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List Of Contents | Contents of Ali Pacha, by Dumas, Pere
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pulled up his horse, and, signing to his own bodyguard to attack the
building, "Slay them!" he cried in a voice of thunder.

The guards remained motionless in surprise and horror, then as the
pacha, with a roar, repeated his order, they indignantly flung down
their arms.  In vain he harangued, flattered, or threatened them;
some preserved a sullen silence, others ventured to demand mercy.
Then he ordered them away, and, calling on the Christian Mirdites who
served under his banner.

"To you, brave Latins," he cried, "I will now entrust the duty of
exterminating the foes of my race.  Avenge me, and I will reward you
magnificently."

A confused murmur rose from the ranks.  Ali imagined they were
consulting as to what recompense should be required as the price of
such deed.

"Speak," said he; "I am ready to listen to your demands and to
satisfy them."

Then the Mirdite leader came forward and threw back the hood of his
black cloak.

"O Pacha!" said he, looking Ali boldly in the face, "thy words are an
insult; the Mirdites do not slaughter unarmed prisoners in cold
blood.  Release the Kardikiotes, give them arms, and we will fight
them to the death; but we serve thee as soldiers and not as
executioners."

At these words; which the black-cloaked battalion received with
applause, Ali thought himself betrayed, and looked around with doubt
and mistrust.  Fear was nearly taking the place of mercy, words of
pardon were on his lips, when a certain Athanasius Vaya, a Greek
schismatic, and a favourite of the pacha's, whose illegitimate son he
was supposed to be, advanced at the head of the scum of the army, and
offered to carry out the death sentence.  Ali applauded his zeal,
gave him full authority to act, and spurred his horse to the top of a
neighbouring hill, the better to enjoy the spectacle.  The Christian
Mirdites and the Mohammedan guards knelt together to pray for the
miserable Kardikiotes, whose last hour had come.

The caravanserai where they were shut in was square enclosure, open
to the sky, and intended to shelter herds of buffaloes.  The
prisoners having heard nothing of what passed outside, were
astonished to behold Athanasius Vaya and his troop appearing on the
top of the wall.  They did not long remain in doubt.  Ali gave the
signal by a pistol-shot, and a general fusillade followed.  Terrible
cries echoed from the court; the prisoners, terrified, wounded,
crowded one upon another for shelter.  Some ran frantically hither
and thither in this enclosure with no shelter and no exit, until they
fell, struck down by bullets.  Some tried to climb the walls, in hope
of either escape or vengeance, only to be flung back by either
scimitars or muskets.  It was a terrible scene of despair and death.

After an hour of firing, a gloomy silence descended on the place, now
occupied solely by a heap of corpses.  Ali forbade any burial rites
on pain of death, and placed over the gate an inscription in letters
of gold, informing posterity that six hundred Kardikiotes had there
been sacrificed to the memory of his mother Kamco.

When the shrieks of death ceased in the enclosure, they began to be
heard in the town.  The assassins spread themselves through it, and
having violated the women and children, gathered them into a crowd to
be driven to Libokovo.  At every halt in this frightful journey fresh
marauders fell on the wretched victims, claiming their share in
cruelty and debauchery.  At length they arrived at their destination,
where the triumphant and implacable Chainitza awaited them.  As after
the taking of Kormovo, she compelled the women to cut off their hair
and to stuff with it a mattress on which she lay.  She then stripped
them, and joyfully narrated to them the massacre of their husbands,
fathers, brothers and sons, and when she had sufficiently enjoyed
their misery they were again handed over to the insults of the
soldiery.  Chainitza finally published an edict forbidding either
clothes, shelter, or food to be given to the women and children of
Kardiki, who were then driven forth into the woods either to die of
hunger or to be devoured by wild beasts.  As to the seventy-two
hostages, Ali put them all to death when he returned to Janina.  His
vengeance was indeed complete.

But as, filled with a horrible satisfaction, the pacha was enjoying
the repose of a satiated tiger, an indignant and threatening voice
reached him even in the recesses of his palace.  The Sheik Yussuf,
governor of the castle of Janina, venerated as a saint by the
Mohammedans on account of his piety, and universally beloved and
respected for his many virtues, entered Ali's sumptuous dwelling for
the first time.  The guards on beholding him remained stupefied and
motionless, then the most devout prostrated themselves, while others
went to inform the pacha; but no one dared hinder the venerable man,
who walked calmly and solemnly through the astonished attendants.
For him there existed no antechamber, no delay; disdaining the
ordinary forms of etiquette, he paced slowly through the various
apartments, until, with no usher to announce him, he reached that of
Ali.  The latter, whose impiety by no means saved him from
superstitious terrors, rose hastily from the divan and advanced to
meet the holy sheik, who was followed by a crowd of silent courtiers.
Ali addressed him with the utmost respect, and endeavoured even to
kiss his right hand.  Yussuf hastily withdrew it, covered it with his
mantle, and signed to the pacha to seat himself.  Ali mechanically
obeyed, and waited in solemn silence to hear the reason of this
unexpected visit.

Yussuf desired him to listen with all attention, and then reproached
him for his injustice and rapine, his treachery and cruelty, with
such vivid eloquence that his hearers dissolved in tears.  Ali,
though much dejected, alone preserved his equanimity, until at length
the sheik accused him of having caused the death of Emineh.  He then
grew pale, and rising, cried with terror:

"Alas! my father, whose name do you now pronounce?  Pray for me, or
at least do not sink me to Gehenna with your curses!"

"There is no need to curse thee," answered Yussuf.  "Thine own
crimes bear witness against thee.  Allah has heard their cry.  He
will summon thee, judge thee, and punish thee eternally.  Tremble,
for the time is at hand!  Thine hour is coming--is coming--is
coming!"

Casting a terrible glance at the pacha, the holy man turned his back
on him, and stalked out of the apartment without another word.

Ali, in terror, demanded a thousand pieces of gold, put them in a
white satin purse, and himself hastened with them to overtake the
sheik, imploring him to recall his threats.  But Yussuf deigned no
answer, and arrived at the threshold of the palace, shook off the
dust of his feet against it.

Ali returned to his apartment sad and downcast, and many days elapsed
before he could shake off the depression caused by this scene.  But
soon he felt more ashamed of his inaction than of the reproaches
which had caused it, and on the first opportunity resumed his usual
mode of life.

The occasion was the marriage of Moustai, Pacha of Scodra, with the
eldest daughter of Veli Pacha, called the Princess of Aulis, because
she had for dowry whole villages in that district.  Immediately after
the announcement of this marriage Ali set on foot a sort of
saturnalia, about the details of which there seemed to be as much
mystery as if he had been preparing an assassination.

All at once, as if by a sudden inundation, the very scum of the earth
appeared to spread over Janina.  The populace, as if trying to drown
their misery, plunged into a drunkenness which simulated pleasure.
Disorderly bands of mountebanks from the depths of Roumelia traversed
the streets, the bazaars and public places; flocks and herds, with
fleeces dyed scarlet, and gilded horns, were seen on all the roads
driven to the court by peasants under the guidance of their priests.
Bishops, abbots, ecclesiastics generally, were compelled to drink,
and to take part in ridiculous and indecent dances, Ali apparently
thinking to raise himself by degrading his more respectable subjects.
Day and night these spectacles succeeded each other with increasing
rapidity, the air resounded with firing, songs, cries, music, and the
roaring of wild beasts in shows.  Enormous spits, loaded with meat,
smoked before huge braziers, and wine ran in floods at tables
prepared in the palace courts.  Troops of brutal soldiers drove
workmen from their labour with whips, and compelled them to join in
the entertainments; dirty and impudent jugglers invaded private
houses, and pretending that they had orders from the pacha to display
their skill, carried boldly off whatever they could lay their hands
upon.  Ali saw the general demoralization with pleasure, especially
as it tended to the gratification of his avarice, Every guest was
expected to bring to the palace gate a gift in proportion to his
means, and foot officers watched to see that no one forgot this
obligation.  At length, on the nineteenth day, Ali resolved to crown
the feast by an orgy worthy of himself.  He caused the galleries and
halls of his castle by the lake to be decorated with unheard-of
splendour, and fifteen hundred guests assembled for a solemn banquet.
The pacha appeared in all his glory, surrounded by his noble
attendants and courtiers, and seating himself on a dais raised above
this base crowd which trembled at his glance, gave the signal to
begin.  At his voice, vice plunged into its most shameless
diversions, and the wine-steeped wings of debauchery outspread
themselves over the feast.  All tongues were at their freest, all
imaginations ran wild, all evil passions were at their height, when
suddenly the noise ceased, and the guests clung together in terror.
A man stood at the entrance of the hall, pale, disordered, and
wild-eyed, clothed in torn and blood-stained garments.  As everyone
made way at his approach, he easily reached the pacha, and
prostrating himself at his feet, presented a letter.  Ali opened and

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