The Adventures of an English Merchant taken Captive by the Turks of Argiers, and carried about the In-land Countries of Africa, with many excellent Observations both curious and profitable.
Here is nothing appears more wonderful than Gods Providence in the Governance of the World, and in the disposition of Mankind; it carries us through various Estates, it brings us in Dangers and Miseries, and in a due time leads us out again by means not discoverable to our shallow foresight; it causeth us to meet with such different Accidents, which some may attribute to Chance; but if we take the pains to examine and question them, we shall find them to be appointed by a Divine Wisdom for the Publick and our own Advantage: Joseph in Egypt is a Famous Instance; He was sold by his Brethren, he past through Potiphera's House to the Common Gaol, and from the next door to the Gallows, he was promoted to Pharaoh's elbow, to preserve that Kingdom from the Fury of seven years Famine. Some it raises from a Cottage to a Throne; it tumbles others down to the most despicable condition: We may see a Bellisarius the most successeful Warrior of his time reduc'd to beg his Bread in that City that he had rescued from the Enemies hands; A proud Bajazet who makes the World bow to his Scepter, serves many times for a Footstool to his Enemy. Modern and Ancient Histories are full of such strange Examples of the Proceedings of Providence, which tend many times to fashion and frame us to a certain temper that may make us more useful in our Generations.
I shall not engage my self to shew all the Intrigues, all the Reasons and secret Actings of Gods Providence, that is the business of a Divine, and not of one whose Profession is to Trade.
Some of my Friends have earnestly desired me to give the Publick an Account of some Observations that I have made in my Travels into the In-land country of Affrica, where my Misfortune carried me; I hope that some may make no small Advantage of them.
My Name will be useless to the Judicious Reader; I will only tell him, That I was first designed for a Scholar; but an old Pedant soon frighted me from my Studies by his extraordinary Rigour; he gave me such an aversion for Learning, which formerly I esteemed, that I could not endure the sight of a Book.
My Estate being that of a younger Brother, and but very small, I was perswaded next to embrace the employment of a Merchant; therefore I was bound an Apprentice to a noted Trader in London. After five years abode in his house, he resolved to send me as his Factor to Smyrna, and other Places within the Straights.
At that time, in the Year 1648, my Father dies, and my Elder Brother was kill'd in our unhappy Troubles. They left me an Estate which might have obliged me to reside at home, had not the desire of seeing Foreign Places, and the vain-glory of being named a Traveller, with my Masters Commands, forced me abroad, and to continue in my former Design. Before my departure, I sold some of my Estate, and bought a Cargo of Goods to the value of two thousand odd hundred Pounds.
With this and some Goods belonging to my Master, I embarked towards the latter end of July in a Vessel of Hamborough of 350 Tuns, called the Sancta Maria, whereof Peter Janson was Master, in the River of Thames.
The Wind favoured us very much out of the Channel, and although we met with contrary Gusts, in 20 days we reach'd as far as the Cape St. Vincent.
Our Business made us direct our Course towards Cadiz, where we had some Goods to unload.
Assoon as we came near the Cape, we saw two Ships to Windwards, making all Sail to come up with us; we began to be jealous of their Intentions, and to prepare for our Defence. The Decks were cleared, the Guns charged, and every one had his Place and Office appointed him; we were all between hope and fear, as in such Cases is usual, until their Colours had satisfied us. Many idle Conjectures did spread amongst us; some imagined them to be French by the make of their ships, others that they were Turks; one wiser than the rest, knew them afar off, and affirm'd them to be Ostenders, the same in which he had formerly sailed, naming the one the St. Patrick, the other the Capitain. Our distrust made us seek the shelter of the Land, until at last we saw French Colours out, and heard a gun that commanded us to strike Sail. Some of our Company well acquainted with such Tricks of Pirates, advised our giddy headed Skipper not to trust their Appearance, but to continue still his Course. But his ill Fortune and ours would not suffer him to follow such wholsom Counsel, which might have put him and us out of all danger. For although it was the Morning when the Chase began, and that the Enemy had won much upon us that day, they could never have come up to us until Evening; and in the Night we might have made our Escape, and got into the Harbour. But he had a Design which we never could well understand. Therefore he commanded to lay by the Wind, until the Ships came within Call. They came too soon for us; at half a League distance they discovered themselves to be Turks Men of War by their bloody Colours, which they put out instead of the White: Then began our Skipper to be amazed, our Company to be frighted, and every one to bestir himself. I observed a Fellow who before had some Disease in his Legs and hands much like unto the Gout, which made him unprofitable all the time of the Voyage, when he saw the danger, he began to skip about, and handle the Guns as if nothing had ever ailed him. We had then aboard about a hundred Men with the Passengers of several Nations, and thirty great Pieces of Ordnance, with other smaller Guns. It had been an unworthy Act to deliver out selves into the Enemies hands without a stroke, being so well provided for our Defence.
About seven of the Clock in the Afternoon the Turks overtook us, and the formost Vessel gave us a Broad Side, the other followed, and saluted us in the same manner. We stood not still in the mean while, but returned them the like. The Fight was furious and bloody on both sides for four hours: Our men behaved themselves gallantly; neither Death nor Wounds could force them from their Charge and Posts. Some when their Limbs were all bruised, their Bones shattered, and their Bodies torn with Splinters, did obstinately continue to handle and manage the Guns. Every one resolved to die with his Weapons in his hand, rather than to shrink in the least from the Fight.
In the space of four hours we received near fifty Broad sides, and our Enemies were as obstinate as our selves.
At last our Number was reduced to 18 men, and those were wounded in several places, the rest were either dead or disabled. The Skipper was shot through the Thigh, my self through the right Arm; so that we could no longer resist the Numbers and Fury of our Enemies, that continued still to poure upon us great and small Shot: Besides that we had another Misfortune that happened unto us happily as it fell out; our Ship was wounded with a great Shot between Wind and Water, so that being in such a crasie Vessel, and with such crasie Bodies, we made but a faint resistance, which the Turks perceiving, and fearing that the Sea would at last swallow us, and deprive them of their Booty, they resolved to venture to board us: On both sides they grappled with us, and entered their men, which we from our Fore-Castle and Steerage did force aboard again with our Murdering Pieces; at last, for fear our Obstinacy would cause our Ship to sink under us, and deliver us into the hands of a more merciless Enemy, the raging Sea; we called for Quarter, which the Turks were glad to grant, having almost lost all Courage and hopes of forcing us to a Surrender; therefore they willingly accepted of the first Motion: We found that near 300 of their men had been killed, and their Ships were miserably torn and maimed. One thing passed during the Fight worthy our Notice, and which I did then look upon as an ill Omen; at a Broad Side one great Shot was forced back again, and split in pieces; we did conceive that it had met with a more violent one, which had driven it upon us.
The Turks treated us very generously, that we expected not from Enemies which we had angered by so long a Resistance. They commended our Courage, and wondered at our Resolution. And when they saw the rich Loading that they had got into their hands, they quickly pardoned us the Injuries we had done them.
The Captains and Owners of the Turks Ships called me & our Skipper to an Account for the Bills of Loading, which, when there was no remedy, we delivered into their hands.
I made some Reflections upon my former Condition, and wished my self upon some Christian shore as poor as Job; Liberty was sweet to me that was taken a Slave: I remembered then that excellent advice, Trust not unto uncertain riches, &c.. I then condemned the joy I had felt for the rich Patrimony that was left me, and the earnest desire for to see Foreign Places. Now to my sorrow I began to remember my former Condition; but all these Reflections and Regrets could not turn the wind, nor stop our Course from Argiers, where we were bound next; for when our ship had been seized, we that were alive were disposed of into the Enemies Ships, and stript of our best Attire, which some lusty Rogues did us the kindness to wear for our sakes before our eyes.
Our dead Bodies, and those that were wounded desperately, of whom there was small hopes, were stript naked, and sent in that condition to feed the Sharkes and other Ravenous Fishes of the Sea; some we saw at that Instant waiting upon us, as we did conceive, for that intent: It may be they were as sensible of dead Bodies amongst us, as Vultures are, who constantly hover about a House or Tent in these Countries, where the Sick are contained that will infallibly die, in hopes to enjoy the Prey when it is to be exposed and carried out.
During our stay a shipboard, we were as civilly treated as we could expect from Turks, and did feed as they did upon Garlick & Rusk, poor John, Rice, & such like food. I observed them very inquisitive to find out our Qualities, and the Estates that we had remaining, our Friends, and what Assistance and Favour we might expect from them. To know these Particulars, we were examined apart: We had been forewarned of this Proceeding, and therefore we had prepared our Answers, that we might not be found in a contradiction. I had desired our Company to make me pass for a poor Fellow, whose Industry had obtained the Trust of that considerable Cargo, which as we did give out did belong to my Master.
This Answer satisfied them for a while; but meeting in the Ship with some English Renegadoes, by an inconsiderate Discourse about several Particulars, one of them began to have some suspition and knowledge of me, because he had seen me at the unloading of some goods by the Water side, and did remember that then more respect was paid to me than such a poor Fellow could expect or claim. I laboured to excuse my Rashness; and to justifie my former Declaration; nevertheless one word made me to be suspected for an eminent Person, powerful in Friend and Acquaintance, which made them put a higher Value upon me, and hope for a greater Ransom.
We sailed into the Streights, and at the Entry, over against Gibraltar, we met with a Spanish Man of War at some distance from us; he laboured to come to speak with us, but the Turks were not in a Posture, nor able to answer him in his own Language so loud as he could speak; for in the desperate Fight they had broken some of their Ribs, and weakned themselves; therefore they hoised up all their Sails, and made away as fast as the Prize-Ship could sail. She received some Chase-Guns from the Spaniard, who had almost retaken her, but the Evening drawing on, she had the opportunity of saving her self in the dark night: And the better to hinder the Spaniard from further Pursuit, one of the Turks staid behind, and resolutely gave a few Broad Sides to his Enemy.
In the mean while the Prize got out of sight, and the Turks Vessel followed with all speed. The Night coming on apace, rid them of the importune company of the Spaniard.
The next day we anchored in the Bay of Algiers, where some Officers of the Town came to take notice of our Number, and of the Prize that was taken; one was a Cornish man, that by his Apostasie had procured unto himself great Wealth amongst the Turks; he was a Trader in Slaves, and knew well how to make his advantage of his own Nation. He drew near us that were English, and enquired of us in what part of England we had been born; such Questions being unpleasing to us, I desired as he was our Countreyman, that he would shew us some Favour, and buy us for himself; we hoped to meet with a kinder entertainment from one of the same Language and People: He told us that if we did give him hopes of returning his Money, he would venture to lay out some to do us a pleasure, that we might not fall into severe hands that might endanger our Lives by a rough Usage. He informed us, that if we came on shore, we should be led to the Market, and there sold as Horses; That there are constantly waiting some that knew how to find us out, that would treat us most inhumanely, and oblige us to redeem our selves; That they would exact from us the remainder of our Estates to be at liberty; That we had best come into his hands; That he being our Countreyman, would endeavour to be our Friend, and take no more from us than it cost him: Therefore he conjured us to discover our selves if we did love our own safety and welfare, and to tell him what Encouragement he might have to lay out his Money for us, and what Security to have it returned. We began to look one upon another, to understand with our Eyes how inclinable each was to comply with his Desire. We were something jealous of the Turk's Faith, and did believe that he that had not kept it to his God, would scarce be more careful to keep it with Men. We were long silent, and knew not what we should do in this case; but at last I ventured to deliver the Sense of the Company, and to thank him in the name of four or five English that we were, for his kind Information, telling him that our Losses were great, that our Friends were many, that we had something yet left at home able to redeem us, were not too high a value put upon us, and that we could give him sufficient assurance that what I said was true.
At this Discovery all my Comrades began earnestly to intreat him to shew some Favour to his Countreymen, promising to requite his Kindness with double interest.
Unto all our Offers the Deceitful Turk began to listen diligently, for we afterwards saw that he intended only to make a Prey of us, and get such Information from us as might serve his turn. We began to suspect him, and be sorry for our credulity, when we perceived him in the company of the Owners of the Ship, offering for the most considerable of us large Sums of Money, leaving the rest to their ill fortune, without the least regard: They could not then agree about the Price, so that we were transported ashore. At our first Landing, great Companies flock'd about us to see us, having been fore-informed that we had behaved our selves like men of Courage in the Fight. Some whose Relations had been killed, gave us such Welcome as became the cruelty and impertinency of Heathens: They loaded us with Curses and Imprecations, and did strangely insult over us. Had not our Guardians protected us from their Violence, I think we had been torn in pieces. One amongst the rest was animated with a strange fury and desire of revenge for the death of his dear Comrade; both were Spanish Renegadoes: He drew his Cymeter at us, and begg'd the liberty to sacrifice one of us, promising to pay his Ransome: When that could not be obtained, he desired only to cut off our Ears. I know not how it happened that he came near one of us, and with a Blow struck off part of the Cheek of a German, which he took and greedily swallowed, telling the Assistants that he never tasted so sweet a Morsel in his days as that was; so strangely Vengeance had transported him, that he was content to feed upon us. It was our happiness that our Lives did not depend upon his pleasure, we had then accompanied his Comrade in the other world; but our Keepers did safely convey us into the City, where we found our Chains ready made that waited for us. Every one of us had a great strong Chain about twenty pound weight link'd to our Legs and tyed to our Girdle, that if we did meditate an escape, it might not be without difficulty.
We were conducted next in this strange equipage with our jingling Chains at our sides to the Kings Palace; we did not a little wonder what they intended to do with us in a place of so much Honour. We past the first Guard, and entred into a large and spatious Court paved with white Marble-Stone, of which there is a great quantity in that Country; especially in the Quarries about old Carthage or Tunis. There was a high Brick wall that inclosed us, and before us opened a large Gate Chequer'd with divers Colours, which led into a great Hall, where our Keepers led us, and commanded us to rest our selves until the King of Argiers did give us a Visit; an honour that we expected not; but it seems it is the Custom that all Slaves should come in his sight when they first Land; for out of them he chuses for himself the Tenth Person; and when that Number is not compleat, he nevertheless takes one whom he pleases.
We were placed round about the Hall to be prepared for his Coming in, which was not speedily; for being about Noon, he had been bathing himself, and afterwards taking another Recreation, which is usual at that time of day in the hot Climates.
About Two of the Clock in comes a lusty Officer clothed in Scarlet, with a Rod in his hand, and a great Turbant about his Head; it seems he was the King's Gentleman Usher: He was followed by six Persons of good Meen and Appearance: They were armed with Cymeters.
Next came a Grave Fellow with a Turbant almost as big as our English Half Bushel; at one side of it he had a Set of Diamonds, that did sparkle as his Eyes; his Vesture was green, his Legs were bare, on his Feet he did wear Sandals.
We had time to observe him as he entred the Door; for his Pace was slow and grave: I could have numbred 20 between every Step; He marcht in that manner to the upper end, where there was a Canopy of State over his Head, and two Turkey Carpets, with a large Pillow covered with Damask under him; he sate upon it, and then the Owners of the Ship that took us, presented themselves before him, kissing the Hem of his Garment; they discoursed among themselves about an hour, shewing unto him our Bills of Lading; a German of our Company understood something of their Discourse, he told us that the King, who only sate, all the rest standing about him, was displeased they had not followed his Orders when they set out; for it seems he had commanded them to sail along the Coast of Genoa, and to endeavour to revenge him for the great loss which he had lately sustained, when one of his best Vessels that was sent out upon his private account, was made Prize by the Galleys of that Republick.
The Dispute ended with the submission of the Owners of our Vessel, and a Present very considerable in Cloth and other rich Commodities taken out of our Prize.
The Kings Displeasure was soon abated, when he saw such an Honourable Gift enter into his Hall. He took a view of it, and then commanded us to come before him one by one; He look'd upon us with a stern Countenance, and took notice of our Features and Stature; for it seems the Turks are excellent in the Art of Physiognomy; they know a man and his Inclinations at the first view, as well as an expert Farrier can the good or ill Qualities of a Horse: It concerns them much, especially those that trade in Slaves. He cast a Jest upon every one of us, which gave the Company a great deal of Mirth, and increas'd our sadness. I was informed that he said, That he advis'd him that should be my Master, not to trust me too much with his Women.
At last, when he had considered us all, he made us stand before him together; out of the Company he chose my self, the Skipper, and a pretty German Boy of a ruddy Countenance: I did not a little wonder at this last Choice, because there were some of whom he might expect a greater Ransom than of the Child, who was born of poor Parentage; but I understood the good old man was a greater Lover of his pleasures than of Money, and therefore he pitcht upon him as one who might procure unto him some in his old Age; a strange Fancy possesses the minds of all the Southern People; they burn with an unnatural Fire, which consumed Sodom and Gomorrah.
It is strange to see how passionate they are for handsom Males: I was glad to be in the possession of the King, for I hoped to prevail with him and get my Freedom to return for England; but I was much deceived of my expectation, as you shall learn. The King being returned to his private Chambers sent for me, and enquired of my Quality, and of my Friends, and what Trade I understood best: I was puzzled at this last question, and knew not how to answer him best for my advantage; I was afraid to render my self too necessary to him, that he might not retain me in his service; or to make my self too considerable, that he might not put a higher value upon me than I was willing to pay for my Ransom: Therefore I told him that I was born of poor Parentage, who not being able to keep me, put me to be an Under-Cook to a Noble Man of our Country; that from that employment I was removed to be an Apprentice to a rich Merchant, who received me because he found me able to do him service; and that I was sent with his Goods to Smyrna, and other Parts, as his Factor; that it was true, some of the Bills of Lading did mention my Name, but the Goods did belong to my Master, and some Friends who had intrusted me with them.
I saw the Information pleased the old man, especially when he heard I was a Cook; for one that had served him in that employment was lately dead. I was sent immediately to the Kitchin, and had order to dress a Couple of Wild Ducks for my Master; that I did without much difficulty: but when I had other Meats less usual in our Country, I made such mad Sauces, and such strange Ragoux, that every one took me for a Cook of the Antipodes, whose People have Palates that relish things that ours abhor: I was full of Mistakes; sometimes I put Oyl instead of Vinegar, and Salt instead of Pepper. But that I might keep up my Credit amongst the Beholders, I did handle my Meat so nimbly, that they all believed I had been used to Cookery.
I had not been long in the Kitchen, but I heard that the King lamented the Death of his former Cook, and was not pleased with the Sauces I had made; nevertheless I continued in my employment about six weeks, more esteemed for my new-found mis-mashes than I deserved.
At a great Feast that my Master made, I had several sorts of Fishes that I never saw before; the Liver of one hath a most loathsom tast, I thought it good in the Sawce; therefore I sent it up stewed under the Fish, with a Dish garnish'd with many sorts of Flowers: The Guests seeing so pleasant an Appearance, expected the Fish to be as extraordinary as the Beauty; they all prepared their Stomachs to feed upon this Fish, and neglected others that were much better; but when they tasted the Sawce, they imagined some had put a Sir-reverence in it, and all began to spue and spit. I angered so much the King with this Master-piece of Cookery, that he gave Order that I should receive for my Sallery ten Bastonadoes. It was in vain to plead Ignorance, & our Country Fashion; I was forced to suffer the punishment with Patience.
At the Feast there was an Inhabitant of the Town who had been very much pleas'd with the Sauces that others did dislike; when he saw the King so angry with me, desired him to part with me for the usual Ransom; he refused it for the present: but afterwards he was glad to be rid of me at any rate.
I was removed from being Master Cook to a lower place, & a Spanish Slave was placed in my room. He did so domineer over me that I could not suffer his Impertinencies: I plaid him several Tricks; once I made a strange Infusion in a Dish that was to be presented to the King; it almost cost the Slaves Life; he excuses, and laid the Fault upon me: I pretended a great deal of Ignorance, but was not believed. This caused my removal to another employment, which I heartily longed for. I was made by a wonderful change of Fortune Keeper of the Kings Bath. It seems some of his Women had seen me in the House, and interceded for me when the last Disgrace happened to me. I thought my self then a pretty Fellow, and not inferiour to my former Estate; but Fortune left me not long rejoycing at my Promotion; her sudden Favour was followed by a grievous Frown, that almost sent me to my Grave: The occasion of it was this; One of the Kings Wives having so happily pleaded for me, as the good man thought, out of a tenderness natural to all her Sex; and as she then pretended, out of a Kindness for People of my Nation, she sought a fit opportunity to discover her self to me, and make use of my Bath when the King was abroad: I was at first more respectful than she did desire, and left her to the Attendance of her Women Slaves; one that was her Confident, informed me of the Matter of her Mistresses Pleasure, and added, that I should do well to comply, and not worry or disappoint her Kindness by any ungrateful severity.
The Business came soon to the Kings Ear; his jealous Pate had an Eye upon a young Stripling that was not unworthy to supply his place; but it seems he never had a right Information, only some light suspitions of our Correspondency; they were sufficient to cause him to remove me from my pleasant Office; which angered me more than any thing that happened to me in all the time of my Slavery.
I found an opportunity to make my Complaints to my good Lady, who was no less troubled at the old mans peevish humour than my self.
There was no Remedy to our Grief, but the hopes of meeting in some other Corner of the House.
I was sent next to work in the Fields, where I met with such difficult and painful Labour, and such cruel Task-Masters, that I fell grievously sick; my good Lady did not forget to administer Comfort unto me by the means of her Spanish Woman: In my lowest Estate she vouchsafed to pay me a Visit, and would not suffer me to want any thing that Credit could procure.
It was a happiness to me to meet here with such a true Friend. I could have wished that my Sickness had lasted longer for her sake.
I was no sooner recovered, but my old doting Patron fearing a Relapse, or rather growing more jealous of me, gave order that I should be led into the Market-Place and there sold: I had made my application to him to be redeemed, I had sent Letters into Spain and England, and endevoured to be released, but all in vain; he lookt upon me as so needy a fellow that could not procure the ordinary Ransom of a Slave from my Friends. I had laboured to perswade something of it, during my abode in his service.
When I saw my self with an ill-favoured Turk, leading me by a Chain, as a Horse or a Bullock, thorough the streets, I then began to lament my hard fortune, and remember my former Estate; I knew not what Providence had prepared for me, nor what surly Master I should meet with next: I went with a sad Countenance, and as sad a Heart to the publick Place, where I was to be exposed to Sale.
The Turk that led me, cryed before in Franca Lingua, Who will buy a Christian? Who will buy a Christian?
It was a grievous change of fortune, in so short a time as a year, to be reduced from that honourable Estate in which my Father left me, to the lowest Misery, to a Slave, to be sold as a Beast, in a strange Countrey, where I had no Friends that did dare to own me. I must confess I was never so dejected as at this time. I did complain of my hard Fate, and did send up many sighs and groans to Heaven, to implore the assistance and care of Divine Providence: In this low Condition I knew not what it had prepared for me.
Assoon as I was come into the Market-place, a Fellow, a Stranger to me, addresses himself to my Keeper, and offers Money for my Person: He seem'd to be a man of no great Appearance; yet his Looks discovered him to be a good man.
Several others came about me, and amongst the rest, that ill-natur'd English Renegate that enquired of our qualities so exactly on shipboard, accosted my Keeper, and would needs have me at any Rate: I trembled for fear of falling into his hands, knowing how grievously he had handled some of my Comrades.
My Keeper made advantage of the Press, and ask'd a hundred Dollars more than he was commanded to take for me. The first would not let me slip out of his hands; therefore he paid the money, and led me away with him to a House next to the Grand Mosque of the City, very near the Kings Palace.
I was not a little pleas'd to be so near the Place from which I might expect some Assistance; much more, when I saw the good Spanish Woman pay me a Visit from her Mistress.
It seems she had ordered this Fellow to watch when I was to be sold, and to buy me for her Service. I thought my self happy to be a Slave to so excellent and kind a Lady: I never dreamt of a Change whilst I belonged unto her: I had no reason; for nothing was wanting unto me useful to the Life of Man. I only wore a Chain out of Formality, because otherwise my good Fortune might have been suspected. I did also employ my self in slavish work, for that intent, but not above measure.
The Lady became very devout after my coming to that place; she seldom miss'd a day, but came in some Disguise to pay her Devotions at the Mosquette, from whence there was a passage into my Lodgings.
By this frequent and constant Attendance at Publick Prayer, she purchas'd unto her self a very great esteem with the People, and a favour with her Husband; and ever after she was named a Saint.
I continued her Slave about two years, in which time I did view the City of Argiers, and took an especial notice of many Particulars worth the publick knowledge.
It is a City not so large as populous, fortified by Art and Nature; the Walls are 60 foot high, in some places 70 and 80; they are built with square Stone and Flints: they are about 12 and 13 Foot broad.
The City is not above a Mile round. At the East-side, on the top of a high Hill stands a strong Cittadel very well fortified, built at first by the Spaniards: It is furnished with 40 or 50 Pieces of Ordnance, and kept by 300 Renegadoes in Garrison.
At the West side another Castle somewhat less, but altogether as strong, doth overlook the Town. In the Harbour is built a very commodious Mould, able to contain above 200 Sail. Upon it stands a strong Fort, that threatens Destruction to all Vessels that dare adventure near without leave, or in a Hostile manner: Three Tier of Guns are planted in it; the lowest is level with the Water.
The Mould lies in such a crooked manner, that no Ships can with their full Sail come straight in without turning: So that it is a very difficult work to break the Chain and enter it by force.
This Nest of Pirates is very well prepared for the Attempts of any Christian Enemy. None can do them the least injury by Land or by Sea: so that here they retreat as the Wild Beasts in their Dens to enjoy their Thefts and Prey.
That which renders the Town more strong, is, that it is built upon a hard Rock, and cannot easily be undermined.
I have taken notice of 3 Places in the Castles that are but weak; In the great Cittadel, on the South side, is a rising Hill as high as the half of the Wall, if it was possessed by a powerful Enemy, it might serve very commodiously either for Battery or Mining.
On the East side is but a weak Wall, that would not endure long the Fury of the Canon.
The other Castle hath many little Hills that are equal in height; besides, the Wall in the Town in one place is not so strong, but an Enemy might enter by it.
Charles the 5th. attempted to drive these Pirates out of their Nest, but it was to no purpose that he brought a Navy by Sea, and Landed a puissant Army to besiege the Town; the violence of a storm broke his Vessels to pieces, and forced him to raise his Siege with the loss of a hundred Ships, and many thousand Men. Since that time Argiers is much stronger, and better fortified: Daily something is added to the strength of it; so that unless the Christian Princes join together, or some powerful Monarch by Sea & Land lay siege to it, it will be one day impregnable but by Famine.
In the City the Houses are very pleasant, and more beautiful within and without than in other Parts of Affrica. The greater lie open in the middle, with handsom Galleries and Turrets.
Several Mosquets are built for Publick Devotion, into which no Christian hath liberty to enter, unless he intends to Apostatize; for he must either burn or turn that enters the Place of their Prayer, that handles the Alcoran before Witnesses, or that repeats their Illa Alla Mahumet, &c.
They have a great number of their Talubs, Religious Men, whose Duty is to read their Publick Prayers. They have many other sorts of Men appointed to attend in their Mosquets; some are to expound the Mahumetan Law, and they are called Cadirs; others are to invite the People to their Devotions, and they are named Dervises; some live by the Alms of the People; others are Prophets and holy Men.
Over all the Religious Orders there is one established as the Supreme Judge of all Controversies, and he is honoured with the Title of Marabut: He is the Judge between Man and Man, of Matters of Equity and Justice. A certain stipend is allowed unto him from the Publick Treasury. He lives not upon the Inferiour Orders; every one hath a setled Salary. The great swallow the little ones, as Fishes; they feed upon them, and from their Labours derive a maintenance to their idle Bodies: a sad encouragement to Laziness & Vice, and the grand Cause of the Disorders of a Nation.
Other Persons besides the King and Bashaw are eminent in this City; the Lagaw is the Chief in the next place, He is the first person of the Duan, and is the General of the Armies abroad: Under him are the Cheuses, which are like our Justices of the Peace, or Sheriffs. The next are Boulgebushes, Men like our Bayliffs; they are Servants to the Duan: They remain three years in their Offices, and then go out with the Armies as Controulers of the rest.
Besides these, are other Bushes, Captains and Officers of the Militia; they wear a Badge of Honour on their Heads, and are distinguished from the rest by their Turbant, that is wound about in the form of a Sugar-Loaf; behind a Red Cross falls down: It is not lawful for any to take this Attire but themselves. It is the Badge of their Office, as the Red Scarf is the Sign of Command amongst Christians.
In the Camp there are other Great Men; as Daventees, Mouchees, &c.
An Acha Basha is an experienced man amongst them, one that hath been in several Encounters, who commands a Party when it is separated from the Main Body. He must be an old man, and when once he comes to that Employment, he can rise no higher as other Officers can.
About the City are most pleasant Gardens, Orchards, and fair Houses belonging to the Inhabitants.
Further in the Countrey, very good Corn grows upon the little Hills that appear round about.
Here is plenty of all things unless it be of Wine, which is not made by the Turks or Moors. They of Argiers are not so scrupulous as the stricter sort; their Consciences can suffer them to be drunk with Wine when they take good store in Prizes.
In the City, towards the East side is a very strong House built, and some Souldiers to keep guard. I enquired what the Place was, and I was informed that it was the Publick Treasury-House: Every year they cast in vast Sums of Money, according to their happiness in the Encounters with Christians. They never take out of it: It is thought there are many Millions shut up in that Hole. The last Barbarossa built it for the Publick; and to encourage the rest to give liberally, he put in 2000 Dollars.
When the Ships come in, and when the Lots are made, there is alwaies something for the Treasury, and a good Portion for Mahomet.
It seems these Heathens have Religion enough to make them honour their Prophet, and those that represent his Place amongst them; for the most part such are good for nothing else but to say the Publick Prayers: Yet the People are so far from despising them, that they bear a great respect unto them; and suffer not any to be in want that attends at their Devotions.
This Portion which is called the Portion of Mahomet in the Division of Prize-Goods, is put into the Hands of a Treasurer appointed for that purpose, and he distributes equally to all their Religious men: If they find at any time that he hath converted the least part to his private use, he is put to death in a most cruel manner: He is stript naked, and at the Door of the Marabut he is empaled alive, and then in that manner raised to the top of the Steeple of a Mosquet, where is exposed to Publick view for three daies, and then his Body is carried out of the City, to be given for food to the wild Beasts.
His Estate is sold for the benefit of the Religious Men; for they look upon it as consecrated to Mahomet, when the least part of what belongs to him hath been mingled amongst it.
This People hath wisely provided against their Covetousness & disorderly Behaviour, that rob or diminish from the Maintenance of those Orders of Men that serve the Publick in the Worship of God, and that keep up the Honour of Religion amongst them; for they are sensible that the preservation of themselves and Government depends upon their esteem, their Credit and Prosperity, who only are able to perswade men to submit to the establish'd Laws; therefore there are here most severe Punishments inflicted upon all those that venture to injure such either in their Estates or Persons. And there is very good provision made that they may not fall into the disesteem of the People.
There are many excellent Orders to stir them up to the Service of God: they are often summoned to Prayers; In the Morning, which time they call Salam, at Twelve of the Clock, named Dochar, at Four in the Afternoon is their Assara; at Sun-setting, Mogharb; at Twilight, Usher; at Midnight is Ou-el; the next is Istanay: At these several times great Numbers of all sorts do resort to their Mosquet, and there in an humble manner they pray to God and Mahomet.
Those that are negligent or careless in coming to Prayer, are taken notice of, and if they have been formerly Christians, they are excluded from all hopes of Employment, and at the least offence severely treated.
The Ceremonies observed in the Consecration of their Religious Men are not unworthy of our Notice; The Father of the young man must bring him to the Marabut, when he sits in the Chief Mosquet of the City with a numerous Attendance, to be Witnesses of his Dedication to that Service. They enter the Place, the Father holding the Son by the Right hand, and both together go straight to the Marabut, and kiss the Border of his Robe. After this Ceremony, the Marabut asks the Father whether he can read; the Father answers, Yes. A Book is immediately presented to the young Fellow, usually the Alcoran, who reads in it a Page: If he doth not miss a word, but pronounce well and distinctly, he is then admitted: The Marabut calls him by his Name, and causeth it to be enrolled in the Catalogue of the Order: Then comes a Fellow with a sharp Knife, and cuts in his Right Arm the Figure of a half Moon; into the Wound is put some Gunpowder, which being blown up, leaves a blew Impression, that nothing can take away, unless the place be cut off.
Afterwards some Prayers being made, tending to the Confirmation of him into their Holy Orders, he is obliged to swear by Mahomets Lock of Hair to observe certain Rules.
He is then cloathed in another manner before the People, and the Marabut takes him into his Arms, and gives him a Kiss, which sanctifies him for ever; the solemnity ends in Musick and Dancing. This is practised at their admittance into that Rank of Men which they esteem holy, and who only may publickly read the Alcoran.
I shall say nothing of their Marriages and Circumcisions, their Customs are not much different from the Turks.
I did observe many particulars in the Happy time of my Slavery, for I had liberty to view the City, and to walk up and down; my business and work was only to wait upon my Lady at the time of her Devotions, sometimes it was at Moghar, and sometimes in the day at Dochar. I did discover my self to her, and told her of the happiness of a Christian life in our Countrey; I laboured to perswade her to escape out of the old Mans reach; I promised my Assistance, and that if she would consent unto it, I ingaged my self to Marry her. She had two Children, a Boy and a Girl, that kept her in that place, otherwise I think I had then got my Freedom and carryed her away; but she would not for that cause hearken to my perswasions, nor suffer me to talk of my Liberty, telling me, that I should want nothing whilst I remained in that place, and in her service; that if I rendred my self unworthy of it, by offering to run away, I should become the most miserable of all men.
I was ever after more humble and dutiful, and was afraid she should discover in me an inclination to be gone.
During this time I received several Letters from Cadiz, Malaga, and other English Factories, that mentioned my Redemption, but I could never expect to obtain it from my kind Mistress.
About that time she departed this Life, and left me sufficient cause to lament: Another of the Sultan's Wives was suspected to have poysoned her, because the Sultan had conceived a greater Love for her, by reason of her constant Devotions, than for the other. Before her Death, about six moneths, she was brought to Bed of a pretty little Girl, somewhat whiter than ordinary; the old Fool thought himself to be the Father of it. I was once admitted to see it; but now my Mistress was dead, I was left to the Misfortunes and Miseries of a slavish Life. I was forced again to return to a hard Service, although her Goodness had laboured to free me; for she sent to the man at whose house I lay, being her Cousin German, to speak with him before her Death: She did then make him promise to give me my Release after her Burial in requital of my good Service, and by her Gentlewoman sent me a Present of Gold, to a considerable value, which I did not possess long. You may easily imagine my grief to part with so true a Friend: It was not a little increas'd when I perceiv'd the Fellow would not perform his Cousins request; but instead of sending me away, carried me to the Market again to be sold. I did long expostulate the business with him, but could never have other Reasons of his proceeding but this, That I should not anger him for fear he should publish the Mystery, which would infallibly cost me my Head.
I was forced to submit to his unjust pleasure. He led me to the Market, and there I was sold for 300 Dollars; for I never made my self known to him; he always look'd upon me as a pitiful Fellow, unable to redeem my self.
My next Master was by Profession a Gardener, he had me into his Orchards, and there with a good Cudgel he made me understand a trade I never knew before. I endured much with him; for he gave me such great Tasks to perform, that I was not able to hold out.
At the least displeasure he threatned to stab and kill me; therefore the fear of Death made me seek my escape. I was sometimes sent to fetch Lime for a Building that he had in hand near the Sea-shore. A Vessel was lately arrived from France, to redeem the Captives; it lay without the Mould.
At that time that I was on the Sand it was dusky, a French man offered me his assistance, I accepted of it, and went into his Boat; but I was discovered before I could get off the Mould, and sent back to my Master, that punished me with a hundred blows on the Soles of my Feet, which rendred me uncapable for his Service many days.
He was soon weary of my Company, and sold me to the English Renegado that came on board our Ship at our Arrival. I expected from him a kinder entertainment, but found less: He was cruel and severe to me, he made me work night and day. I often treated with him for my Ransom, but found his Demands to be so high, that I could not comply with him. He abus'd me most sadly abut five Moneths, and Death delivered me of his Tyranny.
His Executors sold me again amongst his Goods and Chattels. I fell next into the hands of an Italian Renegado, named Ishmael Reiz, who was not kinder to me than my former Masters; my Work was painful, my Diet mean, my Labour continual, and my Rewards the Blow of a hard Cudgel.
I could not suffer long this Service; therefore I sought to displease my Patron, and make him sell me to another.
He gave me next to an Officer of the Militia called Hally Hamez Reiz, who was so well pleased with my Person and Countenance, that he resolved not to part with me for any Money. I offered unto him 800 Dollars: He told me I should first go with him in the Countrey, and at his return I should have liberty to be redeem'd if I behaved my self well.
At that time the Turks did send out a strong Army to gather the Contributions of the People, and to relieve Tremsen or Climsan, a strong and populous City in the Country.
There is a Garrison of Turks that are sent every year to that place, and another that comes from thence; for as it is a great City, the Countrey round about do always submit to those that are Masters of that Place. It concerns therefore the Turks to fortifie and preserve that City for themselves against the Attempts of the Arabs, that are their deadly Enemies.
Having run through so many strange and unexpected Fortunes, I did not hope to meet with less Variety in this Expedition, in the which I was engaged amongst the rest; my Master was a Commander of a hundred Men: He was very passionate and lascivious, nevertheless Valiant; as I did afterwards learn.
We marched out in very good Order, with our Flying Colours and some few Field-Pieces very small.
The Army was composed of Twelve Thousand Men; Four Thousand were to go Westward, and gather the contributions along the Sea-Coast as far as Tetuan and the Kingdom of Fez: The next Four Thousand were to march towards Tunis; and the third Four Thousand were to enter into the Country.
The Custom of the Turks is to gather the Contributions upon the Inhabitants who do not pay willingly; therefore they venture not amongst them but in great Numbers, well armed, able to oppose an Enemy, or prevent a sudden surprizal. There is a Natural Antipathy between them. The Moors that dwell in the Kingdom, and the Arabs do hate the Turks, because they are imperious, and because they are obliged to pay unto them an yearly Tribute.
The time that these Armies set forth was in June, the Harvest, when the Corn was ripe and fit for use: then the Country was able to furnish the yearly Revenue either in Corn or Money.
The Commander of the Western Circuit was Abel Hamed Simon; of the Eastern were two Chieftains, Halac Rigla Reiz, an old Renegado of Spain, and Hake Sim Haly, a young Blade that had more Precipitation than Wisdom; they met with many Mischances, as you shall afterwards hear, and had it not been for our unexpected Approach, the whole Army had been cut in pieces.
Our Commander was a judicious man, but very unfortunate; cruel, bold and valiant, a great Enemy of the Arabs; his Name was Ben Osman Bucher, he had been a great Commander at Sea, and fought in many notable Encounters against the Christians, never with so much success as in the Year 36. against a Portguese Caraque, near the Island of Tenerifa, sayling from the East-Indies, and bound for Lisbon, laden with very rich Commodities to a great value. His share was so considerable, that he was raised from a poor and a mean Estate to a great Fortune, and to the Esteem of the Divan; especially because the good Success of that Fight was attributed to his Valour and Resolution: For the Christians making a stout resistance, the Turks were discouraged from further Attempts, and not willing to continue their Enterprize longer, when he with his drawn Cymeter did compel some, and perswade others to try again the Portuguese Courage, and so by that means won the Ship, and brought great Riches into the City: He was every after highly esteemed, and employed in great Affairs where any danger or difficulty did appear. For that Reason he commanded the Army that he was to go the middle Circuit; because there are a sort of People very valiant and stout, that sometimes make a strong Resistance to the Turks, and when they see their advantage, they refuse Tribute.
Our Army was composed of Horse and Foot; a thousand Horse, and two thousand Foot were numbred at the Musters, besides Slaves and Servants.
The Cavalry was composed of Turks born, and Moors that had quitted their Countreys interest to serve them of Argiers; and for the most part they were Inhabitants of the City, and had there their Wives and Children.
The Infantry was made up of Renegado-Christians, whereof there are such a number in that place, that they bear all the sway and command both by Sea and Land. They are as Imperious over the rest as the Janizaries in Turky over the Greeks, and the Mamalukes in Egypt were over the ancient Inhabitants.
The Divan is composed of this sort of men, who are most skilful because they are acquainted with the Affairs of Europe, and better able to manage the Publick Business relating to that part of the World, and to give Orders. Some of them do get vast Estates, others are miserable and poor, and therefore are obliged to the meanest Offices.
With this strong Party we set forward, and came to a Place the first day called Atsabah, at two Leagues distance from the Sea: It was a pretty little Town situate on the Decline of a pleasant Hill, that was covered on the right hand with a Large Wood, extream Bushy, about two Miles in length. The Houses were more handsom than we could expect in a Countrey Village. About it were to be seen the Ruines of old Buildings that did only appear out of Earth. A Christian Renegado that had studied in the University of Salamanca, informed me, that this place was named anciently Stilpeia, and that it had been an Episcopal See in the time of the Christian Churches.
The Chief man of the place was a Turk, retired from the Affairs and Noise of the City, here he was resolved to spend the rest of his days, that were not very many; for I conceive he was above fourscore.
We lodged that night about this little Town. Round about Argeirs there are many such, at some distance from the place.
The next morning we marched by break of Day, and went five Leagues before we did rest. We passed by the Tents of many Arabs, who had gathered all their Corn. The Chief of every Family paid our Receiver in Dollars and Gold, whereof there is a great quantity all along the Sea-Coast. They informed our General that a small number of their Countrey-men were met together, and were resolved to dispute unto us the passage of a River.
This News made us stand upon our Guards, and was the occasion of frequent Alarms given to our Camp; for at the sight of a few Horsemen, we did imagine the Enemy to be at their Heels, and ready to charge us.
This days Journey was very pleasant; for although I had my Masters Lance, and a Gun to carry on my Shoulder, our Victuals that we brought with us were not yet spent, the way was very good, and we had several Accidents that we met with, that gave us a great deal of sport; besides I had accosted an English Turk, with whom I did entertain my self of the Affairs of our Nation; I found him desirous to seek his escape, because he had not lighted upon so good a Fortune as others in their Apostasie, and because he had been put by an Employment that he had sought after; and I think his Conscience did a little trouble him to have obscured that Truth that he knew to be so; therefore when I took the liberty to lay it before his Eyes, he could not restrain his Tears.
Our General had no difficulty this day; for several came and brought in at the place appointed their usual Tribute. The Inhabitants are so near the City, and have so great a dependency upon it, that they are affraid to disoblige it in the least. Therefore when those other people that were in Arms, did think to revolt from the Turks, they sent some to sollicite these to join with them. They did all wish to be delivered from the Turks Tiranny, but they were affraid to venture, because their near Habitations were likely to suffer first the Turks Vengeance and Fury.
The Country we found very fruitful of Corn and Fodder. As we passed by a Wood, we had the sight of several Wild Beasts that returned from seeking their Prey. Our Van-guard did shoot at many of them; one of our Company, to shew his Valour, met a Lion that advanc'd towards us, and with his Cymeter in his hand encountred him: The sport almost cost the Fellow his Life, for the Lion was very strong, and with his Paws he had twice struck him down, the last time the Lion in a rage had bit off part of his Arm; he had instantly devoured him, had not we all shot at him, & fixed above 100 Bullets in his Body. The Fellow we found almost dead with fear, under the Lion. He was glad with the loss of some of his Flesh, to be so happily escap'd; none pitied him, or was sorry for his wounds, his rash Enterprize did deserve no less.
We journeyed about three Leagues, and we came to a little Valley very fruitful of Palms and Olive Trees, a small Rivulet, covered with Strawberry Bushes, did run through it, and water the Plain; at each end a Grove did grow.
In one, as we passed, I saw a Flying Serpent, about the bigness of an ordinary Dog, with a long Tail, and a Head like an Ape, with a larger mouth, and a long Tongue, the Body had about four Foot in length; we shot at it, but could not kill it: It threatned some of our men when they ventured to come near it, and could not be obliged to depart until a great number of us were arrived at the Place. I saw it near a pleasant Fountain that did rise in one side of the furthermost Grove. I enquired of the Name, but could not learn it; it had Wings of divers Colours, the chief were Red and White: It hovered long over our heads, and had not the Noise of our Guns frighted it away, I think it had ventured amongst us again. I could not distinguish of what substance the Wings were; they were bigger than those of our winged Fowls; all the Birds that saw it at a distance were glad to fly. I imagined it to be a kind of Basilisk, a desperate Serpent, and extraordinary Venomous. This sight was no less wonderful to the rest than to me; for all professed to have never seen the like: That made me believe it was some In-land Creature not usually seen near the Sea-Coast.
We met in this Journey nothing else remarkable, but some Ancient Pillars of Marble; upon one I saw some Arabick Letters; A Moor told me that they signified the Name of a great Commander that won a Battel fighting against the Inhabitants, when he led the Arabians into that Country, I Zidi Dockra Moukadem under the Renowned General and Prince Abel Hamed, do erect this Pillar in memory of a great Victory obtained of the Brabbers, in the which I kill'd their Commander with my own Hands, whose Name was Azoret Moudem; he was followed by 6000 Stout Souldiers; I had only 2000 of my Countrey-men; but our good Prophet would not suffer us to be opprest by his Enemies; he lent us a favourable Assistance, and in one hours time we destroyed 3582 with the loss of 37 of my Men, and of the Hageria 130.
About a League farther we met with several Heaps of Stones, and near unto them, in the way side, a large Cave, into the which, with my Masters Leave, I entered: it was hewn out of a Rock, there were several Chambers about five Foot broad, and as many long; there was nothing remarkable but several heaps of Bones: It seems the Wild Beasts did make it their Retreat when they had seized on their Prey. I imagined it to be a Place made for the Dwelling of some solitary Anachoret of the Primitive Christians, retired out of the World into that remote place. That which confirmed me in this Belief, was a great Number of Crosses and Crucifixes artificially made in the Rock, in the inner Chamber, which had no other Light but that which entered in by Reflections from the Caves Month through the other Rooms. I had only time to look upon this Religious Place; for the coming up of the Rear hastened me away. That Night we reach'd as far as Boumelli, a good Town situate upon a River side, very pleasant because of the Medows that did encompass it, and several little Hills that were to be seen afar off, crowned with Orange and Limon Trees that are always green in those Countries. The Inhabitants furnished us with all things necessary, and when our Army began to approach, they came in a very humble manner to pay homage to our Commander in Chief; the Shack of the Place went in the Head of them on foot, and kiss'd the Hem of our Generals Garment, and presented unto him a Basket full of Loaves, two white Cows, and half a dozen young Barbs. The Present was accepted, and they were confirmed in the possession of their Lands.
There were in the Town about 600 Houses or Huts; some were pretty considerable, and adorned with Marble Pillars, and good Workmanship.
They were most Graziers; for we found hereabouts several Droves of Cattel very fat.
The Country People informed us of the Design of the Arabs to resist us: They were gathered together beyond the River Talna, where they were resolved to try the Fortune of a Battel: All their Substance they had transported to the Top of a high Mountain, called by the Inhabitants Azar, unto which they were resolved to flee, if they did lose the Day.
The reason of their Revolt, as was pretended, was the Turks Tyranny, the Poverty of the Year not able to furnish for their own Livelihood, and for the Tribute demanded from them; therefore they had made haste to gather up the Corn, and had prepared themselves to make resistance.
This kind of People did not want a Resolution to fight, nor good Conduct in the management of their Affairs; for they had dispatch'd away several Messengers into the Neighbouring Countries for Aid, and had drawn a great company to their Assistance.
Our General gave notice of all things to the other Armies, that they might draw towards him, if Occasion did require it: Nevertheless he proceeded in his March, and did send every day several Parties of Horse from the main Body to receive the Offerings of the People.
The third day, which was according to our Account the 20th of June, we past over high Mountains fenced on all sides with craggy Rocks; we were obliged sometimes to climb over them: Our Horse took a compass about by a way more easie.
About Noon the Sun was extraordinary hot, which obliged us to seek a Repose under the shady Trees that grew in this Stony ground; as I was resting my self at a distance from my Patrons Company, a great Scorpion spies me in her way, and as I was between sleeping and waking, the venomous Creature fixed her sting into my naked Leg so gently that I had not felt it, had not my next Neighbour advertised me. I had heard much of that Beast; when I saw my self wounded by it, and my flesh swelling, immediately I began to fear the increase of the Venom, but some had already killed it, and brought the Blood unto me to apply to the Wound. It was wonderful to see the present cure that the Blood gave; it had no sooner touch'd the tumor, but it began to decrease, and out of the little prick came forth a liquor white as Milk, by that I found that the blood of the Scorpion hath an attractive virtue.
I had no sooner escaped this Mischief, but I fell into a worse; my Master had sent me to the Rear to buy Victuals for himself; for there were some in that place that did sell Bread and Meat ready dres'd: As I was returning loaded, I fell down with my burden a steep Rock, and bruised my self; but the fear lest my Master should cudgel me for my Misfortune, rouzed me up, and made me speed towards him.
From this unhappy place we removed up Hill through a Countrey that was not inhabited, unless it be by Monsters and Wild Beasts, whereof we saw a great many; some not known to me before.
It seems the Design of our General was to surprize the Arabian Army on a sudden, and to come upon them by a way that they least suspected. We marched here through Woods, over Rocks and Hills three days together. I had the satisfaction for my pains to see several Creatures; of which I shall give a brief Account.
This Mountain is part of the Atlas, it runs all along through this Kingdom, and that of Fez, and reaches as far as the main Ocean; some part of it is very high.
We came to a place in this hot time of Summer, which was very cold: In the Corners that were not exposed to the Sun was a great deal of Ice and Snow. This place which gave us a Prospect over all the Countrey, was in the second Region of the Air.
Here we found plenty of woods and Trees, and several sorts of Birds; one we did kill that had four Legs as a Beast: Its Body was as big as a Turkie-Cock, the Head was like an Owl, its Tail was extream broad, the Plumes were grey, and the Head only black; it did not fly very swiftly, therefore our people had not much difficulty to kill it.
We saw several sorts of Lions; towards the Evening they did go out of their Dens, when the Jackals began to bark.
The noblest sort of Lion is that which is called the Royal; it is the biggest and strongest sort; it hath a Shape somewhat differing from the rest, and a Voice more stout: When any of the others do meet such an one, they seem to yield a respect unto him. He is more grave in his Motion, more fierce in the Encounter, undaunted in the greatest danger.
There are other sorts of a lesser Size. Every night we were visited with several Companies of wild Creatures; some had the boldness to break in upon us, but these never returned again to their company to tell News.
In an Evening we discovered afar off a great Beast; some of us went nearer to it to discharge our Guns at it: It was a Monster of a large Bulk, the Head was like a Lion, the Paws like a Bear, the hinder parts much like to an Ass; when it was killed, every one in the Army had a sight of it; I then did remember the Saying of the Romans, Africa semper apportat aliquid novi; every year there is some strange Creature or other to be seen in these remote places.
Some make it their business to watch them at the Season of the Year that they usually come into the World, and employ all their Art to catch them, that they might lead them from place to place alive, to shew them to the Inhabitants for money.
There are here a great number of wild Goats, we had the sight of some that climbed up the steepy Rocks, but could not come within Shot of them.
Another Creature I saw here much like unto a Dog, very nimble and quick sighted, but yielding an extraordinary stink; it is called by the Moors Subsib.
There is also another of the same shape, only this difference, that it hath a white Tail, and adventures in the night amongst the Inhabitants to steal the Good-wives Hens and Geese; it is called Thaloub; it is of the nature of our English Foxes, very subtil and crafty.
I saw here in this wild place several other sorts of Serpents and Beasts, of which I could not come near to take a full view, therefore I shall not adventure to describe them.
I had almost forgot one of a strange Nature; it appear'd unto us as a White Lamb, something differing in the shape, as we were marching through a Valley; but when it perceived us to approach in such Numbers, it fled before us; our Captain thought it had been some stragling Lamb belonging to some Mountainous People, and because we were not well provided with good Victuals, he sent some of us to overtake it before it got into the neighbouring thickets of a rising Hill: I had Order to pursue it, and accompany the Hunters. As we came within a hundred Paces of it, it made more haste than ordinary, and began to shift for it self amongst the Trees; but as it could not well escape from us, because it was already weary, and very fat, we overtook it at the entry in of the Bushes; but perceiving us so near, it ran under one, and that we might not find it, it changed in an instant its white colour into the same with the Bush, which unexpected alteration gave us a great deal of trouble. We had never found it again, had not one of the Company discharged a Musket; at the Noise it rose up in a fright, and began to run for its Life; we little thought it to be the same, nevertheless some of us did venture after it, and some remained in the place, seeking the white Beast: The Pursuers shot off one of its Legs, and then cried to us to forbear seeking, and that the counterfeit Lamb was caught. We went to be Eye witnesses of the Wonder; it was the same shap'd Beast, but the colour was no more White as before, the Milky Colour was changed into a Blackish Gray: Its Coat was a fine Wool, the Head was like a Wolf, not altogether so long, it had very sharp Teeth, and a fierce Look, the Hinder-parts were like a Sheep: It is one of the strangest Creatures I ever saw. I wondred how it could alter its White Wool into a Colour so different: I imagined this to be the Beast mentioned by the Learned, that takes the Colour of the place where it lays; a good Emblem of an Hypocrite.
We spent three days climbing over these mountainous places, and fighting with strange and unknown Creatures to me: But as this was not the business we intended, we made haste into the plain Countrey; our Horse and Carriages we had sent by another way, a little about, so we arrive at the Passage of the River before them.
The Arabs slept in great security, little thinking that we would adventure over the Mountains and Rocks.
Our General Commanded us to rest, and sit our selves for Action, for he imagined, that assoon as we should come into the Plain, our arrival would be known to the Enemies, and that they would not fail to make Attempts upon us on a suddain. We refreshed our selves all that Evening, until the next Morning, when an Alarum was sounded, at the which we all ran to our Arms, and put our selves in order, expecting the Onset of some Arabs, but no Enemy appeared, unless it was a company of Apes pursued by a few Jaccals, who made such a noise in the Wood that was near us, running up and down the Branches, that those upon the skirts of the Army thought them to be the Enemy, that took the advantage of the place to fire upon us; their needless Fear did assoon appear as the nimble Creatures recover'd the tops of the highest trees, to whose protection they did dare to commit themselves; nevertheless the Allarm continued, and ran, as nimbly as the Apes, all over the Army, it could not be stopt until every one was informed of the cause of the Fright.
We Marched all that Morning until Noon, and then came to the foot of the Hills, where our General was resolved to stay till Evening, intending with a Party at Midnight to fall upon the Enemy, who was not above six Miles distance from us: as it began to dawn, we advanc'd, and found some few Tents stragling from the rest; the Arabs that were in them, told us that the main Body was at the Ford of the River Tasna, expecting our Arrival; that they had broken down all the Bridges all along, and were resolved to fight us; they further informed us of the cause of their Revolt: A Person of a Noble Family of one of their Tribes, named Isha Muker, whose Parents had been very considerable in the Kingdom of Fez, was that year come amongst them, with all his Substance; that he was look'd upon as an Eminent Commander, skilful in Affairs of War and Peace, and that he was therefore well received, because also that he was very rich; That this was the man that had perswaded them to shake off the Turkish yoke. At first they were timorous and fearful to revolt; but at last he encouraged them, by representing how imperious they were, the poverty of the Year, that could not furnish the Tribute-Money, and to their subsistency. Besides he told them that the Turks were not true Mahometans, that they were Heretical in their Opinions, and prophane in their Practices, and that it was not lawful to submit to, and own such for their Masters. These Reasons had work'd upon the multitude, but could not cause them to take up Arms until he had advis'd himself of this Stratagem; A Fellow was lately come into those Parts from Mecha, and feigned to be lame; His Pilgrimage was much more esteemed because of the pretended Impediment of his Feet.
Before he was arrived, Elmswar Tapnez, for that was the Noble Mans Name, had sufficiently instructed him how he should behave himself: He brought with him a Letter which was directed to the Chief Leading men of the Countrey, from the Keeper of Mahomet's Temple; the Contents were, That Mahomet had appear'd unto him in a Dream, and commanded him to signifie unto them that it was his Pleasure to assist them this year in a notable manner, and free them from the Slavery of the Turk: It promised besides the rewards of Heaven to those that should be valiant, and eternal punishment to the Cowards and Disobedient.
This Letter was given almost at the same time to the Grandees, and divulged all abroad amongst the Arabs in the Kingdom; some did give credit to it, others did look upon it as an Imposture. Nevertheless an Assembly was called of the Chief of them, where the Letter being again produc'd in the presence of Tapnez, the Hage or Religious Pilgrim seeing him come in, fell on his Face and kiss'd the hem of his Garment; the Assistants wondered at this humility, not usual in persons of that Holy Order, until he had told them the Cause: He affirmed that the Great Prophet had appeared that night unto him, and in consideration of his great pains he had suffered in his Travels to Mecha, he would cure him of his Lameness, that he had shew'd him the Person in his shape that should lay his hand upon him and cure him, and that it was this same man that was present: Tapnez seem'd to increase the number of the Wonderers, and would not be perswaded the Revelation had been real, until the Hage or Holy Man with all the Assembly earnestly requested him to try what he was able to do: At last he consented to their Prayers, and with his Right Hand began to stroke the Lame man.
He no sooner felt the others finger, but he began to leap, and falling at his Feet, adored him as a Holy Man.
The Assembly taking notice of the Cure, and the manner of it, did really believe the Hage, and without delay established Tapnez for their General and Chief Commander, until they could give notice of their Designes to some of the Blood-Royal of Mahomet, who only may command over them as King or Emperor. It was then resolved also that they would no longer pay Tribute to the Turk: Tapnez confirmed his Credit by many other feigned Miracles; so that he was look'd upon in the Countrey as some extraordinary Fellow sent from Heaven to their Assistance.
He had gathered together thirteen thousand Horse and Foot; the Countrey People reported more: and with this Army was resolved to wait for the Turkish Army that came that way to gather Contributions, and to relieve the Garrison of Chinsan or Tremisen, a City in the middle of the Countrey, not inferiour to Fez.
The Numbers of our Enemies did startle us when we heard how they were resolved to revenge themselves for all past Affronts; therefore the Commanders did desire the General not to expose them to so eminent a danger until the other Armies had joined with him.
His Courage was great, he could not yield to this wholsom advice; his Hopes were greater: He was resolved to get all the honour of the Victory to himself; therefore he proposed to fall upon the Arabs that night; he shewed it to his Captains, to perswade them, what an easie thing it was to rout the Enemy that was so secure, and that had not any notice of their Approach; and that unless they did speedily make use of the Opportunity, the Horse and Baggage would be delivered into the Hands of the Arabs, whose Numbers were able to oppress the small Party that came directly that way. It was too late to go back, we were now so near, that unless we did surprize the Enemy, it was impossible to escape.
According to our Generals Orders, as it began to dawn, we march'd with all speed into the Plain along the River, and about two or three hours in the night we came within the Noise of the People in the Tents.
Our General divided us into three Parties, appointing over each a skilful Leader, an Acha Basha, and commanded that we should fall upon the Arabs in three places.
Out of the Main Body he had separated a certain number to seise on certain stragling Horses which might be feeding about the Camp; These he intended to employ in case he put the Army to flight.
Assoon as we came within a Mile of the Enemy, we found a small Party lodged in a hundred Tents, which we surrounded according to our Orders. We killed all that we found alive, with very little noise. In the Medows and by the Bank of the River great Companies of Horses were taken for our use.
It seems these Tents had been placed to guard them from Mountainers or Wild Beasts: Our General made very good use of them in the Disorder and Confusion of the Rebels, for he caused them to be mounted by some of his own Party, and commanded them to pursue the Enemy.
Assoon as we came to the first Tents, we fell upon them without Mercy, and did great Execution. The two other Parties entred the Camp by several ways, having fetch'd a Compass about; we found no resistance until we came to the middle of the Tents.
There was a large Spot of Ground unto which the Arabs did run together at the sound of the Alarm: They had not time to put themselves in a good Order; therefore at the third Volley of Shot they began to disperse, and to shift for themselves by divers ways. The two other Parties met several Companies of them, which they either kill'd or took Prisoners. The most of them recovered their Horses, and fled for their lives.
Our small Party of Horse was not idle in the mean whiles; they ventur'd after the Enemy with more Noise, than Ability to do harm.
In the dark their Numbers could not be well discerned; but this hindred them from viewing us the next day; for knowing that we had both Horse and Foot, they would not hazard themselves near us, until they had been informed by some Runaways of our small Numbers.
They fled to the next Hills, where all their Substance had been stored.
The Plunder of the Camp was but small; such things we found that Beggars would scarce lift from under their Feet; a few nasty Tents we[re] erected of such pitiful Stuff that I never saw the like. It seems the Arabs delight not in rich Houshold-Stuff, but in numbers of Sheep and Camels.
Some few Horses fell into our hands the next day.
In this Attempt we lost about 50 men, and 435 of the Arabians were kill'd in and about the Camp. Our General found in some of the Tents Letters sent from the Arabians in the other Kingdoms, to encourage these to resist the Turkish Power, promising all assistance that they could furnish: For fear therefore that the Enemy should receive from their Neighbours and Brethren such Supplies as should encourage them to revenge themselves, and for fear we should lose the passage of the River, which was of so great importance to the Turkish Affairs and Designs, our General and his Council resolved to fortifie themselves on both sides in the best manner that the place would permit; and with all speed to dispatch away some Messengers to the other Armies, to hasten them in their March to his assistance; for he knew himself unable to encounter the Arabs, or to proceed in his Designs and March towards Chinsan with his small Number.
Three Trenches were drawn on the Enemies side, and one on the other. There we thought our selves secure; for the Enemies Horse were not able to come to us, their Foot were poor and miserable, ten of them do not dare to look a Turk in the Face.
The situation of the Place did favour our Enterprize; for the Ground on both sides is higher than the rest at the Ford. The River is deep in all other places, and runs in a narrow Channel; but when it comes there, it spreads it self, finding more Elbow room: The Rising Ground forces it to run in a larger Stream, and then again the Water is confin'd to a lesser Channel; so that only in this place we may pass on foot without fear of Drowning.
Two days after the Battel, our Cavalry and Baggage came safe to us, although they had been met by several Parties of Arabs, and forced to skirmish many times.
By this new Supply our Courages began to encrease; we were better able to resist our Enemies Attempts in case they should be so bold as to force our weak Fortifications.
We lay not long in this Posture, before we saw many resolute Parties of Horse and Foot daring us out to Battel. They began to contemn those that they formerly feared, when they knew our numbers: Every Night we had two or three Alarms given unto us.
The second day after the arrival of our Cavalry, a strong Party of Horse rid within Musket-shot of us, calling us Cowards and Hereticks. Our Generals Courage could not suffer long these small Affronts unpunished, therefore he commanded the Cavalry to hasten out and to charge them stoutly. It was a sad Enterprize to many of them; above a thousand went out, but scarce five hundred came back again. The cause of their Defeat was this; At the first Charge the Enemy retreats in good Order; but when the Turks gave another Onset, they ran away, only with a Design to draw us by that feigned flight far from the Main Body, and into a strong Ambuscado that was hid behind a Hill about a Mile from the River: Our men perceived not the Design, but with more haste than good speed pursued them without consideration of the danger.
Assoon as they were past the place, a good Company of Foot salutes them with a Volley of shot on the left hand, and then the Ambuscado of Horse rises on the Right, at the same time the pursued Party turns their backs, and our poor men were surrounded, disordered, and killed like so many Sheep: Had they not had a stout Commander to lead them on and bring them off, they had all perished in the place; for the unequal Numbers of the Enemy did overpower them. About 500 escaped from the Slaughter.
This Misfortune did wonderfully heighten the Courage of the Arabians, and give Credit to their Arms.
It made our General more wary for the future, and prevented greater Destructions which might have happened unto us, had we not been made wiser by our Losses.
The Enemy at several other times did endeavour to catch us in the same Advantage; but our General was grown wary by Experience.
That the Spirits of his men might not be dejected, nor the Arabs too proud of their Success, he drew out both Horse and Foot, and put them in a readiness to fight.
The Enemy came to look upon us; our Horse was sent to take a view of them: They returned again after a light Skirmish, in which the Rebels had the worst. Every day we did encounter with them, sometimes to our Advantage, sometimes to our Loss. We lay not long in this place before we heard of the approach of the Eastern Army, Commanded by the two Generals. They had not met with any opposition in their Circuit, until they came within a days Journey of us; then a strong Body of Horse opposes them, and forces them to seek the shelter of a Hill, where they were better able to receive the Onset of the Arabians. It seems they had hear of the March of that Army towards us, therefore to prevent our joining together, or rather to defeat them before they came up with us, a great number of them had stollen over the River secretly, at a great distance from us, and had expected them in their way.
Assoon as this News came to our Camp, our General resolved to meet them in person, leaving in the Fortifications a sufficient number to defend it, and the same appearance of his being present. It was my Masters and my Fortune to accompany the Army.
At a place called by the Arabians Stefee, we came up with the Enemy: A Party of Horse charged us very stoutly with Lance & Musket: Not many of ours were wounded, only four or five killed. They met with as stout resistance, which forced them from us, not without loss. Our Horse had the Chase of them a Mile. We did not dare to adventure again after them farther; besides, they were more nimble than ours, because they had not been tired with so long a Journey.
By this small Encounter and Victory we opened a way to our men that we found in no small distress for want of Provisions and things necessary.
They could not proceed in their Journey for fear of the Enemy, that had had great advantage over them.
We found them entrenched in a strong place, in such a manner that all the Arabians were not able to drive them from thence, unless it were by Famine. They informed us of what had passed between them; that the Arabians had beaten them twice, and kill'd above a Thousand Men. The first time they laid an Ambuscado in their way, near a thick Wood, and when some Companies were past the place they fell suddainly upon them without mercy, and had not the Generals exposed their Persons to the Peril, and maintained a Fight with the Victorious Enemy, until the others had rallyed again, they had been all utterly lost; for they were in such a disorder, that they killed one another to make way for to fly.
Our Men were possest with so strange a fear and apprehension, that when our Vanguard came near the place, they imagined them to be the Enemy; their joy was no less than their fear, when they perceived their errour. They received us as their Protectors. We supplyed them with all things that they wanted, and then Marched back again to our Camp, unto which the other Army soon arrived.
With this recruit it was resolved we should stay no longer there, but beat up the Quarters of the Enemy: Accordingly the next day we Marched out Bag and Baggage, having left a small Guard in the place to keep it, to secure our passage over again, in case we should meet with the Misfortunes of War, which might oblige us to a Retreat.
At two Miles distance from the River, a small Party had the Courage to Charge us, but they would not stand to it long. We Marched up the Hill with a great deal of Courage and Resolution: Our men were so enraged by their former Losses, that they would not pardon any of the Enemy that fell by chance into their hands.
This Mountain is called Houlahka; it is about ten miles round; it reaches very high; about it several Cottages are built, that serve for habitation to the Natural Inhabitants of this Country, the Moors; they are poor and needy for the most part, they feed upon such things as grow wild in the Valley; for although this Mountain appears entire to the Beholders afar off, with a continued Ascent, there are many Valleys in it, and it is composed of several little Hills: The lower ground is extream fruitful, watered with many pleasant Fountains that poure down their streams towards the River Tapna.
This place is adorned with many goodly Trees and Woods, which as in most places grow naturally without planting, in that ground which hath not been lately employed, whereof there is very much in the Land.
The Earth of it self abhors Idleness; when therefore it is neglected by reason of the small Number of Inhabitants, or when it hath been long without employing its innate productive virtue, it then breaks forth into Trees & Wood, as in the West-Indies is sufficiently known: Our Plantations have been forc'd to make may for their Habitations with the Axe and the Saw, to hew down the Wood that did cover the Countrey; and in our Island, as some ancient Writers tell us, Cumberland and Westmerland, and all the Northern Parts of England were full of Woods, Trees and Bushes, especially upon the Mountains, where scarce any Wood is now to be seen.
In this place the Arabians did think to find a safe Retreat; and the rather, because there were not many Advenues to the Top: Nature had on all sides fenced it, and distinguished it from the other Land by high and steepy Rocks. Five Passages do lead into this Place; the largest is a way about a hundred feet broad, in most places covered on both sides with Sandy Hills, Woods and Rocks that seem to threaten the Passenger.
The Entrance into this Place was somewhat terrible unto us, not only because of the nature of the Situation, but also because the Enemy had seized upon all the difficult places and passages to annoy us.
Our Generals were resolved to beat them from thence, and to fight them in their Nest.
Both sides of the way were lined with Armed men, that did cast upon us Stones, Timber, and whatsoever they could get. We defended our selves with Offensive and Defensive Weapons, and made a way by the Sword, until we came to a very difficult Passage: On both sides were raised two Bushy Woods, in which the Enemy were hid; when our men came near, they let fly against us several Volleys of Shot, which put us all to stand. The Arabians thought us to be amazed at this sudden opposition, of which they intended to make advantage, in an instant came thundring upon us before and behind, the stoutest of them; so that we were in no little trouble how to oppose them. Our Generals shared amongst themselves the danger and the honour of the Victory; they seeing the craft and power of the Arabians, separated themselves, and turned their several Companies against the next Troops of the Enemy, and did so handsomly behave themselves, and so wisely manage their business, that the Arabians were forced to leave us the Masters of the Field, with the Victory. One thing did very much contribute to the obtaining of it; not far from that place an easie Ascent did lead to the other side of one of the woods, where the Arabians had secured themselves: By this, one of our Generals steals up, and falls upon the back of the Enemy, that thought next upon nothing but how to save themselves by flight. Our men pursued their advantage, and left not their business half finished; they seized upon the place, and drove the Arabians quite out of the Wood with great slaughter. Their Fellows seeing their disorder, and the Resolution of our Men, that would not retire back, imagined some such thing might happen on their side, therefore they all ran away; so strange a passion is Fear, that when Men are inclinable to it, the least accident causeth them to tremble; all the World would not have been able to have beat them from this place, had they maintained it with resolution; but the sight of an Enemy behind, which they least suspected, frighted them away. They recovered the other side, where their Horses stayed for them, and so saved themselves from the Turks Fury. They lost here above 1500 Men. In the Valleys we found many hundred Head of Cattel, Sheep, Oxen, Cammels, and all sorts of Beasts, feeding in the Pastures: It was wonderful to us to meet with such a fruitful place in the midst of so many Rocks and such barren Hills. For all these Losses the Arabians would not return to their former Obedience, but continued still to resist us: Our Camp did receive several Alarms, especially in the Night, so that we were all tired out with Watching.
Above three Weeks we were pursuing the Enemy amongst the Hills, from one Hill to another: They did fly continually, and because we were not so strong in Cavalry as they were, we did not dare to adventure against them, only with our Horse; our Foot were not able to pursue them so fast as they did save themselves: The Plunder that we did find in these places, did abundantly satisfie for the yearly Tribute. The great numbers of Cattel that we got into our hands, caused the Arabians to fall out amongst themselves; which coming to our Ears, our Generals sent a Flag of Truce, to invite them to submit to the Turks Empire; a part of them accepted the offer of Peace, and came in to us; the others with their Captain was said to have fled away, so that meeting with none to oppose us, we received some Hostages from the Enemy; and because their Losses had been great, our Generals would not exact from them any other Tribute, than what they had recovered by force of Arms. They had full liberty to return to their former abode, upon condition that they would Manure the Ground, and pay unto them of Argiers their usual Tribute-money; they promised to be alwaies obedient to the Grand Seignior, and to the City of Argeirs; afterwards they were dismist: There were about 1600 Families that did return to their Duty with all their Leaders.
Our Army took another way out of these Mountains than we came. No Enemy appear'd all the way, until we came to a narrow passage between two high Hills; the way was a difficult Ascent: Here we found it stopt up in such a manner that no Horse could pass. Before we imagined our business had been done, when we saw so many of the revolted Arabians return to their Obedience; it did not therefore a little surprize us, when we found so many left to oppose us at this Passage, it was not possible for us to come near: Several of our Companies did endeavour to storm the place, but the Enemy was so strongly fortified on all sides, and so well furnished with Weapons, that we were forced to sit down and consider what to do: A Council was called of all the Commanders, where it was resolved not to go back or seek any other passage, because if they did leave such a powerful Enemy unpunished, and on foot in the heart of the Kingdom, it might very much endanger their interest there; for assoon as they should be gone, they would endeavour to corrupt the rest, and draw them from their Allegiance, either by force or fair means; besides, they did consider that they that had submitted unto them, were forced unto it, and that they were as inclinable to stand out as these, were there any hopes of prospering in their opposition against us; and that it would be no small Disgrace to a victorious Army to be overcome by a vanquish'd Enemy: the least News of this would be able to encourage the rest of the Turks Subjects to revolt: For these and many other Reasons they thought it necessary to make way through that place and no other. The difficulty was to find out the means by compassing their Design: By plain force they did see it impossible.
We had several Attempts to no other purpose but to discourage our men with the loss of their Companions. My Master was wounded with a Stone cast from a sling. It seems some of these Arabians are excellent Marks-men, and very dexterous at this old kind of Weapon.
There was no other way to come to fight with these People but one, which was also so well fortified, that we lost our Labour and Men to attempt it. Our Generals were afraid that this small Party that held out against us, would encrease by degrees, if they did once oblige us to a stand, and that they would lessen the reputation of our Men in the Countrey, if we could not overcome them.
First they resolved to send a Flag of Truce, to try whether they could win them to a peaceful complyance without Arms: The Arabians were glad to see this expression of our Weakness, which they might have improved to their advantage, had they accepted the Offers that would have been made. They had been received again at their own terms, but as people that relie upon their own strength, they took this as an open acknowledgment of the impossibility of our passage without their leave, and thought themselves sufficiently secure against all our Attempts; therefore when our Messenger came with Offers of Peace, they were ready to beat him, and would not read the Letter sent to their General, but contemptuously, before him, trod it under feet, telling him, that they knew our Demands without reading the Letter, and that they would speedily return an Answer in the Company of Thirty thousand men. This unexpected Return to the Civility of our Leaders did not a little trouble them; for they imagined that so proud and confident an Answer did proceed from some powerful assistance expected by the Enemy from their Brethren of the neighbouring Provinces: Their Conjecture was not in vain; for they had lately received the promises of a speedy supply from them of Fez, Angad, and Snatta, three Provinces, very large, where several of the Tribes of the Arabians do inhabit with the ancient Natives the Affricans, the one in Tents, the other in small Villages. They were upon their March when they heard of the first Defeat that the Turks had given to their Brethren at the difficult passage. Fame had encreas'd the Number of the slain, and represented the slaughter to them ten time worse than really it was.
Some time before they had dispatch'd a Messenger with News of their coming, which Messenger did according to his Orders, give an Account of the Numbers and Resolution of them that sent him to the Besieged. They relied upon his words, not knowing of the contrary intentions that the change of Affairs had produced in them; for assoon as they heard of the Turks Successes, and their own Misfortunes, they returned back again, leaving their Friends and Brethren to our Mercy, and their own Protection.
This we knew not when the Messenger returned with such a resolute Answer: Therefore our Leaders thought it their Interest, to overcome the Enemy before any Supply might come to them.
We lay several days not knowing what course to take, until the Arabians themselves furnished us an occasion to overcome them: They sent out about Fifty Men to steal Cattel, these we trapand & took every one of them: Assoon as news came to our General of their surprisal, he commands 50 choice Men to be pickt out of the Army, some of them spoke the Arabian Tongue well, so that they could not be distinguished, these he causes to be habited as the Arabians were, and to be armed with four Pistols a piece, which were hid in their Bosoms; then he gives them about an hundred Head of Cattel to drive before them towards the Arabians: Having sufficiently instructed them what to do, and informed them of the signal to be given, in case they did succeed, he Commands them to March.
They accordingly ascend up to the narrow Passage, where the Enemy kept a strong Guard, assoon as they came within Call, they were ordered to pronounce Mahummed il shur, the Word that was given the Thieves, to distinguish them from others; at that the Passage was opened, and they drove in the Beasts without any opposition; the Purchase did not a little please our Enemies, because they had been put to some straits for want of Victuals; they had some a coming from the other side, but it was not yet arrived; but when the Drivers of these Cattel proved to be none of their Friends, their joy was turned into fear.
Our Men were no sooner entered but they left the Conduct of the Beasts to some other Body, and fell to their work; they kill'd and surprised all the Guards thereabouts, and possessed themselves of the Advenue, giving notice thereof by a sudden flash of Gunpowder to the Turks, who presently ascended the Hill and entered the place; had they not arrived in time, all our Men had been cut to pieces, for they were mightily oppressed with numbers, but we came opportunely to their assistance, and forced the Arabians to seek safety in their heels.
Our Army passed into the Plain Countrey again, in pursuance of their Enemies, who being tired with so many Misfortunes and Losses, and seeing none come to their assistance, they sent some of their chief Men to treat with us about Peace; their Message was acceptable to the whole Army.
That which most perswaded them to submit unto the Turks, was, because many of them had left their Wives and Children in the last Engagement behind them, to the Turks disposition. Their Captivity did highly concern their near Relations, therefore they sought all means to recover them again by a firm Treaty. They excused unto us the impertinent Answer, and the great Contempt of the Turks first Offers, upon a certain number of them that were then amongst the dead, assuring us that those that were alive, had been led into this Rebellion against their Wills, by meer necessity, because they had a dependency upon the Chief Men of them that were kill'd: For they have several strong Factions amongst them, the Chief disposes of all the rest, according to his pleasure; they swear by Mahomet to maintain and follow him whither soever he goes.
Our Generals received them into Favour again, upon condition, that every Year they should pay a double Tribute, as a punishment to their Rebellion. Elmswar Tapnez their Chief Captain fled with all speed towards Angad, that lies full South of the Kingdom of Argiers, so that he could never come into the Turks power. We dismist those that yielded unto us, and returned them their Wives and Children.
Our Generals having so happily made an end of this War, that threatened the Turks Interest in those Pars, began to separate again, and to proceed in their Journey over the Kingdom, to gather the Tribute-money.
The People pay by the Head two Dollars, that is nine Shillings a Head, Men, Women and Children; those that are very rich in Cattel are forced to part with more, when the Army goes the Rounds; and if any is extraordinary poor in a Family, his Neighbours and near Kinsfolks must supply his wants, and pay for him; so that the total Sum of this Tribute is very great, I have heard some speak of ten Millions of Dollars, besides the Expences of the Army. This Money is brought into Argiers, some part of it is sent to Constantinople to the Grand Segnior, another part defrays the Expences of the Militia and Officers of Church and State, and another part is cast into the Publick Treasury.
Our Army proceeded right to Chinsan or Tremisen, a strong and populous City, kept by the Turks with a numerous Guard that is relieved every year. Our General was designed Governour of this place, and was sent thither with his Army to Command it.
We had a very pleasant Journey from this Mountain to that City, thorough a fruitful Countrey that did furnish us both with Money and good Entertainment; some of them had been in the Rebellion, but the Turks would not deal with them more severely than with the others, to oblige them to a greater Fidelity; for there is no greater tye to Obedience than Love, and the sense of former Obligations: Our Army might have treated them as Enemies, sold their Goods, taken their Wives and disposed of them as Bond-slaves; but they knew that this dealing would serve to no other purpose, but to exasperate the Spirits of the rest, who might then have reason to seek an occasion of a Revenge. It is never good to deal with Men as with Beasts; the latter are awed into obedience, but the first must be perswaded: The Magistrates sword may scare me, but it shall never win me.
This Practice of the Turks was very commendable: They thought it unworthy their Couraage to tread on the Neck of a vanquish'd and yielding Enemy. Our General, to oblige the Chief of the Families and Tribes, did invite several of them to eat with him; he bestowed Gifts upon some of the Arch Rebels, imitating the practise of those Princes that bestow their Favours upon those that are suspected, or that have been rebellious, to oblige them to be more faithful to their Interest for the future.
At a small Town, called by the Turks, Canatudi, and by the Moors, Canahaal, there was a great Feast kept for the Marriage of one Elmswar Bidow Ben hemmed, an Alcade of one of their Tribes; our General coming to the place at that time, honoured the Solemnity with his presence, and caused all his Captains and Chouses to pay their respects to the Bride and Bridegroom.
I cannot pass further until I take notice of what is observed by this People in such occasions; the young man that hath a mind to marry, demands the Daughter from her Father, or next Kindred; if they grant her, he never troubles himself to win her consent; this is an excellent way to spare a great deal of hypocrisie, and to save the poor men much Courtship: The man makes a great Feast according to his Quality; some do treat their Friends seven days; the first day he sends to his future Spouse by some Kinswoman, a Vail, to recommend unto her Modesty; the second day, a Suit of Apparel, such as they wear; the third day, a Mill to grind Corn, and Instruments to spin, to remember she may not be idle; the fourth, an Alcoran; the fifth, a pair of Slippers handsomly made and guilded; the sixth day he sends a Cock and a Dog, to teach her Diligence and Watchfulness; and the seventh, a Ring of that Countrey Fashion, with a Dish of Meat, and a Staff with this Motto about it, I will punish all Offenders. All this while the Bridegroom hath not so much as seen his future Spouse, but sends to visit her often with some course Complements, as is usual amongst Moors. On the eighth day, which is that of the greatest Solemnity, the Bridegroom comes to the Fathers house, accompanied by all his Friends and Kindred, and there in the presence of them all, the Father delivers all his right, title and interest in his Daughter, to the man, by giving unto him her hand, and saying some words proper to the business in hand. They go next to the place of Prayer, which in Tents is near the middle; and there a Thaloub blesseth the married Couple, adding several Prayers to God, and Mahomet, and to the Angel Zadiel, that governs, as they say, the Planet Jupiter, to favour this Conjunction by some happy influence. Then they all march in order to the Fathers House, where a great Feast is prepared for them: The men by themselves in one Room make merry; the Women in another, are jolly until the Evening: Then the Bride in all her State, with all her Household-stuffe, Servants, Gifts and Money, is carried to the mans House; she usually sits mounted on a Camel, glittering in Gold and Silk, and about her are all her Kindred and Friends. When she comes to her Husbands House, she then pulls off her Vail, because Modesty is no longer in season, nor proper to that place. Some do keep several Feast days afterwards, and spend much of their Estate, according to their abilities, or the love they bear to the Spouse.
I was an Eye-witness of several Ceremonies observed in this occasion, which are related in other Travels.
We stayed in this place several days to refresh our selves, and then we continued our Journey towards Chinsan, where we arrived on the third of October.
It is a large and populous City, inhabited by a kind of People called Lhebdiah; round about are most pleasant Gardens and Orchards. The Soil is good, the Climate wants nothing but People worthy to receive and enjoy the good things that it affords.
We found here great store of Fruits, Apples, Pears, Melons of divers kinds, Grapes; for although the Mahumetan drinks not Wine, he loves the Grape, and a kind of Drink that is made of Water and Raisins, called Africana; it is very pleasant, and proper for this Climate.
Here is a strange sort of Tree made up of Leaves, one Leaf grows on the top of another; the Leaves are thick two or three inches in the middle; they are above a foot large and long; an excellent Fruit grows upon them, which the Arabs call Asholoch, our English, Prickle Pear; the Substance is cold and refreshing; it is ripe about Midsummer, and of a yellowish colour. Every Garden is furnished with such a Tree: The Rind is full of little Prickles undiscernable; therefore it is not to be handled with naked hands. I have since seen some in other parts.
Here is also a beautiful Tree of divers Colours, that the Great Men cause to grow in the midst of their Gardens; it serves as an excellent Ornament to a place: Its body is of a deep green, the Boughs red, the Leaves yellow as Gold, with a mixture of white. Some told me that this Tree could not grow in any other Climate or Soil, and that some had laboured to transplant it on the Sea-shore, but that the Air had rendred all their Labours and Endeavours to little purpose.
Here is great abundance of Dates: That Tree never produces unless there be a Conjunction of the Male with the Female; they usually join their Boughs together.
I had time in this place to take a view of all the Rarities: It appears to me to be one of the ancientest Cities of the World; it stands upon a plain ground, fortified with a strong Wall, beautified with many square Marble Pillars, very white; the rest of the Wall being built of a brown stone; on the top the Bulwarks are adorned with Turrets of divers colours. The City yields a pleasant sight to the Beholder when the Sun shines. The inside is no less beautiful. The Streets are straight and broad. The Heart of the City contains many excellent Buildings. A stately Mosque supported by a hundred Pillars of white Marble, with several Arches of very curious work; the Governours' Palace, where there are a hundred large Rooms very neatly adorned with several mishapen Figures of divers Colours; for the Mahumetans abhor Images and Statues; therefore they have not the use of Pictures, nor do not allow them to appear publickly in any place.
Here is also a Town-House, a place appointed for the meeting of the Chief Persons when any Business calls them to consult together: It stands upon an Arch supported by two Rows of Marble Pillars. It hath a Steeple to it built with half Brick and half Stone, very high and large. The top hath a Prospect into all the Countrey as far as our Eye-sight will reach; and in one side is a large Room full of the ancient records of the Arabians since the first Conquest of this Countrey, with many Large Volumes.
The next Place to it is the Court that belongs to the Cadir, the Chief Justice, where he sits upon a Seat covered with a Canopy of Cloth of Silver, the Seat is elevated above the rest in the manner of a Table spred with Turky Carpets, upon which he sits as a Tailor. A Fellow stands at his Elbow with a naked Cymeter; about him a little lower, sit several of his Assistants, whose Counsel he takes in difficult Affairs. Over against stands the Parties to be judged without delay; they usually receive the Punishments due to their Offence, at the same time that they are judged; for they admit of no Reprieve.
There are many other Houses very well built; they are flat on the Top; some are curiously painted according to the Mosaique Fashion. The Inhabitants do sleep upon them in the summer, covered with an Alhage, to defend them from the venomous Flies, and from the Musketa's, pernicious Creatures that suck their Blood.
In the middle of the City is a large Market-place, and round about many Cloisters of the Religious men amongst the Moors. One is more remarkable than the rest, because of the excellent Workmanship and ancient Fabrick, and because of a great Library, a curious thing amongst this rude People: I know not with what manner of books it is stored; for Christians have never the liberty to handle them; but as I did learn from the Keepers of the Door, they were Books that had been pick'd up in all the parts of Africa by one of their Princes, and laid in that place, for the benefit of the Students, whereof there are very few, unless it be of Magicians, and men that study the Virtues of Simples. Other Arts and Sciences, as Astrology, Logick, the Mathematicks, &c. are almost extinct among them.
In the time of my abode among them, I have perceived that they pretend many times the assistance of the Devil to work miraculous Effects, when they do it by the Knowledges that they have of Nature.
They are very superstitious, and listen very much to the Reports and Whimsies of their Soothsayers.
Some never undertake a Voyage of any Concern, without consulting these Oracles. Many in these parts make a great advantage of the Peoples Folly.
There is a Society amongst them that profess Fortune-telling. It is not so much discredited as in our Kingdom: They are persons for the most part of Honour and Reputation that are admitted to a familiar acquaintance with the infernal Spirits. They vouchsafe not to appear and discover themselves to every idle Rascal. I have seen wonderful Cures performed by their means, not so much by the secret operation of the Spirit, as by the virtue of Herbs and Medicines applied to the Patient, which were directed and revealed by the Evil Spirit; for the Devil is a good Physitian, he may dispute the Palm with Hypocrates and Galen. I have seen a deaf man, whose Organ was only obstructed, and not incapacitated, cured by the Application of an Herb like unto our Sorrel, called Hegn by the Moors. Agues and Fevers are driven away by the touch of some of these Magicians; other Diseases require a longer time, and other Remedies.
This City is full of this sort of People that openly acknowledge themselves to be such, and own a familiarity with several infernal Spirits: Their Names and Appearance I could never know from them. I was very inquisitive to understand something of their art; but their Grandeur could not suffer them to entertain a Discourse with a poor Slave. I have seen them make Figures & Images of Clay and Wax, which they put upon the top of their houses, especially in the two Solstices, in the Equinoctials, and in the full Moon; the reason, as I did conceive, was to make them receive some quality which the Stars do send down at such seasons upon the corporal Bodies.
There are many sorts of Trades in this place; but as in most Cities of Barbary, they all live together in one Street that are of the same Profession.
At one end of the Town hard by the River Elouad that waters the Fields of Climsan, is erected a stately Castle, the Seat of the Lieutenant or Governour of the City: It overlooks the Town, and commands it with a hundred Peeces of Ordnance. Nothing is here remarkable but the Antiquity of the Buildings and Fortifications.
It was first erected in the time of the Vandal Kings, to keep this Inland Countrey in subjection, and especially this great and populous City. It hath since been enlarged by the Saracens. In the middle stands a Pillar full of Arabick Letters, written in blew Figures upon black Marble, to signifie the memorable actions that have been performed in the time of Saracen or Arabick Kings. They have reigned in these parts many years before Charles the Fifth attempted to win Argiers. A small History and Account of their Names and Actions I shall annex in its place.
This City is the largest in the whole Kingdom, which is limited on the North side by the Mediterranean, on the East by Tunis, on the South by Angad, another large Kingdom in the Land, and by Snutta, a Province that hath almost nothing but Mountains and Rocks; and on the West it borders upon the Kingdom of Fez. It contains 250 Leagues in length, from the Sea in the Land as far as Angad, and about 160 in breadth, from Bousema to the Cape called by our people Cap de Bugaremo. It contains several Cities well fortified, the chief are Argiers and Tremisen, or Climsan, so called by the Inhabitants; on the Sea-Coast are Cercelli, Bougia, Gigiari, Mastagan, Bische, Gileto, Guien, Arseni, Oran, that belongs to the Spaniard; where a Marquis commands the Countrey about ten Miles round, with seven or eight hundred horse; Zereni, Arsebiba, Buazia, Corban, some of these are Cities, others but small Towns.
In the Land are many good Towns and Places of Note; these are the chief, Benibachul, Albori, Tegdeme, Stese, Canatudi, Medua, Calamou, Lori, Albron, Segmes, a large Town that gives name to a Province so called; Hagroah, Bibroehl, and several others, whose Names are hereafter mentioned: I have reckoned up here above a hundred Villages inhabited by the Africans, that are Servants to the Arabians, and they are Subject to the Turk: Some of them retain the ancient Language. In the Province of Snatta they have a particular Speech, not understood by any but by themselves: Some told me that it is the old Punick Language; for they that inhabit these Mountains and barren Places, were driven thither by the War and Cruelty of the new Inhabitants, who had ground and room enough without troubling that poor sort of People; therefore they always left them to enjoy their own without disturbing them; only they have obliged them to receive the Law of Mahomet: That was not difficult to impose upon a People that before had scarce any Religion; or if they had, it was accompanied with so much Ignorance and Superstition that they knew no reason to oppose that Religion that appeared round about them, so successful, and so universally received.
In this City of Climsan I remained 3 years with my Master. At our first Arrival our General took possession of the Government, and of the Castle, and the former Governour took Charge of the Tribute-Money to be conveyed to Argiers. A week after our coming, he set forwards with his Companies that had been weakned by the Diseases of the last Year: His Commission ordered him to meet the Western Army, and both together to return home with their sums of Money. Our Destiny staid us in this City, in which I met with various and strange Adventures. I was three times obliged to undertake a journey with my Master in the period: first was towards Angad, in which Province is a famous and ancient City called Bedtua, not inferiour to Climsan, unless it be in the largeness and excellency of the Buildings.
The Countrey round about is full of all sorts of Fruit, and is not so hot as one might imagine. I found several sorts of Commodities at a very cheap Rate, which we purchase with large Sums, and great labour and hazard. Hides, Hony, Bees-Wax are here in a great abundance.
We past over a Sandy Valley about half way to Bedtua, where we found a great deal of glittering Sand, much like to that of Gold. In the middle is a large Lake, unto which the wild Beasts and Serpents resort; above 50 or 60 did threaten us when we offered to approach.
Our Business in these parts was to treat with a great Commander of the Arabs, the Prince of this Kingdom, about some Business of Importance to our Garrison. My Master was dispatch'd with a considerable Guard to defend him from the Attempts of wild Beasts and Lawless Thieves, of which the Mountains are peopled.
It is needless to relate all the Particulars of our Journey, and the manner of our Reception.
We passed through many Companies of Tents. They had chosen for their Situation the most pleasant Valleys, and fruitful Ground. The first day we had a sharp Encounter with about a dozen lusty Lions; they hunted after their prey, and met with death at the end of our Muskets. They could not be kill'd without receiving some damage: One of our men was wounded with the Paws of one of these Furious Beasts, that leap'd upon him after that he had been struck through the Belly. The danger of our Companion made us dispatch him sooner out of the way. This danger was followed by another more fearful; but we escaped out of it as happily.
The next day we passed through a large and Sandy Plain of about ten Leagues long, and four broad, called by the Moors, Scidduahr; in it were raised several little Hills moveable with the Wind, between which of necessity we were to pass. We were no sooner entred, but a strong Easterly wind raises the light Sand, and threatens to bury us alive: It was a fearful thing to us to behold so much Earth flying in our faces; the Air was thick with the dusty Sand; in a moment a Hill was removed from one place to another; besides that we had to encounter with the boisterous Wind, our Horses were half buried in a moment, we could not make a stop in this dreadful place for fear of being past hopes of returning.
The rest of our Journey was far more pleasant; for it afforded us variety of Objects, not ungrateful to us; besides, the way was less dangerous and less troublesom.
In eight days we had a sight of the Walls of Bedtua: We were kindly entertained at the Princes Cost. He was a Person of a middle Stature, very swarthy, in his Face the Characters of Majesty did appear, and in his Garb and Attendance those of his Dignity. At our arrival 500 Horse were sent out to meet us at some distance from the City; they came in very good Order, and led us to an Apartment that had been prepared for my Masters reception assoon as they heard of our Approach. We received here the Complement of many persons of Quality.
Assoon as the Prince was arrived from the Fields, we were sent to wait upon him. The Ceremonies observed on this Occasion I took exact notice of. The Princes Guards cloathed with a thin Stuff of a Scarlet Die, with red Bonnets and white Feathers flying upon it, yielded a most pleasant sight on both sides of the way, that were lined with them. At a convenient distance stood the officers, whose Garb and meen did make us take notice of them for Persons more eminent than the rest. They were as full of Civility as Honour, when my Master passed by them; paying unto him as much Respect as an Ambassador from the Grand Seignior could expect.
We passed through three large Streets in view of many Thousands that did look upon us from the tops of the Houses and the Windows: Before us marched two grave Fellows very neatly drest; next went my Master, followed by two Turks bearing the Presents designed for the Prince. We were attended by many of his Officers.
When we came to the Palace, the Guards that were at the Gate obliged us to leave our Sandals behind.
It is a very large House, built of Marble and Brick; the white and red Colours do yield a pleasant sight: We entred into three Courts very handsomly adorned with curious work; at the first my Master was complemented by the Princes Secretary, at the second by his Brother, and led into the third, where He Himself was lying in State. In the middle of it was erected a great Tent of green Silk; at the four Corners, and on the top were Flags of red Silk, having the Arms of Mahomet, and of the Princes Family very neatly wrought: At the Door my Master was met by the Prince himself, who is bound to pay that respect to any that comes in the Name of the Grand Seignior. Some Discourse and kind Expressions passed between them, which I could not approach to hear; they went next both together, and ascended three Steps at the further end of the Tent, and sate upon a large Table, my Master at the left hand of the Arabian Prince; over their Heads a stately Canopy was hung, and round about Persons of the greatest Quality stood, to honour and encrease the Solemnity. My Master acquainted him with his Business and Design, and received from him a very favourable Answer, with a Promise to endevour his speedy satisfaction.
I saw here nothing of that rudeness, which our People imagine to be in all the Parts of Africa: The Place, and Attendance of the Prince, had as much of State and Glory, as is usual amongst the little Princes of Europe. I found nothing barbarous but their Language, which I could not well understand.
The Arabs all about Africa are People very polite, and well bred; they have nothing of that baseness and uncivil carriage, which other more remote Nations have; They are imperious amongst the People that they have Conquered, because otherwise they could never retain them in subjection to their Empire; but to Strangers that come amongst them, they are affable, hospitable, courteous, kind, and very liberal: If any harm is committed to a Forreigner, it is not by them, but by the rascally sort of People, the ancient Inhabitants, that look upon all Strangers for the Arabs sake as Enemies, by Race of Black-Mores, whereof there are here great Multitudes subject to the Arabians. My Master was about three hours in Conference with the Prince, and we as long waiting at the Door of the Tent; all the time a rough sort of Musick plaid, five men with several sorts of Instruments made a Consort of Tunes very harsh to our English Ears.
When the Discourse was ended, my Master was led to the Door of the Tent by the Prince, and then by his Grandees he was conducted back to his Apartment with much Pomp and Joy.
Before I proceed, I must give a further Account of the Prince that Commands so far in the Land; his Name is Moyses Zim Kush, a man of about forty years of Age, of a middle Stature, not so swarthy as the ordinary Moors; his Body is straight and slender, his Face full of Majesty; nevertheless he hath a very loving Aspect; his people have a great respect for him; He hath the Command of three great Tribes, that have seated themselves in these innermost Countries, amongst the Sands and Mountains. He had formerly some dependency upon the King of Fez and Morocco; but now by the death of the last Emperour, he became absolute, as I did then understand. And as he commands a great Compass of Ground, and hath no little power in regard of the Number of his Men and good Incomes, all his Neighbours have sometimes need to seek his Favour.
My Master went not so much to Court it as to treat with him about the publick Concerns. Several Commodities do grow in his Countrey in a great abundance, which the Kingdome of Argeirs do want: My Master had a Commission to procure from him the Liberty of free Trading, and to suffer them to be sent out of his Dominion without such excessive Tribute as he did formerly require, to the great prejudice of the Turks, that were obliged to buy them for want of others, at any Rate. He had Order also to complain of several Violences committed by the Princes Subjects upon the Borders; for some few Tents had lately been pitched in the Turks Confines by these Arabs, that would not acknowledge their Jurisdiction, and had robbed others that were under their Command, of about a hundred Head of Cattel, under pretence that the Owners did suffer them to go out of their Limits, and graze where they should not. There were other Robberies done of late by them of Angad; for which my Master was to make complaint, and demand restitution of the Goods. His business was also to desire this Prince not to suffer his People again to send any assistance to them of the Turks Dominions, as they had done of late; and to settle a firm Peace and Amity between the two Kindgoms of Argeirs and Angad. These several Affairs did require much time and pains to bring to a Conclusion; for great difficulties did present themselves, that had almost cast my Master into a despair of accomplishing his Design: The Princes Interest did apparently oppose it self, and perswade him not to listen to the Ambassadors Proposals. His Honour and Word were also engaged not to suffer his Brethren to be crush'd in pieces without assistance; and besides, some of the Rebels were fled out of fear, to his Court, where they had made a strong Party to oblige the Prince to favour them and their Concerns, to the prejudice of the Turk.
These Difficulties that did appear in this Negotiation were not to be overcome by an ordinary Judgment and Courage. Four persons of the Sultans Council were appointed to receive and answer the Ambassadors Proposals. At first they would not listen to them, but returned a Smile and a Jest to his Demands, as if they had been ridiculous: My Master did often treat with them, but could not have any satisfaction; They answered, for the Robberies that were done, they could not be prevented, that the persons demanded were not [to] be found in those parts; that if any such had done such violences, it was without this Princes knowledge, against his Will; and that the persons were removed far into the Countrey, from whence they could not be fetch'd with ease: The truth was, that the Prince himself had received some presents, and a considerable part of the Booty, which he was not willing to let go again. Unto all the other Demands they gave unsatisfactory Answers, which did oblige my Master to patience, and a resolution: First he laboured within a few days to consider the divers Interests that did rule, and the present Estate of that Court, which did help him on in his business; for he made use of those persons that were able to serve him, and did work upon them according to their Inclinations & Interests, to put an end to his Negotiation. He had by this wise Conduct brought it to a very fair pass; after much labour and perswasion he had obliged the Prince to a restitution of part of the Plunder, and to promise to maintain Peace, and not to suffer any Injuries to be done by his People to the Subjects of the Turk. But this did not satisfie my Master; he was resolved to oblige him to consent to the rest of his Demands, and to force him to abate something of the great Customs that were raised upon the Commodities of the Countrey, that were transported out of the Limits; but this could never have been obtained, had it not been for an Accident that happened afterwards; My Master was so discouraged when he came from a Meeting where the Commissioners were present, that he gave me order to prepare all things for his speedy departure. I saw that his Melancholy look did discover his Discontent, and his Commands the cause of his Displeasure: I made bold with him to comfort him in this occasion, and did offer him at all adventures a remedy to his dissatisfaction, if he would be pleased to tell unto me how his business did stand; he had often tried my experience in affairs, and had no little confidence upon my Fidelity & Wit. This was not the first time that I had ben useful unto him to help him out of difficult Affairs; therefore he proposed to me the whole state of his business. Sir, said I to my Master, Trouble not your self, I will cause the Prince to give you full satisfaction. You cannot so easily do what you have promised, replied my Master. I answered to him, that I was much mistaken if I had not found out a way to bring him to consent to things more contrary to his Interest than what he had proposed. He was desirous to know; I told him the Plot, and wish'd him to put it speedily in execution; for difficult Causes require a stout resolution, and a great diligence. My master found my Discourse so reasonable, and the Design so probable, that he began to embrace me, and promised my freedom at his return to Argiers, in case he should be successful in this business; he proceeded in it as I perswaded him, in this manner: The Prince of Angad, who is honoured with the Title of Sultan, had a Nephew Heir to his Estate and fortune, of a great Courage, and of as great Ambition; the People had for him a particular respect, because his Father had sacrificed his Life for the publick good, and because he had an insinuating presence, that did command both Love and Reverence from all that did behold him; he was besides grown very popular, setting his Genius, his Inclinations and Actions to the temper of every one; which Carriage did wonderfully win unto him the esteem of all the Arabs; his Name was Zidi Hamed Hocbhush. Since my Masters arrival in these parts, he did often visit him, and delighted much in his Company: I know not whether he had a design to ingratiate himself by that means with the Garrison of Climsan, or oblige the Turks to his assistance, in case any thing should be undertaken against him. My Master, according to my Advice, bestows upon him at the first Interview, in secret, all the Flatteries & Praises that he was able to express, telling him that so noble a Soul was never born to be a Subject; that the whole Countrey did love him entirely, as one that was worthy of their homages and respect; that he would do well to look to himself, lest any Difference or Jealousie, as is usual in such Occasions, should arise between him and his Uncle, which might cost him his Head; that it would become the greatness of his Courage and Birth not to stoop to such mean Offices as he was employed about; and that that was done purposely to abase him in the esteem of the People. This Discourse my Master sweetned with strong protestations of his Love and readiness to do him Service, promising to publish his worth among the Turks his Countreymen.
The young man perceived not my Masters Design, but began to conceive very haughty thoughts of himself and Abilities.
Within a few days after he came to pay my Master a Visit. They both entred into an inner Room, admitting none to enter in to them but my self, and there they fell upon the same discourse: My Master omitted nothing, to make him believe that Nature and Providence had designed him for the Throne, assoon as he was Born. As we had before determined to give him a Regalio, my Master sent for three Leathern Bottles of Wine, that I had secretly conveyed amongst his Baggage, and brought to Bealtua; for the Turks conscience may drink Wine privately without a Dispensation: The Young-Man had never tasted such a Liquor in his Daies before, for although they have in that Country abundance of Grapes, they have lost the use of Wine: How pleasing therefore this reception was to him, may be easily imagined.
My Master continued in his Hypocrisie, and protested, that out of a sincere respect for him, he did offer this rarity him: The Young-Man was soon hot with a little of this Liquor; it made him reveal unto my Master several Intrigues, that were not unuseful unto him afterwards; but the chiefest Operation of his Wine, was, when he met with the Prince his Uncle, who began to chide him for some undecent action that he had done, he then fell into such a Passion, that all imagined him to be Mad; the Prince cast a Lance at him, and had he not declined the Blow, he had there ended his daies, and frustrated our design.
There grew such hatred immediately between them, that they could not suffer the sight of one another: The Prince did not dare to cast him into Prison, because of the People; and the Nephew would never trust him for the future.
The dissention was increased daily by false Friends, who do advantage and please themselves with the ruin of others: At last, the Young Nephew grew very jealous of his Uncles Designs, and began to meditate an Escape out of his Dominions: My Master perswaded him not to delay, but speedily to fly for his Life; for if it were once suspected, his Uncle would not be retained by any consideration from depriving him of his Liberty, it may be with his life; for that end he gave him a Horse, an excellent Courser that he had brought with him: He made haste towards the Borders with a few followers, where he raised the Country, that came in to his assistance; so that within a few days he appeared at the head of 10000 men. News came daily of some Parties that did join with them, and at last we heard how the Turks of Argeirs were resolv'd to assist him were not their Demands granted.
My Master began to take his leave assoon as this was reported in the Town: The Prince to prevent it, offered him his Demands, and loaded him with Civilities; for he foresaw the dreadful consequence that would ensue if he offered to offend the Turks, and if they did countenance his Nephew in his Rebellion, it might prove the ruine of Himself and Kingdom; therefore to engage them to his Interest, which was the most just, he courted my Master, their Ambassador, with all expressions of kindness; our Lodgings were always full of Courtiers, and every day we did feel and see some Tokens of the Princes Kindness or Fear.
This part of the Countrey began to be in no little apprehension at first; but when my Master had received full satisfaction, he setled their minds with the assurance that the Turks were too honest to approve of the Nephews Rebellion against an Unkle: Yet such was my Masters kindness for the young man, that he mediated for him, and obliged the Prince to invite him again to his Duty, and pardon his Offences; which he accepted of willingly, when he heard how we had promised to lend our succours to his Unkle, in case he should remain obstinate in the pursuance of his wicked Design. He quickly return'd to Court, and was there received with a jealous Countenance, that had always an Eye upon him and his Actions: The fond Love the People had conceived for him saved his Life; for none did dare to attempt to injure him that was so dear to every one.
The young mans confidence upon the Peoples Affection made him more impertinent than otherwise he would have been: It would made him appear more bold to oppose his Unkle, and more negligent in his Duty towards him.
When we had our Dispatches, we left him to his own Fortune, and return'd again to Climsan, to the great satisfaction of all the City, who did hope to reap no small advantage from this Negotiation. My Master had the honour of it, although it was effected by my Contrivance. He ever after employed me in his difficult Affairs, and admitted me into his private Council; An Honour that a Slave could never expect from the Turks Severity.
We made some stay in this City of Climsan, in which time I took notice of many Particulars of the several manners of Execution, which are these; Empaling, They thrust a sharp Stake into the Body of the Criminal, which enters in between their Legs, and appears again at the Mouth. This is their usual way of treating notable Robbers, and Fellows that have acted against the Government: It is cruel and inhumane; for it puts the Patient to a long Pain when the Stake hath escap'd the Heart, and some of the more sensible Parts: Some I have seen alive near six hours in this manner.
Those that commit Adultery, or that attempt any thing against the Lives of them whom they should defend, are cast headlong down a Precipice, at the bottom whereof sharp Stakes are erected to welcome them, and dispatch them into another World. I have heard sad Groans and Outcries from such that have been thus executed.
There is another manner of Execution, not usual in our Climates; when any have committed Sacriledge, or done any Action to the dishonour of Mahomet, or the Religion professed in this place, they poure scalding Lead into his Mouth, which sinks in with a horrible Smoke, and burns the Throat to the Entrails: I never heard any give the least shriek: for the burning Metal consumes all before it, and causes the Wind-pipe to shrink.
Others are exposed to the cruelty of the Children, who with sharp Sticks and Canes do prick them to death, that they might accustom these young Spirits to Blood and Wounds, that when they grow to age they might less abhor it. I have seen them take a great delight to thrust their sharp Reeds into the Sides and Back of the poor Criminal, who is not able to defend himself, but with his Tongue; for his Hands and Legs are tyed in such a manner as he may only walk. It is a very pitiful Spectacle to see a poor Creature bleed out his Soul through so many Wounds. The sportful Outcries and Voices of the Children do hinder the dying men from being heard. Some of them continue alive many hours, sprinkling their Blood wherever they crawl.
There is here another as strange an Execution as the former; In the great Market place of the City a brazen Lion stands, hollow within, with a grim and threatning Countenance, at his Side a Door opens, which is made to receive those that are to be executed in that manner. They are persons that are guilty of some horrid Crimes, and that have offended the Publick in a grievous manner. To recompense them therefore by their Deaths, they execute them thus, that they that have been useless in their Lives, may give some sport at least at their going out of the world to the People; they are shut into this new Invention, and a Fire of Wood is kindled under it, which by degrees, as it heats the Brass, it puts them to a greater torture: The pain forces them to complain and cry out.
Now at the Mouth, Ears, and under the Tail of the Lion are holes artificially made, out of which the Complaints and Cries of the Patient do burst forth through different Windings and Turnings, in such a manner that several Voices, or rather Tunes, are framed one after another; for the Cry is longer a coming out of the Tail than the Ears, and so of the Mouth: Besides, the variety of Cries yields a pleasant and a various sound to the Ears of the Spectators. This cruel sport continues many times a whole day, to divert the people; for at the Judges pleasure they kindle a lesser or a greater Fire, which causes the Patient to die accordingly. I could never learn the Author of this inhumane Engine which hath been died with so much blood; for during my three years in that place, I saw above twenty cast into that Oven. A Woman, a Child and a Man were put in together; for it is very large: Their Crime was that they had attempted to kill our Governour, by the sollicitation of a Morisco Prince that hated him. The Woman was to trapan and ensnare him with her Beauty, and convey secretly some poison by that means into his Drink, when she should be admitted into his Familiarity, and in case that Plot did not succeed, then the man was to stab or shoot him when he could meet him at an advantage. Our old General was not so aged but he had some Reliques of his youthful Inclinations: when therefore he saw her Beautiful Eyes, large and full of Spirits, he laboured to get into her more intimate Acquaintance, thinking to meet there with a perfect happiness; he employed such means as he quickly compassed his Design, but not to his satisfaction so much as was expected; for as they were together, she discovered a Box which she was so desirous to hide from him, that he became suspitious that it might be something that he understood not: Assoon as he saw it, he judged it to be poison; but to be more assured, he tried it upon a Dog, which suffered the strength of it instead of his Master, and died within an hour after the taking of it. The Woman confessed her design, and that her Husband was one that intended to perform what she had failed to do, in another manner. They were both taken, with an innocent Boy about twelve years of Age, and all three condemned together; the Child only because he had such desperate and wicked Parents, to imprint a greater terror into the minds of such Offenders for the future: There was no regard had to Innocency it self: The poor Child was forced to accompany his Parents in Death, as well in the pursuance of their unlawful Design. Their different Voices and cries did yield a most pleasant although a cruel Harmony, which was not ungrateful to the Turks, who never pity the Moors.
They use in this City strangling as well as the Turks in other places, and Drowning with a Stone tied to the neck, executing by Beasts, by the Sword, and such other sorts of Death, common in other places.
Besides, there is another manner of executing Offenders proper to this place, which I never heard to be practised in any other. It is as cruel as it is strange to us. Out of the town is planted a high Post in form of a Cross, upon which the Offender is laid; they first strip him naked and cut out his Tongue, then they stretch him on the Post that lies across, and tye him to it both by his hands and feet: thus they expose him to the fury of the ravenous Birds, that soon smell him out. The Eagles and Vultures do dispatch him in less than a day: The poor Creature lies at their mercy; he sees them fix their sharp Bills in his flesh, and pluck out his Heart, not being able to resist them; he sees himself become a Prey to the Birds of the Air; which cannot but trouble him, to behold such base Creatures feed themselves with his Flesh, and insult over him, without the least respect to his humanity. It is observed, that the Eagles seek first for the Heart; they tear up the Brest till they have found it, without any regard to the rest of the Body, until that be devoured. Sometimes Twenty of these great Birds are seen at one time upon a poor Man, for this part of the world is full of them. It is a sight that may move any bodies compassion, but that of the Turks, to see one of the same nature thus torn and ript up by these cruel Birds: I was never so much concern'd at any thing in my life as I was at it: Had I not feared the Censure of the Law, I had ventured to protect the miserable Body of one poor man from those ravenous Birds; but it is no less than death to hinder the Execution of the Judges Sentence.
The lesser Offences are punished in a milder manner, but in such, as renders the persons lame, and disables them from all business for a long time after; the Bastinado either upon the Back, the Belly, or the Soles of the Feet, is very common upon any light occasion. The cutting off of the Ears, Nose, and other natural Ornaments of the Body is usual.
Besides, they brand others in the Forehead with a Character signifying the Crime that they have committed.
They imprison some, and detain them long at a short allowance of Bread and Water to tame their spirits. In this City, besides the Turkish Governour that commands the Castle, there is in the Town a Magistrate called an Alcalde, an Arabian born, subject to the Turks Power, who amongst the Citizens does Justice to every one: He is assisted by nine chosen out of the nine parts of the Town; all together do sit upon the publick Business: The plurality of Voices alwaies carries it. They judge of all matters belonging to the Towns-people, as the Governour doth of the Militia.
The Countrey round about is very fruitful of all sorts of Corn; for it is Champaign Ground, watered with many fresh water Sources and pleasant Rivulets: Here is abundance of Wheat, Barley, Rice, &c. For Oats, they grow Wild in the places that are not Ploughed; every Spring causeth the Roots to shoot out, and produce again this Grain; for the heat of the Summer renders all things unfruitful, as the humidity of the Winter doth restore unto them their native fertility.
The Commodities of this Place are many; the ordinary, are Oyl, Ginger, Silk, Raisins, a Stuff made of the Barks of Trees, which the Inhabitants cause to be Dyed in all sorts of Colours; Balm, which is here of such an excellent nature, that it is a soveraign Remedy to all Wounds, within the space of four and twenty hours it closeth and heals a Cut in the Flesh. Here is also many sorts of Drugs, which our Merchants fetch from the Indies, with vast Cost and Labour. In some places there is a golden Sand, which, if any industrious People did see and enjoy it, I think they might reduce it to true Gold, by refining all the sandy and drossy part; but the Inhabitants make little use of it.
In the Desert Places of this Kingdom, are great quantity of Creatures, whose skin makes the excellent Buff; they are about the bigness of an Ox, without any Joints at their Feet, therefore they can hardly rise when they fall; they run very swiftly: The Inhabitants take them in this manner; They observe the place where the Beasts do rub themselves; if it be a Tree, they cut the Stump, and prop it up in such a manner that it stands up, ready to fall at the least violence; when these Beasts come to their usual place, they rub according to their custome, leaning themselves against the broken Tree, which falls and they after it. Here are other sorts of beasts ordinary in our Climates: Tigers are here of an extraordinary bigness, with Leopards, wild Asses, wild Horses with a tumor in their forehead that is hard; which may have occasioned the Fable of the Unicorn; for in some it shoots out in such a manner that it appears like unto a Horn of a white Colour, of a Cubit long. The Horses are all either white or black: The Moors name them Bouchicoughs. I never saw any tam'd. They are so swift in running that no Horse can follow them; sometimes they are surprized when they come near the inhabited Countrey, and are kill'd with Guns, but it is a difficult business to catch them alive; their young ones are very wild and swift, and are of a ruddy colour until they come to be a year old.
There is a great number of Ostriches; it is a notable bird, that runs and flies very speedily; no Creature is able to keep pace with it. Many extraordinary things are reported of it. The Countrey people say that they do sometimes find their Nests in the Sands: They make them in this manner; they scrape a round Pit as large as their body, where they place their Eggs in order. They lay above a hundred before they cause them to bring forth, not in a heap, but in several ranks; the Sun-beams warm them and cause them to burst forth into birds; the Mother-Ostrich overlooks them, and when the first laid Eggs are become birds, she takes the farthermost Eggs to feed them until they come of age and strength to walk alone. It is a Creature that is careless of her Fruit until they are birds, and then she nourishes them with care, giving equally to all, shewing thereby her Justice. She is a bird very temperate, content with a small quantity of food, and able to digest the hardest substance, as Iron, Steel, and Stones.
Near the City is a Fountain of a strange nature; it yields a plentiful Stream, when the Moon is in its Full, then the Water is boiling hot; but it cools by degrees as the Moon decreases, and becomes extream cold when it is the last day; the Stream also becoming lesser or greater accordingly. When any are troubled with the Gout or any other Disease in the Limbs, they repair thither from all parts to be washt in that Water, that is brackish. I have known many that have been cured in the Bath that is joining to it, by washing themselves several days in the full Moon.
One thing more renders this Place famous all over the Countrey, and causeth people from all parts to resort to it: Here is the Tomb of a great Hage, not much inferiour to Mahomet in the esteem of this People, as much respected by all that fancy to have received any benefit from their Pilgrimages hither. Men or Women that are troubled with Issues of blood, Agues, Tumors, Dropsies, and many other Diseases, do take a great deal of pains to come and pay their Respects to the Coffin of this old Saint, renowned in his Life time for Physick, and after his Death, the Moors have fancied that his bones and Reliques had some extraordinary virtue contained in them, which they seek to be partakers of by their Devotions in this place. So easie a thing it is to perswade the Ignorant Multitude to Superstition: When men are esteemed for some extraordinary qualities, the People fancy that these qualities do yet accompany them in their graves, that they are inseparable from their bodies. The Heathen Idols were increased by this means to that vast Army of Gods, and Rome hath fill'd her Oratories with an innumerable company of petty Saints by this Expedient; for it is ordinary in the Popish Dominions to make them pass for Saints that have excelled in any particular Art or Knowledge, when that Generation is dead that hath been acquainted with the Vices and Weaknesses of the Deceased.
Besides, there is at a League distant from the City, towards the East, the Ruines of an old tower, and about it a large Cave, where, as the People of the Town report, are frequent Appearances of Devils and evil Spirits that disturb the Passengers at certain Seasons of the Year; some told me that thereabouts was kept the Witches Sabbaoth, a general Meeting of those desperate Souls that own the Devils Power. It is believed by the people that this place is dangerous in the night, although I never saw any thing worse than my self when I have past that way, going about my Masters business in all times of the day and night. But when such kind of Reports are imprinted into the Fancy of the People, the least testimony of a timorous person that hears the shaking of a Leaf is able to confirm them in that belief, and nothing can remove it out of their minds. I do not doubt but some Appearances have been of Evil Spirits; none but a Phanatick Sadducee is able to deny this Truth that hath all Ages to confirm it; but we must not be of so light a belief as to credit all the idle Reports of Appearances of Devils which fly amongst the vulgar sort of people.
In this City of Tremisen or Climsan we made our abode longer than my Master at first designed; but his good Services to them of Argiers deserved no less than a grateful acknowledgement, by advancing him to a higher employment, such as might reward him.
At the return of the year, when the Turks Army came to relieve us, my Master had order to be Lieutenant Governour of the City, and to remain still as long as he should judge it convenient for his Interest. This place proved very beneficial to him, because he had the Command of the Parties that did march out in the Fields to plunder upon the Enemy; and when the Governour was pleased to go out himself towards the Borders, my Master had the Governours small Fees, that did amount to a considerable sum in such a large City. During this time that we dwelt in this place several notable Affairs happened, which may claim a part of this Relation: The unconstant Arabians did often rise and trouble our peace, by their frequent Incursions; the King of Fez made an Inroad as far as our City with a considerable Body of Horse, thinking to surprize it unawares. Several other Princes were troublesome to us, obliging our people to unusual Tributes and Customes when they passed through their Countrey; for this City entertains a great Trade with the Inland people, and with the Blacks. It was therefore the Turks interest to entertain it, and remove all Obstructions which might hinder a free Intercourse: For that intent we had several troublesome Businesses both Warlike and Politick, which employed my Master all the time of his being there. In the mean whiles I was not idle; I had several Affairs that concerned my private Interest, and that I was to manage with Care and Industry. The Sultan of Argeirs gave a judgment of my Ability and Person, which was not contradicted by the Women with whom I was afterwards acquainted.
I had as difficult Encounters, and as strange Adventures that happened to me with them, as my Master had in treating with the Arabs. I was no sooner settled in Climsan, but one of that Sex sought a fair occasion to discover her Affection to me.
I was very wary how I entertained such a Proposition; for I was affraid of my Masters Cunning, or any other Plot which might be set on foot to drive me to a necessity of turning Mahumetan; for I was often importun'd by my Master, and invited with the promise of my Liberty, in case I would renounce Christianity; but I could never consent to so much weakness, nor to act against so much Light God had discovered to me in his Truth. I was therefore affraid that all addresses that were made to me of that nature were but Designes to ensnare me, and oblige me to Apostacie. I did not accept of so fair opportunities as were offered to me, which created me a great deal of trouble; for those persons became my deadly enemies, they sought all occasions to do me mischief: Angered Love turns into deadly hatred. The first whose Caresses I was to suffer was the Wife of a wealthy Citizen of Climsan; her Husband was old and decrepit, and she very young, and therefore more pardonable if she sought satisfaction abroad, when she could not find it at home. I was often sent to her House for things that my Master wanted; there she began to be acquainted with me.
The Women in this Countrey keep much at home, but their Minds and Affections are more wandring abroad, because they are so recluse; whereas if they had as much liberty as in other Countries, they would not be so furiously debauch'd: Their Husbands also keep such strict guard over them, that when they can escape their Eyes, they give the reins to their Passion, and labour to satisfie themselves more abundantly; stoln waters are sweet: The more they are forbidden and hindered from variety, the more pleasure and satisfaction they fancy in it.
It is not to be imagined what tricks and invention this Woman had to draw me into her Retirement: She began to declare her kindness by offering unto me some presents when I came to her dwelling: I never went but she gave me something to carry back for my self, discoursing with me very freely when her Husband was not in the way. I did not know unto what period this growing passion might rise, nor what sad consequences might follow; therefore I did shun her company as much as I could: Still she laboured to win me with her Kindness. At one time her Husband being not at home, assoon as I was entred she discovered her face unto me, and took me by the hand to lead me into a private Room; I followed her, not thinking at that present of her meaning; we were no sooner entred, but without fear or shame she began to wooe me with all the Expressions of tenderness imaginable. I was in a little trouble and haste, and not willing to submit: My resistance did yet more enflame her; while we were thus disputing, she to perswade me, and I to disswade her, in steps her Husband in the other Room next to us; his sudden arrival scared us both; for we had not escaped his jealous Fury, had he seen me in so private a place with his Wife; but there was no time to deliberate, nor way to escape but through the Door; the danger therefore made her ingenious, and find out this Expedient; she rose from me, and with a chearful Countenance meets her Husband at the Door, taking him by the hand, Ziddi, Ziddi, saith she, I am glad you are come home, in the Back-side of our house is the strangest thing that ever you saw, and with that led him to see a Beast that my Master had sent him, whilst I escaped another way, glad to have saved my life. This danger could not make the Woman wise; she yet continued her Love unto me, forcing me many times into the greatest Inconveniences, because of her doting Husband, that did surpize us talking together in a too familiar manner. She did still importune me with her Kindness, and by that means the old Fool began to be so affraid of me that he was ready to stab me. I declared the business to my Master, and made him the Confident of that Love. He began to admire my Continency and good Fortune, and desired me, if I were so reserved, that I would pleasure him by giving him a favourable Meeting with that Lady; for it seems he was grown amorous of her; but her fair Face, which made her be esteemed the greatest Beauty of the City, made her Husband to watch over her day and night, for fear she should tast of forbidden Fruit. My Master was glad of this discovery, he grumbled at me that I had not sooner declared it unto him, assuring me that I might have been more confident with him: I excused my self, and told him that had I known his pleasure, he should have been already satisfied. I promised to serve him faithfully in this business, in case he would appease the fury of her jealous Husband, who did threaten me with death if I came near his house; he engaged to do it, which accordingly he performed; so that I as admitted again into the Citizens dwelling, and had there the same freedom as before. The Womans passion was not scared with her Husbands Displeasure and Jealousie; she still continued her kindness to me: I began for my Masters sake to be more tractable; I promised her full satisfaction, but told her that I did not dare to venture into her House; she offered me any other Rendezvous; I mentioned my Masters House unto her; she promised to find some Expedient to escape thither within a day or two; I took my leave of her, sealing my Affection in the wonted manner, which she accepted of with those transports of joy that become a passionate Lover. I left her full of hopes and expectation, meditating upon some Expedient how to procure unto her self a safe escape, free from the suspition of her jealous Husband; a thing very difficult to find, because Jealousie hath a hundred Eyes, and many times where they should not be; the least step abroad would but increase the trouble of the doating Fool, especially if she was seen to come in sight of the Castle.
In the House, besides herself, was an old Woman, and other people apt to tell Tales of one Renowned for that they would willingly have. Envy in such cases is apt to speak and invent more than is agreeable to Truth. The Ladies Love was not frighted with all these difficulties; it found out a way to satisfie its self: As her Husband was at Supper with her, she infused into his Drink the Juice of an Herb that provoketh to sleep. After the repast they went to their rest, sending their Servants also to theirs, she had been careful to take into her custody the Keys of the Door. The poor man was no sooner upon his Quilt with this amorous Woman, but he fell into a dead sleep; in the mean whiles, she rises, and comes with all speed up to the Castle: My Master having been acquainted with all that had passed between us, had given order to the Sentinel, not to examine too exactly one in a womans habit that should come at such an hour. She found the Guard very favourable to her, and my Masters Lodging far more; for he was prepared to receive her with as much civillity as she did desire: She quickly returned muffled up, and laid her self down by her drowsie Husband, as if nothing had passed to his prejudice.
When Women once lose their honesty, nothing can keep them from that pleasure which they fancy so sweet. This Woman having found so good entertainment at the first, was resolved to make a second tryal of our Kindness. She continued to visit us, as often as her industry could find an escape, until the Old Mans furious Jealousie disabled her from walking abroad.
Had my design been to make Conquests in the Empire of Love, I think none could have been more happy. When a Man is got into the esteem of Women, his Fame rests not in one or two Breasts, but speaks as loud, and with as many tongues as these prating Creatures. The old Citizens Wife had whispered some of her secrets to her intimate Acquaintance, and they to others, so that this good opinion of my Ability spread & increased wonderfully in the Town; it created me many temptations, and no little trouble to avoid them. Had I been unconstant in Religion, I had made great advantage in this place of the Womens Kindness to me; but here I could not fix without Apostacy, which was too big a Morsel for my Conscience to swallow. That which was the most powerful temptation, was offered to me by a rich Heiress, widow to a former Husband, of the most considerable amongst the Citizens; she sent to know from my Master whether he would part with me for any Money; he answered, that he could not sell me because I had deserved my Freedom, and that he had promised it unto me. When Gold (which finds in many places but a faint resistance) would not do, another Expedient was set on foot; a Gentleman, or an Arabian Zidi addrest himself to my Master and me severally, telling us his business in short, That there was a rich Widow, no less handsom, without Charge of Children, that was desirous to make me her Husband, and to give me all her Estate if I would become Mahumetan, and remain in that place. My Master hearkened to this Proposition for the Love he had for me, & began to exaggerate my good Fortune, and the happiness that was offered to me, wishing me to accept of it, and not to suffer so great a loss for the Fancy of Religion. My first Resolution was to despise all these Offers, and to prefer the Life of a Slave with Honour, and my Religion before the greatest Riches and the most pleasant Life: I remained still in it. All my Masters perswasions could not shake me from it, when I considered within my self such an action, to deny my Saviour that redeemed me, to despise his Bloud, to renounce all interest in him, to abjure his Truth, that I knew to be such, and own an Impostor (Mahomet); to prefer him and his Diabolical Religion before that which Christ hath established, this action appeared unto me with such an horrid Aspect that I was frighted from the very thoughts of it: All the Advantages proposed to me, the vast Riches & Revenues could make no Impression upon my spirit; I foresaw also that if I ever did ingage my self in that Countrey by espousing so great an interest in it, I should with more difficulty bring to pass my escape, and that instead of purchasing my Liberty at such a dear rate, I should but enslave my self more, and in such a manner, that there would be small hopes left of seeing again my Native soil. These Considerations preserved my mind from this powerful temptation, that wanted not Art, Industry and Power to second it; but when my Master saw my disposition, and how unpleasing the change of Religion was to me, he desired them never to mention unto me such a matter again. He would never after suffer any such Proposition to be made to me, wishing that I might live and die in it. By that I perceived that he was inclined to favour Christian Religion, and that Renegades are never grateful to the Turks, although they embrace their Profession; Unconstancy and Infidelity are odious to them also that receive a benefit by the Traitors. My refusal did disappoint the Moorish Lady, but did not put a stop to her proceedings; she imagined all the ways possible to enjoy what she so passionately desired. She contrived the means to speak to me her self privately; she laboured to trepan me, and drive me to a necessity of burning or turning, hoping to obtain more easily her end; but all was in vain: I had constancy enough, and was sufficiently wary, to frustrate all her undertakings.
When she saw her self disappointed of all her hopes, which she had conceived from the former means employed to woe me, she gave not over; her Passion was more enflamed with this stout resistance, she therefore resolved to find out some other way, to know the truth of what was reported of me: A Curiosity that cost us both much trouble and hazzard of Life.
The correspondency that she aimed at was dangerous, without something to excuse and hide it from the Eyes of the World; the best Cloak was Marriage, which seeing she could not obtain with me, was resolved to take some other that might be favourable to her Passion, and give it the liberty of satisfying it self; for that intent she addresses her self to a poor man of that place, descended from good Parentage of the Moors, but his Fortunes were not answerable to his Nobility; several Misfortunes had reduced him to almost a begging condition, and he had lately lost by death his Wife, which during her life he was scarce able to maintain. The Morisco Lady acquaints him by a trusty Friend with her good inclinations for him, and appoints unto him both the place and time to speak with him further about this business; he joyfully accepts of the Assignation, hoping by this means to redeem himself and Children from extream poverty and Bondage: At the time he comes to the place, and there meets with the Lady, who having dismissed all other Company & Witnesses, freely discovers unto him her Affection for me, and my ungrateful Repulse, and her Resolution to bestow her self and Means upon such a Husband that would not search too narrowly into her Actions, but that would give her the liberty of receiving the Visits of those persons that she loved passionately. The poor man saw that what was proposed to him was offensive to his Honour, but advantageous to his Purse. In the condition he was in he could not reasonably refuse the Offer, although it was prejudicial to his Credit; he was therefore willing to become a Cuckold to enjoy the Riches of this Widow, hoping after Marriage to behave himself with her in such a manner, that he would reclaim her from those idle and unlawful fancies: The Condition was agreed to, and all things concluded on; the Marriage was performed with as much secrecy and with as little Ceremony as was possible. When it came to the knowledge of her Friends, they laboured to divert her from it, but she was so obstinately resolved, that nothing could hinder her from her design; which was no sooner accomplished, but she laboured to find the opportunity she sought after: Her Husband kept not his word with her; he fell into a fit of Jealousie, that would neither suffer her to see the Air, nor me to come near her Dwelling; so that she was forced to use her wit, to get what she had bargained for. When the Fool grew rich, he forgot his Benefactor, and remembred no more his engagement to her, never to disturb and persecute her for Actions of Gallantry and Pleasure. He seldom met me in the streets, but he sought all occasions to stab and shoot me, daring not to vent his anger upon her, because of her powerful Friends, that were not pleased with the unequal Match.
Whiles I remained in this place, I have run several other misfortunes; many other persons did desire to be acquainted with me: I was once so troubled with addresses, that I wished my Face had been disfigured, my stature more contemptible, and that all the promising Characters of my person had never appeared in me: At last, I made my Patron privy to all my Affairs; his favour did wonderfully protect me: None did dare to make any attempt upon my person, when he had published the kindness he had for me; otherwise I had never returned from this City, but had left my Bones amongst these Heathens. It is true, I did him sometimes the favour to cause him to share with me in my good Fortune, and furthered the satisfaction of his Inclinations, an Office not ungrateful to an old Lover, that hath scarce any thing acceptable in him, but the desire of well doing.
During this time that we did spend in Climsan, an accident happened that caused us to make another Journey into the Countrey with about 1500 men. The King of Fez, Bembouker by name, had sent out a Party to stop a Caravan of Turks and Blacks, that brought a considerable quantity of Gold from the inland Countrey to our City: There were near about thirty Cammels loaden with Gold, and other Commodities of Guiny: It seems the Merchants were jealous of the intentions of the Arabs about Fez, and therefore had divided their Caravan, and sent six Cammels one way, with the most contemptible part of the Goods, carrying the rest by another, that whiles they did seize upon the lesser part, the greater might escape out of their Territories.
We had notice that a Party was upon the Road to wait for this Booty: Our Governour presently dispatch'd my Master with 1500 men, well armed, to watch them. We could not make such speed, but they had before our arrival taken the six Cammels loaden, and were driving them another way to Fez; assoon as we heard of this News, we followed them, and about ten Leagues on this side of Fez, in the ascent of a Mountain we overtook them; my Master was obliged in honour not to let them escape out of his hands, but to fight them, although they were far more in number than the Turks; he therefore thought it his safest course to advance before them by a secret way, and lay an Ambuscado at the Descent of the Mountain, where a large Wood did stretch it self along the sides of the next Plain; we therefore took a small compass about undiscovered; for they marched very secure, not dreaming that we had intelligence of all their Designes. We arrived to the place before them; my Master disposed of his Companies in several convenient places in the Woods, and as the Arabs came up to the middle of us, we then gave them a Salute with our Shot from both sides of the way, whiles a party of our men that was behind, did rise up from the place by which the Arabs had passed, and came riding in all speed to them. The Fight was desperate and bloody; for although they were surprized, they held out a longer while than we could imagin, charging us again and again, until there came up two fresh Companies of choice Foot, that met them in the way that they were to pass. They were no sooner perceived by the Arabs, but they began to faint, and think of a Retreat; for they were afraid to be inclosed; therefore they all joined in a close Body, resolving to break through those small Numbers that lay in their way; our men divided themselves on both sides, and as they passed, they arrested about a hundred of these lusty Robbers, that fell to the ground half dead with the shot that had wounded them. About 60 of our men lost their Lives, and about 300 Arabians left us their Horses and Cloathing for Legacies, with our own Goods that they had taken. Our Horse pursued the Enemy, but not very far for fear of a like Ambuscado; the Countrey being proper for such Tricks and Stratagems of War. They brought back with them wounded some Prisoners, and a few Horses. We enquired from the Blacks & two of our Merchants what was become of the rest of the Company; for we had heard how they had separated the Caravan; they informed us of the By-way they had taken, resolved to die rather than to quit their Goods: They were in number about 300 men that came with the Camels. My Master sent all that he had recovered to Climsan with a small Guard, conducting them part of the way as far as Gorselveh, a small Town about ten miles distant from Climsan.
We then marched back again with all the rest of our men, to meet the other part of our Caravan that was come to the Borders of the Province of Segelmes, by a secret way unknown to many persons. They could never come so secretly but the Arabs, (some were of those we had beaten) did lie in wait for them, hoping to meet with better Fortune than in the former Encounters, and to recompense themselves for their late Losses.
Our men did defend themselves desperately; but had we not opportunely appeared to their Assistance, they had been overpowered with the Numbers of Arabs & Moors. We no sooner appeared among them, which was in a Valley, watered with some Branches of the River called now by the Inhabitants Soubhir. Our People were on the other side of the River, and the Moors and Arabs on this, between both was a little Ford easie to pass. The Dispute had been long when we arrived; for the Enemy did offer to pass, and our men did resist them.
Our coming ended the Contention; for they no sooner saw us appear, but they fled away in all haste. We contented our selves to have preserved our Goods, we did not therefore pursue them, but marched towards Climsan, where our Arrival was joyfully expected; for here all the chief persons of the Town were interested. This Caravan did enrich us, and fill the City with plenty of Gold, Ivory and other Commodities, which were conveyed to Argeirs and other places on the Sea-Coast, to be transported by Sea to Constantinople.
My Master and the Chief of the Party that went out, were well rewarded for their pains; the rest did share amongst them the Horses that were taken from the Arabs, and their Cloaths, which were prized at a great sum of Money. My Master had the honour of the good success; for every one did attribute it to his wise Conduct and Valour. My Company was not unuseful to him; for besides the Service I did render him in the first Engagement, I saved him when he was in no little danger of his life; had I not been near to assist him, doubtless he had been sent to convey the dead into the other world. He acknowledged my Care and Love for him by his continual Kindness for me; for he did not treat me as a Slave, but as a Friend, granting me as much Liberty as I could desire.
After this Expedition we remained about a year in Climsan, during which time several Accidents hapned; the great Mosque of the City fell to the ground by a terrible Earthquake, and frighted the rest of the City; a few Houses joining to this Religious place with their Inhabitants were buried in the Ruines.
Two Stars of a good bigness flew over the City; they were followed by several other little Lights; they met all together in one point, and made a great Star, that hung over the City about three days: The Astrologers and Negromancers of the Countrey were consulted about the meaning of these Meteors; they all agreed that they were significant and Prophetical. All the little Lights that joined to make a great one, they said were several little Principalities that would unite together to compose a great Monarchy that would not favour the Turks in those parts.
The Inhabitants are very superstitious when any such Wonders do appear in the Firmament; they run to their Mosquets, and fall to their Devotions, neglecting all other business many days; for they never interpret such Signes to their advantage, they look upon them as dreadful fore-runners of publick Calamities. The people of this place were so much the more concerned, because these Signes did appear only to that Region, and did hang over their city in a threatning manner.
Another thing very extraordinary hapned about the same time: A strange Monster was born of a Morisco Woman; it had the Head of an Ape, the Feet of a Goose, the Body of a Man, the hands like the Claws of a Lion; many persons went to see it; Several Reports were spread about the Town concerning these unusual Accidents, which terrified the common people, susceptible of fear upon the least occasion. Many Dreams also were divulged at the same time by the Turks Enemies concerning the same business, tending to the destruction of the Turks Empire in those parts. So that there was likely to be a great Commotion, had not our Governour kept good Orders, and clapt one of these busie Prophets in a deep Dungeon, to expect his Release from that Power that was to destroy and drive away the Turks; but the silly Racal would never expect that Hour; he grew impatient in his Chains, so that he employed several of his Friends to mediate for him, and procure from our Governour his Liberty, which was granted upon condition that he would be more discreet for the future, and keep his Dreams within the Circumference of his Couch.
Our Governour could not so well order his business, but that the Arabs (forward enough to catch at all Occasions of ruining the Turks) made several Parties in the Territories of this Kingdom, assuring the Inhabitants that now was the time that they should pay no more Taxes to entertain the Pride and Luxury of Argiers, and that if they would lend their helping hand, it was possible to recover from thence what they had sent from year to year.
Some, as it alwaies happens on such occasions, were so silly to believe them; they formed therefore several little Parties up and down; they were inconsiderable separated, but had they been together, they might have created us much trouble and business. Several Companies of our Souldiers were sent out to disperse them. The greatest Body was composed of two thousand Horse and Foot met together about six Leagues from Climsan, at a Town called Tezrim, which is stony by situation and Art. These had killed some that favoured the Turks, and were resolved to wait there to see whether any more would happily join with them.
My Master was sent out with about 1200 men only, but chosen out of the Garrison: We laid siege to this strong place, and at the end of six days it was surrendred to us by Composition. The Conditions imposed were favourable; the Inhabitants were condemned to deliver up their chief Leaders, and part with a Sum of Money. The Leaders were sacrificed to the Turks vengeance, and sent into the other world to raise Tumults there.
One thing I cannot omit very memorable in this place. At some distance from Tezrim, in a little Meadow where excellent Grass grows, I saw the perfect Statue of a man Buggering his Ass; it was so lively that at a little distance I fancied they had been alive, but when I came nearer, I saw they were of a perfect Stone. I enquired wherefore the Moors or Arabs, that naturally hate all sorts of Representations, should shew their Skill by making such Beastly Figures, odious to Nature. I was informed that this was never made by man, but that some body of former years had been turned into this Representation with the Ass in the very moment of the Beastly Act. God by his power had changed the fleshly Substances of the Man and of the Ass into a firm Stone, as an eternal reproach to Mankind, and a Justification of his severe Judgments against us.
I did further search into the Appearances of this Report, and found the Stone to represent not only the perfect shape, but also the colour of every part of the Man and of the Beast, with the Sinews, Veins, Eyes, Mouth, in such a lively manner that no Artist with all his Colours could express it better; so that I was convinced of the Truth of this Report. I did labour to move it, but some that were in company did forbid me, telling me that some have laboured to transport it from thence, but could never carry away that Monument of mans shameful Lust: Some have endeavoured to their peril; either their Persons or their Cattel, that did attempt it, were struck dead in the place. Gods Justice will not suffer that to be hid or destroyed that he hath placed there for all to example by it. It is necessary that the Moors should have such signal Tokens of Gods Displeasure always before their Eyes; for they are engaged to commit such filthy Actions more frequently than other Nations.
* I was informed by some of my Acquaintance that have been at Tripoly, that there is some such Monument of Gods Justice near that Town about five days Journey from it, towards the South-East amongst the Mountains called Gubel, far more notable than this. Many of our English protest they have seen some pieces of it brought by the Moors to Tripoly, and hear it confidently reported in Town as an undeniable Truth. Some of our Merchants have had the Curiosity to have gone to that place, and they also protest it to be true, that in the Mountains about five days Journey from Tripoly there is a whole Town full of those Representations; stones representing all manner of Creatures belonging to a City, with the Houses, Inhabitants, Beasts, Trees, Walls, and rooms, very distinctly shap'd. Our people have entered into the Houses, and there they have found a Child in a Cradle, of stone; a Woman in a Bed, of stone; a man at the Door looking [for] Lice, of stone; Camels in several postures, of stone; a man beating a Woman, of stone; two men fighting, of stone; Cats, Dogs, Mice, and all that belonged to the place of such perfect stone, and so well expressing the several Shapes, Postures and Passions in which the Inhabitants were in that time, that no Engraver could do the like. Some may look upon this Relation as Fabulous, but let them enquire of our Merchants, and Traders that have been in that City of Tripoly, or in the Land, they shall find them all agree in the Confirmation of this Relation. The Report that runs amongst the Moors is, that this Town was very populous and fruitful, as may appear by the Trees of stone and of several sorts of Fruits planted round about it, and in the places that retain the Forms of Gardens and Orchards, when the Inhabitants gave themselves over to all manner of Vices, to the great scandal of humane Nature, God in a moment stopp'd all their Actions, and turn'd their Bodies into firm Stone, that future Ages might see and learn to dread his power.
At Athens there is another such like Figure; a stone representing two men buggering one another. I know no reason wherefore we should doubt of the possibility of these Relations, if we consider the Almighty power of God that causeth all things to subsist by his Influence, and can easily alter or change them as it seems good to his Divine Wisdom. Or if we consider the necessity that there should be such notable Examples of Gods Justice perpetuated to posterity, which cannot be but by some such manner that it may express his displeasure in future Ages, especially in this Countrey, where the People are addicted to such like Villanies that Nature it self abhors. From those that travel into these places every one may better satisfie themselves concerning the truth of these wonderful Examples of Gods Justice, much like that of Lot's Wife turned into a Pillar of Salt, which some very ancient Historians do affirm to have seen remaining in their days.
We returned after that we had retaken all the Countrey that was revolted, with more honour than profit; for we did make war against a needy, poor, miserable people, that had scarce sufficient to subsist; besides they do craftily hide all their best Moveables in difficult and unknown places when they engage themselves in any Revolt, that they may never lament the loss of the chief part of their substance. Sometimes hazzard brings their Enemies amongst their Treasury, but they are so secret that no violence can cause them to confess the place where it is laid up; only their Cattel and other beasts do become a Prey after the Victory. In time of peace they labour to redeem them by stealth and Robbery; for there are no greater Thieves than the Countrey people of this Kingdom: If any should pass single through their Territories, he is sure to lose his Life and all that he hath, by the Peasants that profess the greatest submission to the Turks power.
At the coming of the Army from Argiers we took our Bag and Baggage, and returned to that Maritine City. My Master was grown very rich and powerful, he had got (besides a great esteem which the good Services that he had rendered deserved) much Wealth. According to this Promise he gave me my Liberty, and a sum of Money to carry me home. I met then with a French Vessel of Marseilles in the Harbour; in it I embarked, and sailed into France.
An Observation of the Tide, and how to turn out of the Streights-Mouth the Wind being Westerly: Communicated by the Industrious and Experienced Seaman, Richard Norris.
AT Tangier, and Tariffe, a South-west and by South Moon make a full Sea on the Shore; but in all parts of the Streights-mouth the Flood runs until a West and by South-Moon, all the West part of the Streights-mouth hath the Flood out of the West, which runs in from Cape Sprat, and Cape Traffalgar on each side along by the shore much stronger than in the middle to the Eastward, as far as Cape Cabrita on the Spanish side, and Apes Hill on the Barbary side, and at those two points meets with the Flood, that cometh out of the North-east, about the point of Gibraltar, and runs S.W. into the Streights Mouth all the first quarter flood, & the remainder of the Tide the flood setteth from the Point of Gibraltar, West S.W. towards Cape Cabrita, at the top of high water there cometh always out of the West between the two Capes a Race of a Current which spreadeth the whole Streights-mouth from side to side, but continues on neither side, seldom longer than half an hour; but in the middle of the Streights-mouth the Current runs to Eastward very strong all the Tide of Ebb, and the Race of a Current falleth always, between Apes Hill and Cape Cabrita at a West and by South Moon, and at that instant begins the Ebb on the West side of those two Points, to run to the Westward; The Tide of Ebb on the Spanish side runs from Cape Cabrita about two miles broad from the shore as far as the Island of Tariffe, and runs between the Island & the Main all the Tide of Ebb along by the shore towards Cape Traffalgar, but on the South side of the Island the Ebb runs very narrow except it be in a Set of fair Weather. The Tide of Ebb on the Barbary side runs from Apes Hill, but narrow along the shore as far as the point Alcasar, but on the West side of that point thwart of the Bay, the Tide runs about three miles broad, and at Cape Malabata which is the Eastmost point of the Bay of Tangier, about two miles broad, and so continues to the Westward out to Cape Sprat, and from thence the Ebb runs South West along the shore, towards Sally: The Ebb to the Eastward of Cape Cabrita & Apes Hill is begun by the aforesaid Race of a Current, which spreadeth from one side to the other, between Gibraltar and Seuta Point, and runs in East North east in the middle, and from the Point of Apes-Hill to the Point of Seuta along the shore all the first half Tide; and the remaining half Tide, the Current runs from Cape Cabrita, East South-east, into the Streights by the Point of Seuta; and from the Point of Gibraltar, the first half Ebb runs North-East into the Streights towards Cape Fangerola, thwart of Cape Traffalgar, about three miles distant from the shore lies a Rock 9 foot under water, between which Rock and the Cape, you may sail through from the Island of Tariffa; West and by South lies a Ledge of Rocks, 8, 9, and 10 Foot under water, which may be seen in foul Weather by the Breach of the Sea. At the East side of the Island of Tariffa is a good Rode for a Westerly Wind, in which you may Anchor between 20 and 13 fathom Water in clear hard ground, but come not to an Anchor nearer to the Island than 13 Fathom, because near the South-east point of the Island is foul ground; the best of this Rode is with the South-west Point of the Island, West South-west from you, and the Sand Hill West-North-west, and there you shall find 14. Fathom water clear ground. Between this Island & Cape Cabrita there is no danger, but what always lies above Water; in the middle of this Bay is a Light-House, thwart of which you may Anchor in 12 Fathom Water, clear ground; a fine distance from the shore, one third part of the distance from this Light-house towards the Cape is 12 Fathom, the ground blew Clay, and that is a good Rode for a North-east Wind, you may borrow on the Cape, the Rocks to the Westward of the Cape to 5 Fathom, and on the East side to 7 Fathom, a little to the Westward of the Western Point of the Bay of Gibraltar, thwart of a little Valley in the fair way between this Point and Cape Cabrita is a Rock 8 Foot under Water, and by the East side of this Rock is 12 Fathom. At the Point of Cape Malabata lies a Ledge of Rocks joining to the Land that stretcheth a little way into the Sea, but all above Water, and you shall have five fathom water fair by the Rocks: Note the Tide of Ebb runs very strong to the Westward by this Point, round the Bay of Tangier; To Anchor in the Bay of Tangier, in clear ground, bring the Castle that stands on the North-west Corner of the Town, over the North Wall of the Town, and Cape Malabata North-east, and there is between 9 & 10 Fathom water at a full Sea.
To turn through the Streights Mouth, the Wind being westerly, you must ply to Windward on the Spanish side from the point of Gibraltar, to Cape Cabrita, and from thence to the Island of Tariffa, but you must turn about the Cape a little before a high Water, that you may have time to make two or three short Boards to Westward of the Cape before the Race of a Current comes out of the West, which continues but a very little while; which being past, the Ebb begins to run to the Westward, which runs so strong that you may turn up to the Island in one Tide of Ebb, (but if you cannot, you may stop the Flood any where between the Cape and the Island in 12, or 14 Fathom water) and there you must Anchor until so much of the Flood be spent, that you may get over to the Barbary side, to take the first of the Ebb there; and if you fall a little to the Westward of the Point Alcasara, you may get into the Bay of Tangier by a low Water, from whence you may, observing the Tide, turn out at pleasure.
* An account of this was Printed 14 years since under the name of Sir Kenelm Digby.
[Tripoli in Barbary. I have not been able to locate this, exactly. Samuel Clark, in his  A Geographicall Description of All the Countries in the Known World, etc., pp. 193-194, describes this and attributes the description in part to Sir Kenelm Digby:
A strange report of a City in Barbary that is turned into stone.
They write from Barbary, that a whole City consisting of beasts, trees, houses, Utensils, &c. are turned lately into stone: every thing remaining in the same posture, as children at their mothers breasts, &c. One Whiting, Captain of an English ship, who was a slave there, comming to the Duke of Florence, told him of it, having himself seen it, whereupon the Duke (holding fair correspondence with the Bassa of Tripolis,) wrote to him about it: the Bassa by letter hath assured him of the truth of it, and that himself was an eye witnesse of the same, going to the place to see it, and that it was done in a few hours, and hee hath sent the Duke diverse of those things petrified, and amongst the rest some peeces of gold that are turned into stone. This information Sir Kenelm Digby, had from a friend of his in Florence, besides other letters that mention it. If it bee true wee shall have further confirmation of it. I am not apt to beleeve such reports, yet seeing the Psalmist tells us, that strange punishments are for the workers of Iniquity, I thought fit to insert it, till time discover the truth.
Which is where we too shall leave it.
This page is by James Eason.