THE LUSTFUL TURK (1828)
Ali, Dey of Algiers, to Muzra, Bey of Tunis
20 September 1814.
Muzra, thy friend greets thee, with thanks for thy late present I
to the Grecian maid (for so she was) you sent me with the treasure.
bearer of this dispatch has (be care of a pair of beautiful
which I lately captured from a tribe of Askulites; they made an
into a part of my territories from the desert, but I came upon them
surprise, and properly chastised their presumption: not more than a
hundred escaped out of two thousand; indeed I was in no humour to
spare them, they having disturbed me in a scene of pleasure, for
mere could be no pardon, but more of this hereafter. The Grecian
I rejoice to say again, I found a pure maid; her virginity I
the Beiram feast of our Holy Prophet To cull her sweet flower, I was
obliged to infuse an opiate in her coffee. Again, and again, I thank
for the present-her beauties are indeed luxurious; in her soft
I find a sure solace from my anxieties of state, but how strange it
Muzra, that these slaves, whose destinies depend on our will, rarely
give that fervent return to our pleasure so absolutely necessary to
full voluptuous energy of enjoyment It is true nature will always
its power over the softer sex, and they frequently give way to its
excitement, but the pleasure they experience is merely animal. Thus
is with Zena (so I have named your present): even in the height of
ecstasies, a cloud seems to hang on her beauteous countenance,
indicating that it is nature, not love, that creates her transport.
knowledge considerably diminishes the enjoyment her beauties afford
me, yet still she has become extremely necessary to my pleasures.
Although the novelty of her charms has gone by, the certainty of
having cropped her virgin rose has created a lasting interest in my
bosom, which the dissolving lustre and modest, bashful expression of
her eyes daily increases-indeed her charms frequently entice me from
the arms of another beauty, whom I may say for these last two months
have continually enjoyed without me least abatement of my ardouron
the contrary, my appetite seems to increase by what I feed on. It is
true when I think of the pensive charms of Zena I devote a few hours
her arms, but she only acts like the whetstone to the knife, and
me back to the embraces of my English slave with redoubled vigour
and zest. In my next dispatch I will give you an account of my
becoming possessed of this girl, who has so enchanted thy friend's
desires. May our Prophet have thee in his holy keeping.