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events had taken with two men, who hold in different ways almost the highest positions in Morocco. One was himself a vizier, the other far above all fear of arrest. They both told me the same tale; but, in spite of the high authority on which I heard it, I do not think it is to be credited, and in my opinion it was the officially agreed upon story, that was to give justice to the arrest of such important members of the Sultan's court.
I was told that both the viziers in question had addressed letters to Mulai Ismain in Fez, and to Mulai Mohammed in Morocco City, the young Sultan's uncle and brother respectively, inviting them to seize the opportunity of attempting the throne, and offering all their large fortune and influence in the event of their doing So. These letters, it was said, were intercepted and the plot discovered.
Although both the viziers in question were quite capable of such a plot, I cannot believe that either pursued the course stated above. To a Moor a document of any sort is a far more important thing than to us, and any one who is acquainted with the Moors knows how extremely difficult it is to obtain any kind of matter in writing. Had such an idea as that stated above entered the minds of Haj Amaati and his brother, and had they formulated any conspiracy to that effect, they would never have been so foolish as to commit themselves to writing, and any communication with the two Shereefs in question would have been made with the aid of a trusted envoy. It was easy to see that one of my informants at least discredited the story he was telling me, which he only knew from official sources. My own opinion is this, that the whole affair was
the result of Sid Ahmed's jealousy, and that he was actuated no doubt also by a feeling that the course he pursued was the safest in the Sultan's interests-for by removing his own two most dangerous enemies, he at the same time would find further scope for his influence and policy. That the viziers deserved their fate none can deny. Haj Amaati had impoverished the whole country by his enormous and insatiable greed and black-mail, and his brother had deprived the soldiery of a very considerable portion of their pay.
Immediately the arrests were made the entire property of both
together with that of Sid el arbi Zebdi-was confiscated, and their houses at Fez seized. Haj Amaati had just completed the building in the capital of a palace second to none there in size and decoration, a block of buildings rising high above the level of the other houses, which will be an eternal landmark of the vizier's rise and fall. It had been completed only during his absence in the south with the Sultan, and so much pride did the vizier take in this new palace that he had ordered all the decorations in stucco and mosaic, of which the Moors are perfect masters, to be draped with linen, so that none should see the general effect before himself. A rope attached to these curtains would allow the entire drapery to fall, when the every beauty of the decoration would be exposed. Within a week of realising this dream of oriental fancy, he was cast into a dungeon, and his house and all his wealth confiscated to the Sultan.
With the fall of the two viziers it became more apparent than ever that Sid Ahmed meant to be
master of the whole situation; but he was wise enough not to attempt alone what could be done equally well, and very probably better, with the advice of trusted advisers. There were two people at the Court in whose hands might lie the power of treating him as he had treated the others. These two were respectively the Circassian mother of the Sultan, and Sidi Mohammed el Marani, an influential Shereef, who had married the sister of Mulai el Hassen, and into whose hands a considerable part of the upbringing of Mulai Abdul Aziz had been intrusted. Both must be conciliated, for over the Sultan both held great influence—so great, in fact, that should Sid Ahmed's conduct in any way displease them, their united power might easily persuade the Sultan to dismiss him. Not for this reason alone, however, did Sid Ahmed, as it were, invite these two to join him in a sort of council of regency, for he knew fully well the ability of both and their devotion to his lord and master.
In the hands of these three persons the welfare of Morocco lies. But before entering upon any conjectures as to the future, the history of past events must be continued up to date.
On Thursday, July 19, a start was made from Mequinez towards Fez, the army and the governor of the tribes and their escorts having camped the previous night a slight distance outside the town near the Fez road.
Two events worthy of mention had meanwhile taken place at Fezfirst, the behaviour of Mulai Omar, the Sultan's brother and viceroy; and, secondly, the fact that the enkas, or local taxation' upon all goods sold, had been removed, together with the octroi at the city gates.
With regard to the former a few words must be said. Mulai Omar, who had been left as viceroy by Mulai el Hassen, whose son he was by a slave wife, is a young man of extremely vicious and degenerate habits, nearly black in colour, and with an expression as ugly as it is revolting. While beyond his immorality no actual charge of crime can be laid to his door, he may be said to be incapable of filling the position he held, and to want discretion and com
It appears—and I knew of the event at the time-that on his learning of the death of his father, he sent to the Jewish silversmiths, by whom all Government work is done, and ordered one of their number to make him a seal. Now in Morocco a seal is an exceedingly important object, and no one uses a seal of office unless it is actually presented to him by the Sultan. So far the story is generally known, but here my version the true version
differs, for while the European press harped upon the fact that Mulai Omar wished to make himself a seal with the inscription of Sultan upon it, the fact was that the seal was to bear Mulai Abdul Aziz's name, and that the reason of Mulai Omar's ordering it to be made was not in order to stamp documents himself as Sultan, but probably to have in his possession a means of forging letters supposed to have come from Court. Whether his idea was by this to make the best of the short period that remained to him as Viceroy to amass money, or whether in case of any outbreak or disturbance on the part of the population to be able to forge conciliatory or other letters that would keep them quiet until his brother's arrival, it is impossible to say. But whatever may have been the
desire, the result in the suspicious eyes of his brother was this—that he had attempted by some means to usurp the throne.
However, the seal was never made. The Jew artificer, knowing the penalty that would meet him at the hands of the Sultan were he even the innocent instrument in this, fled and sought the protection of an influential member of the Government, and the affair was knocked on the head at once.
A second charge was also laid at Mulai Omar's door-that of having ordered the music of the drums and pipes to cease on the occasion of the announcement of Mulai Abdul Aziz's succession to the throne. On the players refusing, his highness sent a slave, who enforced silence by splitting up the drums with a dagger. For this act of treason he was after wards punished by having the flesh of his hand sliced, the wound filled with salt, and the whole hand sewn up in leather. It is a common belief that this punishment causes mortification to set in, and that the hand decomposes; but such is not the case, for by the time the leather wears off the wound is healed, the result being that the hand is rendered useless, and remains closed for ever. It is a punishment not often in use, but is sometimes done in cases of murder or constant theft, as, without in any way injuring the health of the man, it prevents his committing the crime a second time, or for the hundredth time, as the case may be. It is a punishment that cannot be applied except by the Sultan's orders.
It was no doubt on account of these offences that letters were received by Mulai Omar from the Sultan, forbidding him to leave his house, and placing him under sur
veillance-a course that was supplemented on his brother's arrival by chains upon his legs. Meanwhile his Majesty had been pleased to treat his brother, Mulai Mohammed, in Morocco City, in the same manner.
As to the remitting of the local taxes and octroi in Fez, but little need be said. Certain unfriendly remarks had been overheard regarding the new Sultan, and the general tone of the Fez people was not satisfactory. Fearing that any outbreak might occur, and knowing that the avaricious inhabitants were open to no persuasion except money, the Amin Haj Abdesalam Makri, the Chancellor of the Exchequer of Fez, on his own authority, remitted this most unpopular tax, which is contrary to Moorish law. It turned the tide, and the Fez citizen, finding himself a few dollars, or a few pence, the richer, changed front, and was loud in his acclamations of the new Sultan. the situation was, however, that as soon as the Sultan had safely entered Fez, and was thus securely upon the throne, he instituted once again the tax, and the population rose on the morning of Tuesday, July 24, to find the tax-gatherers returned haunts.
The charm of
to their accustomed
On Saturday, July 21, Mulai Abdul Aziz made his State entry into Fez, with the pomp and gorgeousness with which the Moors know so well how to adorn such pageants. Proceeding at once to the tomb of his ancestor Mulai Idris, he took the oath of the constitution, and a few minutes later the great gates of the white palace closed upon Mulai Abdul Aziz, Sultan of Morocco.
So did Mulai el Hassen die and Mulai Abdul Aziz succeed.
WALTER B. HARRIS.
WHO WAS LOST AND IS FOUND.
IF Mrs Ogilvy had been at home, it is almost certain that none of these things could have happened if she had not been kept so long, if Mr Somerville's other client had not detained him, and, worst of all, if she had not been beguiled by the unaccustomed relief of a sympathetic listener, a friendly hand held out to help her, to waste that precious hour in taking her luncheon with her old friend. That was pure waste-to please him, and in a foolish yielding to those claims of nature which Mrs Ogilvy, like so many women, thought she could defy. To-day, in the temporary relief of her mind after pouring out all her troubles- -a process which for the
moment felt almost like the removal of them-she had become aware of her own exhaustion and need of refreshment and rest. And thus she had thrown away voluntarily a precious hour.
She met Susie and Mrs Ainslie at her own gate, and though tired with her walk from the station, stopped to speak to them. found the gentlemen at their dinner," Mrs Ainslie said, her usual jaunty air increased by a sort of triumphant excitement, "and therefore of course we did not go in; but I rested a little outside, and the sound of their jolly voices quite did me good. They don't speak between their teeth, like all you people here."
"My son -has a friend with him, for a very short time," Mrs Ogilvy said.
late in the evening. I have often heard of them in the village," Mrs Ainslie said.
"His visit is almost over-he is just going away," said Mrs Ogilvy, faintly. "I am just a little tired with my walk. Susie, you would perhaps see-my son?"
"I saw Robbie-for a minute. We had no time to say anything. I could not keep him from his dinner-and his friend," Susie said, with a flush. It hurt her to speak of Robbie, who had not cared to see her, who had nothing to say to her. "We are keeping you, and you are tired and me, I have much to do and perhaps soon going away altogether," said Susie, not able to keep a complaint which was almost an appeal out of her voice.
"She will go to her own house, I hope," cried Mrs Ainslie; "and I hope you who are a friend of the family will advise her for her good, Mrs Ogilvy. A good husband waiting for her and she threatens to go away altogether, as if we were driving her out. Was there ever anything so silly and cruel to her father-not to speak of me
"Oh, my dear Susie! if I were not so faint and tired," Mrs Ogilvy said.
And Susie, full of tender compunction and interest, but daring to ask nothing except with her eyes, hurried her companion away.
Mrs Ogilvy went up with a slow step to her own house. She was in haste to get there yet would have liked to linger, to leave herself a little more time before she confronted again those
two who were so strong against her in their combination, so careless of what she said or felt. She thought, with a sickness at her heart, of those "jolly voices which that woman had heard. She knew exactly what they were -the noise, the laughter, which at first she had been so glad to hear as a sign that Robbie's heart had recovered the cheerfulness of youth, but which sometimes made her sick with misery and the sense of helplessness. She would find them so now, rattling away with their disjointed talk, and in her fatigue and trouble it would "turn her heart." She went up slowly, saying to herself, as a sort of excuse, that she could not walk as she once could, that her breath was short and her foot uncertain and tremulous, so that she could not be sure of not stumbling even in the approach to her own house.
It was a great surprise to her to see that Robbie was looking out for her at the door. Her alarm jumped at once to the other side. Something had happened.
She was wanted. The fact that she was being looked for, instead of pleasing her, as it might have done in other circumstances, alarmed her now. She hurried on, not lingering any more, and reached the door out of breath. thing wrong? has anything happened?" she cried.
she wished to see could be of the slightest importance, and yet with an excited curiosity lest she might have been doing something prejudicial and was not to be trusted. These inferences of voice jarred on Mrs Ogilvy's nerves in the weariness and over-strain.
"It is of no consequence," she said. "Let me in, Robbie-let me come in at my own door: I am so wearied that I must rest.'
"Who was keeping you out of your own door?" he cried, making way for her resentfully. "You tell me one moment that everything is mine--and then you remind me for ever that it's yours and not mine, with this talk about your own door."
Mrs Ogilvy looked up at him for a moment in dismay, feeling as if there was justice, something she had not thought of, in his remark; and then, being overwhelmed with fatigue and the conflict of so many feelings, went into her parlour, and sat down to recover herself in her chair. There were no "jolly voices" about, no sound of the other whose movements were always noisier than those of Robbie; and Robbie himself, as he hung about, had less colour and energy than usual-or perhaps it was only because she was tired, and everything around took colour from her own mood.
"Is he not with you to-day?" she said faintly.
"Is he not with me?—you mean Lew, I suppose: where else should he be? He's up-stairs, I think, in his room."
"You say where else should he be, Robbie? Is he always to be here? I'm wishing him no harm
far, far from that; but it would be better for himself as well as for you if he were not here. Where you are, oh Robbie, my dear, there's always a clue to him: and