There follows a footnote from a book published and printed 187 years ago. I found it in my parents’ library.
Title: The Legislatorial Trial of Her Majesty Caroline Amelia Elizabeth, Queen of England, Consort of George the Fourth, for the Alleged Crime of Adultery with Bartolomeo Bergami.
Printed and published by H. Rowe, 1820.
The Solicitor General: Do you remember a person of the name Majoretto or Mahomet, being in the service of the Princess?
Theodore Majocchi: Yes
SG: What countryman was he?
TM: He was from Jaffa
SG: Did he come on board the Princess’s vessel at Jaffa?
SG: Do you remember at any time when the Princess was present, at which Mahomet made any exhibition?
TM: Yes, he performed a Giuoco*
*It appears that the dancing exhibitions of Mahomet, so much dwelt upon by the Attorney-General, are neither more nor less than the fandango in its original form, as introduced into Spain by the Moors:- so sooner is it begun at a ball than every countenance becomes animated; and even those who, by their age and profession, are most obliged to gravity, have much difficulty in preventing themselves from joining in the cadence.
It is related on this subject, that the court of Rome, scandalized that a country renowned for the purity of its faith, should not long ago have proscribed this profane dance, resolved to pronounce its formal condemnation. A consistory assembled; the prosecution of the fandango was begun according to rule; and sentence was about to be thundered against it; when one of the judges judiciously observed, that a criminal ought not to be condemned without being heard.
The observation had weight with the assembly. Two Spaniards were brought before it: and to the sound of instruments, displayed all the graces of the fandango.
The severity of the judges was not proof against the exhibition: their austere countenances began to relax; they rose from their seats, and their arms and legs soon found their former suppleness. The consistory-hall was changed into a dancing room, and the fandango was acquitted.