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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 his 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, Ŏ 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 much infested. But his method was to slay man, wovery man, 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 person who 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 her, 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 a 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 most 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.
In the virgin column is one who subscribes fifteen lovers, all of them good men and true. There is another who subscribes five admirers, with one tall handsome black man, fit to be a colonel. In short, there is scarce one in this list who does not engage herself to supply a quota of brisk young fellows, many of them already equipt with hats and feathers. Among the rest, was a pretty sprightly coquette, with sparkling eyes, who subscribed two quivers of arrows.
In the column of wives, the first that took pen in hand, / writ her own name and one vassal, meaning her husband. Another subscribes her husband and three sons. Another, her husband and six coach-horses. Most in this catalogue paired themselves with their respective mates, answering for them as men of honest principles, and fit for the service.
N. B. There were two in this column that wore association ribbons; the first of them subscribed her husband, and her husband's friend; the second a husband and five lovers; but upon inquiry into their characters, they are both of them found to be Tories, who hung out false colours to be spies upon the association, or to insinuate to the world by their subscriptions, as if a lady of Whig principles could love any man besides her husband.
The widow's column is headed by a fine woman who calls herself Boadicea, and subscribes six hundred tenants. It was, indeed, observed that the, strength of the association lay most in this column; every widow, in proportion to her jointure, having a great number of admirers, and most of them distinguished as able men. Those who have examined this list, compute that there may be three regiments raised out of it, in which there shall not be one man under six foot high.
I must not conclude this account without taking notice of the association-ribbon, by which these beautiful confederates have agreed to distinguish themselves. It is, indeed, so very pretty an ornament, that I wonder any Englishwoman will be without it. A lady of the association who bears this badge of allegiance upon her breast, naturally produces a desire in every male beholder, of gaining a place in a heart which carries on it such a visible mark of its fidelity. When the beauties of our island are thus industrious to show their principles as well as their charms, they raise the sentiments of their countrymen, and inspire them at the same time both with loyalty and love. What numbers of proselytes may we