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Chapter 14

  • "Some time elapsed before I learned the history of my friends. It was on_hich could not fail to impress itself deeply on my mind, unfolding as it di_ number of circumstances, each interesting and wonderful to one so utterl_nexperienced as I was.
  • "The name of the old man was De Lacey. He was descended from a good family i_rance, where he had lived for many years in affluence, respected by hi_uperiors and beloved by his equals. His son was bred in the service of hi_ountry, and Agatha had ranked with ladies of the highest distinction. A fe_onths before my arrival they had lived in a large and luxurious city calle_aris, surrounded by friends and possessed of every enjoyment which virtue,
  • refinement of intellect, or taste, accompanied by a moderate fortune, coul_fford.
  • "The father of Safie had been the cause of their ruin. He was a Turkis_erchant and had inhabited Paris for many years, when, for some reason which _ould not learn, he became obnoxious to the government. He was seized and cas_nto prison the very day that Safie arrived from Constantinople to join him.
  • He was tried and condemned to death. The injustice of his sentence was ver_lagrant; all Paris was indignant; and it was judged that his religion an_ealth rather than the crime alleged against him had been the cause of hi_ondemnation.
  • "Felix had accidentally been present at the trial; his horror and indignatio_ere uncontrollable when he heard the decision of the court. He made, at tha_oment, a solemn vow to deliver him and then looked around for the means.
  • After many fruitless attempts to gain admittance to the prison, he found _trongly grated window in an unguarded part of the building, which lighted th_ungeon of the unfortunate Muhammadan, who, loaded with chains, waited i_espair the execution of the barbarous sentence. Felix visited the grate a_ight and made known to the prisoner his intentions in his favour. The Turk,
  • amazed and delighted, endeavoured to kindle the zeal of his deliverer b_romises of reward and wealth. Felix rejected his offers with contempt, ye_hen he saw the lovely Safie, who was allowed to visit her father and who b_er gestures expressed her lively gratitude, the youth could not help ownin_o his own mind that the captive possessed a treasure which would fully rewar_is toil and hazard.
  • "The Turk quickly perceived the impression that his daughter had made on th_eart of Felix and endeavoured to secure him more entirely in his interests b_he promise of her hand in marriage so soon as he should be conveyed to _lace of safety. Felix was too delicate to accept this offer, yet he looke_orward to the probability of the event as to the consummation of hi_appiness.
  • "During the ensuing days, while the preparations were going forward for th_scape of the merchant, the zeal of Felix was warmed by several letters tha_e received from this lovely girl, who found means to express her thoughts i_he language of her lover by the aid of an old man, a servant of her fathe_ho understood French. She thanked him in the most ardent terms for hi_ntended services towards her parent, and at the same time she gently deplore_er own fate.
  • "I have copies of these letters, for I found means, during my residence in th_ovel, to procure the implements of writing; and the letters were often in th_ands of Felix or Agatha. Before I depart I will give them to you; they wil_rove the truth of my tale; but at present, as the sun is already fa_eclined, I shall only have time to repeat the substance of them to you.
  • "Safie related that her mother was a Christian Arab, seized and made a slav_y the Turks; recommended by her beauty, she had won the heart of the fathe_f Safie, who married her. The young girl spoke in high and enthusiastic term_f her mother, who, born in freedom, spurned the bondage to which she was no_educed. She instructed her daughter in the tenets of her religion and taugh_er to aspire to higher powers of intellect and an independence of spiri_orbidden to the female followers of Muhammad. This lady died, but her lesson_ere indelibly impressed on the mind of Safie, who sickened at the prospect o_gain returning to Asia and being immured within the walls of a harem, allowe_nly to occupy herself with infantile amusements, ill-suited to the temper o_er soul, now accustomed to grand ideas and a noble emulation for virtue. Th_rospect of marrying a Christian and remaining in a country where women wer_llowed to take a rank in society was enchanting to her.
  • "The day for the execution of the Turk was fixed, but on the night previous t_t he quitted his prison and before morning was distant many leagues fro_aris. Felix had procured passports in the name of his father, sister, an_imself. He had previously communicated his plan to the former, who aided th_eceit by quitting his house, under the pretence of a journey and conceale_imself, with his daughter, in an obscure part of Paris.
  • "Felix conducted the fugitives through France to Lyons and across Mont Ceni_o Leghorn, where the merchant had decided to wait a favourable opportunity o_assing into some part of the Turkish dominions.
  • "Safie resolved to remain with her father until the moment of his departure,
  • before which time the Turk renewed his promise that she should be united t_is deliverer; and Felix remained with them in expectation of that event; an_n the meantime he enjoyed the society of the Arabian, who exhibited toward_im the simplest and tenderest affection. They conversed with one anothe_hrough the means of an interpreter, and sometimes with the interpretation o_ooks; and Safie sang to him the divine airs of her native country.
  • "The Turk allowed this intimacy to take place and encouraged the hopes of th_outhful lovers, while in his heart he had formed far other plans. He loathe_he idea that his daughter should be united to a Christian, but he feared th_esentment of Felix if he should appear lukewarm, for he knew that he wa_till in the power of his deliverer if he should choose to betray him to th_talian state which they inhabited. He revolved a thousand plans by which h_hould be enabled to prolong the deceit until it might be no longer necessary,
  • and secretly to take his daughter with him when he departed. His plans wer_acilitated by the news which arrived from Paris.
  • "The government of France were greatly enraged at the escape of their victi_nd spared no pains to detect and punish his deliverer. The plot of Felix wa_uickly discovered, and De Lacey and Agatha were thrown into prison. The new_eached Felix and roused him from his dream of pleasure. His blind and age_ather and his gentle sister lay in a noisome dungeon while he enjoyed th_ree air and the society of her whom he loved. This idea was torture to him.
  • He quickly arranged with the Turk that if the latter should find a favourabl_pportunity for escape before Felix could return to Italy, Safie should remai_s a boarder at a convent at Leghorn; and then, quitting the lovely Arabian,
  • he hastened to Paris and delivered himself up to the vengeance of the law,
  • hoping to free De Lacey and Agatha by this proceeding.
  • "He did not succeed. They remained confined for five months before the tria_ook place, the result of which deprived them of their fortune and condemne_hem to a perpetual exile from their native country.
  • "They found a miserable asylum in the cottage in Germany, where I discovere_hem. Felix soon learned that the treacherous Turk, for whom he and his famil_ndured such unheard-of oppression, on discovering that his deliverer was thu_educed to poverty and ruin, became a traitor to good feeling and honour an_ad quitted Italy with his daughter, insultingly sending Felix a pittance o_oney to aid him, as he said, in some plan of future maintenance.
  • "Such were the events that preyed on the heart of Felix and rendered him, whe_ first saw him, the most miserable of his family. He could have endure_overty, and while this distress had been the meed of his virtue, he glorie_n it; but the ingratitude of the Turk and the loss of his beloved Safie wer_isfortunes more bitter and irreparable. The arrival of the Arabian no_nfused new life into his soul.
  • "When the news reached Leghorn that Felix was deprived of his wealth and rank,
  • the merchant commanded his daughter to think no more of her lover, but t_repare to return to her native country. The generous nature of Safie wa_utraged by this command; she attempted to expostulate with her father, but h_eft her angrily, reiterating his tyrannical mandate.
  • "A few days after, the Turk entered his daughter's apartment and told he_astily that he had reason to believe that his residence at Leghorn had bee_ivulged and that he should speedily be delivered up to the French government;
  • he had consequently hired a vessel to convey him to Constantinople, for whic_ity he should sail in a few hours. He intended to leave his daughter unde_he care of a confidential servant, to follow at her leisure with the greate_art of his property, which had not yet arrived at Leghorn.
  • "When alone, Safie resolved in her own mind the plan of conduct that it woul_ecome her to pursue in this emergency. A residence in Turkey was abhorrent t_er; her religion and her feelings were alike averse to it. By some papers o_er father which fell into her hands she heard of the exile of her lover an_earnt the name of the spot where he then resided. She hesitated some time,
  • but at length she formed her determination. Taking with her some jewels tha_elonged to her and a sum of money, she quitted Italy with an attendant, _ative of Leghorn, but who understood the common language of Turkey, an_eparted for Germany.
  • "She arrived in safety at a town about twenty leagues from the cottage of D_acey, when her attendant fell dangerously ill. Safie nursed her with the mos_evoted affection, but the poor girl died, and the Arabian was left alone,
  • unacquainted with the language of the country and utterly ignorant of th_ustoms of the world. She fell, however, into good hands. The Italian ha_entioned the name of the spot for which they were bound, and after her deat_he woman of the house in which they had lived took care that Safie shoul_rrive in safety at the cottage of her lover."