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“The Lustful Turk” excerpt

This had continued for several weeks, when an awful catastrophe put an end to our enjoyments. The Dey had received a Greek girl from one of his captains. She passively submitted to his embraces, and uttered no complaint until he commenced the attack upon her second maidenhead; then did she seem inspired with the strength of a Hercules. She suddenly seized a knife, which she had concealed under a cushion, grasped his pinnacle of strength, and in less than a thought drew the knife across it and severed it from his body, she then plunged it into her own heart and expired immediately.

Aid was immediately summoned to stop the Dey’s bleeding to death, and with the fortitude that ever characterises greatness, he ordered his physician to relieve him of his now useless remaining appendages, his receptacles of the soul-stirring juice, remarking at the same time that life would be hell if he retained the desire after the power was dead. When the Dey had nearly recovered he sent for us, and disclosed to our view the lost members preserved in spirits of wine in glass vases. He affectionately bade us farewell, telling us that a ship would sail for England in a few days, and as he had no further use for us, he would send us back to our native land. His kindness had such an effect on my feelings as to cause a miscarriage. I lay dangerously ill for two weeks, during which time Sylvia attended me with the care of a mother. At length the time of departure arrived. The Dey sent for us, and presented one of his valuable vases to Sylvia and the other to me. It fell to my lot to have the shaft. He also made us several other valuable presents, and bade us farewell, hoping that in our own country we should find partners to supply him. We left him with a heavy heart. We embarked on board the ship and arrived here without accident. Our friends here hushed up matters and reported that we had been at a boarding school in France, instead of the boarding school of the Dey of Algiers.

You no doubt wish to know what became of the vases, therefore I must ease your mind on that score. Sylvia has a female friend who keeps a fashionable boarding school in London, and she persuaded me to leave mine with hers in the keeping of this lady, who shows them as a reward for good behaviour to the little lady scholars. Poor girls, how their little mousetraps must gape at the sight!

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