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. The little boy was at length so much affected with the repetition of this sight, that he spoke of it to his father and begged him if he had it in his power, to make poor Hamet happy. The father, who was so extremely fond of his son, and besides, had observed that he seldom requested any thing which was not generous and humane, determined to see the Turk himself and talk to him.
7. Accordingly he went to him the next day, and observing him for some time in silence, was struck with the extraordinary appearance of mildness and honesty which his countenance discovered. At length he said to him, Are you that Hamet of whom my son is so fund and of whose gentleness and courtesy I have so often heard him talk.
8. Yes, said the Turk, I am that unfortunate Hamet, who have now been for three years a captive, during that space of time, your son, if you are his father, is the only human being that seems to have felt any compassion for my sufferings; therefore, I must confess, he is the only object to which I am attached in this barbarous country; and night and morning I pray that Power, who is equally the God of Turks and Christians, to grant him every blessing he deserves, and to preserve him from all the miseries I suffer.
9. Indeed, Hamet, said the merchant, he is much obliged to you, although from his present circumstances, he does not appear much exposed to danger. But tell me, for I wish to do you good, in what can I assist you? for my son informs me that you are the prey of continual regret and
10. Is it wonderful, answered the Turk, with a glow of generous indignation that suddenly animated his countenance, is it wonderful that I should pine in silence, and mourn my fate, who am bereft of the first and noblest present of nature, my liberty? And yet, answered the Venetian, how many thousands of our nation do you retain in fetters?
11. I am not answerable, said the Turk, for the cruelty of my countrymen, more than you are for the barbarity of yours. But as to myself. I have never practised the inhuman custom of enslaving my fellow-creatures; I have never
spoiled Venetian merchants of their property to increase iny riches; I have always respected the rights of nature," and therefore it is the more severe
12. Here a tear started from his eye, and wetted his manly cheek; instantly, however, he recollected himself, and folding his arms upon his bosom, and gently bowing his head, he added, God is good, and man must submit to his decrees. The Venetian was affected with this appearance of manly fortitude, and said, Hamet, I pity your sufferings, and may perhaps be able to relieve them. What would you do to regain your liberty?
13. What would I do? auswered Hamet; I would confront every pain and danger that can appal the heart of man. Nay, answered the merchant. you will not be exposed to such a trial. The means of your deliverance are certain, provided your courage does not belie your appearance.
14. Name them! name them! cried the impatient Hamet; place death before me in every horrid shape, and if I' shrink-Patience, answered the merchant, we shall be observed. Hear me attentively, I have in this city an inveterate foe, who has heaped upon me every injury which can most bitterly sting the heart of man.
15. This man is brave as he is haughty; and I must confess that the dread of his strength and valor has hither- ' to deterred me from resenting his insults as they deserve. Now, Hamet, your look, your form, your words, convince me that you are born for manly daring.
16. Take this dagger; and as soon as the shades of night involve the city, I will myself conduct you to the place, where you may at once revenge your friend, and regain your freedom.
17. At this proposal, scorn and shame flashed from the ́1 kindling eye of Hamet, and passion for a considerable time deprived him of the power of utterance; at length he lifted his arms as high as his chains would permit, and cried with an indignant tone, Mighty Prophet! and are these the wretches to which you permit your faithful votaries to be enslaved?
18. Go, base Christian, and know that Ilamet would not stoop to the vile trade of an assassin, for all the wealth of Venice! no; not to purchase the freedom of all his race!
At these words, the merchant, wi hout seeming much abashed, told him he was sorry he had offended him; but that he thought freedom had been dearer o him than he found it was.
19. However, added he, as he turned his back, you will reflect upon my proposal, and perhaps by to-morrow you may change your mind, Hamet disdained to answer, and the merchant went his way.
20. The next day, however. he returned in company with his son, and mildly accosted Hamet thus: The abruptness of the proposal I yesterday made vou, might perhaps, astonish you, but I am now come to d scourse the matter more calmly with you, and I doubt not, when you have heard my reasons
21. Christian, interrupted Hamet, with a severe, but composed countenance, cease at length to insult the merable with proposals more shocking than even these chains. If thy religion permit such acts as those, know that they are execrable and abominable to the soul of every Mahom tan; therefore, from this moment, let us break off all farther intercourse, and be strangers to each other.
22. No, answered the merchant, flinging himself into the arms of Hamet, let us from this moment be more closely linked than ever! Generous man, whose virtues may at once disarm and enlighten thy enemies! Fondness for my son first made me interested in thy fate; but from the moment that I saw thee yesterday, I determined to set thee free Therefore, pardon me this unnecessary trial of thy virtue, which has only raised thee higher in my esteem.
23. Francisco has a soul which is as averse to deeds of treachery and blood, as even Hanet himself. From this moment, generous man, thou art free, thy ransom is already paid, with no other obligation than that of remembering the affection of this thy young and faithful friend; and perhaps, hereafter, when thou seest an unhappy Christian goaning in Turkish fetters, thy generosity may make thee think of Venice.
24. The feelings of Hamet at this unexpected deliverance, are not to be described. Francisco put him on board a ship, which was bound to one of the Grecian Islands, and after taking leave of num in the tenderest manner, forced him to accept of a purse of gold to pay his expenses. 25. Affectionate
25. Affectionate was the parting of Hamet with his little friend, whom he embraced in an agony of tenderness, wept over him, and implored Heaven to grant him all the blessings of this life.
26. About six months afterwards, one morning, while the family were all in bed, Francisco's house was discovered to be on fire, and great part of the house was in flames before the family were alarmed. The terrified servant had but just time to awaken Francisco, who was no sooner got into the street, than the whole staircase gave way, and fell into the flames.
27. If the merchant thought himself happy on having saved himself, it was only for a moment, as he soon recollected, that his beloved son was left behind to the mercy of the flames. He sunk into the deepest despair, when upon inquiry he found, that his son, who slept in an upper apartment, had been forgotten in the general confusion.
28. He raved in agonies of grief, and offered half his fortune to any one who would risk his life to save his child. As he was known to be very rich, several ladders were instantly raised by those who wished to obtain the reward; but the violence of the flames drove every one down whe attempted it.
29. The unfortunate youth then appeared on the top of the house, extending his arms, and calling out for aid. The unhappy father became motionless, and remained in a state of insensibility. At this critical moment, a man rushed through the crowd and ascended the tallest ladder,scemingly determined to rescue the youth or perish in the attempt.
30. A sudden gust of flame bursting forth, led the people to suppose he was lost; but he presently appeared descending the ladder with the child in his arms, without receiving any material injury. A universal shout attended this noble action, and the father, to his inexpressible surprise, on recovering from his swoon, found his child in his
31. After giving vent to the first emotions of tenderness, he inquired after his generous deliverer, whose features were so changed by the smoke, that they could not be distinguished. Francisco immediately presented him with a
purse of gold, promising the next day to give him the reward he had offered.
32. The stranger replied,that he should accept of no reward. Francisco started, and thought he knew the voice, when his son flew to the arms of his deliverer, and cried out "It is my dear Hamet! it is my dear Hamet!"
33. The astonishment and gratitude of the merchant were equally excited; and retiring from the crowd, he took Hamet with him to a friend's house. As soon as they were alone, Francisco inquired by what means he had been a second time enslaved.
34. I will tell you in a few words, said the generous Turk. When I was taken by the Venetian gallies, my father shared in my captivity. It was his fate and not my ewa, which so often made me shed those tears, which first attracted the notice of your amiable son.
35. As soon as your bounty had set me free, I flew to the Christian who had purchased my father. I told him, that as I was young and vigorous, and he aged and infirm, I would be his slave instead of my father.
36. I added too, the gold which your bounty had bestowed on me, and by these means I prevailed on the Christian to send back my father in that ship you had provided for me, without his knowing the cause of his freedom. Since that time I have staid here a willing slave, and Heaven has been so gracious as to put it in my power to save the life of that youth, which I value a thousand times more than my own.
37. The merchant was astonished at such an instance of gratitude and affection, and pressed Hamet to accept half of his fortune, and to settle in Venice for the remainder of his days. Hamet, however, with a noble magnanimity, refused the offer, saying he had done no more than what every one ought to do in a similar situation.
38. Though Hamet seemed to underrate his past services to the merchant, yet the latter could not suffer things to pass in this manner. He again purchased his freedom, and fitted a ship out on purpose to take him back to his country. At parting, they mutually embraced each other, and as they thought, took an eternal farewell.