Obrazy na stronie

consisting of about 40,000 men when General | yah and back did not induce him to slacken, Clausel assumed the direction of affairs, has would perhaps have succeeded, had he not been since gradually increased to 100,000, the been suddenly superseded by Savary, Duke of average force usually maintained in French Rovigo. On the arrival of this officer in Africa.

Algiers, the negotiations were peremptorily The first military exploit of General Clausel broken off, and it was ostentatiously prowas directed against Medeyah, the capital claimed that the new commander-in-chief and residence of the Bey of Titteri, whom it was in full possession of the confidence of the was resolved to depose, says Baron Pichon, French king and ministry, and heartily deterbecause he wrote insulting letters to General mined to carry out the plan mutually agreed Clausel. The troops employed amounted to upon for the subjugation of the native popu10,000 men ; the Metidjah was traversed in lation. There can be, we think, no doubt safety; and first leaving a garrison at Blidah, that this was a calumnious misrepresentation ; the French general pushed on through the and that the frightful deed which has branded Col or Pass of Teneah, occupied Medeyah, de- the African command of the Duke of Rovigo posed the refactory bey, and installed Ben with indelible infamy, was that of one ruthOmar, a Moor of Algiers, in his stead. Whilst less man only, irritated by the vexations inciGeneral Clausel was thus busied, the Sheik, dental to his very difficult position, and not Ben Zamour, descended from the hills at the the deliberate counsel of a cabinet of calmlyhead of a numerous body of Kabyles, mas- judging statesmen. The prime object of the sacred, as he swept through the Metidjah, fifty Duke of Rovigo was evidently " to give a lesartillerymen who had lost their way there, son” to the Arabs - one that they would not and attacked the garrison left at Blidah ; Gen- easily forget ; & design in which he unqueseral Clausel instantly hurried back to the tionably succeeded to admiration, though not rescue of his rear-guard, dispersed the assail- in the sense he had anticipated. The tribe ants, ordered military execution to be done of Ben-Ouffias, a friendly and peaceful one, upon a number of native traitors to French against whom Baron Pichon says no serious, rule," pour encourager, les autres,” and re- well-founded complaint could be alleged, was turned to Algiers. He subsequently entered selected for the experiment. into negotiation with the Bey of Tunis with On the night of the 6th of April, 1833, a reference to a joint expedition against the battalion of the Foreign Legion and a squadTurkish Bey of Constantina ; and having con- ron of Zouaves fell suddenly upon the unsus cluded an arrangement which the French pecting Ben-Ouffias, and the morning's sun ministry refused to sanction, the mortified rose upon the mangled bodies of the entire general threw up his command, and returned tribe, surprised and slain whilst they slept ! to France. General Berthézene succeeded Tidings of this atrocious massacre flew, as if to the vacated post- a very onerous and diffi- on wings of fire, through the land, everywhere cult one in the then indecisive see-saw state kindling into flame the yet smouldering pagof French African policy - one day veering sions of the vast majority of the country poputowards peace, the next, yielding to the lation, and lighting up the fierce war of declamors of the war-party, inclining to vigor- spair which has since cost France so dear ous hostilities. General Berthézene, although alike in men, money, and reputation. So a distinguished veteran of the imperial school, universal was the outbreak, that in the opinwas a strenuous partisan of peace, chiefly, no ion of the Duke of Rovigo himself, his “ great doubt, because he had formed a truer estimate lesson” necessitated immediate and powerful of the probable duration and calamities of a reinforcements. They were granted ; and the death struggle with a fanatical and hardy duke's conduct, in reply to the angry reclamapopulation than the badauds of Paris. His tions of several eloquent speakers in the military measures were, nevertheless, prompt Chamber of Deputies, indignant that such and energetic. On the 1st of July, 1831, he dishonor should be brought on the great name forced the Pass of Teneah ; relieved the gar- of France, was defended, or rather excused, rison of Medeyah, hotly besieged by a numer- by the plea of necessity. Marshal Soult, at a ous force of Kabyles and Arabs ; and fought subsequent period, defended an act, if possihis dangerous way back again in safety to ble, of still greater enormity by saying, " that Algiers, though beset and hemmed in on what would be a crime against civilization in every side by a multitude of fierce and desper- Europe, might be a justifiable necessity in ate assailants. This homeward march was a Africa." This geographical morality of the hurried one — -occupying fifty hours only, invader of Portugal in 1808, may pass for writes Baron Pichon, though the advance to what it is worth ; but we must not forget to Medeyah had consumed five days.

mention, that many French officers entitled The efforts of General Berthézene to bring to a share of the spoil obtained by the Beoabout an accommodation with the Arabs of Ouffias razzia, refused to contaminate themthe plains, wbich his recent march to Mede- selves by its acceptance, and that Savary,

Duke of Rovigo, arrived death-stricken in /in, and she and her child perished in the Paris, and died there in the June following names. . .. We then returned with our the slaughter of the Ben-Ouffias.

booty, and it was high time, for other tribes The terrible example he had set survived of Kabyles came flocking together from every him : the system of night-razzias — that is, side, attracted by the noise. We were forced of swooping, during the hours of sleep and to retreat in such haste, that we left the darkness, upon unsuspecting villagers, in re- greater part of the cattle behind. The fire of venge or reprisal of the hostility of the armed the companies we had stationed in our rear countrymen of the sleepers — became a settled and the field-pieces at last gave us time to practice of the war. They forin the under- breathe.” play, as it were, of the grand military drama The narrative goes on to say, that, two or enacted in Algeria ; and as the limits of this three days afterwards, messengers from the paper preclude more than an outline of the Kabyle tribes came to treat for the ransom of more important operations, it will be as well the captive women and children ; and that to give in this place, and once for all, a de-" they conscientiously ransomed even the old scription of the mode of executing a razzia, women, whom we would have given them extracted from the narrative of an actor in gratis.' It is only fair to add, that a writer one of them, who evidently, from the easy in the Revue des Deur Mondes, states that frankness with which he writes, was quite General Cavaignac, when engaged in such enunconscious that he was relating any blame- terprises, gave orders “ only to kill the men worthy or uncommon exploit. The writer in the last extremity.” was at the time in the Foreign Legion, under The tumultuous uprising of the Arabs conthe orders of Lieutenant-colonel Picolou; and sequent upon the Duke of Rovigo's massacro the scene of the enterprise was in the neigh- of the Ben-Ouffas, elevated for the first time borhood of Dschilegu, between Budschia and an individual into notice whose name has Philippeville, on the sea-coast of the eastern since become famous in the world's ear – the province. The translation is Lady Duff Gor- renowed Abd-el-Kader - a brief account of don's :

whom, previous to this period, may not bo “ The commandant marched up into the unacceptable. mountains one night with the whole garrison, Abd-el-Kader (Adorer of God) is the son to chastise the Kabyles for their insolence of a saintly and ambitious maraboot of the We started at midnight under the guidance name of Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj. He was one of of some Arabs who knew the country, and six children - five boys and one girl - and marched without stopping, and in deep silence, his place of birth, in 1806, was in the vicinity up bill and down dale, until, just before day- of Mascara. His mother, Leila Zahara, who break, the crowing of cocks and the baying still lives, and has shared her son's long capof dogs gave us notice that we were close upon tivity in France, is said to have been a beaua tribe. We were ordered to halt, and two tiful and highly-instructed Arabian woman ; companies, with a few field-pieces, were left and Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj, his father, claimed behind upon an eminence. After a short to be in some way descended from the Prophet time, we started again, and the first glimmer of the Mussulmans — a circumstance which, of light showed us the huts of the tribe straight combined with the more positive fact that he before us. An old Kabyle was at that mo- had made two pilgrimages to Mecca, gave him ment going out with a pair of oxen to plough ; an immense influence with his countrymen, as soon as he saw us, he uttered a fearful which he appears to have very skilfully availed howl, and ded, but a few well-directed shots himself of, in the hope, it is alleged, of one brought him down. In one moment, the day founding an Arab dynasty upon the ruins grenadiers and voltigeurs, who were in ad- of the Turkish power. He very early disrance, broke through the hedges of prickly cerned, or imagined that he did, indications pear which generally surround a Kabyle vil- of the qualities which lead to eminence, in lage, and the massacre began. Strict orders his favorite son, Abd-el-Kader; and it was had been given to kill all the men, and only sedulously given out, that a halo of celestial take the women and children prisoners. Å brightness had encircled his baby-brows at few men only reeled half awake out of their the moment of birth, seen, however, only by huts, but most of them still lay fast asleep: his father and mother, who were alone at the not one escaped death. The women and chil- time. There could be no doubt that this was dren rushed, howling and screaming, out of not only a special testimony to his descent their burning huts in time to see their hus- from the Prophet, but a promise, certain to bands and brothers butchered. One young be fulfilled, of future greatness ; and that he woman, with an infant at her breast, started might be worthily fitted for the high position back at the sight of strange men, exclaiming: thus miraculously proclaimed to await him, • Mohammed ! Mohammed!' and rushed back the utmost pains were lavished upon his eduinto her hut. Some soldiers sprang forward cation, by which he so rapidly profited, that to save her, but the roof had already fallen lat twelve years of age he could repeat the

Koran by heart. This solid foundation for siderably to his importance ; and it began to more secular teaching accomplished, he was be quite evident that, apart from miraculous sent to Oran for further instruction, and of interposition, a brilliant perspective was discourse soon distanced every competitor in the closing itself to the eager gaze of Mahli-edrace after knowledge. Some suspicion of Din-Hadj's aspiring son. The personal apMahli-ed-Din-Hadj's perfect loyalty having pearance of Abd-el-Kader was not of that found a lodgment in the brain of Hassan, bey kind which usually commands the respect of of Oran, the saintly maraboot was requested a rude people, nor had he yet shown any to attend his highness' divan on a particular proof of the impetuous courage which, in the day, for the purpose of clearing up the doubts absence of the slightest pretension to military which troubled the bey's mind. This Abd-el- ability, properly so called, has since won for Kader strongly advised his father not to do, him a wide renown. He was under the midand offered to attend himself instead, and give dle size, but active and robust; and his large, the required explanations. This course was thoughtful black eyes, and abundant beard of agreed to; and Bey Hassan was so charmed the same color, gave a sombre as well as inwith the son's eloquence, and so entirely con- telligent expression to his palish-yellow counvinced thereby that his suspicions had foully tenance. His hands — his especial vanity wronged the excellent maraboot, that he made were small and delicately formed, and his the youthful orator a handsome present, and voice was soft and musical ; so that, altogether, charged him, moreover, with a most pressing he seemed rather a reflective, meditative man, invitation to his father to pay his highness a than one of fiery, impulsive action. friendly visit at the palace of Oran, where he Such was Abd-el-Kader, as he appeared in would be received with all the favor and dis- the presence of the large gathering of Kabyle tinction due to his illustrious descent and and Arab chiefs assembled at Egris, after the many virtues. The message was delivered ; destruction of the Ben-Ouffias, to concert and the result was, that Mahli-ed-Din-Hadj measures for proclaiming a holy war against departed forthwith on a third pilgrimage to the French, and deciding as to who should the holy city, this time accompanied by his lead them in the desperate contest. The incounsellor and son, Abd-el-Kader. In passing decision that for some time prevailed as to the through Egypt, they obtained, we are told, choice of a leader, was put an end to by a an interview with Mohammed Ali, the career celebrated maraboot called Sidi Al Amich, of which energetic barbarian had previously who announced, amidst a breathless silence, excited the enthusiastic admiration of the that having been nearly the whole of the profuture emir -- an admiration which a nearer vious night engaged in prayer to Mohammed, view of the great man served to increase. that he would be pleased to indicate the perBefore returning, the father and son visited son most worthy to lead his - the Prophet's the tomb of a celebrated maraboot relative, people in the war against the infidel about not far from Bagdad - one Mulei-Abd-el- to commence, he received an answer just at Kader, who had lived exactly a hundred years, the rise of sun, when Mulei-Abd-el-Kader sudprecisely half of which he had passed upon denly appeared before him, and, beckoning the summit of an isolated piece of rock, mi- led the way to a magnificent tent, the enraculously fed by a starling. This visit was a trance-curtain to which being self-withdrawn, fortunate one in many respects. The departed revealed Abd-el-Kader, the son of Mahli, the marabout reäppeared to the two pilgrims, and Pilgrim (ed Din Hadj), seated upon a magpresented his youthful relative with an apple nificent throne, with the pale-blue halo, twice of remarkable properties ; insomuch that when before seen, encircling his head as with a Abd-el-Kader, on his return home, commenced celestial diadem. This was quite sufficienteating it in the presence of his family and a more than enough, in fact. The decision of few intimate friends, the same halo of azure the Prophet, so unmistakably intimated, was light which at the moment of birth had light- instantly ratified by the loud acclamations and ened round his brows, again encircled them flashing swords of the congregated chiefs. with a prophetic glory!

What is certain, Abd-el-Kader was forthwith proclaimed Emir however, is, that Abd-el-Kader's reputation of Mascara, Prince and Commander of the for wisdom, sanctity, and as possessing the Faithful, and invested with the violet bournou, especial favor of the Prophet, increased rap- the badge and emblem of supreme office and idly; and it was chiefly in deference to his authority. counsel, that his former dangerous friend, At once broke the hurricane of war, sweepHassan, bey of Oran, who had incurred the ing the open country to the very walls of displeasure of bis Janizaries, was refused an Algiers, Bona, and Oran, with terrific vioasylum at Mascara. The future emir's inar-lenco. Blidah, Medeyah, Koleah, were in. riage with Leila Kheira, the daughter of an vested by multitudes of half-frantic cavalry, influential sheik, and a very charming maiden whose glancing swords and waving banners, - that is, according to the notion of what is however, though terrible and imposing in charming entertained by Arabs — added con-l appearance, were of slight avail against stone

walls and well-pointed cannon. Lavish rein- tain reward, to conduct the French general by forcements arrived from Toulon and Marseille, a short route direct to the emir's camp. Genand the French commanders gradually re- eral Trézel yielded to the temptation, the sumed the offensive. General Demischels army was immediately put in motion, and made a successful razzia upon a tribe of the troops pressed forward with alacrity and nomade Arabs, slew 300 men, and carried off vigor. Towards the middle of the day, the the women and children safely to Oran, leading column found themselves entering though sorely pressed during his retreat by the upon a spongy morass, and the more despergathering tribes ; who, failing to rescue their ately they struggled onwards to reach tho unfortunate relatives by the sword, purchased firm ground, which the guide assured them them of the general a few days afterwards. was only a few yards further on, the deeper Much desultory fighting ensued, with varied both men and horses foundered and sank'in and generally indecisive results ; but the the mud, till at last they were up to their French, notwithstanding, persistently ex- bellies in the yielding soil. Suddenly the tended themselves along the coast-line, both traitorous Arab disappeared through a coppice east and west, of Algiers. General the (laillis), unharmed by the shower of balls sent Count d'Ernon had succeeded the Duke of hastily after him, which, a moment after, Rovigo in the chief command, with the title were replied to by a tempest of the same of Governor-general of the French Possessions missiles from the flanking woods, where Abdin Africa ; and under his administration, the el-Kader had been for some hours impatiently maritime state of Arzew, and the important awaiting the French advance. Fortunately, town of Mostaganem, eastwards of Oran, were the rear-guard had not yet entered the treachwrested from the Arabs. An expedition direct erous bog, and its fire checking that of the from Toulon encountered and defeated the ambushed Arabs, the main body of the troops Kabyles of the eastern division of the Little were extricated from their perilous position, Atlas, and captured Bouteyah. In pursuance, though not without considerable loss both in however, of the policy announced at this time men and material. The French army passed by Marshal Soult in the Chamber of Deputies, the night on the banks of the Sig, and at in reply to General Clausel, that France had earliest dawn General Trézel marched, as he no intention or wish to seize upon the interior thought, towards Arzew, on the sea-coast. of Algeria, and merely intended keeping pos- He followed the course of the Makta, a stream session of a number of strong positions on the which, during a part of its flow, does lead sea-board, negotiations were opened with towards Arzew, but by insensible windings Abd-el-Kader; and ultimately a treaty was turns away for some leagues in a totally difconcluded with the new prince of the Faithful, ferent direction. The way seemned long, still by which he was solemnly recognized as the the troops marched on undoubtingly, till they lawful emir of the province of Mascara, with came to the entrance of a long narrow defile, the exception of Oran, Arzew, and Mosta- shut in on each side by precipitous lofty rocks, ganem, and the immediately adjacent land. where some hesitation was manifested. It The Shelliff was to be his eastern boundary. appeared, however, of necessity that the ugly

This treaty was much cavilled at in France, puss should be threaded ; there was no enemy as having a direct tendency to swell the to be seen, and the march was resumed in the prestige and enhance the authority of the quickest military time. Two thirds of the emir with his turbulent, fanatical countrymen distance had been accomplished, when tumult- a criticism fully born out by the result. uous cries high overhead, as if a multitude of It was not, however, very long observed. mocking voices were calling to them from the Abd-el-Kader, urged by the impatient clam-Y clouds, caused the soldiers to raise their eyes ors of his Arabs, to wbich his own eager am- and see the heights crowded with exultant bition gave willing audience, to renew the Arabs. The checked pulse had scarcely time holy war against the intrusive infidel, crossed to beat again before huge stones, enormous the Shelliff (1835) at the head of a numerous fragments of rock, came bounding, leaping, force, burning with fanaticism, and individu- thundering down - a granite hail-tempest, ally brave enough, but withal little formidable to which no resistance could be oppused, in open fighting to French or any other Euro- accompanied by the pattering of musketry, pean troops. General Trézel, left Oran to not less fatal in its effects, though not 80 encounter the audacious emir, but, after terrifying to the imagination, as huge jagged marching and countermarching for several masses of rock whirling through the air; and days in vain search of his enemy, was debating in a few minutes the dreadful pass was heaped whether it might not be advisable to abandon with the dead and writhing bodies of men and the seemingly hopeless attempt to bring the horses. The march of the troops, hurried wary Arab to action, when an unforeseen and from the first, fell rapidly into confusion, and tempting chance presented itself. The army presently became an utter rout, the soldiers was halted on the plain of Frigur, where an casting away even their arms in frantic anxArab presented himself, and offered, for a cer- liety to escape what seemed almost inevitable

destruction. Happily for them, the pursuit of be levied upon the inhabitants that had so the Arabs was checked by their eagerness for well received him. A more unscrupulous booty, or the loss of 1200 soldiers, besides agent than the colonel of Spahis could not caissons, cannon, baggage, &c., would have have been selected, and the Moors and Jews been nothing like the extent of the misfortune. of Tlemecen were both numerous and wealthy; This murderous business is Abd-el-Kader's yet, spite of all Jussuf could do in the way of great battle of Makta ; it was a surprise, a ransacking, plundering, and threatening, only inassacre, perfectly justified no doubt by the the value of 100,000 francs could be obtained, usages of war, but a battle it cannot be called. and that chiefly consisting in finger and ear The exultation of the emir, though quite rings, and other female ornaments. The renatural, was absurd in its exaggeration. He mainder of the tribute was formally remitted. had slain French troops, but he had not These successes gave a permanently bolder beaten, as he boasted, a French army, for the tone and wider aim to French-African policy. simple reason that he had not encountered one. General Clausel was directed to organize a

The shock of this disaster vibrated painfully powerful expedition against Constantina, with through every vein of military France, and the avowed object of annesing that city, and signal vengeance, it was promptly agreed, the whole of the interior of the province which should be taken on the perfidious emir. Gen- bears its name, to the French dominions in eral Clausel's reasoning upon the folly of at- fact as well as theory. Success was deemed tempting to quell the Kabyles and Arabs by so certain, that Colonel Jussuf was named a few settlements along the coast, came sud- bey of the menaced city long before the army denly into remembrance and favor, and that commenced its march towards it; and in officer was himself despatched to the scene of November, 1837, the Duc de Nemours came action with reinforcements and large discre- over to share the fame of an assured conquest. tionary powers. As it was determined that The result signally rebuked these confident Mascara, the emir's capital, should be stormed, boastings. Constantina was numerously garas a set-off against Makta, and there could be risoned by the Turks and Kabyles, who fought no reasonable doubt of success in such an en- under the red flag of Algiers ; and the usually terprise, the Duke of Orleans, Louis Philippe's brilliant and impetuous, if not very stubborn, eldest son, was sent over to participate in the valor of the French troops, would seem to glory thereof. Abd-el-Kader, after vainly at- have been chilled and weakened by the tertempting to arrest the march of the French rific hail and snow storm which they entroops at the Sig, and subsequently at the countered upon the high land whereon" ConHabrah, abandoned Mascara to its fate, which stantina is built ; for the assaults directed by was first to be plundered by bands of hostile the general upon the gates El Cantar and El Arabs, and afterwards fired (December 9, Raba, feeble and ill-sustained, were easily 1836) by the French army; which done, Gen- repulsed ; and so discouraged were the troops, eral Clausel returned to Algiers, the Duke of that it was necessary to order an immediate Orleans to France.

retreat. A confused and hurried one it proved, The measure of vengeance for Makta was involving much loss, and affording Algiers the not yet full; and after permitting himself only strange spectacle of a numerous French army a few weeks' breathing-time, General Clausel chased to its very gates by a crowd of undisled his army against Tlemecen, the emir's ciplined triumphant Kabyles ! The usual second capital, on the confines of the Sahara, penalty of non-success, well or ill-deserved, and 100 miles, in a south-westerly direction, awaited General Clausel ; he was recalled, from Oran. This city he also found aban- spite of his earnest entreaties to be permitted doned by the emir and his Arabs, who had an opportunity of retrieving his tarnished withdrawn into the eastern mountains. The reputation. " What," wrote the indignant Moors received the French with resigned in- general,“ would be now the fame of the Duke difference; the Jews and Kooloolis, the latter of Wellington, had the British government of whom garrisoned the Kasibah or citadel, recalled him after the failure before Burgos ?" with acclamations. The citadel was at once The angry absurdity of the comparison is surrendered to the French general, who, after very amusing; and, as the French ministry making arrangements for the safe-keeping and were unmoved by his appeal, we may fairly government of the city, returned to Algiers presume that they also demurred to the perby the valley of the Shelliff

, on the south of fect appositeness of the illustration. the Little Atlas, and consequently through In the mean time, General Bugeaud had the Pass of Teneah, between which and the been winning his first African laurels. By a Algerian capital be caused a military road to rapid march along the sea-coast, he relieved bo constructed. A garrison was left in Tle- Oran from the Arabs, by whom it was bemecen, under the command of Colonel, now leaguered ; and then turning south-westward, General Cavaignac; and Jussuf, colonel of he hastened to the succor of General Cavaignac, Spahis, was charged with the collection of who had been for several months cooped up in 500,000 francs, ordered by General Clausel to | Tlemecen, indicting on his way a heavy defeat

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