The Algerine captive; or, The life and adventures of Doctor Updike Underhill: six years a prisoner among the Algerines. [Three lines from Shakespeare] : Vol. I[-II]. : Published according to act of Congress.
Tyler, Royall, 1757-1826., Humphreys, David, 1752-1818, dedicatee.
Page  229


O what a goodly outside falshood hath!


The Gratitude of a Jew.

ONE day, walking on the beach, the Jew looked me steadily in the face; and, laying his hand upon my shoul|der, said I owe you my life, I owe you money, which you cannot oblige me to pay. You think, a Jew will always de|ceive in money matters. You are mistak|en. You shall not wait for your pay in Algiers; I will pay you here in Alexan|dria. I owe you one thousand dollars on my father's account. Now, what do you demand for restoring me to health? Nothing replied I, overjoyed at his prob|ity; restore me my money, and you are welcome to my services. This must not Page  230 be, said the son of Adonah, I have done wickedly, but mean not only to pay you, but satisfy my own conscience. I will allow you in addition to the one thousand dollars, two thousand more for your assist|ance, as a physician; and then will ad|vance three thousand more, which I will take your word to repay me, when you are able. I was astonished. I seized his hand and felt his pulse, to discover if he was not delirious. His pulse were regu|lar, and I knew his ability to perform his promise. We will meet here on the morrow, and I will pay you. I met him the next day, and he was not ready to make payment. I now began to doubt his promises, and blame myself for the de|lusions of hope. By his appointment I met him the third day, on a retired part of the beach, westward from the port. We now saw a man approaching us. That man, said the Jew, will pay you. You well understand, my friend, that your Page  231 ransom is fixed at six thousand dollars. Now, whoever gives you your liberty, really pays you that sum. I have engag|ed the person, who is approaching, and who is the master of a small vessel, to transport you to Gibraltar, whence you may find your way home. The man now joined us and confirmed the words of the Jew, for whom he professed a great friend|ship. It was concluded, that I should come to that spot immediately after dark, where I should find a small boat waiting to carry me on board the vessel. The master of the vessel declaring, that he run a great risk, in assisting in my escape; but was willing to do it out of commisera|tion for me, and friendship for the Jew; and reminded me, that I had better pack up all my property, and bring it with me. I hastened home with the Jew, and collect|ed all the property I could with propriety call my own; which consisted of a few clothes, and to the amount of three hun|dred Page  232 and twenty dollars in cash. As soon as it was dark, the Jew accompanied me to the beach, and then took an affection|ate leave of me, presenting me with the value of ten dollars, as a loan, gravely re|marking, that now I owed him three thou|sand and ten dollars, which he hoped I would transport to him as soon as I arriv|ed in America. The Jew quitted me, and I soon discovered the approach of the boat, which I slept into with a light heart, congratulating myself, that I was a|gain A FREE MAN. The boat soon row|ed along side of a vessel, that was laying to for us. I jumped on board, and was directly seized by two men, who bound me and hurried me below deck; and, af|ter robbing me of all my property, left me in the dark to my own reflections. I had been so long the sport of cruel fortune, that these were not so severe, as my sym|pathising readers may conjecture. Re|peated misfortunes blunt sensibility. I Page  233 perceived that I had been played a vil|lanous trick, and exchanged a tolerable slavery, for one perhaps more insupporta|ble; but should have been perfectly re|signed to my fate, if the dread of being returned to Algiers and suffering the dreadful punishment, already related, had not presented itself. In the morning, I requested to see the captain; and, by his orders, was brought upon deck; to my surprise, it was not the same person who had decoyed me on board. I was con|founded. I intended to have expostu|lated; but could I tell a stranger, a man, who appeared a Mussulman by his garb, that I was a runaway slave? While I was perplexing myself what to say, the man, who had decoyed me on board, appeared. He was a passenger, and claimed me as his slave, having purchased me, as he said, for four hundred zequins of a Jew, my for|mer master, and meant to carry me with him to Tunis. I was now awakened to Page  234 all the horrours of my situation. I dar|ed not irritate my new master by contra|dictions, and acquiesced in his story in dumb despair. On the eighth day, after we departed from Scandaroon, the vessel made cape Bona, and expected soon to anchor in the port of Tunis. My master had a Portuguese slave on board, who slept in the birth with me. He spoke a little broken English, having been for|merly a sailor on board a vessel of that nation. He gave me the most alarming apprehensions of the cruelty of our mas|ter, but flattered me by saying that the Tunise in general were more mild with their slaves than the Algerines, and allow|ed a freer intercourse with the European merchants; and, by their interference, we might obtain our liberty. While my fellow slave slept, I lay agonizing with the dread of entering the port of Tunis. Often did I wish that some friendly rock or kindly leak would sink me, and my Page  235 misfortunes, in perpetual oblivion; and I was nigh being gratified in my despe|rate wishes; for, the same night, a tre|mendous storm arose, and the gale struck us with such violence, that our sails were instantly flittered into rags. We could not shew a yard of canvass, and were o|bliged to scud under bare poles. The night was excessively dark; and, to in|crease our distress, our ballast shifted and we were obliged to cut away our masts by the board, to save us from foundering. The vessel righted, but being strong and light, and the hatchways being well se|cured, our captain was only fearful of being driven on some christian coast. The next night, the wind lulled; and the morning after, the sun arose clear, and we found ourselves off the coast of Sar|dinia, and within gun shot of an armed vessel. She proved to be a Portuguese frigate. To the confusion and dismay of our captain and passenger, and to the great Page  236 joy of myself and fellow slave. The frig|ate hoisted her colours, manned her boats, and boarded us. No sooner was his na|tional flag displayed, than the overjoyed Portuguese ran below and liberated me from my fetters, hugged me in raptures, and hauling me upon deck, the first man we met was our master, whom he saluted with a kick, and then spit in his face. I must confess that this reverse of fortune made me feel for the wretched Mussul|man, who stood quivering with apprehen|sions of instant death; nor could I refrain from preventing the Portuguese from a|venging himself for the cruelties, he had suffered, under this barbarian. The boats soon boarded us, and secured the cap|tain and crew, whom they treated with as much bitter contempt, as my fellow had exercised toward our late master. This poor fellow soon introduced me to his countrymen, with a brief account of my country and misfortunes.