Page:Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London, Volume 1 (2nd edition).djvu/165

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Geographical Notice of the Empire of Marocco.

climes, and the snowy mountains, now rising almost immediately above our heads; at sunset many of the peaks still lighted up, while all below lies buried in one mass of shadow.

Itinerary, 27th day, December 10.

Cross the river Tensift, at Al Kantra, a bridge of thirty pointed arches, and continue over a perfectly level plain, through a forest of palms, towards the city; accompanied by the sultan's guards, all in white clothing, and the whole of the troops and male population of Marocco, not less than forty thousand persons; spirited charging of cavalry; firing of guns and crackers; barbarous music; incessant shouting; bawling, and piercing screams of women! in short, suffice it to say, every honour that could be offered, attended us as we advanced.—At high noon—at the moment the white flags were waving from the summits of the minarets, and the loud and deep voice of the Mueddin was heard from the lofty towers of the mosques, calling on the faithful Musselims to acknowledge that 'there is no God but one God, and that Mohammed is his Prophet'—did we unbelieving Nazarenes enter the imperial city of Marocco. An abrupt turn brought us to our quarters, in a vast garden, 'at once silent, shaded, verdant, and cool,' and where we were at full liberty to take our repose.


The plain of Marocco extends in an east and west direction, between a low range of schistose hills to the north, and the lofty Atlas to the south, about twenty-fve miles wide, and apparently a dead flat to the foot of the mountains, which rise abruptly to the hight of eleven thousand feet, their peaks covered with snow. This plain, which has no limit as far as the eye can reach east or west, lying about fifteen hundred feet above the level of the sea, the soil of a light sandy loam, with numerous rolled stones of crystallized quartz, agates, flints, porphyry, a green stone, cornelions, &c. &c., is, generally. speaking, covered with low brushwood of the thorny plant called sidra nebach, or buckthorn; the banks of the streamlets fringed with oleanders in great beauty, while to the north of the city is a forest of palm-trees and olives. The river

Tensift, springing from the northern hills about forty miles eastward of the city, flows along at their base about four miles north of Marocco, and joined by several streamlets from Atlas, reaches the Atlantic fifteen miles south of Saffy, nearly one hundred miles distant; the river is shallow, but rapid; the channel here about three hundred yards wide, but fordable, except in the spring, in almost all places. The

City of Marocco, lying on the northern side of this. rich plain, is surrounded by a strongly built, machicolated wall of tapia-work,