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The Zincali (v. 1)

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Pages: 136

Book format: An electronic version of a printed book that can be read on a computer or handheld device designed specifically for this purpose.

Publisher: Date:8/5/2009 - General Books LLC

By: George Henry Borrow

Excerpt from book: CHAPTER VI. BARBARY AND ITS TMBES BENI AROS. — SIDI HAMED AU MUZA.—THE CHILDREN OF THE DAR-BUSHI-FAL, A SECT OF THIEVES AND SORCERERS, PROBABLY OF GYPSY ORIGIN. There is no portion of the world so little known as Africa in general: and perhaps of all Africa there is no corner with which Europeans are so little acquainted as Barbary, which nevertheless is only separated from the continent of Europe by a narrow strait of four leagues across. China itself has, for upwards of a century, ceased to be a land of mystery to the civilized portion of the world: the enterprising children of Loyola having wandered about it in every direction, making converts to their doctrine and discipline, whilst the Russians possess better maps of its vast regions than of their own country, and lately, owing to the persevering labour and searching eye of my friend Hyacinth, Archimandrite of Saint John Nefsky, are acquainted with the number of its military force to a man, and also with the names and residence of its civil servants. Yet who possesses a map of Fez and Morocco, or would venture to form a conjectureas to how many fiery horsemen Abderrahman, the mulatto emperor, could lead to the field, were his sandy dominions threatened by the Nazarene ? Yet Fez is scarcely two hundred leagues distant from Madrid, whilst Maraks, the other great city of the Moors, and which also has given its name to an empire, is scarcely farther removed from Paris, the capital of civilization: in a word, we scarcely know any thing of Barbary, the scanty information which we possess being confined to a few towns on the sea coast: the zeal of the Jesuit himself being insufficient to induce him to confront the perils of the interior, in the hopeless endeavour of making one single proselyte from amongst the wildest fa...  


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