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the Dey and his suite. In one of these fetes, the prowess of an athlete so captivated the daughter of the reigning Dey, that she demanded him of her father in marriage ; her modest request was complied with, and he was forthwith raised to one of the highest offices in the state. The presencechamber was a little square wooden box, projecting from one of the galleries—and the hall of waiting for the European consuls was a most miserable hole. It was here the janizaries met to elect the Dey. On our return, in passing through one of the steep narrow archways, we were pointed out the spot to which unfortunate victims were hurried to be strangled. It has dungeons ranged on either side, and is now used as a civil prison. The executioner, a most cut-throat rascal of a Moor, is still retained in office; we were informed that he was the greatest adept at the garotte or the bowstring in Algiers; and, far from disliking to be questioned on the subject, he appeared to relish it of all things, and explained, in a most scientific manner, the mode of adjusting the rope, and imitated the struggles of the unfortunate criminals with horrid satisfaction. Another dreadful punishment was, flinging the unfortunate criminal down a slanting wall from which projected hooks, which, penetrating his body, retained him in agony till released by death. It was on this very spot that no less than seven Deys were strangled between sunrise and sunset-a whole week of them; and their white
marabutts, or tombs, are still to be seen outside the wall, near the Bab-el-Ouetta. With such an example before his eyes it is a wonder they got an eighth to fill the dailik; but it did not always depend on the will of the individual who was chosen by his fellow janizaries, and carried from his huxter'sshop to the throne. The last Dey was not only the longest in office ever known, but the second who died a natural death.
Although the houses appear so mean and prisonlike externally, within they are constructed with great beauty, elegance, and adaptation to this warm country. The outer door, which is generally very plain, though of great strength, leads into a small square hall or reception-chamber, made more gloomy by being completely lined with dark blue tile. This apartment is generally occupied by servants, and, except on very urgent business, further than this a visitor is seldom allowed. The interior presents a square area or court, with a marble pavement–in the centre of some played a fountain, the spray of which rising high, and caught in alabaster vases, gave a grateful coolness to the whole. This court is surrounded by a piazza, supported by twisted columns of snow-white Italian marble. The arches are of the true Saracenic, forming nearly two-thirds of a circle ; colonnades of a similar description rise to two, and sometimes to three stories, having handsome balustrades protecting each of the galleries, the fronts of which
are ornamented in mosaics of tiles. All the windows and doors of the houses look into the court. The rooms are long and narrow, richly carpetted, and surrounded by a divan, on which are placed cushions of the most costly velvets; the walls and ceilings beautifully ornamented in stucco. The domestics inhabit the lower story, while the upper is allotted to the master and the hareem. On top, the roof is flat, and protected on both sides by a parapet that looks towards the court, being about breast-high. As the city rises on a hill, most of those house-tops not only enjoy a view of those around them, but have a charming prospect of the bay, the shipping, and the lovely villas in the neighbourhood of the town. The arrangement of the house was like that of the ancient Romans, and the present style of architecture in Spain was no doubt left by the Moors. The twisted pillar seems to be peculiarly Saracenic; some are double and united, having the twist or roping in opposite directions; the capital, a corruption of the Ionic, is long and taper, having a bunch of grapes or flowers hanging from the volute, and a leaf of the acanthus rising on either side from the module on which it stands. During the heat of summer there is an awning over the open space at top; this shuts up like an umbrella, or is drawn across from the inner parapet wall. The learned Dr. Shaw conceives that it was from coverings of this kind arose the expression of the Psalmist and the prophet Isaiah, of “spreading
out the heavens like a curtain.”—Ps. civ. 2; Is. xl. 22. And as this was in all probability the description of house used in Judea during the days of our Saviour, and not the present dome-roofed house which the constant warfare of that country has made necessary, it was the removing of such light covering as this that is spoken of in the Gospels, when the people uncovered the house to let down the paralytic.
The residence of the British consul-general is a good specimen of a Moorish house, and many will be the opportunities afforded to the traveller at Algiers of visiting its hospitable interior. I feel I shall be but echoing the sentiments of my countrymen, when speaking of Mr. St. John and his family. Independent of his character, as an educated English gentleman, much of his attention to strangers is, no doubt, owing to his being one of the few of our consuls who are not'engaged in traffic, or bound
with the commercial interests of the country in which they reside. The merchant, who is engaged by ties of pecuniary interest towards the natives, or perhaps with the government of the station he resides at, cannot have the same feelings towards the country he represents. Were it otherwise, and that our vice-consuls and political agents received a compensation for their services, it would add much to the efficiency and respectability of the office ; masters of traders would not have so many causes of complaint of a thousand unneces
sary delays and exactions practised on them, especially throughout the Mediterranean, and the dignity of the British flag would be better preserved.
I have always made it a rule to visit the markets early. Independent of the productions of the country there exhibited, it shows more of the life and character of a nation than any other place I am acquainted with. The daily market is held in the Grand Place, and presents a group of motley figures unequalled; with the jabbering of the negresses and monkeys—the two-penny showsGenoese boys grinding hurdy-gurdies—toy bazaars -gaming-tables—mingled with Arabs, Bedawees, Kabyles, and Jewish shoe-blacks—through all which the Moor stalks with the utmost gravity and contempt.
Fish are in great quantity, and fruit and game plenty at present. The vegetables are some of the finest I ever saw ; cauliflowers of a size that would not be credited by our English gardeners, and the oranges of Bleda are, I believe, the largest any where to be found.
Steamers go twice a week to Marseilles, and London news can be had on the sixth day.
On the 24th we rode out to the settlement of Del-Abreem, or Deli Ibrahim, the principal attempt made at colonization by the French. Some of the roads about Algiers are admirably constructed, particularly those leading towards Dowera