Page:The Perfumed Garden - Burton - 1886.djvu/21

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5
Introduction

Hafsi had made his acquaintance.[1]

On the day when Algiers was taken, that ruler took flight with him to Tunis (which land may God preserve in his power till the day of resurrection), and named him his Grand Vizir.

When the above mentioned book came into his hands, he sent for me and invited me pressingly to come and see him. I went forthwith to his house, and he received me most honorably.

Three days after he came to me, and showing me my book, said, "This is your work." Seeing me blush, he added, "You need not be ashamed; everything you have said in it is true; no one need be shocked at your words. Moreover, you are not the first who has treated of this matter; and I swear by God that it is necessary to know this book. It is only the shameless boor and the enemy of all science who will not read it, or make fun of it.

  1. The period spoken of here can only be that of the submission of Algiers to Spain, when that city in 1510 (916 of the Hegira) acknowledged the supremacy of Spain and promised to pay her tribute, or that of the establishment of the Turkish domination in 1515 (921 of the Hegira). These are the only two cases of submission related by the old historians; and at neither of these periods was an Abd-el-Aziz reigning in Tunis. It is, however, very probable that the Author speaks of the Turkish occupation, when Barbarossa, having been invited by the Emir of Algiers to help him with his Turks in the war with the Spaniards, arrived at the city, put the Emir to death, and caused himself to be proclaimed King of Algiers instead.

    The ruler of Tunis was then Abou Omar Amane Mohammed. The Bey of the name Abd-el-ziz, who, according to the period of his reign, came nearest to the events named by the author, was Abou Omar Abd-el-Aziz;, who died in 893, and was one of the best Khelifar of the dynasty of the Beni Hafs. This error or difference will not surprise those who know how inaccurate the Arabs are in their quotations.