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This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 417 pages of information about The Pacha of Many Tales.
Even at fourteen years old, few could compete with him in the use of the bow, and throwing the djireed, and as a horseman he was perfect.  As for me, I was, I am certain, intended for the sultan’s seraglio, for as a child I was beautiful as a houri.  My father was a man who would not scruple to part with his children for gold, provided he obtained his price.  I was considered, and I believe that I was, the most beautiful girl in the country, and every care was taken that I should not injure my appearance or hurt my complexion by domestic labour or exposure.  I was not permitted to assist my mother, who, induced by my father’s orders, waited upon me.  I was indulged in every whim, and I grew up as selfish and capricious as I was beautiful.  Smile not, pacha—­time has been.

One day, when I was about fourteen years old, I was sitting at the porch, when a large body of Turkish cavalry suddenly made their appearance from a wood close to the house, and surrounded it.  They evidently came for me, for they demanded me by name, threatening to burn the house down to the ground, if I was not immediately delivered up.  Our house, which was situated near the confines of the country, had been constructed for defence; and my father, expecting assistance from his neighbours, refused to acquiesce in their terms.  The assault was made, my father and mother, with all their household, were murdered, my brother severely wounded, the house plundered, and burnt to the outside walls.  I was, of course, a prisoner as well as my brother.  He was tied, wounded as he was, upon one horse, and I upon another, and in a few hours the party had regained the frontiers.  A young man, handsome as an angel, was the leader of the band, and I soon perceived that all his thoughts and attentions, were directed to me.  He watched me with the greatest solicitude when we halted, procured me every comfort, and was always hovering about my presence.  From the discourse of the soldiers I discovered that he was the only son of the grand vizier at Stamboul.  He had heard of my beauty, had seen me, and offered a large sum to my father, who had refused, as his ambition was, that I should belong to the sultan—­in consequence I had been carried off by force.  I could have loved the beautiful youth, although he had murdered my father and mother, but it was the taking me by force which steeled my heart, and I vowed that I never would listen to his addresses, although I was so completely in his power.  During the time that I had been in his possession I had never spoken one word, and it came into my head that I would pretend to be dumb.  In three weeks we arrived at Constantinople.  Since I quitted the country I never had seen my brother, his wound was too severe to allow him to travel with the same rapidity, and it was not until years afterwards that I knew what had become of him.  I was taken to Osman Ali’s house, and allowed a few days’ repose from the fatigue of the journey; after which,

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