« AnteriorContinuar »
my yells adding strength to a colossal form, with one vehement kick he burst open the door, and, besides the tragic spectacle on the ground, too plainly discovered the damning proofs of our apostacy.
Vile wretch, cried he as he seized hold of my father's body, unholy villain, circumcised infidel! I thank my God for having smote thee with a sudden judgment: lie there like a dog as thou art, and expect the burial of a dog! Tbis said, with one furious jerk of his arm he hurled the venerable corpse of the most benevolent of God's creatures with the utmost violence to the corner of the room : whilst I tell it my blood curdles; I heard his head dash against the marble floor; I did not dare to turn my eyes to the spot; the sword, which
father had presented to my hand and pointed at his own breast, when he imparted to me his faith, lay naked on the floor; I grasped it in my hand; nature tugged at my heart; I felt an impulse irresistible; I buried it in the bowels of the monk: I thrust it home with so good a will, that the guard entangled in the cord that was tied about his carcase; I left my weapon in the body, and the ponderous bigot fell thundering on the pavement.
A ready thought, which seemed like inspiration, seized me; I disposed my father's
corpse in decent order; drew the ring from his finger, on which the symbol of our tribe was engraved in Hebrew characters; I took away those fatal tokens, which had betrayed us; there were implements for writing on a table; I wrote the following words on a scroll of paper- This monk fell by my hand; he merited the death I gave him: let not my father's memory be attainted! He is innocent, and died suddenly by the will of Heaven and not by the hand of man.'This I signed with my name, and affixed to the breast of the monk ; then imprinting a last kiss upon the hand of my dead father, I went softly down the secret
stairs, and passing through the chapel escaped out of the house unnoticed by any of the family.
Our house stood at one extremity of the antient city of Segovia; I made my way as fast as my feet would transport me to the forests of San Ildephonso, and there sheltered myself till night came on; by short and stealthy journeys, through various perils and almost incredible hardships, I arrived at Barcelona ; I made myself known to an English merchant, settled there, who had long been a correspondent of my father's, and was employed by our family in the exportation of their wool, which is the chief produce of estates in the great plain of Segovia, so famous for its sheep. By this gentleman I was supplied with money
and necessaries; he also gave me letters of credit upon his correspondent in London, and took
passage for me in a very commodious and capital ship bound to that port, but intermediately to Smyrna, whither she was chartered with a valuable cargo. Ever since the unhappy event in Segovia it had been my first and constant wish to take refuge in England; nothing therefore could be more acceptable than these letters of credit and introduction, and being eager to place myself under the protection of a nation, whose generosity all Europe bears testimony to, I lost not a moment in embarking on board the British Lion, (for so the ship was named) and in this asylum I for the first tim
und that repose of mind and body, which for more than two months I had been a stranger to.
Here I fortunately made acquaintance with a very worthy and ingenious gentleman, who was going to settle at Smyrna as physician to the factory, and to the care and humanity of this excellent person, under Providence, I am indebted for my recovery from a very dangerous fever, which seized me on the third day after my coming on board : this gentleman resided many years at Smyrna, and practised' there with great success; he afterwards went through a very curious course of travel, and is now happily returned to his native country.
When we arrived at Smyrna I was on my recovery, and yet under the care of my friendly physician; I lodged in the same house with him, and found great benefit from the air and exercise on shore: he advised me to remain there for a season, and at the same time an offer was made to me by the ship's captain of acting for the merchants in place of their agent, who had died on the passage. The letters of credit given me at Barcelona, and the security entered into on my account with the house in Lon don, warranted this proposal on his part, and there were many motives which prevailed with me for acCepting it.
In this station I had the good fortune to give such satisfaction to my principals, that during a residence of more than twenty years I negotiated their business with uninterrupted success, and in the course of that time secured a competency for myself, and married a very worthy wife, with whom I have lived happily ever since. Still my
wishes pointed to this land of freedom and toleration, and here at last I hope I am set down for life : such was my prepossession for this country, that I may say without boasting, during .twenty years residence in Smyrna, no Englishman ever left my door without the relief he solicited, or appeared to stand in need of.
I must not omit to tell you that to my infinite comfort it turned out, that my precautions after the death of the monk were effectual for preventing any mischief to the head of my family, who still preserves his rank, title and estate unsuspected ; and although I was outlawed by name, time hath now wrought such a change in my person, and the affair hath so died away in men's memories, that I trust I am in security from any future machinations in that quarter : Still I hold it just to my family and prudent towards myself to continue my precautions : Upon the little fortune I raised in Smyrna, with some aids I have occasionally received from the head of our house, who is my nephew, and several profitable commissions for the sale of Spanish wool, I live contentedly, though humbly as you see, and I have besides wherewithal, (blessed be God!) to be of some use and assistance to my fellow creatures.
Thus I have related to you my brief history, not concealing that bloody act which would subject me to death by the sentence of a human tribunal, but for which I hope my intercession and atonement have been accepted by the Supreme Judge of all hearts, with whom there is mercy and forgiveness. Reflect I pray you upon my situation at that dreadful moment; enter into the feelings of a son ; picture to yourselves the scene of horror before my eyes ; conceive a brutal zealot spurning the dead corpse of my father, and that father his most generous benefactor, honoured for his virtues and adored for his charities, the best of parents and the friend of mankind; reflect, I say, upon agonies and provocations, make allowance for a distracted heart in such a crisis, and judge me with that charity, which takes the law of God, and not the law of man for its direction.
Here Abrahams concluded, and here also I shall adjourn to the succeeding number what remains to be related of the persons, whose adventures have already engrossed so large a portion of this miscellaneous work.
these my NUMBER XLV.
The reader will recollect that the worthy Hebrew, who assumes the name of Abrahams, had just concluded the narrative of his adventures, and that the next morning was appointed for a conciliatory interview between Mrs. Goodison and her father. Ned, whose natural indolence had now began to give place to the most active of all passions, had been so much agitated by the events of the day, that we had no sooner parted from honest Abrahams, than he began to comment upon the lucky incident of our rencontre with the old gentleman at the comedy; he seemed strongly inclined to deal with destiny for some certain impusses, which he remembered to have felt, when he was so earnest to go to the play; and declared with much gravity, that he went thither fully prepossessed some good fortune would turn up: • Well, to be sure,' faid he, I ought to rejoice in the happy turn affairs have now taken, and I do rejoice; but it would have given me infinite delight to have fulfilled the plan I had in design for Mrs. Goodison's accommodation ; she will now want no assistance from me; my little cottage will never have the honour of re:eiving her; all those schemes are at an end; Contantia too will be a great fortune, she will have ligher views in life, and think no more of me, or, i she did, it is not to be supposed her grandfather, vho so bitterly resented his daughter's match, will siffer her to fall into the same offence.' I must confess I thought so entirely with my friend Ned