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with an execution; and that he was blooded up to his elbows by a couple of Moors, whom he had been butchering with his own imperial hands. By the calculation of that author, and many others, who have since given an account of his exploits, we may reckon that by his own arm he killed above forty thousand of his people. To render himself the more awful, he chose to wear a garb of a particular colour when he was bent upon executions; so that when he appeared in yellow, his great men hid themselves in corners, and durst not pay their court to him, till he had satiated his thirst of blood by the death of some of his loyal commoners, or of such unwary officers of state as chanced to come in his way. Upon this account we are told, that the first news inquired after every morning at Mequinez, was, Whether the emperor were stirring, and in a good or bad humour ? As this prince was a great admirer of architecture, and employed many
thousands works of that kind, if he did not approve the plan or the performance, it was usual for him to show the delicacy of his taste by demolishing the building, and putting to death all that had a hand in it. I have heard but of one instance of his mercy; which was shown to the master of an English vessel. This our countryman presented him with a curious hatchet, which he received very graciously; and asking him whether it had a good edge, tried it upon the donor, who slipping aside from the blow, escaped with the loss only of his right ear; for old Muley, upon second thoughts, considering that it was not one of his own subjects, stopped his hand, and would not send him to Paradise. I cannot quit this article of his tenderness for the lives of his people, without mentioning one of his queens, whom he was remarkably fond of; as also a favourite prime minister, who was very dear to him. The first died by a kick of her lord the king, when she was big with child, for having gathered a flower as she was walking with him in his pleasure garden. The other was bastinadoed to death by his Majesty ; who, repenting of the drubs he had given him when it was too late, to manifest bis esteem for the memory of so worthy a man, executed the surgeon that co not cure him.
This absolute monarch was as notable a guardian of the fortunes as of the lives of his subjects. When any man among his people grew rich, in order to keep him from being dangerous to the state, he used to send for all his goods and
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chattels. His governors of towns and provinces, who formed themselves upon the example of their Grand Monarque, practised rapine, violence, extortion, and all the arts of despotic government in their respective districts, that they might be the better enabled to make him their yearly presents. For the greatest of his viceroys could only propose to himself a comfortable subsistence out of the plunder of his province, and was in certain danger of being recalled or hanged, if he did not remit the bulk of it to his dread sovereign. That he might make a right use of these prodigious treasures, which flowed in to him from all the parts of his wide empire, he took care to bury them under ground, by the hands of his most trusty slaves, and then cut their throats, as the most effectual method to keep them from making discoveries. These were his ways and means for raising money, by which he weakened the hands of the factious, and in any case of emergency, could employ the whole wealth of his empire, which he had thus amassed together in his subterraneous exchequer.
As there is no such thing as property under an arbitrary government, you may learn what was Muley Ishmael's notion of it from the following story. Being upon the road, amidst his life-guards, a little before the time of the Ramfeast, he met one of his Alcaydes at the head of bis servants, who were driving a great flock of sheep to market. The emperor asked whose they were: the Alcayde answered with profound submission, “ They are mine, Ó Ishmael, son of
, Elcherif, of the line of Hassan.” « Thine! thou son of a cuckold," said this servant of the Lord, “I thought I had been the only proprietor in this country ;” upon which he run him through the body with his lance, and very piously distributed the sheep among his guards, for the celebration of the feast.
His determinations of justice between man and man were indeed very summary and decisive, and generally put an end to the vexations of a law-suit, by the ruin both of plaintiff and defendant. Travellers have recorded some samples of this kind, which may give us an idea of the blessings of his administration. One of his Alcaydes complaining to him of a wife, whom he had received from his Majesty's hands, and therefore could not divorce her, that she used to pull him by the beard ; the emperor, to redress this grievance, ordered his beard to be plucked up by the roots, that he might not be liable to any more such affronts. A country farmer having accused some of his negro guards for robbing him of a drove of oxen, the emperor readily shot the offenders ; but afterwards demanding reparation of the accuser, for the loss of so many brave fellows, and finding him insolvent, compounded the matter with him by taking away his life. There are many other instances of the same kind. I must observe, however, under this head, that the only good thing he is celebrated for, during his whole reign, was the clearing of the roads and highways of robbers, with which they used to be very much infested. But his method was to slay man, woman, and child, who lived within a certain distance from the place where the robbery was committed. This extraordinary piece of justice could not but have its effect, by making every road in his empire unsafe for the profession of a freebooter.
I must not omit this emperor's reply to Sir Cloudesly Shovel, who had taken several of his subjects by way of reprisal, for the English captives that were detained in his dominions. Upon the admiral's offering to exchange them on very advantageous terms, this good emperor sent him word, The subjects he had taken were poor men, not worth the ransoming; and that he might throw them overboard, or destroy them otherwise as he pleased.
Such was the government of Muley Ishmael," the servant of God, the emperor of the faithful, who was courageous in the way of the Lord, the noble, the good.”
To conclude this account, which is extracted from the best authorities, I shall only observe that he was a great admirer of his late most Christian Majesty. In a letter to him, he compliments him with the title of " sovereign arbiter of the actions and wills of his people.” And in a book published by a Frenchman, who was sent to him as an ambassador, is the following passage, “ He is absolute in his states, and often compares himself to the emperor of France, who he says is the only person that knows how to reign like himself, and to make his will the law." This was that emperor
of France to whom the has a great mind to be king of these realms owed his education, and from whom he learned his notions of government. What should hinder one, whose mind is so well seasoned with
such prepossessions, from attempting to copy after his patron, in the exercise of such a power; especially considering that the party who espouse his interest, never fail to compliment a prince that distributes all his places among them, with unlimited
power on his part, and unconditional obedience on that of his subjects.
No. 11. FRIDAY, JANUARY 27.
Honi soit qui mal y pense. By our latest advices, both from town and country, it appears that the ladies of Great Britain, who are able to bear arms, that is, to smile or frown to any purpose, have already begun to commit hostilities upon the men of each opposite party. To this end we are assured, that many of them on both sides exercise before their glasses every morning; that they have already cashiered several of their followers as mutineers, who have contradicted them in some political conversations; and that the Whig ladies in particular, design very soon to have a general review of their forces at a play bespoken by one of their leaders. This set of ladies, indeed, as they daily do duty at court, are much more expert in the use of their airs and graces than their female antagonists, who are most of them bred in the country; so that the sisterhood of loyalists, in respect of the fair malecontents, are like an army of regular forces, compared with a raw, undisciplined militia.
It is to this misfortune in their education that we may ascribe the rude and opprobrious language with which the disaffected part of the sex treat the present royal family. A little lively rustic, who hath been trained up in ignorance and prejudice, will prattle treason a whole winter's evening, and string together a parcel of silly seditious stories, that are equally void of decency and truth. Nay, you sometimes meet with a zealous matron, who sets up for the pattern of a parish, uttering such invectives as are highly misbecoming ħer, both as a woman and a subject. In answer, therefore, to such disloyal termagants, I shall repeat to them a speech of the honest and blunt Duke du Sully, to an assembly of Popish ladies, who were railing very bitterly against Henry
the Fourth, at his accession to the French throne ; “ Ladies," said he, “ you have a very good king, if you know when you are well. However, set your hearts at rest, for he is not a man to be scolded or scratched out of his kingdom.”
But as I never care to speak of the fair sex, unless I have an occasion to praise them, I shall take my leave of these ungentle damsels; and only beg of them not to make themselves less amiable than nature designed them, by being rebels to the best of their abilities, and endeavouring to bring their country into bloodshed and confusion. Let me, therefore, recommend to them the example of those beautiful associates, whom I mentioned in my eighth paper, as I have received the particulars of their behaviour from the person with whom I lodged their association.
This association being written at length in a large roll of the finest vellum, with three distinct columns for the maids, wives, and widows, was opened for the subscribers near å fortnight ago. Never was a subscription for a raffling or an opera more crowded. There is scarce a celebrated beauty about town that you may not find in one of the three lists ; insomuch, that if a man, who did not know the design, should read only the names of the subscribers, he would fancy every column to be a catalogue of toasts. Mr. Motteux has been heard to say more than once, that if he had the portraits of all the associates, they would make a finer auction of pictures than he or anybody else had exhibited.
Several of these ladies, indeed, criticised upon the form of the association. One of them, after the perusal of it, wondered that among
the features to be used in defence of their country, there was no mention made of teeth; upon which she smiled very charmingly, and discovered as fine a set as ever eye beheld. Another, who was a tall lovely prude, holding up her head in a mnost majestic manner, said, with some disdain, she thought a good neck might have done his Majesty as much service as smiles or dimples. A third looked upon the association as defective, because so necessary a word as hands was omitted; and by her manner of taking up the
pen, it was easy to guess the reason of her objection.
Most of the persons who associated have done much more than by the letter of the association they were obliged to; having not only set their names to it, but subscribed their several aids and subsidies for the carrying on so good a cause.