Travels In Morocco - Volume 2 of 2 - By James Richardson



















































 -  The boughs of the Argan tree
also suddenly changed into _jereeds_ of the date-palm burdened with
luscious fruit; but - Page 110
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The Boughs Of The Argan Tree Also Suddenly Changed Into _Jereeds_ Of The Date-Palm Burdened With Luscious Fruit; But,

On weary travellers descending to slake their parching thirst and refresh themselves, they fell headlong into the gaping holes of

The ground, and disappeared in the abyss of the dark entrails of the world.

These Argan forests continued under the fearful ban of the enchantress and wicked jinns, until a holy man was brought from the farthest desert upon the back of a flying camel, who set free the spell-bound wood by tying on each bewitched tree a small piece of cork bark on which was inscribed the sacred name of the Deity. The legends of these haunted Argan forests remind us of the enchanted wood of Tasso, whose enchantment was dissolved by the gallant knight, Rinaldo, and which enabled the Crusaders to procure wood for the machines of war to assault and capture the Holy City. Two quotations will shew the universality and permanence of superstition, begotten of human hopes and fears. Such is the beautiful imagery devoted to superstitious musings, by the illustrious bard: -

"While, like the rest, the knight expects to hear Loud peals of thunder breaking on his ear, A dulcet symphony his sense invades, Of nymphs, or dryads, warbling through the shades. Soft sighs the breeze, soft purls the silver rill. The feathered choir the woods with music fill; The tuneful swan in dying notes complains; The mourning nightingale repeats her strains, Timbrels and harps and human voices join, And in one concert all the sounds combine!"

Then for the streamlets and flowerets -

"Where'er he treads, the earth her tribute pours, In gushing springs, or voluntary flowers. Here blooms the lily; there the fragrant rose; Here spouts a fountain; there a riv'let flows; From every spray the liquid manna trills, And honey from the softening bark distills. Again the strange the pleasing sound he hears, Of plaints and music mingling in his ears; Yet naught appears that mortal voice can frame. Nor harp, nor timbrel, whence the music came."

I had another interview with the Governor on Anti-Slavery subjects.

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