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friend of mine, who has never been out of the
desert, except now and then in a city like Suez,
which stands in the midst of it : what, then, can
he know of the news of El Masr ?

" EfFendi," said the Hadgi, as the coffee was
brought into the apartment ; " I feel a sudden
indisposition. I will retire for half an hour,
and return, if it please God. I feel worse than
you can imagine. I pray you to excuse me ; I
will return very shortly, I assure you."

" It is a sudden illness, Hadgi," said the
Governor, as the Delhi rose to depart ; " sit
down, I command you. Do you call yourself
my friend, and think of leaving my house when
refreshment is at the door ? Staffer Allah ! this
is not courteous ; be seated, and when you
have taken a cup of coffiee, depart, in God's
name, if you will.""



206 THE MUSSULMAN.

The fingers of the Delhi were fumbling about
his pistols, and when he found both pans de-
prived of their priming, and observed his sword
still in the hands of the Governor, it was evi-
dent, from the inquietude of his look, that he
suspected every thing was not right.

" Indeed, Effcndi," cried he, " I am so ill, I
cannot possibly remain ;" and without waiting
for a reply, he approached the door with a
rapid step.

The Governor clapped his hands thrice, and
the door was instantly pulled to, and locked on
the outside ; the only attendant who remained
within was the slave who held the fatal coffee
on a salver.

The aspect of the swarthy executioner was
enough to turn the hot blood cold of the vic-
tim who encountered his sinister regard. He
was an elderly negro, deformed in his person,
and disfigured in his countenance, with several
scars across his cheek, in the way the Dongola
tribes are wont to score the features of their
children. Art had done much in giving fero-
city to his features, and Nature assisted the ex-
pression, by giving him an obliquity of vision.



THE MUSSULMAN. 207

which made his countenance so repugnant, as
to render it painful to regard him.

While the Delhi stood midway between the
door and the divan, pale as a corpse, and his
quivering lips unconsciously apart, the monster
of a negro repeatedly came smirking before
him, presenting the poisoned cup, and elevating
his shrill voice, to remind him that the coffee
was getting cold.

" Drink, it, man," cried the Governor; " what
are you afraid of? if I wanted your life, what
is there to prevent me bidding a soldier cut
your throat, or to hinder me from beckoning to
that negro to twist his cord about your neck .'*
Drink, man; have we not eat and drank to-
gether, smoked and laughed together, before
now ? Why, then, do you insult me by these
unworthy suspicions ? Wallah-el-Nebi, my
good Hadgi, by Allah and the Prophet ! you
have nothing to apprehend."

The Delhi looked at the Governor, then at
Mourad, and then at the negro ; and when he
withdrew his glance from the last, every hor-
rible suspicion, which terrified his soul, was
converted into an appalling certainty. The



208 THE MUSSULMAN.

perspiration poured down his forehead; he drew
his sleeve across his brow, and then shaking his
impotent hand at Mourad, he cried out in a
trembhng tone — " Blood-seeking kafir, dis-
guised as you are, I know you ; silent as you sit
there, I read your murderous mission in your
looks."

" Then if you do so," cried the Governor,
" secrecy is superfluous. Behold the Pacha's
order for your head ! behold the signature of
the Viceroy of the Sultan, and if you are a
good Moslem, and would gain the crown of
martyrdom, which awaits every Mussulman
who bows submissively to the mandate of his
Sovereign, you will yield like a child of Islam
to the decree which destiny has pronounced,
and refrain from an opposition to the Divine
will, which can serve no purpose. In the name
of Allah, and by the authority of the Prince, I
command you instantly to drink the cup which
is presented to you.""

The unfortunate Delhi threw himself at the
feet of the Governor. *' Spare me, Effendi,"
he exclaimed ; " I conjure you by all that is
precious to your soul — by the hospitality I



THE MUSSULMAN. 209

have received in your house — by the bread
and salt I have eaten under your roof — by the
words of friendship we have spoken together —
by all that binds man to his fellow-creature,
save me, I beseech you."

" Alas !" cried the Governor, " it is ever the
fortune of friendship to be repaid with ingra-
titude. When I received this order for your
head, instead of suffering it to be mangled by
the hands of a brutal executioner, I devised this
gentlest mode of ridding you of the load of life,
and had you been a reasonable man you would
have drunk this coffee, gone home and died, and
never suffered one pang of anguish. But now
you force me to be cruel ; you crawl about my
feet, and cling to my beneesh, and oblige me to
call in the soldiers to drag you hence, and dis-
patch you with unseemly wounds in the public
court-yard. Then, since you will have it so,
your blood be on your own head !"

The Governor was in the act of clapping his
hands to call in the attendants, when the wretch-
ed man raised himself from the ground, and
besought the Governor to stop for a moment.
He said, he submitted to his fate ; he was a



210 THE MUSSULMAN.

Moslem, and knew the precepts of the law, and
his dependance was on its promises." He took
the fatal document out of the hands of the
Governor, pressed it to his lips, he raised it to
his forehead, and said he obeyed it.

Tlie horrid negro came grinning with the
salver to the victim, he stirred up the cup with
the liandle of his knife, he talked about the
sugar going to the bottom, and his fears that
the coffee had become cold. While the poor
Delhi was shuddering at the sight of it, the
recollection of his family flashed across his
mind ; he addressed a last entreaty to his mur-
derer, that the money he had about him might
be given to his poor wife. He had two little
boys, he said, in El Masr, and they had no
friend in the wide world to protect or assist
them when he was gone. The Governor pro-
tested his widow should have the last para he
possessed, and every article of his attire, even
to his sherwals.

" Then all is over with me !" exclaimed the
Delhi, taking the fatal cup from the hands of
the negro. "Bismillahi allrahmand allraheimi !"
he cried aloud, raising the cup to his lips, " In



THE MUSSULMAN. 211

the name of the most clement and merciful
Creator !"

" Pause, man !" exclaimed Mourad, descend-
ing from the divan on which he had hitherto
remained immovable ; " give back the cup to
the slave;" and then addressing himself to the
Governor, he said, " Since this man, Effendi, is
your friend, I am wilhng, if it be possible, to
preserve his life. I have a proposition to make
to him ; I pray you let me retire with him to an
adjoining chamber to talk over the matter."

The Governor looked highly displeased at
Mourad's interruption. He said it could not
be ; the Pacha had sent him the order to exe-
cute, and he was answerable for it, and there-
fore its execution was indispensable. He talked
very big about his authority, and his determi-
nation to suffer no man to trifle with it.

" Look you, Effendi," replied Mourad, '' the
Delhi can inform you how I stand in the favour
of Mohamed Ali ; he can tell you it would have
been as easy a matter for me to bring an order
for your head, as for that of your friend the
hadgi. It is my intention to defer the fate of
this man till I have some conversation with



212 THE MUSSULMAN.

him, and woe be to him who presumes to inter-
fere with my pleasure."

The Governor lowered his tone all at once ;
he declared he meant to give no offence to the
byn-bashi, Heaven forbid ! Whether it was his
pleasure that the Delhi should live or die, no
one in his house should dare to gainsay his
commands. Indeed, if his friend the Delhi could
be spared, it would afford him inexpressible de-
light; his only fear was the displeasure of the
Pacha.

** My deeds be on my head," cried Mourad ;
*' none but me are answerable for them. Follow
me," cried he to the Delhi, " to the adjoining
chamber ; the Effendi will preserve us from in-
trusion for the few minutes we remain there."

Mourad and the Delhi entered an alcove at
the bottom of the apartment. When the for-
mer had closed the door, he bade his victim
listen with attention to the proposition he had
to offer him. " I do not want your blood," said
he, " one act of your life has entitled you to some
consideration. The wound your treacherous
hand inflicted would entitle me to the price of



THE MUSSULMAN. 213

blood, and all the substance of your tribe would
be a poor compensation for the sufferings I have
undergone ; but I leave you to wonder hereafter
at the moderation of my demand, when for the
boon of life I ask nothing but the paltry girdle
which encircles you. There is no time to waste
words ; a single objection seals your doom ; I
wait for your decision."

The Delhi tore open his dress with more
alacrity than ever a man did who was about
parting with his purse ; he unbuckled his girdle
and presented it to Mourad, who thrust it into
his bosom, so well satisfied with its weight that
he thought not of exacting any farther ransom.
He then quitted the apartment, and entering
the divan, he informed the Governor that the
Delhi and he had come to an amicable under-
standing, and that there would be no neces-
sity for the services of the negro.

The Delhi entreated, before the most com-
passionate of byn-bashis left the house, that
the warrant might be destroyed of which he
was the honoured bearer.

The Governor hemmed and hawed, and fid-



214 THE MUSSULMAN.

died with the document, and talked of the
present his negro and his Capigi bashi would
expect for the trouble they had had.

The poor Delhi stood aghast, but Mourad
relieved his anxiety by taking upon him to ar-
range the matter.

'* I verily believe, Effendi,'' said he, " this
hadgi is as poor as a santon, and cannot afford
to make the present which he certainly ought
to make, if he had the means. Perhaps I can
better afford to make some little offering worthy
of your excellency's servants ;" and with that he
extracted a handful of gold pieces from the
girdle which had just come into his posses-
sion, and counted down two hundred piastres
on the sofa, which he begged the Governor
to accept for the trouble his servants had been
occasioned.

The Governor behaved with all the courteous-
ness that could be expected from so dignified a
personage ; he pocketed the money, and pre-
sented the warrant to Mourad, who destroyed
it in the face of the Delhi. Before he retired,
he put one question to him concerning the wo-
man who accompanied him, and on receiving



THE MUSSULMAN. 215

the assurance that she was of the sect and
country which his friend's letter had repre-
sented her to be, he took leave of the Governor
and his friend, and before an hour was on the
high road to El Masr.



216 THE MUSSULMAN.



CHAPTER XV.



Hail, grisly monarch of the grave !
I greet thee as becomes a slave ;
As one who's subject to thy law —
All thanks to her he never saw — ■
No matter, hail ! for still thou art
Tlie solace of the broken heart,
The final refuge of poor mortals.
Who seek lost peace within thy portals.
The wise sink calmly on thy breast.
The weary fly to thee for rest ;
The wretched woo thee to their bed,
To ease the tortured heart and head.
And with no fears invest the grave.
The shroud, the coffin, or the cave.

The Babaresque.

Zuleika'S existence, from the period of
Mourad's departure from her father's house,
had been one long scene of suffering. The
mysterious disappearance of Achniet, the rob-
bery of the Aga's haznah, the girl's close inti-



THE MUSSULMAN. 217

macy with the fugitive, and the confidential
terms of their acquaintance, were combined by
the mahce of Yussuf's mother, and made the
groundwork of Suleiman's suspicions.

Deprived of her father's favour, she was ex-
posed to every indignity that the malignity of
a bad old woman could devise. Day after day
she endured the torture of hearing the name of
her dear Mourad reviled by every inmate of
the harem. Even those who had once called
themselves his friends were loudest in express-
ing their indignation at his guilt. Zuleika de-
nied it not, she listened in silence to their in-
vectives, and when they who smiled on him in
prosperity, and made light of all his faults,
filled his empty place with the ashes of con-
tempt, and afi'ected to speak with horror of his
crimes, she subdued the resentment of her swel-
ling bosom, and fled to her own chamber " to
hide her face and weep."

Her health and spirits were already impaired,
but the delusive hope was still the support of
her existence, that Mourad's truth and con-
stancy were beyond the power of time or ab-
sence to destroy. Months passed away without

VOL. III. L



218 THE MUSSULMAN.

bringing a word of intelligence of him ; every
santon who passed through the village, every
wandering dervish who visited the khan, she
expected was the bearer of some tidings of
her lover, but none arrived. If the suspicion
flashed across her mind that she had been for-
gotten, or that her affections had been trifled
with, her generous bosom refused to entertain
the thought, and her fond heart furnished some
plausible excuse for his silence. Perhaps he
had sent word to her, and the message had mis-
carried ; illness perhaps had prevented him from
relieving her anxiety ; in short, any thing was
better to imagine or believe than that she had
ceased to be the sole mistress of his heart.

The aff*airs of the Aga in the mean time had
taken an unfortunate turn ; the sudden and un-
foreseen vicissitudes, to which all Turkish go-
vernors are liable, happened to him. He be-
came less punctual than he had been in sending
presents to the Porte ; his friends waxed cold ;
the taxes were doubled on his district ; the col-
lector of the Miri complained of the defalcation
of his tribute ; the Sultan remonstrated ; ex-
cuses were made, and eventually the Governor



THE MUSSULMAN. 219

was deposed, the imperial seal put on his
effects, and a pilgrimage to the Holy City
kindly recommended, for the good of his soul's
health.

This gentle mode of sending a Governor into
exile was too well known to Suleiman to leave
any doubt on his mind as to his disgrace. His
establishment was broken up, and his own sol-
diers, who were retained for his successor, as-
sisted in ejecting both him and his harem.

It was only a short time before this latter
event had taken place, that the Dervish Ali
made his appearance at the khan, and in his
medical capacity was called to the sick-bed of
Zuleika. For several days his attentions were
lavished on the invalid, and probably to the
influence of the Goddess Beltha, the patient
was indebted for the kindness of the hakkim ;
but it would be doing an injustice to the Der-
vish, not to acknowledge that very little tran-
spired in his interviews with the fair patient,
of which he did not inform Mourad in his
letter.

When the ruined Aga was driven from his
government, sonte fivc-and-twcnty purses were

I. 2



220 THE MUSSULMAN.

all he was able to save from the wreck of his
fortune. Deserted by his servants, abandoned
by his wives, one of whom had returned to her
parents, another gone to her son ; Suleiman
sought a refuge in the interior of the country.
He had sent Zuleika to the coast to embark for
El Masr, where a kinsman of hers had offered
her an asylum. Some of the little money he
possessed, was employed in procuring a remis-
siono f his sentence : he supplicated to be per-
mitted to remain in the village, where he had
taken up his abode ; and it was only after the
expiration of two years, that he received a de-
firiitive answer to his petition, and one that was
a refusal of its prayer.

Long ere this, Zuleika had arrived in Egypt,
and was settled in the house of a fond and in-
dulgent relative; the health of the poor girl had
been gradually improving ; kind treatment had
done much to restore her peace, and the pro-
spect of seeing her beloved Mourad, had tended
still more to cheer her drooping spirits. She
knew that he was in the same country with her,
and that thought alone was a consolation ; but
the arrival of the ill-starred dervish in El Masr



THE MUSSULMAN. 221

put an end to all her hopes. The marriage of
Mourad with the Armenian's widow was no
longer a secret. The propagation of bad news
is the business of the imbecile, or the amuse-
ment of the malevolent ; whisper but the faintest
sound of evil, and it flies with the velocity of
the swift simoom, which converts every particle
of sand into a poison, and withers every object
that comes within its unwholesome influence.

Poor Zuleika was soon made acquainted with
even more than was sufficient to make a fond
woman wretched ; her affections had been un-
worthily bestowed, but it was too late to profit
by the conviction of that calamity. The de-
ceiver had been the idol of her heart, he was
still the object of her solicitude, the source of all
her unavailing sorrows. She sought not to tear
his image from her breast, it was too firmly
fixed there ; but she endeavoured to conceal the
fatal attachment in the ruins of a broken heart,
though she found it more difficult to combat a
fatal passion, than to struggle with her grief,
and to mingle with the gay when her bosom
was completely wretched. In the presence of
her young associates, when she put on the mien



222 THK MUSSULMAN.

of gladness, had he who wronged her beheld her
heart, he might have wept over its desolation.
If her kinswoman observed iier dejection, slie
said she would endeavour to be happy, and lier
beautiful countenance was lit up for a moment
with a transitory ray; but it proceeded not
from the sunshine of the heart, and a faint
smile came mantling over her pale cheek, but
it was only a ripple on the surface of expiring
hope. But to the wretched, the task of keep-
ing up the false appearance of content is a
labour which no strength is long able to resist.
Zuleika's health sunk rapidly, the last degree
of wretchedness was now hers, it was even be-
yond that of the victim

" Who doiits yet doubts^ suspects yet sti'ongly loves."

Women can make much allowance for the in-
discretions, nay, the crimes of those they love ;
and the more the world frowns on the object
of their choice, the closer do they cling to the
fallen idol. But when they have reason to be-
lieve that the deceiver has only tampered with
their hearts, to triumph over their weakness,
the shock may eventually sunder the ties which



THE MUSSULMAN. 223

their affection makes a part of their existence ;
but it is questionable if all at once their senti-
ments undergo a revolution, which justifies the
assertion that

" Earth has no rage like love to hatred turn'dj
Nor hell a fury like a woman scorn'd."

Zuleika, indeed, felt that no species of un-
kindness is so cruel as the contemptuous indif-
ference and forgetfulness of a faithless lover,
but her passions were too feeble, or her feehngs
too feminine, to mingle indignation with her re-
grets. Her kinswoman, who had long observed
the melancholy which preyed upon her mind,
did every thing in her power to divert her
thoughts from the unworthy object who en-
grossed them. She was aware of her intimacy
with Mourad, and she had made herself ac-
quainted with his movements ; she knew of his
being in the favour of the prince, and rumour
had represented the young minion, as the com-
panion of dissolute fakirs, and the associate
of profligate almes, who nightly present the
painted sepulchres of their beauty to the pub-
lic gaze in the disorderly suburbs of the city.
The good woman grieved for the poor girl



224 THE MUSSULMAN.

who had been robbed of her peace by such a
wretch ; she tried every means to banish the re-
collection of him from the breast of Zuleika.
She gave her all the amusements which the
society of her friends could afford her, and it
was only on the fatal morning of the massacre
of the Mamelukes, that she forced her to ac-
cept an invitation from the women of Sulei-
man Bey, to spend the day in their harem.

The horrible scene which took place when
the house of the murdered Bey was given up to
the fury of a licentious soldiery terminated in
the encounter which occurred in the chamber
where Zuleika had fled for refuge, when the
tioure of Mourad in the midst of the pitiless
horde was presented to her eyes. A single
dance at the blood-stained hands and infuriated
features of that Mourad whose youthful figure
and ingenuous countenance were engraven on
her heart, sent back to her fluttering bosom
every drop of blood which trickled through her
veins ; but when she beheld the deadly weapon
levelled at his person, and saw him reel a few
steps forward and then fall senseless on the
floor, one piercing shriek of such thrilling agony



THE MUSSULMAN. 225

as never issued except from a broken heart, was
heard, and all that followed, in mercy to the
sufferer, was shut out from her senses.

When she awoke to the horrors of existence,
she found herself in a strange apartment, but
the first words she uttered were a blessing on
the name of the Apostle ; for the first person
she beheld was her kinswoman bending over her
couch, chafing her cold temples, and soothing
her with the assurance that all would soon be
well, and in a few hours that she would be in
her own house.

The poor old lady was trembling all over ;
the terror which had taken possession of her
soul on hearing of the slaughter in the citadel
was still visible in her countenance. She had
rushed from her abode at the first intelligence
of the event, and hoped to be in time to have
rescued Zuleika from the peril of being found
in the harem of a Mameluke, but the soldiers
were in the house before she arrived, and while
in her madness she was endeavourinij to force
her way through them, she beheld the brutal
Delhi bearing away the inanimate form of her
young kinswoman. She followed him through

L 5



226 THK MUSSULMAN.

the streets screaniiniy for her child, and calling-
on the passengers to save a free-born Moslem
woman from the hands of a drunken soldier.
In her frenzy she laid hold of the girl, and
vowed she would never relinquish her grasp
while she had hfe. The maiden, she repeated,
was a free-born Moslem woman, and neither a
Mameluke's wife or daughter. She succeeded in
effecting her purpose by drawing the attention
of the rabble to the act of lawless violence com-
mitted on the person of a female and a fellow-
citizen. Hundreds of people flocked round the
disputants. In every country the mob generally
take the side of justice; they did so in the
present case, and nothing was heard but cries of
Shame ! shame ! down with the Delhi ! rescue
the young woman from the drunken soldier !
and in a few minutes the tumult became general.
The Delhi drew his pistol ; he levelled it at
the head of the poor woman, who was still
clinging to her child, endeavouring to drag her
from his grasp ; but, luckily for her, it was the
same pistol he had discharged at Mourad, and
before he had leisure to pull the other from his
belt he was surrounded by the multitude, and,



THE MUSSULMAN. 227

after a desperate struggle, his victim was drag-
ged from him and carried into an adjoining
house.

There it was, on coming to herself, she found
her relative watching over her, whose only ap-
prehension now was some further attempt of the
Delhi's to regain his prize. It was thought
prudent to obtain the protection of the guard to
remove her to her home, and when that measure
was taken, at the expense of some fifty piastres,
(for the protection of the law, like the enter-
tainment of a tavern, is afforded to every man
in Turkey who is able to pay for it,) Zuleika
was conveyed in safety to the house of her kins-
woman. But all the attention of that kind
woman, and all the consolation which friendship
and affection could bestow, failed to restore the
drooping girl.

From that day of terror she never raised her
head. But many a long month before it, her
health had been undermined by that insidious
malady which imperceptibly consumes the suf-
ferer without leaving on the features the rude
impression of the destroyer's hand.

No one about her apprehended any danger ;



228 THE MUSSULMAN.

the pallor of her cheek and the dejection of her


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