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قراءة كتاب The Life and Adventures of Bruce, the African Traveller

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‏اللغة: English
The Life and Adventures of Bruce, the African Traveller

The Life and Adventures of Bruce, the African Traveller

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دار النشر: Project Gutenberg
الصفحة رقم: 10

indignity. The cruelties, indeed, of the dey seemed to increase with his age. In a single morning, seventeen Turks were seized and strangled in his presence; he even condemned to death his own brother; and for every trifling complaint brought before him, he prescribed King Richard's remedy of "Off with his head!"

At last the new British consul arrived, accompanied by Captain Cleveland of the navy. This consul was, however, shortly afterward recalled; and, in less than two years, two others succeeded to the same dangerous post. One of these gentlemen, on sailing from England, was recommended by the government to do everything in his power to accommodate the troublesome affairs of Algiers. His obsequious, courtier-like conduct forms a striking contrast with Bruce's firm, manly behaviour; and he was very shortly recalled for overacting his part of conciliation, by allowing the dey to impose a tax on English vessels which he had no right whatever to demand.

In the following letter this gentleman thus informs Lord Halifax of the death of the dey: "I have now the mortification to acquaint you of the death of his excellency the good old dey, Alli Bashaw, who was seized with a violent cold and pleuritic complaint the 24th past. He continued in a declining way till Sunday the 2d inst., when he expired between one and two o'clock in the morning, aged seventy, after having reigned eleven years and forty days. The divan was immediately assembled, and about seven the hamagee or treasurer was chosen to succeed him. The colours were then hoisted at the palace, the garrison, and harbour, as also at the several forts, with a discharge of cannon. At eight I paid my respects to the new dey, Mohammed Bashaw, and was well received. About nine the old dey was carried out to be interred, and all was quiet."

In this whining requiem, which one of Bruce's successors, a British consul, sings over the carcass of that old sanguinary tyrant Alli Bashaw, the dey of Algiers, the reader will probably start at the appellation of the "good old dey:" yet the consul's letter is unfortunately but a specimen of those diplomatic reports which, from distant countries, are too often made to coincide with the supposed views and fancies of the minister at home.