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Dey of Algiers

Anecdotes Home






When Admiral Keppel was sent to the Dey of Algiers, to
demand restitution of two ships which the pirates had taken, he sailed with
his squadron into the bay of Algiers, and cast anchor in front of the Dey's
palace. He then landed, and, attended only by his captain and barge's crew,
demanded an immediate audience of the Dey; this being granted, he claimed
full satisfaction for the injuries done to the subjects of his Britannic
Majesty. Surprised and enraged at the boldness of the admiral's
remonstrance, the Dey exclaimed, "That he wondered at the king's insolence
in sending him a foolish beardless boy." To this the admiral made a
spirited reply, which caused the Dey to forget the laws of all nations in
respect to ambassadors, and he ordered his mutes to attend with the
bowstring, at the same time telling the admiral he should pay for his
audacity with his life. Unmoved by this menace, the admiral took the Dey to
a window facing the bay, and showed him the English fleet riding at
anchor, and told him, that if he dared to put him to death, there were
Englishmen enough in that fleet to make him a glorious funeral pile. The
Dey was wise enough to take the hint. The admiral obtained ample
restitution, and came off in safety.





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