14 SEPTEMBER 1850, Page 17

DR, _ST A$11/J CIE MAYO'S BERBER. * IN.this tale Dr. Mayo

has forsaken America and the Western coast of Africa in our days, for Spain and Morocco about the close of tlui seventeenth or beginning of the eighteenth century. The great hero- of the book is an insurgent chief of the Berbers. The idea of him is probably derived from the celebrated Abd-el-Kader, the well-known Maley Ismael Emperor of Morocco being the substi- tute for the French ; but Casbin Subah, the chief of the tribe of the Beni Mozarg, has higher aims than merely to free his people from tribute to the 'Moors. He has seen something of European civilization ; he has more historical reading than usually falls to the lot of mountaineers of the Atlas ; he claims descent from Gen.- seric ; and he contemplates combining the various mountain tribes under one leader, to expel the Moors and found a native empire:. He has various accomplishments besides, more useful to the hero of a romance of wild adventure, who is also to serve as the machinery of the piece. As a horsemim he can'surpass any artist at Astlefir or Franconi's ; he can assume any character without detection ; make his way over any wall; penetrate even to the chamber of the Sultan himself; defy all the efforts made for his capture by the Imperial officers • and in short, is a perfect "Bravo of Venice:* A fast friend of Cai:bin is a celebrated rover of Sallee, with whose name Spanish mothers awe their children. Hassan Herach is not,. however, a true-blooded Moor, but the son of an English merchant settled at Cadiz, captured by the Moorish pirates in early child- hood, while his twin brother was left behind. The captain of the galley in which Henry Carlyle is carried off adopts him ; and in due time he beeomes a rover himself; but a rather lax Mahometan, and entertaining a vivid general remembrance of his mother and bro- ther Edward. This brother is sent to England for education; hero- turns to Cadiz; falls in love with a Spanish lady, destined for a rich relation ' • and in consequence of the preference which Isabel de Esti- van entertains for the Englishman, he is denounced to the Inquisi- tion by the unsuccessful lover. To escape the myrmidons of the Holy Office lying in wait for him, after a stolen visit to Isabel, Edward Carlyle stands out to sea in his frail boat ; but the jealous hatred of his rival, Don Diego de Orsolo—a very villanous fellow—in- duces the officials to continue the pursuit. The result is, that all parties are captured by the dreaded rover; who discovers his brother, while the others are handed over to the slave-market. Shortly after this, Don Pedro de Estivan embarks with Isabel and her sister Juanita for the Canary Islands, where he has got an ap- pointment; on their passe the vessel is captured by Hassan lf: erach, and Don Pedro killed. Thus the two brothers, the two ladies, and the rival, are brought together in Morocco. Don Diego turns Mahometan, out of love and revenge ; the Kaid of the Slaves, supposed to be high in theSultan's favour, wishes to get possession of Tuanita, and endeavours to destroy Herach Hassan. Matters are further complicated by Isabel and Hassan becoming attached, while Edward Carlyle falls in love with a native lady, and the Ber- ber with Tuanita. When we add that the chief Sultana wishes, for a political object, to introduce an European beauty into the harem,' and gets possession of Juanita for that purpose, it will be seen that there is no lack of elements for novel scenes and characters, wild' ad.ventures, and frequent changes of fortune. Dr. Mayo has turned these materials to very good account, and certainly produeed a better novel than his Kaloolah. There is, indeed, somewhat too much of artificial contrivance in the manner in which the story is favourably wrought out by means of unusual incidents occurring at the right moment. There is also too much of the melodramatic ; and the interest depends a good deal more upon situation than character. The story, however, is well ma- naged, and the elements are less extravagant than they may seem. to many readers,—except the learning and religious liberality in- fused into several of the persons, which are not even characteristic of their age anywhere, much less of Morocco. During the palmy days of the Barbary corsairs, when Europeans by thousands were living as slaves in Africa, incidents occurred stranger than the strangest fiction ; and though Dr. Mayo wants imaginative genius to form a natural and consistent picture of the age and country, he appears to be well versed in its history, and its manners as con- tained in books, if not indeed from actual observation. He has also sufficient skill to infuse this knowledge into his tale, and he cleaves the advantage of novelty from his subject. We do not remember that the Barbary corsairs have been laid under tribute. since the days when The Scottish Chiefs was taken for a true repre- sentation of the age of Brace and Wallace, and the popular idea of a Mahometau was drawn from the sign of the Saracen's Het& A. great characteristic of Dr. Mayo's composition is a hard dis- tinetness. Whatever the ideas may be, they are always clearly expressed ; whatever the probability of the ineidents, they are al- 'The Berber; or the Mountaineer of the Atlas. A Tale of the Sallee Rovers ;

By William Starbuck Mayo, M.D., Author of " Kaloolah," &e. Published by Bentley.

ways -vigorously presented. The following scene may be taken as a fair example of the tale, so far as it can be exhibited in detached extract. The head Sultana wants a handsome European, in order to introduce her to Muley Ismael as a rival to a favourite Irish girl, whose power she fears. The fair Spaniard is arrested for this purpoee ; the other parties escape to the mountain stronghold of the Berber chief, while the chief himself determines to secure the return of Juanita by carrying off the favourite son of the Sultan's old age, at a review and display of horsemanship, held on the arrival of a French envoy, "For two hours and more an uninterrupted succession of powder burn- ings,' under the nose of the sultan, had been kept up, and the interest of the performance was beginning to abate. Muley Ismael's face wore an air of abstraction, and be began to evince signs of restlessness and impatience. More than once it was observed that a sneer of contempt curled his lip. The courtiers noticed the look of dissatisfaction, and earnestly they prayed that stome better or at least some bolder rider might appear, who would divert the rising wrath of the soften, if only by a desperate and mortal fall. "It was just at this moment that there occurred a slight pause in the game. The eyes of the soften, and those of his attendants rolling in syco- phantic sympathy with his, were turned aside in the direction of the lower end of the lists. Suddenly a single horseman sprang into the open place in front of a party who were preparing to start. No one could tell whence or how he came and no time did the-stranger give them for question or saluta- tion. The beauty and spirit of the horse—a tall jet black barb—and the graceful case of the rider, excited at the first glance a glow of admiration. 'Ha—ha! Boroon !' exclaimed the horseman, at the same moment slipping his feet, which were unencumbered with spurs, from the broad sharp-cornered stirrups, and springing erect to the saddle. The gallant barb at the word sprang forward as if a thousand spurs were goading him. Firmly and gracefully his rider stood, one foot on the saddle, the other extended in the air; his left hand grasping the rein, his right raised aloft, with his po- lished musket twirling horizontally by the mere motion of the fingers, and so rapidly that it presented the appearance of a wheel. "As the head of the barb came on a line with the imperial carpet, his course was instantaneously arrested. So sudden and so complete was the check that he did not even pass the carpet, but sliding along a few feet with his haunches to the ground, brought his rider right abreast of the soften. The horseman leaped lightly from the crouching steed, and bending down touched the edge of the carpet, put his hand to his lips, and instantly sprang back with his feet to the saddle; when Ile stood erect for a moment, and then quietly sank to his seat, wheeled his horse, and leisurely walked him back to the end of the course.

"Sixty thousand voices rent the air with a simultaneous shout of applause. Never had such a course been run in Morocco. Never before had such a po- sition been assumed with such boldness, or maintained with such firmness end grace, or finished with such precision and agility. Muley Ismael straightened himself up—glanced at the French Ambassador and his suite, grinned graciously upon his attendants, and allowed several expressions of commendation to escape him. ' Excellent ! wonderful! well done! Thank God,there is one man here today who knows how to ride!'

"The deliberate pace at which the horseman returned to the starting-

Place' afforded all eyes a good opportunity of scanning his dress and person. As to his features, they were nearly concealed by the ends of his turban, which with apparent carelessness were allowed to beak down on each side of his face; but no outer garment concealed the proportions of his fine figure. A close-fitting caftan or vest of red cloth, over a shirt of linen, and a pair of short wide white linen trousers, set offend revealed his light but muscular form to the best advantage. "But not less worthy of admiration was the horse than the rider, parti- cularly to judges of the animal, of whom there were not a few on the ground. The fine points of Boroon were noted and eagerly commented upon. His jet black skin, immaculate from colour, except where his wide expanded nostrils exposed a delicate circle of pink ; ins small but long head, gracefully placed at the end of a tapering, tendinous, and slightly arched neck; his height, nearly sixteen hands ; his broad cheat; his oblique muscular shoulders ; his fine sinewy legs, long withy pastern, and the huge veins lying just beneath the skin, and showing that a large part of his circulation was car- ried on over the surface, and therefore not liable to be hurried by the com- pression of contracting muscles; together with twenty other marks and points of more fanciful significance, were loudly indicated by the excited crowd, as with loosened rein, hanging head, and a composed step, he bore his master back to the starting-point. "Not a look did the latter bestow upon the multitude. His whole atten- tion seemed given to his horse. Leaning forward, he patted his neck, pulled his ears, and (guessed him in a variety of ways, at the same time addressing to him in a low tone words of the most affectionate endearment.

"'Oh! Boroon !' he exclaimed, 'son of the beautiful breath of the East wind ! be true to me today—fail me not, for great is my strait, and sore Would be my trouble, did I not depend upon thee ! Quietly, Boroon I—save thy courage for the time of need—it is at hand. Oh! Boroon ! fail me not, and her hand shall caress thee—her voice shall cheer thee! I swear it, BM of the beautiful.'

"Boroon replied to his master's words with an expansion of the nostrils, and a low muffle of delight ; but he raised not his head, nor altered his gait, un- til he wheeled with his head pointing up the lists. Then indeed his whole manner changed. His head was erect, his eyes flashed fire, his breath was blown from his nostrils with a furious snort of impatience, the foam flew from his mouth, and every muscle quivered with excitement ; but still he stirred not.

"The shouts and exclamations subsided—a deep silence prevailed through- out the multitude.

"Ha—ha! Boroon !' exclaimed his master ; and with a spring, light as that of a wild cat, the fiery animal started. "With a loud shout the horseman tossed his musket high in the air, caught it as it descended, and instantly stooping from his saddle, placed it upon the. ground. As he rose, he bent down again on the other aide, touching the ground with his left hand. Again rising, he descended to the right, and so on alternately, a dozen times, in rapid succession, each time grasping the soil, and scattering it in the faces of the nearest soldiers. Arrived at the soltan's carpet, he checked his steed again within a few feet of the edge— recovered him the next instant, and then forcing him into a series of lofty croupades and curvets, marked with a sharp corner of his wide shovel-shaped stirrup-iron the initials of the sultan's name. "There was an instant's pause, and then such a shout went up as had never before echoed over the plain of El Sakel. Muley Ismael smiled, and again applauded; the royal attendants were of course vociferous, and swelled with their voices the roar of the soldiers and the populace. Even the sleepy little Mulev Abderrhaman sprang to his feet at the front of the carpet, and joined his childish cries to the rest. The letters were large, and, scored roughly on the smooth shining flanks of Boroon, were visible to all except the more tant spectators in the field. "Once more all sounds were hushed. The horses even seemed to par- take of the sensation, and ceased their champing and pawing. Again the strange horseman commenced a career, but not with the same reckless im- petuosity. It was observed that his steed, although plunging furiously, was kept well in hand ; and all eyes followed, with intense interest, his every movement. He passed his gun without stooping to pick it up. What could he be going to do ? Silence !—hush I—not a whisper! His horse swerved violently from side to side. Expectation was excited to the utmost. He was evidently preparing for something desperate. Some daring feat, and novel too, thought the crowd ; else why move so slowly ? and why -such an air of preparation ? The COU11343 was almost finished. Ile was nearly abreast of the seat of the soltan, when suddenly his horse swerved violently to one side, bringing his hoofs on to the very edge of the imperial carpet. At this moment it was observed that-the horseman held a paper, which, bowing himself from his saddle, he threwinto the lap of Muley Ismael. At the same instant, with a rapid sweep of his arm, he seized the young Muley Ab- derrhaman. Clutching the child by-the clothes, the horseman swung him to his saddle-bow ; growling, while bending over him in the act, almost in the ears of the astonished father, in the deep guttural of the Arabic,

"'Look to the paper, and when you want him, send to Cusbin Subah!'

"Wheeling his horse short round, the Berber leaped a corner of the royal carpet, knocking over one of the umbrella-bearers, and dashing through the shrinking slaves in the rear of the soltan. In a moment he was at-the banks of the shallow stream, down which his steed scrambled with catlike agility. A few jumps cleared the narrow bed ; and them breasting him by main force through a thicket of oleanders, the other bank was gained, and the gallant animal, with loosened rein, was skimming the plain in the direction of the hills, with a stride as steady and almost as rapid as the sweep of an eagle. "For a few minutes the soften, his officers, and slaves, were lost in as- tonishment. Stupified at the audacity of, the act, they etood as if doubting the evidence of their senses. In sixty thousand minds arese simeltaneously an idea of djins, or of Ebliss himself. The soften was the Snit to recover himself. He knew that the daring rider was no djin, and he bounded to his feet convulsed with rage and fear."