Sivut kuvina

ers. Nothing can be more deplorable than their case; for the greatest penalties inflicted in France on the worst of criminals, can scarce equal the sufferings of these innocent creatures. Our galley slaves are nothing near so unfortunate as those who work in the castle of Miquenes. The dungeons of Sale, Aleassar, and Tetuan, are worse than the darkest and most loathsome of our prisons; and the punishments the law appoints in France for murderers and assassins, are not to compare to those the Moors invent, either to make the captives renounce their faith, or to satisfy their own inalice.

They are no better used in sickness than in health. The common allowance to the King's slaves is only a porringer of black meal, and a little oil. No rest is allowed them till they see they are not able to wag hand or foot; for their merciless keepers, encouraged by the chief overseer of the work, who are for advancing apace, never excuse them from the daily labour till they cannot rise through weakness, and as soon as they can go, they are obliged to do like the rest. All the favour shewn them is, that at first they put them upon the least toilsome employments, as making of mortar, sweeping the streets, and serving in the stables. If any die, they value it not; for those who have the charge of them only give the King an account at the year's end, that such a number is dead, and both he and his subjects being predestinarians, believe they could not have lived any longer, though never so much care had been taken of them.

As to the particular of running away, I have known above a score venture it every year; to which purpose they gathered as many bits of bread as they could, and dried them in the sun: when they had got enough, we buried these persons in ditches, along the walls without the castle of Miquenes, all but their heads, which we covered

with weeds, that they might breathe, and then all of us went to ease ourselves round them, that the Moors might loath to come near the place. At night they set out, recommending themselves to God. Fridays being the properest days to do this, because then the Moors that worked with us went at two in the afternoon to the mosques, to their Sala, or prayers, leaving only one of the keepers with us; and whilst those who intended to fly were buried, two or three kept him in discourse, give him some tobacco or told him some story, so that no notice was taken till night, when they counted us.

One day, two Spaniards buried themselves alive after this manner, in a pit or dungeon behind the Seraglio, and out of the way. One of their comrades, who alone was privy to it, covered the pit over with a board, and earth upon it, leaving a hole to give them some air, but the weather being excessive hot, and the air that came in not sufficing, it weakened them so much, that when they would have come out, their strength failed, and falling back, they were stifled in the place.

The next day their comrade went to see whether they were gone, and perceiving the hole half opened by them, concluded they were fled without looking down. Eight days after, another Christian, looking for wood to boil his pot, and spying the board, pulled it off and smelt a horri ble stench, and drawing near to see whence it proceeded, discovered their two dead bodies. He gave notice of it to the R. F. John, of Jesus Mary, a Spanish religious man of the order of the Barefoot Trinitarians of Madrid, who lived with us, and thought fit they should be left in the same place, filling it up immediately with earth, that the Moors might know nothing of it, for fear if they did, they might search all such places for the future, when any happened to be missing.

Intrigues of a Moorish Lady. The African women find it difficult to have any intrigues with Mahometans, because the men, being extraordinary jealous, never suffer them to go abroad. However, they find more conveniency with their slaves, whom their husbands do not so much suspect, either that they think the Christians blind, or believe that burning, which is the punishment inflicted on them when taken with Mahometan women, is sufficient to deter them from attempting any such thing.Thus they take all possible precautions on the one hand, and none on the other, carefully avoiding the less danger, and easily fall into the greater, as will appear from the following story: Mahomet le Maraxchy, who was one of the prime men of Sale, and the King's secretary for marine affairs when I was there, had a very beautiful daughter named Fatma, married to Mahomet Abdalla Tonsy, a wealthy inhabitant of the same town. This woman was of a very amorous disposition, and had used all her endeavours, before she was married, to entice a handsome young Gascon captain, who was her father's slave. The captive, being proof against all her allurements, and ransomed soon after, she still held on the same disposition, even after being married. It is true her husband Tonsy was to blame; for tho' goodnatured and complying with every thing she required, yet he was too fond of wine and gallantry. This cast Fatma into such a fit of melancholy, that it turned to a languishing disease, which it is thought would have killed her. However, she was perfectly recovered by a French surgeon, who was slave to Cantillo Reys, her husband's brother-in-law, and had been sent for to her, having given good proofs of his skill. The surgeon was a handsome young man, likely to please any woman less amorous than Fatma, and therefore no wonder that she soon took fire.

January 1808.

He coming one day to visit her, and enquire whether she felt any remains of her distemper, she told him her obligations to him were so great for the restoring of her health, that she could requite him with nothing less than herself; adding, that her eyes had before declared her affection, and bidding him now shew himself wo thy of the esteem she had for him. The captive, though he had guessed at something before, was a little surprised and at a stand, considering the danger he exposed himself to; but love prevailing above fear, he resolved to comply with Fatma, and accordingly, after many acknowledgements of the favour she did him, declared she might absolutely dispose of his person. This was sufficient to conclude the match, and from that time forward Fatma entirely devoted herself to the captive. He visited her frequently when the husband was abroad, without the least suspicion on his side, because he had a kindness for the man on account of the cure he had effected on his wife. No jealousy had perhaps entered into his head, but that some Jews, who had shops near the house, seeing the slave go in most days, acquainted him, that every time the surgeon came, a black woman stood sentinel at the street. Hereupon Tonsy, the next day, instead of going abroad, hid himself in a closet which was divided from his wife's chamber by a wainscot, through the crannies whereof he could see all that was done; but the black slave, who was privy to her mistress's offence, happening to hear some noise in that place, and suspecting what it might be, gave Fatma timely notice.

When the Christian captive came, Fatma, instead of caressing him as she was wont at other times, said she thanked him for his care in coming to see her, but that she feared her husband might think ill of it, and therefore he would oblige her in coming only when he was sent for: that her


obligations made her very unwilling to dismiss him in that manner; yet she could do no less for fear of disgusting a husband that was so dear to her. The captive who, by a wink she gave him, understood all the cheat, answered accordingly with the greatest respect, and went away. As soon as he was gone, Tonsy came out, and embracing his wife, begged her pardon for giving so much credit to ill tongues, as to suspect her virtue, and declared he was now fully convinced of it, and therefore the slave might come as often as she pleased without giving him the least umbrage. She pretended to be angry that he should entertain any such thoughts of her, and he adding many more endearing expressions, they were perfectly reconciled.

Singular Villany of a Spanish Rene gado.

The Alcayde caused the Renegado to be richly clad, to mount on horseback, and to ride all about the town, and round the walls; attended by the drums, hautboys, and other music going before, and all the horse following. When healed of the circumcision, the Alcayde kept him near his own person, gave him considerable posts, and caused him to be instructed in all the principal points of his religion. When the King's taxes were gathered, he was always sent about, and got considerably, so that he grew very rich. His master died at that time when he had gathered much wealth, and not only left him his freedom, but also a fine house to live in. After his death, being entirely at his own disposal, he joined in partnership with some inhabitants of Tetuan, to build a frigate and go out a pirating. When she was fitted and the command bestowed upon him, he put to sea, and acquired much treasure and great reputation, by the many prizes he took, and the frequent descents he made in Spain. All men respected, and the prime persons in the town desired to

be allied to him. When it was known that he intended to marry, several good matches were offered to him, and among the rest one with the beautifullest maiden in Tetuan, who had rejected divers good offers, being of a very haughty temper. He desired of those that mentioned her to him, that he might see her walk in the garden, being himself in the next to it, disguised like a woman, the law forbidding the seeing of her any other way. This was accordingly done, and the gardens being parted but by very thin hedges. he had a full view of her, and was highly pleased. Next he sent her a compliment by his pilot's wife, whilst he asked her of the father, who gave him a promise, provided she consented, and afterwards made her several conhim word it was all in vain, for she siderable presents, till at last she sent would never marry him by her own good will; and if she was forced to it, he should always have a mortal enemy by his side; and yet the pilot assured him all this was only to try his constancy.

Some time after this answer, he went out a roving towards Almeria, on the coast of the kingdom of Granada, in Spain, where he landed, and took several shepherds he found in huts by their flock, among whom there happened, unfortunately, to be two women that came the night before with their daughters, to see their hus bands. Having put them all a-board, he returned home with his prize, consisting of ten persons, and immediately sent the handsomest of the two maidens to serve his mistress as a slave. the thanks she returned was bidding the messenger tell him, that she could not believe him to be so much in love with her as he pretended, or that he was a real Mahometan, unless he gave her some undeniable proof of his sincerity, without which he must never expect to gain her favour. As soon as the renegado received this declaration, he sent the same person back to

assure her, he was ready to perform whatsoever she should command."Well, said that devil of a woman, tell my lover he must never expect to enjoy me, unless he brings me his father, mother, and sisters, who I know are still living, that they may be our slaves when we are married: If he does so, he may be assured I will refuse him no satisfaction, the very next day after his return, without which he is to expect nothing from me."

vants, because he had something of moment to impart.

When they were gone, he told him he had made his escape from Tetuan, with four captives in a boat, which brought several bags of gold and silver, and some bales of silk he had left to unlade, and desired they would assist to conceal them thereby, lest the King's officers or those of the Inquisition should seize them, on pretence of his being a renegado. His parents, suspecting nothing after so many expressions of repentance, agreed to follow him; the father hasting forwards with him, and leaving the mgther and sisters to follow. When the renegado came to the place where his men lay concealed, he caused them to bind his father, ordering he should be carried to the boat, and murdered, if he offered to make the least noise, that might discover them; and then returned himself to bring on his mother and sisters. The father, tho' his life was in such imminent danger, yield

voice, rending the air with cries, which reached the ears of some shepherds that were abroad with their flocks.

Having received these commands, he fitted out his frigate, putting into her 100 of the best men of the town, and set sail four days after, taking advantage of a fog, that he might not be discovered from Ceuta, which is but 7 miles distant, and where there are always sentinels looking towards Tetuan, to observe whether any pirate comes out that they may send their galliot after them. He stood over for the coast of Spain, which he reached st night, and anchored at some distance to prevent discovery. He clothed himself, and ten more that promising to his sorrow, gave full scope to his ed to stand by him, in the Spanish habit, and landing close by the place where his father lived, took four of the men with him, leaving the other six to secure the boat. When they had travelled about half a league, he hid the four men among the rocks that were by the way that led to his father's farm, and went up to it alone. Being come to the door, he declared who he was, that they might open to him. His father, who was then a-bed, overjoyed to have his son again, whom he tenderly loved, and had continual ly lamented since he became a renegado, had not patience to put on his clothes, before he ran to receive and embrace him. His mother and sisters shed such tears of joy as would have mollified the most inhuman heart.After many false embraces, the better to deceive them, and promises of amending his life for the future, he desired the father to dismiss the ser

It is to be observed, that in Andalusia, and some other parts of Spain, the flocks and herds of sheep, kine, goats, and swine, lie out in the open fields day and night, by reason of the temperature of the air, all the year about; and the swains that look to them make huts in the plains, where they lie at night altogether, to be the better able to defend them, either against the wolves, or robbers, as also to secure themselves from the Moors of Tetuan, who often land on those coasts. These shepherds being alarmed by the old man's cries, laid hold of their firelocks and swords, and shot towards the place whence the noise came. Soon after they heard the Moors, who were loath to kill their captain's father, dragging him along, and threatening to kill him,

if he continued to cry out. At first they believed them to be robbers that were stripping travellers, and having enclosed them on all sides, drew near and secured them before they could make any opposition.

The old man, overcome with joy for his deliverance, could not speak at first; but, as soon as he recovered, told them how his own son had betrayed him, and was gone back to conduct his mother and sisters to him, that they might all end their days in miserable captivity in Barbary. The shepherds, who knew him, desired he would be silent, and some of them lay down flat on the ground, whilst the others led the Moors bound to their cottages, where they left them under a guard of their fellows. It was now past midnight, when the renegado believing his father was aboard, pressed his mother and sisters to make haste, that they might remove all the booty, before it was day, but was much surprised, when a little beyond the place where he had delivered up his father, he was seized, and put himself into the same condition. Those who had conducted the Moors to their cottages returning, they went all together without any noise to the shore, where they found the other Moors lying on the sand to wait for their comrades, and believing they had now brought their prize, instead of making to their boat, they delivered themselves up to the shepherds.

Those that were in the frigate, perceiving the day drew near, and that their companions did not return, set sail for Tetuan, fearing they had miscarried. As soon as she came into the road, all men came down to the shore, believing she had made a good prize, and the music came to receive them in a triumphant manner, but when they understood what had happened, their joy was turned into sorrow, and even the cruel fair, who had occasioned the misfortune, could

not but lament the loss of a man who had ventured all to gain her favour, The tide being out when the frigate came into the road, she was obliged to anchor till the flood; during that time the sentinels at Ceuta having dis covered her, the galliot of that place set out and soon came up with and endeavoured to board her. The Moors defended themselves bravely for about two hours, when having lost above 30 men, they cut their cables and ran aground. The Spaniards slew many more as they got to shore, and reached some of the townsmen, who came to see the fight rather than assist them. This done the galliot returned without being able to do any more.

The shepherds, who had returned to their cottages to spend the rest of the night, as soon as it was day, carried the Moors and renegado to Tarifa, where they delivered them to the Inquisitors. These being only subservient to the great inquisition at Sevil, gave notice to the chief Inquisitor at that city, who sent a guard to conduct them to his court. The Moors that appeared to be such, and no renegadoes, as they had been suspected to be, were sent to the gallies; but the renegado was kept, in order to his conversion or punishment. That wretch continued so obstinate, that, notwithstanding his parent's tears, and the persuasions of the Inquisitors, he declared he would die a Mahometan, for the sake of one of the beautifullest ladies in Africk. Then he reviled his father, mother, and the Inquisitors, which obliged them to desist from all hopes of his conversion, and to condemn him to be burnt alive. Thus ended that miserable apostate. This story I had from several Spaniards, and a Frenchman called James Tesson, born at Havre de Grace, and who had lived twenty years at Tetuan, during which time all that has been said happened.


« EdellinenJatka »