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Old September 11, 2010, 09:30 AM   #366
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,342
From Mark Twain's 1869 travel book (so there's no copyright protection on it now), The Innocents Abroad. Twain caught a steamship to Europe with intent of visiting Egypt. He stops in Paris where he sees the emperor, Napoleon III, the nephew of the great conqueror, Napoleon Bonaparte.

Presently there was a sound of distant music; in another minute a pillar of dust came moving slowly toward us; a moment more, and then, with colors flying and a grand crash of military music, a gallant array of cavalrymen emerged from the dust and came down a street on a gentle trot. After them came a long line of artillery; then ore cavalry, in splendid uniforms; and then their Imperial Majesties, Napoleon III. and Abdul Aziz. The vast concourse of the people swung their hats and shouted-the windows and housetops in the wide vicinity burst into a snow-storm of waving handkerchiefs, and the wavers of the same mingled their cheers with those of the masses below. It was a stirring spectacle.

But the two central figures that claimed all my attention. Was ever such a contrast set up before a multitude then? Napoleon, in military uniform - a long-bodied, short-legged man, fiercely mustached, old, wrinkled, with eyes half closed, and such a deep, crafty, scheming expression about them! Napoleon, bowing ever so gently to the loud plaudits, and watching everything and everybody with his cat-eyes from under his depressed hat brim, as if to discover any sign that those cheers were not heartfelt and cordial.

Abdul Aziz, absolute lord of the Ottoman Empire, - clad in dark green European clothes, almost without ornament or insignia of rank; a red Turkish fez on his head - a short, stout, dark man, black-bearded, black-eyed, stupid, unprepossessing-a man whose whole appearance somehow suggested that if he had only a cleaver in his hand and a white apron on, one would not be at all surprised to hear him say: "A mutton roast to-day, or will you have a nice porterhouse steak?"
(taken from pages 119-120).

I guess he was the original Abdul the Butcher. Anyway, Twain earlier stopped in Tangier.
Murder is punished with death. A short time ago three murderers were taken beyond the city wall and shot. Moorish guns are not good, and neither are Moorish marksmen. In this instance, they set up the poor criminals at long range, like so many targets, and practised on them-kept them hopping about and dodging bullets for half an hour before they managed to drive the center.
Taken from page 73-74.

Thank you MalH for recommending this book. I got it out of the library and carried it with me to Egypt.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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