« PreviousContinue »
my father, and thereby restore him to his liberty. 15. I was on the point of executing this project, when my mother, who was informed of it, I know not how, assured me that it was as impracticable as it was chimerical, and ordered all the captains of the Levant* not to take me on board.” 16. “Do you ever hear from your father?” inquired the stranger; "do you know who is his master, at Tetuan, or what sort of treatment he receives from him ?" 17. “ His master,” replied Robert, “is superintendant of the king's gardens; he is treated with humanity; and the work at which he is employed is not above his strength;—but we are not with him to comfort and solace him :-he is far from us, from a wife and three children, whom he always tenderly loved.". 18. “What name does he bear at Tetuan?”. 19. “ He has not changed it, he is called Robert, as at Marseilles.” 20.“ Robert_belonging to the superintendant of the gardens ?" 21.“ Yes, sir." “ Your misfortune moves me, but your conduct merits a better fate, which I dare presage, and I wish it most sincerely.” 22. The stranger then wishing to give himself up to solitude, said to Robert, “Do not take it amiss, my friend, if I remain quiet for a moment.”
23. When night came on, the stranger desired Robert to land, and in getting out of the boat, gave him a purse into his hand, and without giving him time to thank him, he left him with precipitation. 24. There was in the purse eight louis* in gold, and ten crowns in silver. 25. Such generosity gave the young man the highest opinion of the person who was capable of it, but it was in vain for him to attempt to overtake him, to thank him for it. " - 26. This honest family still continued to work without intermission, that they might procure the sum which they wanted; when about six weeks after the above circumstance took place, as they were taking a frugal dinner, composed of bread and dried almonds, who should appear but Robert, the father, decently dressed, thus surprising them in the midst of their sorrow and misery! 27. Who can judge of the astonishment of his wife and children! What words can express their joy and transport ! 28. The old man threw himself into their arms, and thanked them for the fifty louis which they had provided for him, when he embarked in the vessel where his passage and expenses had been paid in advance, and for the clothes with which he was furnished. 29. He knew not how to repay so much zeal and love. 30. This intelligence struck the family dumb and motionless; they looked at each other without being able to utter a single word ; at length the mother broke silence. 31. She imagined her son had done all this. 32. She told her husband how much he had wanted, from the commencement of his slavery, to go and take his place, and by what means she had prevented him from doing it. 33. “ Six thousand livres,” said she, “ was the sum they demanded for your ransom: we have at present little more than one half; he must therefore have found some friends to assist him." 34. The father, as if thunderstruck, immediately appeared dismayed; when recovering himself, he thus addressed his son : 35. “ Wretch! what hast thou done, can I owe to thee my deliverance without regretting it? would it remain a secret to thy mother were it not bought at the price of virtue? 36. At thy age, the son of an unfortunate man, of a slave, is it possible for thee to have procured, by honest means, the sum that was necessary for it! I tremble when I think that filial love should have made thee guilty. Keep me no longer in suspense, but tell the truth, and let us all die, if thou hast been dishonest.” 37: "Be composed, dear father, your son is incapable of a dishonest action. It is not to me that you owe the restoration of your liberty, but I know our benefactor. 38. Do you remember, inother, that stranger who gave me his purse? He asked me many questions. 39. I will spend my life in search of him : I will find him and bring him to behold the happy effects of his beneficence.” 40. He then related to his father the anecdote of the stranger, and thus dispelled his fears.
* When this word is used, in speaking of trade, it generally alludes to Turkey in Asia, and its adjacent parts, but it properly signifies the East. The Levant Sea means the eastern part of the Mediterranean.
41. Being restored to his family, Robert found a friend who assisted him. 42. His success exceeded his expectations. 43. At the end of two years he found himself in possession of an easy competency. 44. His children were settled advantageously, and nothing now was wanting to complete their happiness, but to find out their benefactor, who kept himself from their knowledge, notwithstanding the continual searches of the son. 45. At length he met him one Sunday morning, walking alone on the port. 46. “Oh! my guardian !” was all he was able to pronounce, when, throwing himself at the feet of his benefactor, he for a time reinained senseless. 47. The stranger immediately began to assist him, and demanded the cause of his present situation. 48. “ What ! Sir, can you be iguorant of it?" said the young man ; “ have you forgot Robert and his unfortunate family, whom you have restored to happiness by ransoming the father?” 49. “ You must be mistaken, my friend, I do not know you, and you cannot know me, I am - a stranger at Marseilles, I have only been here a few days.” 50.“ That may be; but was you not here twenty-six months ago ? Call to mind your einploying me in the port, the interest you took in my unbappiness, the questions you asked concerning my situation, the knowledge of which has enabled you to become our benefactor. 51. Deliverer of my father, can you forget that you are the saviour of the whole family, who wish for nothing more than your presence? 52. Do not refuse them that pleasure, but come and behold the happiness of which you have been the author-come.” 53. “I Jiave told you before, my friend, you are mistaken.” 54. “No, Sir, I am not mistaken, your features are - too deeply engraved on my memory for me ever to
forget them.-55. I pray you come.” On saying which, he took him by the arm, and attempted to compel him. 56. A crowd being assembled round them, the stranger, in a more firm and resolute tone, said to him: “Sir, tbis scene begins to be troublesome, it is some resemblance in me that has
caused your mistake; recover you reason, go to your family, and there seek to procure that tranquillity which you seem to require.” 57. “ What cruelty !” cried the young man; “benefactor of this family, why will you impair, by your resistance, that happiness which they owe entirely to you? 58. Are you so inflexible as to refuse the tribute which we have reserved so long for your sensibility ? 59. And you, who are present, wliom my trouble and disorder have called together, assist me all of you, that the author of my safety may conie and contemplate his own works !” 60. At these words, the stranger uniting all his force, and assuming all courage to resist the delicious seduction that was offered out to him, darted in a moment to the midst of the crowd, and immediately disappeared.
61. The famous banker, Mr. Mayn, of Cadiz, who related this story, was himself charged with the delivery of the ransom for the freedom of Robert.
Ped'-lar, s. one who carries small goods or wares up and down the
country for sale; a petty dealer. 1. In-tense’-ly, ad. very, to a great degree.
Burs'-lem, s. a village in Staffordshire. 5. Pan'-niers, s. pl. (pro. pan-yurs,) large baskets or bampers hung
on the sides of an ass or horse to carry any thing in. 6. Hor'-net, s. a large kind of wasp. 7. Con-ster-na'-ti-on, s. amazement, or wonders.
9. In-hu-ma"-ni-ty, s. cruelty, brutality. 20. Gra"-ti-fi-ed, øret. satisfied, indulged, pleased.