Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/160

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130
Geographical Notice of the Empire of Morocco.
 

cular batteries of twelve guns each, about as many more in the kassbah, or citadel, and a small battery overlooking the river at the south-western end of the town, form its sea defence. On the land side a strong wall, thirty feet high; square towers every fifty paces—of tapia-work, and angles of masonry. The town extends three-quarters of a mile in length, by one-third in breadth, and walled orchards of about two hundred acres reach along the banks of the river towards the ruined mosque, and lofty tower, one hundred and fifty feet in height, called by the Moors

Smā Hassan—the most conspicuous object, standing two hundred and twenty-feet above the level of the river, and the first by which this coast would be recognised in approaching from sea, as it must be visible from the deck of a frigate six or seven leagues. We counted here ten mosques, besides the mausoleum of a sultan, and that of the hero of Moorish Africa, the mighty Al Mansor. The main street of the town, which runs parallel to the river, contains the principal shops, not very attractive; the markets abundantly supplied with vegetables and fruit; orange orchards, vineyards and cotton plantations, are extensive; the fruits excellent, though grown on a light sandy soil. Moorish population may be eighteen thousand; Jews, three thousand: the former appear wealthy; the latter, if so, dare not show it. The Jewesses certainly the prettiest in the empire. Millāh, or Jews' quarter, filthily dirty, but they are the chief artisans. One mile south-east of the town are the ruins of the Roman or Carthaginian town,

Shella. We were shown Roman coins said to have been dug up there. Sala was a place of note formerly, and, according to D'Anville, the limit of the Roman station on this coast. The river now called Bu Regreb, was the boundary of the ancient Mauritania.

Itinerary, 12th and 13th days, November 23, 24.

Leaving Rabātt, travelled 28 miles in a W.S.W. diction; the first eleven miles by the side of a well-constructed aqueduct, partly above, partly under ground, which abundantly supplies the town with excellent water; soil light and sandy; a palmetto desert. At seven miles passed the ruined village and high tower of

Tomara, distant about three miles from coast. In second day's journey crossed seven streams running into the sea, distant about one mile on our right; soil, light and sandy; palmetto and various bulbous roots; traces of wild boar; last few miles well wooded with wild olive, droo, palm, &c.; two Arab villages, and two tombs passed to-day; encamped under the walls of the deserted town of

El Mansorīa, a square of one hundred and fifty paces, enclosing an Arab village; the tower of the mosque (eighty feet) stands one