"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."