Grand Ball and Supper given by Capt Herbert

British Packet and Argentine News, 24 August 1839

Back to News from Buenos Aires    British Settlers in Argentina home page

Grand Ball and Supper given by Capt Herbert

A grand ball and supper was given on Monday last, by Captain Herbert of H.B.M’s ship Calliope, at his house in the Calle de la Paz.

The decorations upon the occasion were splendid in the extreme; the court yard or patio had an awning of flags of all nations, and was brilliantly illuminated with lamps of cut glass, of various colours, forming the letters V. R. with a crown in the centre, and the word Calliope.

The band of the Calliope stationed in the patio performed the National Anthem and “God save the Queen”; the latter on the entrance of Mr. Mandeville, Her Britannic Majesty’s Minister Plenipotentiary. Three rooms superbly lit were fitted up for dancing, on of them was ornamented with flags, as was also the refreshment room—here pastry of the most choice description was spread out, and all sorts of wine “from humble port to imperial tokay”. The supper was served up on a costly service of silver plate, and consisted of every delicacy including that great rarity in these times of blockade—English Ham. On the supper table were vases filled with flowers newly gathered, emitting a delightful fragrance.

“Ye’re beautiful, ye flowers!
Replete with loveliness:
Bright as the smiling hours
With which we now are blest.”

Dancing commenced about 8 o’clock, and continued until 4 on the following morning. There was in fact no intermission, for whilst one party was engaged at the supper table another continued the dance. The dances consisted of minuets, waltzes, quadrilles, the contra dance and the federal.

The assemblage as may be seen by the subjoined list consisted of a considerable portion of the rank and fashion of Buenos Ayres, and amongst it was many lovely beings.

“They’ve pretty paces yet, those same Porteñas,
Black eyes, arch’d brows, and sweet expressions still.”

There were present:

Doña Pascuala Beláustegui de Arana
Guillerma Irigoyen de Pinedo
Pilar Ispano de Guido
Carmen Quintanilla de Alvear
Dolores Fernández de Quiroga
Maria Antonia Segurola de Ramos
Damasia Carreras de Beláustegui
Bernardina Jiménes de Martínez
Juana Bibanco de Victorica
Paula Garretón de Larrazábal
Justa Villanueva de Armstrong
Ventura Pita de Suárez
Ignacia Diaz de Capdevilla

Magdalena Thompson
Mercedes Zapiola
Edelmira Irigoyen
María Antonia Beláustegui
Carmen Beláustegui
Rosa Beláustegui
Dolores Maldonado
Sofía Frank
Luisa Frank
Clara Frank

Mrs. Slade, Mackinlay, Macalister and C. Booth
Misses Agnes Slade, Mackinlay, Ellen Cambell and Cliff

Don Manuel Insiarte, Minister of Finance

Agustín Pinedo
Mariano Benito Rolón
Tomas Guido
José Ruiz Huidobro

Col. Francisco Crespo
Lieut. Col. Mariano Maza

Agustín Garrigós
Manuel Irigoyen
Bernardo Victorica
Idelfonso Ramos Mexía
Francisco C. Beláustegui
Julian Beláustegui
Lasidlao Martínez
Juan Manuel Larrazabal
Francisco Antonio Wright
Mariano Sarratea
Martin Sarratea
Joaquín Suarez
Sixto Quesada
Pedro Lezica
Juan Pedro Esnaola
Tomás Osua

(The engagements of the Minister of foreign affairs, Don Felipe Arana, prevented his attendance.)

John Henry Mandeville, Esq.,
Minister Plenipotentiary of Her Britannic Majesty

Don Luis Sousa Diaz,
Minster Plenipotentiary of His Majesty the Emperor of Brazil

Baron Picolet d’Hermillon,
Consul General of His Majesty the King of Sardinia

Alfred M. Slade, Esq.,
Consul of the United States

Thomas Armstrong
Robert Macalister
John Harratt
George Walker
George Frank
----- Hunter
John Macfarlane
James Barton Jr.
----- Mackinlay

Officers of H.B.M.’s ship Calliope
Lieuts. R. B. Watson and L. S. Tindal
Several Midshipmen
Lieut A. B. Stransham of the Royal Marines

Officers of H. B. M.’s ship Actaeon
Captain R. Russel
Lieuts. A. N. Fairman
J. A. Mends
R. Curtis
Mr J. B. Hutchings, Purser
Several midshipmen

Officers of United States ship Fairfield
Captain C. Boarman
Lieut Oliver S. Glisson

The company retired delighted with their entertainment and with the urbanity and kindness of Captain Herbert. Some perhaps to dream and explain like Albert—

“Fair beings float before my dazzled eyes, and in my ears rich sounds have rung. Yet these have pass’d away. Like all earthly things.”

Transcriber’s Notes
The French blockaded Buenos Aires from March 28, 1838 to November 1, 1840. This blockade aided the growth of Montevideo although the Buenos Aires merchants managed to maintain or increase the level of British exports to Buenos Aires during 1838-1839.
See Reber, Vera B. British Mercantile Houses in Buenos Aires 1810-1880. Harvard University Press 1979.

© The form of presentation of this information is the copyright of Jeremy Howat, December 2006

Valid HTML 4.01 Transitional