List Of Contents | Contents of Ali Pacha, by Dumas, Pere
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sworn to destroy.  He marched against it at the head of his banditti,
but found himself vigorously opposed, lost part of his force, and was
obliged to save himself and the rest by flight.  He did not stop till
he reached Tepelen, where he had a warm reception from Kamco, whose
thirst for vengeance had been disappointed by his defeat.  "Go!" said
she, "go, coward! go spin with the women in the harem!  The distaff
is a better weapon for you than the scimitar!  "The young man
answered not a word, but, deeply wounded by these reproaches, retired
to hide his humiliation in the bosom of his old friend the mountain.
The popular legend, always thirsting for the marvellous in the
adventures of heroes, has it that he found in the ruins of a church a
treasure which enabled him to reconstitute his party.  But he himself
has contradicted this story, stating that it was by the ordinary
methods of rapine and plunder that he replenished his finances.  He
selected from his old band of brigands thirty palikars, and entered,
as their bouloubachi, or leader of the group, into the service of the
Pacha of Negropont.  But he soon tired of the methodical life he was
obliged to lead, and passed into Thessaly, where, following the
example of his father Veli, he employed his time in brigandage on the
highways.  Thence he raided the Pindus chain of mountains, plundered
a great number of villages, and returned to Tepelen, richer and
consequently more esteemed than ever.

He employed his fortune and influence in collecting a formidable
guerilla force, and resumed his plundering operations.  Kurd Pacha
soon found himself compelled, by the universal outcry of the
province, to take active measures against this young brigand.  He
sent against him a division of troops, which defeated him and brought
him prisoner with his men to Berat, the capital of Central Albania
and residence of the governor.  The country flattered itself that at
length it was freed from its scourge.  The whole body of bandits was
condemned to death; but Ali was not the man to surrender his life so
easily.  Whilst they were hanging his comrades, he threw himself at
the feet of the pacha and begged for mercy in the name of his
parents, excusing himself on account of his youth, and promising a
lasting reform.  The pacha, seeing at his feet a comely youth, with
fair hair and blue eyes, a persuasive voice, and eloquent tongue, and
in whose veins flowed the same blood as his own, was moved with pity
and pardoned him.  Ali got off with a mild captivity in the palace of
his powerful relative, who heaped benefits upon him, and did all he
could to lead him into the paths of probity. He appeared amenable to
these good influences, and bitterly to repent his past errors.  After
some years, believing in his reformation, and moved by the prayers of
Kamco, who incessantly implored the restitution of her dear son, the
generous pacha restored him his liberty, only giving him to under
stand that he had no more mercy to expect if he again disturbed the
public peace.  Ali taking the threat seriously; did not run the risk
of braving it, and, on the contrary, did all he could to conciliate
the man whose anger he dared not kindle.  Not only did he keep the
promise he had made to live quietly, but by his good conduct he
caused his, former escapades to be forgotten, putting under
obligation all his neighbours, and attaching to himself, through the
services he rendered them, a great number of friendly disposed
persons.  In this manner he soon assumed a distinguished and
honourable rank among the beys of the country, and being of
marriageable age, he sought and formed an alliance with the daughter
of Capelan Tigre, Pacha of Delvino, who resided at Argyro-Castron.
This union, happy on both sides, gave him, with one of the most
accomplished women in Epirus, a high position and great influence.

It seemed as if this marriage were destined to wean Ali forever from
his former turbulent habits and wild adventures.  But the family into
which he had married afforded violent contrasts and equal elements of
good and mischief.  If Emineh, his wife, was a model of virtue, his
father-in-law, Capelan, was a composition of every vice--selfish,
ambitious, turbulent, fierce.  Confident in his courage, and further
emboldened by his remoteness from the capital, the Pacha of Delvino
gloried in setting law and authority at defiance.

Ali's disposition was too much like that of his father-in-law to
prevent him from taking his measure very quickly.  He soon got on
good terms with him, and entered into his schemes, waiting for an
opportunity to denounce him and become his successor.  For this
opportunity he had not long to wait.

Capelan's object in giving his daughter to Tepeleni was to enlist him
among the beys of the province to gain independence, the ruling
passion of viziers.  The cunning young man pretended to enter into
the views of his father-in-law, and did all he could to urge him into
the path of rebellion.

An adventurer named Stephano Piccolo, an emissary of Russia, had just
raised in Albania the standard of the Cross and called to arms all
the Christians of the Acroceraunian Mountains.  The Divan sent orders
to all the pachas of Northern Turkey in Europe to instantly march
against the insurgents and quell the rising in blood.

Instead of obeying the orders of the Divan and joining Kurd Pacha,
who had summoned him, Capelan, at the instigation of his son-in-law,
did all he could to embarrass the movement of the imperial troops,
and without openly making common cause with the insurgents, he
rendered them substantial aid in their resistance.  They were,
notwithstanding, conquered and dispersed; and their chief, Stephano
Piccolo, had to take refuge in the unexplored caves of Montenegro.

When the struggle was over, Capelan, as Ali had foreseen, was
summoned to give an account of his conduct before the roumeli-valicy,
supreme judge over Turkey in Europe.  He was not only accused of the
gravest offences, but proofs of them were forwarded to the Divan by
the very man who had instigated them.  There could be no doubt as to
the result of the inquiry; therefore, the pacha, who had no
suspicions of his son-in-law's duplicity, determined not to leave his
pachalik.  That was not in accordance with the plans of Ali, who
wished to succeed to both the government and the wealth of his
father-in-law.  He accordingly made the most plausible remonstrances
against the inefficacy and danger of such a resistance.  To refuse to
plead was tantamount to a confession of guilt, and was certain to
bring on his head a storm against which he was powerless to cope,
whilst if he obeyed the orders of the roumeli-valicy he would find it
easy to excuse himself.  To give more effect to his perfidious
advice, Ali further employed the innocent Emineh, who was easily
alarmed on her father's account.  Overcome by the reasoning of his
son-in-law and the tears of his daughter, the unfortunate pacha
consented to go to Monastir, where he had been summoned to appear,
and where he was immediately arrested and beheaded.

Ali's schemes had succeeded, but both his ambition and his cupidity
were frustrated.  Ali, Bey of Argyro-Castron, who had throughout
shown himself devoted to the sultan, was nominated Pacha of Delvino
in place of Capelan.  He sequestered all the property of his
predecessor, as confiscated to the sultan, and thus deprived Ali
Tepeleni of all the fruits of his crime.

This disappointment kindled the wrath of the ambitious Ali.  He swore
vengeance for the spoliation of which he considered himself the
victim.  But the moment was not favourable for putting his projects
in train.  The murder of Capelan, which its perpetrator intended for
a mere crime, proved a huge blunder.  The numerous enemies of
Tepeleni, silent under the administration of the late pacha, whose
resentment they had cause to fear, soon made common cause under the
new one, for whose support they had hopes.  Ali saw the danger,
sought and found the means to obviate it.  He succeeded in making a
match between Ali of Argyro-Castron, who was unmarried, and
Chainitza, his own sister.  This alliance secured to him the
government of Tigre, which he held under Capelan.  But that was not
sufficient.  He must put himself in a state of security against the
dangers he had lately, experienced, and establish himself on a firm
footing' against possible accidents.  He soon formed a plan, which he
himself described to the French Consul in the following words:--

"Years were elapsing," said he, "and brought no important change in
my position.  I was an important partisan, it is true, and strongly
supported, but I held no title or Government employment of my own.
I recognised the necessity of establishing myself firmly in my
birthplace.  I had devoted friends, and formidable foes, bent on my
destruction, whom I must put out of the way, for my own safety.
I set about a plan for destroying them at one blow, and ended by
devising one with which I ought to have commenced my career.  Had I
done so, I should have saved much time and pains.

"I was in the habit of going every day, after hunting, for a siesta
in a neighbouring wood.  A confidential servant of mine suggested to
my enemies the idea of surprising me and assassinating one there.  I
myself supplied the plan of the conspiracy, which was adopted.  On
the day agreed upon, I preceded my adversaries to the place where I
was accustomed to repose, and caused a goat to be pinioned and
muzzled, and fastened under the tree, covered with my cape; I then
returned home by a roundabout path.  Soon after I had left, the
conspirators arrived, and fired a volley at the goat.

"They ran up to make certain of my death, but were interrupted by a
piquet of my men, who unexpectedly emerged from a copse where I had
posted them, and they were obliged to return to Tepelen, which they
entered, riotous with joy, crying 'Ali Bey is dead, now we are free!'
This news reached my harem, and I heard the cries of my mother and my
wife mingled with the shouts of my enemies.  I allowed the commotion

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