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interest; and as often as a scheriff hands, must render the hearts of those sball come whom they believe able to acquainted with this people perfectly conquer you, they will follow him, callous as to what misfortunes may even into the streets of Algiers.' befall them or their country; and (Examination of Bou Maza's brother, many may think that, as far as the 12th November 1845.) Thus spoke advancement of civilisation is conthe chief. The common Arab had cerned, the wiping off of the Kabyle already said to the Christian, “If and Arab races of Northern Africa my head and thine were boiled in the from the face of the earth, would be the same vessel, my broth would separate greatest boon to humanity. Though, itself from thy broth."
however, they may be fraught with This was discouraging to those all the vices of the Canaanitish tribes who had dreamed of the taining of the of old, yet the command, 'Go ye after Arab; and the more sanguinary him through the city and smite; let mooted ideas of extermination. Such not your eye spare, neither have ye a project, clearly written down, and pity; slay utterly old and young, both printed, and placed on Parisian maids, and little children, and women,' breakfast tables, might be startling; in is not justifiably issued at the pleaAlgeria it had long been put in prac- sure of man; and we can but lament tice. What said General Duvivier in to see a great and gallant nation enhis Solution de la Question d'Algérie, gaged in a warfare exasperating both p. 285? " For eleven years they parties to indulge in sanguinary atrohave razed buildings, burned crops, cities, – atrocities to be attributed on destroyed trees, massacred men, one side to the barbarous and savage women, and children, with a still-in- state of those having recourse to them; creasing fury." We have already but on the other, proceeding only from shown that this work of extermina- a thirst for retaliation and bloody retion was not carried on with perfect venge, unworthy of those enjoying a impunity. Here is further contirma- high position as a civilised people. tion of the fact. “Every Arab killed," War is, as we all know, ever producsays M. Leblanc de Prébois, another tive of horrors : but such horrors may officer, who wrote on the Algerian be greatly restrained and diminished war, and wrote from personal expe- by the exertions and example of those rience, "costs us the death of thirty- in command." three men, and 150,000 francs." Sup- The hoary-headed hero of Isly is posing a vast deal of exaggeration in not the man to make the exertion, or this statement, the balance still re- set the example. At the beginning maios ugly against the French, for of 1847, rumours of a projected inroad whom there is evidently very little amongst the Kabyles caused uneasidifference between catching an Arab ness and dissatisfaction in Algeria, and catching a Tartar. Whilst upon when such a movement was highly the subject of extermination, Mr unpopular, as likely to lead to a long Borrer gives an opinion more decidedly and expensive war. The “ Commisunfavourable to bis French friends sion of Credits," a board appointed by than is expressed in any other part the French Chamber for the particular of bis book. His estimate of Kabyle investigation and regulation of Algevirtues differs considerably, it will be rine affairs, applied to the minister of observed, from that of the Colonist, war to know if the rumours were well and of the two is much nearest the founded. The minister confessed they truth.
were; adding, however, that the expe“The abominable vices and debauch- dition would be quite peaceable; but eries of the Kabyle race, the inhuman at the same time laying before the barbarities they are continually guilty commission letters from Bugeaud, of towards such as may be cast by "expressing regret that force of arms tempest, or other misfortune, upon their was not to be resorted to more than ragged shores; the atrocious cruelties was absolutely necessary, the submisand refined tortures they, in common sion of the aborigines being never cerwith the Arab, delight in exercising tain until powder had spoken." The upon any such enemies as may be so marshal evidently" felt like fighting." unhappy as to fall alive into their The Commission protested; the minister rebuked them, bidding them upon, but they do not attack.” Th mind their credits, and not meddle with marshal, whose whole public life ha the royal prerogative. Thus unjustly been full of contradictions, was th snubbed—for they certainly were mind- first to intrude upon them, althoug] ing their credits, by opposing increase but a very few years had elapsed sinc of expenditure-the Commission were he said in a pamphlet, “ The Kabyle: mute, one of the members merely ob- are numerous and very warlike; they serving, by way of a last shot, that it have villages, and their agriculture is was easier to refuse to listen than to sedentary; already there is too little reply satisfactorily. In France, public land to supply their wants ; there is opinion, the Chamber of Deputies, and no room, therefore, for Europeans in Marshal Soult, had, on various occa- the mountains of Kabylia, and they sions, declared against attacking the would cut a very poor figure there." Kabyles. “Nevertheless, a proclama. This last prophetic sentence was reation was issued by Marshal Bugeaud lised by M. Bugeaud himself, who to the inhabitants of the Kabylie, to certainly made no very brilliant apwarn them that the French army was pearance when, forgetting his former upon the point of entering their terri- theory, he hazarded himself in May tory, to cleanse it of those adventu- 1847, at the head of eight thousand rers who there preached the war men, and with Mr Borrer in his train, against France. The proclamation amongst the hardy mountaineers of then went on to state, that the marshal Kabylia. had no desire to fight with them, or to Hereabouts Mr Borrer quotes, in devastate their property; but that, if French, the statement of a member there were amongst them any who of the Commission already referred wished for war, they would find him to. It is worth extracting, as fully ready to accept it.” If a bard- confirming our conviction that the favoured stranger, armed with a horse- conduct of France in Algeria has been whip, walked uninvited into M. throughout characterised by an utter Bugeaud's private residence, loudly want of judgment and justice." The proclaiming he would thrash nobody native towns have been invaded, unless provoked, the marshal would ruined, sacked, by our administration, be likely to resist the intrusion. The more even than by our arms. In Kabyles, doubtless, thought his ad- time of peace, a great number of privance into their territory an equally vate estates have been ravaged and unjustifiable proceeding. As to the destroyed. A multitude of title-deeds pretext of "the adventurers who delivered to us for verification have preached war," it was unfounded and never been restored. Even in the ridiculous. Such propagandists have environs of Algiers, fertile lands have never been listened to in Kabylia. been taken from the Arabs and given “The voice of the Emir Abd-el-Kader to Europeans, who, unable or unhimself," says the Colonist, “would willing to cultivate their new posses not obtain a hearing. Did he not go sions, have farmed them out to their in person, in 1839, when preparing to former owners, who have thus bebreak his treaty of peace with us, and come the mere stewards of the inheripreach the holy war? Did he not tance of their fathers. Elsewhere, traverse the valley of the Souman, from tribes, or fractions of tribes, not one end to the other, to recruit com- hostile to us, but who, on the conbatants?_And what did he obtain trary, had fought for us, have been from the Kabyles? Hospitality for a driven from their territory. Condifew days, coupled with the formal in- tions have been accepted from them, vitation to evacuate the country as and not kept—indemnities promised, soon as possible. Did he succeed and never paid-until we have combetter when he lately again tried to promised our honour even more than raise Kabylia against us?” Mr Borrer their interests.” Such a statement, confirms this. Marshal Bugeaud bim- proceeding from a Frenchman-from self bad said in the Chamber of one, too, delegated by his government Deputies, “ The Kabyles are neither to examine the state of the colony, aggressive nor hostile; they defend is quite conclusive as to administrathemselves vigorously when intruded tive proceedings in Algeria. It would
be superfluous and impertinent to add long shots at the rear-guard. Four another line of evidence. A comment venerable elders bring two yoked oxen may be appropriate. "Is it not in token of submission. In general, Montesquieu," says Mr Borrer, “in the inhabitants have disappeared. his Esprit des Lois, who observes— Their deserted towns appear, in the •The right of conquest, though a ne- distance, by no means inferior to many cessary and legitimate right, is an French and Italian villages. The unhappy one, bequeathing to the con. marshal will not permit exploring queror a beavy debt to humanity, only parties, for fear of ambuscade. Night to be acquitted by repairing, as far as arrives, and passes without incident possible, those evils of which he has of note. At three in the morning, been the cause'?—and Montesquieu the camp is aroused by hideous was a wise man, and a Frenchman!” yells. A sentinel has fired at a horse
Dismissing this branch of the sub- thief and broken his leg, and now, ject, let us see how the Duke of Isly mindful of the ten francs, tries to made " the powder speak” in Kaby- cut off the head of the wounded man, lia, and try our band at a rough who objects and screams. A bayonetsketch, taking the loan of Mr Borrer's thrust stops his mouth, and the bill on colours. A strong body of French Bugeaud is duly severed. The next troops—the 8000 have been increased, day is passed in skirmishing with the since departure, by several battalions Beni-Abbez, the most numerous tribe and some spahis—are encamped in a of the valley of the Souman, but not rich valley, cutting down the unripe a very warlike one-so says the wheat for the use of their horses, Colonist ; and, indeed, they offer but whilst, from the surrounding heights, slight resistance, although they, or the Kabyles gloomily watch the un- some other tribes, make a firm and scrupulous foragers. “Now soft- determined attack upon the French winged evening,'” as Mr Dawson outposts in the course of that night. Borrer poetically expresses himself, There is more smoke than bloodshed; " hovers o'er the scene, chasing from but the Kabyles show considerable woodlands and sand-rock heights the pluck, burn a prodigious number of gilded tints of the setting sun." In cartridges, and make no doubt they other words, it gets dark—and shots have nearly “rubbed out” the Chrisare heard. The natives, vexed at the tians; in which particular they are liberties taken with their crops, harass rather mistaken — the French, not the outposts. Their bad powder and choosing to leave their camp, having overloaded guns have no chance quietly lain down, and allowed the against French muskets. “In the Berber lead to fly over them. At last name of the Prophet, HEADS!" Bu- the assailants' ammunition runs low, geaud the Merciful pays for them ten and they retire, leaving a sprinkling francs a-piece. Four are presented of dead.' Mr Borrer quotes the Koran. to him before breakfast. The pre- «• Those of Our brothers who fall in mium is to make the soldiers alert defence of the true faith, are not dead, against horse-stealers. Ten francs but live invisible, receiving their nourbeing a little fortune to a French riture from the hand of the Most soldier, whose pay in hard cash is two High,' says the Prophet.” Nourriture or three farthings a-day, Mr Borrer is not quite English, at least with that suspects the heads are sometimes orthography; but no matter for Mr taken from shoulders where they bave Borrer's Gallicisms, which are many. a right to remain. An Arab is always We rush with him into the Kabyle an Arab, whether a horse-stealer or a fire. Here he sits, halted amongst mere idler. But no matter-a few the olive-trees, philosophically lightmore or less. Day returns; the co- ing his pipe, the bullets whistling lumn marches; the Kabyles show about his ears, whilst he admires the little of the intrepidity, in defence of sang froid of a pretty vivandière, their hearths and altars, attributed to seated astride upon her horse, and them by M. Bugeaud and others. jesting at the danger. The column Their horsemen fly before a platoon advances—the Kabyles retreat, fightof French cavalry; the infantry limiting, pursued by the French shells, their offensive operations to cowardly which they hold in particular horror,
and call the howitzer the twice-firing and the fat of the land for themselves? cunnon. The object of the advance is But stay—there is still a town to take, to destroy the towns and villages of the last, the strongest, the refuge of the Beni-Abbez, the night-attack upon the women and of the aged. Its defence his bivouac affording the marshal a is resolute, but at last it falls. “Ra.. pretext. The villages are surrounded vished, murdered, barnt, hardly a with stiff walls of stones and mud, child escaped to tell the tale. A crowned with strong thorny fences, few of the women fled to the ravines and having hedges of prickly pear around the village ; bat troops swept growing at their base ; and the gaunt the brushwood; and the stripped and burnoobed warriors make good fight mangled bodies of females might there through loop-holes and from the ter- be seen.... One vast sheet of races of their houses. But resistance fame crowned the height, which an is soon overcome, and the narrow hour or two before was ornamented streets are crowded with Frenchmen, with an extensive and opulent village, ravishing, massacring, plundering; no crowded with inhabitants. It seemed regard to sex or age; outrage for every to have been the very emporium of woman--the edge of the sword for all. commerce of the Beni-Abbez; fabrics
Upon the floor of one of the of gunpowder, of arms, of haïks, chambers lay a little girl of twelve or burnooses, and different stuffs, were fourteen years of age, weltering in there. The streets boasted of numegore, and in the agonies of death : an rous shops of workers in silver, accursed ruffian thrust his bayonet workers in cord, venders of silk, &c." into her. God will requite him.... All this the soldiers pillaged, or the When the soldiers had ransacked the fire devoured; then the insatiable dwellings, and smashed to atoms all flames gained the corn and olive trees, they could not carry off, or did not and converted a smiling and prosperthink worth seizing as spoil, they ous district into a black and barren heaped the remnants and the mat- waste. Bugeaud looked on and protings together and fired them. As I nounced it good, and his men declared was hastily traversing the streets to the country "well cleaned out," and regain the outside of the village, dis- vaunted their deeds of rapine and gusted with the horrors I witnessed, violence. “I heard two ruffians Hames burst forth on all sides, and relating, with great gusto, how many torrents of fire came swiftly gliding young girls had been burned in one down the thoroughfares, for the flames house, after being abused by their had gained the oil. An instant I brutal comrades and themselves.” turned- the fearful doom of the poor Out of consideration for his readers, concealed child and the decrepid Mr Borrer says, he writes down but mother flashing on my mind. It was the least shocking of the crimes and too late. • The unfortunate atrocities he that day witnessed. Kabyle child was doubtless consumed We have no inclination to transcribe a with her aged parent. How many tithe of the horrors he records, and others may have shared her fate !" at sight of which, he assures us, the
At noon, the atmosphere is laden blood of many a gallant French officer with smoke arising from the numerous boiled in his veins. He mentions no burning villages. From one spot nine attempt on the part of these compasmay be counted, wrapped in flames. sionate officers to curb the ferocity of There is merry-making in the French their men, who had not the excuse of camp: Innumerable goatskins, full previous severe sufferings, of a long of milk, butter, figs, and flour, are and obstinate resistance, and of the produced and opened. Some are loss of many of their comrades, to consumed ; more are squandered and allege in extenuation of their savage strewn upon the ground. Let the violence. History teaches us that, in Kabylo dogs starve! Have they certain circumstances, as, for instance, not andaciously levelled their long after protracted sieges, great exposure, guns at the white-headed warrior and a long and bloody fight, soldiers and his followers, who asked nothing of all nations are liable to forget disbut submission, free passage through cipline, and, maddened by fary, by the country, corn-fieldsfortheir horses, suffering and excitement, to despise
the admonitions and reprimands of treatment of prisoners is not mild. the chiefs-nay, even to turn their On the evening of the 1st June, some weapons against those whom for years men straggled from the French they have been accustomed to respect bivouac, and were captured. and implicitly obey. But there is no was said that from one of the outposts such excuse in the instance before the Kabyles were seen busily engaged us. A pleasant military promenade in roasting their victims before a large through a rich country, fine weather, fire upon a neighbouring slope; but abundant rations, and just enough whether this was a fact or not, I never skirmishing to give zest to the whole learned.” It was possibly true. affair, whose fighting part was ex. Escoffier tells us how one of his fellowceeding brief, as might be expected, prisoners, a Jew named Wolf, who when French bayonets and artillery fell into the hands of Moorish shepwere opposed to the clumsy guns and herds, was thrown upon a blazing irregular tactics of the Beni-Abbez pile of faggots; and although we sus-we find nothing in this picture pect the brave trumpeter, or his histoto extenuate the horrible cruelties rian, of occasional exaggeration, there enacted by the conquerors after their are grounds for crediting the autheneasily achieved victory. Their whole ticity of this statement. As to Mr loss, according to their marshal's Borrer, he guarantees nothing but bulletin, amounted to fifty-seven killed what he sees with his own eyes, the and wounded. This included the loss camp being, he says, full of blagueurs, in the night-attack on the camp. In or tellers of white lies. The invenfact, it was mere child's play for tions of these mendacious gentry are the disciplined French soldiery; and not always as innocent as he appears Mr Borrer virtually admits this, by ap- to think them. Imaginary cruelties, plying to the affair General Castellane's attributed to an enemy, are very apt expression of a man-hunt. Hethen, with to impose upon credulous soldiers, and no good grace, endeavours to find an to stimulate them to unnecessary excuse for his campaigning comrades. bloodshed, and to acts of lawless ** The ranks of the French army in revenge. Many a village has been Africa are composed, in great mea- burned, and many an inoffensive peasure, of the very scum of France." sant sabred, on the strength of such They have condemned regiments in lying fabrications.
In Africa espeAfrica, certainly; the Foreign Legion cially, where the lex talionis seems are reckless and reprobate enough; fully recognised, and its enforcement we dare say the Zouaves, a mixed confided to the first straggler who corps of wild Frenchmen and tamed chooses to fire a house or stick an Arabs, are neither tender nor scrupu- Arab, the blagueurs should be handed lous; but these form a very small por- over, in our opinion, to summary tion of the hundred thousand French punishment. On the advance of the troops in Africa, and there is little French column, a soldier or two, picking and choosing amongst the line straying from the bivouac to bathe or regiments, who take their turn of ser- fish, had here and there been shot by vice pretty regularly, neither is there the lurking Kabyles. On its return, reason for considering the men who go “ I was somewhat surprised,” Mr to Algeria to be greater scamps than Borrer remarks, “ to observe, in the those who remain in France. So this wake of the column, flames bursting will not do, Mr Borrer : try another forth from the gourbies (villages) left tack. “The only sort of excuse for in our rear. It was well known that the horrors committed by the soldiery the tribe upon whose territory we in Algeria, is their untamed passions were riding had submitted, and that and the fire added to their natural their sheikh was even riding at the . ferocity by the atrocious cruelties so head of the column." None could exoften committed by the Arabs upon plain the firing of the villages. The their comrades in arms, who have sheikh, indignant at the treachery of been so unhappy as to fall into their the French, set spurs to his mare, power.” This is more plausible, al- and was off like the wind. The conthough it is a query who began the flagration was traced to soldiers of the system of murderous reprisals. Arab rear-guard, desirous to revenge their