In The Event Of An Enemy Appearing In The Shape Of A Christian,
Or Infidel, All Would Unite, Including The Most Disjointed And Hostile
Tribes Against The Common Foe Of Islamism.
The Sultan, upon an emergency or insurrection in his own empire, by the
politic distribution of titles of _Marabout_
(Often used as a species of
degree of D.D.) and other honours attached to the Shereefian Parasol,
can likewise easily excite one chief against another, and consolidate
his power over their intestine divisions. His Moorish Majesty, at any
rate, has always actual possession in his favour; and, whether he really
governs the whole Empire or not, or to the extent which he has presumed
to mark out its boundaries, he can always proclaim to his disjointed
provinces that he does so govern it and exercise authority; and, in
general, he does succeed in making both his own people and foreign
nations believe in his pretensions, and acknowledge his power.
The truth lies, perhaps, between these extremes. The Shereefs once
pretended to exercise authority over all Western Sahara as far as
Timbuctoo, that is to say, all that region of the great desert lying
west of the Touaricks.
The account of the expedition of the Shereef Mohammed, who penetrated as
far as Wadnoun, and which took place more than three centuries ago, as
related by Marmol, leaves no doubt of the ancient ambition of the
sovereign of Morocco. And although this pretension has now been given
up, they still claim sovereignty over the oases of Touat, a month's
journey in the Sahara.
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