Page:Paine--Lost ships and lonely seas.djvu/429

This page needs to be proofread.
383
SEAMEN LONG IN EXILE

amid the stones and mortar. One of them described it in these words:

 
The emperor came to the place where the governor of Tangier and his miserable companions had lain five days in chains on the bare ground without the smallest allowance of provisions. Having viewed these unfortunate wretches, the emperor withdrew about sixty paces from the castle towards his camp where he gave orders that they should all be brought out before him. When they were arranged in the form required, the governor, three sons of the late bashaw, and another principal inhabitant of Tangier were unchained and set apart from the rest.

Then with all possible serenity the emperor desired his armor-bearer to bring him his scimetar. He drew it from the scabbard with a countenance as composed as if he had been going to exercise a body of troops. One of the delinquents was next commanded to be loosened from his chains and brought before him. The unhappy man, aware of his approaching fate, fell prostrate, and with tears implored mercy. All entreaties were vain, for the emperor without regarding them, exclaimed "In the name of God," and with one blow struck off his head. This done, he returned his scimetar to the armor-bearer with orders for him and his assistants to follow the same example and retiring a short way off, stood to see his orders executed. In this manner were no less than three hundred and thirty victims massacred to glut his diabolical vengeance.

The governor of Tangier, the three sons of the late bashaw, and the other person, who were freed of their chains to be spectators of the slaughter, were petrified