14 AUGUST 1880, Page 21

A Ride in Petticoats and Slippers. By Captain H. E.

Colville. (Sampson Low and Co.)—This is as pleasant and entertaining a book of travel as we have seen for a long time. Captain Colville puts his serious topics into appendices, and in the narrative of his 'journey amuses us with the incidents of travel, and with sketches of manners and men. The most important of the former is a proposition that we should annex Marocco, or, at least, part of it. Gibraltar cannot be permanently held without it, We have also an itinerary, and a map of the route pursued, both valuable, as the greater part of it had never been traversed by a Christian traveller before. The narrative is delightful, and if we except one or two jokes which are scarcely in the best taste, may be read with great pleasure from beginning to end. One of the most amazing things in the book is the de- scription of the city of Fez. Some humouristic traveller declared it to be well drained and well supplied with water. But, as Captain Colville remarks, " When it is remembered that the sewage and supply conduits are identical, the system loses much of its value." But the people are in their way as astonishing as their dwellings. The most savage cruelty, for instance, seems not inconsistent with the consistent practice of many of the domestic virtues. Social equality, Mr. Matthew Arnold may be interested to know, prevails in the most desirable way, but does not prevent the grossest tyranny and oppression on the part of the ruler. You talk with him on quite equal terms, but he outs off your head without a scruple, if you object to paying double taxes. It is a curious trait of character that the late Sultan walled up and left to die two men who were guilty of the offence of saving his life, and the lives of some of the ladies of his harem, when the party had been capsized in a boat. The men had been guilty of seeing him in an un- dignified position. A curious moral question is raised by tho travel- ler's emphatic declaration that, without curses, it is impossible to got anything done in Marocco. The Moor, it seems, actually believes that your emphatic wishes about him and his ancestors are very likely to be fulfilled, and hastens to avert what ho considers a prac- tical danger. Mr. Colville is not very hopeful about missionary enterprise. One gentleman, it seems, preached at Tangier with at least the success of not being molested. Ho used to read the Bible in the market-place, and an interpreter was supposed to translate it verse by verse. Tho interpreter, however, occupied' the time by assuring the audience that the speaker was a madman, who must not be on any account interfered with, and so secured himself and his employer. The story that this same person read the Baptismal Service from a window, and poured water out of can on the heads of the passers-by, is beyond our belief. Other things very quaint and amusing might be quoted, but we have probably said enough to send some of our readers to the book.