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chant said, Ibraim, I pity your sufferings, and perhaps I may be able to relieve you. What would you do to regain your liberty ? «I would,' said he, "meet every pain, and encounter every danger, that can appal the heart of man.
· The means of
your deliverance,' said the merchant, are certain, without so great a trial. I have in this city an inveterate enemy, who has offered me every insult and injury that malice could invent; but he is as brave as he is haughty, and I have never dared to resent them as they have deserved. Here, Ibraim, is the instrument of your deliverance ; take this dagger ; and when night has drawn her sable curtain over the city, go with me : avenge me of my adversary, and you shall be free?
5. Indignant at the idea of being an assassin, he rejected the proposal with disdain ; and raising his fettered arm as high as his chain woul admit, he swore by the mighty prophet Mahomet, " that he would not stoop to so vile a deed, to purchase the freedom of all his race.' The Venetian left him, adding, quite deliberately, · You will think better of this, perhaps, by the next time I visit you.'
6. Returning the next day with his son, he accosted Ibraim mildly, telling him, that though he rejected his proposal before, he doubted not but he might now be convinced. • Insult not the miserable,' interrupted Ibraim warmly, with proposals more shocking than the chains I wear. Know,Christian, that if thy religion permits such deeds, every true Mahometan views them with indignation. From this moment, therefore, let us break off all intercourse, and be for ever strangers to each other.' • No,' answered the merchant, embracing him, 'Let us be more strongly united than ever! Pardon me this unnecessary trial of thy virtue. Mazzarino has a soul as averse to deeds of treachery and bloodshed as Ibraim himself. From this moment, generous man, thou art free; thy ránsom is already paid, with no other obligation than that of remembering thy young and faithful friend ; and perhaps, hereafter, when you see an unhappy Christian groaning in Turkish fetters, thy generosity may make you think of Venice.'
7. Language cannot paint the ecstacy of joy and gratitude, which Ibraim felt at intelligence.so agreeable, but unexpected. It is unnecessary to repeat the many and warm expressions of gratitude, which he uttered as soon as the first tide of joy had so abated as to give him utterance. He was set free that very day, and Mazzarino put him on board a vessel bound to one of the Grecian islands, bade him an affectionate adieu, putting a purse of gold into his hand to bear his expenses, and wishing
him every blessing. Their prayers and benedictions were mutual; for Ibraim regretted the separation from such a friend, whose disinterested goodness had set him at liberty, and with tears and
prayers bade him a long farewell. 8. About six months after this circumstance took place, on the morning of one of their Saint's days, as the family of the Venetian merchant was in profound sleep, his house was discovered to be on fire, and had nearly involved the whole in flames. Scarcely had the merchant been apprized of his danger in time to escape the awful conflagration; and no sooner had he escaped with his servants who awoke him, than he inquired for his son. What a tumult or agony and despair rent his breast, when informed, that in the general consternation, he had been forgotten, and was now alone in an upper apartment of the house ! He would have rushed headlong into the flames in a fruitless search for his son, had not his servants restrained him. He offered half his estate to the intrepid man who would save his son.
9. Tempted by the greatness of the reward, ladders were immediately raised, and several daring attempts were made by different persons, but were forced back by the violence of the flames. Upon the roof of the house the little boy now appeared with extended arms, imploring aid, and seemed devoted to inevitable destruction. The father, beholding the imploring son, and the certain fate that awaited him, sunk under the weight of the dreadful prospect, and became totally insensible. In this moment of horrid suspense, a man rushing through the crowd, with a countenance indicating the most determined resolution, ascended a ladder, and was soon enveloped in a cloud of smoke. Lost to all appearance, the gazing multitude below supposed he must perish in the flames.
10. What, then, must have been their astonishment, when they beheld him issuing forth with the little boy in his arms, and descend the ladder, to revive the heart of an almost expiring parent! Or what must have been his feelings, when he recovered his senses, at beholding in his own arms the darling of his heart, whom he had given up for lost! Tenderly embracing him, he earnestly inquired for the man who had risked his own life to save his son. They showed him a man of noble stature, but meanly clad, covered with smoke, and scorched with heat, all at once declared he was the intrepid adventurer who had saved his son.
11. Mazzarino presenting him a purse of gold, requested his acceptance of that, till he could make good his promiseawhich should be done the next day. So,' replicd the stranger, "I
do not sell my blood. The pleasure of saving your son, is a reward greater than all your riches could give.' . Generous man!' cried the merchant, thy voice, sure, is not strange to me! Is it Ibraim ?' Yes,' exclaimed his son, throwing himself into the arms of his deliverer, it is my Ibraim !'
12. Nothing could exceed the astonishment and gratitude of Mazzarino, to behold the deliverer of his son in the person of Ibraim. Taking his benefactor with him to a house of his, in another part of the city, he inquired how he came into slavery a second time, and why he had not made him acquainted with his condition. That captivity which has given me an oppor. tunity of showing that I was not altogether undeserving your kindness, and of preserving that dear youth, I shall ever reckon amongst the happiest events of my life,' replied the generous Turk. "But,' replied he, I will relate to you the whole affair.
13. “I believe you never were made acquainted with the circumstance of my aged father being a sharer with me in my captivity. Taken together by your gallies, we were sold to different masters. Those tears of sorrow, which so attracted the notice of your generous little son, were shed on account of the hard fate of my aged sire ; and no sooner was I set free by your unexampled bounty, than I went in search of the Christian who had made him a slave. Having found him, I offered myself in his stead, that he might go back, and let his declining sun set calm and serene in his own country, and amidst the tender care of surrounding friends.
14. At length I prevailed on the Christian, by adding the purse of gold your bounty had supplied me with, to permit my father to go back in the vessel which was intended for me, without acquainting him with the means of his freedom. Since that time I have continued here a willing slave, to pay the debt of nature and of gratitude.'
15. Ibraim ceased. The Venetian expressed great astonishment at such elevation of mind ; and pressed him to accept the offer of half his estate, and to spend the remainder of his days in Venice. Ibraim assured his friend, that what he had done was nothing more than the obligations of gratitude and friendsbip required; and therefore he must decline accepting any further recompense than that of reflecting, that he was not ungrateful.
16. The inerchant, solicitous to make some returns worthy of so much greatness of soul, once more purchased his freedom, and freighted a ship on purpose to send him back to his own country.
Most affectionately did he and his son embrace their
But the young
deliverer, and accompanying him to the ship, they once more bade a last adieu, remaining on shore until the ship lost itselt under the horizon, and sending forward their ardent prayers for a safe and prosperous voyage.
17. Many years having now elapsed, during which time no intelligence had been received of Ibraim, the young Mazzarino had grown up, and become the most accomplished and amiable youth of his age and rank. Having some business in a maritime town at some distance, which required dispatch in getting thither, he embarked, with his father, on board a Venetian vessel going to that place. The winds favoured their views; they had gained more than half their voyage, with a fine prospect of securing their whole passage, when a Turkish corsair was suddenly discovered bearing down upon them; from which they soon found it would be impossible to escape.
18. Fear and consternation seized the greater part of the crew, and they soon gave all over for lost. Mazzarino, drawing his sword, reproached them for their cowardice ; and, by his manly courage and speeches, roused them to defend their liberties by one great effort. The corsair approached in awful silence, till within reach of the Venetian ship, when, on a sudden, the very heavens were rent by the noise of the artillery, and the whole atmosphere wrapt in smoke. Tbrice did the Turks attempt to board the Venetian ship : as often were they repulsed by the well-timed firmness of young Mazzarino, and the crew, inspired by his courage. Having lost many of their men, and seeing no prospect of carrying their point, the Turks began to draw off, and would have left the Venetians to pursue their voyage, had not two other ships of their own nation that instant made their appearance, bearing down towards them with great swiftness.
19. Upon their near approach, the Venetians, seeing no possibility of escape, and that resistance would be useless, gave the sign for surrendering the ship, and soon saw themselves deprived of liberty, and loaded with irons. In this situation were they carried to Tunis, where they were brought forth and exposed in the public market for slaves. One after another of their companions were chosen out, according to their strength and vigour, and sold to different masters. A Turk of uncommon dignity in his figure and manners, at length came towards the captives, surveying them with compassion and tenderness, applied to the captain for young Mazzarino, and inquired the price of him.
20. The captain set a much higher price upon him, than he
had done upon any of the others. The gentleman, a little surprised at the cxorbitant sum, asked the reason of this great distinction. The captain replied, that he had animated the Christians to the desperate resistance they had made, and had been the occasion of most of the damage they had sustained, and he was now determined to make him repay some of it, or he would gratify his revenge, by seeing him drudge for life in his victorious galley. All this time had the young Mazzarino fixed his eyes in a dumb silence on the ground; and now lifting them up, beheld, in the person who was talking with the captain, the manly and open countenance of Ibraim.
21. Mazzarino cried, '0! my friend Ibraim. No less astonished was the Turk, to find in the person of the captive his former companion and friend. He embraced him with the transports of a parent who unexpectedly recovers a long lost child. But when Ibraim found that his Venetian benefactor and deliverer was among the captives, he could no longer restrain the violence of his feelings; he burst into a flood of tears and sorrow for the misfortune of his friend: but recovering himself, exclaimed, with uplifted hands, · Blessed be that Providence which has made me the instrument of safety to my
for mer benefactor.
22. Being informed where he should find him, he instantly repaired to the part of the market where old Mazzarino stood waiting his fate in manly but silent despair. They were immediately known to each other. Their first interview was obstructed by the fulness of their joy. As soon as he was able, the Turk hailed him, friend, benefactor, and every endearing name which friendship and gratitude could inspire; ordered his chains instantly to be taken off, and conducted both the father and son to his own magnificent house in the city.
23. After some preliminary conversation upon their mutual fortunes, by which they were again brought to see each other in their present condition, Ibraim informed him, that soon after their goodness bad restored him to his own country, he accepted a command in the Turkish armies, and having the good fortune to distinguish himself upon several occasions, he had gradually been promoted, through various offices, to the dignity of Bashaw of Tunis. • Since I have enjoyed this post,' added he, * there is nothing which. I find in it so agreeable as the power it gives me of alleviating the misfortunes of those unhappy Christians who are taken prisoners by our corsairs.
24. Whenever a ship arrives, which brings with it any of . those sufferers, I constantly wait the markets, and redeem a