Adventures and Observations on the North Coast of Africa

“In my last letter I asked the question: — Did the Moor and the Arab descend from the same parent stock? Against this hypothesis, there is an argument of no little force found in the fact that a bitter animosity always exists between these two peoples or races. The Arab accuses the Moor of loving to snuff up the stench of a city, of lacking hospitality, of being like a woman when one talks of powder, and of obtaining a livelihood by selling sugar and spices, and manufacturing trivial things for children; the latter retorts by saying that the Arab is always at war, has no mosques or fountains, and that his prayers cannot be acceptable to God because he neglects the ablutions prescribed by the Koran. When the Arab visits the town, the Moor leaves no means untried to overreach him in trade, thwart him in his plans and get him imprisoned or otherwise punished for the most trivial offenses; but woe to the Moor, who passing among the tribes of the interior, gives his enemy an opportunity to retaliate; if he escapes with his life he may thank heaven for a special providence. At no time does this hatred appear to have been allayed, and it is a rare thing to find an Arab who will consent to have his daughter marry a Moor.“