The Innocents Abroad

by Mark Twain

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Please give a summary of chapters 7, 8, and 9 from Mark Twain's The Innocents Abroad.

Chapters 7, 8, and 9 cover the period of approaching Tangier by sea in a week-long storm, passing through the Strait of Gibraltar, and exploring Tangier and reflecting on its history.

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Chapter 7 begins with an account of a week-long storm at sea. On the seventh night, it was so rough that the men left their cabins to witness the spectacle of the storm. The sea settles, the ship passes through the Strait of Gibraltar, and the narrator describes the Rock of Gibraltar in detail, including an upward trek on mules. Twain relates some of the legends and Moorish history recited by a man they call The Oracle. Twain and others get tricked into purchasing kid gloves that easily tear, and they all discard them in the morning.

In chapter 8, they continue on to Tangier. It is the most exotic place the narrator has ever seen. It is a massive, ancient walled city packed with humanity. He notes the diversity of the men there: Bedouins, Moors, Jews. Their garb is described in detail, as is the city's history of occupation by outside forces from Biblical times and before. The marketplaces get the narrator's attention, and he expresses his disapproval for the Emperor of Morocco, whom he calls a "soulless despot."

In chapter 9, the Christians are denied entrance to a mosque; they peer in, much to the displeasure of "Moorish bystanders." They visit a jail, which sparks a reflection on the brutal nature of punishment and the stoicism of the men who are punished. A discussion of Muslim courtship and marriage follows, including polygamy, as well as slavery and the means for escaping it. Religious mores are described among the Muslims, Jews, and Christians. The history of the conflict with Spain is related, and they visit the American Consul General. The narrator says that he is glad to have visited Tangier but is ready to leave it behind.

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