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Algerine Captain

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Louis XIV., who had once bombarded Algiers, ordered the
Marquess du Quesne to bombard it a second time, in order to punish the
treachery and insolence of the Moors. The despair in which the Corsairs
found themselves at not being able to beat the fleet off their coasts,
caused them to bring all the French slaves, and fasten them to the mouths
of their cannon, where they were blown to pieces, the different limbs of
their bodies falling even among the French ships. An Algerine captain, who
had been taken on a cruize, and well treated by the French while he had
been their prisoner, one day perceived, among those unfortunate Frenchmen
who were doomed to the cruel fate just mentioned, an officer named
Choiseul, from whom he had received the most signal acts of kindness. The
Algerine immediately begged, entreated, and solicited in the most pressing
manner, to save the life of the generous Frenchman; but all in vain. At
last, when they were going to fire the cannon to which Choiseul was fixed,
the captain threw himself on the body of his friend, and closely embracing
him in his arms, said to the cannonier, "Fire! since I cannot serve my
benefactor, I shall at least have the consolation of dying with him." The
Dey, in whose presence this scene passed, was so affected with it, that he
commanded the French officer to be set free.




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