By Alexandre Dumas père
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Extra resources for Ali Pacha Celebrated Crimes
Then, half-avowals from her women, compelled to obey the pacha from fear of death, mixed with confused memories of her own, revealed the whole terrible truth. Not knowing in her despair which way to turn, she wrote to Ali, entreating him to visit the harem. As head of the family, he had a right to enter, being supposed responsible for the conduct of his sons' families, no-law-giver having hitherto contemplated the possibility of so disgraceful a crime. When he appeared, Zobeide flung herself at his feet, speechless with grief.
He asked. "Have mercy, great Vizier," answered the poor woman, who, having nothing to lose but her life, imagined that even that would be taken from her. " The woman looked at him wonderingly, not understanding his words in the least. "Dost thou remember," continued Ali, "that forty years ago a young man asked for shelter from the foes who pursued him? Without inquiring his name or standing, thou didst hide him in thy humble house, and dressed his wounds, and shared thy scanty food with him, and when he was able to go forward thou didst stand on thy threshold to wish him good luck and success.
He then grew pale, and rising, cried with terror: "Alas! my father, whose name do you now pronounce? " "There is no need to curse thee," answered Yussuf. "Thine own crimes bear witness against thee. Allah has heard their cry. He will summon thee, judge thee, and punish thee eternally. Tremble, for the time is at hand! " Casting a terrible glance at the pacha, the holy man turned his back on him, and stalked out of the apartment without another word. Ali, in terror, demanded a thousand pieces of gold, put them in a white satin purse, and himself hastened with them to overtake the sheik, imploring him to recall his threats.