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is rapidly extending to Europe, and that before long the army will be mounted exclusively on them. The Emperor was at first unfavourable to the plan, but he has since altered his views; and my informants added that, in the event of an European war, the superior mobility of the cavalry resulting from the substitution of African for European horses would astonish every one. It struck me that by a judicious selection of stallions from this breed it would be possible to improve yet further the agricultural horse of Norfolk and Suffolk, retaining his weight and stature, but hardening his constitution, and increasing his activity; and if I had been a scientific farmer, I should certainly have brought back with me a specimen or two of large barbs in order to make the experiment.

From Tlemçen I returned again to Oran, by the recommendation of Colonel Le Rouxeau, who told me that the season was not sufficiently advanced to allow me to take the cross route to Maskara by Sidi Bel Abbès without risk of detention by the swelling of the streams I should have to ford. By returning to Oran I gained one advantage, -that of seeing by daylight the portion of the route which in coming I had passed in the dark. But there are no striking features in it. About half-way is the village Ain-Temouchent,exhibiting the ordinary characteristics of the new African villages, of being surrounded with a loopholed wall, and suffering from fever in the summer. Except



in the immediate neighbourhood of this, of Boutlelis, and Miserghin, the whole country is covered with the usual Algerian bush. The two villages of Boutlelis and Miserghin, which are of considerable size and surrounded with loopholed walls, are now chiefly peopled by Spaniards. Between the latter and Oran are a good many aloe hedges, but farther inland I did not see the plant at all. Two or three strings of camels met us in different parts of the route, bringing salt from the Sebkah of Oran, which the Arabs are allowed to take on paying a franc for every camel-load; and we saw also, both in going and returning, several douairs of nomads. In one of these, which we passed just after daybreak in going to Tlemçen, the sheep and goats were being milked before being let out from the middle of the encampment, where they had been kept during the night for safety from marauders and wild beasts. Where there is danger from either of these causes, the tents are pitched near to each other in the circumference of a regular circle, but this rule is not observed where there is nothing to fear. The neighbourhood of Ain-Temouchent is rather troubled with lions, which at night destroy some of the cattle; and a little farther to the south, on the line from Sidi Bel Abbès to Milianah, passing through Maskara and Orleansville, is the region of panthers,―an animal which, from its cunning and its power of climbing trees, is much more feared as an



adversary than the lion by both Arabs and Europeans, -while its cruelty in slaughtering many more cattle than it devours renders it a greater pest to the farmer. A young lieutenant of Engineers whom I met on my way from Maskara to Mostaganem, told me that in the part of the country just mentioned he had often when out at night found it prudent to take refuge by the Arab fires instead of pursuing his journey, in consequence of finding these animals too closely upon his track. The statement surprised me, as I had no idea they ever followed either man or beast by scent, but supposed they lay in wait for their prey, and sprang

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The only military position which the French occupy to the south of Tlemçen in the vicinity of the Morocco frontier is Sebdou, which is about twenty-six miles off. As far as that point the land rises in plateau after plateau. Arrived at the top, the traveller enters upon what is called the Little Sahara, a region of salt lakes at a high elevation surrounded by plains abounding in the halfa, a rush like that of which Indian matting is made. In these plains wells are only found here and there. In the vicinity of Sebdou is an elevated forest region, to the south of which the land again descends by a similar series of plateaux into the Great Sahara, or sandy desert. This description I was informed applied with very little variation to the whole of the elevated land between what is called on the maps the Little and




Great Atlas, extending from near the Atlantic to the vicinity of the Syrtes, and in one part I was subsequently enabled to verify the correctness of the Near Sebdou are some mines where copper is said to be found in considerable quantity, and I believe some silver also. The numbers of the workmen, (who amount to 1,200 or 1,500, and are all armed,) furnish a security against a regular attack; but an escort is always requisite to accompany the mail from Sebdou to Tlemçen, and vice versa, the tribes having got a strange notion into their head that it carries treasure. I was informed that the mines of Sebdou exhibited marks of having been worked in the Roman times, and should have been glad to have visited them, for which the Commandant politely offered me the means; but the expedition required three days, and I could not spare the time without giving up Maskara or Mostaganem.




THE diligence from Oran to Maskara sets off at the same hour with that to Tlemçen, viz. three A.M.; but the distance is considerably less, being only sixty-seven or sixty-eight miles, and the road, although bad in many parts, very much better; so that we arrived by two P.M. The route, like that to Tlemçen, traverses the great plain in which the Sebkah lies, and at a distance of ten miles from Oran passes by a wretched village, called Valmy, or Le Figuier,—the latter from a fig-tree of gigantic proportions by the side of which a treaty was made, in the early part of the occupation of Algeria, between General Trezel and the two Arab tribes of the Douair and Zmela. It is also the site of a post established by Abd-el-Kader for the purpose of cutting off the supplies which the town of Oran derived from the interior. After traversing a low chain of hills, the road descends, at a distance of thirty-five miles from Oran, upon the banks of the Sig, where the village of St. Denis, which was built in 1845, indicates the point from whence General Trezel, ten

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