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The innocents abroad, or, The new Pilgrim's progress

being some account of the steamship Quaker City's pleasure excursion to Europe and the Holy land ; with descriptions of countries, nations, incidents and adventures, as they appeared to the author






ABOUT the first adventure we had yesterday afternoon,
after landing here, came near finishing that heedless
Blucher. We had just mounted some mules and asses,
and started out under the guardianship of the stately,
the princely, the magnificent Hadji Mohammed Lamarty,
(may his tribe increase!) when we came upon a fine Moorish
mosque, with tall tower, rich with checker-work of many-colored
porcelain, and every part and portion of the edifice
adorned with the quaint architecture of the Alhambra, and
Blucher started to ride into the open door-way. A startling
“Hi-hi!” from our camp-followers, and a lond “Halt!” from
an English gentleman in the party checked the adventurer,
and then we were informed that so dire a profanation is it for
a Christian dog to set foot upon the sacred threshold of a
Moorish mosque, that no amount of purification can ever
make it fit for the faithful to pray in again. Had Blucher
succeeded in entering the place, he would no doubt have been
chased through the town and stoned; and the time has been,
and not many years ago either, when a Christian would have
been most ruthlessly slaughtered, if captured in a mosque.
We caught a glimpse of the handsome tesselated pavements
within, and of the devotees performing their ablutions at the
fountains; but even that we took that glimpse was a thing not
relished by the Moorish bystanders.

Some years ago the clock in the tower of the mosque got
out of order. The Moors of Tangier have so degenerated that
it has been long since there was an artificer among them


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capable of curing so delieate a patient as a debilitated clock.
The great men of the city met in solemn conclave to consider
how the difficulty was to be met. They discussed the matter
thoroughly but arrived at no solution. Finally, a patriarch
arose and said:

“Oh, children of the Prophet, it is known unto you that a
Portuguee dog of a Christian clock-mender pollutes the city of
Tangier with his presence. Ye know, also, that when mosques
are builded, asses bear the stones and the cement, and cross
the sacred threshold. Now, therefore, send the Christian dog
on all fours, and barefoot, into the holy place to mend the
clock, and let him go as an ass!”

And in that way it was done. Therefore, if Blucher ever
sees the inside of a mosque, he will have to cast aside his
humanity and go in his natural character. We visited the
jail, and found Moorish prisoners making mats and baskets.
(This thing of utilizing crime savors of civilization.) Murder
is punished with death. A short time ago, three murderers
were taken beyond the city walls and shot. Moorish guns are
not good, and neither are Moorish marksmen. In this instance,
they set up the poor criminals at long range, like so
many targets, and practiced on them—kept them hopping
about and dodging bullets for half an hour before they managed
to drive the centre.

When a man steals cattle, they cut off his right hand and
left leg, and nail them up in the market-place as a warning to
every body. Their surgery is not artistic. They slice around
the bone a little; then break off the limb. Sometimes the
patient gets well; but, as a general thing, he don't. However,
the Moorish heart is stout. The Moors were always
brave. These criminals undergo the fearful operation without
a wince, without a tremor of any kind, without a groan! No
amount of suffering can bring down the pride of a Moor, or
make him shame his dignity with a cry.

Here, marriage is contracted by the parents of the parties
to it. There are no valentines, no stolen interviews, no riding
out, no courting in dim parlors, no lovers' quarrels and reconciliations—no


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nothing that is proper to approaching matrimony.
The young man takes the girl his father selects for
him, marries her, and after that she is unveiled, and he sees
her for the first time. If, after due acquaintance, she suits
him, he retains her; but if he suspects her purity, he bundles
her back to her father; if he finds her diseased, the same;
or if, after just and reasonable time is allowed her, she neglects
to bear children, back she goes to the home of her childhood.

Mohammedans here, who can afford it, keep a good many
wives on hand. They are called wives, though I believe the
Koran only allows four genuine wives—the rest are concubines.
The Emperor of Morocco don't know how many
wives he has, but thinks he has five hundred. However, that
is near enough—a dozen or so, one way or the other, don't

Even the Jews in the interior have a plurality of wives.

I have caught a glimpse of the faces of several Moorish
women, (for they are only human, and will expose their faces
for the admiration of a Christian dog when no male Moor
is by,) and I am full of veneration for the wisdom that leads
them to cover up such atrocious ugliness.

They carry their children at their backs, in a sack, like
other savages the world over.

Many of the negroes are held in slavery by the Moors. But
the moment a female slave becomes her master's concubine
her bonds are broken, and as soon as a male slave can read the
first chapter of the Koran (which contains the creed,) he can
no longer be held in bondage.

They have three Sundays a week in Tangier. The Mohammedan's
comes on Friday, the Jew's on Saturday, and that of
the Christian Consuls on Sunday. The Jews are the most
radical. The Moor goes to his mosque about noon on his
Sabbath, as on any other day, removes his shoes at the door,
performs his ablutions, makes his salaams, pressing his forehead
to the pavement time and again, says his prayers, and
goes back to his work.


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But the Jew shuts up shop; will not touch copper or bronze
money at all; soils his fingers with nothing meaner than silver
and gold; attends the synagogue devoutly; will not cook or
have any thing to do with fire; and religiously refrains from
embarking in any enterprise.

The Moor who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca is entitled
to high distinction. Men call him Hadji, and he is thence-forward
a great personage. Hundreds of Moors come to
Tangier every year, and embark for Mecca. They go part of
the way in English steamers; and the ten or twelve dollars
they pay for passage is about all the trip costs. They take with
them a quantity of food, and when the commissary department
fails they “skirmish,” as Jack terms it in his sinful, slangy
way. From the time they leave till they get home again,
they never wash, either on land or sea. They are usually
gone from five to seven months, and as they do not change
their clothes during all that time, they are totally unfit for the
drawing-room when they get back.

Many of them have to rake and scrape a long time to
gather together the ten dollars their steamer passage costs;
and when one of them gets back he is a bankrupt forever
after. Few Moors can ever build up their fortunes again in
one short lifetime, after so reckless an outlay. In order to
confine the dignity of Hadji to gentlemen of patrician blood
and possessions, the Emperor decreed that no man should
make the pilgrimage save bloated aristocrats who were worth
a hundred dollars in specie. But behold how iniquity can
circumvent the law! For a consideration, the Jewish money-changer
lends the pilgrim one hundred dollars long enough
for him to swear himself through, and then receives it back
before the ship sails out of the harbor!

Spain is the only nation the Moors fear. The reason is,
that Spain sends her heaviest ships of war and her loudest
guns to astonish these Moslems; while America, and other
nations, send only a little contemptible tub of a gun-boat occasionally.
The Moors, like other savages, learn by what they
see; not what they hear or read. We have great fleets in the


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Mediterranean, but they seldom touch at African ports. The
Moors have a small opinion of England, France, and America,
and put their representatives to a deal of red tape circumlocution
before they grant them their common rights, let
alone a favor. But the moment the Spanish Minister
makes a demand, it is acceded to at once, whether it be just
or not.

Spain chastised the Moors five on six years ago, about a disputed
piece of property opposite Gibraltar, and captured the
city of Tetouan. She compromised on an augmentation of
her territory; twenty million dollars indemnity in money; and
peace. And then she gave up the city. But she never gave
it up until the Spanish soldiers had eaten up all the cats.
They would not compromise as long as the cats held out.
Spaniards are very fond of cats. On the contrary, the Moors
reverence cats as something sacred. So the Spaniards touched
them on a tender point that time. Their unfeline conduct in
eating up all the Tetouan cats aroused a hatred toward them in
the breasts of the Moors, to which even the driving them out
of Spain was tame and passionless. Moors and Spaniards are
foes forever now. France had a Minister here once who embittered
the nation against him in the most innocent way.
He killed a couple of battalions of cats (Tangier is full of
them,) and made a parlor carpet out of their hides. He made
his carpet in circles—first a circle of old gray tom-cats, with
their tails all pointing towards the centre; then a circle of
yellow cats; next a circle of black cats and a circle of white
ones; then a circle of all sorts of cats; and, finally, a centrepiece
of assorted kittens. It was very beautiful; but the
Moors curse his memory to this day.

When we went to call on our American Consul-General,
to-day, I noticed that all possible games for parlor amusement
seemed to be represented on his centre-tables. I thought that
hinted at lonesomeness. The idea was correct. His is the
only American family in Tangier. There are many foreign
Consuls in this place; but much visiting is not indulged in.
Tangier is clear out of the world; and what is the use of


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[ILLUSTRATION] [Description: 500EAF. Page 088. In-line Illustration. Image of a man, woman, and child all sitting around a table looking bored. The caption reads, "THE CONSULS' FAMILY."] visiting when people have nothing on earth to talk about?
There is none. So each Consul's family stays at home
chiefly, and amuses itself as best it can. Tangier is full of
interest for one day, but after that it is a weary prison. The
Consul-General has been here five years, and has got enough
of it to do him for a century, and is going home shortly. His
family seize upon their letters and papers when the mail
arrives, read them over and over again for two days or three,
talk them over and over again for two or three more, till they
wear them out, and after that, for days together, they eat and
drink and sleep, and ride out over the same old road, and see
the same old tiresome things that even decades of centuries
have scarcely changed, and say never a single word!
They have literally nothing whatever to talk about. The arrival
of an American man-of-war is a god-send to them.
“Oh, Solitude, where are the charms which sages have seen in
thy face?” It is the completest exile that I can conceive of.
I would seriously recommend to the Government of the
United States that when a man commits a crime so heinous


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that the law provides no adequate punishment for it, they
make him Consul-General to Tangier.

I am glad to have seen Tangier—the second oldest
town in the world. But I am ready to bid it good bye, I

We shall go hence to Gibraltar this evening or in the morning;
and doubtless the Quaker City will sail from that port
within the next forty-eight hours.