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A description of a Voiage to Constantinople and Syria , begun the 21. of March 1593. and ended the 9. of August, 1595. wherein is shewed the order of delivering the second Present by Master Edward Barton her majesties Ambassador, which was sent from her Majestie to Sultan Murad Can, Emperour of Turkie.

To the Worshipfull and his very loving Uncle M. Rowland Hewish Esquier, at Sand in Devonshire .

SIR, considering the goodnesse of your Nature which is woont kindely to accept from a friend, even of meane things being given with a good heart, I have presumed to trouble you with the reading of this rude discourse of my travailes into Turkie, and of the deliverie of the present with such other occurrents as there happened woorthie the observation: of all which proceedings I was an eie-witnesse, it pleasing the Ambassadour to take mee in with him to the Grand Signior. If for lacke of time to put it in order I have not performed it so well as it ought, I crave pardon, assuring you that to my knowledge I have not missed in the trueth of any thing. If you aske mee what in my travels I have learned, I answere as a noble man of France did to the like demaund, Hoc unum didici, mundi contemptum: and so concluding with the wise man in the booke of the Preacher, that all is vanitie, and one thing onely is necessarie, I take my leave and commit you to the Almightie. From London the 16. March 1597.

Your loving Nephew

Richard Wrag.

WE set saile in the Ascension of London, a new shippe very well appointed, of two hundred and three score tunnes (whereof was master one William Broadbanke, a provident and skilfull man in his facultie) from Gravesend the one and twentie of March 1593. And upon the eight of Aprill folowing wee passed the streights of Gibraltar , and with a small Westerne gale, the 24. of the same, we arrived at Zante an Iland under the Venetians. The fourth of May wee departed, and the one and twentie wee arrived at Alexandretta in Cilicia in the very bottome of the Mediterrane sea, a roade some 25. miles distant from Antioch , where our marchants land their goods to bee sent for Aleppo. From thence wee set saile the fift of June, and by contrary windes were driven upon the coast of Caramania into a road neere a litle Iland where a castle standeth, called Castle Rosso, some thirtie leagues to the Eastwards of the Rhodes, where after long search for fresh water, we could finde none, until certaine poore Greekes of the Iland brought us to a well where we had 5 or 6 tuns. That part of the country next the sea is very barren & full of mountains, yet found we there an olde tombe of marble, with an epitaph of an ancient Greeke caracter, by antiquity neere worne out and past reading; which to the beholders seemed a monument of the greatnesse of the Grecian monarchy. From thence we went to the Rhodes, and by contrary windes were driven into a port of Candy, called Sittia: this Iland is under the Venetians, who have there 600 souldiers, beside certaine Greeks, continually in pay. Here with contrary winds we stayed six weeks, and in the end, having the winde prosperous, we sailed by Nicaria , Pharos, Delos , and Andros , with sight of many other Ilands in the Archipelago, and arrived at the two castles in Hellespont the 24 of August. Within few dayes after we came to Galipoli some thirty miles from this place, where foure of us tooke a Parma or boat of that place, with two watermen, which rowed us along the Thracian shore to Constantinople, which sometime sailing and sometime rowing, in foure dayes they performed. The first of September we arrived at the famous port of the Grand Signior, where we were not a little welcome to M. Edward Barton untill then her Majesties Agent, who (with many other great persons) had for many dayes expected the present. Five or sixe dayes after the shippe arrived neere the Seven towers, which is a very strong hold, and so called of so many turrets, which it hath, standing neere the sea side, being the first part of the city that we came unto. Heere the Agent appointed the master of the Ascension to stay with the shippe untill a fitte winde and opportunity served to bring her about the Seraglio to salute the Grand Signior in his moskyta or church: for you shall understand that he hath built one neere the wal of his Seraglio or pallace adjoyning to the Sea side; whereunto twise or thrise a weeke hee resorteth to performe such religious rites as their law requireth: where hee being within few dayes after, our shippe set out in their best maner with flagges, streamers and pendants of divers coloured silke, with all the mariners, together with most of the Ambassadours men, having the winde faire, and came within two cables length of this his moskita, where (hee to his great content beholding the shippe in such bravery) they discharged first two volies of small shot, and then all the great ordinance twise over, there being seven and twentie or eight and twentie pieces in the ship. Which performed, he appointed the Bustangi-Bassa or captaine of the great and spacious garden or parke, to give our men thankes, with request that some other day they would shew him the like sporte when hee would have the Sultana or Empresse a beholder thereof, which few dayes after at the shippes going to the Custome-house they performed.

The grand Signiors salutation thus ended, the master brought the ship to an anker at Rapamat neere the ambassadors house, where hee likewise saluted him with all his great ordinance once over, and where he landed the Present, the deliverie whereof for a time was staied: the cause of which staie it shall neither be dishonorable for our nation, or that woorthie man the ambassador to shew you. At the departure of Sinan Bassa the chiefe Vizir, and our ambassadors great friend toward the warres of Hungarie there was another Bassa appointed in his place, a churlish and harsh natured man, who upon occasion of certaine Genouezes, escaping out of the castles standing toward the Euxine Sea, nowe called the blacke Sea, there imprisoned, apprehended and threatened to execute one of our Englishmen called John Field, for that hee was taken thereabouts, and knowen not many dayes before to have brought a letter to one of them: upon the solliciting of whose libertie there felle a jarre betweene the Bassa (being now chiefe Vizir) and our ambassador, and in choler he gave her majesties ambassador such words, as without sustaining some great indignitie hee could not put up. Whereupon after the arrivall of the Present, he made an Arz, that is, a bill of Complaint to the grand Signior against him, the maner in exhibiting whereof is thus performed.

The plaintifes expect the grand Signiors going abroad from his pallace, either to Santa Sophia or to his church by the sea side, whither, with a Perma (that is one of their usuall whirries) they approch within some two or three score yards, where the plaintife standeth up, and holdeth his petition over his forehead in sight of the grand Signior (for his church is open to the Sea side) the rest sitting still in the boat, who appointeth one of his Dwarfes to receive them, and to bring them to him. A Dwarfe, one of the Ambassadors favorites, so soone as he was discerned, beckned him to the shore side, tooke his Arz, and with speed caried it to the grand Signior. Now the effect of it was this; that except his highnesse would redresse this so great an indignitie, which the Vizir his slave had offered him and her majestie in his person, he was purposed to detaine the Present untill such time as he might by letters over-land from her majestie bee certified, whither she would put up so great an injurie as it was. Whereupon he presently returned answere requesting the ambassador within an houre after to goe to the Dovan of the Vizir, unto whom himselfe of his charge would send a gowne of cloth of gold, and commaund him publikely to put it upon him, and with kind entertainment to embrace him in signe of reconciliation. Whereupon our ambassador returning home, tooke his horse, accompanied with his men, and came to the Vizirs court, where, according to the grand Signiors command, he with all shew of kindnesse embraced the ambassador, and with curteous speeches reconciled himselfe, and with his own hands put the gowne of cloth of gold upon his backe. Which done, hee with his attendants returned home, to the no small admiration of all Christians that heard of it, especially of the French and Venetian ambassadors, who never in the like case against the second person of the Turkish Empire durst have attempted so bold an enterprise with hope of so friendly audience, and with so speedie redresse. This reconciliation with the great Vizir thus made, the ambassador prepared himselfe for the deliverie of the Present, which upon the 7 of October 1593. in this maner he performed.

The Ascension with her flags and streamers, as aforesaid, repaired nigh unto the place where the ambassador should land to go up to the Seraglio: for you must understand that all Christian ambassadors have their dwelling in Pera where most Christians abide, from which place, except you would go 4 or 5 miles about, you cannot by land go to Constantinople, whereas by Sea it is litle broder then the Thames . Our Ambassador likewise apparelled in a sute of cloth of silver, with an upper gowne of cloth of gold, accompanied with 7 gentlemen in costly sutes of Sattin, with 30 other of his men very well apparelled, and all in one liverie of sad French russet cloth gownes, at his house tooke boate : at whose landing the ship discharged all her ordinance, where likewise attended 2 Bassas, with 40 or 50 Chauses to accompany ye ambassador to the court, & also horses for the ambassador & his gentlemen, very richly furnished, with Turkish servants attendant to take the horses when they should light. The ambassador thus honorably accompanied, the Chauses foremost, next his men on foote all going by two and two, himselfe last with his Chause and Drugaman or Interpreter, and 4 Janissaries, which he doeth usually entertaine in his house to accompany him continually abroad, came to the Seraglio about an English mile from the water side, where first hee passed a great gate into a large court (much like the space before White hall gate) where he with his gentlemen alighted and left their horses. From hence they passed into an other stately court, being about 6 score in bredth, and some 10 score yards long, with many trees in it: where all the court was with great pompe set in order to entertaine our ambassador. Upon the right hand all the length of the court was a gallerie arched over, and borne up with stone pillars, much like the Roiall Exchange, where stood most of his guard in rankes from the one end to the other in costly aray, with round head pieces on their heads of mettall and gilt over, with a great plume of fethers somewhat like a long brush standing up before. On the left hand stood the Cappagies or porters, and the Chauses. All these courtiers being about the number of 2000. (as I might well gesse) most of them apparelled in cloth of gold, silver, velvet, sattin and scarlet, did together with bowing their bodies, laying their hands upon their brests in curteous maner of salutation, entertain the Ambassador: who likewise passing between them, & turning himself somtime to the right hand and sometime to the left, answered them with the like. As he thus passed along, certaine Chauses conducted him to the Dovan, which is the seat of Justice, where certaine dayes of the weeke the grand Vizir, with the other Vizirs, the Cadilesker or lord chiefe Justice, & the Mufti or high priest do sit to determine upon such causes as be brought before them, which place is upon the left side of this great court, whither the ambassador with his gentlemen came, where hee found the Vizir thus accompanied as aforesayd, who with great shew of kindnes received him: and after receit of her majesties letters, & conference had of the Present, of her majesties health, of the state of England, and such other matters as concerned our peaceable traffique in those parts: dinner being prepared was by many of ye Courtiers brought into another inner roome next adjoining, which consisted of an hundred dishes or therabouts, most boiled & rosted, where the ambassador accompanied wt the Vizirs went to dinner, his gentlemen likewise with the rest of his men having a dinner with the like varietie prepared upon ye same side of the court, by themselves sate downe to their meat, 40 or 50 Chauses standing at the upper end attending upon the gentlemen to see them served in good order; their drinke was water mingled with rose water & sugar brought in a Luthro (that is a goates skinne) which a man carieth at his backe, and under his arme letteth it run out at a spout into cups as men wil call for it. The dinner thus with good order brought in, and for halfe an houre with great sobrietie and silence performed, was not so orderly taken up; for certaine Moglans officers of the kitchin (like her majesties blacke guard) came in disordered maner and tooke away the dishes, and he whose hungry eie one dish could not satisfie, turned two or three one into the other, and thus of a sudden was a cleane riddance made of all. The ambassador after dinner with his gentlemen, by certaine officers were placed at the upper ende upon the left side of the court, nere unto a great gate which gave entrance to a third court being but litle, paved with stone. In the midst whereof was a litle house built of marble, as I take it, within which sate the grand Signor, according to whose commandement given there were gownes of cloth of gold brought out of the wardrope, and put upon the ambassador and 7 of his gentlemen, the ambassador himselfe having 2, one of gold, and the other of crimosin velvet, all the rest one a piece. Then certaine Cappagies had the Present, which was in trunks there ready, delivered them by the ambassadors men, it being 12 goodly pieces of gilt plate, 36 garments of fine English cloth of al colors, 20 garments of cloth of gold, 10 garments of sattin, 6 pieces of fine Holland , and certaine other things of good value; al which were caried round about the court, each man taking a piece, being in number very neere 100 parcels, and so 2 and 2 going round that all might see it, to the greater glory of the present, and of him to whom it was given: they went into the innermost court passing by the window of that roome, where the grand Signior sate, who, as it went by to be laid up in certaine roomes adjoining, tooke view of all. Presently after the present followed the ambassador with his gentlemen; at the gate of which court stoode 20 or 30 Agaus which be eunuchs. Within the court yard were the Turkes Dwarfes and Dumbe men, being most of them youths. At the doore of his roome stood the Bustangibassa, with another Bassa to lead the ambassador and his folowers to the grand Signior who sate in a chaire of estate, apparelled in a gowne of cloth of silver. The floore under his feete, which part was a foote higher then the rest, was covered with a carpet of green sattin embrodered most richly with silver, orient perles & great Turkeses; ye other part of the house was covered with a carpet of Carnation sattin imbrodered wt gold, none were in the roome with him, but a Bassa who stood next the wall over against him hanging down his head, & looking submissely upon the ground as all his subjects doe in his presence. The ambassador thus betwixt two which stood at the doore being led in, either of them taking an arme, kissed his hand, and so backward with his face to the Turke they brought him nigh the dore againe, where he stood untill they had likewise done so with all the rest of his gentlemen. Which ended, the ambassador, according as it is the custome when any present is delivered, made his three demaunds, such as he thought most expedient for her majesties honor, & the peaceable traffique of our nation into his dominions: whereunto he answered in one word, Nolo, which is in Turkish as much as, it shal be done: for it is not the maner of the Turkish emperor familiarly to confer with any Christian ambassador, but he appointeth his Vizir in his person to graunt their demaunds if they be to his liking; as to our ambassador he granted all his demands, & gave order that his daily allowance for his house of mony, flesh, wood, & haie, should be augmented with halfe as much more as it had bene before. Hereupon the ambassador taking his leave, departed with his gentlemen the same way he came, the whole court saluting him as they did at his comming in; & comming to the second court to take our horses, after we were mounted, we staied halfe an houre, until the captain of the guard with 2000 horsmen at the least passed before, after whom folowed 40 or 50 Chauses next before the ambassador to accompany him to his house. And as before at his landing, so now at his taking boat, the ship discharged all her great ordinance, where arriving, he likewise had a great banquet prepared to entertaine those which came to bring him home. The pompe & solemnitie of the Present, with the day thus ended, he shortly after presented the Sultana or empresse who (by reason that she is mother to him which was heire to the crown Imperial) is had in far greater reverence then any of his other Queens or concubines. The Present sent her in her majesties name was a jewel of her majesties picture, set with some rubies and diamants, 3 great pieces of gilt plate, 10 garments of cloth of gold, a very fine case of glasse bottles silver & gilt, with 2 pieces of fine Holland , which so gratefully she accepted, as that she sent to know of the ambassador what present he thought she might return yt would most delight her majestie: who sent word that a sute of princely attire being after the Turkish fashion would for the rarenesse thereof be acceptable in England. Whereupon she sent an upper gowne of cloth of gold very rich, an under gowne of cloth of silver, and a girdle of Turkie worke, rich and faire, with a letter of gratification, which for the rarenesse of the stile, because you may be acquainted with it, I have at the ende of this discourse hereunto annexed, which letter and present, with one from the grand Signor, was sent by M. Edward Bushell, and M. William Aldridge over-land the 20 of March, who passed through Valachia and Mol davia, & so through Poland , where Michael prince of Valachia, and Aron Voivoda prince of Moldavia receiving letters from the ambassador, entertained them with al curtesie, through whose meanes by the great favour which his lordship had with the grand Signior, they had not long before both of them bene advanced to their princely dignities. Hee likewise presented Sigala the Admirall of the Seas, with Abrim Bassa, who maried the great Turkes daughter, and all the other Vizirs with divers pieces of plate, fine English cloth & other costly things: the particulars whereof, to avoid tediousnesse, I omit. All the presents thus ended, the ship shooting ten pieces of ordinance at the Seraglio point, as a last farewell, departed on her journey for England the first of November, my selfe continuing in Constantinople untill the last of July after. This yere in the spring there was great preparation for the Hungarian wars; and the great Turke threatened to goe himselfe in person: but like Heliogabalus, his affections being more serviceable to Venus than to Mars, he stayed at home. Yet a great army was dispatched this yere; who, as they came out of Asia to goe for Hungary , did so pester the streets of Constantinople for the space of two moneths in the spring time, as scarse either Christian or Jew could without danger of losing his money passe up and downe the city. What insolencies, murders and robberies were committed not onely upon Christians but also upon Turks I omit to write, and I pray God in England the like may never be seene: and yet I could wish, that such amongst us as have injoyed the Gospel with such great and admirable peace and prosperity under her Majesties government this forty yeeres, and have not all this time brought forth better fruits of obedience to God, and thankfulnesse to her Majesty, were there but a short time to beholde the miserable condition both of Christians and others living under such an infidell prince, who not onely are wrapped in most palpable & grosse ignorance of mind, but are cleane without the meanes of the true knowledge of God: I doubt not but the sight hereof (if they be not cleane void of grace) would stirre them up to more thankefulnesse to God, that ever they were borne in so happy a time, and under so wise and godly a prince professing the true religion of Christ.

The number of souldiours which went to the warres of Hungary this yere were 470000, as by the particulars given by the Admirall to the Ambassadour hereunder doe appeare. Although all these were appointed and supposed to goe, yet the victories which the Christians in the spring had against the Turks strooke such a terrour in many of the Turkish souldiours, as by report divers upon the way thither left their Captaines and stole away.

The number of Turkish souldiers which were appointed to goe into Hungary against the Christian Emperour. May 1594.

  • SINAN Bassa generall, with the Sanjacke masould, that is, out of office, with the other Sanjacks in office or of degree, 40000.
  • Achmigi, that is, Adventurers, 50000.
  • The Agha or Captaine with his Janisaries, and his Giebegies, 20000.
  • The Beglerbeg of Graecia, with all his Sanjacks, 400000
  • The company of Spaheis or horsemen, 10000.
  • The company of Silitari, 6000.
  • The company of Sagbulve and of Solbulve both together, 8000.
  • The Bassa of Belgrad , 80000.
    The Bassa of Temiswar.
    The Bassa of Bosna .
    The Bassa of Buda .
    The Sanjack of Gersech.

Out of Asia.

  • The Bassa of Caramania.120000.
    The Bassa of Laras.
    The Bassa of Damasco .
    The Bassa of Suas.
    The Bassa of Van or Nan.
    The Bassa of Usdrum.

  • Of Tartars there be about 100000.
Thus you may see that the great Turke maketh warre with no small numbers. And in anno 1597, when Sultan Mahomet himselfe went in person into Hungary , if a man may beleeve reports, he had an army of 600000.

For the city of Constantinople you shall understand that it is matchable with any city in Europe, aswell in bignesse as for the pleasant situation thereof, and com modious traffike and bringing of all maner of necessary provision of victuals, and whatsoever els mans life for the sustentation thereof shall require, being seated upon a promontory, looking toward Pontus Euxinus upon the Northeast, and to Propontis on the Southwest, by which two seas by shipping is brought great store of all maner of victuals. The city it selfe in forme representeth a triangular figure, the sea washing the walles upon two sides thereof, the other side faceth the continent of Thracia ; the grand Signiors seraglio standeth upon that point which looketh into the sea, being cut off from the city by a wall; so that ye wall of his pallace conteineth in circuit about two English miles: the seven towers spoken of before stand at another corner, & Constantines olde pallace to the North at the third corner. The city hath a threefolde wall about it; the innermost very high, the next lower then that, and the third a countermure, and is in circuit about ten English miles: it hath foure and twenty gates: and when the empire was remooved out of the West into the East, it was inriched with many spoiles of olde Rome by Vespasian and other emperours, having many monuments and pillars in it worthy the observation; amongst the rest in the midst of Constantinople standeth one of white marble called Vespasians pillar, of 38 or 40 yards high, which hath from the base to the top proportions of men in armour fighting on horsebacke: it is likewise adorned with divers goodly buildings & stately Mesquitas, whereof the biggest is Sultan Solimans a great warriour, which lived in the time of Charles the fifth; but the fairest is Santa Sophia, which in the time of the Christian emperours was the chiefe cathedrall church, and is still in greatest account with the great Turke: it is built round like other Greekish churches, the pavements and walles be all of marble, it hath beneath 44 pillars of divers coloured marble of admirable heigth and bignesse, which stand upon great round feet of brasse, much greater then the pillars, and of a great heigth, some ten yards distant from the wall: from which unto these pillars is a great gallery built, which goeth round about the church; and upon the outside of the gallery stand 66 marble pillars which beare up the round roofe being the top of the church: it hath three pulpits or preaching places, and about 2000 lampes brought in by the Turke. Likewise upon one side in the top is the picture of Christ with the 12 Apostles, but their faces are defaced, with two or three ancient tombs of Christians: to the West sticketh an arrow in the toppe of the church, which, as the Turks report, Sultan Mahomet shot when he first tooke the city. Neere adjoyning be two chapels of marble, where lie buried most of the emperours with their children & sultanas. The 16 of July, accompanied with some other of our nation we went by water to the Blacke sea, being 16 miles distant from Constantinople, the sea al the way thither being little broader then the Thames ; both sides of the shore are beautified with faire & goodly buildings. At the mouth of this Bosphorus lieth a rocke some fourescore yards from the maine land, whereupon standeth a white marble pillar called Pompeys pillar, the shadow whereof was 23 foote long at nine of the clocke in the forenoone: over against it is a turret of stone upon the maine land 120 steps high, having a great glasse-lanthorne in the toppe foure yards in diamiter and three in heigth, with a great copper pan in the midst to holde oile, with twenty lights in it, and it serveth to give passage into this straight in the night to such ships as come from all parts of those seas to Constantinople : it is continually kept by a Turke, who to yt end hath pay of the grand Signior. And thus having spent eleven moneths in Constantinople, accompanied with a chause, & carying certaine mandates from the grand Signior to the Bassa of Aleppo for the kinde usage of our nation in those parts, the 30 of July I tooke passage in a Turkish carmosale or shippe bound for Sidon ; and passing thorow Propontis, having Salimbria with Heraclia most pleasantly situated on the right hand, and Proconesus now called Marmora on the left, we came to Gallipoly, and so by Hellespont , betweene the two castles before named called Sestos and Abydos , famous for the passages made there both by Xerxes and great Alexander, the one into Thracia , the other into Asia, and so by the Sigean Promontory, now called Cape Janitzary, at the mouth of Hellespont upon Asia side, where Troy stood, where are yet ruines of olde walles to be seene, with two hils rising in a piramidall forme, not unlikely to be the tombs of Achilles and Ajax. From thence we sailed along, having Tenedos and Lemnos on the right hand, and the Trojan fields on the left: at length we came to Mitylen and Sio long time inhabited by the Genoueses, but now under the Turke. The Iland is beautified with goodly buildings and pleasant gardens, and aboundeth with fruits, wine, and the gum masticke. From thence sailing alongst the gulfe of Ephesus with Nicaria on the right hand, Samos and Smirna on the left, we came to Patmos , where S. John wrote the Revelation. The Iland is but small, not above five miles in compasse: the chiefe thing it yeeldeth is corn: it hath a port for shipping, and in it is a monastery of Greekish Caloieros. From thence by Cos (now called Lango) where Hipocrates was borne: & passing many other Ilands and rocks, we arrived at Rhodes, one of the strongest and fairest cities of the East: here we stayed three or foure dayes; and by reason of a By which went in the ship to Paphos in Cyprus, who used me with all kindnesse, I went about the city, and tooke the view of all: which city is still with all the houses and walles thereof maintained in the same order as they tooke it from the Rhodian knights. Over the doores of many of the houses, which be strongly built of stone, do remaine undefaced, the armes of England, France, Spaine, and many other Christian knights, as though the Turkes in the view thereof gloried in the taking of all Christendome, whose armes there they beholde. From thence we sailed to Paphos an olde ruinous towne standing upon the Westerne part of Cyprus , where S. Paul in the Acts converted the governor. Departing hence, we came to Sidon , by the Turks called Saytosa, within tenne or twelve miles of the place where Tirus stood, which now being eaten in by the sea, is, as Ezekiel prophesied, a place for the spreading out of a net. Sidon is situated in a small bay at the foot of mount Libanus, upon the side of an hill looking to the North: it is walled about, with a castle nigh to the sea, and one toward the land which is ruinated, but the walle thereof standeth. Some halfe mile up toward the mountaine be certaine ruines of buildings, with marble pillars, remaining: heere for three dayes we were kindly entertained of the captaine of the castle: and in a small barke we sailed from hence along the shore of Tripoli , & so to Alexandretta , where the 24 of August we arrived. From thence with a Venetian caravan we went by land to Aleppo, passing by Antioch , which is seated upon the side of an hill, whose walles still stand with 360 turrets upon them, and neere a very great plaine which beareth the name of the city, thorow which runneth the river Orontes, in Scripture called Farfar. In Aleppo I stayed untill February following; in this city, as at a mart, meete many nations out of Asia with the people of Europe, having continuall traffike and interchangeable course of marchandise one with another: the state and trade of which place, because it is so well knowen to most of our nation I omitte to write of. The 27 of February I departed from Aleppo, and the fifth of March imbarked my selfe at Alexandretta in a great ship of Venice called the Nana Ferra, to come for England. The 14 we put into Salino in Cyprus , where the ship staying many dayes to lade cotton wooll, and other commodities, in the meane time accompanied with M. William Barret my countrey man, the master of the ship a Greeke, and others we tooke occasion to see Nicosia , the chiefe city of this Iland, which was some twenty miles from this place, which is situated at the foot of an hill : to the East is a great plaine, extending it selfe in a great length from the North to the South: it is walled about, but of no such strength as Famagusta (another city in this Iland neere the Sea side) whose walles are cut out of the maine rocke. In this city be many sumptuous and goodly buildings of stone, but uninhabited; the cause whereof doth give me just occasion to shew you of a rare judgement of God upon the owners sometime of these houses, as I was credibly informed by a Cipriot a marchant of good wealth in this city. Before it came in subjection to the Turks, while it was under the Venetians, there were many barons and noble men of the Cipriots, who partly by usurping more superiority over the common people then they ought, and partly through their great revenues which yeerely came in by their cotton wooll and wines, grew so insolent and proud, and withall so impiously wicked, as that they would at their pleasure command both the wives and children of their poore tenants to serve their uncleane lusts, & holding them in such slavery as though they had beene no better then dogges, would wage them against a grayhound or spaniell, and he who woon the wager should ever after holde them as his proper goods and chattels, to do with them as he listed, being Christians aswell as themselves, if they may deserve so good a name. As they behaved themselves most unchristianly toward their brethren, so and much more ungodly (which I should have put in the first place) did they towards God: for as though they were too great, standing on foot or kneeling to serve God, they would come riding on horsebacke into the church to heare their masse: which church now is made a publike basistane or market place for the Turkes to sell commodities in: but beholde the judgement of the righteous God, who payeth the sinner measure for measure. The Turkes the yeere before the overthrowe given them at Lepanto by Don John tooke Cyprus . These mighty Nimrods fled some into holes & some into mountaines to hide themselves; whereupon the Turkes made generall proclamation, that if they would all come in and yeeld themselves, they would restore them to their former revenues and dignities: who not mistrusting the mischievous pretense of the Turkes, assembled together to make themselves knowen; whom after the Turkes had in possession, they (as the Lords executioners) put them with their wives and children all to the sword, pretending thereby to cut of all future rebellion, so that at this day is not one of the noble race knowen alive in the Iland, onely two or three remaine in Venice but of litle wealth, which in the time of the warres escaped. After we had stayed in this Iland some thirty dayes, we set saile in the foresayd shippe being about the burthen of 900 tunnes, having in her passengers of divers nations, as Tartars, Persians, Jewes, and sundry Christians. Amongst all which I had often conference with a Jew, who by reason of his many yeeres education at Safet a place in Judea neere Jerusalem, where they study the Rabbines with some other arts as they thinke good, as also for his travels into Persia and Ormus, he seemed to be of good experience in matters abroad, who related unto me such conference as he had with a Baniane at Ormus, being one of the Indians inhabiting the countrey of Cambaia. This Baniane being a Gentile had skill in Astronomie, as many of that nation have, who by his books written in his owne tongue and Characters, could tell the time of Eclipses both of Sunne and Moone, with the Change and Full, and by judgement in Astrologie gave answere to any question demanded. Being asked concerning his opinion in religion, what he thought of God? He made answere, that they held no other god but the sun, (to which planet they pray both at the rising and setting) as I have seene sundry doe in Aleppo: his reason was drawen from the effects which it worketh in giving light to the moone & other starres, and causing all things to grow and encrease upon the earth: answere was made, that it did moove with the rest as the wheeles of a clocke, and therefore of force must have a moover. Likewise in the Eclipse being darkened it is manifestly prooved that it is not god, for God is altogether goodnesse and brightnesse, which can neither be darkened nor receive detriment or hurt: but the Sun receiveth both in the Eclipse, as it is apparant: to which hee could not answere; but so they had received from their ancestors, that it was without beginning or ende, as in any Orbicular or round body neither beginning or end could be found. He likewise sayd, that there were other Gentiles in ye Indies which worship the moone as chiefe, and their reason is. The moone when she riseth goeth with thousands of starres accompanied like a king, and therefore is chiefe: but the Sunne goeth alone, and therefore not so great. Against whom the Banianes reason, that it is not true, because the Moone and starres receive their light from the Sunne, neither doth the Sunne vouchsafe them his company but when he list, and therefore like a mighty prince goeth alone, yet they acknowledge the Moone as Queene or Viceroy. Law they hold none, but onely seven precepts which they say were given them from their father Noe, not knowing Abraham or any other. First, to honor father and mother; secondly, not to steale; thirdly not to commit adultery; fourthly not to kill any thing living; fifthly, not to eate any thing living; sixtly, not to cut their haire; seventhly, to go barefoot in their churches. These they hold most strictly, & by no meanes will breake them: but he that breaketh one is punished with twenty stripes; but for the greatest fault they will kill none, neither by a short death nor a long, onely he is kept some time in prison with very little meat, and hath at the most not above twenty or five & twenty stripes. In the yere they have 16 feasts, and then they go to their church, where is pictured in a broad table the Sun, as we use to paint it, the face of a man with beames round about, not having any thing els in it. At their feast they. spot their faces in divers parts with saffron all yellow, and so walke up and downe the streets; and this they doe as a custome. They hold, there shalbe a resurrection, and all shall come to judgement, but the account shalbe most streight, insomuch that but one of 10000 shalbe received to favor, and those shall live againe in this world in great happinesse: the rest shalbe tormented. And because they will escape this judgement, when any man dieth, he and his wife be both burnt together even to ashes, and then they are throwen into a river, and so dispersed as though they had never bene. If the wife will not burne with her dead husband, she is holden ever after as a whore. And by this meanes they hope to escape the judgement to come. As for the soule, that goeth to the place from whence it came, but where the place is they know not. That the body should not be made againe they reason wt the phylosophers, saying, that of nothing nothing can be made (not knowing that God made the whole world and their god the Sun of nothing) but beholding the course of nature, that nothing is made but by a meanes, as by the seed of a man is made another, and by corne cast into the ground there commeth up new corne: so, say they, man cannot be made except some part of him be left, and therefore they burne the whole: for if he were buried in the earth, they say there is a small bone in the necke which would never be consumed: or if he were eaten by a beast, that bone would not consume, but of that bone would come another man; and then the soule being restored againe, he should come into judgement, whereas now, the body being destroyed, the soule shall not be judged : for their opinion is, that both body and soule must be united together, as they have sinned together, to receive judgement; and therfore the soule alone cannot. Their seven precepts which they keepe so strictly are not for any hope of reward they have after this life, but onely that they may be blessed in this world, for they thinke that he which breaketh them shall have ill successe in all his businesse.

They say, the three chiefe religions in the world be of the Christians, Jewes, & Turks, & yet but one of them true: but being in doubt which is the truest of the three, they will be of none : for they hold that all these three shall be judged, and but few of them which be of the true shall be saved, the examination shall be so straight; and therefore, as I have sayd before, to prevent this judgement, they burne their bodies to ashes. They say, these three religions have too many precepts to keepe them all wel, & therfore wonderful hard it wil be to make account, because so few doe observe all their religion aright. And thus passing the time for the space of three moneths in this sea voyage, we arrived at Venice the tenth of June: and after I had seene Padua , with other English men, I came the ordinary way over the Alpes , by Augusta , Noremberg, and so for England; where to the praise of God I safely arrived the ninth of August 1595.

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