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and Boufaric; they are made on the English plan of Macadamization, and do great credit to their engineer, the late Col. Le Merci, and are the only works of permanent utility made throughout the country by the French, since their arrival seven years ago.
Our track lay through a fine open country beyond the immediate vicinity of the town, which is hilly and intersected by deep valleys and ravines. The soil is a rich dark loam ; but little, I may say nothing, has been yet done by improved cultivation to try its powers. The corn is now tolerably well up, but speaks little for its mode of culture, as the plough still in use is the original rude implement of the Arab, a simple beam and coulter attached to a cross-stick, which is tied to the beam, the same in fact as that used in Gallicia. The consequence is, that the subsoil, often the most valuable, is never turned up. So much could be effected by clearing, draining, and all the modern improvements in agriculture, that I have no doubt it could be made as productive as any land in England. The only perfect meadows I saw since leaving home were in this day's ride. The French are neither an agricultural nor a commercial people, and the few cultivators here are Spaniards from Majorca and Minorca, and some Maltese. What a splendid country it would now be with English capital, Scotch overseers, and Irish labourers.
COLONY OF DEL-ABREEM.
This small colony of Del-Abreem is not in a very flourishing condition; the few wooden houses are in the most wretched state, the roofs decayed, and the surrounding palings broken down. It is under the protection of a strong garrison of 1500 swauves and spahees, and two forts, on each of which are three field-pieces. With all this, a band of Arab cavalry, belonging to Abd-el-Kadir, prince of Maskara, made a descent not twelve months ago from the mountains, rushed in during the broad daylight, and carried off tủe greater part of the colonists ; and this within five miles of Algiers !!
Within view of this is the range of block-houses forming the French lines. These are supported on large posts of wood; and as the Arabs are frequently lying in wait to have a chance shot, the fifteen men they each contain are often a week without stirring out, and are obliged to be supplied with water and provisions once a fortnight.
From this spot there is also a good view of the plain of Metijah, the garden of Algiers, and one of the most fertile spots in this part of Africa; fifty miles by twenty in extent; but now completely neglected, as, though within the conquered territory, the Arab feeds his flock, and the Bedawee pitches his tent there with impunity. The French have established no intercourse whatever with the interior, for even if the tempting hopes of gold induced any one tribe of
the natives to bring their produce to market, so great is the antipathy still towards the new-comers, that they would be sure to be robbed by another tribe on their way, and the French dare not attempt the mountains, or cross this plain without a force of five or six hundred men, as an ambush certainly awaits them amongst the enormous reeds and underwood that its neglected condition has suffered to spring up. On our way home we passed through some of the villas now occupied by the French officers. Nothing has been done towards clearing Vast thickets of wild olive, mastich, dwarf-oak, palma-christi, and palmetta clothe the valleys, or spread over the former inclo
The wild olive is large, and tolerably good to eat. The gentleman who accompanied us has found engrafting the cultivated one on the wild to succeed. The government have planted the mulberry near the town; but the trees do not look in a very healthy state, though the climate promises well. The cactus, or prickly pear, grows to a great size, and its fruit is a favourite with the natives; the French tried the cochineal on it, but, as might be expected from a country of rain and frost, it failed, and has been abandoned in despair. The rows of agave Americana form impenetrable fences to the inclosures, and when in blow, present a scene of great splendour. The French soldiers, with their usual ingenuity, have turned the fibres to some account, and manufacture
them into work-bags, and it would, I should think, form a cheap and durable ship-cordage.
Near the town are some wide-spreading palms of the date species, and the process of fecundation is a ceremony of much interest throughout Barbary, and attended with great rejoicing. There are a few bananas, (musa paradisiaca,) but the fruit is not at all so large or well-flavoured as those of Madeira.
Wheat, barley, Indian corn, beans, and a small description of millet, are the principal grain produced here; but, at present, in quantities so small, that it would not supply a tenth of the demand for half the year.
As yet the grain has to be supplied from the mother country, so that a wellregulated blockade along the coast must soon starve the garrison into capitulation. Considering the number of officers and their families at Algiers, there is not so much society as might be expected. This may be owing to the smallness of their pay ; there are, however, many agreeable little soirées among the upper classes, which cheap and convenient mode of seeing friends, without the formality of invitation, renders it worthy of imitation.
The military governor, the chief man here, sees no one ; but the Intendant-civil opens his house every fifteen days for dancing and eau sucre, administered
upon the homeopathic plan. One 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 this Turkish house ; the heat was intense, and the crushing of ladies' padding and buckram really terrific. None but the married ladies are permitted to waltz. On asking a lady to dance, she refers to a little ornamented memorandum-book in her girdle to see what set she is disengaged for, and in something of Newmarket style, books you for a set. 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 are most dazzling.
There is an opera, but so thoroughly disgusted were we with it, that we shall not inflict a description of it on our readers ; besides a petit Champs Elisèe, and minor theatres without number.
One of the stipulations on giving up the town was, that the Mohammadan religion should be protected; and although the French have turned one of the mosques into a chapel, they are erecting another near the Mole.
Under the guidance of Moostapha, the consul's dragoman, we were gratified with a view of the principal one; before it is an open court, with a handsome fountain, in which the pious Moosselmans were making their ablutions. We had to leave our shoes at the door, and entered a large oblong building, divided by two rows of square pillars, supporting arches of a peculiar shape, whose sides, if pro