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:: SECOND EVENING. ..
The ENGLISH MERCHANT.
IN my return from the Indies, I had some affairs with a Spanish merchant, ando while I was managing in one of their fea. ports, there came a Spanish corsair, who had taken a rich Turkish prize, with feveral Turks and Moors prisoners, whom he offered to sell as llaves: I never had any iraffick of this kind, from any view of interest, but from a motive of compassion I had purchased liberty for many a miserable wretch, to whom I gave freedom the moment I paid his ransom. Among
the captives newly taken, there was one distinguished by the richness of his habit, and more by the gracefulness of his port : He drew all my attention, of which he appeared sensible, and still directed his looks to me: Our souls seemed to greet one another, as if their intimacy had been of long standing, and commenced in some pre-existent period. There was something in the air of this young stranger superior to adversity, and yet sensible of the present disadvantage of his fate; while I felt for bim an emotion, soft as the ties of nature, and could not but impute it to the secret impression of some intelligent power, which was leading me to a height of generosity beyond my own intention; and by an impulse of virtue on my foul, directing it to the accomplishment of some distant and unknown design of Providence; the heavenly instigation came with a prevailing force, and I could not but obey its dictates.
The price set on this captive was extravagantly high, and such as would be a vaft disadvantage to my present affairs to part with; however I listened to the gentle monitor within, and paid the corsair his full demands. As foon as I had conducted the youth to my lodgings, I told him he was free; the price I had paid was for his friendship and liberty. " Then you have confined me,” replied the gentle Atranger “ by the most lasting engagements; ,I might have broke through any other restraint; but I am now your voluntary slave, and dare trust you with a secret unknown to the Spaniards. My one is Orramel, the son of a wealthy Bassa in Conftantinople, and you may demand what you please for my ransom.” “ You will soon be convinced," said I, “ there was no mercenary intention in this action; the amity I have for you is noble and disinterested; it was kindled by a celestial spark, an emanation.
from the divine clemency, and terminates in nothing below your immortal happiness : and were you inclined to examine those sacred truths which would lead you to that felicity, and to share my fortune in a free and happy nation, the wealth of the Indies should not buy you from my affection; but if it is your choice to return to the customs and religion of your country, you are ab. solutely free without attending to any terms for your release.” With a friendly, but dejected look, he told me, it was impossible for him to dispense with his filial obliga. tions to an indulgent parent; but he posie tively refused his freedom, till he had given intelligence, and received an answer from his father; which he soon had with a carte blanche to me, on which I might make my own demands for his son's ransom. I returned it with no other terms, but the liberty of all the christian slaves he had in his poffeflion; hoping, by this disinterested
conduct, to leave a conviction on the mind of my young friend in favour of christianity. It was some months after he was gone, before I could finish my negotiation in Spain, but as soon as they were dispatched, I embarked for Holland. We had not been a week at sea, before the ship was taken by a Turkish pirate, and all the men in it carried to Constantinople to be sold as flaves: My lot fell to a master from whom I was like to find most barbarous treatment; however, I was resolved to endure my bondage, till I could give intelligence to my friends in England to procure my ranfom; for I was fixed on this, that no hardship should reduce me to give Orramel an account of my distress till I was again in circumstances, not to need his kindness, nor expect a retaliation of my own. But heaven had kinder intentions by bringing me into this adversity, nor left me long without redress. As I was talking in a public place