Muzra to Ali
Ah, Ali, the English slave has indeed been a fatal present to your friend. You will scarcely credit the dreadful recompense she has taken for her lost virginity.
Yes, Ali, nothing but my life would satisfy her. Doubtless her wishes will be gratified, for I feel life ebbing fast from me. As I informed you in my last, I supposed that her spirit was quite subdued; but I little knew the mind I had to contend with, or how terrible a retribution she would exact for my trespass on her charms! But I must quickly finish.
Several times I had enjoyed her in the daytime, but had not slept with her. One night, truly fatal for me, I ordered the eunuchs to bring her to my sleeping apartment. Oh, Ali, nothing could exceed the docility, mixed with the timid bashfulness of her behaviour. In the midst of my joys she clasped me in her arms, returning my kisses as ardently as they were given, and appearing to receive as much ecstatic pleasure as she herself gave. But it was all deceit, to lull me to my destruction.
Wearied by bliss, I sank by her side into a delightful slumber, from which I was awoken by the piercing of a knife through my bosom. It was daylight; she was leaning over me with a savage joy, brandishing the fatal instrument that had already pierced me. Again it fell on my defenceless bosom.
'That's for my lost virtue!' she cried.
Again she struck me, 'That's for my cruel scourging!'
And again flourishing it before my eyes, she cried, 'Receive that for the many times you have forced my poor body to submit to your loathsome pollutions.'
Again it fell unerring on my breast. I shrieked aloud for help. Two of the eunuchs rushed in. She had sprung out of bed. The first (who attempted to seize her) paid with his life the forfeit of temerity, but the other overpowered her. Weak from the loss of blood, I had still strength enough to order she should not be hurt.
My orders were obeyed. To prevent any ill usage to her in case I should not recover, I have sent her back to you. I can dictate no more at present. If I should depart to Paradise, as you respect your friend, let no one injure her. Farewell.
May happiness attend you.
I can hardly describe my feelings on reading this last letter. I was pleased to think Eliza has returned, for I am in hopes now of having some of her company. I have asked the Dey to permit her to visit me, and he has promised me that I shall be gratified. The Bey of Tunis is recovering from his wounds, but will not, I presume, want Eliza back again, for fear of her taking further vengeance on him. Adieu, dearest Sylvia.
Sylvia Carey to Emily Barlow
It is impossible at once to shake off our earliest acquaintance; if it had been you ought not to have expected that I should have taken any notice of your disgusting letters. What offence have I ever given that you should insult me by writing in the language you have? Why annoy me with an account of the libidinous scenes acted between you and the beast whose infamous and lustful acts you so particularly describe? Did I not know the character of your writing well, I should be in hopes I was deceived by some wretch. But no, every part of your writing carries conviction.
I have to thank God the letters fell into my hands, else your infamy would have dragged another crime on your guilty head by the death of my unfortunate brother who most certainly would have fallen under the dreadful discovery if he had by accident gone (which he most usually does) to the post office for our letters. Although the letters were directed to me, he would assuredly have opened them had he seen your writing. But thank God this pang has at present been spared him.
After you sailed from Portsmouth, Henry's health became daily worse, and the physicians declared that nothing but a warmer climate would save his life. I was therefore determined to pass the summer in the South of France and the neighbourhood of this place was fixed upon for our residence. Your mother determined to accompany us.
We made the journey by stages, and on arriving here hired a most delightful cottage, a short walk outside the fortifications of the town, opposite the sea. Here Henry's health has daily improved, and both our parents are in hopes of his entire recovery. The time when he expects to hear from you in India is not yet expired, so at present he is easy on this point. God knows what the result will be when he hears of your debased situation, and the infamous satisfaction it gives you!
Your mother is the only person I have dared to communicate the sad tidings to, and we have given particular direction to the postmaster at Toulon not to permit Henry to have any letters directed to either of us. We therefore feel sure that none of your letters can fall into his hands. I cannot describe your mother's grief, which she is obliged to hide from my brother; it is the redemption of slaves; but the nature of your letters has so distracted your mother that she does not know how to proceed, or whether it is your wish to be released from the infamous subjection in which your beastly ravisher seems to hold both your person and senses.
If there is a spark of feeling, on your mother's account (or modesty on your own) left, make no delay in letting me know if you wish to escape from the wretch who thus holds you in his thraldom. I subscribe myself still your friend (if you deserve it),
This letter was written before the receipt of Emily's last letter.
The Dey to Abdallah
A short time back several missionaries arrived here from the South of France. Since their arrival they have been employed in redeeming several worn-out old male slaves, mostly Frenchmen. They have petitioned me to grant them a passage home in the first ship that leaves for the port of Toulon.
For the reason herein explained, I have appointed you to carry them to France. As these holy hypocrites have great influence in their own country, be careful you treat them with the proper respect and attention during their voyage, as their countenance may be serviceable, particularly Father Angelo, who will supply you with every information you want respecting an English family now residing in the neighbourhood of Toulon. In this family is a young woman named Sylvia Carey.
This girl, Abdallah, you must contrive to secure and bring back with you to Algiers.
The eunuch who delivers this will give you a private signet, which you may show as soon as you think proper to Father Angelo; it will command his services, and you may rely implicitly upon everything the Christian dog says or does. Mind, Abdallah, I have set my mind on having possession of the girl; do not return without her. Name your own reward, but be careful she is mine.
Pedro to Angelo
You remember my informing you of the young and lovely daughter of the Marquis of Mezzia having been forced to take the veil in our neighbouring Ursuline Convent. It now appears this beautiful creature has become a sacrifice to the pride of the family; its revenue being comparatively beggarly, no fortune could be given with her in marriage, so there was no choice. Either the brother must have been reduced to the necessity of seeking a support by some profession (or other means equally disgusting to the pride of the old Marquis), or this young innocent must be sacrificed.
I need not explain to you, who was so long the confessor of the late Marquis, the poverty and pride of both him and young Mezzia. Paternal feeling or any other social tie which should have protected and supported the beauteous flower, all sank before the imaginary stain that might be inflicted on the honour of the house by curtailing the means of one of its descendants. This quickly decided the proud, unfeeling father and cruel brother, so at the age of seventeen, all her young beauties just ripening into perfection, was the almost broken-hearted Julia Mezzia forced to utter oaths her heart abhorred, devoting her voluptuous charms to the service of religion, charms, Angelo, only fit for the service of vigorous man.
As I before gave you the full particulars of the distressing ceremony, I need not revert to it. But although beauty may be strictly confined by walls and bars, nature will still assume its mighty empire. This lovely virgin has been caught in an attempt to escape from the horrors of a cell for life. She was taken in the act of descending the wall, being betrayed by a sister of the convent, to whom in youthful confidence she had imparted her design. The penalty is death, unless mercy can be purchased for her; but such means as is necessary I do not think the Mezzia family can command, and if they could I shall take care with his Holiness that it has no effect.
You see, Angelo, this blushing rose must be mine. She will be shortly brought to her trial and condemned by the abbess to be buried alive. A report will then be forwarded to the grand vicar, who will procure his Holiness's fiat. It will be my duty to prevent any petitions in her favour being heard. Fare thee well! you will soon hear of my success.
Pedro, Abbot of St Francis.