Travels through the Empire of Morocco Part 8

In my capacity of General Chairman of the Merchants trading to the Mediterranean, and in consequence of the commercial relations which I have long maintained with Gibraltar, I think it my duty to submit, with great deference, to the consideration of Lord Castlereagh certain observations respecting the late dreadful calamity, which afflicted that garrison. The great mortality which then prevailed, and which carried off almost the whole of the civil inhabitants, was in a great degree to be imputed to the want of medical a.s.sistance for the poorer cla.s.ses of the people, who are chiefly foreigners. The physicians and surgeons attached to the army, had every moment of their time fully occupied by the care of the troops immediately under their charge. If even they could have spared a little attention to the miserable objects just mentioned, it could probably have produced but a very inadequate effect. As the medical gentlemen could not be supposed to be acquainted with the various foreign dialects that these people could only make use of, they were therefore obliged to be abandoned to their fate; and by their numerous deaths, and the intercourse they had with one another, necessarily occasioned a deplorable increase of contagion. It is therefore respectfully suggested, that, as the return of such a disorder ought at any rate to be guarded against, it would be highly desirable, that a medical gentleman, conversant with the languages of the southern parts of Europe, should be appointed as physician to the civil inhabitants of Gibraltar, and for their express and immediate care. There is now in London, a gentleman (Doctor Buffa), Physician to His Majesty's Forces, who appears to be peculiarly well qualified for such an appointment. He is possessed of superior medical abilities, and particularly in the disorders of the plague and yellow-fever, in the treatment of which he has had much experience and success; and having been born in Piedmont, he is well acquainted with the southern languages of Europe. If Lord Castlereagh should be pleased to approve of Doctor Buffa being placed at Gibraltar, in the situation which I have taken the liberty to suggest, it would occasion no extraordinary expense to Government, Doctor Buffa being now one of the Physicians to the Army, and might eventually be productive of the most beneficial effects.

I have the honour to be, most respectfully, SIR, Your most obedient and Most humble servant, (Signed) JOHN TURNBULL.

Guilford Street, 5th August 1805.

E. Cooke, Esq.

&c. &c. &c.

No. II.

Letter from the Secretary of the Transport Board to Dr. BUFFA.

Transport Office, 16th October 1805.

SIR,

I am directed by the Board to acquaint you, that a pa.s.sage to Gibraltar has been provided for yourself, Mrs. Buffa, your family and brother-in-law, on board the Active transport; and that you may embark on board that ship at Deptford immediately.

I am further directed to add, that it will be necessary for you to find your own provisions.

I am, Sir, Your most obedient servant, A. WHITEHEAD, Secretary.

_To Dr. Buffa, &c. &c. &c._

No. III.

Extract of a Letter from JOHN TURNBULL, Esq. Chairman of the Committee of Merchants trading to the Levant, &c. to Dr. BUFFA.

MY DEAR SIR,

On your arrival at Gibraltar, I was favoured with two letters from you; but have not since had the pleasure of hearing from you. Nor have I written to you, as, notwithstanding the unremitting endeavours, and the constant attention, on every occasion, of His Royal Highness and myself, it has not been in our power to do any thing effectual to serve you. The Medical Board _continue to give all the opposition that they possibly can_, and made a very unfavourable report, in consequence of a strong representation that I made in your favour to Mr. Windham.

London, 7th July 1806.

No. IV.

Extract of a Letter from JOHN ROSS, Esq. Acting Consul General at Tangiers, to Dr. BUFFA.

Friday, 7th May 1806.

DEAR SIR,

I heard only to-day of your arrival at Tetuan on your way to Larache, and this evening received an express from Indy Mahamed Slawey, Governor of that place, to request that, if I knew you had been in this country, you would use every possible endeavour to come to him at Larache; and to accompany him to the Emperor who wished to see you.

Let me therefore request your moving as quick as possible to Larache direct from Tetuan, and join him before he departs. Should you miss him, he has left orders to his Lieutenant-governor there, to forward you to Sidy immediately.

No. V.

Letter written to JOHN ROSS, Esq. Acting Consul General at Tangiers.

Larache, May 17th, 1806.

SIR,

His Excellency the Governor of this place having last evening received a letter from the Emperor, inclosing a communication transmitted by the French Consul, together with a note from Paris, His Excellency has honoured me with both to peruse. Their contents were the most severe philippics against England; our blessed government was represented the most perfidious and treacherous in the world, and great art used to excite distrust, and to produce a rupture with England. M. Talleyrand informs His Imperial Majesty, by command, of the taking of Naples, and the republic of Ragusa; that Bonaparte, for certain political reasons, has thought it expedient to appoint Louis Bonaparte King of Holland; and Joseph, his other brother, King of the Two Sicilies: that it was Bonaparte's determination to exclude the English from every port in Europe: that Ceuta should, as soon as an opportunity offers, be occupied entirely by French troops; that Spain and Portugal would soon become provinces of France, and that His Imperial Majesty could do no better thing than to abandon the English, and make common cause with France: that the French Consul was charged to demand five thousand bullocks, as many horses and mules; wheat and barley for the French forces: that an equivalent in territory should be given to the Emperor, and a certain scheme submitted to the Court of Morocco highly honourable and advantageous to Barbary.

I told His Excellency to be on his guard; for that, by art, Bonaparte has enslaved, plundered, and overturned the continent of Europe: that I could not help ridiculing the idea of exporting provisions and cattle from Barbary: that Bonaparte might cause them to be exported by air-balloons, but by no other means or conveyance, while England rules the seas. I availed myself of this opportunity of delineating the features of the Great Nation, and relating the acts and deeds of Bonaparte at Alexandria, Acre, and Jaffa; which had the desired effect. He then confidentially informed me, that the Emperor had commanded him to reply to the French government as he deemed most conducive to the interest and good of Barbary: that he should cut matters short: that proper steps should be taken to defeat their cabals and intrigues, and a watchful eye kept for the future on the motions of the French Consul, and all his agents; and that I might a.s.sure the British government, that his influence shall always be used for the interests of the English. Upon which I thanked him, and told him that the Emperor might always command my services, whenever he deemed them necessary.

You will no longer apprehend the ascendancy of the French in this part of the world, as it is all over with them; nor will they ever succeed as long as this excellent Moorish Chief guides the councils of thee Emperor.

I remain, with due respect,

SIR,

Your Most obedient servant,

JOHN BUFFA.

To John Ross, Esq.

Acting Consul General, '

Tangiers.

No. VI.

Letter from Captain STEWART, of His Majesty's Ship Seahorse, to ----.

His Britannic Majesty's Frigate Seahorse, June 1806.

MOST n.o.bLE AND EXCELLENT SIR,

Presuming on the great friendship between our royal masters, I have sent an officer on sh.o.r.e to request of you, leave to purchase some cattle, sheep, and fowls, for myself, my officers and crew, who have been long cruizing without fresh provisions. He is authorized to draw bills on the British government for the amount of the purchase, which I will approve and sign.

The quant.i.ty of cattle we want, will be about twenty-five, of sheep about eighteen, and of fowls about twelve dozen (besides some eggs and vegetables), more or less, according to the price.

May the light of Heaven be shed upon you many years!

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