all night
to be ready for the early breakfast to the male guests
when they assemble on the morrow at 8 A.M. for the
naming of the child. To these guests invitations have
been conveyed by two male relatives, friends or secre-
taries as the case may be. All being assembled at
the house appointed, congratulations and invocations
are offered and pronounced, and by preference the
nearest relative slaughters a ram by cutting its throat,
pronouncing the name of the child as the knife is
thrust into the animal. Prayer is then offered, and
all return to the guest-chamber, as the above ceremony
has taken place at the principal entrance to the house-
Tea, native biscuits, and cakes are now served to the
guests, and after three or four courses of meat and
chickens the meal ends with coffee. During the meal,
male musicians perform on instruments consisting of
violins, guitars, and tambourines; others keep time


with hand- clapping, and sometimes a brass tray with
a few cups and saucers on it is tapped with the fingers
to keep time with the rest of the musical company.

Meantime the sheep is dressed, put on a wooden
table with high rims, and covered with a cloth and
a coloured silk handkerchief. A negress hoists the
table on to her head and goes into the house amid
female musicians, “zahrits,” and the invocations by
which all are informed of the name bestowed on the
child. The negress wends her way to the mother’s
room, where she receives a ” gratification/’ and then
deposits her load in the kitchen, where the meat is
prepared for the women’s fete to be held in the after-
noon. Invitations to this fete have been issued with
due ceremony in the following manner. Two pro-
fessional negresses are summoned, or, if preferred, one
and a personal slave of the house are commanded to
call at certain residences in the name of the lady by
whom they are sent to request the presence of one or
more members of the family, or at least a representative,
on a certain date. The invitation is always accepted,
and good wishes returned for the completion of the
auspicious event. In cases where excuses have to be
made, a person is deputed to offer a gift in kind or
money to the hostess, equal to that given by her
when she was an honoured guest on a similar occasion.
The give-and-take system is vigorously enforced,
especially on the occasion of marriages. I have
known a few very rare cases where people have asked
the law to intervene when the debtor has omitted her
contribution ! To-day in Tangier it is not insisted
upon, but all the same it is expected.

After the lady guests have been entertained by
female musicians and dancers, regaled with tea and


cakes followed by a sumptuous dinner, they are invited
to see baby’s first ibath. The mother, gorgeously
attired, sits on her bed. A large basin is brought on
a brass tray; the water is lukewarm with a sprig of
scented herb in it. The henna and oil stained gar-
ments, or rather the apology for these, are removed.
The infant is well wiped all over with a towel, and
then a pretence at bathing is made. Soap seldom
figured in the accessories at that time, and any damp-
ing of the head was carefully avoided. To-day soap
and flannel are mostly used, even by those who object
to daily ablutions for babies, and it is surprising the
great number who to-day adopt the bath from birth.
The number of sensible women who favour this
necessary custom increases tremendously.

The bath finished, baby is dressed in brand-new
clothes, a miniature costume of the country. It is
again swaddled, then shown to the guests, who bless
the little mite, and each throw a piece of silver into
the bath water. This money is the perquisite of the


I HAVE assisted personally at many Moorish banquets.
At first the difficulty of manipulating the food was very
great, as only fingers are used, and the couscous, a
granular food made of semolina, the native dish of the
country, baffles me to this day. The manner of pro-
cedure is this. Eound, low wooden tables are brought
in, and about these eight or ten guests take their seats
on divans or cushions. Then a slave brings a brass
hand-basin and jug containing lukewarm water; the
right hand is held over the basin, water being poured
on it, the towel is taken from the slave, and when the
hand is dried you pass the towel to your neighbour,
until the cleansing process has been accomplished by
all at the table. A dish of chicken or meat is placed
in the centre of the table and uncovered, while one of
the guests will take loaves of bread and break them
up into pieces, passing them round until each guest
has at least two pieces or more in front of her. Then
a sippet is broken off, and saying “Bismillah” (in
the name of God), dip into the dish, and commence
eating. If the hostess is present she, in a dexterous
manner, parts the chicken. You can then help yourself.
Sometimes a choice bit is placed before you by some
one. It is bad form to refuse that particular morsel.
It is not etiquette to touch anything at meal times
with the left hand except the glass of drinking-water.



When change of dishes takes place, all rest the right
hand on the table. This is also done when the meal
is ended. The hand-basin is again passed round, and
this time soap is produced and both hands are washed.
The finger and thumb, touched with a little soap, are
used to cleanse the teeth, and a little water taken in
the palm of the hand to rinse the mouth three times.
Your neighbour does the same, and so on. The Moors
do not restrain themselves from making audible gut-
tural sounds after meals, which rather shocks those
uninitiated to this rather unpleasant custom.

Black coffee generally ends a meal, and orange-
flower water is added, or cinnamon. This is quite a
matter of taste in different families.

For years the people considered me quite an
authority on their different ailments, particularly those
of infants. My medical knowledge was very meagre,
and I am particularly indebted to many medical men
who lived in or visited Tangier for affording me in-
valuable advice. I was able to increase my little
pharmacy, and have the satisfaction that many an
infant had possibly had its sufferings assuaged by
timely aid. Men and women from all parts flocked to
me once it became known I had a medicine chest, and
by practice I gained a certain amount of knowledge.
With the advent of medical missions, I endeavoured
to persuade the people to patronise them, feeling sure
they would obtain much better advice than I could
offer them. At first this method was very difficult,
and many a bottle of medicine or box of pills was
brought to me to assure the owner that it contained
no poison, as they had been told that the object of the
Christians was to annihilate all Mohammedans. I
have often been present when with pestle and mortar


they have broken up pills, and shown me with an air
of triumph that the black stuff inside was assuredly
injurious. I have known them give a part of the liquid
medicine to a dog and watch the effect. Naturally I
refer to the time of the first establishment of dis-
pensary ; to-day medical aid is more sought after, but
the want of public support prevents more good being

The native, even of the higher class, generally
expects to be treated gratis, though there are many
conscientious enough to pay a doctor’s fee for home
attendance together with the chemist’s bills. As to
vaccination, no trouble was experienced when I first
introduced its use over twenty-five years ago. A
foundling, a female child, had been brought to the
house. I was not quite sure if I could ask the medical
attendant to vaccinate. It suddenly occurred to me that
by procuring lymph I might be able to produce the
desired effect myself. The Shareef was most enthusi-
astic over my proposition, and wrote to the then
Moorish Consul at Gibraltar for vaccine lymph, which
duly arrived between two pieces of glass. As luck
would have it, the operation was successful, but how
I trembled, how sick I felt, and mentally wished I had
not suggested doing it. Seeing the happy results, the
Shareef suggested that other children should be pre-
sented for the operation. It was sufficient for him to
make the proposition, for people to bring me children
of all ages that had escaped the scourge ; for smallpox
was rife in those days in Tangier, and epidemics of
frequent occurrence. I soon gained my nerve, and
have sent away forty to seventy patients with the
requisite scratches on their arms. They returned
voluntarily on the eighth day to know if the results


were satisfactory. People from all parts came, some
making two and three days’ journey. The Sus people
are particularly susceptible to smallpox if, on arriving
in Tangier, they come in contact with a sufferer. The
malady is unknown in Sus. Many a greybeard has
solicited the preventive immediately on arrival here.
At Wazan, Fez, Mequinez, Zarhoun, Beni Hassan, and
other places I have operated on hundreds of men,
women, and children, and often I have had letters
asking me to forward vaccine lymph to outlying
districts, they sending men to receive instructions on
the method of procedure. At Fez, I was on a visit,
and some children of my hostess being particularly
healthy chicks I experimented with the father’s per-
mission. The mother was not to be informed. As I
pretended to be brushing off a mosquito, the children
were not impressed by my operation, sweets having
distracted them. A few days later the mother was
distressed, thinking the children had contracted the
dread disease, and when I told her what was the real
cause, she expressed herself more than grateful, especially
for not telling her beforehand, as she was so nervous.
During the remainder of my visit I think that over six
hundred children and women came to me. Unfortu-
nately I could not satisfy all. On subsequent visits
crowds came, and I think they are now convinced that
the missionaries are quite capable of doing the same
good offices, minus the baraka, or blessing, which I
was supposed to possess from Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam,
their spiritual leader.

To-day my patients vary from fifteen hundred to
two thousand per annum. Even if I wished to cease
receiving them, it is out of my power to do so. I
essayed the attempt, and, not being able to attend to


all personally, instructed several women of my house-
hold as helpers, and people are now content as long
as the vaccine lymph is provided by me, and I see
the little patient. I have not limited myself to
Moors, and have patients of all nationalities, who
come here for the purpose. As a young girl when
at boarding-school I was so fascinated by seeing
the principal’s baby being vaccinated, that on the
eighth day after the doctor’s visit I examined the
punctures, and finding the lymph still exuding, I pro-
cured a darning-needle, and as it was half holiday, I
took the child into the orchard and inoculated myself.
The marks I have to this day. Little did I realise
that in after life I should be called upon to puncture
arms by thousands.

Among other things I am consulted in the artificial
nourishment of infants. Often a father has come to
me week after week to write down the proportions
of milk and barley water to be given, the value of
some patent food, or baked flour is sometimes de-
manded of me. The use of the feeding-bottle has
created the lazy mother even in Morocco, but at the
same time it has proved a blessing to the delicate one,
or to the motherless child. As in Europe, mothers
are fond of giving tastes of wrong food to their off-
spring. Coffee and green tea I have known given
when the infant is only a few weeks old. The custom
prevails when weaning children to have a pot of green
tea always on hand night and day. One can imagine
the poisonous concoction after it has. stood a few hours,
and then the family wonder why the child is always
ill, attributing the trouble to the loss of the mother’s
milk. Tea is a panacea for all children’s ailments,
though I am glad to say that milk is much more used


to-day in families where the tea was once considered

Children in Morocco suffer from appalling maladies
and malformations. Hernia is very prevalent. Oph-
thalmia is another scourge. Many a terrible case has
been brought to me when travelling in the interior out
of reach of any medical aid. If the case has not been
too far from the town where professional aid could
be obtained, they absolutely refuse to profit by it, pre-
ferring to visit daily some saint’s tomb, wear amulets,
or consult the wise men of the market-place. The
little patient dwindles away, and when there is a final
period to its suffering the family are quite resigned
and say, ” It was written.”

As soon as possible after my second son’s birth we
removed to the residence I now occupy just outside
the town. It stands on a plateau named the Marshan.
Here I have passed many happy years of my life. The
Shareef was a devoted father, realising, he told me,
what it was to have paternal responsibility. He knew
little of his children by former marriages, and as for
nursing, amusing, or even kissing the children, that
was quite outside his general ideas, but with my boys it
was quite different. He was, in fact, too demonstrative
at times ; he would walk off to the nursery, take the
child from his cot when fast asleep, because he looked
so sweet ! He would sit on the floor by the hour and
amuse them, or walk about the garden with the child
in his arms. People who saw him looked on in as-
tonishment, for be it remembered that he was their
greatest saint in all Morocco, who was not considered
to occupy himself with the petty details of this world.
No one suspected the tender heart that beat under the
rather severe and very dignified exterior of one whose






conversation in public was carried on by a third person.
Rumour has it that his voice had never been heard
in public before we were married, nor had he been
seen to smile even. I have been told that when the
Shareef first came to live in Tangier the impression
was that he was dumb, consequent on his carrying his
silence to such an extent. He ultimately became
a fairly good conversationalist, full of anecdotes, and
made the most atrocious puns. The transformation,
which was permanent, was appreciated by his co-
religionists, and his ” sayings ” are quoted to this



IN July 1877 the Shareef decided to visit France,
England, and Spain. We embarked with a suite of
eleven persons on one of Paquet’s boats for Marseilles.
It was the Shareefs second visit to that city. The
former occasion was that on which he made the pilgrim-
age to Mecca, when a French man-of-war was placed at
his disposal for the double journey. My baby suffered
from teething convulsions, and his father occupied his
time day and night in visiting the little one and
amusing the elder boy. Fortunately the sea-air had
an excellent effect upon the child, and we arrived in
Marseilles with pleasant reminiscences of a successful
voyage, and regrets from the sailors at losing the little
Moor whom they had petted and spoilt for the last
few days.

The Commissioner of Ports with a Professor of
Arabic came on board, in the name of the French
Government, to conduct us to the Grand Hotel, where
apartments, luxuriously furnished, had been reserved for
us. The Prefet’s secretary called directly we arrived
at the hotel, and the Moorish flag was hoisted. Then
the Moorish merchants resident in Marseilles came to
pay their homage to the Shareef, their spiritual leader.
Next day Monsieur le Prefet des Bouches de Rhone
called, and, accompanied by him, we made a round of



visits to the principal sights of the city, including a
sugar factory, whence we beat a hasty retreat, the heat
being so intense. We visited the Palace at Longchamps,
the Prado promenade, the park, and many other places.
A call was made on the Pr&fet’s wife, and we inspected
the Prefecture ; then we went on board the Yan-Tse, an
enormous boat just built by the Messageries Company.
The Chinese domestics, by whom we were served with
refreshments in a most recherche style, called forth
much attention and admiration from the Shareef.
After visiting the whole of the vessel, we returned to
the hotel and sent all our servants to the ship, and a
real good time they had among the sailors. On the
fourth day we left for Lyons. It was the first experience
of railway travelling for our retainers. It was a study
to watch their faces at starting. Every movement of
the train caused them to clutch hold fast ; when really
started they held on as for dear life. At the first
stoppage a fervent “Ell Amdollilah” (thank God) was
ejaculated by all. In an hour or two all were settled
down, enjoying the scenery, and amusing themselves
counting the telegraph posts. The movements of the
signals puzzled .them immensely. The Prdfet and his
secretary made their adieux at the railway station.
The same ceremonies were observed at Lyons as at
Marseilles by the representatives of the French Govern-
ment. As we were leaving by the night train, all
possible sights were shown us, including some silk
factories, where I was fascinated by some very old
tapestries of priceless value.

Arriving in Paris at a very early hour of the morn-
ing, we were received by the first secretary and inter-
preter from the French Foreign Office, and conducted
to the Grand Hotel du Louvre. On the afternoon of



arrival the Shareef called on Marshal Macmahon, the
President of the French Republic ; and the Due DecazeX
then Minister for Foreign Affairs, paid a visit to the
Shareef. Time was taken up in paying and receiving
visits. The second evening at the Opera, we saw a
representation of La Heine de Chypre. The President
most kindly placed his box at our disposition, the
honours of the same being paid by M. Gabeau, chief
interpreter to the French Army. The General, Marquis
d’Absac, came also to welcome us, as representing
Marshal Macmahon. A visit behind the scenes
amused the Shareef immensely; especially was he
struck by the ladies of the corps de ballet. I found
Paris charming, and left with regret at being unable to
make a longer visit to a city which had provided me
with so much real enjoyment.

Nothing of note occurred on our journey to
England. The arrangements were all most conducive
to our comfort and ease. The Channel crossing was
not too rough. Dover and then Victoria Station were
reached in due time. At the latter a member of the
Foreign Office met us, Dr. Leared (since dead), and
a few personal friends, and escorted us to Conduit
Street, where the British Government had retained
quarters for us. The season was at an end, and the
Court and every one of note out of town. Lord Derby
received the Shareef, and return visits were made by
proxy. Royal carriages were placed at our disposal,
and the sights of London were duly visited. Man-
chester, Macclesfield, and Birmingham invited us, but
no time was at our disposal for the journeys. The
Mayor of Brighton offered us a luncheon, but after-
wards my cousin’s husband, a medical man in that
town, took the entertainment on his hands, and we


had tea with the authorities at the Aquarium instead.
We travelled to Brighton in a saloon placed at our
disposal by the L.B. and S.K.C., Mr. John Shaw con-
tributing much to ensure our comfort both going and
returning. The Directors of the Alexandra Palace
invited us to be their guests, and here the amusements
were very varied. A young elephant was christened
Shareef during his performance in the arena, to the
great amusement of my husband. A recherche’ dinner
was served in a private room, and the guests were
numerous. A splendid display of fireworks finished
up a charming but most tiring day.

I attended a service at my parish church, St. Mary’s,
Newington, to which the Shareef accompanied me,
and went into the choir while at my devotions. He
uncovered in the church, and did the same on visiting
Westminster Abbey and St. Paul’s Cathedral. 1 On
the whole, the Shareef was glad to have seen London ;
but at the same time he confessed that nothing would
induce him to live there for any length of time, the
climate, to his idea, being depressing, and people looked
so sad. I do not think I agreed with him entirely,
though London is certainly not exhilarating in the
month of August, especially with a high temperature.

The Surrey County Gaol, of which my father was
at that time governor, impressed the Shareef very
much. He visited the whole establishment, and in
the kitchen took a small quantity of the food, which I
think was oatmeal porridge, familiarly called skilly.
As a child, I often went in to the cook with a basin
for some, and ate it sweetened with molasses. At that
time Morocco prisons were at their worst ; to-day the
Tangier prison is almost luxurious in comparison to

1 A Moor covers his head in his own place of worship.


thirty-five years ago, thanks to Europeans who have
interested themselves of late years to provide a little
comfort and cleanliness for the unfortunate prisoners.

At the end of a fortnight we left London. The only
incident in our journey was the overturning of one of
our luggage cabs, which almost caused us to lose the
train. No one was hurt, but the servants inside were
much terrified for the time being. From Paris we
went to Bordeaux, where the French authorities took
leave of us. A Spanish official accompanied us to
Madrid. The Spanish Government was represented on
our arrival, and escorted us to an excellent hotel. The
Spaniards were much more curious, and crowds waited
outside to see ” El Santo del Moro.” As at Paris, an
official was sent from the Foreign Office and attached
to us the whole time we were in Madrid. In response
to a command from the Spanish King, Alfonso XII., to
visit him at La Granja, the Shareef went alone, as my
baby had another convulsion, and naturally I could not
leave him in the care of the nurses. The Shareef was
extremely well received by the King and his Court,
and Dona Mercedes, the King’s fiancee, was particularly
gracious in fact she quite fascinated the Shareef. Her
extreme amiability contributed much to the enjoyment
of the reception, which he never forgot, and on hearing
of the young Queen’s death he was really quite sorrow-
ful. He was anticipating another visit to the Court of
Spain, but the hope was never realised.

We took Cordova on our way home. Here also
nothing was left undone to make our short visit a
pleasant one, even to being serenaded at night in
true Spanish fashion. The cathedral and all the
principal points of interest were shown to us. The
ancient mosque claimed a great deal of our time, the


Shareef being particularly interested in the magnificent
buildings erected by his co-religionists when they
occupied Spain. All these monuments are so richly
described by people possessing literary genius that I
will not enter into any details of them. Granada
was to receive a passing visit, but Ramadan, the fast-
ing month, was at hand, and the Shareef preferred to
regain Tangier as early as possible, so to Cadiz we
went instead, and, after staying there about forty-eight
hours, we chartered a steamer and landed safe and
sound in Morocco.

I think the Shareef enjoyed his Spanish visit ex-
tremely. That he was conversant with the language
was also a great advantage. There is much in the
Spaniard that recalls the Moor, and among the lower
classes the similarity is most striking. In dancing, so
many of the movements are common to both nations,
and in singing, the clap-hand accompaniment, the
prevalence of airs in the minor key, and often a few
bars of the music can be traced either to Moor or
Spaniard. The Moor has a very high-flown imagina-
tion, and the Spaniard is not far behind, and when
they quarrel both shriek and howl in such a manner
that the least to be expected from the great excitability
is murder, but half-an-hour after all is cooled down,
and no doubt the affair has often been of the most
trivial kind.

The demonstrations on landing were even more
pronounced than ever, and it was with a sigh of relief
that I reached home to escape from our well-meaning
friends. My baby was now better, though his delicate
state of health concerned me day and night. I was
over-anxious, I suppose, and refused to join the hunting
parties to which my husband was so devoted. Another


flying visit to Ceuta was made in the early part of
1878, and was as enjoyable as the former one. A new
governor made no difference in our reception at that
quaint little Spanish town. Going and returning we
had plenty of sport in the Angera Hills, and the
children benefited by the fortnight’s camp-life. On
our return I left the children for a day or two and went
out pig-sticking with an English party headed by Sir
John Drummond Hay. The Shareef seldom failed to
make one of the party when these pleasant entertain-
ments were organised, and became acquainted with
many officers of the Gibraltar garrison in consequence.
It was the first time I could leave my babies, for the
younger was so delicate during his teething.

It was while my husband was away on one of
these shooting expeditions that I beheld an apparition.
Both children slept in my room when their father was
absent. The younger was restless in his cot at my side.
The elder was in my bed. About 1.30 A.M. I was doz-
ing, and thought I would just give another look at the
child. Finding him in a nice sleep, I thought I could
settle down, when all at once a bright star seemed to
be hovering over the chimney-piece. I had put out
the candle and only a night-light remained. I looked
again, and this light moved toward the foot of my bed,
gliding along quite slowly, and then stopped. I looked
again, trembling from head to foot, when suddenly the
form of a man appeared. It was a venerable face with
a long white beard. The body was wrapped in a white
garment, draped over the shoulders (haik is the Moorish
name) ; the forehead and head were indistinguishable,
as though a mist surrounded them. I took the baby
into my bed and covered both children and myself
under the bedclothes. I wanted to call out, but feared


to awaken the children. Then a little courage came to
me, so I peeped to see if there was really anything,
when I saw the apparition pass through the locked
door. After it had disappeared, I lighted the candle
and made a tour of inspection, which revealed nothing.
I could not sleep, and was very glad when daylight
appeared. I told no one, fearing to scare my English
nurse, and not knowing how the Moors would take my
statement. When the Shareef returned from his
hunting expedition I related all that had happened,
naturally expecting him to sympathise with me, but
instead, in a very calm way, he replied, ” Oh, did you
see him ? It is my father. I often see him, so don’t
be alarmed if he comes another time.” A few nights
after I was translating Rohlf’s book on Wazan, and
the Shareef had fallen asleep, when the same apparition
again occurred. I called my husband to look, forgetting
his injunction not to speak unless spoken to. All he
did was just to look and turn over, and soon he was
fast asleep.

As a general rule after he was in bed I read to him
for a while the newspapers he was particularly inter-
ested in, and as he had a most retentive memory,
conversation with Europeans on different subjects was
facilitated. The numerical strength of European
armies and navies he knew well, and always followed
the political affairs of France and Spain.

When my English nurse left me to be married, I
took a French woman who had been with a French
representative at Tangier, and both the little boys soon
spoke French and English well, and naturally Arabic,
before the elder was eight years old. In 1880 I en-
gaged an English governess, and was fortunate in
finding a lady who was most capable, and a little after


two years was sorry to part with her, as relations in
New Zealand sent for her. I was equally fortunate in
finding a successor, who remained for nearly four
years, and then she too left me to be married to a
gentleman who is now a colonel in the Spanish army.
For some time letters were exchanged between myself
and a little son of my husband’s by a former marriage.
He wrote asking to come to Tangier. It was only by
accident I found out his existence, and immediately
wished to bring him, but the Shareef remarked he
was better with his mother, and that his elder half-
brothers had charge of him, so I contented myself with
sending him goodies and toys. Then, as time went on,
there were requests for clothes and other things. I
felt more and more sorry for the boy growing up without
knowing his father, and it pained me to reflect that for
my sake this child was kept away from him. The
Shareef was always very reticent when I broached the
subject, possibly because he did not realise that my
offer was genuine, and thought it a passing fancy to
please him. Twice the boy started from Wazan on
his own account for Tangier. At last the Shareef sent
for him, and his delight at seeing me was that of a
greeting of a long-lost friend. I treated the boy as my
own, but, strange as it may seem, my husband appeared
jealous, or whatever it was, if he thought I favoured
his son more than our own. He considered Muley
Ali and Muley Ahmed, my boys, so much more than
this son of his of nine years old. I made no difference
between them, and the Shareef never suggested that I
should. He was kind to him, but I felt an inexplicable
something in the air where he was concerned. The
boy’s intelligence was remarkable. In eighteen months
he read and spoke English fairly well, gained a


smattering of Spanish, and continued his Arabic studies
with my children’s tutor. He was, however, always
in scrapes of some kind or other, and I had no bed of
roses with him. As he got rather out of bounds, I
wondered what I should do ; for his example was not
what I would wish my sons to imitate. Still I kept
silent and never exposed his delinquencies to his

At length the French Minister proposed that the
boy should be sent to the Lyce’e at Algiers, so I pre-
pared the Shareef for the proposition. I hoped to
send my own boys later, and thought by obtaining
consent for this step-son I should create a precedent,
thereby solving any difficulties in the future education
of my boys. I was rather reticent about approaching
the subject first of all, though I soon found I had
no need to be, for the Shareef simply replied, ” Do
what you think best. I only wish I was young enough
to be admitted ; I would go to-morrow.”

In due time the French Minister arranged every-
thing. The question then arose, who was to take the
boy to Algiers. Naturally his father should have done
so, but it was not convenient for him to leave Morocco,
and I little thought he would permit me to travel
without him. Considering it would be a poor com-
pliment to the Algerian Government to send his son
alone, the Shareef arranged that I should go with a
suitable escort. I visited Tlemcen again, and received
a hearty welcome from the inhabitants. From there we
went on to Algiers, had one or two interviews with the
Governor-General, and completed arrangements at the
Lycee, making the acquaintance of the particularly
nice head master and his wife, who interested herself
immensely in the pupils, especially those whose homes


lay at a distance. My step- son, Muley Thami, liked
her immensely. He remained at the Lycde four years,
gained prizes every year, and learned to speak and
write French correctly. He was in a fair way to dis-
tinguish himself.

Every Easter I went to see him and take him about
for his holidays, either to Constantine or Tlemcen,
and on one occasion to Hammam Bougrarah, near
Marnia. For certain reasons he left the Lycee, and took
more wine or perhaps other things than was good for
him. He became an inveterate smoker, and seemed
likely to ruin his health altogether. From being most
docile in character he went to the other extreme. I
found he could not be managed at home, so a course
of army discipline was suggested. That failed, and
he was sent to Wazan, where drink ruined him mentally,
and during his father’s lifetime he was incarcerated
for over a year, so violent had he become.

After his father’s death he was sent to an asylum
in France, where he remains to this day a helpless
imbecile. The strangest thing was that for all his
changes he never was wanting in respect to me, and
I have disarmed him many a time when others were
afraid to approach him. I went to see him in France
with my eldest son. He immediately recognised me,
but on any reference to Wazan or the family he pro-
fessed his ignorance of it all, and would have nothing
to say to his half-brother. Until later years, I never
learned that he was not over-well treated at Wazan by
his half-brothers there. He had been left to the tender
mercies of retainers, from whom he learnt the habit of
drink, the fearful curse which has had the disastrous
effect of crushing and ruining a life which might have
been a brilliant one.


IN a few years after my marriage when I had learned
to speak Arabic fairly well, I thought it better to get
in touch with the Moorish ladies. I now knew their
manners and customs. Continual daily visits from
one or the other were rather inconvenient, as they
came at all hours, so I suggested that every Friday
I would be at home. I felt rather strange in my
European dress, so I decided to have some native
costumes for these occasions. The delight of my guests
on seeing me thus attired can be imagined. Compli-
ments were numerous, and I was pleased to give them
so much pleasure. Conversation with a Moorish lady
is very difficult to maintain. Once the health of the
family is inquired after, or admiration expressed for
a new dress or handkerchief, there is little more to
say. But scandal is rife among them, and confidences
are many. They are possessed also of an exceptionally
vivid imagination, which is not surprising, for the
Moorish nation from highest to lowest possesses this
gift. Past and future marriages or possible engage-
ments come in for their share of discussion. Perhaps
some one was ill-dressed at a wedding or some other
function, or had displayed ” airs and graces/’ These
shortcomings fell under the ban of the assembled
company. Each one would have her say, and often



such chatter ensued that nothing could be distin-
guished of the subject under discussion.

Moorish ladies in general are very observant, and
their criticisms of visitors are most remarkable, be they
sisters or of another nationality. To accommodate my
Moorish lady visitors, the room was arranged a la
Mauresque, viz. with mattresses covered with sheets
and coloured muslin, and plenty of multi-coloured silk
cushions were strewn about. I had my own negress to
bring in the tea, which is served first, after the
musicians have duly sung and played. Dinner follows
about an hour or less after. Fatimah, dressed in gala
costume, brings in a low table, and her second follows
her when she returns with a tray laden with tiny cups
and saucers, in the centre of which are two teapots, to
be used for black and green tea respectively. On
another small table is a tray containing two tea
receptacles, or caddies. These may be of glass, silver,
or ordinary tin canisters. A large glass bowl or dish
containing about two pounds or more of sugar, a glass
containing mint, lemon, verbena, wild thyme, or some
other herb, a glass or any fancy box containing slips of
scented wood, a plated or brass incense-burner, two
plated scent- sprinklers, containing rose and orange
flower water, and a tumbler with a long-handled silver
spoon in it, and also used as slop-basin, complete the
equipment. This tray is on a line with the one con-
taining the cups and saucers. Next, Fatimah arrives
with a hissing samovar, and her second enters with a
brass tray, which she places on the floor to receive the
samovar. To the right of the tea-maker is yet another
tray with native cakes and a basket with native
biscuits, and later, I introduced European biscuits as
I had introduced the black tea. This last, though



much objected to at first, is more used in Tangier,
and to a great extent in Fez, than green, and as for
European biscuits, no function is complete without
them to-day.

The process of tea-making is this : A handful of
green tea is thrown into the pot and well rinsed with
boiling water; then the herb chosen is put in, and
sugar in lumps fills the pot. Boiling water is now
added, and the concoction is allowed to stand for a
few seconds. The scum is now removed, and the tea
stirred ; then the tea-maker, washing her hands pre-
viously, pours a little into a cup to taste as to sweet-
ness. Being satisfied, she fills each tiny cup, and
Fatimah, with her second, proceeds to distribute the
same, the recipient placing it in front of her on the
ground, having taken the precaution to spread a
muslin handkerchief over her lap beforehand ; then
the cakes and biscuits are presented. Black tea pre-
pared in the same way is in general use. When all
are served, tea- sipping commences, often in a most
audible manner. Tea-drinking is accompanied with
scent-sprinkling and incense-burning to perfume the
clothes. The women eat and drink slowly, and
chatter all the time. Three cups and no more are
taken. A little rest comes before the passing round
of the pretty brass jug and basin for each guest to
wash her right hand before dinner is served.

For dinner, large low wooden tables are set before
every six or eight guests, and the dishes placed one
after the other in the centre. Bread is taken from a
basket, broken up, and distributed over the table.
With “Bismillah” (in the name of God) a sippet is
taken, and some one will part a chicken in suitable
pieces in such a dexterous manner that the hand used


is only soiled at the finger-tips. Sometimes two
persons engage in the operation of dissection, with the
same happy result. To refuse a choice bit from a
fellow-guest is a great breach of etiquette. Fish is
usually served last, otherwise it would give a fishy
flavour to succeeding dishes if served first. Soup is
a breakfast dish, and is never omitted during Ramadan,
the fasting month, the fast being broken by this
appetising concoction, excellent of its kind when well
prepared, to say nothing of being most nourishing.
The Moors call this soup “hurra.”

This brings me to another dainty named ” cous-
cous,” the staple dish of Morocco, made of semolina
and fine flour, worked up into pellets of various sizes
on flat-edged trays with the palm of the hand, salt
and water being added as required with a large
wooden spoon. It can be manipulated into granular
particles as fine as the finest sago, or as large as a
pea. Generally four sizes are used, the finest to eat
with young pigeons, or to be served with sugar and
milk after butter has been rubbed in. Another size is
used to make a dish of chicken or mutton, or to be
mixed with sour milk, another to be used in a dish
of preserved meat (koleah) and the coarsest is for the
soup. When used fresh, it is steamed twice over ;
butter is rubbed in while the material is steaming hot.
The couscous is heaped in a conical form on the dish,
on which it has been placed lightly. If for meat or
chicken, the cone is depressed, and the meat put in the
depression covered with browned onions or vegetables,
or both ; if for pigeons, they are buried in the dish ;
if as a sweet, the cone remains. A design is carried
out in powdered cinnamon over the couscous, and
plenty of powdered sugar is distributed over the whole.


Powdered sugar accompanies this dish in small saucers
and glasses of milk fresh or sour.

If couscous is for storage, it is well steamed, dried
thoroughly in the sun, and placed in bags or barrels.
When required for use, it is well washed and then
prepared for a second steaming. In their cooking
operations the Moors are, as a general rule, extremely
cleanly. Meat and poultry are always washed in at
least Jthree waters. In bread-making the arms and
hands are always washed with soap and water before
the dough is mixed, and wheat is generally washed
in two waters and dried before being sent to the
mill by those who prefer grinding their own wheat
to purchasing flour by pound weight or by the sack.
In eating, drinking, or any culinary preparations
” Bismillah ” is pronounced before operations begin,
and on conclusion “El Hamdoulillah ” (thanks be
to God) is uttered.

In Algeria I noticed a curious custom. A drink
of water taken in company is the sign for each
individual in the room to say ” sahah ” (good health).
Audible eructations after a meal will provoke the same
utterance at Fez and some other parts of Morocco,
and a good yawn is not looked upon as a breach of
the peace ! Teeth are rinsed well after each meal
with soap and water and polished with towel or
handkerchief, nor is attention to the teeth in public
counted indelicate.


ANOTHER journey to Ceuta resulted in a lady friend of
mine, also governess to the boys, being chosen by the
Governor-General’s aide-de-camp as his future wife.
To-day the colonel and his wife and two children re-
main among my dearest friends. The betrothal of my
step -daughter took place in the early spring of 1882,
and towards the summer wedding preparations were
begun, for the marriage was to take place in the follow-
ing October. The Shareef seemed perplexed as to how
certain things were to be obtained from Fez, as it was
customary for a member of the family to go there on
such occasions. The betrothal was an informal affair.
The Shareef’s aunt arrived from Wazan with a goodly
retinue, bringing handsome presents for the bride-elect
from the bridegroom-elect, and there was a certain
amount of feasting and general rejoicing. While the
Shareef s aunt stayed with us, the different items of
the trousseau were cut out and prepared for the seam-
stresses. During the operation the people sang to the
rhythm of tom-toms, punctuated with clapping of hands
and cries of ” zahrits,” as each garment was fashioned
and sprinkled with aniseed, for good luck. The
clothes were then folded up, ready to be handed to
the women who were present to take up the caftan,
or whatever they were to sew.



The disaffection between the Shareef and his two
elder sons by a former marriage still continued, and
as I noticed that my husband did not seem inclined
to ask them to undertake this journey, I said, half in
earnest, ” Oh, let me go, and take Muley Ali,” then
a boy of nine years old. To my utter astonishment
he agreed at once, and began preparations for my
journey before I had well realised what I had offered
to do. Although I was fully aware that Tangier and
environs were all so well disposed towards me, I had
never taken into consideration whether other places
might be so, especially without the Shareef ‘s presence ;
however, I was not going to retract, come what might,
and I entered into the spirit of the forthcoming
journey with the greatest alacrity.

Several Europeans, among them some diplomats, re-
monstrated with me on my supposed foolhardiness. I
think all this made me more anxious to go, especially
as I was perfectly certain no risks were to be run.
He was far too fond of me and of his sons to permit
anything of the kind. Europeans suggested that for
safety’s sake I should assume Moorish garb, but
the Shareef opposed that. “All Morocco knows my
wife is an Englishwoman, and as such you must
travel,” said he, so I provided myself with linen riding-
habits, and a light cloth one for the auspicious

I left my second boy behind with rather an aching
heart, though naturally I knew his father would super-
intend the care of him quite as well as myself. Then his
half-sister, Lalla Heba, the bride-elect, was a host in
herself. Nevertheless they both welcomed my return,
for father and daughter had worried themselves over

their charge, so as to be able to give a clean bill of



health on my return. The clean bill was duly pre-
sented, with a spoilt child into the bargain.

But I anticipate. The mules, some twenty in
number, arrived from Wazan for baggage, and our stables
furnished me with six saddle – horses and four mules
with their bright scarlet trappings. The Shareef s con-
fidential slave, Mahmoud, was in charge of the animals,
and acted as advance guard. My husband’s housekeeper
waited on me, and the cook and his aide came under
her supervision at the different halting-places for the
night. I was told that ten days, or at most twelve,
would find me in Fez, but, alas ! one had not counted
on the enthusiasm of the people en route.

The send-off was imposing. The Shareef accom-
panied us the first hour’s journey, and so did all the
notables of Tangier, to say nothing of the crowds of
the curious. Drum and fife were heard, and flags
were carried by the men from Tuat. Adieux were
made, and we rode on after our caravan, which had
preceded us, and arrived to find our tents pitched
and all prepared for passing the night, four hours
from Tangier. I was rather overwhelmed with visitors,
who began to arrive soon after our tents had come
on the scene. I was so tired out by these well-
meaning people that at last I took refuge behind
my canvas walls to get a little peace. Chickens, eggs,
milk, butter, and a sample of sheep, with flat loaves of
bread, barley and straw for the horses and mules,
all for love, poured in upon me. Offers of payment
would have hurt the susceptibilities of the givers.

Next morning we were up early, and started, as we
thought, for a seven hours’ ride to the next halting-
place. But it was not so written, for soon a deputa-
tion arrived, begging us to pass the night in a neigh-


bouring village to give them the blessing on their
households and belongings generally. A divergence
of route was consequently made. Here was my first
experience of a sacrifice, for in the morning a slain
sheep was laid at my tent door. On inquiries, I found
that some relative of a villager was imprisoned at Fez
and my influence was solicited to obtain his release,
which I eventually obtained together with freedom for
several others.

I need not describe the country I passed through,
as it has been so ably done by those who have accom-
panied diplomatic and other missions. It was only on
the ninth day after leaving Tangier that we reached
Al K’sar el Kebir, so numerous were the invitations
from the natives to tarry awhile, now at this village
and now at that. I am sure if we had accepted all,
our journey to Fez would have been prolonged beyond
endurance. I thought it policy to humour our would-
be hosts as far as lay in my power, though it was with
no small satisfaction that I saw the deputations from
all sects coming to meet us, outside the town walls,
for there would be, as I imagined, a two days’ rest at
Al K’sar for man and beast, during which time pack
saddles could be tested, or a mule’s missing shoes

A large Moorish house was placed at my disposal,
furnished in native fashion, but I am afraid I showed
my bad taste in preferring my camp bedstead to the
canopied, heavily curtained, and gorgeous brass bed-
stead prepared for me. As for the cooked food brought
me, an army would have been satisfied. The Basha
also sent two sheep, sugar, candles, tea, and barley
was not omitted for the animals. The two days spent
there were not much of a rest, so much visiting and


receiving had to be gone through. Such hospitality
was impressive in the extreme, and proved to me the
great extent of the Shareef s influence and the high
veneration in which he was held by the people.

Al K’sar is noted for the plague of flies in summer
and for its extreme heat. There is a Moorish saying
that Al K’sar is a furnace in summer, and is drowned
in winter. The rivers in the vicinity overflow their
banks very often in the rainy season, and people have
the unpleasant experience of finding several feet of
putrid water about their doors and in their houses for
days together when extra heavy rains have fallen.

With difficulty we started on the morning of the
third day, forded the river El Lckus, which was at a
very low ebb, and one could scarcely realise the sad
tales related to me of the winter overflows. I had no
intention of visiting Mequinez, but the invitations to
halt were so zigzag to the proper route that we saw
the town before we had realised its proximity. The
usual demonstrations of loyalty to the Wazan family
were made by the town magnates, including the
Government authorities. Somehow I did not feel at
ease there. The houses areidepressing ; such long dark
passages have to be traversed to reach the inhabited
portion of the home. The people were most genial,
but an entirely different class of people to those in Al
K’sar or Fez. Nevertheless, they were most hospitable,
and I was taken to visit many gardens, which came as
a relief after the suffocating town. Not far from
Mequinez, I came across some remnants of Si Sliman’s
tribe. They were delighted to see me, and said their
dream was to return ; but, alas ! they had not the
means, and, having intermarried and made new ties, I
believe they remain there still.


The heat was telling upon us all, and I hurried
away from Mequinez in spite of protestations of my
hosts, hoping to reach Fez in not more than two days.
Muley Ali called Mequinez a prison, and once on our
journey he began to revive in spirits and regain his
appetite. He cantered gaily ahead, and before long
returned announcing we could go no further. The
escort of Mequinez, consisting of the same people as
when we entered the town, could scarcely have reached
home, when several horsemen came on the scene to
escort us to their village. Powder-play commenced,
and the progress of our caravans was slow. ” Where is
your village?” I inquired. ” Just over that hillock,”
was the reply, but that hillock did not seem to get
nearer ; possibly the one I saw was not the one I
imagined they pointed out to me. Suddenly more
people appeared, and our animals were led in a direc-
tion that was certainly not towards Fez. Our guides
remonstrated in vain, saying the people were not to be
trusted ; the Beni M’Tir were known to be a treacher-
ous lot. I begged my retainers to be calm as the
odds were against us, and more than probable they
meant no harm.

My escort consisted of about forty men of our own,
and about twenty others who had joined en route just
for the sake of getting to their destinations safely. I
suffered mentally, and visions of all sorts of horrors
surged in my brain. I learned all the saints’ names at
Wazan, and thought that in case of emergency I could
pacify the people by invoking them if necessity arose.
Soon we arrived at a place half a mile from a village
in a wood where the brushwood was very high, and
innumerable olive trees grew in the vicinity. It was
cool and quiet, and, but for misgivings as to future


intentions, I should have thought that we had found
an ideal camping ground. Our guides were inclined
to remonstrate in a bellicose fashion. Knowing these
people were not to be trusted, I begged them all to be
calm, and not to anticipate treacherous intentions.
The Beni M’Tir men allowed no one to unpack, and
put up our tents in no time, and although they were
rather puzzled over mine, they eventually arranged it
quite correctly. Then came the luggage to be dis-
tributed, and our people pointed out the different
belongings. Our men were not to work, they said, as
they were guests. Steaming hot food arrived, consisting
of couscous, chickens, meat, and flat loaves of bread,
then eggs, milk, oil, butter, live chickens, and a
sheep, together with barley and straw for the horses
and mules. In the evening the women of the village
came ; some bore banners and basins of milk (symbol
of peace), and entertained us with dancing and singing.
Their ” zahrits ” is different to that of other places, being
produced by the tongue, whereas elsewhere it comes
from the top of the throat. Their language was a
Berber dialect. I did not let Muley Ali out of my
sight, and when they were returning to the village all
passed in a most orderly Indian file before our tent
door, kissing our hands or heads and asking the

At night a guard of twenty-four men was told off,
and the noise they made until daybreak was appalling.
Our men began to prepare to take the road, and their
dismay was great when the villagers prevented them.
A deputation arrived at my tent, and after much argu-
ment I had to give in, whereupon my female Moorish
attendant declared she smelt treachery, and wept
copiously. As the day grew, my people gained more


confidence, and threw off their rather sullen attitude
with the people. Before evening they were chums,
and though the night was as noisy as the preceding
one, all slept from sheer exhaustion. Next morning
the headman and his fellow-villagers came, struck
the tents, helped to load the baggage animals, bring-
ing so much offering in kind that even with two extra
mules they lent us all could not be taken. There was
an escort of about twenty men, all well mounted on
gaudy saddles. They were sorry we would not remain
longer, but naturally if ” Sidi ” had fixed our entry into
Fez for a certain day, Sidi’s wishes must be adhered
to, and so forth. Whereupon a dirty bag was put in
front of Muley Ali, and was found to contain one
hundred dollars, representing the tribe’s offering to
“Dar de Mana.” Soon after starting, powder-play
began on the road. According as the width of the
path allows, so many horsemen form a line abreast,
and at a given signal all start, holding a loaded gun
high above their heads. The pace increases, the reins
are loosened, the gun lowered, and all fire simultane-
ously. Then the reins are gathered up quickly, and
the horses’ progress so quickly arrested that they are
thrown almost on their haunches. The horses enjoy
the game almost as much as the men. How these
wild people worshipped my little boy, and when they
left us it was with much reluctance, for they returned
again and again to kiss his clothes.

The whole journey from Tangier to Fez was one
of adoration of the chief, and further taught me the
immense prestige enjoyed by the Wazan family, and
particularly by my husband; also his father, Sidi el
Hadj Alarbi, who was even more highly regarded.
I gained more real knowledge of the family on this


journey than in the ten years I had resided in Tangier.
I found numerous shrines in many parts of the country
we traversed. These consist of a simple stone circlet
where people went to pray for God’s assistance in
sickness or trouble. Some of these circlets stood
where my late father-in-law’s litter had rested, or where
he had encamped for the night on his various journeys
to the Court of Muley Abdurhaman, great-grandfather
to the present Sultan. Our kinsman’s good offices were
in much request at that period to assure a safe passage
for the Sultan and his army when passing through
turbulent districts. Many are the fantastic legends with
regard to his mystical power, accepted down to this
day as a reality. Certainly the coincidences were
extraordinary in some cases. My husband used his
influence in the same direction after his father’s demise,
but gradually deserted the Court when he perceived it
was probable that some day he might find himself con-
stituted a State prisoner on account of his European
leanings. After the Spanish war, the Shareef raised
a regiment of his retainers, put them into uniform, and
drilled them with the aid of some Spanish prisoners he
had at Wazan. This proceeding caused great com-
motion at Court, and was assigned to other reasons
than mere amusement. If then he had really con-
templated that movement, nothing would have been
easier. A word from him and all the tribes would
have rallied around him. Nevertheless he considered
his spiritual position a higher one than any actual
temporal one ; then, too, he was influenced by the old
saying: “From us it cannot be, but without us it
cannot be.” The ceremony of crowning a Moorish
Sultan is represented by the mounting of the elected
Sultan, generally at Muley Dris of Zarhoun, on which


occasion, in presence of notabilities, the Grand Shareef
of Wazan (or a deputy of the same family) holds the
stirrup for the Sultan to mount. Also on the proclama-
tion of a new Sultan, when the Beiha, or Act of Pro-
clamation, is signed to that effect at the town governor’s,
if a Shareef of Wazan is resident in that town he is
invited to sign first, followed by the Kadi, the Basha,
and so on.

Later on in life the Shareef, yielding to certain
propositions made by Europeans, was inclined to
entertain the idea of making some attempt to secure
secular power, but after mature reflection he rejected
the project as impracticable. The old motto was
against him, and though not of a superstitious nature
he gave the legend full weight in his counsel. He
was anxious, however, to see many reforms carried out
in the country, and was always advocating roads ^and
bridges fas the first step towards prosperity. Every-
thing else would follow in due course, he argued.
His suggestions were all misinterpreted, and they said
at Court that he was preparing for the European.

Company promoters of different nations were never
slow to visit the Shareef, and generally I was called
upon to interpret their suggestions. Nothing ever came
of the matters discussed, for the rather strained relations
between the Moorish Court and my husband did not
permit of any realisations of the different schemes
had they been feasible ; but oftener than not at that
period they were sheer impossibilities. A bogus com-
pany once flattered the Shareef to such an extent that
he almost came to disastrous terms with them. Within
only an hour of his signing the contract did I learn
the full nature of the disadvantageous transaction,
the details of which I must leave to a later chapter.


ON the twenty-seventh day after leaving Tangier we
entered Fez, our escort from Ben M’Tir having made
their adieux about ten or twelve miles before reaching
the city. Several people met us about three miles from
Fez, and as we neared there the numbers increased,
until the crowds at the gates much impeded our
progress. There were groups of Fezzis, Filallia,
Tuumma, Taibians, Aissouwas, Hammasha, all with
their different musical instruments and banners. The
Tuumma are followers of Mulai Thaumi, brothers of
Mulai Taibe, ancestors of the Wazan family, and in the
popular regard great saints. The Taibians, followers
of Mulai Taibe, are the most powerful religious sect in
Morocco. They all chanted, and it was with great
difficulty we reached the house in a nice garden which
had been retained for our accommodation. In the
cortege I remained slightly behind ; Muley Ali took
the first place, naturally, surrounded by his retainers,
and from my position I could see and enjoy the sight
so much more.

On all sides the people shouted, ” Thank God that
Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam has remembered us by sending
his son,” with other moving ejaculations so heartily
given by the adherents to the sect of Muley Taibe in
particular, of which the Shareef was spiritual chief a



pontiff in fact. His supremacy was acknowledged by
almost every sect in Morocco.

Amid the din of native music, powder-play, the
procession of priests with multi-coloured banners, and
under a scorching sun, we entered the portals of the
city of Fez. Across the plains outside Fez the journey
seemed interminable ; nevertheless that on the other
side of the gates was even more tedious. Arriving at
a house in a garden that had been” retained) for us, I
thought here one would surely get a little rest, but no,
the crowds forced themselves in, and once inside the
patio there was no moving the masses. The terraces
were crowded with veiled women, so that if one
approached any of the windows, of which there were
four to the apartment, one was the observed of all
observers. The tomb of Muley Dris was almost in a
direct line from the house, and one looked down on
the vast city. ” Zahrits ” continued for some time,
announcing some further contingent of women from
different quarters, a fashion of expressing welcome
never omitted by the women of Morocco.

At last people began to disperse. Many had left
gifts of tea, coffee, and cakes, and afterwards many
dishes were brought. The musicians installed them-
selves in a room below, and it was among them I heard
a tenor who would have rivalled Sims Reeves. The
Shareef s voice was of beautiful timbre, but this man
went one better. What a fortunate fellow he would
have been if a European training could have been
accorded him ! Many a time I asked him to sing to me
unaccompanied, and, though shy, Er-rhossi, for so he
was named, would comply with my request. Once I
was installed deputations came daily, most fatiguing
on account of the torrid heat. Then I had to see


jewellers to order earrings, large hooped ones of gold
with five pendants, each ornamented with coral beads ;
such a weight, I should imagine, for the ears. I also
ordered a pearl necklace of fifteen strands. These are
bought by weight, and are arranged with no idea of
regularity of size, though the colour is taken into con-
sideration. As a mass the necklace is most effective,
especially when supplemented by another to outline it
in gold, almost like a lot of fishes, which hang on
small pieces of fantastic designs, or the contrasting
necklace a black one interspersed with seed pearls.
The black necklace is made of a composition of amber,
musk, and many other sweet-scented ingredients, mixed
into a paste with rose and orange water, which is then
moulded into various shapes, pierced, and exposed to
the sun to dry and harden. When well made with
the best ingredients the perfume lasts for years. I had
next to choose gold bracelets and anklets and several
rings, all of native manufacture. Then I had to see
brocaded silks, silk haiks, the enormous belt of gold
thread and variegated silk embroidered thereon, velvet
slippers embroidered in gold thread, coloured leather
ones, a crimson scarf with threads of gold, another
called the cloth of gold, and the veil, which is really
more like a scarf, of raw silk woven in cross-bar fashion.
Next came the Haitis, the native wall-coverings, in
crimson and green cloth, and mattress covers of red
cloth. Rouge and incense wood were not forgotten,
also some native scents. Silk handkerchiefs of all
colours for the head, and many cloths in muslin and
calico, embroidered most exquisitely in black, brown,
pink, red, and green, were among the things I had to
choose. Many things enumerated above were presents
from the people of Fez ; nevertheless my purchases were


extensive. Cooking utensils in brass and copper, and
some trays all had to be chosen, to say nothing of odds
and ends, to me of no utility whatever.

The number of slippers in gold thread and velvet
embroidery and the Moorish pottery- would make
a goodly show in a shop window. Many valuable
presents were made to Muley Ali and myself. I was
overwhelmed with invitations, sometimes three and
four functions in a day. The nights were most sultry,
and sleep at times was impossible. One longed for
a punkah, for fanning seemed to increase one’s dis-
comfort. In going to all functions the Tuats form
the bodyguard, and they always contribute largely
to the trousseau of the daughter of the Grand Shareef
of Wazan. They are called the “Abeeds of Dar de
Mana,” or slaves of the Great Sanctuary. On a change
of Sultan the firman is reserved exempting them from
tribute, and should any of them die possessed of
property and leaving no heirs, the same reverts to
the House of Wazan. My wedding-ring is made from
a small nugget brought by the Tuats to the Shareef at
the time of my marriage, and the circlet used at the
actual ceremony I made into a gem ring. The Tuats’
ring has my husband’s name engraved on it, and since
he put it on it has never left my finger. At the period
of which I am writing the Tuats were a wealthy colony,
but times are changed since then, and I doubt if much
tribute would be forthcoming to-day for a Shareefa of
Wazan’s trousseau. Everything in Morocco is deteri-
orating, and lamentations for the good old times are
heard from every section of the people, no matter what
their station in life.

The Basha of Fez was a strong adherent to the
Taibian sect, and he wanted to demonstrate his pro-


fessions of devotion by providing a great fete in
Muley Ali’s honour. The child could not accept the
invitation without my company, for strict injunctions
from his father did not permit him to go alone. The
old Basha was afraid my presence might be taken
adversely, and a consultation of notables was held at
which the question was mooted: “Is it lawful to see
another Moslem’s wife?” The result was favourable.
On the appointed day, escorted by a large retinue,
with chants and native music and banner-bearers, we
wended our way on horseback to the Basha’ s residence.
He received us personally at the entrance. The Basha
was a curious-looking individual, of short stature. He
wore an immense turban above very bleared eyes, and
he was surrounded by a lot of functionaries and slaves.
He reverently kissed Muley Ali’s hands, and saluted
a number of well-known Shareefs who were with us.
To me he gave the ordinary salute, and led the way
into a large hall, which was sumptuously furnished
in true Moorish style. The musicians were already
in their place. On a slightly raised dais stood a long
deal table covered with a sheet. It was an eyesore
in this lovely tessellated and arcaded hall. Two arm-
chairs were provided, and two or three ordinary rush-
bottomed ones. When I elected to sit on the mat-
tresses a murmur of approval went round, but the
Basha planted himself in an arm-chair, and looked
everywhere but in my direction. Every now and again
he would send to inquire if I were comfortable and
whether I would like more cushions, all the time
personally ignoring my presence.

Tea-trays were presided over by different persons,
that for our delectation by one of our own suite.
From our table the Basha was served.


After an hour or so the tea-things were removed
and a scuffling arose. I wondered what was going
to happen. Every one looked towards the doorway,
but it was only the luncheon being set down in the
passage as the different dishes arrived on wooden
tables, with covers (made of dyed straw, or palmetto
fibre stained to form patterns) of beehive shape. The
Khalifa then invited us to be seated at the most
uncomfortable table, too high for the chairs. Steel
knives and forks were provided, and huge goblets to
drink from. There were also some plates, but no
one knew how to wait, and a general muddle ensued.
How much more would the meal have been enjoyed
had we sat on the mattresses and used Nature’s
cutlery. However, the thirty-two courses were all
placed before us, some to be tasted, others to be
partaken of more seriously. Wooden spoons were
provided for the couscous, and we finished up with
water and other melons, then in profusion at Fez.

When all had duly washed their hands, the Basha
asked me to visit the ladies and take coffee with
them. He led the way across the hall and unlocked
a door, through which my boy and I passed, and two
or three women I had in attendance on me. I re-
marked that before the people the Basha did not
condescend to notice me, but once the portal closed
he became another man. He put a host of questions
to me with regard to Europe, and asked me to explain
the telegraph to him, and some illustrated paper
which was very ancient. The ladies were most gorge-
ously dressed and weighed down with jewels. Some
had a form of head-dress that made them look as
though they had horns, and when they stood up,
one almost thought the weight must throw them on


their backs. Their gait under this load was not
graceful, as you saw they must balance their bodies
to support this extraordinary adornment to the head.
The Basha took it for granted that I must have a
knowledge of medicine, and explained his troubles
almost too minutely. His eyes were in a state of
chronic ophthalmia ; granulation was thick, and I told
him I would give him an eye-wash to reduce the
inflammation. The ladies’ conversation related princi-
pally to their ailments, and particularly requested
amulets, written for them then and there by Muley
Ali. When the coffee was brought, the first cup was
tasted by one of the women, and when all the cups
were filled the Basha took the first. At the same
time were handed round some almond paste sweets,
fashioned as fruit or vegetable. These sweets were
flavoured and coloured to resemble their prototype,
and if the shapes were queer, nevertheless they made
not unpleasant eating. The Sultan’s sweetmeat is the
name given to this production.

I made several attempts to retire, and at last suc-
ceeded, after promising to visit them on my next visit
to Fez, a promise which I did not keep, as the Basha
had gone over to the majority, and his household was
dispersed before I again visited the city. I received
many gifts, principally slippers, and the Basha gave
Muley Ali one hundred dollars. Several jars of cakes
and sweetmeats were sent after me. On my return to
the hall the signal for departure was made, and the
same ceremonies were observed as on entering. We
mounted, and the Tuats and others conducted us
through crowds of the curious, who had assembled
along our route. My purchases being completed, I
sorted those for Wazan, and sent them on to await our


arrival there, and others I took to Tangier. Animals
and saddles were again overhauled. This took a few
days, during which people invited us to their different
gardens outside the town. I also visited the potter,
and was fascinated with his handicraft. I then saw
the decorators at work on the pottery and the baking
process. I went also to the silk looms, and watched
a belt of silk and gold in process of making, to the
handkerchief and haik looms, all most primitive, and
to the oil press and soap factories. Soft-soap was in
general use at that time, and is now generally used for
laundry work and cleaning. I also went to Blidah
(three miles from Fez) to visit a noted Wazan Shareef,
a personal friend of the late Sultan, Muley Hassan,
and one who highly appreciated my husband and was
his cousin. The enthusiasm of this household was
equal to that of any place I had visited. On leaving,
I found at the door a handsome black horse, which
was then presented to me by the Shareef, Sidi Dris of
Blidah el Wazanni. A suggestion that I should not
ride him created in me the desire to do so at once, and
I quickly had my saddle transferred to the animal, and
mounted. So alarmed was the Shareef at my action
that, in spite of the number of people with me, he
ordered some of his retainers to accompany me back
to my lodgings in Fez, for fear of any mishap occurring
on the road. Certainly the lovely creature had never
carried a lady, and more than probably had never seen
one in his four years of existence. He was frolicsome
and reared a little, but at that time of my life I was
not easily disconcerted by restive animals. I had had
some experience of them in the south of Oran, when on
the Si Sliman ben Kaddour mission. Unfortunately
the horse never calmed down, and was never to be



trusted. He seemed to become more and more vicious,
though I rode him from Fez to Tangier. One morning
I went as usual to the stables and found his stall
empty, and thought perhaps he had gone for exercise.
I asked the grooms, and the reply was, ” I don’t know.”
I went to my husband and, bursting into tears, explained
my loss. Instead of sympathising he replied, ” I’m not
tired of you, and our children are too young to be left
motherless.” A quieter beast soon replaced ” M’barak,”
but to-day I regret his mysterious departure.


WE had a brilliant send-off from Fez, Shorfa and others
accompanying us a long distance. I need not repeat
my experiences of the return, which were analogous to
those of the up journey. As we approached Tangier
acquaintances began to crop up, and a couple of miles
from the town we found the Shareef with a large
retinue, music, banners, and plenty of gunpowder. No
reception was complete without the last, and the
amount expended over powder-play by horse and foot
gauged the amount of heartiness in a reception. We
were all very much bronzed, and the Shareef to tease
Muley Ali inquired the price I had given for the
handsome little nigger. A lot of bantering went on
between father and son, and one could see with what
delight the Shareef welcomed us back. Muley Ahmed
was there looking as bonnie as could be, and very glad
to see his mother again. He was hoping we should
spend a night in camp to give him his first experience
of sleeping in a tent, but we told him that in a few
weeks he would have that pleasure for a longer time.

For a few days the visits of welcome continued,
and for seven days morning and evening the native
band played for an hour each day. Meantime pre-
parations for Lalla Heba’s wedding festival were being
pushed on apace. The handsome brocaded dresses
sent to be embroidered and made at Tetuan arrived.



That town-place is noted for its exquisite workmanship
in gold and silver thread ; indeed it is not rivalled in
Morocco. Lace over-dresses with voluminous sleeves
worn over the silk caftan, and also under-sleeves of
the same size, some over-dresses of coloured muslin,
dresses, over-dresses, and under linen are all made the
same shape. To give an idea, take a piece of material
about two and a quarter yards long the width should
be from shoulder to shoulder about twenty-four inches
double the material to form back and front of dress ; at
the fold is cut the neck. Silk and cloth dresses open
down the centre. Cut four gores to be sewn two at
each side as high as the waist, and two gores to be
let into the bottom of the centre piece of material.
These should be about three-quarters the length of
the side gores ; the arm-holes reach from shoulder
nearly to waist, and require correspondingly large
sleeves. Fold a piece of material about twenty-two
inches wide, and put in two gores at the bottom part,
the peak to point downwards, where the sleeve is
turned back over the arm. The gore-peaks serve to
tie same behind the back. Silk, muslin, and cotton
handkerchiefs by the dozen and of every combination
of colours were provided, and the women of the house-
hold too were busy preparing or having prepared gala
costumes, and vied with each other as to whom the
palm should be given. The Shareef left some ten
days before us to send his son, Muley Mohammed, with
a large escort, so that the bride-elect’s entry to Wazan
should be befitting her rank. The Tangier ladies
came in contingents to take leave of Lalla Heba.
She was an immense favourite among them, and one
and all brought wedding presents. Never shall I
forget the hurry and scramble to get off. I thought


all was arranged quite nicely, but to start some thirty
Moorish women on a journey is a matter no European
can ever understand. There is no idea of order. The
excitement makes them beside themselves. They will
squabble about nothing at a critical moment, and you
never get one mounted on saddle or pack but what
she will find fault with her seat a few minutes after.
Perhaps some have never ridden before, and at the first
movement of the mule will come a cropper in a most
undignified manner. Then, when the litter was brought
to the door for Lalla Heba to travel in with a maid
of honour, the doorway being well draped to prevent
her being seen, the members of the household fell
to tears and lamentations, many expressing real sorrow,
while others joined in with hysterical cries. Once the
cortege made a move, the “zahrits” was heard from
the house, and was taken up by outsiders far along
the route. Muley Mohammed had strict orders to be
in Wazan on the afternoon of the third day. I think
we left on a Saturday at 7 A.M., reaching Wazan the
following Monday at 2 P.M. Such a hurried journey !
The children did a part of it on pack saddles with
a Moor to guard them, so they could enjoy a sleep
when desired. The enthusiasm displayed by the dif-
ferent villagers en route was most hearty, and various
presents in kind, mostly cows and sheep, were offered.
Muley Mohammed, the Shareef s second son, led the
cavalcade, and all had to keep up in the best way
they could.

I suppose we were about 200 souls all told. The
Shareef met us about an hour’s journey from Wazan
with a brilliant retinue of Shorfa, and the powder was
made to speak as only Wazannis know how to do that
portion of the welcome. From Tangier to Wazan they


had not been remiss in their efforts to make as much
noise as possible, and the wonder is that serious acci-
dents did not occur, for they ram into the guns large
measures of gunpowder, without regard to the capacity.
I should think about 2000 people were assembled in
Wazan. One was jammed in on all sides. Personally,
I felt my horse being led forcibly, and saw the Shareef
beckoning to me. Amid shouting and screaming I
reached him. ” Now follow me,” he said. ” The
children will be safe and enjoy the scene.” We slipped
in among some gardens and over hedges at such a
pace that only a few retainers kept up with us, and
they, poor creatures, were completely exhausted when
we arrived at the Sultan’s garden, which was to be
my quarters during my visit to the holy city of Wazan.
I was at a loss to grasp the reason of this extraordinary
race for life, and, as usual, my imagination conjured
up all sorts of impossible things. I was off my horse
before I knew where I was, so to speak, and to the
Shareef s ” Come quickly” I rushed along, up a stair-
case on to a roof, where a lovely panorama was before
me all Wazan, and yonder the bride-elect’s procession
with wavering banners, native music, and the multi-
tudes in gala costume ! As for powder-play it never

The Shareef thought I would rather be a spectator
than participate in the bride’s entry; for the two
miles’ journey from Kusherine to Wazan took over
three hours. I was, however, anxious for my boys,
fearing they would be tired out ; but no, they arrived as
fresh as possible and ready for some more fun here.
The Sultan’s garden is so named in consequence of its
presentation by a Shareefa of Wazan to a Sultan of
Morocco, to whom she was married. It proved an


unhappy union, and she was divorced years after. Sid
Abdurhaman, Sultan of Morocco and great-grandfather
of the reigning Sultan, presented the ground to my
father-in-law, Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam, and it came
naturally to my husband, but the appellation has not
been changed to this day. When the populace had
somewhat quieted down, I went into the town to see
the bride-elect, who was lodged at her cousin’s house,
and also the Shareef s first wife, who had been divorced
several years even before I appeared in Tangier. I found
Lalla Heba in some very nice apartments, though
naturally very tired ; so, after making the usual in-
quiries and compliments, I prepared myself for the
ordeal of meeting the much – venerated Shareefa.
Women collected at all corners, until the crowds
impeded my crossing over to the doorway opposite
from whence I had come. At last with a great deal of
hustling, screeching, and some not over-polite language
one to the other, they made a passage, and I was pre-
cipitated almost into the arms of a tall, masculine-
looking woman of some sixty summers, with a kindly
smile and manner. She took my face between her
hands, looked at me, kissed me on both cheeks, and
begged me to look upon her as my mother. I then
left, as the next day was assigned for formal visits
to all the Shorfa at the Zowia, or sanctuary.

Returning to the Sultan’s garden, I was followed
by a procession of women carrying sugar, tea, candles,
flour, semolina, couscous, and even cooking utensils
made of earthenware. I stood at the end of a long
gallery, and the women filed past, kissing my hand
and depositing their several offerings. Fruit, vegetables,
chickens, and eggs were not forgotten, so it was ap-
parent I was not to starve during my visit to Wazan.


Then I had to receive different messengers sent by
the Shorfa to assure me I was very welcome, and
on the morrow I returned all these visits made by
proxy. The ladies of the sanctuary never go beyond
its precincts, except in times of great emergency, and
even then in the dead of night, and woe betide a man
who is found outside his house at such a moment.

My first visit on the morrow was a formal one
to this much-venerated Shareefa, whom I will style
Divorcee No. 1. She was my husband’s first cousin,
and many, many years his senior. In spite of the
glimpse I had had of her, I confess to feeling nervous
about my reception, and my courage rather failed me
when I set out with a retinue of Moorish women, such
as would have been the case had I belonged to the
family as regards rank and religion, for I had exactly
the same honours that a Moslem wife would expect.
I suggested to my husband that I should don my
Moorish dress, thinking it would be more of a compli-
ment to my hostess, but the Shareef would not listen
to me, and said he preferred his people to know me as
an Englishwoman, and also that I would command
more respect attired as such. From the Sultan’s
garden to the Zowia, or sanctuary, is less than ten
minutes’ walk, but the women accumulated to such an
extent that by the time I reached the Shareefa’s an
entrance was impossible, a passage having to be forced,
for I was hemmed in back and front. I was perfectly
bewildered by the time I reached the vestibule, and
had to push and scramble in order to get into the
house. Once through the first doorway, it was closed
by some means, and the greater part of the surging
crowd remained outside. I arrived at last at my
destination, through another door into a large hall, or


patio, filled with women of all classes. The patio was
surrounded with ^ arcades, very lofty and open to the
skies, and hundreds of pigeons flew about. My arri-
val was the signal for the “zahrits,” or joy-cry, and
for native music, supplemented by a drum performed
on by a woman with all the strength she possessed.
She produced a reserve instrument when one split.

Amid the uproar came forward the tall, gaunt, and
dignified Shareefa, followed by I suppose we should
call her maids of honour, and other members of the
household, carrying lighted candles, although it was
broad daylight. She saluted me as she had done the
day before, and also added some vigorous pats on the
back, and taking me by the hand led me into a long,
narrow, but very lofty room, around which, seated on
divans, was the greater portion of the female nota-
bilities of Wazan, ladies of all ages, colours, and com-
plexions. Most were wrapped in silk haiks, and little
was seen of their gorgeous costumes, a custom peculiar
to the aristocracy at Wazan. I went the round of the
room to salute the several dignitaries, and took a seat
near my hostess. Silence was broken by nearly all the
individuals, congratulating the Shareefa on my arrival.
Then it was my turn to reply to inquiries if I were
rested after my journey? How fared my lord and my
children? That God would grant long life and good
health to us all. To each individual who addressed
me I had to reply, “Thank God and you,” which
became rather monotonous in such a large assembly.
Fitful outbreaks of ” zahrits ” occurred at intervals, and
the female musicians never seemed to tire.

The tea-tray was then set before a friend of the
Shareefa’ s, a second one half down the room, and then
it was brewed, poured into tiny cups, one of which


was set before each person. Then a basket with
native biscuits, some snake-shape, and filled with
chopped almonds, sugar, and spices. Luncheon was
to follow, but the Shareefa knew I should make my
excuses, as I had to crowd in two more visits before
evening. Doing so formally on rising to leave, and
making a promise to return at an early date, I left
with the same ceremonies, lighted candles of different
hues included. Just across the road resided Divorcee
No. 2, the mother of my two step-sons, Muley Alarbi
and Muley Mohammed. She was a tall, handsome,
proud woman, and always difficult of approach, so
I had made up my mind that I should feel something
more than uncomfortable in her presence. The
young girls from her establishment who had met
me with lighted candles, fixed on wooden candelabra,
and native music escorted me into her house. She
stood surrounded by her women, enveloped in the
traditional silk haik. She extended her hand slightly,
covered over with the haik. I took it in mine and
bent over it, and then looked her straight in the face
while I listened to her muttered inquiries; in fact
had I not known the formula I might have replied
adversely. Then with a nod she invited me to her
sitting-room. There were a few people seated there,
and silence reigned supreme. Then she called her
housekeeper, who conducted me to the apartments
of her two daughters-in-law. She herself was my
husband’s first cousin, and her eldest son’s wife was
her niece. The second son’s wife was presented to
my husband by a great Basha of Laraiche with
Shareefian blood in his veins, and a firm adherent
of the Wazan family, so he thought by presenting
his daughter to his spiritual chief he could not make


a greater sacrifice. The idea was that the Shareef
would marry her; but at that time he had decided
to marry a European, so his second son was chosen
for the lady, although some five years his senior. The
first daughter-in-law was more than formal like her
aunt in every way. The visit to her was short in the
extreme. Then I went to the other, which was just
the opposite. The rooms were crowded out music,
lighted candles, and ” zahrits ” galore. As for the lady,
I might have been a long-lost friend returned. I saw
her two little boys, one six months older than my
first boy, and her second had a year’s advantage over
mine. I had great difficulty in getting away from
this house. After the usual tea-drinking had taken
place, my presents had been accepted and duly
admired. I had presented to each of my hostesses
cloth or silk lengths, with handkerchiefs, a custom
which is never forgotten “on a first visit, especially
in a Shareefian household. Drenched with orange
and rose water, and scented with incense, I emerged
from my second step- son’s house, and went from
there to visit Divorcee No. 3, accompanied by the
same ceremonies from here to half-way down the road,
when the women met me and conducted me into the
house. I need not repeat, as my experiences were
practically the same. This lady was bedight with
jewels, even more than my hostess of a few hours
earlier. I was hugged and kissed, and I really was
beginning to feel rather exhausted after so much de-
monstration of affection. I returned to the Sultan’s
garden, followed by a crowd, and the “zahrits” con-
tinued until the heavy gates closed behind me.

The houses I visited, especially the first and third,
had evidently been fine buildings in their time. They


were of stone on a very large scale, the rooms lofty,
long, and narrow in proportion to the height. The
doors were very ancient and very thick, and in times
gone by had been studded with enormous nails which
may have been iron or brass. Some traces of painting
still remained, and a door within a door was to be
found in every room. Fez mosaic was used half-way
up the walls of the rooms for decoration, also the
centre of the halls and bases of the pillars. The
whole was grand even in its semi-ruinous state. One
patio had lemon and orange trees planted at the
several corners, and one in the centre. About the
houses were many pigeons, all so tame that, especially
at meal times, they were more than bold. My sons
also visited the ladies, and were made much of, coming
away with their pockets well filled with cash. The
curiosity of the people was great on my leaving or
entering my temporary house, as the Shareef always
accompanied or met me, in order to mount or assist
me to dismount. Foot-gear is considered very un-
clean in Morocco, and the Shareef s attention to me
on these occasions caused much coinment. To satisfy
their curiosity people would collect outside to see
what really was the process. During a later visit to
Wazan, Muley Mohammed, the Shareef’s second son,
thought he would be equally as gallant. The first essay
was not successful, for I nearly landed on the other
side of the horse instead of on the saddle. However,
he succeeded in the end.



THE wedding ceremonies now commenced by the
bride going to the Hamman, or steam-bath. Special
invitations are transmitted verbally to friends and
relations by two specially appointed women, in manner
I have described earlier in this narrative. A strong
negress enters the bride-elect’s chamber and approaches
the bed, where she is hidden behind a curtain and
wrapped in a large white sheet. The negress bends
her back, and the bride is hoisted on, amid ” zahrits,”
benedictions, native music, and the free sprinkling of
orange and rose water and burning of incense. Each
guest carries a lighted candle in her hand, and it is
a marvel to me that amongst so much lace and muslin
there are not some serious accidents ; but such a
catastrophe is providentially averted, and beyond being
well spotted with candle grease nothing serious seems
to happen. The negress deposits her burden at the
bathroom door, and the bathwomen take the precious
burden in charge. From one and a half to two hours
the purifying process goes on, and in the meantime
the assembled guests are entertained with music and
tea-drinking. When the bath is terminated, the pro-
cession is reformed and the bride deposited on a bed,
generally in another room on the ground floor, if there
is a room suitable. After an hour or two of repose,



and in the early hours of the morning, say, between
1 A.M. and 3 A.M., the guests again reassembled in
the bride’s chamber to see her anointed with henna,
a herb grown extensively in South Morocco, also in
Tuat. Henna leaves rather resemble senna leaves
in appearance. No fte is complete unless the hands
and feet are henna-stained.

The process is as follows : The leaves are dried
and ground to a very fine powder, then sifted, and
next put into a large basin. Hot water is stirred in
until it becomes the consistency of a batter. For
the feet, sandals are simulated by first arranging
calico straps on the foot and round the base of the
big toe. The henna paste is applied with care so as
not to mar the symmetry of the straps ; once the foot
is well covered with paste, white cloths are wrapped
round, and over that thick woollen ones. These
coverings are not removed for some hours, when the
paste generally comes off with the coverings. The
rolled calico is removed, and a red-brown sandalled
foot is presented. Sometimes the simulated shape
received a decoration by a lace-work pattern being
painted on the lines in ” Harkos,” a kind of Indian
ink, which lasts for a long time. This is applied
with a pointed cane pen. The process is long, as I
can personally testify; nevertheless it is most effective
when well done. The hands to be henna-stained
are treated in several ways, according to individual
fancy. You may rub them well in the paste and dry
them over the fire, or they may be carefully anointed,
special care being taken to have no cracks. The
nails receive an extra dose of paste, and are then
wrapped in cloths. Sometimes a professional stainer
will be summoned, and patterns will be designed with


henna paste, which must be dried over a charcoal
fire. This takes a very long time, and one can but
admire the effect produced afterwards, especially when
the design is interwoven with the delicate tracing of
“El Harkos.” I have on one or two occasions had
my hands decorated with ” Harkos,” and at a distance
Europeans thought I was wearing black silk mittens.

I have often used henna for my feet in travelling,
as it tends to harden them, and is cool in summer.
I think, too, it is greatly owing to the henna process
in earlier years that I retain my hair in profusion
up to the present day. The bride’s hair is plaited
with white cords, and no coloured dress is worn
until she is sent to her husband on the fifth evening
after the commencement of the festivities. Should
they begin, say, on Sunday night, the bride would
go to her future husband on the following Thursday
night. It may be interesting to know what occurs
in the interval.

Male friends and acquaintances of both families
have been invited on the morning of the second day
to witness the sacrifice of a bullock at the bride’s
house, in front of the principal entrance. After the
sacrifice they are invited into the house, the women
folk being conspicuous by their absence, unless they
are slaves or others accustomed to assist on such
occasions. To the strains of violins, guitars, and
other native instruments combined, tea, cakes, and
biscuits of native manufacture are served, though
to-day European biscuits are much in vogue. Then
follow three or four courses consisting of meat,
chickens, and the couscous. I have described earlier
how the different dishes are distributed, and given
the formulae, so I need not repeat details, as they are


the same at all festivities. In the evening the ladies
come in their second-best gowns, and until the early
hours of the morning dancing, singing, and feasting
are kept up. Early in the afternoon young girls
arrive arrayed in gorgeous attire and bedight with
jewellery. Some of the little mites are so weighed
down with pearl and other necklaces, to say nothing
of the headgear and heavy earrings, that I have
often wished to relieve them of two-thirds of their
finery. There they sit like little mutes, fully aware
of their personal importance. It is a pretty sight,
but unchildlike. Each child-guest has brought sugar,
tea, and candles, sometimes only the former, which
are the perquisites of the musicians, who are in
attendance practically the whole five days of the
wedding festivities. Tea, with a meal to follow, is
served to the children before leaving, and the feast
is terminated when the mistress of the ceremonies,
standing in front of the musicians seated in the
patio or hall, names the donors of so much sugar,
tea, and candles. Each name is pronounced separately
with this formula: “The daughter of so-and-so pre-
sents so much ; may God bless and ” thank her, and
may we soon all be’assembled to assist at her wedding.”
After that they each present a piece of silver or a
silk handkerchief, which latter goes to the bride’s
trousseau, ‘and the mistress of the ceremonies receives
her douceur for proclaiming the several donors.

And what of the bride all this time ? She is rolled
up in a sheet, reclining on a heavily-curtained bed-
stead, with two or three girl friends sitting with her
for companionship. These friends change now and
again. As a rule the bride is invisible, except at mid-
night of the third day, when henna is freely applied to


her hands and feet before the assembled guests, who
hold lighted candles round the bed. This is done to
the strains of native music and “zahrits.” It is not
etiquette for her to look at or speak to an outsider, and
she must be abnormally shy, even if she does not feel
so. I have known some young girls who have so
resented marriage that their tears have lasted for days,
and they have scarcely taken any food, so that the day
they left their father’s house they were but the ghosts
of their former selves.

The afternoon of the fourth day is for the recep-
tion of the married ladies. Kelatives, friends, and ac-
quaintances don their best, and load themselves with
jewellery, pearls having the predominance. This occasion
is seized by young brides to make the first appearance
after marriage, which generally takes place just within
a year. These young wives are painted in a most
grotesque manner. Many a one with whom I had more
than a passing acquaintance has saluted me, but in this
guise she was quite unrecognisable. The dresses are
very handsome, and the multi-coloured handkerchiefs,
most admirably arranged, are supplemented generally
by a tiara of coloured stones or seed pearls. Many
a one has jasmine or other scented flowers of the
season strung into ropes and arranged along the brow,
the ends hanging down each side of the face. These
ladies sit on chairs round the hall, the musicians in the
centre seated on mattresses. Their business is to
herald each past-bride with as much noise as possible
when she is being escorted to her seat, accompanied
by women bearing lighted candles, scent-sprinklers, and

Once the party is seated, all eyes are turned upon the

bride, and the guests offer congratulations on the effect



of her dress. But first the usual compliments as to
health have been made, the mistress of the ceremonies
has proclaimed who each guest is, and the musicians
have been gratified with a substantial ” tip.” One of
the prettiest sights is to visit a wedding party in the
evening, and in the blaze of candlelight to see the ladies
seated round the hall, in their gala costumes, laces,
muslins, silks, all more or less embroidered in gold
and silver thread. The mass of gold ornaments in
barbaric form, the strings of pearls glistening on the
covered necks and heads of the wearers, the odour of
orange and rose water mixed with incense procured
from a kind of cedarwood burnt on live charcoal, is
something to be remembered. It is really most im-
pressive when witnessed for the first time. I have
accompanied several ladies to some of the best houses
to see the sight, and some of the old charm of my first
experience still remains.

When the evening is nearly spent, comes the
ceremony of presenting the wedding gifts. The
mistress of the ceremonies takes her stand in front
of the musicians. Near her sits the mistress of the
house, or a friend, holding certain little packets con-
taining sums of money, which are counted before
the assemblage. These silver coins the mistress of
the ceremonies throws piece by piece into a hand-
kerchief spread for the purpose. One example will
serve. The mother will hand perhaps ten dollars it
may be more or less according to the circumstances ;
the mistress of the ceremonies will then proclaim the
giver much in this manner: “God be with (here the

name of the donor), wife of , mother of the bride

(or whatever relation the donor may be).” Then, as
each piece is thrown on to the outspreading handker-


chief, the mistress of the ceremonies repeats the formula,
* Thanks be to God and to her,” meaning the donor.
Therewith numerous blessings and such good wishes
are invoked for the future prosperity of her household.
The same formula is observed with each donor, be the
offering ever so small. Sometimes in the best families
over a hundred dollars are realised, which the musicians
divide between them. This gift is independent of a
piece of cloth of 2J metres to each of the two head
ones, whose satellites receive pieces of muslin of 6
metres long, all of which is placed on each individual
head after the money offerings are made. Then follow
the bride’s presents from relatives and friends. These
gifts consist of brocaded silks, cloth, gauze, muslin,
silk handkerchiefs and, very rarely, some jewellery
in the shape of earrings and bracelets. Each gift
is proclaimed in the same manner as the monetary
offerings, and when all have been given, a general
inspection is held. The parcel is now remade, and
taken away by the mother for the bride’s future
use, amid ” zahrits.” Tea and supper with a little
more music end the dav, and the guests return to
their homes.

The fifth day is passed in comparative quietness
until late in the afternoon, when the arrival of the
bride’s decorated litter in which she is to be conveyed
to her future husband reminds one that it is time to
begin the bride’s toilette. The musicians accompany
the bearers of the litter, which I will do my best to
describe. It is of plain wood, more like a huge meat-
safe, with a conical roof. There is a doorway, naturally,
but no door, although the woodwork in front of the
entrance is raised some few inches. As a general rule
the bridegroom’s family undertake to decorate the


litter, and before assembled guests, musicians, and
cries of ” zahrits ” the work commences.

Take a large sheet, double it, and drape it round,
leaving the entrance a little loose. This is securely
pinned over the knobs at each corner, and flounced up
to the summit of the cone, where it is fixed with a
stout string. This covers the woodwork entirely, and
serves as a foundation to secure the rest of the decora-
tions. Next, take a length of gauze or muslin, which
must be at least eight yards long by one and a half
yards wide, and drape it over the sheet, fixing the gauze
with pins, or sometimes with needle and cotton. Next,
a belt is arranged on the sloping part of the cone-
shaped roof, and the cords used by the women for
holding up their voluminous sleeves are disposed.
The cone itself is dressed with handkerchiefs like a
woman’s head-dress, and many have asked me if it was
the bride’s head emerging from the top of the litter !
On very rare occasions pearl necklaces have been
added, but few people are inclined to use such a dis-
play for fear of accidents of an unpleasant kind.

Years ago I introduced ropes of flowers, made by
threading jasmine or other blossoms, and adorning the
four sides, while at the edge at each corner a tiny
bouquet was hung. I had a small wreath of flowers
set round the cone, and long thin ropes of flowers
were hung, as it were, at each side, where the face
would be. The idea so pleased the people that when-
ever flowers are obtainable this decoration is used in
addition to the traditional ones. When the bridegroom
has no relations, or even in preference to them, a
Shareefs household is requested as a great favour to
undertake this little business, so in my time I have
assisted to decorate many a bride’s litter, not to




mention the many slaves and servants I have launched
in life.

A professional dresser arrives, and she with
intimates of the family passes to the bride-elect’s
chamber. On the bed behind the curtains the bride,
attended by two or three friends, begins her change of
raiment. The other guests are seated round the room,
and the musicians are stationed in the hall, or patio,
singing or playing as the case may be. In years gone
by the bride was sent to her husband all in white,
even the handkerchief on her head was of white silk,
and she wore a small pearl necklace at her throat.
To-day coloured dresses are worn, the head-dress is
supplemented by additional handkerchief and scarves,
and a tiara, if possible ; then, too, powder and rouge are
fully used, and El Harkos dots, smaller than beauty
patches, are not forgotten. The eyebrows are manipu-
lated with El Harkos, or khol, and lengthened, and
khol is not forgotten for the eyes. Khol is powdered
antimony, as fine as flour, and not unknown to my
European sisters. No belt is put on ; only a handker-
chief is loosely knotted round the waist to keep the
garments in their place. The dressing being completed,
a transparent veil is fixed at the top of the head and
falls over the face.

The bride sits in the centre of the bed, supported
by pillows, and a friend on each side of her. The
professional dresser remains, so that when the curtains
are drawn aside she lifts the veil for the bride to be
admired by the assemblage. One sees in the bride an
inanimate figure, eyes shut, hands folded in her lap.
The dresser is congratulated on her work of art, and
down goes the veil, to be again lifted when another
group of people comes to inspect the bride, whom they


criticise audibly. While this visiting is taking place,
the drums and fife are making themselves heard at the
door, for the musicians have come with the mule to
take the litter with its precious burden to the bride’s
new home. Male guests are assembling in the streets
with lanterns of all shapes, big and little and multi-
coloured, accommodated with chairs borrowed from
all quarters. The drums and fife peal out their third
and last summons for the bride, and all is hurry and
skurry in the house. The litter is dragged to the door
of the bedchamber, the stout negress sitting on the
extreme edge of the bed bends down, and the bride,
enveloped in laces and muslins, is hoisted on to her
back. She then passes with her load to the entrance
of the litter, the coverings of which have been pre-
viously lifted in front, and, on the floor inside, a large
blanket has been folded for the bride to sit on. The
bearer goes on to her knees, inclines her head forward,
and the bride goes into the litter head first almost,
and is soon seated cobbler-fashion with the help
of the negress and a friend. A little arrangement
of dress is necessary, but nevertheless it is all most
cleverly done.

In the early days of my married life I was curious,
and took the opportunity of a servant’s being married
to try my hand at getting in and out. I did get
in somehow, and made them carry me round the
garden, the Shareef watching my experiment in fits
of laughter. They carried me to the front door, and
naturally I thought it was a case of just walk out,
but it was not as easy as I imagined. I twisted
here, I twisted there, and I was told it was wrong
to come out feet first, but the Shareef so enjoyed
my false efforts that at first he would not help me.


It is easy enough to emerge when you know how.
I think you just raise yourself slightly to free the
feet, and decline the shoulder, and out you come.
A loaf of bread, a candle, and a piece of sugar are
placed in the litter as symbols of peace and plenty.
The bride puts her hands into hand-holes for the
purpose of balancing herself when the litter moves.

By this time the male relatives are getting im-
patient, constant cries of ” Are you ready? are you
ready ? ” are heard, and all but the immediate female
relatives hide themselves, whereupon some half-dozen
men come into the hall and hoist the litter on to the
mule at the door. The mule has a pack saddle,
to which the litter is secured by thick cords run
through iron rings embedded in each corner of the
litter. This has been preceded by innumerable lighted
candles carried in candelabra candlesticks, or in the
hand, to the sound of the music outside. The female
musicians inside follow the litter to the doorway,
and while ” zahrits ” resounds from every side, the
neighbours on the housetops add their contribution
to the din.

The male guests rally round the litter, and then
march round the town in a perfect blaze of candle-
light. The male musicians march in the rear. On
arriving in front of a mosque or sanctuary, the
procession stops, the music ceases, and a short prayer
is offered up. Drums announce the conclusion of
this rite, and off they go again until they reach the
bridal home. Here the mistress of ceremonies, who
has walked behind the litter with a huge green or
red wax candle blazing in her hand, enters the house,
and announces the arrival of the bride. The women
folk disperse for the time being, the ” zahrits ” is pro-


longed, and the musicians in the house play their

The litter is now carried by the men into the house
to the door of the bridal chamber. Immediately on
depositing their burden the bearers discreetly retire.
The mistress of the ceremonies is already there. Sitting
on a chair a muffled -up figure is observed. This is
the bridegroom, who at a sign from the mistress of
the ceremonies stands up, extending his arm across
the doorway. The bride on being taken from the litter
passes underneath. The mistress of the ceremonies
kneels with her back to the entrance, and two other
women assist the bride to get on to the back of the
mistress of ceremonies. A bride would be unlucky
to put her foot to earth at this period. The mistress
of the ceremonies thus deposits her on the nuptial
bed, which is hung with silk and lace curtains,
depending from a canopy, or simulated one.

On the night before, the bridegroom-elect enter-
tains his bachelor friends in almost a similar way to
that followed in the bride’s house, with this difference,
that he is the central figure, so to speak. He sits
muffled up on a chair, face covered, and speaks to no
one. He may or may not take the proffered cup of
tea, and has a master of ceremonies, who entertains
his guests far into the small hours of the morning.
Whatever presents of money or kind are offered are
taken charge of by the master of ceremonies for the
time being. The sixth day is one of repose, and
enables the bride to make the acquaintance of the
husband’s family. The seventh day, after noon, the
bridegroom’s family holds a reception, for which the
bride is dressed very gaily, painted and rouged almost
to a point of eccentricity. She sits on the “bed, her


face covered with a veil, which is raised by the pro-
fessional dresser when guests approach to offer their
congratulations. The usual tea-drinking and similar
refreshments are offered before the guests depart, and
on the ninth day private friends are received. On the
evening of the tenth day several friends assemble
for the reanointing of hands and feet with henna, a
ceremony which is performed in the same manner as
that observed on the evening of the third day. Two
days after his marriage the bridegroom entertains his
friends, usually in a garden, and returns to his home
after the lady guests have departed. On the evening
of the twelfth day there is a large assemblage of
relatives, friends, and acquaintances of both families,
in order that the bride may make the tour of her new
home, and both she and her husband resume the
belt which has not been worn since the commencement
of the wedding festivities. Though the husband is
not present, one knows he is somewhere in the neigh-
bourhood, entertaining his friends. The bride’s family
supply a dinner of several courses, which comes with
the mother and her friends, and she embraces her
daughter who left her just a week ago.

Much attention is paid to the bride’s toilette, and
the belting is carried out with much ceremony. She
stands on the bed over a dish containing dried fruits
and sweetmeats, and two little boys wind the belt
round her waist with the aid of a professional dresser,
who in turn hands the dish and contents to the
children. At the same time the bridegroom’s mother
gives a piece of silver to each boy. The toilette and
belting being completed, the bride is assisted from the
bed ; now she may open her eyes, and, with lighted
candles, music, “zahrits,” incense and scent sprinklers


before and behind, the tour of inspection is commenced.
The bride stops at the doorway of each room, and on
arriving at the kitchen door a fish is produced, and a
pretence is made of scraping it on her foot a symbol
of plenty in the culinary department.

A return is made in the same order to the bride’s
chamber. This time she is seated on a raised dais
in the centre of the room, facing the doorway, and
one and all go forward to congratulate her before
departing for their several homes in peace.

Such is the ordeal of every Moorish bride. They
take to it kindly, and would be the first to feel
aggrieved if any custom were omitted. Each town in
Morocco and the villages also have innovations, which
vary one from another. I have given the ceremonies
that are observed in Tangier. In Fez the bride walks
to her new home, indistinguishable from the crowd of
women who accompany her. At Wazan the Shareefas
go from their parents’ house in an ordinary travelling
litter. This custom is particularly observed in the
Grand Shareef s family. The bridal litter is mounted
on a mule, and goes round the town visiting saints’
tombs, accompanied with music and plenty of powder-
play. In Tangier this gunpowder-play has been
abolished in bridal processions since Raisuli’s exploits.
At a Berber wedding the bride is conducted to her
new home on a richly caparisoned camel, very
unpleasant, I should think, from personal experience.
I cannot recommend it.



IN the middle of Lalla Heba’s wedding festivities
the Shareef sent to tell me that I must make prepara-
tions to leave at once for Tangier, for measles had
seized so many children fatally that he feared Muley
Ali and Muley Ahmed might take the malady, and
no doctor was at hand. I received the news when,
dressed in my Moorish costume, I was just enjoying
the fun, having prevailed on the Shareef to permit
me to wear national dress just for this once. The
delight of the Moorish ladies, particularly my husband’s
relatives, knew no bounds. The homage and the
congratulations paid me were most profuse. In this
guise I took leave of the three divorcees, who one and
all begged me to return soon, and at the same time
each gave me rich presents. As the part of the
festivities in which the male relatives take a share was
past, many of the notables of Tangier elected to form
part of our escort to Tangier. The Shareef was in
a great state of anxiety with regard to the two
little boys, for fear they had contracted the malady,
and though both were in the best of health and spirits,
their father’s anxiety was most touching. I am
afraid I did not share it to such an extent as he.
All Wazan turned out to wish us Ion voyage and
an early return. Even the sedate and rather severe



eldest son of my husband came up to me at the last
moment and begged me to return in the spring as
his guest. Muley Mohammed, the second son, escorted
us a few miles out, and then with plenty of armed
men the route was taken through Al Sherif to Al K’sar
el Kebir. In the woods at a distance I saw, as I
thought, a well-dressed man on an iron-grey horse,
such a lovely creature. The rider appeared to be
looking away from me, and stretching out his hand
as though in the act of directing some one. His
hanging sleeve showed white, over that was a piece of
green, and again more white. His face was averted,
and he evidently wore a large turban, which was
covered with the burnous hood. I thought it might
be some belated wedding-guest, and was much struck
by seeing no followers. Perhaps he was waiting for
them ; certainly his dress betokened a certain status.
The horse too, with ears erect, seemed to participate
in his master’s anxiety about something. Well, I
thought, when I get nearer my curiosity will be
satisfied. On we went, and the figure turned its
head in my direction, and I saw the face of my
nocturnal visitor of a few years before. Just as I
arrived at the spot he disappeared. I turned round
to one man just behind me, and asked him if he had
seen a traveller in front; then I inquired of others,
explaining what I had seen, but no one in the whole
caravan could corroborate my vision. This rather
upset my equilibrium, so that I had to dismount and
rest for a few minutes to recover my nerve. For the
rest of the journey I was continually on the look-out
for my visitant, but saw nothing. So impressed was
I that I can conjure up the scene with every detail
to this day.


Before we started from Al K’sar, a courier came
to know if the children were well, and twice en
route others came for the same purpose. We took
five days to reach Tangier, and although we were
greeted with the usual demonstrations of welcome,
it seemed very tame after our experiences of the
last month or two. A week later the Shareef arrived,
much perplexed as to what course to pursue to
protect himself and his belongings from the insults
heaped upon him indirectly by the Moorish Govern-
ment. The trouble arose from the jealousy of a
cousin, who had recently become a Court favourite,
and was making good use of his supreme hatred of
the Shareef by urging annoyances to be perpetrated
in all directions, especially upon the retainers in
charge of the Shareef s farms and other property.
Things were going from bad to worse. The Shareef
wrote several letters to Court, saying that unless these
uncalled-for abuses did not cease, he should place
himself with all he possessed, including his family
and retainers, under European protection.

No reply was vouchsafed to this threat, but a
most abusive letter came from a Court secretary.
This determined the Shareef to apply to France, and
the request was accorded at once by telegraph, and
confirmed later by letters from the French Govern-
ment. The Press was most severe. The Shareefs
want of patriotism was condemned ; nevertheless the
tables were turned, and for years we lived practically
immune from Government intrigues. Now and again,
however, attempts to create trouble were made. Years
after the Shareef was informed that Muley Hassan,
the then Sultan, was not aware of the persecutions
carried on in his name, and tried to induce the


Shareef to visit him and explain his grievances. This
was never done, though on one or two occasions a
possible reconciliation was discussed.

In the spring a letter announcing the birth of
Muley Alarbi’s first son contained a reminder that
I had promised to be present on the name-day. The
weather was atrocious, and I started in pouring rain.
The children I left in charge of my sister, for I
could not think of exposing them to such discomfort.
I had to be in Wazan in four days, but, alas ! I did
not reach there in time, for the roads were one con-
tinual state of slush throughout the journey. Ditches
were turned into small rivers, and very often long
detours had to be made to get to the other side of
a ploughed field. Water was everywhere, and the
rain pelted. Seven rivers had to be forded, and one
in particular was perilous in the extreme. At Wad
Mekhazen we found an apology for a ferry-boat,
a crazy craft composed of matting spread over and
nailed to some pieces of wood. On each bank of
the river were stationed some men, who held cords
attached to this frail bark. When invited to go on
board I confess I rather hesitated, and allowed some
people to cross first to see how it was managed.
The crossing was successful, only the shouting made
was most disconcerting, and the idea that the rope
might snap in mid- stream, for the currents are very
strong, was far from cheerful to contemplate.

Having come so far, however, I was not going to
turn back, in spite of the protestations of my Moorish
female attendants. I went first, and then they were
bundled on. They screeched, they cried, and then
burst into a wail as we were shoved off. The
sensation must be imagined. I squatted, my feet in


water over my boots ; the men hauled or pulled from
the other side ; we made a false move, and commenced
going down the stream. Then, as luck would have
it, we were heaved up, and at this moment extra
pulling grounded us just short of the landing-place.
How we landed I am not quite sure, for, slipping and
tumbling, I arrived at the top of a high bank with
the help of some sturdy natives. My companions
were more dead than alive. I induced them to take
some brandy and water, representing it as medicine,
for we were all wet through to the skin, and had
no prospect of moving for some time. We waited
for the remainder of the baggage, and the animals
swam across, but they had to be caught and reloaded
before we rode on to our destination for the night.
On the next journey of the ferry-boat (?) a rope
snapped from one side, and it was only by a miracle
that some dozen men were not precipitated into the
water. The raft was sucked in near the bank, and
some tall reeds prevented the men floating down the
stream. It was a moment of great anxiety, the
screaming and shouting adding in no small measure
to upset one’s equilibrium.

Next day I arrived at Wazan. Muley Alarbi and
Muley Mohammed thought I had renounced the
journey. The courier despatched by my husband the
day before I left with letters of congratulations and
the name the Shareef had selected for the child had
not arrived. Search was subsequently made, and his
corpse was found in the water half-way to Laraiche.
Evidently in crossing the river Ayasha in Rarbia he
had lost his life. I was wondering what my reception
would be, as I had neither husband nor children to
support me, and was at the mercy of the inhabitants


of the most sacred city in Morocco. I was soon re-
assured, however, for both the Shareefs sons combined
to make me as comfortable as possible, and, while I
was resting at Muley Alarbi’s house, Muley Mohammed
was arranging a house for me in one of his gardens
adjoining his own residence. What European furni-
ture he had was transferred to my temporary residence,
which had Muley Alarbi’s house on one side, so that
I could visit either when so inclined without leaving
the grounds. I retained for my use a very handsome
brass bedstead. I removed the heavy silk curtains,
leaving the muslin ones hanging. Everything else
looked out of place in this Moorish house, so I con-
trived a corner shut in with some curtains, with the
chairs and tables, so as to enjoy the picturesque ness
of the Moorish arrangements. A marble fountain in
the entrance played at intervals during the day, and
coloured candles fixed in brass candlesticks were lit
at night in little niches. Knowing my passion for
flowers, Muley Mohammed had ordered a quantity
to be placed in my room. Vases, old tins, or any-
thing that could hold water was brought into requisi-
tion for the floral display.

My visit lasted a fortnight ; the weather was all
that could be desired. The members of the Shareefs
family showed me kindness to an extent that was
overpowering, almost to the point of exhaustion.
Naturally, I spent much time with Lalla Heba in her
new home. She seemed happy enough ; at the same
time she preferred Tangier as a residence. I suppose
one can have too much of a good thing, and with
regrets at leaving these dear, kind Wazannites, I was
not sorry to rest in my tent after the excitement
of the last fifteen days. Muley Alarbi added a


horse to my cavalcade, a present, he said, from his
baby son.

Having more leisure on this second visit to Wazan,
I tried to supplement the history of the origin of the
town with more than I had learned from the Shareef
that at one time it was believed to have been the
site of a Roman city, but no authenticated documents
pointed to the fact. The idea originated with the un-
earthing of some pottery and a few coins, by whom
and when no one knew, so the whole thing is a
supposition, and nothing more. The founder of
Wazan, Muley Abdullah, was born within the last ten
years of the sixteenth century, at Tazrout, in the Beni
Arouss tribe, where his father, Muley Brahim, a direct
descendant of Muley Drees, first Sultan of Fez, lived
and was buried, his tomb being still visited by pilgrims.
He naturally is allied to Muley Abdeslam ben Machish,
who flourished in the thirteenth century, renowned for
his great learning and piety. Muley Abdeslam ben
Machish’s tomb is very much venerated to this day ; in
fact the place is almost a second Mecca, for thousands
of pilgrims from all parts of Morocco and Algeria visit
it in the course of the year. The saint was the propa-
gator of the mystical doctrines in North Africa, par-
ticularly in Morocco.

The tomb of Muley Abdeslam is built on the
mountain of that name, sometimes called Djebel el
Alam (from this comes the name Alami given to all
descendants), in the province of Beni Arouss, and no
Christian is permitted within the precincts of the holy
territory, though many attempts have been made.
Muley Abdeslam is supposed to have had a daughter ;
other accounts say he had no children, and that this

girl was his niece and adopted by him ; anyhow she was



called his child, and there is nothing to prove the
contrary. Muley Abdeslam was anxious to bring
about an alliance by marrying his daughter, or niece,
to Muley Mohammed, Muley Yimlah’s son, his nephew.
The young girl was very proud and ambitious, and
refused to marry her cousin unless her father, or uncle,
assured her certain advantages, which were that the
ancestral baraka, or sanctity, should pass to her husband,
self, and children, and also that the family should take
precedence of all the families of Shorfa. Her father,
or uncle, promised this, and the marriage took place
after the bride had had a visionary visit from the
Prophet Mohammed himself, who confirmed the
paternal promise, and added that her house should be
designated for ever Dar-el-Demana (house of surety),
a title the direct descendants bear to this day. It is
held in the highest veneration throughout Morocco,
Algeria, Tunis, Tripoli, and even in Egypt, Turkey, and
India. Muley Abdullah, who was descended from this
illustrious family, lost his mother at a tender age, and
was brought up by an aunt, a very pious woman, who
adopted him as her own son, and had him highly
educated, not an unusual thing in those days. When
near to manhood, he thought to improve himself by
going beyond the mountains of his birthplace, where
he had been educated. He became fascinated with
the teachings of a great religious Sheik named Sidi
Ali ben Ahmed of Djebel Sarsar, near Al K’sar el Kebir,
a man much venerated for his learning and extreme piety.
He was diffident about meeting this great man, and in
order to be near him he offered himself as a gardener.
He worked for several years in this capacity, not
neglecting his studies. One day the Sheik came
with some friends to the garden and requested Muley


Abdullah to fetch some pomegranates. The gardener
complied by bringing several, which on being opened
turned out to be of the sour kind. Thereupon Sidi
AH called his gardener and asked him what he meant by
giving him and his friends sour pomegranates instead of
sweet ones. Muley Abdullah replied, ” Although I have
been all these years in this garden I have never tasted the
fruit, and by Allah I cannot tell which tree bears sweet
(sefri) and which sour (hamed). Sidi Ali was very
much impressed by the young man’s honesty, and being
told of his Shareefian descent conferred upon him his
baraka (blessing), and dismissed him. Thereupon Sidi
Abderrahman el Mejdoub, a renowned saint and
versifier, wrote some couplets, which may be translated
as follows :

Oh Mistaken One, riding on a piece of rotten wood,
You have given it (the baraka) to other men’s sons and left
yours without.

On hearing this Sidi Ali’s sons went to their father
and remonstrated with him for giving away their spirit-
ual inheritance. He answered, “Go follow Abdullah; if
he has not already crossed the river bring him back ; if
he has crossed there is no remedy, and he has the
baraka.” The sons hurried away only to find that
Muley Abdullah had already crossed. He visited
Tetuan and Fez to complete his studies. On his return
from these cities he became a hermit, and took up his
residence in a retired spot near the village of Mikal, on
the east side of Djebel Bouhelal. The inhabitants were
not over-impressed with his studious and religious life,
and did not refrain from offering petty annoyances as
occasion presented. All this was borne with an
exemplary patience and fortitude, until one day they
killed Muley Abdullah’s cow, at which he was furious


and loaded the people with maledictions. At the same
time the cow was miraculously resuscitated, upon which
the villagers begged him to remain, apologising for
their misbehaviour in the most penitent form ; but
Muley Abdullah had made his plans and left on the
villagers a curse, to the effect that their milk should
never cream. To this day no Mikalli can make butter,
as no cream is to be gathered from the milk of Mikal.
Muley Abdullah departed for the other side of the
mountain of Bou Hellal in the Masmouda district, and
took to wife one of the daughters of that tribe. The
maledictions on the people of Mikal made such an
effect upon the surrounding people that villages soon
sprung up on all sides of his hermitage, for he was
now regarded as a holy man, and his followers in-
creased daily at Wad Zain, or Beautiful River, to-day
the holy city of Wazan.

I did not learn anything remarkable about Muley
Abdullah Eshareefs son and successor, Muley Mohammed,
but his two grandsons, Muley Touhami and Muley
Taieb, both strengthened the foundation of the House
of Wazan, and propagated religious views in many
parts, as they visited Tunis, Algeria, and the Tuats’
country. The followers of either brother are styled
Touhama and Taiebien respectively, according to the
teachings of the sect they follow. Muley Touhami
latterly became a Taiebi, the extreme piety of Muley
Taib attracting the brother to what he considered
superior tenets to his own. The sects are one and
the same. He appointed Muley Taib his spiritual
successor in the following words: ” Govern me and
govern by me, and, if in a dilemma, call upon me.”
Muley Touhami had eighteen sons, and his descendants
are to be found all over Morocco, Algeria, Tunis, Tripoli,


Egypt, and even at Constantinople. The Taiebiens are
not so prolific, and only a small family exists in com-
parison to the Touhamien, between whom and the
Taiebiens there is the strongest bond of brotherhood.
The Taiebien influence is paramount to this day :
no government has been strong enough to shake its
foundation. Other sects have been dispersed, new
ones have sprung up, and hopes entertained that
Wazan may be crushed ; nevertheless, success has
not crowned the eiforts made. My two sons are
Taiebiens, and their descent is as follows : Muley
Ali and Muley Ahmed, sons of Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam,
their father ben Alarbi, ben Ali ben Ahmed, ben
Taieb ben Mohammed, ben Abdullah Eshareef el Alaami
el Hassani el Wazani, and from there to the Prophet

In January 1885, Lalla Heba, my step-daughter,
sent for me. I left my boys with one of my sisters
who was on a visit, and asked my governess if she
would like to visit Wazan. I found Lalla Heba in a
very delicate state of health, and the coming event was
much dreaded by her. My presence, however, seemed
to calm her apprehensions of the worst, and I certainly
thought that it would be only a passing indisposition
consequent on her approaching confinement. A week
or two after my arrival she became suddenly worse,
and she passed four days and nights of most terrible
agony. It was clearly a case for a skilled accoucheur,
but my knowledge was of the most limited kind, and
even if I could have had assistance from Tangier, the
state of the roads, caused by such heavy rains, had for
some days previously cut off all communication with
the outer world. Then, too, if I could have procured
the necessary assistance, would these almost primitive


people have consented to allow it to be used? I am
afraid not. Even a lady doctor would then have been in
an awkward position, and I myself too, if a fatal issue
had been the result. To-day it would not be so

The still-born son was a fine child, but decomposition
had already set in. The young mother was unconscious
for twenty-four hours after, then, as by a miracle, she
seemed to rally for a few days. She became reassured,
and really thought she would pull through. On the
eighth day she begged me to go and have a night’s rest.
I felt reluctant to go. She was so persistent that I left

when Miss and I had finished a flannel jacket we

were making. This was close on midnight. I kissed
her, and she said, ” I assure you, mamma, I am better.”
At 3 A.M. I heard a tremendous knocking at my door,
a request to come quickly, but no explanation as to
why. I thought while hurrying on my dressing-gown
and my ulster to go out into the night air that perhaps
some tribes had swooped down on Wazan, as rumours
of disaffection had been rife for some days. The
screaming, screeching of women came from all parts of
the town, and then the Arab death-dirge suddenly
struck my ear. Who can be dead ? My husband and
children came first. Could news have arrived ? Lalla
Heba I had left a short time previously so very much
better all this passed through my brain in a second

of time. Then Miss and I were clutched and

dragged, I don’t know if by men or women, or both,
and away we went to Lalla Heba’s house. The sight
in the hall was indescribable. Women were in
hysterical convulsions, their bodies contorted, their
faces in some instances covered with blood, caused by
deep scratches mostly by their finger-nails, or possibly


by those of others. Their chests were bare, and they
thumped themselves until the chest was one mass of
bruises, for in their frenzied grief they had lost all
control over themselves. One woman clung to a door ;
her eyes were almost starting from her head, and yet
she sang the Arab dirge, swaying herself to and fro as
the door moved one way or the other. I managed
to get through this grovelling mass of humanity,
hoping I had not stepped upon any one, for they nearly
pulled me into their midst by clinging to my skirts.
I managed to get up the stairs to Lalla Heba’s room,
which was crowded with Shareefas and others round
the doorway. They also were swaying their bodies, but
with none of the trying scenes of the patio, or hall,
though every now and again the Arab dirge started
outside the room. The Arab dirge resembles at the
first few bars an uncanny laugh, then follow a few
more in a pathetic strain in the minor key, then back
again into the first motif, with a kind of heart-rending
shriek at the end.

I went to the curtained bed, and found two women
sobbing, one at the head, the other at the foot, and a
lighted green candle in the corner. One said, ” She is
not dead ; she moves. Look, look.” The woman was as
one demented. The other was able to furnish me with
some details as to how the sad event came about.
Lalla Heba put on the flannel jacket I had made,
after duly admiring it. She said she was sleepy, took a
glass of milk, and slept for an hour. On awakening,
in reply to inquiries, she said, ” Oh, so very much better ;
I have no more pain,” and called for some chicken
broth. She commenced talking, and I came to the
conclusion she must have been delirious. Then she
suddenly ceased, threw up her arms, and was still. No


one realised at the moment death had claimed her. I
arranged her poor body a little, with assistance, after
assuring myself that she was no more. Peritonitis had
evidently finished this young girl’s life. I took a fare-
well look, and returned to my apartments in Muley
Mohammed’s garden, to write to the Shareef, her
father, hoping that a courier might get through to



BURIAL takes place in Morocco a few hours after death,
so what remained of dear Lalla Heba was being pre-
pared for the last rites, and the wailing ceased for a
time. If the house has a basement, the body is gene-
rally carried to a lower apartment, if the deceased
should have died upstairs. A professional is hired to
prepare the body for burial. Preparation consists in its
being washed three times from head to foot with warm
water and soap. The water must be brought from
outside, as no fire is lighted in a house for three days
after a death has taken place therein. Orange and
rose water are freely used, attar of roses and incense,
and other scents of native production. The water from
Zem Zem, the holy well of Mecca, is sprinkled over
all. The nostrils and ears are plugged with camphor
wrapped in cotton wool, and the same is placed under
the arm-pits. About twelve yards of calico would be
required to make a shroud, which is fashioned into
garments just basted together. These consist of a
shirt, drawers, two handkerchiefs for the head, on
which also a turban is folded. The body, once dressed,
is then rolled in a long piece of calico, and knotted at
head and foot. Tolba 1 sit round after the body is
placed on the bier, but not if the ceremony takes place

1 Scholars or priests.


in the mosque, and recite portions of the Koran ; lighted
candles are also placed near.

The bier is now brought in, and the coffin placed
upon it, and covered with a haik. If a coffin is not
used, the body is enveloped in the haik, which is re-
moved at the grave-side. The two big toes are tied
together immediately after death, and if the approach
of death is apparent in a sick person, the sufferer is
always turned face to the East. In case of sudden
death this is the first office performed. During ablu-
tions the body is kept in that direction.

I did not return to the house, for I had not sufficient
pluck to encounter the writhing mass of humanity a
second time, and I knew that when the coffin was re-
moved from there a repetition of the early-morning
scenes would take place. Every male in Wazan at-
tended the funeral, robed in white ; walls were covered
with women also in white; even the trees swarmed with
boys and girls, watching what proved to be a magnifi-
cent procession. I had been advised of the hour of
departure, but the time was long past when the cortege
came in sight of Muley Mohammed’s garden. The
first intimation was like hearing the surging of the
sea in the far distance. Very slowly it became more
distinct, then all at once a patch of white appeared
among the trees on the side of Bou Hellal. I distin-
guished men, and then the cortege was in view, and
the chanting from some two thousand throats became
quite audible. The Arab women’s dirge was inter-
mingled with the men’s sonorous voices, a heart-rending
shriek now and again arose from somewhere, and all
the time the sun shone at its brightest, the trees were
in their gayest dress, washed bright with the recent
heavy rains, the ground seemed like a new green


carpet put down for the occasion the whole spectacle
was one which my poor pen could not describe.

On they came, the tolba in their spotless garments,
marching in a semblance of order, winding in and
out as they changed to a lower level of Bou Hellal.
Would the procession never end, I thought, and where
was the bier? At last it came in sight, borne on
the shoulders of men of Tuat, who are styled “the
Slaves of the House of Surety ” (Dar-Demana). The
rough coffin in which the body had been placed was
invisible. The bier is an elongated cage, which is
covered much in the same manner as the bridal
litter. In this case there were flags worked in gold
and silver thread on brocaded silks of many hues,
and the flag from Muley Abdullah Eshareef was
predominant. The death-chant is really beautiful ;
harmonious, true, impressive music. Imagine some
thousand male voices chanting in unison while with
measured steps broken by short halts now and again
when the bier- carriers changed hands the company
swept on. Now and again part of the procession
would reappear for a moment on account of the un-
dulating nature of the ground traversed, and the
zigzag paths taken to avoid places sodden by the
recent heavy rains. Not a leaf moved and no one
spoke, or if they did it was in the lightest under-
tone. Soon all were out of sight, and the procession
reached the mausoleum Mosque of Muley Abdullah
Eshareef having taken nearly two hours to accom-
plish the distance of rather over a mile.

A few prayers from the Koran were recited as
the body was laid in the already prepared grave.
Bread, figs, and money were freely distributed to the
poor, and one and all returned to his house, leaving the


grave-digger to cover up all that was mortal of the
young bride whose wedded life had lasted scarcely
sixteen months. I saw her grave at a distance. It
is near the door-step of the principal entrance of
Muley Abdullah Eshareef. People who go there,
seldom, if ever, neglect to recite a prayer. Daily
pilgrimages are made to the new grave, and tolba
recite at different intervals. For three days relations,
friends, and acquaintances supply the meals at the
house of mourning. On the third day dishes of
couscous and bread and figs are distributed to the
tolba and others, sitting round the last resting-place.
This ceremony is repeated by most families on the
fortieth day.

A woman on becoming a widow is at once rolled
up in a haik (a kind of blanket, used as an outdoor
garment, or for bed-covering) until new white garments,
generally calico, are procured. She must wear no
coloured garment for a period of four months eleven
and a half days. Her laundry must also be done on
Saturdays only, unmixed with that of her household.
The hammam, or steam-bath, in solitude is also another
restriction for the newly made widow, and if she
bathes at a public bath, she must return home before
the Assar, or afternoon prayer. In Wazan, she may
not go out of her room after that time. Permission
is accorded to visit friends after four months, but on
no account may she attend festivities. She must be
very careful not to go about barefooted. The clothes
worn at death are usually given to the poor, and
little heed is paid to the question if death has taken
place through contagious disease or not.

In the case of virgins, or women who have passed
away in childbirth, or infants, the ” zahrits,” or joy-cry,


accompanies the body to the door of the house. If
the deceased is well-to-do, or possesses slaves, it is
customary to free one or two of them. These follow
the bier, holding their certificates of freedom aloft at
the end of a long cane, and a slave is often purchased
for the purpose by the heirs, if circumstances permit
one to be purchased. Many a one who has taken
refuge in this Zowia owes her freedom to such circum-
stances. I have also assisted some to free themselves.
I am not convinced that it is a real kindness to free
these poor creatures. They have no family, practically
no friends, and are turned upon the world to pick up
a precarious living.

Slaves, on the whole, are extremely well treated, but,
of course, one comes across exceptions. Their general
intelligence is generally below the average, and they
are far from resourceful. As a rule, they are fairly
good cooks, once having mastered the art, and also
good laundresses. I have in bygone days even taught
some to iron a shirt, scrub a floor, and clean a grate.

In this last-named work I had an amusing ex-
perience. Naturally, I wore gloves in demonstration,
and the next time the operation had to be performed
I thought I would give a peep, when I found my
blacky had religiously donned my gloves, and, though
hard at work, was much encumbered by the same. I
recovered them, and suggested she should work without
them. As time went on her stove-polishing used to be
much admired. As to scrubbing, I have never been
able to get a slave or other woman to kneel in cleaning
a floor, even with a mat provided for the purpose.
Wooden floors, such as I have, were not in use gene-
rally at this period. Marble, stone, or brick ones were
oftener to be found. These are cleaned by flooding,


which is followed up by a palmetto broom with a very
short handle. I had no end of trouble, when I was
first married, to teach the different servants of my
household. There were too many to begin with. In
the kitchen I had no trouble as far as utensils were
concerned, for the most of the Moors are very parti-
cular as regards cleanliness. The Shareef told me
that his mother was so fastidious that slaves stood
round to swish flies away where her food was cooking,
and when she was eating, and if by ill-luck a fly fell
into the dish it was removed from before her at once,
and her appetite disappeared for the time being. The
Shareefs mother was a Haussa slave, of lightest-
coloured complexion, and was reckoned one of the
handsomest girls ever seen. Sidi el Hadj el Arbi
having had the misfortune of losing many sons, all
having attained to manhood, was left with two
daughters. The Tuats of Fez, seeing this beautiful
girl on the slave-market, purchased her and sent her
as a present to Wazan. She became the concubine
of my father-in-law and, at the age of fifteen gave
birth to my husband, whose devotion to his mother
and to her memory was proverbial. In mentioning
her I have often seen his eyes filled with tears.
If ever child had doting parents Sidi el Hadj
Abdeslam had. Nothing was too good for him, no
wish was crossed, and every one from his parents
downwards was subservient to the little man’s will.
As soon as he could walk he used to be taken by
attendants to the El Arsa de Sultan (Sultan’s Garden),
and made mud pies, like any other little one. His
father, old man though he was, participated in the
games of this much cherished son. One day he
found him making soldiers out of clay, and watched


him dividing them into opposing armies of Moslems
and Europeans. My husband out of perversity always
made the Europeans the conquerors, as he enjoyed
the consequent rage of the attendants. He was too
young to have any other motive. His father used
to be highly amused, and saw no harm in the child’s
play, remarking, “That boy when he grows up will
have more to do with Europeans than we think of.”
No doubt ” God forbid ” was uttered by the retainers,
if one could have been near. I have no means of
comparing dates, but I often wonder if the child
heard the French war of 1844-45 commented upon,
and, not being capable of understanding, had his
imaginations fired into clay soldier-making. He would
then have been between seven and eight. It is a
supposition on my part, and nothing more.

Sidi el Hadj el Arbi was often absent for long
periods from Wazan, and his son was mostly with his
mother. At that time the change of the Court’s resi-
dence was never effected unless the Grand Shareef
preceded the Royal cortege. Jealousy was ever more
prevalent and serious than now among Shorfa and
Court officials, some of whom conspired to kill Sidi el
Hadj el Arbi by suffocating him in the steam-bath.
Hearing no sound and thinking their machinations
had been effectual, the more valorous penetrated the
hammam, and to their horror a large lion confronted
them. Shortly after Sidi el Hadj el Arbi went to his
apartments, and, refraining from any mention of the
attempt upon his life, took his departure for Wazan.
The next day the Sultan, Muley Abderahman, was
much dismayed at the sudden exit of his much-loved
and venerated friend.

One more anecdote chosen from numerous others


may be here set down. This same Grand Shareef was
passing through Zemmour, the inhabitants of which
belong to divers brotherhoods. One tribe decided to
put to the test the miraculous powers ascribed to Sidi
el Hadj el Arbi. In a dish of couscous, instead of the
chicken or meat, a large snake was cut up and cooked
to replace the proper ingredient. With all due cere-
mony the dish was brought on the wooden tray-table,
covered with a beehive-shaped cover of palmetto grass,
and placed before the saint, who immediately said,
before uncovering the dish, ” Oh, snake, return to thy
normal condition ! ” at the same time commanding one
of the slaves to remove the cover, as he wished to dine.
On the cover being raised an enormous snake was
found coiled round the dish of couscous ; so long was
it that the tray-table was filled with the presence of
the reptile. From that time the whole of the tribe
were affiliated to the sect of Muley Taib.

I find that the Spaniards have a legend analogous to
the above with regard to Saint Antony. In this latter
case the saint was invited to partake of a capon : some-
thing else was substituted, but his prevoyance made
the trick known. Nevertheless on this occasion the
substituted meat became capon, and was partaken of
by the saint and the assemblage.

With regard to Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam, my
husband, many are the miraculous powers ascribed to
him. He was left a large fortune by his father, and
inherited two others, and was at one time one of the
wealthiest men in Morocco. But his motto was, ” Let
the morrow take care of itself.” He rather boasted of
the immense amount of money that he was able to
disperse in all directions. He certainly did not believe
that charity and discretion in giving the same should go


hand in hand. People knew he was open-handed ; he
never took the trouble to inquire if a case was deserving
or not. Many a time he has sent to me to send him,
what I thought was to be a cast-off jelab (the outdoor
overcoat), when probably he had left the house with a
new one, and come home without it. Some poor
Shareef or other would request to be clothed, and my
husband’s wardrobe sometimes diminished in a most
remarkable manner. Any favour done him by
Christian or Jew was always recompensed most fully.
Musicians of any nationality always went away more
than gratified. When I went to England to obtain
my parent’s consent to my marriage, every letter he
had written to me cost from twenty to forty francs.
But for the precautions I took, little property would
have been inherited in and round Tangier. The
Shareefs of Wazan are large landed proprietors,
consequently agriculture is much favoured by them,
and exportation of grain being prohibited, many tracts
lie fallow year in and year out for want of a better
market to dispose of the produce.

I remained in Wazan about a week longer, and
returned to Tangier. The Shareef was much moved
by the death of his only daughter. At the house there
was a repetition on a smaller scale of the scenes that I
had witnessed at Wazan, but these disturbances the
Shareef soon suppressed. Naturally, visits of con-
dolence were many from all classes of the Mussulman



WE went earlier this year to our mountain residence,
and soon I had to think of preparing Muley Ali’s
wardrobe, for it was decided he should join his half-
brother at the Lycee d’Alger. Muley Touhami came
home at the end of July, being the bearer of several
prizes he had gained. He now spoke French well,
and taught a little to Muley Ali. The Shareef often
remarked, ” I wish I could become a boy again and go
to College.” Muley Ali was very proficient in the
English and Arabic languages, he read and wrote both
well. English was his first language, he having been
confided to an English nurse. For Muley Ahmed I
had a French nurse ; French was the first language he
spoke, and for a time he was more fluent in that. For
four years they had English governesses, and then
my husband and I thought it advisable from every
point of view to accept the generous offer of the French
Government. We, the three boys and myself, left in
the Oran steamer, the Shareef and a great assemblage
accompanying us to the wharf. Many were the injunc-
tions he gave them, especially to Muley Ali. The
Shareef suggested I should take them for a tour in
South Oran first, so after remaining a few days in the
town of Oran we went out to our Zowia in Tlemcen.
Muley Touhami elected to return to the Lyce’e, so
when we started for Saida, via Peregaux, he went with



an attendant to Algiers, who afterwards returned to us,
as I had only brought a few retainers, including a
Moorish woman. I never took European maids on
these expeditions, having found them on my first
expedition a source of anxiety from beginning to end.
My boys and I received quite an ovation at Saida,
where the letter from my husband was received with
the utmost respect. It was kissed by the faithful, and
pressed to heart and forehead. “Thank God, Sidi has
remembered us,” was heard on all sides. People were
so hospitable that our sojourn was, as usual, longer than
on the programme, and with regrets from the men of
Tuat, our principal hosts, and many other Mohamme-
dans of standing, we wished bon voyage and left, with
promises to return at an early date.

The railway from here to Tim Brahim was as far
as the locomotive could take us, as the line was in
the course of construction. Having carte blanche
from the Shareef to remain as long as I liked, and, pro-
viding no objection was made by the Algerian autho-
rities, to visit Arab encampments, I inspected many.
Perhaps it is needless to say that in every instance,
whether with civil or military authorities, I was always
most courteously received, and a verbal permit was
all I needed. When I reached Tim Brahim, a Kaid
met us with a large escort of Arabs on horseback,
and numerous camels carrying our baggage. Beautiful
horses with the Arab saddle were bought for my sons.
I believe they used these for the first time, being
accustomed, like their father, to English saddlery.
I had my English side-saddle, and found a corner to
slip into my habit. My steed rather resented a lady
riding at first start, but perhaps he thought it was not
so bad after all, for he continued at a nice amble


until powder-play commenced, when he reared and
would no doubt have liked to show off with the
rest. I was not of the same opinion, and I am afraid
he bore me a grudge to the end of the journey, judging
by his fitful starts now and again.

After a dusty journey of some three hours we
reached the encampment. Arab women came out to
meet us, carrying milk, the sign of peace, and giving
the zahrits’ cry made by using the tongue instead of
the throat as women in towns generally do.

Here, I remember the great difficulty was the water-
supply. It was brought in skins on camels’ backs,
and was certainly not from a limpid source ; though
we boiled and strained, the taste of tar was not re-
moved. Tea and coffee so flavoured are not pleasant
drinking ; the water is bad enough, but a plate of
soup is more than objectionable. Rain overtook us,
and prolonged our stay, and, in consequence, the escort
from the next halting-place could not come at the
appointed time. It seems unkind to say we were
happy to leave here after having been shown so much
hospitality. The Arab women are very inquisitive,
and privacy is but little respected by them. They
knew no better, so it was impossible to be vexed,
all being kindly meant.

We were now quite in the heart of the plains,
occupied in all directions by the Oulad N’har. Diffe-
rent Kaids came for us to visit their encampments,
more often than not out of the beaten track. The
country for miles was covered with scrub, sometimes
very prickly, which soon reminded one of its presence
if a promenade was taken far abroad. Large tracts
of alfa grass were also to be seen far and near, and
the herds of camels were grazing. I never saw so


many ” ships of the desert ” together. I counted over
two hundred in one place. The Arabs, as a general
rule, count their wealth by the number of camels and
flocks belonging to each fraction or the whole of a
tribe. There was a certain amount of grandeur in
this district, and one went for miles without en-
countering a soul. The Arabs, both male and female,
are uncleanly in appearance ; their surroundings compel
them to be so, especially when water is, as in so many
encampments, some distance from them, and it is as
much as the young girls, and sometimes women, can
do to carry sufficient for the daily demand. How
graceful they look coming along in lines from the
river or well at sunset, with their jars and pitchers
poised on their heads; others with a baby tied on
one hip, and a pitcher on the other, and perhaps a
string of children clinging to the mother’s skirts into
the bargain. Arab children are a caution ; they roll
and play about in the earth all day, and would require
any amount of soap to remove even the first coating
of mother earth.

The family tent is made of woven camel’s hair, sewn
together from pieces about one metre wide ; in the
centre are two poles about six feet high, and at intervals
round props are used, which raise or lower the edges of
the tent as required ; the shape is generally elongated,
but no particular care is taken to make the dwelling-
place symmetrical. Generally, each tent is surrounded
outside with scrub of a thorny kind ; this is to prevent
the flocks from entering. In one corner is a semblance
of a kitchen, where European and native utensils are
found side by side. The fire-places are holes dug in
the ground, and the firing, gatherings of sticks and
dried scrub, also dried cow’s dung. From the roof of


the tent at this end, numerous goat-skins are suspended
containing flour, rice, &c., with a few gaily painted tins
or boxes to hold tea and coffee. Sugar is generally in a
sack, oil-skins will perhaps be in another corner, and
butter in rough earthenware vessels which are thrust into
skins when the tribe is on the move. In the centre
Arabs generally take their meals. They are not great
meat-eaters in their household, but when they do take
it, it is astonishing to see the capacity for putting it
away. Sour-milk or butter-milk is much favoured by
them, so too are dates and oil. Bread is made in flat
cakes, weighing about half a kilo each. Chickens
there were, but not in profusion ; these, like the kids
and lambs, had the free run of the tent. At exactly the
opposite end would be seen rolled-up carpets which are
spread out at night for a bed. Those who are well off
have three and four placed one on top of the other. The
rugs are woven with a pattern on one side and long
wool on the other. It does not make a bad resting-
place, as I know from personal experience on several
occasions, when my own mattress was damp from the
mackintosh cover coming to grief or being shifted.
The pillows, of carpet material, are really sacks, where the
man keeps his wardrobe, as well as using it for a head
rest. The man’s dress consists of a long shirt, with very
ample sleeves ; sometimes a cloth waistcoat is added, a
long burnous, either black or brown, ornamented with
white or coloured braid. Those made of earners hair
are called El Kidous, and keep out both heat and rain.
To the latter I can testify, having donned the covering
in wet weather, but I should be very sorry to be obliged
to wear it in the month of June. The head-dress is
generally a casque of palmetto grass over which yards of
camel’s-hair cord are wound. The Arab at home prefers


going barefooted, rather than to thrusting his un-
stockinged feet into the rather hard and low Algerian
shoe. The yellow slipper was rather the exception than
the rule, and many adopted only the sandal. The Arab
woman is generally swathed in calico, which is made
to form a double dress, fastened over the shoulders
from back to front, with silver brooches, caught
together in a line with the arm-pit on either side
round the waist by a clumsy belt made of woollen
cords, and dyed by the natives themselves. Some-
times chains of silver hang from the brooches over the
waist, to which pendants and charms are attached.
Occasionally the charms hang from one side of the belt.
The head-dress may consist of several yards of muslin
wound round the head, and a bit of cord over that ; the
ends come down over the ears, and serve for covering the
face. If in the presence of strange men, the members
of one tribe do not seclude their women as is done in
towns. Sometimes a towel of coarse wool, possibly
henna stained for ornamentation, is tied round the
loins over the calico, and knotted in front. Barefooted
they always are, except on gala days, when they will
wear a coloured leather and embroidered slipper,
preference being given to a bare foot and very pretty
feet they have, to say nothing of neat ankles. The
hands are very much spread the use of the hand-
mill and water-carrying conduces to that but their
carriage is generally very elegant.

I have met some Arab girls, and regretted my
inability to portray them on canvas, for their general
symmetry was nearly perfect. The eyes are heavily
painted with khol, even the men sometimes resort
to this ; the constant glare of the sun in a sandy district
is most painful, and khol is considered of service to


prevent inflammation of the eyelids. The skin of the
Arab is as white as any European’s, but the constant
exposure to all the elements bronzes it in some cases
almost black. Even my sons, when on their travels,
quickly assume a tint which is not natural to them,
and as for my late husband, his colouring was much
deepened from only a few days’ exposure when hunting.
Many people considered him a very dark man, but he
was not, and his father, Sidi el Hadj Alarbi, was a fair
man, with blue eyes ; his mother had golden hair and
brown eyes.

In some places where I encamped, the earth was
chalky and worked into the pores of our skin, while
our clothes seemed as though they had passed through
a bath of pea- soup ; and then, too, one felt sticky, so
no wonder that those who passed their lives in these
regions always have the appearance of being uncleanly,
perhaps more so than they really are.

Near El Mai we were overtaken by terrific storms,
and took refuge in a ruined house. Drenched to the
skin, darkness coming on, short of provisions, we
cowered in the dusk, for even candles were at a
premium. However, we found a corner which pro-
tected us somewhat from the elements. Mohar, my
sons’ constant attendant, was ever resourceful, and
soon rigged us up in semi-privacy and made us a
roaring fire, before which we turned round and round
as a joint on a spit, to dry our clothes, for to change
them was out of the question. The children were not
so thoroughly wet, as some Arabs had wrapped them
in their kidous, or camel’s-hair burnouse. How
uncanny it all was ! Our few candles gave little light,
and but for a huge fire that was kept up, and partially
illuminated our uncomfortable surroundings, there was


small comfort. How our escort fared I could only
imagine, as they flitted about, casting vivid shadows
as they changed places, hoping to find more shelter.
How the wind howled surely all the devils were
abroad and how we longed for daylight !

^ Towards midnight there was a lull in the storm.
We heard tramping of many feet; was it friend or
foe ? Even the zahrits of the women did not reassure
us, for sometimes even that is deceiving. I made the
retainers come closer to me. The two little boys were
asleep in the arms of some of our men, my Arab escort
took up their position on the defensive. Nearer they
came ; a moonbeam revealed a small body of men and
women a short distance off, carrying baskets on their
heads. They were chanting, which, I suppose, some
wind now made audible to us. They approached us
with -the usual salutations, viz : “Salaam Aleikoum,”
as with one voice, and people in the same manner,
“Aleikoum Salaam,” which means respectively “Peace
be with you,” and the response “To you be peace.”
The boys awoke, the people deposited their burdens
before them, then in Indian file each one kissed their
hands or clothes, some with tears streaming down
from excitement. One woman had a nervous fit and
was carried out. Such is the religious excitability
of the Arab generally. The Chief apologised for the
lateness of his visit with the supper, and made excuses
on account of the extraordinary weather. They then
left some of their people as extra guards, and the
remainder returned to their encampment. The
couscous was still hot, the dishes being encased
in covers made of palmetto grass ; chickens, meat, and
eggs were also there ; though not the most appetising,
by hungry people, no second thought was given.


Tea, sugar, and candles also were not forgotten.
There was enough and to spare for every one. I
often wonder how they managed the cooking, for
though the camel-hair tents are weather-proof, great
discomfort is experienced in rainy weather.

In the morning these people came again, bringing
a kind of soup, cakes cooked in honey and oil, and
plenty of cow’s milk. Later an escort from the Kaid
of Tonamalla arrived in superb weather. Tonamalla
was our original destination, and only a few miles
distant from our more than uncomfortable night
quarters. The town or village did not look unlike
Oujhda, being in a most ruinous condition. The
Kaid’s residence seemed to be holding together and
no more. In former times it had probably been a
passable dwelling-house. Evidences of mosaic pave-
ment were in a large room that we were ushered into,
after traversing a kind of courtyard. The flooring
of this room consisted now of beaten earth, and the
clouds of dust that arose from the number of people
who followed us in was choking ; water was sprinkled,
but was of little avail. There were windows, closed
with shutters only ; here too might have been glass in
bygone times. Miles and miles of plains were over-
looked from these windows, the sills of which were
just broad enough to sit on ; a range of hills in the far,
far distance was just visible. There was a certain
grandeur attached by the sight of this vast amount of
space wherever the eye rested, and the moonlight
made the scene fascinating. The numbers assembled
here to do homage to my sons was incredible. Coffee-
drinking went on all day, though the tea-tray was
presided over at different intervals. The women
crowded round me the whole of the day, and it was


impossible to get any food prepared by my own people.
These people seemed to have more muddy complexions
than the tent-livers, and as for our clothes, under-
linen and all were impregnated with the chalky earth
and dust. Though rather nauseated by so much whole
roasted sheep, the piece de resistance in all hospitality
offered by the Arabs, I resigned myself to the
inevitable, the appearance of the other dishes not
attracting me. From all I heard about them after-
wards, the least said about the food the better, as far
as we were concerned ; nevertheless, my Moorish woman
attendant and others consumed all with evident relish.
From here we started for Sufsifa, whence the diligence
started for Geryville. The weather was beautiful, the
scenery wild, but called forth no particular remark.

We traversed rising ground a little ; at first the
incline was not perceptible. At Sufsifa we visited the
cemetery, in order to see the mausoleum of Lalla
Kaddia, the patron saint of that district, to her whom
many miracles are ascribed.

As far as I remember, we remained here the night,
for having passed the Chott el Sherqui, or Eastern Chott,
which lake was practically dry, and the ground traversed
on either side of the twelve miles’ breadth made us feel
rather more fatigued than usual. An extraordinary
vehicle was the diligence, more like an oblong dray.
There were hoops over the top covered with white
calico, and there were three horses attached to this
most ramshackle conveyance. We wondered how far it
would go before breaking down, there was no other
way of getting to our destination. The road, such as
it was, to Geryville was at that time the roughest of
the rough. The route lay in the valley, and the ruts
were such that one was on the look-out for an upset


every few yards. First to the left, then to the right the
uncanny vehicle swayed. The boys thought it great
fun, but my Moorish attendant had much difficulty in
keeping her equilibrium, and never ceased to call upon
all the living and dead saints she could remember.
The boys were up to all sorts of tricks with her : they
would look ahead and call upon their imaginations in
a most vivid manner, as to the road ahead ; she would
then prepare herself for a spill, and sometimes crouch
at the bottom of the vehicle, nearly pulling me down
with her. Sidi Hamza of the Oulad Sidi Sheik, and a
large escort were the first to meet us some distance
from the town. As we came closer the crowd increased ;
some leaped on to the diligence. I think that, but for
the vigorous use of the driver’s whip, we really should
have gone over.

At a tremendous pace we entered the town, and
drew up at the Post Office. A passage was cleared
for us to dismount, and to get across the street to a
small house retained for our accommodation. The
reception commenced immediately. I pitied my poor
boys, the people being so very demonstrative, and in
the turmoil cooked dishes of meat and chicken arrived
from all quarters. There was a suspicion of the French
cuisine about some of the food, and it was a real treat
to eat without the accompaniment of dust and tarred
water. I found a bottle of champagne, and another of
wine; the donor did not disclose himself, but after
being in Geryville I had my suspicions, though the one
I suspected denied it. Entertainments of the usual
Arab order took place several times daily, every inhabi-
tant thinking he should contribute to our amusement.
The French and Spanish inhabitants were also most
respectful, offering their services if I required them.


Sidi Hamza I saw almost daily, Sidi Eddin’s visits
were not frequent, but members of their tribe were
always in attendance more or less. Sidi Hamza had
been to Paris, and never tired of recounting his experi-
ence in the gay city. By all accounts he must have
had a real good time. It occurred to him that I might
like to see some European entertainments, so some of
his European friends organised an impromptu hop.
We all went, and were accommodated with seats at the
head of the room, my Tangerine retainers standing at
the back of us. Presently some one appeared in the
doorway in a black frock-coat, unstarched shirt front
and collar, a red necktie not faultlessly tied, a tall
silk hat, the head enforced into it, and a gold-headed
cane in his hand, over which fell a large rumpled cuff.
I looked, wondering who this oddity might be,
when to my utter astonishment I saw him whisk
one of the girls round the waist and join in the
valse just commenced, hat on all the time. On
approaching my end of the room, he raised his hat
to me, when lo ! and behold the almost bald pate of
Sidi Hamza presented itself, Muley Ali recognised
him first, and I must say I was never so taken aback
by a transformation which had been made for my
special benefit. As I was not enthusiastic, I’m afraid
he felt the affair had fallen rather flat. Very much
finer was he in his handsome native dress of blue
cloth embroidered in gold, a well-fitting turban over
a casque of palmetto, with a cord of woven camel’s
hair over that, into which a suspicion of coloured
floss silk was introduced here and there in minute
tufts. On his legs were red leather gaiters, richly
embroidered in gold thread, to which socks of leather
were attached, the feet encased in a pretty low Algerian


shoe, with high flat heel, a belt of leather richly
embroidered and pistol holster to match, and over
the whole costume two burnouses, the one inside of
silk or fine material, and the other of cloth, or more
generally of black wool or camel’s hair, according
to the weather. With his burnous thrown carelessly
over one shoulder, and the Ldgion d’Honneur on
the other side of the burnouse, Sidi Hamza, though
far from good-looking, was a distinguished-looking
young fellow. The native dress lends much to the
height ; in European garb (?) he looked much shorter,
and I could not say there was a particle of the
gentleman in him from his outward appearance.
After a visit of some ten days, Sidi Eddin and others
of the Oulad Sidi Sheik tribe had achieved their
utmost in making our rather prolonged stay agreeable.
It was with difficulty I resisted their entreaties to
visit the mausoleum of their ancestor Sidi Sheik.
The distance was too great, and I felt I ought not
to penetrate further south, almost into the heart of
Little Sahara, of which I was now on the borders.



WE happened on one occasion to be staying at an
encampment near Aflou, with Kaid M’zuida, not such
a great distance from Wad El Beida. Here I saw
a gazelle hunt for the first time, and joined in one
beat. They brought me a mare that simply looked
skin and bone. I did not care to ride such a beast,
but was assured that she was strong and fleet of foot,
and that it was the nature of all mares in that region
to have such a half- starved appearance. The Kaid
was correct ; she flew almost like a bird, and it was an
exciting gallop while it lasted, nevertheless I did not
wish to have another trial on her back.

Going from here to Aflou I had a large escort
with me as usual, and we took some gazelle cutlets
as part of our luncheon ; we had also eaten gazelle
dressed in different ways during our stay with Kaid
M’zuida. We were going along quietly when all at
once something whizzed past me, and, to my horror,
the mare Muley Ahmed was riding had run away with
him. The Arabs with us shouted to us to stop, as
my first impulse was to follow Muley Ali and Mohar,
who had gone after the child. The Arabs said she
would soon stop if she did not hear hoofs behind her.

Mohar dismounted, took off his boots, and followed
after the child and his runaway beast ; several others
doing the same, I, with the remainder of our escort,
following slowly and as noiselessly as possible. The



agony of mind was terrible, for I did not know in
what state I should find my darling child, or if he
would be alive or dead. I was almost as one de-
mented, and the twenty minutes or half-an-hour fright
seemed like hours of suspense. At last, in response
to a shout, we set off at a brisk gallop, and saw the
followers standing round in the distance. On coming
up to them I saw my boy still in the saddle, and
Mohar holding the bridle, just on the edge of a
precipice, where the animal came to an end of her
mad career. He had refused to allow Mohar to dis-
mount him, until his brother and I arrived, so as to
assure us he had not fallen off.

I was off my steed in a second and flew to my
child, who was looking as white as a ghost. Mohar
put him beside me, and I made him put his head in
my lap, as he said it throbbed so much. Water
was near, and I put a few drops of brandy into some
water. Reaction set in, and I was afraid he would faint,
as he was trembling from head to foot. Smelling-
salts helped to revive him, and after half-an-hour’s
rest we were all sufficiently recovered to resume our
journey to Aflou, or as I suggested, Muley Ahmed
should now re-christen it ” I flew.”

Meantime I discovered the cause of the disaster.
The young man had purloined a spur from some one,
and strapped it on to his boot ; the mare resented the
application, and took to her heels as I have related.

” How did you keep your seat, Mannie ” (his pet
name), I said.

” Well, Mamma, you always call me a little monkey,
and, by acting as such, I was able to cling on, so
in future when you call me a monkey, you will be
perfectly right.”


He is still a fearless rider, and at powder-play
very much admired ; in fact many Europeans have
said they would attend this exhibition in Tangier
if Muley Ahmed was among the party of riders.

A day or two after saw us on the road from Aflou
to Ain el Mahdi, near the Zowia of Sidi Ahmed
el Tizpeni. The head of the Sanctuary was in Algiers,
where his French wife lived, but relatives received
us and made us very welcome.

On the slope of Djebel Amour we pitched our camp.
It was a chilly evening, and the brightness of the stars,
and some shooting ones, first attracted our attention.
The shower, for such it was, increased until, as the
Arabs said, ” It rained stars.” The display was mag-
nificent and awe-inspiring. Some of the meteors
seemed an immense size, and left a trail of light behind
them for a second or two like a comet’s tail. Which-
ever way you turned, hundreds and hundreds of
meteors seemed to be rushing to Mother Earth. At
first the Arabs did not seem to know what to think of
it. They began to get nervous, recitations of the
Koran could be heard on all sides, and many prostrated
themselves face downwards ; some flitted about hither
and thither, looking like so many ghosts wrapped up
in their white burnouses ; some stood stock-still at the
door of their tent or cabin. 1

Then the women became aware of the grand dis-
play in the heavens above, and fear and trembling
seized them in a piteous way ; they wailed and
moaned. No one spoke above a whisper, and at times
speech seemed to have left many. How long the
shower lasted I cannot remember, though at 10 P.M.

1 There is a belief in Morocco that when shooting stars are seen,
Satan is assailing Heaven. ED.



it was at its zenith, for at a moment when I thought
to look at my watch it marked that hour. I confess I
was awe-stricken with so much grandeur, the like of
which I have never seen before or since. The children
were not so much alarmed, but the scenes made by the
retainers somewhat unnerved them, so I persuaded
them to go to bed, and before long Morpheus held
them in his arms. I too tried to sleep, but my Moorish
woman was verging on hysterics, and the moaning and
wailing women all round did not permit me to have
much rest.

I heard next morning that one or two women had
miscarried in consequence of the great state of terror
they were in. If I remember rightly we left next day,
staying again at Arab encampments. We came to
some pine woods, in the Harrar district, and were
making our way to the Oulad el Kharoul. Two brothers
were Kaids in this district. The journey was a long
one, some eight or nine hours, up hill and down dale.
The valley before reaching the Kaids’ place was very
beautiful, all so green, the pine-trees throwing off their
rich perfume. I don’t think we encountered a single
soul the whole day, except when within an hour more
or less of our destination, and then it was only a goat-
herd with a flock of the black long-haired goats for
which this part of the country is famous. On our way
we saw hundreds of camels, fine animals many of them.
These represented, as I think I have remarked before,
the financial status of this or that tribe ; wealth is also
reckoned by flocks of sheep and goats. A little before
we reached the Oulad Kharoul, something black could
be seen rising among the trees and shaped almost like
a minaret, and then here and there peeped out from
the bushes more black patches which seemed of great


length. Just as I was wondering what they might be,
a lot of gaily-dressed horsemen appeared, and escorted
us to the spot I had been gazing on. I found it was
an enormous encampment, very different to the Arab
tents I had been staying in. It was all of camel’s hair
cloth and very thick, the sides were more than two
metres high. The roof covering was dome shaped,
and I also noticed that each end was raised, tower like,
and a large bunch of ostrich feathers adorned each
highest point. The seams of the outside of this enor-
mous roof covering were adorned with little tufts of
feathers at intervals. The interior was divided into
compartments, being of the same material as the out-
side. Large rooms they represented, and when I found
a large canopied brass bedstead, a chest of drawers,
and a wardrobe with a mirrored door, one could with a
slight stretch of imagination think they were in a
house. Kitchen and stables were all under this single
roof, but so well arranged that no inconvenience was
caused. For transporting this enormous tent domicile,
when the inhabitants migrated to other quarters, over
one hundred camels were requisitioned. I learnt that
the Kaids often visited the Algerian towns ; one
especially spent a great deal of his time, and no doubt
money, in Oran. He spoke French fairly well, and
many of the young male members of the family were
quite fluent in that language. In fact throughout my
journey I found many Arabs who spoke French, good,
bad, or indifferent, which was a boon to me, for the
further south we went the Arabic dialect changed, and
it was often difficult for me to follow, especially as
they spoke so quickly, but I became accustomed
and able to use the Algerian words, in many cases
so different to those used in Tangier where, too, very


indifferent Arabic is spoken. At Fez you get a fairly
pure language, but not equal, I am told, to that which
is used in Egypt and elsewhere. We only spent one
night here, and I had an opportunity of seeing the
women weaving the beautiful thick carpets with which
the interior of their camp was so richly adorned. From
here Tiaret was our destination ; the road lay partly
in a valley, the slopes gradually seemed to increase in
height as we went along, and the road was a climb
as we neared the town, which is built on the slopes
of Djebel Geuzzoul, and is supposed to be the site of
a Roman camp.

It has the appearance of a double town, the civil
quarter on one side and the military the other ; the
whole enclosed within high walls. Not far from
Tiaret, and on the road to Frenda, are some remark-
able tombs which the Arabs call Djedar (enclosure).
They were there in number, built of large cut stones
and terminate in a pyramid. The interiors had for-
merly been mortuary chambers. We were to have
made an excursion there, but the intense cold and
rainy weather deprived us of that outing. Our stay
was made at a house belonging to a powerful chief
named Hadj Kaddour el Saharononi ; he was not at
home, but his wife, or properly speaking one of his
wives, was our hostess. The house was supposed to
be European, at the back it resembled much an Arab
encampment ; a small camel’s hair tent was there.
From here we took train to Algiers, arriving at close
upon 11 P.M., as the train had been delayed. We went
to the Hotel 1’Oasis, and how we enjoyed the luxury
of a good bed ! for although fairly comfortable in the
Arab encampments, the difference is very perceptible
and acceptable after a month or two.


NEW Year’s day dawned very wet, and the birth of
1886 was not pleasant in its omens. People were
going about on visits, but no one I knew lived in
Algiers at that time, so I watched from the hotel
windows the carriages passing with their gaily-dressed
occupants. Muley Thammin was with me, having a
week’s holiday, the three brothers being very pleased
to meet again. Hadj Kaddour el Saharononi invited
us all to luncheon, and placed his carriage and pair
at our disposal as long as we remained in Algiers. I
also attended the service at the Protestant church.
It is an imposing building outside, with a portico
supported by fluted columns. The pulpit is of carved
walnut – wood, and the communion table of white
marble. This was the French Protestant building.
The Church of England I also attended. This also
is a very handsome edifice ; it was heavily in debt
when I was there. The stained-glass windows, pulpit,
and font are all gifts from visitors. I also visited
Lieutenant- Colonel Playfair at his beautiful Moorish
house, and by his and Mrs. Playfair’s kindness I was
able to find a lady who would take charge of Muley
Ali during fetes or holidays, if required, in case I could
not leave Tangier conveniently. I had one or two
most agreeable interviews with Monsieur Firman before
taking Muley Ali to the Lycee on 5th January. 1



had all the three boys photographed, Muley Thammin
going through the ordeal for the first time. He took
to it kindly, and was rather proud of himself. I
visited several Arab families in the Moorish quarter ;
one lady insisted on arraying me in Algerian costume.
She professed herself so pleased that she proposed she
should lend me the dress for the purpose of being
photographed, so accordingly a relative of hers went
with me next day to a studio, where I posed as an
Algerian lady. I visited many Mosques, which are
all accessible to Europeans, who must remove their
shoes at the entrance.

The Djamaa of Si Abderrhaman el Thalbi contains
the tomb of a saint who died almost four hundred
years ago. There are several graves around him,
‘ which I learnt were those of Pashas and Deys. Lights
are constantly kept burning near the tomb, which
is draped with pieces of silk in various colours.
Banners, lamps, and eggs are suspended from the

The Lyce’e is a very imposing building, and every-
thing seems to be arranged on a scale of comfort
for the boarders. The sleeping apartments were large
and airy, and the class-rooms by their size showed
what a number of pupils could be educated therein.
I found the Principal and his wife charming people,
and their kindness to Muley Ali during his stay there
is one of my pleasant memories. I was sorry to
remove him to Ben Ahnoun, a few miles from Algiers,
in the second year, but when Muley Ahmed joined
his brother they preferred living in the country, the
town in summer not agreeing with them.

After completing any amount of shopping I had
to think of returning to Tangier, for the Shareef was


not very well. Now came a very hard task, that of
leaving Muley All behind. I had prolonged my visit
more than I intended, as I could not summon up the
necessary courage to go away without him. Neverthe-
less the painful hour arrived, and we all felt it badly.
I tried to keep a cheerful face during this parting
interview. Returning to the hotel I wept till I could
do so no longer. I sent Muley Ahmed out with
Mohar, for distraction, and he purchased a lot of toys,
with which he amused himself for the rest of the
evening, and I busied myself with the remainder of
the packing.

I slept at Blidah, but did not enjoy this pretty
place as I should have done had I my two precious
boys with me. I enjoyed the walk among the orange
trees, and the perfume of the orange blossom was
delightful. Such mandarin oranges I never ate, and
the liqueur is a dream. Most of the hedges round
the different enclosures are formed of clipped orange-
trees grown thickly together; these hedges were just
bursting into bloom, and were a sight never to be
forgotten. Blidah is prettily situated at the foot of
the Atlas Mountains, and the selection of its site a happy
thought. The summit of the mountains overshadow
the town, and on the other side there is an excellent
view of the Metijia plain as far as the Sahel hills.
There is a magnificent group of olive-trees in one
of the public gardens ; I do not remember at how
many centuries their age was computed. I also noticed
some cedars, but they were nothing in particular as
to size.

Another letter reached me from the Shareef, asking
me to go to Bioness before returning to Tangier. I
would have remained a day or two longer, if only


to be, as I imagined, within a reasonable distance of
Muley Ali, in case he required my presence. From
here we took train to Oned el Kion, or Tukerman,
where a town was in the course of formation. The
diligence was waiting, having brought passengers
from Annin Moussan, the place where we were to pass
the night. This morning the number was so great
that they could not be accommodated, being increased
by the Shorfa or Marabouts (as they designated them,
in those regions) of Bioness. The head of these
Shorfa is Sidi Alenoni, and his son, grandsons, and
great-grandsons, with a large escort came to meet
us. Those whom the diligence could not accommodate
came on horseback.

Before the train stopped the Arab supplanted
the porter in opening the carriage-door at the risk
of his life, so intense was the excitement. One of
the grandsons and a secretary visited us in Algiers.
What luggage I had with me was whipped up before
I had time to see by whom it was taken. Fortunately
no other occupant was in the same compartment, or
unpleasant mistakes might have occurred. The rail-
way authorities little appreciated this storming of
their little station, and there was no small amount
of commotion for a few minutes. We reached the
diligence somehow, but Muley Ahmed, though in
Mohar’s arms, rather objected to this rather demon-
strative adoration. At last we started on our three
hours’ drive to Annin Moussan, then only a small
village, and French military post of some importance.
The Arabs increased in numbers as we came towards
our destination, and with difficulty we entered some-
body’s house and remained there through the night.
Horses and baggage animals were ready, and we


started next morning for Bioness. The route was
picturesque after passing outside Annin Moussan ;
the high hill we ascended was well wooded on every
side, principally with pines, though numerous other
trees were planted there. There was no real road
deep ruts, large boulders, and running streams all
had to be encountered. Recent heavy rains had made
this ascent more difficult than ever. The sun shone
brilliantly on this day; the pines and other trees
wore their best green dresses in all shades, and even
a few birds were twittering here and there. A
partridge ran across my path. I came upon one or
two foresters the French are careful in preserving
their wooded plantations ; and what a gain to poor
Morocco it would be if a little common sense in
forestry were exercised instead of all wood being
ruthlessly destroyed.

Before commencing the ascent a small show of
powder-play took place, but the heavy ground pro-
hibited any particular display of horsemanship. As
we went along a volley was fired now and again.
Having paid at the Bureau Arabic in Annin Moussan
for the licence to use gunpowder in their fetes for
the next few days, the Arabs were determined to
make the most of it. I enjoyed my ride surrounded
by such picturesque scenery, the crowd of Arabs . on
horse and on foot. Nearly all wore the brown bur-
nous, and their costumes of bright colours, in nearly
all cases embroidered in gold. Nearing the village,
gunpowder was more freely used, and the shots re-
echoed from the neighbouring hills. It sounded like
an approach of an invading army. For some distance
we could hear those from the village replying.

On the confines of this village, named Bioness,


was seen standing a venerable Arab, in flowng white
garments, and carrying his staff. He was a perfect
picture, and as he stood a little in advance of a semi-
circle of his descendants and other relatives, the back-
ground formed of the greenest of trees, and bushes
all round a clear blue sky, and a sunbeam played
close to, made quite a patriarchal scene. The old
Marabout was short of stature, further decreased by
his very round shoulders. He advanced slowly, and
Muley Ahmed was lifted from his horse for him to
salute, which caused the old man to be much
overcome. The sight of the son of his spiritual chief
unnerved him and all others for the moment. Never-
theless he soon recovered, and came up to me,
presenting his only son, grandsons, and great-grand-
sons ; he then remounted his horse with an alertness
which did credit to his ninety-eight summers. His
son, a man about sixty years old, required assistance,
but then he was in a delicate state of health.

The procession, greatly augmented, now started for
the village, which was still higher up. Sidi Alenoni
had designated his own house for our temporary
residence, which was to be of three days’ duration
but alas ! the weather turned the next day, and for
ten days we were unable to move. The thunderstorms
were nerve-shaking, though the lightning playing along
the hills was a grand sight ; the wind howled at night,
and rain accompanied with hail was far from adding
to our comfort. Then snow fell, and Muley Ahmed
saw it for the first time in his life.

Entertainments consisting of music and dancing
in Arab fashion were provided for our amusement,
and we did wade across some paths to visit some
other residents. A grandson of the Marabout had


really quite a decent room good carpets were a
special feature in all the best houses here, and this
man had bedsteads and a wardrobe, and several glass
shades of artificial flowers, to say nothing of some
half-dozen chairs, two of which he had lent to his
grandfather for my benefit. The house I lived in,
like the rest of the village, was built of earth and
lime, and the ceilings of unplaned rafters. This house
was two storied, and an attempt had been made to
beautify the principal room with pillars. As in all
houses built thus the dust was overpowering, and
continued sprinkling with water is necessary when
a house is much in use. I have resided in more
comfortable quarters, but still these might have been
worse, considering the state of the elements.

The style of architecture I could not lay to any
period, perhaps the cave-dwellers introduced it when
they first began to build houses. The old Marabout
had a good-looking wife between thirty and forty
years of age, and an only daughter, spoilt by the
tattooing, but the apple of her father’s eye. The
wife managed the Zowia, which was the head of
the order of Muley Taib in that district. Some thirty
M’kaddums or stewards of the order were under
him, for these Sidi Alenoni was responsible, and he
in turn represented the Grand Shareef of Wazan,
or as he was styled his Khalifa. At the end of
ten days an improvement in the state of the weather
enabled me to take my departure for Annin Moussan
en route for Tangier via Oran. The adieux were
made amidst much sobbing on the part of the
natives, and with a large escort we started. Eain
began to fall, but the shower passed off and a little
sunshine appeared. Travelling was hard work, for


the stones were loosened in several places, the little
streams were swollen, and evening was coming on
before we reached the plains, which were all under
water. I think it was on this occasion that the Arab
Bureau gave us a night’s shelter, the tiny hotel
being full.

Next morning in fine weather we started by dili-
gence, and then by train to Oran, accompanied by one
of Sidi Alenoni’s grandsons, who remained through the
four days I had to wait for steamer to Tangier, the date
of departure having recently been changed. Muley
Ahmed had contracted a feverish cold, so I was not
sorry for a few days delay, then it comforted me to
know I was still only a dozen hours journey from
Muley Ali, from whom I received the most gratifying
letters; he appreciated his new life, and his studies
were a real pleasure to him. During his residence at
the Lyce’e he was seldom, if ever, off the tableau
d’honneur, and the number of prizes he obtained
testify to his studious habits when at college. Two
years in succession, the last he was there, he carried
off the highest prize in the Lyce’e, given by the Pre-
sident of the French Kepublic. Unfortunately first
typhoid fever, and then his father’s precarious health
prevented him from returning to the Lyce’e after these

I found the Shareef at the wharf to meet us, but
looking far from well, and suffering from gouty eczema.
He looked sad when he saw only the one child, and
told me he almost felt inclined to send me back to
fetch the other. I really think if I had been of the
same mind he would not have opposed it during the
first two or three days. The two brothers were always
the best of friends, and always went about together;


Muley Ahmed too missed his playmate, but like all
children, he soon made his surroundings pleasant and
to his taste. I thought the Shareef was improving in
health, but though his arm yielded to treatment for
a time, his leg commenced to give trouble and, no
amelioration seeming possible, it was suggested sulphur
baths should be tried, so in April we started for
Hammam Bougrarah, near Marnia in Algeria.

On leaving Tangier the Shareef gave me much
anxiety ; then too he was not the best sailor, which did
not improve matters. Arriving at Malaga, where we
passed the whole day, I induced my husband to go
ashore and take Muley Ahmed for a drive, which he
did ; but the fatigue was too much, so he returned to
the vessel, and remained there until we reached Oran
on the 19th April. Next day the Shareef took a
decided turn for the better, though I had to pay his
official visits for him at Oran. On arriving at Tlemcen
I had again to do the same thing. The usual re-
ceptions took place from the Algerian populace of this
place, but as few people knew of our visit, we managed
to get to our Zowia in a much more rational manner.
I sent for Muley Ali, it being the Easter vacation, but
Muley Thammi preferred to go and stay with some
friends in the environs of Algiers, so T sent him some
extra cash, to enable him to enjoy himself thoroughly.
I knew well the people with whom he would spend his
holidays. After consulting a medical man who had
made a study of the curative powers of the waters
at Hammam Bougrarah, we left Tlemcen. On the
journey the Shareef was taken with fever, but would
insist on going straight to the baths instead of resting
at the hotel at Marnia. I sat up with him the whole
night, part of which he was delirious. Here was I in


the wilds, so to speak, and no medical help at hand.
I begged him to send for a military doctor from
Marnia, but he would not consent. Fortunately he
seemed to be recovering. Possibly the journey had
been the cause of provoking inflammation in the leg ;
this soon abated, and my husband was once more

The baths seemed to have had a most beneficial
effect, and we had several native visitors. In some
cases whole tribes came ; they camped near the date
palms with which the baths are surrounded, or amongst
some trees which were about a quarter of a mile from
the house we inhabited, which a few years previously
was the post-house. The Shareef had now purchased
this, and it was put into fairly good repair. Bougrarah
is named after a saint, whose tomb is placed near the
springs, and to him is ascribed the miraculous curative
powers of the water, which is conducted to the baths
by a subway laid with pipes by the French Government.
A deputation arrived from the neighbourhood of Beni
Snassen asking the Shareefs good offices in some
tribal disputes ; then in a day or two after came some
letters from the Riff, asking the Shareef to make it
convenient to pass through their country, to have the
benefit of his blessing, as crops had been so bad for
some time.



WE talked it over, and as the Shareef was practically
in good health, we purchased horses and mules, and
made some tents of a light kind, in case no houses were
attainable. The Shareef suggested I should return via
Oran to Tangier with Muley Ahmed, Muley Ali having
returned to the Lycde to resume his studies. I told
my husband that I had no fear whatever, and I did
not mean to lose such an opportunity, perhaps the
chance might never occur again. I went to Tlemcen
to complete purchases, and on 23rd May we all started
for Marnia, staying at the hotel there for the night.
On 24th May we arrived at Oujhda, the first town of
any importance after crossing the frontier, the country
we passed through being generally perfectly flat and
treeless, though well cultivated. On approaching
Oujhda the country became well wooded, the route
lying through numerous olive groves, and the ground
immediately about the town contained numerous fruit
gardens and orange orchards. Oujhda itself I found
just as uninteresting as on my previous visit, though
now I was enabled to take more notice of my surround-
ings, the inhabitants being at peace with neighbouring

During the six days we remained in the town
several chiefs came to my husband, entreating him to
use his good offices in procuring for them and their



tribes French protection. The Shareef returned to
Marnia to confer with the military authorities there,
and the request was to be gone into, but I do not
think with any tangible results. We then passed on
to Oulad Kaleouf, finding among the scrub en route
evidences of the recent flight of the Basha of Oujhda.
The country was at first rather hilly, then stony, next
showing huge crevasses in the rocks, and at last the
apology for a road in the Beni Snassen mountains,
where climbing was so bad that I with others of our
escort elected to go on foot, Mohar taking Muley
Ahmed on his shoulders. The Shareef was ahead with
the Oulad Sidi Namadan (the Shorfa residing here)
and the Tolba (priests). I always remained slightly
in the background in these religious processions, not
that any objection has ever been mooted, but possibly
there might be some who would feel aggrieved, and I
have never willingly entered into anything that might
hurt their susceptibilities, knowing they are far too
respectful to let it be known.

My escort said there was a short cut to Sidi
Bamadan’s Zowia, and the distance could be covered
on foot in no time. Our leaders started, and the
method of going was athletic. Jumping from boulder
to boulder was mere play in comparison to what we
had to go through in nearing the summit ; one required
the ability of a goat, and even then every step would
seem dangerous : in some parts it was like climbing a
perpendicular wall. A warlike looking man on each
side to drag me along was necessary during the last
part of the journey, and I arrived more than fatigued
at the guest house, where I found the Shareef already
installed and wondering what had become of us. The
houses, if one can call them by the name, were all


in a most dilapidated condition, and the women
looked anything but cleanly. They were most hospit-
able, however, and did their best. We remained four
days, waiting for Monsieur Duveyrier, a celebrated
French traveller, who wished to accompany us through
the Riff, on a request made to the Shareef through the
French Government ; he was to pass as our medical
attendant. The Shareef was rather sceptical from the
first as to the feasibility of an European joining us,
and was very frank, at the same time promising to
do his best.

The path down the other side of the Beni Snassen
mountain on the route to Saida was very bad, and
like the ascent, we did much on foot ; still it was an
improvement on the track we had to follow on the
Oujhda side. We went to a village near the Moulouya
River, but I cannot remember whether we forded it
that day or not. Anyhow the day after we started
for Kibdana, and encamped at an Arab douar. The
Shareef used to hunt all the time, leaving me to
accompany Monsieur Duve^rier. Muley Ahmed re-
mained with me, and also the whole of the caravan
except those the Shareef took with him to carry his
luncheon basket and small tent. I was not over com-
fortable when from time to time surveying operations
were made by our guest, for I did not feel quite sure
how the natives might take it, as we had in our
retinue many strangers whom I might not be able
to control like our personnel. However all went well.
Kibdana is very hilly, and in some places we en-
countered abrupt ground which we crossed with diffi-
culty. Wild lavender grew in profusion, but it had
not a vestige of perfume. At first sight I thought I
should be able to lay in such a store for my linen



cupboard. Naturally I refrained from doing so. I
think we were five days in this province, so to speak.
The last encampment near Melilla was in a very pretty
valley. Here a camel with the kitchen utensils ran
away down the slope, just before we reached our
quarters. To see that big ungainly animal running
for all he was worth with the Arabs after him, shout-
ing, gesticulating, and making such an uproar, con-
sequently frightening the poor beast more and more,
was more than comical. Finally he arrived on the
plain in the valley, when an attempt was made to
catch him. I never knew that a camel could buck
something like a horse, but this one did, and at each
fling a saucepan, coffee-pot, or perhaps a plate would
go flying in the air. It looked like the expiring efforts
of a set piece at a firework exhibition. The animal
would stand still as though defying every one, and
when the Arabs wished to close in, it commenced its
gyrations, to the extermination almost of our pots and
pans. Anything so funny I never witnessed in my
life, and every one laughed till they could laugh no

Arriving at Melilla we encamped on neutral
ground. I elected to remain in camp, for although
Moorish servants are as a rule excellent in their way,
they have no method, and do much better under
direction. The Shareef accordingly went to town,
called on the authorities, and paid visits to some
acquaintances settled there. I did my best to replace
the damages caused by the camel’s antics, which by-
the-by was probably caused by the shifting of a large
kettle. This knocked upon a large copper saucepan,
and caused a rattling which had frightened the poor
beast almost out of his senses. After we reached


Melilla a letter came from the Kaid of Goliyah saying
that he could not be responsible for any Europeans
traversing the Riff. The Shareef came to me and
discussed the matter. He was for returning, as at the
moment it was supposed that I was included in the
ban ; a second letter rectified that idea, and said there
was ” a thousand welcomes for Muley Ahmed’s
mother.” I had the unpleasant task of conveying
this intelligence to Monsieur Duveyrier, at the same
time feeling very sorry for the keen disappointment
he would experience. I also felt annoyed at the
contretemps that prevented the Shareef from complet-
ing his promise to the French authorities. As I had
feared, the free use of surveying apparatus, especially
the day before we reached Melilla, was the real cause
that aroused the suspicions of the Riffians, the news
of which preceded our caravan, and was promptly
transmitted in the usual exaggerated form to the
Riffian authorities.

During our stay at Melilla, which lasted four days,
the troops were brought out and manoeuvred, after
which they marched past. I was much struck with
the appearance of the men. Their equipment was
excellent, and also the manner in which they performed
their military exercises. Leaving Melilla we struck
into a vast mountainous district, and were fairly in
the land of the Riffians. There was not a vestige
of road to be seen during the whole course of our
journey. Every day we travelled on and on, only
halting for the night. I remember that in some parts
an experience of climbing sides, as we had at the Beni
Snassen mountain, occurred on several occasions.
At one point we were so high that people and
animals on the seashore below looked like so many


pigmies. At another place the mountain was so
steep that we almost climbed on our hands and knees,
and the animals were dragged up by stalwart Kiffians.
In dangerous places, and there were many, the Riffs
would stand on the edge of a precipice, and with
their long guns in their hands would form a hand-rail
for us.

The slopes of the mountain ranges were covered
principally with dense brushwood, on others an
abundance of cultivated olive trees. Sometimes the
hill- sides were wooded with the Arrar tree, a species of
pine having a strong but agreeable perfume, and said
to be well adapted for cabinet work, but generally
used here to make rafters for houses or cabins. There
were quantities of fig, walnut, almond trees and vines.
The scenery was truly magnificent as we wended our
way through the mountain passes, when every mile
seemed to present us with landscapes more romantic
and beautiful than the preceding. The valleys had
all the appearance of being most fertile, and one came
across hamlets in every direction, many surrounded by
gardens. Wild flowers were almost all gone; the
summer was at its height, and only where the brook
lingered on could a few specimens be seen. Our
route kept us almost always in view of the blue
Mediterranean, and from the mountain tops it seemed
calm and unrippled. On our left rose chains upon
chains of mountains, the peaks of some lost in the
mist. The sunsets were gorgeous. Snow-capped
peaks, masses of floating clouds, seemed to be rising
here or there as the rays of the setting sun caught this
or that craggy summit, which would stand out clear
in an azure sky, and then they would be tinted all in
a moment with gold, blue, orange and purple. Some


of the trees were really magnificent. I recall an open
glade, where the Riffians to the number of about 2000
had assembled. Powder was freely used by all the
tribes as a sign of joy and welcome to the Shareef
and his party, but here it surpassed all previous
receptions. As we came over one hill to reach another
equally high, we passed across what looked like a
large amphitheatre. All around this were collected
the Riffians, gun in hand. When the Shareef appeared
on the crest of the hill, it was the sign to fire, which
they did in detachments until the circle was completed,
only to recommence from whence they began. This
was repeated three times, and the noise was as
deafening as would be the case in the din of battle.

The custom throughout the Riff was for an escort
from the previous tribe to take us to the limits of the
next tribe’s territory; even when we visited fractions
of a tribe the same etiquette would be followed. The
frontiers, so to speak, are strictly observed, and on
some occasions our escort would depart at the first
sign of the adjoining tribe, in consequence of some
feud existing amongst them.

There being no law recognised throughout the Riff
but the will of a head of a tribe, courts of justice are
consequently unknown. Their place is supplied by
the observance of a species of vendetta or blood feud.
Thus, should one man kill another, even by accident,
some relation, usually the next of kin, is bound to
murder the one who occasioned the death ; but this
man’s relations are in their turn bound to exact
vengeance, and so the feud is perpetuated for genera-
tions. The Riffians are Nature’s true men, and
socially the village life is not unhappy, though very
primitive. They are a robust and healthy people,


pastoral and agricultural The Riffians may almost be
classed as a white race ; marny a golden-headed child,
with intense blue eyes, and even ruddy complexion, did
I come across in my wanderings through the villages
at which we halted. Many of the women beheld a
Christian woman for the first time, which made them
appear shy on first contact, but they were soon re-
assured, and the little ones won over with some
chocolate or sweets, probably eaten for the first time,
and evidently appreciated, judging by the number of
little urchins who would collect after my return to
my tent. At one village where we halted, I think
Monstaza, a quantity of honey was brought, also
honeycomb fresh from the hives.

The Shareef as usual had preceded us, as he
preferred hunting on the road. The heat was too
intense for me to take part, and I feared it might
affect my little boy, so I always followed with the
baggage animals. When I reached this village, I
found that some delightful cool cabins had been set
apart for us, small but comfortable. My camp furniture
was brought in, and the women crowded round inside
and out, depositing their offerings, honey and honey-
comb being predominant. Some, more bold than the
rest, thought a close inspection of me would be
interesting, so with due respect I was approached,
and my habit, gloves, boots, &c., were in turn com-
mented upon, favourably or otherwise I cannot say,
as they spoke the Riffian language. To avoid carrying
an umbrella, I provided myself with an Algerian sun
hat, as worn by the men when travelling. They are
identical in shape to that worn by Mother Goose in
children’s picture-books. Made of light straw, in red
and natural colours, the broad brim and high crown


are great protections from heat. I was able to ar-
range my hair pyramid fashion inside the crown, and
thereby cover the whole of my head with a fine muslin
kerchief to keep out the dust before donning my
elegant headgear.

On the floor was a large dish of fresh honey just
arrived, and as I thought the investigation of my
person had been sufficiently prolonged, I made signs
to my visitors of dismissal, at the same time removing
my hat. One woman noticing that some honey had
overflowed from the dish, turned to remove the little
stream with her hands. At the moment I dispensed
with my headgear she was so overwhelmed at that
sight, that before I could prevent her, she clutched
at my top-knot with her honey-smeared hands, and
beckoned to her companions to return. I pushed her
away as quickly as possible, and my Moorish maid
came to my rescue, too late to prevent the trickling of
honey all down my face and habit, fortunately a linen
one. The women scampered away, and the Shareef
from his cabin opposite wondered what was the cause
of all the hilarity on my side, but when he saw the
object before him he joined in the mirth with his
jolly and hearty laugh.

Meantime a large basin was found, and some water
heated, for my hair had to be washed. As I possessed
rather more of that commodity than most people have,
the difficulties can well be understood in a confined
place, and I’m afraid I did not feel charitable towards
the woman who caused the disaster in her surprise at
seeing such an unusual mop.

The women, I remarked, do not practise the same
seclusion as their sisters in other parts of Morocco.
The men are invariably armed with long knives and


firearms, a necessary precaution, for in the Riff it is a
saying that every man’s gun is the law. In some parts
of the Riff European rifles were rapidly replacing the
antiquated flint-locks, by which the peasantry generally
throughout the Empire are armed, but quite a large
number seemed to be armed with guns pertaining to
many nations, preference being given to American
rifles. Somewhere in Tlemsaman, we were resting
under some very ancient olive trees, and about six
or seven hundred armed Riffs came to do homage to
the Shareef. Noticing some rather good guns among
his visitors, he told his secretary to bring them for
his inspection. I will just mention that my husband
had considered it more prudent that I should not be
seen using pen and ink, as my doing so might perhaps
be misunderstood, so to my great regret nowadays,
this account depends much on my memory and a few
almost defaced pencil notes. My second son was only
nine years old then, but his recollection of several
instances that took place have helped me. But to
return to the guns ; it was sufficient for the Shareef to
notice and handle one, for the whole tribe to request
his benediction on the lot, at the same time request-
ing to be informed of the origin of this or that arm.
I was sitting at a distance on the stump of an old
olive tree, when I saw the Shareef ‘s principal attendant
coming towards me with a gun. It turned out that
some marks on it had baffled him, and forgetting that
he had imposed the role of an ignoramus on me, he
sent to me to decipher the manufacturer’s plate. I
shook my head and shrugged my shoulders, but all to
no purpose. The Shareef’s secretary came to know the
cause of delay ; at that moment I caught my husband’s
eye, who gave me a nod, so I complied with the


request. To my great dismay the men closed round
me; what was going to happen? the pushing and
scrambling nearly sent me flying. Well, it was only
that each wished to know to what nationality his
dearly beloved gun hailed from. I commenced to
satisfy them as quickly as I could, in spite of some
weapons being thrust over my shoulder, or an un-
premeditated thrust in the side, or a narrow escape
of losing an eye, so great was their excitement. I
computed that four to five hundred rifles were handed
to me for inspection, and it was only when the Shareef
remounted as a ruse to get away from them, that he
was able to see me safely settled in my saddle. Who
knows but for that I might still be sitting on the old
olive stump inspecting further rifles !

I asked a little boy once if he would like to be
a soldier. “Perhaps,” he replied, ” after my mother
has bought me a gun with which to kill my uncle,
as he killed my father last year.” The age of this
child could not have been more than seven years.

In the Riff and Boumara I have reason to believe
rich mineral deposits exist, principally copper and
iron. Coal is certainly to be found, as we passed one
spot where seams of it were cropping out of the
ground. I had a lump in my hand, and passed it on
to the Shareef, but somehow he mislaid it. Along
the Riffian coast there are many outlets, most snug
quarters for carrying on contraband without molesta-
tion from any one. Some could easily be converted
into excellent harbours. At Boumara there is a road
called the Seven Circles, or Twists, and it is no wonder
that the loss of human and animal life on this route
is considerable. Pitfalls were numerous, and into one
fell Muley Ahmed, pony and all. Fortunately the


undergrowth was fairly strong a few feet from the top,
and to that cause the saving of the child’s life is due.
We were going along slowly and rounding a corner,
when the earth suddenly gave way. Both child and
animal were, so to speak, hung up ; a man scaled the
sides, while others managed to get a rope under the
pony. The man seized the child, flung him across
his shoulders, and with the help of others reached
safety ; how I don’t know, for the sides were almost
perpendicular. As luck would have it the pony
helped himself at the right moment, but the under-
growth gave way with the supreme effort made by
the animal. My people called it the bottomless pit ;
naturally I had no great desire to inspect the place
once my boy was with me safely. On this same route
the horse we had purchased from Monsieur Duveyrier,
and also one of the mules, came to an untimely end.
The animal elected to go by another path, instead of
in file, and then on rejoining the mules and donkeys,
gave a snap to a donkey to make room for him. The
donkey retaliated; the horse, who was on the sick
list, lost his footing on these giddy heights, rolled
over and over on to the rocky seashore. No doubt
life was extinct long before he reached the shore. It
was out of the question to attempt a rescue. I only
hope the next time I pass through Boumara to Beni
Said and Tetuan, this awful road may be a thing of
the past.

It was Ramadan, or fasting month, during the
thirty days I was travelling in the Riff country, and
en route I had to resort to many ruses to satisfy the
pangs of hunger, which was not so hard to bear as
thirst under a blazing sun in the month of June.

From morning, properly speaking the first streak of


dawn in the horizon, no food might pass the lips until
sunset, when as much may be consumed as one wishes
during the hours that intervene till morning. Travellers
are permitted to use their own discretion as to fasting.
Generally they prefer to fast, otherwise it entails the
last day or days being repaid back in the near future.

At Tetuan we stayed a few days, and then on to
Tangier, breaking the journey at the farm of a chief,
who had begged my husband to pay him a visit.



JULY 14th found me in Tangier, and at 11 P.M. went
with the Shareef to the French Legation, where a ball
was given. I enjoyed a few dances, and at 3 A.M.
returned home to get some well-earned rest. The
principal places we visited in the Riff district were
Trabylah of Golyyah, Beni Said, Beni Gulich, Tlem-
saman, Ashnumas, Zowia Sidi Hadj Thammie, Badig
Moustasa, M’Tulza, Boumara, Beni Said Tetuan, and
Augera. At Allhucemas we rowed out to the town,
which was some distance. We were entertained by
the Governor, and were shown over the palace, prison,
barracks, &c. Then I invited all the ladies of the
garrison to a tea picnic, so they came with their
husbands and children, and if more boats had been
available the whole town would have come. For two
years no one had come ashore, the Riffians having
made themselves objectionable by firing on landing
parties ; there was no fear of such a thing on this
day. Every one seemed to enjoy themselves fully. No
visits, I have been told, have been paid to that spot by
the Spaniards since that day. At Penon de la Gomera
a steamer was to have called for us, but a fearful
swell came on, and we were practically washed out
of our tents, having camped on the seashore to await
signals. A cousin of the Shareef ‘s was washed into



the sea, bed and all, and was with difficulty fished
out, rather an unpleasant experience at two o’clock in
the morning !

Europeans travelling in Morocco are supposed by
the natives to have more or less knowledge of medicine,
and the Eiffians are not exempt from this idea, con-
sequently my stores of samples were much appre-
ciated by them. Bandages, lint, cotton wool, and
Condy’s fluid enabled me to alleviate temporarily some
cuts and wounds. One day in Boumara a man was
assisting in the powder-play, the hammer of his gun
flew off from an overcharge of powder, making an
ugly wound over the eyebrow. I did what I could,
even to putting in a stitch, my first and last attempt at
such surgery. After washing, strapping and bandaging
my patient, I returned to my tent feeling giddy, sat on
the edge of my bed, and was off in a dead faint. The
anxiety of putting in the stitch did it, I suppose, as
I had dealt with some very unpleasant dressings of
wounds on previous occasions with no ill effects. I
am afraid my reputation as an assistant surgeon was
damaged for ever !

As usual it took a week or two to settle down at
home, the Riffians resident in Tangier being more
than demonstrative, and the expenditure of powder
must have been on a large scale. Their powder-play
on foot is very graceful, and the gala-dress they wear
is of white coarse linen, embroidered in many-coloured
silks of an elaborate design. The short drawers are
often as richly worked as the tunic. The leather belt,
powder-flask cover, knife-sheath, and pistol holster
are all embroidered ; even their jelabs (overcoats) some-
times have the most exquisite work. The order of
play, as such it may be named, is thus. Two rows of


men, four, six, or eight on either side, stand opposite
to each other. With ” bismillah ” on their lips they
pass backwards and forwards, then give a few twirls
with their guns ; then they all suddenly kneel on one
leg, while each man examines his flint-lock. They rise
again, change places with the opposite row, and back
again to the half-kneeling position. This time they put
the powder in the gun, further twisting and twirlings
follow, another change of places as before, and then
with a whoop peculiar to the race all close in a circle,
pointing their guns to earth. Thereupon some one
especially adept in manipulating will commence a
series of tricks, one consisting of beginning a slow
twirling, and increasing, until the gun attains the
speed of a Catherine wheel ; then suddenly he will
stop this movement, flourish the weapon round his
head, and with a hop, skip, and a jump fire to earth,
amid the rattling of drums, the ghaita, and a loud
accompaniment of ” zahrits ” from the women.

Superstitions are rife throughout the land, and I
have observed many curious customs. The power of
the evil eye Ain el Kisbech seems to be more firmly
believed in by male and female than anything else.
Financial loss, sickness, household troubles, &c., are
attributed to this cause. The number five is generally
mentioned as four and one, especially if five persons
happen to be present. A candle must never be blown
out, as a guardian angel might be puffed in the face.
Charms or writings of pious sentences are in great
request, and many tribes really gain a livelihood in
this profession. Earth from saints’ tombs is placed in
the hollow of a piece of cane, and hung round the
neck, to represent the request that was made on the
last visit to the tomb.


Fortune-telling is not much credited, though freely
practised, wheat or flour being placed on a sieve, and
turned over, or round as our old nurses did with the
residue in the tea- cup. Palmistry I have tried, but I
am convinced that the reading of the lines is now lost
to those who practise it. It is now only a form of
begging, for the practitioner seeks only to have his or
her palm crossed with silver.

There is also a certain kind of magic, named the
M’hallah (army or camp). People wishing to know of
absent friends will employ a scribe capable of calling
up the M’hallah. This performance takes place
generally on a huge terrace of a house. A boy of
about ten years old is required for the purpose. The
scribe draws on his palm a camp, which is represented
by a square. This is subdivided, leaving the centre
larger than the rest, into which a large blotch of ink
is placed. Then some numbers are placed in the
smaller spaces, outside of which has been written a
verse from the Koran. All the time these prepara-
tions are going on, incense is freely burnt on live
charcoal. The first question asked is if the boy
can perceive his own face in the large blotch. If
he replies in the affirmative, the scribe demands
of the inquirer or inquirers what is wished to be

I am assured that the most efficacious mode of
casting out devils (I call the malady nerves or hysteria)
is by following this recipe : Procure from three ladies
as a gift three handfuls of flour; these ladies must
be named respectively Fatma, Mahma, and Kadijah.
They must never have been widows or divorced, and
their husbands must conform to the same conditions.
Next you must buy, or preferably have given you,


an earthenware pot, quite new. Now procure a
little oil, butter, walnut-bark, khol, mistra (gum
mastic), a little piece of sugar, a square of common
muslin, four pieces of bamboo cane about two inches
long, and four bits of cloth about an inch square, red,
yellow, green and blue-black. Call or send for a pro-
fessional charmer, and arrange with her the day she
will come to cook the peace-offering to the malicious
spirits. The woman is supposed to fast and purify
herself before commencing, and must find a fish added
to the above requirements. The charmer must be
dumb for the time being, that is from the time she
leaves her own house until she had completed her
task. The flour is mixed with water (no salt, no
leaven) and sent to the oven. That done she takes
the fish, cleans it and prepares it for cooking, being
careful to preserve the entrails and scales, also the head,
in the water she has used. The fish is placed over a
fire in the new pot, with the oil, butter, and some
water ; a friend or friends sit in the room with the
invalid in whose presence this is taking place. The
fish being done to a turn, is removed from the fire ; the
charmer then visits the four corners of the room, and
anoints them with the sauce from the pot. After this
a mouthful is given to the sick person. Furthermore,
each of the large joints of the invalid are anointed
with the sauce. The pot is then put into a hand-
basket, the sugar, miska, khol, head and entrails and
scales of fish, and water it was washed in, put in the
pot with the rest, and four little flags that in the mean-
time have been made, decorate this mess, which is
finally covered with the cloth. The charmer departs
as she came, and goes to the seashore, where she
deposits her burden in some corner, taking her basket


home. Once within her domicile her obligations end,
until she is summoned by some one else to perform the
same kind offices. The blue and yellow flags repre-
sent two of seven sisters, named Lalla Okea and Lalla
Myra, guardian female spirits ; the red and blue-black,
Sidi Hamon and Sidi Memoun el Bakr (of the sea),
propitiating spirits.



AT the end of this month, Muley Alarbi and Muley
Mohammed came with notabilities from Wazan.
There were between five and six hundred people, and
the object of their visit was to welcome the Shareef
back from his Riff journey. When we heard so many
people were coming, the catering question became
serious, although it was for three days only. To my
surprise, the Shareef suggested that I should manage
the whole of the catering, and gave me carte blanche
to provide all that was necessary. I was not quite
certain how to tackle such a large order; however, it
had to be done, and I set to work to think out the
best way to go about it. There were some ten prin-
cipal Shorfa, and each required to be served separately,
either in their rooms or in the tents which had been
assigned to them. Three or four courses went to each
meal, and the servants, muleteers, and camp followers
required two meals a day. To each Shareef on arrival
was sent 12 Ibs. of sugar, \ Ib. green tea, and four
packets of candles. I divided the men up into com-
panies of twenty, one man in each company being
responsible for the remaining nineteen. He was styled
M’kaddum, or steward. For example, the dish of cous-
cous is sufficient for five men, so naturally four dishes
would be delivered to the M’kaddum ; he in turn passed

a dish to one of five, who was responsible for the



meal being partaken of by the other four. Although
at that time I had a very large staff of servants, of
necessity I had to have recourse to outside aid ; in fact
there were rather too many willing hands.

It was a fine sight when the Wazanites entered
Tangier, banners flying, plenty of Moorish drums and
fifes, and as for powder-play, we heard it a long time
before they reached Tangier. The day after their
arrival there was powder-play on the Marshan. Men
stood on their saddles at full gallop and fired ; another
passed under his horse, regaining his saddle in time to
fire with the rest of his company. The next day they
went to the beach and had similar performances. The
Shareef entertained the Shorfa at luncheon one day in
my house. My drawing and dining room had to be
turned out completely; all pictures and photographs
put on one side, and some Fez faience I had on the
walls also removed, it being the custom of the peasantry
to hang up their plates and dishes, so the Shareef’s
home must not show that style of decoration. Neither
the Shareef nor myself ate with them, though we
partook of tea, which always precedes a meal on such
occasions, and the musicians were present with violins,
guitars, &c. The last meal is always distributed late,
and as not a single dish could be sent out without my
personal inspection, I stood with list in hand and
ticketed off the names of the recipients. The night
before they left, 2000 loaves of bread were made
and given to our departing guests, a custom always
followed out on the visit of pilgrims or others when
visiting the Zowia. Naturally the number of loaves
was in accordance with the numbers. It is styled the
Baraka or blessing from Dar de Mana, or House of
Surety. Many would take it to their homes to be dis-


tributed among the family and eaten with all solemnity,
especially by the sick. The Shareef was more than
satisfied with the results of my efforts, and the feast
is remembered as an epoch-making event at Wazan
to this day. It is reckoned thus : such and such a
person was born in the year the Senora entertained
the six hundred.

Muley Ali and Muley Thammin were now home
for their vacations. The latter went to Wazan, and
although he had distinguished himself at the Lycee,
bringing several prizes, he lent himself to many esca-
pades, and letters of complaint from his half-brothers
kept continually arriving. My second son was to
join his brother at college, so altogether I had a
busy time completing his outfit. The Shareef had
despatched Muley Thammin to some friends in Algiers
early in September, and I left with my sons on the
24th. At Melilla I saw the Governor and his staff,
we also visited the town. After two days in Oran,
visiting principally Mohammedan friends, the boys
returned to the Lyce’e, and a permit was accorded
to them to visit me every day during my stay. I
called on the Governor-General, Monsieur Firman,
with both my sons a delightful visit, for he was one
of the most amiable men one could wish to meet. I
found the English lady quite willing to take the
double charge, and left my boys assured of every care
in case of need. Colonel (then) and Mrs. Playfair
showed the greatest kindness and interest. Though
convinced of the great benefit that would ensue to
my children intellectually, the parting was very hard,
as I knew six months must elapse before the following
Easter vacation when I should see them again. How-
ever, I did my best to smother my heart-break ; at the


same time I could not contemplate happily the quiet
house to which I was returning. So I left for Oran,
finding a letter from the Shareef asking me to visit
Tlemcen on his account. I concluded the mission
confided to me, calling also on the General Command-
ing, meeting also Monsieur and Madame Guerin, the
former an artist; I also lunched with them. After a
night’s journey in the diligence, I reached Oran without
any adventure. There I took leave of General Dutries
as well as of the British Consul, who accompanied
me on board, where I found Monsieur and Madame
Gabeau. The former had been attached to our suite
when we were in Paris in 1877. He was the chief
interpreter to the French Foreign Office and a most
learned Arabic scholar. His wife was the eldest
daughter of Monsieur Feraud, then France’s repre-
sentative in Morocco. I visited Malaga, in company
of Monsieur and Madame Gabeau, and altogether the
journey was made pleasanter than I anticipated by
the presence of these kind people on board, for I was
bound to exert myself, and consequently did not
think and worry so much about my boys, as I should
have done had I been alone.

The day after my arrival at Tangier it had been
arranged that I should join the Shareef at Wazan.
My first inquiries were for the promised baggage
animals, such having been previously arranged. A
letter was handed me from the Shareef, in which he
told me to await his return in Tangier. I was ex-
tremely puzzled by this change of arrangements, and
accordingly I went home. It was one of the saddest
days of my life : no husband, no children, such an
utter sense of loneliness, such as I had never experi-
enced in my life. My little dog seemed to want to


comfort me, and followed me from room to room. All
was so desolate, even uncanny, that I threw myself
on my bed and wept for hours. My Moorish servants
crowded round me and offered all the consolation
possible. Oh, that day I shall never forget ! Friends
were kind, and I dined frequently at the Ferauds’ and
other places; the boys’ letters too were frequent, and
such a joy to me. The Shareef prolonged his visit to
Wazan this year, and when he returned his demeanour
towards me was sadly changed. I had felt it coming
on for some time, but the reason I was unable to
discover. I felt certain, however, that a certain person
whom I will call X. was gaining an undue influence
over my husband ; for the Shareef lost no opportunity
in lauding him, and chiding me for my repugnance
towards the man. I don’t know why, but I could not
appreciate his alleged good qualities, and resented his
conduct, which I construed as an effort to use my
husband to satisfy his own ambitions.

The true story of X.’s sinister influence and all the
sadness it brought me, I reserve for future chapters,
more personal and intimate than any I have yet


THE Shareef, as I have remarked, returned from
Wazan completely altered in his attitude towards me,
but for what reason I could not devise, unless it
were the presence of the European, whom I have
designated X. For some time previous, this man had
been using his influence over my husband in matters
with which I was entirely out of sympathy, viz.,
certain proposals made by him, and communicated
to me by my husband. At this time the Shareef s
mental powers were not quite what they had been
formerly, and the fixed idea that he would be assassi-
nated seemed to obsess him. I often wonder if certain
secret and deleterious remedies had been applied to
him without his knowledge, or whether he was ad-
dicted to the use of any unknown to me. Un-
fortunately here in Morocco men run great risks at
times, and are often fatally injured in mind by
pernicious drugs and herbs. It is always the mental
balance that becomes affected; in fact the whole
nervous system, more or less, becomes gradually in-
volved in decay. From being a high and liberal-
minded man, the soul of honour, gifted in fact with
all the attributes necessary to a just and honourable
career, he began to decline while yet in the prime
of life. The first stranger who presented himself,
worthy or unworthy, seemed able to gain the Shareef s



ear. A letter from the Moorish Government in 1883
first called my attention to the fact that all was not
well. Flattered and petted all his life, insults to
him were a thing unknown, and on this occasion
he took the affair so much to heart that I think if
the French protection had not been accorded promptly
his health would have suffered.

From time immemorial a certain amount of jealousy
has existed between the Sultan and the Wazan families.
Rival claims to supremacy as spiritual chief may
have had something to do with it, the Government
always seeing possible opposition, and the entourage
of either side being ever ready to report sayings or
doings of either party, very possibly without the
shadow of a foundation. This easily causes trouble,
for such lively imagination as the Moor possesses is
quickly inflamed. The French protection, I had
hoped, would have diminished this fear of assassina-
tion, and it did for a time, only to be fanned again
into life by X., who made proposals of revenge against
certain enemies. These views I tried to stifle, for
the Shareef had not sufficient stability of character
to carry out what would be required of him, and his
variations of temperament were such that only disaster
was being courted.

But the would-be champion worked upon his
weakness, and the Shareef became perfectly infatuated
with the man, to my detriment, as I naturally objected
to X. taking up so much of my husband’s time. The
Shareef chid me for being jealous ; he would not give
me the credit of believing that anxiety on his account
was the real cause.

One evening after dinner, I was reading to the
Shareef when his factotum, a handsome negro, was


announced. My husband asked my permission for
him to be admitted, and Mahmoud (such was his
name) stated that X. had sent him to fix a private
interview at 11 P.M. in my house. The Shareef looked
to me for assent, which I gave on certain conditions,
namely, that X. should come alone, and not with a
mistress of his, who was his shadow. Individuals
of that class I would not admit into my house.

Mahmoud, instead of repeating the plausible excuse
he was charged with, presented his own version,
no doubt with many embellishments of the kind so
familiar to the people here. X. was much enraged at
being baulked of his intended interview with the
Shareef, and possibly vowed vengeance against me.
Not so very long after, he carried out his threat with
success. The Shareef s weak point, fear of assassina-
tion, afforded a ready cover for the scheme. The plan
conceived was to engage four Moors, paid for the
purpose by X., to take up their positions on the route
the Shareef would probably follow in going in the
early morning from my house to the town. When
the Shareef left, there was a whistling, as he appeared
a gun was fired, when he passed a further point a
second gun, and so the comedy continued. The Shareef
abandoned his accustomed road, and, according to the
accounts I received, arrived at his town house more
dead than alive from fright, fully believing that now his
fears were well founded. Mahmoud was ready to con-
firm the attempt, and said he knew there were fifty
emissaries from the Court, all with a vow to cause the
Shareefs death. At first I really thought an attempt had
been made, but subsequent versions made me sceptical,
though I did not associate the business with X. at the
time, and but for hearing the whole plan from a high


official, should never have known the real author of
the cowardly business. The men engaged had no idea
why they were to fire, as Mahmoud had told them it
was the Shareef’s wish. Consequent on this, the
Shareef sent up to me to say that nothing would
induce him to live at my house again, as ” the shock
had struck into his soul.” Such were his words. He
knew I could not live at the Zowia permanently for
various reasons, and invited me to dine daily, until
a suitable house was found in town. For four months
almost every evening saw me conforming to his wishes.
What I could not understand was why he went out
riding daily, avoiding only the Marshan where I lived ;
we were the best of friends, we had not quarrelled. I
don’t say we never had any bickerings, but a right
down quarrel I never had with him down to the time
of his death. I went to look at one or two houses, but
saw nothing that would console me for parting with my
own residence. In November, complaints multiplied
with regard to the treatment of our farmers and
dependents in the interior, and in December a letter
of a most insulting description came from the Court in
reply to a letter of remonstrance sent to the Sultan
Muley Hassan. This led to our seeking protection from
France. Flattered and petted all his life, and believing
in his own infallibility, the Shareef seemed to be com-
pletely undermined by the reception of this letter, and
even when his request for protection was granted, it did
not restore his confidence, as I hoped might have been
the case.

I am sorry to say that from being such an extra-
ordinarily brave man, he seemed to be verging on
cowardice. His mania was taking an acute form, for
he would only sleep with a sheathed knife under his


pillow and two loaded revolvers on the table by his bed-
side. Failing to induce him to return to my house,
and finding he was not keen on my procuring one in
town, I told him that as he could not decide what he
wished to do, I must return and look after my children.
Though with them in the daytime, I did not like them to
be accustomed to my continual absence. He acquiesced,
as he usually did in anything I proposed. And so the
break came about. 1 Meantime, X. continued to weave
his fascination web about him, even going to Wazan
and trying his best with Muley Alarbi and Muley

1 I spent the summer of 1884 with him as usual in his mountain
villa near Tangier, returning after to my own residence on Marshan,
and he (without even telling me) to the Zowia in town. Then he
commenced a series of messages, sending for me on different pretexts
Sometimes after keeping me waiting in his office, he would tell me
to return to the children, or perhaps would not see me at all ; and so
it went on, until Muley AH went to school and I made the tour with
the children in the Petit Sahara in 1885 at the Shareef’s suggestion.
In January 1886, on my return I found him still suffering from
blood poisoning in the legs, and I was sent for to dress and bandage
the wounds. This ended in my accompanying him to Hammam
Bougrarah sulphur baths, and a hard time I had there. Fever and
delirium, and the assassination mania, were always present. However,
he was eventually cured, and we took the Riff journey. Part of
this summer I also spent with him in the mountain, and he liked
to have his boys with him on his shooting expeditions. It seemed
so strange his asking my permission for them to join the hunt.
His delight when Muley Ali came for the summer vacation was
beyond description ; he was so very proud of him, especially as the
scholastic report could not have been better. I took Muley Ahmed*
to College in 1886 ; the Shareef suggested that on my return from
Algiers I should join him at Wazan. I did not go, as the Shareef
sent to say the tribes round Wazan were in a turbulent state. I
then asked him to return to Marshan, as I was all alone, but he would
not, though at last he consented to come sometimes to luncheon or tea.
In these visits, in fact all along, he was most cordial in his manners,
always the gentleman, and I became more and more puzzled as to
what his intentions were; possibly he did not know himself. If I
asked him what this extraordinary conduct was to lead to, he would
make an excuse and go away, so I ultimately gave up trying to find
out, until later circumstances compelled me to take the defensive.


Mohammed to league themselves against me. Muley
Mohammed stated to me the insinuations made, namely,
that I was a stumbling-block to the welfare of the
Wazan family, &c. Finally, in 1886 X. received his
conge, and then a syndicate of five claimed the Shareef s

In 1887 he went to Paris, ostensibly for another
purpose, but really to conclude some business with
these people. Only the night before he started did
I know I was not to accompany him, for what reason
I did not learn at the time, though he excused himself
on the ground of expense, and engaged a special
interpreter to accompany him. After his return from
Paris, I did not see him for some weeks. Being laid
up with bronchitis and rheumatism, I could not go
out, but he took offence at my not going to the
pier to meet him, and the seven persons of his
entourage (I did not know them then) made further
capital out of the incident.

An attempt to poison me was now made. I
received warning too late from a great friend of my
husband’s, a Moor; his words were, “Don’t accept an
egg or a walnut from your husband’s house during
his absence.” Whatever poison I took was in a cup
of coffee when I went to administer some medicine
to a sick servant. I never refused to go to the Zowia
in cases of illness, and I never suspected that there
was any idea of playing tricks for, during all my
married life, old and young professed the greatest
affection for me, and at that time I observed no change
in their attitude.

Soon after the Shareefs return it came to my
knowledge that the syndicate had bought every scrap
of property the Shareef possessed in the Empire, in


return for an income of 5000 per annum. Further,
I learnt that the deed of conveyance was on the eve
of being signed, and also that the syndicate in question
had no capital. It was near 10 P.M., the Shareef was
in the mountain, and a messenger would not be of
service. I sent for the head huntsman as being trust-
worthy, and told him to go to the stables in the
mountain at daybreak. The Shareef often went rabbit-
shooting very early, but this particular morning he did
not. My man, however, remained on the watch, and
when the horses were saddled, he preceded them. I
told him to say to the Shareef he had come with a
message from the Legation, as I knew that would obtain
an audience at once. The Shareef had put his foot
in the stirrup, when his attention was arrested as I
had foreseen. The man then told him he had come
from me to inform him that the syndicate had no
capital whatever, and that if he persisted in signing
the deed of conveyance, I intended to protest at Shraa,
in the interests of his sons at Wazan and our own.
The Shareef was much perturbed in his manner, but
made no remark, beyond ordering the horses back to
the stables. He then went rabbit- shooting. Some
time after he sent for me, but never mentioned the
subject, neither did I, though he acknowledged to
others he was grateful to me.

Later on in the year I found he had sold all the
property round my house, which he had given to my
boys. The house I live in I had purchased from him
some years previously, and he gave the remaining
ground to my boys to make the estate complete. The
purchaser was Monsieur Jaluzot of Paris, and the sale
was effected for him by one of the late syndicate.
This was so quietly managed that I did not realise


what had been done until too late. My house was
supposed to be included, the agent having represented
that house and grounds were in the bargain. I had
the satisfaction of seeing a party come to take posses-
sion, and the Shareef had to state that it was not his
to sell, but a smaller house at the side of mine was the
house meant. I believe a great deal of parleying took
place at the Legation, and 11,000 dollars were paid
instead of 12,000.

After my return from taking the children to school,
the eccentricities of the Shareef had practically worn
out my patience and, certain things coming to my
knowledge, compelled me to bring my husband to
some terms. Life was not worth living, and even his
co-religionists disapproved of his conduct, which was
now amounting to neglect. The Moors would have
been the first to detect anything that was not perfectly
correct, and knew the patience I had shown for the
last three years or more. I asked a European of high
social standing to see if the Shareef would explain his
wishes with regard to me, but he was unsuccessful
after several interviews. Then one day he said to his
friend, ” I wish her to live in Algiers near the children.”
Twenty-four hours after that he refused to let me go.
Then a day or two after that I was at a dinner party,
and was presented with a letter saying the children
were to be taken away from me. In 1887 I was forced
to consult Monsieur Feraud, but the Shareef would
give no satisfaction even to him, so I betook myself
to a Moorish savant to know exactly where I stood.
He and the Kadi held a consultation, and then I had
an interview, ending in the Kadi writing a letter to
the Shareef. That same evening the Shareef sent for
me to read over some papers for him, and asked me to


take a small house in town. Convinced beyond doubt
that the Shareef was at times not responsible for his
actions, my only course was to humour him, for the
children’s sake. I moved into the little house, but
he would not come there. Then he was taken ill
again at the end of January, said I must manage all
his affairs, and followed that up with a power of
attorney. All this bother and excitement made me ill,
and bronchitis set in. I was rather seriously unwell
for three days, and the Shareef used to come and sit
by my bedside every day. “You must not die,” he
said, “the children cannot do without you.” I never
saw him weep so much since the children had the
whooping-cough, when he used to work himself up to
such a state over their illness that I dreaded he would
have apoplexy.

I soon recovered, being blessed with an excellent
constitution. The Shareef was to start for Hammam
Bougrarah via Oran, but an east wind held him back.
Then he thought he could not go without me, so at the
end of February off we went to the sulphur springs, he
having a six weeks’ illness there, so that no end of
attention was required day and night, and I undertook
his case practically single-handed. At Easter he
proposed we should go to Algiers to see the Lycee.
We spent a day or two at Bel Abbes, where the usual
demonstrations took place on a grand scale. At Algiers
every gun-shop in the town was visited in turn and
several purchases made. After a few days the Shareef
said he would return to Hammam Bougrarah, and that
I was to take the children to Constantine, so the Easter
vacation was passed there. I left the children at
school and returned to the Shareef. A few days
sufficed to finish some building on his newly acquired


estate at Hammam Bougrarah ; a few days in Oran, and
the next saw us back in Tangier. He suggested I
should return to Marshan on the pretext that he might
come and live with me later.

Ever willing to humour him, I again set my house
in order. I had been recommended to use my in-
fluence during the journey in trying to persuade
the Shareef to make overtures of peace with Muley
Hassan in view of the Sultan’s approaching visit
to Kabat. I succeeded beyond my anticipations, even
to discussing the presents that were to be taken,
among which was a pair of ivory-handled pistols with
gold fittings. The Shareef told me to write, on
condition that I would go with him to Rabat
and inform Monsieur Feraud of his intentions. The
day after the Shareef s arrival he visited the Lega-
tion, but, strange to say, never mentioned his in-
tention to visit Rabat. I was invited to go to the
Legation and verify my letter, and then when I
saw the Shareef I asked him if he had forgotten
what he asked to communicate. The Shareef told
me he had changed his mind, but that if I was
disappointed at not seeing Rabat, he would make
arrangements that I should see all that was to be
seen. I thanked him, but only wished to go as
he desired I should accompany him, otherwise there
was no utility in undertaking the journey. I learned
that his household, on learning his intentions to visit
the Court, were much against such a proceeding, pre-
dicting all sorts of inconvenience. On his persisting,
several members caused their hands to be tied behind
their backs, and with a knife in their mouth prostrated
themselves before the Shareef in token of divine sup-
plication not to visit the Court. This supplication is


called “ElAahr,” 1 and takes many forms according
to circumstances, from the slaughtering of a sheep to
sacrificing a horse or camel. No true Moslem will pass
over the ” The Aahr” without making some eifort to
assist the supplicant. Hence the Shareef’s refusal to
make the peace with Muley Hassan.

1 I only made use of this supplication once, so to speak, but not by a
sacrifice. The Shareef had a very serious dispute with his eldest son,
Muley Alarbi, and was sending for him from Wazan to inflict on him a
punishment which I considered would show want of dignity on both
sides. Finding all argument useless, in a fit of despair of obtaining any
consideration whatever, I threw myself at the Shareefs feet, quickly-
winding my hair around them, and refused to move until I extracted
from him the promise of a less severe punishment than personal castiga-
tion. At my intervention the Shareef forgave his son, although it was a
great loss to himself in many ways.



THIS summer was full of annoyances, and much labour
was spent at the French Legation in arranging affairs.
I am afraid Monsieur Feraud became rather sick of
the daily complaints that were lodged, all coming in-
directly from the Court. The Kaids had their orders
naturally, and a semblance of reprimanding them was
made when the case was settled. As for the Shareef,
his monomania increased with the continued annoy-
ances from Government, and drove him to all sorts of
excesses. It was sad to see this clever, upright man,
a good husband and a devoted father, with an in-
telligence far beyond that of most of his co-religionists,
taking a downward course and surrendering to influences
which no reasoning or persuasion could counteract.
Save in his love for Muley Ali and Muley Ahmed,
which never changed, he became another person alto-
gether. Towards me he was always most polite, and
resented any slight said or imputed by others. One
day a cousin of his (one of the seven) remarked upon
my remaining in the country. ” God forbid that she
should do otherwise, and grant her long life with our
sons,” he cried ; so I resigned myself to the new posi-
tion created, for the children’s sake. Scarcely had I
made this resolve, when I was sent for (we were now
supposed to be separated a I’aimable) on a matter of
great importance, so getting my horse I rode to the



mountain. He came to assist me to dismount, and
we went into the summer-house. Several people were
there who greeted me warmly. The conversation was
general, and I began to wonder what was the cause
of my required attendance. People gradually left, and
then the Shareef told me that he intended leaving
Morocco, and wished to live with me in Oran ; conse-
quently I was to sell all the furniture at my house,
precede him to Oran when the boys returned to college,
take a house and furnish it. Meantime he would go
to Wazan and arrange his affairs with his sons there,
and join me later in Algeria. I begged a few days
for consideration, although he required me to consent
then and there. Daily he sent to know my decision.
The children were adverse to the change, the more so
when their father sent to say the house was also to be

The sale of furniture took place, and to Oran I
went, and saw several houses, previously taking the
boys for a tour to Tlemcen, Bel Abbes, and Blidah
before they re-entered the Lyce’e. Returning to Oran,
a cousin residing at Oran brought me a copy of the
Echo d’Oran, which stated that the Grand Shareef
de Wazan had been assassinated by the Beni Mesara
during a hunting trip near Wazan.

A vessel leaving that evening for Tangier took me
as passenger. At the ports of call, I could get no con-
firmation of the telegram ; at Gibraltar I was convinced
the news was false. I should have telegraphed first,
but then, steamers only plied fortnightly between Oran
and Tangier, and had the news been true, it would
have been prejudicial to my sons to delay. The Shareef
came a few days after my arrival, at which he expressed
surprise. I told him my reason, and at the same time


suggested we should return together. He excused
himself on the ground that his affairs were not quite
in order, and that he preferred I should be quite in-
stalled to receive him. Finding I could do nothing,
I returned, but he did not come until December. I
had given up all hopes of his joining me, when one
night about 1 A.M. I heard a carriage at the door, and
then a tremendous knocking. Neither of my servants
would go to the door, so putting up the chain I in-
quired who was my visitor. The voice that replied
was familiar to me, being one of the principal guides
in Oran. He said that the Commander of the vessel
had sent for me, as the Shareef was dangerously ill on
board. Though it was a risky thing to do, I immedi-
ately made the Moorish woman I had in attendance,
dress to go with me, she protesting all the time that
some trick was being played. I put on some meat
for beef tea, and off I went for a twenty minutes’ drive
to the Port of Oran in the dead of night. I found
the Shareef shut up in his state-room. He assured me
Mahmoud wished to poison him, and was in league
with some one on board. He had had no food for two

Knowing his malady, I did all I could to soothe him
while I dressed him, and with assistance put him into
the carriage. For several days he was ill, and would
not have a doctor. At last I insisted ; a slight opera-
tion was necessary, and he recovered, when to my great
surprise he said he must visit Hammam Bougrarah,
and that I was to remain in Oran the fortnight he
would be away. I was much struck with the excess
of cordiality in the railway carriage as he was leaving.
He seemed as though he could not part with me.
Again and again he took me in his arms ; fortunately


there was no other passenger at the time. On starting,
he hung from the window until a curve took the train
out of sight. He wrote to me from Tlemcen, and sent
a messenger from Bel Abbes. I could not imagine why
he went there. Then the money he promised me never
came, and there was no more news, except from out-
siders, that he was at Hammam Bougrarah. No reply
to telegrams, but at last one came : ” Shareef suddenly
decided to return to Tangier ; embarked at Nemours ;
do not follow.”

I did not know what to do. Extra expenses
incurred by his illness were unpaid, and I did not
feel inclined to draw upon my slender purse for his
debts. A fortnight passed, when a telegram to the
Oran authorities announced I was divorced a state-
ment I could not credit, because there was no reason
for the same, and I knew the Shareef could not pay
40,000 dollars for a mere freak. The Algerian Govern-
ment officials were more sympathetic, and by order
of Monsieur Firman, Govern or- General, the sum of
1000 francs was placed at my disposal. After waiting
a fortnight to see if any letters would explain, I
returned to Tangier to find out if it was really true.

The Shareef, I learned, had contracted a marriage
with one of his servants. In a normal state he would
never have done so, but I found that ever since his
return from Algeria he had been in such a condition
that he was practically irresponsible. One morning a
deputation was announced. I declined to receive them
at first, thinking they were from the Shareef, and
I resented interference in my private affairs. It was
headed by a relative of the then Basha, with whom
were some sons of Sidi Mahommed el Hadj, the
patron saint of Tangier, and some notabilities of


the town. I went down to them, and after a few
preliminaries they stated that it was desired that I
should reopen my house and send for my sons to
reside with me in Tangier; that the Basha was
prepared to provide me with arable land, animals for
tilling, and seed if required.

Imagine my surprise at such an offer. I asked
for twenty-four hours to consider the matter, for it
was impossible to settle with them at a moment’s
notice. On the face of it, it seemed kindly meant,
but what was behind it ? I knew the marriage recently
contracted by the Shareef gave displeasure to many,
in spite of the bride’s being one of his own faith.
When four of the deputation returned for my reply,
I expressed myself as much touched by the kindness
offered me, but said at the same time that I could
not offend the French Government by removing my
sons without pretext from school, and that my anxiety
was to give them as good an education as the circum-
stances permitted, not forgetting the Moslem portion.
Regrets were expressed, and they supposed I knew
best. I have often thought whether there was some
ulterior motive for the visit. Declining to sue for
divorce, which Europeans said I should do, I preferred
to remain with my boys, in rather an unpleasant
position, than trust them to pernicious influences in
the future. So I secured all that was my due, refused
the Shareefs repeated entreaties for an interview,
and returned to Oran.

I was rather seriously ill after all this worry and
excitement, but thanks to the kind care of Dr. and
Madame Cros, the military doctor to the General Com-
manding at Oran, I was able after a few weeks to
be about again.


The next phase was the Shareef s attempt to put his
sons under the guardianship of the French Govern-
ment, but they did not take it seriously, nor did they
countenance a desire expressed that my sons should
not see me on their arrival at Oran, to embark for
Tangier. I was advised by a Government telegram
when the boys would arrive, and met them at the
station. A Spahi was there to notify they passed into
my care, and another came on board to report they
had left with me for Tangier. Through my glasses I
noticed the Shareef with a large following at the pier
of Tangier ; the boat drew alongside, and as I put my
foot on the first step, the Shareef assisted me, 1 and
kissed me on my forehead before I knew where I was.
He walked by my side after welcoming the children ;
one clung to each arm as I went along. The Shareef
was so cordial, he beamed all over, and asked me to
go with him to the Zowia to see Muley Mohammed,
who was ill there ; so we walked side by side, he
refusing to ride as I was on foot. As I was not ex-
pected, no animal was provided. The son was pleased
to see me, and advised me to go to a small house in
the mountain in the Shareef ‘s grounds with the boys ;
and, on his father’s returning to the room, he asked
me himself, to which I consented, saying I could not
separate father and sons. I found a side-saddle on his
own horse for me, and his saddle was transferred to
one of his attendant’s horses. He himself helped me
to mount, as was his custom in bygone years. A very
nice semi-European dinner was forthcoming, the Shareef
partaking of it with us. He stayed so late chatting
about various things, that at last I had to remind him

1 This was the more remarkable, because a Mohammedan never makes
any public demonstration towards female members of his family.


we were all very tired. Notwithstanding, he was back
again very early next morning, taking the boys out
rabbit-shooting before breakfast. Then he asked me
to accompany him in his rides, which I did. He
agreed to my sons going to England with me, but as
usual, at the last moment, he had the excuse that as
his health was failing, would I go to Wazan, as he
wished the boys to be known there. Whether he
expected me to decline I don’t know, but he was so
delighted that he gave me a silver cup and saucer
which I know he valued greatly. My request for
separate caravans was granted, and off we went.

At Wazan the people were more than cordial, and
I stayed with Muley Mohammed, visiting my husband’s
relatives, particularly divorcee No. 1. Muley Hassan,
the then Sultan of Morocco, meantime arrived in
Tangier, and it was suggested that if he was there on
our return, my sons should be presented at Court, so
the customary offering of garments (jelabs) was pur-
chased and packed in a painted box. The boys’ vaca-
tion drawing to a close, I started with them to
Tangier, but on arriving I found a courier had preceded
me saying the proposed visit was not to be made. It
was rumoured that the Shareef went earlier that year
(1889) to avoid meeting the Sultan, and I think there
was more than a grain of truth in it. As usual, I did
a lot of doctoring and vaccination at Wazan. Return-
ing to Tangier, I found the place alive with soldiers,
such a motley crew, in variegated costumes, and some
very forbidding faces. The men mostly lodged under
canvas, raided the gardens for fruit and did no end of
damage, to the great detriment of the owners who
could claim no recompense for the destruction ; they
were worse than the locusts. From the day of our


arrival in Tangier the Sultan’s musicians performed
in front of our house morning and evening. No one
was permitted to pass in and out the town by way of
the Kasbah during the Sultan’s residence there, though
no objection was raised to my doing so. The Shareef’s
nephew, Sidi Mohammed Ben Miki, who always travelled
with the Sultan, having been appointed by my husband
to the post, which he ought to occupy, came to see me
several times. He was annoyed at not being able to
take my sons to be presented at Court.

When I embarked, under surveillance by the
French authorities here, I was requested not to go to
Algiers with the boys. I was perfectly stupefied at
all this, and it was beyond my comprehension. On
November 26th, I had my first experience of an earth-
quake. It is not pleasant feeling you are being pitched
out of bed when asleep ; the second shock, though
slight, found me at the piano in the evening. The
curious sensation of walking on an inclined plane
lasted for two or three days. I was glad when I
returned to the normal state in my walks abroad.

I returned to Tangier in December to arrange
matters with reference to letting my house. The Shareef
was most cordial, but I declined his offer to put me
up. Nevertheless he was constantly sending for me ;
sometimes he would see me, other times keeping me
waiting for no end of time, then send and tell me to
return next day. I think “the bee in his bonnet”
buzzed more strongly than ever. My reason for exer-
cising such an amount of patience was that he was
the father of my children, and, after all, a foreigner,
with different ideas, manners, and customs to my own.
I felt, too, that he was not responsible at times for his


Returning to Oran, the first news I had was that
the boys were not to come to me for Christmas, but the
Algerian authorities thought differently, and, thanks to
Monsieur Firman, the Governor- General, we spent a
happy week together. During my stay in Oran the
General Commanding and Madame Destries were par-
ticularly attentive, and invited me to different kinds
of entertainments. Dr. Cros and his wife became real
friends ; the military and civil society always made
me most welcome. As for the Algerian Arabs, they
were unremitting in their attention with gifts of all



IN February 1890, alarming reports reached me of the
Shareef s health ; telegrams and letters came almost
daily. I hesitated to return, but receiving news that
the worst was expected, I telegraphed to the Governor-
General at Algiers, who sent me the boys at once. I
hurriedly sold up my furniture, determined to reside in
Tangier at all cost. I took the children at once to
their father, who looked a dying man, found a house
just outside the town, my own being occupied, and
installed myself and boys, after making shift in the
three rooms comprising the Shareef s offices at the
Zowia. Muley Mohammed arrived about the same
time, and Muley Alarbi a few days after. Muley
Mohammed was taken ill, so I had my hands full visit-
ing the two invalids. He, like his father, had little
consideration ; the inborn selfishness of the race comes
out very strongly in illness. Muley Alarbi was dis-
missed to Wazan because the day after arrival he
suggested bringing notaries to his father to secure
certain properties as gifts to himself and children. The
rage the Shareef fell into over this proposal seemed to
have a beneficial effect for the time being. ” Do you
consider me a dying man, and bereft of my senses ? ”
he said. ” Remember you have your brothers, and the
law gives equal portions. Aha! you want to inherit
from a live man ; can’t you wait till I’m dead ? ”



The Shareef left his house suddenly, and was taken
in his brougham to a hotel at night. I was in dis-
grace it seemed, because I would not go and reprimand
Muley Alarbi. It was not in my province to do this, so
I was not to be informed of the flitting. Nevertheless
I was summoned next day. Reverting to the question
of Muley Alarbi, I said I would not interfere between
him and his son. A relapse ensued, and the Italian
medical man said there was no hope, except by change
of air and surroundings, and above all freedom from
his entourage, he being certain that some treachery was
at work.

I was just going to bed when I was requested to go
in all haste to the hotel. The Shareef, looking ghastly,
told me his intention to leave Tangier, and asked me
to find him a nurse speaking Arabic, a secretary, and
courier. I did not know what to do, nor where to find
these people. Next day I told him I had not been
successful, but was still making inquiries. What was
to be done ? The boys had returned to school and I
was free. I struggled with myself to discover the correct
course to pursue. Another summons, and then after
telling him my failure to find the persons he required, I
offered myself as a substitute. I thought the Shareef
would throw himself out of bed with excitement. “Will
you really take me? ” he exclaimed, so it was settled that
in four days we should start with two attendants only.
I packed for him, and made all arrangements. I had
a touching scene with the medical man, who had not
known my decision. He presented himself early next
morning, and after a few words, threw himself on his
knees with his gloved hands in supplication to entreat
me to take the Shareef away. I was highly amused at
his tragic manner, but honestly he thought the Shareef


was being slowly poisoned, and came to see if I could
or would help. I thought he would have wrung my
hand off when I told him my decision,

It appears that after I left the Shareef he was
removed to his house, and on the doctor presenting
himself was refused admittance. The next stage was
to get the Shareef off. I left him the night before
looking really better ; I arrived next morning to find an
almost inanimate object on the bed. However, I was
not to be daunted. I cleared his rooms of superfluous
retainers, called in the two men who were going on the
journey, and sent for the doctor. Having got my
charge safely to bed on board the vessel for Oran, I
had time to meditate on what I had done, for I was
certain that if a fatal issue were the outcome, it might
be unpleasant for me on returning to Tangier. It was
the entourage I feared, not the Moors generally, know-
ing them all to be more or less friendly, though I did
not put too much reliance in that, as circumstances
alter cases.

At Oran I took the Shareef for a carriage drive,
and the journey to Marseilles showed improvement
daily. Then came a relapse ; the doctor prohibited
further travelling. On the Shareef hearing that, he
determined to go to Monaco the next day in the train
de luxe. Being no worse he stayed a day or two, and
our departure was postponed for twenty-four hours to
engage a travelling medical man. It was fortunate I
did, for at Genoa station the Shareef went into a dead
faint ; he had travelled with little fatigue in an invalid
carriage. To this succeeded a state of uncertainty
most trying to us all. After two days he insisted on
going to Naples by sea. Arriving at Leghorn he
wanted to go on shore, but when the carriage was


ready, he declined to leave the ship. On learning that
some Moors were in the town, he suggested they might
be emissaries of Muley Hassan sent to assassinate him.
Naples pleased him, but he would not go out anywhere
for a drive because the Moorish Special Embassy
happened to be there. I did persuade him to sit on
the balcony to see the Queen of Italy when she passed
the Grand Hotel in her drive. The specialist he was
to see, and the Court physician also, came to visit the
Shareef by request.

After their departure the Shareef told me nothing
would induce him to remain. I was to dismiss the
travelling doctor, and he would return to Tangier via
Gibraltar. Finding there was no boat, he said he
would go to Torre del Grego, and see the doctor there
to whom the specialist had given him a letter. He
was delighted for the first two or three days, but the
annoyance from the inhabitants of the village became
so great that it brought on the fever again, and the
doctor said he must keep in bed.

Directly the doctor had gone, he told me to order
him a carriage, and with his two Moorish attendants
returned to Naples, leaving me to do the best I could
with the baggage. The carriage was to be sent for me.
I found him in bed at the hotel in high fever, and
later he became delirious. At further consultation the
doctors told me that if a little self-control were not
exercised a fatal issue might be expected, that heart
and other organs were all aifected, that two years was
the longest time he could live if he followed a normal
life, and that evidently some drug was the cause of the
malady, but what, the doctors were not prepared to
say. Every organ was in a great state of irritation
which was not due to excesses alone.


The wonderful recuperative power the Shareef
possessed astonished all medical men. He would
seem in a dying condition one day, and twenty-four
hours after appear convalescent. The doctor suggested
a sea journey along the coast to Tunis, where the
Shareef now wished to go, so he said he would go to
Palermo first.

We had such an awful night on board ! The
Shareef was in fever and delirium the whole time ; it
came on suddenly, and his own attendants were too
frightened to assist me. Fortunately the French Vice-
Consul at Palermo came on board, and with his assist-
ance I managed to get my husband to a hotel, and a
medical man sent to me, one whose politeness was
not what one would have expected from a gentleman.
First he ignored me, and went straight to the invalid,
now unconscious ; then he turned to me and said,
” What have you given that man? what business have
you with him ? all I can say is that he will die before
ten o’clock to-night.” I certainly have had experiences,
but nothing to equal this insult, and the brusque
manner in which he addressed me deprived me of
speech. At last I said in a very frigid tone, ” Sir, the
information you desire can be obtained from Count de
Pourtales, French Consul-General.” As he was the
only medical man, I was forced to accept his services.
On his return two hours later he was more civil, but
never apologised.

The Count and Countess de Pourtales were unre-
mitting in their attention during our stay in Palermo,
and as soon as the Shareef could be removed we
embarked on a coasting steamer for Tunis. The
voyage, though short, strengthened the invalid ; he was
able to walk a little on deck, and seemed thoroughly


to enjoy the trip. Arriving at La Golette, we saw
the harbour thronged with Mussulmen ; a large boat
came alongside, and numerous others crowded around
us till the Shareef became quite nervous and fainted
right away. He recovered just as we reached the
shore, and was carried into the waiting-room, and
locked in, for the crowds were immense. I became
separated from the rest, and it was some minutes
before a gentleman observed my distress and took me
to the railway station. I then had difficulty in gain-
ing admittance. After I had taken a short rest and
had given the Shareef some beef essence, the officials
were in difficulties to get us to the train, to which a
saloon carriage had been attached for us. It was a
struggle through the masses of people. They did not
seem to mind the sticks that were freely used, and
when we were ultimately seated, the people hung on
to the carriage and climbed the roof. All this excite-
ment delayed the departure some twenty minutes or
more. What a slow train, and how heavily packed
with human beings ! At Tunis the crowds were just
as enthusiastic, and I arrived at the house in rather
an exhausted state, to say nothing of the disarrange-
ment of my attire. The quarter we were in was
crowded from early morning to far into the night
with people waiting to be received by the Shareef;
this was done in contingents. How he stood all the
fatigue is a marvel to me ; my feet gave me much
trouble from the constant standing, and as the Shareef
required so much massage my hands were not much
better, being badly swollen. I anticipated a relapse
from all the excitement the Shareef went through;
a slight rise in temperature was the only result.
The meeting with his co-religionists seemed to act


as a tonic, for the next day he asked for solid food,
of which he had not partaken for weeks. He was
recommended to sleep at a saint’s place in order to
secure complete restoration to health. Two nights
at Sidi Bou Said’s had a marvellous effect, and from
that time he seemed to be really on the mend. Such
is faith.

Here I called on my dear friend, Lady Hay
Drummond Hay, the lady who visited me on my
wedding day, and so ably carried out what she pro-
mised me then. Such a hearty welcome from true
English friends was a splendid tonic for me. The
last six weeks of anxiety had told much, and I re-
gretted to spend so short a time in the lovely old
palace and beautiful garden where they resided at
Marsa. It was but a peep at them for the sake of
” auld lang syne,” as my invalid became impatient if I
left him for long. The Shareef said he was not equal
to visiting the Bey of Tunis, and we saw him once
riding to his palace, but too far off to know what
he was like. Leaving Tunis in the Bey’s saloon
attached to the ordinary train, we started for Con-
stantine. A great many people met us, but as the
Shareef had asked to have his visit as private as
possible, the reception was nothing to what the boys
had when I went with them in the spring of 1888.
The Shareef seemed to be getting quite himself again,
to take interest in his surroundings. He would go
for long drives, and found quite an excellent appetite.
He constantly told me what he meant to tell his
people about my care of him, and I assured him that
it was a duty and pleasure combined to have been so
far successful in restoring my children’s father to
health, and that it would be a proud day to me when



we arrived at Tangier for his friends to see how well
he had become.

The boys joined us at Oran, and returned to
Tangier with us for the summer holidays. In Gibraltar
Bay he asked what I had decided about our future
relations. I replied, ” Your friend and nurse as long
as I live, for the children’s sake.” More than that
I had now decided I should never be. The boat
anchored very early, and before I was awake the
Shareef went on shore. The receptions at the pier
fell to my sons, and escorted by music and the crowd
we reached my hired residence outside the town. The
Moors said, “The Senora took away Sidi practically a
dying man, and brought back Sidi a live one.”



THE Shareef, to do him justice, was never tired of
recounting his experiences during the severe illness,
and that but for me, with God’s help, he would never
have returned to Tangier. It was a consolation that
after all he appreciated what had been done for him.
I look back sometimes and wonder how I did pull
through, single-handed as I was and so hampered on
all sides. Two telegrams were received in Tangier
announcing his death. Who sent them ? It almost
seemed as though a system of persecution was being
carried out by an unknown hand. With the Shareef
it was so very different to what it would have been
with a European. The Moors’ ideas, manners, and
customs cause them to gauge affairs so differently to
ours ; their imagination is of the wildest, and they
rush to conclusions before they have fully realised
the subject in hand. The Shareef was but little dif-
ferent from the generality of his co-religionists. All
this I took into consideration, and shaped my life so
that Mohammedans should have no cause to complain
of my treatment of their spiritual chief, infallible as
he was in their eyes. At the same time, I took some
pains to retain the goodwill of my European friends.
Although reproached on several occasions for being
” so very Moorish,” my plan has succeeded beyond my
expectations, for go where I will in any part of the



country the Moslems have a warm welcome for me.
The Shareef once told me that though my position
amongst his co-religionists was good, that it would
be superior if “it was written ” that I became his
widow, and so it has turned out.

I am greeted with strange expressions. ” Oh ! it is
like seeing Sidi again when I see you/’ said an old
man one day with the tears rolling down his face as
he covered my hand with respectful kisses. The
Shareef expressed a wish that the children should
attend the Lycee at Oran, so I returned with them,
took them to Bioness and a few other places, as had
become my custom, before returning to college. After
they were installed at school I went on some business
for the Shareef to Tlemcen and Hammam Bougrarah.
On my return Muley AH did not seem well, and I
resolved to remain a little longer in Oran. It was
very fortunate I did so, for the child had contracted
typhoid fever.

For six weeks I nursed him at the Civil Hospital,
having entered myself as a private patient also. Absces-
ses supervened, necessitating a dangerous operation.
I had a very anxious time, and he was eventually
fastened down in his bed, for no one could hold him
in the attacks of delirium. His great idea was to
throw himself out of the window. At last I was told
to take him home. The assistance and kindness I
received from the hospital and Government authori-
ties are beyond praise. My boy has no remembrance
of all this, or of the journey home, which happened
to take only twenty-four hours. A large steamer was
passing, and was requisitioned to drop us at Tangier.
But my troubles were not ended. A severe relapse
followed, but fortunately a clever American doctor was


in Tangier, and to his unremitting attendance I prac-
tically owe my child’s life.

The Shareef came often to see his son, 1 and seemed
much distressed at his condition. One day he brought
with him a soi-disant apothecary, who pronounced
that the malady was caused by worms, and the two
abscesses in the neck from the same cause, and that
he could effect a cure in three days. I declined to
accept his remedies, and the Shareef said I ought to
give the child a chance of being cured. My wishes
prevailed nevertheless, but the Shareef remained
silent for a week. From October 22 to January 17,
1891, Muley Ali was not pronounced out of danger.
All thought of returning to Oran to school was out
of the question, and as Muley Ahmed would not
remain without his brother, here ended their college

In the spring, Muley Ali went to Zemmour with
his American medical attendant, and on his return we
all went to Wazan, from whence I was to go to Fez
with the boys on a vaccination visit. The Shareef
was fast declining in health again ; he had with him
the soi-disant apothecary, who somehow had made
himself indispensable to the whole household. The
night before starting for Fez my sons and I went to
the Sultan’s garden. The Shareef was far from well,
but nothing more than usual, and he was sitting with
several friends in the gallery. Next morning I sent to
say we were starting; the answer was that he was
asleep. Just when all was ready for us to start, a

1 Whenever the Shareef wished Muley Ali and Muley Ahmed to ac-
company him to the hunt or otherwise, he always sent Mahmoud to ask
my permission formally. Knowing my objection to their renaming
out at night, the Shareef never took them out of reach of home, unless
I was with them.


messenger summoned me to the Shareef, saying it was
reported from the house he was dead. I rode off at
once, and found the Shareef in practically the same
condition as at Palermo in a raging fever, unconscious
and breathing heavily. The apothecary had run away
and hidden himself in the garden, fearing the wrath of
the Moors if a fatal termination took place. Certainly
it was not an enviable position, in Wazan above all
places. Ice was out of the question, and having some
fly blisters in my medicine chest, I did not hesitate to
apply them freely, and obtained the coldest water
possible from a deep well. I put hot-water bottles to
his feet. After two hours, and plenty of massage into
the bargain, such as the doctor had prescribed on the
former occasion, the Shareef came round to himself
again, though much dazed. After four days’ nursing I
left for Fez, doing a fair amount of vaccination (about
700 children and adults passed the ordeal), and
doctoring generally.

The Shareef now left for Tangier, having been
invited by the French Government to go on a mission
to Tuat. From Tangier he wrote to me to return at
once to accompany him, but the swollen rivers and
general state of the weather prevented the courier
reaching me under a fortnight. I could not leave Fez
even if I had been so inclined, for the same reason, but
I did so at the first opportunity. I never experienced
such a cold and miserable journey, and the rivers
caused us much anxiety. At Al K’sar el Kebir, I
learnt that the Shareef had started some ten days
previously, the apothecary being in attendance as a
member of the suite. I had no more news of the
Shareef for nearly three months. I only knew he was
still in Algiers, and his movements were shadowed in


mystery. His sons at Wazan constantly sending to
me, to my inquiries I received vague answers, and the
Oran press gave all sorts of versions. I wrote to
friends in Algiers, but nothing definite was obtained
from that source. I could guess what might be the

At length all preparations were made for the
journey ; a magnificent litter was made, and a painful
journey undertaken to Tuat began. The Shareefs
state of health did not permit the full accomplishment
of a mission he should never have undertaken ; he
returned in June a mere wreck, and continued to
decline. He went to his mountain home for a short
time, but as he feared to die there, as it would
prohibit his being buried with his mother, he returned
to town. He was continually imposing on me a
solemn charge to see that he was buried according to
his wishes. Whenever he sent for me I went to him.
At that time I was residing on Tangier beach at his
request, my own house being occupied by Prince and
Princess Philippe de Bourbon on a short lease.

Three weeks before my husband’s death I was
startled out of my sleep, very early in the morning, by
hearing his carriage driven up to my door. It was the
only one in Tangier then. He was carried into the
drawing-room, while my bedstead was quickly brought
down to the dining-room for his convenience. He was
rather delirious, and begged me not to let him be
poisoned, to lock up everything, even the water, and
prepare his food myself. Then he fell into a comatose
state, and nothing could rouse him. I sent for a doctor,
who said he could not account for his state ; the only
thing to be done was to administer beef essence, and this
he would swallow from a teaspoon when I put it into


his mouth. Towards afternoon he again revived, but
would not hear of seeing a medical man, and I natur-
ally did not tell him one had been summoned. To-
wards evening he insisted upon being propped up ;
then he tried to play draughts with Muley Ali and
Mannie, and would not part with them until the
children could not keep awake any longer. After
extracting a promise from them to get up early and
go to the mountain to shoot him a wood-pigeon, he let
them go. Several people called, but only those who
were not of his entourage would he see. He remained
awake all night ; towards morning he dozed, and I went
to take my bath. I had scarcely commenced to dress
when I heard a tremendous scuffling downstairs, and
found my house invaded by servants and retainers
from the Zowia. Poor things, I thought, they are
anxious about their lord and master ; little did I guess
the real cause of this army of women. I heard the
Shareef talking, and hastened to take him the coffee
I had prepared for him. Then what did I see : a
woman dressing the Shareef as quickly as she could,
while others held him up on the bed. I asked the
meaning of this, and the reply was, ” Sidi’s orders.”
He refused the coffee, and I remonstrated with the
women on their procedure, but all to no purpose.
Presently the carriage came, his men hoisted him in
their arms, and he was driven at a furious rate the
short distance to the town. When the boys came
back and found their father fled, it was piteous to see
the children’s distress. They went to their father’s
residence, only to be refused admittance.


DURING the next three weeks the Shareef s brain
seemed to have completely given way. I sent for
Muley Mohammed, and had Muley Alarbi, who was
in Algeria, summoned. The Shareef lay in practically
a comatose state, with an occasional lucid interval.
We could not get rid of the apothecary, who was in
constant attendance, but three days before his death
I asked for medical assistance from the French Lega-
tion in the name of the sons. The physician declared
the malady to be one of the most peculiar he had
ever diagnosed. 1 The whole time I was in constant
attendance, going to my house at intervals for a little

1 I often wonder if a certain herb found in the Biff, which is said to
have the power of slowly destroying the vitals of the person to whom
it has been given, had been administered secretly to the Shareef. This
is done very much, I am told, for revenge, and the process takes years,
or months only, according to the amount taken. It was suggested by
the Moors themselves that perhaps at some time something of the
sort had been done, and my suspicions were strengthened when the
several doctors were perplexed as to the real cause of the Shareef’s
malady. Tartshah is the Riifian appellation of this herb. It is to be
found in certain districts of Riff, principally on a high mountain named
Djebel el Hammam. It can duly be culled at a certain season, and
must show a phosphorescence. I was told by an eye-witness that
a certain woman’s mother became possessed of this particular herb
at the tomb of a saint (Sidi ben Smondi), and that she received from
the Riffian who bought it the sum of 50 dollars. I know this, but
cannot prove it. My informant died before the Shareef. El Wourka
is the local appellation of the above poisonous herb. El Djebel el
Hammam means ” Pigeon Mountain.”



rest, and to look after my boys’ comforts. The Shareef
told Muley Alarbi that I was to be guardian to my
sons and their interests, and that he expected he and
Muley Mohammed would be just towards them.
Another time he warned me never to allow the children
to go anywhere without me, and another time told
Muley Ali and Mannie that in following my advice
they would never go wrong.

The night before he died, he seemed to enjoy a
lucid interval for quite a long time, and after the
doctor’s visit fell into a deep sleep, so I was advised to
go home and get a rest. At 1 A.M. -on September 28th,
I heard the carriage and a furious knocking. Being
half dressed in case of emergencies, I took my sleepy
children and hastened to the Zowia. It appears that
the Shareef continually asked for me, and then he
would say that his mother was beckoning to him.
His request was at first treated as the outcome of
renewed delirium, but at last Muley Mohammed in-
sisted upon my being summoned. I found the Shareef
placed on a mattress on the floor, facing east ; his sons,
their secretaries, and one or two others were ranged
around him. I was given a place immediately by
his side. Muley Alarbi said it was useless to speak
to him, but Muley Mohammed and his secretary urged
me to see if he was still conscious. I called him by
his pet name of years ago, ” Macduff, Macduff, I have
come.” His hand seemed to seek something. I placed
mine in his, which closed with a convulsive clasp,
and he opened his eyes, and murmured ” Jitzi el aini ”
(“Have you come, darling?”). These were the last
words he spoke ; the end came, and Muley Mohammed’s
secretary released my hand from the dead man’s

Photo, by Cavilla oj Tangitr




Immediately the death chamber was closed, and
the keys of that and other apartments handed over
to me. Downstairs, arrangements were carried out
at once for washing and laying out the body, and
orders were sent to various carpenters to make the
coffin, washing-board, and bier. All was ready in a
remarkably short time, and the body was carried down
by the sons and a few friends. I was invited to see
him when all was finished, but I preferred to remember
him as he had been. The death-dirge and shrieking
in the house completely unnerved me, and there was
no possibility of my escaping the sounds. Muley
Mohammed went several times to order the retainers
to make less noise, but they seemed to redouble their
laments after each remonstrance. I saw some of these
mourners afterwards. Hideous they were to behold
with their faces terribly scratched, chests and clothes
torn, and heads dishevelled.

Although invitations to the funeral were for 1 P.M.,
Muley Alarbi insisted on the ceremony taking place
at 10 A.M., causing it to be remarked that he was afraid
his father might come to life again. Certainly I
heard some chanting, but little did I know the body
was being removed to its last resting-place. The
sound of the death-dirge made me think, at first, that
another funeral was passing. I rushed to the window,
and at that moment saw the bier, covered with flags,
on the shoulders of the servants.

Whatever the real cause of this unseemly haste, I
could not conjecture, and the only conclusion I came
to was that he might have objected to the Legations
being represented by their respective Moslem soldiers.
It was a mystery I never fathomed. The crowd was
so dense that I was told one could have walked from


the Zowia to the middle of the town (where Muley
Taib’s mosque, the place of interment, was situated)
on the people’s heads, without fear of falling. The
procession started amid great difficulties. The four
sons were the chief mourners. The dirge echoed and
re-echoed for some little time as the populace on all
sides joined in. Men sobbed aloud, women became
hysterical and tore their hair in the streets, men rushed
to re-cover them with the haik (outdoor woman’s
covering) that had fallen off, people fainted and were
with difficulty rescued from being trodden under foot.

At last the little sanctuary mosque was reached,
and the coffin placed in the grave, dug in a chamber
adjoining the mosque, and facing the chamber where
the Shareef’s mother was interred. Muley Alarbi was
for embalming his father’s body and taking it to
Wazan. I told him how the late Shareef had made
me to promise that his wishes as to his burial-place
should be carried out, and my word had weight with
the sons. That is the reason why the Grand Shareef’s
remains are not laid with his forefathers.

The empty bier was seized by the populace and
broken up into splinters, these being carried away as
mementoes of the great man. The washing-board was
claimed, and shared the same fate.

I began to wonder what my lot would be, now I
was a widow, but my mind was soon put at rest by
the great respect shown me by my late husband’s sons,
and the public generally.

For months to come, hundreds continued to visit
the late Shareef’s grave, depositing candles and oil for
the lamps in the hands of the special guardian, called
M’kaddum. They also laid myrtle and flowers on the
grave, or left a handkerchief, belt, or some garment in


the chamber in order to obtain a benediction. After
a time, the owners would return and take away the
garment, and keep it as sacred, perhaps with the in-
struction of having it buried with them when their
time came. No Jew or Christian is permitted to enter
the sacred portals, but no objection has ever been
raised to my visits. On such occasions I conform to
the customs, save in regard to changing my dress. 1 I
take incense and flowers when in season, and a huge
wax candle, which are all handed to the M’kaddum,
who in my presence burns the incense and lights the
candle. The burial-place is railed off. Two iron-
wrought gates lead to the tomb on one side, and a
large window with iron bars occupies the other. The
walls of the chamber protect the two other sides. The
floor is covered with rich carpets, there are two grand-
father clocks, and suspended from the painted ceilings
are ostrich eggs, and a rose and white coloured glass
chandelier. The walls have mosaic tiles half-way up,
and the flooring is of the same. Four little grandsons
lie by his side. The grave is surmounted by a wooden
structure six feet by three feet, handsomely painted
by people in Fez. Its beauty is completely hidden
by a pall of crimson and green velvet, embroidered
thickly in gold, made by the women of Fez ; the top
border is about eight inches in width, and verses from
the Koran are embroidered thereon. At the foot the
dado contains a dedication, also embroidered in letters
of gold. Banners of variegated colours in silk are
there, above the four rising posts of the structure,

1 The customs and manners of widowhood were not conformed to
by me, neither was any request made directly or indirectly that I should
do so. Neither did I wear the garb of an English widow. For a few
months I confined myself to grey costumes, and then to mauve or


which are covered with immense knobs of silver gold-
plated. Many Europeans saw this pall in my drawing-
room fixed on a wall, for it was entrusted to me by the
donors at Fez, two years after my husband’s death.

The entry of this pall into Tangier was a very
solemn occasion. It was exhibited in the streets
and accompanied by native music and powder-play.
Eventually it was deposited in my house until the
time the tomb was completed. At each native feast
it was taken to the tomb and returned with much
ceremony, remaining there seven days more or less.
During the week this pall is covered by others less rich,
in fact some quite mediocre, that have been presented
by worshippers who have presented verbal petitions.

The roof of the tomb is spherical, whitewashed on
the outside, and surmounted by three large golden
balls. By an extraordinary coincidence, my bedroom
window faced this edifice, which had then a flat roof,
on the first night I passed in Tangier in 1872, when
I lived for a fortnight at the Hotel de France, kept
by the father of the present owner of the Villa de
France Hotel in Tangier. It was then Muley Taib’s
mosque, where my husband sometimes worshipped, and
where he visited his’ mother’s tomb on Fridays. At
that time I never saw him, but destiny made me follow
him, for my friends hired a property adjoining his in
the mountain. His house was in a valley, while I was
on a cliff. Walking up and down this terrace, I little
dreamed I had an observer, later to be my husband,
amongst the fruit-trees below. Three times in all did
the Shareef propose formally ; twice I refused him, but I
felt so irresistibly drawn towards the man. And I may
say in all sincerity that I have never regretted the step
I took, in spite of many sad times in latter years.



ON the return of the mourners, the trying ceremony of
receiving condolences from the populace had to be
gone through. We all sat on divans arranged round
the late Shareef’s office, my place being with the sons.
The people came in batches, and all used the same
formula: “The blessings of God be upon your head,
such is written for us all. God give you strength to
support the loss which is mine as well as yours.” The
same sentence so often repeated seems to deaden the
hearing, and after an hour or two of the same, one
replies quite automatically.

I returned to my house for a rest, only to find
women awaiting me for the same purposes. I stayed
some time with them women’s visits are always pro-
longed and then appointed my housekeeper and another
as my deputies, for I could not endure further fatigue.
The evening prayers were said round the new-made
grave, and Tolba were never absent night or day
for the first three days, nor have the lights been extin-
guished entirely even down to the present day, 1911.

The first act Muley Alarbi did was to legalise his
dead father’s wishes, by making me guardian of my
sons, and then he proceeded to the partition of the
late Shareef s estate. I preceded the sons and their
secretaries to the private apartments. Whatever was



under lock and key was opened by me: then commenced
a distribution of effects, the price put upon each article
being noted. If two sons fixed their fancy on any
single article, lots were drawn, two small pieces of
wood of different lengths being provided for the
purpose. Muley Alarbi was fairly correct in these
matters, though he and Muley Mohammed were not
always of the same mind. The things missing included
eighteen carpets, which were seen laid out on the roof
to be aired, some few days before the death. Muley
Alarbi refused to make inquiries, and said God and
Muley Abdullah es-Shareef would punish the delin-
quents. Possibly they have been so punished without
my knowledge.

The Tangier estate having been divided before
notaries public, a legal list of each person’s new ac-
quisitions was made out. It was now thought that my
presence in Wazan was necessary, and subsequent
events proved that my advisers were right. My present
position did not seem to prohibit the journey, and my
sons were old enough to see that no harm befell me.
Then, too, I had every confidence in the Moors, and
the continued deference paid to me in every way gave
me the necessary courage. We all started together,
each having a caravan under personal control, with tents,
cooks, &c., so that though we camped at night in the
same village no one was dependent on the other.
Several notabilities of Tangier accompanied us for the
whole or part of the journey, and the usual crowds
went various stages outside the town. En route there
was no particular demonstration, beyond condolences
from every one who passed.

Before we set out, the keys of certain boxes were
handed to me by notaries public, the notaries affixing


their seals to the boxes, which in turn were to be
opened at Wazan in presence of all by notaries public
of that town. Muley Alarbi being an early riser, took
the road some time before we were ready. Muley
Mohammed was the last to get his caravan under

The second day out my boys remained with their
half-brother, Muley Mohammed. I was going along
leisurely when my attention was arrested by a white
patch in the plain and a hurrying to and fro of men
and animals. Through my glasses it looked like a
large sheet spread, and a possible accident presented
itself to my mind, so spurring my horse and sending
to the boys to follow me, I soon arrived at the spot,
to see the principal deed-box stove in and the contents
spread on the ground to dry. On making inquiries
as to the meaning of this catastrophe, my informant
said the mule had kicked the box into a well. By this
time my sons with their brother came up, and rated the
muleteers for their carelessness, saying that he could
not accept their version of the accident. The docu-
ments were gathered up and placed in the hood of a
burnous, which was folded and tied over the whole.
The chief muleteer wished me to take charge of same,
and give it to Muley Alarbi. Naturally I refused,
and reached the village we were to encamp in for the
night, finding Muley Alarbi already settled. He called
for me and my sons to partake of luncheon with him,
but Muley Mohammed would not see him, and begged
us to go to his tent. However, I went to Muley Alarbi,
explained all that had taken place, and excused myself
about luncheon, having picnicked on the road. He was
very much annoyed about the incident, and pressed me
to put the documents with my things. I assured him


they were in good keeping. What was I to do ? I
must keep in with my stepsons. Muley Mohammed
still held aloof from his brother, and at 2 A.M. sent
to say he was starting, and wished Muley Ali and
Muley Ahmed to accompany him. At 6 A.M. I started.
Even then Muley Alarbi had far outdistanced me ;
at last he made a halt, and sent a horseman back to
say he was waiting for me. He rode by my side with-
out referring to the regrettable incident. For the
remainder of the journey the two brothers never met.

Muley Mohammed reached Wazan some few hours
before I did with Muley Alarbi and my own sons. My
caravan never fared so well as on this journey, the
two brothers vieing with each other as to who should
pay the most attention to their younger brothers’ camp.
I always had so much food in hand, that the villagers
partook of many a meal from our over-supplied table.

The same deference as before was paid to me by
the Wazanites, and the family just as affectionate.
Naturally I gained confidence in my new role. At a
meeting for private family affairs, several things did
not appeal to me in the sense I thought they should ;
so asking permission to make an observation, I
addressed myself to the Kadi who was presiding.
Would he kindly inform me if the discussion had for
basis El Shraa de Nebbi (Koranic law) or Wazan
law applicable to Wazan only. Having a slight know-
ledge of the former, I could follow, but being ignorant
of the latter I was at a loss to understand it. I may
add that my late husband’s nephew l had primed me
as to what should be done, and told me that my
possible ignorance on certain points might be prejudi-

1 My late husband’s nephew was the one who rendered me so much
assistance in securing the rights due to my sons.


cial to my sons’ interests. The Kadi looked at me,
and silence reigned for a few minutes, broken by
Muley Alarbi saying they were tired, and the present
stance ended. The Kadi never forgave me, and
avoided me ever after. In subsequent visits I never
saw him again ; nevertheless, I obtained the revision of
the lists of property, and had the errors rectified. The
Kadi asked the nephew’s secretary what I knew about
Shraa, and was told that being English it was possible
I knew more than he did, for all English girls are
educated, and that Sidi God bless his soul perfected
me in what he found wanting. Possibly I was ac-
credited with more knowledge than I really possessed.
Muley Alarbi was averse from making a journey to
Fez to condole with the Sultan, but Muley Mohammed
and the Shorfa, male and female, especially the late
Shareef’s mother and nephew, were most anxious that
a custom borrowed from time immemorial should be
observed. They induced me to approach Muley Alarbi
on the subject.

It was a difficult task, and after a certain amount
of persuasion he communicated to the Shorfa his
intention not to abandon the custom, and that he
expected me to go with his half-brothers. It was
thought elsewhere that my presence would be detri-
mental to Muley Alarbi’s prestige. He was, or seemed
to be, extremely annoyed by the letter notifying the
same, and gave it to me to read, or rather my secretary
did for me. Business affairs being terminated, there
was now no real reason for my remaining in Wazan.
I refused to allow the boys to go to Fez without me,
so made my plans accordingly. During this visit,
Muley Mohammed was untiring in his efforts to
persuade me to pass part of every year in Wazan. On


my consenting, he said he would build a house for me
in European style, and furnish it to my taste, and that
a piano would not be forgotten. It was generous of
him in the extreme, but I preferred to be a casual
visitor, especially as I was not versed in intrigues,
which are rife in that part of the world. My sons
renounced spontaneously any participation as regards
the upkeep of the Zowia, and they also elected to be
non-residents of Wazan. We knew the Tangier Zowia
would have to be maintained out of our private income,
and responsibility for expenses elsewhere, over which
we could have no control, considering the distance,
prompted our decision.

The Zowia at Wazan is fairly rich ; many properties
are bequeathed to the Shorfa for the sole benefit of
the institution, which is called El Habbous. Pilgrims
from all parts of the Empire flock thither, and never
come empty-handed. Bullocks, sheep, cereals, candles,
henna, and various other things are brought, not
forgetting cash. These offerings are called El Ziara.

I awaited the elder son’s return from Fez. He
was much delayed at the start, and then at Fez they
had to wait ten days before being received in audience
by the late Muley Hassan, then Sultan of Morocco.
In March I arranged for my sons to go to the Court at
Fez, and though a few difficulties were thrown in my
way, I started three days after the day originally fixed.
The necessity of this journey was not for condolence
alone, but to obtain the renewal of valuable concessions
from the Crown, with regard to certain lands granted
to the House of Wazan some generations back on
their relinquishing certain hereditary rights on the
Treasury. These documents have to be renewed on the
death or change of Sultan, otherwise they are null and

Photo, by HeJl & Co.,



void, and preference is given when they are applied for
personally. Naturally my anxiety was that my sons
should retain the share they had inherited from their
father, by renewal of El Dakr, as it is designated in
Arabic. I think this was one of the most enjoyable
visits I ever made to Fez. I suppose the goodwill of
Muley Hassan reflected on the people. I arrived on a
Tuesday afternoon, and the next day a command came
from the Court for an audience fixed for 8 A.M. on
Thursday morning. At first we thought there might
be some error in the day, as the late Muley Hassan
made it a rule never to receive on Thursdays, because
he devoted the whole of that day to the study of the
works of ” Sidi el Boukari.” My boys went in Court
costume, everything new and white, accompanied by
a large suite consisting of relations, friends, and
secretaries, all mounted on richly caparisoned horses
and mules, and with quite a small army of retainers
on foot. In the meantime I was on tenter-hooks,
not knowing exactly what sort of a reception was
in store for them, notwithstanding that the unusual
day was a good augury. But I need not have worried
myself. The reception was the most cordial possible.
Half rising from his seat, Muley Hassan placed my
sons on either side of him. After the usual saluta-
tions had been exchanged, and the formal condolence
offered on either side, Muley Hassan said he grieved
with them over the loss of their father ; at the same
time he would be a father to them, and that they were
to take care of their mother. After inquiries as to
what languages they spoke, the Sultan requested
them to speak English together before him. I am
afraid the essay was not a great success, for the boys
were too shy to say much.


I visited much among the Moslem population and
vaccinated as long as my lymph lasted, but though I
did revert to the arm-to-arm method, I was nervous
about transmitting another disease in providing the
cure for one. Of visitors, too, we had plenty, princi-
pally of the sterner sex, many of whom were Shorfa,
originally from Wazan ; these are always styled cousins,
when a Shareef is a Wazani, though he may be very
far removed from the present generation. While I
was chatting with one of these Shorfa about my late
husband, he said to me, ” Thank God, you had a differ-
ence with my cousin Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam.” I must
have shown that I resented this remark rather strongly,
though I was silent, for I was completely taken aback
by such a sudden and uncalled-for remark. Kecover-
ing my mental equilibrium, however, I inquired why
he referred to the past in that way, and said that he
hurt me. ” Well, to be explicit, the day he died there
would have been a double funeral, if you had con-
tinued to adore Sidi in the same manner as early
years. I repeat, thank God that Muley Ali and
Muley Ahmed have their mother left.” This Shareef
often came to Tangier on a visit of months’ duration.
My husband held him in high esteem, and being a
high-principled and well-educated man, his society
was agreeable. There were others equally learned,
and I was amazed at the broad view they took of life
in general.

If in those days such a thing had been known in
Morocco as the Young Turkish party, with such men
as I came across, we might have developed a Young
Moorish party.

I also learned of a remarkable dream, dreamt
by the M’kaddum (custodian) of Muley Dris, patron


saint of Fez. All Moors, I may remark, place great
faith in dreams. I have often known women, and
even men, to consult Tolba (priests or educated men)
on the subject of this or that dream, placing the most
implicit faith in the interpretation. Dreaming of a
saint implies the necessity of a pilgrimage to his grave,
to sacrifice according to your means, or light a candle at
the shrine. Should extraordinary circumstances prevent
the dreamer undertaking the journey, a deputy can be
sent. My husband was once on the point of sending
me with Muley Ali, who was to sacrifice a bull for him
at the shrine of Muley Abdeslam ben M’sheesh, near
Tangier. I could not approach the shrine, or even on
the territory of the saint, so finding the child would
have to be away a night from my care, the idea was
abandoned as far as I was concerned, and others went
in our stead. The M’kaddum of Muley Dris had a
vision one night at the tomb. The following is an
account of it, which I give to the best of my advantage.
He dreamt that he was attending the f6tes of Tolba
on the borders of the Fez river, an affluent of the
Sebou river :

” The height of our festivity was arrested by the
sudden appearance of the ever-venerated Sheik and
Saint of holy memory, Sidi el Hadj Alarbi, in our
midst. The multitude hastened to do homage to our
honoured guest, who announced the arrival of his son
Abdeslam with his bride. Immediately was heard in
the distance the feet of many horses, which drew
nearer and nearer, and presently appeared in our midst
the much revered Sidi Hadj Abdeslam, and by his side,
also on horseback, the Roumia (European) his wife.
We all fell to do homage to him, when Sidi el Hadj
Alarbi commanded us to do homage to the Eoumia


also, which we did. And I awoke to find I had seen
a holy vision. Praise God for all things.”

Yet another I can relate, which I have had trans-
lated from a book written by a Wazan Shareef re-
siding at Rabat, also a doctor of law. It is entitled
“The Vision of Sidi Abdallah ben Amed, Tuummi,
Wazani, Zeroni, Doctor of Law (Alam).”

” Before leaving Zeroni there was much con-
versation about the possibility of my Sheik and
Spiritual Chief, lord and master, contracting an
alliance with a European. Knowing his sympathies
with European customs, one had become accustomed
to his ways of thinking and acting, but certainly not
to the extent of taking to wife a Roumia (European).
The constant rumours worried me much, and at last
I determined to set out for Fez, for the purpose of
visiting the holy shrine of Muley Dris, hoping thereby
to obtain some inspiration to enable me to under-
stand what was passing in the life of my much
beloved Sheik. Arriving at Fez, the then Sultan,
Sidi Mohammed ben Abdurrhaman, engaged me in
long conversations on the subject of this projected
marriage. In the sacred writings, which I searched,
there was no prohibition to such an alliance. I
then carried out my intention of visiting the holy
shrine of Muley Dris, to commune with him in spirit.
Having made my ablutions and recited my prayers,
I sat down to ponder and to seek inspiration on
the subject so near to my heart. I fell asleep, and
dreamed I was in Tangier, on the borders of the
blue sea, and watching a vessel thereon. Presently
I perceived a large gathering as it were of people,
but on closer scrutiny, I observed that it consisted
of all the holy saints of past and present. Those


from the East were evidently discussing with those
from the West some momentous question to which
neither side could find an acceptable conclusion.
Ultimately it was suggested that lots should be drawn
to decide upon which side the onus of the discussion
should fall. The subject of this was not revealed
to me, and I could only learn that it was a heavy
responsibility to be borne, both sides professing their
inability to sustain its weight. The casting of lots
being agreed to, two small sticks of unequal length
were produced, and the lot fell to the holy Western
Saints to bear the burden. So overwhelmed were
they with the great responsibility thrust on them,
that the arrival of Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam el Wazani
in their midst was unperceived, until he saluted
each one by name. After the exchange of the usual
salutations, he inquired the cause of their dilemma,
and upon learning the same, begged them one and
all to trouble themselves no more upon the subject,
of which I, the dreamer, was ignorant. Sidi el
Hadj Abdeslam, ever ready to take other people’s
burdens on himself, announced to this holy assem-
blage of Saints from the East and the West that he
would be responsible for all they choose to impose
upon him, upon which the holy assembly were aghast,
as one clause in the compact, whatever the body of
the same contained, had not been communicated.
* Tell me, I pray you,’ said my Sheik, ‘ the whole of
this secret compact between you, which I accept,
even before it falls from your lips.’ Said one, * It
involves the bearer of this heavy burden to marry
a Roumia.’ * Even that I will do/ said my beloved
Sheik and master, Sidi el Hadj Abdeslam ; ‘ allow me
to make but one condition regarding this proposed


marriage, to which this holy assemblage of Saints
must be sponsors/ ‘ Speak, Sidi ; we can acquiesce in
your desire before you put it to us, so name the one
favour you require from us all.’ Whereupon Sidi el
Hadj Abdeslam asked to be assured that the Roumia
he was to take to wife should bear him two sons,
the first to be named Ali, after Sidi AH ben Ahmed,
of glorious memory, and the second, Ahmed, after
Sidi Ahmed ben Taibe of revered memory. * Such
shall it be, by God’s blessing/ replied the assembled
holy Saints from East and West. At this particular
moment in my vision, I saw a carriage come in the
midst of all the holy Saints ; in it was seated a
young girl dressed in European costume. The sun,
as it were, shone on her right cheek, and the moon-
beams played on her left cheek, and behind her were
two tall candlesticks of pure gold. She was fair to
look upon, and in my heart of hearts I inquired
whether this young girl would accept our creed of
Islam. Still debating this subject in my mind, I
looked up at her, to see her beckoning to me with
her finger. I rose, as it were, and went to her ;
she leaned forward until her mouth was on a level
with my ear and whispered

“At this moment I awoke from my slumber and
found myself in the most holy shrine of Muley Dris in
the city of Fez.”

I am told that the reference to sun and moon meant
that I was worthy to be the Shareef’s bride ; the two
golden candlesticks represented the two sons stipulated
for by the Shareef. A child is often called a golden
lamp, as a term of endearment, especially if a baby
Shareef. I have also in my possession a kind of certi-
ficate from a doctor of law (Alam) residing in Tangier,


who assured me that many years ago he met Sidi
Abdullah ben Ahmed, and heard him relate his
vision to some assembled guests. The dream took
place in about 1872, the Moslem date being 1287 or

I thought it more prudent to keep out of ceremonies
of every kind, when an entertainment was offered at
any house. But I was never forgotten ; my sons went
surrounded by the Tuats and others, chants being sung
as they went along. Then, when they were fairly under
way, I would also start to join them at the house,
arriving practically at the same time as they did, with
my own personal retainers. For some years previously
I had known Lalla B/kia, Muley Abdul Aziz’s mother,
through the intermediary of one of her retainers, who
used to come to Tangier to make purchases of different
articles. Tama, for such was her name, never failed
to come and see me, the bearer of the most friendly
messages from the ex-Sultan’s mother. On this occa-
sion I was not forgotten, and presents and messages
passed between us. We never met, I having always
avoided going to Court for various reasons put forward
by my husband.

On leaving Fez we went to Wazan, and everywhere
congratulations were given on our successful visit.
Muley Mohammed was most enthusiastic, and the
powder-play on entering Wazan was fast and furious.
All Wazan turned out ; the native music with banners
from the different Saint Houses, headed by those of
Muley Abdallah Shareef, the ” zahrits ” from hundreds
of women’s throats was a greeting of a most impressive
character, especially when hundreds of Tolba chanted
together as with one voice.

Wazan looked very pretty in the bright sunlight, and


the sides of Bou Allul were still green, the town so
white and cosy on the side where Wazan is built. To
walk in the gardens and gather juicy green figs is a
pleasure, the month of June finding them at the height
of perfection. Naturally I visited all members of my
late husband’s family, to find the warmth of welcome
had not diminished. Go where I would, to me it was
a great personal gratification. I have never known
the sense of fear in my adopted country, and would
travel anywhere to-day with the sense of greatest



IN the autumn of this year, 1893, the French Govern-
ment again renewed its kind offer to give Muley Ali
a course at the cavalry school at Saumur. Personally
I did not hesitate for a moment, but then I had to
sound the people all round, to see if such a step would
be prejudicial to my son’s prestige. This took time,
but the verdict was favourable, and by December I was
prepared to start. At Marseilles the Prefect’s carriage
was sent for us, and on board we were received by a
secretary and another official, and by them escorted to
the hotel, where charming apartments had been re-
tained. Even our servants were lodged most sumptu-
ously. After remaining a week, during which time
the sights of the town were duly visited we went to
theatre or opera every night we started for Saumur.
But what a journey without a break, except when the
change of carriage was necessary ! Every two or three
hours some gentlemen presented themselves to inquire
as to our welfare, and if the foot- warmers were chilled
they were promptly replaced by hot ones. Neverthe-
less, I never remember feeling so pinched by cold as
on that twenty-four-hour journey. Near Narbonne
the ground and trees were covered with snow. It was
a splendid panorama that extended for miles over this
very flat country. I saw it at sunrise ; the icicles
sparkled like so many chains of diamonds looped on


to the trees. Although our carriage was reserved, at
this town an old gentleman entered. The guard soon
appeared to remove the intruder, but upon his repre-
senting that he was only going to the next station,
I was asked if I had any objection. This was the
only time we had a companion traveller. On our
arrival at Saumur, more officials came to receive us,
and to escort us to the hotel, which certainly did not
equal the one at Marseilles. Still it was very com-
fortable and the beds excellent ; naturally the table
was the same ; one never expects anything else in
France. The cold was intense, the fires seemed to
throw out no heat ; and being on the borders of the
river Loire, made one more sensitive to this extreme of
climate. I was not prepared for such a great difference,
or for so long a stay as circumstances compelled me
to make.

I went to see the Cadets, and also wonderful
performances by some of the officers : such feats of
horsemanship I had never witnessed. Apartments
had to be found for Muley Ali, who was to remain
with his valet. We then paid a visit to Paris by
invitation of the Government. While there we went
to the Grand Opera, and a different theatre every
night, and during the day visited museums and picture
galleries, shopping, &c. An invitation to the Quai
d’Orsay to discuss my son’s interests appeared at the
first a formidable undertaking, and I felt at the outset
that I would give anything if I could have a deputy.
Monsieur S. O., I think, was rather amused at my
apparent nervousness, and it was his extreme affability
that caused me to summon up courage for the, what
I thought, trying ordeal. But I need not have per-
mitted my imagination to run away with me to such


an extent, for on being conducted into the huge salon,
I was immediately reassured by the genial manner of
two gentlemen present, the one having been presented
by the other. I soon recognised Monsieur Hanotaux,
the other Monsieur M., a distinguished linguist. The
greeting of Monsieur Hanotaux dispelled any mis-
givings I might have had, and it flashed across me
how uselessly I had tormented myself on the subject
of this momentous visit.

Muley Ali being well versed in the French lan-
guage, and I knowing something of the language, the
intermediary of an interpreter was not required. I
fancy my grammatical errors must have hurt the ear
of the learned and accomplished historian then Minister
for Foreign Aifairs. If such was the case, he betrayed
no sign of it in the half-hour interview accorded me.
Muley Ali, too, shy at first, eventually recovered him-
self, and conversation towards the end was much less
of an effort, and I came away with the impression that
Ministers are extremely nice people to meet, and that
it is more trying to walk down a grand staircase,
surrounded by lackeys and reflected by huge mirrors,
than to meet a dozen Ministers, provided they are all
like Monsieur Hanotaux.

Muley Ali was away ten months, and came home
enchanted with his sojourn at Saumur. Every month
reports were sent to the Legation in Tangier, and
more than once Monsieur de Monbel congratulated
me on having a son of such exemplary conduct,
supplementing the comments on one occasion with
the remark, “If I had sons I would like them to
take yours as a model of what a young man should be.
I congratulate you on your methods of training.”

I think more credit was given me than I deserve.


My sons’ strong sense of right and wrong from child-
hood required no great efforts on my part ; I had no
system. We were always the greatest friends, nothing
was ever hidden from me, I was consulted always upon
all subjects, and am so still even to this day. Although
my sons are married men with families, my wishes are
almost invariably regarded. Their father never even
suggested his wishes with regard to them from the
day of their birth to the day of his death. He re-
mained a spectator, if I may so explain it.

In Paris I saw Sarah Bernhardt. What a wonder-
ful actress ! I was spell-bound. The only things that
distressed me were the extraordinarily natural shrieks
she used. The first time I heard her, I really thought
something had gone amiss. M. Mounet-Sully was
incomparable; no wonder the theatre is packed to
overflowing when he appears. Paris is the most
fascinating of cities, and one could spend a few months
there most enjoyably, but as a permanent residence
there, or even in London, I fear I could not accustom
myself to these cities. I am always so happy to return
to my adopted country, though this causes my friends
to exclaim that I have become very Moorish. I cannot
agree, as my life, or rather my mode of living, has ever
been European, and my sense of duty to those who
place so much confidence in me compels me to remain
in their midst as long as I can.

In 1895 Muley Ali elected to accept an honorary
appointment in the 2nd Chasseurs d’Afrique, and was
in garrison at Tlemcen and Mecheria to study the
intricacies of military life. On the whole I think
he found it agreeable, for he had some intention of
rejoining later on, though he did not carry out the
idea. During his residence at Tlemcen, I paid him


a visit, and took a small house in a garden outside the
town. I met many of the officers and their wives, and
altogether had a pleasant time. The greater number
of my visitors were Arabs, who upon learning Muley
Ali was domiciled there, came to do homage, many
travelling from long distances. Muley Ahmed had left
Tangier for Fez, Brunes, Taza, and Oujhda, meaning
to end his tour in the Riff Mountains, so I thought
I would go to Oujhda and spend a few days to see
how he was progressing on this journey. I took the
diligence from Tlemcen to Marnia, where I found him
waiting for me with a litter swung between two mules.
I had not brought my side-saddle, and the heat being
so great it was thought better to avail myself of the
litter than of the pack-saddle, which it was my inten-
tion to use. The Commandant and several officers,
to say nothing of the crowds of Europeans, came to
meet me, the last, I suppose out of curiosity to see the
mode of conveyance, and naturally any amount of
Arabs were there, many having accompanied my son
from the Beni Snassen tribe on horses caparisoned
with all the colours of the rainbow. I entered my palan-
quin of painted green and white, upholstered in stone-
coloured material with dark crimson flowers in a
trailing pattern, a mattress, covered with a spotless
sheet, and pillows with silken covers, over which were
muslin ones. There were doors on either side, and
muslin curtains looped or drawn, according to fancy.
The Moorish lady who takes her journey in this
fashion is locked in ; the European shuts up one side
only, and reads, chats, or sleeps, as the mule in front
trots along; the side mule takes the hind shafts.
The motion is not unpleasant on level ground, but on

zigzag, stony tracks, and up and down hill, is not”



quite a sedative to the nerves. Then what troubles
me is the shouting of the muleteers or the sudden
shunting of the litter, as sometimes the snake-like
roads or rather tracks will send the litter out of the
perpendicular. There is no fear of a somersault, but
the impression that there will be one is there all the
same. After a day’s travelling these troubles are no
longer noticed.

I remained a few days in Oujhda, visiting, and
being invited by old acquaintances, particularly by
the Beni Snassen tribe, who are mostly Taibians
(Wazan sect), and returned as I went, except that
my son, Muley Ahmed, accompanied me only part
of the way. Being a day late in Marnia, I missed
a dinner at the Commandant’s to which I was invited.
Violent toothache detained me, so the ice-pudding
which had been specially prepared had melted before
my arrival. I remained a day or two to enable me
to visit our estate at Hammam Bougrarah, and to
my detriment, for I became infected with malaria,
for the first time in my life, and was some days
in bed when I returned to Tlemcen. The heat at
Marnia was remarkable for a couple of days : people
fell exhausted in every direction.

Muley Ali now left with his regiment for Mecheria,
and I returned to Tangier to await Muley Ahmed’s
arrival from the Riff. Such an ovation as he received
took us all by surprise. Fortunately a European
friend was able to photograph the procession when
it was mounting one of the inclines to the Marshan.


MULEY ALI’S time was up in the 2nd Chasseurs
d’Afrique in 1897, and thoughts of procuring him a
suitable wife was the next undertaking no very
enviable task, for she had to be good-looking, to
bear a name uncommon in the country, and to possess
several virtues. In fact I did not know where to
look for the young lady required. Suddenly it occurred
to me that, on my visits to Tetuan, I had been attracted
by a rather fair-haired baby. Later I knew her as a
toddling little girl with fair complexion and hair,
and again I remembered her uncommon appellation,
Schems-ed-dah, or “the break of dawn.” So planning
a shooting expedition Tetuan way, I could, on pretext
of resting, visit them without arousing the suspicion
of her family. Otherwise, if the object of my visit
had been known, the young Shareefa would not have
been present.

I took with me a lady friend who was an artist,
and she unperceived made a rough sketch of the
young girl, while I engaged her in conversation.
Three visits sufficed for us, my son and I, to come
to a decision, and I then formally demanded the young
lady’s hand in marriage for my eldest son, from the
Shareef Sid Ahmed ben Thaumi, a descendant of
Muley Thaumi of Wazan. Although my little ruse
had succeeded, I was terribly anxious about the



results. I suppose a Moorish mother does not ex-
perience the qualms that I did, and many a bad
night I passed, especially as the weddings drew near,
uncertain as to whether I had been fortunate in my
choice of partners for life for my two boys. I will
only add that I hope every mother may be as fortunate
as I have been in the possession of daughters-in-law.
I think if I had given the least encouragement to
Muley Ali, he would have preferred a European ; at
the same time he knew that such a course would be
prejudicial to his prestige, which was not equal to
his father’s a prestige which no one has obtained since
his death, and in my opinion, never will. Locally
the sons may be influential, but throughout the length
and breadth of Morocco ( I may be wrong) the extreme
/ veneration for the Grand Shareef of Wazan is on
the wane. Muley Alarbi succeeded his father, being
the eldest son, nevertheless he made no particular
stir in the Mohammedan world up to the time of
his death. His son Muley Taib seems to have fewer
adherents still, my sons enjoying quite as great a
prestige, if not more than he does. In procession
my sons take precedence of Muley Taib, my son
Muley Ali being now the senior member of the Wazan

During the wedding celebrations, Wazan had the
aspect of a huge canvas city ; the smell of sulphur was
overwhelming day and night for over a week, from
continual firing, in spite of the quantity of scented
wood burnt in incense-burners all over the town. The
din of the native music of fifes and drums never ceased,
and in the houses, the violin and guitar, ” er rebub,”
a miniature basso, and tambourine would be heard in
the male quarters, or in the female, the derbouga with



hand-clapping accompaniment, and harsh voices that
were not the most pleasing music-makers. A troupe
from Fez were better performers ; though uneducated,
the rhythm is more pleasing to the ear. There was
dancing also at night-feasts ; one woman was really
clever in balancing a tea-tray with teapot, cups, and
saucers on the head, while the body was in contortions.
Another gave a kind of acrobatic performance she
must certainly have enjoyed great muscular pliability
and some dances had been better left out of the

I may, however, say a word about the bridegroom’s
” unbelting.” Muley Ali was introduced first by his
principal groomsmen, and they had to cover him with
my veil or haik which I wore for the occasion. He
passed out at the opposite side to which he entered
three times. The first time I removed his belt, and
the third time tied a calico belt round his waist called
” El Kuffal ” ; that being done, the same ceremony was
gone through for Muley Ahmed ; all the time the music
clanged and the women uttered “zahrits” to their
heart’s content. Then all the visitors came to me to
offer congratulations, the processions re-formed, and
the bridegroom’s departure announced by tremendous
volleys from the matchlocks, while the drums, one
would think, could not remain intact much longer. I
quickly threw off my Moorish garb, and made a rush
to the terrace just in time to see the two winding down
the inclines toward the tomb of Muley Abdullah es-
Shareef. Here evening prayer was held, and they

1 ” El Kuffal ” is the piece of calico used to prevent the steam
escaping from the edges of the iron pot, when meat or chicken is being
cooked for couscous. In olden times, this Kuffal really was used ;
to-day a new piece of calico is used, supposed to represent peace and
plenty to the new household, and to keep off the evil eye.


returned to their temporary home with same ceremony,
the night being spent in tea-drinking, music, and a
sumptuous repast.

The brides were waiting for me, and the question
was how to get me to them. Electing to go to the
second bride first, I was surrounded by some stout
negresses, having previously veiled myself to escape
notice. Half lifted, half on foot, I reached the door
of the house. The problem was how to get in ; I was
wedged in by the crowd, my attendants using their
elbows and fists vigorously. A slight advantage being
gained, I found myself lifted bodily and landed in the
patio or hall, before I had time to realise where I was.
Forthwith I was conducted to the bride’s chamber, but
was not allowed to see her. The tea-drinking was
going forward, and when I was discovered the welcomes
were so hearty, that for a time it was positively pain-
ful. At last I was given the seat of honour, and the
unbelting of the bride was performed by her relatives,
the belt being taken off by two young married women,
who have been married but once. The garments are
left flowing until the eighth day after marriage.

The afternoon or the evening of the unbelting of
the bride, there is observed another little custom, the
origin of which I could not penetrate. It consists in the
women taking in a basket to a certain well the refuse
from the wheat-cleaning used for the wedding. The
men follow in the distance with powder-play and music.
The women carry banners of various colours, of which
I counted over a hundred. A well-dressed negress
poises on her head a basket containing the wheat
refuse. In the basket are buried a pearl necklace, a
gold bracelet, and an egg, the supposed offering to the
guardian spirit of the spring. A great deal of dancing


and singing and ” zahrits ” follow, then the refuse is
thrown into the well after removing the pearl necklace
and bracelet, which are given back to their owners on
the return of the party. A meal is partaken of, and
there is tea-drinking round the well before leaving.

I never reached Bride No. 1 until all the guests had
departed, for the simple reason that the crowd of women
where I was prevented any thought of exit until the
banquet was at an end, and even when I did go, veiled
and with innumerable lighted candles, it was no easy
task. Tetuan brides are also not to be seen before
marriage, but an exception was made in my favour as I
had known her from babyhood, and also she was a
stranger to the Wazan Shorfa, which made it rather
more embarrassing for her, her mother not being present
and only two sisters-in-law being there in place.

The next day was the Day of Amaryha, or the real
wedding day, when as a rule the bride is conveyed at
night in a gaily-covered litter on the back of a mule to
her husband’s house. In the case of brides of my late
husband’s house a travelling litter slung between two
mules is used. I was given the key of the litter to
unlock, and after saluting my new daughter-in-law, she
was lifted out by gaily-dressed slaves, and carried across
the patio or hall to the marriage-chamber, amidst an
indescribable din from musicians and “zahrits” of the
women inside the house, and music and powder-play

For seven days after the wedding the bridegroom
assumes the title of Muley es- Sultan, and as such is
addressed or spoken of as a general rule. The next
ceremony of importance is the belting of the newly-
married couples on the eighth day. To the bride-
groom’s there are few or no ceremonies attached, but


the bride’s belting is more important, as from this day
she is in full control of her household. At Wazan the
customs are slightly different to those of Tangier, and
again at Fez not precisely the same lines are followed.
At Wazan the cheeks should be painted (in the form
of a triangle) a very deep damask-rose colour, and here
and there round this little dots of black, white, and blue
paint. Then a lace-work pattern in a kind of Indian
ink is traced from near the temple down to the jaw-
bone, one-sixth of an inch wide. The same appears
from the centre of the under-lip down the centre of the
chin. A small design is traced between the eyebrows,
which are also well defined with Indian ink and much
lengthened, the eyes are heavily laden with khol, and
the corners slightly extended, the lips painted a bright
vermilion, and the gums stained with walnut juice. All
this put on to a complexion which has been previously
washed with powder and water allowed to dry on,
gives a most grotesque appearance to the person who
has to submit to the custom. In the case of my two
daughters-in-law I had sufficient influence, backed by
my sons, to induce the several families to forego this
disfiguration, and a reasonable amount of rouge and
powder with a few beauty spots from the Indian ink
reed gave the happiest results. A piece of walnut bark
is chewed in order to whiten the teeth, which it does
to a remarkable degree. The treatment of hands
and feet I have described elsewhere at length. Patterns
of lace-work are drawn on the backs of the same, and
the sandal is simulated on the foot ; the Indian ink dots
also form a pattern alongside the henna patterned on
foot or hand. The head is next dressed ; a large red
crape scarf is placed over the white cotton handker-
chief which first covers the hair, the ends of the scarf,


heavily laden with gold thread, hang down the back,
some four or five silk handkerchiefs follow, so arranged
that a line of each is observed across the brow ; the top
or last handkerchief is twisted so that the fluffy fringe
is perfectly loose and takes off the otherwise hard
appearance of this headdress.

The bride reached me with one hundred followers
of all ranks. I sat in a native arm-chair with my feet
on silk cushions. Musicians and Shorfa were with
me. The bride, who came from another room, took
my hands and kissed each in succession, then my
forehead, and placed her gift in my lap. I was then
assisted out of my chair, and placed my daughter-in-law
in my seat, at the same time giving a return present.
I was provided with a seat at her side. Tea-drinking
and music ended the function, the meaning of which
was that I yielded up my authority over my son’s
household to his wife. The same ceremony was
repeated for my second son’s wife. It was a trying
and tiring experience, probably unique for an English-
woman. Nothing was omitted in all the ceremonies
of the honours and respect that the Moors would
have shown to a lady of their own persuasion and
family. Never, wherever I have visited in Morocco,
has the vestige of a slight been offered me. This
was the grand finale of the wedding festivities.

The next thing to be thought of was the return
journey to Tangier, and the despatch of goods and
chattels was forthwith commenced. Settlements of
account were a difficult matter because of the different
value of money at Wazan and Tangier; for although
I had provided what I thought would be sufficient,
I found the supplement much higher than I had
anticipated, not having made allowance for such a


large concourse of people and animals. During half
the time, practically, ten oxen, fifty sheep, and two
hundred and fifty chickens were required for daily
consumption, and for five days seven saifas l of barley
were given out for the guests and animals. A large
chest of tea from England was of great assistance,
so too some ten sacks of sugar, but these did not
carry me through ; and as for candles, which play a
prominent; part in all festivities, there was simply
a demand at all hours for anything from one to six
packets as the case might be. Every afternoon I
used to go to a large room I had turned into a
store for candles, sugar, and tea alone, and with my
list in hand of the Kaids and principal guests give
out so much according to the retinue with this or
that personage. Those who elected to cook their own
food were provided with it in the raw state, and butter
and oil would be included in this dole or ” mouna ”
as it is styled. But for the late Muley Mohammed’s
wife and her army of cooks, and willing hands, I
might have fared badly. There was an absence of
all method in dealing with such a number of people,
and although I had a regular corps of organisers divided
and subdivided, people lost their heads, and had to
be constantly recalled to the duties they had promised
to perform. Then there are those who try to impose
by getting a double ” mouna,” especially in the store,
not realising, I suppose, that all was entered as it
went out. I had four helpers, otherwise I could not
have managed ; they were invaluable, and they knew
if the application for this or that Kaid’s ” mouna” was
legitimate or not. We also took the precaution to
put down the name of the person by whom so much

1 A saffa represents 60 almuds, and an almud weighs about 64 Ibs.


had been sent to this house or tent as the case might
be. However, no hitch occurred, and I settled up to
every one’s satisfaction.

Later the fetes were quoted as having been a great
historical event; it was said that Sidi el Hadj
Abdeslam, had he been alive, would have been quite
satisfied with such complete marriage festivities for
his two youngest sons.


THOUGHTS of Tangier now occupied us. Muley Ali’s
bride was to be taken to her new home, while Muley
Ahmed with his bride elected to remain a few weeks
longer in Wazan, but it was quite six months before
they announced their return. Meanwhile all was
pushed forward for our journey, and although a first
caravan went with effects, our camp was tremendous.
The bride went in a litter, locked in with a travel-
ling companion. It was a comfortable conveyance
upholstered well, and no hard corners to bump one’s
head against like so many Moorish litters. This one
was originally made for me by my sons. On arrival at
the camping- ground for the night, a place is selected
for one or two tents, and the litter is placed where the
marquee is to be raised over it. This is very quickly
accomplished, the servants laying the carpets, and
otherwise furnishing the tent. A large canvas wall,
called Al-frag, surrounds the whole at a short distance,
making the place quite private. No indiscreet eye can
penetrate the interior. The occupant is now free to
move about as she may wish ; her slaves and attendants
are also within the enclosure. When starting, she
regains her litter, the marquee is half raised, and the
mules are easily hitched on, and the start is made for
the next halting- place for the night. The powder-
play, “zahrits” from the women, and native music



accompany the departure, and a gift of some kind,
generally a cow, is brought when starting.

At one place we were much amused at the antics
of a baby camel. The harder the men beat the drums,
the more she frisked and played. She came with the
villagers to meet us in the first instance. I might have
been an old acquaintance, for she hovered round my
tent after having tasted a piece of bread and also a
piece of sugar for the first time in ‘ ; her young life.
Next morning, on the camp being raised, the little
camel was the first to join the procession ; reaching the
boundaries of same, the men called her back, but she
was deaf to their entreaties, no one could catch her ;
eventually she was purchased and presented to the

Tangier was eventually reached; the usual cere-
monies, so often related, were most noisy, and El-
haimo, as we named the camel, caused much
amusement, for on arriving at our house, she too
wished to be received. She walked about the garden
at will, and once got wedged in the passage to the
kitchen. When she was older, she also roamed at
will on the plateau near my house called the Marshan,
people feeding her with bread. At last she had to be
sent away to the country as she would run after
Europeans, thinking every one had bread for her. She
is now a mother of three, and still enjoys music,
attending village, festivities uninvited in the neighbour-
hood, if she is not tethered. When she comes to
Tangier, she makes for the front door and raises the
knocker with her nose, and will not be induced to
leave without her dole. She did not come to Tangier
for two years, but her memory had not failed her.

Muley Ali’s bride was met at the door of my house


(his own was not ready then) by women carrying
milk in a basin. As she entered another basin with
flour and keys was presented ; the place was filled
with women, musicians and all. Next day the newly-
married couple went to their own house, and here a
repetition of marriage festivities on a small scale took
place, the ladies of Tangier coming to call on the bride.
I believe much comment was caused by her unpainted
appearance on this occasion, but being seconded by
my son, I was able to break through the disfiguring
custom of centuries as far as my daughters-in-law are

In June Muley Ahmed returned to Tangier with
his bride, the same ceremonies being observed as when
his brother had arrived, the only difference being that
he took up his residence at his late father’s house in
town. Thirteen months after marriage a little son
was born to them, but he only remained four months
in this world : he was a bonnie baby, but convulsions
were destined to cut off his young life. In 1901
Muley Ali’s son arrived. Great ftes took place,
Tangier society honoured me with their presence ;
many American ladies, visitors at the moment to
Tangier, were present, and were most enthusiastic over
all they saw. Although circulation was difficult on
the name-day, the staircases being as much crowded
with guests as the rooms, I was able to offer a tea
in European fashion in a large marquee raised in
the garden for the purpose. It was surprising how
many ladies took for choice the Moorish tea, that is
black or green tea flavoured with mint or other herbs,
and brewed with the sugar. The Moorish sweets and
pastry seemed also to meet with approval. The sudden
illness of Muley Ahmed’s son, soon to be followed by


his death, unnerved us all ; his father was very ill in
consequence for some time after, and this caused me
the greatest anxiety. I became so run down that I
was ordered away for complete change of air and scene.
I decided to go to England, which I had not visited
for twenty-five years. Muley Ahmed took me to
Gibraltar and put me on board the P. & O. boat. For
many reasons I was delighted to go, for others I was
sorry I had taken this step. Everything on arrival
seemed so changed, to me people looked different,
their mode of speech was foreign to me. Every one
seemed as though they were rushing hither and thither
for dear life’s sake ; the constant traffic unnerved me.
It seemed a case of hurry from morning to night. For
a few days I felt a stranger in a strange land.

It was decided that I should go to Matlock for a
cure, and there I remained three weeks. Although
I received every kindness at the Hydro, I could not
thoroughly enjoy myself. I was amused one evening
to hear a lecture on Morocco. My late husband was
referred to so, too, were my two sons and their mother :
no one was aware of my connection with Tangier, con-
sequently I escaped any questioning on the subject.
A few days later an American gentleman asked me
for some stamps for his collection, having seen the
post-mark on my correspondence. He told me that
in 1875 he was in Gibraltar and wished to go to
Tangier, but was advised to refrain from visiting the
land of cut-throats. Did I know Tangier ? I replied
in the affirmative, and suggested that he had been given
a wrong impression. ” I found that out too late,”
he replied, ” on board the P. & 0. steamer : a lady with
a little girl was on board, and now I come to think
of it,” he said, ” she was not unlike you in appearance.


It could not have been you, though, because this was
twenty-six years ago. Excuse me, but what a remarkable
resemblance.” He went on to recount how this lady’s
daughter had married some Moorish chieftain or Pope
or something of that sort : could I tell him if this poor
misguided creature was still alive ? I promised to
make inquiries and give him the information he
required by letter when I forwarded the stamps I had
promised him. Before leaving England I kept my
promise. Needless to say that the lady this American
met was my mother returning from Tangier with my
youngest sister after the birth of my eldest son Muley
Ali. I found nearly all old friends and acquaintances
scattered in different parts of the world, my home as
I knew it was gone, my father, once Governor of the
Surrey County Gaol, was dead, the gaol pulled down,
and the site converted into recreation grounds by the
Charity Commissioners. What a benefit to the chil-
dren of that over-populated neighbourhood ! Lord
Meath came in communication with my father about
the removal of the bodies of murderers, buried within
the prison, which had to be removed to another resting-
place. These being the perquisites of the Governor
certain negotiations were entailed. Lord Meath did
not know at the time that Mr. Keene was my father,
though I had the pleasure of knowing him and that
most charitable of ladies, Lady Meath, in Tangier,
where her kindness alleviates the lot of many a poor
sick Moorish woman to this day. After a holiday of
three months I returned with far different impressions
of my native land, than I had hitherto treasured up.
My impressions were pleasant in a way, but I could
not eradicate a feeling that something was missing. I
suppose I expected to take up the thread of existence


where I left it, which naturally was an impossibility
in every sense of the word, but the impression re-
mained all the same. Neither did I realise until this
journey how different my mode of life is to the gener-
ality of Europeans, yet I have preserved to an extra-
ordinary extent the manners and customs habitual to
an Englishwoman, and I have trained numbers to
respect them, so that many of the natives do to the
best of their ability. I still try to meet them as far
as it is possible in their manners and customs, and in
all the years I have lived in Morocco, we have never
clashed, so deferential are they to my wishes.

Numerous children born to my sons augmented
the family. Muley Ahmed had been unfortunate in
losing four sons. But one child, delicate from birth,
has lived to be a strong, healthy boy, of the wiry class,
and there is a delightful little daughter. Muley All
has four daughters and one son, having lost the other
at the age of five months. The European layette I
provide for each newcomer seems to be much appre-
ciated by the young mothers, and they profit by all
European comforts in their hour of need. Noise is
the only thing I cannot prevent, and strange to say
it seems to have no ill effect, though to a European
it would be distracting. Directly the birth is an-
nounced, drums, fifes, tom-toms, ” zahrits,” and a hand-
clapping accompaniment take place. Even if in the
dead of night the Shorfa always resort to this ex-
pression of joy, and so it continues more or less until
the name-day, when if possible the revellers’ energies
are redoubled. Up to the age of three years the
little ones wear European clothing throughout, after
that the native dress, but the underclothing is always
European. The nurseries, too, are run on the same



lines. The little girls learn to read and write English
and to do needlework, the little boys have a Moorish
tutor, and come to class with the English governess
daily. I encourage them to converse with me in
English as much as possible ; the boys are particularly
advanced in the language. Naturally, I have to con-
sider the mother’s wishes as to native manners and
customs. Nevertheless I do pretty much as I desire
where the children are concerned, taking care not to
hurt their susceptibilities knowingly, never forgetting
that the parents have a prior right over their children,
though they all practically live with me, sleeping and
taking their meals in European fashion.

The children of the Wazan family at Wazan have
adopted pinafores, and often wear European shoes and
socks, their parents having seen them worn by the
little ones at Tangier. At Tetuan this mode is becom-
ing very general among the upper classes now, especi-
ally in my daughter-in-law’s family. The bathing of
infants from birth has also been adopted there.

Wazan Shareefas have now for the first time received
a foreign education. Very few learn to read and write
Arabic, but the example I have given by teaching the
little ones here has acted as a stimulus in Wazan, some
dozen or more little girls now being instructed in Arabic.
In Fez, years ago, I met two Shareefas so well educated
that they made quite a handsome income by copying
MS. for the notaries and others requiring such work.
The late Sultan Muley Hassan had also a very clever
woman at his Court, Lalla Mamouna, who conducted
much of the Sultan’s correspondence. A woman named
Kana was Kaidess over a tribe in Zemmour for years. It
was the best-governed tribe in the province. She dressed
as a man, and was extremely clever at powder-play.


IF a child is sick or has a tumble or a scratch, the case
must be brought to ” Mamma.” I am their confidante
and peacemaker on all occasions. For the moment
their own mother is a secondary consideration, for it
is always ” Go to your mamma” they hear from her,
whatever the circumstance. By the natives generally
I am considered an authority on infants. Many a
little sufferer is brought to me, often ill from use of
impure feeding-bottles. The natives are very careless
about these. The tube ones I have almost banished,
for in inexperienced hands their use means early death
to the baby. Sometimes I have quite a list of babies,
whose food I regulate, according to age. I have my
doubts as to whether my suggestions are all carried out,
but still the status of the baby is much ameliorated,
and infant mortality considerably reduced by com-
parison with thirty years ago.

When smallpox came it decimated whole families ;
one woman lost twelve children, another ten, and so
it went on, from one disease or another. To-day
50 per cent, of the population will consult a medical
man or lady, and here the good work of the mission-
aries is most noticeable. The effort to convert is a
great error of judgment ; it cannot be done, unless the
converts be removed to a country beyond the fury
of their co-religionists. Perhaps in the near future.



when education and civilisation have penetrated, these
kind people may have more success from labour
which now involves great loss of time and needless
expense. If all the sums expended could be used for
medical work the benefit would be enormous. The
ignorance, especially among the women, is deplorable.
They follow the routine of their religion automati-
cally, but ninety-nine out of a hundred have no theo-
logical knowledge beyond what they pick up from
their fathers, brothers, or husbands. Yet they are
regular in their prayers, particular in the prescribed
ablutions, and tenacious of keeping the great and trying
fast of Ramadan. Fasting thirty days is most trying
to nursing mothers ; even the expectant mother is not
completely exonerated from this trial of faith, whereby
one and all seek to obtain remission of sins from God
through the intercession of His prophet Mohammed.

If by any accident fasting is interrupted after the
day of fast has commenced, the fast must be “paid
back” before the next Ramadan, according to the
number of days that have been polluted in this holy
month. Europeans are most sceptical as to whether
the fast is so religiously kept as reported. I can testify
that having passed through some forty Ramadans or
fasting months in the midst of Mohammedans of all
classes, I have never known any one shirk this religious
obligation voluntarily. Even in cases of sickness,
where due license is given, the patient will refuse to
take medicine or nourishment within the prescribed
hours of fasting, Even habitual drunkards and kieff
smokers refrain from following up their habits. Strong
drink or anything containing alcohol is prohibited
three months in the year to those who have accustomed
themselves to their use, that is to say two months


before Ramadan and during that month. Naturally a
man who is tenacious of the precepts of his religion
would not use any scents of European manufacture,
neither would he wear a gold ring or carry a watch and
chain of same metal, or wear clothes with gold thread
embroideries when at devotions.

A woman can never be over-adorned, and does not
remove any of her jewellery or embroideries in the hour
of prayer. Both male and female cover the head in the
act of praying, the former with the hood of his jelab (a
garment something like a burnous, only sewn up in
front), and the woman arranges a very broad muslin
scarf, or large towel, over her head, almost hiding her

Similar ablutions are ordered for the two sexes.
The prayer-carpet must be strictly sheltered from all
pollutions, and religiously put away after use until it
is again required. Prayers must be recited by the
worshipper bare-footed, and the rosary used after to
repeat a word or sentence the votary has vowed to
repeat daily for a long or short period, until he thinks
fit to change it for some other petition to God. If a
person prays where passers-by are frequent, a pail of
water is generally placed in front during prayer, and at
the conclusion the pail is removed.

With regard to the Koran, that is always kept in a
silken or fine muslin handkerchief. Ablutions take
place before touching the sacred volume, which is
venerated as being the very essence of God. Many of
the precepts are of the finest : if followed out, how happy
the people would be. But alas ! Islam in theory and
Islam in practice differ greatly. The conservatism of
the Islamic faith bars all progress, and must account
for the general standstill of centuries.


One fine morning in June 1903, my second son,
Muley Ahmed, came to me announcing that Mr. Walter
B. Harris, Times correspondent, had been captured by
some mountaineers in Angera, and asked what was
to be done to release our friend of many years’ stand-
ing. Muley Ahmed asked me to write to Sir Arthur
Nicolson to say he was ready to use his good offices,
if Sir Arthur should require the same. In the in-
terval we sent scouts to locate the district where
the unfortunate captive might be detained and, if
possible, to be assured of the real cause of the kid-
napping. There is no doubt that Raisuli was the
instigator, though it suited his purpose to profess
complete ignorance of the outrage. Sir Arthur
worked hard day and night with the Court and local
authorities. Muley Ahmed was almost daily back-
wards and forwards to Angera. News would arrive ;
off would go Muley Ahmed to see if he could get
favourable terms. Even a ransom was offered, but the
tribesmen were far too proud to accept it. Once or
twice a murder was contemplated, but my son was
able to convince the captors that such a course would
be highly detrimental to the ends they had in view.
Several times the expected release was frustrated, even
after the Government had promised to release certain
prisoners ; this being the price demanded for Mr.
Harris. Three long, weary weeks passed, and at last
the Government prisoners, sixteen in number, were
collected in Tangier by the local authorities from
the several prisons on the coast. Very wretched was
the place of confinement of the captive Times corre-
spondent. I believe the mutilated body of a man
bathed in blood was his first discovery in the dungeon-
like hut. This was fortunately removed a few hours


later for burial, nevertheless the habitation was very
creepy-crawly with every description of live-stock, and
of course insanitary in the extreme. My son could
not get near him, and was unaware for some days
of Mr. Harris’s terrible plight. Fortunately for the
prisoner, he had always been on excellent terms with
many of the tribesmen for years, and these relations
served him in good stead, many remembering the
numerous little kindnesses received at his hands.
Communication by correspondence was almost im-
mediately established, and this in a measure facilitated
negotiations which required any amount of ingenuity
and tact during the time of the imprisonment at
Zenat, Raisuli’s stronghold. Eventually, by a ruse,
Mr. Harris was handed over to the Angera tribe. In
the middle of the night our friend was hoisted on
to the back of a mule and taken a six hours’ journey
to Sheik Duas’ village, situated on a high and rocky
eminence, where he was kept twelve days while nego-
tiations were completed between the British Legation
and the local Government authorities.

Muley Ahmed left Tangier early on July 4th for
Angera, to be present at a meeting of the Angera
tribes to discuss the pros and cons of release, many
desiring to retain the Britisher, although they knew
the sixteen prisoners were already in Tangier, waiting
for their liberty. Fortunately Muley Ahmed’s influence
prevailed, and the next morning Mr. Harris was on
the way to Tangier. An attempt was contemplated
by another tribe to re-arrest Mr. Harris en route,
but, as they were outnumbered by his escort, the
idea was abandoned at the last moment. Just on
the borders of the Angera districts, the sixteen
prisoners were to be found, after a communication


had been sent to Sir Arthur that Mr. Harris was
released. There was no official exchange of prisoners.
Four gentlemen, headed by Lord Cranley, son of the
Earl of Onslow, represented the British Legation.
The Moorish prisoners went to their several homes,
and Muley Ahmed with Mr. Harris started for the
British Legation in Tangier, nearing which a large
crowd of Europeans and Moors had collected.

The motley crowd soon closed round the horseman
and his escort, the Spaniards being particularly hearty
in their cheering and cries of ” Bravo, Muley Ahmed !
bien hecho, Muley Ahmed ! ” It was only when Mr.
Harris and my son reached the British Legation that
the enormous crowds dispersed. Since my sons’
marriages, I have ceased travelling about the country
as formerly, and spend my time teaching my daughters-
in-law (apt pupils) my methods of housekeeping.


ON the occasion of the Princess Marie Louise of
Schleswig-Holstein’s visit to Tangier, I had the honour
of preparing a Moorish fete for her. I was assisted
by my daughters-in-law. The patio, or centre hall,
of Muley All’s house lent itself to floral decoration in
the most charming manner, the work being undertaken
by an English nurseryman, whose exquisite taste
shown was the admiration of all. My daughters arrayed
themselves in handsome native dress, and were laden
with jewels, rows of pearls being predominant. A few
of the principal English ladies were invited. The
Princess arrived with her lady-in-waiting, and accom-
panied by Lady Nicolson, the then British Representa-
tive’s wife. She was received at the chief entrance
by my two sons and a numerous suite ; they escorted
the royal party to the second entrance, or house proper,
where the musicians (women) were posted in lines
each side of the corridor. Coloured candles, incense-
burners, and orange and rose-water sprinklers were
freely used, and carried by gaily-dressed women and
slaves, who walked backwards to the door of the recep-
tion room, where I stood, in European attire, with my
two daughters-in-law. Lady Nicolson presented us to
our royal guest, who was conducted to a slightly
raised dais (facing the doorway), covered with a hand-
some panther-skin. After her Highness was seated



the English visitors were presented to the Princess.
Dancing and singing took place in the patio among
the flowers, tea being served in the meantime both in
Moorish and English manner to our visitors. The
children were brought in by their respective nurses,
and duly admired ; the little boys and girls are rather
good-looking, and what is more, sociably inclined. I
experienced some pride in exhibiting my little grand-

A move was then made to traverse the short distance
across the garden to my house, amidst excessively
noisy demonstrations, consisting of derbougas (tom-
toms), tambourines, accompanied by hand-clapping,
and ” zahrits ” (the joy-cry). While the Princess was
in my house, some of the women procured a lot of
flowers, and strewed them on the path to be traversed
when the Princess took her leave, this time from
my principal entrance. The same ceremonies took
place on the royal departure as on arrival, my sons
being present. Sir Arthur and Lady Nicolson kindly
invited me to dine at the British Legation on the
following day. After dinner, I had a memorable con-
versation on the resources of Moorish women in times
of sickness. I explained to her Highness the exceed-
ingly primitive methods in vogue among the Moslem
population, how many lives were lost for want of a
little professional aid at the commencement of many
maladies. And as for nursing the sick, the ignorance
on the most trivial matter was deplorable. I pointed
out that what is really required is a non- sectarian
hospital, containing a maternity ward, with a general
dispensary attached, to be conducted by a lady doctor
and female staff; that would indeed be a boon to this
country. I wish I could see my way to start one,


though it would be difficult, notwithstanding I have
promises of considerable financial aid from America.

Two years after Mr. Harris’s sequestration by Raisuli,
this noted bandit made a second raid, the victims being
Mr. Tom Perdicaris and his step-son, Mr. Varley.
The first intimation I received was the violent ringing
of the telephone bell about 10 P.M. A voice I did not
at first recognise asked hurriedly for my sons. As ill-
luck would have it they were away for a hunting
expedition in Angera, at a short distance from Ceuta.
I could scarcely credit what Mr. Varley related to
me, how Raisuli forcibly entered the house and made
Mr. Perdicaris and himself prisoners. At once I des-
patched a courier to my sons, with a letter asking
them to come in all haste, but being some forty miles
away it took a day or two before they arrived.

At first it was doubtful where the captives were,
but in less than twenty-four hours they were located
at Taradoutz in the Beni Aroz Mountains, quite four-
teen hours’ distance (by mule) from Tangier. Mr.
Perdicaris from a long residence in this country had
won the respect and admiration of all classes of Moors,
and was a real friend in need of them, while his wife
seconded him in so many charitable efforts. Muley
Ali elected to go to the aid of his mother’s friends. I
had known Mr. Perdicaris since 1898. Muley Ali
started with a small escort for Raisuli’s stronghold
after certain preliminary diplomatic arrangements had
been arrived at and completed. Arriving at Taradoutz,
he found Mr. Perdicaris and Mr. Varley in most in-
sanitary quarters, a miserable hut not over five feet
high. Both gentlemen were under lock and key, with
guards armed to the teeth surrounding the cottage.
There was not even a mattress for them to rest upon.


This state of affairs was promptly altered, the
captives being transferred to a tent pitched in the
vicinity of that belonging to my son. Necessaries, too,
arrived from Tangier, and the servants, who had been
forced to follow their master, made life more endurable,
especially when once a regular system of communica-
tion was established.

At first all letters came to me, though eventually
the couriers were enabled to convey them to their
several destinations. Mr. Perdicaris’s able pen has
described his compulsory incarceration so vividly that
it would be superfluous for me to go into details. My
son remained thirty- seven days a voluntary prisoner,
and my second son conveyed the ransom, with an
escort of thirty armed men, and personally handed over
to Raisuli the sum he demanded for the release of the
two captives. To this day Muley Ali is subject at
times to much annoyance from Raisuli, but indirectly
and through those in office under him. His cruelties
to the poor people since he has been made Kaid over
a vast region are more than sad. The widow and
orphan do not escape, any more than the numbers of
men who die in prison, either from hunger or the
effects of the lash. I was told by the Ministers that
Muley Ali’s letters were veritable despatches, and
both Governments interested acknowledged my two
sons’ services most handsomely.

Muley Ahmed er-Raisuli is a Shareef by birth,
and closely connected with the Wazan family. He
is a clever, fairly well-educated man, of rather hand-
some appearance ; his age now is about thirty-eight
years. In his youth choosing companions of the
lowest class, he soon adopted their course of life,
and naturally was involved in many affairs most


discreditable to an ordinary man, much more so to a

In the summer of 1907 I promised to join Muley
Ali, then in Algeria, to enable my two little grandsons
to see some civilised town, and to travel over the railway ;
it had been a long promise I had made the little boys.
I had taken passages, luggage was at the wharf, and was
trying to induce the children to eat something before
starting, when Muley Ahmed, my son, came in hurriedly
and told me that in consequence of Sir Harry Maclean
being kidnapped by Raisuli, he had been officially
requested to postpone his journey. I could not go
alone, so the baggage was brought back. Eventually
it was decided that my son’s good offices would not be
required, though it was then too late for us to start on
our journey, Muley Ali having left Algeria. Later on in
this year I made a tour in Spain with Miss Drummond
Hay, visiting Granada for the first time. The Alhambra
and all its beauties have been described so often by
literary experts, that I will only add that a proposed
sojourn of three days ended in a twelve days’ visit, and
even then I left with many regrets.

At the Reina Cristina Hotel when passing through
Algeciras, at the next table in the dining-room were
some Americans. I little thought at the time that in a
week or two they would be found stranded in Tetuan,
their chartered steamer having been driven away by a
violent hurricane. The road to Angera being insecure,
an overland journey was prohibitive, but for the presence
of my son, Muley Ali, who was on the point of leaving
for Tangier. The lady of the party evidently thought
it necessary to adopt native costume, and if I remember
her husband did the same. Their conception of the
dress was far from a happy one, nor were the animals


they procured likely to induce comfort on a thirty-mile
ride. A few miles out Muley Ali provided them with
comfortable mounts, and enabled them to embark at
Tangier for Gib just in time to catch the American
boat. About the same time two British naval officers
were detained near Ceuta by the notorious Valiente.
Negotiations had almost terminated in a satisfactory
manner, when Valiente refused to deliver up the
prisoners except to my son, Muley Ahmed, who left
Tangier in a British man-o’-war, and within a few
hours brought the late captives to Tangier, and finally
handed them over to the British Consul- General.

In 1909 H.R.H. Princess Henry of Battenberg
visited Tangier. In conjunction with Lady Kirby
Green, widow of a late British Minister in Tangier,
and Miss Drummond Hay, daughter of the late Sir John
Drummond Hay, also a late British Minister in Tangier,
we received a command to go to the British Legation.
Mr. Lister (now Sir Reginald) conducted us to the
salon, and we were duly presented to H.R.H. At first
I think we were all very shy, but the extreme affability
of the Princess soon put us at our ease, especially when a
desire was expressed to know the inner life of a Moorish
household, and I think I absorbed the greater part of
the time, which extended to more than half-an-hour.
Miss Minnie Cochrane was the lady-in-waiting at that
period, a most charming and fascinating person : we
remained a short time to converse with her after the
Princess had retired. In the hall of the Legation we
signed the visiting list, with remembrances of a very
charming and memorable reception.

In October 1910 twins were presented to Muley Ali
by his wife ; gunpowder-play always celebrates the birth
of a Shareef or Shareefa, and here were two Shareefs.

Proctor & Co., Croyrf “-



There was prohibition of this kind of demonstration
except on most rare occasions, on account of Kaisuli’s
depredations. We were all startled to hear the usual
volley ; no one had thought to inform the Government
authorities, so there was general commotion all round.
However, when it became known, no further objection
was made, and a noisy f