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Texts in English / Algeria

 

 

Algeria 

 

 

A ball in Algiers, Algeria, 1837-1838

 

Wilde, W.R.: Narrative of a voyage to Madeira, Tenerife, and along the shores of the Mediterranean… Dublin, William Curry, 1840, 2 vols.

 

 

The military governor, the chief man here, sees no one ; but the intendant-civil opens his house once every fifteen days for dancing, and eau sucrè, administered upon the homeopathic plan. One of these sugar-water and lemonade re-unions occurred during our stay, and we accompanied our consul to it. The scene would have been one of particular animation, but for the narrowness of the rooms of the Turkish house ; the heat was intense, and the crushing of the ladies’ padding and buckram really terrific. None but the married ladies are permitted to waltz ! On asking a lady to dance, she referred me to a little ornamented memorandum-book in her girdle to see what set she was disengaged for, and in something of Newmarket style, booked me for the fourteenth ! Several Easterns and officers of the Swauves were present, and all the military lions of the day exhibited, whose prowess here is looked upon as absolutely beyond any thing the French army has achieved for centuries, and their orders and decorations were most dazzling.

 

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Wednesday the 18th.