POPULAR LITERATURE AND SCIENCE.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1873, by J. B. Lippincott & Co., in the Office of the Librarian of Congress, at Washington.
Transcriber's notes: Minor typos have been corrected. Table of contents has been generated for HTML version.
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
THE NATIONAL TRANS-ALLEGHANY WATER-WAY.
A PRINCESS OF THULE.
IN THE CRADLE OF THE DEEP.
UNSETTLED POINTS OF ETIQUETTE.
THE HERMIT'S VIGIL.
OUR MONTHLY GOSSIP.
LITERATURE OF THE DAY.
THE ROUMI IN KABYLIA.
ALGIERS FROM THE SEA.
A fact need not be a fixed fact to be a very positive one; and Kabylia, a region to whose outline no geographer could give precision, has long existed as the most uncomfortable reality in colonial France. Irreconcilable Kabylia, hovering as a sort of thunderous cloudland among the peaks of the Atlas Mountains, is respected for a capacity it has of rolling out storms of desperate warriors. These troops disgust and confound the French by making every hut and house a fortress: like the clansmen of Roderick Dhu, they lurk behind the bushes, animating each tree or shrub with a preposterous gun charged with a badly-moulded bullet. The Kabyle, when excited to battle, goes to his death as carelessly as to his breakfast: his saint or marabout has promised him an immediate heaven, without the critical formality of a judgment-day. He fights with more than feudal faithfulness and with undiverted tenacity. He is in his nature unconquerable. So that the French, though they have riddled this thunder-cloud of a Kabylia with their shot, seamed it through and through with military roads, and established a beautiful fort national right in the middle of it, on the plateau of Souk-el-Arba, possess it to-day about as thoroughly as we Americans might possess a desirable thunder-storm which should be observed hanging over Washington, and which we should annex by means of electrical communications transpiercing it in every direction, and a resident governor fixed at the centre in a balloon. France has gorged Kabylia, with the rest of Algeria, but she has never digested it.
A trip through Algeria, such as we now propose, belongs, as a pleasure-excursion, only to the present age. In the last it was made involuntarily. Only sixty years ago the English spinster or spectacled lady's-companion, as she crossed over from the mouth of the Tagus to the mouth of the Tiber, or from Marseilles to Naples, looked out for capture by "the Algerines" as quite a reasonable eventuality. (Who can forget Töpfer's mad etchings for Bachelor Butterfly, of which this little episode forms the incident?) Her respectable mind was filled with speculations as to how many servants "a dey's lady" was furnished with, and what was the amount of her pin-money. A stout, sound-winded Christian gentleman, without vices and kind in fetters, sold much cheaper than a lady, being worth thirty pounds, or only about one-tenth the value of Uncle Tom.
BOUGIE, AND HILL OF GOURAYA.
The opening up of Algeria to the modern tourist and Murray's guide-books is in fact due to the American nation. So late as 1815 the Americans, along with the other trading nations, were actually paying to the dey his preposterous tribute for exemption from piratical seizure. In this year, however, we changed our mind and sent Decatur over. On the 28th of June he made his appearance at Algiers, having picked up and disposed of some Algerine craft, the frigate Mashouda and the brig Estido. The Algerines gave up all discussion with a messenger so positive in his manners, and in two days Decatur introduced our consul-general Shaler, who attended to the release of American captives and the positive stoppage of tribute.
The example was followed by other nations. Lord Exmouth bombarded Algiers in 1816, and reduced most of it to ashes. In 1827 the dey opened war with France by hitting the French consul with his fan. Charles X. retorted upon the fan with thirty thousand troops and a fleet. The fort of Algiers was exploded by the last survivor of its garrison, a negro of the deserts, who rushed down with a torch