AN ACCOUNT OF BARBAROSSA, The USURPER of ALGIERS. BEING THE STORY On which the NEW TRAGEDY, Now in Rehearsal at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane, Is FOUNDED.

—Foul Deeds will rise,
Tho' all the Earth o'erwhelmn them.—

LONDON: Printed and sold by W. REEVE, in Fleet-Street. M. DCC. LV.


AS the Curiosity of the Publick has been of late much engaged, in Enquiries after the NEW TRAGEDY of BARBA­ROSSA, which is soon to be perform'd at the Theatre Royal in Drury-Lane; and as several Gentlemen of Eminence in the Republick of Letters have been men­tion'd [Page 6] as the Author, it may, perhaps, be agreeable to the Town, to have the fol­lowing short Account given of the previous History of that fam'd Usurper, from whom the Tragedy takes it's Name.

While the memorable Cardinal XIMENEZ was Minister in Spain, King FERDINAND the Fifth, of Arragon, about the Year 1505, sent PETER, Count of Navarre, with a powerful Force; which, without Difficulty, took Oran. The Inhabitants of this fa­mous City in general were Moors, which had been forc'd out of Granada and Va­lentia, about twelve Years before.

These, being a bold and active People, and being well vers'd in the Manners, as well as Language of the Spaniards, did considerable Damage, both by Sea and Land, to the Dependents of that Crown.

From Oran the Spaniards, flush'd with Success, pursu'd their Conquest and took Bugia, and many other Places, with heroic Valour. The Algerines, being apprehen­sive their City would undergo the same Fate, sent for Assistance, by Way of Cau­tion, to SELIM EUTEMI, a Prince of Arabian Extraction, famous for Skill in military Affairs. He accepted their In­vitation, [Page 7] and came with a large Number of valiant Followers, which he had se­lected from that populous Nation, and encamp'd upon the Plain of Mutija, where he had Power; attended also by his Wife ZAPHIRA, a Lady of great Worth and Virtue, and his Son SELIM, not then twelve Years old, whom he was fond of initiating into the Exercise of War.

Notwithstanding this Succour, another Fleet and more Troops from FERDINAND, quickly subdu'd the City of Algiers, and oblig'd it to pay Tribute; and even suf­fer'd the Spaniards to build a Fort, and man it with some of the best Troops, on a small Island, that lay opposite the City, to the great Injury of the Algerine Corsairs, who could not, with Safety, go out and in the Harbour.

This, however disagreeable, they bore with Patience, 'till the Death of FER­DINAND in the Year 1516, which put them then upon an Attempt to recover their Liberties.

They sent Deputies to ARACH BAR­BAROSSA, a Mahometan Corsair, born at Mcteline in the Archipelago, of great Fame for his Bravery and his Success in [Page 8] Battle. He was upon a Cruise with his Squardron, when the Algerine Deputies met him, with their Request to assist them to throw off the Spanish Yoke; promising him great Dignities to his Person, and large Gratification for such Service. He gave the Deputies a most favourable Answer, and sent them back to Algiers, to carry Joy to their dejected Country­men.

BARBAROSSA immediately sent eighteen Gallies, and a Number of Barks to Algiers, while he march'd by Land, collecting all the Moors and Turks, that seem'd inclin'd to assist his Enterprize; and was so success­ful in his Levies, that the Algerines thought the Hour of Deliverance was at Hand.

SELIM EUTEMI, General of Algiers, with many of the chief Officers and princi­pal Citizens, went two Days Journey to meet him; and brought him, with great Honours, in Triumph into their City, con­ducting him, amidst the Shouts of the Peo­ple, to the Palace of SELIM EUTEMI: Where he was nobly receiv'd, while his Army met with great Indulgence from the rejoic'd Algerines; which they soon abus'd, and claim'd by Force, what was first given them through Courtesy.

[Page 9] BARBAROSSA too, being of an ambitious Nature, form'd a wicked Design of making himself Sovereign of Algiers, and all its Provinces. His Officers applauded his De­sign, promis'd to assist in it, and swore themselves to Secrecy, 'till a Time happen'd to put it in Execution. In order to begin Commotions, BARBAROSSA wink'd at the Insolence and Villanies of the Turkish Sol­diers, who were perpetually raising Disor­ders in the City; which he hop'd might enrage the Citizens to some desperate Act, that might favour his Design.

SELIM EUTEMI now discover'd his In­discretion, in calling BARBAROSSA in to his Assistance: For, so insolent was this Pirate, that he treated the Prince with Con­tempt, never asking his Advice in any Thing; but built Forts, attack'd the Spanish Castle, and all without his Knowledge or Con­sent.

The Citizens too plainly perceiv'd his Design, and made no Scruple of declaring their Sentiments. BARBAROSSA, finding himself suspected, gave Way to his Fury; which was heighten'd by a Passion he had entertain'd for SELIM's Wife, the fair ZAPHIRA. He therefore determin'd [Page 10] to make short Work of it; and, by the Death of SELIM, satisfy at once his Ambition and his Love: For he did not doubt but upon her Husband's Death, ZAPHIRA would listen to his Suit, and consent to marry him; which Alliance would add Dignity to him, and his own mean Extraction be hid by the Union with this Lady, who was related to most of the powerful Cheques of the Arabians; who, if the Algerines should oppose, would, for his Wife's sake, assist to establish him upon the Throne.

BARBAROSSA, having fixt his Scheme, waited an Opportunity of SELIM's being alone in a Bath; when he rush'd upon him, and slew him. He fell down in the Bath, where the Water finish'd what his Hurry had imperfectly done. The Pirate hasten'd out, and, collecting some of his Friends, return'd to the Bath, under Pre­tence of cooling himself as usual; where, with an affected Surprize, he shew'd SELIM dead. This was soon spread throughout the City; and BARBAROSSA, under Pretence of discovering any foul Play that might have been us'd to SELIM, put all the Soldiers under Arms, with Orders to secure every Pass, 'till he could consider further on this Accident.

[Page 11] The Citizens of Algiers, notwithstanding the Reports given out, look'd upon the Death of SELIM to be a Stroke of the inhuman BARBAROSSA's; and, dreading the further Mischief they suspected he had plan'd, lock'd themselves in their Houses, which gave the Turkish Army full Power to distress and spoil at Pleasure.—They immediately conducted BARBAROSSA in Pomp to SELIM's Palace, proclaiming him King of Algiers; adding, Destruction to all Opposers of him, that Heaven has chosen for our Deliverer and Protector.

These Menaces alarm'd the Citizens with most dreadful Apprehensions. BAR­BAROSSA was seated under a Canopy, surrounded with his Adherents and Guards, while proper Officers were sent to the principal Inhabitants, requiring them, in the Name of the new King, to attend and take the Oath of Allegiance before him; promising great Marks of Favour and Re­wards to those, who shew'd themselves most ready to perform the Ceremony. In this Exigency the Citizens, who apprehended immediate Death would follow their Refusal, suffer'd themselves to be brought to the Palace; where, after the King had repeated his magnificent Promises, they took the [Page 12] Oaths, and sign'd the Instrument for his Coronation.

BARBAROSSA, having thus far obtain'd his End, order'd the Inhabitants to go quietly about their several Callings, and depend upon his Care for their Protection. Prince SELIM's Son, with Reason, ap­prehending he was not long to survive his Father's Murder, found Means to fly, with only two Servants to Oran, and beg Protection from Spain. The Marquis DE GOMAREZ, Governor of the Place, re­ceiv'd him with all the Respect and Honour due to his Birth and Youth.

BARBAROSSA, being thus settled on the Throne, caus'd all the Fortifications of Al­giers to be repair'd; and plac'd in them strong Garrisons of Turkish Soldiers, whom he paid well with Money he had coin'd in his own Name.

The People soon felt the Grievances of BARBAROSSA's Usurpation; for, where he had the least Suspicion, he seiz'd upon the Effects of the Subjects: Others, that had secreted their Money, were put to Death, while he and his Associates revell'd in their Property.

[Page 13] While Affairs were in this Situation, BARBAROSSA began his Addresses to the Princess ZAPHIRA, who rejected them with the utmost Disdain, for she look'd upon him as the Murderer of her Husband; and expecting her Contempt of him would enrage him to attempt some Violence, she always carry'd a Dagger with her; fully resolv'd, if she could not revenge herself on him, to save her Virtue at the Price of her own Life.

BARBAROSSA, however furious by Na­ture, did not immediately resent ZA­PHIRA's Behaviour; but, looking on her excessive Grief to proceed from her Hus­band's Death, resolv'd to forbear his Visits for awhile, and let Time restore her Mind to Temper, when he did not doubt but to perswade her to share his Crown.—He made her a Present of some beautiful Slaves, some of which were instructed to let him know what pass'd in the Princess's Apartment.

ZAPHIRA's Grief was too violent to continue, and her Transports began to set­tle into a compos'd and silent Sorrow. Reflection took Place, and, finding it im­possible [Page 14] to revenge the Death of SELIM, she resolv'd to request the Usurper to let her retire into her own Country.

BARBAROSSA, hearing the Princess was grown more moderate in her Grief, sent her a Letter, full of the highest Praises of her Beauty, and the Adoration he paid to it; offering to share his Crown with her, and beseeching her to forget all former Miseries, and rise to Joy upon the Throne he wish'd her to adorn.

One of the Slaves, that BARBAROSSA had presented the Princess with, was en­trusted to deliver this Letter to her; but what was her Surprize, when she read these Offers made by one who was the Murderer of her Husband? All her former Agitations were renew'd; but at length, a little recol­lecting herself, she consulted with her faith­ful Women how to behave in such a dread­ful Exigency. It was now resolv'd, that she should send a soothing Answer back (as Rage would prove vain against Power) and, by flattering the Tyrant, obtain Per­mission to retire to the Plains of Mutija her native Country; and urge, for Reason of her refusing the Crown, her Detestatio [...] of the Place where her Lord was mur­der'd.

[Page 15] BARBAROSSA found, by this Epistle, that she suspected him as Accessary to SELIM's Death; but, in order to clear him­self, and put an End to ZAPHIRA's Imagi­nations, he summon'd his chief Counsellor and Instrument in the Death of SELIM, RAMADAN CHOULAH, and told him, As the Princess suspected he was concern'd in the Prince's Murder, that, in order to ac­quit himself, he must procure some Victims to turn ZAPHIRA's Thoughts.

RAMADAN easily came into this Project; and order'd it to be proclaim'd, That the King, being inform'd that SELIM had a violent Death, and that he himself was suspected to be privy to it, his Orders were that any Person who knew, or suspected the Murderers, should immediately discover them, on Pain of Death and Tortures; promising, at the same Time, great Rewards to the Informer.

It was not long before an Informer, who had been practis'd upon, made a Discovery. He declar'd, That a Domestic of Prince SELIM's had told him, before he left Algiers, the Names of the Accomplices; adding, that they were under an Oath to [Page 16] suffer Death, rather than betray the Secret, if BARBAROSSA had miscarried; but that he being at present the Sovereign, they had nothing to fear, though it should be publickly known. This Wretch, who was in the Prince's Service, receiv'd the Reward; but, at the same Time, the King order'd his Tongue to be pull'd out, under Pretence of his not revealing it sooner, but indeed that he might not discover the Treachery.

The pretended Accomplices, to the Number of Thirty, were brought before the King, who were some of the poorest Soldiers in BARBAROSSA's Army; and had been wrought upon by RAMADAN, in order to clear the King, publickly to consess themselves guilty, assuring them of great Rewards for the Service; and tho' they should be put in Prison, yet Means should be found to convey them safe to Aegypt, to spend their Lives in Peace and Plenty.

These poor Men could not resist such Promises, but consented; and, when they were call'd upon, answer'd to every Ques­tion, and own'd their Guilt, upon which they were immediately strangled. One of them, out of Revenge to RAMADAN, who [Page 17] had so deluded them, cry'd out before he dy'd, That Prince SELIM was murder'd, by the Order of RAMADAN; whom the King order'd that Instant to meet the same Fate, the other Wretches had suffer'd. Thus did this wicked Man fall by his own Contrivance, and was destroy'd by that Power which he had been the chief In­strument to establish.

BARBAROSSA had the Bodies of these Wretches drag'd round the City, and their Heads fixt upon the Battlements of the Palace; and did not doubt, but the Con­fessions of these Criminals would convince ZAPHIRA, as well as all the Citizens, that he was innocent of Prince SELIM's Death: And, indeed, many acquitted him of being any Ways concern'd in the Murder.

With this Assurance, he sent again to the Princess, again invited her to his Throne; and pleaded, as some Merit, the Discovery he had made of SELIM's Murderers, and the Justice he had executed upon them.

But ZAPHIRA was too penetrating to be so deceiv'd. She again refus'd his [Page 18] Offers; adding, His Power could not be­stow any Thing worth her Acceptance, un­less it was the Liberty of retiring to her own Country.

This Intercourse of assiduous Courtship and steady Refusal, continu'd by Fits for some Years; during which Time, BAR­BAROSSA was frequently call'd from Algiers by his Ambition, in defending the Territories he had usurped, and inlarging them by new Conquests. In the mean Time, having got Notice that young SELIM had taken Refuge in Oran, he secretly dispatch'd a bold Assassin, who should destroy the young Prince, whom he regarded as the greatest Obstacle to his safe Possession of the Throne.

While this Design was in Agitation he return'd triumphant over his Enemies to Algiers, and, being at once tired and pro­voked with ZAPHIRA's repeated Delays, he now bethought himself of using that Power he was possessed of; and resolved, in Case of another Refusal, to compel her to a Marriage.

Somewhere about this Period, if ou [...] Accounts are true, the Tragedy begins [Page 19] How the Poet may conduct his Plan, or what Use he may make of these Ma­terials, we presume not to conjecture: Nor indeed, if we were acquainted with his Design, would we anticipate the Spectator's Pleasure, by making it publick—But, by the Policy of the Managers, the Con­duct of this Tragedy is as much a Secret, as either the Name of the Author, or the subsequent Part of the History itself.


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