The history of the three late, famous impostors, viz. Padre Ottomano, Mahomed Bei and Sabatai Sevi the one, pretended son and heir to the late Grand Signior, the other, a prince of the Ottoman family, but in truth, a Valachian counterfeit, and the last, the suppos'd Messiah of the Jews, in the year of the true Messiah, 1666 : with a brief account of the ground and occasion of the present war between the Turk and the Venetian : together with the cause of the final extirpation, destruction and exile of the Jews out of the Empire of Persia.
Evelyn, John, 1620-1706.
Page  21

THE STORY OF MAHOMED BEI, Who calls Himself Ioannes Michael Cigala; Being at the Writing hereof in the COURT of ENGLAND; Where this Second Impostor was first DELATED.

THe better to acquaint our Reader with the successful Impudence of this famous Impostor, he is to understand, that this Rodomontade had lately pub∣lish'd a Book, at his being not long∣since Page  22 in France, to which he had pro∣cur'd the French Kings Licence, with all the Formalities of it, which he Intitles, The History of Mahomet Bei, or Iohn Michel de Cigala, Prince of the Imperi∣al Blood of the Ottomans; to which he annexes other his Dignities, Bassa and Soveraign Plenipotentiary of Ierusalem, and of the Kingdome of Cyprus, Trebi∣zond, &c. Dedicated to the French King with a Front of steele.

In this Treatise, or rather Romance of his Knight-errantry, he sums up the Anti∣quity of the Family of Cigala, which he extracts out of several grave and sober Authors; Intituling it to most of the Royal Houses and Crown'd-Heads of Europe; making himself at last to be descended from Scipio, Son of the famous Vi∣count de Cigala, who was taken Prisoner by the Turkes Anno 1561, after that sig∣nal Battel and Victory of the great An∣drea Oria. This Scipio, being now a Captive with his Father, and perswaded to renounce the Faith, was, as he pre∣tends, advanc'd to the Dignity and Charge of Grand Visier, by Solyman the Magnificent, under the new name of Sinan Bassa; after that honour, he Page  23 was made prime Aga, or Generalissimo of the Ianizaries; then Seraschier or General of the whole Army; some∣times higher, and sometimes lower; and at last again First Visier, and Se∣cond Bassa of the Port, and had above all this preferred to him in Marriage several great Ladies, whom he names, and amongst the rest, Canou Salie Sul∣tana, daughter of Sultan Achmet, sister of Osman, and Sultan Amurad (who took Babyln) and of Ibrahim father to the Emperour now reigning.

From this illustrious Mother our Bei deriving himself, he goes on to re∣late the Story of his Princely Educa∣tion under the Mufti, and of the strange and prodigious Accidents that advanc'd him first to Tephlici or Vice-Roy of the Holy-Land, where we have the mira∣culous Dream and Vision, and the as∣sistance of the good Hermite, and his own Christian Physitian, by which he became converted to the Faith, and diverted from his Sacrilegious purpose of plundering the Chappels of the Holy Sepulchers in Ierusalem of the Silver Lamps, and other sacred Treasure, which he reports to be there in great Page  24 abundance; but that still dissembling his Profession, he got to be advanc'd to the Government of Cyprus, &c. Here he acquaints the Reader how he came to be made absolute Commander of all the Forces design'd against Candy; and that being of the first who entred that City, he privately heard, and assisted at Mass, deliver'd many Christian Slaves, &c. Hence, after two years Gallantry, and notorious Exploits, (which no man ever heard of but himself) the suc∣ceeding Emperor constituted him Sove∣raign of Babylon, Caramania, Magnesia, and divers other ample Territories. In his Iourney about these Govern∣ments another Miracle confirms him at Iconium, by the wonderful Iuster of an inclosed Host, in which a splendid Child appear'd through the Chest or Cabinet of a certain Christian Woman that had procur'd and lock'd up a consecrated Water, for fear of her jealous and un∣believing Husband; to this adding the Phaenomenon of no less than nine extra∣ordinary and refulgent Stars, which ap∣pear'd for divers nights over a place where certain Christians had lately been Martyr'd. Coming back from Page  25Iconium to Candy a second time, he communicates his resolution of open∣ly declaring his Conversion, and conse∣quently of quitting his high Employ∣ments: But the poor Iesuit (his Ghost∣ly Father) unhappily dies before it could be accomplished, and so, as Fate would have it, does that other intimate Confident of his designs, Lazaro Moc∣cenigo, the Venetian General. Upon this disaster our illustrious Bei conveys himself again to Constantinople, where he is made Vice-Roy of Trabisond, and Generalissimo of the Black Sea in or∣der to his purpos'd retreat. Upon the confines of this it was, that he trusts a vast Treasure of Iewels, &c. to a great Person whom he had Redeemed out of Slavery from the Tartars, and dis∣patch'd before him into Moldavia, which was the Rendezvous agreed up∣on, and where he had appointed to meet him upon the first opportunity of totally renouncing the Grand Sig∣niors Service, to declare himself the Christian, which he had hitherto but disguiz'd. Chamonsi (for so was this Confidents name) in stead of receiving his Friend and Benefactor at the place Page  26 design'd, plotted with the Governour of Moldavia to have perfidiously sur∣prized and slain him; but our Don Herchio Bei, after wondrous proofs of his valour, and giving death to almost all that oppos'd him, escapes their hands, though extreamly wounded; In this plight, he meets with a poor Shepherd, with whom he changes his Princely Robes for the Shepherds Gray Coat, and travels on his ten-toes a tedious and unknown way for many days together. In this unfortunate Encounter it was that he lost his faith∣ful Counsellour, another Iesuite, and all his glorious Retinue, who were every one of them kill'd upon the Spot, save one poor honest Iew, and in this lamentable condition came our devout Prince on Foot, and in the Snow to the Cossaque Army, then in hostility against the Muscovite, amongst whom he found three Souldiers that he had formerly freed from Turkish Captivity. These were the first who made his Quality known to their Chief, by whom he was civilly treated, and p••swaded to ho∣nour Muscovy with his intended Ba∣ptism: But our Prince designing from Page  27 the beginning to make his solemn Pro∣fession at Rome, and receive that Sacra∣ment from his Holiness's own hands, the Captain being, it seems, a Schisma∣tick, and of another Church, neglects and despises him, whom he had hither∣to so generously treated. Upon this the Prince steals secretly away from the Cossaques, and by the assistance of an∣other vertuous Iew, (who likewise knew him) he at last got safe into Po∣land, where the then Queen, Lovize de Gonzagues, hearing the report of his approach, and illustrious quality, re∣ceives him (as himself relates it) with infinite respect; and, in fine, prevails with him to honour the Cathedral of Warsovia with his Baptism, which is perform'd by the Archhishop of the place, the Queen her self standing at the Font, and giving the name of Iohn, to our Cousen German of the Ottoman Emperour: Here we have a Relation of the extraordinary Pomp of that Ceremonie, as well as of that of his Confirmation which dignified him with another Name.

Taking now leave of Warsovia he travels towards Lauretto in PilgrimagePage  28 to our Lady; From thence he goes to Rome; at first ncognito, making him∣self known on••• to 〈◊〉Sactity, with a brief recapitulation of his ••ventures. This was to Alexander〈◊〉 VIIth, whose Benediction〈◊〉, he returns into Poland again to 〈◊〉 and pay his duty to his Royal God-mother. In this journey he was known to divers great Persons travelling through Germany, especially to the famous N. Serini, and this being at a time when the Emperour was at difference with the Turk, our Hero could not but shew some marks of his Courage, and affection to the Cause he had espoused, which he now signalizes, in not onely offering himself a Voluntier, but by fighting hand to hand with the Turkish General himself, whom he kill'd upon the Spot before both the Armies, performing other stu∣pendous Exploits, which would have seem'd incredible had not himself re∣lated it.

For this, and other his egregious ser∣vices, his Imperial Majestie after a thou∣sand Caresses and Presents of infinite va∣lue, creates him Captain Guardian of his Artillery, and 'tis a wonder how he Page  29 escap'd the Golden Fleece. But nothing of all this would prevail with him to stay longer at Vienna. For the Peace being now concluded, he returns in∣cognito to Lauretta again, thence makes an excursion into Sicily to visit some Aliances and great kindred, which he had living there. Excessive are the Complements and Presents which he re∣ceived from the great Princes of Ger∣many and Italy in this Progress. Arriv'd in Sicily, Don Pedro d' Arragon receives and treats him in his Palace, and the whole City of Messina meet and attend him, acknowledging him of the illu∣strious house of the Cigala's, from which that Countrey had, it seems, re∣ceived many great Benefits. From Si∣cily he passes through Calabria towards Rome again, visiting divers of his Friends and Kindred in the way, and arriving at Naples has done him the same honors of the Vice-roy and Nobi∣lity there, and so by Sea imbarks for Rome, into which he now makes his publike Entry, and obtain'd Audience accordingly of Clement the IXth, before whom in a bravado he draws and flou∣rishes his dreadful Cimeter, in token of Page  30 his defiance of the Enemies of the Church. Here it is you have him re∣ceived, and presented by the Pope, the Nephew, the Cardinals, Ambassadors, and in summe by all the Nobility of this Mistress of the World; till resolving to bless France with his Presence, touch∣ing a little at Venice and Turino, he at last arrives at Paris, where he was re∣ceived of that great Monarch, who no sooner hears of his Arrival, but he forthwith commands the Duke of St. Agnan with Coaches and an Equipage sutable to this princely Guest, and to introduce this glorious stranger. The King receives him according to his high Quality, so nearly related to his antient Allie the Turk; and so does Monsieur the Dauphin, his Altess-Royal, and all the Grandees of that Court, not forgetting the Grand Prior, and to be sure, the Knights of Malta, &c. a Palace being assign'd him, and at last a Present made him, no less than two Chains of Gold (they should have been doubtless something else) with the King and Queens Effigies Medalized at his taking leave of that Kingdom.

Thus far goes the printed RelationPage  31 of our Errant, I had almost said, Re∣creant Knight, with the Elogies Latine and French, which prepare the Reader for the Wonders and Adventures of his Life.

But now if upon Examination of all this Geer and enormous Rhapsody, we take the boldness to deplume our Gal∣lant of his mutuatitious and borrow'd Feathers; and that our Ottoman Prince, who has brav'd it so long and so suc∣cessfully amongst the Birds of Feather, shall prove at last but a Iack-daw.

Spectatum admissirisum teneatis, amici?

This impudent Vagabond then, and pretended Mahound Bei, that has in∣deed abused the French King, and be∣liev'd he should have done the same to his Majestie of England, is in fine a Natives of Walachia, born of Christian Parents in the City of Trogovisti: They were formerly very opulent and well to pass, and his Father in good esteem with the Prince Matthias Vaivoda of Moldavia. His Father dying, our pre∣tended Cigala was taken into the Ser∣vice of the Prince, as his Father had Page  32 been before him, and sent in the Retinue of his Resident to Constantinople about twenty years since; After some time spent there, he returns into his Countrey, where he grew intimately acquainted with a married Priest (as in that place they are permitted to be) and made love to his Wife; but the Woman, the better to colour and conceal the familiarity and courtship that was between them, makes her Husband believe he had a kindness for her daughter, and in so honorable and decent a way, that the simple man believes her, and enter∣taining him more like a Domestique now than a Lover, suffers him even to govern his little Family. But it seems our rampant Amoroso could not so govern himself, but the Priest began to suspect and discover his Villany; for either he did, or would have lain with both Mother and Daughter.

Upon this he is complained of to the Vaivoda, who sought all means pos∣sible to have apprehended and executed him according to their Law; and that not only for this his Inhospitable Crime; but for sundry other most notorious delicts and misdemeanors, of which he Page  33 had been formerly convicted. But, it seems, having timely notice of it, he gets away again to Constantinople, where he remained till the decease of Prince Matthias, after which he comes back impudently into Walacria again, thinking all had been now forgotten, and that by some Address or other, he might procure to be receiv'd amongst the Great men of his Countrey; but when upon some Attempts that he made, he perceived they had discovered who he was, and would have laid hold on him, and chastiz'd him for his for∣mer Insolencies; to Constantinople he retires a third time, where despairing after a while of his designs at home, he makes himself Turk, and turns perfect Renegado.

Since these Exploits he has rang'd from place to place about Christendom, and in Countries where he was wholly unknown, with that specious story, or ra∣ther monstrous Imposture of his being so nearly related to the present Grand Signior, and the dignities and charges he has quitted for the love of Christ; by which he has rom'd about the World, been caress'd and really presented by di∣vers Page  34 great Persons, and especially by the French King, &c. With this Confi∣dence and Expectation he came lately into England, had the fore-head to pre∣sent himself, and the Legend of his Life to his Majestie. Frequented the Court in his Ottoman Garb and Eastern-mode, till a Person of Great Quality, who had seen him the Last year at Vienna in Au∣stria (where he durst pretend to nothing of all this) delted the Imposture, and a Persian Gentleman lately a Stranger, and by meer accident here at that time, confirms this Relation of him, from whose mouth we receiv'd it, together with this Account of the illustrious Fa∣mily of the Cigala, which with a few Reflections upon some Passages of the Pamphlet we mention'd (which does abundantly discover this audacious Hy∣pocrite) shall dispatch this second Im∣postor.

SINEN BASSA otherwise cal∣led CIGALA, had but two sons, Grand∣children of Sultan Soliman: The El∣dest son of Sinen was named Alii; the second Mahomed: Alii deceas'd after his Father. Sinen a little since, and the Page  35second remained alive. This Mahomed married the Sisters daughter of Sultan Mahomed about the year of their He∣gira 1003 and of our Aera 1594 of which Daughter he had born a son called also Mahomed after the Name of his Father. This Youth was of a singular good disposition, ingenious, and of a sprit-full Wit, without great Am∣bition, or affecting of Command, but addcted rather to the sofer pleasures of life, and was in summe, the Darling both of Sultan Mahomet, and Achmet, and indeed of all that succeded in the Empire to the Reign of Sultan Mahomed Han the present Grand Signior, who cal∣led him Gioran Capuci Pasha, a Title the Emperor usually bestows on those who are dignified with the Office of secret Porters of the Seraglio, and whose charge it is to attend upon all extra∣ordinary Occasions, and that are some∣times dispatch'd to cut off the Head of a Visier, or Bassa, and such signal Exe∣cutions.

This Capuci Pasha we find afterward made General in Candia, and by degrees ascended to be Grand Visier, but he enjoys not that honor long; for he diedPage  36 in that War about fifteen or sixteen years since.

This is what we can yet discover concerning Sinen, otherwise, Cigala. But there is indeed besides This, an∣other very noble Family of the Cigala's about Scio: Who are, 'tis believ'd, a Branch of the Race of the Genoveses, and who are at present called at Scio, Cigal Ogli, which imports as much to say as son of Cigali, or sons of Meni Pasha Cgala.

This Meni Pasha had two sons that arriv'd both to be Bassa's and Captains of Gallies; One of which was called Beker Pasha, the other Holein Bassa. Beker died some while since, and Ho∣lein is yet, I suppose, living: It is not believed that our Impostor Mahomed Bei is brother to Holein, as he some∣where boasts himself; because it is a∣gainst all appearance of truth; Nei∣ther is it probable, that though some of the Cigali might be Merchants, that therefore any of them should go into Chistendom to change their Religion, and renounce a Government so great and glorious as that of being sole Moderator of the whole Ottoman Em∣pirePage  37 (for to no less does this Impostr pretend) without that ever we should hear of it but from his own Trumpet. If conjecture may be admitted in this case, how this Braggadocio comes to assume the name of Cigala, 'tis possible his Fathers name may be found to have been Cigo; which founding near that of Cigala, might prompt him to usurp the Title of that Illustrious House.

There are innumerable Instances throughout his Legend which fall un∣der the same suspicion; some whereof are notorious Falsities, divers of them Incongruous and contradictory; and if there were no other than that of his egregious ignorance in the Turksh Lan∣guage (which he pretends to be his Maternal Tongue, but blatters very im∣perfectly) besides his gross unskilful∣ness in the Ottoman Court and Oriental Affairs, it were sufficient to disabuse the World, and to brand him for a most impudent Impostor.

Page  38

Some Passages out of his Book animadverted.

Page 14. That the Vicount Cigala dying in Constantinople in the time of his Captivity, his funeral was openly solemniz'd by permission of Solyman; his Corps publiquely carried through the Town with the Cross and Holy∣Water, followed and accompanied by all the Ambassadors of Christian Prin∣ces then at the Port, and all the Reli∣gious Orders of the City to the Church of Saint Francis, where he was interred according to the Forms of Christian Burial; Almost every particular of which carries a notorious Confutati∣on, as all who understand any thing of that time and place do well know.

Page 1. Selim made Cipio Cigala Visier, and second Bassa of the Port: Consider if this were likely, that be∣ing a descent; and

Page 21. Whether to be Captain Bassa be a greater honor than to be Prime Visier?

Page  39Page 45. Whether the Grand Signi∣or uses to permit any Officer to sus∣pend Execution, or use Ceremony in decollation, when he is the highest in∣censed?

Page 58. Whether there be any such Treasures of Plate, &c. and other pre∣cious things among the poor Friers at the Holy Sepulchre in Ierusalem.

Page 86. Whether the Turks make use of any Christian Physicians?

Page 90. Whether the War with 〈◊〉Venetian was onely for the surprising of Ibrahims eldest son by the Knights of Malta with the Sultana his Mother, as she went to have him Circumcised at Meca? which we have already con∣futed?

Page 112. 'Tis to be considered how timely he makes his two Iesuites and Maccenigo die, the chief and one∣ly authentique testimonies of his Con∣version and pretended Exploits.

Page 150. That this happens to be Page  40 known by none save two or three poor slaves, and as many Iews, neither of which appear with him.

Page 167. That he produces not his Story 'till after the death of both the Queen of Poland his God-mother, and, I suppose, the Archbishop too, who he pretends to have baptiz'd him.

Page 167. The Captain Guardian∣ship of the Emperors Artillery, is, (as we are informed) no more than Ma∣ster of the Carriages, which is all he had to produce here for his grand Di∣ploma, without a Word of any thing else to the purpose of the rest of his high Pretences.