Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/157

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127
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Marocco.
 

Some little trade in salt, which is procured from the neighbouring hiils[1]. The weather at this season was deliciously fine; the early rains had fallen, an the air was mild—more like spring than the approach of winter; the nights heavenly, but especially this night was calm, still, and serene; every star in the heavens distinctly visible; Venus, as a globe of liquid fire, gradually declining in the west; nought to break the stillness but the occasional bark of the watch-dog, or the drowsy note of the Arab drum from the distant tents, whose inhabitants passed away the tedious hours of night by reciting their wild tale of war and love.

Itinerary, 6th and 7th days, November 14, 15.

Course S. W. 9 miles, W. by S. 12; over ground a succession of valleys, and low ranges of hills; one a mamillary range of two hundred feet, soil deep clay, and hi!ls of gravel; boulders of ferruginous clay-stone; dried up thistles, and plants like fennel, called el clagh (gum ammoniac); several beds of mountain streams, east and west direction. At entrance of great plan of Mamōra, two tumuli; herds of cattle. As we enter the grazing country, Arab villages change into douars, or circular encampments of from twenty to thirty tents, seventeen of which we passed, and five coubbas. Approaching the Atlantic, sea visible from the height.

Itinerary, 8th day, November 16.

Course S. W. 11 miles; reached the northern extremity of the large lake, twenty miles long by one and a half broad, of fresh water, called Murja Ras ed Dora (or lake with the winding head), covered with wild-fowl; its western bank only a mile and a half from the Atlantic, separated by a range of sand-hills about two hundred and fifty feet high, covered with coarse herbage, and which rise about three-quarters of a mile from the western shore of the lake along which our road leads; soil light and sandy; forest of el clagh (gum ammoniac); some plants ten feet high, stem five inches thick; such are the annuals in this prolific country. Five coubbas, ten douars on eastern bank of lake, a few trees, and herds of cattle.

 

  1. In examining the map of Don Juan Badia (Ali Bey), in Marocco (tho only one that has any pretensions to accuracy), it muss be allowed that where he actually did make observations, he is generally correct; but in compiling his map mistakes have arisen, possibly through the carelessness of the editor. It is not wished to detract form a work that undoubtedly has great merit, but facts must be stated clearly.

    1. Al Ksar is placed 4′, or 16″ of time east of Tangier, it should be four miles west of Tangier.

    2. The difference of longitude between Cape Spartel and El Araish is assumed at a mile and a half, it should be fifteen miles.

    3. El Arāïsh is placed seven miles and a half west of Tangier; it should be eighteen miles and a half. These mistakes occur within fifty miles of the point he started from. As for his plan of the city of Marocco, it must have been drawn at Paris from recollection, so unlike is it to the original.