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THE REIGNING BASHAW,
ALSO, AN ACCOUNT OF
THE DOMESTIC MANNERS
MOORS, ARABS, AND TURKS.
Illustrated with a Map and several coloured Plates.
....Mi giovera narrare altrui
GIER. LIBER. xv. 38.
TO NEW YORK
Printed by Cox and Baylis,
He authenticity of the following letters is strikingly proved by the intrinsic evidence of almost every page. They were written by the sister-in-law of the late RICHARD Tully, Esq. his Britannic Majesty's Consul at the Court of Tripoli, between whose family and that of the Bashaw, it will be seen that the closest intimacy subsisted for many years. .
Though some time has elapsed since the occurrence of the events which are here detailed, yet as, in the parts of Africa to which they refer, the natives neither admit nor even know of innovation, their manners remaining from age to age invariably the same, this circumstance cannot affect what is related or described.
The volume will be found an object of peculiar curiosity, from the lively and artless manner in which it lays open the interior of the Court of the Bashaw of Tripoli. It contains, we believe, the only exact account which has ever been made publicly known of the private manners and conduct of this African Despot, and it details such scenes and events, it gives such sketches of human weakness and vice, the effects of ambition, avarice, envy, and intrigue, as will seem scarcely credible to the mind of an European.
It has also been the object of the author to present a faithful picture of the manners, ideas, and sentiments, of the Moors in general,—a task which could not possibly have been effected, except under peculiar circumstances, owing to the almost utter impracticability of any Christian, male or female,
being introduced into the interior circle of Moorish families of distinction, and still much less that of the Bashaw.
As a proof of the close intimacy which subsisted between the family of the Author and that of Ali Coromali, the late Bashaw, it may be mentioned that the Consul, finding it necessary to repair with his lady to England for à short time, the Bashaw and Lilla Halluma (called by her subjects Lilla Kebbierra, or Queen of Tripoli) entreated them to leave their two children under their sovereign protection till they should return, assuring them that nothing the country could produce, should be spared to render their children happy. Lilla Halluma offered to consider them as bint el bled (daughters of the country), and to guard them as her own children; adding, that she would promise in the most solemn manner “ by the Pro
phet,” that neither their religion, nor manners, should be in the smallest degree interfered with, while their parents were absent.
It may be supposed that, friendly and condescending as this offer was, it could not with propriety be accepted, considering the opposite tenets and manners of the parties : yet the offer clearly proves the habitual intercourse and confidential intimacy which subsisted between the families, and which consequently gave rise to such frequent interviews as left not the slightest events unknown to the author of the journal.
The consul's daughters also, being both born in Tripoli, and speaking the Arabic language from their infancy, were easily and even eagerly admitted into habits of close intimacy with all the female part of the Royal Family, by which means they frequently promoted reconciliation between the Moors and the English residents, and created, on the part of the Bashaw, such an attachment towards our nation, as induced the natives to regard the latter at that time with peculiar attention and respect. Many incidents will present themselves, in the course of the following sheets, to confirm the truth of this statement.