List Of Contents | Contents of Ali Pacha, by Dumas, Pere
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numerous body of Skipetars.  Its destruction seemed imminent, but
instinct suddenly revealed to the ignorant mountaineers the one
manoeuvre which might save them.  They formed a square, placing old
men, women, children, and cattle in the midst, and, protected by this
military formation, entered Parga in full view of the cut-throats
sent to pursue them.

Less fortunate was the Prevesa division, which, terrified by a sudden
and unexpected attack, fled in disorder to a Greek convent called
Zalongos.  But the gate was soon broken down, and the unhappy Suliots
massacred to the last man.

The women, whose tents had been pitched on the summit of a lofty
rock, beheld the terrible carnage which destroyed their defenders.
Henceforth their only prospect was that of becoming the slaves of
those who had just slaughtered their husbands and brothers.  An
heroic resolution spared them this infamy; they joined hands, and
chanting their national songs, moved in a solemn dance round the
rocky platform.  As the song ended, they uttered a prolonged and
piercing cry, and cast themselves and their children down into the
profound abyss beneath.

There were still some Suliots left in their country when Ali Pacha
took possession of it.  These were all taken and brought to Janina,
and their sufferings were the first adornments of the festival made
for the army.  Every soldier's imagination was racked for the
discovery of new tortures, and the most original among them had the
privilege of themselves carrying out their inventions.

There were some who, having had their noses and ears cut off, were
compelled to eat them raw, dressed as a salad.  One young man was
scalped until the skin fell back upon his shoulders, then beaten
round the court of the seraglio for the pacha's entertainment, until
at length a lance was run through his body and he was cast on the
funeral pile.  Many were boiled alive and their flesh then thrown to
the dogs.

From this time the Cross has disappeared from the Selleid mountains,
and the gentle prayer of Christ no longer wakes the echoes of Suli.

During the course of this war, and shortly after the death of Emineh,
another dismal drama was enacted in the pacha's family, whose active
wickedness nothing seemed to weary.  The scandalous libertinism of
both father and sons had corrupted all around as well as themselves.
This demoralisation brought bitter fruits for all alike: the subjects
endured a terrible tyranny; the masters sowed among themselves
distrust, discord, and hatred.  The father wounded his two sons by
turns in their tenderest affections, and the sons avenged themselves
by abandoning their father in the hour of danger.

There was in Janina a woman named Euphrosyne, a niece of the
archbishop, married to one of the richest Greek merchants, and noted
for wit and beauty.  She was already the mother of two children, when
Mouktar became enamoured of her, and ordered her to come to his
palace.  The unhappy Euphrosyne, at once guessing his object,
summoned a family council to decide what should be done.  All agreed
that there was no escape, and that her husband's life was in danger,
on account of the jealousy of his terrible rival.  He fled the city
that same night, and his wife surrendered herself to Mouktar, who,
softened by her charms, soon sincerely loved her, and overwhelmed her
with presents and favours.  Things were in this position when Mouktar
was obliged to depart on an important expedition.

Scarcely had he started before his wives complained to Ali that
Euphrosyne usurped their rights and caused their husband to neglect
them.  Ali, who complained greatly of his sons' extravagance, and
regretted the money they squandered, at once struck a blow which was
both to enrich himself and increase the terror of his name.

One night he appeared by torchlight, accompanied by his guards, at
Euphrosyne's house.  Knowing his cruelty and avarice, she sought to
disarm one by gratifying the other: she collected her money and
jewels and laid them at Ali's feet with a look of supplication.

"These things are only my own property, which you restore," said he,
taking possession of the rich offering.  "Can you give back the heart
of Mouktar, which you have stolen?"

Euphrosyne besought him by his paternal feelings, for the sake of his
son whose love had been her misfortune and was now her only crime, to
spare a mother whose conduct had been otherwise irreproachable.  But
her tears and pleadings produced no effect on Ali, who ordered her to
be taken, loaded with fetters and covered with a piece of sackcloth,
to the prison of the seraglio.

If it were certain that there was no hope for the unhappy Euphrosyne,
one trusted that she might at least be the only victim.  But Ali,
professing to follow the advice of some severe reformers who wished
to restore decent morality, arrested at the same time fifteen ladies
belonging to the best Christian families in Janina.  A Wallachian,
named Nicholas Janco, took the opportunity to denounce his own wife,
who was on the point of becoming a mother, as guilty of adultery, and
handed her also over to the pacha.  These unfortunate women were
brought before Ali to undergo a trial of which a sentence of death
was the foregone conclusion.  They were then confined in a dungeon,
where they spent two days of misery.  The third night, the
executioners appeared to conduct them to the lake where they were to
perish.  Euphrosyne, too exhausted to endure to the end, expired by
the way, and when she was flung with the rest into the dark waters,
her soul had already escaped from its earthly tenement.  Her body was
found the next day, and was buried in the cemetery of the monastery
of Saints-Anargyres, where her tomb, covered with white iris and
sheltered by a wild olive tree, is yet shown.

Mouktar was returning from his expedition when a courier from his
brother Veli brought him a letter informing him of these events.  He
opened it.  "Euphrosyne!" he cried, and, seizing one of his pistols,
fired it at the messenger, who fell dead at his feet,--"Euphrosyne,
behold thy first victim!"  Springing on his horse, he galloped
towards Janina.  His guards followed at a distance, and the
inhabitants of all the villages he passed fled at his approach.  He
paid no attention to them, but rode till his horse fell dead by the
lake which had engulfed Euphrosyne, and then, taking a boat, he went
to hide his grief and rage in his own palace.

Ali, caring little for passion which evaporated in tears and cries,
sent an order to Mouktar to appear before him at once.  "He will not
kill you," he remarked to his messenger, with a bitter smile.  And,
in fact, the man who a moment before was furiously raging and
storming against his father, as if overwhelmed by this imperious
message, calmed down, and obeyed.

"Come hither, Mouktar, "said the pacha, extending his murderous hand
to be kissed as soon as his son appeared.  "I shall take no notice of
your anger, but in future never forget that a man who braves public
opinion as I do fears nothing in the world.  You can go now; when
your troops have rested from their march, you can come and ask for
orders.  Go, remember what I have said."

Mouktar retired as submissively as if he had just received pardon for
some serious crime, and found no better consolation than to spend the
night with Veli in drinking and debauchery.  But a day was to come
when the brothers, alike outraged by their father, would plot and
carry out a terrible vengeance.

However, the Porte began to take umbrage at the continual
aggrandisement of the Pacha of Janina.  Not daring openly to attack
so formidable a vassal, the sultan sought by underhand means to
diminish his power, and under the pretext that Ali was becoming too
old for the labour of so many offices, the government of Thessaly was
withdrawn from him, but, to show that this was not done in enmity,
the province was entrusted to his nephew, Elmas Bey, son of Suleiman
and Chainitza.

Chainitza, fully as ambitious as her brother, could not contain her
delight at the idea of governing in the name of her son, who was weak
and gentle in character and accustomed to obey her implicitly.  She
asked her brother's permission to go to Trikala to be present at the
installation, and obtained it, to everybody's astonishment; for no
one could imagine that Ali would peacefully renounce so important a
government as that of Thessaly.  However, he dissembled so skilfully
that everyone was deceived by his apparent resignation, and applauded
his magnanimity, when he provided his sister with a brilliant escort
to conduct her to the capital of the province of which he had just
been deprived in favour of his nephew.  He sent letters of
congratulation to the latter as well as magnificent presents, among
them a splendid pelisse of black fox, which had cost more than a
hundred thousand francs of Western money.  He requested Elmas Bey to
honour him by wearing this robe on the day when the sultan's envoy
should present him with the firman of investiture, and Chainitza
herself was charged to deliver both gifts and messages.

Chainitza arrived safely at Trikala, and faithfully delivered the
messages with which she had been entrusted.  When the ceremony she so
ardently desired took place, she herself took charge of all the
arrangements.  Elmas, wearing the black fox pelisse, was proclaimed,
and acknowledged as Governor of Thessaly in her presence.  "My son is
pacha!" she cried in the delirium of joy.  "My son is pacha! and my
nephews will die of envy!  "But her triumph was not to be of long
duration.  A few days after his installation, Elmas began to feel
strangely languid.  Continual lethargy, convulsive sneezing, feverish
eyes, soon betokened a serious illness.  Ali's gift had accomplished
its purpose.  The pelisse, carefully impregnated with smallpox germs
taken from a young girl suffering from this malady, had conveyed the
dreaded disease to the new pacha, who, not having been inoculated,
died in a few days.

The grief of Chainitza at her son's death displayed itself in sobs,

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