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Full text of "My life story."

MY LIFE STORY 






3 




MY LIFE STORY 



BY 

EMILY, SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 



EDITED FOR MME. DE WAZAN BY S. L. BENSUSAN 
AUTHOR OF "MOROCCO," ETC. 



WITH A PREFACE BY R. B. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM 



ILLUSTRATED 



THIRD IMPRESSION 






LONDON 
EDWARD ARNOLD 

1912 

(All rights reserved) 






. .v 



DEDICATED BY PERMISSION 

TO 

H.R.H. PRINCESS HENRY OF BATTENBERG 



280087 



PREFACE 

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 ? 

vii 



viii PREFACE 

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 
Moors. 

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. 



PREFACE ix 

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. 



x PREFACE 

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 
use. 

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. 



PREFACE xi 

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 



xii PREFACE 

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 
practical. 

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. 



PREFACE xiii 

determined enemies of the ladies her husband had 
divorced. 

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 
rank. 

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. 

R. B. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM. 



EDITORIAL NOTE 

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 
kind. 

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 



xvi EDITORIAL NOTE 

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. 

S. L. BENSUSAN. 

September 1911. 




CONTENTS 



CHAP. PAQB 

PREFACE BY R. B. CUNNINGHAME GRAHAM . . vii 

EDITORIAL NOTE xv 

I. MY MARRIAGE ....... 1 

II. THE HOME SANCTUARY 6 

III. MY FIRST-BORN AND THE CEREMONIES ASSOCI- 

ATED WITH HIS BIRTH . . . . .13 

IV. JOURNEYS TO TETUAN, CEUTA, AND GIBRALTAR . 23 
Y. A DIPLOMATIC MISSION AND SOME EXPERIENCES 

ON THE ROAD 31 

VI. THE MEETING IN THE DESERT . . . .43 

VII. BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG THE MOORS ... 64 

VIII. THE SOCIAL SIDE OF MOORISH LIFE ... 73 

IX. MY VISIT TO EUROPE AND A STRANGE EXPERIENCE 80 

X. THE MOORISH TABLE 91 

XI. MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 96 

XII. EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 106 

XIII. THE FIRST VISIT TO WAZAN 115 

XIV. CEREMONIES OBSERVED AT THE MARRIAGE OF LALLA 

HEBA 125 

XV. A SECOND VISIT TO WAZAN AND SOME LEGENDS 

OF THE CITY. THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA . 139 
XVI. THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA AND AN ACCOUNT 

OF MOURNING CEREMONIAL . . . .153 

XVII. WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS . . . .162 

*vii b 



xviii CONTENTS 

CHAP. PAGE 

XVIII. MORE TRAVELS IN THE SOUTH OF ALGERIA . .175 

XIX. THE JOURNEY HOME 181 

XX. MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY . . . 191 

XXI. SOME MOORISH SUPERSTITIONS .... 204 

XXII. I ENTERTAIN LARGELY: THE SHADOW OF CHANGE 210 

XXIII. THE BEGINNING OF DOMESTIC TROUBLES . .215 

XXIV. THE PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES .... 226 
XXV. THE ILLNESS OF THE SHAREEF .... 235 

XXVI. NEARING THE END 243 

XXVII. His DEATH AND BURIAL 249 

XXVIII. How I TOOK MY SONS TO THE MOORISH COURT : 

SOME STRANGE DREAMS .... 255 

XXIX. ANOTHER VISIT TO EUROPE . . . .269 

XXX. THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS .... 275 

XXXI. I REVISIT ENGLAND 284 

XXXII. THESE LATTER DAYS 291 

XXXIII. LAST WORDS 297 

APPENDICES (3) 305 

INDEX 323 



ILLUSTRATIONS 

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

THE MARKET PLACE OF TETUAN 26 
PREPARING FOR A BOAR HUNT IN THE ANGERA 

COUNTRY . . /. . 

ALONG THE COUNTRY ROAD . . . . 4G 
AN EARLY PHOTO (1883) OF MOHAR WITH MY 

Two SONS, MULEY ALI AND MULEY AHMED 66 
REMAINS OF ROMAN BRIDGE, TANGIER . . 78 
THE VEGETABLE MARKET OF TANGIER . . 78 
THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN IN ALGERIAN COS- 
TUME 92 

K. SUBURB OF WAZAN ,,122 

MY LITTER READY FOR THE JOURNEY . . 132 

A BRIDAL LITTER 132 

OUTSIDE TETUAN 202 

THE GARDEN OF THE GRAND SHAREEF IN 

WAZAN 232 

His HIGHNESS THE LATE HADJ ABDESLAM BEN 

ALARBI, GRAND SHAREEF OF WAZAN . ,, 250 
MULEY AHMED BEN ABDESLAM, SHAREEF OF 

WAZAN (1898) 260 



xx ILLUSTRATIONS 

MULEY ALI BEN ABDESLAM, SHAREEF OF WAZAN 

(1904) To face page 276 

THE MOSQUE OF THE GRAND SHAREEF IN 

WAZAN 290 

MULEY AHMED AND HIS NEPHEW, MULEY HASSAN 290 

EMILY, SHAREEF A OF WAZAN IN 1910 . . 302 



MY LIFE STORY 



CHAPTER I 

MY MARRIAGE 

" 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 

A 



- 

2 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY MARRIAGE 3 

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 



4 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY MARRIAGE 5 

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 
concluded. 



CHAPTER II 
THE HOME SANCTUARY 

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 



THE HOME SANCTUARY 7 

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 



8 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE HOME SANCTUARY 9 

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 



10 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE HOME SANCTUARY 11 

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. 



12 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER III 

MY FIRST-BORN AND CEREMONIES ASSOCIATED 
WITH HIS BIRTH 

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 

13 



14 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY FIRST-BORN 15 

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 
partner. 

"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 



16 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY FIRST-BORN 17 

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 



18 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY FIRST-BORN 19 

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 



20 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY FIRST-BORN 21 

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. 



22 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTEE IV 

JOURNEYS TO TETTJAN, CEUTA, AND GIBRALTAR 

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. 

23 



24 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



TETUAN, CEUTA, AND GIBRALTAR 25 

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, 



26 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 



TETUAN, CEUTA, AND GIBRALTAR 27 

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 
unstrung. 

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 " 



28 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

(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. 



TETUAN, CEUTA, AND GIBRALTAR 29 

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 



30 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER V 

A DIPLOMATIC MISSION AND SOME EXPERIENCES 
ON THE ROAD 

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- 
si 



32 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



A DIPLOMATIC MISSION 33 

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 

c 



34 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



A DIPLOMATIC MISSION 35 

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 



36 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



A DIPLOMATIC MISSION 37 

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 



38 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



A DIPLOMATIC MISSION 39 

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 



40 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



A DIPLOMATIC MISSION 41 

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 
Algeria. 

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 
capacities. 

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. 



42 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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*. 



CHAPTER VI 
THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 

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, 

43 



44 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 
sented. 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 45 

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 



46 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 




ALONG THE COUNTRY ROAD. 




A BOAR HUNT IN THK ANGERA COUNTRY. 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 47 

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. 



48 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 49 

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 



50 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 51 

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 



52 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 53 

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 
turned. 

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, 



54 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 ; 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 55 

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 



56 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
refused. 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 57 

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 



58 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 59 

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 



60 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 61 

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 



62 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE MEETING IN THE DESERT 63 

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. 



CHAPTER VII 

BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG THE MOORS 

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 

64 



BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG MOORS 65 

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. 

E 



66 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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* 
AN EARLY PHOTO (1883) OK MOHAR WITH THE SHAREEFA's TWO SONS, 

Mr LEY AM AND MUI.KY AHMED. 



BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG MOORS 67 

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. 



68 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG MOORS 69 

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 
ago. 

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 



70 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



BIRTH CEREMONIES AMONG MOORS 71 

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 



72 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
midwife. 



CHAPTER VIII 
THE SOCIAL SIDE OF MOORISH LIFE 

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. 

73 



74 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



SOCIAL SIDE OF MOORISH LIFE 75 

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 
done. 

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 



76 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



SOCIAL SIDE OF MOORISH LIFE 77 

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 



78 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

to-day in families where the tea was once considered 
indispensable. 

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 







msm 

White. 



REMAINS OF ROMAN BRIDGE, TANGIER. 




THE VEGETABLE MARKET OF TANGIER. 



SOCIAL SIDE OF MOORISH LIFE 79 

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 
day. 



CHAPTER IX 

MY VISIT TO EUROPE AND A STRANGE 
EXPERIENCE 

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 

80 



MY VISIT TO EUROPE 81 

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 

F 



82 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO EUROPE 83 

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. 



84 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO EUROPE 85 

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 



86 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO EUROPE 87 

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 



88 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO EUROPE 89 

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 
father. 

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 



90 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTEE X 
THE MOORISH TABLE 

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 

91 



92 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 




THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN IN ALGERIAN COSTUME. 



THE MOORISH TABLE 93 

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 



94 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



THE MOORISH TABLE 95 

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. 



CHAPTER XI 
MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 

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. 

96 



MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 97 

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 
journey. 

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 

G 



98 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 



MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 99 

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 
replaced. 

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 



100 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 101 

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 



102 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
blessing. 

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 



MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 103 

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 



104 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY JOURNEY TO FEZ 105 

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. 



CHAPTER XII 
MY EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 

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 

X06 



MY EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 107 

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 



108 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 109 

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- 



110 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



MY EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 111 

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 



112 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY EXPERIENCES IN FEZ 113 

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 

H 



114 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XIII 
MY VISIT TO WAZAN 

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. 

115 



116 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO WAZAN 117 

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 



118 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
ceased. 

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 



MY VISIT TO WAZAN 119 

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. 



120 THE SHAKEEFA OF 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 



MY VISIT TO WAZAN 121 

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 



122 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO WAZAN 123 

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 



124 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XIV 

CEREMONIES OBSERVED AT THE MARRIAGE 
OF LALLA HEBA 

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, 

125 



126 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 127 

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 



128 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 129 

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 
incense-burners. 

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

bride, and the guests offer congratulations on the effect 

i 



130 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 131 

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 



132 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 




A BRIDAL LITTER. 




Tin; SHAREEFA'S LITTER READY FOR THE JOURNEY. 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 133 

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 



134 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 135 

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- 



136 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

longed, and the musicians in the house play their 
hardest. 

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 



MARRIAGE OF LALLA HEBA 137 

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 



138 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XV 

A SECOND VISIT TO WAZAN AND SOME LEGENDS 
OF THE CITY. THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA. 

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 

139 



140 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 141 

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 



142 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 143 

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 



144 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 145 

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 

K 



146 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 147 

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 



148 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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, 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 149 

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 
Mohammed. 

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 



150 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
dangerous. 

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 



THE DEATH OF LALLA HEBA 151 

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 



152 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
Tangier. 



CHAPTER XVI 

THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA AND AN ACCOUNT 
OF MOURNING CEREMONIAL 

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. 
153 



154 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA 155 

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 



156 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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, 



THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA 157 

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, 



158 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA 159 

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 



160 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE BURIAL OF LALLA HEBA 161 

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 
population. 



CHAPTER XVII 

WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 

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 

162 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 163 

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 



164 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 165 

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 



166 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 167 

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 



168 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 169 

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. 



170 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 171 

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 



172 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



WITH THE DWELLERS IN TENTS 173 

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 



174 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

MORE TRAVELS IN THE SOUTH OF ALGERIA 

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 

175 



176 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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." 



TRAVELS IN SOUTH OF ALGERIA 177 

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. 

M 



178 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



TRAVELS IN SOUTH OF ALGERIA 179 

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 



180 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XIX 
MY JOURNEY HOME 

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 

181 



182 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
roof. 

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 



MY JOURNEY HOME 188 

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 



184 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY JOURNEY HOME 185 

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, 



186 THE SHAKEEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY JOURNEY HOME 187 

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 



188 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
successes. 

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; 



MY JOURNEY HOME 189 

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 



190 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
recovering. 

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. 



CHAPTER XX 

MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 

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 
tribes. 

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 

191 



192 THE SHAREEF A OF WAZAN 

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 






MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 193 

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 

N 



194 THE SHAREEFA OF VVAZAN 

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 
more. 

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 



MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 195 

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 



196 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 197 

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, 



198 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 199 

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 



200 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 201 

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 



202 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY VISIT TO THE RIFF COUNTRY 203 

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. 



CHAPTER XXI 

SOME MOORISH SUPERSTITIONS 

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 

204 



SOME MOORISH SUPERSTITIONS 205 

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 



206 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



SOME MOORISH SUPERSTITIONS 207 

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 
known. 

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, 



208 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



SOME MOORISH SUPERSTITIONS 209 

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. 



CHAPTER XXII 

I ENTERTAIN LARGELY THE SHADOW OF CHANGE 

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 

210 



THE SHADOW OF CHANGE 211 

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- 



212 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE SHADOW OF CHANGE 213 

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 



214 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
written. 



CHAPTER XXIII 
THE BEGINNING OF DOMESTIC TROUBLES 

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 

215 



216 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



DOMESTIC TROUBLES 217 

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 



218 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



DOMESTIC TROUBLES 219 

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. 



220 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
attention. 

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 



DOMESTIC TROUBLES 221 

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 



222 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



DOMESTIC TROUBLES 223 

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 



224 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



DOMESTIC TROUBLES 225 

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. 



CHAPTER XXIV 

THE PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES 

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 

226 



THE PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES 227 

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 
sold. 

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 



228 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
days. 

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 



THE PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES 229 

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 



230 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES 231 

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. 



232 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE PROGRESS OF MY TROUBLES 233 

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 
actions. 



234 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
kinds. 



CHAPTER XXV 

THE ILLNESS OF THE SHAREEF 

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 ? " 

235 



236 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE ILLNESS OF THE SHAREEF 237 

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 



238 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 ILLNESS OF THE SHAREEF 239 

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 



240 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE ILLNESS OF THE SHAREEF 241 

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 

Q 



242 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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." 



CHAPTER XXVI 

NEAKING THE END 

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 

243 



244 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



NEARING THE END 245 

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 
career. 

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. 



246 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



NEARING THE END 247 

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 
cause. 

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 



248 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XXVII 
THE DEATH AND BURIAL OF MY HUSBAND 

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." 

249 



250 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
clasp. 




Photo, by Cavilla oj Tangitr 

His HIGHNESS THE LATE HADJ ABDESLAM BEN ALARBI, GRAND SHAREEF 

OF WAZAN. 



DEATH AND BURIAL OF HUSBAND 251 

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 



252 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



DEATH AND BURIAL OF HUSBAND 253 

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 
white. 



254 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XXVIII 

HOW I TOOK MY SONS TO THE MOORISH 
COURT : SOME STRANGE DREAMS 

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 

255 



256 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 257 

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 
way. 

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 



258 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 259 

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 



260 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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., 

MUI.EY AHMED BEX ABDESLAM, SIIAREEF OF WAZAN (1898) 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 261 

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. 



262 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 263 

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 



264 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 265 

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 



266 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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, 



MY SONS AT MOORISH COURT 267 

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 
1288. 

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 



268 THE SHAKEEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
security. 



CHAPTER XXIX 

ANOTHER VISIT TO EUROPE 

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 



270 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



ANOTHER VISIT TO EUROPE 271 

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. 



272 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



ANOTHER VISIT TO EUROPE 273 

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" 

s 



274 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XXX 
THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS 

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 

275 



276 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 
family. 

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 




MULEY ALI BEN ABDESLAM, SHAREEF OF WAZAN, AS AN OFFICER IN THE 
FRENCH ARMY (1904) 



THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS 277 

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 
programme. 

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. 



278 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS 279 

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 
outside. 

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 



280 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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, 



THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS 281 

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 



282 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



THE MARRIAGE OF MY SONS 283 

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. 



CHAPTER XXXI 
I REVISIT ENGLAND 

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 

284 



I REVISIT ENGLAND 285 

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 
bride. 

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 



286 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

(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 
concerned. 

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 



I REVISIT ENGLAND 287 

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. 



288 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



I REVISIT ENGLAND 289 

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 

T 



290 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XXXII 
THESE LATTER DAYS 

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. 

291 



292 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THESE LATTER DAYS 293 

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 
face. 

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. 



294 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



THESE LATTER DAYS 295 

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 



296 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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. 



CHAPTER XXXIII 
LAST WORDS 

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 

297 



298 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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- 
children. 

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, 



LAST WORDS 299 

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. 



300 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 



LAST WORDS 801 

discreditable to an ordinary man, much more so to a 
Shareef. 

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 



302 THE SHAREEFA OF WAZAN 

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 "- 

EMILY SHAREEFA OF WAZAN IN 1910. 



LAST WORDS 303 

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<He took place, which certainly 
was equal to that of birth celebrations in honour of 
the first grandson's arrival. 

Here I end my story, trusting that my friends of 
both continents have not been bored by the perusal 
of the foregoing pages. I claim no literary merit, 
and by special request have I written these experiences 
of my twofold life. I do not advise any one to 
follow in my footsteps, at the same time I have not 
a single regret, and hope that my forty years' resi- 
dence among the Moors may reflect some benign 
influence on the future. 



APPENDICES 

APPENDIX I. SAYINGS AND SUPERSTITIONS 
AMONG THE MOORS 

MEN and women alike of all classes, but the women par- 
ticularly, believe these sayings : 

The last rains in May, called El Nisan, contain untold 
blessings. The walls of the house should be sprinkled with 
the water, the head should be washed with it to promote 
a luxurious growth. Mix flour with rain water and pre- 
serve it as leaven, for plenty. 

In the first month of the year, El Ashor, it is unlucky 
to purchase a broom ; the same holds good for the month 
of May, O.S. If necessity compels such a purchase the 
broom must be brought into the house over the wall, and 
not through the doorway. 

It is unlucky to sweep out the kitchen before lighting 
the morning fire. 

It is unlucky to sweep out a room after 3 P.M. 

Where children are, leaven must never be given to a 
neighbour after 3 P.M., or the children will contract 
pustules round their mouths. 

Do not lend garments in which you have sewn charms 
for preservation of your own health to a childless woman, 
or you will fall ill and so will the person to whom you lent 
the clothes. 

Children under two months old must not have their 
laundry out of doors after 3 P.M., otherwise they will 
cry all night. 

A woman of Beni M'sara (near Wazan) coming into 
your house must spit on your infant in arms, or the child 
will fall ill 

305 



306 APPENDIX I 

On the day of birth, a knife, salt, and miniature loaf 
are placed under the child's pillow. The child is covered 
with a pair of its father's drawers to prevent it being 
changed by evil spirits. 

A woman who has had the misfortune to lose all her 
children except the first one at birth, takes a sieve and 
rolls it behind this surviving child, whom she burns on the 
heel with a spoon-handle every time another child is born, 
so that its brother or sister may live. 

The dinner-table must not be washed at night, lest evil 
spirits attack the inmates of the house. 

Never uncover a dish of any kind without asking a 
blessing (" Bismillah "). 

The earth being supported on the horns of a white ox, 
a change of horns causes an earthquake. 

In the early morn on the first day of Spring, cull herbs 
of all kinds, asking a wish to be granted with each sprig as 
gathered. The wishes may be good or bad. 

Sufferers from the evil eye should procure a broad bean 
containing five pods. These pods should be dried and 
powdered and enclosed in a silver case which represents in 
embossed work the five beans. Women and children also 
wear this kind of amulet on their belt cords. 

No one should go to bed on Ansara Day (a fete no 
doubt akin to St. John's Day), nor should needle-work be 
done. Bonfires must be lighted, all fruits in season par- 
taken of, and those who possess a garden must make 
presents of fruit to their friends. Native music is played 
at intervals during the festival. Jumping over the bonfire 
brings a happy year. 

It always rains on 13th April (1st April O.S.), because 
March and April quarrelled about an extra day. March 
won and obtained thirty-one days for his month, and April 
always weeps for her lost day. 

It is most unlucky to shave or cut hair on a 
Wednesday. 

It is most unlucky to start on a Tuesday for a long 
journey or to commence any big undertaking on that day; 
thereby disaster is courted. 



APPENDIX I 307 

A sure cure for witchcraft of all kinds is the following : 
Take the leg of a chameleon, seven needles, a piece of 
steel, fashouk (a kind of gum), a small piece of myrtle root, - 
and seven leaves of the same plant, sew all into a cloth 
bag, and wear night and day as an amulet. No harm from 
man or devil can befall any one who wears this constantly. 

Jumping at sunrise and sunset induces pains in back 
and loins. 

Never measure a young girl's hair with the hand ; it 
arrests the growth. 

Never eat while another looks on; ill-luck will befal 
you for a year. 

Never refuse milk, or anything sweet when offered ; or 
a cushion when seated. The last is a great discourtesy, 
even if the cushion be not required. 

If in doubt as to whether your food is bewitched, take 
a steel knife and cross the dish with it. Danger is thus 
averted. 

The person who breaks bread for a meal, will age 
before the others who are sitting round the table. 

The breaking of crockery takes away an ill-turn that 
might have been done to the owner. In the Shareefs 
house the servants were always ready with " God preserve 
the life of Sidi" when there was a smash, thinking that 
quite sufficient apology for great carelessness. 

In certain Arab districts a woman is supposed to 
hypnotise the cows of her neighbours with such success that 
at milking-tirne only the poorest milk is obtained from them. 
This she does by going in a nude state in the dead of night 
among the animals and reciting certain maledictions on the 
people she wishes to injure. It is also possible that after 
this visit the whole of the encampment will find no milk 
worth churning. To remedy this state of affairs, a black 
cow must be sought surreptitiously. When such is found, a 
few hairs must be taken from between the horns, and the 
same from between the shoulder and top of tail. Now go 
to the cow or cows that are bewitched, and collect your 
churn, or skim, and other milking utensils near a fire on 
which you must place the black cow's hair. The smoke 



308 APPENDIX I 

will break the spell. Incantations must not be forgotten 
during the process. All this must take place in the dead 
of night. Next morning the milk will be better than ever, 
and there will be plenty of butter next churning-day. 

Twitching of the eyelid portends advent of strangers. 

Lip-quivering means an unexpected visit from relation 
or friend. 

Itching of the cheek means a pleasant surprise. 

Dreaming of teeth falling out, means that there is a 
death to be announced. 

Itching at the top of the nose has the same meaning. 

Itching between ear and nose presages annoyance. 

An itching right eyebrow means that people are talking 
ill-naturedly, the left eyebrow means that praise is being 
spoken. 

If the top of the chin itches, your next dish of meat 
will be greasy. 

Right hand itching indicates money to be received; 
left hand itching denotes that you will pay an unexpected 
account. 

Side of foot itching tells that you are going to a house 
for the first time on a visit. 

Buy mixed incense on the first day of Ashor (first day 
of lunar year) to keep off the evil eye and evil spirits for 
the ensuing year. 

Three brides of the same date must not meet for forty 
days ; if they do the consequences are that one or other 
will be divorced in the like period. 

If a young mother meets another young mother before 
the children are forty days old, it will be fatal to one of 
the babies. 

A bride-elect must not use a looking-glass for five days 
before marriage. Three days after the wedding she must 
first see her face reflected in a basin of oil. By doing so 
she remains beautiful for ever. 

A bride and bridegroom may not eat chicken during 
the first seven days of marriage, otherwise there will be 
bickerings all their lives. 

If a wedding takes place in extraordinarily wet weather, 



APPENDIX I 809 

the bride-elect and bridegroom, the former with her eyes 
covered, must laugh in a looking-glass. Fine weather for 
a time may possibly be the result. 

No one must sit in a doorway to eat ; scandal will be 
propagated with reference to those who do so. 

A bride on arrival at her new home must be presented 
with a basin of milk and half a date. The same ceremony 
is observed for the bridegroom to promote peace. After- 
wards the bride's hand is immersed in a basin of flour, in 
which a key has been buried. This is done for plenty, 
and the seizure of the key, which is that of her domicile, 
means she becomes mistress of her house. 

Newly-married couples must vie with each other to be 
the first to do the other some service. Generally the bride- 
groom is the most alert ; if the bride succeeds in being first, 
then she will rule the man all their married life. 

If a candle gutters when a woman is in labour, a girl 
may be expected; a steady light presages the advent of 
a boy. 

Don't comb your hair at night, and on Wednesdays 
avoid doing so or it will fall out and never be replenished. 

Two sisters must avoid combing their hair in the same 
room at the same time, or they will quarrel desperately. 

Don't eat standing, or drink either, otherwise you will 
stand all your life. 

Do not permit children under a year to drink water, or 
their guardian spirit will forsake them. 

Accidental spilling of milk or oil portends good luck. 

Clothes washed on Tuesday, Saturday, and the last 
Wednesday of the month never come out properly 
cleansed. 

It is most unlucky to repair garments on a Monday or 
after 3 P.M. on any day. 

Never awaken a person suddenly. Time must be taken 
to enable the spirit to return to the body, 

Be careful not to put clothes on inside out on Friday, 
as it is God's day. 

A girl who has had no offer of marriage, although, all 
her friends of her age are married, is taken to a female 



310 APPENDIX I 

saint's tomb near the sea, where ninety-nine measures of 
sea-water, from a small wheat measure, are poured on her 
head, to break the spell. Within a month she will have 
offers of marriage. 

It is unlucky to take an infant from its mother's bed, 
or show it to outsiders before the name-day. Friends who 
attend for the first bath can then see it for the first time. 
After dressing the babe, the midwife takes it to the middle 
of the house, while salt is strewn before her. She then 
presents the child to the four points of the compass, 
mentioning them as she does so. This custom is to ensure 
long life and avert the evil eye. 

Some children are not properly bathed until the com- 
pletion of one year. The child is then taken to the public 
bath, accompanied by friends carrying lighted candles, 
Cries of " Zahrits " rise continually, as salt is sprinkled on 
the ground traversed. The child's shirt must be left in 
the bath-house to prevent illness. 

On the first seven days after a birth no sweepings must 
be taken out of the room, but must remain hidden under 
a divan. On the evening preceding the name-day, while 
the mother is in the Hamman, or steam- bath, the sweepings 
are collected in a basket, over which, before it is taken 
from the room, the child in the arms of the midwife or 
another is passed three times, with an incantation to the 
effect that none of the child's luck may be swept away. 

If a baby's hair is combed before it is a year old, large 
teeth will be the result. 

If a person labours under an evil spell, procure a lizard, 
kill, dry and powder it and burn incense. 

The saying is that the first ten days of Ramadan the 
body feeds on the flesh, the second ten days the bones 
contribute to the nourishment of the body, and the third 
ten days the blood must yield its quota to the same end. 
Consequently at the end of the thirty days, the whole of 
the human frame has been chastened. 

Never blow out a candle, but fan or pinch it out. It 
is illegal, as the sparks might cause fire, and you might also 
blow into the face of your guardian spirit. 



APPENDIX I 311 

In handing a pair of scissors to another person, place 
them on the back of the hand, or beside the person who 
has made the request; otherwise violent quarrelling will 
take place in the household. 

Always present the two palms upwards to receive a gift 
of food, either in large or small quantities. 

The fetes observed in the Mohammedan year (lunar 
Calendar) are the Ashor, or first month ; then the Mulood, 
third month ; Ergim the seventh month, a day of inter- 
cession ; another fast day occurs on the eighth month, called 
Sharban ; the ninth month, Ramadan, for the great fast of 
thirty days; the Aid Schrir fetes, tenth month; and the 
Aid-el-Kebir, twelfth month, for sacrifice. There are several 
other non-compulsory feasting days during the year, and 
every year sees them less observed. 

With reference to the Ashor, this may be regarded as a 
children's fete at the commencement. It is New Year's 
Day, and on the market-place round about, acrobats, story- 
tellers, and sweetmeat-vendors are to be found. Toys of 
native manufacture are disappearing and are being replaced 
by European ones, though the doll's bride-box or litter can 
still be obtained in some towns. Tom-toms gaily painted 
are found in profusion, and the higher class generally supply 
every female member of the household with one. The 
children often have quite a number given by relatives and 
friends. The poorest person will manage to obtain some 
new garment, if only a cotton handkerchief, but the gentry 
are more lavish, and dress their household gaily. From the 
tenth, no one is supposed to wash, shave, or change linen. 
Shorfa must be very particular about this. 

The custom of mourning the death of the Prophet 
Mohammed is almost a thing of the past. Fetes of all 
descriptions in this month of Ashor are dispensed with, and 
the musician's instruments are likewise dumb at this epoch 

The next fete to be celebrated is the birth of Mo- 
hammed on the twelfth of the Mulood. Visits are paid to 
friends, the country people arrive in their thousands to have 
a good time with their town relations, and to witness the 



312 APPENDIX I 

processions to the several saints' houses and tombs, where 
an ox or a sheep is sacrificed. The eighteenth of the 
month is most prolific in sacrifices, and the patron saint of 
Tangier, Sidi Mohammed el Hadj, is the recipient of more 
offerings, as it is here the children are taken on the nine- 
teenth, to be circumcised. Each child is given a piece of 
meat and some sweets to take home after the ceremony. 
The higher classes generally do not avail themselves of 
public circumcision, the rite taking place within the pre- 
cincts of the house, at a convenient date. On the twentieth, 
the Aissowi and Hammadashas come in procession from 
Mequinez for the former, and from Zarhoun for the latter. 
Of late years these respective sanctuaries have not been 
reached, in consequence of the unsettled state of the country, 
so in Tangier adherents of these sects have been obliged to 
content themselves with visiting saints' tombs near at 
hand, and making the same formal entry as is customary 
on the longer journey. People of all nationalities flock to 
see them. I witnessed horrible sights once during my resi- 
dence in Tangier, and am not anxious to repeat the experience. 
The first full moon in July sees the procession of 
the faithful starting from the beach about 4 P.M. for the 
shrine of Muley Abdeslam ben M'Sheesh (an ancestor 
of the Wazan family) situated in the Ben Aros Mountains, 
a spur of which is called the Hill of Muley Abdeslam. 
The pilgrimage to this saint's tomb ranks as second 
to that of Mecca. The outfit of some of the pilgrims 
is grotesque, the little donkeys laden with kitchen utensils, 
and apologies for tent-poles and awnings, the women 
with bundles on their backs which may represent either 
a baby or the family larder for the next two or three 
days, provisions not being easily obtainable en route. The 
better-class Moor will be mounted on his well-groomed 
mule, and any lady or ladies of his household may also 
accompany him or join later in the day. The ladies 
are mounted also on mules with scarlet saddles. They 
ride astride closely enveloped in cloth burnouses, the 
face covered with a white handkerchief, coming from the 
neck to the tip of the nose, and another meets this one 



APPENDIX I 313 

from the top of the head, just permitting the eyes to 
be used. The hood of the burnous is brought over 
the head, low on to the forehead, and a silken cord wound 
round and round outside the hood to keep all secure. 
The start is made with music and banners, and no attempt 
at order is possible or considered necessary. People 
generally return in straggling groups on the fifth day 
from departure, others will elect to visit certain saints' 
tombs in and near Tetuan before returning home. 

Another fast occurs in the month of Egrim, the 
seventh month, entitled El Monharadj. On this day 
the prophet Mohammed remained standing on one leg 
for twenty-four hours before God, pleading for the re- 
mission of Islam's sins. The first Thursday in this month 
is also a fasting day. Sharban, eighth month, also has 
two days set apart for fasting, then comes the general 
fast of Ramadan, from which no one can be exempt, except 
for the most legitimate excuse, such as severe illness, 
a long journey, and various maladies incident to women. 
The pregnant woman is also pardoned, nevertheless she 
never takes advantage of the indulgence unless circum- 
stances compel her to break her fast. Not one hour 
is abated, and before the next Ramadan every lost day 
must be repaid by a day of fasting chosen at your own 
convenience. The penalty of failure is to give freedom 
to a slave, and to observe two months' fasting in succession 
after the general fast. By some it is said that every 
missing day counts as one month, thus two days incom- 
pleted before next Ramadan would involve two months 
fast. The Aid Schrir, or tenth month, is celebrated with 
much pomp, and for seven days one is permitted to 
enjoy life again if the liver and digestive organs do 
not rebel, as is often the case, for be it remembered that 
for the last thirty days no food or water has passed 
the lips from the first streak of dawn to sunset, and 
the nights have been made lively by drums and guitars 
from 1 A.M. to dawn. The first act to be performed 
on breaking the fast of Ramadan is to dole out to the 
poor two handfuls of wheat for every person who is supplied 



314 APPENDIX I 

with bread from your household children, slaves, servants, 
and naturally the master and mistress all contribute their 
dole, which is provided by the master of the house. It 
takes from eight to ten almuds of sixty-four pounds 
each for our households in Tangier. Such poor persons 
personally known or recommended come to the house, 
and some food is placed in a basket on the steps of 
the big mosque to be given to the most worthy. It 
is called El Fetrah, or breaking of the fast. The 
quantity each poor person receives is from six to eight 
pounds, and by visiting different houses they amass a 
considerable quantity. 

The next month, Beni-el-Aid, or between the feast, is 
the eleventh month, and has no particular fasts, and those 
who owe days to Ramadan commence, if so disposed, to pay 
the debt or debts. The Aid-el-Kebir, or big feast, otherwise 
the feast of rams, closes the lunar year, being the twelfth 
month. On the tenth of this month, every household, rich 
or poor, sacrifices a ram or he-goat, the former for preference. 
When either is unobtainable a cock or a camel is permitted, 
though I believe resort is never made to either. At my 
house and my sons' residences from fifty to sixty rams are 
killed on this day, and we give away quite that number 
among friends and the poor and needy. The sacrifice, unless 
purchased with your own means, has not the same merit as 
that given to you. Provided your purse admits of the 
expense, the head of the household must purchase at least 
one sheep or he-goat : if that is an impossibility, the rich 
generally help the poor to procure the sacrifice. As in all 
other things, people are not half so generous in this respect 
as they were some twenty years ago towards their poor co- 
religionists. If the sacrifice is not procurable on the first 
day it is permissible to slaughter on the second and third 
days. This sacrifice is to commemorate the offering up of 
Isaac 1 by his father Abraham. The pilgrims from all parts 
of the world meet at Djebel Arafa on this date and sacrifice, 
this constituting part of the ceremonies entailed to permit 
the pilgrim to assume the title El Hadj (pilgrim), when 

1 Or Ishmael. 



APPENDIX I 315 

returning from Mecca. Alms-giving at this time is very 
much on the decline ; in fact in the month of " Ashor," a 
tenth part of possessions, which is compulsory, is not nearly 
so conscientiously distributed to-day as it was when I first 
came to Morocco. 

People will wonder what becomes of all the meat of the 
sacrifices. The servants and slaves and all attached to a 
large household are allowed to have as much as they desire 
the first two days. If you have any European friends it is 
permitted to send them a joint. A lady once remarked to 
me that the very idea ol eating sacrificial meat was most 
repugnant to her, and that she never permitted her 
Mohammedan servants to dress or cook the same on her 
premises. I have come across other persons of this 
opinion. 

On the second day is the children's feast. Their 
parents generally provide them with miniature pots and 
pans, and give them the wherewithal to cook sundry pieces 
of meat as it pleases them. They invite their little friends, 
and take as their model the entertainment offered by their 
elders to their friends. The tea-tray with its accessories 
and tom-toms, or more likely the gramophone now pretty 
general throughout Morocco are in evidence. It used to 
be the musical box that relieved the eternal tom-tomming, 
but the cabinet gramophone is no longer a stranger. 
Although an elderly person takes charge of the little cooks, 
a few burnt fingers do appear sometimes, to say nothing of 
clothes splashed with grease in spite of the native towels 
adjusted as a precaution. 

How they do enjoy this feast, and what mixtures they 
do produce, and when half-a-dozen grandchildren request 
you " only to taste," it is at the least trying, for they con- 
sider that no dish of theirs has been excelled by any grown- 
up cook. Naturally I do my best to give satisfaction all 
round. 

On the third day the remainder of the meat has to be 
disposed of. It is cut off the bone, steeped in brine, 
flavoured with spices, oil, and vinegar, and after twenty-four 
hours soaking, is hung up on lines to dry in the sun. The 



316 APPENDIX I 

meat, so hung, is continually turned over. After two or 
three days exposure the whole has to be examined piece by 
piece, to be sure no fly or other insect has paid a visit. 
The next process is to cut the whole up into pieces of three 
or four inches long, while a suitable amount of suet and 
oil is melting in a large cauldron. When this is thoroughly 
boiled, throw hi the meat and keep stirring and boiling until 
the water that has been added evaporates. The meat when 
cooked is placed in stone jars and the liquid fat poured on 
it. Next day further fat from the remains is heated up. 
When cold the jars are hermetically sealed and put away 
for further use, when a small quantity with couscous and 
vegetables makes a nutritious meal appreciated by all 
classes. Every year the higher classes prepare from two 
to ten oxen for winter use in the same manner. It is 
called "El jolleah." 



APPENDIX II. DIVORCE 

With regard to divorce, it is not so easy to obtain as 
Europeans generally suppose. There must be some 
legitimate cause, according to Mohammedan law, though 
to-day a few dollars to officials works wonders. Bribery 
is the curse of the law-courts, and is ruining the country 
from end to end. Disobedience to a husband in receiving 
a certain visitor after the husband has prohibited her from 
doing so, renders the woman liable to divorce. 

My husband divorced one of his former wives, some time 
before I came to Morocco, for the latter reason. The first 
time the Shareef reinstated her, but soon she forgot and 
the lady visitor resumed her visits, which resulted in 
complete divorce. If the husband has taken an alien to 
his household surroundings, he must divorce his wife, but 
even then he can reinstate her immediately by stating the 
case to two notaries and adding a sum of money to the 
original dot. A widow can re-marry three months, ten 
days and a half after the death of her husband, providing 
she is not enceinte. A divorcee follows the same law, and a 
man wishing to marry his mistress must not see her for 
the above prescribed time, and must then draw up a 
marriage contract, or as the marriage contracts are called. 
When the Kadi is doubtful in certain marital cases, he 
orders the couple to reside with some neighbours who are 
to decide what is the real cause of dispute, and report 
accordingly to him. Not long ago, I had a woman here, 
who had quarrelled with her husband. It was her second 
time of entering Sanctuary for the same cause. I was 
successful in making the peace, but this time was to be a 
failure. Outside pressure was of no avail. By stratagem, 
I brought them together to hear their woes, and after 
vainly entreating them to be friends, it was agreed to go to 

317 



318 APPENDIX II 

law. The real cause of the trouble was that after twenty- 
three years of married life the husband had two years 
previously taken another wife, but was not living with her 
in the same house. No. 1 felt slighted upon a question of 
the day's marketing and declared that No. 2 had been more 
favoured ; hence the foundation of the unpleasantness. 
The couple went to the Kadi with friends, and a Sanctuary 
agent joined the woman's party, the rule being that she is 
to be considered under protection until the completion of 
her suit. Arriving near the market-place, the man bought 
some grapes and tomatoes, which he offered to his wife, 
whereupon to the astonishment of all she kissed his hand 
and at the same time he kissed the top of her veiled head, 
and instead of going to the Kadi, both went to their home, 
and every one else returned to their several duties. 

Another case may be of interest. A widow in easy 
circumstances, with four children, took a second husband, 
and in the marriage contract promised to respect and aid 
in developing the little property left by the father of the 
children. For a time all went well. The mother discovered 
that some rents were missing, and requested the husband for 
them to purchase clothes for the children. He replied by 
giving her a sound thrashing, and she came to me covered 
with blood. The Basha imprisoned him for assault, but on 
a substantial bribe being forthcoming, the man was released, 
upon which the woman and children took Sanctuary. 
This necessitated a case of Shraa (suit at law) for restoration 
of property, &c. In spite of bribery on the part of the 
husband he forgot his manners one day before the Kadi, 
and for contempt of Court was ordered five hundred lashes, 
and was imprisoned for a month before any one made any 
effort to bring about his release, which was obtained by 
monetary presents to the Basha and his acolytes. Again 
he appeared before the Kadi for restitution of property. 
He would not divorce the woman, and she refuses to live 
with him again until he has made restitution. That may 
take years; she cannot under the circumstances re-marry, 
but he is a free agent in that respect. Hence his revenge. 
It is unusual for a woman to sue for divorce under any 



APPENDIX II 319 

circumstances. She sees the risk of being non-suited at 
the outset of the case from most causes. The husband's 
reply would be that he values every hair on her head at 
one hundred dollars apiece, and she must pay him this as 
the price of her release from the marriage-tie. Naturally 
he places her beyond the possibility of paying the com- 
pensation, and divorce is not granted. I have known 
people divorce for a monetary consideration. A poor 
Shareef was married to a public musician. They cordially 
hated one another, but neither would mention divorce. 
However, friends of the woman and admirers of her musical 
talent, such as it was, subscribed a sum of one hundred and 
fifty dollars, and approaching the distracted husband 
suggested that for a monetary consideration he should 
release his wife from the bond of matrimony. He said 
his consolation price was a thousand dollars. A hand- 
kerchief containing the hundred and fifty dollars was 
pressed into his hand, whereupon accompanied by friends 
he went to the notaries and the desired document was 
sent to the woman. 



APPENDIX III. SANCTUARIES 

People often ask me of what utility Sanctuary is. It 
is fortunate that in my childhood I heard the pros and 
cons of prison life discussed, for unconsciously I was 
learning some details of cases with which I have to deal. 
Murder, robbery, real or suspected, come within my range, 
to say nothing of assaults. What is done ? The case is in- 
quired into by agents, and if there is no doubt that the person 
taking Sanctuary has committed the offence, he is handed 
over to the authorities, with recommendation to mercy, 
which means the five hundred lashes and upwards usually 
awarded are not to be inflicted. When it is morally cer- 
tain that murder was premeditated, then a simple handing 
over takes place. Bona fide thieves seldom come, but the 
relatives will torment one with their wailings and prayers 
for days together, for intercession with a Legation or 
Moorish authorities in hope of obtaining mitigation of 
fine and sentence. Assaults between husband and wife, 
or family quarrels, in a minor degree can more often 
than not be arranged amicably. I have heard, times without 
number, married couples declaring that nothing would in- 
duce them to live together, and begging an agent to 
accompany them to the Kadi to sue for divorce. I try 
to soothe the wounded feelings of both sides, and re- 
commend them to wait twenty-four hours. I insist on 
even a longer time where little children would be the 
sufferers by the parents separating. Sometimes this is 
a very difficult matter, especially as one is dealing with 
such a race, so hot-blooded and of such lively imagina- 
tion. In nine cases out of ten a reconciliation takes 
place. In case of a suspect, an agent is employed to 
prove the person's innocence or otherwise. No case can 
be passed over, however trivial. 

320 



APPENDIX III 321 

A man wishes to marry a refugee ; the girl may or may 
not have been in the Sanctuary some time. It would 
be incorrect not to give her a night's fete before sending 
her to her husband in the litter customary when the 
bride is a virgin, or if a widow or divorcee, on foot accom- 
panied by women. 

Requests to contribute in cash or kind to a poor family's 
newborn infant's name-day must never be refused, nor must 
a contribution towards the cost of burial of the needy. 
This latter is not general, as even the very poor object 
to a Government or charity interment. Sometimes a 
stranger dying on the premises would be buried by 
Sanctuary funds, if insufficient was found upon the dead 
body to pay expenses. In any case the agents assist in 
all preparations and accompany the deceased to his last 
resting-place. This is a mere outline of the workings 
of the Sanctuary ; a whole volume might be written of 
all that takes place daily consultations on every sub- 
ject, legal, medical, purchase of property, all have to be 
noticed in turn. Renegades are not numerous, and even 
if they are undesirable, the custom of centuries does not 
permit us to dismiss them. As a rule they are a lazy 
lot, and expect to live on the fat of the land, and to 
have consideration shown them above the other men 
and women of the Sanctuary. To maintain all these 
customs comes rather trying at times. My sons, who 
have renounced voluntarily participation in the direction 
of the Sanctuary (fairly well endowed) at Wazan, provide 
all expenses from their private means in order to keep 
up the prestige of the family. 



INDEX 



AAHR (supplication), 224, 225 
Aahr, Shareefa uses, 225 (note) 
Abdeslam ben Hasheesh, 145, 263 
Abdeslam, Sid Hadj (see Wazan, 

Shareef of) 
Abdullah, Kaid, 41 
Abdullah, Muley, 145 
Abdurhaman, Sultan Muley, 104, 119, 

159 

Abeeds of Dar de Mana, 109 
Ablutions, reform in, 19, 72 
Affection, Shareefs, 231 
Aflou, 175 

Ain el Kisbech (the evil eye), 206 
Ain Temouchents, 36 
Ain Beni Matha, 45 
Aisha, 31 
Aissowas, 40, 106 
Al K'sar el Kebir, 99, 141, 246 
Alarbi, Sidi el Hadj, 103 
Alarbi (see Muley) 
Algerian custom, curious, 95 
Algerian dialect, 35 
Algeria, South, 175-180 
Algiers, 60, 61 
Ali (see Muley) 
Angad, 53 
Angera Hills, 23, 86 
Annoyances, 226 
Anthony, St., 160 
Apartments, Shareefa's, 6 
Apothecary, soi-disaut, 245, 246 
Apparitions, 59, 86, 140 
Arab at home, 166 
Arab children, a caution, 165 
Arab dress, 167 
Arab's enthusiasm, 38 
Arabic, Shareefa studies, 9, 34, 91, 

179 

Assar, 156 
Assassination, fear of, 216 seqq. 

hoax, 217 

reported, 227 

Atlas Mountains, 59, 183 
Ayasha, 143 

" BALAK," cries of, 54 

Ball at French Legation, 204 

Banquet, attempted European, 111 



Banquets, Moorish, 73 

Basha of Fez, 109 

Basha of Fez, entertains Shareefa, 

109, 110 

Battenberg, Princess Henry of, 302 
Beiha (act of proclamation), 105 
Bel Abbes, 223 
Beni Arouss, 145 
Beni M'Tir, 101, 102 
Beni Said, 202 
Beni Snassen, 53, 195 
Berber dialect, 102 
Bernhardt, Sarah, 272 
Bioness, 183 seqq., 244 
Birth ceremonies, 16 seqq., 65-72 
Biscuits introduced, 92 
Blidah, 35, 183 
Blidah, el Wazanni, Sidi Dris of 

113 

Blott, Mrs., 15 
Boar-shooting, 29 
Bogus company, 105, 221 
Bou Hellal, 154 
Boumara, 201 

Bourbon, Prince Philippe de, 247 
Brahim, Muley, 145 
Bride's hair-dressing, 127 
British Legation, 2 
Brooches, Arab, 167 
Bull-fight, 26 
Butter-making, 43 

CADIZ, 85 
Camel, baby, 285 
Candles, superstition about, 206 
Casting out devils, 207 
Catering, 210 
Ceuta, 23, 26, 28, 86 
Changed attitude, Shareefs 215 
Chanzy, General, 61, 62 
Chanzy Madame, 61, 62 
Child-guests, 128 
Chinese prisoner, 28 
Civil Hospital, Oran, 244 
Clay soldiers, Shareefs, 159 
Cleanliness, improvement in, 69 
Cochrane, Miss M., 302 
Condolences, 255 
Congratulations, wedding, 1 30 



323 



324 



INDEX 



Constantine, 223, 241 
Conversation, Moorish women's, 91 
Court, Moorish, 261 
Couscous, 73, 94, 111 
Crowning Moorish Sultan, 104 

DANCING, Moorish and Spanish, 85 

Daoud, Capt. ben, 41, 42, 52 

Bar de Mana, 50, 103, 153 

Death, Shareef s, 250 

Derbouga, 70 

Derhowis, 40 

Destiny, Shareefa's, 254 

Devils, casting out, 207 

Dinner, Moorish, 92,193, 94 

Dirge, Arab, 151, 154, 251 

Divorce, 316 (App.) 

Divorce, announced, 229 

Divorce, Shareefa refuses to sue for, 
231 

Divorcee No. 1, 121, 232 
No. 2, 122 
No. 3, 123 

Djebel Amour, 177 

Djebel el Alam, 145 

Djebel-el-Habib, 29 

Djebel el Hammum (Pigeon Moun- 
tain), 249 

Djebel Geuzzoul, 180 

Draughts, Shareef plays, 248 

Dream, M'kaddum's, 262 

Dresses, professional, 133 

Dresses, Tetuan, 115, 116 

Dutries, General, 213 

Duveyrier, M., 193, 195, 202 

EARTHQUAKE, 233 

Eccentricities, Shareef's, 222 

El Arisha, 43, 44, 52 

El Huiti (dados), 24 

El Lukus, 100 

Encampment, a remarkable, 179 

English Church, 13 

Epoch-making event, 212 

Er-rhossi (remarkable sign), 107 

Escort, 101 

Eshareef, Muley Abdullah, 155, 156 

Eshareef, Mosque of, 155 

Espano-Moro War, 28 

Eugenie, Empress, 33 

Evil eye, 206 

FAITH-CURE, 241 

Feeding-bottle, 77 

Feet treated with henna, 127 

Feraud, M., 213, 222, 224, 226 

Ferry, perilous, 142 

Fetes, Mohammedan, 311 

Fez, dialect, 179 

Fez. visited, 96 seqq., 246 

Fezzis, 106 



Figuig, 46 

Filallia, 106 

Firman, M., 181, 212, 234, 239 

Five, unlucky number, 206 

Floors, 157 

Flowers in house, 144 

Footgear unclean, 124 

Forestry, deficient Moorish, 185 

Formula for wedding gifts, 128 

Fortune-telling, 207 

Funeral, Shareef's, 251 

GENEALOGY of Shareefa's sons, 149 

Geryville, 171, 172 

Gibraltar, 28, 29, 227, 242 

Golden-haired Riffs, 198 

Golette, La, 240 

Governess, English, 87 

Grandsons buried beside Shareef, 

253 

Grave, Shareef's, 253 
Guardian of sons, Shareefa, 250 
Guardian spirits, 209 
Guerin, M. and Mme., 213 

HADJ Kaddour, 180, 181 

Hair, Shareefa's, 199 

Haitis, 108 

Ham (anecdote of a), 53 

Hammam, 125, 156 

Hammam Bougrarah, 37, 58, 189, 223, 

224, 228 

Hammasha, 40, 106 
Hanotaux, M., 271 
Harkos, 126 
Harris, W. Walter, 294 
Hay, Sir John Hay Drummond, 2, 

15,31 

Hay Drummond Hay, Lady, 241 
Heba Lalla, 9, 97, 115-117, 119, 149, 

151 

Henna, 126, 127 
Honey, accident with, 199 
Horse, gift of a, 113 
Hospitality, 100 
House, Moorish, 99 
House sold, Shareefa's, 222 
Household, Shareefa's, 6 
Hysteria, 57, 178, 207 

ILLNESS, Shareefa's, 220 

Illness, Shareef's, 228, 235 seqq, 248 

Infants, feeding of, 77 

Infant mortality, 69 

Invitations, Moorish, 21 

Italian doctor, unmannerly, 239 

Italy, Queen of, 238 

JALUZOT, M., 221 
Jealousies, family, 216 
Jelal (Shareef's), 55 



INDEX 



325 



KASBAH, 233 

Keene, Mr. (Shareefa's father), 1-3, 

288 
Keene, Emily (see Shareefa of 

Wazan) 

Khol, 69, 133, 167 
Kibdana, 193 
Koran, 155, 207, 253, 
" Kuffal, El," 277 
Kusherine, 118, 

LALLA Kaddia, 171 

Lalla Maghnia, 37, 52, 53 

Laraiche, 143 

Laraiche, Basha of, 122 

Last words, Shareef s, 250 

Lavender, scentless, 193 

Le Cassard, cruiser, 33, 62 

Legation, French, 13 

Legion d'Honneur, 62, 174 

Litter, bride's, 131, 132 

Loan of garments, 21 

Luncheon, Moorish, 40 

Lyce*e, Algiers, 89, 162, 181, 182, 188 

223, 
Lyons, 81 

MACDONALD, Rear- Admiral, 2 

" Macduff " (Shareef's pet-name), 250 

Maclean, Sir H., 301 

Macmahon, Marshal, 63, 82 

Magic, 207 

Mahmoud (chief slave), 57 

Mahmoud, negro, 217 

Malformations, 78 

Moulouya River, 193 

Marabout, old, 186 

Marnia (see also Lalla Maghnia), 53, 

54, 58, 59, 60 
Marriage customs, 125 
Marriage, girls resent, 129 
Married women's reception, 129 
Marsa, 241 
Marseilles, 80, 237 
Marshan, 64, 218, 219 
M'barak (favourite horse), 114 
M'hallah magic, 207 
M'Zuida, Kaid, 175 
Meath, Lord, 288 

Medicine-chest, Shareefa's, 74, 205 
Medicine, suspicion of, 74, 75 
Melilla, 194, 212, 
Mequinez, 65, 100, 101 
Meteors, glorious, 177 
Mohammed, Prophet, 31 
Mohar, 23, 55, 63, 168, 175 
Monaco, 237 

Monomania, Shareef's, 226 
Moorish Government, trouble with, 

141 
Morocco city, 14 



Mosque of Muley Taib, 252, 254 

Mother, Shareef's, 158 

Mouna, 282 

Mourners' excesses, 251 

Mourning ceremonial, 158 segq. 

Moustaza, 198 

Mud pies, Shareef makes, 158 

Muley Abdallah Shareef, 50 

Muley Ahmed, 66, 88, 115, 203 

Muley Alarbi, 11, 14, 142, 143, 210, 

219, 235, 250, 255 
Muley Ali, 18, 88, 97, 102, 103, 106, 

245, 302 

Muley Dris, tomb of, 107, 145 
Muley el Hassan (Sultan), 32, 48, 64, 

66, 141, 224, 238 
Muley Mohammed, 11, 116, 117, 124, 

140, 210, 220, 235, 250 
Muley Taib, 39, 252 
Muley Thaumi, 90, 181, 212 

NAME-DAY, Moslem, 19 

Naples, 237, 238 

National colour, Moorish, 2 

Negotiations, slow Moorish, 65 

Nemours, 229 

Nicolson, Sir Arthur, 298 

Nicolson, Lady, 297 

Nursery, English methods in, 66 

OFFERINGS of welcome, 119 

Opera, Paris, 82 

Oran, 33, 60, 61, 62 

Oujhda, 53, 54, 59, 191 

Oujhda, memorable adventure at, 56 

Oulad N'har, 164 

Oulad Sidi Sheik, 66, 172 

PACK saddles, 117 

Painting, Moorish, 124 

Palermo, 239 

Pall, Shareef's, 253, 254 

Pearl necklace, 108 

Peculiar malady, Shareef's, 249 

Perdicaris, Mr., 299 

Perilous ride of Muley Ahmed, 175 

Pernicious drugs, 215 

Pigeon Mountain, 249 

Pitfall, Muley Ahmed in, 201 

Playfair, Lieut-Col., 181, 212 

Potter, Moorish, 113 

Pourtales, Count de, 239 

Powder-play described, 101, 103, 106, 

117, 197, 206, 211 
Press strictures, 141 
Prim, General, 27 
Procession, bridal, 135 
Purification, 70, 125 

QUEEN of Italy, 238 



326 



INDEX 



RABAT, 224 

Railway, retainers' fear of, 81 

Raisuli, 294, 300 

Ramadan, 85, 203 

Rarbia, 143 

Reeves, Sims, 107 

Regiment, Shareef's, 104 

Riff country, 191-203 

Riff people described, 197, 205 

Rifles, European, 200 

Rifles, inspector of RiflSans', 200 

Ring, Tuats', 109 

Rouge, 108 

Runaway horse, 175 

SACRIFICE, bridal, 127 

Sacrifice, first experience of, 99 

Sahalli, 60 

Sahara, Petit, 219 

Sanctuary, 6, 8, 318 (App.) 

Schleswig-Holstein, Princess Marie 
of, 297 

Scholarship, Muley All's, 188 

Sebdon, 41, 52 

Selfishness of Shareefian race, 235 

Senussi, 31 

Servant, Shareef marries, 229 

Seven Circles, 201 

Shareef (see Wazan) 

Shareefa (see Wazan) 

Shebh (fragrant herb), 44 

Sheep, method of carving, 43 

Shorfa, 8, 115, 117, 184 

Si Sliman ben Kaddour, 31, 32, 33, 
36, 41, 49, 51, 53, 60, 63, 65, 66, 100 

Sid Boubekir, 31 

Sid Hadj Abdeslam (see Wazan, 
Shareef of) 

Sidi Alenoni, 186 

Sidi Bou Grarah, 59 

Sidi Bou Said, 241 

Sidi el Hadj el Arbi, 158, 159 

Sidi el Hadj el Arbi, miraculous 
powers of, 160 

Sidi Hamza, 172 

Sidi Hamza, odd costume of, 173 

Sidi Mohammed (Sultan), 13 

Sidi Mohammed ben Miki, 233 

Sidi Mohammed el Hadj, 229 

Slaves, treatment of, 157 

Social life, 73 seqq. 

Stainer, professional, 126 

Storms, 168, 187 

Sufsifa, 171 

Sultan's sweetmeat, 112 

Sun-hat, Algerian, 198 

Sunsets, gorgeous, 196 

Supplication ritual (El Aahr), 224, 
225 

Supplication ritual, Shareefa prac- 
tises, 225 (note) 



Superstitions, Moorish, 204, 305 (App.) 

Surgery, amateur, 205 

Surrey County Gaol, 83 

Surveying causes suspicion, 195 

Sus, 76 

Syndicate of five, 220 

TAIBE, Muley, 106 

Taibian, 31, 106, 149 

Tangier, 69, 83, 85, 97, 274, 303 

Tangier, patron saint of, 229 

Tartshah, herb, 249 

Tea-drinking, 69, 93 

Teeth, cleansing, 74, 95 

Telegrams, mysterious, 243 

Tents described, 165 

Territorial limits, observance of, 197 

Tetuan, 24, 202, 203 

Tetuan, brides, 279 

Tetuan, mosaic, 25 

Thaumi, Muley, 106 

Tiaret, 180 

Tim Brahim, 163 

Tlemcen, 36, 37, 38, 41, 50, 60, 89, 

189 

Tlemsaman, 200 
Toilet, bridal, 137 
Tolba, 153, 255 
Torre del Grego, 238 
Tonamalla, Kaid of, 170 
Tunis, 239 
Tunis, Bey of, 241 
Tunisian welcome, 240 
Turkish bath, 38 
Tuat, painful journey to, 247 
Tuumma, 106 
Twins, Muley Ali's, 302 
Typhoid fever, Muley Ali takes, 244 

UNIQUE experience, 281 

VACCINATION, introduced and prac- 
tised by Shareefa, 75, 232, 245, 246 
Valiente, 302 
Vendetta, Riffian, 197 
Votive gifts, 34 

WAD Mekhazen, 142 
Wailings, Arab women's, 57 
Wardrobe depleted, Shareef's, 36 
Warning against poison, 220 
Washing-board for dead, 251 
Water, bad, 164 

Wazanites' entry into Tangier, 211 
Wazan, history of, 145 
Wazan, prestige of, 7, 103 
Wazan, Sid Hadj Abdeslam, Grand 
Shareef of, marriage with Miss 
Keene, 1 ; influence, 14 ; at Tetuan 
and Ceuta, 26; meets Prim, 27; 
successful diplomat, 31 ; sanctity, 



INDEX 



327 



34 ; a devoted father, 78 ; conver- 
sationalist, 79 ; revisits Marseilles, 
80 ; at Lyons, 81 ; at Paris, 81 ; 
interest in opera, 82 ; in London, 
82 ; mishap to cab, 84 ; at Cadiz, 
85; his father's ghost, 86; his 
European leanings, 105; a fine 
singer, 107 ; seeks French protec- 
tion, 141 ; a poor sailor, 189 ; under 
malign influence, 215 ; fears assassi- 
nation, 217 ; irresponsibility, 223 ; 
quarrels with Sultan, 225 ; last 
illness, 245 ; death, 250 ; funeral, 
251 ; burial-place, 253 ; division of 
estate, 256 

Wazan, Emily, Shareefa of, marriage, 
1 ; Moorish home, 6 ; studies Arabic, 
9 ; first son, 17 ; in South Oran, 33 ; 
studies customs, 67 ; introduces 
vaccination, 75 ; visits Europe, 80 ; 
sees ghost, 86 ; visits Fez, 96 ; visits 
Wazan, 115 ; conciliates Shareef's 
former wives, 121 ; revisits Wazan, 
145 ; describes Moorish mourning, 
153; travels in S. Algeria, 175; 
in Riff country, 191 ; describes 
superstitions, 204 ; entertains 
largely, 210 ; domestic troubles, 
215 ; saves husband from ruin, 221 ; 
endures strange treatment, 231 ; 
restores Shareef to health, 242; 
widowed, 250 ; settles affairs, 258 ; 
visits Sultan, 261 ; subject of 
myths, 266 ; revisits Europe, 269 ; 



her sons married, 275 ; revisits 
England, 284 ; her benevolent 
work in Morocco, 291 ; later days, 
303 

Wazan, visit to, 115 seqq. 
Wazan, welcome at, 118 
Wedding ceremonies, 125 seqq. 

gifts, 130 

,, Fez, Wazan, and Berber con- 
trasted, 138 
purchases, 108 
ring, Shareefa's, 109 
White, H. P., consul at Tangier, 3 
Widow's dress, Shareefa does not 

wear, 253 

Widowhood, Moorish, 156 
Women, graceful Arab, 165, 167 
Worship of Shareef's son, 103 
Wourha, el, 249 

X., MONSIEUR (Shareef's evil genius), 
214 seqq. 

YAN-TSE, 81 

Yiasa, 35 

Young Turkish Party, 262 

" Young Moorish Party," 262 

ZAHRITS (joy cry), 20, 107 et passim 
Zahroun, Muley Dris of, 104 
Zemmour, 160, 245 
Zem-zem, 153 
Zowia (see Sanctuary) 



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