The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of An Englishman: In An Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula

By George Borrow | Go to book overview

CHAPTER LVI.

The Mahasni--Sin Samani--The Bazaar--Moorish Saints--"See the Ayanas!"--The Prickly Fig--Jewish Graves--The Place of Carcases-- The Stable Boy--Horses of the Moslem--Dar Dwag.

I WAS standing in the market-place, a spectator of much the same scene as I have already described, when a Moor came up to me and attempted to utter a few words in Spanish. He was a tall elderly man, with sharp but rather whimsical features, and might have been called good-looking, had lie not been one-eyed, a very common deformity in this country. His body was swathed in an immense haik. Finding that I could understand Moorish, he instantly began talking with immense volubility, and I soon learnt that he was a Mahasni. He expatiated diffusely on the beauties of Tangier, of which he said he was a native, and at last exclaimed, "Come, my sultan, come, my lord, and I will show you many things which will gladden your eyes, and fill your heart with sunshine; it were a shame in me, who have the advantage of being a son of Tangier, to permit a stranger, who comes from an island in the great sea, as you tell me you do, for the purpose of seeing this blessed land, to stand here in the soc with no one to guide him. By Allah, it shall not be so. Make room for my sultan, make room for my lord," he continued, pushing his way through a crowd of men and children who had gathered round us; "it is his highness' pleasure to go with me. This way, my lord, this way!" and he led the way up the hill, walking at a tremendous rate and talking still faster. "This street," said he, "is the Siarrin, and its like is not to be found in Tangier; observe how broad it is, even half the breadth of the soc itself; here are the shops of the most considerable merchants, where are sold precious articles of all kinds. Observe those two men, they are Algerines and good Moslems; they fled from Zair (Algiers) when the Nazarenes conquered it, not by force of fighting, not by valour, as you may well suppose, but by gold; the Nazarenes only conquer by gold. The Moor is good, the Moor is strong, who so good and strong? but he fights not with gold, and therefore he lost Zair.

"Observe you those men seated on the benches by those portals; they are Mahasniah, they are my brethren. See their haiks how white, see their turbans how white. O that you could see their swords in the day of war, for bright, bright are their swords. Now they bear no swords. Wherefore should they? Is there not peace in the land? See you him in the shop opposite? That is the Pasha of Tangier, that is the Hamed Sin Samani, the under Pasha of Tangier; the elder Pasha, my lord, is away on a journey; may Allah send him a safe return. Yes, that is Hamed; he sits in his hanutz as were he nought more than a merchant, yet life and death are in his hands. There he dispenses justice, even as he dispenses the essence of the rose and cochineal, and powder of cannon and sulphur; and these two last he sells on the account of Abderrahman, my lord and sultan, for none can sell powder and the sulphur dust in his land but the sultan. Should

-382-

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The Bible in Spain, Or, the Journeys, Adventures, and Imprisonments of An Englishman: In An Attempt to Circulate the Scriptures in the Peninsula
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • The Minerva Library. ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Introduction. v
  • Preface. xi
  • Contents xvii
  • Chapter I 1
  • Chapter II 9
  • Chapter III 16
  • Chapter IV 24
  • Chapter V 30
  • Chapter VI 36
  • Chapter VII 41
  • Chapter VIII 47
  • Chapter IX 53
  • Chapter X 62
  • Chapter XI 74
  • Chapter XII 82
  • Chapter XIII 90
  • Chapter XIV 98
  • Chapter XV 105
  • Chapter XVI 113
  • Chapter XVII 120
  • Chapter XVIII 126
  • Chapter XX 135
  • Chapter XXI *
  • Chapter XXII 152
  • Chapter XXIII 160
  • Chapter XXIV 163
  • Chapter XXV 171
  • Chapter XXVI 178
  • Chapter XXVII 187
  • Chapter XXVIII 194
  • Chapter XXIX 203
  • Chapter XXX 212
  • Chapter XXXI 223
  • Chapter XXXII 231
  • Chapter XXXIII 238
  • Chapter XXXIV 244
  • Chapter XXXV 251
  • Chapter XXXVI 252
  • Chapter XXXVII 258
  • Chapter XXXVIII 263
  • Chapter XXXIX 266
  • Chapter XL 273
  • Chapter XLI 282
  • Chapter XLII 288
  • Chapter XLIII 296
  • Chapter XLIV 304
  • Chapter XLV 310
  • Chapter XLVI 313
  • Chapter XLVIII 326
  • Chapter XLIX 332
  • Chapter L 338
  • Chapter LI 346
  • Chapter LII 356
  • Chapter LIII 366
  • Chapter LIV 370
  • Chapter LV 376
  • Chapter LVI 382
  • Chapter LVII 389
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