During my stay at Valencia, I was courted and feasted by everybody, and sold my goods at an enormous price; for everyone thought that to possess anything that had belonged to me must bring them good fortune. I received many handsome presents, had divers requests to become a member of the different fraternities of monks, and eventually quitted the town with a large sum of money, with which I proceeded to Toulon, with the intention of making some inquiry after my dear Cerise, whose image was still the object of my dreams, as well as of my waking thoughts.
* * * * *
“Stop,” said the pacha; “I wish to know, whether you believe that the Virgin, as you call her, did thrust the head of the image into the hole in the bottom of the ship.”
“May it please your highness, I do not. I believe it originated from nothing but cause and effect. It is the nature of a whirlpool to draw down all substances that come within its vortex. The water pouring into the bottom of the ship is but the vortex of a whirlpool reversed; and the image of the saint, when it was thrown overboard to leeward of the ship, which was pressed down upon it by the power of the wind, was forced under the water, until it was taken into the vortex of the leak, and naturally found its way into the hole.”
“I dare say you are very right,” answered the pacha, “but I don’t understand a word you have said.”
“Such your highness were the adventures attending my second voyage,” concluded the renegade, with an inclination of his head.
“And a very good voyage too! I like it better than your first. Mustapha, give him ten pieces of gold: you will bring him here to-morrow, and we will hear what happened in his third.”
“You observe,” said Mustapha, when the pacha had retired, “my advice was good.”
“Most excellent!” replied the renegade, holding out his hand for the money: “To-morrow I’ll lie like any barber.”
“Khoda shefa midehed—God gives relief!” cried the pacha, as the divan closed: and, certainly, during its continuance many had been relieved of their worldly goods, and one or two from all future worldly thoughts or wanderings.—“What have we to-day, Mustapha?”
“May your highness’s shadow never be less!” replied the vizier. “Have we not the slave who offered to lay his story at your sublime feet, on the same evening that we met those sons of Shitan—Ali and Hussan, who received the punishment merited by their enormous crimes? Have we not also the manuscript of the Spanish slave, now translated by my faithful Greek; who tells me that the words are flowing with honey, and their music is equal to that of the bulbul when singing to his favourite rose?”
“And the Giaour who relates his voyages and travels,” interrupted the pacha—“where is he? No Kessehgou of our own race tells stories like unto his.”