The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  132

CHAP. XX.

Quaint fashion too was there,
Whose caprice trims
The Indian's wampum,
And the crowns of kings.

AUTHOR'S Manuscript Poems.
ARGUMENT.

Notices of the Habits, Customs, &c. of the Algerines.

THE men wear next to their bodies a linen shirt, or rather chemise, and drawers of the same texture. Over their shirt a linen or silk gown, which is girded about their loins by a sash, in the choice of which they exhibit much fancy. In this dress their legs and lower extrem|ity of their arms are bare. As an outer garment, a loose coat of coarser materials is thrown over the whole. They wear turbans, which are long pieces of muslin Page  133 or silk curiously folded, so as to form a cap comfortable and ornamental. Slip|pers are usually worn, though the sol|diers are provided with a sort of buskin, resembling our half boots. The dress of the women, I am told, for I never had the pleasure of inspecting it very critical|ly, resembles that of the men, except that their drawers are longer, and their out side garment is like our old fashioned riding hoods. When the ladies walk the streets, they are muffled with bandages or hand|kerchiefs of muslin or silk over their faces, which conceals all but their eyes; and, if too nearly inspected, will let fall a large vail, which conceals them intirely. The men u|sually set cross legged upon mattresses, laid upon low seats at the sides of the room. They loll on cushions at their meals; and, after their repasts, occasionally indulge with a short slumber. I have such a lauda|ble attachment to the customs of my own country, that I doubt whether I can Page  134 judge candidly of their cookery or mode of eating. The former would be unpal|atable and the latter disgusting to most A|mericans; for saffron is their common seasoning. They cook their provisions to rags or pap, and eat it with their fin|gers, though the better sort use spoons. Their diversions consist in associating in the coffee houses, in the city, and, in the country, under groves, where they smoke and chat, and drink cooling not inebri|ating liquors. Their more active amuse|ments are riding and throwing the dart, at both which they are very expert. They sometimes play at chess and drafts, but never at games of chance or for mon|ey; those being expressly forbidden by the alcoran.