* * * * *
“By the beard of the prophet, this tires me,” exclaimed the pacha. “Murakhas, you are dismissed.”
The Greek slave bowed and retired.
The next morning the pacha observed to Mustapha, “I have been thinking whether, as we have no story, it would not be as well to let the Greek finish the story of yesterday evening.”
“True, O pacha,” replied Mustapha, “better is hard fare than no food—if we cannot indulge in the pillau, we must content ourselves with boiled rice.”
“It is well said, Mustapha, so let him proceed.”
The Greek slave was then ordered in, and re-commenced as follows:—
* * * * *
Freedom was obtained at last; I flew to the sea-coast, chartered a small vessel, and chiding the winds as we scudded along, because they would not blow with a force equal to my impetuous desires, arrived at Cadiz. It was late in the evening when I disembarked and repaired to the convent; so exhausted was I by contending hopes and fears, that it was with difficulty I could support my own weight. I tottered to the wicket, and demanded my Rosina.
“Are you a near relation,” inquired the portress, “that you request the presence of a sister?” Her interrogation decided the point; Rosina had taken the veil, had abjured the world and me for ever. My brain reeled, and I fell senseless on the pavement. Alarmed at the circumstance, the portress ran to the Lady Abbess, informing her that a person had asked for Sister Rosina, and, receiving her answer, had fallen senseless at the wicket. Rosina was present at the narration; her heart told her who it was; also told her that I had not been faithless. Joy at my fidelity, and grief at her own precipitancy, which rendered it unavailing, overpowered her, and she was led to her cell in a state as pitiable as mine.
When I recovered my senses, I found myself in bed. I had been there for weeks in a state of mental alienation. With reason and memory, misery returned; but I was no longer in the frenzy of excitement; my mind was as exhausted as my body, and I felt a species of calm despair. Convinced that all was lost, that an insuperable bar was placed between Rosina and me, I reasoned myself into a kind of philosophy, and resolved, as soon as I could recover my strength, to fly from a place which had been the scene of so much anticipated happiness, and of so much real woe.