Francis Brooks (1693), Barbarian Cruelty..., pp. 55-77.
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The poor Christian Captives that are taken by any of those Hellish Pirates belonging to the Emperor of Morocco, are brought up to Macqueness, being kept at hard Work from Day-light in the Morning till Night, carrying Earth on their Heads in great Baskets, driven to and fro with those barbarous Negroes by the Emperor's Order: and when they are drove home by the Negroes at Night to their Lodging, which is on the cold Ground, in a Vault or hollow place in the Earth, laid over with great Beams a-thwart, and Iron Bars over them, they are told in there like Sheep, and out in the Morning; and if any be wanting, he quickly secures the Negroes, and sends out a parcel of his Guard to look for them. Their Food is Bread made of old rotten Barley, and their Drink Water when they can get it: Many times when they are hurried to their Work in a Morning, not knowing whether they shall be able to undergo their Afflictions till Night: and when they are drove home, expecting Rest, the Tyrant sends some of his Negroes to hurry them again to work, either to hale down Walls, cut Gates, or the like, keeping them both Night and Day many times without either Bread or Water, which is all their Sustenance: when they have done that, the Negroes dare not to drive them home before he gives order, lest they be killed for so doing; when they have his Order, they drive them home, tell them over, and so lock them up until Day-light in the Morning. And in this Captivity I have been, with the rest of my poor Country-men for the space of Ten Years, being so long since taken; but now, through the Mercies of God, I am come to see my Native Country, and cannot but condole their Miseries I have left behind under that cruel Tyrant the Emperor of Morocco; beseeching Almighty God, that none of my Country-men may ever come to have a share under that hard Task-Master. There are three hundred and forty English-men, Subjects of our Gracious King, in this sore Captivity.
This Emperor, as I have been informed, touching his Birth or Descent, was begotten of a Negro Woman by a white Man, one of the noblest of their Quality in that time, and is a Mollatto by his Colour; but when he's in a Passion, he looks just as he is, as black as an Infernal Imp; which his Natives take notice of, and can tell when he's angry. For his Apparel, he wears a fine Holland Shirt, with Sleeves so large that will make any ordinary Man a pair of Drawers, besides a large pair of Drawers of the same, with Breeches over them, and next to his Shirt a Garment of as Fine Stuff as can be had, made of the fashion of a Wastcoat without Sleeves, and over that a Coat of as fine Cloth as can be bought, made almost of our fashion; he wears over that a sort of Garment which they call a Shilham, or Barnoose, but we may call it a short Cloak, being wrought all over with Silver and Gold, with a Cap to go over his Head, having at the top of it a great Bob with a Fringe, and at the bottom a great Fringe all round it: on the lower part from his Breast it is open, and the upper part made fast; and over that in cold Weather he wears a Cloak, with a Cap to put over his Head: upon his Head he wears sometimes a Turbet (as they call it) made of Silk; and when it is hot Weather, he wears a Garment made of a sort of Stuff like fine Crape, and a Hat; and on his Legs he wears fine red Boots, but different from our Fashion: he's oftner on Horse-back than on Foot; his Guard, which are of different Stature, wear some of them Shoes, and have over their Shirts and Drawers only Cloaks with Caps, some light coloured, and some dark: sometimes he has an hundred following him, and at other times fifty, and sometimes more, he having thirty thousand Negroes of his own Slaves.
Every one of his black Guard have a Piece, and he has three or four Launces carried after him, and several Pieces ready charged; to kill with at his Pleasure either the Christians or his own Natives. When he falls out with his Guards, he strips and takes their Clothes, from them and puts them in Irons, and sets them to work. He seldom returns home after his going out in a Morning, without killing one or other before he returns, by running of them through with his Launce, shooting them, or dragging them at a Mule's Tail, either Men or Women, seldom repenting for what he has done; Mahomet their great Prophet possessing them with a Belief, that if he kills any one, he merits Heaven by so doing; but if any Person should kill him, he cannot avoid going to Hell. He has Water carried after him by a Boy, which he drinks, to make the People believe he drinks nothing else; and likewise short Sticks carried after him daily, to beat the poor Slaves at his Pleasure, which is hourly, to vex and punish them, delighting in nothing more.
He was first made a Coyde or Governour of some part of the Country, and by his Kindness and Affability to the People, he gained Respect from them in that Country. Mully Sheade being then King, and living in the City of Fez, there died; and the Inhabitants there being all Whites, and he a Mollato, they cried up Mully Hammet. Mully Ishmael being then beloved of his own People, he raised a small Army, and went against the said City and won it; having conquered Fez, he still strove to oblige the People; and one Guillan raised a small Army, against whom Mully Ishmael went. Guillan being a great Friend to our Nation, the Governour of Tangier offered him Assistance if he was pleased to accept it: he returned him Thanks, saying, it was bad enough for himself and his own Army to be conquered, and it would be worse for the Christians if they should go with him; but engaging himself, Mully Ishmael conquered him, and his People carried his Head up to Macqueness: When I was there, the Emperor kept two of Guillan's Sons in his Castle, and had them at School amongst his own Children, because of their Father's Courage and Stoutness.
Our English Governour was concerned at the loss of Guillan and his People. When the Emperor had won most of his Country, and conquered Tarradant, he soon after came to Macqueness, and ordered all his Bashaws or Governours to build Walls and great Houses upon their own Charge, on pain of losing their Lives. Some finished their Houses, and some could not, having not wherewith to do it, being brought so low, he causing it to be so, that they might not rebel against his chief Son called Mully Sedan, for whom he hath the greatest Esteem above all his Sons, thinking he may succeed after his Decease: but I hope in God, and wish it may never be, for the young Tyrant imitates his Father too much in cutting and killing the Slaves as bad as he almost; that the People begin to dread him as well as the old one.
The Emperor's Castle hath four Gates belonging to it. The City of Macqueness is an old decay'd place, the Castle standing distant from it, and walled in some places double, and has a few old Iron Guns mounted upon them: For the Brass Guns that were taken from the King of Spain, he's afraid to leave them with any of his Governours, lest they rise against him, and had them brought up to Macqueness, plac'd within the Castle Gates betwixt two Walls flat upon the Ground. The Buildings within the Walls are very high, and several small Forts round the Castle-Walls. And lately he set the People to build two new towns, (with which to plague his Country People, to bring them as low as he can) which I think will never be finished in his time; and if he did it on his own Cost and Charge, he would not have so many Buildings. When Taxes are brought him in, he treasures it up, taking but little out again.
The common Diet the Emperor uses to eat, is made like a kind of Grain; they call it Cuscozoo, being boiled and mixed with their Butter, which is far more loathsome and strong to us than our Butter in England; being put into Platters, they put thereon Mutton cut in small pieces. So he sits down, and thrusting his Hand into it, he shakes it a little to and fro, crambing it in his Mouth together. When he has done, he calls his Negroes to take what's left to eat while he stands over them, and they are in great fear lest he kill them; which he certainly would do, if one should eat more than another. Their Drink is commonly Water; 'tis said, he'l drink Wine; wherein he makes invalid the Doctrine of their great Prophet Mahomet, who told the People, It was a great Sin to do it; yea, and he'l often be drunk too, (to the sorrow of his poor Slaves); though if any of the rest, if it be the greatest among them, be found in the like Case, if he comes to the knowledg of it, he'l kill them. His Guards about him are made up of Negro Boys, of fourteen, sixteen, or eighteen Years old. If he calls for the greatest Man in his Country about the least Crime, they presently run like so many Hounds; and they come Collering of him, as if he were a Bullock to be slaughtered: When he's hal'd so before the Emperor, he either kills him, or he's beaten, or put in Irons, and thrown into Prison; and after this manner he governs his own People.
When he had Business with our Nation, and asked Advice of the Chief of his own Country, none durst say his Concern would go Well or Ill, for fear he would dislike what they said, although he would often require them to do it: So he first gives his own Judgment of the Matter, and they say as he does. He is seldom true to his Word, having cheated most Kings and Princes that have any thing to do with him; as in the Case of the Algerines, who made him pay dearly for it.
Whilst I was there, he made Peace with Holland and France; but soon broke it, taking since that time several Dutch and French Ships, making Slaves of their Subjects. If he swears one thing to Day, he'l swear quite another on the Morrow. Yet he did not out-wit (notwithstanding his Falshood and Treachery) the King of Spain's Ambassador, who surrendred not one of the Moors, till the Christians were got into the Spanish Garison.
If any Christian King or Prince sends an Ambassadour to this Emperor, (as in my Time there have been from England, Spain and France) when they come thither, he makes them wait a considerable time: And he's so high in his own Conceit, that except they be Persons of Quality, he regards them not; and when they come before him, he'l be either in his Stable, or on Horseback, or sitting on an heap of Earth, and so speaks to them by an Interpreter, (and he will not allow a Penny towards their Charges, nor any Place to lodg in, be they who they will) and so sends for several of the White-men, being Bashaws or Governours, the chiefest of his Country, who dare not for their Lives be Judges to speak otherwise than what he says first, for fear of him.
About twelve Years since, he sent an Ambassdour over to our late King Charles the Second, to Congratulate his Majesty, and Treat with him for Peace, or the like; and in the mean time sent out his Pirats to take our English Ships. Our King not thinking him to be so false, sent him a Present over by Hammet Benkado the Emperor's Ambassador; who is now as barbarous to the poor Christians, as any belonging to the Emperor. He never goes to rest, but when dead Sleep overcomes him, and make him so drowsy, that he can't hold up his Head; and as he goes to rest, he often kills one or other of his Negroes, at home as well as abroad. Then in one of his Rooms in the Castle, he lies down on a kind of Quilt on the Ground; and sleeping that Night, he rises early in the Morning, and falls to his old Tyrannous and Inhumane Practices, domineering over his poor Slaves, and sets the Negroes to whip, stone and beat them, to work harder than many times it's possible for them to think they can hold out or endure till Night. The poor Christians, the English Captives, daily praying to God, if it be his Will, to support them in this distressed Condition, and to keep them and deliver them from under this miserable Oppression they are under, and restrain the Hands of that bloody Tyrant: And when they think of their Native Country, and the Government thereof, they cannot but greatly lament their own Condition, erecting their Prayers to Heaven for the Preservation of their own King and Country; and that God would be pleased to open their Hearts to remember them in this sad and deplorable Condition. Thus bemoaning one another, they commit their Case to him, who is the wise Disposer and Orderer of all things, without whose Permission nothing can be acted or done, who can in his due Time grant them Relief.
On Fridays the Emperor goes to his Place of Worship, having first viewed his Slaves, being of several sorts, both Christians, Negroes, and a sort of People called Brabboes; the last sort being Natives of the Country, which he suppresseth so much, that they are not able to pay him Taxes, keeping them at as hard Slavery as the rest. If he kills none in the Morning before he goes to Worship, they dread him for fear he will at his return: he rides thither and back again, going about Eleven of the Clock, and returns about One, against which time the poor Slaves order one or another to watch, and are in as great fear when they see him as if they must all be destroyed; and they all work more hard that day than all the rest of the Week. He killed seven and twenty Moors on one day; but there's none can tell the several thousands of poor Souls this unmerciful Tyrant hath slain since his Reign, which is now about two and twenty Years.
For his Women I think he knows not the number of them, he hath so many, both Whites, Blacks, Mollatoes, and Copper-colour'd; and for Apparel they have a piece of Silk of a Red or Yellow Colour, which they wear over their Heads. They wear Shifts or Smocks made of fine Linnen, big enough to make two Shifts, and fine Drawers that will reach down to their Heels, which are open or slit in the middle; and their upper Garment is fine Flannel, and a Silk Girdle about their middle: upon each of their Breasts they wear Silver or Gold Pins, with which they fasten their upper Garment; and upon the Wrists of their Hands they wear on each a Silver Shackle, and likewise upon the Small of their Legs; and on their Feet red Slippers. He hath store of Children of several Colours. He hath built within his Castle fine Dwellings for himself to live and lodg in; and for his Women he hath built very fine Houses, two Courts very sumptuous; in the bigger of them are seventy two Marble Pillars, each at least three foot thick, to support the fine painted Works above; in the middle of the greater Court is a Marble Cistern with curious Spring-Water, which springs or boils up in the middle thereof, and comes from a Fountain about two Miles from the Castle. If he desires to lie with any of his Women, he sends an Eunuch to fetch whom he pleases: she being come, he lies with her, after that he bids her begone; being as inhumane in this as in the rest of his Actions; and away she goes, lest he kill her. He allows his Women a quantity of Flower, and sends his Eunuchs to measure it them out; and sometimes goes to look over them himself, lest his Eunuchs cheat him. One of his Women came to him carrying a young Child in her Arms, desiring him to allow her a little more Flower and Butter; he bid her stay a while, and she should have it; then he called for some of his Eunuchs, and killed her, and caused them to pull the young Child in pieces Limb from Limb.
It's his Pleasure sometimes to shew his Women his fine Buildings: before he goes, he sends his Eunuchs to drive away all the Men out of their sight, riding with a Lance himself before the Women, being two or three hundred following, where he rides in great Pomp, extolling this and the other Work, and admiring the Bravery thereof; but the Women dare not to speak a word otherwise than as he himself doth.
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This page is by James Eason