THE REIGN OF OSMAN, The First of that Name, Tenth Emperour of the Turks.
[year 1618] PRince Osman being set at Liberty by the Grand Visier, he caused him to he pro∣claimed Sultan, and seated in the Impe∣rial Throne of the Othomans, with the ge∣neral Applause of all the Bassaes and Army. The French Ambassador being by the same means freed from his Guard,* advertised the King his Master, how barbarously he had been entreated by Mustapha, entreating his Majesty to revoke him from that charge. Whereupon the King sent two Gentlemen to Constantinople to the new Emperour Osman, to demand reparation of the Indignity done unto his Ambassadors and Se∣cretary; and to let him understand, that he could not send any other Ambassador to his Court to condole the Death of Sultan Achmat his Father, nor congratulate his coming to the East, until that he had received satisfaction from him befitting his Dignity, and the wrongs he had received in his Ambassador. The Grand Visier and the Muphty hearing this Embassy, and considering of the Actions which had pas∣sed, advised the Emperour Osman to send an Ambassador to the most Christian King, to con∣firm their League, and to testifie both by Word and Letters how much he was displeased for his Discontent.
The Grand Seignior, by the Advice of his Vi∣sier and others,* sent Vri Chiaus into France, to confirm the Articles of Peace betwixt the French and the Turks. At his first Audience he pre∣sented a Letter unto his Majesty with this Su∣perscription.
To the most glorious and puissant Prince of the belief of Jesus, Arbitrator of all the Differen∣ces which happen among the Christian Na∣tions, and of all the most noble, and the most antient, the Emperour of France, to whom we wish the end of his Days to be happy, and his Desires accomplished.
*KNow, that I send unto you the Capitulations and Treaties of Peace which are betwixt our Maje∣sties; giving you to understand, that there is not any thing firm or stable in this World, neither King nor Beggar, although they live long; that which pleaseth God cannot fail. If all Mens desires should succeed, without doubt all men would go to Heaven. Man what∣soever he doth, or in what Dignity soever he be, shall not remain in this frail Life; wise men know it, and it is apparent to the learned. By that which we have said, we desire to let you know, that he who was in Health, hath encountred Death, and is gone to a good∣lier Place, to Paradise, my Father Sultan Achmat Chan; the God which hath no resemblance, have mercy on him. No man shall remain in this lying World: And in Paradise are the Approaches to the Almighty God, [year 1618] where there is no Death. Finally he is gone.
Since the beginning of the Othomans, until this present, the Empire of my Fathers and their Countries from Father and Son, from Hand to Hand, and from Father to Son, the Inheritance coming so unto us; Our Vncle Sultan Mustapha Chan, for that he was elder than our self, was preferred before us to the Throne of the Othomans, and was some days in peaceable pos∣session of the Empire, yielding Iustice equally to all men both great and small. But as he was shut up ma∣ny years in secret Places, praying unto God continually; so of himself he hath relinquished the Dignity of the Emperour, and contemned it. The Empire then be∣longing to those of our high Lineage, and for that by right it should come unto me, the Almighty God by his infinite Bounty and Mercy hath restored it into my Hands, my Visiers, Bassaes, Lieutenants, the Mufti, and other great Personages, and they that are in any respect with me; and finally, all my Subjects and Vas∣sals, by a general consent have acknowledged me for Emperour, in the happy year 1027, about the first day of the Moon of January, in a good hour. Where∣fore I am seated in the great Throne of the Othomans, like unto that of Solomon, a powerful and able Empe∣rour, and in all our Countries and Cities; All the Mu∣sulmans being assembled together in their Churches to preach, the greatness of my Name hath been proclaimed, and through all the Mints of mine Empire they have graven it in their Stamps, to coin pieces of Gold and Silver. Finally, wheresoever there are any Musul∣mans, and in what Places there are Men, my Name shines like Gold. Hereafter Injustice nor Impiety shall have no Place, but Iustice shall be done equally. Now we are in Ioy, and for that our natural Disposition is good, and the ancient Friendship betwixt us is perfect, I therefore thought good to advertise you of all that hath passed here, and to send you our Letters of Imperial Al∣liance by Ureiu Chiaus, who is my antient Servant, having had the managing of my Treasure, whereof he hath given me good account, being arrived at your Court, carrying my said Letter, he deserves to be re∣ceived with Honour: swearing and protesting again unto you, to observe in all points the full Capitulation made betwixt my Predecessors and your Great Grand∣fathers, and for Our part, you may be assured, that the Faith promised shall be maintained as it hath been heretofore by our Predecessors. And from the day I entered into my Throne, I have made by will known to all my Viceroys, and other Officers which do my Iu∣stice, and generally to all those of my Obedience; in∣treating you to give the like Commandment to your Go∣vernours of Provinces, and other Officers of Iustice, as in like manner to all your Subjects. And as your Grandfathers have taken the Faith of our High Fami∣ly, so it may please you to continue with me, and we de∣sire that on both sides it may be good and firm. Know then that for my part it shall be observed, so as of your side, there be nothing done contrary to the promised Faith. Page 950 And if before we came unto the Imperial Throne, your Ambassador, which did your Affairs, hath received re∣ceived any distaste, and hath not received the Honour and Friendship accustomed, in my time he shall be the more honoured and respected, as the chiefest Ambassadors have been: I have commanded, that he shall be great∣ly favoured, and our Respect shall be unto him as Qui∣ne•, that is to say, Gold, and doubt nothing of it: for I do ce•tifie you.
The French King having received by this Action a full satisfaction for the Indignity done unto his Ambassador, soon after he called the Baron of Mole, or Sancy, home into France, send∣ing the Earl of Sezi to succeed him as Ambassa∣dor at Constantinople.
*The War continuing still betwixt the Turks and the Persians, the Grand Visier was sent to invade Persia with a great Army; where, after many Exploits of War, News came to Constan∣tinople, That the Visier had gotten a great ad∣vantage upon the Sophy of Persia in a Battel which had been fought, wherein there had been an hundred thousand men slain. And although the Turks lost the greatest number, yet they remained Masters of the Field, and spoiled the Per•ians Camp, who was retired or fled: for that the manner of the Sophy is, to fight with the Turks in retiring or giving way a little; and with this manner of fighting they have always made Head against the Turks. After this Over∣throw, the Visier advanced with his Army, and entred far into Persia, which made many doubt that his Return would prove difficult: yet soon after there came Letters to Constantinople, import∣ing, That the Turks being in Persia in great di∣stress for Victuals, the Sophy had sent an Am∣bassador to the Visier to demand Peace, promising hereafter to satisfie the Tributes of Silk which he ought yearly unto the Turk;* and that the Visier (in regard of the necessity of his Army) had ac∣cepted his Offer, and granted him Peace, the which Sultan Osman did afterwards ratifie. After the conclusion whereof, the Sophy sent many Camels loaden with Victuals unto the Turks Army, which was in great distress and want.
During the Turks War in Persia, upon the Anniversary day of Sultan Achmat,* there ap∣peared in the Night a Comet over the City of Constantinople, in form like unto a crooked Sword, or Turks Scimiter; and it was so great as it extended from the Meridian near unto our Zenith, unto the Horizon: the point began to shew it self an hour after midnight, and then it appeared little and somewhat whitish, and gave but a glimpse; after an hour it was more appa∣rent, and of a deeper colour, and the more it did rise, the redder it was, and like unto blood; but at the break of day it vanished by little and little in the light; and it was so big when the point approached near unto the Zenith, as the Hilt was hidden under the Horizon: The Ma∣thematicians did observe, that it followed the motions of the Heavens; it did always rise in one place, and the bending of the said Sword was toward Crates, more Southerly than it. It did appear directly in the East a quarter toward the South, the point coming directly towards Constantinople, and the Blade extending it self to the said East a quarter to the South, which is justly the part where Persia is situated. The Edge looked directly towards Constantinople, the which made men discourse diversly, and many were amazed, fearing that it did signifie the loss and defeat of their Army in Persia, whose Re∣turn they feared much.
Vri and Husseine Chiaus, having finished his Em∣bassy in France, came into England with the like Charge, and had Audience from his Majesty at White-hall, Sir Thomas Glover being Interpreter; from whom I received a true discourse of his whole Speech, as followeth.
The Turkish Ambassador's Speech to his Majesty.
HAc subhanehu, ve Allahuteale, Saadetlu, ve iz∣zetlu Padishah hazeretlerinung vmriny ve deu∣letiny ziyad ve berziyad eileie, Amen yah Rabil alemin.
Ziyade cudretlu ve saadetlu Sultan Ali Osman Chan Padishah Hazeretleri; saadetlu Padishah Ha∣zeretlerine juzbin selamler ve doaler idub, bu namei humaiun saadet maakrunile, Sultanum Hazeretlerine irsal idub: vmidleri oldurchi, maabenilerinde munakid olan sulhu selah, bu anedeghin, ne veczuzre chywz olundise, halia dachi ol vslub vzre her daim giunden ginne artirub mucarer olmasina murad humaiunleridur.
Ali Osman, Padishahung dachi Lala ve Bash ve∣zirazam Bassa hazeretleri, saadetlu Sultanum hazeret∣lerine juz bin selamber idub, bu mektub sherifleri dachi haki pay sheriflerine irsal idub doaler ider.
Assitanei saudette dachi mutemekin olan elczighiz nam Paulo Pinder Cullighiz haki pay sheriflerine juz kylyndikdensongra, mubarek aiaghyn pusse idub, bu mektub Sultanum hazeretlerine irsal eiledy ler.
The Interpretation hereof is thus:
THat most true, incomprehensible, and most high God, increase and multiply your Majesties Years in all Happiness and Felicity: Amen, oh thou Lord of the World.
The most invincible, most mighty, and most happy Sultan Osman Chan, of the Othoman Empire Monarch, sendeth unto your excellent Majesty a hundred thousand Salutations and Greetings, evermore praying the most high God for your Majesties Happiness, sendeth unto your High∣ness, with all possible Honour and Renown, this his Imperial and most noble Letter, and withal hopeth, that the sacred bond of Peace, which hath been hitherto inviolably on your Majesties parts kept and observed; your Maje∣sty will be well pleased still on your part, with daily increase more and more of Friendship, ear∣nestly to continue therein. And his Imperial Majesty, on his behalf, is also resolved in like manner evermore punctually to keep and ob∣serve the same.
Also the most mighty Emperour's Tutor, and his chief Visier Bassa, hath addressed to the dust of your noble Feet, this his most honourable Letter, with a thousand Commendations, pray∣ing everlastingly that mighty God for your Ma∣jesties long Life and Happiness.
Also your Majesties Ambassador at Constanti∣nople, your Slave Paul Pinder, bowing his Fore∣head to the dust of your Majesties Feet, and most humbly kissing your Highness blessed Feet, hath directed unto your Majesty this his submissive Letter.
This that now followeth is the said Ambassa∣dor's Speech to his Majesty at the taking of his Leave at White-hall.
SAadetlu Padishahum, Nitekim bu kullighiz haki pay sheriflerine effendimuz olan Cudretlu ve ada∣letlu Ali Osman Padishah Hazeretlerinung name hu∣maiunlerin destimuzile teslin eileduk: Regia ve teme∣namuz budurki Sultanum hazaretcleri dachi angha gio∣re Page 951 effendimuze name sheriflerile giouab idub bu killig∣hize teslim èi lemek erzany buriurila, ve herdaim saa∣dette ve deulette peydar ola.
The Interpretation verbatim is thus:
A Copy of the Letter of Sultan Osman, the Othoman Emperour, written to the King's Ma∣jesty, and presented by Hussein Chiaus.
ALthough in this transitory World, if the King or the Beggar should enjoy the longest term of Life that might be, and obtain all that his heart could wish, yet it is most certain, that in the end he must depart, and be transported to the World Eternal; and it is well known unto the wise, that it is impossible for man to abide for ever in this World. The occasion of this Prologue is, that the immortal, omnipotent, and only God, hath, by his divine Will and Pleasure, called unto himself our Father, of blessed Memory, Sultan Achmat Chan, who in life was happy, and in death laudable; and departing out of this momentary World to be nearer the merciful Creator, being changed into perfect Glory and eternal Bliss, hath his habitation on high, and his rest in Paradise. This Paternal Em∣pire and Monarchical Kingdom, hath almost untill this present blessed time been always hereditary, from Grand∣father to Father, from Father to Son, and so cursively on that manner: but, having regard unto the Age and Years of our great and noble Vncle Sultan Mustapha, he was preferred and honoured to sit on the Othoman Throne, and being settled for some time, took care for the Affairs of the Empire, and for all that might con∣cern the People both in general and particular. But he, having been many years retired in Solitariness, and given to Devotion and Divine Obedience, being also as it were wearied with the cares of the Empire, of his own accord withdrew himself from the Government, for that the Diadem and Scepter of the Empire of the seven Climates, was the true Right and Inheritance of our most excellent Majesty, of the which (with the meeting and consent of all the Visiers, and other Deputies of State, of the Primate of the Mussulman Law, and of the other honourable Doctors, of the Souldiers, and of all Subjects both publick and private) the Almighty God hath made an high Present and worthy Gift unto us. And in the happy day in the beginning of the Moon Rebea-il-evel of this present Year 1027, in an expected time, and in an acceptable hour, was our blessed and hap∣py sitting establish'd upon the most fortunate Othoman Throne, the Seat and Wisdom of Solomon. In the Pulpits of all the Mosques, the Congregations of the faithful, and Devotion of the Musselmen, throughout all our Dominions, is read to our Imperial Name the *Hutbeh. And in the Mints (where innumerable Sums of money are coined, as well upon the Silver as the Gold) our happy Name and Stamp is signed. And our most powerful Commandments are obeyed in all the Parts and Dominions of the World: and the brightness of the Light of the Sun of Iustice and Equity, hath caused the darkness of Injuries and Molestations to va∣nish away.
Now seeing it hath been an ancient Custom of our fa∣mous Predecessors to give notice of the same unto such Princes as are in sincere Friendship, and do continue it with the House of great Majesty and our Imperial Court; We also have written these our princely Letters, and appointed for their Bearer the choice among his Equals Hussein Chiaus (whose Power is great) one of the honoured and respected Servants of our magnificent Port, the refuge of the World, to the end that such News might cause great joy of our most honourable As∣sumption. And we do hope, that when they shall come to your hands (in conformity of the well grounded friend∣ship upon the sure League, Articles, and Writings which hath been established of old with our most Royal Race and permanent Empire) you will manifest infinite Ioy and Gladness, and certifie as much to the Rulers and Governours of the Dominions and Countries under you, that they may know, that the Articles of Peace and League, and the points of the Oath which are firm and to be desired on both parts, from the time of our Grand-father and Predecessor of Royal Stock, now in Paradise (whose Souls God inlighten) undoubtedly, du∣ring the time of our Reign, shall be observed with all respect. And let there not be the least imagination of any want of due observance of the signs of Friendship on our part, or by any manner of means on your part, for the violating the Foundation of the Peace and League.
The Copy of a Letter written by Halil Ba•sa, chief Visier, and General in the Expedition against the Persian, at his Return from the Wars to the City of Senit, in April 1618, unto Sir Paul Pinder, Knight, then Ambassador for the King's Majesty at Constantinople.
The Humble Visier Halil Bassa,
TO the courteous Lord of the Nation of the Messiah, both great and honourable among the people of Je∣sus, and the true Determiner of Christian Affairs, our good Friend Paul Pinder, the English Ambassador, whose latter days be with all felicity: To whose noble presence (after our many kind Salutations▪ tending to all good Affection and manifestation of Ioy, worthy and beseeming our Friendship) our loving Advice is this, That if you desire to hear of our Estate and Being, you shall understand, that after we departed from the happy Port with the Army for the Wars of Asia, we arrived and wintered in Mesopotamia, and removing thence in the Spring with all the Musselman Host (always vi∣ctorious) we went to Van, from which place, untill we came to Tauris, the Mussulman Army went on al∣ways sacking and destroying all those Places and Towns of the Persians which we met withal by the way in those parts, where were burnt, pillaged, and ruined, some thousands of Villages, and tormenting all those people that came to hand. And when we were come near to Tauris, the General of the Persian Forces (of perverse Religion) called Carelghai Han (the accur∣sed) retired himself into the said Tauris, where, beat∣ing up his Drums in every quarter, he made a shew that he had a will to fight: so we sent a little before us some Tartars and others of our Army to hearken out and take notice of the Enemy; who meeting with seven or eight hundred Persians of note, put them to the Sword, very few escaping, and that with very great difficulty and hazard: by which the said General find∣ing himself unable to resist the power and fury of the Mussulman Host, or to stay any longer in the said place, the very same day that we arrived there, the said Ge∣neral, having spoiled all the City, sled away; so we took the place, ransacked it, and burned all the Build∣ings, Towers, Gardens, and whatsoever else we found in it. And thus the great City Tauris, by Divine Fa∣vour and Grace, became ours. Then forthwith we sent after the Enemy, the Tartar with some Begler∣begs, who overtaking them gave them Battel: and al∣beit some of ours did fall, yet they which fell on the Enemies side were innumerable. And so going forward Page 952 towards Erdevil (their obscure Residence) about ten days Iourney of the Country, we went burning and s•oiling it, and killing all the Persians that we met, that indeed there was so much glory and honour won, as that all the ancient men of the Country do affirm, there was never seen the like; insomuch, that from the Con∣fines of Erdevil, twenty days Iourney of the Count•y was on that manner by us destroyed. Thus afterward the King caused to empty the said place of Erdevil, and sled into a place called Hulchal, and caused his Army to go to the top of a high Mountain, from whence, ha∣ving sent three or four times men of Quality unto us, seeking and intreating for peace, with promise to give yearly to our Emperour an hundred Somes of Silk, and all such places as are upon the Confines gotten in the time of Sultan Solyman, except Der Ne and Der Tink; wherewith we were contented with the peace, and his Ambassador is upon the way coming toward us. And so we returning the same way again (always spoil∣ing) we came to Erzirum. And this our present Let∣ter is written unto you for the Respect and Preserva∣tion of our Friendship: and even as our Amity hath ever been hitherto sincere and firm, so likewise, by the Grace of God, at our arrival in the happy Port, it shall be in like manner maintained and continued, that more cannot possibly be. And so God keep you in Health.
The Wars growing hot in Bohemia against the Protestants, [year 1619] and the Emperour raising what Forces he could to suppress them,* the Directors or Governours of the Country wrote their Let∣ters to Bethlem Gabor, Prince of Transilvania, to acquaint him with the estate of their Affairs. To whom he made answer, That his Country standing even in the very Jaws of the Turks, whose Councils were never quiet, but ever work∣ing like to the Waves of the vast Ocean, and always watchful to embrace all occasions upon any discord of the Christians, especially now when they had pacified all Quarrels with the Persian, and had no Rebels in Asia, against whom they might imploy their Forces; he had propounded to himself to attend the Consent and Favour of the Othoman Emperour, whereby he might take from him all occasion to make any irruption into the neighbour Countries, and have the better means to imploy his best means to reconcile the Discords among the Christians: wherefore having sent unto Constantinople to ac∣quaint the Grand Seignior with his Intent, and to crave his Favour, he received Letters from thence the 17th of August, whereby he was assu∣red of the Grand Seignior's Consent and Favour. Whereupon, he resolved (notwithstanding the opposition of the House of Austria, the Pope of Rome, and others of that Faction) to take Arms in defence of the Bohemians, promising to be in September following upon the Confines of Mora∣via, unless he found some stay in Hungary. Be∣ing advertised of the State of Bohemia and Mora∣via, he levied an Army at Clausenburg, and en∣tered into the Upper Hungary, whereas most of the Barons submitted themselves unto him; on∣ly Humanoie, a great man in that Country, op∣posed himself: but not able to make his party good, he fled into Polonia. After which, he sent his Army (being eighteen thousand strong) and took Filek, Ternau, Vacci, Novigrade, and others: after which he seised upon Neuheusal, the Governour being delivered bound unto him. The Palatine of Hungary wrote Letters to Redei, General of the Prince of Transilvania's Army, wishing him to consider what the Forces of the Kings of Spain and France were, with the House of Austria and their Allies, and that the Electors of the Empire (some excepted) would send Aid unto the Emperour: who answered, That he doubted not of the Power of those Kings, and that the Electors would send Supplies unto the Emperour; yet he hoped that before they came, all should be ended, and their Dinners should be provided.
Soon after,* the Prince of Transilvania came to Presburg with his Army, a Town of note in Hun∣gary, whereas their Kings are usually crowned. The News thereof coming to Vienna, they sent 3000 Souldiers with three pieces of Ordnance down the River of Danow, who entred the Sub∣urbs on the 13th of October, the Night was very stormy and rainy, and the Transilvanians taking this Opportunity, charged them, and slew the greatest part, their Commander flying away with some few. The Suburbs being taken, Bethlem Gabor sent to the Palatine, to know whether he would yield the Town and Castle without force, giving him some time to resolve; who, after Consultation with some Noble-men, they resolved to yield, and so the Town was de∣livered into his hands. After which he sent part of his Army under good Commanders into Au∣stria, to the Gates of Vienna, where they com∣mitted great spoil, the particular relation where∣of I leave to the History of the Emperour's Lives, to which it doth properly belong.
In November, Bethlem Gabor,* Prince of Transil∣vania, and the Estates of Hungary, sent Ambassa∣dors to Prague, where they propounded divers Articles unto the Council, and amongst others, That they should joyntly send Ambassadors to the Grand Seignior, and that the Prince of Tran∣silvania should negotiate the Business. And for that the Kingdom of Hungary was much exhau∣sted, whatsoever should be taken in Stiria, Ca∣rinthia, and Carniola, should be united unto it, to the end it might be the better able to resist the Turk; all which tended to the prejudice and ruine of the House of Austria. The Prince of Transilvania having taken divers Towns in Hun∣gary, belonging to the Emperour as King of Hungary, and entred Austria in hostile manner in favour of the Bohemians; knowing that he had thereby much incensed the Emperour, and the whole House of Austria, and that if he should prevail over the Bohemians, the whole burthen of the War would lye upon him, he therefore in the end of this year sent an Ambassador with Presents to Constantinople, to crave assurance of the Grand Seignior's Aid and Support (upon whose Favour he had always depended) in case the Emperour should invade Transilvania; where, being countenanced by many of the chief Bassaes, he had assurance of Sultan Osman's Support and Protection, the which he confirmed by a solemn Oath under his hand, as followeth.
The Great Turk's Oath to Bethlem Gabor, Prince of Transilvania.
BY the Grace of God unconquerable Turkish Em∣perour, swears by the Highest, Almightiest, and Almighty Gods Holiness, by his Kingdom, by the substance of the Heavens, the Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, by the Earth, and by all under the Earth, by the Brains and all the hairy Scalp of my Mother, by my Head, and all the strength of my Soul and Body, by the holy great Mahomet, and by my Crcumcisi•n, That I, thee my Brother and Son Bethlem Gabor, succeeding King of Hungary, in no manner of way, in thy great and weighty Affairs will leave, though it be to the Overthrow of my Kingdom, to be brought to nothing, untill there shall be no more left but my self, or four or five Turks at the most, yet will I be still obli∣ged Page 953 to defend thee, and all those that do any ways ap∣pertain unto thee: And if thou shalt have need of me, I will be always ready to go with thee. And in case this my promise shall in any wise be frustrated, then let Gods Iustice fall upon my Head and destroy me and my Posterity, and wipe away whatsoever belongeth un∣to me, and gather it together into a Rock of Stone, or subs•ance of Earth, and that the Earth may cleave in sunder, and swallow me up Body and Soul.
Dated at Constantinople the fifth of Ianuary, 1619.
Bethlem Gabor, being assured by this Oath of Protection made by the Grand Seignior, [year 1620] in the beginuing of the year 1620,* he called an Assem∣bly of the Estates of Hungary at Presburg, whither Ambassadors w•re sent from the King of Bohe∣mia, and the States of that Country, with the incorporated Provinces, where a perpetual League was concluded betwixt them, and af∣terwards concluded at Prague; where, among other Articles, it was concluded, that forasmuch as Necessity did chiefly require, that a Peace should be concluded and inviolably kept with the Turk, therefore a new Ambassie should be sent to the Grand Seignior from all the confe∣derate Kingdoms and Provinces; and that Beth∣lem Gabor should take upon him the chief care of that business; but yet in such sort, as the Bo∣hemians and incorporated Provinces should send their Ambassadors with the Hungarians, and bear their shares of all that should be disbursed, as well for the Presents, as for the Ambassadors Charges.
In Iune following, Bethlem Gabor went to an Assembly of the Estates of Hungary at Neuhusal,* where he propounded divers heads unto the States: That he desired nothing more than to restore the Kingdom of Hungary, so miserably afflicted, to Liberty; and that they might enjoy their Religion and Priviledges: That he had spared no cost for the lawful defence of the Country; and for a Testimony that he desired Peace, he had refused the Crown which the Estates offered him at Presburg: That the ground of Peace was to maintain the League which they had begun with the Bohemians: That he had always desired Peace with the help of other Princes, so as it were sincere and without Fraud or Deceit, for the obtaining whereof he had assisted his Confederates miserably afflicted: That he knew for certain the Emperour desired not Peace, but War, having suffered the Cossacks to enter into Hungary, and to spoil many Places with Fire and Sword, and denied passage for the Ambassadors of Bohemia and Austria; for this cause they were not now to treat of Peace, but of War, and to consult how it might be begun and maintained; for the levying of Money, which is the sinews of War; for the furnishing of their Forts upon the Frontiers, and for the speedy sending of Ambassadors to the Turkish Emperour, lest being engaged in an intestine War, there might be some attempts made upon those bordering Forts. Having delivered his Mind unto the Estates, there came divers Am∣bassadors thither from Bohemia, Austria, Silesia, and Lusatia, Venice, Poland, and Turky: The Ve∣netian Ambassador was content their Common∣wealth should enter into the League, and the Turk made offer to conclude a perpetual League with them.
*On the five and twentieth day of August, Beth∣lem Gabor, Prince of Transilvania, was proclaimed King of Hungary by the Palatine, at the instance of the Turkish Ambassador, and with the con∣sent and applause of most part of the Estates of the Country: After which, he levied a great Army of thirty (some say fifty) thousand Horse and Foot, and made many Ensigns with divers Emblems and Devices; which being known, the Protestants of Vienna, with the Consent of the Emperour, wrote unto him, humbly entreating him to spare the City and Country, for their innocent Wives and Childrens sakes; but in the mean time all the Citizens were commanded to make Provision of Victuals for six Months.
There came News to Constantinople of a strange Apparition or Vision,* which was seen at Medi∣na Talnabi in Arabia, whereas Mahomet their great Prophet was buried; to visit whose Tomb the Turks use to go in Pilgrimage, but they must first go to Mecha, which is some few days Journey off, and there they take a Ticket from the Grand Seigniors Beglerbeg, else they are not al∣lowed to go to Medina. This Vision continued three Weeks together, which terrified the whole Country, for that no Man could discover the truth thereof. About the twentieth of Septem∣ber, there fell so great a Tempest, and so fearful a Thunder about Midnight, as the Heavens were darkned, and those that were awake, almost distracted; but the Vapours being dispersed, and the Element clear, the People might read in Arabian Characters these words in the Firma∣ment, O why will you believe in Lies! Between two and three in the Morning, there was seen a Woman in white, compassed about with the Sun, having a cheerful Countenance, and hold∣ing in her Hand a Book; coming from the North-west, opposite against her were Armies of Turks, Persians, Arabians, and other Mahome∣tans, ranged in order of Battel, and ready to charge her; but she kept her standing, and only opened the Book, at the sight whereof these Ar∣mies fled; and presently all the Lamps about Mahomets Tomb went out; for as soon as ever the Vision vanished (which was commonly an hour before Sun rising) a murmuring Wind was heard, whereunto they imputed the extin∣guishing of the Lamps. The antient Pilgrims of Mahomets Race, who after they have visited this Place, never use to cut their Hair, were much amazed, for that they could not conceive the meaning of this Vision; only one of the Deruices (which is a strict religious order amongst the Turks, like unto the Capuchins among the Pa∣pists, and live in contemplation) stepped up ve∣ry boldly, and made a Speech unto the Compa∣ny, which incensed them much against him, so as this poor Priest for his plain dealing lost his Life, as you shall hear.
The sum of his Speech was this:
*As their Rage against him was violent, so their Execution was extraordinary, for they neither cut off his Head nor strangled him, as they usually do to Malefactors, but they tortu∣red him by degrees; for, stripping him first na∣ked, they gave him an hundred blows on the soles of his Feet with a flat Cudgel, until the Blood issued forth, the poor Priest crying con∣tinually on the Woman that opened the Book. After which they took a Bull's Pizzle, and beat all his body until the Sinews crack'd, and in the end they laid him upon a Wheel, and with an Indian Sword made of Sinews, they brake his Bones to pieces, the poor Man crying to the last gasp, O thou Woman with the Book, save me, and so he dyed: At which time there was a fearful Tempest. The Beglerbeg sent certain Spahies to the Port of Sidon to imbark for Constantinople, to the end, they might advertise the Emperour of these Tidings.
Sultan Osman, from the first entrance into his Reign, was freed from all Cares of foreign War, or intestine Combustions; for he had that happiness, (being himself very young, and not able to Govern so potent an Estate) as by the Counsel and Assistance of Halil Bassa, his Grand Visier, he had forced the King of Persia to demand a Peace, and to pay the Tribute which had been formerly promised. His Re∣bels in Asia were all pacified, and the Truce with the Emperour (which had been somewhat interrupted by misinterpretation, or the pra∣ctise of bad Ministers) was newly confirmed a little before his coming to the Crown, onely Moldavia had been the Theatre of War for some years, where his Father had exercised his Arms, and imployed his Forces, to advance whom he pleased to be Vayvod of that Countrey, against another party that was supported by the Polonians, as you have formerly heard. Michna, Prince of Valachia, being made Vayvod of Mol∣davia by Achmat, and the Polonian party wholly overthrown in the Year 1616, he enjoyed it not long; but whether he dyed of a natural Death, or fell into disgrace with the Grand Seignior, I do not read; yet I find, that after him there was another Vayvod or Prince of Moldavia, who is yet living, but in disgrace with the Sul∣tan, his Name is Casparo Gratsiani; and to the end you may understand, that the Turks never respect the Birth and Quality of any Man in their Advancements, I will relate what this Man was from the mouth of him that knew him very well.
This Casparo was born at Gretz (a Town of great strength belonging unto the Arch-dukes of Austria, by the which a Branch of that House is distinguished from the rest, and whereof the Emperour now reigning is the head) but being a Man of small Fortune, and little expectance in his own Countrey, he went to Constantinople, and put himself in Service with Sir Thomas Glover, before that he was Ambassador for his Majesty to the Grand Siegnior, under whom he learned both to write and read the Turkish Tongue. After which he came with him into England, and there by his recommendation was imployed to Constantinople for the redeem∣ing of young Sir Thomas Sherley, who was then a Prisoner among the Turks. Having per∣formed his Charge orderly, and being come to Venice with the young Knight, hearing that Sir Thomas Glover was sent Ambassador to the Grand Seignior, he left Sir Thomas Sherley, and went to Constantinople to his old Master, where he was imployed yearly to buy or exchange Christians for Turks, carrying the Christians into Italy, and so returning Turks for them. About the end of Achmat's Reign, arriving at Constantinople with a Ship full of Turks, which he had exchanged, he acquainted the Bassa Visier with the good Service he had done unto the Grand Seignior; who, demanding of what Countrey he was and his Breeding, asked him if he would undertake a Service which should be for his Advancement, which was to go unto the Emperour to reconcile all Difficulties con∣cerning the Peace, wherein he carried himself so discreetly, as Commissioners were appointed, who concluded all Difficulties, as you have heard. But before his return home, the Grand Seignior was dead; yet he pressed the Bassa for the performance of his Promise,* desiring him, that he might be made Vayvod of Mol∣davia, which the Bassa effected; but the Pre∣sents he gave advanced him more than his Merits. Since he grew into some disgrace; so as the Grand Seignior, making choice of ano∣ther Vayvod, gave Charge to certain Capigies, to go into Moldavia to strangle Casparo, and that they should take four hundred Turks upon the Frontiers to assist them: But Casparo having good Spies at Constantinople, who advertised him of their Design, resolved to prevent them; wherefore, taking some Troops with him, he met them upon the way, and cut them all in pieces; then returning to Yas, he slew one thousand Turks. After which he fled into Poland with two thousand Horse;* from whence they write, that he hath made divers Incur∣sions into Moldavia, and committed great Spoils upon the Turks, being assisted by the Cossacks,Page 955 and keeps possession of the Countrey, al∣though there be another Vayvod made by the Turk.
*Sultan Osman seems to be much incensed a∣gainst the Polonians, as well for this support, as for former quarrels, making it his colour for the levying of the greatest Army that hath been seen since that Solyman went unto the Siege of Agria, consisting, as it is said, of three hundred thousand Men, having drawn down all his Forces out of Asia, God knows where he will imploy it, but it is much to be feared, that he will make use of this divi∣sion betwixt Christian Princes, who should unite their Wills and Forces, to oppose them against the common Enemy of Christendom, who watcheth only to get an Advantage, little regarding his Word and Promise.
The Turk, having no imployment for his Forces by Land,* sent threescore Gallies to Sea, to make some Enterprise upon the Chri∣stians. They came into the Mediterranean Sea, and having coasted the Island of Sicily, they sent twenty Gallies to land in the Kingdom of Naples, where they surprised the Town of Manfredonia, and spoiled it, carrying away fourteen or fifteen hundred Captives, and so retired again to Sea. The rest of their Fleet lay about Vellona in the Gulf, which made the Spaniards jealous that the Venetian had been acquainted with this Enterprise. And since there is News, That the Gallions and Gal∣liots of Algiers,* have taken Iuisa, a small I∣land of four miles compass, near unto Ma∣jorca: It is a Place of great Importance, for that it hath a Haven able to contain much Shipping; for the Guard whereof the King of Spain entertains a great Garrison, and it did much annoy them of Algiers. They took the Town; but it is not yet certain whether they have taken the Castle.
*This is all I could learn of the Turks Af∣fairs since the Year one thousand six hundred and nine untill this present. The Reader may ob∣serve, that since the Reign of Ottoman their first Emperour, this great Empire of the Turks is proudly built upon the four Monarchies of the World; that is to say, of the Assirian, Per∣sian, Greek, and Roman. For they injoy Ba∣bylon, and all Chaldae, with the Countrey of the Medes: We have seen them in Tauris, the Capital City of Persia; Greece is subject to the yoke of their Command; Constantinople, sometimes called New Rome, by the transport of the Imperial Seat, is now made their Throne; and so many Provinces and Realms which in former times depended upon the Ro∣man Empire, do now acknowledge their power; they are Masters of the Realms of Aegypt and Cyprus; the Islands of Rhodes, Me∣telene, Negropont, Chio, and many others ac∣knowledge them; the Empire of Trebisond is theirs; the Realm of Colchos, now called Mingrelia, pays them Tribute; they of Tunis and Algier in Affrica obey them; Dalmatia, the Illyrians, T•iballians, the Countries of Tran∣silvania, Valachia, and Mol•avia do them Ho∣mage; and we see them Command even in the chief Towns of the Realms of Hungary: But all this Power of the Ottomans had never been so great nor so fearful, but by th• discord, division, and bad intelligence betwixt Chri∣stian Princes, as you may read in the Course of this History, as well in Greece, at Constan∣tinople, as in other parts of Europe, whereas these Princes, contending one with another, have furnished matter and means to the Turk to dispossess them of the chief pieces of their Monarchies. They measure the continuance of their Empire by the discord betwixt the Princes of the Belief of the Name of Jesus, and they confess truely, that this Division is the onely cause of their Greatness, the which hath made them believe, that among Chri∣stians there was a bad Angel, enemy to peace, which they call the stronge or powerful Spirit, which, kindling the fire of Revenge and Am∣bition in the Hearts of great Men, draws from their Affections the good of their Belief, to entertain them in perpetual Discord; during the which, they promise unto themselves a firm and an assured Reign. So the Mufti, and the Talismans praying on Friday in their Mosques, demand of their Prophet the Cir∣cumstance of this bad Intelligence betwixt the Christian Princes, to the end they may in∣joy the Empire which they have unjustly usur∣ped. Yet their Prophecies do not promise them a perpetual Possession; behold one in their own Tongue, which hath always made them fear the union of Christians.
That is to say:
By the Infidel Prince, they understand a Christian Prince,* (for so they call them) and by the Red Apple an Imperial Town, strong and important; in the which, and else∣where the Turks shall build Houses; that is to say, convert Holy Temples to the Use of the Mahometan Impiety; for by this Word to build, they that have Commented upon this Prophesie understand, Usurpation of the Houses of God: Plant Vines, by these Words they signifie the Extent of the Turkish Em∣pire, and the settling of their Colonies, as we see in Hungary and Transilvania: Compas∣sing in Gardens, that is to say, they shall for∣tifie the Towns which they have taken from their Enemies: Beget Children, extend the Mahometan Religion, far in the Christians Countries. But after the twelfth Year, &c. with∣in a certain time best known to God, his Di∣vine Majesty opening the Eyes of his Cle∣mency upon the Christians, will unite the Wills of their Princes, kindle their affections with a holy zeal, and, blessing their Arms, will make them victorious over the Turk, whom he will banish out of the East, and chase into Scythia from whence they came to be a scourge unto Christendom. These are my Wishes, wherein I hope all good Christians do concurr.
The Beginning of the Turkish EMPIRE.
HAving run over the Occurrents which have happened in the Turks Estate for the space of eleven years, I must, according to Master Knolles his Method, conclude the Work with a description of the Grand Seigni∣or's Port or Court, of his Government, Officers, Riches, Force, and Religion.
The Turks, (a People of Scythia) having like a violent Deluge overthrown a great part of the East, and taken divers Provinces, being expelled from Hierusalem by Godfrey of Bouil∣lon, and the Christians, their remainder re∣tired to Nicea, where they lived without any head or sovereign Commander, until that Otto∣man, about the Year of our Redeemer one thousand three hundred, by Practice, made himself sole and absolute Monarch. His Son conquering divers Provinces, removed his Imperial Seat to Prusia, now called Bursia, the chief Abode of the Kings of Bythinia. Amu∣rath the First (being drawn in by the Em∣perour of Constantinople to succour him, and allured with the Wealth of Europe) turned his Arms against him, taking divers Provin∣ces and Towns from him, amongst others, Adrianopolis, which he made the Seat and re∣sidence of the Turkish Emperours, in the Year one thousand three hundred sixty three. But Mahomet the Second, having taken the City of Constantinople, and expelled the Emperour, in the Year one thousand four hundred fifty three, he made it the Royal Seat of the Otho∣mans, for which he had great reason, being one of the fairest and sweetest Seats of the World.
*Constantinople hath in circuit, by the opi∣nion of some Writers, fifteen or sixteen miles, and is called by the Turks them∣selves Stambull, or Stambolda, the Sea beating upon it upon the North and South sides: Towards the East it is divided from Asia by a large Channel, which runneth from the one Sea to the other, and is about seven miles in length. The City is built upon the declining of a Hill, in which there are ma∣ny rare singularities, which I omit, being de∣scribed elsewhere. There are in this City seven little Hills, upon the which are built seven principal Mosques or Churches, by se∣veral Emperours, whereof, the fairest and most stately is that of Sultan Solyman. Up∣on the North side of the City standeth the Grand Seignior's Palace or Seraglio, common∣ly called by the Name of the Port: The which hath on the one side thereof the Sea, and on the other side of it the Haven, the other two being towards the City, being about three miles in compass, some write of four. It is walled about, and within it are many Gar∣dens, Orchards, Medows, and Woods. Be∣ing entred into the first Port (which hath double Gates of Iron) into a large Court, on the left hand there stands a building like un∣to a Turkish Mosque, which now the Grand Seignior useth for a Store-house, wherein are great store of Arms, which are for the de∣fence of his Seraglio. And on the other side of this Court are several Gardens walled in, from which they pass to another Court with a Gate like unto the former, where are Tar∣guets and Cimitars hanging, and many Por∣ters attending, as at the former. After this, they pass into another large Court, which is planted with Cypress Trees, and full of Grass, where Deer feed; but round about it is a Cloister, which is in length about six hundred and fourscore Foot, and above five hundred in breadth, paved with Stone, and covered with Lead, it being supported with one hun∣dred and forty Pillars of white and gray Mar∣ble, standing upon Bases of Copper, with Ca∣pitals of the same; upon the North side whereof stands the Divano, whereas the Vi∣sier Bassa and the other Bassaes sit in Coun∣cil, and hear Causes of Importance, where∣of we will speak hereafter. In this Seraglio the Grand Seignior hath many Chambers,* which are richly appointed, wherein he re∣mains; and there he hath six young Men which attend his Person and the Service of his Chamber, whereof two wait daily, and at Night they watch when he sleeps, the one of them at his Head, the other at his Feet, with two Torches burning in their Hands. In the Morning (as Sanzovino writes) when the Grand Seignior attires himself, they put into one of his Pockets a thousand Aspers, and into the other Pocket twenty Duckets of Gold, the which, if he give not away that Day, is their Fee at Night, neither (as they say) doth he ever put on the same Clothes: and whensoever he goes to Hunting, or to any other Exercise, (besides the Money which he hath with him) his Casnadar Bassa, or chief Treasurer, still follows him with great store of Money to give away. The Office of these six young Men, (who are changed as it pleaseth the Grand Seignior) is distinct, for the one carries his Shooes, the second his Bow and Arrows, the third his Vest, the fourth a Vessel with Water, the fifth carries a Seat, and the sixth, called Oda Bassa, is head of the Chamber.
He hath daily a great number of Persons resident in his Palace,* imployed in their se∣veral Charges, some in one place, some in another, under their several Commanders. But among all the great Men in his Court, these are of chiefest Eminency and Note.
First, the Capi Aga, that is to say, the mouth of the Grand Seignior, by whom the Sultan speaketh to such as have any great suit unto him; for no Ambassadour is admitted unto him, but at his first arrival, when he deli∣vers his Letters of credit and his Presents, and when he hath any business to treat of, he re∣pairs to the Visier Bassa or his Aga.
The second is Casnadar Bassa, the chief Trea∣surer of the Houshold, or Superintendent of the Treasure.
The third, Chilergi Bassa, chief Cup-bearer.
The fourth is Seraglio Agasi, Steward or Ma∣ster of the Houshold.
The fifth is Chiller Agasi, or Saraidar Bassa, Overseer of his Seraglio of Concubines, who is always an Eunuch as the rest be.
The sixth and last is Bostangi Bassa, chief Gardiner, and Overseer of all his Gardens, Captain of his Jamoglans, and Steerer of his Barge whensoever he goeth by Water. He hath a Protogero or Lieutenant, and many Gardiners under him, which are called Bo∣stangi, who, when they come out of the Sera∣glio, become Janizaries, Solacchi, or Capigi, ac∣cording to their Qualities.
Page 957These six Officers of the Sultans House a∣bove mentioned have no authority out of his Palace, yet the greatest Bassaes stand in awe of them, and fear them, for that they have free access unto the Sultan, and have daily oppor∣tunity to incense him against them; for by their secret Suggestion and false Informations, many of the greatest Bassaes are many times suddenly and undeservedly cut off in the height of all their pomp and glory.
He hath many Mutes or dumb Men attend∣ing about him,* whereof eight be his daily Companions and Play-fellows in the Seraglio, in whose company he takes great delight: be∣sides many others to the number of forty, which attend upon him as Pages. They are all born deaf and dumb, yet by long Practice they grow so perfect, as they will understand any thing that shall be acted unto them by Signs and Gestures; and will themselves by the ge∣sture of their Eyes, Bodies, Hands, and Feet, deliver matters of great difficulty, to the great admiration of strangers.
The Grand Seignior hath within his Pa∣lace a Seraglio of young Men,* to the number of five hundred, from eight years of Age to twenty; these are the well-favouredst and best proportioned of all the Tribute Children which he draweth from Graecia and Natolia, and they are chosen out of his Seraglioes at Pera, Adrianopolis, and other Places, and brought to this to be bred up, where they are instructed in divers Arts, according to their Disposition, but especially to Read and Write, and in the Doctrine of their Law, and to Ride, there being a great number of Horses kept within this Seraglio, for their Exercise, and for the Eunuchs. They never go out of the Seraglio till the Sultan thinks them to be of fit Age to undergo some Charge, and then he makes them Spacoglani, or Si∣lichtari, and to some he gives greater Places, according to their Valour, or the favour they have gotten with him.
*He hath in like manner about fourscore Mutaferache, that is to say, Lance-bearers to the Grand Seignior; which carry his Lance whensoever he goeth to field, and acknow∣ledge no other Commander, and in time, by his Favour or their Merits, are made Captains.
He hath always above one thousand Eu∣nuchs entertained in several Places,* where∣of some of them are in very great credit with him, and can prevail much; they are cal∣led Hudurni, many of them are employed to attend his Concubines and Virgins in his Seraglio. They are not only deprived of their Genitors, but in their Youth they have their whole Privities smoothed off by their Bellies, and in their Turbants they bear short Quills of silver, through which they make Water. This inhumane Custom was first in∣vented by Sultan Solyman, who seeing a Gel∣ding make offer to cover a Mare, grew suspi∣tious that they were able to do some small thing, notwithstanding the loss of their Ge∣nitors.
*The Grand Senior hath a Seraglio for his Women without his Palace, in the which there are always four or five hundred young Vir∣gins, the fairest of the Christians Children, which he gathereth up out of Graecia for Tri∣bute. The Sultan repairs sometime thither to make choice of such as he shall like best for his Pleasure; whereof they are adverti∣sed the day before by the Eunuchs, that they may prepare themselves in their best Habits to give him content. Being all in a Room, and standing upon either side, the Sultan enters, attended by an Eunuch or two, and views them; to her that he likes he casts a Handker∣cher, (whereof he hath many hanging at his Girdle) and in this manner it may be he makes choice of half a dozen, the which his Eunuchs observing, they put them present∣ly into a Coach, and are carried into another little Seraglio within his Palace. In this Se∣raglio they have good Entertainment, and are apparelled in Silk twice a Year, and are taught to make divers Works by ancient Ma∣trons, and are attended on by the younger sort. They have many Eunuchs with their Aga or Captain, and they have one hundred Ca∣pigies and Janizaries, which keep their Gates. When as the number of these Virgin slaves de∣creaseth, and they have not wherewithal to supply them with their Tributary Children, they send to the Market in Constantinople, where they say there are daily ten thousand Slaves of all Ages and Sexes to be sold; and there they buy the fairest they can get, but they will not have them above eight Years old, lest they should be corrupted before they come into the Turks Seraglio.
As for the other Seraglio within the Sultan's Palace,* there remains the Sultanaes with their Children, and such other Concubines as he hath made choice of for his Delight. He ne∣ver marries, but when any one is brought un∣to him, he gives her an attire for her Head, of Gold, and ten thousand Aspers, causing her to live in a Chamber a-part, increasing her daily Maintenance. The first that bears him a Child, is called Sultana, and is Mistress of all the rest, and most favoured by him, as the chiefest of all his Women, the rest, as they are favoured by this Prince, are brought unto him to have his Pleasure, and then returned back again; if they chance to be with Child, they are put into the number of the Sultanaes, and are much respected by him. Such as the Prince hath had the use of, but no Children by them, are given in marriage to his Slaves, who are advanced to Dignities, and made Go∣vernours of Countries.
He has three hundred Sollacchi,* which march continually about his Person, and make as it were his Guard, being under the command of the Aga of Janizaries; they are richly at∣tired, having Lawn Garments hanging down beneath their Knees, and over it a quilted Wastcoat with half sleeves of Taffaty, Da∣mask, or Satten, and on their Heads, Caps and Feathers, like unto the Captain of the Ja∣nizaries, and they attend on him with Bows and Arrows. He hath also still about him when he Rides abroad forty Peichi, that is to say, Foot-men or Posts, which run won∣derful swiftly, and are still at hand to attend his Commandments▪ where he shall please to imploy them; they wear long Coats of Cloth of Gold, with a broad Girdle of the same, and Caps like unto Womens Thimbles, with a Horn of Silver and gilt standing up before. There are about four thousand Capigies or Porters which continually attend his Palace and Seraglioes, they are attired like unto the Janizaries, and have over them three Capigi Bassaes. These Men are many times imploy∣ed to execute the Grand Siegnior's Command∣ments, when he will have any great Mans Head, or his Throat cut, as we have seen of late years in Gambolat Bassa, and in Nassuf Bassa, who was Grand Visier to Achmat.
Page 958The Grand Seignior's Government is so ab∣solute, as they all term themselves his Slaves, and no Man,* how great soever, can assure him∣self of his Estate, no not of his Life, but by the Great Turks special Favour. He commits the managing of his Estate to such as have abju∣red the Christian Religion, and have been brought by way of Tything in their Infan∣cies from Greece and Natolia, and afterwards, for their Merits, are advanced to great Dig∣nities, as Bassaes, Beglerbegs, and such other. The Prince hath a Court or Council, which they call Divano, and this is held within the Seraglio four days in the Week; that is to say, Saturday, Sunday, Munday, and Tuesday, where they treat of matters of State, and af∣terwards of the Affairs of private Men. To this Council are admitted the Grand Visier, eight or nine Bassaes, who are also called Vi∣siers, and are continually resident at Constanti∣nople, (for there are many more which are imployed abroad in the Conduct of Armies or Government of Countries) the Beglerbegs and others. At the rising of the Court or Coun∣cil, the Grand Visier informs the Sultan of all the Proceedings in particular; wherein he dares not dissemble, for that the Prince hath a Window joyning to the Divano, where he may hear and see any thing and not be seen. He seldom impugns what they have resolved, unless it be to moderate some rigorous Sen∣tence, or to give answer to some Ambassa∣dour, and what he himself concludes is irre∣vokable.
*Their Suits are very short, for their have no Advocates to breed delaies, as they have in Christendom; yet commonly he that bribes most speeds best; for the Turks are the most covetous and corrupt Nation in the World, neither will they do any man a kindness with∣out a Fee; and yet they are not sure to injoy any thing they get no longer than it shall please the Prince. They punish Crimes with great severity, and speedily, the Fact being pro∣ved, which doth so terrific them, as by the report of such as have conversed long there, you shall seldom see a Murther or a Theft committed by any Turk; and if any foul Fact be committed, it is most commonly done by Grecians.
*The chief of the Grand Seignior's Council, is the Grand Visier, who wears the Princes Signet, and is as it were the Lieutenant-Ge∣neral of the whole Monarchy; he hath au∣thority over the other Bassaes, and they are bound to yield him an account of their Im∣ployments. He is still about the Prince's Per∣son, and is not sent abroad for any Imploy∣ment, unless it be for an important War, as they have done of late years against the Per∣sian. When the Visier is sent abroad, he makes choice of one of the Bassaes to be his Lieutenant, and to execute his Authority, and he is called Chimacham. Mechmet Bassa, was at that present chief Visier.
Next unto the Bassa (which is as much as to say,* great Lord) follow the Beglerbegs, and have their places in Court next unto them. They are Men of great Authority, and have the command of great Kingdoms and Armies, under whose Obedience are divers Sanzacks, which are sent as Governours into Provinces during the Princes Pleasure. These are Men of great Experience, and have command o∣ver the Spahi and Timariots, the Turks chief Forces on Horse-back, whom they call con∣tinually to exercise their Arms. There is one Beglerbeg of Greece, which hath all the Coun∣tries in Europe in the Turks Dominions un∣der his Charge, and this is the first of all the Beglerbegs, who hath under him above thir∣ty Sanzacks. There are six other Beglerbegs in Asia, whereof the first is he of Natolia, or Asia the less. He hath the Government of Pontus, Bythinia, and other Kingdoms, and hath under him twelve Sanzacks. The Beg∣lerbeg of Caramania with seven Sanzacks. The Beglerbeg of Al•duley, under whose Command are seven Sanzacks. The Beglerbeg of Ama∣zia and Toccato, having four Sanzacks. There is also one in Mesopotamia, and under his com∣mand twelve Sanzacks or Governours of Pro∣vinces. There is likewise a Beglerbeg of Damas, Suria, and Iudaea, who hath under him twelve Sanzacks. And there is one of Caire, who commands over sixteen Sanzacks, his Charge extends to the Arabians, but they are not so Obedient as the Turks other Countries.
As for the Turks Forces, they consist of Horse-men, Foot-men, and Fleets at Sea.* His Horsemen consist of Spahi, Timari, Spacho∣glani, Silictari and Olofagi, who have As∣signations of Lands for the Entertainment of them and their Horses. For no Man can in∣joy any Possessions, but he is injoyned to en∣tertain a certain number of Souldiers propor∣tionable to the Revenues of the Land; so as the Governour or Bassa is always bound to have this number ready to march when they are called.* Of these Timariots they are able to raise about an hundred and fifty thousand Horse, always ready at the first call, for the which the Prince disburseth not a penny; for, in regard of the Land which is alotted them, they are bound to maintain themselves, their Horse and Arms in the War. Wheresoever the Turk conquereth any Countrey, he di∣vides it among his Souldiers; assigning four thousand Aspers yearly (which is little above ten pound sterling) to every one for him∣self and his Horse, and so proportionably if he have more Land. These Horse-men are much pestered with Arms when they go to War; for they have a Jack, a Spear with a little white Banner, a Caliver hanging under his left Arm, a Cimitar, a Bow and Arrows at his Girdle, and a Battel-axe at his Saddle bow. And of these kind of Horse-men they say there are eighty thousand in Greece, be∣sides an infinite number in his other Countries. This Turkish Cavalry work two great Ef∣fects, for they serve as a support to his Estate, to suppress all Seditions, and they are ready to undertake any Enterprise. Besides these, he entertains many Horse-men about his Per∣son, whereof some are Spahi,* and these are Christian Slaves bred up young in the Princes Seraglio, who by their Merits attain to that degree, and afterwards to greater Dignities. They are always attending about the Princes Person wheresoever he goes, being commonly thirteen hundred.
The Caripices are held for the flower of all his Horse-men,* being in number about eight hundred, who march still about the Princes Person during the Wars. The Spachoglani which is as much as to say, young Men on Horse-back, are above three thousand, who have yearly pensions in Money, which they are bound to receive yearly at Constantinople, or else they are held as dead Men. In the Wars they march on the right Hand of the Grand Seignior, and are known from the Spahies by the Banners of their Lances, which have two Page 959 points and of divers colours, the others being pointed and all white, but they are armed alike. They are Men at Arms of a good fa∣shion, and are commonly advanced by the Sultan to higher Places. They have a Cap∣tain or Aga of great Esteem, with a Lieute∣nant, and every twenty have a Boluch Bassa.
*The Salichtari are also Horse-men, and lodge upon the left Hand of the Prince, being in number about three thousand: Their Breed∣ing is like unto the Spahi, and there is no dif∣ference betwixt them but in their March, the one having the right Hand, and the other the left, which is the more honourable among the Turks.
*There is yet another sort of Horse-men, which they call Olofagi, being about two thou∣sand in number, and they march on the right and left Hand of the Prince. These several Troops are as it were a Nursery for all the chief Officers of that Empire; out of which they do commonly chuse their great Comman∣ders. Besides, they have their mercinary Soul∣diers, called Alcanziis, which come to serve the Turk from Tartaria, Valachia, and Moldavia.
*As for his foot Forces, they consist chiefly in Ianizaries, into which number they have not used to inroll many of Asia, whom they have held faint-hearted, but those of Europe, who have always had the Reputation to be Valiant. Their manner to entertain this Dis∣cipline, is, to send every three years into all the Provinces of Europe, from whence they bring ten or twelve thousand Christian Chil∣dren as a Tribute, making choice of such as have any shew of Magnanimity, Agility, or Courage, which are Parts fit for a Souldier. These Children being brought to Constantino∣ple and visited, some of them are sent into Natolia, Caramania, and other Provinces, to dig and weed the Ground, where they forget their Parents, Countrey, and Faith, and learn the Language and Vices of them with whom they converse, and so become Mahometans. They continue in those places three or four years, without any charge to the Prince, being en∣tertained by them for whom they Labour; after which time they are called home, and put into the Sultan's Seraglioes at Pera, Adri∣anopolis, and other Places. But they that have the best Faces, and are most active, are reser∣ved for their Princes Service.
These Children, being brought into the Princes Seraglioes,* are of two sorts; the one are called Aiamoglani, that is to say, simple Boy; they are instructed by severe Masters in divers manual and painful Exercises, as Shoo∣makers, Gardiners, and such like base Trades. Their Feeding and Apparel is very mean; and for the most part they lie in great and spacious Rooms, like unto Religious Men, ha∣ving a Light continually burning, and Guards about them. These have liberty to go abroad, who after the Age of twenty years, are dis∣missed: whereof some are sent into the Sul∣tan's Gardens, which are many and great; others are imployed as Car-men to carry Wood, Hay, Water, and other Provision for the Palace, and some are sent to the Kit∣chins and Stables; yet when Places fall, they are preferred to be Janizaries, and have com∣petent Pensions to maintain them during their lives. The least hath five Aspers a day, and there's none have above eight, and the Spahies ten. They are attired in long blew Gowns girt with a broad Girdle, and on their Head they have long yellow Caps without brims, and sharp like unto Sugar-loaves; and of these Aiamoglanes there are always above twenty thousand which serve to supply his Armies.
The other sort of Youths,* which are bred up in the Turks Seraglioes or Nurseries, are called Ich-Oglani, that is to say, Chamber-Pa∣ges, being the choice of all the Christians Chil∣dren for Proportion and Favour, and these Ich-Oglani are better bred up than the Aiamo∣glani, and come to better Preferment, of whom we have formerly made mention; for the meanest Places these young Men attain unto at the first is to be Spahies, or to attend upon the Grand Seignior, as his Chamberlains and Pages. And many of them having extraor∣dinary Parts are suddenly advanced to Places of great Dignity. Of these, the Prince hath ever five thousand, who until they come unto the Age of twenty years are never suffered to go out of their Seraglio, nor to see any Per∣son but such as instruct them and attend upon them.
The Ianizaries (who are the Grand Seig∣nior's chief strength on foot) are raised out of Christians Children,* bred up in these Nur∣series, as we have said, where they are taught to shoot with their Bows and Arrows, to use the Harquebuse, and all other Weapons fit for Service; and are at length inrolled among the Ianizaries, and are held the most valiant and resolute Souldiers among all the Turks. There are commonly resident in Constantinople and thereabouts twenty four thousand of these Ianizaries whenas the Grand Seignior is there, (for in his whole Estate he hath a far grea∣ter number) under their Aga or Captain Ge∣neral, which is a Place of great credit, but not like unto any of their Bassaes; the Great Turk fearing to joyn Power and Authority together. Being once Ianizaries, they are ei∣ther sent to the Wars, or put in Garrison, or else they remain at the Sultan's Court, (which they call Port) where they have certain spa∣cious Places for their Dwelling, like to reli∣gious Houses, where they live under their Commanders; and the younger serve the anci∣ent with great respect. All the Ianizaries of one Squadron eat together at one Table, and sleep in certain long Halls, and if any one chance to be absent all Night, he shall (the next Night) be beaten with a Cudgel, which he takes so patiently, as he kisseth his Hand that hath thus corrected him. They are much respected and feared of all men, and are di∣versly imployed in the City; as to see the Peace and good Orders kept, to look to the prices of things, to arrest Malefactors, and to guard the Gates. If they buy any thing they will have it at their own rate; they can∣not be judged but by their Aga or Captain. There is seldom any one punished with death by the course of Justice, without danger of a Mutiny; and therefore they execute them very secretly. They have many means to get money; for some attend upon Ambassa∣dours, and keep their Houses; others go with Travellers, to guard them safely through the Turks Estate. They have a great power in their Princes Election; so as to win their loves, every new Emperour at his first coming to the Crown gives them a Donative, and increa∣seth their Pay, presuming upon their Valour and Multitude. They many times commit strange Insolencies upon any Discontents; as in firing of Houses, braving the Bassaes, and sometimes bearding the Sultan himself, as you may read in this History.
Page 960The chief strength of the Turks Forces consists in the Ianizaries; and yet there are o∣ther sorts of Foot-men, whereof some are cal∣led Acovizes,* which is a forlorn Hope, and receive no Pay, but march before the Army▪ and have leave to spoil; so as they give the fifth part of their Booty to the Prince. There is another kind called Azapi; these are Soul∣diers of small effect,* and serve rather with the Pick-axe and Spade than with the Sword; they are fitter to tire an Enemy with their numbers, than to vanquish them with their Valour; and they are accustomed to fill up Ditches with their dead Bodies to make a Passage for the Janizaries to ascend unto a Breach. The Grand Seignior hath ever six thousand Gunners in pay whom they call To∣pagi.* And for the Guard of the Powder and Shot when the Army marcheth, there are al∣ways twelve thousand Men in pay, whom they call Iebegi.
The Grand Seignior hath also certain Offi∣cers attending on him to the number of three thousand,* whom they call Chiaus, which are as it were Sergeants at Arms. These are Men well esteemed, and are often imployed in Em∣bassies to foreign Princes: They also carry Letters and Commendations from the Prince or his chief Visier, and they apprehend Of∣fenders. These never go to the War but whenas the Sultan is there in Person. They are commanded by a Chiaus Bassa, who is of so great credit with all men, (as Sanzovino writes) that when he is sent by the Grand Seignior to any Bassa, Sanzack, or Cadi, with order to have any Mans Head cut off, he is obeyed, although he have no Warrant in writing, as if the Prince were there himself, and commanded it.
*Thus we have set down the Grand Seigni∣or's Forces at Land, whose numbers are so great, as in shew they should breed confusion and ruine themselves; but they keep very good Order and Discipline, so as in that point they yield not to any. They live of a little Bread baked in the Ashes, with Rice, and the powder of Flesh dryed in the Sun: They may drink no Wine, and there are no Women seen in their Armies; they observe a wonderful Silence, and all the Souldiers are governed by the beck of the Hand, or any shew of the Coun∣tenance. Quarrels and Thefts are severely pu∣nished. When they March, they dare not enter into any Corn Fields nor Vines. The Valiant are assured of Preferments, and Co∣wards of Punishment.
Having spoken sufficiently of their Land Forces, let us see what strength he hath at Sea; they have great store of Forests for the build∣ing of Ships; neither want they good Ship∣wrights, for that Covetousness hath drawn ma∣ny Christian Carpenters into the Grand Seig∣nior's Arsenal: And he hath great numbers of Men trained up in Marine Affairs, in re∣gard of the Gallies which he hath at Mitilene, Rhodes, Cyprus, and Alexandria, and for the re∣treat he gives Pyrates at Tunis, Bona, Bugia and Algiers, from whence he draws Comman∣ders and his best Mariners, as hath been seen by Experience in the Enterprises of Malta, Gu∣lette, and elsewhere.
To maintain these great Forces, it is requi∣site he should have the sinews of War;* yet his ordinary Revenues (considering his large Do∣minions) are not so great, as in reason they should be; for some are of opinion, that he hath not above eight millions of Gold for his ordinary Revenue; for which they give di∣vers reasons; first, That the Turks have no care bu• of Arms, the which do rather ruine than inrich a Country: secondly, They con∣sume so many men in their Enterprises, as they scarce leave sufficient to manure their Land, so as the Subjects (despairing to enjoy their Wealth and necessary Commodities, which they might get by their Labour and Industry) imploy not themselves to work nor traffick, no more than necessity shall constrain them; for to what purpose is it; say they, to sow that another man must reap? or to reap that which another will consume? And for this reason you shall see in the Turks Estate whole Countries lie waste, and many times great Dearth, which grows by the want of Men to manure their Land; for that the Country∣men, for the most part, either die in the Voy∣ages which they make, or in carrying of Vi∣ctuals, and other necessary things for their Armies; for of ten thousand which they draw from their Houses to row in their Gallies, scarce the fourth part returns to their Houses, by reason of the great Toyles they indure. Ano∣ther reason why the Sultan's Revenues be no greater, is, for that when he conquers any Country, he assigns the Lands to his Timarri, who are bound to maintain so many Men, and so many Horses, according to the proportion of Land which he gives them, reserving no Rent.
But although his ordinary Revenues be no greater than we have spoken, yet he draws great profit by his Extraordinaries, especial∣ly by Confiscations and Presents; for being all his Slaves, no man enjoyeth any thing lon∣ger than it pleaseth him; yea, the Bassaes and greatest Officers of that Crown, which oppress his Subjects, and gather together in∣estimable Wealth, in the end, for the most part, it comes into the Turks Casna or Trea∣sury. It is not strange there to send for any Subjects Head, upon any suggestion whatso∣ever, which no man dare contradict; after which Execution, his Slaves and Goods are sold in the Market at Constantinople, and the Money applyed to the Prince's Coffers. His Presents also amount to great sums, for no Ambassadour may come before him without a Present, neither may any man expect any Office or Dignity without Money; no Gover∣nour being returned from his Province, dares present himself to the Sultan empty handed, neither are their Presents of small price. The Sultan's Exchequer is governed by two Trea∣surers called Deftardari, who are more right∣ly governours of the Revenues, for that they keep an account of the Prince's Casna or Trea∣sure, the one hath charge of the Revenues which are raised in Natolia, the other in Eu∣rope. Also they draw great profit from their tributary Provinces, especially from Valachia, Moldavia, and Transilvania, where the Princes maintain themselves by Presents and Gifts: so as they change daily, for that they that offer most are advanced, whereby they are forced to ruine the Country to perform what they have promised.
But having spoken of the Turks Forces and Revenues,* whereby they maintain their Ar∣mies to invade their Neighbours, we must now speak something of their Laws whereby the Subjects are governed, which are Institu∣tions and Answers of Wise men, the which they hold as an Interpretation of their Alcaron, which is the ground of their Law. These In∣stitutions Page 961 are contained in twelve Volumes, treating of all things belonging to civil Con∣versation. Some Provinces of Turkey are governed by Customs, and enjoy their Privi∣ledges, and their Wise Judges supply many things which are not written. The Sultan makes choice of the wisest and worthiest Per∣son that can be found, of a sincere Life, ac∣cording to their Law,* and he is called Mufti, that is, Interpreter of their Alcaron; he is (as it were) their High-priest, attending only matters of Religion and Faith; he is Head of the Church among the Turks, and decideth all questions of their Law. He is of such emi∣nency, as all the Bassaes are subject to his di∣rection; he abaseth not himself so much as to sit in the Divano, only passeth through it when he is sent for by the Sultan, who (so soon as he seeth him) riseth from his seat, as it were to honour him, and then they both sit down face to face, and so conferr together.
They make trial of the sufficientest of their Judges, before they chuse any, for which there are two Cadilesquiri Talismani,* that is, Doctors of the Law, and Examiners, at Constantinople, or wheresoever the Prince remains: These ex∣amine the Judges or Cadies of divers Provin∣ces. The one hath his charge over Europe, and is called Cadilesquirie Romly, before whom (after good information of his Life and suf∣ficiency) he swears that he will do Justice to all men, and yield an account of his Charge when he shall be called. The other Cadiles∣quirie is for Natolia; they are sovereign Judges in all Causes, and, as it were Patriarchs. They are of great Authority, and have place in the Divano with the Bassaes, to consult of weighty matters.
There is a Third degree of their Church-men,* belonging to their Law, called Mulli, which are Bishops, and chief Governours un∣der the Mufti; and their Office is to place and displace Church-men at their discretion. Next are the Nuderisi, who are Suffragans to the Bi∣shops, and their Charge is to see the Cadies do their duties. Next come the Cadies, who are Judges to punish Offenders, of which there is one in every City under the Seignior's com∣mand.
Under these are another kind of young Do∣ctors of the Law,* called Naipi, who are not so well read as to be absolute Judges, but yet supply their places in their absence.
After these are the Hogi, who write their Books,* for that they allow no printing; and inferior unto them are the Calfi, who read unto them that write. And the youngest of all are called Sosti, who are young Students or Novices in their Law.
These are their several degrees of Lawyers or Church-men; for the Turks are govern∣ed by a kind of Ecclesiastical Law, according to their Alcaron. They have Colledges (cal∣led Medressae) at Constantinople, and in other places, where they live and study their Law and Divinity, and so they ascend by de∣grees to the highest Dignity of their Profes∣sion.
As for their Religion, it began in the time of the Emperour Heraclius,* whenas the Em∣pire was much dismembred by the Heresies of Arrius and Nestorius. Mahomet, born in Ara∣bia, embraced this opportunity, seeking to overthrow the Divinity of Iesus Christ, which was opposed by the Iews and Arabians; he was assisted by two Hereticks, the one was Iohn a Nestorian, and the other Sergius an Arrian. After which (being assisted by many slaves, to whom he allowed all that was pleasing to the sence and flesh if they should receive this Law) he obtained many Victories. By Ma∣homet's Law they make a Distinction of clean and unclean Meats to content the Iews, and also it maintains Circumcision, but not at the eighth day of their Birth, as the Iews use it, but after the eighth year, when the Infant is able to make Confession of his Faith, where, lifting up his Finger, he speaks these Words, which are graven in their Temples in the Arabian Tongue: There is but one God, whose Prophet Mahomet is, one God and equal Prophets. The Circumcision being ended, they feast three days together, and then they carry the Circumcised to a Bath with great pomp; after which, the Guests conduct him to his House, and present him with Gifts. The Women are not circumcised, but onely speak the words. If any Christian abjure his Faith, and indure Circumcision, (as they often do by reason of their Tributes and Vexations) they are led through the Town with great honour and rejoycing of the People, who do also give unto them, and they pay no Tri∣butes. Mahomet's Law denies the Divinity of Iesus Christ, to please the Arrians, who were then powerful: It is full of Fables to please Idolaters, and it gives liberty to the flesh, which is pleasing to most men.
They confess one God, and honour Iesus Christ, not as the Son of God, but, as a Pro∣phet, born of the Virgin Mary. They neither honour nor allow Images. Friday is their Sabbath, as Sunday is ours. They observe a Lent of thirty days, which they call Ramadan; during which, they eat nothing in the day time, but when night comes all meats are indifferent, but Swines flesh; yet they abstain from Wine and Women. They have their Easter, called Bayran, which continues three days, in which they enjoy all pleasures; but this Feast is not always prefixed, for that they ac∣count not the day according to the course of the Sun, but of the Moon; and therefore they do carefully observe the New-Moon, and salute it.
They have no Bells in their Mosques, nei∣ther do they suffer the Christians which live there to have any. They put off their Shooes when they go into their Mosques, and take them again at their coming forth. Where∣soever they sit in their Churches or Houses, they have Tapestry Coverlets or Mats under them; they are not much given to Contem∣plation or Learning, yet the Turkish Wo∣men, being married, and having Issue, are careful to breed up their Children, and to be instructed; for the which there are many Schools, where they read their Laws, to the end they may serve in their Mosques, and be able to govern the Common-weal.
The Turks, by Mahomet's Law, have leave to marry as many Wives as they can main∣tain; and a Turkish Woman being once with Child, her Husband never toucheth her un∣till she be delivered, but lies with his slaves out of the House where his Wife remains. They have a certain kind of marriage made at pleasure, which they call Kebin, the which is many times practised by Strangers, who being out of their Country, contract with Wo∣men, whom they are to enjoy during their pleasure, and when they cast them off, they give them a certain sum of Money, and keep the Children. The Cadies or Judges allow not this kind of contract, especially amongst Page 962 Christians, unless it be with an Oath of mar∣riage. A Turk having had the Use of a Christian Woman, they are both condem∣ned to dye, unless she will abjure her Faith; the like is observed betwixt a Christian and a Turkish Woman, if they have been found together. Divorce is allowed among them in case of Barrenness and Incontinency.
There are four orders of Religious Men among the Turks, which differ in their Living, Habit, and Ceremonies. These be the Ter∣laques, Deruis, Kalenders, and Huquiemales, and these last are very vicious, and wicked Im∣posters, deceiving of the common People. The Deruis is a strict Order, living in Contempla∣tion, much like unto the Capuchins among the Romish Papists. The Turks forbear to blaspheme either God, Christ, or Mahomet, or any other Saint whatsoever, and they punish blasphemy severely. They converse with Christians, and Eat and Traffick with them freely; yea sometimes they marry their Daugh∣ters, and suffer them to live after their own Religion. But they hate the Iews, and de∣spise them as the basest people in the world. They have an assured Confidence, that he that shall duely observe the Laws of Mahomet, shall have eternal Life, and a Paradise full of Delights; and contrariwise they that shall break the Laws of their Alcaron are threatned with Hell and eternal Death; yet they have an Opinion, that he that believes in the Alcaron when he dyes, shall be undoubtedly saved.
To conclude this Relation with some few lines of their Humours and Dispositions; they write of them, that they are gross witted, idle,* and unfit for Labour. They are exceeding covetous and corrupt, above all other Nati∣ons; for Justice is sold to him that offers most. They are humble among themselves, and obey their Superiours with great silence. They are proud and insupportable to Strangers, think∣ing none fit to be compared with them. They are given to Gluttony and Drunkenness, and will spend whole days together in Feasting, and will drink with excess, if it be in private, for that it is forbidden by their Law. They are vain-glorious, proud, and deceitful, never keeping their words, but when it may be to their profit. They are much inclined to Ve∣nery, and are for the most part all Sodomites. They are very superstitious, giving credit to Dreams and Divinations; and they hold, that every mans Destiny is written in his Forehead, which cannot be altered or avoided.
Thus I have continued this History for ele∣ven Years, having informed my self out of the best Authors and Intelligencers I could find that concern this subject; I should have been glad that some which have resided at Constan∣tinople most part of this time, would have as∣sisted me with their Observations, which should have been for the general good of our Nation; but I hope notwithstanding the Reader shall find content and satisfaction.