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In Wadi al-Nil, 1868
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min: Aqwam al-Masalik fi Ma'rifat Ahwal al-Mamalik


[from: The Surest Path to Knowledge Concerning the Conditions of Countries]

Kheireddine_Pacha.jpeg


by Khayr al-Din Pasha al-Tunisi

An
Introductory Note from the Editor;

We, at Wadi al-Nil, now celebrating our first year as Egypt's first independent newspaper, are proud to bring to the attention of our readers and the wider public all matters of importance, carrying out the duty of any respectable free and independent paper: to inform the masses and direct the gaze of the people towards matters that are of concern to them. We bring to your attention matters of political import as well as the latest scientific developments, we make known commercial news and feature also the latest literary publications deemed of importance to the people and nation, as well as older works and pieces on our proud and noble history and forebears, as well as poetry and much else.
It is our pleasure to present in this edition of Wadi al-Nil an excerpt from a book published only in 1867 by Khayr al-Din Pasha al-Tunisi, who is currently living in self-imposed exile in France. Khayr al-Din Pasha is of Circassian origins, as so many of our region's leading statesmen and intellectuals are, having been sold as a child to a notable Turkish family, with whom he spent seventeen years. Thereafter the Pasha was brought to the court of the Tunisian Bey where he studied before joining Bardo Military School, receiving Arabic and Islamic education as well as training in the modern military sciences. He was the leading figure behind the implementation in Tunisia of a semi-constitutional form of governance based on shura, which he espouses in the present work. A true visionary of our age, this work is a must read for any Egyptian who seeks after the answer to that most pressing of questions: What is to be done?

Founder and Editor of Wadi al-Nil,
'Abd Allah Abu al-Su'ud
The Excerpt;

In the name of God, the beneficent, the merciful. Praise be to Him who made prosperity one of the results of justice and endowed mankind with intelligence, by which He made it possible for man to attain right conduct and the various gradations of knowledge. And commanded him to cooperate in good works and to fear God to the exclusion of idols or transgression.
I praise Him. He is to be praised at all times and in all tongues. And I pray for His servant and our master Muhammad, who was sent with the Book and the Balance. To whom it was revealed that God commands justice and charity. And I pray for his family and his companions, the guardians of his Holy Law, which is suitable for all times. Whose rulings describe orbits around the two points of faith and God's protection.
After this invocation the compiler of these pages says, "May God guide him to the surest path."

After I had long contemplated the causes of the progress and backwardness of nations, generation after generation, relying on the Islamic and European histories I was able to examine, and on what the authors of both groups have written concerning the Islamic umma [community], its attributes, and its future, according to evidence which experience has decreed should be accepted, I decided to assert what I believe no intelligent Muslim will contradict and no one who has been shown the evidence will oppose: if we consider the competition of nations in the fields of civilization and the keen rivalry of even the greatest among them to achieve what is most beneficial and helpful, it becomes clear that we can properly distinguish what is most suitable for us only by having knowledge of those outside our own group, and especially of those who surround us and live close to us.
Further, if we consider the many ways which have been created in these times to bring people and ideas closer together, we will not hesitate to visualize the world as a single, united country peopled by various nations who surely need each other. The general benefit to be derived from the experience of each nation, even when it is pursuing its own personal interests, suffices to make it sought after by the rest of mankind.

Whoever considers these two undoubtedly true principles, and who according to religion knows that the Islamic shari'a [religious law] is a guarantor for the two worlds, will necessarily recognize that secular organization is a firm foundation for supporting the religious system. Such a person will then be saddened to see that certain 'ulama' [religious scholars] of Islam who are entrusted to take into consideration the changing circumstances of time in the application of the Law are opposed even to learning about domestic events, and their minds are empty of any knowledge of the outside world. This is undoubtedly one of the most imposing obstacles to a knowledge of the most appropriate course of action in this world.
Is it fitting that the physicians of the umma should be ignorant of its ailments? Or that they should direct their concern to acquiring the essence of knowledge to the exclusion of its contingent circumstances?

We are likewise saddened by such ignorance on the part of certain statesmen and a feigning of ignorance by others out of a predilection for despotism.
For this reason I was fired to believe that if I assembled what years of thought and reflection had produced, plus what I had seen during my travels to the various states of Europe where I had been sent by His Excellency the Bey [Muhammad al-Sadiq, ruler of Tunisia, 1859-present], then my effort might not be without benefit, especially if it comes upon hearts working together in defense of Islam.
Thus, the object of this book is to remind the learned 'ulama' of their responsibility to know the important events of these days and to awaken the heedless both among the politicians and all the classes of the people by demonstrating what would be a proper domestic and foreign conduct. It is also to call attention to these aspects of the Frankish [European] nations—especially those having close contacts or attachments with us—which ought to be known. This includes their own eagerness to learn about other nations. The folding-in of the globe, whose farthest distance is now connected with its nearest, makes this easier.

With God's help I have collected all possible information about European inventions related to economic and administrative policies, with reference to their situation in earlier times. I have shown their progress in the governance of mankind, which has led to the utmost point of prosperity for their countries. I have also noted the superiority formerly held by the Islamic umma (as attested by even the most important European historians) in the two fields of knowledge and prosperity at a time when the shari'a exerted its influence on the umma's conditions, and all conduct was regulated accordingly.
The purpose in mentioning how the European kingdoms attained their present strength and worldly power is that we may choose what is suitable to our own circumstance which at the same time supports and is in accordance with our shari'a. Then, we may be able to restore what was taken from our hands and by use of it overcome the present predicament of negligence existing among us.
In addition, other material which the reader might properly expect on such a subject, including observations based either on precedent or reasoning, will be found throughout the several chapters.

I have called the book The Surest Path to Knowledge Concerning the Conditions of Countries. It is made up of an introduction and two books, each of which has several chapters.
With the guidance of God we seek the paths of integrity and correctness. Should this prove to be above my own powers, the indulgence of my distinguished readers is to be hoped for as a means of averting my own poverty. And good intentions are, if the All-High God so wills, a sufficient guarantee to the attainment of aspirations.

The motive for a work is its true beginning. Therefore it is appropriate that we set out our motive in writing. Nor will we be content to indicate what compelled us to compose this work. Rather we believe it important to build certain arguments upon it. Our incentive is a desire to accomplish two tasks leading to one ultimate goal.
The first task is to spur on those statesmen and savants having zeal and resolution to seek all possible ways of improving the condition of the Islamic umma and of promoting the means of its development by such things as expanding the scope of the sciences and knowledge, smoothing the paths to wealth in agriculture and commerce, promoting all the industries, and eliminating the causes of idleness. The basic requirement is good government, from which is born that security, hope, and proficiency in work to be seen in the European kingdoms. No further evidence is needed of this.
The second task is to warn the heedless among the Muslim masses against their persistent opposition to the behavior of others that is praiseworthy and in conformity with our Holy Law, simply because they are possessed with the idea that all behavior and organizations of non-Muslims must be renounced, their books must be cast out and not mentioned, and anyone praising such things should be disavowed. This attitude is a mistake under any circumstances.

There is no reason to reject or ignore something which is correct and demonstrable simply because it comes from others, especially if we had formerly possessed it and it had been taken from us. On the contrary, there is an obligation to restore it and put it to use. Anyone devoted to religion should not be deterred from initiating the commendable actions related to worldly interests of one religiously misguided. This is what the French have done. By ceaselessly emulating what they deem good in the work of others, they have attained the sound organization of their affairs in this world to be witnessed by all. Discriminating critics must sift out the truth by a probing examination of the thing concerned, whether it be word or deed. If they find it to be correct, they should accept and adopt it whether or not its originator be from among the faithful. It is not according to the person that truth is known. Rather, it is by truth that the person is known. W isdom is the goal of the believer. One is to take it wherever one finds it.
When Salman the Persian [a companion of the Prophet], may God be pleased with him, indicated to the Prophet of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, that the Persians had a custom, when besieged by the enemy, of surrounding their cities with a moat as a protection against attack, the Prophet of God, may God bless him and grant him peace, took his advice and dug a moat around Medina when it was attacked. He even worked in it himself in order to exhort the Muslims. 'Ali [ibn Abi Talib, son-in-law and fourth successor of the Prophet, reigned 656-661], may God honor him, has said, "Do not pay attention to who spoke, but pay attention to what was said." If it was permissible for the virtuous ancestors to take such things as logic from outside their own religious community, and to translate it from Greek when they saw it as being among the beneficial instruments—so much so that [Abu Hamid Muhammad] al-Ghazzali [1058- 1111] said, "The learning of a man having no knowledge of logic is not to be trusted"—then what objection can there be today to our adopting certain skills that we see we greatly need in order to resist intrigues and attract benefits?

In the Sunan al-Muhtadin [Traditions of the Rightly Guided] by the Maliki scholar Shaykh al-Mawwaq [Abu 'Abdullah al-Gharnati, Andalusian judge, died 1492] is found the following, "The acts of non-Muslims which we have forbidden are those which violate the requirements of our canon law. There is no need to abandon acts practiced by non-Muslims that are in accordance with the shari'a categories of obligatory, recommended or permissible because the Holy Law does not forbid the imitation of anyone who does what God permits."
On the margin of Durr al-Mukhtar [The Selected Pearls] by the learned Shaykh Muhammad Ibn ' Abidin al-Hanafi [jurist of Damascus, 1783-1836] is found the following, "There is no harm in imitation of that which is linked to the good of the believers."
Actually, if we reflect on the situation of those critical Muslims and the European actions they approve of, we find them refusing to accept tanzimat [administrative reforms of the nineteenth century] and its results, while not avoiding other things which harm them. We see them vying with each other in clothing, home furnishings, and such everyday needs just as in weapons and all military requirements. The truth is that all of these things are European products. There is no hiding the disgrace and the deficiencies in economic development and public policy which overtake the umma as a result. The disgrace is our needing outsiders for most necessities, indicating the backwardness of the umma in skills. The shortcoming in economic development is the failure to use our country's industries to process the goods we have produced, for this should be a major source of gain. Corroboration of this statement is in seeing, for example, our shepherd, or silk farmer or cotton farmer, defying fatigue for the entire year, sell the produce of his labor to the European for a cheap price, and then in a short time buy it back, after it has been processed, at a price several times higher. In sum, we now get only the value of our land's raw materials. We receive none of the increased value resulting from the manufacturing process, the basic means of creating abundance, both for us and for others. Under these circumstances, if we considered the total of what is exported from the kingdom and compared it with the imports and found that the two approximate each other, it would be the lesser of two evils, for if the value of imports exceeds the exports, ruin will unavoidably take place.

As for political imperfections, the kingdom's need for others stands as an obstacle to its independence and a weakener of its vigor, especially when linked to the need for military necessities, which if easy to purchase in peacetime are not easy in time of war, even at many times the value. There is no reason for all this except European technical progress resulting from tanzimat based on justice and liberty. How can a thinking man deprive himself of something which, in itself, he approves of? How can he lightly turn down what will benefit him, simply because of unfounded misgivings and misplaced caution? It is worth mentioning in this connection the statement of a European author on military policy, "Kingdoms which do not keep pace with the military inventions and tactics of their neighbors risk becoming, sooner or later, their prey." He singles out military matters because that is the subject of his book, but it is equally necessary to keep up with one's neighbors in all aspects of progress, military or non-military. Supporting what we have related is the statement of the Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, to 'Asim bin Thabit [companion of the Prophet, died 625] in the hadith, "Let him who fights, fight as his adversary fights." The meaning of this hadith is made clear in the advice of Abu Bakr [first caliph, reigned 632-634] to Khalid ibn al-Walid [Muslim general, died 642], may God be pleased with both of them, when he sent him to fight the apostates. He said, "O Khalid, may the strength and support of God be conveyed through you to those with you," and he went on to say, "May the people of al-Yamama be seized with fear. After entering their country, match caution with caution. When you meet a fighting party, fight them with the same weapons they use to fight you—arrow for arrow, spear for spear, sword for sword." If Abu Bakr had known this age, he would have said instead cannon, rifles, armored ships, and other such inventions needed for defense. Without these the state of preparation imposed by the Holy Law will not be attained. This requires knowledge of the capabilities of any potential aggressor and an effort to mobilize against him equal or superior strength, which also entails a knowledge of the means leading to this goal. For this reason it can be asked, can we today attain such a level of preparation without progress in the skills and bases of growth to be seen among others? Can this progress be successful without our implementing political tanzimat comparable to those we see among others? These institutions are based on two pillars—justice and liberty—both of which are sources in our own Holy Law. It is well known that these two are the prerequisites for strength and soundness in all kingdoms. Therefore we must press on to the purpose of this book which is to reveal the conditions of the European nations, including what might be suitable for the Islamic umma.

The present situation in the kingdoms of Europe has not long been firmly established. After the attacks of the northern barbarians and the fall of the Roman Empire in 476, Europe fell into a shocking state of savagery, lawlessness and oppression, beginning a movement of decline—which is naturally quicker than that of advance. Europe remained in the noose of slavery to its kings and oppressive grandees of the several nations, called noblesse, until the rule of Emperor Charlemagne [742-814], king of France, and most of the kingdoms of Europe in 768. He exerted every effort to improve the condition of the people by striving to promote knowledge, and in other ways. Then, after his death, Europe returned to its darkest period of ignorance and oppression by its rulers, as will be shown in detail. It is not to be imagined that Europe's peoples arrived at their present state because of a marked fertility or temperateness of its regions, for similar or even better conditions are found in other parts of the world. Nor is it due to the influence of their Christian religion. Although it does urge the enforcement of justice and equality before the law, Christianity does not interfere in political behavior, because it is founded on the concept of retirement from the world and asceticism. Even Jesus, upon him be peace, forbade his disciples from opposing the kings of this world in what relates to politics saying that he did not have dominion over this world, for the authority of his holy law was over the spirits and not the bodies.

Also, the imperfections existing in the provinces of the pope [in Rome], leader of the Christian religion, because of his unwillingness to imitate the political ordering recognized in the rest of the European kingdoms, is a clear sign of what we have mentioned. Rather, Europe has attained these ends and progress in the sciences and industries through tanzimat based on political justice, by smoothing the roads to wealth, and by extracting treasures of the earth with their knowledge of agriculture and commerce. The essential prerequisite for all of this is security and justice, which have become the normal condition in their lands. It is God's custom in His world that justice, good management, and an administrative system duly complied with be the causes of an increase in wealth, peoples, and property, but that the contrary should cause a diminution in all of these things. This is well known from our Holy Law and from both Islamic and non-Islamic histories. The Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, has said, "Justice brings glory to the religion, probity to constituted authority and strength to all orders of the people, high and low. Justice guarantees the security and well-being of all subjects." A Persian maxim affirms, "The king is the foundation, and justice is the guardian. What has no foundation will be destroyed, and [what has] no guardian will be lost." The Nasa'ih al-Muluk [Advice to Kings, by al-Ghazzali] asserts that the possessor of authority needs a thousand qualities, all of which can be grouped into two. If he acts by these two he will be just. They are providing for the country's prosperity and the security of its subjects.

Anyone who leafs through the third section of Book One of Muqaddima [The Prolegomenon], by Ibn Khaldun [1332-1406], will find conclusive proof that oppression foreshadows the ruin of civilization, whatever its previous condition. Man's natural propensities are such that unrestricted authority for kings brings about some kind of oppression. This has occurred today in certain Islamic kingdoms. It happened in European kingdoms during those centuries when royal despots had absolute power over God's creatures, without the restraint either of ordinances based on reason, since that was incompatible with their appetites, or of religious law , this being nonexistent in Christianity, which is built on retirement from the world and asceticism, as has been said. That some of the European kingdoms were on the verge of vanishing and losing their independence was due solely to their poor conduct resulting from the unlimited authority of kings, which is to be contrasted with the good behavior of their neighbors at that time from among the Islamic umma. This was the result of their rulers being restricted by shari'a laws applicable to both religious and secular matters. Among its carefully guarded principles are the release of the creature from the exigency of his own passions, the protection of the rights of mankind, whether Muslim or not, and consideration of the public interest appropriate to the time and the circumstances, giving priority to averting corruption over that of advancing the public interest, carrying out the lesser of two evils when one is necessary, and other matters of this nature.

Among the most important of the shari'a principles is the duty of shura [consultation] with which God charged His impeccable Prophet, may God bless him and grant him peace, although Muhammad could have dispensed with this since he received inspiration directly from God, and also because of the many perfections which God had placed in him. The underlying reason for this obligation upon the Prophet was that it should become a tradition incumbent upon later rulers.
Ibn al-'Arabi [Andalusian jurist, 1076-1148] has said, "Consultation is one of the foundations of the religion and God's rule for the two worlds. It is a duty imposed upon all men from the prophet to the least of creatures." Among the sayings of 'Ali, may God be pleased with him, is, "There can be no right behavior when consultation has been omitted." One of the principles upon which there is consensus is that every adult Muslim knowledgeable of what is forbidden is obliged to resist any forbidden act. Al-Ghazzali, the proof of Islam, has said, "The caliphs and kings of Islam want to be refuted, even if they should be in the pulpit."

'Umar ibn al-Khattab [second caliph, 634-644], may God be pleased with him, once said while preaching, "O people, let him among you who sees any deviation in me set it right." A man stood up and said, "By God, if we saw in you deviation we would rectify it with our swords." 'Umar replied, "Praise God who created in this umma him who would rectify with his sword my deviations." There can be no doubt that if a just imam [leader] such as 'Umar, vigorous in defending religion and the rights of the caliphate, had not believed such a harsh retort to be in accordance with the shari'a, he would not have praised God but would have been impelled to oppose it and to rebuke the man who spoke. Al-Ghazzali relates also in the section on "Commanding the Good and Forbidding the Evil" in the Ihya' [Revival] that Mu'awiyya [ibn Abi Sufyan, caliph, 661-680] withheld the people's allowances, and Abu Muslim al-Khawlani [famous ascetic, died 682] came before him saying, "This is not from your toil, nor from that of your father or mother." Mu'awiyya, after stilling his anger with water for ritual ablution, replied, "Abu Muslim is right. This is not the result of my toil nor my father's. Come forward for your allowances."

Without this type of resistance to authority, kingship would not be proper for mankind, because some form of restraint is essential for the maintenance of the human species, but if people exercising this restraint were left to do as they please and rule as they see fit, the fruits to be expected from this need to have a restrainer would not appear to the umma, and the original state of neglect would remain unheeded. It is essential that the restrainer should in turn have a restrainer to provide a check, either in the form of a heavenly shari'a or a policy based on reason, but neither of these can defend its rights if they be violated. For this reason it is incumbent upon the 'ulama' and the notables of the umma to resist evil. The Europeans have established councils and have given freedom to the printing presses. In the Islamic umma, the kings fear those who resist evil, just as the kings of Europe fear the councils and the opinions of the masses that proceed from them and from the freedom of the press. The aim of the two [that is, European and Muslim] is the same: to demand an accounting from the state in order that its conduct may be upright, even if the roads leading to this end may differ. Ibn Khaldun has referred to what we have mentioned in the chapter on the imamate in his Muqaddima in saying, "Since kingship is an expression of the essential grouping together of humans, and its basic characteristic is domination and force, both of which stem from irradicable strength rooted in mankind, the judgments of the holder of authority usually turn aside from the right and are unjust to whoever is under him, for he usually demands of them that which is not within their power. This is because of his appetites. For this reason it is difficult to obey him. Group feeling is produced leading to turmoil and fighting. For this reason it is necessary to return to imposed political laws to which the masses will submit and let themselves be led to their authority as was the case with the Persians and other nations. If the dynasty violates such a policy its position will not be well established and its control will be incomplete. If these laws are imposed by the wisest, most important and most discriminating persons in the state then it is a policy based on human reason. If it is imposed from God All-High by means of a prophet who determines it, it is then a religious policy valid both for this world and the next."
The aforementioned benefit will be realized only if it remains respected through being preserved and protected by such precepts as commanding the good and forbidding the evil, as we have said.

Nor do we deny the possibility of finding among kings one who conducts himself properly in the kingdom without consulting "those qualified to loosen and bind" [political power brokers], and is moved by the love of justice to seek the aid of an informed loyal minister to advise him in complicated matters of public interest. However, this is rare and not to be taken into account, as it depends on qualities which are seldom combined in a single person—and even assuming these qualities were combined in a permanent manner in one person, they would disappear with his death. Thus we must assert that the participation of those qualified to loosen and bind with the kings in all policy matters (with responsibility for administration of the kingdom placed upon the ministers directly responsible, in accordance with precise, well-observed ordinances) is the situation most likely to bring about what is best for the kingdom. It is, at the same time, the best safeguard for the king.

Consideration of human nature thus makes it clear that there are only three types of kings. A king might possess complete knowledge, love what would benefit the country, and be capable of implementing the public interests through discriminating supervision. Or he might possess complete knowledge but have personal aims or appetites that would prevent him from carrying out the general public interests. Or he might be both lacking in knowledge and deficient in executive ability. These same three types can apply to the chief minister as well. It is clear that the obligation of consultation and ministerial responsibility in the case of the first type would not impede the complete knowledge from achieving its good purpose. Rather it would help him, since the opinions of all are an aid in attaining the public interest, just as this facilitates the maintenance of the monarchy in the king's family. If kings are more nearly like the last two types, then the imperative nature of consultation and responsibility would be clear, out of the need for opposition in the second case and for assistance in the third. In this way the condition of the kingdom is set right even if the governor is a prisoner of his appetites or is weak in judgment. As the translator of [John] Stuart Mill [English thinker, 1806-1873] has said, "The English nation reached its highest peak during the reign of George III [reigned 1760-1820], who was mad." This was only through the participation of those qualified to loosen and bind, to whom the ministers were responsible.

It might occur to some weak minds that to entrust with responsibility a minister endowed with good reputation would repair the disadvantages of the last two types, so there would be no need for those qualified to loosen and bind. This is manifestly a mistake, because the matter of advancing a minister to executive power or of removing him is in the hands of the king, and it is not to be imagined that the king would advance someone whom he knows would offer serious opposition to him. Assuming, however, that such a minister were appointed and his conduct commendable, then his situation would turn upon two possibilities. Either he would agree with the king and his retinue in their aims and appetites, showing in a manner hardly to be hidden that his own interests outweighed any concern about the harm done to the kingdom. Or he could oppose them and order those functionaries under him to carry out what the interests of the country require. In that case, where would he get this right and by means of what support would he be able to triumph over that opposition, especially if there is no Holy Law in operation to protect him from the factiousness of his enviers, whose fondest hopes would be to do him harm and in every way available to them to stop his beneficial activities which tend to diminish their personal profit? They might do this by carrying out his orders other than the way intended, or by delaying them beyond the appropriate time in order to make manifest the defects and increase the errors, or by hiding his good qualities and making public his bad qualities in order to turn hearts against him. One of the supplications of 'Ali, may God be pleased with him, was, "God protect me from an enemy who carefully watches me. If he sees something good in me he conceals it, but if he sees bad he divulges it."

If God frustrates their hopes by granting such a minister success in his efforts to administer the kingdom, then they fall back on the tactic of defaming him before the king, saying, "He is acting independently of you. You are king only in name," and other such stories of the type spread by the unrighteous, which could find acceptance even among the thinking man who has not been forewarned, especially in eastern countries. How then in such a situation would it be possible for the minister to carry out the administration of the kingdom within the framework of the public interest, when this entails opposing the man who is both the judge and the plaintiff? Because of this second set of obstacles, the aforementioned minister is obliged either to choose the first situation of conformity and adopt the ways of dissimulation with the disastrous consequences resulting in harm to the homeland, the king, and even to himself, because the sweetness of agreement with the appetites in a situation out of which results destruction of the kingdom will later be followed by the bitterness of remorse, or the minister is obliged to resign from government service once and for all, for even if not for self-protection then in order to escape the consequences of concurring in what would lead to the destruction of the kingdom, which would necessitate punishment for the creator and censure of the creature. He may be permitted to endanger himself for the good of the country, but not his honor and reputation. The obedience to the king and the love of country required of him are realized only by his striving to advise on how to promote the public interest and ward off corruption, if he is able to do this. If not, then he must withhold his agreement to anything which would cause harm. Failing this, then his agreement, with the knowledge of the harm which would ensue, is treason.

It is clear from this that kingdoms administered without regular and well-observed laws under the supervision of those qualified to loosen and bind will be limited in their best and their worst to the person of the king. The extent of success will depend on his ability and probity. This is shown in the situation of the European kingdoms in past centuries, before the establishment of laws, for during that time they had ministers famous to this day for their complete knowledge and valor. Yet they were unable to cut the roots of imperfection growing out of the two types of royal tyranny referred to above. It should not be said that the participation of those qualified to loosen and bind with the princes in all aspects of policy would be a restriction of the imam's jurisdiction or of his executive powers. This is an illusion which can be dispelled by reading Qawanin al-Wizara [Ordinances of Government], by ['Ali ibn Muhammad] al-Mawardi [Iraq, circa 974-1058]. He has said in explaining the delegated vizierate: "This occurs when the imam chooses a vizier to whom he delegates authority to administer affairs as he sees fit and to implement them in accordance with his own independent judgment. The authority of this type of vizierate is not restricted, for God all High has related the speech of His prophet Moses, upon him be peace, 'Appoint for me a helper [wazir] from among my people, my brother Aaron. Increase my strength with him and cause him to share my task.' So, if this is permissible for the prophethood, it is even more permissible for the imamate."

Therefore, if the imam's sharing his power with the delegated vizierate in the aforementioned manner is permissible and is not deemed a diminution of his general executive authority, then his sharing of power with a group—those qualified to loosen and bind—in all aspects of policy is even more permissible, because a group of opinions is more likely to attain the correct answer. For this reason when 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, made succession to the caliphate a matter of consultation among six persons, he said, "If you divide two against four, then decide in favor of the four"— Sayyid al-Sanad [reference unclear] adds the commentary that his preference was for the majority, since their opinion was more likely to be correct— "and if you are equally divided then decide in favor of the party which includes 'Abd al-Rahman ibn 'Awf [a companion of the Prophet, died circa 652]."

On the other hand, al-Maula Sa'd al-Din [Taftazani, 1332-1389] in the Sharh al-'Aqa'id [Explanation of "The Creed"] does not even disallow the sharing of the executive authority of the imamate. He restricts his disallowing of multiplicity to whatever might create corruption. As he has stated in the course of an exposition, "The unauthorized imamate is the appointment of two independent imams with obedience owed to each of them separately, for this could create an obligation to obey conflicting ordinances, but all forms of consultation with a single imam are authorized." This is because the multiplicity of persons in no way contradicts the unity of the imamate, which is linked to the unity of commanding and forbidding. Commentators on Sa'd, such as 'Isam al-Din [probably al-Isfara'ini, died circa 1544] and 'Abd al-Hakim [possibly Siyalkuti, died 1657], have approved his statement, and [Ahmad ibn Musa] al-Khayali [died circa 1457] confirmed it in saying, "This also is to be agreed to." In sum, they all recognize the soundness of Sa'd's statement. It is thus clear how even more explicitly acceptable is consultation in general policy matters in the sense referred to here, for this is less extensive than consultation in all executive acts. In the former type of consultation there is no restriction upon either the general scope or the basic prerogatives of the imamate, for the view of those qualified to loosen and bind would be tantamount to that of the imam. It should also be noted that the imam is the one who would promulgate any decision, as he is the one having exclusive charge of implementation and direction, just as he has exclusive authority over executive activities not requiring the association of others, such as carrying out political and commercial relations with foreigners, appointing and dismissing administrators, execution of all judgments, and other such executive actions which are the very bases of the unity of command. Additional evidence is to be found in the words of the Imam Ibn al-'Arabi, who said on the subject of special taxes taken from the people when the treasury is empty, "they should be taken publicly not secretly, the sums should be spent justly not appropriated exclusively, and in accordance with the views of the public, not arbitrarily."

As an additional element of clarification, let us try to understand this by means of a parable. The owner of a large garden, for example, in the management and care of his trees would not be able to do without the assistance of helpers knowledgeable about trees and what causes them to prosper or wither. Now it might happen that the owner of the garden wanted to cut some of the branches of his trees, believing that would strengthen the roots and increase the fruit, but his helpers disagreed, knowing from the basic principles of cultivation that pruning at that time would kill the tree at the roots. In such circumstances, to obstruct the owner's wish could not be considered a restriction on the scope of his supervision or his complete executive authority in his garden. Or the helpers might attempt to stop the owner in what he wanted to do because of the Holy Law. For example, if the owner should wish to sell the fruit before it was ripe, they would indicate to him that such action would displease the Creator of the trees, who is the true owner. This might oblige him to accept their advice in these two cases; but if not, the blame would fall upon him, and he would deserve to be deprived of the garden. Can it be argued that this was a restriction on the owner of the garden, when giving him his way would have been contrary to divine wisdom that the production of the world and the exploitation of the earth is for the sons of Adam? It is true that the yield from the garden belongs to its owner, but whether it belongs to him, to someone else, or even if his position was—as 'Umar, may God be pleased with him, said—like that of the orphan's guardian, one should not think that such action is a restriction upon the owner. It is well known that the imam's freedom of action concerning the condition of his subjects does not extend beyond the limits of the public interest. Furthering the interests of the umma and managing its policies are matters which do not come easily to everyone. In such circumstances, to obstruct his will when he does something beyond the limits of permissible action is, as we have explained, a means of liberation from the unsoundness of that argument. Thus, there can be no prohibition on the type of consultation which has already been described. Whoever gives due attention to the matter of necessity, as Shaykh Ibn al-'Arabi has done (for he is our source in all that we have previously stated), would not hesitate to assert that this is necessary especially in these times characterized by a dearth of knowledge and an abundance of tyranny. In a conversation I had with a European notable, I was praising at length their king and mentioning his great knowledge of political fundamentals, when he replied that the king by his very nature and intelligence was incapable of acting in the wrong manner. "Then why," I asked, "are you so sparing in granting him freedom of action in government, and why do you wish to participate with him in the affairs of the kingdom, for you concede that given his qualities no such participation is needed?" He replied, "Who will guarantee to us that he and his descendants after him shall remain upright?"

Since what we have been presenting on this subject indicates that liberty is the basis of the great development of knowledge and civilization in the European kingdoms, we believe it imperative to demonstrate the meaning of liberty in actual practice, in order to avert any possible ambiguity.
The expression "liberty" is used by Europeans in two senses. One is called "personal liberty." This is the individual's complete freedom of action over one's self and property, and the protection of one's person, honor, and wealth. Each is equal before the law to others of the race, so that no individuals need fear encroachment upon their person nor any of their other rights. They would not be prosecuted for anything not provided for in the laws of the land, duly determined before the courts. In general, the laws bind both the rulers and the subjects. Liberty in this sense exists in all the European countries except the Papal State and the Muscovite state, for these two are despotisms. Although these two possess established laws, this is not enough to protect the rights of the umma, for the influence of those laws depends on the will of the king.
The second sense of liberty is political liberty, which is the demand of the subjects to participate in the politics of the kingdom and to discuss the best course of action. This is similar to what the second caliph, 'Umar ibn al-Khattab, may God be pleased with him, referred to in saying, "Whoever among you sees any crookedness, then let him set it straight," meaning any deviation in his conduct or governance of the umma.

Since the granting of liberty in this sense to all the people is most likely to cause a divergence of views and result in confusion, the people instead elect from among those possessing knowledge and virtue a group called by the Europeans the Chamber of General Deputies. We would call them those qualified to loosen and bind, even though this [latter] group is not elected by the people. This is because the avoidance of the reprehensible in our shari'a is in the category of those responsibilities which can be delegated. If some members of the community assume the responsibility, then the obligation is removed from the rest of the community. When such a group is so designated, this responsibility becomes a strictly prescribed obligation upon them.

The Chamber of Deputies is to be found in all European kingdoms except the Papal State and Russia. The chamber has the right to discuss in the presence of the ministers and other statesmen which lines of state policy seem to be beneficial or the contrary, and other such matters affecting the public interest, as will be seen.
In addition to this there remains to the public something else which is called freedom of the press, that is, people cannot be prevented from writing what seems to them to be in the public interest, in books or newspapers which can be read by the public. Or they can present their views to the state or the chambers, even if this includes opposition to the state's policy.

In this matter there are differences among the European states. There are those who have obtained this second liberty with the first, thus achieving absolute liberty. In others, the rulers have granted the people the second liberty subject to important conditions, for these governments have refused their subjects rights which it would be easy to bestow upon subjects of other states. This is because the conditions of kingdoms vary according to the aims of their subjects. Some subjects resist their kings only in order to have the right of opposing the state if it turns aside from the straight path, and to draw it toward a policy of benefit to the kingdom. In such circumstances it is easy for kings to grant complete liberty, because the ruler and the subjects share the same aim regarding the public interest.

There are those subjects who suppose that the reason for the struggle is to exacerbate factionalism and fanaticism, so that the subjects are divided into parties, with each seeking the policy which it believes most beneficial for the kingdom. Some believe the state should be a republic. Some would choose the monarch from a different family than the one favored by others. This causes the dynasty to believe that the opposition of the various parties, even if it appears to be confined to returning the state to the paths of public interest, actually hides an ulterior motive. As a result of this belief, some kings deem it permissible to abstain from granting complete liberty. This leads to the consequences already mentioned.
One of the duties in kingdoms that have granted liberty, even if only personal liberty, is that its subjects should repay having received this blessing by working to bring about its possible consequences and benefits. They can do this by concerning themselves with the various branches of knowledge and all kinds of industries, which can be reduced to four basic categories: agriculture, commerce, physical work, and intellectual activity. These four categories are the foundation of material well-being, which causes the growth of human ambition, and are a complement to liberty, which is based on justice and the sound organization of society.

Artisans, for example, must feel secure against being despoiled of any of the fruits of their labor or hampered in certain aspects of their work. What does it profit a people to have fertile lands with bountiful crops if the sowers cannot realize the harvest of what they have planted? Who then will venture to sow it? Because of the faint hope of the people in many lands of Asia and Africa, you find the most fertile fields uncultivated and neglected. There can be no doubt that the hostile action against property cuts off hopes, and with the severance of hope comes the severance of activities, until finally destitution becomes so pervasive that it leads to annihilation.

Among the most important things the Europeans have gathered from the lofty tree of liberty are the improvements in communications by means of railroads, support for commercial societies, and the attention given to technical training. By means of the railroads, products can be imported from distant lands quickly enough to be useful, whereas their importation was formerly impossible. They would have spoiled en route or the freight costs would have been several times the value of the goods.

With these societies the circulation of capital is expanded, profits increase accordingly, and wealth is put into the hands of the most proficient who can cause it to increase.
Through technical training wealth gains the necessary means of productive activity from among the ranks of those without capital. We have seen that the countries which have progressed to the highest ranks of prosperity are those having established the roots of liberty and the constitution, synonymous with political tanzimat. Their peoples have reaped its benefits by directing their efforts to the interests of the world in which they live. One of the benefits of liberty is complete control over the conduct of commerce. If people lose the assurance that their property will be protected, they are compelled to hide it. Then it becomes impossible for them to put it into circulation.
In general, if liberty is lost in the kingdom, then comfort and wealth will disappear, and poverty and high prices will overwhelm its peoples. Their perceptiveness and zeal will be weakened, as both logic and experience reveal.


((The translation of the above works was derived from:
Charles Kurzman (ed.), Modernist Islam: A Sourcebook (Oxford University Press, 2002)​
Some very minor elements were edited by myself, but no meanings were altered in the process.))
 
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الخديوية المصرية
al-Khadawiyya al-Misriyya

Muhammad_Sharif_Pasha.JPG


Letter to Khayr al-Din Pasha al-Tunisi in France
Sir, the Khedive and I have had the pleasure of reading a recent article featuring an excerpt from one of your works, and the consensus is that many of Egypt's statesmen are very much impressed with your vision and arguments. His Majesty, after looking more carefully into your background and experience, as well as the unfortunate series of events which forced you into self-imposed exile in France, finds that a person of your skill, vision, and capabilities is wasted in France. We hereby extend to you a formal invitation to come to Egypt and take up Egyptian citizenship and a role in His Majesty's government. We can assure you that in Egypt your vision is welcomed and your ambitions for truly shura-led governance has for many years been the worked-towards ideal. I very much look forward to your response.

In Friendship from His Majesty's Government,
NAZIR of the NIZARA for FOREIGN AFFAIRS, Mohammad Sharif Pasha
 

Kho

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الخديوية المصرية
al-Khadawiyya al-Misriyya

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Majlis Shura al-Nuwwab: Regarding Elections, and Official Confirmation of the Hikmadar Liwa' of Abyssinia and his Deputy
Respected elders, 'ulema, chiefs, 'umdas; nuwwab, it has now been nearly three years since this house was elected and quick approaches the date of this Majlis' dissolution. New delegates are scheduled to be elected in the upcoming year, thus reaffirming and steadying Egypt's tentative transition towards shura-led governance. The majority of you, before the opening of this Majlis three years ago, had never had any direct involvement with the day-to-day affairs of the government, the responsibilities and obligations expected of you were new and unfamiliar. Egypt held its breath in fear and anticipation, and many expected that the experiment would not last long. I cannot say that it has been easy, and I do not envy you the difficult decisions and crises you have been laden with over these last three years - the most recent of which passed not more than a few weeks ago. But you persevered and endured, and here we are three years later. The house yet stands, against all odds, against the pessimism of all those who thought the Khedival state too mired in despotism and autocracy. May God bless you all, and may God bless our endeavours to see His divinely ordained form of government applied.

The Majlis has convened today specifically to make official and recognise certain individuals whose actions during the Ottoman coup attempt ensured the safety of Egypt and her peoples in Abyssinia and the Sudan. These regions are an integral part of Egypt, their peoples as much Egyptian as those in Cairo or Alexandria, and their loyalty unparalleled.

Due to services honourably and loyally rendered to the state during a time of crisis, and due also to skilful galvanisation of the peoples of Abyssinia and the Sudan to acts of valour in defence of the nation, Amir Liwa' [Major General] Ja'far Sadiq Pasha was recently promoted to the rank of Fariq [Lieutenant General] by the Nizara of War. This house, with the assent of His Majesty, would now also officially appoint Ja'far Sadiq Pasha as Hikmadar Liwa' [Governor General] of Abyssinia. Even before commands from Alexandria reached Ja'far Sadiq Pasha, he had set about cooperating with local leaders - and with the Pope himself - so as to raise the Army of Abyssinia and secure the stability of all regions south of Aswan in the name of Egypt and the legitimate government. Such acts of bravery and initiative to protect Egypt are an example to us all and are most deserving of recognition and reward.

Also, for courage and loyalty during the hour of crisis, and for his vital support in mobilising the fierce warriors of the Tigray region, Lij Kassay Mercha, governor of Tigray, is hereby awarded the honorary rank of Pasha. This house also notes that the Nizara of War has made the Pasha an Amir Liwa' of the Egyptian army, an act I am sure all the honourable members approve of and applaud. Kassay Mercha Pasha is also confirmed, by this house, as the governor of Tigray and is appointed as the deputy-Hikmadar Liwa' of Abyssinia. The Pasha stands as a living testament to the brotherhood, respect, and loyalty felt by all Egyptians - no matter their ethnicities, religions, or origins - to one another, and their willingness to stand firm in support of the government when it has none but the people to prop it up and protect it.

I have no doubt that just as we do today look back on our illustrious history to admire the likes of Khedive Ibrahim Pasha and Khedive Mohammad 'Ali Pasha, just as we are awed by the great acts of Sulayman Pasha al-Faransawi and many others, the Egyptians of the future will look back upon Ja'far Sadiq Pasha and Kassay Mercha Pasha - and many of our contemporaries - as the heroes of yet another great Egyptian generation which built upon what its predecessor had left for it.

Isma'il Raghib Pasha
President of Majlis Shura al-Nuwwab,
Bashma'un [Assisstant] to His Excellency
 

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Austria in the age of the Viennese Waltz

"Gold and Silver" by Lehár, composed well ahead of this era
but a good example of elements common to best waltzes of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

Before the waltz, popular dances were communal set routines, stuck to a preset pattern, and with each couple moving as if part of a larger organism. The waltz changed this and the focus became the couples going about their very which way in a method that balanced harmony with individualism. In the Viennese Waltz the dancers are constantly turning either in a clockwise--natural--or counter-clockwise--reverse--direction, interspersed with non-rotating change steps to switch between the direction of rotation. A true Viennese waltz consists only of turns and change steps, without additional flourishes as the French would later add.

The origins of the waltz were in the folk dances of the peasants of Bavaria, Tyrol, and Styria. They began dancing a dance called Walzer, a dance for couples, around 1750. The Ländler, a country dance in 3/4 time, was popular in Austria, Bohemia, and Bavaria, and spread from the countryside to the suburbs of the city. While the eighteenth century the upper classes continued to dance the minuet, many a bored noblemen slipped away to the balls of their servants while staying in their country estates. After being spread to Great Britain during the Regency the Waltz would become more than a regional Austrian dance and gained international popularity.

By the 1860s the waltz had shed upper class hostility and it had become a mainstay of the ball season in the major cities of Europe. Owing to patronage from the nobility, in Vienna the Strauss family reigned as kings of the waltz. Along with his dear friend and friendly rival Joseph Lanner, the elder Strauss popularized the folk melodies of the countryside and packaged them for the city dwellers to appreciate. Strauss' sons added their original compositions such as the famous An der schönen blauen Donau, written by the junior Strauss. Even the prickly Brahms found much to admire in the Blue Danube; once, when asked for an autograph from Strauss Jr.'s stepdaughter Brahams wrote the first bars of the Blue Danube and then added below them, "Alas! Not by Johannes Brahms!"

The height of waltzing season in Vienna was February's Hofball at the palace. The Kaiser and his routine would show up promptly at 8:30 in the evening and signal the start of a night of festivities. The sight made a great impression on the French composer Hector Berlioz, who attended a ball in the 1840s. He would marvel at the great mass of dancers, some 200 or so, gliding round the Redoutensaal--the largest room in the entire palace--both quite precisely and organically at the same time. At the head of the hall stood the elder Strauss, now in the 1860s it would be one of his children, directing his orchestra and throwing in one or two new pieces to test on his noble audience.

The Kaiser was not much of a dancer but his wife was; he looked forward to the day when all that would be expected of him would be an hour so chatting with the crowd before he could melt back into the quiet of his private apartments. Alas, he was still a young man and expected to take part in the festivities. Such events were useful to make himself known to the most powerful of his subjects and he had gained many new subjects with his acquisition of Poland. Much as his wife favored the Hungarians, Franz Joseph had begun to champion the Poles who were among his most loyal of subjects. The Poles had their own dances that were becoming popular in the Empire; Chopin's mazurki had become especially popular with the nobility and the middle classes across all of the Habsburg lands after Poland's acquisition from Russia. This particular dance was also based on folk traditions and was more lively than the waltz given its triple meter, usually set a lively tempo.

By the late 1860s the many musical traditions of the Habsburg Empire were creating a dynamic center of creativity in Vienna, sustained by long-standing public interest in the arts and new wealth from banking and commerce. Generous private patronage of the arts ensured an unparalleled level of significant works being produced by Austrians in the arts. Widespread public support ensured government funding for programs that attracted the best talents in Central Europe and beyond to make their homes in Austria. It was this flowering relationship between culture and commerce would help cement Austria's status as European social trendsetter.
 
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Treaty of Quito

On this day, September 2, 1868, the signing powers of the Peru-Bolivian Confederation (henceforth referred to as "Peru-Bolivia"), the Federal Republic of Ecuador (henceforth referred to as "Ecuador"), and the United States of Colombia (henceforth referred to as "Colombia"), in the interests of regional peace and stability, hereby agree to the following terms:

Article I. Peru-Bolivia, Ecuador, and Colombia agree to an immediate cessation of all hostilities.

Article II. Peru-Bolivia agrees to cede the land indicated in Appendix A, renouncing all claims to said land in perpetuity.

Article III. Peru-Bolivia shall pay £23,370 (2m statbucks) to Colombia in reparations to pay for damages and as compensation to the families of deceased soldiers.

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[X] Jose Maria Quijano Wallis, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the United States of Colombia
[X] Mariano Donato Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru-Bolivia
[X] Agustín Guerrero Lizarzaburu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ecuador
 
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[X} Mariano Donato Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Peru-Bolivia
 

Frymonmon

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[X] Agustín Guerrero Lizarzaburu, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Federal Republic of Ecuador
 

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Decoration Day

April 25th, 1868
Before a large crowd - men proudly uniformed in army gray, women and their children, onlookers from all edges - Mary William Dunbar spoke loudly. In her hand was a reproduction of a man just dead, Henry Timrod, considered posthumously the poet laureate of the South. She said each word carefully, the importance of the work heightened both by the recent death of its author and by the solemn matter at hand.

"Sleep sweetly in your humble graves,
Sleep, martyrs of a righteous cause;
Though yet no marble column craves
The pilgrim here to pause.

In seeds of laurel in the earth
The blossom of your flame is blown,
And somewhere, waiting for its birth,
The shaft is in the stone!

Meanwhile, behalf the tardy years
Which keep in trust your storied tombs,
Behold! Your sisters bring their tears,
And these memorial blooms."
Though the crowd did not devolve into wallops, it was all too evident how strongly the words of the late Timrod struck: men with their hats brought firmly to chest, women with tears in their eyes. In a venue so sacred, the restraint by Timrod was hailed by critics as the finest of his works, cementing his status as the most beloved poet in the Confederacy.

In the aftermath of the War of Secession, the victory secured by the Treaty of Manassas did little to bring back the lost of the South, the fathers, the brothers, and the sons who died for the independence of the Confederate States of America. Even while Richmond and D.C were aflurry with negotiations, in Winchester, Virginia, other forces were just as hard at work.

Known originally as the Ladies' Memorial Association, a group of Southern woman joined together to provide for burial and remembrance for the fallen, extending assistance to those that were without means to lay their loved ones to rest. Moreso, under the leadership of local woman Mary William Dunbar, these women oversaw the burial of unknown causalities, men found dead in the countryside and in the loneliness of the abandoned battlefields of Virginia.

The plea for support by these women was heard across the South, and in places like Montgomery, Alabama, a massive outpour of support came at the behest of papers. The Society of the Sons of Liberty itself likewise committed itself in public support behind "them Winchester women" and quickly the Ladies' Memorial Association secured the funds to properly respect the dead. On April 25th, 1866, the Stuart Cemetery opened in Winchester, named after the fallen cavalryman Lieutenant General J.E.B. Stuart.

Within that year, over seventy sister organizations blossomed across the South, all seeking to champion the very same practices started in Winchester. Most grew out of the aid societies formed by Southern women who devoted themselves to helping the war effort, and so had existing organization. Monuments and cemeteries cropped up across the South, commemorating major figures or local heroes of the War of Secession.

These practices were not simply a one-time event, as Annual Decorations were the cornerstone of these societies. Flowers would be lain on the graves of all soldiers, not simply the ones survived by family. Those who were not identified or claimed were regarded as unknown heroes and received similar remembrance in monuments devoted generally towards the rebel cause.

Such a sweeping phenomenon, Congress would open discussions on the topic and in the first year of P.G.T. Beauregard's presidency, the establishment of Decoration Day would be hailed across the nation, passed unanimously, not even Unionists wishing to spoil the event. Set on April 25th to coincide with the opening of Stuart Cemetery as one of the few, concretely, and attested dates to base a holiday off of, Decoration Day was designed not simply to remember those lost, but glorify their sacrifice. While some would propose "Memorial Day", it was the likes of Beauregard himself who advocated for Decoration Day instead - "celebration and adornment for our fallen heroes!".

As Mary William Dunbar stepped aside from her reading, none other than President Beauregard stepped forward, arriving to see about the first adherence of Decoration Day. The crowd indulged in some degree of rowdiness in their desire to push forward and see the fiery president in the flesh, and as Beauregard stepped upon the raised platform, attention was wholly given over.

Speaking in a peculiar but pleasing twang, cultured through his birth and education, Beauregard spoke of the resilience of the people of the South, of their hardiness in the face of tyranny, of their strength of arms against an enemy numerically superior. He spoke of the highs of the war, and even of the lows, but every time he would return to the Southerner as the force that propelled the Cause forward. Before he left, Beauregard shook the hands of many veterans and was noted for being quite appreciative of Mary William Dunbar and her Association.
 

Luftwafer

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The Scandinavian Monetary Union

Recognizing the need for a unified standard of currency in order to encourage the flow of commerce and trade between them,

The undersigned agree to the following:

I. The Scandinavian Monetary Union is an organisation to enhance the flow of trade between the undersigned nations. A member can be admitted by the joint agreement of all member's representatives.

II. Each of the undersigned nations agree to a single currency, to be manufactured independently at the same standard. That standard will be one 'Crown' equals 1/2480 of 4.7 marks (1 Kilogram) of Pure Gold.

III. That Crown will be divisible into 100 units (Ore).

IV. The Undersigned members of the Scandinavian monetary union will send representatives to meet in Stockholm, Sweden. To ensure the purity of the Coins in circulation match the stipulations of this treaty.

V. The exchange rate shall be set at one 'Crown' being valued at 1/4 of a Norwegian Speciedaler, and on a one to one basis with the Swedish Riksdaler. These exchanges can take place in their respective country at any point until the 1st of January 1873. With these coins being legal tender until this point in time.

Swedish Representative [X]
Norwegian Representative [X]
 
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Norwegian Representative [X]
 

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The Belgian Government expresses its appreciation for the outstanding conduct and smooth operations of the Belgian Army throughout the duration of the Franco-Prussian War and extends this commendation to the entirety of the Belgian People. With the recent return to peace in Europe, the Government officially declares that the Belgian Army will be demobilized.
~ Minister of War, Henri Guilleme​
 

Frymonmon

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BE ADVISED

There's a spot open. Send me a message if you want to join, most nations are open.
 

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In Response to the Invitation of the Egyptian Government
I was both surprised and humbled to receive His Majesty's government's invitation to serve in Egypt. I am honoured greatly that His Majesty and the great statesmen of Egypt see in my works and person something of benefit to the Egyptian people, and it is my pleasure to accept the invitation to serve wholeheartedly. Egypt's experience in recent years has been both fascinating and disturbing, full of uplifting triumphs and progressions as well as unfortunate disturbances and impediments. For the most part, however, it has been more of the former and less of the latter, and it is my greatest hope that the future holds far more triumphs than it does impediments. In Egypt we cannot help but see great hope and the potential for our umma's ultimate upliftment and salvation.

Though there has recently been an extremely unfortunate rift between Egypt and the Ottoman Empire, it is my hope - and recommendation - that this rift be overcome at the soonest possible time and friendly relations restored between Egypt and the Ottoman state. It is of great importance that the two foremost powers of Islam not only enjoy good and brotherly relations, but that they also actively work together for the improvement of all the Muslims - and indeed, non-Muslims - in their respective domains. Alone, Egypt and the Ottoman Empire cannot hope to survive for long against all those who would see them fall, but together - with the ultimate bond of brotherhood uniting them - the future of the abode of Islam is far more secure. While the Ottoman Empire, as of yet, does not have and does not appear to be moving towards the more Islamic form of shura-governance, I am certain that a successful transition in Egypt will inspire the Ottoman Empire to do the same.

Even as I write, my family and I have begun packing our various possessions and, with God's help, I shall be able to make myself available to His Majesty's government within the month. May God bless our endeavours and cast his protective mercy on Egypt, its government, and its people.

Yours,
Khayr al-Din Pasha al-Tunisi
 

aedan777

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Treaty of Goletta
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320px-Flag_of_Tunisia.svg.png

1. The Beylik of Tunis, recognizing the significant population of Italians present within their borders, agrees to grant most favored nation status to the Kingdom of Italy, to encourage mutual prosperity and increased economic exchange between the two parties.

2. The Beylik of Tunis guarantees the safety and security of all Italians within its borders.

3. The Kingdom of Italy will support and direct Italians who wish to emigrate to settle in the Beylik of Tunis.

4. The Beylik of Tunis will provide favorable conditions to Italians who have emigrated to the Beylik.

[X] Emilio Visconti Venosta, Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Kingdom of Italy
[X] Muhammad III as-Sadiq, Bey of Tunis
 

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[X] Muhammad III as-Sadiq, Bey of Tunis
 

oxfordroyale

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The Kingdom of Ecuador
____________________________________________

His Majesty Jerome I

AnHNQql.jpg

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____________________________________________

His Majesty’s Government

Prime Minister: Gabriel García Moreno
General of Ecuador: Paul de Ladmirault
 
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Puerto Victoria and the Imperial Mexican Railway

9ml0wK0.jpg

Between 1865 and 1868, the Anglo-Mexican Railroad Company and the Nuevo León Railroad Company dominated the transport of the Mexican Empire, and depended upon the exploited resources in the silver-rich regions of Mexico. The corporate duopoly, encouraged by supplementary subsidies by the Imperial and British government, was however narrowly focused on domestic production, benighted of the potential for Mexican commerce to be integrated in the Pacific Trade, where the British Empire yearned for expedited exchange between the Asian and American colonies.

The United States of America had long apprehended the commercial opportunities afforded by access to the Pacific. After the ratification of the Treaty of London (1868), the Confederate States traced the steps of the United States with the municipal establishment of Leesport, competing with Los Angeles and the soon-to-be transcontinental railroad in San Francisco. Although London remained aloof from the quixotic American ambitions of an Empire of the Pacific, opportunity for investment and expedited trade from India and Australia attracted the attention of certain British magnates.

Two seperate contractor firms, Smith, Knight and co. and Crawley and co. were eager to secure the commission for a possible connection between the Anglo-Mexican Railroad Company's Mexico City—Guadalajara and the pacific coast. Imperial officials, more attuned to the geopolitical opportunities of the region, pressed for London to accede to the branched construction. After some months of negotiation with the contractor companies, Messrs Coutts & Co, known popularly as Coutts, provided the preliminary money [in exchange for a significant stake] for the foundation of a multi-proprietor "Imperial Mexican Railway company."

The Emperor of Mexico took a personal interest in the company, and encouraged Mexican ownership in the company, not negligent in quantity. Nonetheless, as a sign of reverence, and devotion to the construction of North America's shortest transcontinental railway, His Imperial Majesty renamed Las Peñas de Santa María de Guadalupe to Puerto Victoria, mirroring the Confederate cognomen embodied in Leesport. Construction began from Guadalajara with the capital and engineering from Smith, Knight and co. and Crawley and co, and the exertions of the local Mexican workforce. The connection to Puerto Victoria was encouraged with all haste, as impatient British investors awaited the interlinkage of the Indian subcontinent with the Mexican Empire and the gulf passageway to Great Britain...
 

MastahCheef117

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A debate between Secretary of the Treasury Samuel Jackson Randall and Abraham Lincoln
on the topic of Negro rights and their place in America.

The following is a transcript of the electoral debate, between the Democratic and Republican candidates Mr. Randall and Mr. Lincoln, respectively, in the city of Cincinnati, on 27 August 1868, determined from the greatest consensus of attending newspaper stenographers. The referenced papers are the pro-Lincoln New-York Tribune and pro-Randall Cincinnati Enquirer.

Owing to his being a former President, Lincoln was offered the chance to speak first by the sitting Secretary of the Treasury; though there is belief that he would have preferred to speak second, as he did in the first of the Lincoln-Douglas debates of 1858, he accepted Randall’s offer, and took to the stage at around 5pm.

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Mr. Lincoln’s opening statement and argument.

I am here, as you all have been made aware, to give my part, the first of three, of the spectacle which is about to unfold before your eyes. I have participated in such a spectacle once, which was many years ago, and though I have aged since, I think, or at the very least I hope, that I have aged none in the mind [Laughter. -- Tribune], though there are most certainly more lines creased upon this battered face, and therefore I have dedicated myself toward the object of performing well here on this stage, for the benefit of the Republic, and for the excitement of the minds of the people, if also to perhaps provide some entertainment [A slight commotion in the crowd; some laughter, some jeers. -- Enquirer. Scattered but hearty laughter. -- Tribune].

We come here in a series of speaking events to discuss the great issues of the day. These topics seize the mind, engorge the spirit with energy and conviction -- sometimes, perhaps, for the worse [Cheers of ‘Ho!’ rise up from the crowd. -- Enquirer] -- and have so come to dominate the national discourse as to seem the only things that shall ever matter in this world. And as if, as a sign from the Lord, I am to be proven right, we hear tonight several disturbances during my delivery, which further agitate those who listen, whether for or against my beliefs and proposals. I perhaps more than any other man alive today am encouraged by the enthusiasm here displayed, but must request, for the betterment of the quality of this discourse, and out of respect for Mr. Randall and his supporters, too, that such outbursts be hereon curtailed strictly [Both papers note polite applause throughout the crowd, which dies quickly out of respect]. I shall provide the foundation of the discussion and will speak for the first sixty minutes. Mr. Randall shall render his ninety-minute reply to follow, and we shall end after I offer a brief rejoinder of an approximate one-half hour.

Ten years ago in Illinois I gave a great number of speeches on the topic of slavery. That indentured servitude has now been abolished throughout the Union, with a great commotion here and elsewhere over that very Act, is a testament to the great importance of that discussion in the politics of this Republic in the time they were given. And though the state legislature elected not to name me incoming Senator for that state in the Congress in Washington, it was, still, a victory for me; for I had proven that abolition -- the concept of which was, for the purpose of those debates, and from my person, restricted only to the territories then recently reorganized by the notorious Act of Congress of 1854 -- was indeed defensible, and even preferable, to the system of popular sovereignty in the territories, with regard to the slavery question [Several jeers from throughout the crowd which die quickly. -- Tribune]. We here in Cincinnati are but a river away from Kentucky; the Commonwealth was one of twelve states which declared their separation from the Union in 1861, and at the time of proclamation its citizens profited from the legality of the institution within its borders. That institution, being unmade by our recent constitutional amendment, has withdrawn to the remaining eleven, and there they shall reside for some time. I argue not for emancipation in the South -- for it is a sovereign nation in this day [Boos and hisses from various in the crowd. -- Enquirer], and thus not liable to our laws and proclamations -- but I argue that which I argued some years ago: that is, that it be better for a healthy republic to refrain from slapping again upon the wrists and ankles of Man one set of slavery-chains in lieu of another. And tho the Constitution forbid it, it is possible with a great degree of certainty to predict its rise once more, if in fact alone if not in law as well: for those states which recognized slavery at the time of the 1860 election were, indeed, filled with many citizens heavily invested, in financial and other matters, in the institution; and in the wake of the war and the amendment, they have, perhaps in great numbers, taken to exacting a sort of revenge upon those that have caused them financial hardship. The issue becomes one of labor and workforces thereafter, wherein those Americans resident on those former slaveholding lands, bound to the earth as their perpetual work and source of wealth, hold that the freed Negro shall undercut their wage and drive them to absolute poverty. In perhaps, I think, more objective terms: there shall be competition for labor, and those who create wealth and own the property shall pick and choose who shall labor under them. And I say let it be so! Let he who shall fight hardest for his occupation win the day; let he who, with brutish determination and steely ethic, work the day, so that he may rest the night. Let he with the ambition to reach, thusly reach. I am opposed not to the economies of today nor the realities of our certain states, particularly that which lies across the river there. I care only for the liberties of Man as they are enshrined today in this Union. I do not concern my mind with details of wage and of employment in one industry over the other in each and every city and town across the land; that falls, in my mind, to the more spritely younger generation, who are certainly more prepared to tackle such issues [Both papers report laughter from throughout the crowd].

I turn my attention now to the issue, still related, and far broader, of the legal status of the freedmen. I had said over one-half decade before this day that I would shed no bled or much bled in the mission to preserve the Union; and I stand by those words. I stand by, also, my words to a gentleman from New York, to whom I wrote in 1862, and I quote:

‘If there be those who would not save the Union, unless they could at the same time save slavery, I do not agree with them. If there be those who would not save the Union unless they could at the same time destroy slavery, I do not agree with them. My paramount object in this struggle is to save the Union, and is not either to save or to destroy slavery. If I could save the Union without freeing any slave I would do it, and if I could save it by freeing all the slaves I would do it; and if I could save it by freeing some and leaving others alone I would also do that. What I do about slavery, and the colored race, I do because I believe it helps to save the Union.’

[Applause from many; scattered cheers. -- Tribune. There is muted applause. -- Enquirer]. Now I must realize how fruitless these words may seem to the ear today. The war which had so broken and damaged our Union when these words were set to paper has come and gone; and the wounds, having not healed fully for many of our fellow-citizens, by and large, remain. So I must be entirely truthful. The Union indeed has survived, with or without the Southern states; and in that regard may I in my cause be deemed successful. The salvation and prosperity of this Union shall always be my paramount objective. Yet on the other surface of this letter and its heartfelt words lie the hidden-and-open truth that this Union is, in some ways, no longer the Union of 1860, and especially no longer that of 1789, tho under the same Constitution have they all operated. Whether the Founders could have foreseen an occurrence such as the Civil War, or even the effective secession of a gathering of States from the Union, such as that which occurred in 1860 and 1861, and which came to a total conclusion in 1865, I am not sure there is an answer; yet Mr. Randall may yet posit that, indeed, the Founders did foresee secession as a critical privilege of the states, and of all people which find great distaste in our beloved Constitution, and the federal government over which it reigns. Even some three and one-half score ago two of those great men of History laid their words on parchment and proclaimed the irrevocable power, in the hands of the various state legislatures and executives, to discern, among the great number of federal laws passed by the Congress in Washington, those which were found to be most agreeable to the Constitution as it was written in 1789, and those which were found to be in stark disagreement. The latter, in every case, was to be cast out and never again adopted, in whatever altered form, for all time.

Mr. Randall may find himself in agreement with the Resolutions of Madison and Jefferson, as could many before me. And while it may seem unconnected to the greater debate we find ourselves involved in, I assure you all that I will arrive at that point presently [Many are heard to laugh; several minor cries of “Yes, Mister President!” -- Tribune]. The Resolutions in question gave birth, in a larger sense, to that concept of voluntary abandonment of the Constitution, and of the collective responsibilities of the states, with regard to the preservation of our forefathers’ Union [Cries of “No! No!”. -- Enquirer]. I implore, again, my good fellow citizens to restrain, with all the effort of their beings, their tongues; and not for myself alone, but also for Mr. Randall. I was saying: the secession issue was not present, at least, not on a greater scale as we have seen in more recent years, in the times of General Washington and his closest colleagues and republicans. Rather, these ideas enjoyed a great deal of currency only after his time as chief executive had expired, and gathered steam as the century has wore on. Only with the conclusion of the Mexican War did it feature at the forefront of the national conscience and at the front of every major debate in Washington and every other state legislative capitol besides. I would be remiss to say, that despite the best efforts of the great expansionists of the era, including the late Mr. Douglas of Illinois, with whom I had spoken with at least once, as you may have heard [Laughter. -- Enquirer. A great roar seizes the audience. -- Tribune], and with whom Mr. Randall was once a brief friend, our efforts to seize a great deal of land from the Mexican people, in the face of a significantly weakened government, burdened by the strains of war with a superior military and economic power, were stopped in their tracks. I believe no worse cause was ever more justly and soundly defeated by the open process of a representative and elected legislature [Neither the Tribune nor Enquirer record reactions here, though other minor local papers note both cheers and jeers. -- ed.].

That the proposal failed bode ill for the expansionists in the Congress and in the state legislatures. What is more, however, is the reaction of their good friends -- and in some cases the reaction of the legislative expansionists themselves, as they were often involved in some way or another -- at all levels of government and society, who threatened secession if demands of immediate concessions to the Slave Power were not made. The legal and philosophical justification of these moves was based in their entirety upon the foundation of the Virginia-Kentucky Resolutions at the turn of the last century. We heard again throughout the previous decade which expired in my election year that so-and-so state should secede; and that that state’s secession could be founded upon the principles of the Virginia and Kentucky resolves, which had granted fully, by the principle of republican federalism, the privilege of any one state or group of states to withdraw from the constitutional compact. These threats came always in the rear of any attack upon the expansion of the now-expired institution in newly-admitted states, or in any of the territories acquired from Guadalupe Hidalgo, or any other territories reorganized in that period. It is altogether proper, therefore, to draw a simple conclusion: that those in favor and supportive of the Slave Power, and those in favor and supportive of secession from the Union, were in a great majority of cases the same people or groups of people, sharing among them the same degree of wealth, and emerging from the same clime, and often from the same jurisdictions within the Union.

With such a conclusion may we move forward. Mr. Randall may object to my characterization; this cannot be avoided. What cannot also be avoided is the inextricable link between the defense of slavery and the general contempt for republican values. This disdain was as evident in the months following Guadalupe Hidalgo as much as it is at this very moment. As I speak here, there is terror in the Commonwealth. The land in which I was born becomes worse as each day passes; the sun rising earns for the Negro but one extra day of living, tho it be lived in constant terror. There is no question but that the situation in Kentucky is anything short of a great calamity. That I hear daily reports of the lynching of Negroes, man and woman, adult and child, here and there, in groups and alone, battered and desecrated, is a great testament to this tragedy. Our second chief executive, and the first Vice President, argued first and foremost, from his days as a Massachusetts lawyer, for “a republic of Laws and not Men”. The courts of the Constitution codify a republic of Laws; the lynch-mobs of terror which now reign in great swathes of Kentucky signify a more sinister republic of the other kind. We cannot repudiate the former; we cannot also stand for the latter. Would General Washington have foreseen a republic of Men, wherein great quasi-courts convened, with no legal precedence, and with no true Judge presiding, to sentence a man to death for the crime of breathing in too much of the world’s air, I believe he would have laid down his arms to General Howe and have accepted his assured fate in prison for all-time. I do not for one second question it. The patriots of 1776 gave their fortunes, their sacred honor, and their lives for the idea of law, justly made and justly applied, to all people, in such a way as to uphold the general peace. The national executive was formed for this purpose: to uphold the laws adopted by the Congress, and to ensure that a peace, upheld through the authority of representative and good government, shall last until the republic ceases to exist at the end of the world. The Union and its wondrous Constitution have performed most admirably in this regard. The first, second, and third articles of that document enshrine the principles of separated government -- and good government, so that, working as antitheses to one another, the branches of the federal institution in Washington shall counteract the other, and thereby restrict each other’s power, to the benefit of the people. And though I have spoken principally only of the judiciary to this point, I shall not forget the importance of the executive nor the legislature. Their time shall come, and I will have but a few words on their importance to the doctrine of law.

The necessity of one single policy with regard to these events is based on one single principle above all others: that these are sins -- indeed sins, as the Lord did say: Thou shalt not kill. And this principle is one upon which we must base all of our faith and, in this spectacular case, our actions. To kill another man so innocent is a sin; to hang at will the accused without the proper application of the Laws that entitle them, by God and our Constitution, to their rights, is the greatest sin against God and the natural order. I cannot speak upon topics about which I have not been educated; but I can speak about what I do know. I have read in the works of President Jefferson one great document, which I hold here in my hand. And Mr. Jefferson did say:

‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.’

I have looked for our rights in this document, and in others by the Founders, and in the Book of the Lord, and I have found them all there; and where they originated in the latter, they have come to dominate the public discourse due to the former. The inexorable march of Liberty has taken us from our emancipation from the unjust British taxes to the emancipation of the Negro from the slavery-chains of the field. It may be said that the former has affected us all, and that the latter has affected only the darker race; to which I question, and say: No matter the master or taxes placed upon the properties and peoples of one country, the slave shall work regardless; shall reap the crop, but not its fruit; shall enjoy few comforts, and even fewer rights. So, indeed, we have benefited greatly from our liberation from the British Parliament and king of 1776; the slave did not. It would take some ninety-years of suffering to win their freedom. It is indeed a gruesome wait, but one well-deserved for those so terribly mistreated.

And now I shall offer some brief words on the issue that plagues that Commonwealth across the river, and, to a far lesser extent, our fellow-citizens and others in the good states of Missouri and Maryland. An ordinance recently passed by the Congress of the United States reads, and I shall quote once more:

‘Be it enacted’, and so on and so forth, ‘that all persons born in the United States and not subject to any foreign power,’ et cetera, ‘are hereby declared to be citizens of the United States; and such citizens’ -- regardless of former servitude -- ‘shall have the same rights … as are enjoyed by white citizens.’

And while there are most certainly those in the audience this evening which find themselves opposed in all forms to this legislation, I must then recall that passage of our national document, which states:

‘This Constitution, and the Laws of the United States which shall be made in Pursuance thereof … shall be the supreme Law of the Land …’

And with such clarification we may then correctly assume that this ordinance, passed with great support in both chambers of our federal Congress, has thereby become a part of the law of the land. It may not be agreeable to some, but such is the way of our Constitution. If you should protest that law, you should work for its undoing in our federal legislatures and through the Courts. But to make the argument that one can instead choose to ignore these ordinances is a precedent not only dangerously set in our recent history, but altogether illegal. That supremacy statement from our Constitution does not mince words by any stretch; it is as clear as can be, that, while the state legislatures may pass any ordinance they deem fit and proper for the betterment of their states, so long as they comply with the Constitution and the federal laws, it is the latter and the Constitution which shall have the final word. Any contradictions at the federal or state or local level shall find themselves resolved to the defense of the former in any and all cases. This is indisputable. We have before us our Constitution, the writing of which General Washington himself presided over, and close to eighty years of judicial precedent to base this conclusion upon. To reject it is to reject all sanity and reason ever written and said by Man. It falls upon the executive, too, to execute -- very aptly put -- the laws of the land, and to ensure that these laws are upheld throughout the whole Union.

That my home-state rejects this law is disgraceful. It is, too, illegal; and therefore the federal Government must act accordingly. The courts, the federal Congress, and the national executive must act in concert so that federal law is upheld, the Constitution obeyed, and the general peace enjoyed; and the former two may conflict with each other, and the first with the last, but the Constitution shall, as we all know so well, never endanger the general peace. In the earliest moments of our Republic, it was the Constitution which protected the general peace; and when there was threat of rebellion over newly-levied taxes in certain parts of the Union, it was the Constitution that allowed the peace to be upheld through a vigorous application of federal legislation by the national executive. It is therefore entirely within the jurisdiction and obligations of the federal Government in Washington City to uphold this statute, and thereby ensure that all the states and territories of this Union recognize the citizenship of the Negro, and his equality before the law.

I tire of speaking at length and unchallenged. My time has indeed come to a close. I retire and welcome Mr. Randall to entreat you all and myself to his words for some ninety-minutes, after which I shall briefly return for a final conclusion and a last exposition of my thoughts.

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Mr. Randall’s reply.

Good evening to you all. I wish first to start by thanking Mr. Lincoln for his oratory. His age has done little to dull his mind and his tongue; though I believe that serving four years in the Executive Mansion may have played a bit on his ability to reason with and look at our beloved Constitution [Strong laughter throughout. -- Enquirer]. The matter about which we speak is one more important, I think, than any other to this Union, and in helping to define the national character it is unparalleled in its effect. Therefore I entreat my fellow-citizens to lend their ears to my speech, so that the national discourse may be aided in the addition of but a few words from myself.

I wish first to expound upon Mr. Lincoln’s words on his thoughts on slavery in the territories, and, in particular, the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Here was an Act passed by the Congress and signed by the chief executive stipulating the expansion of the Union by the principles of manifest destiny; and here also was a law which granted the power to the peoples of the various territories in the Union to determine not only the make-up of the territorial Governments, but also the legality of the institution of slavery. I should know no reason other than to secure the public peace and extend the glories of our Constitution and our liberties further West, as the justification for this Act to have become law. It is therefore, I believe, the greatest course of action for our Republic, and the most republican ideal we could have ever embraced. I should find myself in a state of confusion, then, when I hear Mr. Lincoln posit that this Act of 1854 posed a great detriment to our Republic. It is much the contrary, in fact. There is, indeed, no greater defense of liberty than to allow the people the choice to select the laws under which they would like to live; and to allow those laws life or death by popular plebiscite is in the very spirit which hath birthed our Revolution, our Republic, and our Constitution. Mr. Lincoln’s argumentation, then, reveals his anti-constitutional bias, upon which I shall expand with great detail later on [Cries go up of “Maryland! Maryland!”. -- Enquirer. A commotion disturbs the crowd briefly. -- Tribune].

That will come in due time. I assure you. Now, to touch on Mr. Lincoln’s peculiar claims regarding the nature of this Union, and the past war which the administration, of which I am a part, so effectively and amicably brought to a satisfactory close. Mr. Lincoln would first claim to be the original point at which the idea of emancipation was formed; and then he would claim that it was his efforts and his alone which secured the survival of the Union after the departure of the seceded Southern states. Perhaps never before have I seen such falsehoods promulgated upon a public electoral stage. To the first: the theory of abolition has existed indeed since the days of Christ. There have been greater abolitionists of more wit and intelligence than Mr. Lincoln far before his own birth-day. And to the second: Mr. Lincoln has rendered fewer services toward the preservation of this Union than any other man today in public office across the land. I could say with perfect honesty that Mr. Davis of Mississippi has done more to preserve this Union than Mr. Lincoln of Kentucky ever has. John Brown, whose body continues to moulder [Both papers report cheers throughout], did as much to tear asunder our Union as much as Mr. Lincoln has done to keep it apart. Were it up to me, I would join in perfect concert with the Confederacy again -- for our Southern brethren have been most kind to us in peace, as we have been to them. Commerce still flows across our borders, down our coasts, and along the banks of our widest rivers. Despite our former President’s best efforts, the ties between North and South remain as clear as daylight -- and as strong as they ever were before the secession.

Mr. Lincoln’s actions in the Civil War reflect extremely poorly on his knowledge of and reverence for the national charter. He may speak of contempt for republican values, but, to my great amusement, I find no greater contempt for republican values in this Union, than in the very man nominated by our Republican Party to become the next President [Laughter throughout. -- Enquirer. Raucous laughter from several gentlemen disturb Mr. Randall. -- Tribune]. His disdain for the Constitution is shown through his disdain for the people of Maryland, who seven years ago this autumn he destroyed utterly for their courage -- for, truly, it was courage -- in refusing to abide by the dictates and unconstitutional means of his Republican administration. It was only through the intervention and anger of the Democratic Party that they were hardly saved from absolute annihilation and secured their chances to a rebirth. I should then like to question Mr. Lincoln’s commitment to republican values and to our Constitution, which we all surely hold very dear. The barbarism in Maryland in the autumn of 1861 is exemplary of that Republican administration and of the vehement Unionists who spilled the blood of seven hundred-thousand young boys for nought. Let us not also forget the sister-state of Virginia, who suffered under the guns and bayonets of the Butcher of the Shenandoah and his cruel men. Were I to be President but for one day, that man and all of his subordinates so liable would be hanged for their crimes.

The Crime against Maryland was terribly committed, and, what is even worse, it remains unrectified. A governor of a state within this Union was killed and hundreds of American sons and husbands maimed and murdered during its sentencing, and the perpetrators walk among us to this very day. Perhaps never before, in the history of all mankind, has such a savage attack upon fellow countrymen been committed and unpunished. The people of Maryland, and their elected representatives in that state legislature and in the gubernatorial office, wished for nothing but peace -- and they were the unwilling recipients not of peace, but of the bayonet instead. How terrible it is that among us live not only the survivors of such a crime, but those who, cold as they are, were willing to unquestioningly carry it out to the final fatal letter. And by what motive was it carried out? I shall recall, in a manner of thinking, the words of the honorable Senator from Massachusetts, who, twelve years ago, spoke on the floor of the United States Senate, and did say:

‘The Senator from South Carolina’ -- and for my purposes here today, we shall substitute these with the words ‘The gentleman from Kentucky’ -- ‘has read many books of chivalry, and believes himself a chivalrous knight, with sentiments of honor and courage. Of course he has chosen a mistress to whom he has made his vows, and who, though ugly to others, is always lovely to him; though polluted in the sight of the world, is chaste in his sight. I mean the harlot’ -- and here, I shall allow myself to substitute one word for another: ‘abolitionism. For her, his tongue is always profuse in words.’

[A wave of enthusiasm grips the audience. -- Enquirer. A mixed reaction meets this quotation. -- Tribune] Yes, I cannot but hardly scoff at the first words of that Senator. But I am shocked to realize, as we are all want to do, that Mr. Lincoln is indeed himself in the arms of a great succubus whose tender arms, irresistible as they be, have taken with him many thousands more. As noxious as the fumes of abolitionism may be, that fact alone has not prevented a great horde of our fellow-citizens from falling in lust with such a cause -- as repugnant as it is. And with the abolition of slavery and the release of the Negroes upon our country-houses and our towns and our cities, this succubus has transformed herself into the great patron of the Freedmen’s Bureau, an office so vile as to be the spawn of Satan himself. At its head lies Mr. Phillips, a stately man of good intentions, sure. But he has done his utmost to turn about this administration and plunge our President, his office, and all the efforts of the Founders and our forefathers into the dark abyss of anarchy. But Mr. Lincoln and Mr. Stevens say he is not ambitious nor slow; and they are both honorable men [Great laughter and applause. -- Enquirer]. Mr. Phillips has taken it upon himself to see that General McClellan is removed from his post as War Secretary. Tho he be a Republican, he is an honorable man, who has rendered his dutiful service to his country and his countrymen. General McClellan is indeed a great patriot; his patriotism need not be questioned by a man whose entire duty is to ensure that Negro labor displaces white labor. It boggles the mind to think that two characters would be opposed, much less that there would actually be some who would support the latter in preference to the former!

What is more perplexing to the mind than that, is that Mr. Lincoln speaks of the right to secession as if it were a cancer upon the body of Union and of God’s earth. Must Mr. Lincoln be reminded that the Confederacy stands, today, independent? It was the Treaty of Manassas which sealed for all-time the rights of the states, collectively or individually, to secede from this Union, or any union formed from among a body of individual divisions or states. It was the Civil War which proved that that right is as from God as the freedom of speech, and of the press, and all other rights enshrined in this here Constitution, and so on and so forth. President Jefferson and President Madison wrote of it in the final months of the previous century; it was not until sixty years afterward that this Republic would finally come to terms with those resolutions, and thereby consecrate those sacred and inviolable principles. The Resolutions have forged the ideas; it has taken the dreaded and bloody War and Manassas to secure those ideas for all posterity. Let us not forget these ideas, then, as there is yet an independent Southern republic to our South; and let us therefore move on to the next topic of relevance to our discussion.

Mr. Lincoln speaks also of our beloved Declaration. While not binding in any legal sense, there is, in some way, a spiritual compact, formed the day of its adoption by the Continental Congress, attached to that beloved and cherished document which we must all abide by. And tho Mr. Jefferson and his estate are no longer within the territorial boundaries of this Union, we can, do, and must always revere his sacred words. Mr. Lincoln, in this regard, is correct. Where he is incorrect I must also note by obligation. The slave, having been born into slavery, must have been placed there by the will of God; and, having been kept in servitude for such an extended period of time, he remains, at heart, a slave, regardless of his current condition, and however it has been affected or altered by legislative decree. It is worthy to make note of it: in the times of Christ there was slavery. If Christ had come to liberate the world of original sin, and of suffering, why did he not then end the institution of slavery? The answer must be one of two, or even both: that, on the one hand, slaves are in fact benefitted by their involvement in the system and by their enslavement -- and here are the words of one Mr. Calhoun of South Carolina, a may who has left his mortal coil but whose profound thoughts continue to occupy our minds, and whose great words persist in echoing through the valleys and hills of America:

‘Many in the South’ -- and here I must add, that it is unfortunate, as well, that it is now so pervasive in the present North -- ‘once believed that slavery was a moral and political evil. That folly and delusion are gone. We see it now in its true light, and regard it as the most safe and stable basis for free institutions in the world.’

It is important to take note how the survival and perpetuation of this Union immediately came under threat when the question became not the expansion of the Union, nor the betterment of its citizens, but the end of slavery, and the destruction of the property of many citizens. When that guarantor for free institutions was questioned and virtually destroyed, the Union was spun apart, and is now half of what it once was.

And on the other hand, that the Lord did not send Christ to end slavery, as it caused no suffering, but simply to remove from us all the original sin given us by Adam and Eve. By that determination are we able to conclude that slavery was not a result of human error, nor was it a blight upon the world and universe of God; in a word, that God did not wish for slavery to be destroyed. It would then be a grievous error to eradicate that institution from the face of the earth, would it not? How, then, shall God respond when, with a fury of which only He is capable, we are struck down, like Sodom and Gomorrah, or as the earth in the flood from which Noah escaped? We have already prepared ourselves for divinely-inspired disaster, which will assuredly lead only to our utter destruction. This destruction was secured not by the popular sovereignty of the states or territories, nor , but instead by the would-be despots in the federal Congress, and their allies in each of the respective state legislatures, who have come to so thoroughly dominate the aforementioned houses that it is seemingly impossible to ever get any other legislation, opposed by that group of people, ever passed and made law. Would you call that a Republic, then? Would you? Or you? I should certainly not; I should instead call that a despotism, or a tyranny of the minority. It is a state and a Government worthy of a king or emperor. I would then right now crown our President as Daniel the first, King of America, head of the House of Voorhees, Grand Prince of Columbia, etc. and so on [Cries of “No, no! We cannot have it!” -- Enquirer. Shouts arise from the audience, and one begins to sing “Hail, Columbia” before being silenced. -- Tribune].

I would sooner call as brother one of the great patriots from Maryland, or perhaps a gentleman from South Carolina or Alabama, than any Negro man. No matter his place of residence, the Negro is no brother of mine; and even the horses of the United States Army are better friends and brothers to me and the soldiers of this Government than any Negro is and ever will be. The labor of the Negro is less in worth than that of the white man; and for that reason alone was he held in bondage until three years ago. He is so poor in productive capacity, owing now to his freedom, that his labor is not even worth payment, nor any suffering restitution. And now that he is free, his poor labor shall outclass the white man’s, as the former shall offer a lower wage to any business-master than the latter. Thus the white man shall be displaced on the whole as laborers by the Negroes.

Shall we then call ourselves a Negro nation? Or one of the barbarian kingdoms of Africa, deep within the continent there, disregarded and forgotten by modern science? I should certainly hope not. How, then, shall we prevent the backwardness from taking hold? A free Republic, wherein our citizens and our rights are properly protected from Government-led assaults by the Constitution, is most precipitously placed upon a knife’s edge, between tyranny and anarchy; it is only by constant vigilance that we maintain our freedoms and independence. The sovereignty of one people cannot be overridden by the claimed rights of some other people. And in the same way, Government, ordained by God, cannot be supplanted by the dictates of some other. I would therefore contend instead, that this Republican Congress is doing all within its powers and authority to fashion out of the air a new and separate Constitution, which would not bind them to the principles of responsible and good Government, nor to the concept of a general respect for the rights of the People and of the states. It would instead allow a legislative tyranny to develop. Much akin to the revolution in France almost eighty years ago, we would see a Committee of Public Safety formed, dedicated to the annihilation in totality of all people who would refuse to accept the legislative platform of the Republicans; that is to say, the overturning of our Constitution, and a reduction of this Nation to a more base state. It is unacceptable that there would be Americans who would therefore see our glorious Revolution undone in but a few months of repression and tyranny. And who would the Robespierre of this Committee be? I dare not give names tonight; but it is undoubtedly easy to find at least a few who would look over onto us all as the guillotine-blade drops from above, carrying out the final act themselves. The enemies of republican liberty lie here and there throughout every country that shall ever embrace it; it is up to us, the rest of the body of citizens so thoroughly dedicated to that cause of liberty, that must fight it at every corner. I am unsure of how you shall take it -- but I shall not stand for an American Committee of Public Safety. On the chopping-block now could stand the neck of the white American citizen. That Committee would justify it as for the safety and benefit of the Nation; it would characterize that poor man, being prepared for his death as the lobster is made ready for consumption at the supper-table, as the enemy of the People and of the country, and that only with his death would our safety and liberty be secured. And then after the deed is done, you shall find behind him another white man, and behind him another, and then another, until you discover the whole score of the white population of this Republic chain-bound, one behind the other, to the murderous device. Only then will we realize what has come -- and that we chose not to stop it.

It is here that I wish to make my final words and conclude this part of the debate. Therefore I must connect one thought with another, and lay my criticisms bare at the feet of Mr. Lincoln’s final conclusive -- or so it would seem -- statement. Mr. Lincoln posits that it is the federal Government’s duty, per the Constitution, to ensure that the laws are passed in accordance with the legislative procedures, and then executed faithfully by the executive branch of the same. Any gaps in this process would jeopardize the legitimacy and authority of the national document, thereby threatening anarchy to overtake this still-infant Republic. In this piece of his analysis, Mr. Lincoln is thoroughly correct. Where Mr. Lincoln is incorrect must I also, again, point out. Mr. Lincoln and his allies in the federal Congress would argue that to deny the right to vote to the Negro would be a grievous error, one which should go against the will of God and of the natural order of things. From where does this come? Shall we find words scolding the concept of property in some philosopher or pamphleteer’s unfortunate and impermeable gabble? Shall we find the justification for abolition in the mephitic words of one man who would only gain from the Acts passed by the Congress and made law? Yes [Great cheers rise through the crowd. -- Enquirer]. Where shall we find no mention of slavery as the terrible evil that the Republicans and Mr. Lincoln would claim it to be? Where shall we see slavery in its natural and good state, untouched and unscorned by Christ Jesus Himself? It is in the Bible I shall find my answer, and it is to the Bible I swear my life, my work, and all my love and tender affection. I therefore refuse to accept this fallacious argument, and will remain by the side of those that correctly state, ‘The vote is the white man’s, and no other’.

I solemnly regret that I must retire my turn of speaking early. I have relayed all points I have wished to relay, and have spoken about all topics upon which I have wished to speak. Mr. Lincoln shall replace me here for the remaining thirty minutes, during which he shall entertain your attentions and your fantasies for the public benefit.

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Mr. Lincoln’s rejoinder.

Before I begin, I wish to thank Mr. Randall for his oratory and his time dedicated to this spectacle. His patience and commitment to this idea of representative Government is indeed commendable as it is necessary. I shall now conclude my own part, and this event, with a final exposition of some thirty-minutes. I wish to touch upon a few of Mr. Randall’s points, as well as argue several other proposals and thoughts which I was unable to deliver earlier.

Mr. Randall seems to forget, or perhaps selectively ignore, that the Congress first proposed a resolution to abolish the kingdom of slavery in February of 1864; and that autumn a Republican majority was cemented in the Congressional elections. If popular sovereignty be the greatest virtue of any true free Republic, what then is it to scorn the actions of a popularly-elected and fully-representative assembly? If the people of America had not wished to see the destruction of that institution, would they not have voted for some other candidate other than one from the party which had placed itself so firmly against the Slave Power? If we measure the election of 1864 as a metric of popular support for the movement, which I find fitting and correct, then it is altogether proper, and befitting for a Republic, that the faction Representatives and Senators, chosen by the people to occupy a majority of seats in the federal Congress, are then disposed to writing and passing a resolution, later to become a constitutional amendment, with which the people seemingly did not take great issue with enough to force those same candidates from occupying their future offices.

I shall now approach and address Mr. Randall’s words on the succubus: I find myself pleased with the woman with whom I like to keep my company, and should like to remind Mr. Randall that she, being my wife, would hardly like to hear of the words which he has so recently and callously uttered. But Mrs. Lincoln is, indeed, far more resilient than most of her kind, and so I shall not deign myself to believe her incapable of hearing one or two harsh words, no matter from whence they come [Mixed tamed applause and sighs. -- Enquirer. Applause throughout. -- Tribune].

I should also like to react to Mr. Randall’s other claims, particularly those regarding the Bible, the origin of slavery, Christ, and the rest, for I have limited time to dwell on the thoughts of my wife, and limited time thereafter to discuss the issues at hand. It is said in the Gospels that Christ was sent down to earth by the Lord God, who gave His only son so that we may enjoy eternal life. Part and parcel to this is that Christ Jesus gave his life to wash us of original sin. He did not come down to this earth and suffer death on the Cross to erase all sin that had come between the temptation of Adam and the birth of the Son of God. Indeed, there was no slavery in the times of Adam and Eve; and I find no mention of it in the Testaments until Man has come to populate all the four corners of the world, and has borne witness to the rise and fall of innumerable empires and kingdoms. I should like to see Mr. Randall point out exactly where in the Gospels does Christ say that He has come to heal all wounds and destroy all ungodly institutions in the time between His birth and death. If he should find no such phrase or verse -- and I am confident that he shall fail in not doing so -- then I shall continue to contend, that slavery is, indeed, an abomination on this earth, and to the history of all mankind, and that we are better off for its destruction. And while Mr. Randall may wish to argue the moral thoroughness of the Act of Congress which guarantees the right to vote to all male citizens -- and he is free to do so -- he cannot argue that, for a state to ignore this law, and refusing it utterly, is not any right or privilege to be found as a right reserved to the states or to the people within our tenth amendment, or in any amendment, and is therefore not only illegal, but unconstitutional. Therefore I say: that the states should accept the federal statutes or they shall have the courts, and all the other power and authority, duly granted by the Constitution and by the People, of the federal Government down upon them. This is how General Washington acted when he was commander-in-chief; and so to call it unconstitutional, or against the Constitution or God to do so, is truly folly. I am not sure even I, a former President of the United States, could argue with such a man [Both papers report slight laughter.].

It is the duty of the federal Government to uphold the Constitution throughout the Union, and to do so forcefully when there is not uniformity in obedience to that document. The charter stipulates that it is within the power of the federal legislature to pass any and all laws seen fit to uphold the Constitution, its objectives, and all constitutional amendments, and so long as those laws themselves do not conflict with the amendments, the objective of that national charter, or any of the specificities listed within its first and second Articles, those laws can be unchallenged for all-time, unless a future legislative majority sees fit to repeal said laws. Were this to be a tyranny, as Mr. Randall claims, then those citizens who have seen fit to elect all Republicans, and those Democrats who support them, will have entirely disenfranchised or otherwise prevented from going to vote those who support the Democrats who dissent against this law and all others of a similar character. We can see with but a cursory glance at our population, our laws, and those standing next to us at this very moment, that this is entirely untrue. The United States remains a republic, with the checks and balances due to a Government of that type, and those persons who serve in elected office serve at the pleasure of the People. The powers of the President and the Congress are restricted greatly, as much by each other as by other common-sense provisions within the national charter, and the People enjoy more rights here than in under any other document and Government on this earth. To call our wondrous Republic a tyranny is to call a horse a sparrow or my hat, lying there, a steam locomotive. To do so is to be ignorant of the realities of this world and to be ignorant of the facts of our being. Displayed here, then, is a willful ignorance -- an ignorance of convenient side-stepping, of picking and choosing that which best fits the narrative -- or, perhaps worse, a true ignorance, undisguised and unsullied by self-conscious knowledge. I know not which I fear more, but both are reprehensible in the absolute.

Our Republic cannot stand, permanently, on the precipice of liberty and backwardness. An embrace of Liberty is the most forward-thinking and prosperous actions one people can ever take in its history, and to reject liberty in not even all, but even just some instances will spawn that famed whirlwind of constitutional chaos and contradiction. It has claimed one great republic of the past, from which we take many of our ideals and hopes; we cannot let it claim another.

I here find myself prepared to close my talk and release from our oratory those who have elected to stay and listen for the duration. I am, indeed, loathe to close; but I believe all that can be said in these circumstances has now been said. I offer Mr. Randall my deepest thanks once more, for I believe we have done a service, however small or insignificant, to the country which we both love; and I shall now bid you, as a friend, an affectionate good-night, from one citizen of America to all the rest.
 

Kho

Yekhe Khagan
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Oct 19, 2014
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The Sultan Hasan Mosque, Cairo

An old man, known only as Hajj Mitwalli, sat at the entrance of the Sultan Hasan mosque. He was a well-known figure at the mosque's entrance, loved by the children for the brilliant tales he spun and his great talent for telling them. At this particular time, there were only three children sat at his feet as he spoke.
'Have you heard,' he was saying, 'of that old adage: “When it departs it will sever the chains, and when it comes, it comes on a hair”?' he asked. The children shook their heads. 'That is, when predestined, neither can bad fortune be averted, no matter how hard one tries, nor can good fortune be lost, no matter how careless one may be.' And with that said, he began his tale.



The tale of Sultan Hasan

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This is a story about Sultan Hasan whose mosque is here where we are now sat, in the Citadel district. Now, before we begin, repeat the declaration of faith; that there is no God but God.
Sultan Hasan had geomancers. Every day they read the future in the sand and told him how things were going in his kingdom. One day he sent for a geomancer and said, “Geomancer, I had a dream. It’s a bad dream. Read your sand and tell me what it means. ”
The geomancer read his sand and, upon seeing what was in it, wept. Sultan Hasan asked him, “Geomancer, why are you weeping?”
The geomancer replied fearfully, “Promise me safety.”
Sultan Hasan said, “Safety is yours.”
The geomancer responded, “Reassure me.”
The Sultan said, “Again, safety is yours.”
The geomancer told him, “The world will mistreat you for seven years. If you leave your children alone, it will mistreat only you. If you take them with you, it will mistreat all of you, and the kingdom will no longer be yours.”
The sultan asked, “Has anybody seen the camel?” [that is, “Will you tell anyone else about what you have seen?”]
The geomancer replied, “Nor the camel man” [that is., “As far as I’m concerned, I have seen nothing”].
Sultan Hasan said to him, “Keep this story a secret between you and me,” and asked, “Have I got much time?”
“You have got a week, seven days!” he replied.
One day before the week was over, he gathered his children and said to them, “I’m going to the
el-Sham [that is, Syria, Lebanon, and Palestine] for a tour. No matter how long it should take me, one year, four years, five or even more, make no effort to find me.”
He left by night and no one saw him except God, glory be to Him. He took nothing with him but a mule with a saddlebag full of money.
He came to a river and found a ferryman. He called to the ferryman, “Take me across.” The dawn of the eighth day was about to break.
The ferryman said, “All right. Bring your mule and step aboard. ” Sultan Hasan got hold of the mule’s chain and pulled it on to the ferry. The mule bolted, broke the chain, and leaped into the water. It sank on the spot.
The ferryman shouted to him, “Haven’t you got any brains?” and slapped him on the side of the face.
Sultan Hasan crossed the river and left the man alone. On the other bank he met a good old man sitting under a tree. The man called to him, “Peace be upon you, Hasan.”
Hasan replied, “And upon you be peace.”
The man said to him, “Take off your clothes, your shoes, and your headdress, and put on this
galabiyya and this skull cap [the garb of peasants]. When Hasan did, the man said to him, signaling with his hand for him to go, “May safety be with you.”
He kept on going until he reached a little town. He met a man driving an animal loaded with corn stalks and said to him, “Uncle passing by, couldn’t you bring me some stalks?”
The man answered, “Will do, uncle. What’s your name?”
He replied, “My name is Hasan,” and did not say, “I was a king,” or anything like that.
The man gave him some stalks, and he built a little hut for himself there. From that time on people sent him things. Maybe a woman would send him some milk, another a loaf of bread. They believed he was a blessed man and did this for his blessings.
He stayed there until the seven years had almost passed. The ‘Umda [headman/mayor] of this village was a ferocious man (away from you) and he was married to two women. He loved one of the two very much, as much as his eye. The other one he didn’t love as much as the first one. He had a palace built for his favorite wife outside the village so that she could be by herself. She was exclusively for his pleasure. But unfortunately he was a man who swore divorce too many times. He swore her divorced once, twice, and the third time it was all over. For as you well know, a husband may divorce his wife and “restore” her only twice. After the third divorce, restoration of the wife is permissible only if she has already been married to someone else and divorced from him. That meant that now this mayor could not restore his wife except through just such a muhallil [legitimizer] - a man who would marry her for one night and divorce her in the morning.
The girl’s family were Arabs who were strong and generous. They were even more powerful than the mayor’s family. The mayor went to the judge to restore his wife.
The judge said to him, “This will not work out unless you get a legitimizer to spend one night with her and divorce her in the morning. This will solve your dilemma, and without this it will not be solved.”
They thought about somebody for the job: “Who? Who? Who?”
They remembered the sheik who happened to be Hasan. At that time he was (away from you) looking like a ghul (ogre). His beard was not cared for, water had not touched his body for a long time, his nails were this long [as long as two joints on the index finger]!
The mayor sent one of his guardsmen to call him. Hasan refused and threatened to leave the village if they made him come. When the guardsman went to the mayor and told him this, the mayor slapped him and said, “You are (away from you) a khawal [homosexual],’’ and he sent another one.
He said to this next one, “Drag him on his face.”
When Hasan found that there was no escape, he said, “I leave my affairs to God,” and went with him.
They took Hasan and two witnesses to the judge. When they explained the matter to him, he said, “I’m not fit for marriage or for women.”
They answered him, “You’ll do it by order, or you’ll die.” They wrote the marriage contract and took him to her villa, which had two storeys. Before that, the mayor had ordered Hasan to be given a bath, shaved, and cleaned up quite a bit. Hasan walked into the first story and stayed there.
The lady sent her servant to say to Hasan, “I would like to see you upstairs.”
Hasan refused to go upstairs. The lady herself went down and said to him, “Aren’t you my husband according to God’s law and his Prophet’s?”
There came from Hasan no reply.
She led him upstairs, and he sat down with his face to the floor all the time. She spoke to him; he did not reply.
“Would you drink tea?”
He did not reply.
“Eat this bite?”
He did not reply.
As she (do not blame me) was caressing his hair, she found the mark of the crown and the royal seal. She realized that he was a king. She begged him to go to bed with her, but he refused to come close to her.
In the morning the judge and the mayor came. She would not open the door to them and spoke to them from her window.
“What do you want?”
“We want Hasan.”
“Will you go away, or do I have to pour dirty water on you?”
The mayor implored her, “So-and-so, this is not nice.”
She answered him, “You are not my husband, nor do I even know you.”
They implored, “So-and-so, this can’t be.”
She said, “I’ve said what I have to say, and that’s final.”
They couldn’t do anything to her, for her family was greater than the mayor’s in wealth and power.
Now the mayor went to her brother and told him the story.
Her brothers were decent people. They said to him, “Our youngest brother is getting married two days from now. We also have two boys to be circumcised on the lap of the bride in her bridal array. On this occasion we can invite them, and we will discuss the matter.”
In the morning her brother went to invite her to the wedding. Hasan told her, “I will not go,” and she answered him, “If you do not go, I will not go.”
Finally, he said to her, “If I go, I will go on foot as your squire.”
Until now, he hadn’t really touched her!
At the wedding celebration, horsemen were playing the birgas [polo]. Enthusiasm seized him, for he was a horseman - in olden days a person could not be a king without being a good horseman. He jumped on a horse and flashed, whooosh-sht, whooosh-sht, back and forth. The spectators were petrified. His wife was looking out of a window on the upper floor. After the game was over, he returned to the crowd.
At a wedding like this, they take great pride in the gifts given to the couple. A scribe was registering who gave what. Sultan Hasan, coming triumphantly from his game, shouted, “Scribe, take this down: if things go back to the way they were, there will be a bushel of gold for the bridegroom. And take this down, scribe: if things go back to the way they were, there will be a bushel of gold for the circumciser. And scribe, take this down: if things go back to the way they were, there will be a bushel of gold for the scribe.”
Now the brother of the lady became very angry. He came to Hasan and said, “What’s this, liar! You are truly a liar! Bushel what? And gold what?" and he slapped him on the face.
And Hasan said, “Scribe, take this down: if things go back to the way they were, the arm that carried the hand that slapped me will be cut off.”
When the slap landed on Hasan’s cheek, his wife was watching, and it was as if it landed on her own face. She went down immediately and took him by the hand. They mounted on the horse, and they left.
When they got home, he said to her, “Listen, you are my wife, and I am your husband. You stay here where you are, and when things return to the way they were, I will be back for you.” For the seven years were about over.
He left and took the same road home. When he reached the spot where he had met the sheik who took his clothes, he found him still sitting there. The sheik called to him, “Hasan, take your clothes.”
He put his clothes on and went to the ferryboat. He looked into the water and saw a hair [from a mule’s mane] floating on the surface. With the tips of his fingers, he pulled the hair, and out came the mule with the saddlebag full of gold.
He turned to the ferryman and slapped him.
The man asked in astonisment, “Why did you slap me?”
Hasan answered him, “Seven years ago you slapped me ‘when it severed the chains and went away. Now that it is coming, it comes on a hair!”’ (That is how life is.)
He reconciled himself to the man by giving him some money and made him content. The man forgave him, and he left. Now he came to Cairo and found somebody else ruling in his place. He went to a friend and told him the story. The friend said, “Remain here until we can arrange things.”
They got two hundred good men and gave them arms and formed a small army.
Now the man who was taking his place used to give the sermon for Friday prayers in the mosque. He spoke of nothing but how bad Sultan Hasan was.
On a Friday, Sultan Hasan, his friend, and all their men went to the mosque. As the man ruling in his place went up to the pulpit, he said nothing but “Sultan Hasan is evil. Sultan Hasan is this; Sultan Hasan is that.”
Now our friend Hasan was infuriated. He walked up to the man and chopped off his head. He fought this man’s army. Some were killed, and some ran away; as for those who had nothing to do with what happened, they were left in peace.
He went back to his palace and was reunited with his family. After he had done this, he went back to el-Sham and made good all his promises. He brought his wife back, and they lived in stability and prosperity.
If you don’t believe me, here is Sultan Hasan’s mosque. Go inside; you will find blood stains still on the pulpit.
Derived from
Hasan M. El-Shamy (ed.), Folktales of Egypt (University of Chicago Press, 1982)
Some elements - wordings etc. - edited by myself.
 
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