Monday, January 20, 2020

Where few dared to be rich

There is no regular system of taxation, but when the Emperor or the Bashaw want money, they levy on some rich man, and he has to furnish the cash or go to prison.

Therefore, few men in Morocco dare to be rich. It is too dangerous a luxury. …

Of course, there are many rich men in the empire, but their money is buried, and they dress in rags and counterfeit poverty. …

The Moor who has made a pilgrimage to Mecca is entitled to high distinction. Men call him Hadji, and he is thenceforward a great personage. Hundreds of Moors come to Tangier every year and embark for Mecca. They go part of the way in English steamers, and the ten or twelve dollars they pay for passage is about all the trip costs. …

Many of them have to rake and scrape a long time to gather together the ten dollars their steamer passage costs, and when one of them gets back he is a bankrupt forever after. Few Moors can ever build up their fortunes again in one short lifetime after so reckless an outlay.
Source: The Innocents Abroad by Mark Twain

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